Game of Thrones Season 8 Predictions

So, I’m quite happy with GoT Season 7. Ignoring all the complaining people have done about travel times I think most people did, too. They’re tying up a lot of story lines and focusing on what matters. As such, knowing what we know now, I’d like to make some predictions…

Spoilers for GoT Season 1-7 ahead, potential Season 8 spoilers if I’m right?

Most of my theories are based on a few factors besides reading into things and logical conclusions. Tony-the-Tiger-they’re-G.R.R.(t) Martin has said a few things about the books. One is pretty well known: this story will not have a happy ending, but it will be bitter sweet. I’ve also read that he originally wrote the books in a manner that would make it very difficult to convert it to television. To my understanding he always wanted to make TV shows, but what he had written wasn’t adapted well or right, or wasn’t successful. For A Song of Ice and Fire he wanted the story to exist only as intended, as a book. Considering how beloved it is, possibly one of the most successful TV shows ever, clearly he didn’t succeed in that regard. However, I think there’s a chance that he had succeed in making it difficult to adapt, we just don’t know it yet, or more aptly can’t see it. It’s possible the way GRRM is going to end the books is something that no one would ever attempt to do on TV. More plausibly, I think GRRM thought that certain major scenes (Red and Purple Wedding, namely) couldn’t happen on TV, at least not where TV was when he started writing ASOIAF. TV grew up a lot since then and GoT certainly helped in that regard. The reason I bring this up is that there are certain aspects of some plot lines, or entire plot lines, that were cut because they just don’t work on TV. Some other things were modified here and there to make for more engaging TV. As such… I think we need to recognize that since the start of Season 6, GoT isn’t just past the books but also in the territory of “fuck it lets just make good television.” These theories are for the TV show, not the books. I think, in at least broad strokes, the ending of each major plot line will be the same in the show and in the books, but exactly how we get there will be different and that difference will be decided on what works in a book versus what works on TV. I do think GRRM told DnD what will happen with most of the characters, and they’re just finding a more TV appropriate way to get to that point. As such, certain aspects of things from the book will influence these theories.

So, without further ado, here are my theories.

  • Seasonal beats/how does the penultimate to finale dynamic change? There’s a distinct beat to how GoT works. Each season but also the show as a whole is following the classic 3 act structure we see in most fiction. The beginning is all about setting things up. Exposition and starting points for plot lines. The front side of “the middle” is where plot progression makes minor jumps, where you can start to see the dots forming. The back side of “the middle” is where the action happens, where the dots are being connected and we’re making even larger progression in the plot. The penultimate episode (or season) is where the proverbial shit hits the fan. Major plot lines are wrapping up and loose ends are tied off. The finale is about finishing things, and so far we’ve seen finales provide the setup for what’s to come. This often is where the “OH SHIT” moments happen, too. Those oh shit moments are to keep the viewer hooked, the chance to keep you talking about the show while it’s off air. I think the series finale season will follow a similar beat to past seasons, but the series finale episode will be loaded with conclusions and a few oh shit moments in the sense of “oh shit I didn’t see it ending this way.”
    • What we know: there will be 6 episodes. This is almost exclusively for budget reasons. That said, we also know a few episodes are going to be over an hour long, possibly one or two full movie length episodes at an hour and half or so. As such, I think the average run time for episodes will be 70-80 minutes.
    • The first episode will be a bit longer than an hour, probably ~70 minutes. We’ll see all the plot lines converge into their settings. This season there will be a lot less travel, or at least the travelling that does happen won’t be such great distances. I think we’ll most be focusing on Winterfell, the surrounding “Da Norf” area, and Kings Landing.
    • Since it’s a shorter season at 6 episodes, episode 2 won’t be used as further exposition or rehashing of plot points to remind viewers what’s going on. We don’t have enough time to do that. Instead I think plot reminders will happen when needed but won’t be crammed into the second episode. We’ll jump right into larger plot progression. I think this episode will be about 70 minutes, too, but we won’t see anything major happening just yet.
    • A lot of the budget is going to go into battle sequences. They’ll be huge battles, big ass fights that’ll be crazy expensive. Episode 3 will be the first of those. I think we’ll see what amounts to a “minor skirmish” in the grander picture of Season 8 but it’ll still be a pretty big battle.
    • Episodes 4 and 5 are going to be where I think a lot of major players will die. I think HBO wants the GoT finale to be the biggest, grandest thing ever on television, and the best way to do that is make sure that the only thing people are talking about in the weeks leading up to it is GoT. We’re going to see huge battles. They’ll be long, too. One of these episodes is going to be a solid 90 minutes, and most of that episode will be one gigantic battle.
    • The series finale will conclude the war. We’ll likely see another character or two die, I expect succumbing to wounds from the previous battles. The bittersweet ending we’ve been promised will be telegraphed through the season, maybe more in a “OH SHIT that’s what they were working towards!” way, but the twist of the knife in fan’s hearts will be seeing it unfold. I don’t think we’ll get a Sopranos fade to black, I think we’re going to see the characters that remain come to power. We’ll likely never get a sequel to GoT but we’ll understand who’s in charge now and how the world will be shaped from that point forward. I think HBO’s learned their lesson and they know that the series ending needs to be satisfying and not leave any big questions unanswered.
      • There’s of course the pretty good chance a lot of people won’t be satisfied with how this ends. There are a lot of competing fan favorites, and they can’t keep everyone happy. Even some fan favorite villains won’t go out how we want them to, so there will be some moaning about that. I think the finale will be most satisfying to those that want a proper ending to this story, something that wraps it up. There might still be a couple of very minor plot lines left dangling but overall things are completed.
  • R+L=J final reveal, implications: Before Sam & Bran can inform Jon of his true name and that he’s the rightful heir, Jon and Dany will have had their hashtag boatsex moment at the end of Season 7, followed by what I assume will be a growing relationship as they travel up to Winterfell. Their relationship will be new, but both are weary of it. I think the relationship will be too new for it to be strong enough to brush this off, but not so weak that it shatters what’s growing between them. There will be a big moment of doubt about what’s to come from Dany but Jon will honor his pledge to the queen, not just for love and honor but also because he has no desire to rule. Tyrion will use it as a chance to suggest they marry not just as an alliance between the two houses but also to settle any argument about which Targaryen will sit on the throne: Jon doesn’t want to, Dany does, but they’re equally going to rule. This will be an ongoing plot device right until the end of their shared plot… more on that in a bit. R+L=J final reveal is fully telegraphed to the audience now, we just need the rest of the characters to get on the same page. I can’t see this happening late as there is so much potential for this to be a season long plot line that’s very compelling.
    • I think this will start at the end of episode 1, but the whole plot line will likely happen over the course of the season. One scene will be Sam & Bran telling Jon in private as an episode cliff hanger (Bran’s pretty far on the spectrum these days so he won’t care about the privacy, but Sam will understand this needs to happen away from others). Then another scene in the next episode is Jon questioning it, getting some proof of it besides Sam finding the annulment mentioned in a book and Bran just saying that he sees stuff, then questioning himself. He’ll debate over what it means, on a personal level (should I consider myself a Targaryen? Do I forgo my upbringing?) and on an inter-personal scale (does this change my relationships? Does it mean I should consider the throne?). This might be broken up into two separate scenes but in my head it could be one long scene with a bunch of dramatic dialogue. With the time they have left it’ll probably be multiple scenes as they jump around between different character perspectives. Finally there will be a tense discussion between Jon & Dany about it, she’ll have a Dany moment and throw a fit, but he’ll make a Jon speech to show her he can be trusted when he says he doesn’t want the throne. All this will be happening while other shit’s going on, so there will be a lot of questioning stare downs and “da fuq did you just say?!” moments between the two until it’s wrapped up. I expect it’ll wrap up during the death of one of the major players, both Jon & Dany realizing things about themselves and each other and coming to terms with it.
  • How can you fight 2 wars in 6 episodes? You don’t. The Great War will kill off most contenders, and any that aren’t fighting in The Great War will have their plot lines wrapped up (or die) some other way.
    • Jon called this The Great War for a reason. GRRM incorporates a lot of real world history in ASOIAF. There’s a lot of inspiration from the War of the Roses, but there are a lot of undertones about how war is truly terrible, the worst thing that humanity partakes in. In the show we’ve seen some scenes that were inspired by war movies about the world wars, Vietnam war, etc. I think we’ll see some World War 1 inspiration to the battles next season since that was known as The Great War until WW2, maybe we could even see some trench warfare. I don’t think it’s plausible but they might go for it. Some character (Tyrion’s strategy leads to a minor redemption arch?) could be smart enough to figure out that the easiest way to kill the onslaught of dead is to restrict their ability to swarm, and trenches thin the attack route into a narrow channel. The dragons fighting could easily be WW1 era aerial dog-fighting.
    • On the other side of things, one of our key villains, Cersei, thinks she can let this war grind down her enemies, it will prove to be her end somehow. The other plot lines that aren’t likely to directly feed into The Great War are Theon & Yara, Cersei, Dany’s remainder she left in Essos has to be mentioned at some point at least, and the possibility of Cleganebowl we got a nod to in the season 7 finale. Most of these are separated enough that they’re unlikely to cross paths but these plot lines could be tied together somehow. Either way, the war for the Iron Throne will be won by happenstance if anyone wins it at all.
    • The Great War itself will start in earnest at the end of episode 2. In the first episode we’ll see the dead marching south of the wall, through the North, maybe a quick battle at some Northern house’s castle we haven’t seen but I don’t much else until the threat is directly in our faces. They could incorporate GoT side-media, such as the Foresters or whatever that family was called from the Telltale Game’s Game of Thrones game, getting over run by the dead. We’ll see enough in the first episode so we know it’s an immediate threat but only in so far as “here is another plot line you’ll be seeing this season” as we always get with first episodes.
      • I only played the first episode of that Telltale Games game. It was pretty shit so I couldn’t force myself to continue it. I dunno if the Foresters are even a thing at the end, so I could be way off base with it… but you get the idea. Good opportunity to draw in a Northern house that’s been quiet otherwise.
  • What’s the deal with Jon & Dany? Well this is going to be a fun one… After the big, final R+L=J reveal Dany and Jon’s relationship will be rocky. There will be a heated argument as well as a caring, calm discussion about what they both really want. Given what we know of the two characters from past seasons, and drawing on some hints from the books, I think this whole plotline is the basis of our bittersweet ending. The real question is… is “The Song of Ice and Fire” Jon himself, or Jon and Dany?
    • After the R+L=J final reveal Dany doesn’t trust Jon now. She thinks he’ll try to steal the Iron Throne from her, the incest thing will be a problem for him but probably not her as much (her family has been doing it for quite a while), and she’ll go Dany-crazy which unsettles Jon.
    • There’s at least one scene with Dany and some of her council where they’re debating if Jon knew earlier, she’s really throwing him and other people under bus. She’s letting the Dragon out. She’s on the brink of going full Mad Queen and Tyrion tries to talk her down, some dialogue about “Do not become your father!” She’s disconnecting from her advisers but Jorah is the only one to get through to her. He talks about how ridiculously honorable Jon is, that he’s incapable of doing something like Dany is accusing him of. There’s a very heartfelt explanation from Jorah about seeing the love between the two, that it’s irresponsible to allow something to come between them even if it might help his own chances. I don’t think they’d put words to it but it would amount to “I could let this happen, as a ‘If I can’t have you no one will’ act, but I love you to much to let you forsake your own happiness.”
    • I think it’d be interesting if there’s another scene where Dany is just furious and snaps at Arya, threatens her. That’ll be a moment for Arya to go full Batman and scare the shit out of Jon, not just for what’s become of his sister but also make him realize he could never choose who to back between Arya and Dany (Apparently GRRM was originally going to have a Jon+Arya relationship… dude really has a thing for incest). Brienne would probably break up that fight. I don’t see it happening but it would make for an fun moment. If it happens it’ll be cool but kind of poorly executed, something added just to make for better TV.
    • Jon’s more concerned with defending Winterfell. He sees the whole thing that happened between them as a mistake and he levels up his final form, Lord Commander Brooding Snow. Davos and some others are trying to make him consider the political ramifications of all routes he go down but Jon doesn’t care, “Until the Night King is dead none of this matters.” I see that mirroring the discussion Tyrion & Dany had in Season 7 about a line of succession for Dany.
    • Jorah will be the one to tell her to go speak to Jon honestly. When they do finally sit down and talk calmly with each other, it will end with something along the lines of, “there is no doubt of my love for you, but” from both sides. Jon thinks Dany is a bit nuts and it scares him that they share some blood, that he may also have that tendency. Dany has seen so many brave warriors that love her do stupid things because of it, and what happens to them is never good, she doesn’t want that for Jon and is scared that Quaithe’s prophecy involves Jon. The discussion ends abruptly due to a war horn, the Night King is about to push an attack, but the discussion ended in a way that they both know the fighting between them is over and it’s just hashing out the details of the dual Targaryen thing means for them.
    • They will reconcile just before or during a big battle, it’s just a question of the details of how it happens. It it wrap up with during battle I think, probably with Dany getting severely hurt as an episode cliff hanger. The continuation of that scene in the next episode is Jon next to her sick bed (as she was next to his at the end of Season 7 Episode 6). She thinks she’s going to die so she accepts the news of R+L=J. The manner of her acceptance pushes Jon to decide if he’s a Stark or a Targaryen.
      • When Dany’s being nursed back to health, she says something along the lines of “If someone is going to rule I’d rather it be the only other Targaryen that will be just, honorable, and a true heir to my brother’s good nature” type thing. This is where The Song of Ice and Fire is about Jon. He is the product of Stark and Targaryen blood, he himself is the Prince that was Promised, but he’s reluctant about the whole thing. He watches Dany die and takes on the advice that he gave Theon during the Season 7 finale: “You are a Greyjoy and you a Stark.” Jon is both houses, he doesn’t have to be one or the other. If Dany dies I don’t see this wrapping up in any other way that’s satisfying for most fans.
      • When the two talk while Dany is being nursed back to health Jon explains that he considers himself a Stark, not a Targaryen. He can’t take the throne from her, and she suggests they marry. Whether they do or not doesn’t matter. This the story line where The Song of Ice and Fire is Jon and Dany. Here, Dany may live but she’s severely injured, in a way that she relies on Jon to care for her, something that Jon takes on as a duty after the duties of The Great War.
  • Where’s Jamie going? Jamie will meet up with the Dothraki and/or Jon & Dany on the Kings Road. There will be a moment of hesitation from both sides, neither too sure what’s going to happen. Don’t forget, Jamie tried to commit suicide-by-dragon during Field of Fire 2.0. Jon & Dany will wonder why Jaime’s alone, and not in Lannister colors/armor. Jamie will be worried they’ll kill him on sight, maybe thinking they already know of Cersei’s betrayal. In my head I see this as being one of those rare moments of levity in the show. Just a bunch of awkward “uhh… hey man. What’s up?” In reality I think it’ll be pretty intense. I want to believe Jamie will explain to them Cersei’s betrayal, they won’t trust him, he’ll get all Jamie-mad about how much of a bitch his sister is, how the gods-damned dead are marching on all of us and she’s so blinded by power she’s a fool to ignore it, etc. as a way to get the point across, “For this fight, we are on the same side.” I also think he’s not far enough removed from Cersei to betray her, though, so I’m not sure about this. Either way, Tyrion will step in and suggest he act as a commander during the war to come. Jon’s vaguely indifferent to it, he’s aware of Jamie and what he’s achieved but also too detached from it to have an opinion beyond, “Well I hear he’s good.” Dany is hesitant to trust an enemy but recognizes he’ll make a good commander and demands some fealty, which Tyrion will barely talk her down from.
    • This will happen in the first episode. We’ll be in three major places for the first episode: The Kingsroad, with everyone meeting up, Winterfell where the Stark kids are preparing for what’s coming, and Kings Landing, where Cersei and Euron are being cartoonish villians, twirling their mustaches and smoking cigarettes in dark alleys while stalking the protagonist … or something. We might see one or two other spots quickly but those will be the three major places. This meeting makes sense to get out of the way, but it could happen later once all the other players that will be in Winterfell are there if they want to make it a bigger deal.
  • What’s the deal with the White Walkers? At least in the books, and from what we know of who GRRM is and how he writes, we can assume that the white walkers aren’t pure evil. My theory is the simplest TV adaptable solution (that I can think of) to that problem since so far on the show we have no foreshadowing that they’re not pure evil. The best we have is the baby being converted back in season 3 or whatever, and the man being converted to a walker in season 6. That’s all pretty ambiguous, so it could go either way, but right now most viewers still assume evil. If they’re going to show that the White Walkers aren’t straight up evil, the only way I see it happening is:
    • I think that the White Walkers are coming south because Man has broken a pact. The First Men and The Children of the Forest worked together to push the white walkers back, with help from the last Azor Ahai, but I don’t think it was just a war. I think it ended with a peace accord, and part of the deal was, “you ice fuckers stay WAY THE FUCK up there, like… WAAAYYYYY up there. Since you can’t procreate in any other way, we’ll give you some babies every once in a while.” Over time fewer and fewer people gave them babies, so some of the walkers were mad and started trekking south to steal babies. When Craster was eventually killed, no more babies at all were being donated to the “YOU FUCKERS STAY UP THERE” cause, so they’re all coming south since Man has broken the pact.
    • Frankly this could happen at any time in the season. With my theory they can do a 3-5 minutes Bran flashback to show the pact happening, while he narrates over the walkers marching or during a battle probably that “We are the evil ones, we broke the pact.” This is just leading up to, or acting as part of, the bittersweet ending we’ll be seeing at the end. If there will be more drama than action this final season, it’ll be early on. If it’s more action packed, it’ll be a big reveal in the penultimate episode, probably near the beginning or middle of that episode so there’s time for characters to deal with it.
  • The Great War (the living versus the dead) will be fought at Winterfell. Some folks from the people that were at Eastwatch, hopefully Tormund because everyone loves that fucker, will have escaped the wight’s marching path and beat them to Winterfell, allowing them at least some time to prepare. BTW, Tormund and Dondarion were still on top of the wall as it was collapsing, but they were watching it fall in front of them. They could have run until it stopped collapsing, then keep moving along the top until they reach the next castle and climb down. We know that the paths aren’t particularly well kept on top of the wall but they are still navigable. Wouldn’t be the first “oh bullshit they should have died” moment in recent memory. Anyways, the only reason (as a plot device) I can think of why Jon brought up the population density of The North vs. King’s Landing is to act as foreshadowing for a large portion of the North escaping the Night King’s army by holding up at Winterfell or running south. The Magnificent Seven’s stand on the island in the middle of the frozen lake in Season 7 Episode 6 will be a foreshadowing of the siege on Winterfell. The armies of the dead can wait out any city of the living, and it’d be worth it. If the north is home to a million citizens, Winterfell can’t house that many, but it can protect thousands, more if my previous theory about bringing in trenches proves true. Fell large swaths of trees around Winterfell, huge open landscape around it now, dig a bunch of trenches further out, build temporary housing for the Northern people with Winterfell’s walls being a fall back point. That would make for thousands and thousands of potential troops for the Night King. There’s also all of the talk over the years that a Stark must also sit in Winterfell. There’s some magical thing happening there, and I think the Night King wants to break it. I expect two big ass battles to happen here.
    • I expect this to start in Episode 2 with an ending scene of the army cresting a hill or something. Episode 3 will be an incredibly tense “why are they not attacking?!” episode, more likely a lot of stuff happening elsewhere in the world, episode 4 will see them start the attack (between the quarter and half way time mark of the episode), and episode 5 is going to be a big ass dragon battle.
  • Dance of Dragons 2: Electric Boogaloo: I think one of the six episodes we’re going to see is going to be an hour or more of straight up epic AF the living versus the dead battle. The dragons fighting will be a huge portion of this, and the CGI cost will be bloody fucking nuts. I also see an opportunity for a callback: Khal’Drogo killed Viserys, both of whom have dragons named after them now, by pouring molten gold on his head. Foreshadowing of Drogon killing Viseron by pouring molten hot dragon fire all over him?
    • I think this battle will be the penultimate episode. It’ll likely be the longest and mostly it’ll just be the biggest fight sequence we’ll ever see on the show.
    • I think the Night King will have Viseron hold back during the first push of his attack on the living (in the episode(s) leading up to this battle), he’s saving the reveal as a huge oh shit moment. When he does bring out Viseron it’ll happen when the living think they have an upper hand, a chance to win this once and for all. While the main characters are preparing themselves for a victory, Dany will be concerned about Jon’s war against the dead ending and him setting his sights on the throne, Dany will have pulled some Dany shit and gone a little crazy so he’s worried she’s a Mad Queen like her father was the Mad King, and there will be a dragon’s screech from the distance… Then all hell breaks loose. The dragons will battle, Dany might be thrown from Drogon’s back for dramatic effect but somehow lives. The other swoops in to catch her, or possibly Jon’s now riding the other dragon since it’s named after his daddy and he disengages the battle to pick her up. While Drogon doesn’t have a rider, and since he just saw momma get tossed around, he’s livid and goes ape shit. There will be a big aerial battle, where the focus will be the two dragons scrabbling mid air, swooping over the battle on land. A few cuts to the main characters on the ground taking a moment from slicing up the charging dead to look up at the dragons fighting in the air. Viseron was wreaking shit but since Drogon has him distracted the ground battle is just avoiding random fire strikes from the pair. Jamie, and other named characters, recognizes the opportunity and joins the battle on the ground as a big push. The Night King tries to pull another Kobe moment and throws another ice spear at Drogon but he’s wizened up to that shit and it clips Viseron instead. The not-quite-an-Ice Dragon plummets, crashing into the ground destroying a huge swath of soldiers… probably the undead but I’d prefer it take out a regime of the living since it’d be a bigger gut-punch moment for the audience, such as someone like Dondarion or the Greyjoys in the process. Drogon descends and burns Viseron where he’s fallen. If there’s a large source of metal near by it’s somehow hanging over Viseron and Drogon melts it to kill the other dragon, creating a moment where dragon life repeats human life. Although Drogon committed the final act, the two remaining dragons screech out in sorrowful rage. Drogon finally eyes the Night King and ascends for a final attack. Cut away to Dany & Jon, where Dany is shown to have earned a serious wound. Can’t be sure if it’s enough to kill her but it might be. Roll credits, prepare for finale.
  • Where do the Stark kids end up? There is a lot to speculate on here. Sansa is the embodiment of Westerosi politics, Arya is Batman (rich kid, parents died, went overseas to learn to become an assassin, comes home to right the wrongs of her home), and Bran is a Westerosi Wikipedia. Both sisters have changed drastically from who they were when we first saw them in the pilot episode, but in a way have also become who they wanted to be. Bran’s changed a lot, arguably for the worse, but he is not who he wanted to be as a child. If any of the remaining Starks are going to change further it’ll be Bran.
    • Bran will stay in Winterfell for the season since it’s the only safe place for him. I think part of the “A Stark must always sit in Winterfell” magical warning will be a reason for it. Depending on how The Great War ends … it’s hard to say where he ends up. If The Great War’s end also means an end to magic in the realm, then Bran might “snap out of it.” If that’s the case, he’ll be seen as a hero by the people for some act he performed during the war (something like calling out advanced warnings of The Night King’s attacks, basically being CIA spy satellites) and stick around Winterfell to help his sister, or maybe he has to sacrifice himself to end the magic and he’s gone. If magic is still a thing at the end of the war, and he lives, he’ll probably go back to the cave north of The Wall. He’s not of the realm of man anymore, and staying isn’t doing anyone any good.
      • I think we’ll see Meera again in Season 8, mostly because the Reed family needs to be present during the final battle(s), and I think they’ll have a moment together. Bran is still very broken from the transition into being The Three Eyed Raven, but I think this meetup with Meera would bring back some of his humanity. Again, I dunno if they have time for that, but Bran’s in a really weird place and I don’t see him being truly human ever again without something along these lines.
    • At some point Sansa will be selected as Warden of the North. This feels like something to happen in the finale. Dany’s been promising to break the wheel, and we’ve seen some foreshadowing for what amounts to a democratic, or more likely a republic, government is how that will happen. It’ll have to be a slow progression towards this new government style, and throwing around new names for people doing the same jobs is silly, so Wardens will still be a thing. I think the 7 nations that are ruled by the Iron Throne will amount to individual states, and the Warden will act as governors. Kings Landing will be the seat of the new government, and with Season 7’s reintroduction of Dragonstone as an important location suggest to me it’ll be important in this new world order, possibly as some sort of impartial party to help in times of need? Whatever the process, wrapping up Sansa’s plot line will give us the foundations of the new government if there is one.
    • Arya will do a butt load of slaughtering in Season 8. You don’t setup a character like her to be such a bad ass and not use it. I think she’ll get her hands dirty with wight killing but she’s going to be acting as the Stark’s body guard more than that. I expect she’ll be taking out enemies of the state. There is also the chance that when she meets Dany she’s impressed by her and decides to go Queen’s Guard, but that doesn’t feel like her… I think it’s more likely that we see another minor parallel to Batman, specifically the Nolan Batman-verse. The Faceless Men (League of Assassins) comes to take her back, one of the order cannot exist out in the world of normal men kind of thing. Thinking about it, I’m starting to think the Faceless Men magic is a form of warging… They don’t like their magic being known by outsiders and they can’t trust someone who’s left the tribe. Arya tries to defender herself and her family from this but ultimately decides it’s easier to run, to keep the rest of the family safe. She stays away long enough that the Faceless Men “know” she’s not at Winterfell any more, but Arya takes a face of someone, probably a man, returns to Winterfell and spends the rest of her life protecting Sansa. That’s some long form epilogue shit so returning to Winterfell might not happen, but I can see her running away and using her new abilities to protect people.
      • …and Gendry, because people want to see this happen. I think Arya’s a very different person from the last time they saw each other. She’ll be happy to know he’s alive, fighting alongside Jon, etc. She might have a moment of “weakness” (I wouldn’t call it that but calling it “character development” is weird) where she’ll consider staying along side him in hopes of the two of them becoming something, but it won’t take much to show her that is not who she is. I expect it’d be Sansa trying to talk Ayra into that, maybe if Gendry is legitimized as a Baratheon. I think Gendry will see her as something new (again) and want to make something happen, but Arya won’t let it. That’s if it happens at all. I dunno if they’ll have time to wrap up that plot line, if it even really counts as one. You don’t need to please shippers with some conclusion every time.
  • Theon and Yara? There’s not much the Greyjoys can do to help fight the white walkers since the dead aren’t a naval force. There will be a couple “not fighting the dead” plot lines happening, this being one of them. Theon will have a decent plan for getting back Yara that will involve some sneaky-sneaky bits, which might piss off the Greyjoys in his crew since it’s not their way (but it’s been done before so I dunno), but it’ll seem to work until Euron does something to fuck it all up. It’ll succeed in the end somehow, but I can’t really think of how the whole thing will play out…
    • Episode 1 or 2 we’ll see the start of this plan, probably 1. We’ll see it culminate in Episode 2 or 3, then they’ll get up to Winterfell. The northerners (not the Starks, just northerners) will hate the Greyjoys but they’ll end up doing some heroic thing during one of the big battles thanks to some good leadership from Yara and/or Theon, which will be their redemption. They’re also the most likely to all die at some point.
  • Prophecies: Azor Ahai? I think it’s all a metaphor. Maybe it’s all made up, maybe it’s accurate to the last Azor Ahai but Azor Ahai reborn’s story can be different. Either way, it’s not literal, it’s a prophecy meant to inspire people.
    • Finale. If we get an answer it’ll be really early or so late it’s basically too late, which is my preference. For some reason I see it happening as an epilogue type thing. A scene with the red priest Melisandre, possibly a few other red priests, breaking down the prophecy after the fact. The Great War will be over, or dwindling (just goin’ around stabbing dead bodies with dragonglass daggers kinda thing), and they’ll be trying to figure out who it was by analyzing what had happened. Mel’s ancient but she wasn’t around the last time Azor Ahai happened, I think she’s only a couple to a few hundred years old, not thousands. She’ll realize that when she was younger she actually found something that might show the prophecy isn’t literal… and maybe Bran does some timey-wimey thing to prove it. Bran’s basically the perfect Plot Point Ex Machina now, after all, and using some “This chick’s OLD” and Bran’s time powers is the tidiest way to wrap it up if they’ll do it at all.
    • That said, I don’t see this scene as I envision it playing out well on TV so what I’m really hoping for is the show throwing people for a loop and just call the whole Azor Ahai thing BS. It was just meant to inspire heroic deeds as that’s what is needed against the dead. One of the big lynch pins of all GoT fan theories is “Who is Azor Ahai” and so much of what people expect to be part of the finale is defining who that person (or group) is. A huge fuck you/oh shit moment could easily be, “There is no Azor Ahai, there are only champions of the living.”
  • Prophecies: Cersei’s fate? There is a scene that was mentioned in leaks for Season 7 that we never actually saw… the pregnancy we learned about in season 7 is lost, she miscarriages in bed. It was supposed to be the last scene we see of her in Season 7, where you’re left wondering if she died but you know she doesn’t have the baby. Since it was cut there’s an equally good chance this was a fake out scene or it will happen next season. I think they cut it because they weren’t happy with it or wanted to give fans more time with the idea of Cersei having a baby before taking it away, but I do think she’s losing that baby. There is the alternative fan theory that was happening during Season 7 where people think the baby isn’t real and she’s lying to manipulate people. Not airing the miscarriage scene allows that theory to play out as well.
  • There are a couple of aspects of Cersei’s prophecy that haven’t come to fruition yet, and a couple that may happen again. This baby? The prophecy said she’ll only have 3 kids. Technically she’s had four, since she did have one actual Bobby B baby, but it was a stillbirth so I don’t think it counts. Having another baby with Jamie, or anyone for that matter, isn’t in the cards if the prophecy is true. To complete the prophecy she also needs to be killed by one of her brothers, but I do think Jamie and Tyrion will be up at Winterfell, so either one needs to go back to Kings Landing or Cersei needs to go north which seems incredibly unlikely. I could Jamie getting kicked out of the fight by pissing off Dany, or running for his life more likely, and back south. Maybe Jamie &  The Hound buddy up during the early half of the season, so Kissed by Fire Clegane goes down south with Jamie which gets him back down there. That would be when Cersei accuses him of betrayal and sends the Mountain against him, but the Hound steps in and we get our Cleganebowl. As that ends Jamie says some really cool thing, about being a Kingslayer turned Kin-/Queenslayer or some equally “what a tortured soul badass” thing, and kills her. This is likely the tidiest way to tie up a few plot lines at once, but I don’t really see clearly on how we connect the dots to get here.
  • Cleganebowl? If it happens it won’t be a big deal. There’s not enough time left to give fans what they want from this without really cutting into the time that needs to be spent on bigger and more important plotlines. I don’t know what the setup will be, but if Cleganebowl happens… I think The Mountain will be defeated by The Hound swiftly. Either Qyburn’s resurrection wears out over time and The Mountain is still strong but moving very slowly, or somehow the Night King gets a hold of him (doubtful, I can’t see The Mountain heading north), whatever it may be… The Mountain will be weaker than we’ve seen him since being resurrected and will not stand a chance against The Hound.
    • You may have noticed that in the Season 7 finale The Mountain appeared much smaller than we’re used to seeing him. Of course that could be because they used another actor as a stand in for whatever reason. I was talking about it with a couple guys at work and one mentioned that since The Mountain actor is noticeably taller than The Hound actor they might have done it to diminish their visible height difference, and kept it in the rest of the episode so it wouldn’t seem too jarring. We’ve rarely seen The Hound and The Mountain (with the current actor) on screen together if at all, but we could easily compare their heights via other characters that have shared screen time with either. In the Season 7 finale Tyrion was about waist high on The Mountain, but he should be much shorter… My point in bringing all this up is MAYBE this was all more intentional than it appears at first glance. I doubt it, I’m just acknowledging I noticed it and it could lead to the only way I see this thing working out.
    • If things line up as I see it, this will be mid-season, episode 3 or 4. This will happen in one of the “not The Great War” plot line sequences. I dunno how or why The Mountain and The Hound cross paths, but my theory involving Cersei’s fate and Jamie is the best I can think of. I don’t think The Hound will join up with the Greyjoys to go save Yara, that’s not him, but it would get him south… I don’t think The Mountain will go up north unless Cersei sends him as an assassin, which would be a terrible idea, that guy’s not sneaking anywhere. The only way Cleganebowl can happen is if they cross paths, and there are very limited logical avenues for that to happen.
  • WTF was up with Tyrion staring down the door on the boat when Jon & Dany hooked up? Well… I’m stealing this theory from New Rockstars because I like it, it sounds like something we’d see on the show. We never saw the discussion that Tyrion and Cersei had in the Season 7 finale, it ended when Tyrion said “you’re pregnant.”  Tyrion must have offered Cersei something to make her agree to the armistice. Even if she was going to betray Tyrion she wants to make it look real. It’s plausible that Tyrion agreed to make sure that no matter the outcome of The Great War or the war for the Iron Throne, Cersei’s unborn baby will be in the line of succession. So when she saw Jon & Dany hooking up he’s now worried about his plans crumbling.
    • If Jamie meets up with Jon & Dany early on, and the betrayal comes up, we’ll know if this is happening. We’ll at minimum get a camera cut to Tyrion looking very disturbed by the betrayal, but I can’t see Tyrion not owning up to his own machinations immediately. This could swiftly change the course of things. Tyrion could easily defend himself, and even Dany might understand it although she’ll be mad he tried to pull this shit behind her back. No matter, it’s a sign that he still loves his family too much to truly be on Dany’s side so she’ll be upset with him.
    • Alternatively, Bran could Plot-Line-Ex-Machina back to the discussion to explain it to everyone else, but I don’t see any other form of flash back happening and I don’t see what would cause Bran to go look besides generally being a nosey little shite.
  • The Bitter Sweet Ending… Well, if you read all of this, I mentioned a few different aspects to the ending as I see it. That’s because until it happens we don’t really know what’ll sting the most.
    • Jon & Dany, possibility 1: I think there is a chance that Dany dies. That’s a TV bitter sweet ending. She’s a fan favorite, and if done right it could act as a great send off to one of the show’s most beloved characters/actors and also setup a few of the other plot lines for their ends. Jon taking the Iron Throne reluctantly as King, taking up Dany’s cause to break wheel, legitimizing Gendry as a Baratheon, installing Sansa as Governess of the North, etc, etc.
      • The problem with this is it’s almost purely bitter, little sweet. It’s at best a very dark cloud with a thin silver lining. I can see it happening, and there are a lot of people that think it will, but I think it goes too far.
    • Jon & Dany, possbility 2: I think Dany is severely wounding and lives but with permanent damage, it might be somewhat poetic if she can’t walk any more. She’s either in a wheel chair or on Drogon’s back flying. She sits on the Iron Throne as a final Queen and attempts to instill a democratic government, Jon her husband that’s acting as a Secretary of Defense. She can’t have children with Jon due to the injuries, and the two will be the last of the Targaryens. The cost of their new world will be the death of their family name.
      • I think this is more appropriately bittersweet. It’s sad because of the cost to Dany and Jon, but they get to see their dreams for a better world realized.
    • The White Walkers: I think the show could spare a few minutes to show that the Walkers aren’t pure evil… and the pact may be renewed at the Isle of Faces. A new Craster will be installed north of the wall, but the new pact will make the agreement less gross I’d hope.
      • This is bittersweet for the audience more than anything. Many fans have spent years seeing the Walkers as evil incarnate and seeing their survival at the end of this will be strange, and the cost of it will be hard to swallow.
      • I also see this tying into how the books will end. GRRM hates war, a lot. It really feels like the books will end in a fashion that says, “No matter why, no matter the costs, no matter the enemy, war is never worth it. There is always a better way.” I think the show can use the Walkers as a means to communicate that.
    • I think Samwell Tarly is the author of The Song of Ice and Fire in universe. Sam’s GRRM’s surrogate in the books, and I think we’ve gotten some hints to this happening in show. I’d like to see the final scene be a makeup aged Sam putting the finishing touches on his book when Gilly’s son Sam, now at least a teenager, comes to ask for help with something or other. There’s some way to show that all the other major players are gone, they’re stories have ended, and Sam is just putting those stories to paper, and it would be incredibly endearing.
  • Completely off the wall alternative theories: These are a handful of theories that have no real reasoning behind them beyond “wouldn’t it be cool if…” or the show runners going for something truly insane.
    • Episode 1 the White Walker battles happen almost immediately. Something happens that pisses Dany off (the finale R+L=J reveal probably) and she goes completely unhinged, flies her dragons out over the battle and targets the Night King directly. A pretty epic aerial battle happens but the White Walkers are killed and all the wights collapse. The Great War is over in one battle. She’s still god damned pissed and immediately flies south. The rest of the season is a war for the Iron Throne.
      • The only reason this even occurs to me is the plot lines that cannot be resolved easily along side The Great War as I see it happening. The only way to get stuff like Cleganebowl and the Greyjoys happening with the cast that’s gone north is if they can turn around and head back south. The only way you can turn south quickly enough to allow the time we want given to these plots is if the Great War is handled fast. It would also allow the focus to return to the war for the throne. I don’t like the idea because really, when you boil it all down, everything has been leading up to The Great War. The throne is a B plot, in there to distract us on TV, but in the grand story to show how meaningless war is. When something truly terrible is coming to kill humanity, why fight for a chair?
    • My inner troll would love it if this is all ends in one of those BS Dallas endings, “it was all a dream?!” Bran wakes up from a coma, his legs are messed up but he can walk with a cane or something, and everyone’s fine. Baelish’s plans in Season 1 failed. It’d just piss off everyone and be terrible and shitty and everything we know it shouldn’t be… what a glorious way to infuriate so many people.
    • Trigger warning: This theory is predicated on me placing some heinous thoughts into the show runner’s heads, but… what if these guys are secretly racist AF?
      • I want to clear up one thing up front: I don’t think DnD are closet racists. From the stuff I’ve seen of either of them I think they’re pretty great people. This is a wild accusation that I’m only making because a couple of points have been made in the past about the show, and in light of their next show it makes things a bit shady.
      • ok… so DnD are going to be making a new show once GoT is wrapped up, a “what if the South won the American Civil War?” thing. Overall I think the idea is both gross and poorly timed, I can’t see how this could be executed in any way that’s tasteful. The reason I bring it up is there are some seriously off putting aspects of GoT in the show that are portrayed differently in the book, where in the show under the wrong light they look suspect as shit.
        • Dany, who is white as hell and platinum blonde with uniquely colored eyes, is a straight up White Savior Complex thing. She literally frees slaves and is raised up over their heads while being called mother. An army of slaves praise her and continue to follow her solely because she freed them. Sure, that’s ignoring some nuance, but white-lady-saving-slaves is white savior shit no matter the remaining subtext.
        • The White Walkers have an alt-right vibe to them… A few leaders that are very strong in appearance but incredibly weak against particular attacks. Raising an army of weak minded soldiers… they’re all white. I know it’s not much but there’s some suspect shit happening there.
        • Dorne in the books, at least personally for me, was interesting. On the show I was fine with it but I see why most people hate them… and they’re also one of the incredibly few people of color portrayed on the show and it feels like the show went out of their way to make sure no one likes them.
        • There are more than a couple of examples of fear mongering about immigration.
      • so… if DnD have put a bit of a racist undertone into the GoT TV show that doesn’t exist in the books, and their goal is to make a statement aligned to their racist thoughts… the white walkers win and create a white-folks-topia? I dunno. It’ll be gross if it happens.
      • Again, I don’t think these guys are actually like this, but man… what if I’m right? That shit would be crazy.

So yeah. those are the major plot line theories I have. There’s a lot more that can happen I didn’t cover: Gilly, what’s going on in Essos, a number of characters and what happens with them. Frankly I’m not sure how exactly we wrap up some of these plot lines that went unmentioned, which is why I’m not bringing them up, but even a few that I do mention I can’t be sure. Cersei’s downfall is a big one for me. I really feel like it’ll happen but I don’t know how exactly where get their. My best theory right now isn’t that great, I admit. I’m fairly confident on a few things though: I really do feel like we won’t see 2 wars fought this season but only The Great War, and the fight for the throne will be won by happenstance. I think The Song of Ice and Fire is as much about Jon’s parents, and by consequence Jon, as it could be about Jon & Dany so I’m not sure how that will shake out in the end. We won’t know more until either Season 8 leaks start coming, and even then we won’t know with any certainty until the Season 8 starts airing. Here’s hoping it’s a good one.

Posted by JP Powers