The End of an Era

With the Season 8 premiere of Game of Thrones just a week away, the internet is rife with speculations about what will happen to our favorite characters. From Cersei to Arya to Grey Worm, fans have been eagerly waiting to see who will win the Game of Thrones. So I thought I’d share my thoughts on what I think is going to happen!

  1. Cersei Lannister’s fate cannot be questioned. Out of all the prophecies in this world, her “Maggy the Frog” one seems to be the most ironclad. The witch prophesised that she would lose her children (which she did) so it can only be assumed that her “valonqar” or “little brother” will kill her. While Cersei is convinced that this refers to Tyrion, it is clear that it’ll be Jaime. Tyrion killing her would gratify everything she has thought about him his whole life. On the other hand, Jaime killing her would be more poetic as a clear representation of his character arc over the series.
  2. However, after killing Cersei, Jaime will die himself shortly afterwards. Jaime and Cersei often talk about how they came into the world together, and will also leave it at the same time. This means that when Jaime finally kills his twin sister, he won’t be far behind. The tragic death of both Lannisters will be a poetic cap to their lives.
  3. Moving on to another pair of lovers; Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen. They feel something for each other, both have large parts to play in the Great War and both have been connected to the Azor Ahai prophecy. The narrative that makes the most sense is that Jon is the second coming of Azor Ahai, he has to sacrifice what he loves most in the world, Dany, in order to bring about the victory of the living. This narrative fits with Dany’s vision in the House of the Undying that prophesied her death. The vision showed her forgoing the Iron Throne to fight the White Walkers, which she eventually did. The second part of her vision, the tent that housed her dead husband and son, could have foreshadowed her doom in the Great War. Her death could be used as a rallying cry for the living.
  4. Jon and Arya will finally reunite after years apart. Jon is the one who gave her Needle, the one possession she kept throughout her journey because it reminded her of home. While this reunion will be marred by the revelation of Jon’s parentage as well as the Great War, it will be a spot of light in an otherwise bleak season until…
  5. Arya’s death. Over the course of the series, Arya has developed into an assassin motivated by revenge for her family. Once every name on her list has been crossed off or removed, once the Great War is over, what place is there for her in the new world? It hardly seems likely that she would be happy living a quiet life in Winterfell. She will die a hero’s death, fighting alongside Nymeria, in pursuit of the protection of their homeland. And who will protect this homeland in times of peace?
  6. Sansa Stark. Arya’s older sister, Sansa, has been groomed for command. Over the course of the series, she has learned how to play the game; how to manipulate people to get what she wants, how to stay realistic and compartmentalize her emotions. She has proven that she has willpower and the shrewd sense to not repeat the mistakes of her father and brother and do what is best for the North. It would also be a good narrative fit. Sansa began the series desperate to leave Winterfell and experience the life of court. If she wound up living a quiet life back in her homeland, her character arc would come full circle.
  7. Tyrion and Sansa will recognize the fact that Valyrian steel is one of the few materials that can kill White Walkers and concoct a plan to melt the Iron Throne that started the whole series and bring the steel out of King’s Landing. The vast reserve will provide a valuable stock of weapons in the fight against the dead. Additionally, it will symbolize the end of the “game of thrones” for there is no longer a throne to pay for. The melting of the Iron Throne will be the epitome of character development; the loss of the throne also sets up Westeros perfectly for a post-Great War world in which all the Seven Kingdoms are autonomous, independent countries.
  8. Over the course of the series, there has been plenty of evidence that most characters swear loyalty to their families and their homelands, no one considers themselves to be “Westerosi”. They draw strength from the North, or from the Rock, or the ocean. The people of each region have different values and customs. There is no peaceful way of creating one large kingdom that houses them all. Assuming the living prevail and the White Walkers are defeated, Westeros will be an echo of the country it once was. The great houses will withdraw into themselves, try to heal their land and people from within. Forcing them to come together will only create more conflict.

No matter how the series comes to an end, if all these theories are correct or none of them, it will be an unforgettable avalanche of reunions, swords, and dragonfire, leaving us with a bittersweet taste in our mouths.

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