After eight seasons, “Game of Thrones” fans will finally see if their long-held theories will pay off. Dozens of important characters and a complex plot have made diehard viewers try to foresee plot twists for years. With the original R+L=J theory confirmed, meaning that Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark were the real parents of Jon Snow, fan speculations have ramped up for the final season.
Here are a few theories that even the grand maesters can’t predict.
Tyrion is a Targaryen
Tywin Lannister was never a fan of his son Tyrion, who killed his mother in childbirth, and frequently called him, “No son of mine.” Eagle-eyed “A Song of Ice and Fire” readers noticed suggestions that the Mad King Aerys II Targaryen was actually Tyrion’s father, which would make him a brother to Daenerys and Rhaegar, and the symbolic third head of the Targaryen dragon sigil.
Threes are important to the Targaryens––Daenerys and King Aegon had three dragons, and Dany heard a prophecy in the books saying, “The dragon has three heads.” However, it seems more likely in the show that Jon Snow is the only secret Targaryen.
Likelihood: 1/5 Drunkenly Dancing Tyrions
Jaime will kill Cersei
The Kingslayer might end up a Queenslayer.
Maggy the Frog, the witch from Season Five who prophesied that all of Cersei’s kids would die, also predicted in the books that she would die at the hands of her little brother (her “valonqar”). With Cersei a few seconds older than her twin brother Jaime, that leaves him and Tyrion as her potential killers. As we saw in the season eight premiere, Jaime left King’s Landing to aid the Winterfell forces against the white walkers, surely angering his sister. The Hound and the Mountain may not be the only siblings who battle to the death this season.
Likelihood: 5/5 Glasses of Cersei Wine
Bran is the Night King
Thanks to his time-warpy greensight and warg powers, Bran has the ability to travel back and impact history in the “Game of Thrones” universe. He witnessed the birth of the Night King thousands of years ago and broke Hodor’s mind when he was just an innocent stable boy named Wylis in Winterfell.
Fans think Bran might find a way to go back in time and live as other historic characters in the series, like Bran the Builder of ancient Stark family fame. He obviously has an important stake in the “Thrones” story, but could he actually be the big bad Night King?
Likelihood: 3/5 Awkwardly Staring Brans
Cleganebowl will happen
Sandor Clegane a.k.a. the Hound vs. Gregor Clegane a.k.a. the Mountain in a brotherly battle of Super Bowl proportions. This is the showdown everyone has been waiting for, and the two have been at each other’s throats since Gregor held Sandor’s face in a fire, leaving him with his hideously iconic burn.
The season seven finale briefly brought the two together at the all-cast reunion in King’s Landing, but left fans craving a fraternal showdown. “Game of Thrones” is all about payoffs, and this could result in one of the most ferocious fights in the show’s history. Bonus points if the Hound dies, then gets reanimated as a white walker, resulting in a completely undead Cleganebowl.
Likelihood: 5/5 Scowling Hounds
Jon and Daenerys’ child will rule Westeros
If the season eight premiere was any indication, some people aren’t too excited for Daenerys to take the Iron Throne. Jon already pledged his loyalty to the Targaryen princess, and even though he was revealed to be the rightful heir to the Throne, he’s never been too keen on leadership positions––his reigns as the Night’s Watch Commander and the King in the North were pretty reluctant.
With the two main characters shacking up, many predict Daenerys will end up getting pregnant and giving birth to a little royal baby. However, chances are that she, Jon or some other character will survive to rule, plus “Game of Thrones” isn’t the type to flash forward to a fully-grown Jonaerys offspring on the Throne.
Likelihood: 2/5 Princes That Were Promised
The Night King will resurrect long-dead characters
The only thing that could make the final “Thrones” battles more intense would be if dead fan-favorites were revived to fight as parts of the white walker army. We’ve seen the Night King bring back Viserion as a zombie dragon in the last season finale, and since then fans have been clamoring for more undead characters.
The Winterfell crypt has gotten a lot of attention this season, and its addition to the show’s revamped title sequence could point to Stark family members, like Ned, Catelyn and Robb, being resurrected. Book-readers were outraged at the lack of Lady Stoneheart, a revived Catelyn Stark post-Red Wedding, so this may be a way to remedy her absence from the show. Who knows if those actors would want to return to “Thrones” so long after their departures, so expect minor characters, like Tormund or Grey Worm, to potentially die and get brought back.
Likelihood: 2/5 Blue-Eyed Baby Zombies