“WHEN you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die.”
Those were the foreboding words of Ned Stark (RIP) before he became the first major casualty of George R.R. Martin’s ruthless writing.
As Game of Thrones draws to an end — and with it, our purpose in life — fans are speculating how the epic fantasy series could conclude.
With a Westeros-free 2018 and nothing to do but twiddle our thumbs, these are some of the most likely fan theories.
THE PRINCE WHO WAS PROMISED
This Azor Ahai prophecy was a big deal in the books however the show’s producers haven’t given it the attention it deserves. To be fair, most viewers were probably too distracted at the time by all that incestuous sexual tension going on between Jon and Dany.
The Azor Ahai prophecy predicts that to save the world from impending doom (presumably White Walkers), there will be a second coming of the mythical figure Azor Ahai or the “Prince Who Was Promised”. As Missandei points out, technically Azor Ahai could be translated to mean “princess” too.
This prophesied saviour will “lead the people against a darkness” with a flaming sword called Lightbringer. But there’s a catch — the sword is only tempered by driving it through the heart of the one he loves.
Jon and Dany are the favourites among punters to be Azor Ahai reincarnated, meaning one of them will have to die to fulfil the prophecy. We all know how Martin loves to kill off his favourites … but who will be it be?
BRAN STARK IS THE NIGHT KING
In a surprising theory of whodunit, a fan claims Bran the cripple has actually been the Night King all along.
Using his powers of seeing greensight (prophetic dreams) and taking control of different characters (RIP Hodor), Bran has been trying to stop the White Walkers from descending on Westeros only to fail and bring about the present as we know it.
“Bran believes he is eventually (with more knowledge) going to be able to rewrite history and that’s why he decides to go back and stop the Night king several times, but fails every time, ending up fulfilling the timeline-circle and taking the identity of the Night king himself,” the Reddit user wrote.
THE WIGHTS ARE THE GOOD GUYS
We’ve been led to believe the White Walkers are bloodthirsty, murderous monsters hellbent on wiping out humanity. But what if they’re actually the real heroes?
Granted, their methods are a tad crude but this mad theory could actually have some credence. Martin’s writing is less about good vs. evil than it is exploring moral grey areas.
“Of all the competing interests in Game of Thrones, the White Walkers have consistently been the most virtuous, have consistently offered the most effective governance, and have consistently created the best possible lives for their people. No one in Westeros or Essos comes close,” the theory argues.
It also claims the White Walkers have great regard for human life, as seen when they take one of Craster’s children who was left out to die in the cold. They give the gift of eternal life, which they’re willing to share with all of Westeros.
Yeah, it’s a bit crazy. But if Thrones has taught us anything, it’s that everything is possible.
DANY WAS DOOMED FROM THE START
Remember those trippy visions when Dany visited the House of the Undying in season two? One fan’s theory claims they were prophetic and that she has always been destined to die.
In one of the visions, she walks through a ruined and icy version of the throne room in Kings Landing. She reached for the throne but then decided instead to walk through a door that led to the Wall.
She walks through a blizzard that always accompanies the White Walkers before entering a Dothraki tent, where Drogo and her unborn son await her.
This could be symbolising the doom that she will meet in the Great War, according to the theory.
JAMIE WILL KILL CERSEI
Will history repeat itself with Jamie the Kingslayer taking out his own sister? Maybe, according to one prediction.
In the books, when the mad witch Maggy the Frog prophesied the deaths of Cersei’s children, she also said a “valonqar” — which translates to “little brother” — would eventually strangle her to death.
Every prophecy has come true so far, so it stands to reason that Cersei could be taken out by Tyrion or Jamie. While Cersei always believed it would be Tyrion who eventually murdered her, Jamie was born minutes after her and has increasing doubts about her sanity.
JAMIE WILL DIE AFTER KILLING CERSEI
Both Jamie and Cersei have always said they will leave the world together, just as they came into it together.
Although it would be a shame to see Jamie go so soon after discovering his moral compass.
ARYA WILL USE JAMIE’S FACE TO KILL CERSEI
Taking the valonqar theory one step further, some people think Arya will use her skills as No One to travel to King’s Landing and take out Jamie Lannister.
She will then make a mask of his face and kill Cersei. After all, she did promise to eliminate the “last Lannisters who count”.
ARYA DIES WITH NEEDLE
Fans believe a scene in the first book was a foreshadowing of Arya Stark’s death.
When Jon Snow was teasing Arya about her sewing lessons, he said: “When the spring thaw comes, they will find your body with a needle still locked tight between your frozen fingers.”
Now that Arya has a sword named Needle and winter is in Westeros, people are panicking.
Arya is also compared to her aunt lyanna as “beautiful, wilful and dead before her time”.
BRONN WILL SWITCH SIDES
Bronn of the Blackwater AKA everyone’s favourite sellsword if tipped to take up Tyrion’s offer of switching sides for double pay. And why shouldn’t he? When all the Lannisters were falling over themselves, he was easily the MVP in the battle against Dany’s dragons and the Dothraki.
Bronn is owed a castle by Jamie and Cersei, meaning Tyrion would have to give him two castles as payment.
If all goes to plan, Bronn could become the proud new owner of The Twins.
NED STARK IS STILL ALIVE
Just imagine it — this theory is pretty farfetched, but seeing Sean Bean return to Thrones would be bloody amazing.
First posted by a fan in 2013, this bizarre theory has enjoyed a recent resurgence. Some people believe Varys arranged for Ned Stark’s escape in the first season and replaced him with a Faceless Man — possibly Jaqen H’ghar or Arya’s teacher Syrio Forel.
This theory could explain why Sansa thought the head Joffrey showed her didn’t look like her father, and why Catelyn thought what was left of her body looked too small to be her husband.