Season 7 of Game of Thrones, like the seasons that preceded it, set conversation ablaze. You don’t have to be of a particularly discerning mind to notice that both diehard fans and casual viewers have been theorising about the television juggernaut, its characters and its prophecies. You could even argue that Game of Thrones has replaced talk of the weather as a unifying conversation topic that allows friends, colleagues and strangers to connect, albeit in a less soul-destroying manner than meteorological small-talk. A part of the draw comes in from the fact that detailed theorising and slow-building intrigue is all the more valuable in an age binge-viewing and the instant gratification that it accordingly inspires.
Season 7 of GoT saw some long-debated theories finally become realised, ending years of fan conjecture. Airing on Sky Atlantic in 2019, the eighth and final series of Game of Thrones is still some time away, giving us ample opportunity to further debate existing theories and to consider new ideas on how the show will end. Spoilers ahead…
Perhaps one of the most hotly-debated Game of Thrones theories comes in the form of the Valonqar prophecy delivered to Queen Cersei by Maggy the Frog back in Season 5. In the flashback scene, a teenage Cersei threatened the woodland witch into giving her a prediction, before subsequently receiving answers to three questions. The answers detailed that Cersei would marry a King, bear three children (who would die before her) and that she would die at the hands of a Valonqar, a ‘little brother.’ Naturally, Cersei concluded that Tyrion, her younger and physically smaller brother was the Valonqar, stoking a hatred that was ignited when their mother died during Tyrion’s birth. Many fans have concluded that the most fulfilling end to Cersei’s narrative arc would be death at the hands of her twin (and technically younger brother), Jamie. However, there is a further piece to add to the puzzle. At the end of season 7, Cersei revealed that she was pregnant with Jamie’s baby. We posit that Cersei bears another son, a younger brother to her now deceased children. Yet, Maggy explicitly stated that Cersei will only have three children – no less, no more. In such case, it seems that both the Cersei and the child will die during birth, echoing the way in which Cersei’s own mother left the mortal coil. Cersei, humanised by maternal love, was someone who demonised Tyrion for ‘killing’ their mother in childbirth. A twist of fate will see the reason she hated her little brother, be the reason she subsequently dies.
Daenerys is Nissa Nissa
Anyone who has been paying attention to Melisandre’s prophecies will know that she expects a reborn Azor Ahai to save Westeros from the Long Night, and thus the threat of the White Walkers. We have learned that this messiah could be both a ‘Prince or Princess that was Promised’, leaving many to speculate whether Jon or Daenerys will triumph as the ultimate saviour of Westeros. However, we posit that salvation will come from the hands of them both. In the original Azor Ahai legend, the champion of the Lord of Light forges the sword, Lightbringer, to defeat the Great Other. Azor Ahai was forced to sacrifice his wife, Nissa Nissa, when plunging said sword through her heart in order to unleash its true power and create the blade of fable. The prophecy states that after a long summer, darkness will once again encroach, and the ‘Prince Who Was Promised’ will pull Lightbringer from the fire once more in order to fight off an existential threat. Who better embody both Nissa Nissa, and the prophesied ‘fire’ than Dany, who herself, rose from the flame, mother of two fire-breathing dragons? Will Daenerys’ true fate be that of a sacrifice to help Jon vanquish the Great Other? We have already seen her put aside her ambition when choosing to aid Jon’s cause rather than seize the Iron Throne.
Bran the Builder built both the Wall and Winterfell, and placed the crypts beneath the foundation of the castle itself, which, seems to be a strikingly deliberate location for a tomb. There has been much symbolism and references to the crypts in the show, to a point that becomes not-so-subtle foreshadowing. For instance, Ned repeatedly refers to the crypts as sacred and mysterious, and Jon has had recurring dreams of the burial site since leaving home. One dream (explained in the novels rather the show) sees Jon voyage deep into the crypts, to an area previously inaccessible due to a cave-in, and to what could be a source of arcane knowledge. Throughout the show, it has been constantly stated that there must always be a Stark in Winterfell – perhaps the secrets of the crypts could further explain why? After all, Bran the Builder, imbued the Wall with mystical protection (which was undone when Bran Stark linked himself with the Night King), and it doesn’t seem unlikely that his other great opum, Winterfell, possesses a similar magic.
Although we don’t have a strict release date as of yet, we can expect the eighth and final series of Game of Thrones to air on Sky Atlantic in 2019.