The Grand Finale
I’ve had the honor of helping That Shelf cover Game of Thrones’ final season. It’s been a wild ride, to put it mildly. Ultimately, I am of the opinion that the show has never been better, in terms of the technical work that has been put into creating such a TV show, but the writing has been lacking in part due to the lack of source material from George R. R. Martin. The biggest mistake for the final two seasons was the decision to cut out a total of seven episodes (three in season 7 and four in season 8). From what I have seen for this season (and last), a lot of the criticism could have been avoided by having those seven episodes to flesh out character arcs and plot points.
In the end, we have what we have. I’m approaching the impending doom – I mean end of the show with this mindset: Game of Thrones season 8 is what it is and I’m going to enjoy it despite all of it’s faults.
With that in mind, I’ve wracked my brain, for the last time, for predictions for some of the most beloved fictional characters we have ever known. Some thoughts are quite tinfoil and out there, while others are plausible.
Jaegon Snargaryen (Jon Snow + Aegon Targaryen) is going to abdicate his claim to the throne after seeing what Daenerys did to King’s Landing last episode. He is sincere in his claim that he does not want to rule the Seven Kingdoms – that he will not challenge Daenerys. However, we saw him retreating last week away from being her supporter. Because of this and his oath to her, he will disappear North, the real North, and essentially become a Wilding.
Perhaps he will form a new “Night’s Watch” (even though that military order is no longer needed). Maybe he will for the border control between the Wildlings and the Southerners that helps keep the peace. Really, I’m just hoping we get some redemption for how he treated Ghost.
I think she is going to establish herself Queen of the Iron Throne. However, I don’t think that is going to go very well. The North, the Eyrie, and the Riverlands are all under control of the Lady of Winterfell and probably won’t swear fealty. Dorne has this new prince (who I do not think will play a role with only one episode left). The Stormlands will probably stay loyal to Daenerys because she appointed Gendry Baratheon as Lord of Storm’s End. The Reach however, I predict will stay loyal to Winterfell. The Greyjoys and the Iron Islands are loyal to Daenerys as well.
Not having all seven of the kingdoms is going to be a bee in her bonnet for sure. As much as I would love to see Daenerys rule, I can’t see another way for her except for her to die. And I would not be surprised Arya is the one who kills her. After all, she’s been “going to kill the queen” for a while now.
Arya will attempt to assassinate Daenerys and in the process have an epic battle with Grey Worm. I think she’ll kill him and he’ll be happy with this so that he can join Missandei, wherever she is. After killing Dany, either Arya will disappear into the world, become the First Sword of Braavos, or rejoin Sansa in the North and be an advisor to her. As much as I would not like it to happen, I could even see Arya, after killing Dany, going to Storm’s End and marrying Gendry.
Ser Brienne of Tarth
I honestly have no idea what Brienne might do. Does she stay in the north with Sansa? That’s a real possibility, and probably the most likely. Or does Brienne go south and back to Tarth? I can’t help but fear we may not get an actual resolution/”what happens next” with Brienne – despite having such an important episode this season (“A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”).
Since I have mentioned her a few times, I might as well dive into the Lady of Winterfell and Queen in the North. Oh wait, that’s what I think she’ll become. Sansa has the North, the Eyrie, and the Riverlands. And I think she will assert their independence from Daenerys vehemently. Somehow Sweet Robyn Arryn and Uncle Edmure Tully will factor into her outcome (if the rumors of the actors being back for this season are true). Perhaps as the leaders of their lands, they will swear fealty to Sansa, thus securing her rule.
I cannot see an outcome where Sansa is not a ruler in some capacity. She has been trained and bred for this her whole life. She’s learned how to and how not to lead from the best (at playing the game) and worst (in terms of morals), with duty and honour pulled in from her father’s teachings.
Does Sansa marry? With one episode left, I highly doubt it – there’s just not enough time for the set up. If she remarried Tyrion, I would be very disappointed. I can see them as friends or Ruler/Advisor but not spouses. Would she marry Sweet Robyn? No, because there is no set up for it. Gendry would be a suitable match however he was legitimize by a queen that Sansa does not recognize so there is a host of problems with that arrangement.
Does she marry Jon Snow? I know there are adamant Jonsa supporters in the world. But looking at it realistically, I don’t think this could happen either. We saw how Jon reacted towards his second love Daenerys when he found out that he’s her nephew. Cousins raised as half siblings would not fly in Jon’s head.
That leaves Sansa to rule as an independent monarch. What does that mean for a line of succession? I have absolutely no idea. All we have is theory because there will be no explanation or dialogue pertaining to this subject in the show – just like we never saw any wartime leaders in any season discuss logistics at any length.