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5 theories of how Game of Thrones Season 8 will conclude

Eight years ago Game of Thrones premiered on HBO, it captivated the nation and became the network's biggest show by 2014.

Game of Thrones Season 8 is fast approaching and fans are already concocting a range of theories on who will sit on the Iron Throne. If there is one certainty, it's that predicting the conclusion of the series will be a challenge; its volatile nature means no main character is safe.

Despite this, that isn't halting the thousands of fans from theory-crafting potential outcomes, delving into the expansive history of the world to support their outlandish theories. After reading a number of surreal theories, it's staggering how even the most bizarre ideas have plausible evidence. I mean let's be honest, when it's speculated Hot Pie is to blame for the White Walkers invasion of Westeros, who knows what Season 8 will hold.

Either way, the end is approaching, so let's take a look at some of the potential plausible endings and who will rule Westeros at the series conclusion.

Spoilers ahead!
The 'Rightful Heir' ending:
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#gameofthrones #winteriscomming #johnsnow #johnsnowlives

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The true origin of Jon Snow has been hinted since the first season, however, is his Targaryen lineage enough to secure him the throne and does Jon even want it?

Jon's father is Rhaeghar Targaryen, this technically puts him above Daenerys in the line of succession to the throne. Although this has the potential to cause problems in Season 8, Jon has already pledged himself to Daenerys' rule as Queen and may denounce his right to the throne upon learning the truth. However, Jon as the King of the Seven Kingdoms can never be ruled out; as a character, Jon's traits appear to be that of a born leader and his reputation in the North is already that of a King. If Jon survives the onslaught of the Night King, it is safe to assume the North will favour one of their own over Daenerys. Only time will tell if Jon survives the battles to come and if he is truly the 'Prince that was promised'.

Mother of Dragons ending:

If the ruler of Westeros was decided by the journey taken to attain the role, you would be hard-pressed to find a more deserving candidate. Beginning across the narrow sea, a slave to her brother's will, Daenerys has risen as a strong and independent leader, Khaleesi of the Dothraki and Mother of Dragons.

Despite her endless titles, she is not without her faults. Daenerys is often reckless in her decision-making and ignorant to the opinion of others—her arrogance may be her downfall in Season 8. Dany would certainly be the linear conclusion for the series and perhaps a little disappointing for some. Her path to rule Westeros began in Season 1, seeing her finally attain the role in Season 8 would be ultimately underwhelming in the wake of the other possibilities. It seems, therefore, unlikely the writers would conclude this way, however, it's always a possibility.

Victory at any cost – Cersei Lannister ending:

If the destruction of the Sept of Bailor and everyone inside wasn't enough for you to fear Cersei Lannister, I'm sure she has a few more lives to claim in Season 8. Cersei's ruthless nature is presented as that of pure evil at times in the show. However, you have to respect her resolute and unwavering approach to her own self-gain and power.

Cersei's choice to remain in the south instead of aiding the battle against the Night King is perhaps a smart choice. Euron Greyjoy is returning to Kings Landing with the Golden Company, an army of sellswords from across the narrow sea. Time will tell if this army of mercenaries will be enough to retain the Iron Throne.

It appears Cersei is playing the waiting game, hoping whoever stands victor in the North is weakened and unprepared for the armies of the south. However, if John, Dany and their alliance fail, Cersei will no doubt face an unstoppable force with a few familiar faces—this time marching south as the army of the dead.

However, if Cersei can overcome the armies who threaten her throne, perhaps by mounting an unexpected attack on the North, a conclusion with her as the continued ruler of Westeros would be both bitter and astounding.

Valar Morghulis / 'all men must die' ending:

The victory of the Night King, out of all the possible endings, would without a doubt leave audiences shocked and speechless. Although this is not the happy ending some are hoping for, a surprising amount of people are rooting for the Night King's victory and if I'm honest, so am I. It's rare that a series these days ends with the villain as the victor, especially one the size and length of Game of Thrones. There would be no denying the spectacle of the Army of the Dead approaching Kings Landing, hope fading as they grow closer. Ending with the Night King's dramatic walk through the throne room,  climbing the steps to take the Iron Throne.

However, the likelihood of this ending occurring seems slim, it would be a difficult conclusion to pull off properly and there are far easier options. Unfortunately, no other end would have the same effect as this one. If this did occur, I could see a number of characters perhaps escaping or taking refuge across the narrow sea, this would set up for a potential future sequel; although there is nothing to suggest there would be one.

Bran's restoration of the past / Bran the Night King:
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Send a raven, #ForTheThrone.

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There is a popular theory that Bran's powers will be used to influence the past in Season 8, therefore, redefining the present and perhaps preventing the creation of the White Walkers. Hodor's destiny to 'hold the door' was proof Bran is capable of redefining the past to affect the future. However, it is unclear the extent of Bran's power and how influential his ability will prove in Season 8.

As interesting as this ending appears, would it provide audiences with a satisfying resolution? There are a number of issues with an ending such as this one, the primary being its nullification of the importance of past events, effectively making them inconsequential. This would be disappointing considering the long journey a number of characters have been on. Despite this, there are certainly ways in which Bran's powers could be integrated as a contribution to the ending, rather than the primary solution. In terms of the likelihood of this ending taking place, it would be strange for the writers to have put such an emphasis on Bran as the omniscient 'Three-Eyed Raven' and him not play a primary role in Season 8. The question is, will Bran use his warging abilities in battle or reshape the past to form a better present?

A convincing theory has also surfaced that Bran himself is the Night King, having travelled back to inhabit the first man the children of the forest turned into a White Walker. In doing this, he would be attempting to stop the White Walker invasion before it happened. Surprisingly, there is a substantial amount of evidence for this theory and it has gained a large amount of attention online. However, there is also a number of holes in the theory, leading some fans to dismiss the idea as a whole.

Whatever ending has been chosen to conclude Game of Thrones, it has certainly been an epic journey.

April 13th is the beginning of the end for Game of Thrones and as exciting Season 8 will be, audiences will miss George R. R. Martin's fantasy universe and the characters within it.

Personally, I'm hoping for something unexpected, admittedly, that probably means avoiding a happy ending. We can only hope the end lives up to the series as a whole and receives the send-off it deserves.

Featured image: ©2019 Home Box Office, Inc. All rights reserved. HBO® and all related programs are the property of Home Box Office, Inc