The days might be getting longer, but the Long Night is nearly here. After over a year since the last new episode, Game of Thrones Season 8 will premiere on April 14 on HBO. By May 19, the international phenomena that’s had the world whipped into a fan frenzy since 2011 will air its last new episode (thankfully we have the documentary to also look forward to). With the end in sight, there’s only a limited time left for fans to generate and speculate on all the possible fan theories that still matter going into Game of Thrones Season 8.
The clock may have run out on fan theories like Lady Stoneheart or Tyrion getting his own dragon, but there are still plenty of options for fans to sink their teeth into before the final credits roll. As a refresher, here’s a 12-minute video which recaps every Game of Thrones episode to date.
Below is a comprehensive list of the seven most relevant Game of Thrones fan theories for Season 8.
1. Jaime Will Kill Cersei
Also known as the Valonqar (Valyrian for “little brother”), this theory took root in Season 5, when young Cersei visits the witch Maggy the Frog in a flashback. Maggy gives Cersei an eerie prophecy, telling her she will have three children. “Gold will be their crown, and gold their shrouds.”
That’s where the prophecy ends in the show, but in the book, Maggy tells Cersei one more thing: “And when your tears have drowned you, the valonqar will wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you.”
Cersei believes Maggy was referring to her little brother Tyrion, but it’s possible the prophecy is referring to her second younger brother/lover, Jaime. Given the way things went south between these two at the end of Season 7, it wouldn’t be all that surprising if Jaime decided he had to be the one to kill Cersei in order to do his part in saving the world from the White Walkers.
2. Arya Will Kill Cersei… As Jaime
Anyone who has heard a girl repeat names from her list knows that Cersei Lannister is at the top of Arya’s Most Wanted. And we’ve already seen Arya borrow faces in order to complete her quest — like with Meryn Trant and the Freys. If she wanted to get into the Red Keep in order to kill Cersei, whose face could be better than Jaime’s?
Then again, this would require Arya to kill Jaime first. She’s got enough motive to do so, especially after learning it was Jaime that pushed her brother out of that tower window. However, Bran doesn’t seem too bothered about it anymore, and Jon and Daenerys are going to need Jaime’s help in the War for the Dawn. So if she did go through with it, it’d have to be a rogue mission. Not that that’s ever been a problem for Arya before…
3. There Is A Maester Conspiracy
Clearly, magic exists in the world of Game of Thrones. However, most people in the Seven Kingdoms seem perfectly willing to accept the fact that dragons have died out, and things like wargs and White Walkers are the stuff of legends.
The maesters are the people that control the dissemination of knowledge in Westeros — writing and keeping the records of history and science. While they’re technically not meant to have a political affiliation, they definitely would have had the ability to influence history by limiting people’s access to knowledge of magic.
In A Feast for Crows, Maester Marwyn tells Sam, “Who do you think killed all the dragons last time around? Gallant dragonslayers armed with swords? The world the Citadel is building has no place in it for sorcery or prophecy or glass candles, much less for dragons.”
If the Citadel is organizing a major conspiracy to deprive the world of magic, then who better to uncover it in Season 8 than Sam?
4. Arya Could Be A Warg
In A Song of Ice and Fire, Arya, like Bran, is a warg, meaning she has the ability to enter the minds of animals. Specifically, she enters the mind of Nymeria, the direwolf she exiled in Season 1. Nymeria reappears to Arya during Season 7 on her journey home to Winterfell. Why would the writers remind us of Nymeria’s existence if not to bring her up one last time in the future? In fact, George R.R. Martin himself has a quote about Arya and Nymeria’s mysterious encounters. In an interview with Mashable, he said, “You don’t hang a giant wolf pack on the wall unless you intend to use it.”
As the theory goes, laid out by Alt Shift X, Arya will die in a final battle of some kind, but will warg into Nymeria’s body and continue to live forever as a wolf. We’ve already seen this happen once before with Orell in Season 3, the wildling warg who Jon Snow killed in battle, but warged into the body of an eagle before he died. Even Arya herself is constantly reminding us, “Valar morghulis.” All men must die. It would be a bittersweet ending for everyone’s favorite faceless assassin to die and become a wolf, but Game of Thrones is nothing if not bittersweet.
5. Jon Snow Is Actually Azor Ahai
Back when she was working for Stannis Baratheon, Melisandre was convinced she had found Azor Ahai, “the prince who was promised.” As the Westerosi legend goes, Azor Ahai was the Last Hero, the great warrior who came and saved the world from the White Walkers. Melisandre believed Stannis was this warrior reborn, but of course, that didn’t quite work out like she’d planned. Now, she seems to believe it’s Jon Snow, and it does seem like she’s got a much better chance of being right this time.
In A Song of Ice and Fire, Rhaegar Targaryen offers a prophecy about his son, Aegon. He calls him “the prince who was promised” and says, “his is the song of ice and fire.” In the book, he’s talking about his son Aegon with Elia Martell. But in the show, we know that Jon’s real name is actually Aegon Targaryen. There are other signs that point to Azor Ahai, such as tempering his mystical sword by plunging into the heart of the woman he loves. If Jon really is the prince who was promised, then the theory would require him to only seize the full extent of his power when he kills the woman he loves: Daenerys.
6. Gendry Will Rule The Seven Kingdoms
Gendry is Robert Baratheon’s bastard, and as such, he does have some claim to the Iron Throne (since Baratheon was the ruler when the show began, and his offspring with Cersei are illegitimate). When all’s said and done, and the White Walkers have been defeated, Daenerys might not survive in order to sit on the Iron Throne herself. In that case, who would be the one left in charge?
Gendry hasn’t been groomed to rule. However, he’s just and good-hearted, and willing to do the right thing no matter what the cost — hard traits to come by among the Westerosi nobility. If Jon and Daenerys can’t or won’t rule the Seven Kingdoms for whatever reason, Gendry could be a viable option. What’s more, some fans speculate he might even get together with Sansa. With her noble breeding and shrewd leadership skills, mixed with his Baratheon lineage and even temper, they could be just the dream team the Seven Kingdoms have been waiting for.
7. Bran Is Bran The Builder
After “Hold the Door,” it’s clear that Bran’s powers have a far-reaching, time-twisting impact on the events of the series. If he was able to mix his powers of greensight with warging, who is to say he couldn’t go back in time to make even more changes, or set off an even more complicated course of events?
It’s possible that Bran could go back in time to either influence or even become Bran the Builder, the legendary founder of House Stark who built both the Wall and Winterfell. Since it was the construction of the Wall that managed to keep the White Walkers at bay during the last War for the Dawn, that would bring a nice sense of closure to the course of events this time around.
Game of Thrones Season 8 premieres on HBO on April 14.
- Words: Genevieve Van Voorhis