WARNING: Spoilers Ahead
A Song of Ice and Fire and its television adaptation Game of Thrones have transcended pop culture in a way that few premium channel shows do. For their legitimate successes, The Sopranos, Sex and the City, Dexter, The Wire, and others never hit quite the heights that Game of Thrones has over the past six years. The Red Wedding sent shivers across social media, the Purple Wedding a response based on how much you honestly hated Joffrey, and few other shows have such a following. Of course, the previously mentioned shows would probably have had a much wider following in today’s world as well, which is a point I will willingly concede.
IN any case, the question on the minds of fans is how will this saga end? The series and books have totally diverged now, there is very little left of the source material to adapt, and the show has progressed much further ahead in most areas. Now, I feel that it is as important to look back into the history of Westeros and Essos as it is to look at the future before trying to make a prediction. I say this because the show’s writers, while they have a tendency to simplify things, nevertheless are fans of the books and consequently seem intent on making sure that such things are usually respected. Although not openly discussed, Valryia, its rise and doom, descendants, and Valyrian steel, are all real topics, even on the show, and its legacy is something that influences events even now. The great migrations of the First Men, Andals, and the Rhoyner onto Westeros from Essos are all relevant, especially when you consider that the separation of blood remains a point of pride in some families. Finally, you have things like the Long Night, which is about to repeat itself if our heroes, anti-heroes, and probably a few villains cannot repel the Others / White Walkers.
SO, where is this going? My predictions for the series are a little different, given that events are far more streamlined there; they also ignored elements like the magical horns, whilst giving the Children of the Forest a darker side with their creation of the White Walkers. I also feel like the ending to the books can be more passive, whereas on television that might be viewed as anti-climactic, so I’m going to honor the more profitable gods first and discuss my predictions and thoughts for the TV series. My predictions for the books will come in my next blog entry.
GAME of Thrones: how it could all end. I’m not saying that all of this will come to pass, as a matter of fact, many things contradict themselves. I’m just throwing out different scenarios and how they would play out if the show runners went that direction.
• Daenerys on the Iron Throne OR Seven Kingdoms ruling themselves again; I feel like the show has been driving two separate political forces down our collective throat during the series. The first is Dany’s claim, her right, and her acquisition of manpower. The second, as best seen in the North, is the parting of the ways of so many kingdoms from control of King’s Landing. Although Dany’s reign would make sense, and would be satisfying, I almost feel like her death (possibly at the hands of White Walkers?) would work, if it were properly handled. Now, I’m not discounting Dany’s triumph, her being raised above as a messianic figure, and the people celebrating her coronation, but if she pulls together a grand alliance of kings and queens (Jon, King in the North; Yara, Queen of the Iron Islands; Dorne; and Highgarden), and decides to rule a United Kingdom of Westeros instead, they might decide to abolish the unified monarchy all-together and return to the old ways. What about her dragons? After serving against the White Walkers, and serving their purpose, they are let go to fly around the world, and repopulate the world with dragons for later generations. Amongst other things, that would be perfectly fitting and ironic for Jon Snow, who would begin the series a bastard, served at the Night’s Watch, and lives out most of his life as a true King in the North, wielding more power than his father or grandfather ever imagined. Unless…
• Daenerys and Jon marry; this would be appropriate given the Valryian tradition of in-breeding to “keep bloodlines pure”; also, in the show, Jon is the only blood relative of Dany. It would, theoretically, unite Dany’s alliance with the North and the Reach, and they would destroy any who opposed them. It also makes sense as he is ice and she is fire, and would revive the Targaryen dynasty; he might also provide a temperament to her hot-headed nature. His friendship with Tyrion is always a plus here, and in the process of becoming co-monarch, he would designate Sansa as Queen in the North. If Dany were to pass, though, he would also have the authority to abolish the monarchy, as I mentioned above. For all I know, though, it could be Jon who persuaded Daenerys to build a new monarchy, one in which they are a King and Queen of Kings and Queens, in the style of Agamemnon from Greek mythology, and that is where our story on Westeros would end.
• The White Walkers are defeated; I feel like this goes without saying, but the real question of how the White Walkers are defeated seems to be more important than if they will be. The easy answer is dragons, the harder answer is Valryian steel and Obsidian, and there’s probably something hiding in a book in Oldtown Sam will discover.
• Jaime as Lord of Casterly Rock; not unlike Jon being King in the North, Jaime is a character who would be a better ruler now than earlier in the series. He seeks to be honorable and a good man; now released from his vows to the Kingsguard, he would make a good husband to a lady (something inconceivable at the start of the series), and a wonderful father. Perhaps his greatest trait, though, is that Jaime has begun being honest with himself about who he is and what he’s done. He’s forgiven himself for killing the Mad King, not because of his ego, but because he realizes he was right to do it, since the alternative was the destruction of King’s Landing and the deaths of 500,000 people. Of all the characters, he deserves, even more than Jon or Tyrion, to end the series riding off into the sunset, and I hope the show does that for him.
• Cersei’s death; Pretty obvious this one, but the self-appointed Queen has crossed several lines, but mass murder, including her daughter-in-law and her family, her cousin, her uncle, and the man she appointed to be High Septon, but couldn’t control, all points to certain death. Although it would be satisfying to see Arya take her out, I feel like it will be Tyrion and/or Jaime. They know her better than most other people, and it would make for great drama. I actually think that her death should come sooner rather than later, as it would fulfill Vary’s goal of chaos in the Seven Kingdoms (albeit from the books, but you know that’s why he went to Dorne in the first place). Perhaps Qyburn is a plant from Varys, designed to get close to her for when the magic moment happens, and Varys and Dany decide to let Tyrion take his revenge, only to find that Jaime beat him to it.
• Tyrion finds a home; with Jaime restored to the lordship of Casterly Rock, Tyrion will need to find himself a home. If Dany, and maybe Jon beside her, win out, he would undoubtedly be the Hand. Maybe that’s his end. Or he reunites with Sansa, and based on their separate experiences, decide to give their marriage a second chance (after all, he treated her a lot better than Ramsey did). Maybe Tyrion sails off with a ship, never to be seen again, but is content in the journey to come. I feel like he’s such a fan favorite that the show runners need to give him some happiness in his ending, and the character deserves it. He finally found a cause and purpose for his life, and once he’s fulfilled that will deserve some form of peace. I also feel like Theon, who is continually atoning for his sins, should have something similar
• Arya, who knows? Maybe she’s a member of a Kingsguard, or just a court enforcer of laws, but Arya never wanted to be a lady. Her time with the Faceless Men prepped her for greater adventures as she takes names off her list. However, that can only go on for so long. She tells Lady Crane of her interest in exploring west of Westeros. I theorize that what the Faceless Men saw in Arya is her greater destiny to do something amazing, and that the whole purpose of her training was to make her ready for it. They never wanted her to join their ranks, but just to be ready. Somehow, she will accomplish this, but I won’t guess what form that takes, nor even if we, the audience, will be told what it is.
• The Night’s Watch is dissolved; one of my theories about the Wall, not mine originally, I just adopted it admittedly, is that it was built by the White Walkers to keep humans from intruding on their territory following the Long Night (and that whole war started from the First Men invading the Land of Always Winter). However, since the show probably won’t go into too much detail about the White Walkers, and since they’ll probably be wiped out, I also surmise that the Wall will fall in the process. With the White Walkers gone, it wouldn’t be needed anyway, and ultimately would end with the Night’s Watch being dissolved and the brothers returning home.
• Bran truly becomes the Three-Eyed Raven; Coldhands (who is a revived Benjen Stark in the show) delivers Bran to the Wall for his protection, but Bran cannot remain that far south forever. He must go someplace remote to fulfill his life’s work of being the three-eyed Raven until the next one comes along.
Thank you for reading. See you next time.