Enough expository banter!
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My personal theory is, after the original ending, Prompto, Gladiolus, and Ignis inevitably discover the true history of the Lucian Kings, and by extension the Astrals' true nature. So, they send at least one of their own far enough into the past to make sure someone trustworthy (like probably Gentiana) gets this information, and convince him/her to do whatever he/she change fate's course, for whatever genuinely altruistic reason Noct's retinue is able to come up with, setting off an offshoot of the timeline that leads up to the events of Episode Ardyn and the novel.
Another possible explanation I now have, based on newly released info about the "Episode Noctis" part of the novel, is that the original ending actually took place in Noctis' mind during his 10-year crystal stasis, and then he secretly decides to go against Bahamut's plan.
<quote>"He sees himself fulfill the prophecy and die to save the planet."</quote> ~ This supports my new theory of the first ending now not having actually happened.