Game of Thrones has been essential TV viewing for the best part of eight years, and come the 14th of April, the monumental series’s final season begins – and the Thrones enter the endgame.
The sheer amount of highlights throughout the show is staggering. From Ned Stark’s beheading in season one, to the Night King slaying and resurrecting the dragon Viserion in season seven, the TV adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire has kept us on the edge of our seats.
Back in season 3, Ramsey Snow ominously told us “If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention,” but despite all the horrors fans have witnessed so far, we can’t help but hope things play out well for the heroes of Westeros.
There are reunions we need to see, characters that deserve to die, and little titbits that could do with being rounded up, and Game of Thrones season eight is the only chance we have left to see these scenarios come to fruition. Well, we could get some closure in the form of The Winds of Winter, but George RR Martin sure doesn’t like to rush those epic novels of his.
1. Jon And Arya Reunite
Recent teasers and trailers from HBO show Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow arriving at Winterfell where Sansa Stark offers the North’s seat of power to the Breaker of Chains. In the same clip, Arya looks on in awe as Drogon flies overhead. This can only mean Jon and Arya are both at Winterfell and the two will be reunited after so long apart.
The characters haven’t shared a scene since the second episode of the first season, but in the brief time we saw them together, it was clear they shared a strong bond. The love Arya has for Jon was made abundant when she put her plans to assassinate Cersei Lannister on hold after Hot Pie reveals Jon and Sansa had retaken Winterfell from Ramsey Bolton. The former Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch had already left for Dragonstone by the time Arya reached her homeland, ruining their chance to reunite in season seven.
There is no possible way the two can go any longer without being together as the Starks and Daenerys are gathering their forces at Winterfell. It’s been eight years since Jon and Arya hugged each other goodbye, and it’s hard to think they’ll be the only ones with tears in their eyes when they embrace again.
2. Pod Reveals What He Did To Please The Prostitutes So Much
Grateful for saving his life during the Battle of the Blackwater, Tyrion Lannister showed Podrick Payne his gratitude by taking the boy to Littlefinger’s brothel in King’s Landing so he could lose his virginity. When Pod returned, Tyrion and Bronn where amazed to hear the prostitutes refused to take payment from the squire as they had so much fun. To this day, the secret of Pod’s sexual prowess hasn’t been revealed, though Tyrion and Bronn presumably got the answer off-screen over a cup of wine or two.
As is the way, Pod’s skills in the sack soon became meme-worthy and speculation as to what he did became one of the show’s biggest mysteries. Ros, one of Littlefinger’s workers who did not have the pleasure of meeting Mr Payne, revealed to Varys the girls had a wonderful experience that was hard to describe.
The most common theory is he treated the prostitutes with an unusual amount of respect. Whether or not this is true, Tyrion and Bronn need to reveal the answer in one final “bro moment” with Pod before the end.
3. Bronn Gets His Castle
Much like Pod’s erotic adventures, Bronn’s desire for a castle has become a prominent meme for Game of Thrones fan. After accepting Cersei’s offer to marry the wealthy Lady Stokeworth in season four in return for leaving Tyrion without a champion, inheriting Castle Stokeworth became his main obsession. However, betrothal to the Lady wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
At the start of season five, Jaime Lannister approached Bronn to help him retrieve Myrcella Baratheon from Dorne. In exchange, the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard promised the knight a much prettier wife and an even bigger castle. Bronn being Bronn, he accepted Jaime’s offer.
Since then, Tyrion’s former sellsword has been by Jaime’s side, often remarking he is still owed a castle. In S6:E7 Bronn reminds his travel partner, “You promised me a lordship and a castle and a highborn beauty for a wife,” while in S7:E5 he tells Jamie, “’Til I get what I’m owed, a dragon doesn’t get to kill you. You don’t get to kill you. Only I get to kill you!”
With Jaime deserting Cersei and his position in the Queensguard, it seems unlikely a Lannister twin will reward Bronn with a castle. However, if Dany wins the war, her Hand, Tyrion, might just give his friend that all-important fortress after all.
4. Cersei Must Die
Is there anyone else in Westeros who deserves to die more than Queen Cersei? Her lifelong hatred of Tyrion, a desire to put down anyone who could usurp her power, and the fact she blew up hundreds of people with wildfire in the Great Sept makes her a prime target for some much needed comeuppance.
Maggy the Frog prophesised Cersei would die by the hand of her valonqar — or little brother to us non-High Valyrians — in the books, with the finger being pointed at Tyrion. However, Jamie is also younger than his sister, and could just as easily fulfil the prophecy. With this part being left out of the TV show though, many other characters could rise to the challenge of killing the queen.
Daenerys, Jon, Arya, and even the Night King all have reasons for wanting Cersei dead, and by her own admission, “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.” The chances of her winning the war are very slim, so death has to be on the table, and after everything she’s done, her demise has to be just and satisfying for her enemies and for the viewers.
5. A Dance With Dragons
You’d imagine having three dragons would give you a huge advantage in any war, but as Daenerys found out to her horror, the mythical beasts can be taken down. Now the White Walkers have a resurrected dragon of their own, an epic confrontation has to be on the horizon.
One major complaint about Game of Thrones has been about the lack of screen-time for the dragons, but it’s understandable as they can cost over $1,000,000 to add into each episode. The overall budget per episode was increased to $10,000,000 for the final season though, meaning the producers had a lot of cash to spend on the winged beasts.
A true dance between dragons hasn’t been seen in Game of Thrones, as all three were owned by Dany, but Drogon and Rhaegal will have to fight back when the Night King sends Viserion after them.
A clash between the three should be mind-blowing to watch as they tear into each other and spit fire across the skies. There’s no telling if the numbers game or the sheer size advantage Drogon has will be enough to put the White Dragon down, but the results of such a conflict would have major implications for either Daenerys or the Night King.
6. Brienne Of Tarth Finds Love
It doesn’t matter whether you’re #TeamJaime or #TeamTormund, Brienne deserves to find love. The Maid of the Sapphire Isle has only been pursued in earnest by Tormund Giantsbane, but the unique friendship she struck up with Jaime Lannister got a few fans wondering if they’d become an item.
Tormund was on top of The Wall when the Night King attacked with Viserion, so there’s a good chance the Wildling won’t be settling down with his chosen maiden. But should he survive, it would most certainly add to his appeal. Imagine being able to live through a dragon attack and telling the woman you love the thought of her drove your determination to survive. That’s romance right there.
On the flipside, Jaime’s devotion to his twin sister came to an end in season seven, meaning there’s room for a new woman in his life. It’s not hard to argue Brienne has had more impact on the Kingslayer than anyone else in Game of Thrones. She’s seen him at his lowest point when his hand was chopped off, he saved her from being raped and from being killed in a bear pit, and Brienne is the only person Jaime has confided in about why he betrayed his vows to kill King Aerys II.
Whichever suitor wins her favour, Brienne needs to be with the one who she loves and who loves her back. After so many years of being passed over, this is her chance to find happiness.
7. The Night King’s True Identity
The amount of theories on who the Night King was before being cursed by the Children of the Forest is insane. As he was cursed over 8000 years before the events in Game of Thrones, we had no reason to suspect any main character in the series could be the ruler of the White Walkers and the wights. Then Bran told Hodor to hold the door…
When the new Three-Eyed Raven discovered he could change the past, Game of Thrones fans put together theories on how Bran will try to end the war before it starts by going back to stop the Children of the Forest from creating the Night King, only to become trapped in the NK’s body.
Other ideas on his identity include him being the reincarnation of R’hllor, which is why Melisandre was able to bring Jon Snow back to life at The Wall as her power is stronger when near her Lord, and some think he’s a Targaryen because he has the ability to ride a dragon.
In truth, it could be any of these characters. Or it could just be some random man who angered the Children. Whatever his origins are, we need an answer, so the speculation can be put to rest.
There are many confrontations we want to see in Game of Thrones season eight, but no final fight has been as hotly anticipated as the one between the Clegane brothers, Sandor and Gregor (aka the Hound and the Mountain). An intense rivalry that’s been brewing since childhood, the Hound told his older brother he’d come for him in the end during the season seven finale.
One of the more interesting aspects of this potential upcoming parley of swords is how Sandor’s character progression hasn’t taken into account. Over the years, we’ve seen the Hound take pity on those around him, such as he did for Sansa when she was bullied by Joffrey, and when he buried the deceased farmer and daughter. While it’s more likely he still can’t forgive his older brother for burning him, there’s a good chance the Hound wants to put the Mountain out of his misery of being a zombie slave for Cersei.
Gregor physically marked Sandor as his No.1 enemy and made his little brother despise knighthood. There is no one more fitting to make the Mountain crumble, presuming the fight takes place.
9. Jon Snow Takes The Name Of Aegon VI Targaryen
When Bran Stark and Samwell Tarly realised Jon is the legitimate child of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark — plus, with the Baratheons now wiped out, the rightful heir to the Iron Throne — millions of A Song of Ice and Fire fans were elated to find out their inklings were right. However, it’s going to be a real task to “convince” Cersei, the Night King, and Daenerys to relinquish the seat of power.
Looking back on the growth of Jon Snow’s character, there is no better person to rule Westeros. He learned honour and duty from Ned Stark, he was groomed for leadership as a steward of the Night’s Watch before taking the mantel of Lord Commander, and his bastard upbringing kept him humble. Throw in his prowess as a fighter, the respect he earned from the Northern lords, and his paternal lineage and you’ve got yourself a worthy king-in-waiting.
If Cersei and the Night King fall, the only opposition Jon would face would come from Daenerys. Many fans have speculated the two would marry and rule together, but there’s one thing that could ruin their ‘happily ever after.’
10. The Identity Of The Prince Who Was Promised
With the death of Stannis Baratheon, the two most likely contenders to the title of The Prince Who Was Promised became Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen. The reincarnation of Azor Ahai has been prophesised to save the world from the cold darkness with the sword Lightbringer; a weapon that has to be tempered with the blood and soul of Azor’s true love.
As ‘prince’ is a gender-neutral term in High Valyrian, and Dany fulfilled the part of the prophesy stating, “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,” she seems the most likely. However, Jon was brought back to life by the Lord of Light for an unknown purpose, has already battled White Walkers, and is significantly more skilled with a sword than the Breaker of Chains, making him worthy of wielding Lightbringer.
If either one is revealed as The Prince, the other would have to die by the sword so its true power can be unleashed. We were promised a “bittersweet ending” by George RR Martin, and what could be more brutal than having the hero or heroine kill their love to destroy the threat of the White Walkers and the Night King?
Is there anything else you’re dying to see in Game of Thrones season eight? Let us know in the comments below.
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