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What would the world of Westeros look like with Eddard Stark (Sean Bean) still in place?
It’s a question that’s fresh on the mind following a rewatch of Game of Thrones‘ first season, in which the Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North’s final days on earth (or Planetos, if you prefer) are front and center. How much bloodshed would have been averted if Joffrey (Jack Gleason) hadn’t ordered Ned’s head on a Valyrian platter? Would the War of the Five Kings have reached an earlier conclusion? Would Ned have found a way to install Jon Snow (Kit Harington) on the Iron Throne, due to his secret origin? With a level-headed leader in place, would the Seven Kingdoms be prepared for the coming arrival of the White Walkers?
Quite frankly, it’s well-worn territory, at least as far as it concerns “Winter Was Here,” the Game of Thrones rewatch podcast collaboration between The Hollywood Reporter and Post Show Recaps. Hosts Rob Cesternino and Josh Wigler (that’s me!) have discussed the alternate timeline in which Ned Stark survives his trip to King’s Landing ad nauseam. Here’s what hasn’t been discussed ad nauseam:
• What would Game of Thrones look like if Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) were still alive?
• What about if Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy) weren’t murdered?
• How about if Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) had died when Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) pushed him out the window — what does the future of Game of Thrones look like without the Three-Eyed Raven in place?
One doesn’t need greensight to ponder these possibilities. All one needs is a free hour to listen to our final thoughts on season one in the podcast below:
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