Game of Thrones has come to an end until (at least) 2018. While the wait for those final six episodes of the series will be excruciating, there are some compelling rumors, painstaking theories, potential leaks, and exceptionally convincing lies concerning season eight bubbling up from the deep corners of the internet. If you’re the kind of person who simply can’t handle 12 to 18 months of agonizing suspense, then read on. Assembled below are the most plausible outcomes for some of the show’s most gripping plotlines, but be warned: this post is dark and full of spoilers. Probably.
Consider yourself warned!
(Yes, technically it’s all speculation, but still… Seems legit.)
Well, you’ve come this far, so…
Jon and Dany will have a baby…
Why else would recent episodes dwell so much on Dany’s hitherto hardly mentioned infertility unless the ultimate intention is to surprise viewers with a sudden, miraculous pregnancy? And if the major arc of the series has been to place Dany on the Iron Throne, then why would the showrunners softly shift focus to who else might succeed her?
…but only death can pay for life.
If Dany becomes pregnant, then it would be tragically poetic if she were to die delivering her child with Jon, just as her mother and Jon’s mother died delivering them. In fact, it’s possible the apparent curse uttered by the witch Mirri Maz Duur in season one and referenced by Dany in the season seven finale as the cause of her barrenness could instead be a prophecy of Dany’s death in childbirth. When Dany asked Mirri when the vegetative Drogo would be as he was, the witch said:
“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.”
Setting aside the sun and the seas and the mountains bit (more on those later), in Dany’s subsequent vision of Drogo and their son Rhaego in the House of the Undying back in season two, Drogo told her that he refused to enter the Night Lands without her. So, it could very well be that Drogo WILL return to her as he was, strong and whole like he was in her vision, when Dany delivers her child with Jon and then is promptly escorted to the Dothraki afterlife (pending, of course, Jason Momoa’s availability to take a couple days off from filming Aquaman).
Neither Jon nor Dany will be *The* Prince (or Princess) That Was Promised.
Instead, their little prince (or princess) will be, or will join them as the third head of their prophecy-fulfilling triumvirate (i.e., “The dragon has three heads”). First, to be clear, the prophecy could apply to either Dany or Jon, but given the cyclical nature of events, even though they each fulfill the criteria, the prophecy likely does not refer to them, to either or both, alone. Let’s look at the text:
“In ancient books of Asshai it is written that there will come a day after a long summer when the stars bleed [variant: when the red star bleeds] and the cold breath of darkness falls heavy on the world. In this dread hour a warrior shall draw from the fire a burning sword. And that sword shall be Lightbringer, the Red Sword of Heroes, and he who clasps it shall be Azor Ahai come again, and the darkness shall flee before him.”
Other elements of the prophecy require Azor Ahai 2.0 (or Generation 3, depending) to be born “amidst smoke and salt” to “make the world anew,” and state that “death itself will bend its knee” and that “all those who die fighting in [Azor Ahai’s] cause shall be reborn[.]”
This may be difficult to conceptualize without wikiing consubstantiality, but the prophecy likely refers both to a single individual and individuals (reminder, “The dragon has three heads”), while also reiterating the cyclical nature of history in George R. R. Martin’s world.
What does this all mean? At the moment song-of-ice-and-fire-himself Jon is dispatching the icy Night King in a cataclysmic battle, fiery Dany will die in childbirth, and Azor Ahai will be reborn in the form of their son or daughter amidst smoke and salt at Dragonstone (just like Dany). Returning to the other parts of the prophecy concerning Dany’s quite operational baby-oven — the sun, seas, and mountains bit — it’s possible the volcanic mountains of Dragonstone will erupt, “blow[ing] in the wind like leaves,” and rain down ash on half of Westeros, Pompeii-style, and on the dry, frozen seas that will follow the Night King wherever he goes. And, because events like these repeat themselves, it’s probable that the previously seen Red Comet (seen back when Dany’s dragons hatched), or some other celestial phenomenon will rise in the east and set in the west.
TLDR: Expect some crazy things to happen at Dragonstone while Jon Snow is off killing the Night King, and maybe don’t get too attached to the idea of Dany or Jon being *the* Azor Ahai and living to rule the Seven Kingdoms. But boatcest baby will become a good ruler someday!
Arya and The Hound will team up for another adventure.
The Hound told Brienne he did not intend to cross Arya, thus it’s safe to conclude their paths will cross again. Both have unfinished business in King’s Landing, which The Hound made explicitly clear to the walking purple carcass of The Mountain, and no one has more ambition to kill Cersei than Arya. Fortunately for everyone’s favorite deadly duo, their targets tend to stand within a few feet of each other.
Though Jaime left Cersei to join the fight in the North, things aren’t so bad between them that he would ever kill her. At her command, he tried to kill Bran in the very first episode of the series; Jaime already knows every horrible thing Cersei’s capable of and loves her still, even if he had to leave her out of disgust at her villainy. But a prophecy touched upon in the season five premiere does seem to point to either Jaime or Tyrion as the last face Cersei will ever see:
“…when your tears have drowned you, the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you.”
Valonqar has been translated as “little brother,” but given the gender neutrality of other High Valyrian words linked to critical prophecies (e.g., “the prince or princess that was promised”), then perhaps a more accurate translation of valonqar could be “the little brother or the little sister.” Unless Tyene Sand somehow survived her poisoned kiss, then there’s probably no other little sister in all of Westeros with sufficient baby-Kill-Bill skills to finish off Cersei than Arya. Plus, if Arya does kill Cersei, then Jaime’s could still very well be the last face Cersei sees.
In short? Cersei is going to regret ever coming for Arya’s dog wolf. And Cleganebowl is FINALLY happening.
Euron Greyjoy will claim the Iron Throne.
Euron was a late addition to the series, only making his first appearance in season six. Plenty of characters from the books have been excised from the show in the name of expediency, so why Euron? Why was he the last major character to be introduced? Because Euron has some as yet unrevealed last act importance. He will marry Cersei and afterward thank the Drowned God when Arya saves him the trouble of killing the only obstacle between him and the Iron Throne. It’s what he’s wanted all along, even back when he was first conspiring to, ahem, give Dany his Iron Fleet.
Jon will defeat the Night King, but die trying to reclaim the Iron Throne for House Targaryen.
This may be the most thinly supported possible outcome for season eight, but it does not seem plausible that Jon will live very long in a world without Dany. If she dies, then Jon will take up her fight for the Iron Throne, for the future of their son or daughter, and it will cost him his life. (His afterlife? His alive-againness?) Jon never wanted to be King, and the bittersweet ending George R. R. Martin promised most likely means that the joy of Jon’s monumental victory over the Night King will be short-lived. Death has already bent its knee once to Jon, and it will be up to his child (and maybe a certain Hand of the Queen, acting as regent) to make the world anew once Jon takes out Euron in a final blaze of glory.
Bran is not the Night King, but he could become the next Night King.
Lastly, to put a dragonglass stake in the heart of one particularly complex theory, Bran is not the Night King. However, Bran would make an excellent replacement for the reigning Night King after Jon cuts ol’ frosty down with Longclaw en flambé. After all, the Night King did mysteriously mark Bran in season six: perhaps he marked him as his heir, and Bran already has the unnerving blank stare down pat. If Bran lives (despite very poor odds now that Meera is not around to save his ungrateful [tail feathers]), then he would otherwise have to spend the rest of his days creeping out Sansa and everyone else at Winterfell, so… Perhaps it’s not the worst possible outcome.
Valar morghulis, and all great shows must end as well. So what do you do with your life until then?
James Franco and The Wire’s David Simon have a new show about the rise of the porn industry in 1970s Times Square, so that should help pass the time until the predictions above can be definitively answered.
The Deuce premieres September 10 at 9pm ET on HBO. The final season of Game of Thrones will return to HBO in late 2018 or early 2019.