As the final season of Game of Thrones inches toward the end, fans are still stuck on the biggest mystery of the entire series: Who the HECK will sit on the Iron Throne in the end?!
People have had their theories since season one, with Daenerys Targaryen being one of the most popular choices. Still, it's impossible to know for sure since Game of Thrones writers are notorious for throwing curve balls no one can predict. Targaryen has the "rightful claim" to it — as she so frequently reminds everyone on the show — but as characters have come into their own and become powerhouses, the Iron Throne could belong to anyone in the end.
Coming up on the penultimate episode of the series, fan theories are everywhere and no one can agree about who they think will win the game. Below you'll find a roundup of every single logical fan theory about who exactly will score that coveted Iron Throne.
This is one of the most obvious theories, by far. Ever since the end of season seven, when it was discovered that Jon Snow is actually Aegon Targaryen, the son of Rhaegar Targaryen who was next in line for the Iron Throne — Jon's claim for that top spot is pretty solid. There's only one problem with the throne being his by default: He doesn't even want it. Ha!
There's also the whole business of being in love with and swearing loyalty to Dany (his recently revealed aunt, ick), who *really* wants the Iron Throne. Still, after the fourth episode of season eight, everyone in the North and a few Southerners — mainly Tyrion and Varys — also appear to be pushing for Jon and his claim to the throne. So, as Tyrion put it, it may not matter that he doesn't want the throne if everyone else decides that's where he should be.
Fans and most of Westeros agree that Jon Snow has the honor required of a good leader. But, Game of Thrones never makes the most obvious choice, so the odds of Jon Snow ending up perched on the Iron Throne feel very slim.
In a surprising twist, Sansa has proven herself to be a solid leader. She was able to learn the ins-and-outs of King's Landing through Cersei and is no longer the scared little girl who was trapped there. She has proven she is capable of handling war tactics and alliances, as well as looking out for the good of her people.
Game of Thrones is nothing if not thorough, and foreshadowing moments from earlier seasons have proven to come true as the final season unfolds. Stay with me here. Never forget that Melisandre told Arya Stark that she would be the one to shut "blue eyes" — in reference to the Night King. Now fans have discovered that she has indeed defeated the Night King during the Battle of Winterfell.
Now back to Sansa. Another theory exists thanks to a moment in season five when a young Cersei visited a witch and heard a prophecy. "You'll be Queen for a time, then comes another, younger, more beautiful to cast you down and take all you hold dear."
When this scene aired, many assumed the "more beautiful queen" meant Margaery, but at that time Cersei was technically not Queen but Queen Regent (aka Mother of the King). Now that Cersei is the Queen, it's time she is usurped, and some think it could mean Sansa, as Daenerys (the other beautiful queen contender) is too obvious of a choice.
This theory would be the most surprising and therefore one of the more likely outcomes in the Game of Thrones world. Tyrion knows King's Landing better than anyone; it's what makes him such a good Hand. He is one of the smartest characters and understands the politics of Westeros. Some people believe he also has a legitimate claim.
One theory circulating the internet is that Tyrion is actually a Targaryen — the son of Aerys Targaryen, the Mad King. If this is true, then it explains why Tywin hated Tyrion so much. Tyrion also was able to enter the dungeon and unlock the two dragons' chains in season six completely unscathed. All Targaryens have an unspoken bond with dragons (e.g., Daenerys' three dragon children and Jon's ability to ride them).
If this theory were true, it would give Tyrion one of the strongest claims to the throne. Some fans also pointed out that when Sansa turned to him in the latest episode and asked if there was a better choice for a ruler than Dany, she could have meant Tyrion.
Cersei has proven to be a ruthless leader and will stop at nothing to keep her power. She has a powerful army, weapons capable of killing dragons, and the nearly impossible-to-kill Mountain by her side. Now that Cersei has killed one of Daenerys' two remaining dragons, her power seems limitless.
Jaime has decided to return to Cersei's side, which means she has every reason to try and win at all costs. Game of Thrones isn't afraid to let the bad guys win every once in a while, so even though it would be a shocking end to the series, Cersei can't be discounted among the potential winners.
At the end of the fourth episode during season eight, it appeared as though Jaime was ditching Ser Brienne to go back to Cersei, but according to some fan theories, this isn't the case. Some skeptics believe that Jaime is actually on his way to kill Cersei.
She has had a hold on him for most of their life, and he has done terrible things for her, as he pointed out to Brienne on his way out of Winterfell. If he does succeed at taking down Cersei, then perhaps Jaime could find himself at King's Landing ready to take the Iron Throne before anyone else has the opportunity.
The likelihood of this is slim because his reputation throughout Westeros is tainted by his incestuous relationship with his sister and his murder of the Mad King.
Daenerys has been the most obvious choice for the Iron Throne since the beginning of the series, which is why she most likely will not fulfill her ultimate goal of ruling the Seven Kingdoms.
Dany held the quintessential underdog narrative arc until the end of season seven when she was at the peak of her power and ready to take the Iron Throne. Unfortunately, throughout season eight she has proven to be less the ruler that everyone thought she would be.
Her two advisers, Varys and Tyrion, have expressed serious concerns about her temper and how she'll handle being a ruler. Their biggest fear is a second Mad King. Dany has strong allies so far, and as long as news of Jon's true heritage stays under wraps (yeah right!), then she still has a chance.
One fan theory has Arya-Gendry shippers swooning.
It has to do with a line from the pilot episode in which Robert Baratheon and Ned Stark discuss their two children's future. They predict a Stark and a Baratheon will rule the Seven Kingdoms together. Of course, at that time Robert Baratheon meant his (unknowingly) illegitimate son Joffrey and Ned's daughter Sansa.
Now, however, the prediction seems more likely for Gendry (Robert's son, recently legitimized by Daenerys) and Arya. This theory isn't strong, however, because Arya has expressed she has no desire to be a "Lady," and Gendry is now the ruler of Storm's End. But, it would be a surprising twist — something Game of Thrones loves to do.
The majority of Game of Thrones fans believe that Arya will be the one to end Cersei.
As per Melisandre's prophecy, Arya will shut "brown eyes, blue eyes, [and] green eyes." The assassin has already killed Walder Frey, who had brown eyes, and the Night King, who *definitely* had blue eyes. Now, everyone is waiting for her to take out the green-eyed Cersei.
At the end of the latest episode, Arya was seen headed back toward King's Landing with her previous travel companion, The Hound. Her mission is to take out the Queen, who most assume is Cersei. A different green-eyed theory has Arya killing Daenerys instead, which could lead to her sitting on the throne either way.
Varys has weaseled his way into the lives of almost every ruler in the most recent Westeros history. Like Tyrion, Varys is clever. He also has spies, and he is the one almost everyone turns to in order to discover secrets and plans.
A theory floating about is that Varys still works for Cersei even though he has sworn loyalty to Daenerys. If this is the case then it could mean trouble for Dany's and Jon's efforts against King's Landing.
Lord Varys has called himself "protector of the realm," meaning his only loyalty is to the people of Westeros, not to any prideful ambitions of leadership. This could put him in a good place to rule, but it's unlikely he will end up on the throne.
Bran has turned out to be one of the most powerful characters in the show.
As the Three-Eyed Raven, he has the power to look into the past and discover the truth about anyone, which would make him a wise ruler.
A different theory is that Bran, or the Three-Eyed Raven, is actually the Lord of Light and that's why he spent the entire Battle of Winterfell in his warg state. The Lord of Light has the power to bring people back from the dead, light swords on fire, and has a vast following of worshippers.
Nothing has been revealed as to where Bran was during the Battle, so it is possible at this point. Still, the Three-Eyed Raven is more of a neutral figure, and it's unlikely that becoming King is an end goal for him.