It's been a long seven years since Game of Thrones began and we've been taken on quite a journey. It's been one full of heartbreak, blood, epic battles and stirring conversations about power, faith and of course sex-- pretty much the main themes of the show. Showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff have said that the eighth season will be the last and like the upcoming season seven, will contain fewer episodes than previous seasons, meaning we're incredibly close to the en. And yet, so many things are happening now that the end is still just as obscure in some respects as when we began this story.
For a while now, even those who once held all the answers thanks to the books are at a loss. The showrunners have gone a completely different direction with some characters so it's anyone's guess as to what we'll see next. All we can do is put the pieces together, see what the likeliest outcomes are and hope for the best. So we'll do just that. Some fans have theories about who might end up where, other fans look at the show and just keep rooting for their favorite character to survive, we're doing all of that right here with this list. Of course... be warned that there are spoilers ahead!
15 SHOULD: DAENERYS ON THE THRONE
When Daenerys was first introduced to us on the show, she seemed resigned to her fate as Viserys' pawn in an ill-fated campaign to take the Iron Throne. Fast forward six seasons and we see her with an armada and three dragons sailing to conquer Westeros. She's endured so much on her journey, and all the while maintained more compassion than many of the other characters on the show. That's why many fans are expecting her to take the throne.
The witch's prophecy in the episode, The Wars to Come (directed by Michael Slovis) foretold of a younger, more beautiful queen who would take Cersei from the throne. It makes sense that the show would end with Daenerys ruling the Seven Kingdoms and after seeing her come this far, it's something we're hoping she gets to.
14 SHOULDN'T: MAD QUEEN DAENERYS
There are those who would argue that Daenerys has, in fact, lost a lot of the qualities that made her a fan favorite in the beginning. The argument here is that more and more Dany seems more focused on being a conqueror as opposed to an actual ruler. She's prone to acts of violence, which she often feels are justified, such as crucifying nearly two-hundred of the former masters of Meereen in Oathkeeper (directed by Michelle MacLaren), despite the fact that many of them either opposed or had nothing to do with the brutal crucifixion of the little girls Dany had seen.
She's had her council of wise advisers and they've done well in guiding her. Nevertheless, it's not impossible for her to gradually grow in thought to resemble her father, the Mad King Aerys, over the course of the next two seasons. After everything, it'd be yet another shocking twist, but a deeply saddening one.
13 SHOULD: JON SNOW ON THE THRONE
Jon Snow has been a likeable character from the beginning, the underdog (the underdog of nobility, but still) that everyone roots for. Unlike Daenerys, he's a bit more in touch with the common folk, having fought alongside them as a brother of the Night's Watch. During his time with them, he's also proven himself to be a very capable leader, essentially leading the defence of the Wall in the episode, The Watchers on the Wall (directed by Neil Marshall).
It would be awesome to see Jon Snow on the Iron Throne, ruling over the Seven Kingdoms as a fair and just king. He has a legitimate claim to it as well, as we recently discovered in The Winds of Winter (directed by Miguel Sapochnik), as the son of Lianna Stark and prince Rhaegar Targaryen, making him the rightful heir to the Iron Throne.
12 SHOULDN'T: LITTLEFINGER'S REIGN
There's one person who has consistently shown that he's one of the few who really knows what he's doing in that game of thrones Cersei was talking about. It was through Petyr Baelish's machinations that the War of the Five Kings began and it was thanks to him that Joffrey met his untimely (but well-deserved) demise. It's all for power and while it appears as though there are minimal chances, it'd be unwise to underestimate him, especially now that he has his tendrils in both the Vale and the North.
The thing is, we only know he wants power and while he has alluded to a desire to take the throne, there's one thing he's been very clear about: his desire to have his revenge on the Starks, Tullys and Arryns, the houses that he feels wounded him in his youth. Like he said in You Win or You Die (directed by Daniel Minahan), "I'm not going to fight them, I'm going to f*** them."
11 SHOULDN'T: THE NORTH AND SOUTH GO TO WAR AGAIN
The War of the Five Kings was epic, the battle between Mance Rayder's army and the Night's Watch was epic and the war between the ancient White Walkers and the rest of Westeros is bound to be even more epic. We don't need another drawn out war between the North and the South like the one we seem to be heading toward now. Hopefully, Daenerys and Jon Snow band together and swiftly defeat Cersei and the Lannister army.
Still, what happens if someone else does take the Iron Throne, someone who isn't content with having the North as an independent kingdom? War is the likely outcome and one we're not too eager to see. The show has done well in showing us how horrible ancient war could be, we do not need yet another example so we're hoping nothing like that comes to fruition toward the end.
10 SHOULD: THE NORTH SEPARATES FROM THE SOUTH
Another likely outcome would be the amicable agreement between the North and South to remain two independent allies. That's been something the northern houses have been fighting for since Robb Stark was first named King in the North by Jon Umber in the episode Fire and Blood (directed by Alan Taylor). More recently, Jon Snow was proclaimed King in the North by Lyanna Mormont and the rest of the northern houses but what about after the war?
We know Daenerys will reach Westeros by the next season and we've seen how willing she is to grant her allies their independence as we saw in Battle of the Bastards (directed by Miguel Sapochnik) when she agreed to grant the Iron Islands their independence (with a few conditions of course). It's something we'd be happy to see, now that we know that a single king for the Seven Kingdoms doesn't really work.
9 SHOULDN'T: THE SEVEN KINGDOMS DIVIDED
That being said, something we hope doesn't happen is the complete dissolution of the Seven Kingdoms. By this we mean, we hope the ending doesn't leave Westeros divided into seven self-governing kingdoms. Of course, it'd be a bit more realistic but it would inevitably lead to more war and chaos and after everything, we'd like to think that Game of Thrones would end with a more stable equilibrium than when it began.
We know the showrunners have said that several spin-offs have been planned, but if it's just about more war within Westeros, it might get a little tiresome to follow. Aside from that, it would also take away from what this whole story has been about. Things cannot just go back to the way they were after the White Walkers have been defeated, surely stronger bonds will be forged in the wake of the Night King's assault on Westeros?
8 SHOULD: DAENERYS BREAKS THE WHEEL
Hardhome (directed by Miguel Sapochnik) was an intense episode, full of great scenes. In one of the most memorable, Daenerys and Tyrion discuss possible support from the houses of Westeros. It's there we see what Dany really thinks about those houses; that they're all just spokes on a wheel, a wheel she means to break. It's likely then, if she's true to her word, that she might decide to just destroy the Iron Throne. Where does that leave Westeros?
Breaking the wheel would presumably mean ensuring no other house gets to reign supreme. Seeing as how many of the turning points in the show (except of course for the mystical) have reflected real-world historical events, it's not difficult to imagine that Daenerys might be planning to create a more democratic system in Westeros. It would undeniably give the overall story of Game of Thrones since we've now seen all the loss and horror it took to get there.
7 SHOULDN'T: DAENERYS RETURNS TO ESSOS
For all we know, she may just decide to listen to Tyrion and return to ruling Essos after her work in Westeros is done. While it might make a bit of sense, given that she pretty much grew up there, it'd be a shame to see her leave the new Westeros we're certain she's going to help create. Her departure so soon after all major battles have ended, would leave Westeros vulnerable to future attacks from within, likely from houses eager to reinstate themselves as major powers.
We're hopeful that she's going to stay, no matter what happens in the next two seasons. If all goes well, she'll need to stay there. We already saw how Qarth, Astapor and Yunkai violently rebelled after she moved on from those cities and Westeros is quite a different beast. She has to stay.
6 SHOULD: THE DRAGONS INCINERATE THE WHITE WALKERS
It can't just be some strange coincidence that dragons returned to the world just when White Walkers rose up from their sleep. They were destined to fight each other and let's be honest, from what we've seen, the White Walkers don't stand a chance against those behemoth, winged, fire-breathing monsters.
Though it's generally a good idea not to get your hopes up about anything in this show, we're hoping for an epic confrontation between the Night King's forces and Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion. Since Game of Thrones has been building up to that battle for years now, we're hoping it'll live up to our expectations and that the show won't tear that happy moment away from us like it usually does with our favorite characters.
5 SHOULDN'T: THE WHITE WALKERS DON'T GET PAST THE WALL
Benjen Stark explained in The Winds of Winter that the Wall is protected by ancient spells carved into the stone, preventing undead creatures such as himself from passing. We can only assume that these spells act in similar ways to those we saw protecting the Three-Eyed Raven's hideout in The Children (directed by Alex Graves). The Night King himself was only able to get through that barrier by marking Bran through one of his visions.
There are several reasons we're hoping the White Walker's aren't able to get past the wall, the first being that it'll mean the annihilation of the North, given that not everyone has Valyrian steel swords or shards of dragonglass lying about. The second reason is that right now we have to assume that the Night King will only be able to cross using Bran once again, meaning Bran would have single-handedly placed the rest of the world at great risk because he hasn't mastered his new role as the Three-Eyed Raven.
4 SHOULD: THE WALL FALLS
That being said, we're hoping that if the White Walkers do in fact get through the wall and tear the whole thing down. That way, after the Night King is defeated and his army has returned to the dirt, there'll be a chance for real unity between the Wildlings and the rest of Westeros. We've already seen how it's possible for them to come together when they're not starving or threatened; besides, Ygritte even said in A Man Without Honor (directed by David Nutter), "We've been here the whole time" until the Andals came and conquered, building the Wall and claiming Westeros for their own.
In the end, when the Seven Kingdoms inevitably becomes more unified (willingly or otherwise), it'd be great to see the Wildlings included in that unity, a tenuous but functioning relationship we can imagine will grow after the series ends.
3 SHOULD: JON SNOW KILLS THE NIGHT KING
These two are already rivals. The Night King watched Jon Snow kill a fellow White Walker and Jon Snow has watched the Night King's forces slaughter a thousand people, they both have people to avenge. They even had an intense staredown in Hardhome (directed by Miguel Sapochnik) just before the Night King raised the slaughtered Free Folk as wights for his army. They were made to be arch-nemeses.
Of course, there are dozens of other possibilities in regards to who will actually kill the Night King. Daenerys from atop Drogon, Jon Snow with Longclaw (his sword), maybe even Arya somehow, with a bit of dragonglass. But given that Jon Snow is the best fighter out of most other candidates, we're hoping he's the one to destroy the Night King for good.
2 SHOULD: THE NIGHT KING BECOMES HUMAN AGAIN
Up until the episode, The Door (directed by Jack Bender), the origins of the White Walkers and the Night King in particular remained obscure and unexplained. All we knew was that they were an ancient horror that tormented mankind for centuries. Through Bran, we discovered that it was the Children of the Forest that created the Night King with dragonglass. We also know that the Night King is capable of creating more White Walkers through touch, so maybe there's a way to turn White Walkers back into humans.
Everyone was at fault for the creation of the White Walkers. Sure, the Children created them from the First Men, but it was the First Men who forced them to do so by attacking and slaughtering the Children, according to Leaf. It would give the villain just the right amount of depth in the end if he were to become human in his last moments.
1 SHOULDN'T: EVERYBODY DIES
We're not talking about literally everyone in Westeros, just all the important characters we've come to know. In all the chaos that we're bound to see when the forces of Westeros face off against the White Walkers, there's no way we're going to see all our favorite character still standing, if any. Maybe that's the point of it all. Maybe the only way Westeros can grow from everything that has happened is if an epic battle razes all the major cities, giving the peasantry freedom to build from the rubble.
Everything we've seen so far shows us that this wouldn't be an outcome the show would shy away from. All the same, it's not something we want to see. Every good story, even one as brilliantly cynical as this one, needs a positive note to end on. That's why we're hoping we haven't been following these characters just to see them die in the end.
How about you? How do you want GoT to end, and how do you think it definitely shouldn't? Let us know in the comments!