Where do we go from here? Since the first round, we have a new trailer and we are that much closer to the final season. The last 8 alive are almost certain to be around for most of the final season, so who has the best chance from here? Let’s dive in to the Elite 8!
jon snow (1) vs Gendry Baratheon (8)
He’s been a bastard his entire life. It’s how he and everyone else has defined him and all of that is about to change. Jon Snow’s voyage South to meet a Targaryen went much, much better than previous members of House Stark, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t the honorable fool that Ned was. I’m not sure if it’s just me being cynical, but I can’t picture Jon Snow sitting on the Iron Throne, I can’t picture Jon Snow just accepting he’s a Targaryen, I can’t picture Jon Snow surviving the final season, and I also can’t picture anyone else defeating the Night King. It has to be him, so does he die right after killing him? Does he survive and die soon after with a teary eyed Dany holding his hand?
The thought of Jon Snow dying after episode 3 and the rest of the series finishing up without him doesn’t make sense either…..soooooo……what happens? Literally everyone else is wondering that too, but for prediction purposes, I try to base what I think happens on what makes the most sense. I think he’s in almost the entire season, but that he doesn’t make it when he’s trying to take on the army Cersei has built. Will he sacrifice himself for the greater good when it comes down to those final battles? I think so. Jon has won against such terrible odds for his entire life, but at some point it has to come down to a choice and Jon, the honorable fool, will ultimately find himself in a situation that he can’t overcome and get everyone else out alive. He’ll be there until the end, but I don’t think he makes it. That doesn’t mean he isn’t advancing here though, right?
Much like I can’t picture Jon Snow surviving, admittedly due to by own cynicism, I don’t see Gendry getting killed in any of the battles. I can’t explain it, but it just makes sense that some people are left that would be the head of a major house, so the realm can start fresh and rebuild. Gendry Baratheon would be the only surviving member of his house and after being so handy in all of the battles, you know that he would be given a kingdom to rule. Plus, with either him and Arya or him and Sansa, the houses are going to unite. They teased that back in season 1, but Ned wanted to find a good match for Sansa because he knew that Joffrey wasn’t it by a long shot.
This might be just too happy of an ending to expect, but I expect Gendry to survive all of the battles and end up with one of the Stark girls and live happily ever after. I’d personally like to see him end up with Arya after they shared a connection while captured by the Lannister army, but there is going to be a short supply of people available to rule houses and he’s one of them.
The winner - Even though I think Gendry will live and Jon will die, this bracket is about who has the best chance at the Iron Throne. If Jon survives, which I could easily be wrong about, then the Iron Throne is something he has the stronger claim to. Jon Snow advances to the Final Four.
tyrion lannister (4) vs bronn (12)
Tyrion is and has always been a fan favorite, and GRRM has always said that he has a deep connection with Tyrion himself. He can relate to being an outcast and maybe that is why all of the best dialogue from the show comes from Tyrion. He is a survivor and someone that has used his cunning and brain to advance to where he is. His transformation during the show has been one that more people should discuss since his first time on screen was him drinking with a whore in Winterfell. He’s gone from drunken whore-chaser to Hand of the King, to falsely sentenced to die, to survivor on the run, to adviser to Daenerys, to Hand of the Queen.
In all honesty, who is better prepared to sit on the Iron Throne right now? Nobody, and I mean nobody, is better at learning about his people, his enemies, and playing the Game than Tyrion. He’s ruthless when he has to be, kind when he doesn’t need to be, and has the best interest of the people in mind. Would it be that far fetched to think that the long time fan favorite and favorite character of GRRM to be the one that is left standing to walk into King’s Landing and sit down on the Iron Throne? We’ll talk more about this later, but I feel strongly about him.
I can see Dany dying in childbirth. I can see Brienne dying to protect Podrick. I can see Tormund being overwhelmed by an army and dying after he’s killed about 400 of them. I can see Jon sacrificing himself to save the people he loves. I can see all kinds of things happening, but one thing I cannot and refuse to see is Ser Bronn of the Fucking Blackwater being killed in a battle scene. Is there anyone better with a sword and a knife than him? If you were to handicap a tournament of men with swords from the show fighting to the death is he the favorite? I suppose Jon would probably have to be the favorite, but would you be shocked if Bronn was counting his gold at the end of it? I would not be surprised in the least and I don’t think there are enough men in the army of the Night King to take out Bronn.
I also think Bronn was suspiciously missing from the trailer when they showed scenes of Cersei and the people around her. Wouldn’t Bronn be there?……if he was there…..? I think Bronn really likes Jaime and Tyrion and they owe him a great debt, so he’s going to chase down Jaime, head North, and sell his sword yet again to those armies. Bronn looking for work is a better free agent than Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, and a cloned Babe Ruth all in one. Bronn is going to be in a castle of his own by the end of the series, it’s one of the few things I would actually bet on.
The Winner - Tyrion has the better chance at the Iron Throne, even though Bronn won’t be far from him when he sits down on it. Tyrion over Bronn.
cersei lannister (3) vs arya stark (6)
Cersei is 100% dying at some point in the last season. It’s just happening. HOW Cersei dies is anyone’s guess at this point though because almost every main character wants to stab her right in the fucking face. She’s one of the best villains we’ve ever seen in TV history and she knows how to win. Cersei was Queen when the series debuted. Cersei has had 2 of her children sit as King. Now Cersei is Queen again after taking that shit back herself with some hall of fame terrible people by her side. She has spent more time on or next to the Iron Throne than everyone else on the show combined. Cersei is the New England Patriots of Westeros. She’ll cheat like crazy and everyone hates her, but you can’t argue with the results.
With those results comes a long line of people that are tired of seeing her win. She’s a dynasty and everyone roots for a dynasty to end. We have the prophecy that tells us she’ll die at the hands of her younger brother. She is on Arya’s list. She’s responsible for killing Ned Stark and there are currently 4 Starks alive. She’s the reason that Gendry’s dad is dead. She’s the reason The Hounds brother is a killing zombie. You can throw a rock and hit someone that wants her dead and she’s definitely going to die. So while we can make predictions on who will do it, the point here is that someone is going to do it and there is no way she’ll end up sitting on that Throne at the end of the series.
Speaking of people who have a great chance to kill Cersei, Arya has done a great job of scratching people off of her list. Cersei and The Mountain are the main two people left and they are always very close in proximity. The trailer shows us Arya running from some terrible shit in Winterfell, so we know she isn’t going to immediately bolt to go kill her, but after the war, who better to ride towards King’s Landing with a bag of faces and some people to kill? Nobody is and a girl is nobody……errrr….she was nobody…..anyway she’s a bad ass with a cool sword and a bag of faces.
I think Arya is the one that kills Cersei, but to fulfil the prophecy she does it as someone that Cersei trusts. Arya and The Mountain, however, terrifies me and if he grabs her then I am not going to be able to look at the TV. She’s going to finish her list though, I’m convinced of it. Why have her list, show her getting better at surviving, and then go through all of that training just to watch her die? It’s not happening.
The winner - Arya wins and kills Cersei to make sure she wins.
daenerys targaryen (2) vs Jaime lannister (7)
In the history of the show, Daenerys has accomplished anything and everything she’s wanted, with one notable exception. When she was pregnant with a baby Drogo, it ended very, very badly for her and everyone involved…..especially the horse. So when we see the scene of her walking through the Throne room and then outside to a tent where Khal Drogo and their child are there, is that foreshadowing her death and showing where she would be? Sure, it might just be a nice scene because the crew really missed Mamoa and wanted him to hang out for a day, but that doesn’t seem like a GOT move. So we end last season with Jon Snow texting “U up” with a knock on her boat door and then hooking up with Dany while Tyrion looks down the hall concerned.
So if we were just picking a person to end up on the Iron Throne based on show history, then who better than her to end up there. She has a bad ass army with bad ass dragons and has accomplished everything she’s set out to do. She is the biggest bad ass on a show full of big bad asses. BUT….if she’s pregnant with her nephews baby in the middle of 2 wars going on at the same time, how do we think that plays out? How many movies and TV shows have you seen pivotal women die during childbirth? We almost saw Dany die because of child birth in this very show. I know we haven’t even seen that she is pregnant, but how could she not be when she has boat sex at sea with all of those seamen around? (You can thank the lovely Mrs. Soapbox for that joke). If she survives childbirth, then how could you ever bet against her at this point? It’ll be one of the more interesting plots this season.
Every single person in the cast has a clear allegiance going into the final season. Everyone except Jaime Lannister, that is. Sure he’s headed North to fulfill his promise, but think ahead to episode 3. The Night King is dead and they prevail. Huzzah! Now Daenerys, Jon, and all of the surviving people take that big ass army and head right towards Cersei. Jaime just finished fighting for the winning side and I’m sure played a key role in that because Jaime Lannister is the best soldier and leader of armies on the entire show. Yes, even better than Jon Snow. Jaime has been a soldier his entire life and learned from his father who was a soldier his entire life. So with everyone ready to head back to fuck up Cersei and take the Throne, where does that leave Jaime?
He instantly becomes the most interesting character in that moment. If he is going to go home and fight for Cersei and the Lannister army, then why wouldn’t he kill Dany or Jon on his way out the door and haul ass home? Would he really stick around to fight AGAINST his own army? If he ends up with Brienne, does it not feel the same because he’s still in love with Cersei, so he starts with Dany and Jon and then turns back to Cersei upon arrival in King’s Landing? Does he get to King’s Landing, run to talk Cersei into surrendering, and then find her ready to pull a Mad King and blow up the entire fucking city? If that happens, does he stop her the same way that he did with the Mad King? Is it really Jaime that is the younger brother that the witch meant would kill Cersei and it’s never been Tyrion? There are so many avenues that Jaime can go down and that’s what makes him the most interesting character of the entire final season.
The winner - I don’t want to pick…….you can’t make me pick…….fine. Daenerys wins, but I don’t feel good about it.
Stephen Balding is the founder of Cinema Soapbox. You can reach him at email@example.com