Season eight of ‘Game of Thrones’ has more than a few smouldering questions it needs to answer in its six bumper-length episodes. And as it’s the final season, no character is safe. Who will live, who will die — all bets are off. Which invariably means all bets are on.
It’s not all about total warfare, feudal politics and dragonry, either — seven densely packed seasons have left dozens of secondary plot threads wafting in the breeze. Smaller things that might not mean a whole lot in the grand scheme, but mean a lot to those invested in the minutiae of Westeros. How will the show go about resolving these? Will it simply not bother? And what else might be in store?
We’ve given it some thought.
Who will win the Cleganebowl Cup?
The Hound vs The Mountain... a battle for the ages.
Two young brothers. A brazier. A sizzling sound. A vow of revenge. We learned the tragic story of how The Hound got his facial scars — and why he is, ergo, a bit of a berk to everybody — all the way back in season one. The apocalyptic scrap between Sandor Clegane and his brother Gregor ‘The Mountain’ has been hotly anticipated ever since. The Hound’s got righteousness on his side, while The Mountain did that awful squelchy thing to Prince Oberyn’s eye sockets, is an absolute unit, and is also sort of a zombie, so must be the clear favourite.
The Mountain to win: 2/1
The Hound to win: 4/1
A friendly draw: 1000/1
Who will Arya tick off on her kill list?
The tiny terminator has been making good on her promise to put a Needly end to all the individuals on her kill list, having disposed of Walder Frey, Polliver and Meryn Trant in grim and explosively painful fashion. Other entrants on her list, such as Thoros of Myr, King Joffrey and Tywin Lannister, saved her a job by helpfully dying at the hands of others. Six names remain. Will Arya see her death-pledge through? Here’s who we think she’s most likely to kill:
Ser Ilyn Payne: 2/1 - Swung the sword that killed Arya’s dad. He’s good as dead
Beric Dondarrion: 3/1 - Sold Gendry to Melisandre, which did annoy Arya quite a lot
Melisandre: 3/1 - Purchased Gendry from Beric, which also did annoy Arya quite a lot
The Mountain: 6/1 - Technically already dead. Plus The Hound’s got baggsies
The Hound: 15/1 - They’re sort-of-but-not-really frenemies now, aren’t they?
Cersei: 20/1 - Ayra will have to get in line ...
Who will kill Cersei Lannister?
Cersei has spent seven seasons making thousands of mortal enemies, while selflessly taking the time to ensure that each has their own entirely legitimate reason to want to kick her off a cliff. Who will get the pleasure?
Tyrion: 3/1 - The odds-on favourite. The two really don’t get along, do they?
Jaime: 4/1 - Their illicit relationship is somehow the least complicated thing about their bond
Dany: 6/1 - Fewer reasons to loathe Cersei than most. But has dragons
Sansa: 5/1 - Cersei was a total monster to Sansa, that’s beyond doubt
Cersei: 2/1 - She does it herself. Anyone else is only going to muck it up
She dies of old age in luxurious comfort many years from now: Evens - Cersie’s hard as nails
Who will join the army of the undead?
It’s taken as a given that some main players won’t be seeing the end credits of the final episode, but in the war against the White Walkers there is, of course, a fate worse than death: being stuck around a campfire with Ed Sheeran and his guitar. And there is a fate marginally less devastating than this: becoming a wight. Former maester and hand of the Queen, Qyburn, is also able to bring folks back from the dead, as are Red priests and priestesses. With so many potential avenues to undeadness, who is slated to be reanimated?
Hodor: 3/1 - Last seen indulging in a spot of temporal nominative determinism while being killed by White Walkers. Therefore likely he’ll be shambling around somewhere
Catelyn Stark: 5/1 - SPOILER: She’s undead in the books, so it’s possible
Joffrey: 8/1 - Come on, Qyburn. The show’s really missed its best ever baddie. Dig him up and bring the delicious monster back
Any Direwolf at all: 2/1 - Zombie ice-wolves. Come on. It’s a no-brainer. Make it happen.