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– by Campbell Clark

So Season 7 is finally finished and we have only six  more episodes left of Game of Thrones in total, there could also be a bit of a wait for Season 8, with many people predicting a 2019 release, and from what HBO has been saying recently, that is looking every likely indeed!

Let’s start by mentioning here that there could be potential SPOILERS for Season 8 (If any of this is accurate) and definite SPOILERS if you are not finished watching Season 7 yet. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!

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With only six epsiodes left, it’s hard to get a feel for what theories we have left to explore.

So far in the previous two Game of Theories articles we have made several predictions based on popular fan theories, firstly I have a slight follow up to two of these theories.

Update

Valonqar – You can find this Theory here

If you read the first Game of Theories piece, you will find a detailed explanation of why we think Jaime could be the prophetic valonqar (The person who will kill Cersei Lannister), and while this is still possible, the ending of Episode 7 has thrown a spanner in the works for me personally. I predicted that Cersei betraying the alliance would be the final thing that pushes Jaime too far, but of course this has already happened, and Jaime left her in disgust instead. Therefore, he may not be close enough to her ever again to be the one to kill her. I am starting to wonder if. despite all the evidence and foreshadowing, we might have got this one wrong. The fan favorite to kill Cersei is Arya Stark, though unless they just ignore the Maggy the frog prophecy, I can’t see Arya doing this unless she is wearing Jaime’s face, which for me seems unlikely. So there are two other strong possibilities for your consideration, both are younger brothers (remember that valonqar means little brother in high Valyrian), and both would have some motive to take out Cersei.

The Hound – He could kill The Mountain in single combat, and then follow it up by choking the life from Cersei. That being said, I’m not sure about this, because it does nothing for his character arc. So killing The Mountain, yes, but killing Cersei…perhaps not?

Euron Greyjoy – I think this is my second favorite option now, Euron is the younger brother of Balon Greyjoy, who he killed in Season 6. It is reasonable to assume that once Euron is married to Cersei, he could simply take her out to make himself the king. In fact where would Euron have the best chance of getting Cersei away from The Mountain? How about on their wedding night when they consummate the marriage? Wouldn’t that be a dramatic twist?

I fully expect that Euron Grejoy will sit in the Iron Throne after Cersei’s death, whether by his hands or not. I also think she will either die whilst pregnant or have a miscarriage, again due to Maggy the frog prophecy not mentioning this child.

The Night King is Bran Stark –  You can find more detail on this theory here

If you read the second Game of Theories article you will know that a really popular theory doing the rounds right now is of Bran being the Night King, and while I won’t go into any more detail on the evidence again here, you can certainly catch up on the link above. We disagreed with this theory and nothing has changed that opinion for me personally. Six episodes to bring in a huge time travel plot involving Bran? I’d go as far to say it could ruin the end of the show if this is right, but perhaps that blinds me to the evidence?

Talking of which ,there is a new piece of evidence that once again is being used to promote the Night Bran theory, below is an overhead shot of the dead passing beyond the wall in the Season 7 finale.

Fans are pointing out how similar this looks from to the sigil of House Stark, a Direwolf. It’s not something I noticed until it is pointed out to you, but as LRM’s own Seth McDonald and I discussed, it might simply be that those who want this theory to be true are seeing patterns where they were never intended. Humans do this all the time. It could also be intentional, but simply intended to foreshadow the dead heading towards Winterfell, which is also where all our heroes are heading, and will likely be where the next big battle against the dead happens. It’s also worth pointing out that we also fail to see things that we don’t want to see, so perhaps my own bias against this theory clouds my judgement. Let us know what you readers think as always.

And now onto something new for this week and two theories that may have a major connection to one another.

Who is the Prince that was promised?

We have all heard the term on the show so far, who is the Prince or Princess that was promised? The Lord of Light seems to have a connection to this person, and the followers of the Lord of Light have been searching the world looking for him or her for years. Melisandre thought it was Stannis Baratheon, now she seems to have changed her mind to Jon Snow. Melisandre’s boss the red priestess of Essos seems to think it is Daenerys Targaryen.

What actually is this prince or princess that was promised?

To answer this we need to dive back into the lore of “The Long Night,” the first battle between Men, the Children of the Forest, and the White Walkers, which happened before recorded history in the mythology. Much like our own myths, it’s hard to say what is historically accurate and what was embellished or changed to make it more exciting or heroic as it was passed down the generations? George RR Martin likes to muddy the waters with these things.

The story goes that during The Long Night, the Children of the Forest and Mankind were losing badly to the White Walkers and their army of the dead. We know the Children actually created the first White Walker to help them defeat mankind, but it went horribly wrong. Winter covered most of the lands and the first men (who have ancestral connections with the Starks) were trying to make a last stand. The tales tell of the Last Hero, a man who walked into the heart of the North to seek out and destroy the White Walkers and end the war. The tales also talk about Azor Ahai, and whilst they could be the same person this is never specifically stated. Azor Ahai was said to have been the man who forged Lightbringer, the flaming sword of heroes, which he used to defeat the dead and end the winter. This also explains why many heroes seem to have obsessions with flaming swords, including Thoros and Beric, along with Stannis Baratheon, after Melisandre convinced him he was Azor Ahai reborn (due to misreading the signs). However it takes more according to legend to make Lightbringer than simply using tricks to make the sword burst into flames, although granted that does make a good weapon against the dead.

Here is what Thoros said of the prophecy in the books (never in the show):

“According to prophecy, our champion will be reborn to wake dragons from stone and reforge the great sword Lightbringer that defeated the darkness those thousands of years ago. If the old tales are true, a terrible weapon forged with a loving wife’s heart. Part of me thinks man was well rid of it, but great power requires great sacrifice. That much at least the Lord of Light is clear on.”

Lightbringer was formed by Azor Ahai at great cost. After he forged it, it was said that twice he tried to temper the steel, first in water, then the heart of a lion and it shattered both times, and so he tempered the steel by thrusting the blade into the heart of his wife Nissa Nissa, where her soul fused with the steel. Thus Lightbringer was born upon great sacrifice, and it is one of the reasons Melisandre was so quick to recommend sacrifices to Stannis when she truly believed he was the one.

The problem with these mythical histories and prophesized returns is one of fact versus metaphor. Can we say for certain that Lightbringer was a sword, or was it a person or something else? Many fans have theorized that Lightbringer may in fact be a person rather than a blade. Others have predicted which of the various Valerian steel swords could become Lightbringer. Were The Last Hero and Azor Ahai the same person? Were the dead really “defeated,” and if so how? After all, we know that the White Walkers were alive and well far in the North where it was too cold for even Wildlings to go, and it was only around the start of this latest Winter (eight thousand years and many Winters later) they re-emerged and followed the colder weather South.

For the Starks especially, Winter has always been something to fear an respect, because their own ancestors go back to the days of The Long Night. It was a Stark called Brandon, who some time after The Long Night, built the Wall to keep the dead out (maybe…see below). It was said to be a Stark (the 13th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch) who fell in love with a female White Walker and betrayed the Night’s Watch. They may not have passed on the exact knowledge of their ancestors, but the fear of Winter remained, where the records failed.

Let’s take ourselves back to the present now, for a start, none of this has been mentioned in the show at all…. nothing! This is all book lore, and yet they consistently have mentioned The Prince that was promised, right from Season 2. So is this prophecy going to come true?

For me, yes, there will be a savior, a Prince or Princess that was promised that will finally defeat the dead and end the long winter…Remember that the final book of George RR Martin’s epic novels will be called A Dream Of Spring, though who knows when fans will get their hands on that text, as the penultimate book The Winds of Winter has not even been released yet. There is also no guarantee that the endings of the show and books will match. Martin has given an outline, which the show producers are using, but really, they are writing this independently, and the author has always stated that he will write it in his own way no matter where that takes him. But the very end point should be roughly the same as the books. But let’s have a guess at what might happen and feel free to add your own ideas to the comments below.

The question appears to be which Targaryen is Azor Ahai reborn, the prophecy applies well to both Dany and Jon Snow, some parts fit Dany better, and other parts Jon, but overall it’s pretty even depending on the reader’s interpretation. Master Aemon of the Nights Watch was himself obsessed with this prophecy and that obsession passed onto his Nephew Rhaegar Targaryen, who Aemon originally thought was going to be “The Prince.” Rhaegar, after finding out about this prophecy, changed completely and became obsessed with being a great leader. It is said that as his wife Elia Martell could have no more children, he married Lyanna Stark so he could ensure he had a third child. He was convinced he had to have three children and that his third child would be Azor Ahai reborn. His third child was Jon Snow.

I therefore think that Jon Snow is The Prince who was promised, and that Daenerys Targaryen will play the role of Nissa Nissa. I believe for a start that Dany will, or already has become, pregnant with Jon’s child.

Surely, after all the mention of her NOT being able to bear children and especially the specific discussion around it this last week, the writers are hinting that Dany CAN and will have a child to Jon/Aegon, (I think I will just call him Jon for ease here).

This is the second time it has been mentioned this season, and as Jon rightly says, why should she believe the word of the woman who effectively made her husband a zombie and caused her miscarriage? For reference, this is in Episode 7 when they talk in the dragon pit. She previously mentioned this again to Jon in the aftermath of Episode 6 on the boat after Vyserion’s death.

Let’s take a look at what the old blood witch said to Dany in Season 1, that made her think she will never have children.

She says:

“When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east. When the seas go dry and mountains blow in the wind like leaves. When your womb quickens again, and you bear a living child.” 

Fans of the books have used many different things that have happened to try and explain the sun rising in the West and falling in the East. But it could simply be a reference for the long deep winter that has started to engulf Westeros. The sun doesn’t come up for as long as normal, the seas are starting to freeze over, and the mountains blowing in the wind, could be Vyserion’s destruction of the wall. After all, one could assume that Dany became impregnated at the exact same time as the Northern Wall fell.

So….. My own prediction.

Jon has impregnated Dany, she will be ill, or there will be complications during birth, and Dany will have to choose between herself and her child. She chooses the child, and asks Jon to end her suffering. Jon will reluctantly put a sword through her chest and kill her to end her suffering. I theorize that the sword may not be Longclaw, but Heartsbane (That’s Sam’s Valyrian steel sword). I have no clear evidence for this, but many fans have thought that even mentioning it at all in Season 6, means it has a significance. The clearly magically non-burning blood of Daenerys will fuse with the sword and turn it into something else, what exact form Lightbringer takes is beyond me, though.

I will go one step further and say that Jon Snow will have to take the Iron Throne from Euron Grejoy and be reluctantly crowned Aegon Targaryen. I also think he will have to give his life to save everyone before the end, so it will be Dany and Jon’s child that inherits the Iron Throne at the end (with Tyrion as Lord Protector of the realm to rule until he teaches them how when old enough).

What do you readers think? Will it be Jon or Daenerys who saves everyone?

Status – 50/50 I suppose, but with all the evidence and the importance of Jon’s parentage I would definitely fall on the Jon side of the fence here.

Next up something very much connected to this.

What do the White Walkers want?

If you have ever heard any interviews with George RR Martin, he always talks about being dead-set against having the good guys in white, fighting the ugly bad guys in black. He doesn’t look at characters in this way and finds it boring. So he wants his readers to see things from the point of view of his antagonists and it creates some of the most multi layered and interesting villains in fiction as a result.

For evidence look no further than the character arcs of Jaime Lannister or The Hound, or even Cersei Lannister.

If you want to see a lengthy interview with Martin, please check the video link below from The South Bank Show in the UK. It’s 45 minutes long, but very interesting.

Why then, do we not apply those same principals to the White Walkers? So far we have all seen them as mere monsters incapable of human emotions. They are the boogeymen, who cannot be reasoned or bartered with, even Jon Snow said of the Night King in the final episode this season, “A General you can’t negotiate with.”

From what we know of Martin, do we really think he would create an entire race of villains who have no other desires or motives other than to kill every living thing? Can anyone imagine Martin accepting this when he first came up with the idea, based on what we know about his writing style? Also why did they wait so long. What’s changed recently?

I personally think that although Bran is not the Night King as such, there is a LOT more to find out about the White Walkers than we know now. Most importantly, what it is they want?

We don’t know for sure what happened at the end of The Long Night eight thousand years ago, did Azor Ahai destroy the White Walkers? Did he negotiate a truce with them? Is it possible that the Wall was not built to keep the Walkers away from us, but to keep us away from the Walkers? Perhaps they simply wish their own land and are happy to live in peace if Human’s stop advancing into their territory?

Perhaps the dead are just their weapons they use for protection, when not using them to fight, White Walkers don’t use them at all from what we can tell. What if they have homes deep in the North, what if they have families? Ok we have seen the Night King turn a small child of Crastor’s into a Walker, but we also have rumour of female White Walkers, specifically from the early Night’s Watch.

I theorize that we will find out exactly what it is the White Walkers want, I don’t see a situation where Jon kills the Night King and it instantly destroys all other Walkers and Wights. That seems too cliché for Martin, and it goes against the way he writes his characters. But as always what do you think, monsters or simply another race we dont yet understand?

Status – Debatable. Held together by George R R Martins writing style, but interesting nonetheless.

That’s all for this season, folks. If I went into any more detail at this point, it would simply be bordering on my own fan fiction.

Alas, the Starks were right, Winter is coming…and it could last until 2019 before we can once again dream of Spring. Join in below as always and have your say on any theories you have for Season 8, but remember that he who passes the sentence should swing the sword!!

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  • Drew Carlton

    I just don’t think they will introduce that much lore in the six episodes we have left. Martin and the writers of the show have said the ending will be quite different. I do think Dany will be killed. I do think Cersei will be killed by Jaime. However, I do not think there is actually a “prince that was promised” and that is simply a form of black magic, I simply do not think they will explain it that well. Game of thrones does not do that. I am not saying the ending will be like The Sopranos, but it may be close. The point is that I think that many things will be left unresolved. At one point I heard there will be four spinoffs. This will suck, as we won’t get the closure we do in say, Breaking Bad.