Game Of Thrones Season 8: Are Story Hints Hidden In This New GoT Game?
Created by Phil Hornshaw on
When You Play the Game of Thrones, You Win or You Die
(Note: This post is full of spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 7 and Reigns: Game of Thrones, so read on at your own risk.)
The newly released Reigns: Game of Thrones on PC and mobile is in an interesting position. Ahead of the final season of HBO’s hit show, it toes a precarious line by bringing players into the story as it stands at the end of Season 7, without spoiling anything of the upcoming final season. Reigns' developer Nerial, in partnership with HBO, handles that proposition by turning Reigns: Game of Thrones' entire experience into a hypothetical exercise. The whole game is about working through potential conclusions to the Long Night, the super-long winter in which the White Walkers will try to take over the world, by seeing how various rulers might successfully repel the undead invasion.
Reigns: Game of Thrones isn't canon for the show, but it definitely has a strong handle on the state of the story. When last we left Westeros in Game of Thrones in Season 7, Cersei Lannister sat the Iron Throne, while Jon Snow, Sansa Stark, Daenerys Targaryen, and Tyrion Lannister were all hoping to convince her to join an alliance against the White Walkers. Cersei seemed poised to stab everyone in the back--and then the Night King brought down the Wall.
Where the story goes from here is anybody's guess, but fans have been guessing a lot. There are fan theories that dig deep into Westerosi lore, both from the TV show and George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series of novels on which it's based, to try to anticipate how the story will unfold when the war with the White Walkers begins in earnest. What's interesting about Reigns is that it's fully aware of all these possibilities, and the game is basically a series of fan theories playing themselves out through the choices you make as you play. Can Daenerys's dragons repel the White Walkers? Will Arya complete her list? Is Tyrion destined to be a dragon rider? Is Jaime the brother from Cersei's prophecy, destined to kill her?
What's interesting about Reigns is that it's so fully aware of all the show's plot threads, it feels like it might contain some real hints about what might actually happen. They're largely hypothetical, of course, but the story ideas in the game are right in line with where the show seems to be headed. A few of the plot elements in Reigns even hit on things the show hasn't mentioned, but that have appeared in the novels, raising the question of whether the game might be teasing where Season 8 is headed. Here are a few of the interesting elements that show up in Reigns that could be very important to the final season of Game of Thrones.