Folks, we've got a wait of a year, or maybe two, before Game of Thrones returns to our screens.That’s a long time to be Thrones-less, so let’s fill the void with a nice mix of informed and reckless speculation. Here are the Portalist’s Game of Thrones predictions for season 8.
Oh, and season 7 spoilers abound, of course, so don’t read on if you’re not caught up.
Season 8 will be a family affair
Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen: they have to both win, somehow, right? It’s always been a foregone conclusion that Daenerys would factor into the final showdown — the show followed her even when she was alone on the wrong continent, so she has to be a finalist. And Jon has long been a clear favorite, too. Now they’re on the same side, so they’ll probably win and rule Westeros and get married and have babies and all that.
We now know that Jon is a Targaryen and that Daenerys is his aunt, which will provide some conflict for the final season. But, look, things already got steamy between these two. Are we going to draw the line at them getting married? When the dust settles, you have to think that our favorite characters will still end up together.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that they’ll both live. But they probably will.
Cleganebowl: it’s happening
Oh, yeah, it’s happening. The “Cleganebowl,” as fans call it, is the long-awaited matchup between the Hound and his brother, the Mountain. It’s probably happening in the books, and it’s definitely happening in the show. For better or for worse, Game of Thrones has become a show that delivers all of the reunions and showdowns that we want, and the writers know we want this one. We even got another tease in the finale.
But who will win? George R.R. Martin is cruel enough to have the Hound lose after all of this setup, but the show is running along without him now (and getting a little soft, have you noticed?). The best bet, in my opinion: they both die.
The Lannisters are breaking up
Jaime Lannister somehow became a good guy in this show – heck, he hasn’t pushed a child out of window in six full seasons now! But Jaime is still on the wrong side, largely because his sister/lover is in charge and, you know, evil. Cersei has become the abuser in the Lannister incest-fest (the writers would really like you to forget about their egregious misstep in season four), so it’s about time Jaime dumped her – especially since they broke up ages ago in the books. By the way, while we’re on the subject:
Jaime will kill Cersei
You’ll recall that Cersei got some bad news in a prophecy when she was a child: her children would all die, and a “little brother” would kill her. That could mean either Tyrion or Jaime (or, some fans theorize, the Hound – who is a little brother, if not Cersei’s little brother), but Jaime makes the most sense at this point. If Cersei dies, Jaime will be the last Lannister in charge, meaning all of the Lannister armies could help out in the inevitable final battle with the White Walkers.
We’ll see the direwolves at least one more time
Hey, remember the direwolves? The writers showed us Nymeria this past season to prove — a little unconvincingly — that they hadn’t totally forgotten about that plotline. There are enough episodes left to squeeze in appearances by Ghost and Nymeria and connect the end of the series back to the beginning. But what role will they play?
Bran will become the Night King
'Bran-is-the-Night-King' is my favorite fan theory right now. And yes, I know that the dude who plays Bran says it isn’t so, and that there are plenty of reasons why this twist wouldn't make sense. I still think it could happen!
Two dragons are going to die
Here’s my logic: we’ve got one bad-guy dragon, and he’s going down for sure, right? And we’ve got two good-guy dragons, which is at least one more than we need at the end, really. What would you do if you were the writers? Exactly: two super-cool dragon deaths.
Sansa is not going to die, y'all
Sansa seems to be a popular pick in the death pools these days, but I just don’t see it. Fans seem to think there’s no place to put her in the end, but if Jon ends up at Daenerys’ side (or dead), Sansa can easily fit in at Winterfell. George R.R. Martin might be cold-hearted enough to kill Sansa after all she went through, but I can’t see the show doing it, and, frankly, I think it would be kind of disappointing.
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Cersei is not pregnant
Listen, hear me out. Cersei is not pregnant. She’s using it to control her family – Jaime, who is the father of the supposed child, and Tyrion, who the ruse helped fool badly in the season 7 finale. And remember that prophecy? Cersei was supposed to have three children, all of whom would die before her. That’s already happened, so she’s not having this baby – and she ought to know that, so why does she seem so unconcerned about it? Because it’s all a ruse! Wake up, sheeple!
Also, this show is not going to have the good guys murder a pregnant woman, and Cersei is definitely not going to live, so do the math, folks.
WHO WILL DIE NEXT
The part we’ve all been waiting for, baby! It deserves its own special section.
In my professional opinion as a blogger and a particularly bloodthirsty Game of Thrones watcher, we were rather short on A-list deaths this season. We are owed some serious bloodshed, folks, and I think we’re about to get it. Here are the people that at least some fans think are doomed next season, in order from the least to the most likely to buy the farm. Not on this list: Daenerys, Jon, and Sansa. No chance, everyone, forget it.
Bronn: I think he’s got a good chance of to making it. But Bronn is in a risky spot: he’s not essential to the plot or the ending, making him easy for the writers to throw into a final-battle bloodletting. Other characters to worry about include Brienne of Tarth and...
Grey Worm: Like Bronn, Grey Worm just seems a little too expendable for comfort. It seems inevitable that we’re going to get a battle-at-Hogwarts style massacre at the end here, and my bet is that Grey Worm gets Fred-Weasley’d pretty hard.
Jaime Lannister: The show pretended it was going to kill Jaime a couple of times this season, but no dice. So on he goes to next season, where he will presumably live long enough to kill off Cersei (unless all those fan theories are wrong), meaning his only chances to die will come in the last episode or two – unless, of course, someone wearing Jaime’s face kills Cersei instead...
Bran Stark: I’m a firm proponent of the Bran-is-the-Night-King fan theory, so I think he’s going to get White Walker’d in the past somehow, or something. Bonus points if non-walker Bran has to be killed in the present to destroy the White Walker army.
Theon Greyjoy: Theon’s redemptive arc has been one of the better parts of season 7. But with sins this big, I think the only way Theon can be fully redeemed is by ending up in a grave.
Euron Greyjoy: Prepare yourself for some Greyjoy-on-Greyjoy violence.
Cersei Lannister: The last great human bad guy in the show seems like a lock to survive until the finale, but I can’t see her getting through it. We have a prophecy about her death, she’s the main bad guy in a show that has to end somehow, and her survival prevents a huge chunk of Westeros’ armies from ending up in a final battle that you just know is going to have literally all the armies in it. Sorry, Cersei, but it's not looking good.
Disagree with these predictions? Let us know in the comments!
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Featured still from "Game of Thrones" via HBO