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Decoding what every Game of Thrones star has said about the show’s finale

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Kayleigh Dray
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From Emilia Clarke to Maisie Williams, many of GOT’s stars have shared hints about the show’s conclusion. But what does it all mean?

On 14 April 2019, Game of Thrones will roar back onto our screens for its eighth and final season – but what do HBO producers have in store for all of our favourite GOT characters? We’ve unpicked everything that’s been said by principal cast members, in a bid to find out…

Daenerys Targaryen – Emilia Clarke

According to the Press Association, Emilia Clark said she wandered around London for “three hours, aimlessly,” when she found out the fate of Daenerys.

“It might as well have been raining, and I would’ve just walked in it not knowing what to do,” she told the publication, adding that there were “loads of tears” when she filmed her final scene. “That was the moment I realised that alcohol can also be a depressant,” Clarke mused. “I was kind of nursing a glass of wine going, ‘I don’t know why I’m not getting any happier from this.’”

Yikes. It’s also worth noting that Clarke said “there’s going to be some things in this last season that will shock people” – and that “it took us a long time to film this one for a very good reason”.

And, in a previous interview with Vanity Fair, Clarke said: “It fucked me up, knowing that is going to be a lasting flavour in someone’s mouth of what Daenerys is…”

What could it mean?

Well, we have two theories. Either Daenerys goes full mad King mode and tries to kill everyone in a bid to take the Iron Throne (more on that later) OR she proves herself to be the honourable queen we all know and love. After all, we know that, “when you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.” We know. But what if… well, what if there was a middle ground? What if all the players could just… just opt out of the game, and instead start up a new one? One based on honour, and talent, and ability? All it would take is one woman with a vision, and the strength to see it through.

Enter Daenerys, aka the self-titled ‘Breaker of Chains’. Our beloved Khaleesi may have been rendered infertile by a witch and therefore incapable of securing the happy ever after she’s always dreamed of, but she’s long been a fan of putting power into the hands of the people. It makes sense that she should be the one to usher in a new era of democracy, put an end to the landed aristocracy, and offer the commonfolk the chance to choose their own leaders. Especially as she’s the only one with the tools to melt down the Iron Throne (read: Dragons).

Check out the theory in full here.

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Yara Greyjoy – Gemma Whelan

Gemma Whelan is about to set sail as Yara Greyjoy for the very last time and, as she says to The Guardian, it’s going to be seriously dramatic.

“Yara was last seen beaten and bloodied after being taken hostage by her Uncle Euron, never to be seen again,” she said. “Or is she?”

Whelan added that she took her baby daughter with her while shooting the final series, and said: “She knows how the show ends. If only babies could talk, she could spoil it all.”

What could it mean?

Erm… that Yara Greyjoy will absolutely be in the final season of Game of Thrones, duh. And that she will (probably) she play a key role in the defeat of her mad, mad uncle, Euron, who is heading North to wreak havoc on Jon Snow and company at the behest of Cersei Lannister.

Samwell Tarly – John Bradley West

John Bradley West who plays Sam, has been dropping hints about the importance of his character to the overall story of Game of Thrones.

Speaking to news.com.au, West said: “I think that Sam is actually really important to the whole landscape of the show… The only thing I wanted, the only thing actors want as a rule is for their characters to be important. You want to be relevant and have an impact on things.”

And Joe Dempsie, who plays Gendry on the television show, seemed to confirm West’s hint that Samwell plays an important role.

Talking about what it felt like when the series ended, Dempsie announced: “There have been numerous points during the filming process of season eight that have an air of finality about them. Even at the [final table] read-through, it was a really subdued atmosphere when it got to the end, and with the John Bradley thing, it’s really weird because it feels like the end of school.”

What could it mean?

That Samwell Tarly is Azor Ahai, or the Prince Who Was Promised, naturally. Check out the theory in full here.

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Melisandre – Carice van Houten

Speaking to The Guardian, Carice van Houten has thanked Game of Thrones for opening so many doors for her in Hollywood. “Hopefully it won’t stop with Melisandre, and people will get to know me for other things,” she said. “And hopefully, it will be a bit on the lighter side next time.”

More interestingly? She added that her favourite character is Samwell Tarly. “He’s the one truly good person in the show,” noted van Houten. “You just wish that the world was full of people like him.

What could it mean?

We stress again: Samwell Tarly is Azor Ahai, or the Prince Who Was Promised. If you haven’t done so already, please check out the VERY COMPELLING theory in full here… you won’t regret it.

Gendry – Joe Dempsie

Joe Dempsie, who plays Gendry, the bastard son of the show’s original king, Robert Baratheon, told The Sunday Times Magazine: “Look, Gendry’s the last surviving blood Baratheon. He’s got to have a pretty strong claim. But I don’t even trust the fact that I have answers in my brain. It feels like you’re walking around with a secret that the whole world wants to know.”

What could it mean?

A lot of people believe that Gendry’s claim to the throne is even stronger than being the illegitimate son of Robert Baratheon. Why? Because they believe he’s the little baby that Cersei lost (remember the black-haired beauty she speaks of way back in season one? That baby!).

Unconvinced? Check out the theory in full here.

Cersei Lannister – Lena Headey

When speaking to the Huffington Post, Lena Headey revealed what happened after she filmed her final scenes as Cersei.

“I didn’t think I was going to be emotional,” she said. “It was [sad], yeah. I thought I wasn’t going to let myself get to that point because I had the last day to get through. And then when I left and I got in the car, I broke down in tears and I was, yeah, devastated.”

Then there’s Headey’s recent comments about her character’s role in the final season, which saw her point out Cersei’s determination to undo the sexist rules of Westeros and make it so a woman might take the throne.

“We’ve seen [these characters] over such a long period of time, and with the subtleties of men’s weaknesses being exposed throughout, these women have risen over the course of this series,” she said.

“I really, genuinely love Cersei and you just have to admire a survivor like that. She absolutely refuses to let go.”

What could it mean?

There are many who believe that Cersei holds the key to Westeros’ salvation. That she will ‘come good in the end’. And that it is she who will make the ultimate sacrifice to save the kingdom from the White Walkers. After all, it is common knowledge the White Walkers accept young babies as sacrifices, Craster (Robert Pugh) handed his sons over to them in season two… and Cersei has claimed to be pregnant with a fourth child, despite Maggy the Frog warning her that she will only ever raise three children as her own. Then there’s Lena Headey’s recent comments about her character’s role in the final season (due to air later this spring), which saw her point out Cersei’s determination to undo the sexist rules of Westeros and make it so a woman might take the throne.

You can read more about this ‘Cersei isn’t actually evil’ plot twist here.

Ser Jorah Mormont – Iain Glen

It’s already been revealed that the final season will feature a huge battle sequence which will put the rest to shame, according to the stars of the show. And Iain Glen, who plays Ser Jorah Mormont in the show, told Entertainment Weekly: “It was the most unpleasant experience I’ve had on Thrones.”

He continued: “[It was] a real test, really miserable. You get to sleep at seven in the morning, and when you wake in the midday you’re still so spent you can’t really do anything, and then you’re back.

“You have no life outside it. You have an absolute f****d bunch of actors. But without getting too method [acting] about it, on screen it bleeds through to the reality of the Thrones world,” he finished.

What could it mean?

Listen, Ser Jorah has greyscale and his days are numbered. We suspect that he will sacrifice his own life to save Daenerys in battle, and they will share a tearful farewell before he bites the big one. After all, as he famously told his beloved Khaleesi all those years ago: “You know I would die for you. I will never abandon you. I’m sworn to protect you.”

Then again… maybe he will instead die saving Jon’s life, to ensure his queen gets the happy ever after she so craves? We guess we will have to wait and see.

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Tyrion Lannister – Peter Dinklage

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly in September 2018, Peter Dinklage teased a “bittersweet” ending for his character. More importantly, though, he said things are “complicated” with Tyrion and all those feelings, having both a personal and professional connection to Dany. “Obviously, he has feelings for Daenerys. He loves her – or thinks he does. She’s awe-inspiring. He’s questioning that because he doesn’t have a good track record for falling in love. There’s jealousy wrapped up in there.”

He also that Tyrion “was given a very good conclusion”.

“No matter what that is – death can be a great way out,” he added.

What could it mean?

Nice try, Dinklage: we reckon Tyrion is going to survive… albeit at a great cost. After all, many believe that Tyrion actually betrayed Daenerys while “convincing” Cersei to join the battle against the White Walkers after her initial refusal. Read the theory in full here.

Bran Stark – Isaac Hempstead Wright

Isaac Hempstead White recently let slip to Esquire the following about the final season of Game of Thrones: “All the episodes are longer, more or less. Well, not the first two. Obviously there are some big battles. Episode three is going to be something else. There are definitely things wrapping up from many, many seasons ago where you’re like: oh, I never thought that would come back.

“And characters are now coming together who have never been together before. We saw that Daenerys is at Winterfell. It was cool getting to work with people on set that I knew in a social context, but had never worked with before, like Emilia [Clarke]. She’s really sweet.”

He also insisted that he is not, as many fans suspect, the Night King.

“I suppose Bran is quite an interesting character to theorise over because of his whole link to time travel and whatnot. Because you can kind of get away with anything theory-wise and make it sound convincing if you’ve got time travel involved,” he said. “[And] it’s quite an interesting theory, the Night King one. I just think it seems a bit obvious. A bit cheesy.”

What could it mean?

We still think Bran is the Night King, despite Hempstead Wright’s protestations. Maybe even because of his protestations, actually: remember how Harington insisted Jon Snow was really, actually, 100% dead and then… well, then he wasn’t? Exactly. Check out the full theory here.

Ser Davos Seaworth – Liam Cunningham

“George R.R. Martin…described the end as ‘bittersweet,’ and it is,” Liam Cunningham recently said, when asked for hints about season eight. “That’s all you’re getting. Think I’m gonna give you a scoop? I’d get shot!”

What could it mean?

That Cunningham is far more tight-lipped than the rest of the GOT cast. Natch.

Jon Snow – Kit Harington

We strongly suspect that Jon Snow survives until the very final episode of season eight, thanks to the less-than-subtle comments made by Harington during a recent interview with Variety.

“I was there the whole time this year,” he said, clearly in a ‘spoilers be damned’ kind of mood. “I felt a bit like people were coming in and out, and Jon Snow was just fucking there the whole time.”

Harington also dropped a few hints on The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show, saying that he is “maybe not happy, but very satisfied” with the conclusion of his character’s story arc.

What could it mean?

That Jon Snow lives, but has a pretty tragic ending… perhaps he really is forced to kill someone he loves, eh? Someone who has the potential to go full Mad Queen on everyone’s asses? Exactly. Check out our ‘Jon has to murder Daenerys/his baby with Daenerys’ theory in full here.

Kit Harington as Jon Snow
Jon Snow

Arya Stark – Maisie Williams

Maisie Williams opened up about saying goodbye to her character while starring as the cover star of S/Magazine.

“This whole season was really, really emotional,” she told the publication before appearing to hint that she survived past a couple of other key characters. “When I came to shoot my final scene, I had already watched a lot of people wrap and seen all the tears and heard all the speeches.

“It was just a really beautiful day, and a really great final scene for me. It felt like the right time to say goodbye to Arya.”

She also hinted that Arya and Sansa will form a powerful alliance, telling EW: “It’s not often you see a character siding with Sansa who’s not manipulating her.

“Last season it was really tough for Sansa because Jon was thinking with his penis and it kind of made Sansa look bitter. This season you see Arya teaming with Sansa and sometimes calling out Jon. It felt nice and powerful to stand next to Sophie. Sophie and I are the tightest of friends when sitting across from anyone, so no acting required.”

And, when asked about her final scene, she noted that Arya “was alone – shocker! Arya’s always bloody alone.”

What could this mean?

Firstly, could it be that Arya winds up being the only one of Ned’s biological children that actually survives?

Secondly, Arya and Sansa’s last alliance wound up with them killing Petyr ‘Littlefinger’ Baelish. Anyone else more than a little suspicious that they may commit at least one more murder before the season is out? Check out the theory in full here.

Grey Worm – Jacob Anderson

Jacob Anderson inadvertently confirmed to The Guardian that he’s one of the longest-running members of the cast when he talked about filming a big battle for the final season. As in, you know, THE big battle against the White Walkers.

“There was one night-shoot I’ll always remember,” he says. “I couldn’t see any cameras or technical equipment, and I was completely immersed, with fake snow blowing and hundreds of extras – there was a surreal moment in which I forgot I was acting. It was kind of terrifying, but also really exciting.”

He also let slip that, “on the last day, my dresser, Jade, took my armour off and I realised it was the last time I was ever going to wear it. I said, ‘Please, could I leave it on for just a few more seconds?’ I didn’t want to let go of it.”

What could it mean?

Grey Worm dies in full armour, suggesting he either serves the new Khaleesi in a new pro-Targaryen world… or he dies in battle. Considering the bloodbath we’ve seen so far over the past seven seasons, we’re tempted to say the latter – especially as it will give us the tragic conclusion to Grey Worm and Missandei’s romance we secretly all crave.

Sansa Stark – Sophie Turner

In her interview with 1883 magazine, Sophie Turner teased that the final season is “full of betrayal, full of war, full of danger”.

“That’s all I can say without giving too much away,” she added.

However, she also let slip that her final scene as Sansa “took about five days to shoot” – leaving Turner and her unnamed co-stars “all quite sweaty, and bored by the end”.

What could this mean?

We equate “sweaty” with armour and warfare, because the North is notoriously chilly and nobody’s feeling flushed in Iceland. So we presume Sansa makes use of her armour and heads into the fray to join the fight.

With regards to the betrayal aspect of her hint… well, could it be that Sansa Stark will do what we’ve always feared and turn on Jon Snow? Check out the theory in full here.

Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark
Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark

Jaime Lannister – Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

“I am proud to have been on a show that has had this kind of impact and success,” Nikolaj Coster-Waldau told Star 2. “And relief that it has come to an end in the way that (showrunners) David Benioff and DB Weiss had wanted it to.”

He continued: “I find Jaime so interesting. The core of this guy is that he does what he does in the name of love. He’s a complex guy… [and] that’s the key to Game Of Thrones, the characters are never just black and white. Even though his story is set in this fantastical world and his circumstances are extreme, he is relatable.”

The actor mentioned his final scene without spoiling what actually happens: “I had a great last scene. It was absolutely beautiful. It was the perfect way to end.” However, he did say the scene was towards the end, which means we’ll see plenty of Jaime in the upcoming season.

“Obviously I can’t tell you what the scene was. It wasn’t the final scene (of the series), but it was close to the end, and it was shot at a beautiful location,” the actor said, revealing that other cast members finished their filming for season 8 before him. “At this point, I had seen quite a lot of colleagues wrap, so I had seen a lot of tears, beautiful speeches, and I knew what to expect.”

What could this mean?

That Jaime Lannister is going to kill the Night King, obviously. Check out the theory in full here.

Jaime Lannister spoilers for Game of Thrones season 8

What will happen to Jaime Lannister in season eight? 

Brienne of Tarth – Gwendoline Christie

Speaking to E! News about the final season of Game of Thrones, Gwendoline Christie explained: “You’re going to need therapy. I think just the show ending is going to send all of the world into professional help… it’s going to make me incredibly emotional.

“We’re all emotional about the fact that this is the end, and this is the end of something incredibly significant for all of us, and it’s been a truly incredible thing to be a part of.”

What could it mean?

Well, nothing: Christie is actually very good at keeping secrets, isn’t she? We do know, though, that season seven saw Brienne representing the interest of Sansa Stark during the great Dragonpit armistice meeting. And it seems likely she will have a role defending the North at Winterfell when the Army of the Dead arrives in the final season… but will she be reunited with Jaime? If so, it will most likely only be for a very short while: fans have confidently predicted that he will die in her arms on the battlefield.

Gilly – Hannah Murray

Hannah Murray told WinterIsComing.net that she had “finished” a fair bit earlier than her fellow castmates.

“I’ve shot all my scenes,” she said. “The final day was definitely very emotional because you’re having to say goodbye to a lot of people. I feel so lucky to have been a part of the show for so long.”

When asked which actors she’d enjoyed working with most apart from John Bradley, who’s been her consistent scene partner since the beginning, Murray responded: “There are a few from season 8 that I can’t actually mention.”

What could it mean?

That, after six seasons spent pretty much exclusively with Sam and her child, Gilly will expand her social circle come the final season of Game of Thrones. Intriguing.

Lyanna Mormont – Bella Ramsey

Bella Ramsey let slip to The Guardian that Lyanna Mormont will appear in the final season of Game of Thrones.

“When I go to set in my normal clothes in the morning, I’m completely Bella. It’s a weird transformation. As soon as I step into my costume, it makes me feel like Lyanna,” she said, admitting that she will miss wearing her Northern furs immensely.

What could it mean?

We bloody love Lyanna Mormont, so just knowing she’s in the final season – and poised to give another rousing speech, we don’t doubt – is more than enough for us.

Game of Thrones returns to HBO in the US on 14 April and Sky Atlantic and Now TV in the UK on 15 April. 

Images: HBO

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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