The eighth and final season of Game of Thrones is right around the corner, and that means murky family relationships, gruesome deaths and an unfathomable amount of fan speculation are coming our way.
We know the insanely successful TV series is based on the existing material from George RR Martin’s novels, but HBO’s adaptation moved ahead of the books several years ago, which makes it impossible for fans to cheat and look for spoilers.
That’s one of the reasons why audiences all over the world have been so enthralled with this universe so far: there is basically no way we can know who will finally seize the Iron Throne.
We do know a couple of things for certain though: season eight will only have six feature-length episodes, in contrast with the previous ones which consisted of 10, hour-long entries. Weiss and Benioff are going to direct the final episode, while the first five will be split between the David Nutter and Miguel Sapochnik.
Showrunners Weiss and Benioff have also revealed some tidbits of information over how the final season will open. We know Daenerys and her army will be arriving at Winterfell, and we also know Sansa is not at all pleased that Jon Snow has finally succumbed to the “Mother of Dragons”.
There will be a massive showdown that will last a whole episode, the scale of which is reportedly so insane that insiders have said it’s the most expensive and brutal sequence in the history of television.
So, to warm up for season eight, we’ve gathered five of the most popular theories being concocted out there by fans, from the fate of The Mountain to who will win the final battle.
Bran is The Night King
Although a bit far fetched, this is one of the most fun fan theories around. It is known that Bran had journeyed into another realm in time to mess up Hodor’s life, but fans are speculating that a certain point Bran Stark will – or already has – travelled back to attempt to attack The Knight King. The theory goes that the first White Walker thwarted Bran’s attempt and both merge into the same persona.
And well, we do have to say, the two look very similar. Fans back up their speculation with the official teaser where we see the Stark siblings, sans Bran, gather in the family crypt while surrounded by a thick, icy, mysterious fog.
Tyrion will not kill Cersei
One of the most important prophecies in the show says Cersei will be choked to death by her “little” brother. Of course, the first obvious choice is Tyrion, and there are plenty of pointers – she treats him like sh*t, he killed their father and yeah, he’s short.
But that could all be nothing but an obvious red herring.
We know Cersei and Jaime may actually be twins, and he’s younger by a few minutes, so…
Jaime has also been slowly turning against Cersei for quite some time now, and he has even dreamt about beating her to death. Yep, Jaime could be Valonqar.
But wait, there’s another possibility.
Arya could also be the one to kill Cersei. The grudge between them has been there from the start, and we also know Arya can kill people and wear their face. Arya could murder either Tyron or Jaime and then go for Cersei using their face. How’s that for food for thought?
Jon will end up killing Daenerys
Some say that Daenerys’ genetics will take over her at the end and she will turn mad just like her father. She’s already shown she’s capable of being ruthless and cruel. Couple that with a bit of madness and what we have is a true nightmare if she is able to snatch the throne.
It would be just perfect for the series to have Jon foresee this predicament, and in the finest tradition of Greek tragedy, strike her down at the last minute to prevent Westeros from falling.
And like, really. Could a show like this end any other way?
The Hound and The Mountain will face off
The two brothers are mortal enemies after The Mountain horrendously scarred his sibling’s face when he shoved him into a brazier when they were kids.
Sandor has always been in the shadow of his older brother, and now that The Mountain is this half-dead monstrosity, it’s only poetic justice that it’s Sandor the one who will finish him off once and for all.
Cleganebowl, as some fans call it, may well be one of those theories that will actually come to fruition. We’ve seen some hints, like in the last episode of season seven when Sandor tells his towering brother, “You know who’s coming for you. You’ve always known.”
Actor Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, who plays Gregor, shared a photo on Instagram last year of himself in his Mountain makeup, looking beat up as hell. Another sign of things to come?
The White Walkers will win and everyone is doomed
The White Walkers have been the mysterious boogeymen of the story from the very beginning. Their menace has been building up at an almost unbearable pace and we all know that pressure cooker will finally explode in season eight. They’re coming for Westeros and we know deep inside this has to end very, very badly.
This is another fan theory that we’re kind of partial to. One thing we’ve learned to accept about Game of Thrones is that there is no way this will have a happy ending. And to have The Night King ruling the world is basically the worst case scenario. Nothing will matter anymore. Game over man, game over.
So what are your theories? Will good prevail, or is Westeros doomed?