I participate in a Game of Thrones mortality pool every year. If the weekly upsets among ranking who you think will die from most to least likely has shown me anything it’s that none of us know where this thing is going or when people are going to die. Least of all since the most recent season of the show decided to put the narrative on amphetamines and give every character “fast travel” to get from one end of the continent to the other and back in a single episode when it used to take entire seasons to do so.
Today, I’m indulging myself in a Thrones prediction run. This is completely spoiler free if you’ve seen the show up through the most recent season, because I have NO IDEA where the show is headed. I’m going with my gut on these predictions. Because if the results of that weekly pool have taught me anything: I more often than not argue and rationalize my way out of correct predictions. While we can safely say certain long standing theories are moot at this point for the show, I’ll tackle the ones we can still count on:
Sorry folks, looks like the Mountain isn’t dying by his brother’s hands. The Hound seems to finally buy into the lord of light, and last season warned his abomination brother: “You know who’s coming for you, you’ve always known.” My theory is that in the infamous incident where the Hound’s face was held in a brazier? He saw a vision he shared with his brother, and that vision is why he’s been terrified of fire all his life.
They both know the vision was of the Mountain’s death, and in my opinion it’s why the Mountain has been able to be such a ferocious and fearless warrior: it’s like in Big Fish, you know how you’re going to die so you’re not afraid of anything else but the real cause of your death. Whatever the Hound saw killing his brother, it wasn’t him. Maybe they’ll cross blades on the battlefield, but the Mountain has some bigger comeuppance coming his way.
Night King Sway and Night King Swag
This is a random prediction, but here’s another fun one we can discuss: Cersei being turned into a white walker. What’s a Night King without a Night Queen? At this point, why wouldn’t Cersei agree to be turned and live forever as the immortal ice queen of Westeros? I’m not only saying it might happen, but also predicting it would be by her own agency and choice. This is the same woman who committed an act of terror in her own city to secure power and subvert justice, the promise of immortality and power is literally all she’s ever wanted. The Night King wouldn’t have a very hard sell if they ended up in the same room.
Who Sits on the Throne?
We’ve got Cersei biding her time at King’s Landing, leaving the rest of Westeros hanging as the Night King begins his campaign into the south. The big contenders for the throne seem to be Daenaerys/Jon, and is it just me or are people very okay with this incestuous relationship? I predicted above Cersei could go to the wight supremacists, which would ostensibly leave the Iron Throne vacant before the curtain falls.
One of the two above would take the throne, but as for other people the crown could end up on right before credits roll? How about Robin Arryn who has a legitimate line of succession to the throne as Lord of the Aerie, or- and I’m making a callback to an image Martin conjured back in Book 1: Tyrion:
When he opened the door, the light from within threw his shadow clear across the yard, and for just a moment Tyrion Lannister stood tall as a king.
This allusion and imagery is recalled time and again with Tyrion, and it strikes me as perfect, terrible irony that Tyrion would see everyone in his family die, all the other shining stars of Westeros fall, and that he should rule the kingdom in their wake as a wise king among the ruins of this final war.
There is Only One god, and he is Death
Okay, so the big one: who dies? Before I dive into the laundry list of deaths, I want to offer a follow up prediction: Jaime also went to see the hag and has a prophecy of his own we’ve yet to see play out. Part of me thinks he knows he’ll kill a second ruler on the iron throne and left King’s Landing because he started seeing no other way for things to play out if he remained.
Jon and Daenarys, symbols of the saga’s ice and fire? One of them has to be consumed for the other’s survival. That’s just how ice and fire work, that’s how the series with the pending reveal of their being related seems to be headed: they both have seeming claims to throne, and with the war coming? One of them is going to have be consumed so the other can live.
Tormund? My sweet fire headed prince, he makes it to the end. No debate. No discussion. So does Brienne. They have the baddest ass babies in all the land.
Arya will die, there’s no other way of it. By some reads, “Arya Stark” already died, a soul shed in the pursuit of becoming the killer she needs to be. When she’s fulfilled her duty to the darkness and sent the people to death she needs to? What needs of her? Sansa will live. Sansa’s been made too tough by all that she’s seen now, and has removed the closest and clearest threats that can strike at her few vulnerable spots.
Tyrion will die if he doesn’t end up on the throne, there’s no in between on this one. “But can’t he be hand of the queen?” Wisdom won’t survive this coming war if it isn’t to come out on top, and his little sneaky, forlorn look at the end of last season makes me very concerned that whatever deal he made with Cersei will be seen as a betrayal and cost him his head finally.
Ser Davos and Lady Lyanna Mormont are both going to live. Ser Davos may not be the best fighter, but he’s too damned brilliant at this point to not make it through. Lyanna is a complete bad ass. Ser Jorah is going to die for Daenarys in a final act of being left on read by the woman he loves. Theon is going to die trying to rescue his sister, Euron Greyjoy will die in this rescue attempt but I predict not by a blade, but by someone with a dragon doing a fly-by on his ship.
Closing off with my two favorite characters who only exist when we need someone who can read or who is magically omniscient to advance the plot: Samwell Tarly and Bran Stark: they both end up surviving and they’re the ones who tell the song of Ice & Fire to generations to come in their own ways- Tarly in a library, Bran from a tree trunk.
Game of Thrones premieres Sunday April 14, I’ll be doing weekly recaps and thoughts here, as well as updates on my mortality pool every Monday until the finale.