After 67 GoT episodes, a lot of bloodshed, a little bit of romance and a dash of incest, it looks like winter is finally here. Now, HBO is taking us back to Westeros for one last epic showdown. Fans have been theorising about what will happen in season 8 for months, and the loose ends are sure to be tied up in juicy bows.
Death Around the Corner
First things first: it’s almost certain that a lot of people are going to die. That’s kind of this saga’s thing. Remember when they killed off Ned Stark, a main character, legitimately shocking us? How innocently naïve we were…
Currently, one of the most interesting ideas suggested by fans is that Jaime or even Arya will kill Cersei. Maggy the Frog predicted that Cersei would be killed by her “Valonqer” – her little brother. Everyone assumed that meant Tyrion, but Jaime is also younger than her, although only by a few moments.
So as Cersei shows her true colours and Jaime finds the good inside himself, will he end his erstwhile soulmate? Or will Arya assassinate Jaime, steal his face, and then murder his sister? Equally intriguing: will Jon kill Daenerys? If he is The Prince Who Was Promised in Melisandre’s prophecy, he’ll have to suffer to take up his title.
Does that mean sacrificing his beloved? Or will the fact that she is actually his aunt be what douses the flame there? There are also plenty of other theories about who is related to whom, including that Jon and Dany are in fact siblings, and that Tyrion is actually a Targaryean. Oh, and it has been suggested that Varys is actually a merman who only wants to protect his people. We’ll just leave that one there.
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The Threat of the Night King
Of course, all of this is moot if the Night King and his army of White Walkers and undead wights succeed in killing everyone else. The first thing all the warring houses have to do is unite against this common enemy and his newly resurrected zombie dragon. We ended Season 7 watching these terrors break the Wall, and seeing everyone except Cersei preparing to band together and fight. Now we’ll get to see how that battle and those allegiances play out.
A Change in Direction
In the early seasons of Game of Thrones, the action was all about political intrigue. The fantastical elements were important, but they formed a backdrop to the chess game that the Lannisters, Starks and other great houses were playing as they vied to sit on the objectively uncomfortable Iron Throne.
Based on the Wars of the Roses in British history, they were what pre-Tudor England must have been like – but with dragons. Physical realities like squalor and disease were portrayed realistically, and it literally took Daenerys years to cross the Narrow Sea.
Later seasons focused more on fantasy and less on politicking, and the show has become, in a word, rather bombastic. Epic fight scenes have replaced Varys’ witty banter about his “little birds” that whisper court secrets in his ear. The faster-moving plotlines have demanded that characters practically teleport around Westeros, rather than trekking as Dany did. In fact, the show is running on its own content now, having outstripped the books that George R. R. Martin has written so far. The novels have a more thoughtful air to them, and have remained more focused on political intrigue. Luckily, there is room for the original stories, prequels, sequels and even fanfics in the Game of Thrones universe, and fans relish it all. This saga really is bigger than any of us