(SPOILER ALERT) Game of Thrones Season 8 Theories


Sam Pazdan, Journalism Staff, Game of Thrones Expert

Next Sunday, the 14th of April, marks a huge day for television. Yes, the last day of The Masters will certainly be an exciting event, but it also marks the day that fans of HBO’s mega-hit Game of Thrones have been waiting for for nearly 2 years. The show, which is considered by many to be the greatest show to ever air, returns for its eighth and final season at 9:00 on Master’s Sunday.

Game of Thrones has poured millions into a mass-marketing campaign for the show. HBO created 6 real life Iron Thrones and placed them in random locations all around the world and leaving hints on their Twitter as to where to find them. At this point, 5 out of the 6 have been found, and they have been trending topics on social media. Mountain Dew teamed up with Game of Thrones and created special edition “A Can Has No Name” cans. This campaign has helped build a massive amount of hype around the premiere, and fans are dying to see what will happen. Paparazzis have captured many photos of the crew filming, but in season 7, it was made known that the crew shot 15 hours of fake extra footage to throw off the conspiracy theories of the paparazzis. HBO has done a marvelous job of keeping the mysterious ending a very good secret. Game of Thrones fans have been conspiring for years now, each making their own predictions as to who, if anyone, will end up the king (or queen) of Westeros. Here are my picks for the top 3 most convincing and bizarre end-show theories. For each theory, I will be giving a rating from 1 to 10 in three categories: likeliness to occur, coolness, and fan satisfaction.


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Bran is the Night King:


Bran Stark is one of the most compelling characters in the show. A warg, he is able to live through the eyes of all walks of life. We also see towards the end of season 6 that he is able to travel back in time and watch events that have already happened. Halfway through season 7, Bran is showed the past by the Three Eyed Raven, who teaches him that he is not only able to view events in the past, but also influence them. The first concrete evidence we see of this is when Bran enters the past, and the Night King clearly notices his presence. He grabs Bran by the hand, at which time Bran comes back into the present time.

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This is certainly one of the crazier theories out there, but with the convincing evidence behind it, it has gained significant traction. In season 4, we get our first look at how the Night King came to be. We see the Children of the Forest stab a constricted man with a dragon glass dagger. In the books, it is written in lore that at this time, the Children of the Forest were in a war with the First Men. The small, creatures, albeit capable of amazing magic, knew they stood no chance against the barbaric First Men. As such, they captured a man and used their magic to turn him into the Night King with the dagger. Their hopes in doing so were to create a powerful weapon to use against the First Men, but this clearly did not go as planned.

The Night King went rogue against everything alive. He had the power to revive the dead into subservient and nearly invincible soldiers. These powers would go on to cause The Long Night, a “generation-long” event that occurred 8,000 years ago where almost all of humanity was destroyed. The Children of the Forest and First Men settled their differences, teaming up to eventually defeat the Night King and White Walkers, sending them back up North. At this point, they worked tirelessly to put up the 700 foot tall Wall where Castle Black is now located. As of season 7, the wall has collapsed, and the Night King and White Walkers are slowly marching towards King’s Landing.

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Bran, with his time traveling abilities, could certainly have foreseen the destruction that the Night King would cause. As such, fans speculate that he went back in time, warged into the body of the man who is now the Night King, and failed to keep the Children of the Forest from creating the monster. At this point, he is stuck warged into the Night King, and he is uncontrollably reigning terror on his family.

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This theory is also supported by the fact that Bran and the Night King are the only characters in the show that have a natural sense for the wildlife around them. We repeatedly see Bran’s ability to hear and sense wildlife with incredible precision. The Night King, in the second episode of season 7, is shown to have similar abilities.

Finally, the most abstract proof for this theory is the similarity in historical names. The man who began and headed the construction of the wall was an ancestor of Bran Stark. His name? Brandon Stark II, commonly referred to as Bran the Builder.

This is certainly a compelling theory, as Bran, a character who started as a rather minor part taker in the story, would evolve into the main protagonist in a crazy turn of events. Jon Snow would also have to come to terms with the fact that his brother is the Night King.

Unfortunately, Isaac Wright, the actor who plays Bran, came out and said that the theory is ridiculous. But, it’s not too out of the ordinary for cast members to confirm or deny theories to bluff fans. Even still, this is one of the most unlikely theories.

Likeliness to occur: 2.5/10

Coolness: 9.5/10

Fan satisfaction: 6/10


Cersei Lannister Murdered by Her Lover:


Cersei Lannister has consistently been one of the main characters in the show. Her wittiness, complex family situation, and unparalleled level of power have made her one of the most compelling yet hated characters by fans.

In season 3, fans are shown a flashback to when Cersei talked to an Oracle who gave her an interesting prophecy. She was told that she would rise to be the most powerful woman in Westeros, bear 2 sons to inherit her power, outlive both of them, and ultimately be murdered by her younger brother. So far, she has completed the first three things, as her son Joffrey was killed with cyanide in the fan-favorite Purple Wedding, while her other son Tommen committed suicide after seeing the main temple of King’s Landing explode with wildfire.

So what about the last part? Cersei has two brothers, Jaime, her twin brother (and lover), and Tyrion, her younger brother. However, in A World of Ice and Fire, George R.R. Martin explicitly states that Cersei was born minutes before Jaime, making him technically a younger brother as well. Tyrion, who is now loyal to Daenerys Targaryen, has little interest in killing his sister, even after she falsely accused him of murdering Joffrey. We see towards the end of season 7, however, the Jaime and Cersei have massively conflicting interests. Cersei, in her typical power hungry fashion, is entirely focused on the expansion and preservation of King’s Landing, while Jaime, who believes completely in the White Walkers and Night King, is focused on the future of Westeros and humanity as a whole.

At the end of the season, we were left with an incredibly tense exchange between Jaime and Cersei, and Cersei went as far as to threatening to kill him. Perhaps she would have, if Jaime was not also her lover. Jaime then refuses Cersei’s commands, gathers his army, and presumably heads off to assist Jon Snow and Daenerys in defeating the White Walkers. Amongst the conflict, it is possible that Jaime kills his sister and fulfills the prophecy.

This is a much more likely theory, and could certainly happen. This would certainly complicate the storyline of season 8, as it would take one of the biggest competitors for the Iron Throne completely out of the equation. This would likely shift the main focus of the show from the battle for the Iron Throne to the battle with the Night King. Fans of Daenerys and Jon Snow favor this theory, as it would likely mean that the couple ends up king and queen of Westeros.

While this is certainly a plausible theory, it is just as likely to end the show in great disappointment. The Night King has incredible amounts of power, and could ultimately defeat Daenarys and Jon Snow in battle. If this were to happen, what would happen to Westeros? Would it turn into a barren land where ice-zombies are the only sentient creatures? I certainly hope this isn’t the case, as it would spell for a let-down ending to an amazing show.


Likeliness to occur: 7/10

Coolness: 10/10

Fan satisfaction: 4/10


Petyr Baelish is not, in fact, dead:


In episode 6 of season 7, Sansa Stark carried out one of fans’ favorite scenes in the show. In a trial against Arya for murder, Sansa spontaneously turns her accusations to Lord Petyr Baelish, a very rich, powerful man with one of the most extensive networks in Westeros. Petyr was one of the most controversial characters in the show. A brothel kingpin, the former Master of Coin of King’s Landing, was seen by some to be the saving grace for Arya and Sansa. While his intentions seemed legitimate, his decision to give Sansa to Lord Bolton in Winterfell lead to a long line of torture and abuse for her. This decision, along with the blatant murder of his wife in front of Sansa, lead him to be on trial at Winterfell for treason and murder. Image result for petyr baelish

It took fans only a couple days after the episode’s release to start forming conspiracies around his actual state. Many fans believe that he saw the trial and execution coming, which would fall in line with his unmatched instinct. As such, he could have faked his death. But, in the show, it seems obvious that Petyr was the one being executed? How could he still be alive after having his throat cut?

This is a valid point, but there is another very possible theory.

Petyr’s huge network of spies and great wit has lead fans to look back on one scene in season 5. In this scene, Petyr meets a middle-aged woman in an alley in Winterfell. He hands the woman a coin and tells her, “your time has come.” She nods, and walks off. Petyr doesn’t realize that Arya is peeking through a crack in a wall, however, which is how we end up with the knowledge.

But how could this girl help him in any way? She was dressed like a peasant and was clearly not capable of pulling any royal strings. This behaviour and appearance, however, falls oddly in line with the Faceless Men.

Remember, the Faceless Men are capable of perfectly imitating anyone. But the person has to be dead, right? Yes, in the show we only see dead people portrayed by the Faceless Men. In the books, however, George R.R. Martin states that Faceless Men have an ability that the show fails to explicitly mention. Faceless Men are able to affect other people’s eyesight around them to make them appear as someone else. We know that the Faceless Men, although not mentioned specifically, have this ability in the show. Arya uses the face of Lord Frey’s daughter to murder him by surprise. We later see Arya use Lord Frey’s face to kill all of the men from the Red Wedding. She then turns to that same daughter, and in one of the shows best moments of poetic justice, tells her that “winter came for House Frey.”

So, we know that Faceless Men are capable of imitating people who are alive or dead. We know that Lord Baelish has a massive network stretching across all of Westeros and a massive amount of money. We know that Faceless Men dress and act like the woman with whom he spoke before his death. Therefore, it is very possible that Petyr gave her a life full of riches and wealth in exchange for the promise that she would sacrifice her life for him at any given time using her Faceless Men abilities.

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If this happened, Lord Baelish could definitely continue to use his power to propel himself to the top of the food chain. It seems more likely than not that, if he is still alive, would serve as the queen’s hand under Cersei and seek revenge against Sansa.

This would be a very interesting turn in the story. Many fans love Baelish for his wittiness, while others despise him for his lack of loyalty. What is undeniable, however, is that either side would greatly benefit from the company of Lord Baelish and his massive network of soldiers, lords, and spies.

Likeliness to occur: 6/10

Coolness: 8/10

Fan satisfaction: 7/10


Azor Ahai:


In the books Martin details a character named Azor Ahai. Shortly after Aegon Targaryen arrived in Westeros, there was a dark time created by the god of fire, The Great Other. Ahai was the man who was responsible for killing The Great Other, and was hailed as a hero. Ahai was known for his sword, called Lightbringer, which was made of fire. He created the sword after killing The Great Other, and the whereabouts of the sword are now. Ahai is dead, but the lore that surrounds him states that he will be reborn as “The Prince That Was Promised.”

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Many fans believe that Jon Snow might be the resurrection of Azor Ahai, as he was technically a prince to the Targaryens, and would have therefore been promised Westeros. Along with that, A World of Ice and Fire details Jon’s death, stating that he was born in a tower in Winterfell just one day before it was sieged with fire by House Bolton. This follows the prophecy, in that it is said that Ahai will be born amidst salt and smoke.

It is said that the second coming of Ahai would pull Lightbringer from the ashes and use it to “combat impending darkness.” Therefore, the second coming of Ahai would be able to easily destroy the White Walkers and Night King and return Westeros to a point of relative safety.

Melisandre, who introduces the Lord of Light to the show, initially believed that Stannis Baratheon was The Prince That Was Promised. After Stannis’s death, however, she realized that it wasn’t him. Now, she is loyal to Daenerys Targaryen, who is Snow’s lover. This could be another pointer that Jon is the second coming of Ahai.

The most important part of the prophecy is what could go on to make a bittersweet ending for the show. In the lore, it states that Ahai was only able to “activate” Lightbringer by piercing it through the heart of his love, Nissa Nissa.

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This means that if Jon Snow is, in fact, the second coming of Ahai, he would have to pierce it through the heart of his true love. Yes, that means Dany.

But, that isn’t all. The prophecy is written in High Valyrian, which is a gendered language. This means that most nouns have a gender associated with them. When Dany brings up the prophecy around Missandei, a translator for High Valyrian, Missandei points out that the noun for ‘prince’ doesn’t have a gender in the language. Instead, she suggests that it is “The Prince or Princess That Was Promised.” What does this mean? Well, Dany was born in Dragonstone, where she is seen in season 7. Dragonstone is known, obviously, for its abundance of dragon glass, and is rumored to be the origin of dragons. It is also an island, which is surrounded by saltwater. Therefore, Dany was indeed born amidst salt and smoke. Along with that, she was promised the Seven Kingdoms.

Perhaps it makes just as much, if not more sense that Dany would be the second coming of Ahai. This would have similar implications, except Dany would have to kill Jon Snow to activate Lightbringer. Lightbringer is said to “combat impending darkness,” and the winter, which is almost always associated with White Walkers, is said to be dark.

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This, given all of the lore behind it, would make for an incredible ending to the series. It wouldn’t come without pain, however, as it would mean that either Jon Snow or Daenerys would have to be killed to ensure victory over the white walkers. These are the fan’s favorite characters by far, so it would be a devastating but awesome ending. Overall, this is the best prediction by far, and highlights an end to the show that would be very exciting.

Likeliness to occur: 10/10

Coolness: 10/10

Fan Satisfaction: 8/10


Samwell Tarly Tells The Story:


Ah, Samwell Tarly. Samwell is a fan favorite for his loyalty, dedication, and clueless innocence. Samwell, who was disowned by his father for being a disappointment, arrives at the Night’s Watch and sees Jon’s rise to Lord Commander. After Jon becomes Lord Commander, Tarly is sent off to the Citadel to become a maester.

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Little is known about Samwell, besides the fact that his father, Randyll Tarly, was one of the greatest warriors in the Westeros and his brother, Dickon Tarly, served on the King’s Guard with Jaime Lannister. Samwell doesn’t fit the mold of his brother and father due to his lack of fighting ability and size.

At The Citadel, Tarly steals various books and studies some of the forgotten material in the library. He learns of a huge deposit of dragon glass on Dragonstone and sends a letter to Jon. This could prove to be a pivotal discovery, as dragon glass and Valyrian Steel are the only known materials that can kill a white walker. Samwell also cures Jorah Mormont of greyscale after researching about a dangerous and forbidden idea in one of his books.

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Samwell has elevated himself from a very minor character to a very important one who isn’t seen much. After traveling to Winterfell, he uses his intellect with Bran’s time traveling abilities to learn more about the Starks. He ultimately discovers that Jon Snow is the true first born son of Rhaegar Targaryen, which would make Jon the rightful heir to the Iron Throne.

Tarly’s intellect makes him part of a very interesting fan theory. Some believe that the entire series was told through Tarly’s perspective. The basis of this comes from a few things. Firstly, Martin has publicly stated that he is a huge fan of Lord of The Rings, and that the series was one of the main inspirations for A Song of Ice and Fire. Lord of the Rings is told from the perspective of a character who isn’t of high importance in the story itself. Tarly, whose role is still minor, could possibly be similar. This is also backed up by the intro to each episode, which showcases a mechanical map of Westeros. This map exists, and is housed in The Citadel, where Tarly spends a majority of his time in the later seasons.

While this is a somewhat convincing argument, it is very unlikely that Tarly is the narrator of the series. While many people, including myself, would find it hilarious, it would be a weird and off-putting twist to the tale for some.

Likeliness to occur: 5/10

Coolness: 9.5/10

Fan Satisfaction: 5/10


These are my top picks for how we could see Game of Thrones season 8 play out. These aren’t the only predictions, but they do highlight some of the key details that are only mentioned in the books behind the show. Knowing the writers of Game of Thrones, however, there is a very good chance that the eighth season defies all expectations, and a truly bizarre plot arises. Perhaps this is why people are betting thousands of dollars on minor characters to win the Iron Throne.

Game of Thrones season 8 premieres at 9:00 PM on April 14th on HBO.