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What Will Happen in the Final Season of Game of Thrones? Fan Theories Abound In the Run Up to Sunday's Premiere 

click to enlarge COURTESY OF HBO
  • Courtesy of HBO
With the impending last season of HBO’s world phenomenon series Game of Thrones, fans across the globe have theories of how this mega-hit television show will end. Ever since HBO released the 2019 premiere date for season 8 of GOT, some of the show’s most devout fans have debated about a slew of possible outcomes: which main character will be anointed to the iron throne, who will meet their untimely demise and more.

Jon Snow will be the next king of Westeros.
Introduced to audiences as an illegitimate son of House Stark, Jon Snow has proven himself to be a true survivor, overcoming the harrowing loss of his family and loved ones while fighting his way through dangerous battles as a member of the Night’s Watch. After the season six Battle of the Bastards pitted him against Ramsay Bolton, Jon has risen beyond his stature as the so-called bastard of Winterfell by becoming King of the North, making him a likely candidate to possibly marry one of the warring queens: Cersei Lannister or Daenerys Targaryen. In season seven, Jon unsurprisingly sided with Daenerys in a bid to bring peace to the turbulent country, and began a forbidden romance with the Targaryen who is trying to reclaim her birthright to the Iron Throne. With Jon’s true parentage now revealed (much to the glee of longtime fans who have been furiously typing “R+L=J” on Reddit for years), GOT viewers assume that the couple’s relationship will become strained once its incestuous nature becomes clear to the two characters. Whether or not the couple is destined to rule Westeros together, Jon Snow could certainly be crowned king by one metric: if he is the last man standing.

Bran is the Night King.
The youngest male heir of House Stark, Bran possesses the power of greensight, a type of clairvoyance, as well as the ability to warg, which allows him to project his consciousness into the body of another being (most notably into his companion Hodor). His use of these powers under the tutelage of the Three-Eyed Raven made him one of the main targets for the leader of the undead White Walkers, the Night King. In the newest season of GOT, fans became convinced that the Night King has a particular vendetta against Bran not because of Bran’s powers, but because the two individuals are one and the same person. Due to the Night King and Bran’s similar facial features, Reddit fan u/turmOil26 surmises that these two characters are the same magical entity, one fighting for good and the other for the demise of Westeros as a whole. Actor Isaac Hempstead Wright, who plays Bran, commented to Esquire that he personally liked the theory of Bran being related to the Night King somehow, but also remarked that the theory was a bit far-fetched.

Jamie will kill his sister/lover Cersei.
These incestuous twins have killed for one another before, but as Cersei’s tenacious quest for power has begun to endanger all of Westeros, her once devout brother Jamie might be the only one to stop his sister’s madness. After Jaime left King’s Landing to help stop the White Walkers with Jon and the rest of the GOT Gang, fans have assumed that he is now on a path that will lead him to take his beloved twin’s life for the betterment of the realm. Although Cersei’s inevitable demise isn’t surprising due to the countless amount of enemies she has made throughout the show’s run, fan favorite character Arya Stark also has Cersei on her hit list, which she made significant progress on in season seven (any of y’all remember Walder Frey?). Viewers will have to wait and see whether Jaime, Arya or another wild card gets to Cersei first.

Sansa and Arya will die.
Stark sisters Sansa and Arya have fought tirelessly to avenge their family name and take back their beloved home of Winterfell, and have escaped death multiple times. In the first teaser for season 8, though Arya and Sansa are put face-to-face with their own tombs in the Crypts of Winterfell, looking into cold statues that are mirror images of their current visages, possibly foretelling their imminent deaths. Devout fans of the series also noticed that in another season eight trailer, Sansa greets Daenerys with “Winterfell is yours,” a quote that is reminiscent of what her father said to Robert Baratheon when he visited their home in the show’s first season, which may indicate that Sansa will meet a similar fate to her father.

Jon will betray Daenerys to save Westeros from the Night King.
Even before Jon’s miraculous resurrection by Melisandre, fans of the A Song of Ice and Fire novels have predicted that he is the realm’s so-called “prince that was promised,” prophesized by the Lord of Light’s priestesses. In George R.R. Martin’s Books, the previous prince that was promised, also known as Azor Ahai, sacrificed his wife in order to defeat a great evil. Even though Daenerys isn’t Jon’s wife, fans are assuming that he will be forced to sacrifice the love of his life to ensure the destruction of the Night King’s vast army.

Sam has been writing the story of Game of Thrones all along.
Ever since A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin compared himself to Samwell Tarly at San Diego Comic Con in 2014, fans have theorized that the whole story of GOT is being told through Sam’s point of view. As Sam began his training as a maester in season seven, his mentor Archmaester Ebrose comments that when writing history in a novel, each book has to have a distinguishing title. When Ebrose mentions that he doesn’t want The Chronicles of Wars Following the Death of King Robert I to go unread because of its boring title, Sam mentions that he would have named the book something more poetic. Fans are hoping that the final season will include the reveal of Sam’s historical chronicle of the show’s epic story of backstabbing, battles and heroism, with the poetic title of A Song of Ice and Fire.

Jon and Daenerys’s child will continue the Game of Thrones.
After Jon and Daenerys’s steamy boat scene, many fans (including yours truly) assume that these two characters are going to welcome a child into the world that will go on to fight for the rule of Westeros if his or her parents die tragically in the upcoming season. The combination of Daenerys’ fiery strength and Jon’s admirable moral integrity could possibly create the ideal ruler for the chaotic world of Game of Thrones, although due to House Stark and Targaryen’s long list of collected enemies, it would be a miracle if their child could reach adulthood.

All this being said, Game of Thrones is a show notorious for its unpredictability, which was cemented for fans by not only the infamous Red Wedding in season three, but also by season seven’s fiery destruction of the Great Sept of Baelor. We fans can theorize many different outcomes for what will happen to our favorite characters, but until the season premiere, we can merely eagerly await for this heroic journey to meet its inevitable, bittersweet end.

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