Not long left now my friends. After almost two years away, Games of Thrones is about to return to our screens for the final time. To be honest, I’m not quite ready for it to end! The only thing that makes it better is that I still have two books in the series to look forward to – if George RR Martin ever gets around to releasing them.
Everywhere you go people are talking about the series, and offering their thoughts on what will happen during the final six episodes. Who will die?; who will sit on the Iron Throne?; will the Night’s King win?…and so much more!
So as we enter the final countdown until the premiere of season 8, I thought I’d share a few of my own theories and predictions for what might happen before the screen fades to black for the final time after eight epic years of television. Let me know your own thoughts and theories in the comments below. As a Thrones nerd, I’m always eager to hear new ones.
Let’s dive in:
Sansa will be Queen
In my opinion, no other character on the show has undergone such a huge development from what they were like in the first season to now, than Sansa. From weak, fantasist princess to strong, tactical leader, the Lady of Winterfell went from being one of my least favourite characters to one of my favourites. And I think once the dust settles at the end of this season, she will be the one to claim the Iron Throne.
If you watch Sansa’s story arc across the seven seasons, she has been bred for queen hood. Between her father Ned Stark, Joffrey Baratheon, Cersei Lannister, Margaery Tyrell, Littlefinger and Ramsey Bolton she has observed different strategies on how to play the game of thrones, learning how to rule, and perhaps most importantly, learning how not too!
And it was clear in season 7 that Sansa gained a taste for power after spending years before being beaten, raped and used as a political pawn. When the war is over, I think she will be one of the few left standing. I think Jon will also survive the war, but will refuse the title of King, suggesting Sansa as a logical chose for Queen of the Seven Kingdoms instead, with him ruling in the North.
Daenerys will claim the Iron Throne, but only for a short time!
Daenerys has vowed more than once that she will become ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. Her entire character arc has seen her grow increasingly stronger by amassing armies, freeing slaves who become loyal followers and birthing the first dragons into the world in over a century. She’s shown herself to be a powerful force, and a compassionate leader, the opposite to her father, the Mad King Aerys II Targaryen. I think it is inevitable that she will claim the throne this season.
But, I think she will not be queen for long. If you remember back to season two, Daenerys has a vision in the House of the Undying, where she walks through the burned remains of the Red Keep towards the Iron Throne, with the room covered in snow. Before she can reach the throne, the vision changes.
In Season 8, I expect that Bran and Sam will inform everyone that Jon is in fact a Targaryen, and the rightful heir to the Throne, but he will abdicate to Daenerys. Then when the Night King attacks Winterfell, I think Daenerys and co will be forced to retreat south to King’s Landing. Daenerys will go back on the deal with Cersei and take Kings Landing by force using her dragons, so as to prepare for the Night King’s next assault, and in doing so, will declare herself Queen. Then in the final battle with the dead, I think she will die. It will mirror the vision she had in season 2, being so close to having the throne she has always wanted, before it is taken away.
Daenery’s 3 Betrayals
Speaking of Daenerys, in the books GOT is based on, Daenerys is warned in the House of the Undying that she will experience three betrayals: one for blood, one for gold and one for love. I’m not sure if this has really been touched upon in the show, because if I remember correctly, Daenerys doesn’t get this warning in the vision inside the House of the Undying in season 2, and I can’t remember if it was brought up anywhere else. But even if it hasn’t, I think there is still an element of this plot from the books at play in the show.
Dany has been betrayed already for blood. In season 1, the witch Mirri Maz Duur used black magic to kill Khal Drogo and her unborn son in revenge against the Dothraki for the rape and murder of her people. In season 4, she banishes Jorah Mormont from her service after learning he had been a spy for Varys, providing the enemy with information in return for gold and a royal pardon which would allow him to return to Westeros after he had been exiled.
So, that just leaves a betrayal for love. Who could it be? I think there is two options: Jon and Tyrion.
Many believe that Jon is the reincarnated warrior Azor Ahai, who fought thousands of years before the series begins to banish the Great Other, a god of darkness, cold, evil, fear, and death. To do this, Azor Ahai forged a sword called Lightbringer, but in order to access the full power of the sword, he was required to plunge it into the heart of his true love, which caused the sword to burst into flame! Jon and Daenerys fell in love at the end of last season, and many believe that Daenerys might go the way of her father and descend into madness. This would force Jon to kill his true love, creating a new Lightbringer, which can then be used against the White Walkers and the Night King.
On the other hand, Tyrion seemed shady at the end of last season after his meeting with Cersei, and what with him skulking around outside the room Jon and Daenerys were having sex in looking pained. Maybe Tyrion will be the third betrayal…choosing to turn against Daenerys out of love for his sister and her alleged unborn child.
Speaking of Cersei, one plot line that will need to be wrapped up before the end is the issue of Cersei’s prophesy. In the premiere of season 5, we see a flashback to Cersei’s childhood in which she meets Maggy the Frog, a woods witch who allows her to ask three questions in order to predict her future.
She first told her that she would not marry the prince, but instead marry the King. Cersei was betrothed at the time to Rhaegar Targaryen, before eventually marrying King Robert Baratheon.
Unclear of what this prediction means, Cersei’s second question is if she will be Queen, to which Maggy informs her that she will, but only for a short time before a “younger, more beautiful” person comes to strike her down and take everything she holds dear.
The next part of the prophesy concerns Cersei’s children. When she asks if her and the king will have children, Maggy says: “No. The king will have twenty children, and you will have three. Gold will be their crowns. Gold, their shrouds”. This of course refers to the fact that Robert will have many bastard children, and Cersei will have three children with her brother Jamie, but they will have none together. Gold being their crowns and shrouds refers to Joffrey, Marcella and Tommen having blond hair, and also alludes to their deaths.
But there is one aspect of the prophesy that didn’t make it into the scene in season 5 (I think we will get another flashback showing Maggy predicting this in the final season however), and it refers to Cersei’s own death. After telling Cersei her children will die, and that everything else she holds dear will be taken from her, Maggy says: “And when your tears have drowned you, the Valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you”. Valonqar is High Valyrian for “little brother”. So it would seem that the prophesy alludes to Cersei dying at the hand of either of her brothers, Jamie or Tyrion.
Overall, two things are still yet to come to pass in this prophesy: the younger, more beautiful woman who strikes Cersei down, and her murder by the Valonqar.
For the first part, many believed the prophesy referred to Margaery Tyrell, but as she has been killed off by Cersei in the show, this obviously can’t be the case. The next logical assumptions would be Sansa and Daenerys. Both are younger and arguably more beautiful and both have risen to positions of power during the shows run. But, prophesies are tricky…series creator George RR Martin himself has been quoted as saying: “You want to play with the notion of prophecies coming true but in an unexpected way. You want to be unpredictable about it”.
So, in that respect, I think the answer to this aspect of Cersei’s prophesy will be unexpected, and I think it could refer to Brienne of Tarth. Brienne is often referred to as “Brienne the Beauty”. It’s a name used in a cruel way to mock Brienne for not actually being beautiful. And as we know, Brienne has a strong bond with Jamie, arguably the one person left who Cersei truly cares about (if you don’t count her alleged baby). What if Brienne is the beauty the prophesy refers to, and Jamie eventually chooses her over Cersei?
The final part of the prophesy then refers to Cersei’s death at the hands of her brother. Again, this seems fairly straight forward…that one of her brothers will kill her. Jamie has form in that Cersei’s thirst for power seems to be driving a wedge between them and Tyrion swore to her that he would make her pay for hurting Roz (believing her to be Shae) in season 2. But there is a long held theory amongst fans that Arya will be the one to kill Cersei, while wearing the face of either Jamie or Tyrion. It’s a theory I think could well happen. If it does, I think Jamie will die in battle and Arya will take his face to get close to Cersei in order to kill her. And speaking of Arya…
Another long running plot point of the series is Arya’s Kill List. Going into the final season, there are six names still on Arya’s list: Cersei, Gregor Clegane/The Mountain, Sandor Glegane/The Hound, Ilyn Payne, Melisandre and Beric Dondarrion. I think it’s a safe bet to assume that everyone on this list may well be dead by the end of the season, by Arya’s hand or otherwise.
The Hound is on a collision course with his brother The Mountain, which will lead to an epic fight to the death between the pair. I think the Hound will ultimately win the fight, but be fatally wounded also. I think Arya will then kill him, but out of mercy, now realising that he was protecting her when they travelled together, rather than killing him out of revenge for killing her friend Mycah in season 1.
Ilyn Payne will likely be killed at the battle for King’s Landing, and I could see Arya doing this one herself to avenge her father, Ilyn Payne having been the man to execute him and all.
Beric Dondarrion and Melisandre are connected within Arya’s list, in that she took Gendry away from the Brotherhood without Banners to use him in blood magic, and Dondarrion allowed this to happen. Arya was bent on revenge against both, but now that we know that Gendry is still alive after last season (and is likely to have an emotional reunion with Arya at some point), I can see Arya dropping this particular vendetta. Before taking Gendry away in Season 3, Melisandre does look into Arya’s eyes and tells her they will meet again, but that was likely a nod to the fact that everyone would be pushed together in the final battles for Westeros rather than it being that Arya would kill her.
I do think Dondarrion and Melisandre will both die in the final season in some way though. She definitely will at least, she pretty much declared she would last season in a conversation with Varys. I could see her going up against the Night King in some way, as she has clearly been shown to be powerful, likely the only person capable of harnessing magic against him, and with her having been revealed to be hundreds of years older than she first appeared to be, I think there could be a connection between the two of them somehow. But, I think she will die in the confrontation. Perhaps she holds the Night King off at Winterfell so that the survivors of the battle can escape?
As for Dondarrion, he is currently at the Wall that was torn down by the Night King and Viserion, so it’s not looking good for him. He has been brought back to life six times by Thoros of Myr (now dead himself) so it’s unlikely he will be resurrected a seventh time in season eight.
That just leaves Cersei, and I’ll refer to what I wrote above about her prophesy and death at the hands of the Valonqar!
Pod and Theon both die hero’s deaths
They have different levels of prominence, one being a main character, the other a support. But I think both Pod and Theon will die heroic deaths this season, saving the women in their lives.
Pod has been travelling with Brienne of Tarth since season 4, and we have seen her training him to fight in recent seasons of the show. They have a strong bond, and although Brienne initially didn’t want him as her squire and scolds him a lot, it’s clear that she really cares for him. I think Brienne will be about to be killed in the battle for Winterfell, but Pod will save her at the last second, before tragically dying himself soon after, leaving Brienne devastated.
I think the same thing will happen with Theon. The character has been on a redemption arc ever since the second season, and will attempt to save his sister Yara in season eight, after abandoning her during battle with their uncle Euron Greyjoy last season. Everything is pointing to Theon making the ultimate sacrifice by laying down his life to save Yara, and also to try and right the wrongs from his past. For me, Theon is a character that has far overstayed his welcome on the show, so I for one won’t be weeping over his death when it comes.
As Game of Thrones fans will know, many characters across Westeros follow the Faith of the Seven, the main religion of the Seven Kingdoms. The Faith holds that there is one god who has seven faces: the Father, the Mother, the Maiden, the Crone, the Warrior, the Smith, and the Stranger. Each one represents a different aspect of existence. I’ve always wondered if there are clues held within these seven figures, rather than them just being the symbol of the countries principal religion. What if these seven also refer to seven of the main characters, who will be the key components in the final battle for Westeros?
Here is what each of the Seven is said to represent:
- The Father: represents divine justice, and judges the souls of the dead.
- The Mother: represents mercy, peace, fertility, and childbirth. She is sometimes referred to as “the strength of women”.
- The Maiden: represents purity, innocence, love, and beauty.
- The Crone: represents wisdom and foresight. She is represented carrying a lantern.
- The Warrior: represents strength and courage in battle.
- The Smith: represents creation and craftsmanship.
- The Stranger: The Stranger represents death and the unknown. It is rarely prayed to.
Now, what if we apply this to the characters we know:
- The Father: Jon Snow
- The Mother: Daenerys
- The Maiden: Sansa
- The Crone: Melisandre
- The Warrior: Jamie
- The Smith: Gendry
- The Stranger: Night King
Of course, this could just be way off and mean nothing. Or if there is something to it, maybe these aren’t the characters being alluded too – I just went with who seems to fit each one the best. But I think this is definitely something worth thinking about going into season eight.
Cersei will become the Night Queen
Another thing I’ve been thinking about is the possibility of someone becoming the Night King’s Queen. I think the Night King will attack Winterfell first before heading south for King’s Landing.
But, what if he decided to launch an attack on Winterfell using his White Walkers and Army of the Dead, but went to King’s Landing on the undead Viserion himself to lay waste to it while the battle goes on in the north?
What if by the time the Winterfell survivors reach King’s Landing, the Night King has claimed the Iron Throne for himself and taken Cersei as his wife and Queen? It would be poetic in a way…all Cersei has ever wanted was to be Queen and to exact power and as the Night Queen she would achieve both, just at the cost of her life!
Sam has been writing the story all along
This is a theory that has been floating around online for a while, but it’s one I quite like! And, it’s already been pretty much confirmed. Last season, during a conversation with Archmaester Ebrose, Sam learns that Ebrose is writing the history of everything that has happened since King Robert’s rebellion overthrew the Mad King (watch from 1:11 on).
“If you’re going to write histories, Tarly, you have to do the research,” Archmaester Ebrose says. “If you want people to read your histories, you need a bit of style. I’m not writing The Chronicles of the Wars Following the Death of King Robert I so it can sit on a shelf unread…What? You don’t like the title? What would you call it then?”
Sam responds with: “Possibly something a bit more…poetic.”
A Song of Ice and Fire perhaps? I think it would be a nice (and fitting) end to the show if the very last scene is some years after the war, with Sam sitting at a desk finishing the last page of the history book telling the story of this particular time period!
There is only a few short hours left until the Season 8 premiere now (9pm US time/2am UK/Ireland time) and I’m pretty excited for it. What do you think of these theories? Have you got any of your own? I’d love to hear them, so be sure to drop them in the comments below!
Enjoy the premiere!