The end is near for the Game of Thrones, and HBO’s juggernaut fantasy series has six extended-length episodes left to wrap up the myriad storylines that have enthralled fans for seven seasons. Who will live? Who will die? Who gets the happy ending? And who will sit on the Iron Throne when the smoke finally clears? These questions have plagued viewers for almost two years, and now, finally, we will get some answers.
In the spirit of the occasion of the final season of Game of Thrones, here are our predictions as to what will happen at the end. Keep in mind that we have no inside information and none of this is spoiler material, as no one outside of the show knows who will win the actual “Game of Thrones.” Like most people, we’ve read the books, and we’ve watched and re-watched the episodes, so our guesses are as honest as they can be. We might be right, we’re probably wrong, but no matter what, it’s been a fun eight-year run for fans of George R.R. Martin’s The Song of Ice and Fire, of which Game of Thrones is based, and we will be sad to see it all come to an end.
Here we go.
Daenerys Targaryen Does Not Win
This is a shocking prediction, we know, but the seeds of the prediction have been planted almost from the very beginning of Game of Thrones. Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) has always been positioned as the true heir of the Iron Throne due to her blood line as the last Targaryen. Unfortunately, as the series went on, we learned that her claim is not true, as she is not the last and her nephew, Jon Snow (Kit Harington), has the stronger claim. But this is but one small part of why she won’t win.
In Season 2, Dany had a vision where she approached the throne in a King’s Landing that was destroyed and covered in deep snow — as winter had come and a major battle had been fought, two things promised to happen in this final season. Before Dream Dany could take her seat on the throne, she hears cries and follows them out of King’s Landing and to a small tent in the snowy tundra where the long dead Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) was hanging out with their also-dead baby, now both alive.
They speak briefly of their love for one another and of being together in the fields of grass, the Dothraki version of heaven. It could be that she will not survive the final battle, perhaps even sacrificing herself for her dragons, and then end up with her beloved. One bold prediction would be that her death would come from the fiery breath of Viserion, the now-zombie dragon, ridden by the Night King.
Her love of her dragons is the strongest love in the series, and it would be fitting, freeing her up to be with Khal Drogo again. And if you think her incestuous attraction to Jon Snow would muddy these waters, once she learns they are related, that relationship could fizzle, putting her heart firmly back on the side of Khal Drago. Her ending could be touching and emotional, and a great end for her series-long story arc.
Tyrion Lannister Does Not Win
Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) is by far, the Game of Thrones fan favorite, but his character is not one to seek ultimate power. He’s the anti-Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen). Tyrion has always been about being the smartest, and his power comes from how he manipulates others. Oddly enough, Tyrion has evolved to as much of a good guy as you can get in Westeros, so being able to move the pieces on the board is not for any nefarious reasons. He wants peace and to be loved, and everything he’s done has been about that end.
Tyrion’s entire life has been about being the monster. He was blamed for the death of his mother, and his sister and father hated him for it. Though born to a high ranking family, his life as a dwarf was nothing but roadblocks, and he made the best of it. Now, after seven seasons, he’s been pushed to commit patricide, has butted heads with sister Cersei (Lena Headey), had his heart broken, has been facially disfigured, has escaped death, and has finally found a place at the side of Daenerys and her horde — and her dragons. His relationship with his brother, Jamie (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), which was once strong, has now been weakened and Tyrion is more alone than ever.
His only drive now is to prevent the Night King and his army from taking over the realm, and if they succeed, Tyrion can finally and truly be a hero of the realm. The little monster that could. Tyrion will not take the throne, as he has no claim, but his ending — or where he will be at the end — will be satisfying. I predict in the end, he will be the hand of the king, without his father’s meddling and influence, and Tyrion will lead the charge to rebuild Westeros and come out of the long winter into a glorious, peaceful spring.
Cersei Lannister Does Not Win
I think we can all be grateful for this. Cersei (Headey) has been the villain pretty much from the beginning of Game of Thrones. Hers is a life of lies and deception, incest, and her craving of power. As a Lannister, she had the gold to do what she wanted, and all who stood in her way be damned, including her twin brother Jaime (Coster-Waldau), with whom she has had a physical love affair with for years, if not decades. Jaime fathered her children, who are all now dead, and Cersei even defeated god, as she destroyed an entire religion in her climb to power.
But Cersei has always known that she was fated for death. In the books, a forest witch answered three of young Cersei’s questions, and told a her that she would die by the hands of her younger brother. Cersei always assumed that it would be Tyrion. A similar scene was filmed for the show, but Cersei only got two questions answered, the third should have been the one about her death. Perhaps the scene will be revisited in this final season and viewers will see the witch tell her that she was always fated to die by her younger brother’s hand. But which one?
Unfortunately, being a twin, she was born first, making Jaime her younger brother as well. Will Jaime be the one to finally end Cersei’s mad reign? He does have a thing for killing Westeros rulers as the King Slayer. Could Arya Stark, using Jaime’s face, strike the final blow, fulfilling the prophecy and Arya’s now-iconic death list? This one is hard to predict, but we know that she will die, and we have a bottle of wine chilled for that eventful moment.
Personally, I hope that she is stabbed by Jaime for lying about the baby she is not carrying (or is carrying, but is not Jaime’s), and then Tyrion cuts off her face, then she becomes a White Walker, gets physically decimated by Jon Snow and his army, and then she is scorched by a dragon ridden by Dany into a pile of ash, then her ashes are mixed with horse manure and then used as fertilizer for a farm in Winterfell, where her earthly remains will help feed Sansa and Arya and the Starks for generations to come. Speaking of…
Sansa Stark Does Not Win
Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) has had another compelling journey throughout the Game of Thrones. When we first met her, she was a dreamy-eyed girl who wanted nothing more than the romantic fairy tale she had read about all her life. But reality got in her way, and after three torturous marriages, one to asshole Joffrey Baratheon, and then to Tyrion, as a smear to the dwarf Lannister, and finally to the bastard (in every sense) Ramsay Bolton, Sansa has been the perpetual victim. She’s been abused mentally, physically, sexually, and emotionally, but Sansa has withstood it all with the strength of iron.
She’s been manipulated by friends and those she trusted, like Littlefinger, Petyr Baelish (Aidan Gillen), and has been passed around the kingdom, used as chattel and a bargaining piece. And each of these instances has helped temper her, heating up that iron strength. And like hot iron, which matches the color of her hair, Sansa has taken each insufferable moment and used it to sharpen her edges into a blade with which to strike.
By Season 7, Sansa was a true leader, and had retaken Winterfell, her family’s ancestral home and lands, and now rules it herself like a Stark should. Jon Snow might be the King of the North, but Sansa is THE Stark at Winterfell, and with her guidance and leadership, the North is in good hands. She will not sit on the Iron Throne, but she will take her seat at Winterfell, and no man or woman, living or dead, will ever take that away from her.
Her character arc has been, at times, hard to watch, but seeing what she has become has been a joy, and her manipulation and execution of Littlefinger in Season 7 will always be one of the high points of the series for me.
Arya Stark Does Not Win
And she’s fine with it. Arya (Maisie Williams) has always been a bit odd. She was a tomboy who eschewed the conventional schoolings of a young girl of her standing, preferring to sword fight and play rough with her brothers. Her father, Ned Stark (Sean Bean) recognized this and helped her develop her sword skills in secret.
When all hell broke loose for the Starks at King’s Landing, and Ned lost his head in Season 1, Arya was there to witness it and it broke her in ways many will never understand. This started her journey to become a weapon herself, but unlike Sansa, Arya learned the art of subterfuge and stealth from Jaqen H’ghar, and she learned to kill as a Faceless Man at the Black and White House in Braavos.
Since then, she and her “list” have been making the rounds of Westeros as she exacts revenge on those who hurt her family, and as the list dwindles, one key name remains and it is that of Cersei Lannister. As war is coming to King’s Landing, and with Winterfell and the North now secure, Arya has her chance to cross one last name off that list, and that final move could be her most gratifying — even though her revenge on Walder Frey was delicious to watch.
Arya Stark has become a compelling character in Game of Thrones, and she has a fan following for a reason. I hope that she is the one to take Cersei’s life, and I hope she says “For Eddard” as she does it. Where she ends up after is anyone’s guess. She doesn’t seem to be one to stay anywhere for long, but her skills make her dangerous, and at the side of Sansa at Winterfell, or maybe as the new head of the King’s Guard, either way, her journey will have been completed and this is as a happy ending as we can see in Game of Thrones.
Bran Stark Does Not Win
Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) has the most unique story in Game of Thrones. The A Song of Ice and Fire book series opens with a Bran chapter, and the pilot episode of the iconic series ends with Bran’s “fall” at the hands of Jaime Lannister, as the young Stark caught the siblings having sex. But Bran’s story had more to offer. It was the investigation into his fall that led Catelynn Stark (Michelle Fairley) to kidnap Tyrion, setting off the series of events that led to war. Bran is integral, but he is not one to sit on the Iron Throne at the end.
In the course of Bran’s story, he met the Three-Eyed Raven, and eventually replaced him. Bran Stark is now a mythical figure with incredible powers; more powers than any of his siblings — even Jon Snow. Bran, as the new Three-Eyed Crow, has a connection to the Night King, and that connection will play out in this last season of Game of Thrones.
I predict that Bran is not a version of this Night King, but, as Three-Eyed Raven, will replace him once the current king falls. Bran may have to die for this to happen, as the Night King is decidedly undead. And then, in some future winter, when the cycle repeats, as life tends to do, Bran will be the new Night King trying to take over Westeros. I just don’t see George R.R. Martin or D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, the show’s creators, trying to pull some off Back to the Future/Doctor Who thing with Bran.
Is he important, yes, very. Is he essentially the main bad guy of the show? No. Will he be in a few generations? I say yes. Bran’s story might just be getting started as this series wraps, and maybe we’ll see him again in future tales of Westeros, written or on HBO.
Jaime Lannister Does Not Win
Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is a very compelling character in Game of Thrones. He is known as the King Slayer, after having killed mad King Aerys Targaryen, allowing Robert Baratheon to take the throne during his rebellion. He’s also Cersei’s twin brother and her secret lover — and the father of her three children. Jaime’s story has seen his reign as the best swordsman in the kingdom end after losing his sword hand, and then try his other hand at diplomacy, doing what he can to protect his family and his beloved sister.
Jaime has factored into some of the most important conflicts in Game of Thrones, and was last seen working alongside Bronn (Jerome Flynn), the sellsword once employed by Tyrion. Bronn’s dream is to get lands and a castle, therefore a lordship, and Jaime has dangled that carrot perfectly. Jaime has also learned a sense of humility, mostly from Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie), when they struck up a unique partnership early in the show’s run.
Jaime returned to King’s Landing for the funeral of his third and final child, and this set him off. Now firmly on his sister’s side in the upcoming battle, he fears Daenerys and her dragons, and he fears the Night King and his army, and Jaime has never had to deal with so much fear. This character evolution leaves him vulnerable, and with Cersei proclaiming that she is with child — his child — he strives to protect her. After their conversation at the end of last season, Jaime headed north to pledge his allegiance to the cause of Daenerys, against Cersei’s wishes, of course, fracturing their bond as both family and lovers. Yet, Cersei still holds the power over him with the unborn child she possibly carries.
If he learns that she is lying, or worse, the child is not his, it could very well be the final broken straw that sends him into a fit of rage that will kill Cersei, fulfilling her destiny, or at worst, taking it out on all comers, both undead and ally, leaving him open to die in heroic battle. Even with the character turn at the end of Season 7, I firmly believe Jaime Lannister does not make it out of this series alive, and his story has been a true wonder to watch for eight years.
Of all the major players, that leaves one remaining. The one who will win the Game of Thrones, the one who will assume the title of king, and who will take his rightful place on the Iron Throne.
Jon Snow Will Win The Game Of Thrones
Jon Snow (Kit Harington) is the most important character of this story, and has been since the first book. Bran may have had the first chapter, in name, but Jon was there, as Ned delivered the King’s Justice on a deserter of the wall, and as the Stark kids all got Dire Wolf pups for their own. Jon has been there from the beginning, and he will be there in the end.
Jon grew up a bastard, thinking he was the son of Ned Stark and “some woman,” and he was shunned by Catelynn Stark for it. He was a second class citizen in his own house, and pledged to join the Night’s Watch early in his life to join his uncle Benjen Stark in the black.
But as the story’s plot began to churn and the Starks and Lannisters went to war, Jon Snow rose to prominence on the Wall, eventually taking the title of commander. He led raids outside the wall, and fell in love with the wildling Ygrette (Rose Leslie), breaking a sacred Night’s Watch rule. Jon and his sword of Valerian Steel, Long Claw, and his now-grown dire wolf, Ghost, grew up to be a man and a leader, and as the threat of the Night King grew, it was Jon who accepted the enemy wildlings into Westeros, something that his fellow watchmen hated. They killed Jon Snow, “for the watch,” and the Red Priestess Melisandre (Carice van Houten) resurrected him. Not even death could stop Jon Snow.
Viewers later learned that Jon was not the bastard product of Ned and some wench, but was born to Ned’s sister, Lyanna, and Rhaegor Targaryen, the Mad King Aerys’ son. Ned agreed to help hide the child, as Robert Baratheon loved Lyanna, and would have murdered baby “Jon” on site if he had learned of his progeny. This makes Jon Snow, in reality, Aegon Targaryen, and rightful heir to the Iron Throne.
Complicating matters is that Jon and Daenerys are now sleeping together, though they are related, and he is fighting for her claim on a throne that is rightfully his. Season 8 of Game of Thrones promises some major, major fireworks as this revelation comes to light, and the secret could change everything. There is obviously much more to Jon Snow and his friends, including Samwell Tarly (John Bradley), his best friend.
There are over 60 hours of show and thousands of pages of books to get into the nitty gritty of who Jon Snow is and what makes him tick, and this is but a sample of his actions that have led him to this point in the story. George R.R. Martin’s epic tale is called A Song of Ice and Fire, and Jon Snow is that tune. He was born from both ice — Lyanna Stark — and fire — Rheagor Targaryen, and this story has been his from day one. When the Night King falls and Cersei’s body is dust, it will be Aegon “Jon Snow” Targaryen sitting on the Iron Throne, and he will use the same skill and judgement that he did on the Wall to ensure that Westeros lives on for countless winters to come.
There you have it; our predictions on what will happen to the eight major characters of the Game of Thrones. Sorry, I give the Night King ZERO chance to win. There are other predictions, of course. Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju) and Brienne of Tarth will end up together, Samwell Tarly and Gilly (Hannah Murray) will also settle down, as Samwell will do something heroic in the final battle and will be known as a Hero of the Realm and he will have earned the seat at his father’s table, which he will shun to be Jon’s Maester at King’s Landing.
And lastly, Bronn will get his castle, most likely Walder Frey’s old seat, Riverrun, and he will finally be the lord he has always dreamed of. And we haven’t even touched on the Greyjoys, Davos, Jorah, and the thousands of other characters crammed into this story. I could be right, I could be wrong, or everyone I just mentioned will die. I mean, this is Game of Thrones, and no one — and I mean NO ONE — is safe.
Game of Thrones Season 8 begins on April 14, on HBO and will run for six extended-length episodes. All images courtesy of HBO.