Now that there's a premiere date and full-length trailer for the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones, it's time to review all the major fan theories out there. How will it all end? Who will die? Or rather, who won't die? Here, a list of the most important theories and predictions to think about while you wait for Game of Thrones to return.
1. Bran is the Night King. Bran has always been kind of the worst, but he's even more the worst now that he's omniscient. He's definitely the Three-Eyed Raven, but is he also the Night King? This Redditor has a more detailed explanation, but the gist is that Bran keeps going back in time throughout history to stop the Night King and eventually got stuck inside him.
For what it's worth, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, who plays Bran, doesn't buy this theory. "I think it’s less that they’re the same person and more that they’re two of the ancient beings of Westeros," he told Vulture after the season seven finale. "Perhaps we can think of it as these are two characters with a huge amount of power, but one is a Frankenstein’s monster who is driven by nothing but hatred and violence. Then there’s Bran, who uses his powers for good." (It's also worth noting that Isaac had not seen scripts for season eight when he said this.)
With the release of the season eight teaser trailer in January 2019, this theory is more convincing than ever. How else would you explain Bran's absence when the rest of his siblings were hanging out in the crypts of Winterfell?
2. Daenerys is pregnant with Jon's baby. Back in season one, Mirri Maz Duur told Daenerys that she's barren, but as Jon Snow pointed out in "The Dragon and the Wolf," Mirri isn't exactly a reliable source. Season seven included much discussion of the fact that Daenerys is supposedly the "last" Targaryen and her dragons are the only children she'll ever have, which all feels like the perfect setup for a surprise pregnancy. Add to that the fact that Ser Jorah told Jon to keep the ancestral Mormont sword Longclaw for his children, and the foreshadowing for a Daenerys/Jon baby is all there.
3a. Cersei is pregnant with Euron's baby. The only man Cersei slept with on screen in season seven was Jaime, but there's no reason to believe he's the only person she's been inviting to the royal bedchamber. The finale uncovered some off-screen dealings between Euron and Cersei—she collaborated with him on his "go home but really go get the Golden Company" plan—so it's possible they've been collaborating elsewhere and for a while.
3b. And no, it's not a fake pregnancy. In December 2018, Vanity Fair pointed out that the scripts of past GoT seasons that are on view at the Writers Guild of America West’s library suggests that this pregnancy is legit. Anyone who previously thought Cersei was lying about being with child just needs to read this scene direction for “Eastwatch” (season seven, episode five), when Cersei tells Jaime she’s pregs:
She nods, it’s true… Her happiness is contagious. They get another chance at family. This time with no one standing in their way.
This scene description for Cersei and Tyrion's meeting is also telling:
Tyrion sees what he sees and knows what it means. He can hardly believe it, but knows it to be true… She stays silent for too long, long enough to tell him that he’s right. And once she knows he knows, she can think of nothing else to say.
3c. But Cersei might lose the baby on season eight. As seen in the full-length trailer released in March 2019, an emotional Cersei looks on while holding a glass of wine.
This could mean several things: Cersei's already given birth; Cersei was never pregnant to begin with; Cersei lost the baby. If the third possibility proves to be true, don't say you weren't warned. In a flashback on season five, Cersei is granted three questions by Maggy the Frog in the woods of Casterly Rock. One of her questions concerned her children, to which Maggy said, "the king will have 20 children and you will have three," aka Robert's bastards and her and Jaime's children, respectively.
4. Jaime is going to kill Cersei. Season seven came and went without this much-discussed theory coming to pass (read more about it here), but the stage is now set for a final showdown between Jaime and his sister/lover. After she revealed her plans to sit around and let everyone else fight the Night King, Jaime left Cersei and their alleged unborn child and rode northward. If and when he and Cersei meet again, you can bet it won't be a happy reunion.
5. Arya is going to kill Cersei. This is basically the same as the "Jaime killing Cersei" theory, only in this scenario Arya kills Jaime to steal his face, then wears it so she can get close to Cersei and murder her. This would both fulfill Maggy the Frog's prophecy and allow Arya to cross another name off her list.
6. Tyrion is in love with Daenerys. During the finale's boat sex scene, many people wondered why Tyrion was lurking near the door of the room where Daenerys and Jon were consummating their incestuous love. One theory is that Tyrion has been falling in love with Daenerys for some time and is upset he has a rival. He was instrumental in sending Ser Jorah away for greyscale treatment, and also advised Daenerys to leave Daario behind in Essos because he wouldn't be the first or last man to love her. "The Dragon and the Wolf" director Jeremy Podeswa says Tyrion's look was purely a result of strategical worries, but keep dreaming, shippers.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly in September 2018, Dinklage said things are “complicated” with Tyrion and all those feelings, having both a personal and professional connection to Dany. “Obviously he has feelings for Daenerys. He loves her—or thinks he does. She’s awe inspiring. He’s questioning that because he doesn’t have a good track record for falling in love. There’s jealousy wrapped up in there.”
7. Tyrion betrayed Daenerys. An alternative explanation for Tyrion's behavior on the ship is that he actually betrayed Daenerys while "convincing" Cersei to join the cause after her initial refusal. Or, if he hasn't betrayed her yet, he's thinking about it because this Jon romance throws a massive wrench into the whole operation.
8. Tyrion is a Targaryen. This one (read more about it here) is never not going to be a thing unless they do a flashback that shows Tywin Lannister specifically impregnating Joanna with Tyrion.
9. Melisandre's going to Volantis to get an army of red priests. When Melisandre peaced out of Dragonstone on season seven, she told Lord Varys that she was heading to Volantis but would return to Westeros because she's supposed to die there. According to one compelling theory, she's going to Volantis to pick up an army of R'hllor followers who like to set their swords on fire, and if all goes well, she'll bring them back to help Daenerys and Jon fight the Night King.
10. Nymeria will make another comeback. Arya encountered her long-missing direwolf on season seven for the first time since season one but let her continue wandering the forests because she's not meant to be a pet. Why bring the direwolf back at all, though? So when Nymeria and her pack of angry wolves appear again in season eight to save the day in some major battle it won't be so out of left field. Then again, it costs money to animate the direwolves, so unless the dragons leave the picture, don't get your hopes up. But doesn't Dog Army (or Wolf Army, rather) have the nicest sound to it?
11. Azor Ahai will be revealed. "Who is Azor Ahai?" is a question so complex that you could devote an entire book to it, but current candidates include Jon, Daenerys, the Hound, Ser Davos, and Jaime Lannister. If the show doesn't answer this question in season eight, then you're officially allowed to skip any and all Melisandre scenes in future rewatches.
12. Cleganebowl. There was a bit of a tease for the long-anticipated fight between Sandor, aka The Hound, and Gregor Clegane, aka The Mountain, in "The Dragon and the Wolf," but alas, nothing happened except for a stare-down. In March 2019, Entertainment Weekly released 16 covers teasing the final season, along with the words "GAME OVER." Gracing one of those covers are The Hound and The Mountain. Is Cleganebowl really going to happen now or what?
13. Jon survives the war and goes on to win the Game of Thrones. If you read way too much into the teaser trailer for season eight, you will likely side with folks who think that Jon’s statue in the crypts of Winterfell is a major hint to how the series will end. Compared to Arya and Sansa’s statues, Jon’s is one of an old man.
this statue really looks like a old version of jon snow 👀 pic.twitter.com/SS2Etq3oz9— cyn (@valyriansblood) January 14, 2019
Then again, other fans believe it’s just hard to sculpt facial hair on statues; Jon’s statue is nothing special.
14. Samwell Tarly has been telling the story of Game of Thrones this whole time. This fan favorite theory about the books being a series of historical texts written by Samwell got an important boost early on season seven when he and Archmaester Ebrose (Jim Broadbent) had the following exchange at the Citadel library:
Ebrose: “If you’re going to write histories, Tarly, you have to do the research. If you want people to read your histories, you need a bit of style. I’m not writing The Chronicles of the Wars Following the Death of King Robert I so it can sit on a shelf unread…
[Sam shakes his head at the title] Ebrose: “You don’t like the title? What would you call it then?”
Sam: “Possibly something a bit more… poetic.”
Maybe something like, A Song of Ice and Fire? Hmmm???
One Reddit user has also theorized that if Sam does turn out to be the writer/narrator, he'll also have a big part of the final episode: “Sam is writing the story and the last scene is him putting the book away after telling the story to someone, maybe his grandkids, and he’ll be played by GRRM.”
Wishful thinking, maybe, but speaking of GRRM, George R. R. Martin has compared himself to Samwell on more than one occasion over the years. “I would probably be Samwell Tarly. I love Sam, too. He’s a great character,” he said in 2014. “Tyrion might be who I want to be, but Sam is probably closer to who I actually am. The fat kid who likes to read books and doesn’t like to go up a lot of stairs.”
15. Cersei is going to marry Jon. If for some reason things don’t work out with Dany because of well, their ~relations or something else, there is the possibility of Jon saving all of Westeros thanks to union with Cersei. This theory, which first surfaced in 2017, has some life again ahead of season eight. Like the folks at the International Business Times, imagine for a second Jon leading both armies from King’s Landing and Winterfell to take down the White Walkers and the ice dragon formerly known as Viserion. Yes, the chances of this happening are slim considering how Jon refused to even acknowledge Cersei as Queen on season seven. Then again, Cersei wanted to marry Prince Rhaegar when she was younger. If and when the truth comes out, this marriage could very well work out. Icky, but think of all the people they would save!
16. Grey Worm is going to die. Not long after the release of the season eight trailer, fans began speculating why Grey Worm and Missandei's passionate pre-battle kiss was so prominently featured (compared to say, an ice dragon). Over on Reddit, one fan (maxer108) thinks Grey Worm will die saving Missandei:
To me, he completed his character ark after going from basically a fighting machine to someone who cares so much for Missandei that he would do anything to save her, especially with the shots we got of them in that trailer. He's gonna die to save her, somehow
Twitter's also losing it:
MY LOVES MISSANDEI AND GREY WORM PLS PROTECT THEM pic.twitter.com/siS7VElEmj— louisa (@asoiafjaime) March 5, 2019