Game Of Thrones Season 8: The Most Tantalizing Fan Theories Going Into The Final Season
By Kevin Wong on
Winter is here, and it's going to be a cold one. Spoilers ahead!
A year and a half ago in August 2017, we watched the Season 7 finale of HBO's Game of Thrones, and our jaws dropped. The Wall came down. Littlefinger died. And Jon Snow did a lot more than bend the knee to Daenerys Targaryen.
At the time, it seemed we'd have to wait forever to see the final six episodes in the series. But now, finally, we're there. Season 8 will premiere on April 14, and we'll finally get to see who, if anyone, will win the game of thrones. But first, our heroes have to deal with a little threat up North. The Night King has it in for the Starks, the Lannisters, and anyone else with warm blood coursing through their veins. That includes Cersei, cold-blooded as she seems.
The extended break since the last episode has given the show's most dedicated fans time to theorize. We scoured the Internet to see what they've been saying, and found 9 of the best theories we've heard so far for Game of Thrones Season 8. If you liked this gallery, be sure to check out our frame-by-frame breakdown of the newest Game of Thrones trailer. Winter is here, and it's going to be a cold one.
1. The Bran and Night King Connection
Bran Stark returned in Season 6 after a season-long absence. This late-game resurgence is pretty clear proof than Bran will have a crucial role to play in Season 8. And with Bran still exploring his three-eyed-raven abilities, fans' imaginations are running wild.
One theory is that Bran is the Night King; in the process of trying to stop the Children of the Forest from creating the first White Walker, he perma-warged himself into its body and became the Night King.
Bran's actor, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, all but disavowed this theory. And although we typically can't trust the actors to give us correct information or spoilers, we believe him this time; He's right when he calls this theory "cheesy."
The other Bran theories are a bit more intriguing. In the same way that Bran damaged Hodor's mental state by warging back in time, what if Bran affected other key events in the timeline? Could he have warged into the mind of his ancestor, Bran the Builder from the Age of Legends, and told him to build the wall? Could he have warged into the Mad King's head to warn him about the White Walkers, but instead drove him mad and instilled the directive to "burn them all?"
Time travel has a way of of making anything and everything possible. It'll be interesting to see how far the writers can take this concept while maintaining the suspension of disbelief.
2. The Destiny of Direwolves
There's a well-circulated observation that the Stark children's direwolves each reflect something about the personality or fate of each child. Jon Snow's direwolf, for example, is named Ghost; Jon's death in Season 5 and subsequent resurrection in Season 6 gives this name a fresh, new meaning. Nymeria is the name of a warrior queen that Arya admires; between her training with the Faceless Men and her overall resourcefulness, Arya has evolved into quite the warrior herself. Sansa's wolf's name was Lady, and Lady died back in Season 1--around the time things started going sour for Sansa, who had to let go of the delicate part of herself to survive.
Which brings us to Bran's direwolf. It's dead, but its name was Summer--a telling name in a show that is preoccupied with encroaching Winter. Perhaps this means that Bran will be the key to defeating the Night King, or that his actions could bring about about a new season of fertility and peace? We can only hope.
3. Does Daenerys Have To Die?
The books have a detailed prophecy about a legendary figure named Azor Ahai, who will return to lead our heroes out of the darkness. There are lots of theories as to who this Azor Ahai might be. And if you're one of the fans who believes it's Jon Snow, then you might be upset about the implications.
According to legend, to forge Lightbringer, the sword he wielded, Azor Ahai plunged it into the chest of his true love, Nissa Nissa. So, if Jon's true love is Daenerys Targaryen, will she have to die to bring peace to the realm?
It seems that at best, any happy ending to this series will be be bittersweet. One or more main characters may have to be sacrificed for the greater good.
4. Who is Arya Running From?
In the first official trailer, you can see Arya running through the Winterfell Crypt, seemingly terrified for her life. And although she could be running from typical wights or White Walkers, fans believe she's running from something more specific and terrifying.
What if the Night King was able to reanimate the Starks that are being buried in the crypt? Could we see an undead Catelyn chasing her daughter through the corridors? That's certainly creepy and unsettling enough to send even the most hardened warrior fleeing for her life.
5. Putting On A Good Face
The Faceless Men have so much narrative potential; their ability to impersonate anyone, both living and dead, has led fans to believe that one of them is hiding amongst the main characters, right now. A small percentage of fans theorize that Arya is already dead; that she bled out back in Braavos, and the Waif is currently wearing her face, pretending to be her.
This is very unlikely, given that the Waif would have no cause to murder all the Freys, which Arya did in the Season 6 finale/Season 7 premiere. But there might still be some Faceless shenanigans in Season 8.
For instance, there is a prophecy that Cersei Lannister will die at the hands of her younger brother. Since that same prophecy also predicted that all of Cersei's children would die before her, we can assume that this final part may also come true.
So which brother will do the deed? Few fans believe that Tyrion will kill Cersei; it's too obvious, for one, and he seems busy with his role as Hand to Daenerys. Most fans think Jaime will be the one to kill his sister; he developed a conscience last season, and he might feel compelled to kill Cersei, for the good of Westeros, if she puts everyone's livelihood at risk. He already killed one king for the same crime, after all.
But there's also a third theory that Arya will do it, while wearing Jaime's face. This will technically fulfill the prophecy, while also crossing Cersei off Arya's lengthy kill list.
6. Dragons Beneath Winterfell
The evidence for this is mostly symbolism and hearsay. But could there be dragons hidden in the crypts of Winterfell? Winterfell is built over hot springs; the only other location in Westeros associated with hot springs are also associated with dragons. And one of the companion books to the novels, Fire and Blood, reports rumors of dragon eggs hidden in Winterfell, although it was dismissed as the ramblings of a fool.
7. Littlefinger Is Dead, We Think
The duplicitous, Iago-esque Petyr Baelish met a bad end in the final episode of Season 7. He tried to turn the Starks against one another, and for one of the first times in the show's history, Littlefinger got into a dilemma he couldn't talk his way out of. Arya Stark slit his throat, and finally, we were rid of him. Or were we?
There is some speculation that Littlefinger faked his death. In Episode 5 of Season 7, we see Littlefinger give a cloaked woman a coin, and she whispers to him, "Your time is up," Fans are theorizing that this woman is a Faceless Man (or a Braavos citizen who knows the Faceless Men), and the coin is a form of Braavos communication, similar to the coin that Jaqen H’ghar gave to Arya in Season 2.
So perhaps, the man who died at Arya's hand was not Littlefinger, but a Faceless Man wearing Littlefinger's face. If so, then Littlefinger escaped from Winterfell long before his "death."
It would certainly be an interesting twist; Littlefinger has always been smart enough to see danger coming, and it's difficult to believe he would have suspected nothing prior to his untimely execution.
8. Gendry the Blacksmith
After spending three seasons on the sidelines, Gendry, the surviving bastard son of Robert Baratheon, took a more prominent role in Season 7 after Ser Davos found him in King's Landing. He played a key role in Jon's mission beyond the Wall to capture a wight and prove to Cersei Lannister that the White Walkers and the army of the dead are real.
As a trained, skilled blacksmith, he might know how to work with Valyrian steel; in the books, his master, Tobho Mott, is the one who forged two Valyrian steel swords from Ned Stark's original Ice sword.
This gets complicated, since in the show, Mott is not the one who forged the new swords. But perhaps in the series, Gendry will have learned this skill anyway. And since the special steel is one of the only materials that can destroy White Walkers, it's especially important.
9. Samwell The Storyteller
According to Hobbit lore, Bilbo Baggins wrote down his adventures in a book called There And Back Again. This has led some fans to theorize that Samwell Tarly is the corresponding storyteller of Game of Thrones.
His dumbstruck reaction to the Citadel's library underlines the writing connection. The chandelier in the library and the Maesters' magnifying glasses can also be seen in the Game of Thrones' opening credits, as the camera swoops toward and around different landmarks.
Perhaps this clockwork world map, which we've been looking at now for seven seasons, is in the Citadel library, and a Maester (maybe Samwell himself?) is retelling the events from the perspective of someone who survived them.