Movie Reviews

The Jon Snow Spinoff Can Actually Improve Game Of Thrones Season 8

A Game of Thrones’ Jon Snow spinoff series is reportedly in development at HBO, and the sequel series has the opportunity to improve the heavily criticized season 8 of the original show. While Game of Thrones spinoffs were always expected, with House of the Dragon to premiere in August 2022, a Jon Snow show set after the events of the main storyline took many by surprise. Not only did the Game of Thrones ending seemed like definitive enough for a story that had gone on for nine years, but there is also not even a precedent in the A Song of Ice and Fire books to a sequel story – as George R.R. Martin has not published that last two planned books of his epic.

In addition to the upcoming House of the Dragon and the recently reported Jon Snow spinoff show, there are five other Game of Thrones spinoffs in different stages of development, namely, Tales Of Dunk & Egg, an animated series centered on the Golden Empire of Yi Ti; a 9 Voyages show that would see House of the Dragon’s Corlys Velaryon reprise his role as Sea Snake; a 10,000 ships show about Princess Nymeria of the Rhoyne, and a Flea Bottom show about the poorest and full of secrets part of King’s Landing. That said, whether all those spinoffs will get made and how fast that will be most likely depends on how well House of the Dragon does at HBO. It is also interesting to point out that, per reports, Jon Snow actor Kit Harington has already committed to star in the spinoff should the project move forward – which suggests that the Jon Snow sequel could happen before all the other listed shows.

Related: Every Game Of Thrones Character Who Can Return For Jon Snow’s Sequel

However, three years after the Game of Thrones finale, the discontentment of a large part of the audience with season 8 can still be perceived despite all the spinoffs that have been announced. In fact, every time some news regarding a Game of Thrones spinoff comes out, the conversation in social media usually shits to discussions about the Game of Thrones’ ending and how many considered it to have doomed the franchise’s potential. While HBO never acknowledged any of that, which is justified, it can’t be denied that the bad reception of Game of Thrones season 8 could hurt all the spinoffs and future plans for the IP. That said, HBO now has the chance to change the narrative and flip the criticism with the Jon Snow sequel. While it is a risky move, the Jon Snow spinoff, if done right, can work around the season 8 criticism by repurposing some of the finale’s creative decisions, such as Jon Snow ignoring his Targaryen birthright or the Others being defeated relatively easy, and thus make the Game of Thrones finale better in hindsight.

Nailing the ending of a show that has run for several years is always difficult, especially when that show had as much impact on pop culture as Game of Thrones did. However, the Game of Thrones finale, and the show’s last couple of seasons in general, were received with a lot of criticism from both those who have read the A Song of Ice and Fire novels and those who have seen the show only. The lack of reference material in the books, the choice to end Game of Thrones with eight seasons only, and the reduced number of episodes in the final two seasons suggested that the show would struggle to end on a high note. That fear was eventually proven right, as Game of Thrones seasons 7 and 8 suffered from rushed pacing, dozens of script conveniences, plot inconsistencies, and years-long storylines that were not paid off. The fates of Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow, arguably the two most important characters of the A Song of Ice and Fire universe, are often pointed out as the most disappointing parts of the Game of Thrones ending.

Right after the death of Daenerys Targaryen and the departure of Jon Snow from Westeros, social media was flooded with “remake Game of Thrones season 8” campaigns – and to this day, similar requests can still be found. While the show’s finale did fail in many aspects, and it would always draw an immense amount of criticism, the campaigns to remake Game of Thrones season 8 never made sense and would never come close to becoming a reality. Not only was it completely impossible that a major network would redo a season of a show only because the overall response was negative, but those requests could also come out as disrespectful toward the hundreds of people who worked on Game of Thrones’ final season.

Given the negative response to how Jon Snow’s story ended, mostly because of all the setup of Jon being a Targaryen and heir to the throne didn’t have that much impact on the story, continuing the character’s journey from where Game of Thrones ended is a risky idea. The concept of Jon Snow killing Daenerys Targaryen and then giving up on everything to live beyond the Wall was not a very satisfying end for such an important character, and doubling down on that decision with a Jon spinoff could backfire. Also, when compared to other possibilities, such as Arya’s travel to the west of Westeros, a Jon Snow show set beyond the Wall doesn’t sound as interesting – especially when considering the Night King and the dangers of the Long Night have already been defeated.

Related: Night King vs. Jon Snow: Who Would’ve Won Their Game Of Thrones Fight

Although the Jon Snow sequel may sound uninteresting at first, there are actually quite a few ways not only for the spinoff to work but also to retroactively improve Game of Thrones season 8. There is still a ton of A Song of Ice and Fire lore that hasn’t been adapted for TV yet, and the Jon Snow sequel could be the way to do it. For example, those who, like Melisandre, follow the Lord of Light believe that there is an opposing force to it, the Great Other, who represents the coldness, the dark, and death. While some could argue that Game of Thrones’ Night King, a character created for the show, is a representation of the Great Other, the Jon Snow sequel could play with the idea that the Night King and all the White Walkers were only a small part of a much bigger force.

A Jon Snow show set beyond the Wall could also bring characters from A Song of Ice and Fire that Game of Thrones decided to skip, such as the wildling princess Val and even the self-proclaimed Targaryen Aegon, only that in a different context from the books. The spinoff could also shed new light on Bran’s time as king, either by showing how the now six kingdoms of Westeros are dealing with a Stark on the throne or by exploring what exactly the Three-Eyed Raven’s plan for Westeros is. In other words, the Jon Snow sequel series can not only improve season 8 but also start a new phase for the Game of Thrones franchise.

Next: Everything We Know About Game Of Thrones’ Jon Snow Sequel

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