Warning: this article contains spoilers from Game of Thrones season eight.
The cultural phenomenon that is HBO’s Game of Thrones comes to an end this Sunday, and showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have just 80 minutes to tie up all the loose ends.
Last Sunday’s episode, “The Bells,” saw Daenerys give in to her worst Targaryen impulses, razing King’s Landing and becoming the Queen of Ashes. After that devastation, there are plenty of possibilities as to how the show will end, despite the deaths of many key players. Fan theories online are rife, so we’ve rounded up the five wildest ones below.
Tyrion Lannister is secretly a Targaryen, too
This theory suggests Tyrion Lannister is actually a Targaryen bastard, after the Mad King Aerys (Daenerys’ father) raped Tyrion’s mother on the night she wed Tywin Lannister. Tywin did always say Tyrion was no son of his…
Likelihood: 1/5 — Cersei and Jaime were older than Tyrion, so if any Lannisters are secret Targaryen bastards, it’s them. Also, we already have one secret Targaryen, so giving us any more would just be repetitive.
Jon Snow becomes the new Night King
In a major twist, this theory says Jon Snow will become the new Night King as a sacrificial move to protect the realm of men from Mad Queen Daenerys. Bran knows how to create a Night King, after all.
Likelihood: 2/5 — Jon’s already been stabbed in the heart once, so doing it again, this time with Dragonglass, would be a bit much. Also, he and Bran Stark are at the opposite ends Westeros as things stand, although, given the pacing of this season and Bran’s warging skills, that’s not necessarily a barrier.
There are more dragon eggs out there
This one requires some extracurricular reading, but to boil it down, there are at least three more dragon eggs in Westeros and Three-Eyed Raven Bran knows where at least one of them is.
Likelihood: 3/5 — Even if they are a) found, and b) hatched, it will be too late for Jon, the last sane Targaryen (assuming Tyrion isn’t one too), to grow and train them to defeat Daenerys. However, it could still be a bittersweet symbol that the wheel has not been broken but that dragons live on.
The White Walkers aren’t dead
In this theory, Daenerys heads to Winterfell to accuse Sansa Stark, Bran, and Samwell Tarly of treason, meaning they’re all about to get dracarys‘d to a crisp. Jon is consequently forced to reveal his true identity and higher claim to the Iron Throne, and to execute Daenerys and Drogon. He then abdicates and heads north to live out his days with the Wildlings and Ghost, only to find Wildling corpses arranged in the White Walker spiral, as seen in the very first episode, with the wheel very much unbroken.
Likelihood: 4/5 — This would be a suitably grim and devastating end to the story. In the words of Ramsay Bolton, “If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.”
Arya kills Daenerys
We all know Dany’s got to go. The only question that remains is how. Will it be Jon, her lover/nephew, or Arya Stark, Westeros’ premier assassin? Before turning into a desiccated husk after the Battle of Winterfell, Melisandre prophesied to Arya, “I see a darkness in you. And in that darkness, eyes staring back at me: brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes. Eyes you’ll shut forever.”
Arya’s shut a bunch of people’s eyes already, but no high-profile green eyes as yet (Walder Frey had brown eyes, the Night King blue). It was first thought the green eyes would be Cersei’s, but now she’s (almost certainly) dead, all eyes are turning to the Dragon Queen.
Likelihood: 3/5 — Arya totally has it in her to kill Daenerys, but does the Mad Queen actually have green eyes? In the books, they’re violet, and we’d argue Emilia Clarke’s eyes are blue-green at best. Either way, her eyes have never been a talking point, so it’s hard to tell.