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This Game Of Thrones '80s Anime Looks Like A VHS Recording, But It's Actually AI

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Have you ever wondered what "Game of Thrones" would look like if it was anime? Lucky for you, an enterprising YouTube creator made some stills of the series' characters reimagined in anime-style drawings ... and it's all done by AI.

Using a tinny version of composer Ramin Djawadi's epic score for the eighth and final season of "Game of Thrones," the video, done by Andy's Echo's, reintroduces us to characters like Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie), Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal), Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Varys (Conleth Hill), Arya Stark (Maisie Williams), her sister Sansa (Sophie Turner), Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon), and Olenna Tyrell (the late, great Diana Rigg). Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) gets two different portraits and is followed by Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish (Aidan Gillen), and Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage); strangely, the portraits conclude with The Night King (Richard Brake and Vladimir Furdik) instead of other popular characters. None of the portraits are actively animated, but just stills.

It's interesting to see people still commemorating the characters of "Game of Thrones" after the widely despised series finale seemingly erased all of the show's goodwill. So what happened there — and how is the franchise evolving?

Game of Thrones was once one of the most popular shows ever — until it killed its goodwill

In May of 2019, "Game of Thrones" was ending its run on HBO as one of the biggest pop culture phenomenons around, with millions of fans around the world tuning in to see how showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss would end the series based on George R.R. Martin's novels "A Song of Ice and Fire." Admittedly, the bloom was more or less off the rose by then; the seventh and eighth seasons of "Game of Thrones," which allowed Benioff and Weiss to expand past the existing narrative of Martin's unfinished book series, weren't as popular with fans thanks to some undone character development, apparent rips in the space-time continuum that allowed characters to travel vast expanses of land in no time at all, and harebrained narratives (remember when Jon Snow tried to kidnap a single wight?). This didn't improve with the series finale, in which Daenerys Targaryen is killed by Jon (her lover and nephew) after she commits mass murder in King's Landing and Tyrion, a prisoner, is allowed to anoint Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) as the new King of the Seven Kingdoms for, seemingly, no real reason at all.

Obviously, the AI representation re-imagining these characters — save for Bran — doesn't address the series finale that was so unpopular it actually led to a petition begging for a do-over. It is interesting, though, that the show's legacy is still inspiring other kinds of creators, and that could be thanks to its amazingly popular spin-off.

House of the Dragon might help make the Game of Thrones brand beloved again

In 2022, HBO tried to recapture lightning in a bottle with the "Game of Thrones" spin-off and prequel "House of the Dragon" — based on George R.R. Martin's in-universe novella "Fire and Blood," which focuses on the civil war amongst the powerful, royal Targaryen family — and it actually kind of worked. Set decades before Daenerys Targaryen was so much as a twinkle in her father Aerys II Targaryen's eye, the show kicks off as Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine) eagerly awaits the birth of his son ... only for him to lose his newborn child and wife when the labor goes horribly wrong. This ultimately leads him to choose his daughter and only child Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock as a teenager) as his heir, but when he marries her best friend Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey) and they have children together, the issue becomes much more complicated.

After the show jumps forward in time and Viserys eventually dies, the adult versions of Rhaenyra and Alicent — played by Emma D'Arcy and Olivia Cooke, respectively — face off over the Iron Throne and split into factions known as Blacks and Greens. With the two women fully unable to agree on the rightful monarch — specifically, whether it's truly Rhaenyra or Alicent's eldest son with Viserys — blood is shed between relatives, and with Season 2 on the horizon, the show will fully get into the war known as the "Dance of the Dragons." Perhaps we'll end up getting anime-style takes on these characters as well.

"Game of Thrones" is available to stream in its entirety on Max, as is the first season of "House of the Dragon," which returns for Season 2 on June 16.