How will Game of Thrones end? 4 of the wildest, most convincing fan theories
From Daenerys as Ice Queen to Tyrion being a Targaryen, some compelling ways for the series to end
When the first season of Game of Thrones launched in 2011, it quickly established itself as a show of excess: in sex and violence, in the way the plots twist and turn, in how it continues to add compelling characters to the point of confusion, and how it's not afraid to kill any of those characters off. That excess has also translated to the show's fandom, which has resulted in an abundance of wild fan theories as to what, exactly, is happening.
Fittingly, most Game of Thrones theories are exhaustingly thorough, often relying on back stories and plot points drawn from both the show and George R.R. Martin's books, many of which haven't played heavily into the show. But as the show enters its eighth and final season, some theories have risen to the top, offering up interesting and plausible outcomes for the series. Below, we highlight four of the most compelling.
Daenerys as Ice Queen
One of the most out there, but also surprisingly convincing, fan theories is that Daenerys Targaryen — the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons — will add yet another title to her name: Ice Queen. Or maybe Night Queen would be the official title.
Here's the theory, suggested by Redditor marisaann26, and based off a dream vision Daenerys had in season 2. In it, Daenerys walks into the throne room at King's Landing, but it's destroyed and charred, the roof is missing, and falling snow covers everything. When she reaches out to touch the throne, she's pulled away by the sounds of her dragons crying. When she leaves the room, Daenerys ends up north of the Wall, where she finds a tent containing Khal Drogo and their son, Rhaego. Again, she is pulled away by the sound of her dragons crying so she leaves, only to find the dragons chained up.
According to the theory, this dream symbolizes a number of things that have already happened to Daenerys, and one thing that is still to come:
One, moving towards the throne but being drawn away, beyond the wall, equals the moment in season 7, when "Dany was going to attack King's Landing and take the throne by force, but she was told Jon and company beyond the Wall need rescuing," writes the Redditor.
Next, the dragon's crying in her dream is the same sound they make when the Night King's army kills their brother Viserion, turning him into an ice dragon.
The final part of the theory that has yet to happen revolves around Dany's decision to leave the tent with Drogo and her baby in order to be with her dragons: it possibly symbolizes her choosing to leave Jon (and possibly their child) to be with her dragons, who will be killed in a season 8 battle. One is already an ice dragon, and the only way to join them is by becoming the Night Queen. She joins forces with the Night King and together they take the throne.
Further proof of this theory comes in the music that is being played during her dream vision — it's the White Walker's theme. There's also this quote from actress Emilia Clarke, who has said the ending is "bittersweet," telling Vanity Fair that "it f--ked me up, knowing that is going to be a lasting flavour in someone's mouth of what Daenerys is."
There's more to theory, if you're so inclined, but as far as outlandish theories go, it's also very convincing.
Another branch of this theory also has Jon Snow killing Dany, in order to fulfill the prophecy of the Prince that was Promised.
Bran Stark is actually the Night King
Strangely enough, Bran, the warging Stark son-turned-Three-Eyed Raven who is the last person with whom you'd want to get stuck speaking to at a party, is the oddsmakers' choice to win the whole Game of Thrones. One way that could happen is if it turns out he's actually the Night King.
It's long been established that the Stark family has bloodlines north of the wall, and that the first White Walker, a.k.a. the Night King, could possibly even be a Stark ancestor. However, one theory takes that notion and twists it in a way that would make Martin proud.
To put it as simply as possible, Bran uses his powers as the Three-Eyed Raven to try to stop the Night King by travelling back in time and warging into the Night King. This would explain why the Night King, who is aware of Bran's plan, is so obsessed with him and constantly hunting him down.
There's a lot more to this, including the idea that Bran travels back many times in order to stop the Night King, at one point becoming Bran the Builder, who built the wall. At another point, Bran goes back to influence Aerys the Mad King, inadvertently driving him to the point of lunacy, causing him to repeatedly shout "burn them all," much the same way Bran's warging affected Hodor.
"People will see he has a target he wants to kill, and you will find out who that is," the actor who plays the Night King told EW.
However, Isaac Hempstead Wright, who plays Bran, naturally thinks it's "a bit far-fetched, but I would have said the same thing about the Hodor theory," he told GQ. "But this is Game of Thrones, and anything is possible. I'd love to be the Night King. That would be so fun to be like, 'It was me all along.' But I don't know — I doubt it."
You can read the full Bran as Night King theory on Reddit.
Tyrion Lannister is actually a Targaryen
When guessing who will win Game of Thrones in the end, one theory gives Tyrion Lannister a slightly better shot than he already has: he's actually a Targaryen.
A few things point to this, the first being Aerys' obsession with Tyrion's mother, Joanna Lannister. According to the books, Aerys long pined for Joanna, which only added to the friction between Tywin and Aerys.
Another point is Tywin's disdain for Tyrion, which could be because he knows his real father. There's also this quote from A Storm of Swords, where Tywin tells Tyrion that, "men's laws give you the right to bear my name and display my colours, since I cannot prove that you are not mine. To teach my humility, the gods have condemned me to watch you waddle about wearing that proud lion that was my father's sigil and his father's before him."
Tyrion also looks different than his siblings, and in the books is described as having hair that is, in parts, almost white, just like the Targaryens. He also has eyes that are different colours — one green, one black — while his Lannister siblings both have green eyes and blond hair.
There's also the fact that the dragons seem to like Tyrion, and dragons only like people with Targaryen blood. Tyrion has long been fascinated with dragons and fire, and even tells Jon Snow that he used to "dream of having a dragon of my own. Oh, yes. Even a stunted, twisted, ugly little boy can look down over the world when he's seated on a dragon's back. I used to start fires in the bowels of Casterly Rock and stare at the flames for hours, pretending they were dragon fire. Sometimes I'd imagine my father burning. At other times, my sister. Don't look at me that way, bastard. I know your secret. You've dreamt the same kind of dreams."
Sam is the author of Game of Thrones
Out of all the theories, this one actually seems like the most plausible. Sam Tarly, the bookish underdog, is actually the author of Game of Thrones. It doesn't help us determine the outcome, but it seems to be a nice meta touch that, while the action is happening, Sam is recording it for the history books. Just like Bilbo Baggins being the in-text author of The Hobbit, Sam will pass on the story of his buddy Jon Snow, as well as the greater War of the Five Kings, for future generations. It's a nice nod to J.R.R. Tolkien, a big influence on Martin.
Martin has compared himself to Sam in the past, and it's no surprise that Sam is obsessed with the written histories of Westeros. During his time in Old Town citadel, he even notes that the existing titles are boring, and would prefer something "more poetic."
A Song of Ice and Fire, the official name of the Game of Thrones series, is certainly more poetic. If this does turn out to be true, it's possible Sam will finish his tome before Martin is able to deliver The Winds of Winter, the long-awaited next volume in his series.
How do you think the series will end? Let us know in the comments.