Over the last few years, I've featured a variety of content on this blog. We've covered political thriller, zombies, Star Wars, even Harry Potter! But I know my loyal fans have had one burning question in thier hearts: Ronan, how is Game of Thrones going to end?
Now that there are three episodes left in the entire series, I'm here to tell you. No, I don't have insider knowledge*, but these 100% accurate predictions are guarenteed to come true. Trust me.
*Fun fact: I did actually have insider knowledge of a major spoiler from a previous season, almost a full year before it leaked online through other sources, but I never spilled the beans in order to maintain my flawless record of journalistic integrity, and also to avoid getting someone fired,.
(Spoilers for the entire series up to the third episode of the last season, and I guess the last three in the extremely unlikely even that I'm actually right)
So season eight, episode three ended with the Night King getting mega-stabbed by Arya Stark, ending the long-awaited White Walker invasion of the Seven Kingdoms at Winterfell about a day and a half after it started. A lot of people aren't pleased with this. Given how fucking long it took for the Walkers to finally breach the wall and march north, I can sort of understand the ire, although I personally liked the episode. There are only three episodes left in the entire series, the White Walkers were always going to end up in a big climactic showdown with the heroes, which the heroes were always going to win (come on, yes they were), I don't get what the point of delaying it by another episode or two would have been.
I have a feeling that nothing could have satisfied the die-hard fans. Almost no long-running sequential stories wrap up in a way that satisfies their most ardent followers; partially this is because bringing a big, unwieldy story to a satisfying climax is difficult, but it's also because the writers are busy actually writing the story (and working within a multitude of constraints) whereas the fans have a basically infinite amount of time to pick over previous installments for "clues" that may or may not have been intentional, make theories, and come up with directions the plot could go in. What the writers eventually deliver is almost never going to live up to the fanfiction penned by a thousand fans at a thousand internet message boards.
But I digress. The point is, the White Walker threat has been dealt with and now the show can get back to the only thing it's good at: pulpy Shocking Twists and soap-opera-with-blood-and-tits antics where people backstab and betray each other.
With the White Walkers out of the picture, Dany's alliance with the North no longer makes any sense from the North's perspective. They've defeated their common enemy, and Dany has made it repeatedly clear that she won't consider giving the North independance once she's in power. She's now asking them to fight solely to put her on the throne.
Sansa is going to be like "actually no" and will work out a plan to pull the North out of the war by making a sneaky non-aggression pact with Cersei, thus leaving Dany and her greatly-reduced forces high and dry against Cersei's Golden Company. Dany will catch wind of a plot against her (let's say due to Varys), but her growing paranoia over Jon's claim to the throne will cause her to suspect him and not Sansa.
At the same time, Cersei fully intends to break her pact with Sansa as soon as Dany is taken out, and Sansa knows that Cersei is going to do this, so she sends Arya to assassinate Cersei once Dany has been defeated, thus tying up all loose ends. Maybe Arya kills Jamie and steals his face to do it.
Also, Sansa will ask Tyrion to make the deal with Cersei. This will let Tyrion do something important for the first time in three seasons, as he'll be forced to choose between Dany, who he's becoming increasingly alienated from due to her browbeating him and her willingness to burn people alive, and Sansa, who this season has been really heavy-ended on Tyrion reconnecting with.
So, we get a fun situation where everyone is furiously fucking everyone else over, just like in the old days. A bunch of our favourite characters turn on each other due to suspicion and paranoia, it'll be a grand old time. I am almost certain that some version of what I've outlined above will happen in the next episode.
Then, sailing into more speculative waters, there are two routes the show could take, depending on precisely how hacky the writers decide to be.
It's hard to remember now, but Game of Thrones was initially famous for subverting expectations with its red weddings and its beheading Sean Beans. The message was clear: this ain't your grand-daddy's fantasy, with heroic good guys defeating black-hearted villains. The bad guys win. Anyone can die.
Then all the important characters got plot immortality and the show decided that it was going to be about a Special Destiny Lad who bones hot women and gets cool swords and discovers his secret royal lineage, just like every generic fantasy brick published since The Lord of The Rings came out. In its final three episodes, Game of Thrones has two options: keep on this course, or pull one last, glorious subversion of expectations.
In option one Dany and Jon manage to patch things up, they defeat Cersei and Pirate Guy and get married and rule peacefully over the Seven Kingdoms.
In option two, Dany's paranoia and lust for the throne get the better of her and she fucking kills Jon.
I badly want option two to happen. Partially because I hate Jon Snow down to my bone marrow and I want him to die like a total chump, but I also think it would make for a genuinely more interesting and impactful story.
And I actually think it might happen. The story has been teasing Jon with death over and over again for half its runtime, up to actually killing him and bringing him back with spooky dark magic. This all feels like that bit in Mars Attacks where the alien ambassador keeps pulling something out of his pocket and the government representatives get increasingly more relaxed each time, only for the martian to whip out a laser gun and vaporize them all once they've let down their guard.
You all remember that specific scene from Mars Attacks, right?
My point is, the show has been lulling us into a false sense of security that all of our favourite characters are going to make it out okay, just to make it hurt that much more when it finally kills them (and also Jon). Think of the social media reactions. It would be glorious.
As for the actual ending: Tyrion gets the throne and rules over Six Kingdoms with Sansa as queen of an independant north. Tyrion being king has been foreshadowed to hell and back ever since the beginning of the series, usually in a "pffft there's no way this guy could ever come out on top, give me a break" tone, which in fiction usually means that the thing being discussed is definitely going to happen. If Game of Thrones was actually the subversive masterpiece people claim it is then this would all be a red herring, but the show has been playing fantasy tropes straight for so long that going the obvious route now feels like a surprise.