Welcome to Final Path, a regular feature leading up to the final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones. In every Final Path, The Hollywood Reporter‘s resident Westeros expert, Josh Wigler, offered a character-by-character deep dive of their journey through seven seasons, as well as what can be expected in the upcoming eighth and final season. And now…
Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) and all the rest have yet to take their final bows on Game of Thrones, but as far as predicting the final season and its ultimate outcome? The Final Path watch has officially ended.
Beginning in January, The Hollywood Reporter has worked around the clock to take stock of the main Game of Thrones cast and where they stand heading into the final season, all in an effort to divine the truth about their eventual fates. Now, the April 14 season premiere date looms, and the stories have all been told — as many as one Westeros obsessive can handle, at least.
As the dust settles on the prediction process, where did we wind up? Ahead, take a gander at our quick roundup of the Final Path series, with 21 final predictions for the main Game of Thrones gang.
1. Jon Snow: Dead. The King in the North will confront and defeat the Night King, but lose his life in the process. He may be the heir to the Iron Throne, but it’s not his destiny to rule; it’s his destiny to defend the realms of men.
2. Daenerys Targaryen: Alive. The Mother of Dragons will successfully win the war against the White Walkers, earning the Iron Throne and becoming the queen she was born to be — albeit at the expense of some significant losses, including Jon’s death.
3. Tyrion Lannister: Alive, but the future is murky. In our Final Path prediction, I wrote that he will wind up as Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. It sounds more and more ridiculous every day that passes between now and when I made that prediction. Truly, I am at a loss as to where Tyrion will wind up, but I do think he’ll get to keep his head.
4. Cersei Lannister: Dead. One of the most enduring theories still on the board involves Cersei and the prophecy of the “valonqar,” the younger sibling who will kill her — and the most widely accepted interpretation sees Jaime killing Cersei. Sign me up. It’s happening.
5. Jaime Lannister: Dead, maybe? He’s yet another tragic figure in Westeros, and while there’s room for him to find redemption beyond the events of the series, it’s also easy to see him succumbing to an awful end after killing Cersei.
6. Sansa Stark: Alive. She is the future Queen in the North. It is known. What’s more, if I may add an amendment to a previous entry, I believe Sansa and Tyrion will reforge their marriage, if only for the political purposes of helping Westeros’ reunification effort. If a Stark and Lannister can lay down their enmities, the rest of the men and women in the Seven Kingdoms should be able to do the same.
7. Arya Stark: Dead. Maisie Williams’ fan-favorite character is my pick for the most heartbreaking death of season eight, her jokes on the late-night talk show circuit be damned. I’m happy to be wrong, but I’m afraid I’m right.
8. Bran Stark: Alive. Though perhaps that depends on your definition of “alive.” As the Three-Eyed Raven, Bran’s brush with humanity is all but over, but he’s sure to live a new life in his current mystical form — and in said form, he will play a huge role in taking down the Night King, thanks to his ability to warg into the undead dragon Viserion.
9. Samwell Tarly: Alive, as is Gilly. I spent a long time in the Game of Thrones offseason fearing a tragic ending for Sam and Gilly, but I’ve come around to believing they will escape the White Walkers and live happily ever after — perhaps with Sam writing up the tales of his friends, an outcome that fans have speculated since at least his season six arrival at the Citadel.
10. Theon Greyjoy: Dead. “What is dead may never die,” and all that, except Theon will indeed die, killed as a consequence of his war against Euron Greyjoy. The good news: Euron will die as well, while Yara will survive and allow the Iron Islands to thrive.
11. The Hound: Alive. Rory McCann’s scarred swordsman will walk away from the final season as the winner of the Clegane Bowl, the much-hyped one-on-one death match between Sandor and his big, bad brother. Recently, I posited a theory abut how the Clegane Bowl will play out, which involves a brief but deadly detour for the Hound; listen to the latest episode of Series Regular for more.
12. Brienne of Tarth: Dead. She entered Game of Thrones with sword in hand, and I expect she will exit that way as well. One of the fiercest fighters in all of Westeros, I believe Brienne will sacrifice her life in order to beat back the White Walker threat. Fingers firmly crossed that I’m wrong, and she lives long enough to serve as the captain of Sansa’s Queensguard.
13. Varys: Dead. The Spider’s death was foretold by Melisandre in season seven, when she warned him that he would die in Westeros. We shouldn’t always take the Red Woman at her word, but it’s usually her interpretations that are wrong, not the facts of what she sees in the fire. Varys’ death is as good a bet as any heading into the final season.
14. Melisandre: Dead. In the aforementioned conversation, Melisandre states she will also die in the Seven Kingdoms. Her final season demise is another one of the surest bets on the field.
15. Davos Seaworth: Alive. Honestly, the Onion Knight might not make it out of the conflict with the White Walkers alive, if he’s forced into too many combat situations. As he often says, he’s not much of a fighter. But he’s one of the most truly decent people left in the Game of Thrones cast. If Davos dies, we riot.
16. Jorah Mormont: Dead. Like Brienne, Daenerys’ most loyal soldier is the type of character who could easily die for a greater cause — such as a fight against the wights. If he somehow survives? Then let’s alter my Tyrion theory once again (seriously, woof) and give Jorah the Lord Commander job. It would be a great way to honor his fallen father.
17. Bronn: Alive. Another character who could easily die in battle, though it feels like a mistake to bet against the dishonorable sellsword. Isn’t that the lesson we were supposed to learn from his first fight?
18. Tormund Giantsbane: Alive. There is not a safer character in Game of Thrones than Tormund, leader of the Free Folk. A bit of an exaggeration, but I truly feel he’s destined to survive the story. The full Final Path explains why in greater detail.
19. Beric Dondarrion: Dead. The Lightning Lord has died so many times already — what’s once more between friends? Before he goes, he’ll offer up his last remaining breath to another fallen comrade, though there’s some question as to who will be the lucky benefactor…
20. The Dragons: Dead. Sad to see the end of the line for Drogon and Rhaegal, but it does feel like they will join their brother Viserion in the great beyond before all is said and done.
21. The Night King: Dead. Come on — this story doesn’t really end with the White Walkers winning the war … does it?
If that’s not enough for you, how about more than 10 additional final season predictions? We rounded up some of the supporting cast we couldn’t touch on in full Final Path form with a quick-hits list, with highlights including thoughts on the fates of Grey Worm and Missandei (both dead), Maester Qyburn (mega dead), Ned Stark (really dead but with a shot at a cameo) and Gendry (alive and ruling the Seven Kingdoms at Daenerys’ side), among others.
With all of that said, that’s it for Final Path — until we revisit some of these theories and predictions at the very end of the final season, at least. Until then, keep checking THR.com/GameOfThrones for all of our ongoing coverage of the last six episodes, premiering Sunday, April 14.