- Copies of the episode scripts for the final season of “Game of Thrones” are held at the WGF library.
- Insider read them, and uncovered several key scenes written into the scripts that were later cut.
- One deleted scene had Tyrion and Sansa killing wights in the Winterfell crypts.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Fans got a look at “Game of Thrones” showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss’ script for the HBO series’ finale episode, “The Iron Throne,” when it was nominated for an Emmy. But now the entire season’s worth of scripts are available to read at the the Writers Guild Foundation Shavelson-Webb Library in Los Angeles.
Contained in those scripts, which we read in their entirety, are many lines of dialogue, entire scenes, or stage directions that were changed by the time the final episode was edited and aired. Though we can’t know for certain why the changes were made, it’s interesting to look at some of the key moments left offscreen and how they inform (or alter) our understanding of key events.
For example, a line of dialogue where Daenerys Targaryen confronts Jon Snow about how their shared blood “disgusts” him would have made their tragic romance a bit more clear-cut on the final episodes.
So let’s dive in and explore the seven most intriguing scenes found in the scripts but left out of the aired episodes on the final season of “Game of Thrones.”
Euron Greyjoy kissing Yara while he had her tied up as a prisoner
On the first episode of the season, “Winterfell,” we meet the leader of the Golden Company – Harry Strickland – as he arrives to King’s Landing with Euron Greyjoy.
According to the script for this episode, the two men were originally going to share some lines of dialogue about how Euron planned on sleeping with Queen Cersei. Strickland tells Euron that Jaime Lannister won’t like that.
“She can think of him while I’m inside her,” Euron says in the script. “I don’t mind.”
“You’re a strange man, Greyjoy,” Strickland says in return.
Then Euron heads below deck to speak with his niece Yara as she’s tied to a post in a cabin. Euron taunts her a bit, and then the script says he “kisses his niece on the lips” after telling her he’s going to “f— the queen.”
Before leaving, the last thing Euron says to Yara is, “sit here and s— yourself like a good little girl.”
In the final version of the episode, we don’t hear from Strickland at all until he gets into the throne room for an audience with Cersei. And Euron’s exchange with Yara is much more tame. The two talk about how he’s allied with Cersei, and then he leaves without kissing her or mentioning feces.
But he does get awfully close to her face before saying he’s going to “f— the queen.”
Alys Karstark has a larger role in the Battle of Winterfell
In the script for “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,” after Theon volunteers to protect Bran in the godswood during the coming battle, Jon says he doesn’t have enough men. That’s when Alys Karstark says she’ll be there too.
“I’ll go with him,” Alys says to Jon in the script. “The Karstarks betrayed your House. Allow us to earn back your trust.”
(The Karstarks were the house which sided with Ramsay Bolton during the Battle of the Bastards. Jon pardoned young Alys and little Ned Umber after the fight as a gesture of reconciliation with all the Northern houses.)
The script says “Jon appreciates the girl’s sense of honor” and he nods in approval. This entire exchange did not make it onto the final episode.
Later, on the third episode as the fighting is about to start, we did see Alys and her Karstark men walking behind Theon and Bran.
In the script for this episode, Alys again has several key lines of dialogue. When they hear wights starting to invade the godswood, the script says: “Alys is terrified but maintains her resolve. She motions to her men in the direction of the sound: follow me.”
The scene then continues with Alys and her men walking among the trees in the godswood, following a trail of footprints. The trail leads them to a small wight-child, and the group of fighters turn to find a way out. But through the trees they can see “small figures moving with them. Snippets, glimpses of other child wights.”
The wights descend upon a Karstark soldier, and Alys “turns and runs.”
That’s the last we see of Alys in the script.
On the show, she was near Theon in the godswood, but never had a dedicated moment on screen during the fighting. She’s simply presumed dead by the time the battle is over.
Tyrion and Sansa killing wights in the crypts of Winterfell to save Missandei, Gilly, and Baby Sam
Again on “The Long Night” episode, an action-packed scene with Tyrion and Sansa was cut.
In the script’s version of their crypt scene, Tyrion and Sansa hide together behind the statue of Ned Stark in the crypts of Winterfell. They grip each other’s hands, and draw their dragonglass daggers, and stand.
Then the scene cuts to Missandei, hiding with Gilly and Baby Sam behind the statue of Lyanna Stark. Gilly is trying to cover Sam’s mouth, but he cries out anyways. Two wights identified in the script as “DEAD STARKS” stop and turn towards them.
Just when the wights raise their swords, “they scream and fall to the floor.”
“Tyrion and Sansa stand behind the deanimated wights, dragonglass daggers in hand,” the script says. “She stuck him with the pointy end.”
In the show’s version of this scene, the moment ends once Tyrion and Sansa stand up. We never see them in any sort of fight.
Some fans likely already knew that their attack on wights was cut from the script because an HBO behind-the-scenes video (as seen above) showed actors Sophie Turner (Sansa) and Peter Dinklage (Tyrion) filming that scene.
“The whole action was really fun,” Turner said. “Because I never get to do any action.”
Unfortunately the entire “action” part of her scene was left on the cutting room floor.
Missandei and Grey Worm share two key scenes which explored their love more, and also help highlight Dany’s isolation
On the first episode of season eight, “Winterfell,” as Dany’s troops are marching into the Northern stronghold, Missandei and Grey Worm originally shared their own cutesy words.
In the script’s version of the episode, Missandei tells Grey Worm he “must be freezing.” At first he tries to play tough but then cracks a smile and tells her: “I am cold.”
“She smiles back at him. Boy oh boy they’re in love!” the script says.
While a small moment, this would have made Missandei’s later tragic death even more heart-wrenching.
Then, later on the season, both Missandei and Grey Worm were also originally going to be at the feast of Winterfell, and their flirtation and love left Dany feeling lonely.
Missandei and Grey Worm would have been seated near Dany, and at one point during the feast Missandei was going to sip her wine and “surreptitiously” look at Grey Worm. When she smiled to herself, Dany would have noticed, which leads to Missandei seeing her queen watching.
“When she notices Dany looking at her, she stops smiling and faces forward, trying to look dignified,” the script says of Missandei.
Then it says Dany smiles a bit once Missandei is no longer watching. She’s clearly happy for Grey Worm and Missandei – but then her gaze goes to Jon Snow. He’s “wrapped in his own thoughts,” and “Dany’s smile fades.”
Later in the feast, Dany would’ve dismissed Grey Worm. He’s “unaffected by the festivities” and sits “stoic and vigilant.” The queen tells him that he fought well, and she is safe in the great hall of Winterfell, so he can go rest.
When he leaves, Missandei lies and says she’s not feeling well, asking Dany if she may be excused as well.
“Oh no. Your belly?” Dany asks.
Then the script direction says: “Missandei, a terrible liar, struggles for a response, while Dany (who knows she’s lying) watches her squirm.”
Eventually Dany gives her an out, offering up “a headache” as the reason she’s unwell, and tells Missandei to go and that she hopes she feels better soon.
“Missandei leaves the feast, trying not to run.”
Then comes the key part.
“Dany is happy for her friend. But she’s also aware that everyone seems to be having fun except for her,” the script says. “She’s lonely and Varys clocks her loneliness…)
Then the scene cuts to a part that did make it onto the final episode – Tormund bragging about Jon Snow being a dragon-rider and true king as Dany watches on. While Dany’s loneliness and isolation was certainly conveyed over the course of the final season, these moments would’ve helped really hammer home just how frustrated and sad Dany was in the days leading up to her decision to destroy King’s Landing.
With Jorah dead, then Missandei captured and killed as well, plus her growing distrust in both Jon and Tyrion, Dany was really and truly alone as she headed into the fight for King’s Landing.
Reading the scripts, it’s much easier to track her descent into bitter loneliness and resolution against the rest of Westeros.
Tyrion and Varys pondering whether non-Targaryens have ever ridden a dragon before
When Tyrion and Varys are discussing Jon’s true parentage for the first time together, Varys casts doubt on how certain they can be about this news.
“He rode a dragon,” Tyrion counters in the script for the scene. “Has any non-Targaryen ever rode a dragon?”
Jon’s dragon-riding abilities were often discussed among fans of Martin’s original book series, since the stories there seemed to imply that it was mainly Targaryens who rode dragons. This is part of why the setup of Jon’s first dragon ride was disappointing for many fans – the big test was treated as more of a goofy flirtation than a serious, life-changing moment.
When Jon first speaks with Dany after Varys’ execution, the exchange originally included a lot more dialogue, some of which addressed their incest
Jon enters the room, and the first thing Dany does is confront him about talking to Varys on the beach. She asks what they spoke of.
“Jon hates confirming her increasingly ubiquitous suspicions, but he hates lying more,” the script says.
Jon just says “I think you know,” but Dany presses the point.
“He knew about me. And he wanted me to claim the throne.”
Then the script moves into the existing episode’s dialogue, with Dany chiding Jon about knowing what would happen if he told Sansa the truth.
When the scene gets to the part where Dany laments that she has no love in Westeros, only fear, Jon tells Dany he loves her, and that she is his queen. But then script has the scene play out slightly differently. Dany approaches Jon and asks, “Is that all I am to you? Your Queen?” and he responds “no.”
They kiss, and the script says “[Dany] is desperate for a connection; she cannot remember a time she has felt this alone. She pulls back from the kiss and looks at Jon. This is complicated for him. He loves her. He disapproves strongly of what she’s doing. He lusts after her. He fears her. She feels his ambivalence.”
“It disgusts you,” Dany says.
“Dany…” Jon begins and trails off.
That is when “her expression hardens” and she says the line: “All right then, let it be fear.”
On the aired episode, Jon doesn’t respond when Dany asks if she’s no more than a queen to him. He lets her kiss him and briefly returns the kiss – only to pull back after several seconds. That’s when Dany, hurt by this, steps backwards and glares at him with a resigned sadness and says “let it be fear.”
Similar to the feast scene with Missandei, this change in dialogue would’ve made Dany’s feelings of intense loneliness even more clear to the audience watching. Reading the stage direction for Jon Snow’s feelings in the moment also gives more clarity to how Jon was feeling about “his queen” at the time.
In the script, we saw Dany on top of Drogon again after she decided to burn King’s Landing and its residents
The choice to never show Daenerys again after her devastating decision to lay waste to hundreds of thousands (if not a million) people was a divisive one. For some fans, the way the aired episode portrayed Dany as simply one-with-Drogon was powerful. Others felt it dehumanized her at a moment when we really needed to feel more of what was happening in her head.
In the script, there is one more key Daenerys scene written in – though it includes no dialogue. The scene comes after Arya decides to leave the Red Keep, and the script says this is “one of the few moments in this entire sequence” when we’ll spend time with the Mother of Dragons.
The script says to focus “tight on flying Dany as she looks at the exterior of the Throne Room, the room her ancestors built.”
Dany would see the Lannister lion sigil in the windows where the Seven-Pointed Star once was, which she clocks as a “symbol of everything that has been taken from her” and it “drives her to fury.” That’s when Drogon begins attacking the Red Keep, which we did see on the final episode. Whole towers and sides of walls crumbled as Dany and Drogon flew in circles around the stronghold.
This is the last of the major moments we spotted in the “Game of Thrones” scripts that didn’t make it to air. For more “Game of Thrones” analysis, read our list of the best details you might have missed in the final set of episodes.