From the Maester’s Desk – Endgame: Lannisters Always Pay Their Debts

cersei2

The eighth and final season of Game of Thrones is still a year away at least, but in the meantime we have plenty of material to theorize about the endgame for the surviving characters of the series.

Heroes, villains and innocent people have died in a plethora of different ways: poisoned, cut down, burned, stabbed, beheaded and even eaten by dogs, and that’s just off the top of my head! But the Lannister siblings are still around, ever since the very beginning of  the series, and they have changed quite a lot since then.

Cersei finally holds the Iron Throne, but the cost has been high: all her children are dead and her father is gone as well. Tyrion stopped being an alcoholic hedonist and acquired a new of sense of purpose as the Hand of Daenerys Targaryen, but his journey has been long and painful, narrowly escaping death dozens of times and also turned into a slave for a time. And Jaime went from cocksure arrogance and a fearsome reputation as the Kingslayer, to a cripple who wallowed in self pity for a while, but is now trying to regain his sense of honor and truly earn his place in the White Book of the Kingsguard.

Despite being a book reader, I find myself in uncharted territory, because the show’s characters and their stories have effectively divorced the source material. George R.R. Martin has given David Benioff and Dan Weiss all the details and the roadmap, but the show, more than a simple adaptation, is its own thing now. In my opinion, that’s good, since instead of having a carbon copy of the novels, we have two similar stories that are unique and surprising in their own ways. When The Winds of Winter (and eventually, A Dream of Spring) sees release, there’s no doubt parts of it will make us remember the TV adaptation, but it won’t be entirely the same.

Based on knowledge from the books, and what we’ve seen in 67 episodes of the show, I’ll make an educated guess of what’s ahead for the last of the Lannisters in the remaining six episodes of Game of Thrones.

JAIME

Jaime Lannister leaves episode 707

Last time we saw the Kingslayer he was riding to Winterfell in order to honor his pledge and aid the North in the looming Great War. Long behind are the days in which he could have been considered an “oathbreaker” (which was always unfair in a way, since the alternative was to let King’s Landing burn).

His evolution has been really fascinating. He started out as an antagonist of sorts, with an arrogant and hateful attitude, but losing his right hand and (most importantly) spending time with Brienne of Tarth made him reevaluate his life and change his character. His word may be still considered worthless by most people, but actions such as him sparing Olenna Tyrell from a painful and humiliating death and later abandoning his beloved Cersei after realizing she had no intentions whatsoever of helping Daenerys and Jon, show a real and palpable transformation.

So, what lies ahead for Jaime? We can assume he’ll reach Winterfell during the first episode or the second at the latest. The journey from King’s Landing is supposed to take months, but traveling distances and logistics have never been a main concern of the show (I’m not even talking about the dragons- remember Littlefinger?).

Once in there, I think he’s going to spill the beans regarding Cersei’s betrayal (it’s not like he has a lot of options to explain why he went on his own to Winterfell) and be straightforward about how he’s the only help they’ll get from the south. I can’t imagine many people will be too thrilled about such news, and maybe one or two northern lords will suggest holding him captive or executing him in order to get back at Cersei, but those options obviously won’t fly. The Cersei matter will have to be dealt with later, but at least she won’t take the Dany/Jon crew by surprise.

At some point, Jaime is going to have to meet with Bran. It seems like an obvious prediction to make, but how that conversation will go is anyone’s guess. Given the way he coldly dismissed Meera, I don’t expect the Three-Eyed Raven to care much about the reveal that Jaime is the one who pushed him out the window (if he doesn’t already know, that is), since he’s not just Bran anymore. And ironically enough, if it wasn’t for Jaime’s attempt to murder him, he probably wouldn’t have traveled beyond the Wall to become what he is now. So perhaps there won’t be forgiveness, but I don’t see a desire to take revenge either. No doubt Bran will keep the information to himself, since telling his siblings would cause unnecessary drama in the worst possible moment (but will he tell Jon about his true parentage?).

Jaime may lack his right hand, but he’s got battle experience and a Valyrian steel sword, and no doubt Widow’s Wail will be put to good use when the time to fight the White Walkers comes. And as a curious observation, considering Brienne is going to be at Winterfell as well, in a way Ice would be back home.

Jaime Tyrion

And when your tears have drowned you, the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you.

A Feast for Crows, Cersei VIII

One of the most popular ASOIAF theories is that Jaime is going to be the one who kills Cersei, since he’s likely the “Valonqar” (little brother) from Maggy the Frog’s prophecy. While that would be a way to allow Jaime’s story to go full circle (saving King’s Landing from a mad ruler once again), I don’t think that’s going to be the case here. He’s disappointed enough to leave her and go fight alongside her enemies, but surely he still loves her and is doing it out of a desire to protect Cersei and the baby. He knows there’s no future if the White Walkers win the war, and if Dany’s forces can’t stop them, there’s no way Cersei’s hired swords will be able to do it, even if they have elephants.

If he doesn’t die in the North (either fighting alongside Brienne or taking one for the team and sacrificing himself to save Bran or somebody else), then it should be interesting to see if he’s going to stick around with Dany et al., or if he’ll return to Cersei’s side (though I can’t imagine she’d be too happy after he rode north against her will).

If Cersei won’t have him back (or if he decides to stick with Jon and Dany), then that opens up a perfect opportunity to get back at Euron Greyjoy for all the taunting he subjected Jaime to. The past season pitted them as rivals for Cersei’s affections and trust, so the day of reckoning could come soon for the Greyjoy king.

Assuming that hypothetical fight doesn’t kill Jaime, and he makes it to the end of the war, would he be able to settle down? Fans who ship Tormund and Brienne may not agree, but after everything is said and done, I’d like to see him enjoying of a small measure of peace alongside the Maid of Tarth.

CERSEI

7x03 Cersei

Whereas her book counterpart is steadily descending into madness and paranoia, the show’s version of Cersei is very much in control of her own fate –and that of King’s Landing.

Cersei’s on her own, but not alone. Her hand Qyburn and her protector Gregor remain loyal, and so does Euron Greyjoy. While her political enemies are busy fighting the Night King, she’ll be amassing her forces and preparing for an inevitable siege. Sooner or later the living or the dead will march on King’s Landing and she’ll be ready to receive them.

There are, of course, many variables. Should the living prevail, then Cersei will turn into a “final boss” of sorts, the last obstacle between Daenerys and the Iron Throne. On the other hand, if the Night King is the one who wins, then Dany and Jon may be forced to consider (once again) an uneasy alliance with Cersei in order to pull a last-ditch effort for everyone’s survival. Standing aside and allowing the undead to massacre and turn Cersei’s forces will only help the Night King.

This time, Cersei could be inclined to actually honor the pact.  Her own survival (and that of her kingdom) is at stake, and the combined forces of Dany and Jon will be weakened enough (perhaps considerably) to be a major threat against her anymore. Besides, they both could still die during the battle, which is a plus.

The final battle won’t be won by the Night King, however. Don’t worry, that’s not a spoiler, but an assumption. I don’t see this story taking the nihilistic path of having the undead winning the Great War. And even though Cersei keeping the throne afterwards and thwarting Dany’s efforts could be considered a bittersweet ending, I don’t think it’ll go down that way:

My prediction is that when the undead are defeated, Cersei will want to get rid of Daenerys, Jon and the rest. Because while they certainly won’t be as powerful a force as before, they’ll always represent a threat – they can recover and regroup one day to come back and lay siege to King’s Landing. Cersei is pragmatic and she’ll want to rip them all out, root and stem. Even more so if Maggy turns out to be wrong and she gives birth to a new heir.

Young Cersei

The pregnancy aspect will be an interesting plot point to solve, because I don’t think the screenwriters will have a pregnant woman getting killed a second time, no matter if she’s effectively a villain. So Cersei will either suffer a miscarriage early in the final season (and so Maggy’s prophecy will remain true) or she’ll have the baby.

In any case, if she ends up cornered by her enemies, she won’t allow herself to be captured or killed. I think Cersei would consider suicide a better way out: using poison (like when she thought Stannis would win the Blackwater battle) or going out in a wildfire explosion (which could explain the ruined Red Keep that Dany saw in the House of the Undying, if it wasn’t the doing of the undead Viserion or one of Dany’s dragons). Jumping through a window, like her son Tommen did, is also a possibility.

If there’s anyone who could get close enough so as to murder her, that’d be either Jaime or Arya Stark. The “valonqar” part of the prophecy was left out of the show, probably to avoid spelling out the way Cersei will die. Since I don’t think Jaime will do it (he’s too obvious a candidate and therefore probably a red herring), Arya could be the one who takes the big fish to fry, using the face of Littlefinger (or Qyburn, if he falls to Arya’s hands in a moment Cersei’s not looking). Sandor would take care of Gregor, and therefore making the much-hyped Cleganebowl a reality.

For Arya, it’d be satisfactory to finally have revenge on one of the people responsible for many of the woes she and her family have suffered.

TYRION

7x07 King's Landing Cersei Tyrion 3

Tyrion’s currently between a rock and a hard place. He doesn’t want to fight his family, but Dany is fed up with his “clever plans”.

Jaime joining his cause (if only to fight against the Night King and his army) should make things a bit easier for him, but clearly hurting his pregnant sister isn’t among his main goals – so, not out of the woods just yet.

Tyrion has never been a warrior, and therefore has only fought with weapons when forced by the circumstances. His true weapon is his sharp mind and knack for strategy: he prevented Stannis from taking over King’s Landing and kept the peace in Meereen until Dany returned. He also cleared the path for the dragon queen to legally slay her enemies and take their ships after they violated the pact. Not too shabby indeed.

Despite being outmaneuvered by his siblings during the events of Season 7, in part due to his efforts to avoid a direct confrontation, he should prove an invaluable ally when planning the defense of Winterfell against the invading Army of the Dead.

It may be obvious, but Winterfell will either be saved or destroyed. I’m leaning towards the latter, because having the undead stopped in their tracks just as they start their invasion of Westeros would be rather anticlimactic. So the living will try to stand their ground, but the castle will ultimately fall – and the living will be forced to retreat to the south. I can see some of the Unsullied (and perhaps Grey Worm?) and northern soldiers staying behind to buy some time for their king and queen.

Tyrion Lannister Game of Thrones

Depending in whether there’ll be an alliance with Cersei or not (if the undead make it past Winterfell), Tyrion’s knowledge of the capital and its weak spots will come in handy to plan either a defense or an attack. If Dany’s remaining two dragons are still alive by then, breaching the walls won’t be much of a problem – though I expect them to take a back seat. Tyrion doesn’t want to use their power against the city, and doing so would put them in danger of getting hit by scorpion bolts (unless they get some light armor for the dragons. It should be Smaug 101: make sure to cover the unprotected spots).

Speaking of dragons: the Night King destroyed the theory of Tyrion becoming a rider. The dragon has three heads alright, but one of them is undead now. While it’s kind of a shame our favorite Imp most likely won’t get to look down over the world, seated on a dragon’s back, maybe he’ll be able to catch a ride the same way the wight-hunting party did in the sixth episode of Season 7 (“Beyond the Wall”).

Call it plot armor if you will, but Tyrion may be one of the few characters who will survive the Great War. He won’t sit the Iron Throne, but I’m certain he’ll become the lord of Casterly Rock. Even if Jaime survives as well, he already forfeited his right to it, and the castle would be a fine reward for Tyrion’s loyalty and service as Hand of the Queen.

If Cersei gives birth to a child, and they become an orphan, probably Tyrion will be the one who adopts them. He was always fond of Tommen and Myrcella, and his days of whoring and drinking are far behind in the past. Besides, this way the survival of House Lannister is guaranteed, though Tyrion could eventually have children of his own.


It’s going to be a while before we can see how right or far off my predictions are, but for now it’s been a fun exercise. The sixth book is still in the oven, but meanwhile the show is providing us an exciting opportunity to come up with fresh theories and questions about the future of all the characters we love (or love to hate).

Before the arrival of Game of Thrones, we only had the books to discuss, and it was just a matter of time before the well of theories and predictions dried up (which is why some of the reveals like Jon’s resurrection or the return of the Hound didn’t surprise book readers all that much), but as we get closer to the series finale, all bets are off now.

With only six episodes left, the canvas isn’t too big, but there’s enough room for dozens of possibilities, particularly when it comes to the major players. I’m hoping for some curveballs from the secondary characters, and most of all, a memorable sendoff to Westeros and one of the most impressive television series ever made.

63 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. Also, thanks for the great article Morgoth! I love reading about speculations. I think it’s also key that Maggy the Frog never specified it would be Cersei’s valonqar, meaning that “the valonqar” could be anyone’s little brother: Sandor, Bran, Jon, etc.

      I personally would like it if Jaime is the one to kill her and it does come full circle: another mad monarch to put down.

      Regarding Cersei and the Golden Company, my own (hopeful) speculation is that (book spoilers)

      the Golden Company breaks their contract with Cersei in favour of following Jon/Dany. My own guess is that maaaaybe D&D will adapt the GC book plot to follow real Aegon (Jon) on the show as opposed to fAegon in the books. Presuming Jon and Bran make his parentage public. If not, perhaps they decide to follow Dany. It would also be great if D&D can adapt Jon Connington fighting for the GC in the show, who could also serve as a living witness to any Rhaegar business instead of everyone relying on Bran's visions.

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    2. Unless Arya kills someone who is a little brother, she will not be the one to kill Cersei.

      Also, regarding Cersei’s pregancy: I don’t believe she will be able to keep this one. The prophecy says three, and that’s all she will get. She will miscarry this baby, meaning she drove away Jamie for nothing. But it’s not like she ever really loved him anyway.

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    3. If there’s anyone who could get close enough so as to murder her, that’d be either Jaime or Arya Stark. The “valonqar” part of the prophecy was left out of the show, probably to avoid spelling out the way Cersei will die. Since I don’t think Jaime will do it (he’s too obvious a candidate and therefore probably a red herring), Arya could be the one who takes the big fish to fry, using the face of Littlefinger (or Qyburn, if he falls to Arya’s hands in a moment Cersei’s not looking).

      Jaime’s “obvious” because it’s the ending that makes the most sense thematically, which is what’s most important in GRRM’s storytelling, not random twists.

      While obviously Arya would kill Cersei (indeed, she’d be able to kill her incredibly easily), that’s pretty much meaningless as far as Cersei’s story goes. The crux of the valonqar prophecy is that Cersei is given a phrase that could refer to either of her brothers, but because she hates Tyrion she immediately assumes it’s him, and never for a moment suspects Jaime. That says something about her character. All the theories about how the valonqar is really some other character who happens to be a younger sibling don’t have anything at all akin to that. Cersei not guessing that Arya will be her killer tells you nothing whatsoever about her.

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    4. “Tyrion stopped being an alcoholic hedonist and acquired a new of sense of purpose as the Hand of Daenerys Targaryen, but his journey has been long and painful…”
      __________

      Yes, long and painful – for the viewer. He’s no longer smart, witty, and one step ahead of everyone else.

      I think he needs to start drinking and whoring again.

      (*Puts on red and gold-trimmed “MTGA” cap*)

      #MTGA
      (Make Tyrion Great Again)

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    5. I honestly hope the bittersweet end they keep talking about is after Dany and Jon and whoever left heads south to KL for the final battle they side with Cersie only to realise they’re all doomed and then board ships and leave just as the siege is about to begin … double cross Cersie and leave her to fuckin die … I can picture that shot … Dany crying looking back at KL burn (maybe Jon sacrifices himself so she can eskapay (I said that in dorys voice) and Sailing/flying back to essos to live out her life in the wilderness

      On a side note … have we ever seen Dany eat on the show … apart from the horse heart that is

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    6. In regards to Cersei’s pregnancy, I hope for a quiet and tragic end. She is not pregnant at all, she has a false pregnancy like Mary the 1st of England. Mary had 2 false pregnancies during her reign and finally died, possibly from ovarian cysts or uterine cancer. Mary is a fair historical comparison to Cersei, as she was known as “Bloody Mary” for killing so many Protestants. It may not be as dramatic as a prophecy but as it was largely left out of the show, I think a fitting end to such a woman

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    7. In a way I kinda want Cersie to have the baby just so Maggys prophecy is proved false and she realises she based her entire life on a lie then Jon can convince her (yes this is a stretch) that the baby will not be harmed and can survive just as he wasn’t even though he was Rhaegars kid but only if she stays back at KL to fight with them … Dany (pregnant at this point) will be sent away with cersies kid … Cersie and Jon die … Dany has to raise the 2 kids … cut to the future a Targaryen and a Lannister rules a new kingdom … Cersies childhood dream finally comes true

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    8. “And when your tears have drowned you, the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you.”
      – A Feast for Crows, Cersei VIII
      ________________

      1. “Hands” is plural. Jaime only has one hand. Prosthetics don’t count, and even if they did, his golden hand isn’t flexible. He can’t “wrap” it around a sword, shovel handle, or Scorpion lever, let alone a neck. .❌ Jaime.

      2. “His” hands means they belong to a male. There’s been no indication that “Valonqar” is a gender-neutral Valyrian word like “prince(ss)”, so ❌ Arya.

      3. Maggy the Frog told young Cersei “the” Valonqar”, i.e., “the” little brother, would strangle her. Using the definite article “the” refers to one specific person, not to any younger brother and not to anyone’s younger sibling. (Recall when LF asked Maegaery if she still wanted to be a queen? She replied: “No. I want to be the queen.” Meaning, the only queen.)
      Maggy did not tell young Cersei “your” little brother or “a” little brother or anybody’s younger brother would throttle her.
      That again excludes Jaime – and arguably Tyrion. So ❓❌ Tyrion?

      4. in normal speech, “the little brother” refers to the younger of two boys. Use of the definite article “the” rather than the indefinite “a”, presupposes there’s only one “little brother.”
      Might that turn out to be Jon Snow aka Aegon 2.0, whose older brother and sister were brutally murdered and mutilated at the direction of Tywin Lannister? So, ❓Jon Snow?

      5. Euron’s a “little brother”, but his late arrival and limited screen time would make him an unsatisfying candidate: Kind of a douchebag ex machina. And I thought Balon had a bunch of brothers, not just one. So, 🦑 ❌ Euron

      6. Young Cersei looked to be around 10-12 years old in the cold-open (S5e1?) flashback scene when Maggy told her about “the Valonqar.” In S4e10 (?), we learned that when Cersei was 9, Tywin went to the capitol with Jaime and left Cersei at Casterly Rock.
      I acknowledge that Maggy’s other predictions (e.g., that Cersei wouldn’t marry the prince but would marry “the king”, and how many children they’d have), referred to future King Robert, not the then-reigning King Firebug. Still, young Cersei presumed – and Maggy may have intended – that the Valonqar was someone Cersei already knew.
      A 9-12 year-old Cersei marooned at Casterly Rock would presumably have had a limited social circle – especially with her imperious attitude. She might only have come into regular contact with Casterly Rock workers, nearby vassals, and their families — like the Casterly Rock kennel master, who lived on the adjacent property with his two young sons. (I believe the older boy was Cersei’s age, and the little brother about 4-5 years younger than her. I made a rough estimate at one point 🤔.)
      The little brother once noted: “I’ve been looking at Lannister gold all my life.” (S4e10) He wasn’t reluctant to declare: “F*ck the Queen.” He’s been guardian and protector of two sisters: Cersei has wanted one sister’s head on a spike, and Cersei’s name is on the other sister’s kill list.
      The little brother’s not so little anymore. He’s got the size and strength to wrap his hands around a throat and crush a windpipe. While he may not have strong personal animus against Cersei, he may find it necessary to intercede and snuff out Cersei if one of the sisters is in harm’s way. ✅ Sandor Clegane

      PS Before anybody calls me out on it, I’ll admit it: In my tinfoil world, Sandor is Azor Ahai aka The Warrior of Light; the Lord’s Chosen; the Last Hero; and the Valonqar.

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    9. Ten Bears,

      Correction:

      I mistakenly wrote:

      “Young Cersei looked to be around 10-12 years old in the cold-open (S5e1?) flashback scene when Maggy told her about “the Valonqar.”

      The Valonqar prophecy wasn’t in the show. So please ignore the last seven words of that sentence.

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    10. Sansa’s Knight,

      “On a side note … have we ever seen Dany eat on the show…?”
      ———-

      Have we ever seen The Hound NOT eat?

      I just did a quick rewatch of S3, S4 and S6 and he’s always stuffing his face. Even when he kills people, before their bodies hit the ground he’s already scarfing their food.

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    11. May be, it isn’t important, whether the Valonqar prophecy is in the show or not, if in any case book and show should reach the same bittersweet ending. Show!important is the way things develop, so that (f.ex.) Sandor can be the one, who kills Cercei.

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    12. Thank you, Morgoth. The family with the best survival record (four major characters, three left) merited more attention and you summed them up well. Basically, I agree with your predictions, except maybe about the Valonqar. IMO you’re spot on about Tyrion. He might remarry Sansa, but he’d be satisfied with ruling the Rock alone, raising a Lannister kid, and presumably weekending at his nearby vineyard:-).

      This Lannister trio are all enmeshed in the Valonqar prophecy, but not on the show. It was conspicuously (to readers) omitted from Maggy’s predictions, probably so D&D could keep their Cersei endgame options open. Anybody could kill her, most likely a younger sibling. By 5.01 even casual viewers surely guessed Cersei would come to a no-good end. The no-goodest end is to be murdered, especially by a cherished family member. Many years of repeated and increasingly nasty clashes between her and Tyrion made him her PUblic Enemy No. 1. So Valonqar Jaime would come out of left field and be very poetic–probably in a Shakespearean tragedic murder-suicide that would bookend his Kingslayer designation with Queenslayer. If this is to happen, IMO Arya and her List is the perfect red herring. (It would be nice if she and Sandor at least crossed off the Mountain.) All things being equal, Jaime is my preferred Valonqar. BUT…

      …apparently in S8 all things are not equal. Cersei’s playing a very dangerous game trusting a madman AND awaiting the mutual bloodletting of two very potent enemies before she strikes. She once empowered a secretly hypocritical and power-hungry prelate so he’d eliminate her immediate enemies for her, but he caught even her in his tentacles. History repeats itself. IF it was the Golden Company that seemingly sacked Winterfell and a Stark were lost as a result, the Wolves would descend ASAP. If the AotD sacked Winterfell, with the Northerners’ greatest stronghold destroyed and their remnants scattered and regrouping, the NK could mosey down to the capital and do considerable damage. Or her crow-eyed ally (a younger brother) could simply murder her himself for the IT. At some point, Jon will probably take action against fighting on two fronts. Perhaps that explains why he’s in Kings Landing photos with Cersei, maybe as her prisoner. In any case, with or without offical orders, it’s likely Arya and Sandor, maybe with Jaime and Tyrion or Varys, will take the Drogon express to KL to replace Cersei (and rescue Jon if she holds him). BTW, I just looked at my posts from last year–I originally predicted an Avengers-like team-up on 30 August! The upshot that is that with the current set of available photos, it’s even more likely Arya (or Jaime, Tyrion, or Sandor, also a younger brother) will be the Valonqar after all. Leave one Wolf alive, and the Lions are never safe.

      Sansa’s Knight,

      Not often. I think we saw her chewing on a bone when she and injured Drogon were marooned after fleeing Daznak’s Pit. And maybe she drank tea with Tyrion in front of that fire while they talked about heroes.

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    13. Lady Vanora,

      Sure, a phantom pregnancy is possibility, but I don’t think it’s gonna be the casem because Qyburn has sort of confirmed to Cersei that she’s with child. I also agree that this child will hardly be born. But I don’t think that Cersei will suffer a natural misscariage – IMO the only thing that makes sense under these circumstances would be a forced abortion. Cersei has always loved her children; therefore killing the last one would be the inevitable and final step towards her selfdestruction and descent into madness, cause in such case she wouldn’t be able to put the blame on someone else. And Qyburn has already offered to give her “something” to which she said “no”. But after Jaime has left her, IMO she will kill abort his child for the sake of revenge. Cersei Lanister always pays her debts, doesn’t she?

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    14. I don’t think the screenwriters will have a pregnant woman getting killed a second time, no matter if she’s effectively a villain.

      Having Cersei’s baby murdered in her own womb — demonstrating wth decisive flair that she had totally failed to protect every last person whom she loved — would be a truly awesome bit of karmic payback for the Red Wedding, which was orchestrated by her own father. Tywin’s utter obsession with restoring the Lannister family’s name and status drove many of his evil acts, and having one of the evil acts born of that obsession return to exterminate his only daughter’s last chance at breeding would be delicious irony indeed.

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    15. strong>Ten Bears,

      PS Before anybody calls me out on it, I’ll admit it: In my tinfoil world, Sandor is Azor Ahai aka The Warrior of Light; the Lord’s Chosen; the Last Hero; and the Valonqar.

      STOP THIS MADNESS IN THE NAME OF YOUR KING!

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    16. Sean C.,
      100% agree. Martin put an endgame spoiler halfway through his plot. DnD omitted it to avoid making things explicit and obvious. But, since the ending for the major characters will be the same, book or show, show Cersei will be killed by Jaime.

      I expect Jaime’s fate to depend on how soon he gets Brienne pregnant. His ‘true’ wish in the books is to have a family and a child he can publically claim as his own. Narrative imperative dictates that he’ll get one. But the thing is, a lot depends on when that happens. If Jaime keeps himself celibate until the end of the story, that child will be still in the future, so he’ll stay alive. If he gets that kid before the end, he dies.

      Tyrion will marry Sansa. Winterfell will be destroyed, so Sansa will become Lady of the Rock. They will raise Jaime’s kid as their own.

      Finally, because people mention Arya and the Hound… Arya’s revenge run ended with Littlefinger. Both because he was the actual architect of the Starks’ demise, and the only one who escaped her list all these years, and because she got reacquainted with Sansa in the process – found her family again. The Hound has the Mountain issue to solve.

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    17. Stark Raven’ Rad,

      Isn’t there a part of, or a preface to, the Valonqar prophecy that a younger. more beautiful queen or “another”) will “cast you down” and take “all you hold dear” ? Or something like that?

      Damn, I am getting nauseous just thinking about baby dramas and pregnancies. Yet, what else (besides maybe the throne) does Cersei hold dear – if not the bun in the oven? I do not want to see baby kidnappings, baby switches, or infanticide. (Though if Looney Tunes Euron is around there’s no way he’s going to put up with Cersei giving birth to Jaime Jr.)

      Also: I’ve wondered about the “when your tears have drowned you” phrase. Cersei’s been pretty stoic. She didn’t shed a tear for Tommen, though she was right: he did betray her. The closest she’s come to crying is the last few steps of her Naked Stroll. I just cannot picture Cersei crying so hard that it “drowns” her. I suspect it means something else. Maybe related to the “pale white throat” bit.

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    18. SZA:
      Cersie gives birth to the child and dies Danny and John adopts the chid and live happily

      that could be cool..Jon and Danny=two kids..Cerceis kid raised as Targaryen ..as Jon was raised as a Stark kid ..thinking that the other kid is his/her brother/sister..Also that kid will have better parents to raising him/her ..than Cercei raised her childrens

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    19. SZA:
      Cersie gives birth to the child and dies Danny and John adopts the chid and live happily

      that could be cool..Jon and Danny=two kids..Cerceis kid raised as Targaryen ..as Jon was raised as a Stark kid ..thinking that the other kid is his/her brother/sister..Also that kid will have better parents to raising him/her ..than Cercei raised her childrens

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    20. “So, what lies ahead for Jaime?”

      Hopefully the character development he lost when he made his way back to KL in season 3, episode 10. Maybe he’ll find it on the Kingsroad during the off season.

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    21. There are actually few more, horrifying possibilities for the Valonqar scenario, considering the last season is one where every dead person can return as a zombie.
      Tyrion or Jamie (more plausibly the latter) could be killed and then join the army of the dead finally arriving to KL and killing Cersei. Another possibility is she gives birth to a dead baby and then it (being the youngest brother among her children) resuscitates and strangles her…

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    22. Inga,

      I believe you are giving Qyburn to much credit. He is an opportunist and would see a pregnancy as a way of controlling Cersei. Yes, he offered her “something” early in her pregnancy probably for nausea. She would never kill her unborn child, it is simply not in her character. My last point goes back to actually history. Mary’s “pregnancy ” the doctors in her court confirmed her condition and her half-sister, Elizabeth (you know the Queen of the Golden Age and the age of Shakespeare) was brought to court to be present for the birth. Everyone thought for certain that Mary was pregnant, the entire country. Why wouldn’t Qyburn allow Cersei to believe what she wants to be true so he can go about his business, which is necromancing, remember?! He is not a loyal knight, he is basically a mad scientist.
      That’s my argument for this theory. Great article Morgoth!!! I usually never comment but your article got me rethinking the dynamics of this ridiculous family. Thanks for your brain!!

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    23. I could see the possibility of Jamie and Cersei reuniting for one final scene in Season 8. As the White Walkers are flooding the streets of King’s Landing and all seems lost, Jamie finally makes his way into the castle and finds Cersei. They have a nice heart-to-heart final scene before they realize there is only one way this will end, and it is by burning the city to the ground with everyone it in. Jamie comes full circle by burning the city to save humanity, even at the cost of his and Cersei’s lives.

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    24. Sansa’s Knight: On a side note … have we ever seen Dany eat on the show … apart from the horse heart that is

      S1E2 she takes a bite of horse meat jerky that Jorah hands her while they ride in Drogo’s khalasar. “Isn’t there anything else?” Later in the season Irri tell Rakharo to kill some rabbits or something because Khaleesi wants something other than horse meat. Other than those references to food I don’t remember anything other than drinking or being around others eating, such as with the dosh khaleen before going outside where Jorah and Daario find her. I suppose it’s not a real queenly thing to show… her chowin’ down. 😛

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    25. I can’t imagine Jaime’s endgame being with Cersei. So much of his storyline has been building up to him breaking away from her. I know that there is that line about “being born together and dying together”, but Jaime only believes that at the beginning of his arc and slowly grows disillusioned with his relationship with Cersei, whereas Cersei herself is delusional about most things and therefore her believing this is not really a reccomendation for it.

      In compariosn so many seeds have been planted about Brienne and Jaime; even after they have seperated in season 4 the writers found ways of reuinintg them or making them think of each other (Jaime seeing Tarth, meeting at Riverrun) that was otherwise unnecessary for the plot. There is going to be a climax between these two and considering the effort that has been placed on their relationship, it must have something to do with their endgame.

      Even if Cersei does a play a role in Jaime’s endgame, Brienne also has to simply because there has been too much build up for their relationship.

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    26. I think the recently filmed scenes in Croatia suggest that Cersei will be the Last Villain Standing. Why else would Jon arrive not surrounded by guards, or in chains or some such? Also, as it was snowing in King’s Landing when Jamie left, I think the absence of snow in the recent scenes suggest that the Night King has been defeated.

      I believe that the Hound (little brother) will kill Cersei (maybe because she’s responsible for something bad happening to either Arya or Sansa). Jamie won’t kill her–he doesn’t have two hands with which to strangle her. I also believe that Jamie will die before the ends, in Brienne’s arms–the other woman he loves. Could be that the dragon shadow scene from Bran’s vision is Jon Snow (aka Aegon Targaryan) arriving by dragon. If Dany is very pregnant, or has died in childbirth (as Jon’s mother did) then he would have to go KL to finally deal with Cerci. Could also be that the snow in Dany’s vision is a metaphor for Jon Snow; remember Melisandre said, “all I see is snow” once, when she was looking into the fire. Perhaps before landing, Jon destroys the Red Keep to show Cerci that the jig is up. Tyrion will end up on the small council, or as regent waiting for Dany and Jon’s child to grow up.

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    27. ML Malcolm,

      That’s a good guess that Bran’s vision was Jon arriving in King’s Landing, and would have obvious impact and significance to the story. The only problem I see is that it was very sunny in the vision, so my guess is that it is after the Great War. That being said, it very well could be Jon on Rhaegal after the war is done!

      As for “Jamie won’t kill her- he doesn’t have two hands”– I have to disagree. I’m not exactly sold on her killer having to be one of her little brothers, or any little brother for that matter, on the show (in the books, yes, it definitely will be Tyrion or Jamie). It definitely COULD be her little brother on the show, but since it was left out of the show prophesy, it doesn’t have to be. Yes, GRRM has had his endgame plan forever and has shared it with D&D, but that doesn’t mean they need to follow it to exact perfection. Anyway, getting to my larger point… since the prophesy never stated the valanquar aspect, it certainly never mentioned the “wrap their hands around your throat” part. Cersei does not need to die this way, and I will honestly be pretty surprised if she goes out by strangling. So yes, her killer could very well be Jamie.

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    28. Re: all these unexpected pregnancies y’all keep going on about

      Winter is here. Nobody knows how many years it could last. Women with access to abortifacents will use them, because it’s near certain their babies will die, if born, and will weaken them to where they, too may die before winter is over, and then there will be NO more babies. This should be even more true for fighting women, like Daenerys (the Only Dragon Rider) and Brienne of Tarth.

      I like the “false pregnancy” theory for Cersei. Or that she’s lying outright, knowing it will buy the sympathy of the stupid men.

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    29. Jaehaerys,

      Good point. I hadn’t really focused on the fact that part of the prophecy wasn’t used in the show. They could just change it up, like they did making Arya the Stark full of vengeance, and deleting Stone Heart.

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    30. I think so, too–he does look younger in the series. However, I think Lyanna Stark also looked about three months gone in the wedding scene we see in the show. I just read a “who is older” debate, based on the books, and it seems it could go either way. However, Jon is the younger (half) brother of the two Martell/Targaryan children who were slain by the Mountain.

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    31. 1) I am wondering if at some point in Season 8 they will have a flashback to the Maggy the Frog scene, and have Maggy finish the prophesy and talk about the valonquar. In 5 x 1, you don’t see Cersei leave Maggy’s hut, so it’s quite possible they were saving that scene to finish later. 2) Jaime told Bron he wanted to die in the arms of the woman he loved; I’m thinking that’s going to be Brienne

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    32. Lovely article, great comments with conjectures!

      Personally, the burning question I mull over is Jaime’s fate.

      The convention of fiction is that bad never comes to a good end. Adhering to this is what dunked “Dexter” into the toilet.

      Isn’t it Jaime who performs the first evil deed of the show, by pushing Bran off the tower? Yet look at how Jaime’s arc has purged so much evil from him.

      I’m very interested to see if he survives, gifted with a happy future. Him finding redemption would provide hope for those of us who regret so much and seek redemption in our own lives by doing good.

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    33. It would be so refreshing for Jaime to have a good ending, or at least a hopeful one. Most charactesr like him; on redemption arcs, end up dying. Killing characters like Jaime is the safe option. They can die heroically, but you don’t risk anyone getting upset about him not being punished enough.

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    34. ML Malcolm:

      Is Jon older than Robb?

      In the books they are described being as “of an age” – that is, close in age, though we are never told exactly how close.

      Ned and Catelyn spent a very short time together at Riverrun when they were married. Robb was conceived during this period and Ned didn’t meet Catelyn again until after the war had ended.

      Jon is seen as a symbol of Ned’s infidelity, thus implying he is younger than Robb as his conception would have taken place after Ned’s marriage – or, I think more likely, that Ned said he was younger than Robb.

      My own personal belief is that Ned fudged the date of Jon’s birth to put distance between that date and Lyanna’s death. He wouldn’t have wanted people to connect the two events, so I think he moved Jon’s date of birth by anything up to a couple of months. I also think Ned might’ve hoped Catelyn would see Jon as less of a threat to Robb’s claim if Robb were the elder of the two boys.

      It may never be clear which of the two is the older, but I tend to think Jon.

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    35. “It may never be clear which of the two is the older, but I tend to think Jon.”

      So do I.
      When Rickard and Brandon Stark rose to KL to complain account for Lyanna’s “kidnapping” by Rhaegar, Catelyn still was espoused to Brandon (Ned’s older brother). In the time between crisping Rickard and Brandon and following things and Ned and Catelyn marrying was more than enough chance to sire Jon/Aegon, so that Jon really should be older than Robb…

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    36. ML Malcolm:
      Ten Bears,

      I am loving the Jon Snow theory!Cersei: “What? You’re Rhaegar’s younger brother?”
      Jon Snow: “Yes, and I’m here to kill you.”

      Actually, Jon is Rhaegar’s younger son. Rhaegar’s other son (with Elia Martel) was butchered by Gregor. But still: in my view “the” little brother most likely means the younger of (only) two brothers. Otherwise, anybody’s who’s got an older sibling could qualify. That’d be too many candidates.

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    37. To say: Cersei has two “little brothers”.
      My big brother has one little brother and three little sisters, my sisters have two big brothers and two big sisters, two little sisters and one big and one little sister. And one of the brothers is the big brother, and the other one is the little brother – uhm…?
      By the way – “Little brother” doesn’t necessarily mean “younger brother” ;o)

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    38. GodEye:
      Ten Bears,

      Tear of Lys…..;)

      Except…Tears of Lys is a poison (or maybe a sedative that’s toxic when used in high doses), isn’t it? As I recall, Lysa used Tears of Lys to get rid of Jon Arryn. Was Cersei going to use the same stuff to put down Tommen if Stannis had won the Battle of the Blackwater? I forget.

      Anyway, how would a Tears of Lys “drown” someone? There was no indication that Jon Arryn’s death simulated drowning.

      I have another tinfoil theory about what this part of the prophecy might mean. I’ll try to find it later.

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    39. I do seriously wonder now who is pulling the strings with the writing of the storyline? GRRM seems to be not bothered about getting a book out so D&D have a free hand.

      They can say behind the scenes “We are making the money, so we call the shots. You re-write the book to our ending.”

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    40. Colin Armfield,

      I believe they still intend to end the series as GRRM envisioned and told them when they initially began the show, however how we get there will obviously be different. I think GRRM said in a previous interview that he had a twist planned with a character who’s still alive in the books but was killed off on the show. Many speculate that it involves either Mance Rayder or Stannis.

      Although, I don’t think 2018 will be entirely without ASOIAF related content. It looks like GRRM confirmed in the comments section on his blog that Fire & Blood will be coming out this year, which is about the Targaryen history he wasn’t able to include in A World of Ice and Fire. I think it’s book 1 of 2. Would I have rather he released TWoW? Yes, but at this point I’ll take what I can get.

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    41. Sean C.,

      Yep. Agree. Also Arya has had a lot of face-wearing revenge on those who hurt her or her family: Littlefinger, Trant, Freys…etc. That will really piss me off if they overuse that device to kill Cersai. Arya watching Jaime or Tyrion OR, surprise twist-her most trusted pet killer-the Mountain – kill her would be epic however.

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    42. Dallas:
      Sean C.,

      Arya has had a lot of face-wearing revenge on those who hurt her or her family: Littlefinger, Trant, Freys…etc. That will really piss me off if they overuse that device to kill Cersai.

      I agree that Cercei’s death is in danger of being anti-climactic — she’s become a larger-than-life villain requiring a larger-than-life death scene.

      I think that drowning in tears is a sound metaphor for succumbing to Tears of Lys.

      Perhaps defeated!Cersei will drink the potion but when witnessed by the little brother, whoever that may be, he judges it too good a death for her, and so jumps over to strangle her!

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    43. Really enjoyed this article, although a little late to read it.

      A few things from my side:
      – I agree Jamie will most likely reach Winterfell in Ep1 or Ep2 but even back to the first season when the Starks and Robert etc. traveled south this only took two episodes.
      – I am fully expecting the fact that Jamie pushed Bran out of the window to come back into play in S8 but likely it will go differently to what many expect. I suspect Jamie will seek forgiveness at the very least and if Northerners find out it’s going to add some drama and mistrust.
      – I suspect Jamie is highly likely to die at the end, I still feel he is the most likely to kill Cersei, followed by Tyrion, Jon and then Dany, the only other option is Arya in my eyes but I guess Euron could also be a little brother if not Cersei’s.
      – Regarding Cersei her S8 is hardest to predict even with the set photos published on this site I still can’t realistically predict what will happen (I have been avoiding spoilers but reading filming location stuff).
      – My guess is she dies near the end and I am edging towards a scenario where she teams up with the rest of the surviving humans from the North with a plan to betray them or blow herself up at some point if it goes wrong.
      – Tyrion, again I agree, along with Sam he is the most likely to survive the entire series.

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    44. Jon Snowed,

      “I am fully expecting the fact that Jamie pushed Bran out of the window to come back into play in S8 but likely it will go differently to what many expect. I suspect Jamie will seek forgiveness at the very least and if Northerners find out it’s going to add some drama and mistrust,”

      _______________
      First of all, Jaime freely admitted to Catelyn that he pushed Bran out the window, didn’t he? I’d be surprised if she didn’t tell anyone. So maybe the Northerners already know. Then again, what’s the motto? “The North remembers…sometimes”?

      As for Jaime seeking forgiveness: I think many of us have speculated that Zen Master Bran will say his fall was preordained: it was necessary for him to fulfill his destiny to become the Three Eyed Raven. He may tell Jaime something like:

      Bran: “Just like I had to fry Wyllis’s brain to turn him into Hodor, you had to throw me out the window to turn me into the Three-Eyed Raven.”

      Jaime: “Umm…I don’t know what that means.”

      Bran: “Hard to explain.”

      Jaime: “But…we’re cool?”

      Bran: “We cool.”

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    45. Jon Snowed:
      – I suspect Jamie is highly likely to die at the end, I still feel he is the most likely to kill Cersei…

      This will make me sad, although dramatically this may be the resolution they decide for that duo.

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    46. Scenes I’d Like to See in S8 But Probably Won’t
      – 2/23/18 Installment –

      Stark-Lannister Rapprochement:
      If Tyrion and Jaime meet up with Jon, Bran. Sansa and Arya in WF, after Jaime sorts things out with Bran about the window thing, they should sit down and compare notes and realize how their feud was deliberately instigated by Littlefinger, e.g., falsely accusing the Lannisters of Jon Arryn’s murder, framing Tyrion for the attempted hit on Bran, murdering Joffrey and then framing Sansa and Tyrion for it, etc.

      (Forget Cersei for now. She wants to be Queen of the World or Queen of the Ashes.)

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    47. BrienneBabe: This will make me sad, although dramatically this may be the resolution they decide for that duo.

      I’m going to contradict myself here — I think having Jaime and Cersei both die will be way too melodramatic and I can’t see either the showrunners or author inclined to follow that genre’s lead.

      I just keep having an image of Jaime, Tyrion, and Bronn strolling away down the road to their future. Nothing would please me more.

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    48. BrienneBabe,

      “I think that drowning in tears is a sound metaphor for succumbing to Tears of Lys.”
      ——————–

      How can they be? A fatal dose of Tears of Lys is just a few droplets.

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