Man at His Best

The 13 Best Game of Thrones Theories to Consume Fans Until Season Eight

There's a lot of speculation to go on between now and then.

BY matt miller | Nov 2, 2018 | Film & TV

HBO

Yes, the seventh season of Game of Thrones ended more than a year ago, but that doesn't mean fans of the show have stopped dissecting every single scene. Throughout the last 400-something days, fans have spent actual minutes of their lives trying to figure out what's in store for Season Eight. And they've come up with some interesting stuff!

If you can't wait until April for some answers, we've compiled some of the best Game of Thrones Season Eight theories and predictions that might actually come true. If spoilers are a thing that concerns you, then maybe stop reading now because, since fans are basically writing this show at this point, some of these will probably happen (OK, maybe not the last one, but we can hope).

Our sweet boy Sam is actually the Prince That Was Promised

In George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, Azor Ahai is a legendary figure "who fought against [the darkness] with a red sword" and "arose to give courage to the race of men and lead the virtuous into battle with his blazing sword Lightbringer." According to prophecy, "When the red star bleeds and the darkness gathers, Azor Ahai shall be born again amidst smoke and salt to wake dragons out of stone." As one Game of Thrones theory outlines, Sam could very well be a secret Targaryen—the child of Rhaegar and Elia Martell (his first wife whose marriage he had annulled). This child was smuggled away by Varys and sent to one of the most faithful Targaryen families the Tarlys.

Samwell had inherited his mother's Dornish looks and most of her character: kind and clever, with a gentle heart and a sweet wit, though with a delicate health; exactly like Ser Barristan Selmy had described Elia. From his father, Sam had inherited Rhaegar's love for books and songs instead of his ability for battle. Lord Randyll, being the Tarly that he is, tried his best to raise the young Prince as a fighter. But even after giving it his all, poor Sam could not do it. His training was proving a failure. And to cope with the stress and the pain, Sam hid behind food...

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Melisandre will return with an army to save the day

When we last saw the Red Priestess Melisandre in Season Seven, she shot a not-so-subtle threat at Varys before announcing that she was going to sail across the Narrow Sea to Volantis, which is one of the Free Cities of Essos. But that's not the last we'll see of her—she told us as much. "I will return, dear Spider, one last time," she said to Varys. "I have to die in this strange country, just like you."

As we know, Melisandre is a Red Priestess in the religion of R'hllor, the Lord of Light, which has played a supporting role throughout the series, but has never been fully explained. Volantis is home to one of the largest Red Temples in the religion of R'hllor, and also happens to be where Kinvara—the Red Priestess we met in Season Six—is from. If you'll recall, Kinvara met with Tyrion and told him she believed that Daenerys is the Princess That Was Promised. She also agreed to convince her people to follow Daenerys, which is great news, because she's kind of a big deal where she's from (her full title is High Priestess of the Red Temple of Volantis, the Flame of Truth, the Light of Wisdom, and First Servant of the Lord of Light). Considering they're both going to converge in Volantis and they're both part of the same crew and they both believe in Daenerys' cause, it's safe to assume Melisandre and Kinvara will team up. As fans have pointed out, Volantis is guarded by a massive army called the Fiery Hand, which Tyrion sees in A Dance With Dragons. Hmm, an army that follows a fire god sounds pretty useful in a battle against ice undead monsters who are vulnerable to fire...

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Ned Stark is alive and will return

OK, I know this sounds crazy, but there's a lot of evidence out there that this could possibly happen in their early report from the set of Season Eight, EW wrote that they saw a number of characters that they didn't expect to see again. Who would be more unexpected than Ned Stark? Plus, people die all the time on this show and come back. Jon Snow, The Hound, Beric Dondarrion, The Mountain, and, in the books, Catelyn Stark—they all are resurrected in some form or another. Yes, everyone watched as Ned's head was very clearly severed from his body and placed on a spike on the ramparts of King's Landing. But, what if that wasn't actually Ned Stark who was beheaded in front of his entire family, the fancy royalty, and a bunch of angry, dirty commoners?

According to the theory, Jaqen H'ghar of the Faceless Men and Ned Stark were being held prisoner in the Red Keep at the same time. If you recall, back in Season One, Arya first meets Jaqen when he's being transported out of the Red Keep as a prisoner. Now, it seems strange that a Faceless Man would be so easily imprisoned. So it's logical to believe that he was captured on purpose. That purpose was for Varys to pay Jaqen to replace Ned Stark at his execution with an imposter. Ned has had to stay in hiding and travel away from Westeros where he won't be discovered. He's also working for Varys to help pay off the debt owed to the Faceless Men.

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Tyrion is actually a Targaryen, too

Now that we know Jon Snow is a Targaryen, the next surprise sibling will be none other than Tyrion. This comes from the popular A + J = T theory, which means Aerys plus Joanna equals Tyrion. The books detail the Mad King Aerys's obsession with Tywin Lannister's wife, Joanna. According to the theory, Aerys impregnated Joanna, who died when giving birth to Tywin (similarly, so did two other Targaryan siblings: Jon and Daenerys). It would also explain Tywin's final words to Tyrion—"you're no son of mine"—along with his general disdain for his youngest son. And remember how chill Tyrion was with those little dragons?

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Tyrion made a deal with Cersei and will betray Daenerys

While this would make the previous theory pretty complicated, many fans believe that an important conversation went down between Tyrion and Cersei that wasn't shown in the Season Seven finale. Remember when Tyrion was convincing Cersei to work with Jon/Dany and noticed that she was pregnant, then the next scene cut to them back in the Dragonpit? During that gap, Tyrion might have made a deal with Cersei to ensure that her unborn child would be the king/queen to succeed Daenerys, who Tyrion believes is unable to have children. That would explain his concern while listening to Jon and Dany have sex on their steamy romance cruise in the finale. If she has a baby, that would really mess up his plans.

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Arya will become Littlefinger

Although news seems to travel inexplicably fast in Westeros, it's possible that most of the south is unaware of Littlefinger's demise in the Season Seven finale. This would make it pretty convenient for Arya to travel to King's Landing (where Littlefinger used to have a great deal of power) using his face as a mask. Since she's the one who carried out the execution, it's likely Arya can use his as she did with Walder Frey's in the season premiere. Even if Littlefinger isn't exactly welcome in King's Landing at this point, it could be a convenient way for Arya to get close to the people on her kill list down south.

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Bran is the Night King

While there's little evidence going into the final season of Game of Thrones, fans are convinced that Bran could be the Night King. They're comparing the two characters' wardrobe, and the man whom the Children of the Forest used to create the first White Walker (largely believed to be a Stark). Anything can happen on Game of Thrones, and Bran actor Isaac Hempstead Wright told Esquire.com he thinks it would be pretty cool to be the Night King—even though he thinks it's a stretch.

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Bran Built the Wall

Season Six revealed that Bran Stark can not only see the past—he can manipulate it, too. There are a number of theories that consider the endless possibilities of his powers. Overall, they seem to connect Bran to every key moment in Westeros history. Bran already accidentally destroyed poor Hodor's mind by traveling to the past, and some speculate that he'll do the same thing to the Mad King Aerys Targaryen, who was known to "hear voices." To go back even further, it's been theorized that every person named Bran in Westerosi history is actually our Bran—meaning he actually built the wall. Fans often point to this passage from George R.R. Martin's books:

"I could tell you the story about Brandon the Builder," Old Nan said. "That was always your favorite." Thousands and thousands of years ago, Brandon the Builder had raised Winterfell, and some said the Wall. Bran knew the story, but it had never been his favorite. Maybe one of the other Brandons had liked that story. Sometimes Nan would talk to him as if he were her Brandon, the baby she had nursed all those years ago, and sometimes she confused him with his uncle Brandon, who was killed by the Mad King before Bran was even born. She had lived so long, Mother had told him once, that all the Brandon Starks had become one person in her head.

It's the Cleganebowl ... bowl ... bowl ... bowl

Even though it didn't happen in Season Seven as everyone predicted, the epic showdown between Gregor and Sandor Clegane is almost certainly going to happen in the final season. In the Season Seven finale, The Hound tells The Mountain: "What did they do to you? Doesn't matter. That's not how it ends for you brother. You know who's coming for you. You've always known." This is almost certainly foreshadowing for the duel to come. The Cleganebowl, one of the most beloved Game of Thrones fan theories, has been brewing since Season One, when it's established that the two have hated each other since they were children, and The Hound's face is disfigured when The Mountain shoved him into a fire as punishment for playing with his toys.

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Jaime will kill Cersei, his lover/sister

It would be tragic, and beautiful, and satisfying all at once. Jaime must kill his sister/lover Cersei as she becomes the Mad Queen. In the Season Seven finale, Cersei tells Jaime that she plans to betray Jon and Dany even if it means the destruction of the human race. That was the last straw for Jaime, who finally left Cersei to head North—as actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau told Esquire.com in an interview—before she could kill him. Now that they're on opposite sides of a war, Jaime might be forced to face, and even kill, his own sister. And there have long been hints to this happening: When Cersei was young, a seer named Maggy the Frog made the prophecy that Cersei would watch all her children die—only to be murdered herself. As the prophecy goes: "And when your tears have drowned you, the valonqar [High Valyrian for 'little brother'] shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you." This would make for a rather bloody parallel to Jaime killing the Mad King during Robert's Rebellion.

Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow

Jon or Daeneys is the Prince(ss) Who Was Promised

Throughout George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire is the legend of Azor Ahai, "a hero who fought against [the darkness] with a red sword" and "arose to give courage to the race of men and lead the virtuous into battle with his blazing sword Lightbringer." According to prophecy, "When the red star bleeds and the darkness gathers, Azor Ahai shall be born again amidst smoke and salt to wake dragons out of stone." Melisandre has been holding out for the return of Azor, whom she believed was Stannis Baratheon. Since Stannis didn't work out all too well, it's likely that her new hero is Jon Snow, whom she helped resurrect in Season Six. This theory took a twist in Season Seven, when it's pointed out that the translation of the prophecy could also mean the Princess That Was Promised, meaning it could be either Jon or Daenerys.

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What if Sam is the one telling this whole story?

Who is telling this story? Is the narrator Jon? Is it George R.R. Martin? Is it Bran? In an interview a couple of years ago, John Bradley—who plays Sam—noted that it could be his character who is narrating the story. "One theory is that what we're seeing now and how we're experiencing Game of Thrones is Sam telling the story of Game of Thrones," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "If you take the logic of the story now, the story of Westeros and the story of the battle for the Iron Throne, it would be a book in that library." Fans have noted that in his scenes in the Citadel library in Oldtown, Sam can be seen standing under a gyroscope similar to the one shown in the Game of Thrones opening credits. In Season Seven, a conversation between Sam and Archmaester Ebrose seemed to confirm this theory, when Sam suggests a more poetic title for The Chronicles of the Wars Following the Death of King Robert I.

Look, the White Walkers are probably going to win

As we know all too well on Game of Thrones, our heroes almost never win. They die tragically and suddenly. Real justice is rare, if ever. So why should the ending of this saga be any different? And, let's face it, things aren't looking too good for Team Human. At the end of Season Seven, the Night King turned one of Daenerys's dragons into a White Walker dragon, then used it to demolish The Wall that had been keeping them out for thousands of years. So let's consider this for a second. If the Night King now has the ability to A) travel wherever he wants in Westeros by dragon and B) raise armies of undead using dead humans, what's stopping him from flying to every graveyard in the Seven Kingdoms and creating armies that overwhelm, surround, and destroy humans? At this point, given the constant bickering and manipulation in Team Human, who's to say the White Walkers shouldn't win?

From: Esquire US


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