Like the rest of the world, we have a lot to say about Game of Thrones. The deeply embedded mythology, fantasy elements, various prophecies and intricately layered story lines all combine to inspire boundless speculation and theorization. With the show’s final season upon us, now’s the time to put all of that conjecture to good use and provide a road map for the last few episodes.
Here, we’ve compiled several major theories and predictions heading into Season 8. We’ll plan to keep this post updated with new tidbits and answers throughout the upcoming weeks.
The “That Makes Sense” Theories
Jaime kills Cersei.
One reason why Cersei hates Tyrion so much in the books is because of the prophecy Maggy the Frog delivered to her when she was a child. She said her death would come at the hands of the “valonqar,” which is High Valyrian for “little brother.” But technically speaking, Jaime—Cersei’s fraternal twin—is also a younger brother, as he was born after his sister. While this bit isn’t vocalized in the show, it has spurned endless debate among readers for years.
Such a fate would serve as poetic justice given the characters’ toxic relationship, personal histories and diverging arcs. Recent seasons have seen a reformed Jaime, while Cersei has committed countless atrocities to maintain her grip of power. It would be fitting for the Kingslayer to murder another monarch for the good of the realm.
Arya uses Jaime’s face to kill Cersei.
Then again, Arya has been obsessing over Cersei’s death since Season 1—this girl wants that kill bad. As we saw in the Season 7 finale, Jaime is on his way North to assist the living in the fight against the dead. But what will the Starks do with him once the truth about Bran’s fall in the series premiere inevitably comes to light?
The reveal could lead Arya to kill Jaime, take his face and head down to King’s Landing to finish off Cersei. Given the misdirection of George R.R. Martin’s prophecies, one could argue that this still fulfills the valonqar theory as well.
Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen produce an heir.
We know that the truth of Jon and Dany’s relationship—she’s his aunt—will cause considerable drama between the two. But the fact remains that a marriage pact between the two is the best way to ensure political stability throughout Westeros should they win the Iron Throne.
Season 7 included far too many references to Mirri Maz Duur’s prophecy that Dany could no longer have children for the showrunners not to be foreshadowing something. Tumblr user girlwiththerubyslippers had a particularly interesting take on this:
The third head of the dragon will be Jon and Daenerys’ baby. That’s how her womb will quicken. I’m just saying.
Only death pays for life (or something like that). Viserion’s death will pay for her new child’s life…
The “three heads of the dragon” prophecy was included in Dany’s visions at the House of the Undying in the books, though the show presents a truncated version of these events. Any offspring produced by Jon and Dany would literally be the song of ice and fire.
Ever since the show’s first season, creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have been sprinkling the breadcrumbs for this sibling rivalry.
Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane is the evil older brother to Sandor “The Hound” Clegane and the one who mutilated his face. He’s committed all sorts of heinous crimes throughout the show’s run. Sandor has not been shy about his utter disdain for Big Bro, especially as he has shed the internal torment that led him to commit some awful acts of his own.
The two are expected to lock swords (again) at some point in the final six episodes as both a prime example of epic fan service and a representation of Sandor’s moral journey. As of the Season 7 finale, the zombified Mountain remains in King’s Landing as Cersei’s pet, while the Hound has gone North to Winterfell.
“There will be a chance of squaring up to his brother and facing those demons,” Rory McCann, who plays Sandor, told Entertainment Weekly last month.
The Night King is gunning for Bran.
While speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Night King actor Vladimir Furdik said his character “has a target he wants to kill” in the final season. Naturally, the first assumption is that it’s Jon Snow given the previous conflict between the two. But old Icy Face has had several opportunities to kill the man who knows nothing and has not yet done so.
What if the Night King isn’t after Jon at all? Redditor DaughtersOfTheHarpy has a convincing theory.
There’s some show dialogue that tells us that Bran is very important as well. Like Jojen Reed! He tells Bran, “only one thing that matters, you!” So he’s saying that Bran is the only thing that matters. There’s also Benjen. He tells Bran “one way or another, he will find his way to the world of men. And when he does, you will be there waiting for him.” Also, Remember when the NK touched Bran and then the three eyed raven tells Bran, “he touched you! He knows your here! He’ll come for you!” The NK is coming for Bran? I mean that’s telling us everything we need to know right there. So he’s after Bran!
The simple reason is that it’s because Bran is the three eyed raven. But there is more to this! If you’ve watched the interview with Issac Hempstead-wright (Bran) he tells us that the NK and the three eyed raven are ANCIENT ENEMIES! He also said that the wights underground in front of the three eyed ravens cave, were deliberately put there, to prevent anybody coming to the cave to become a new three eyed raven. So the wights that killed Jojen, were put there to stop anybody else from becoming the next three eyed raven. So the NK does not want anybody else to be the three eyed raven. He doesn’t want ANY three eyed ravens at all! So the NK and three eyed raven are ancient enemies.
What they said!
The “Hmm, I’m Listening” Theories
Bran turned the Mad King crazy.
We’ve seen multiple instances in which Bran has successfully interacted with the past during one of his Three-Eyed Raven visions. The thinking goes that Bran might try to use this to converse with Daenerys’ father, the Mad King Aerys Targaryen, in the past in an attempt to avert all of the show’s crises entirely.
However, it was said that Aerys Targaryen grew more unstable when he began hearing voices in his head, so could the voice that drove him mad have been Bran Stark’s? Would Game of Thrones invest so much of its conclusion into the tricky head space of a causality loop resulting from a temporal paradox? To borrow from another HBO series, time is a flat circle.
Jaime kills the Night King.
In terms of thematic bookends, it doesn’t get much better than the Kingslayer redefining his own moniker in the most unexpected fashion. For years, fans have assumed that either Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen or Bran Stark would be the one to officially end the Night King’s icy reign of terror. But what if the real answer has been paraded in front of our faces this entire time?
Per Redditor UnOhBeeees: “I think [George R. R. Martin] is being cheeky by calling Jaime ‘Kingslayer’ and have it taken as a pejorative term. All along, GRRM is telling us that Jaime will slay the king. Jaime will successfully redefine that perception of ‘Kingslayer’ as the noblest term as he will be savior of the realm. That’s that story that will be written in the book that details the exploits of the Kingsguard.”
Jaime is equipped with a Valyrian sword, which can kill White Walkers, and enough emotional baggage to deliver a narrative exclamation point. The act could be one of self-sacrifice in which he trades his own life to save the realm, thus writing his own redemptive legacy in the process. Jaime did, after all, contemplate his place in history while reviewing the Kingsguard’s Book of Brothers several seasons ago.
Now’s your chance, Golden Boy.
Jon Snow replaces the Night King.
Here’s an interesting one: What if the Night King is something of a necessary evil in the world of Game of Thrones? Redditor AnghkoR_ hypothesizes there’s something more to the White Walker magic than we’ve seen:
“The only way to ‘defeat’ him is that (and this was just one possible way this might happen) someone has to ‘pull out’ the dragonglass in his chest which was used to create him in the first place. By doing this the Night King would ‘die,’ but unlike what happens when someone kills a ‘normal’ white walker, none of the creatures the Night king ‘created’ or turned would die. Instead they would lose the mind controlling effect the Night King has on them and they would start doing whatever the fuck they want, i.e. rampaging around the country.
“To prevent this scenario from happening someone has to take the place of the Night King by stabbing himself with the previously extracted dragonglass-dagger.”
Jon is exactly the type of duty-bound big-picture hero who would sacrifice himself like this to save the world. However, the theory continues that becoming a Night King would erode his morality just as it did with the previous iteration. “When that happens, he’ll ride down again and find a new replacement, just like the Night King may be doing now. It’s a never-ending cycle.”
Much like our wild speculation. More soon!