The final season of Game of Thrones begins this month, so it’s time to speculate on how it should end and who should survive.
[Season 1 – 7 spoiler alert!]
All good things must come to an end, and that includes Game of Thrones. It’s been a wild ride through Westeros and Essos over the last seven years with battles of bastards and Blackwater Bay, a Stark beheading, a Red Wedding, the rise and fall of the Faith Militant, the abolition of slavery, sorcery, dragons, death and resurrection.
In preparation for the grand finale, I took the plunge and re-watched all seven seasons back-to-back and the biggest takeaway was the realisation that when the end finally arrives, Cersei Lannister should live.
Hear me out. Every good villain deserves their comeuppance and a nasty and protracted demise for the venomous lion queen would be a massive crowd-pleaser. But when you consider that Cersei has already lost her three children, her father, her dignity and her mind, to lose what little she has left – her unborn child, her brother Jaime and ultimately, her control over the Seven Kingdoms – would be a fate more painful than death, and far more satisfying than being simply baked by dragonfire. Whether it’s Daenerys, Jon, or the Night King on the Iron Throne at the end, Cersei should be left bereft and marinating in her own vitriol and anguish.
Game of Thrones is a brutal and merciless show, so why should it have a happy ending?
Ideally, the Night King and the army of the dead should overrun Westeros, leaving nobody alive. Although it seems more likely that it will be either Daenerys or Jon Snow sitting on the throne at the end (or Gendry – he’s a rightful heir too), vowing to make the world a better place.
Rewatching the entire series to date also revealed a cryptic clue that may relate to the endgame.
When Khaleesi visits the House of the Undying in Qarth, she has a vision of a desolate, ruined throne room in King’s Landing, the braziers cold and snow falling through a hole in the roof. Bran, as the Three-Eyed Raven, has the same vision. But is it future or past?
Then there is the Lord of Light’s prophecy that Jon Snow is “the Prince That Was Promised” to save the world from darkness. However, the High Priestess of the Red Temple of Volantis believed Daenerys to be the predicted saviour.
And could Emilia Clarke have provided another clue when asked by Vanity Fair about shooting her final scene? “It f–ed me up, knowing that is going to be a lasting flavour in someone’s mouth of what Daenerys is…” Hmm.
With the Wall in ruins and the Night King and his zombie army (with ice spiders?) advancing on the North, one thing is certain: the Long Night will be dark and full of terrors.