Warning: This post includes Game of Thrones spoilers from recent seasons.
The final season of television's most popular series is finally upon us and at the conclusion of its brief, six-episode run, we'll finally know how Game of Thrones ends — who lives, who dies and who ends up on the Iron Throne.
Naturally, it's still too early to call. The Westerosi victor could end up being any of the major or minor players in the great game (Team Gendry, anyone?). Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) has the potential to out plot and out fox the rest of them, steering clear of the undead danger long enough to squash her rivals (should they prove victorious up north). Jon Snow (Kit Harington) stands a chance, too. He is, after all, on his way back to Winterfell where Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) has that little Aegon Targaryen/heir-to-the-Iron-Throne news to deliver. Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), who has been learning how to rule and has amassed some of the sharpest minds (and one merman?) in the realm as her advisers, could swoop in to victory on the back of Drogon. Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) excelled in her studies at the universities of Cersei and Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen). Could that cold, sharp, melted sword seat be hers for the taking? Or, could a possible Targaryen-Stark/Targaryen baby inherit the kingdom after its parents die fighting for the living? Of course, at Game of Thrones' end, the throne might belong to no one, and not in a faceless man sort of way (please don't let that be how it ends).
Theory 1: Jon Snow Will Die (Again)
Many redditors predict a super-sad fatal fate awaits the second King in the North (seriously, if someone offers you that title, say no). After all, this series has focused so much on Jon Snow, that a second death would make for an incredibly dramatic, tragic end (a Thrones speciality). But, before we start reaching for the tissues, not everyone sees eye to eye on this: A few professors who spoke to Vice Canada predicted Jon Snow (really, Aegon Targaryen) will get the throne.
Theory 2: Bran Stark Will Become The Night King
Right now, Brandon Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) is the Three-Eyed Raven, who had the history of the world downloaded into his brain in a previous season. We've seen him visit the past a handful of times, of course, and redditor turm0il26 has a detailed explanation of how the (former) Stark just might take his time travel a little too far and end up a baddie. If that sounds a little too far-fetched to you, check out Game of Theories' YouTube video (which that redditor hat-tipped) as it draws a fascinating connection between Bran and the Night King (with a little help from a Samwell Tarly plotline). For those hoping for something nobler for the youngest Stark, there's a Reddit theory (from user Lifting4Gainz) that Bran actually becomes his ancestor, Bran the Builder, and helps get The Wall built to protect the living.
Theory 3: Daenerys Targaryen's Season 8 Death Was Hinted At In Season 2
Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) made a visit to the Throne Room in season 2 while she was stuck in the House of the Undying in Qarth. Before a heartwarming reunion with her moon and stars — Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa), and their baby — Dany walked through the King's Landing Throne Room, which seemed to be covered in falling snow (or was it ash?), and then it turned into the tunnel at Castle Black. She exited it — in the frozen north — and walked to Drogo's afterlife tent. Was that a hint Dany will perish? Possibly. A number of fans are speculating Dany could die in childbirth (like this user shared on the ASOIAF forum in 2016), and we know she’s headed to Winterfell, possibly already pregnant (an obvious theory based off of all the Dany pregnancy hints the show gave us at the dragon pit in season 7). Others have noted both Dany and Jon's mothers died that way (Tyrion's too) and she could meet the same fate (please, noooooooooo). Talking Thrones has a thorough video on the subject of Dany and childbirth (here) — and it includes some intriguing thoughts about Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), too.
Theory 4: Sansa Ends Up On The Iron Throne
Youtubers In Deep Geek (in 2017) and GoT Academy (in 2015) both shared videos suggesting Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) could win the throne. They’ve also pointed out similarities between redheaded Sansa and fellow ginger, England's Queen Elizabeth I, from the whole War of the Roses thing that was so influential on A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin. It's worth noting Sansa spent many, many seasons learning how to politic from the best.
Theory 5: Jaime Lannister Kills His Twin Sister, Cersei (Sort Of)
When a young and spoiled Cersei Lannister visited Maggy the Frog, she got a pretty accurate reading about her future. The show left out the Valonqar Prophecy part (from the books) out of the flashback scene, but fans have been buzzing about this one for awhile now and about how it predicts a younger brother will kill her. That leaves Jaime and Tyrion, but technically, there could be another way to keep the prophecy in tact while offering up another potential threat to Cersei.
In a thread from two years ago, redditor squezzi predicted Arya would kill Cersei, but hueylewisfan21 took that idea and gave it a twist in the comments. "The only way I see Arya killing Cersei is if she is disguised as Jaime. That would legitimize the witch's prophecy," they wrote.
And I mean… Cersei has been No.1 on Arya's list for a while.
Theory 6: Game of Thrones Is A Story Written By Samwell Tarly
The Last Harpy has a fascinating video suggesting the ending of Game of Thrones may have a lot to do with Samwell Tarly and the art of telling a story (you're going to want to watch it).
Of course, Thrones excels at defying expectations at every turn, so while these are the leading theories for how the series will end, nothing's certain until that final frame.