The final season of Game of Thrones premieres this Sunday, April 14. This season is destined to be one of the greatest television events of the year. It is the end of an era, akin to the finale of Lost (though hopefully not as disappointing).
Game of Thrones has been an enormous cultural phenomenon for the last eight years, sweeping hordes of fans along, including many members of The Gavel’s Culture Section. As we are the verified experts on all things culture, we’ve decided to share our predictions for the end of the show. Let’s see what predictions our correspondents, Carmen Chu, Ray Cai, and Nico Borbolla offered up, as well as my commentary on the likelihood and “wow factor” of each one.
Carmen: Sam is probably going to learn something about how to defeat the White Walkers more efficiently and will rush to tell Jon right before some epic battle with the Night King.
Sam is certainly going to whip some genius out of his sleeve! After all, it was his lovely girlfriend Gilly who discovered that there were mountains of dragon glass to be found—the couple has been influential so far. Theories also abound about Baby Sam, the last of Craster’s creepy incest sons, who was promised to the freaky White Walkers. He was supposed to be sacrificed and become a White Walker himself, but instead he remains human and healthy (and perpetually a baby?) with Gilly and Sam. Could the Night King be marching south because he wants to reach the baby? We’ll see!
Ray: Dany becomes queen, abolishes feudalism in Westeros, and institutes constitutional monarchy, freedom, and democracy to all!
Honestly, this seems like a reasonably likely outcome considering Dany is the Breaker of Chains and freed thousands of slaves in the southern kingdoms. There’s even a quote somewhere of Tyrion and Varys conspiring about potential alternate forms of governance. Will the Seven Kingdoms become the Seven States of Westeros? Will House Targaryen become the House of Representatives? Will the Small Council become the Small Cabinet? Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.
Carmen: Jaime KILLS CERSEI and then kills himself out of guilt.
Ray: Jaime sacrifices himself to save Jon before a final showdown with the Night King.
Sadly, it does seem unlikely that Jaime will live to see the next queen. There has been speculation that the show will work in a prophecy from the books made to Cersei when she was a kid, which includes being killed by her brother. Cersei has always assumed that would be Tyrion, but Carmen makes a compelling case. Cersei does seem to have gone a bit bonkers, and Jaime would feel responsible as the only one who could stop her if she decided to go wild with wildfire again. However, Jaime sacrificing himself to save Jon would be a fascinating plot twist—just the right way to begin the inevitable battle with the Night King.
Carmen: Ned Stark is actually alive and we’ve all been fooled.
Almost every teaser trailer has included the Winterfell Crypt where Ned is buried along with other Stark ancestors. This leads to speculation that the dead will rise during the Battle of Winterfell—and while Ned Stark may not be alive, he might walk again in the Night King’s army. I don’t know if I’d survive watching the remaining Stark children have to kill their undead dad.
Nico: Iron Throne is destroyed by the Night King. Jon dies. Cersei dies saving Jamie. Sam builds a new throne and Hot Pie sits on it. Dany kills the Night King.
Fascinating conjectures abound here! Hot Pie absolutely must make a comeback in this final season—whether on the throne, feeding the armies, or perhaps throwing a pie in the Night King’s face. Cersei dying while saving Jamie is the exact opposite of one of the above theories, but it seems just as likely. I think both Cersei and Jamie are going to end up dead (don’t forget, though we may have grown to like them, they still pushed Bran out of the tower in season one!)
Carmen: Epic showdown between the White Walker Dragon and regular dragons.
This ties in to “Dany kills the Night King” above. Viserion, who is now the terrifying White Walker Dragon, is one of Dany’s children! She loves those dragons like her kids, and we can be sure she’s pissed off that the Night King killed one of them. I’m picturing Dany riding into battle on Drogon and Dracarys-ing the Night King back to hell! Hopefully, the White Walkers don’t have any more enormous iron bolt launchers…
So, what is the Culture Vultures’ final prediction? Who will sit on the Iron Throne (if it doesn’t get destroyed)? Our final prediction comes courtesy of Ray, and I agree with him:
Ray: Dany [will take the throne]. Her story arc makes her both the best prepared and most willing candidate for the job. Jon Snow only wanted to defeat the army of the dead, so once he accomplishes that I can see him stepping down in favor of Dany.
There we have it, folks. Our official prediction for the Iron Throne is none other than Daenerys of the House Targaryen (or, perhaps, Dany’s potential baby with Jon). When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die—and if Khaleesi, the Unburnt, the Mother of Dragons has survived so much so far, what could an army of ice zombies possibly do to her?