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Tonight’s the night, folks. After a grueling two year wait, the battle for Westeros begins…
Though frankly my hype for it has been somewhat tempered due to the Season 2 finale of Tangled which aired this morning.
Disney, if you cancel the series on THAT cliffhanger thanks to your incomprehensible scheduling decisions, you can kiss my subscription to Disney+ goodbye.
But anyway, the internet has been brimming with theories about who will live, die, and win the Iron Throne as far back as the first season. Some have been spot on, some are laughably outlandish, and others…exist, I guess. So I invite you all to read my own crazy theories as to what will occur in Game of Thrones’ final season, and then come back when each episode wraps up and laugh at how totally off the mark I was.
Oh yes, and if you dare to tread further, I should warn you there will be massive spoilers for the entire series up to this point.
Let’s begin with probably the most obvious thing that will happen come Season 8:
Daenerys is NOT Gonna Take The News of Jon Snow’s True Heritage Well
Something I and a good many other fans didn’t care for was the rushed, forced romance of Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen. On my second viewing I could buy the growing respect between the two as leaders, but love? Hell no. And Bran and Samwell’s revelation that Jon is actually Dany’s nephew while they’re in the middle of boning each other?!
It looks like Season 8 will begin with Jon and Daenerys’ arrival at Winterfell, and once they’re there Sam and Bran will of course spill the beans once they have a minute alone with him. Of course they’ll advise him to keep it a secret. But since The Dragon and the Wolf proved that Jon is dedicated to being as stupidly honorable as his father – oops, uncle, Ned Stark, he’ll feel inclined to tell the dragon queen. And when he does, shit will hit the fan.
The forces they fought so hard to rally together to fight back against the dead will split between Dany defenders and those loyal to the King of the North, making it all the easier for the White Walkers barge in and gain some major victories. That or the fickle Northerners will feel betrayed that there was a Targaryen in their midst the whole time and turn on both Daenerys and Jon. And no doubt she’ll will want to eliminate Jon own herself for having the bigger claim to the Iron Throne while still struggling with her feelings for him (while also conveniently ignoring the fact that she banged her own nephew because in Westeros, incest, like morality, is relative. There’s already a 50% chance you’ll be humping someone who turns out to share your family tree in that godforsaken place so why cry over spilled ilk?) This will really be the deciding factor in the fight for humanity.
Cersei Will Be Killed By Her Little Brother…But Not The One Everyone Thinks It’ll Be
One thing that drives Cersei’s actions throughout Game of Thrones is a prophecy she was told about herself by a witch when she was a child: she would not marry the prince she believed she was destined for, she would give birth to three children with “gold crowns” who would die young, a younger and more beautiful queen would come along to replace her, and her death would be at the hands of her little brother. Naturally she assumed the last part meant her younger brother Tyrion, who already committed the crime of being born a dwarf, “killed” her mother as she gave birth to him, and eventually killed their father, leading Cersei to loathe him for his entire life.
So far the first three-quarters of the prophecy have come to pass: her betrothed prince Rhaegar fell in love with Lyanna Stark and was then killed in Robert’s Rebellion, the three children she sired with her other brother Jaime and passed off as royalty all died, and the upstart Daenerys Targaryen has made a claim for the Iron Throne. All that remains is for her sibling to deliver the dreaded kiss of death. Since it’s highly unlikely that the prophecy was referring to Tyrion (because George R.R. Martin is never that straightforward), most fans have speculated that it’s Jaime who will off Cersei. Their relationship was such a horrible, manipulative one from the moment we first saw it in action up at Winterfell’s broken tower. With Jaime finally realizing how much of a monster Cersei is and abandoning her at the end of Season 7, him killing her and finally removing every trace of her toxic influence from his life seems like the perfect capper to both their arcs…
BUUUUUUUUUT that also seems a tad too predictable and happy for George’s sensibilities. Consider this: In Season 7, Cersei revealed to Tyrion and Jaime that she’s pregnant with another one of her and Jaime’s inbred bastard babies. It’s her twisted way of securing the Lannister legacy, replacing the children she’s lost, and keeping Jaime from leaving her, all while sticking it to the witch’s prophecy. Joke’s on her, though; Jaime leaves anyway, and now she’s got no one left but Zombie Mountain and Qyburne.
Now here’s a quick rundown of how things could possibly go from there:
1. Cersei dies in childbirth. It’s nice and ironic to have her go out like her mother and also show that you can’t fight fate, but it’s also kind of a letdown to have one of the major players in the game of thrones go out like that.
2. Cersei survives childbirth but the baby doesn’t. This last great loss sends her on a roaring rampage of revenge, hellbent on punishing Jaime and anyone she feels like without giving a thought to the White Walkers destroying the world because that’s just how she rolls.
3. Cersei survives the birthing process. The baby also survives, and it’s a healthy baby boy…but the White Walkers are on the Red Keep’s doorstep. They make their way in, turning anyone they kill into wights to join their growing army of the undead. Zombie Mountain will either join them right away due to the Night King’s magic or put up a hell of a fight to protect his queen before he’s eventually turned or killed off for real. Regardless, Cersei and her child are alone and helpless.
The Night King steps up to them. A cruel sneer splits across his face.
He puts one icy finger on the baby’s forehead. His cries fall silent and his eyes turn icy blue.
Cersei watches in horror as the child morphs into the Night King’s own, a White Walker.
He’s handed a weapon. Then he turns to the only living thing in the room –
His mother. His sister.*
Cersei pitifully begs the thing that was once her child to not kill her. She speaks words of comfort and love, of the sacrifices she’s made for him. She weeps tears full of sorrow, pain, but most of all, fear.
The Walker throws down his weapon.
He goes to Cersei, reaches out a hand…
…and begins to squeeze it around her neck.
The last thing Queen Cersei Lannister, the First of Her Name, sees as she chokes to death, are blue eyes as cold and lifeless as winter.
And your know what? For all those still wishing it was Jaime who does the dirty deed, here’s one for you:
4. Same as above, except the White Walker that takes her baby and kills her won’t be her own child, but Jaime himself, changed by the Night King after he tried to destroy him.
Bran Will Convince Everyone That Jaime Is On Their Side…But For a Price
Last season ended with Jaime finally cutting ties with Cersei and heading up north to fight with everyone. He’s infamous for being an oath breaker and kingslayer, but this is one oath he intends to keep. Of course, once he arrives and breaks the news that Cersei lied about sending her forces to help them, it’s unlikely he’ll be welcomed with open arms. But there’s one person that will convince the Northerners that Jaime’s intent is honorable – Bran. Now that he’s the Three-Eyed Raven, Bran can see everything in the past, including Jaime breaking his oath and stabbing mad King Aerys in the back to save the lives of thousands of innocent people. He’ll share this with the Northerners and nobody can contest it. After all, it was Bran’s testimony using his powers that helped cement the outcome of Littlefinger’s trial (seven hells, that moment was so satisfying).
So all’s well and good, right? Perhaps. Once the moment is done and Jaime pulls Bran aside to express his gratitude, Bran interrupts and says he knows it was Jaime who pushed him from the tower and crippled him so he could keep his incest with Cersei a secret. Thanks to his new abilities he’s regained those lost memories. But to Jaime’s surprise, Bran is in no rush to tattle. The fight for survival calls for all hands on deck; and who knows, Jaime might be a key figure in the war to come. Though Bran tells him something along the lines of “You break your oath one more time, and I’ll let everyone know who did this to me”, to ensure his loyalty to their cause. Jaime might even turn to Bran to see how Cersei is holding up, if he hasn’t completely let go of her by now (here’s hoping he has).
Sansa + Tyrion = Love at Last
Sansa and Tyrion’s arranged marriage was a cruel joke, a sham of a partnership – but all things considered it’s far from the worst relationship Sansa’s been in throughout the series. And at the very least, the two notice and respect the best qualities that so few in Kings’ Landing recognize in them. Tyrion saw how hard Sansa tried to maintain some quiet dignity in the face of Joffrey’s abuse, and Sansa was well aware of how Tyrion was the only Lannister who went out of his way to be nice to her. Both knew beneath the other’s calm exterior there was a sharp mind and desire to end the suffering his family was responsible for.
The two have been on, shall we say, a long break since the mayhem of the Purple Wedding. In that time Sansa has evolved into a true Lady of the North, capable of ruling her people and outsmarting even her mentors. And Tyrion has become Daenerys’ right hand man (though that position may change with Jon becoming her fuckbuddy literal fucking nephew consort). And when the two see each other and how much they’ve changed after Daenerys lands at Winterfell, sparks are going to fly. They’re now on even ground concerning power and wit (plus I didn’t think it would be possible but Tyrion’s rocking that beard). So I have high hopes the two will reconcile and possibly hook up for real before the end.
Jaime + Brienne = Love at Last…Until Death Do Them Part
In my opinion, this is how you do a “hate evolving into love” romance. The two have had their quarrels (not surprise since Jaime is Brienne’s captive for a time), but I know I wasn’t alone in pairing these two the moment Brienne saved Jaime from drowning himself in regret and Jaime rescued her from a bear baiting pit in turn. Their mutual admiration has inspired them to become better people than they already were, and you can feel their chemistry (though Cersei’s petty jealousy and hold on Jaime threatens to tear them apart). I even like to think Brienne’s cry of “Fuck loyalty!” partly inspired him to leave his sister and do the right thing for the realm. It shows how much they’ve both had an effect on the other.
But as the dead bastard Ramsey Bolton said, “If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.” Brienne and Jaime will meet again at Winterfell. They’ll be happy to see each other and catch up on things. They may even get to say they love each other before the battle.
But one of them will fall.
I really don’t want it to be Brienne, but her being cut down in the line of duty could be the catalyst for Jaime to commence some serious asskicking. However I think the most likely candidate is Jaime. I can see him going out in a blaze of glory, a heroic sacrifice that will ensure he’s remembered for more than being a kingslayer (or ironically, he could help take out the Night King, making his Kingslayer nickname a truly fitting one). And it’s only after his death that Brienne can tragically bring herself to say how much she loved him all along. Don’t be sad, Brienne. You’ve still got Tormund to fall back on.
Samwell Will Try To Kill Daenerys When He Learns She Burnt His Father and Brother
Now I’m not saying that Randyll Tarly wasn’t an absolute prick who didn’t deserve what he got because he was:
…but Daenerys burning him alive (awesome as it was) raised more than a few red flags for me. As much as she acknowledges that her father was a cruel despot, she’s falling into the same mode of action he preferred – bend the knee or burn. Sam, with all his knowledge of Westerosi history, can surely see that Targaryen pattern emerging again. His father was an abusive bastard who was willing to murder Sam because he didn’t fit his idea of what a man should be, and Sam’s younger brother Dickon was shaping up to follow in Randyll’s footsteps, but they’re still family. And when Sam learns both, he won’t be happy.
Sam’s been moved to desperate measures before – when Gilly and her baby were threatened by a White Walker, he charged it, unaware he was holding one of the few things that could kill it. Out of spite he stole House Tarly’s ancestral Valyrian steel sword, which was supposed to go to him before his dad disowned him. And finally, he stole some rare books and scrolls from The Citadel after they blocked every attempt to research The Long Night. Who’s to say Sam won’t try anything to stop Daenerys from repeating history – or possibly kill Jon when she learns he’s a Targaryen – and get some revenge while he’s at it? Sam’s had some great luck in battles before, but sadly, I think this is where his luck stops. Daenerys or someone from her party stops him and he’ll most likely go the way of his father and brother. This could, unfortunately, be the reason why Jorah Mormont is the one carrying House Tarly’s blade into the Battle of Winterfell and not Sam.
As much as I really, really want to see Sam, Gilly and Little Sam make it through to the very end since they’ve come through so much so far, I’ve already learned the hard way that there are no happy endings in Westeros. Sam, you’re going to be the hardest character for me to say goodbye to.
Clegane Bowl 2019: Sandor and Gregor Enter, But Arya Comes Out The Victor
Fans have been hyped for Clegane Bowl for ages. In this corner, Sandor aka The Hound, a sad eyed sour knight who’s not as terrible as his burn or demeanor lets on. And in this corner, Gregor aka The Mountain, 500 pounds of rage with an insatiable thirst for bloodshed, and loyalty to his evil queen that’s as undying as he is. Both brothers are ready to settle a lifetime of grudges and violence with the ultimate rumble. The finale to this blood feud has been a long time coming. But who will emerge triumphant?
Sandor’s reluctant pupil Arya, of course.
First, Sandor’s not the only one with a grudge against The Mountain. Arya’s had him on her kill list since she created it. Arya may have learned a lot of fighting skills and stealth from Syrio Forel and Jaquan H’gar, but it’s her time with The Hound that taught her about survival and the necessity to get her hands dirty to get a job done. Sandor and Gregor will duke it out, but when Sandor is down for the count (either a fatal blow or one that knocks him out before Gregor delivers the coup de grace), Arya will leap in using everything she learned over the past eight years to subdue the Mountain and bring him to his knees. If she doesn’t cross him off her list himself, she and the Hound will do it together (probably before he tragically expires). The Hound’s another one of my favorite characters, but I can’t see Clegane Bowl in ending any other way than something similar to Cain and Abel. Remember, valahar morgullis.
Gendry Will Rediscover The Secret of Forging Valeryian Steel
After three years of rowing, Gendry is back on dry land doing what he does best – forging weapons and proving he’s the best bastard on the show (a bump up from second best after Jon’s parentage and legitimacy was confirmed). He’s his father’s son, just without the drinking, whoring and stubborn pride. His common sense, affiliation with the common humble folk and dedication to earnest hard work has molded him into a great metal smith. No doubt he’ll make some awesome weapons to aid in the upcoming battles.
With Daenerys and Gendry now on the same side thanks to Jon and Ser Davos, that means access to dragonglass, precious metals, and of course, the dragons. He might want to try a combination of all three (the dragons providing the fire for the forges), and after some trial and error, the secret to Valyrian steel will be uncovered after thousands of years. It’s this rediscovery that will earn Gendry acclaim and the chance to be recognized as a true born heir to House Baratheon, but Gendry’s a simple kind of guy who will probably turn it down.
Theon Sacrifices Himself to Save Yara
Poor, poor Theon. He may have been a dirty coward, but no man deserves what he went through. Thankfully the last episode of Season 7 proved he was ready to overcome his past failings and redeem himself. After enduring a mighty ass whooping at the hands of his former men, he dealt that beating right back to them, earning their respect and convincing them to help him rescue his sister Yara from his traitorous uncle Euron. My favorite part of the fight, however, came right after, where Theon washes the blood off his face in the ocean waves; it felt like a callback to his seaside initiation ceremony in Season 2. At long last he’s ready to pay the iron price for his family.
Euron, while supposedly guiding the Golden Company to King’s Landing on Cersei’s orders, will no doubt be waiting for his nephew to make one last ditch attempt at saving his kin. I can already see him holding Yara hostage and trying to break her spirits similar to how Ramsey nearly destroyed Theon. It’d be easier to kill her since she’s the heir to the Iron Islands, but that’s not Euron’s style. He’s practicing on her so when Theon arrives he can murder them both at once.
Theon’s been scared of dying in the past, but he’s learned that fear leads to nothing but shame. Even though a part of him his still terrified, he leads a huge raid on Euron’s ship (and maybe a girl knows a man in high places who could help him, like the Many Faced God?). He frees his sister, they fight Euron together, but Theon stays behind as the boat is burning down to give her more time to escape. At least House Greyjoy and the Iron Islands will be in good hands.
There’s also the matter of Dario, Daenerys’ ex she left behind when she finally sailed to Westeros. Some say he’ll be part of the Golden Company. If he is, then he could either try to turn the Company in favor of Daenerys, stick with Cersei out of spite, or, hopefully, join the fight against Euron after learning they’ll be sailing against Daenerys and then sail the fleet up north to join her.
Should Westeros Survive The War of the Long Night, There’s Gonna Be Some Major Changes in How the Damn Continent is Run
Now truth be told, I don’t think Daenerys is going to win and hold things together. She’s proven herself to be a good conqueror, but you need only look at Robert Baratheon, the man who took the Iron Throne from her father, to know that conquering stuff doesn’t automatically make you a good ruler. Remember how badly she botched up Meereen? Nobody wants to, because her impulsive decisions and failure to move on dragged things out far longer than they wanted to. Her arc went from one of the best parts of the show to the most boring. And yes, she’s made a big talk about “breaking the wheel”, but as of late she shoots Tyrion down whenever he tries to bring up that subject, showing she’s already grown as comfortable with the current cycle of rule as those who have come before her.
The more fitting ending for this show is one that mirrors Daenerys’ vision in the House of the Undying in Season 2: nobody sits on the Iron Throne. Not because mankind loses the war against the White Walkers (though as it stands there’s a strong chance of that happening), but because in the end the fight for the throne is a futile one. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and the throne is a symbol of that. Once the war ends and the competing houses collapse on each other, the throne is left empty and abandoned while the world moves on to a more democratic approach of leadership with the seven kingdoms split up into their own governing provinces, the way they were before Aegon the Conqueror flew in and united them. Westeros and the surrounding continents steps out of the medieval dark ages and slowly into its version of the Renaissance. History becomes legend, legend becomes myth, and myth becomes lessons of the past for future generations to learn from. With people like Tyrion at the lead, it’s sure to become a reality.
And finally, in a series where the dead walk the earth, sword and sorcery is serious business, incest is largely overlooked, and the overarching villain is Elsa minus an inescapable theme song, the absolute longest of long shots –
Enter Lady Stoneheart
For those of you who are only familiar with the show and not the books, Lady Stoneheart is a resurrected, half-zombified Catelyn Stark who’s mad with vengeance after her murder and the murder of her son Robb, and his wife and unborn child at the hands of the Boltons and Freys at the Red Wedding. Her body was found by Beric Dondarrion of The Brotherhood Without Banners, who brought her back to life through his worship of the Lord of Light. However she remembers little of her former life, only an intense hatred for the Freys. In the books she takes command of the Brotherhood and goes about under her new identity murdering anyone she finds whom she believes is responsible for her suffering, particularly if they’re a Lannister or a Frey (it’s she who kills Walder Frey instead of Arya, though I actually prefer Arya doing the revenge killing in this instance).
It might seem more than a bit late for Lady Stoneheart to finally make her debut in TV Westeros, however the show writers have had no qualms about pulling last-minute hastily-written surprises on the viewers as long as the results are cathartic. Catelyn is a divisive character, but it’s universally agreed that Stoneheart is a major improvement and one of the most terrifying badasses in the books. And as of writing this she has yet to stumble across her still-living children, so there’s plenty of room for intense drama. Would she recognize them? What would their reaction to seeing her alive and completely changed be? If the show can surprise us with half-wight Uncle Benjen then they can certainly bring us The Silent Sister, The Hangwoman, Mother Merciless herself, Lady Stoneheart.
Well, those are my silly GOT theories. You’re welcome to point and laugh at me all you want, but I believe that sometimes the more ridiculous a scenario is, the more likely it is of coming true. You need only look at our own world history for examples of that. Now I’m counting down the hours until winter comes to our televisions for one more roller coaster of a season. No matter what the outcome, it’s going to be a hell of a ride.
Oh, and if you want an extended list of who else I think is gonna die, here ya go:
Berric Dondarian: He’s on his last life since there’s no one there to bring him back from the dead (unless Melisandre tries her hand at it again), but I he’s gonna lose it in defending the living from the dead.
Drogon and Rheagal: Viserion’s brothers will go out taking him down, and the fantasy world of dragons will come to a tragic end.
Melisandre and Varys: The Red Priestess said they were both fated to die in Westeros, though how one can only imagine. I imagine Melisandre will sacrifice herself to the Lord of Light as part of one last desperate gambit to destroy the White Walkers.
Ser Davos Seaworth and Jorah Mormont: Two older knights who I don’t want to see go but more than likely won’t outlast the first few rounds due to their age and how much people love them. Jorah will die proving his eternal loyalty to his queen Danerys (his crush on her is still a little creepy though), and Davos? Maybe he’ll turn the tables on Melisandre and sacrifice her himself partly out of revenge for burning Shireen, but I don’t think his immunity will last long beyond that.
* – After doing research on the intricacies of incest (I still feel unclean…) I know the child would technically be her son and nephew, but I still really want this theory to happen and I don’t think it’ll matter as long as it’s satisfying.