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The Coconut God

[Potential Spoilers] The Exodus Theory and the Show

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Some of you may have heard about my Exodus Theory, but for those unfamiliar with it here's a summary:

  • The Others are not an enemy that can be defeated, but rather a force of nature, like a tsunami or volcanic eruption. Their coming will force the people of the Seven Kingdoms to migrate to Essos in several waves of refugees, the first of which will be led by Jon on the Manderly Fleet.

  • Dany will never reach Westeros proper, but she will help in the fight against Euron, who will serve as the main villain by blocking the passage across the narrow sea with his fleet and stolen dragon, in the hope that such a gigantic sacrifice will give him godlike powers.

  • Brienne, Jaime and the BwB will undertake a journey North to find and rescue Bran, and eventually they will follow in the footsteps of the Last Hero and stop the Long Night from spreading beyond the Seven Kingdoms.

If you want to dive deeper into it, its latest and most comprehensive incarnation can be found here.

Since D&D said that the show and the books "will have the same outcome", I would like to explore what kind of implications my theory would have for the final season and the show as a whole. How will the Exodus happen in season 8, and just how accurate will the final seasons prove to be?

In the books, if my theory is correct, the Exodus will start in the first half of TWoW and Jon will be in Braavos by the middle of the book. A lot of the story will take place in Essos, since that is the setting in which humanity will start its new future; Dany will sweep across the continent conquering the Free Cities one by one, and Braavos will act as a major foil for her in ADoS, having a similar importance to King's Landing in ACoK. Obviously, none of that was or has any time to be in the show. Why not? I can think of three plausible reasons:

  1. D&D wanted to spoil as little as possible from the books, and so they held back on the big Exodus twist until the very end, giving George a chance to reveal it earlier or around the same time in TWoW.

  2. Shifting a great deal of the focus towards Essos would have been a risky move, especially without the books doing it first. Ned's death and the Red Wedding were "tested" major twists. D&D likely did not have the balls to try a third one blind before the series was over. Especially when it meant the death of Westeros itself.

  3. Starting the Exodus early would have simply been too expensive. Deep snow in the North as early as season 6, new locations in Essos, new costumes, new minor characters, money, money, money. It would have been a lot more convenient to extend the screen life of existing locations.

What did D&D replace the yet-to-be-published book material with? Here's are my educated guesses:

  • Dany's arc in season 7 replaces fAegon's arc in TWoW. In the books, his main purpose will be to instigate another major conflict in the South, thus ensuring that the realm is truly incapable of fending off the Others. In the show, D&D attempted to please the fans and give us a taste of Dany conquering her ancestors' kingdom, but because fAegon is mostly a plot device in the greater scheme of things, this arc fell flat for her and it felt like she was a foil for Cersei more than anything else.

  • Just like the Battle of the Bastards was a retread on Stannis's Battle of Ice, I believe the Battle for Winterfell in season 8 also borrows heavily from Stannis's last stand in early TWoW. The poor man was truly robbed of all his glory.

  • Because they had to take her to Westeros, Arya most likely "inherited" LSH's and Manderly's arcs of killing Freys, then butted in on Sansa's arc of outsmarting Littlefinger. In the books, she will likely be heavily involved in Braavos's war against Dany - we'll see how that translates to their relationship in season 8.

That leaves us with season 6, season 7 and half of season 8 repeatedly gravitating around the first half of TWoW (which makes sense, considering that's likely all the unreleased material D&D had access to), and the big Exodus reveal left for the final three episodes. Obviously it will be a heavily truncated version of what George has planned, doing away with all the Essos set-up and finer details and cramming a book and a half (if not more) into approximately four hours of TV. Here's my tentative prediction on how they'll be doing that:

  1. The Battle of Winterfell in episode three will be a crushing defeat, but some survivors will be evacuated by flanking them with dragonfire.

  2. In episode four, we might see them gathering a few more people (Hot Pie, etc.) while on their flight south to Dragonstone. Team Jon&Dany will have to decide on what to do next, and that's when the idea of the Exodus will be sprung. It's been established already that the wights and the Others do not swim, so Essos should be safe according to the lore of the show.

  3. Since most of Dany's fleet was destroyed during the attack on Casterly Rock (yes, this was the point of that arc), their only chance to take enough survivors with them would be to use Euron's fleet. They try to work out a deal with him and Cersei, but he either refuses or the price they ask is too high.

  4. The final showdown of GoT will then be a desperate attack on King's Landing to steal Euron's fleet and escape the Others, who will inherit Westeros and the Iron Throne. The city may or may not burn in the process.

  5. We get a brief epilogue with whoever survives the whole ordeal reaching Braavos and/or Meereen and bracing themselves for a new era for humanity, then we cut to the Night King sitting on the ruins of the Iron Throne The end.

What do you guys think? Does it hold water? Would it be a satisfying direction for the story in the books? What about the show?

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Well, the first three paragraphs of this wild theory are already proven wrong. Daenerys reached Westeros, Bran is already at Winterfell.

The Exodus theory makes no sense to me whatsoever. No hints in the show at all.

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2 hours ago, Kajjo said:

Well, the first three paragraphs of this wild theory are already proven wrong.

Did you continue reading after that? :lol: You might understand a bit better...

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4 hours ago, Kajjo said:

Well, the first three paragraphs of this wild theory are already proven wrong. Daenerys reached Westeros, Bran is already at Winterfell.

The Exodus theory makes no sense to me whatsoever. No hints in the show at all.

That's because the first half of his post is talking about his book theory. . . . 

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Won't happen in either the books or the show.

First of all, it would be deeply unsatisfying as an ending.  People are invested in Westeros, not Essos.

Also, GRRM has confirmed that the Long Night & Others are an allegory for climate change. Giving up and running away from climate change doesn't make a lot of sense, thematically speaking.  I do think that the Others won't be defeated in a conventional sense though.

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GRRM has already said that the ending will be bittersweet. He then said that the ending won't be that the White Walkers win, but that the victory over them will come with high losses. Google the interview. 

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It's a well worked out theory, but it won't happy for all the reasons that have been stated before.

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11 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

Does it hold water?

Not at all. The whole theory makes no sense at all. It is extremely far-fetched. A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones is about Westeros, not about loosing a continent.

11 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

Would it be a satisfying direction for the story in the books?

Not at all. What could be satisfying about losing a whole continent? About almost all threads and story arcs being nullified? That's simply a crazy theory.

11 hours ago, The Coconut God said:

What about the show?

I cannot imagine anyone being "satisfied" with such an end. It all has to make sense after all, has a meaning, threads have to come to an end, lose ends being tied up. 

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17 hours ago, Kajjo said:

Not at all. The whole theory makes no sense at all. It is extremely far-fetched. A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones is about Westeros, not about loosing a continent.

Not at all. What could be satisfying about losing a whole continent? About almost all threads and story arcs being nullified? That's simply a crazy theory.

I cannot imagine anyone being "satisfied" with such an end. It all has to make sense after all, has a meaning, threads have to come to an end, lose ends being tied up. 

Just out of curiosity, how would you imagine the ending when it comes to the show?

We have 6 episodes left, and the first 3 of which will presumably be the lead up to and the execution of the Battle for Winterfell. What happens next?

Do Jon and Dany just win at Winterfell and then fight Cersei for the Iron Throne? You think it would be satisfying to build up an enemy for seven seasons only to dispatch it in three episodes (actually one)? You think three episodes each are enough for Cersei and the Night King, if the stories are not connected?

If they lose at Winterfell, what then? Do they fight a three-way war with the Night King and Cersei further south and somehow win that one? Does Cersei finally join the good guys and they win together? What was the point of her betrayal then? Does Cersei defeat everyone? You'd call that more satisfying than the Others conquering Westeros? Or maybe you would like a deus ex machina ending, where all seems lost, but then Bran 9000 does something™ or introduces a brand new piece of lore that allows the good guys to win?

I'm having a hard time understanding what sort of ending you have in mind that my own theory compares so poorly to. ;)

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4 minutes ago, The Coconut God said:

If they lose at Winterfell, what then? Do they fight a three-way war with the Night King and Cersei further south and somehow win that one?

Jupp. Fanservice.

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The wights might lack the ability to swim but they can just walk under water.  How else could they hook chains to the dead dragon?  Now do the white walkers need air?  Or coud they just freeze the narrow sea?

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11 minutes ago, Bradam said:

The wights might lack the ability to swim but they can just walk under water.  How else could they hook chains to the dead dragon?  Now do the white walkers need air?  Or coud they just freeze the narrow sea?

I thought the chains materialized around the dragon's neck after a rip in the space-time continuum caused by D&D having a simultaneous brain fart... Everything related to the apparition of those chains is not really canon.

But in all seriousness, the series bothered to point out that the wights don't cross water. Maybe the wights break apart due to pressure and currents, or maybe the white walker's magic doesn't hold up for very long in contact with liquid water (hence the need for low temperature that freeze the water solid) and the wights who tied the chain were simply sacrificed.

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, The Coconut God said:

I thought the chains materialized around the dragon's neck after a rip in the space-time continuum caused by D&D having a simultaneous brain fart... Everything related to the apparition of those chains is not really canon.

But in all seriousness, the series bothered to point out that the wights don't cross water. Maybe the wights break apart due to pressure and currents, or maybe the white walker's magic doesn't hold up for very long in contact with liquid water (hence the need for low temperature that freeze the water solid) and the wights who tied the chain were simply sacrificed.

Like magicked water pulled apart the ringwraiths at the Ford of  Bruinen, while merely drowning the horses who were really horses, not supernatural creatures?

Whatever.

Nothing about any of the zombies thingies, whatever they are called -- good grief how many varieties of the species are there? -- makes any sense on any level at all, and never has. This is a feature unintended, not a bug, upon which ever more endless convolution has been built, instead of the error being eradicated. Endless convolution does not good narrative - story telling make -- unless of a variety in which this is intentional, as in Tale of the Genji, A Thousand and One Nights or The Satanic Verses.

These are not the model for GOT, but this is what we have, which buries what GOT was supposed to be.

Tolkien, whose magnificent Lord of the Rings, is supposed to be at the very least the model against which GOT pushes, put the convolution into appendices, not into the narrative of LOR.  Thus there are constant plateaus of action-narrative pay-offs, as the volumes roll along, which keeping pulling the reader along, with the confidence that what they want to find out in the final and end game will be revealed, and in a manner that satisfies them.

 

Edited by Zorral

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The 1st LN was dealt without losing a continent. If one continent is lost why not the other. The only possibility would be south, Sothoryos. But I don't believe it. They have a problem. Must deal with it. Not flee elsewhere and still have the problem.

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18 minutes ago, BalerionTheCat said:

The 1st LN was dealt without losing a continent. If one continent is lost why not the other. The only possibility would be south, Sothoryos. But I don't believe it. They have a problem. Must deal with it. Not flee elsewhere and still have the problem.

Not every story needs to end with the heroes neatly dealing with their problems. Sometimes if you screw up you have to live with the problems you made for yourself, and that's the whole point. The Others are a metaphor for climate change, and if climate change hits hard some regions will become uninhabitable and the others will have to deal with massive numbers refugees.

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23 minutes ago, The Coconut God said:

Not every story needs to end with the heroes neatly dealing with their problems. Sometimes if you screw up you have to live with the problems you made for yourself, and that's the whole point. The Others are a metaphor for climate change, and if climate change hits hard some regions will become uninhabitable and the others will have to deal with massive numbers refugees. 

I know GRRM said we may establish a parallel between ASoIaF and our climate problem. But more generally: we should not quibble about frivolities when we have bigger problems.

All ASoIaF universe is a nightmare of wars and atrocious crimes. I believe this must be addressed. Not solving it would be IMO "unsatisfactory". And it will not be solved by fleeing to another continent. This people fucked something. And unlike us, it was not the climate.

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I like the idea - especially the idea of the Night King (if he even exists in the books) sitting on the Iron Throne - except that it surely leaves the whole thing open for a sequel/continuation.  And I am sure the end will definitely be an end.  And I think the end will be in Westeros.

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Pretty much every war crime committed in westeros has been committed in real life, most times far worse and a larger scale.  Hell it still happens today. Humanity has been at constant warfare with itself since like.... ever.

Most Hollywood movies show a few of them here and there but wrap it up with made up love stories and redemption and the good guy always winning in the end.

 

Game of Thrones tends to show life more like it has always been. Which somehow shocks people.  With some added dragons.. and.. magic. Oh and a lot of boobs.

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1 hour ago, BalerionTheCat said:

All ASoIaF universe is a nightmare of wars and atrocious crimes. I believe this must be addressed. Not solving it would be IMO "unsatisfactory". And it will not be solved by fleeing to another continent. This people fucked something. And unlike us, it was not the climate.

It may be unsatisfying for you personally, but it's not unsatisfactory as an ending.

The message to us is clear:  If you screw up, you will lose big time. You can't procrastinate endlessly thinking you'll brave all odds when your back is against the wall, or that a miraculous solution will present itself in the final hour.

There won't be an apocalypse, humanity won't end in its entirety, and there may even be hope of retaking the lost lands one day... not by the heroes we've been following throughout the series, put perhaps by their children's children's children, if humanity stops messing up.

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