Game of Thrones Season 8 Predictions – Will Jon Snow Rule Westeros?

by Taylor Smith
on July 14, 2018

Minute Read

Over the weekend, filming for the upcoming eighth and final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones came to a close. Unfortunately, we’ll still have to wait another several months before we actually see the end product. Season 8 of Game of Thrones is not slated to his HBO’s airwaves until April of 2019, which feels like an awful long time to be waiting.

Still, there isn’t much else we can do. While we wait, we can take what we know from the series to this point and try to make some predictions for how the show will wrap things up. With no George R. R. Martin book to use as precedent, any speculation at this point is just about complete guesswork. We certainly have no way of knowing who will die first in season 8, nor do we know who will emerge victorious and rule Westeros at the end.

If you’ve watched even one episode of this show, you’ll know that death is a pretty big part of it. The writers have shown no mercy. Even the characters you think are locks to make it all the way to the end will get whacked out of nowhere. Just look at Ned Stark. I’m watching season one thinking this guy is going to be the main protagonist throughout the duration of the series, yet he didn’t even last 9 full episodes before meeting his demise. Sad!

BetOnline has odds posted regarding which character will be the first to perish in the upcoming season. It’s a long list, but here are the betting numbers:

  • Yara Greyjoy +225
  • Theon Greyjoy +500
  • The Mountain +550
  • Euron Greyjoy +800
  • Bronn +1000
  • The Hound +1000
  • Tormund Giantsbane +1000
  • Gendry +1400
  • Jorah Mormont +1400
  • Brienne of Tarth +1600
  • Davos Seaworth +1600
  • Cersei Lannister +2000
  • Jaime Lannister +2000
  • The Night King +2000
  • Varys +2200
  • Arya Stark +2500
  • Samwell Tarly +3300
  • Sansa Stark +4000
  • Tyrion Lannister +4000
  • Bran Stark +5000
  • Daenerys Targaryen +10000
  • Jon Snow +10000

Greyjoys and Cleganes

Clearly, the oddsmakers aren’t particularly optimistic about the Greyjoy family being long for this world. The inner-family conflict is obviously going to get someone killed, but we don’t know who or in what order they’ll kick the bucket. If you remember, Yara was captured by here uncle, Euron, which led to Theon, Yara’s brother, rallying the Ironborn army to rescue her. Yara and her men rescued Theon when he was captured by Ramsay Bolton, so he feels the need to pay her back.

The chalk thinking will be that Theon and Euron will eventually square off in a one-on-one battle with Yara’s life on the line. If Euron kills Yara before Theon can rescue her, though, that certainly would throw a wrinkle into things. Either Theon will just flee (we know he’s a coward anyway), or he’ll be so enraged with Yara’s death that he’ll try to take it out on her captor. Or, perhaps Yara will find a way to free herself and kill Euron before Theon arrives. There are plenty of possibilities, but it’s easy to see why all 3 Greyjoys have such high chances of dying pretty quickly in season 8.

Next up, we have some more fringe characters like The Hound, The Mountain, Gendry, Tormund and Bronn. Let’s start with the Clegane brothers, known casually as The Hound and The Mountain. It stands to reason that these two will square off in a battle to the death at some point, Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane and his younger brother, Sandor “The Hound” Clegane pretty much hate each other, and they have since they were kids.

The #Cleganebowl seems like the most likely outcome here. We have seen much more of Sandor throughout the series, with Gregor serving as more of an aide to Cersei Lannister. The Hound is more of a vagabond, though he is clearly loyal to Arya Stark. The Mountain is the bigger of the two, and it would stand to reason that he would have a physical advantage over his brother. That said, since The Hound is the one with which the viewing audience is more familiar, perhaps he’ll pull off the underdog victory. While this could happen early in the season, the constant fan speculation and build-up have me thinking they’ll wait until one of the final few episodes to let this one play out.

I feel like the best combination of likelihood and value here is Euron Greyjoy to die first at +800. Yaya dying first would seem a little too predictable, so I like the value on Euron instead.  I think Theon Greyjoy dying at some point is pretty likely, though I don’t think it’ll come at the hand of Euron early in the season. Of the Cleganes, I think The Mountain (+550) is more likely to meet his end before The Hound (+1000), and that’s clearly reflected in the odds.

Other Fringe Options

Brienne of Tarth has spent just about her entire existence on the show protecting various Starks, with Sansa being her main focus of late. At the end of season 7, we last saw Brienne during a metween between the Lannisters and Daenerys Targaryen. She eventually convinced Jaime Lannister to help in the fight against the White Walkers, and she’ll be there at Winterfell when Jaime arrives in order to vouch for him as an ally.

Brienne could certainly meet her fate once the war with the creatures beyond The Wall. Of course, that’s a potential outcome for literally anybody in the series, so it’s not all that unique to Brienne. She does have the Valyrian steel sword, however, and we know she’s one of the best fighters in Westeros. I feel like she’ll come out of this thing alive.

Tormund’s future is a lot less certain. Tormund found himself at The Wall in the season 7 finale. You know what that means. He was there as the zombie dragon tore that thing to shreds in the episode’s waning moments. There is always the chance that Tormund died when the wall was being blasted, but it feels safe to say we’ll see the bearded redhead alive once season 8 begins.

How long he’s alive is another matter. This thing looks like it’s about to come to a head in a hurry, which means Tormund could be meeting his demise before too long. I still think one of the Greyjoys is the most likely character to die first, but Tormund is an awesome value here at +1000. Mr. Giantsbane is one of the best characters on the show, but it would be quite the surprise if he came out of season 8 still breathing.

Main Characters

If we keep going down the list, we quickly get to a slew of the show’s most central characters. Yes, Game of Thrones does have an unpredictability factor, and nobody really knows what will happen. Could season 8 start with Daenerys getting eaten by one of her own dragons? Sure, but it’s not particularly likely.

As such, betting on one of the big names to be the first to bite the dust is probably unnecessary. There’s profit potential with those odds, but that’s because they’re unlikely to pay off. Jon Snow dying first pays off at +10000, but it’s probably not a bet that will be paying off at all. Jon Snow does have experience being dead, but if he dies this time I imagine that will come later.

So, pass on Cersei, Jaime and Tyrion Lannister. Say “no thanks” to Arya, Sansa and Bran Stark. Daenerys will be around a while, too.

Who Will Rule Westeros At the End of Season 8?

  • Jon Snow +250
  • Daenerys Targaryen +275
  • Sansa Stark +300
  • Bran Stark +500
  • The Night King +900
  • Tyrion Lannister +1000
  • Cersei Lannister +1500
  • Jaime Lannister +1500
  • Arya Stark +1600
  • Euron Greyjoy +7500
  • Gendry +7500
  • Varys +7500

For a long time it felt as though Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen were on a collision course. The 2 finally did meet, and things went pretty well! Sure, they may not know that they’re siblings yet, but that’ll happen at some point. While it will be very, very awkward, we haven’t seen that kind of little detail stop siblings before on this show.

Anyway, the prevailing thought has also been that Daenerys, Mother of Dragons, would also ultimately be the one to rule Westeros. Having 3 dragons at your command is a pretty good way to convince people to listen to you. Of course, we saw one of those very dragons killed and ultimately revived by White Walkers in the last season, which complicates matters.

The White Walkers already have an insanely deep army, and now they have a zombie dragon at their disposal. We saw Viserion obliterating The Wall, in season 7’s final episode, so it’s clear that that thing will be doing plenty of damage moving forward.

We got a bit of a teaser into what season 8 may bring, which might offer a window into what happens with Daenerys. In an interview with Vanity Fair, the actress that plays Daenerys, Emilia Clarke, said that her final scene left a poor taste in her mouth. Daenerys is a descendant of the one they call “The Mad King,” so perhaps she starts to take on some of the qualities of her relative. Could it ultimately lead to her downfall? It’s certainly possible. We’ve seen her struggle with her power in the past.

Jon Snow is much more even-keeled, and we’ve seen him serve as a steadying hand and capable leader throughout the first 7 seasons. He has risen through the ranks during his journey, going from Ned Stark’s not-so-well thought-of son to King of the North in relatively short order. We now know that Jon Snow is not, in fact, the spawn of Eddard Stark, but instead Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark.

Jon has cultivated a number of useful relationships throughout the show. We know he’s now close with Dany, but he has also worked alongside the Night’s Watch and those beyond the wall. Snow was able to reclaim Winterfell by defeating the awful Ramsay Bolton. Jon isn’t the power-hungry leader we see others striving to be. Instead, he’s more of a begrudging leader doing what needs to be done. Of the 2 at the top, I think Jon Snow at +250 is a better bet than Daenerys Targaryen at +275.

One of the Starks will always be a possibility, but do not overlook the Night King at +900. Nobody wants to see the White Walkers actually emerge triumphant at the end of all this, but they’ve proven to be quite the formidable foe to our heroes thus far. Sure, Samwell Tarly of all people actually killed a White Walker earlier in the series, but in general it is pretty difficult to kill what’s already dead. A Valyrian steel weapon or something made of dragonglass are tools that can be used against them, but these aren’t exactly commonly found items.

The Lannister trio also warrant consideration. Cersei has proven time and time again to be the most evil human in Westeros, and she hasn’t let anything stop her as of yet. There have been some bumps along the way, but she might just be savage enough to somehow emerge victorious at the end of all of this. She’s certainly a strong value at +1500.

Now that he’s going to start helping the Starks at Winterfell, Jaime looks like someone that will accept a reserve role moving forward. Rather than trying to become a leader in his own right, it feels as though he’s going to just let someone like Jon or Sansa Stark take the lead. Everybody would love to see Tyrion on top once all is said and done, but that would also be quite the strange ending, to be sure.

I’ll rank my favorite values here as follows:

  1. Jon Snow +250
  2. The Night King +900
  3. Sansa Stark +300
  4. Daenerys Targaryen +275
  5. Bran Stark +500
  6. Cersei Lannister +1500
Taylor Smith

Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, but he’s willing to take one for the team on that front every now and then. Taylor Smith

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