11 'Game Of Thrones' Theories About How Season 8 Will End That Actually Sound Believable
Time for a few deep breaths. Have you recovered from Season 7 yet? Complete with ice dragons and that all-important aunt-nephew hook-up, it was the most eventful installment yet. So no wonder people are already developing theories about how Game Of Thrones will end in Season 8, despite the fact that, according to Vox, filming won't end until August 2018 (or later), meaning there's a chance we might not get a Game Of Thrones Season 8 release date until 2019.
Given that the latest chapter of the story is still so fresh in fans' minds, it's no wonder they've been combing the seven episodes for every last clue as to what we'll be getting the next time round. And it's hard to blame GoT fans for their enthusiasm. Considering the shedload of cliffhangers they got — from Cersei double crossing the other potential contenders for the Iron Throne, to Littlefinger's murder, to the Hound threatening Ser Clegane — the brains behind the show have set us up for the most action-packed season possible. So, who will be the Prince That Was Promised? Who will take the Iron Throne? And are there more twists and turns to come? Let the theorizing begin.
1. Either Daenerys Or Jon Is Azor Ahai
Fans have been waiting to discover who the Prince (or Orincess, because it's a gender neutral-prophecy) That Was Promised is for a while now. The reincarnated version of the legendary hero Azor Ahai is supposed to come at a point when the Seven Kingdoms needs him or her most, which presumably is right now. Since Jon's parentage makes him is a mix of fire (Rhaegar Targaryen) and ice (Lyanna Stark), and he was brought back from the dead by the Lord of Light, this makes him seem like a shoo-in.
But according to a theory from Reddit user matttwee, Dany is also worth considering — according to the legend of Azor Ahai, it took him three tries to forge his sword the Lightbringer. The first time, he tried to plunge the sword into water and it shattered. Then, it went into a lion's heart and it shattered again, and only stayed in one piece when he used it to stab his wife. The Redditor argue this mirrors Dany's recent battles — her first failed battle in water with the rival Greyjoy factions and the second at Casterly Rock, ie. the heart of lion or Lannister territory where Cersei outsmarts her. The theory speculates Dany's third battle will bring her incredible wins at a personal cost, with her losing one of her advisors and soldiers (probably Jorah Mormont).
If either of these theories turns out to be true, then according to the prophecy, this reincarnation of Azor Ahai will kill the White Walkers.
2. Jon & Dany's Baby Will Take The Throne
Both Jon and the Mother of Dragons seem like strong contenders for taking the throne — but let's face it, George R.R. Martin isn't a fan of straightforward, happy endings. We've been getting a lot of hints that Dany may not be as infertile as she claims, such as Jorah telling the grizzled King in the North to hang onto his sword, Longclaw, to pass on to Snow's children, and well, the pair hooking up minus contraception. If Dany gave birth to their child and one or both parents get killed in battle, perhaps their allies will rally round to ensure that as soon as the Targaryen baby is of age, it would take the throne.
3. Cersei Dies
The writing's on the wall — from Maggy the Frog's prophecy that the Lannister's valonqar (High Valerian for "little brother") "shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you," to the defection of even her most stalwart ally and lover, Jaime. While it feels all too obvious for Thrones, Jaime's departure suggests that he might actually be the one to murder her. Whichever way you slice it, the wine swiller's mounting paranoia and her isolated state suggest Season 8 will be the time she bites the dust.
4. Jaime Is The Prince Who Was Promised
According to an enormously popular Reddit theory from user Byrd82, Jaime is the obvious candidate for Lord of Light. They point to the similarities in the Valyrian words for "lord" and "light," and the words for "gold" and "hand." Byrd82 also told Paste magazine, "The Lord of Light is a farce. Jaime Lannister — Gold Hand — is the hero of legend and prophecy." The Reddit user explains that Jaime's redemptive journey matches perfectly with that of "Valonqar, Prince that was Promised, and Azor Ahai prophecies."
Yes, according to the theory, this transformation will lead to him killing his sister and lover. But it will also lead to more than this — with him using his fiery sword hand as a weapon against the White Walkers, but ultimately brokering peace with them through diplomacy (something we know they're capable of, from Craster providing male children in exchange for peace from the White Walkers).
5. One Representative From Each Great House Will Survive
According to The Hollywood Reporter, George R.R.Martin's original pitch for the Game Of Thrones novels was centered on "five central characters," Tyrion, Daenerys, Arya, Bran, and Jon, destined to "[grow] from children to adults and [change] the world and themselves in the process." Martin also described it as "almost a generational saga."
As THR notes, since the one theme running through the thousands of years is that these families survive despite near-impossible odds, this would suggest that at least one (if not more) character from each great house would survive until the end of the show.
6. The Night King Dies Early On In Season & Everyone Proceeds To Battle Cersei
An article on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's website proposed this theory based on an Entertainment Weekly interview with Martin from 2013, where he described why he chose to kill off Robb and Catelyn, in terms of doing the least predictable thing. Martin argued,
"The next predictable thing is to think his eldest son is going to rise up and avenge his father. And everybody is going to expect that. So immediately [killing Robb] became the next thing I had to do."
Given that the popular imagined trajectory for most people seems to be the forces uniting to kill the Night King in the final episode and scoring a happy ending for the show, this theory argues that the Night King will be killed off quickly, and Cersei will use the momentary distraction to seize power. Dany will then proceed to battle Cersei for the Iron Throne, laying waste to Westeros, and killing off most of the population. Dark.
7. Cersei Wins & The Show Restores Its Pessimistic Note
While The Guardian offered a win for Cersei up as the only possible solution to ensure Game Of Thrones continues to subvert expectations, this sounds like a relatively convincing theory, given Martin's passion for pessimism. The wicked queen uses her mercenary army to win the battle of the dead, murder all her enemies, and "the series [ends] on a Sopranos-esque note of things just carrying on."
8. Bran Is The Night King
According to Reddit user turm0il26, we're going to get a big twist because Bran is the Night King. The theory suggests Bran has been using his powers to try and stop the worst case scenario from happening, but has actually been creating time loops — going back in time prior to Robert's Rebellion and causing King Aerys' madness, constructing the wall as his namesake (Bran the Builder) to keep the White Walkers out, and then turning into the human version of the Night King for one of a few different possible motives (like stopping the Children of the Forest from creating White Walkers).
When he realizes he's failed again, he tries to return to the present but has spent too long in the past and gets stranded there. He then eventually becomes the Night King.
9. The Mother Of Dragons Will Win, But Will Be A Broken Woman
In a theory that ties in to the pessimistic tonality of the show, Reddit user apam_balik argues that Dany taking the Iron Throne will be an empty victory when she realizes "that the people of Westeros sees her only as a conqueror as well as a kinslayer." This is an extra bitter pill to swallow when she realizes that as a barren woman with no known heir that "once she dies, the realm will be at war again." After executing all of her enemies, she will fly off on Drogon to live out the rest of her days in exile.
10. The Night King & The White Walkers Will Win
Well, why not? Given the show's fondness for the unexpected, violence, and an overarching sense of hopelessness, this isn't the most unlikely scenario. Add to this the fact that the White Walkers have a freaking wight dragon on its side and the ability to summon endless military forces by resurrecting dead folks, and this is looking eerily possible.
11. Tyrion Is A Targaryen
Reddit loves this theory and puts forward some fairly convincing arguments as to why Tyrion might be a Targaryen, such as his father, Tywin, repeatedly stating, "You are no son of mine;" the dragons' friendliness toward the supposed Lannister (as well as his childhood desire to have one as a pet); and Jaime's brother's very fair coloring. If this turned out to be the case and Jon's lineage got out, could the trio rule together, balancing each other out?
2019 may feel like it's a few centuries away, which makes it all the more appealing to take your deepest dive ever into all the possibilities and predictions before Season 8 drops. So undertake a gigantic rewatch, dip into the books, and burrow into the most obscure corners of Reddit — this is going to be fun.