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The 5 most credible 'Game of Thrones' theories of how the books will end

Jul 16, 2019 · 11:53 AM
Aubrey Byron
00:00/00:00
This audio was generated using Microsoft’s artificial intelligence.
Now that the immensely popular HBO series "Game of Thrones" has come to an end, sites like Reddit are saturated with fan theories about the book saga it's based on. Fans across the internet have hatched ideas about extensive time travel, secret lineages, conspiracies led by Maesters, and everything in between.
It would be easy to write off this rampant speculation as the preoccupied fan fiction of self-described "internet nerds" as they withstand the long wait for a new book. There is no shortage of outlandish, unlikely theories which range from Ser Pounce being Azor Ahai to Bran Stark being the Night King. But it’s important to note these Reddit and YouTube sleuths have been right about some things—notably, the actual parentage of Jon Snow and the backstory/fate of beloved, fan favorite Hodor.
This is a great place to note that this article contains spoilers. Do not read further unless you are caught up with the series and open to exploring theories that could prove to be true.
If the long wait for the final season of “Game of Thrones” felt unbearable, the wait for the books may be much longer, but there are a few internet theories that could foreshadow the ultimate conclusion. With no release date in sight, George R.R. Martin has confirmed the books may vary in its ultimate conclusion from that of the show. To save you from falling down an internet theory rabbit hole, here are the most credible (and likely to be true) of those theories.

'Game of Thrones' is a retelling by Sam

image via HBO
One of the most popular theories about the series is that it is being narrated by Samwell Tarly. Sam is obsessed with reading and books. He uses histories to spur ideas and learn from the realm's past about how to deal with current enemies, like the White Walkers. Further, author George R.R. Martin has admitted to identifying with Sam.
Martin has shared how Tolkien’s masterpieces “The Hobbit” and “Lord of the Rings” inspired his books, both of which are memoirs being retold by characters within the story.
The final episode gave credence to this theory. In the Citadel, Samwell meets Archmaester Ebrose who confides he is writing “The Chronicles of the Wars Following the Death of King Robert I.” Sam suggests a more “poetic” title. Fans also caught sight of a chandelier hanging in the library that looked suspiciously like the decorated, spinning sphere from the credits. It may be a hint the story is being told from the Citadel. In the final episode, he presents “A Song of Ice and Fire” to Bran. It's possible this is even more developed in the books, with Sam taking over the writing outright.

Jaime will be the one to kill Cersei

When Cersei was a child, she visited a witch who had three predictions for her future: She would become the queen, only to be overthrown by another younger queen; she would have three children who would die before her; and she would be killed by the Valonqar.
These prophecies shook young Cersei, but none more than the Valonqar prophecy. Valonqar translates to “little brother,” and she has spent much of her life believing her younger brother, Tyrion, would be the death of her. She sees her mother’s dying during Tyrion’s childbirth and his later patricide as evidence to support her paranoia.
Something she fails to note is that she has two younger brothers. Jaime is her twin but born seconds after her, making him technically younger. Jaime has spent his entire life in love with Cersei—a love that has not always been loyally reciprocated. At the end of Season 7, he finally becomes fed up with her scheming and abandons Cersei.
Jaime has been on a redemptive story arc since he lost his hand. He has also told Brienne he only killed the Mad King to stop him from burning down the city, something Cersei is wont to do.
The show leaves out the Valonqar Theory from the scene where Cersei pays a visit to Maggy the Frog, but it has otherwise followed the prophecy. Her marriage to Robert Baratheon and the deaths of all three children have come true, which leaves many to speculate that she may also die by the hands of her brother. Her ending with Jaime under the rubble was loving, but in the books could he need to kill her in order to protect her from Daenerys' wrath?

Tyrion is a Targaryen

via HBO
Some of you may still be reeling from the big Jon Snow reveal. You are not alone. Jon Snow’s parentage had been one of the biggest mysteries of “Game of Thrones” since its inception. The recent twist showed that he is not actually Ned’s son, but his sister Lyanna’s child with Rhaegar Targaryen. In doing so, it proved true a long popular internet theory dubbed “R+L=J.”
Jon Snow may not be the only secret Targaryen hiding in plain sight. The dragon is oft quoted in the book as having “three heads,” meaning three Targaryens and one rider for each dragon.
Tyrion’s mother, Joanna Lannister, was a fixture of the Mad King Aerys while living in King’s Landing. It is known that the Mad King enjoyed tormenting Tywin Lannister. He first promised Rhaegar to marry Cersei and later withdrew the offer. Then he drafted Jaime as one his Kingsguard, which as a lifetime service left him unable to take his place as the heir of Casterly Rock. The theory suggests the Mad King raped Joanna and impregnated her with Tyrion. Tywin has long hated Tyrion and even once says, “...since I cannot prove that you are not mine.”
There are other pieces of evidence to support the claim. Tyrion has unusual characteristics, aside from being a dwarf. His hair is described in the books as “so blonde it is almost white.” He has two different eye colors, green and black. In the books, he notably has dreams of being a dragon.
Unfortunately, considering how long the show took to build up the Jon Snow reveal, another secret Targaryen was always unlikely. Further, they killed off the dragon Tyrion would probably ride, Viserion. The show may have decided to skip this twist, but the book almost certainly will not. "The dragon has three heads."

The White Walkers are out to seek revenge

Over the course of seven seasons, we have not learned much about the White Walkers or what they want. It was revealed in Season 6 that the Children of the Forest created the first White Walkers as a tool against the First Men. But in a Frankenstein-like irony, their creation grew out of control.
What did they want? They killed with impunity and without concern for which side of the wall the humans fall on. The only man known to be pardoned was Craster, who in exchange sacrificed his newborn sons. For the sake of expediency, we learned very little about the White Walkers in the final season. Like with any backstory, the book is sure to tell us more.
Melisandre says the White Walkers are waging a war against life itself. Others think they may have a more narrow goal—revenge. Some Redditors believe the Night King may simply want revenge on the Children of the Forest for creating him. Why march south? There is reason to believe there may be Children of the Forest hiding among the last known weirwood trees on the Isle of Faces, near King’s Landing. The fact that the continent of Essos has remained unaffected could support this theory.

Daenerys & Jon will have an heir

via HBO
The Season 7 finale ended with a lovemaking scene between Jon—or Aegon, as we find out—and Daenerys. This final image was not just fan pander. Throughout the season, there were pointed remarks between characters about Dany’s supposed infertility. In one, Dany tells Jon she cannot have children. When he asks how she knows this, she tells him “the witch who murdered my husband.” He understandably asked if she really found that a credible source.
Even if the witch who cursed Dany was telling the truth, stranger things have happened. She brought dragons back into the world from ancient eggs. It may beg a wager that Daenerys has stronger powers than a village witch.
The show ultimately did not show a pregnant Dany in its precious few hours of airtime, but Martin has two 1,000-plus page books yet to write, leaving plenty of time for a shocking development like this.
Plus, Jon’s Targaryen lineage could be a problem for Dany. As Rhaegar’s trueborn son, he has a stronger claim to the throne. Having a child of their own would put it next in line after Jon and secure her place on (or near) the throne. Some theories even suppose neither Dany or Jon survive the war with the Whites. Martin has been quoted as saying the ending will be “bittersweet.” What could be more bittersweet than killing off your favorite characters and leaving their infant child in their wake?

Aubrey Byron is an independent creator and not a representative of Bing or Microsoft.

Written byAubrey ByronAubrey Byron
Aubrey is a writer based in St. Louis, Missouri. She writes about games, entertainment, travel, and urban planning. She is a regular contributor at Strong Towns.
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