In recent years, perhaps no television show is more acclaimed than HBO’s Game of Thrones. Now gearing up to begin its seventh season, the series has become infamous for its many classic entertainment elements such as tragedy, spectacle, and myth.
However, as George R.R. Martin, the author who wrote the books on which the show is based, has stated, the end is nigh for Game of Thrones. As of right now, HBO only has plans for two more seasons.
This then begs the question, how will it all end? Who will eventually find victory in the Great War? Who will truly win the iron throne? Below, PopWrapped lists 5 possibilities for how Game of Thrones could end. There are a few spoilers ahead, so if you’re not quite caught up, beware!
5. Daenerys Becomes Queen
We’ll start with the obvious one: Daenerys Targaryen utilizing her massive fire-breathing dragons to retake the iron throne. This is a possibility that both Martin and the show’s creators have been gearing towards since everything began.
Ever since the youngest Targaryen left the Red Waste, she has been marching from free city to free city, releasing slaves and raising an army, all with three ferocious dragons at her command. What is it all for if not for her eventual victory?
Arguably, this is the most predictable way to go, but The Mother of Dragons has enough fans among the show’s faithful that it wouldn’t be all that disappointing. Could it be that Daenerys simply uses her dragons to re-conquer the seven kingdoms, much like her ancestor Aegon did all those years ago?
4. Jon Snow Becomes King
This possibility has become far more likely since the finale of Season 6 last year, when (SPOILERS AHEAD) Jon Snow was officially revealed to be the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. Knowing this now, it technically gives Jon Snow a claim to the iron throne.
Even if he is still a bastard, Jon is the son of Rhaegar, the Last Dragon, who was the rightful heir prior to Robert’s Rebellion. Additionally, his status as a male may put him before -- or at least equal to -- Daenerys in terms of a claim to the throne.
Whether or not Daenerys will take exception to this will likely be one of the hot topics of the upcoming final seasons of the show. It’s also worth mentioning that Jon has yet to be officially freed from his vows with the Night’s Watch. This technically prevents him from holding any titles or presiding over any land. Then again, his vows also barred him from philandering with women, but we all know how that turned out.
3. An Outsider Becomes King/Queen
This option is another one that has been floating around since the show’s early seasons. What if, of all the people vying for the right to rule the seven kingdoms, none of them succeed. What if instead, someone we least expect eventually takes power?
Theories abound about possible swerves yet-to-come in Game of Thrones. Among them, the theory that Tyrion Lannister is actually a Targaryen bastard (a product of The Mad King and Tywin’s wife Joanna, who are hinted at having had relations at some point), or the fact that Robert’s bastard son Gendry is (maybe) still alive and kicking.
Furthermore, it’s not unlikely that someone may just scheme their way to power, as Lann the Clever did, or take it by force, as Robert Baratheon did. Characters befitting of this possibility include Petyr Baelish, Varys, Jaime Lannister, or even Arya Stark. This would, of course, be a massive plot twist, but it’s not as if Game of Thrones hasn’t had its fair share of those in the past six years. Therefore, it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
2. A Return to Independent Kingdoms
For fans who want an ending that’s a little outside the box, this one’s for you. What if, after all the devastation caused by the characters we’ve come to know is over, no one wins? Given the vicious lengths many characters are willing to go to obtain power, it isn’t crazy to think they might all just die trying to win the iron throne.
Following this logic, the seven kingdoms will cease to be unified, allowing a return to a time before Aegon’s Conquest. Whomever is left after the Great War wipes out everyone in sight could then simply return to their homelands and begin anew, governing themselves and their own lands separately as they did in the Age of Heroes.
This ending is actually rather peaceful if you think about it. That said, it would also mean that the intense, ballistic drama of the series was all nothing more than a commentary on the recklessness of human nature and the weakness of the human condition. Then again, that seems to be a common theme in many stories (both real and fictional) today.
1. Winter is Here to Stay
In the final possibility we offer for how Game of Thrones could end, things take a turn for the terrible. It’s well known that the tagline of Game of Thrones since it began is “Winter is Coming.” Yes, we know they’re the Stark words, but what if it means something more? What if it means that the beasts of winter, who have been awoken from a millennia-long slumber (and are rightfully pissed off), become the sole survivors of the world?
Of course, the term “beasts of winter” applies to all manner of spooky, paranormal beings that exist beyond The Wall, including Wights and White Walkers (or “Others” as the books call them). So far, we’ve seen that these creatures are virtually unstoppable in large quantities, even having the ability to immediately convert the people they’ve killed to their cause.
Knowing this, it may be fair to say that the further south these beasts march, the more horrible the outlook becomes for everyone who’s currently busy killing one another over the right to sit in an ugly iron chair.
The groundbreaking, heart-racing, dramatic, modern fantasy opera that is Game of Thrones could very well end in any of these ways, or in a way that no one can yet predict. How do you think the series could end? Do you buy into any of these possibilities? Let us know in the comments below and remember: winter is coming.