We’re just days away from the beginning of the end: the final six episodes of Game of Thrones. While the journey may indeed be more important than the destination, I just can’t help myself from speculating how the acclaimed fantasy drama, the biggest show of the decade, will come to an end. Who will be left standing after the Great War? What are the ultimate fates of these beloved characters? And who will be the victor of the titular game and find themselves on the throne as the series comes to an end? Whatever the answers are I’m sure there will be many people that don’t like them. That’s just the way these things work. People haven’t just been speculating since the beginning of the show but since the first novel was published in 1996. Can the end of the series possibly live up to the huge expectations we are placing on it? As the good folks at ForceCenter say about Star Wars, “speculate responsibly”. So, keeping that in mind, here are some of my hopes and predictions for how Game of Thrones comes to an end.
Let’s start with Jaime because he’s had a great arc over the course of the series. In the first season he arrived in Winterfell as his worst self and now in the final season I think he’ll return to Winterfell as his best self. I eagerly anticipate him reuniting with Bran for the first time since he pushed him from the tower in the very first episode. As for his eventual fate, I think he’s dead meat. I’d love to see him go out fighting and protecting the Stark children – hopefully Bran – from the Army of the Dead, sacrificing himself for them as the ultimate act of repentance for his past deeds. Maybe he and Brienne go down together. I look forward to more scenes between the two of them.
With Jaime dead I predict that Arya will wear his face in order to get close to Cersei and kill her, crossing her name off the list. Cersei would realise it wasn’t actually Jaime at the last minute when she sees that he’s using two hands to strangle her with. This plays into the prophecy Cersei received in the Season 5 premiere from Maggy the Frog that stated her “Valonqar” will choke her to death. Valonqar means “little brother” in High Valyrian and Jaime is slightly younger than his twin Cersei, but of course it could also refer to Tyrion. I also think it possible that Cersei will die in childbirth just like her mother and, also just like her mother, her baby will be born a dwarf like Tyrion.
Before Arya heads off to cut the Queen’s head off, I want all her reunions with characters she hasn’t seen in a long time to be meaningful. Arya and Jon, Arya and Gendry, Arya and The Hound. These scenes need time to breathe and I hope the time pressure of having only 6 episodes doesn’t mean these scenes are rushed and they just end up just having one big group hug or anything silly like that. Speaking of The Hound: CleganeBowl! The brief face-off between The Hound and his brother Gregor Clegane/Ser Robert Strong/Zombie Mountain in the seventh season finale almost confirms a final confrontation between the two is on the way. With a dollop of poetic justice, I think The Hound will kill his brother, and likely himself too, by throwing him into a pit of fire, saving someone and fulfilling the purpose bestowed onto him by ‘The Lord of Light’.
Everyone loves the dragons and they are an iconic part of the show but I hope the Direwolves get some love in these final episodes. Maybe Nymeria and her pack come to help defeat the Night King and his army (I don’t actually think that will happen), but we need scenes with Ghost! Apparently, he was waiting at Winterfell for Jon to return last season even though we didn’t see him once. I know the CGI is expensive but I’ll be happy with just one scene. If it’s too expensive to put him into a battle then I’m fine to just have a quiet scene with Daenerys greeting the wolf when she gets to Winterfell just like Jon did with her dragons.
I think Theon’s arc of redemption will end with him rescuing his sister from Euron, returning the favour for when she tried to rescue him from Ramsey. I’m guessing he’ll die in the process, likely taking Euron with him and serving a significant blow to Cersei’s forces that leads to her demise. It’s a fairly basic and generic arc for this show but with everything Theon has gone through it feels like the right call to end his story this way. As for Yara? I’m not sure but I hope she survives, maybe becoming Queen of the Iron Islands and supporting the person I believe will ultimately end up on the Iron Throne. Not everyone can die and I think most people will be surprised just how many characters make it out of the show alive. Reports of characters deaths throughout Game of Thrones have been greatly exaggerated.
Bran will do something. That’s my most bold prediction for the show’s final season. He spent the last season sitting by a tree and occasionally spouting cryptic dialogue before giving us a nice bit of time travel exposition in the finale. I don’t know what to think of the Three-Eyed Raven storyline or how the powers will ultimately play into the events of the Great War but he’s got to do something, right? The old Three-Eyed raven told him that while he’ll never walk again, he will fly. So, he’ll warg into a dragon at some point? I like the theory of him being an influencer throughout time, whispering in the Mad King’s ear and possibly being Bran the Builder who, as the name suggests, built the Wall. Being the Night King takes it a bit too far in my opinion and I can’t make sense of that weird theory at all. Whatever it is, I just want him to do something. Who knows, maybe Podrick will do something too. That’d be nice.
For years I’ve been predicting that Daenerys would ultimately abandon her quest to become the Queen of Westeros and instead opt for the simple life. She would realise that conquering Westeros was never her dream but that of her brother. In the novels, Daenerys dreams of the ‘house with the red door’ in Braavos where she lived as a child after fleeing Dragonstone as a baby. I did really want to see her return to that location, leaving the bloodshed of her campaign behind, but now I think it’s too late for that kind of character twist. If it were set up in previous seasons like I had hoped then I would like it, but now it would come out of nowhere and betray what we know of the character. But who knows? Maybe a relationship with Jon and her likely pregnancy will make her have a change of heart. Even if that’s not her ultimate path, I wish she had discussed her childhood more in the show. I don’t believe she has ever mentioned the home in Braavos she longs to return to in the series but it’s a memorable location in the books.
And now for the big one: who ends up on the Iron Throne? Well, Sansa of course. I think it would be the ultimate end of her fantastic character arc throughout the eight seasons. She began the show longing to be the queen but in a very different way than I believe she will end it. She wanted to be Joffrey’s wife, enamoured with the lifestyle, riches and her childlike understanding of power. But she’s come a long way. She became a prisoner and plaything of Joffrey, married away to Tyrion for political machinations and framed for Joffrey’s murder, all the while growing up and learning the inner workings of the politics of King’s Landing. Next, she became Littlefinger’s pawn, married off to Ramsey Bolton before escaping and planning the recapture of her childhood home and the death of her despicable husband. In King’s Landing she learnt the surface politics and with Littlefinger she learnt of the scheming that happens beneath. Ultimately these lessons allow her to rule Winterfell and The North in Jon’s stead and play Littlefinger at his own game, taking him off the board. Over her incredible journey Sansa has learnt everything she needs to rule Westeros and sit upon the Iron Throne. Well, that’s if there is a throne left to end up on.
So, there are some of my hopes and predictions for the final episodes of Game of Thrones. Do you agree with me or have I completely missed the mark? Who will live and who will die? Who will end up on the Iron Throne? Let me know in the comments and geek out with me about TV, movies and video-games on Twitter @kylebrrtt. And remember: speculate responsibly.