Emmy GriffithsHere are the Game of Thrones theories we think might actually come true in season eight - potential spoilers ahead!
Winter is nearly upon us as Game of Thrones' final season will finally air after nearly a two-year wait on 15 April. While we can't wait to be given some solid answers to all of our questions, that's not to say that fans of the show haven't come up with their own brilliant theories on how the series is going to end. From Gendry's 'true' parentage to Jaime Lannister's potential death, here are the top theories for Game of Thrones season 8...
Jon Snow will become the Night King
George RR Martin has teased that the ending of Game of Thrones will be 'bittersweet', and this eventuality would certainly fit the bill. It has been suggested that the Night King's army will be too big to be defeated by the living, and so the only option will be to kill the Night King himself. But it could be that the Night King needs to be replaced, and the army needs to be controlled.
As such, Jon would volunteer to take his place, therefore leading the army away from the world of the living as the new Night King. It would certainly explain why it was so important that we saw how White Walkers were made – with a shard of dragon glass to the heart – back in season five. It would also certainly make the series 'a song of ice and fire' live up to its name.
In the trailer, we see Arya telling an unknown person that she looks forward to seeing him or her dead, which made fans immediately scramble to work out exactly who she is speaking to. While Cersei is a popular choice, it is much more likely that it is Melisandre who has travelled back to Westeros to help, and gets on the wrong side of a vengeful Arya. She still has her list of names after all, and the Red Priestess is at the top of it.
Samwell Tarly will write the book on the Great War
It is thought that Samwell Tarly will survive the Great War, and will write about the entire saga as a Maester, calling it 'A Song of Ice and Fire'. This has already been alluded to in the series, when he commented to Archmaester Ebrose that perhaps he should name his historical book something "a bit more poetic". What's more is that fans were quick to notice that the huge light structure in the Citadel library, where Samwell is studying, is the same as the one in the opening credits - hinting that we have been watching a story that Sam has been writing all along. Frankly, we'd be surprised if this theory didn't turn out to have legs!
Bran Stark made the Mad King 'mad'
The show has made a point of showing us that when Bran is seeing past events, he can also effect him. When he shouted his father's name during the Tower of Joy scene, Ned appears to hear something and looks around, and of course he gets into poor Hodor's head, instructing the younger version of him to 'hold the door', while they made their escape. As such, fans have pointed out a very plausible connection between Bran and Aerys Targaryen, the 'Mad King'. As we know, the Mad King was saying, 'Burn them all', repeatedly for hours before Jaime finally killed him. As such, could it be possible that Bran was trying to give instructions to 'burn them all', meaning the army of the dead, but instead ends up relaying it to the Mad King? If so, that means Bran singlehandedly started this whole mess. Nice one Bran.
Jaime will die in Brienne's arms
A popular theory is that Jaime Lannister will die in season eight having regained his honour, and will die in Brienne's arms. The theory came about after Jaime admitted that he wanted to die "in the arms of the woman [he] loves" back in season five. Although he means Cersei at the time, his relationship with Brienne has grown in strength over the show's course and, now he is on his way to Winterfell, the chances are that she'll be the one who will be with him in the end.
This eventuality is also foreshadowed in earlier moments in the show, as Brienne holds him while in a rage as he teases her about her feelings for Renly, and again when they have grown to mutually respect each other and he finally tells her about why he had to kill the Mad King.
Cersei will be killed by Jaime
A very popular theory about book fans of the series is that Jaime will be the one to kill his twin sister, Cersei. In the show, Cersei visits a witch who foresees her future, telling her that she'll have three children, and all of them will die. However, in the book, the witch also tells her that she will be killed by the 'valonqar', which is High Valyrean for 'little brother'.
It also contributed to Cersei's hatred of Tyrion, as she thought her younger brother would mean her death - but George RR Martin also makes it clear that Jaime is the younger twin, suggesting it could also be him. Of course, 'little brother' could refer to one of many characters in the show, including the Hound or Bran Stark.
Daenerys will get pregnant
This was mentioned too many times in season seven not to become significant! While Tyrion worried about Daenerys' line of succession, she spoke candidly to Jon about the witch's prophecy that she will never be able to bear children, with Jon suggesting that perhaps the witch wasn't a reliable source on the subject. Of course, the baby would be a 'true Targaryen', as we're guessing Jon will be the father, and of course the pair are related *shudders*, and many are guessing that it will actually be their child that ends up being heir to the Iron Throne.
Gendry is actually Cersei's son
In season one, Cersei tells Catelyn that she had a 'black-haired' baby son – who would have been a true born son of King Robert Baratheon, but that he died in his infancy. A popular theory is that the baby is actually Gendry, who is therefore a true Baratheon and King Robert's only living heir. But why would Cersei say he had died? The explanation is that by the time she gave birth to the child, she hated King Robert so much that she didn't want to raise his child – which is later suggested by Jaime Lannister when he tells Ser Loras Tyrell that Cersei would kill any baby she doesn't want. That being said, how did Gendry survive, and end up working as a blacksmith?