Did a new contender just enter the race for the Iron Throne? On Thursday, March 21, HBO released the official Game of Thrones Season 8 poster, and it could include a major hint about who wins the throne in the end. Or it could be the show's art department having one last go at trolling fans eager for clues leading up to the April 14 premiere. Either way, the intriguing image makes an excellent argument for joining Team Drogon.
At first glance, the poster features the iconic image of the Iron Throne, but upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that the throne features the glowing red eyes of a dragon. Once you notice the eyes, it looks as if the dragon is wearing a crown with two swords featured prominently in front. The suggestion seems to be that Daenerys Targaryen may win the game of thrones after all. She is the Mother of Dragons, and a crown made of swords would be fitting for a queen who has collected as many victories as she has.
But the twin swords at the front of the dragon's crown could be an even more pivotal clue. Now that Jon Snow has officially been revealed to be the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, he's a dragon and a wolf. The swords could represent his dual loyalty to his parents' houses. It could also more literally represent the two halves of Ned Stark's greatsword Ice — Widow's Wail and Oathkeeper. There's been some speculation that Ice is Lightbringer, the famed sword of Azor Ahai. Perhaps, it's only through the sword's reunification that the Azor Ahai prophecy can be fulfilled and the prince (or princess) that was promised can save Westeros from the Night King. One thing is certain, all of this symbolism points to either Daenerys or Jon Snow (or both) taking the Iron Throne in the end.
Then again, this is Game of Thrones, and the show's never been obvious with its teasers. It's just as possible that the poster is a representation of the coming battle between Cersei and Daenerys. In this scenario, Cersei would represent the Iron Throne, and Daenerys the dragon who is coming to take it from her. So far, all of the Season 8 trailers and teasers have heavily suggested that the final season will be just as much about the clash between these two women as it will be about the threat of the Night King.
One final possibility? Drogon really is going to win the game of thrones — by destroying it. It's pretty much guaranteed that Daenerys and her two remaining dragons will make it to King's Landing before the series ends, and if the Dragon Queen has to unleash her children on the Red Keep, then so be it. Her Season 2 vision of a smoldering and ruined throne room has to come to pass at some point. And it's hard to imagine a more fitting ending for the series than one where the Iron Throne is no more.
When it comes to Game of Thrones, it's best to expect the unexpected, so don't be surprised if the poster's imagery is nothing more than a cool design. But it never hurts to speculate, especially when dragons are involved.