WARNING: The night is dark, and full of potential Game of Thrones spoilers…
Game of Thrones fans were less than impressed when, on 22 March, a redditor named TherealFrikiDoctor shared details the first episode of the season eight online.
“I have not waited almost two years for season eight of Game of Thrones to have it spoiled three weeks before it airs,” wrote one. “If I see any leaks, Imma throw a fit.”
Another added: “I don’t think what he’s doing is illegal, but I do think it’s distasteful towards the series, especially with only six episodes left!”
Well, quite. Which is why we absolutely refuse to share any of the so-called spoilers and ruin anyone’s fun: instead, we’re going to make like Sandra Bullock in Bird Box and do our best to keep our eyes shut to any leaked details floating around the internet.
Thankfully, though, our watch is almost ended. The eighth and final season of HBO’s adaptation of George R R Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series is due to premiere on 14 April 2019, which means that loyal, non-spoiler-reading fans will finally find out who wins the Game of Thrones – and, of course, who dies.
The stakes are high. We know from the trailer that Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen), Ser Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham), Samwell Tarly (John Bradley), Gendry *cough* Baratheon (Joe Dempsie), Sansa (Sophie Turner), Arya (Maisie Williams) and Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) are locked in a Winterfell-based battle to the death against the Night King (Vladimir Furdik) and his army of White Walkers. That Ghost, Jon’s faithful direwolf, is making a comeback. That Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) is glugging wine back in King’s Landing. That Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk) is up to no good. That the Golden Company has set sail at last. That Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) has abandoned his sister/lover in a bid to “do the right thing”. That Jon and Daenerys either don’t know they’re aunt and nephew, or just don’t give a damn.
That winter is no longer coming, but well and truly here.
Apart from all of the above, though, the trailer has been skimpy on the plot – and very few official storyline details have been released with regards to Game of Thrones season 8. That being said, however, there are plenty of theories about how the show will end. With this in mind, we’ve scoured Reddit and the depths of the internet to bring you the most compelling and brilliant GOT fan theories out there, in a bid to answer the show’s biggest questions (namely: who will live? Who will die? Who’s really Azor Ahai?).
And don’t worry: we’ve had our resident GOT geeks-in-residence check them over, to make sure you get nothing but the most important (and legit) theories and predictions around (minus the spoilers). Happy reading…
Jaime Lannister will die a hero
For as long as we can remember, we have been told that Jaime Lannister is the Kingslayer. And, for the first two seasons at least, we considered this to be proof of his villainy: after all, Jaime was evil back in seasons one and two. Like, really evil. He was the one who tossed Bran out the window, remember, not to mention arrested poor old Ned.
But, come the third season, things changed. And we watched as a weakened Jaime sat down with Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) and opened up about his decision to drive his sword through the Mad King’s back all those years ago.
In a heart-wrenching monologue, he told of the Mad King’s obsession with wildfire and how the monarch had stockpiled it all over the city.
When it became apparent he would lose King’s Landing, the king ordered Jaime to kill his own father, Tywin Lannister, before ordering his pyromancer to ignite all of the wildfire in the city.
Recalling the Mad King’s final words, a haunted Jaime said: “Burn them all… burn them in their homes, burn them in their beds.”
He then turned to Brienne and asked her: “Tell me, if your precious Renly commanded you to kill your own father and stand by while thousands of men, women and children burned alive, would you have done it?
“Would you have kept your oath?”
Since this big confession, we have seen Jaime transform before our very eyes. Gone is the self-obsessed Jaime of old, intent on doing anything – anything – for his lover and sister, Cersei. Indeed, come the end of season seven, we saw him turn his back on Cersei and ride northwards to offer his aid to Jon and Daenerys in the battle against the White Walkers. And he is equipped with Widow’s Wail, a Valyrian steel sword that he took from Joffrey after his death.
Why is this important? Well, Valyrian steel is one of the few things that can actually kill a White Walker, putting Jaime in a very good position to be the one who puts an end to the Night King and his reign of terror. So maybe that nickname of ‘Kingslayer’ has been a big endgame hint all along? After all, Jaime killed one fire king and was dishonoured. Wouldn’t it be beautifully poetic if his arc concluded with him sacrificing himself to take down an ice king, and finally earn the redemption he so desperately craves?
Exactly. Too bad, then, that…
Bran is the Night King
The Night King, aka the silent villain of Game of Thrones, has been the subject of much speculation and fans have become convinced that his connection to Bran “The Three-Eyed Raven” Stark is something of concern. The pair have, for a long time now, seemed to be hyper-aware of one another’s comings and goings. And fans have certainly picked up on the fact that the Night King always knows when Bran is warging nearby: his eyes will scan the sky and immediately identify which of a flock of ravens Bran is sheltering inside.
Reddit user turm0il26 has suggested that Bran will, in an act of desperation, travel all the way back to that fateful moment the Night King was created. Unfortunately, though, it all goes wrong. The green-skinned people recognise Bran from the future and fearfully gag him and tie him down to the rocks.
“When he realises that he’s failed again, Bran tries to warg back into the current timeline, but he can’t because he’s too deep into the past and stayed too long (remember the line, ‘it is beautiful beneath the sea, stay too long and you drown’?).”
Bran gets a nasty dose of dragonglass straight to the heart and gets stuck in the past – just as Brynden and Jojen always warned him that he would – and he becomes the Night King.
Daenerys is pregnant with Jon Snow’s baby (and he knows nothing)
Back in Season 1 of Game of Thrones, Dany was able to bear children – and carried the baby of Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) to term. However, when Drogo was severely wounded, Daenerys commanded the witch Mirri Maz Duur to use blood magic to heal him – and was quickly informed that “only death can pay for life”. She gave birth to a stillborn son, Drogo slipped into a vegetative state, and a crowing Mirri informed our Mother of Dragons that her husband would only return to her “when the sun rises in the west and sets in the east. When the seas go dry, and mountains blow in the wind like leaves. When your womb quickens again, and you bear a living child.
“Then he will return, and not before.”
Naturally, Dany took this to mean that she would never bear a living child. However, when she informed Jon of the prophecy in season seven, her nephew/lover expressed doubt: surely Mirri could have been lying?
Well, Reddit user Wastelandrider certainly thinks so. However, he believes that, if Dany does fall pregnant, her and Jon’s happiness will be short-lived.
“Dany will have become pregnant in the new season, seemingly defeating the prophecy of Mirri Maz Duur,” he says. “But the witch will have been proven true in the end. As the Night King’s army surrounds the survivors, the Night King will point to Dany’s belly and Jon will (with tremendous gnashing of teeth and brooding), plunge his sword into his true love to pull out mankind’s salvation— the royal baby sacrifice that will Bring Light back to the world, just like when Azor Ahai killed Nissa Nissa to save the world before (and hence never bearing a living child).”
Never a happy ending, eh?
King Gendry? Say hello to Cersei’s secret son
Way back in season one’s The Kingsroad, Cersei speaks of her first-born son – a “black-haired beauty” who died shortly after birth.
In the emotional scene (which marks a rare moment of tenderness for our favourite wine-guzzling Lannister), we learn that Cersei’s first-born son looked exactly like his father, Robert (Mark Addy) – something which Gendry has repeatedly been told by both Ned Stark (Sean Bean) and Jon Snow. And Cersei goes on to reveal that she never once visited the baby’s crypt, and rarely spoke about the child at all, in fact. And, as we all know, her subsequent three children, Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen, were all fathered by her brother Jaime, and all possessed the fair and gold features of Lannisters.
The Queen and Robert had a volatile relationship and this fan theory suggests that she wouldn’t want to raise one of Robert’s legitimate children. And, as her royal husband would always “flee to the trees with his huntsmen and his hounds” whenever her due date approached, he was never actually present for the birthing ceremony.
Which means that, yes, it would have been very easy for Cersei and her loyal servant, the Maester Pycelle, to exchange her healthy, living son for a dying one. Her living child, then, could be raised in King’s Landing – where she could keep an eye on him, if she so wished.
You can read more about this EXTREMELY compelling theory here. All hail King Gendry!
And on that note… Gendry will kill a dragon
“When the hammer shall fall upon the dragon, a new king shall arise, and none shall stand before him.”
This prophecy, which is outlined in Fire & Blood, isn’t assigned to any character in particular… but Gendry certainly seems to fit the bill, doesn’t he? Not only is he excellent with a hammer, but he’s part-Targaryen, too.
Oh yes: as we learned in Fire & Blood, the bastard founder of the house Orys Baratheon “was a baseborn half-brother to Lord Aegon, it was whispered”, which means that Targaryen blood flows in the veins of the Baratheon line. Gendry, as a direct descendant, then, could he be fated to a) use his blacksmith skills to forge a new dragonglass warhammer, and b) kill off the (now) undead dragon, Viserion, before he can do too much damage to Westeros.
As for the new king? Well, that could be Gendry, sure… but it could just as easily be Jon, whom Gendry is working closely alongside in Winterfell. All we can hope is that this prophecy doesn’t refer to a zombie-Gendry killing off live dragons on behalf of the Night King. Because that would be intolerable.
Catelyn Stark isn’t really dead…
In the books, Catelyn (Michelle Fairley)’s naked body is thrown into the river after her throat is slit at the Red Wedding., where it is later found by the Brotherhood Without Banners and resurrected by Beric Dondarrion, who gives his life for hers through the last kiss of R’hllor.
However, she has been dead too long for the magic to work properly: mutilated and unable to speak, Catelyn is utterly consumed by vengeance and intent on killing each and every single person she believes to have betrayed her family.
Is it any wonder, then, that so many people believe that Lady Stoneheart will make an appearance in the season finale of Game of Thrones? Exactly. You can find all the evidence (including tweets about Fairley returning to the set in secret) here.
And neither is Ned Stark
The fan theory that Ned Stark might still be alive is one that is closely related to the characters of Varys and Arya. Varys has long been Westeros’ puppet master extraordinaire, pulling the strings to make everyone dance to his own tune. Could it be that, while Ned Stark was imprisoned in the Red Keep, so too was Jaqen H’ghar of the Faceless Men? We know this because Arya meets Jaqen outside the prison, kickstarting her journey to become No One.
What if Jaqen was at the Red Keep for the specific purpose of saving Ned? What if he was there, orchestrated by Varys, to use the Faceless Men’s faceless technology to mask Ned’s identity, replace him with another man, and smuggle Ned out of the Red Keep and to safety?
Deep stuff, eh? Read the theory in full here.
Samwell Tarly is the true hero of Winterfell
Remember what we said about Jon Snow being Azor Ahai? Well, there’s a fan theory which suggests that, actually, someone else might be the Prince Who Was Promised. Someone like… well, like Samwell Tarly.
This idea is predicated on the notion that Samwell is a secret Targaryen, the son of Rheagar and Elia Martell who was saved from assassination by The Mountain and sent to live with the Tarlys. This explains why his father hates him so much, and why he was forced to join the Night’s Watch alongside Jon: he is not a true Tarly and therefore they don’t want anything to do with him.
If Sam is a Targaryen, then has has smoke and fire in his blood. He’s an unlikely through proven fighter, given that he was the first to fell a White Walker on screen in Game of Thrones, plus it is his smarts that led to the one of the biggest discoveries in the series: that dragonglass can kill White Walkers. (He coaxed dragon from stone!) And, as you will recall from season six, Sam now has a Valyrian steel sword of his own after nicking Heartsbane from his odious father.
Plus there’s the fact that actor John Bradley West has been dropping some serious hints about his character’s importance in the big finale.
“I think that Sam is actually really important to the whole landscape of the show,” he said. “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.”
Hmm. Read the full theory here.
Who is Arya running from in the crypts of Winterfell?
A lot of focus has been placed on the Winterfell crypts in Game of Thrones’ season eight teasers, so it makes perfect sense that some fans are theorising that the Night King will find a way to reanimate the bodies of Arya’s dead family members and set them loose in Winterfell.
The books have told us that the cavernous vault is larger than Winterfell itself, with older Starks buried in deeper and darker levels. The lowest level is said to be partly collapsed. The most recent tombs within the crypts are those of Lord Rickard Stark and his children, Brandon and Lyanna. It remains unclear as to whether or not Ned’s bones have arrived at Winterfell yet, but we do know that the body of Arya’s younger brother, Rickon Stark (Art Parkinson), is down there in the dark.
More chilling? The rotting corpse of Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen), who Arya executed on her sister Sansa’s (Sophie Turner) orders at the end of season seven, is knocking around Winterfell somewhere, too.
That would be pretty twisted, wouldn’t it?
The Mountain is the God of Death
Forget the reanimated corpses of the long-dead Starks: what if Arya were running from the God of Death himself?
Reddit user u/on-a-darkling-plain says: “Many theorise that Arya is running from wights/whites in Winterfell, but I propose an [alternate] theory: this is after Winterfell falls and they retreat south. Arya goes to Kings Landing, sneaking in the same way she snuck out in [season one], to stop Cersei’s treachery and scratch her name off her list. The Mountain intervenes.
“Arya fights the Mountain but can’t kill him. He is faceless, he is death. She runs.”
And therefore we get… Cleganebowl
First, some context. Cleganebowl is a fan theory surrounding a hypothetical event in the future plot of George RR Martin’s epic fantasy novel series A Song of Ice and Fire which posits that Sandor ‘The Hound’ Clegane (Rory McCann) and his brother, Gregor ‘The Mountain’ Clegane (Conan Stevens), would be pitted against each other in Cersei Lannister’s trial-by-combat, with the former representing the Faith, one of the two major religions in the Seven Kingdoms, and the latter fighting on behalf of the accused queen.
Naturally, the TV show has jumped ahead of the books, and so we never got the trial by combat we were all dreaming of: instead, Cersei set off a series of Wildfire bombs and burned her enemies alive.
But what if the Clegane brothers were still due to meet in combat? Wouldn’t it make sense that The Hound, having forged such a strong relationship with Arya back in season 1, would be the one to leap in and save her from his undead brother? Of course it bloody does!
There are dragon eggs in Winterfell
Early into Targaryen rule, a Prince Jacaerys is said to have made a deal with Lord Cregan Stark for his support in battle… a deal which many believe included an exchange of petrified dragon eggs, which were buried in the crypts of Winterfell.
Oh yes: while many presumed Jacaerys dragon, Vermax, was male, it is impossible to tell the sex of a dragon (indeed, some maesters even think they can change their sex as needed), and then there’s Jon’s strange dreams to consider…
“And then I find myself in front of the door to the crypts,” he says in the books. “It’s black inside, and I can see the steps spiraling down. Somehow I know I have to go down there, but I don’t want to. I’m afraid of what might be waiting for me. The old Kings of Winter are down there, sitting on their thrones with stone wolves at their feet and iron swords across their laps, but it’s not them I’m afraid of. I scream that I’m not a Stark, that this isn’t my place, but it’s no good, I have to go anyway, so I start down, feeling the walls as I descend, with no torch to light the way. It gets darker and darker, until I want to scream… and that’s when I always wake.”
Wouldn’t it be fitting if Jon, much like Daenerys, had his own dragon children?
Varys is a merman…
Well, throughout the books, Martin makes references to “merlings,” sea creatures that correspond vaguely to mermaids and mermen imagined by sailors in the Middle Ages. And, in the very first book, Arya observes Varys (Conleth Hill) and Illyrio (Roger William Allam) seemingly ascending into the Red Keep directly via a well. Then there’s the fact that, when Tyrion threatened to have Varys thrown into the sea, he responded: “You might be disappointed in the results. The storms come and go, the big fish eat the little fish, and I keep on paddling.”
Could it be that Varys is hinting at his true nature? Perhaps he prefers to hide his lower torso because he is, in fact, one of the so-called Deep Ones (which are “half men sired by creatures of the salt seas upon human women,” according to Maester Theron).
… or a Targaryen
We know, we know: who isn’t a bloody Targaryen by this point? However, if you’re not a fan of the outlandish ‘Varys is a merman’ theory, than perhaps you’ll be more inclined to believe that he’s a Targaryen in hiding.
As Redditor dmitchell927 puts it: “We saw that the dragons did not attack Tyrion when he went to free them, but we are [forgetting] that Varys was in the room at the same time. We also know that Varys was castrated at a young age, and that his parts were burned by a red priest…. [but] why was Varys mutialted as opposed to anyone else? I think it is because he is of Targaryen blood, and, as we know the red priests believe, a king’s blood has power.”
It would explain why Varys has teamed up with many people to protect the Targaryen house, and why he might keep his head shaved (that silver Targaryen hair would be a dead giveaway). And, as Melisandre told him cryptically in season 7, Varys will have a big part to play in the endgame of Westeros.
Also, Tyrion could be a Targaryen as well
Another character, another Targaryen in hiding. For a House that’s supposedly been beaten into submission, there sure are a lot of these silver-haired f**kers running around Westeros, aren’t there?
The ‘Tyrion Lannister is a Targaryen’ line comes from the theory that mad King Aerys Targaryen took certain “unwonted liberties” during Joanna Lannister’s bedding ceremony with Tywin, much to Tywin’s displeasure.
“Not long thereafter, Queen Rhaella (Aerys wife) dismissed Joanna Lannister from her service,” reads a passage in The World of Ice and Fire. “No reason for this was ever given, but Lady Joanna departed at once for Casterly Rock and seldom visited King’s Landing thereafter.”
Of course, that wasn’t the first time that Aerys apparently took advantage of Joanna. Indeed, during his 10th Anniversary Tourney, Aerys famously asked Joanna whether breast feeding her children had ruined her breasts, resulting in Tywin attempting to resign as Hand of the King.
That tournament took place in 272 AC; Joanna died giving birth to Tyrion in 273 AC. Could the two have slept with each other that night leading to Tyrion’s birth a year later? It seems possible, particularly when you consider the fact that Tywin told Tyrion “you’re no son of mine” just before his son shot him with an arrow (families, eh?)
Throw in Tyrion’s close connection with Dany, the book’s description of him (he is said to have mismatched eyes of green and black, and a mixture of pale blond and black hair) and his ability to calm and tame her dragons, and you have a recipe for yet another Targaryen bastard. Season 7 only shed light on Jon’s lineage, but season 8 may yet provide a familial twist of its own for Tyrion.
So who is the Valonquar?
As we learned in George R R Martin’s books, a young Cersei sought out fortune-teller Maggy and asked her to look into her future for her. And the future that Maggy saw for her was grim indeed: she revealed that Cersei’s husband, Robert, would become a father 20 times over by bedding a number of mistresses – a prediction which has since proven to have come true. Maggy went on to warn that Cersei would outlive all of her own children (again, true) – and that “another, younger and more beautiful” will come forth to cast her down.
But it’s the final part of the prophecy that’s truly interesting: Maggy reveals that Cersei will be murdered by the valonquar (which is High Valyrian for “little brother”).
“And when your tears have drowned you, the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you,” she told her.
For years, Cersei assumed that Maggy had been referring to Tyrion – but what if she actually meant Jaime?
The pair of them may be twins, but we know that Jaime was born shortly after his sister, grasping her foot in his hand. And it is also worth remembering that Jaime killed Mad King Aerys because he wanted to save the common folk from being burned to a crisp. Cersei, similarly, has proven herself to be a less than benevolent ruler who does not have the people’s best interests at heart… and, y’know, she’s been busy burning people as well. After his prolonged exposure to Brienne (Gwendoline Christie)’s stubborn code of honour, could the Kingslayer be willing to sacrifice everything he holds dear to save the people of Westeros from his murderous sister?
Then again, it could be that someone may wind up wearing Jaime’s face to get close to her. And, as we all know from the very first episode of season 7, Arya has picked up the habit of wearing other people’s faces. She posed as Walder Frey in a bid to poison the entire Frey clan – and she’s always been determined to “kill the queen” who executed her father, Ned Stark. Perhaps Arya might prove to be that “younger and more beautiful” woman who will come forth to cast Cersei down after all.
You can read more about the valonquar theory here.
The Iron Throne will be destroyed come the end of the series
Many people suspect that Daenerys won’t ever sit on the Iron Throne herself. Instead, they believe that she will use her dragons to melt it down, putting an end to the tired old feudal systems past and forging a better, stronger and fairer future for all in Westeros.
The self-titled ‘Breaker of Chains’ has long been a fan of putting power into the hands of the people, so 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.
As we’ve mentioned previously, Daenerys has attracted such a huge following because she offers them something they have never been offered before: the freedom to choose: Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel), the Unsullied and the Dothraki all believe in Daenerys. They have chosen to follow her based on her actions, not because of her impressive lineage. Even Jon Snow, who refused to bend the knee when Daenerys demanded that he do so, has since chosen to do so because he has seen the woman she is – and truly believes she is the right ruler for Westeros. More important, though, is the fact that Jon decided to bend the knee to Daenerys after learning she can’t have children of her own – and, in doing so, has been one of the first GoT rulers to recognise that women are so much more than the sum of their body parts. That a queen’s role does not have to be reduced to anything as base as “lie back and bring forth children for your king”. That they can rise to be so much more than the head of home and hearth. That they can be brave, and smart, and calculating. That, most importantly of all. that they can be rulers in their own rights, making valid and vital decisions about the future of their own people.
As one savvy viewer points out, “the Game of Thrones can only ever end when the throne is removed from play”. But will Daenerys be brave enough to do it? We’re tempted to think so. Especially after seeing the official poster for the final series…
That’s right: it may look like the Iron Throne but, upon closer inspection, you’ll notice a pair of glowing orange eyes, arguably located where the armrests should be.
They are, of course, the eyes of a dragon, with the rest of the throne doubling up as the head of Daenerys’ scaly pet. Undoubtedly, the implication is that there’s more at stake than just a fancy chair. And that Drogon will play an important role in who sits (or doesn’t sit) on it, too.
Check the theory out in full here.
Sansa Stark becomes the warrior queen of Winterfell
Sansa’s costumes have long told a story about the eldest of Ned and Catelyn’s daughters. And her costume for season 8 is no different, as Turner has now confirmed that her character will be strapping on armour for the first time as the Night King’s army prepares for its invasion of Westeros.
“This is the first time I’ve had armour,” she said.
“We [had] the idea of it being very protective and she buttons herself up. I wanted her to have a bit of armour and be a bit more warrior-like. She’s like the warrior of Winterfell.”
The Night King isn’t as evil as people might assume
As twerkmileyy puts it: “I predict the Night King is going directly to the Gods Eye. Maybe he has been trying to reach the Gods Eye for centuries and man has always denied this passage. Therefore he has the mentality of removing all obstacles in his way. The Isle of Faces, in the middle of the Gods Eye, is where the pact between man and the Children of the Forest [COTF] happened. The rich history of the COTF can be found here. Leaf was also present during this pact and the moment Bran reached the cave. That means they potentially have eternal life?
“Ultimately I think his end goal is to reach the Isles of Faces and use its magical properties to give life to his undead army. Eastwatch by the Sea is the closest part of the wall to the Gods Eye. Harrenhall is on the northern shore of the Gods Eye. The writers have dropped hints about the Gods Eye for years and have always discussed the Riverlands with great detail.”
And, if the Night King really is Bran, we imagine he could bring back all our favourite long-dead characters (hey, Ned and Catelyn!) and bring peace back to Westeros. Boom.
Or Cersei makes a pact with the Night King
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.
“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.”
Intriguing. Read more about this ‘Cersei isn’t actually evil’ plot twist here.
The true villain of Game of Thrones is… climate change
Oh yes. George R R Martin previously explained the parallels between the terrifying eternal winters of Westeros and modern-day climate change. “The people in Westeros are fighting their individual battles over power and status and wealth. And those are so distracting them that they’re ignoring the threat of ‘winter is coming,’ which has the potential to destroy all of them and to destroy their world,” he told the NY Times.
Adding that, on the HBO show, most leaders from the Seven Kingdoms are too preoccupied with their quest for the Iron Throne to recognize the White Walkers as legitimate threats, he said: “But while we’re tearing ourselves apart over this and expending so much energy, there exists this threat of climate change, which, to my mind, is conclusively proved by most of the data and 99.9 percent of the scientific community. And it really has the potential to destroy our world. And we’re ignoring that while we worry about the next election and issues that people are concerned about, like jobs. Jobs are a very important issue, of course. All of these things are important issues. But none of them are important if, like, we’re dead and our cities are under the ocean.
“So really, climate change should be the number one priority for any politician who is capable of looking past the next election. But unfortunately, there are only a handful of those. We spend 10 times as much energy and thought and debate in the media discussing whether or not N.F.L. players should stand for the national anthem than this threat that’s going to destroy our world.”
This theory would suggest that the White Walkers will win. That the Iron Throne will no longer matter. And that we will get the bleak, bleak ending so many Game of Thrones fans have been hoping for.
Bran Stark is also Bran the Builder
Remember what this passage from the first Game of Thrones book?
“Thousands and thousands of years ago, Brandon the Builder had raised Winterfell, and some said the Wall. Bran knew the story, but it had never been his favorite. Maybe one of the other Brandons had liked that story. Sometimes Nan would talk to him as if he were her Brandon, the baby she had nursed all those years ago, and sometimes she confused him with his uncle Brandon, who was killed by the Mad King before Bran was even born. She had lived so long, Mother had told him once, that all the Brandon Starks had become one person in her head.”
We know already that Bran can travel through time and change the course of history. After all, it was he who accidentally destroyed poor Hodor’s mind by traveling to the past, and many believe that he will do the same thing to the Mad King Aerys Targaryen, who was known to “hear voices.”
Is it such a jump, then, that every person named Bran in Westerosian history is actually our Bran? That he, in fact, built the wall he so loved hearing about as a child? Hardly.
Euron Greyjoy will kill Jon Snow
In season 7, episode 5, Samwell Tarly stumbled across a group of Maesters speaking about the prophecy of Lordos, which states that the drowned god would rise up and defeat Aegon. We know that Jon’s real name is Aegon… and we know that Euron was crowned King of the Iron Islands following a ceremony which saw him drowned in the sea as part of a traditional ceremony (the ironborn captains drowned him, dragged him back ashore and placed a driftwood crown after he coughed and spluttered his way back to life).
Considering that Euron is hellbent on marrying Cersei and securing his place in King’s Landing, he needs to defeat the other leaders of Westeros… one of whom is Daenerys. Is it such a jump to assume that Jon might dive in front of his beloved to save her from Euron’s blade?
Has Melisandre gone to fetch the Fiery Hand for Daenerys Targaryen?
We know, from the above scene, that Melisandre has left Westeros for Volantis, the biggest of the Free Cities on Essos. And that she will return, one last time, “to die in this strange country”. But why?
Well, redditor Dr_Tibbles believes that the Red Woman has gone home to fetch back the Fiery Hand for Daenerys. Standard.
According to A Wiki of Ice and Fire, the Fiery Hand is “a group of soldiers employed as guards for the red temple of R’hllor in the Free City of Volantis. The Fiery Hand contains a thousand soldiers, never more and never less. Each of these soldiers is a slave of R’hllor. They wear ornate armor over their orange robes, and wield spears with points shaped as writhing flames. As per custom of Volantis, these slaves have flames tattooed across their cheeks.”
A thousand fire-wielding soldiers, you say? That could be just what the doctor ordered, especially as a stream of undead White Walkers (all of whom can be killed with dragonglass or with fire) just poured through a crack in The Wall.
Jon Snow kills Daenerys Targaryen
Argh, it’s horrible to even contemplate such a thing happening, but it’s well worth remembering that the Red Priestess Melisandre (Carice van Houten) predicted that Jon is the legendary “Prince That Was Promised” or “Warrior of Light”.
According to the legend, the figure would be born “amid salt and smoke” and pull a sword named Lightbringer from the flames. However, a theory says that the legend will only come true if the sword is quenched in “living fire” (can you see where we’re going with this?).
In the original legend Azor Ahai forged his sword by stabbing his wife Nissa Nissa in the heart. So, by all accounts, this may mean that Jon has to plunge the blade into the heart of a loved one – aka Daenerys (thought by many to be the new ‘Mad Queen’ of Westeros) – and kill her.
Daenerys will become a White Walker
Of course, stabbing Daenerys may not kill her and she could instead transform into a White Walker. All this time, we have been told that the main thrust of the Game of Thrones narrative is the dual natures of ice and fire… and, while we believed Jon represented the “ice” and Dany the “fire”, things have changed now that we know Targaryen blood courses through his veins. Could it be that he is now the “fire”, and Dany the “ice” when she becomes zombie-fied?
This article was originally published on 15 March 2019.