Let me give you the Game of Thrones we all wanted. Not just me and you, but D&D too. They wanted the unexpected and the thrill, we wanted the characters. These are not mutually exclusive.
Arya Stark kills the Night King, but not alone.
Jon makes it to his last little brother just in time to see a battered and bloody Theon cut down defending him. The Night King is injured, but not defeated. He has no interest in meeting Jon head on, so he sends the wights to do so while he advances on Bran.
Rhaegal, wounded but loyal, appears to burn the wights who would have stopped him. Jon has no time to be in awe of the dragonfire which saves his life, only time to charge straight at the Night King and fight. This is why he left his black brothers to die, after all, for Ned Stark's last son. He could not save Robb, could not fight beside him, but he will give his life for Bran if need be.
Yet the Night King cares nothing for honor. Wights gone, he summons his generals. Two White Walkers rush to his defense, preparing to kill Jon, but they do not make it across the courtyard before it is filled with wolves. The largest of them, a she-wolf as large as a pony, leads her pack in the charge. Nymeria cannot kill the White Walker, but she and her pack rip them limb from limb, the screams like nothing Jon has ever heard.
Cruel and careful, the Night King uses his distraction to knock him off his feet. As the killing blow comes down, Jon sees something behind the Night King. Silent as any shadowcat, Arya has snuck into the godswood, into the battle. She drags her blade across the White Walkers throat, and he turns into a rush of blood and a shattering of ice shards.
All of his wights fall with him, but there are other White Walkers yet remaining. Somewhere beyond the walls of Winterfell, Rhaegal and Drogon obey their mother, and turn their wights into nothing more than ash. Relieved of the great burden of the living dead, the men rally to kill the remaining White Walkers. Grey Worm kills one and Sandor another, while Brienne claims two. Under the watchful eyes of the ravens, none escape.
The Starks do not notice this. Jon hugs Arya tight, there in their father's godswood covered with the fallen dead, and cries for the first time since he woke from darkness. Arya, who might have been No One except that she could not forget Jon Snow's smile, pulls him back to Bran and holds him tight.
This is how the dawn is won.
Afterward, the Starks rally their men to march North. Cersei awaits them, enthroned in Kings Landing, and she has hurt them too much to forget. Sansa, afraid and angry, whispers in Tyrion's ear before he goes. She has known no benevolent monarchs and no merciful women once they have their power. Lysa, Margaery, Cersei, all of them turned against her. So she gives up the secret she has sworn to keep, for the offer of a crown on her brother's head. Arya and Jon head south with the army, but Sansa has sworn never to leave the North again.
As they march south, Daenerys frees Riverrun, naming Edmure and his new daughter her rightful rulers, and meet with the remaining 30,000 men from the Vale. Anya Waynewood remembers Queen Visenya's visit to the Eyrie; she does not need a reminder of why the Vale kings knelt to the Targaryens. When they reach Kings Landing, the Reach awaits them, some 10,000 men rallied from the shadow of Highgarden and Horn Hill.
Plans are formed and ravens sent, but when the armies are gathered the queen remains on Dragonstone. In her place are Jon and Rhaegal, landing before the city and calling the forces to attention. Sansa was not wrong. Tyrion and Varys would sooner a man sit the throne than a woman, birth and expulsion aside, and so would most of the realm. Their greatest challenge had been convincing Jon, reborn without purpose, conqueror of the White Walkers, King in the North, Jon, that he deserved his father's throne.
Tyrion presents an impassioned plea, including a warning of the threat the coldness between his sisters and the queen carried. Sam, crippled yet alive, gives him papers supporting his claim and his late father's writings, which name his son Aegon as the Prince Who Was Promised. Varys, the Mad King's most trusted advisor, is quick to support these claims. After all, why would a Stark bastard be brought back for nothing? He had won the Dawn. He had defeated the Army of the Dead. Now his throne awaited.
Aegon. What better name for a king?
So it is that Jon names himself Aegon VI Targaryen, recognizing Lyanna Stark as his mother, and takes Kings Landing in a bloody battle. When it is done, there is a new Sack of Kings Landing, the city half afire and the Red Keep in ruins, but there is a new king.
Ned Stark had tried to save Cersei's children, but she has no more of them. Jon condemns her for usurping the throne, destroying the sept, and the murder of his father. Rather than executing her, he sends her to the dungeons she had fostered to die as Unella and Tyene and Falyse Stokeworth had.`
Then he turns his gaze to the rest of the realm, demanding obedience. Both Targaryen and Stark had suffered too long under lesser houses. Under Tyrion's guidance, he uses Ellaria as leverage against Dorne and names Bronn the Lord of Highgarden. When the Reach rumbles with the Florent's threat of rebellion he burns Brightwater Keep to ash with her lord inside, and gives the land to Melessa Tarly for her son's service.
A king needs a queen, and Daenerys had been rejected by his advisors. Alys Waynwood and Jynna Mallister are called to the capitol to see the king, although Jon refuses to entertain any of Tyrion's cousins. Both of them are rejected, and Jon insists a Northern girl be summoned, one who worships the Old Gods. The Faith doesn't like that, but aren't in a position to protest yet.
Cersei's screams can be heard from the dungeons, and Tyrion can't bring himself to go down and see her. The sister that he had fought so hard to help would blame him for this fate, he knows. He bars Jaime from the capitol, shipping him back to Winterfell and his lady knight with a hundred men as guards.
House Yronwood, now wed to Oberyn's last daughter, have no interest in rejoining the realm. Jon threatens to kill Ellaria and send them her head, but what does Yronwood care about a bastard who had murdered Doran Martell, when compared to a man usurping the name and throne belonging to Elia's son? She is not Sarella's mother, and Jon will not wed their princess.
When Yara Greyjoy declares her independence behind their own, Jon prepares Rhaegal for a war. They fought against Robb and weakened him, what does Jon care for their houses or Daenerys' promises? The Iron Islands will belong to the Iron Throne or they will be dust and ash.
Daenerys isn't dead.
Varys poisoned her, but she is a Targaryen and they have always resisted poison and illness better than most. For many days she is too weak to get out of bed. When at last she can stand, Grey Worm admits to her that Rhaegal is gone and Jon Snow rules in Kings Landing. He sits on her throne, but she cannot fight against her son.
For some time she is forced to stay on Dragonstone to recover. It is during this time that a ship full of Dothraki arrives. It is largely young men eager to join her men, but two women are on the ship as well. Ornela, the khaleesi who had helped her in Vaes Dothraki, and Jhiqui, Irri's sister. Her bloodriders, Aggo and Kovarro, who had joined her after Drogo's dead, had called for them.
Together they support her while she recovers from near death. They bring her food and wash her hair, they find food testers and sleep next to her at night. Once she had led her people across the Red Waste and fought for their freedom, but now they are her strength. One night, Dany sits with Grey Worm and tells him he is free to go if he wishes to. Her stoic war commander had refused, promising to see her home first.
But where was her home?
The darkness that has encompassed her life is finally broken by the arrival of a Volantene galley arriving in her harbor. Jon is not brave enough to war against her, knowing that Rhaegal would lose a fight against his brother, but Volantis was not afraid. They had sided with Yunkai against her, sending ships and men to their aid.
It is not the soldiers of the Old Blood that have come to Dragonstone. It is an old woman. Her spine is bent and her white hair so thin Dany can see her scalp. Her face is covered in scars, but her eyes are bright and black. She has come not for Daenerys Targaryen, but for the Breaker of Chains, the woman those in the Bay of Dragons still call Mhysa.
She calls herself Vogarro's whore, but the slaves in Volantis call her the Widow of the Waterfront. Nothing she has can help Dany. Instead, she brings a plea from the slaves of Volantis. She says that they are waiting. She begs her to come soon. Slaver's Bay may be no more, but the Free Cities still thrive. Children are bought and sold every day.
And so Daenerys rises from Dragonstone and leaves the Iron Throne behind. If she is not to be a queen, then let her be a conqueror, a rescuer. Grey Worm and his men rally to her side.
Her fleet is reduced, but so are her men. She takes them all, refusing to leave any of her people where the Westerosi might find them, and she summons Drogon from his nest in the hills. With him comes Rhaegal, her son responding to her call despite his rider. When they sail east, two dragons go with her.
Volantis, as Slaver's Bay before her, falls to fire and blood. Daenerys frees the city and gives rule over to her people, the freedmen who fought for their own freedom when the dragons came to their aid.
Months later, a ship with the last Lannister sails into Volantis' bay.
Daenerys is not there. She has gone north, to Pentos, to an old friend and to strangers. The Unsullied who remain in the city are no friends to the Sunset Kingdoms, and least of all Tyrion Lannister.
The Wild Fire
It’s so beautiful
How the wood glows as it is ignited in flames.
The cause of the flames, myself.
Orange like the sun, with hints of blue which I catch glints of when staring at the lively fire, spreading like the rumours.
We won't talk about the fact that it is all true.
The crackles and pops invade my ears and I let them-
Simply because of how satisfying it sounds.
The smoke, so thin to see yet thick to breath in, it rises up into the heavens.
The heavens that I have been told off for praying towards,
The Gods have no mercy.
The calming yet also so alarming scent of smoke and fire and ash, it triggers the fight or flight response-
Yet when I realise that I am safe, muscles relax and I enjoy the moment.
I savour it.
The wood now black, slowly shrinking as more is burned by the flames.
Ash, so grey, so fine, scattered around on the floor as the flames continue to destroy the intended.
The heat grows ever so closer to me, closing my eyes and feeling the warmth take over my body.
I open my eyes, I was stupid to close them, I am not missing this.
Above, looking across at the flames I am safe. It won’t reach me, I have planned this.
I am not too close where I begin to taste the smoke and ash,
It would’ve danced along my tongue as if it were wine.
As I run out of things to describe about the wild fire, the screams I have ignored gush in,
the city covered in ruins,
blood paints the streets.
The power in my veins is prominent, I feel their fear flooding my heart.
Shouts for help, cries.
It’s so beautiful.