If you’re reading this website, then the chances are you know about the ongoing Writers Strike. Still, just in case you’ve stumbled onto this page by accident, then first of all, how are you? Hope everything’s going well, and secondly, here’s a quick explainer. Basically, the people who write all the movies and shows you love are currently on the picket line, protesting what they see as unfair working conditions.
One of the big reasons for the 2023 Writers Strike concerns the use of AI, which, allegedly, some studios are considering using to generate scripts in the future, which obviously puts people’s livelihoods at risk. I’ll be honest I think it sounds like a dreadful idea; the best TV series aren’t generated by an algorithm. They come from a place of passion and an artist’s drive to tell a story.
Still, as someone whose career is also threatened by Abominable Intelligence (one for the Warhammer 40k fans there), I thought it might be a fun experiment to ask an AI to have a go at writing a show for me. After all, one should always know one’s enemies. So as it’s in the news, I asked an AI to write me the first season of the fantasy series and Game of Thrones sequel, Snow (Which may or may not be happening).
Now I’ll be honest, my expectations were already low, but Jesus Christ, it was worse than I thought. Here’s the prompt I gave the robot, “Write me a Game of Thrones sequel titled ‘Snow,’ which focuses on Jon Snow after the events of season 8. It should run for eight episodes and end on a cliffhanger.”
Here’s what the robot came up with…
Episode 1: The North Remembers
After the events of Season 8, Jon Snow finds himself in the aftermath of Daenerys Targaryen’s devastating conquest. As the ruler of the North, he struggles to maintain order and forge alliances with the remaining houses. Jon receives a mysterious message from an unexpected source, indicating a new threat beyond the Wall. He sets out on a dangerous journey, leaving Sansa in charge of Winterfell.
Episode 2: The Lost Heir
Jon Snow travels to the lands beyond the Wall, where he encounters a reclusive group of wildlings who survived the Night King’s assault. They reveal the existence of a hidden ice dragon locked away in a frozen wasteland. Jon realizes that the dragon’s power could tip the balance in the war to come and sets out to find and control it.
Episode 3: Dragon’s Breath
Jon, along with a small band of trusted allies, embarks on a treacherous quest to locate the ice dragon. They face numerous challenges, including wights, rogue wildlings, and treacherous terrain. Meanwhile, whispers of a new ruler in Essos begin to reach Westeros, unsettling the Seven Kingdoms.
Episode 4: Bloodlines
As Jon and his allies draw closer to finding the ice dragon, they uncover a hidden prophecy that speaks of an ancient bloodline tied to the dragons. Jon discovers a shocking revelation about his own lineage and the destiny he must fulfill to protect the realm from imminent doom.
Episode 5: The Great Game
Back in the Seven Kingdoms, political intrigue escalates as various factions vie for power in the absence of a unified ruler. Sansa faces growing challenges from rival houses and must make difficult decisions to maintain stability in the North. In the south, a charismatic figure emerges, rallying support from disillusioned lords and threatening the fragile peace.
Episode 6: Fire and Ice
Jon’s quest to control the ice dragon leads him to a perilous encounter with the Night King, who survived the Battle of Winterfell. A monumental battle ensues, blending fire and ice in a clash of supernatural forces. Meanwhile, tensions rise in the Seven Kingdoms, and an unexpected alliance forms to challenge the emerging threat from Essos.
Episode 7: The Fall of Kings
The climactic battle between the forces of Westeros and the new ruler from Essos unfolds, with surprising twists and devastating losses. Jon Snow faces a difficult decision that could change the fate of the realm forever. As the dust settles, a mysterious figure arrives, promising to reshape the Seven Kingdoms in their own image.
Episode 8: The Frozen Throne
Jon Snow confronts the enigmatic figure who has seized power, and a chilling truth is revealed about the future of Westeros. As darkness descends upon the land, Jon must rally the remaining forces and forge alliances to reclaim his rightful place and save the realm from an eternal winter. The season ends on a gripping cliffhanger, leaving the fate of Westeros hanging in the balance.
Now on paper, these sound like alright-sounding synopsis for a fantasy series, but when you start to dig into them a little deeper, the AI’s version of Snow starts to melt like sleet in the summer sun.
As unreliable as a drunken Tyrion
Let’s start with the obvious. The AI clearly has no idea how Game of Thrones ends, which will make it pretty difficult to write a sequel series. In the very first episode it wrote, we’ve got two massive factual errors.
“Jon Snow finds himself in the aftermath of Daenerys Targaryen’s devastating conquest.” Dany didn’t conquer Westeros, she just burned down King’s Landing before Jon gave her a little prick (and we don’t mean the other prick he gave his aunt), and then she died. After that, Bran, Jon’s cousin, was installed as King (After all, who has a better story than Bran the Broken?), and they let the former commander of the Night’s Watch slink away beyond the Wall.
Next, it describes Jon as the ruler of the North. He’s not — he may be King Beyond the Wall, but there’s a question mark as big as Balerion over that statement — Sansa is the Queen in the North and ruler of Winterfell. So strike two, you stupid robot.
Now the ice dragon stuff kind of sounds cool, even if they don’t exist in George R.R. Martin’s canon. But it completely lost me when it said: ‘somehow the Night King returns’. This isn’t Star Wars. You can’t just randomly revive bad guys because they’re cool.
Hell, the Star Wars movies couldn’t get away with that shit, and the Night King’s death was really conclusive. He shattered like a goblet of wine dropped by a drunk in Flea Bottom. There’s no way for him to come back.
And even if there was, this is a fantasy world, after all. Bringing him back is so incredibly reductive. The fantasy realm created by Martin is bigger than the White Walkers and the Wall. There are other, more enticing, mysteries to explore.
We don’t just have to return to the cool refreshing waters of nostalgia like a thirsty fool lost in the sentimental dunes of Dorne. If we have to tell more stories with Jon, then we should explore new secrets of Westeros, like Asshai and what’s west of Westeros (Oh god, do I want an Arya spin-off?).
Then someone does something, and it’s all very exciting, we promise…
Is it just me, or is this entire synopsis incredibly vague? I mean, like, as vague as a kid doing a book report based on the blurb and a Goodreads review written by a dyslexic drunk? It keeps writing about “enigmatic figures,” “charismatic figures,” and “mysterious figures,” but for whatever reason, it refuses to get specific.
It’s not even like the AI can use the excuse that it doesn’t know how Game of Thrones ends, so it has to make wooly statements. Game of Thrones ended in 2019, and this AI’s knowledge goes up to 2021. For shame!
I actually got so frustrated I demanded the AI tell me who the enigmatic figure was, and in fairness, it delivered… in the worst way possible. Here’s what it gave me when I asked it to “Be more specific about the cliffhanger and the enigmatic figure.”
“In a heart-pounding climax, Jon Snow confronts the enigmatic figure who has seized power and reveals their true identity. Shockwaves ripple through Westeros as Jon realizes that the figure is none other than a resurrected Daenerys Targaryen, reborn with newfound darkness.
As Jon battles against the woman he once loved, their clash triggers a cataclysmic event that shatters the icy landscape surrounding them. The ground splits open, revealing an ancient and sinister force buried deep within the earth. A surge of power engulfs Jon and Daenerys, and they vanish into the depths, leaving behind a devastated and frozen battlefield.
The fate of Westeros hangs in the balance as the surviving characters reel from the revelation of Daenerys’ return and the emergence of this malevolent force. The season ends with uncertainty and foreboding as the remaining heroes must now face the dual threats of Daenerys’ darkness and the ancient evil that has been unleashed upon the realm.”
So yeah, when I asked the robot to tell me who the figure was, it came up with Daenerys Targaryen somehow reborn (Maybe the Night King and Palpatine helped her out), which is possibly the most uninspired answer to that question, but then it once again introduces a “malevolent force” which might sound spookier than an “enigmatic figure,” but it’s no less dull, when you stop and think about it, which leads us onto our final point.
Duller than a well-worn breastplate
This story is really generic and boring. Now in fairness, part of that is because a sequel series about Jon Snow is a bad idea. We’re sorry, Kit Harington already had his own show — it was called Game of Thrones. I know Pompeii and the MCU stuff didn’t work out, but there’s no reason to don the black once again.
Ultimately, though, a good writer could probably make this work, but the AI isn’t a good writer. It’s just imitating what it thinks a good writer would do, and it shows. This is a store’s own-brand version of Game of Thrones, which a first-year screenwriting student would be embarrassed to hand in.
I know the chances of anyone in Hollywood reading this are pretty low, but if you do happen to have any say in TV and film production, can you honestly look at this and say it’s good enough? Now I know that Hollywood will have AI that makes Skynet look dumb, but can a robot built today ever write with the level of passion and obsession that went into some of the seminal TV series of our time? I think you know the answer.
Also, if you’re on the picket line and happen to read this, I hope you get the deal you’re after because, without all you brilliant writers, the future of TV and film looks as bright as the Long Night.
Anyway, if you’re looking for real shows written by real writers, check out our guide breaking down everything you need to know about the House of the Dragon season 2 release date. We’ve also got an article looking into the possibility of Game of Thrones season 9.
If you want to learn more about Westeros, you must check out our Targaryen family tree guide. We’ve also got guides to all your favorite House of the Dragon characters, or we have articles on all the major dragons, including Balerion the Black Dread, Vhagar, Meraxes, Seasmoke, Arrax, Vermithor, and Caraxes.