game of theories

The Best Fan Theories About How Game of Thrones Will End

Photo: Helen Sloan/HBO

We’ve but one final chapter left to go in the television adaptation of the song of ice and fire, and as Game of Thrones prepares to present us with its dream of spring, there are still plenty of tinfoil-behatted theories out there that the show could still bring to life.

Sure, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss haven’t exactly proved themselves to be the fan-servicing type (unless you were on the hype train for Cleganebowl), but that doesn’t mean people who’ve long watched the series don’t have a few potentially feasible, often contradictory thoughts of their own about how it should all end. So we’ve dug in deep, combing superfans’ favorite hangout spots to give you the dish on what may still come to fruition in the series finale of the biggest show on television, and some thoughts on the likelihood of each.

The White Walkers aren’t dead

Several Reddit sleuths and their brethren believe that the White Walkers are not finished yet, given how many factors about their existence are still unknown to us. And while there’s reason to believe the magical, existential threat of broody icy boys may be in the wings for a different reason (more on that below), an 11th-hour reemergence of this magnitude doesn’t feel totally right for the story both George R.R. Martin and Benioff and Weiss have been telling. But that doesn’t mean the idea of the Night King is over and done with yet …

Jon Snow becomes the new Night King

Am I slightly more obsessed with this theory than most on the internet? Sure, yes, I will accept that assessment. But, truly, would anything be more heartbreaking or sense-making than this sad, stoic, silent type being turned into the eternally quiet big bad of future times? It would be a beautifully brutal way for this show to go out.

There’s another secret dragon egg somewhere

This one is born from a couple different fan theories based on history, prophecy, and desperation for something grander than what ol’ Winterfell got. Essentially, several folks believe that there may be a dragon — not a hot spring — that lives under Winterfell to keep it warm. Unreliable claims from history also state there may be a stash of eggs there, somewhere, but all of this is hearsay. It all sounds like something out of one of Old Nan’s stories, but even given her impressive track record, this one still seems like a probable no. But speaking of secret Targaryen things …

Tyrion is a secret Targaryen (and that will put him on the throne)

One of the most hotly considered theories out there is that Tyrion is not actually a Lannister, but a secret Targaryen, born out of the rumor that his mother was raped on her wedding night to Tywin by the Mad King Aerys (which would actually give the twins more Targaryen potential, but we digress). It’s an idea that’s been around for as long as the books have existed, but will it be realized on the TV series? Almost certainly not. And after all that Dany’s done, and her father before her, it seems unlikely that any Targaryen — secret or otherwise — would be widely accepted as a fair and just ruler by anyone in the Seven Kingdoms. Sorry, Jon Snow obsessors! Sometimes a name is a curse!

Bran will warg into a dragon

Honestly … this one feels legit, and it would be pretty cool. The old Three-Eyed Raven told Bran he would never walk again, but he would fly — and sure, Bran’s already flown inside the heads of a bunch of pesky ravens. But what if he also meant that Bran would warg into Drogon to do something epic, like melt down the Iron Throne to nothing? We haven’t seen much of Bran’s warging this season, so it feels like its time is due. Which leads to another appealing theory …

Arya will do one more face swap

Why have Arya learn how to trade faces with someone if not to use it to some dramatic effect in the series finale? This fan theory feels primed to happen, particularly when we have the pesky question of “Who’s going to kill Daenerys Targaryen?” just lying around unanswered. My money would be on Arya wearing Grey Worm’s face in order to get close to Dany. (And no, let’s not even consider the idea that Arya might kill Jon Snow to do this, how dare you put that potentiality out into the universe!)

Arya will kill Daenerys

Eyes of brown (Frey), eyes of blue (Night King), and eyes of green — all eyes that Melisandre foretold Arya would close forever. With the other green-eyed options out of the way (the Lannisters, the other long-standing theory), it feels inevitable that Arya ends up murdering the Mad Queen in order to save the realm.

No, wait, Jon Snow will kill Daenerys

The only potential hiccup in that previous theory? That it would be really, really tragic if Jon Snow ended up having to be the one to kill Daenerys, and therefore VERY Game of Thrones. He’s so noble and honest and worried about doing what’s right, and now he’s seen just how mad and ruthless Dany can be, so it feels like the most Thronesian way to end it all: Dany being betrayed, yet again, by another man she loves. (Which was also part of a prophecy for her in the books that has not really been explored in the series.)

Gendry takes the crown

When you look at the names of some of the most important castles in Westeros, what do you see? Random nonsense for some, sure, but also potential telegraphs about the story’s future. After all, where did the Night King die? At Winterfell, where the house words are “Winter is coming.” Where did Dany go mad? When she and Drogon literally landed … at King’s Landing. Where could all this nonsense find its closure? What about Storm’s End, seat of House Baratheon? Feels rather poetic and fitting, doesn’t it? There have been plenty of ignorant but beloved rulers in Westeros’s history. And who’s more ignorant and lovable than Gendry, the one trueborn son to Robert Baratheon who’s still standing?

No, Bran ends up as king!

Nothing about this theory makes sense: He’s not really even a human anymore, he’s never shown any regard for the throne, and he also has, quite literally, all the answers to all things through all time. Therefore … everything about this ending makes absolute sense? Listen, I don’t know anything anymore. It’s been a long six weeks.

Sansa will rule the North

This one also feels pretty destined to happen — at least in the series, if not in the books. Sansa Stark is arguably the smartest person on the show. She’s grown up from a naïve little girl into a strong, no-nonsense, beyond capable woman. She’s a thoughtful, smart, and considerate ruler who can be ruthless, to a point, out of protection of her pack. It would be great to see her rule somewhere since she’ll never end up on the Iron Throne. (Sorry!) Sansa Stark, lady of Winterfell, the queen/warden of the North. Has a nice ring to it.

The Iron Throne gets demolished

If the world is just and good, the ruling wheel will be shattered and chaos’s ladder burned, and what better way to do that than to set fire to the entity that embodies that? If there’s any justice in the game of thrones — and that is certainly still up for debate — that big ol’ spiky chair has got to go.

The Best Fan Theories About How Game of Thrones Will End