The nearly two-year-long wait is thankfully coming to an end as fans of “Game of Thrones” will finally get the final season to the acclaimed series this April. During that hiatus, while HBO was busy making the series conclusion, fans have been left to wildly speculate as to how they’re beloved series will come to an end and what the writers have in store for their favorite characters. With the release date approaching, speculation has ramped up as, ever since the debut of season seven, fans no longer have the books to use as guidance since the show is now officially ahead of the source material. Because of this, the internet is filled with countless fan theories and speculations that address every single aspect of the show no matter how small they may seem. This article will speculate responsibly and focus on the fates of the three primary houses: the Lannisters, the Targaryens and the Starks.
Since the beginning, the villains of the series have always been the Lannisters. Even when a literal army of the dead threatens all of Westeros, this family plots to use the crisis as an opportunity to consolidate power. With that being said, however, the family has been divided ever since Tyrion’s (Peter Dinklage) exile and recent alliance with Daenerys and recently with Jamie’s (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) departure after Cersei’s (Lena Headey) unwillingness to fight the army of the dead. Season eight appears to be setting up an ultimate clash between the three siblings with Cersei fighting a war for the Iron Throne against Daenerys, who already has Tyrion on her side and likely will gain Jaime as well. With regards to their ultimate fates, the safe bet is to say that Cersei will die, and likely at the hands of the kingslayer himself, Jaime Lannister. It is the only fitting end to her character and his, seeing that it was Jaime who broke his vow when he chose to kill the Mad King rather than allow him to burn his subjects alive. It would be poetic to see Jaime, both Cersei’s brother and lover, be the one forced to kill the queen in order to save Westeros as he did before. The only sibling likely to get a relatively happy ending is Tyrion who will likely find himself by the side of the eventual ruler of Westeros.
The moment she emerged from the flames of her husband’s funeral pyre unscathed and swaddling three young dragons, Daenerys has been on the clear path to reclaiming the Iron Throne for House Targaryen. The safe bet, and happiest ending, would be to assume that she succeeds in her efforts and becomes Westeros’ new queen. However, “Game of Thrones” has taught us never to become too comfortable and always anticipate disappointment when it comes to character ends. Though it may be a long shot, my suspicion is that Daenerys will meet her end defending Westeros from the threat in the North. After having seen the army of the dead and witnessing the death of one of her three dragons at the hands of the Night King, Daenerys fully realizes the threat they pose as seen when making the risky decision to visit King’s Landing and attempt a truce with Cersei in order to combat the threat. Daenerys has always been a queen of the people, as seen with her liberation of Slaver’s Bay, and it would be fitting that she makes the ultimate sacrifice to protect her subjects. Not only would her death be appropriate for her character, but more than likely it would unite the people against Cersei and lead to her eventual death.
Lastly, the unluckiest family in Westeros has finally rebounded since the events of season one as the surviving Stark children are finally reuniting and have retaken Winterfell. More than any, the Starks are poised to be the big winners when season eight concludes. More than likely, especially after the revelation that he is in fact a Targaryen and a rightful heir to the throne, Jon Snow will be the one to sit on the Iron Throne when the final credits roll after I predict Daenerys will sacrifice herself to save Westeros. Additionally, Jon’s new role in King’s Landing leaves an opening at Winterfell that only Sansa can fill as the new Lady of Winterfell. That however leaves both Arya and Bran left of the Stark family. Neither of the two I can imagine being killed off, but I find it hard to believe that a family that has suffered through so much can have such a clean and happy ending, leading me to believe that the family has one more death to endure.
With this all being said, it is possible, even likely that these guesses could all be proven wrong just as easily as they can be proven right. Game of Thrones prides itself in its ability to subvert expectations, and it is likely season eight will be no different. Audiences will have to wait until April 14 before they can learn these characters’ fates.