Following the latest teaser for the final season of Game of Thrones, fans have already started concocting new theories about who will end up sitting on the Iron Throne. We saw Jon Snow and the Stark sisters, Arya and Sansa, in their family's icy cold crypt, foreshadowing a huge battle to come with the Night King.
However, while we're all assuming one of the Stark sisters, Daenerys or any of the other protagonists we've been following for seven seasons will be ascending the throne, we must remember that, in the realm of Westeros, there's no guarantee of a happy ending. As seen in so many episodes of the HBO series over the course of the series' run, we simply cannot discount the possibility that no one makes it to the ruling seat, especially with the seemingly invincible Night King barreling ahead.
This theory stems from the frozen feather seen in the teaser, the one Robert Baratheon placed at the tomb of his beloved Lyanna Stark. Now, fans of the books believe that "A Song of Fire and Ice" refers to Jon having Targaryen blood in him (as he was Lyanna and Rhaegar Targaryen's son) and that his dragon rider lineage is what will stop the Night King and his ice horde known as the White Walkers.
But seeing the feather freezing over as it hits the ground could signal a win to come for the Night King. After all, it's not just a feather; it represents hope. It's about two powerful houses uniting, the union of bloodlines that produced great warriors like Ned and Rhaegar. The feather is a symbol that Jon will be the man to save the Seven Kingdoms from the likes of the White Walkers, the Lannisters and, now that he has Daenerys with him, injustice at large. It represents freedom and a future, so that's why watching it turn to ice hints that an unhappy ending is on the way.
Jon is due for one more showdown with the Night King after he barely made it out of their first encounter alive, and many are assuming he'll win the second and decisive round. He's got dragonstone and two of Daenerys' dragons to back him up, but we simply cannot discount how cutthroat Game of Thrones gets when throwing curveballs at viewers. In this show, the unexpected can happen and villains can win, so why can't the series save its biggest shock for last? Heroes can die at any given time and, let's be real, Game of Thrones is one of the few shows that can pull this off, no matter which side you back.
With Jon and Daenerys in love, it's once more about the Targaryen and Stark families uniting, but there's deeper meaning, as Daenerys believes in guiding the Seven Kingdoms away from oppression. Sure, they represent the fire of the people of Westeros and the flames of forbidden love, but with the Night King placing his cold signature on the North, they seem destined to be wiped out by his cold-blooded mission.
The Night King appears to be breaking a cycle: the vicious nature of all men. After being weaponized by the magic of the Children of the Forest, he saw the worst in them, as well as humanity, ergo why he has no reason to trust anyone apart from the zombies he commands. Him wiping out the free world and resetting it, forcing the survivors back to Essos or slave bays or the wilderness, could be poetic justice.
They may even end up as wildings beyond the Wall he burned down, as the Night King drives society to the very fringes they feared and subjugated. The show does represent the dark politics of man, and we know that rarely ends on a happy note. So, a move like this is fully within HBO's nature. In the crypt, the fire of all three torches goes out, but not because winter has come. It's a warning that everyone's final stand may be a losing one, and the last man left to take the throne would prefer to freeze and smash it to pieces than sit on it.
Game of Thrones will return for its eighth and final season on April 14. The HBO drama stars Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister, Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister, Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen, Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark, Maisie Williams as Arya Stark and Kit Harington as Jon Snow.