‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8 Roundtable: Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells This Story?

The final season of Game of Thrones is upon us. Winter is finally really and truly here, and everything is on the line. And boy, that’s got us both really, really excited to see the conclusion of a saga we’ve followed for nearly a decade (way longer if you’ve been reading the books from the beginning), and really, really scared for our favorite characters.

Game of Thrones, after all, has never been the show to be kind to our heart.

So, before Season 8 arrives, we want to take our stab at guessing what’s gonna happen, and, of course, discussing our hopes and dreams for this final, shortened season. Joining me on this round-table are McKenzie, Michelle, Gillian and Ashley.

Here we go!

Season 8 Hbo GIF by Game of Thrones

The final season of Game of Thrones is upon us. What do you absolutely need to see during this season? What moment are you most excited to see?

Lizzie: Reunions! I need my Stark reunion. That’s probably what I’m most excited to see, all the Stark siblings together, finally. I hope they get more than a fleeting scene together, because, honestly, the whole storyline has been leading here. But my top moment I want and need and would give anything for is Jaime and Brienne acknowledging that they love each other. I don’t even require a full-on declaration, because I’m trying to be realistic here, but I would love Jaime to acknowledge that he tried to be the man Brienne thought he was for a long, long time, and gaaaah can I get like a kiss? Just one?

McKenzie: The moment I need to see the most is the reunion between Arya and Jon. I have been waiting since season 1 for this moment. If they don’t give it to me I will rage.  I don’t know if there is just one moment I’m excited to see more than the others. I’m mostly just excited for season 8 to start. It’s been a long two years and I don’t know how many rewatches I have done to get a fix.  

Michelle: It’s a challenge to say what you would want to see. One half of me wants to be surprised without any preconceived notions, but the other and more dominant side of me wants to be in on the secret. It’s such a fine balance of want and need.

The moment I absolutely need to see is an epic fight in the North. I want to see death and despair mixed with anguish and sorrow. It’s the one major turning point of the season that I’m so ready for. And as for the moment that I am most excited to see? Well I want to see Bran’s full potential as the Three-Eyed Raven. The details and capacity of what he can do is still mostly a mystery. I want to know how much power he has, as well as the extent of his abilities. Plus, I still feel that Bran is the Night King, trying to correct a wrongdoing.

Gillian: A full remaining Stark reunion would be nice. To be honest, I’m just ready for it to end as I haven’t enjoyed the past few seasons much. Something kind of mean I’m hoping to see is Cersei dying. Love the character and Lena Headey but Cersei cannot survive the show.

Ashley: The one moment I absolutely need to see? Jaime and Brienne declaring their love for one another and getting a happily ever after. Their arcs exhibit such a gorgeous parallel and are richly layered. You’ve got an inverted Beauty and the Beast story (Ugly, beastly woman and a beautiful man), Jaime’s redemption arc, and Brienne being accepted, respected, and affirmed for exactly who she as a woman without being asked to change a thing. It’s the stuff dreams are made of. As for a moment I am most excited to see, it would be their reunion. I’ve got my own theories for how exactly that might go down, but I can’t wait to see Brienne watch Jaime riding into Winterfell. *cue all the chin wobbles and heart eyes*

season 7 hbo GIF by Game of Thrones

Who’s your favorite character, and where do you think they end up? Is there a happy ending in their future?

Lizzie: My favorite character, by far, is Brienne of Tarth. I do love tons of other characters, but Brienne comes out ahead easily. I don’t know that she makes it, though, and that breaks my heart. She’s just too good, and that battle coming in episode 3 seems like it’s going to take a lot of our favorites, and I’d rather prepare for the worst and hope for the best than sit here dreaming about her future life with Jaime and then have her die.

McKenzie: How can you ask me to choose just one favorite character?!? I LOVE at least 11 of them. But I guess if I have to choose just one it would be Arya. I love this girl more than Jon does.  How could you not? She is a badass that takes what she wants. I know where I want her to end up. The odds of that happening though are slim to none. I think she will end up killing Cersei, if it’s not Jaime. You have to give her at least one Lannister death, I mean come on! There are no happy endings in Game of Thrones, I’ve learned that lesson the hard way.  As long as I get at least one Stark to still be alive I will take it, but I’ll be crying into some alcohol to help numb the pain.

Michelle: It’s hard to decide on just ONE character. There are so many important characters, as well as many characters that have surprised me. Currently, my favorite is Tyrion. He is one of the most underestimated characters of Game of Thrones, maybe aside from Sam. Tyrion has a brilliant and cunning mind, because he is STILL a Lannister, and he has had the most exposure out of all the characters. I feel that Tyrion has gone the furthest and has had to endure the most. Given, no one has killed his family Red Wedding style, but, he has a family that has completely shut him out. Which is worse?  The family taken away from you or the family that won’t acknowledge you?

Gillian: My favorite character has shifted so much during the show. It used to be Arya and Tyrion, then Dany. I think now my favorite character is Sansa, which feels crazy from where she started. I really think she will survive and wind up leading others. She is arguably more experienced than some of the only characters and has seen a lot of crap. I’m really pulling for her.

Ashley: Brienne of Tarth is not only my favorite character in Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire, but she’s also my favorite character in all of fiction. It’s difficult to speculate where any character in Game of Thrones might end up, but it’s my hope that wherever Brienne ends up, those around her love, respect, and accept her for exactly who she is as both a warrior and a woman. I think that would be a happy ending for Brienne, though the happiest one would have Jaime standing with her for that happy ending.

Looking Up Season 8 GIF by Game of Thrones

Name 3 things you’re sure we’re going to see, and three you hope we get to see.

Lizzie:

Three things I know we will see:

  1. Jon finding out about his Targaryen heritage and it basically not being an issue anyone has time to worry about, cause white walkers!
  2. Cersei’s death, hopefully at the hand of Jaime, though I’ll take Tyrion as well.
  3. The Clegane Bowl

Three things I hope we get to see:

  1. The Stark children getting to spend some time together, leaning on each other, and just …being family.
  2. Brienne standing up for Jaime when the North/Daenerys doubts him, and him remarking something alone the lines of he is trying to be the man Brienne sees in him.
  3. Ghost!!

McKenzie:

Three things I know we will see:

  1. That the Night King is actually a Stark from before Bran the Builder.
  2. A death of one of the Stark children,the odds are too stacked against them.
  3. The death of Cersi, which I hope will be the most satisfying death of them all.

Three things I hope we get to see:

  1. Jaime and Brienne any way I can get them. Preferably finally together as they should have been since season 3. Also, more creepy looks that Tormund throws Brienne, they amuse me so much!
  2. Vengeance for the Starks.
  3. Clegane bowl!

Michelle:  

Three things I know we will see:

  1. The widespread revelation and reaction of Jon’s heritage.
  2. Cersei’s death, and hopefully by Jaime.
  3. A lot of death. And I mean last man standing at the end.

Three things I hope we get to see:

  1. Sansa and Jon fighting side by side.
  2. Tyrian facing Cersei in an epic battle of words and wit.
  3. Dragon versus dragon battle.

Ashley:

Three things I know we will see:

  1. Epic battle in Winterfell
  2. The downfall of Cersei Lannister, by way of her own Narcissistic choices
  3. Something that no one will expect and we’ll all gasp in awe/horror/”Never saw that coming!”

Three things I hope we get to see:

  1. The return of Sam the Slayer. I think we caught a glimpse of Ser Jorah carrying Heartsbane in the trailer, but I would absolutely love it if Samwell Tarly got a Neville Longbottom “Kill the snake” moment.
  2. Redemption for House Lannister. House Lannister has been run into the ground by first Tywin’s, and then Cersei’s narcissism and cruelty. Tyrion pushed back and now Jaime finally has as well. There will need to be some sort of reconciliation between the two for Tywin’s death, but I want to see House Lannister be redeemed and reborn.
  3. Tyrion finally explaining why he took a jackass and a honeycomb into a brothel.

Season 8 Hbo GIF by Game of Thrones

When you play the Game of Thrones, you either win or you die. Who wins? Who sits on the Iron Throne in the end?

Lizzie: I don’t think this was ever going to be a game anyone was really going to win, to be honest. I think the ending was always meant to be bittersweet, and for Daenerys, for example, I think she gets pregnant and gives birth to a boy, but she dies, and so does Jon. I think Cersei dies as well, and even if Jaime survives, I think he wants nothing to do with the throne, he’d rather go retire to an island (ahem Tarth) with Brienne. So I think it’s going to be Sansa and Tyrion, as regents for Jon and Daenerys’s baby.

McKenzie: Honestly I don’t even know at this point. If it’s Dany, I don’t think she will keep the monarchy at all. She wants to break the wheel, what better way is there to do that then abolish the monarchy. That is such an obvious choice though and I think unlikely to happen. I’m going to call it and say by the end there will be no Seven Kingdoms left. Those that survive will all separate.  The North, South, East, and West will all be independent again. IF Sansa survives, she will be Queen in the North.

Michelle:  So, I have thought about this long and hard, and one thing that I will say about the show is that history chooses to repeat itself. I think that Sansa will rule the seven kingdoms as regent for Jon and Daenerys baby. It mimics the pattern of Jon’s birth, and I think it will happen again. I think that Jon and Daenerys, Arya and Bran, Tyrion and Jaime will not survive because they all have personalities that bring them to the forefront. Well, that and death seems to find them, doesn’t it?

Gillian: I mentioned it above but I really think Sansa will get the throne. And I’m okay with that. She’s been around the most rulers and knows what to do and not to do in those situations. While I’m glad Littlefinger is dead, she was somewhat lucky to have his eye on her for so long because she saw firsthand how manipulation works. I find that she is the most experienced in Westeros and learned it all pretty much on her own.

Ashley: I don’t believe there will be an Iron Throne by the end of the series. However, if there is an Iron Throne, I think Jaime will be the one to sit it. I’ve seen very few people consider that as things stand going into season 8, if Cersei offs it, Jaime is the next in line by rule of succession. I also think that if he does assume the throne, Brienne will be his Queen and they will rule equally together. To be honest, I think once Jon and Daenerys find out who they are to each other, things are going to get awkward and heated. I don’t have high hopes for things to end well for either of them.

Season 8 Drinking GIF by Game of Thrones

Finally, take a guess at the ending, beyond who sits on the throne. Who lives, who dies, who tells the story? Speculate with us.

Lizzie: I’m trying to temper my expectations, because I think that’s the only way I’m going to enjoy this season. So I’m going to say Sansa, Tyrion, Arya, Davos, Sam, Gilly, and Gendry make it …and everyone else, doesn’t.

McKenzie: Sam has to be the one telling the story.  He is the one that is always reading. He will view this as an event that needs to be documented should the Long Night come again.  He will be a Maester and it will be his book. If there is anything we have learned about Sam is that he is resourceful, resilient, and knows how to survive.

Who lives:

  1. Arya
  2. Tyrion
  3. Davos
  4. Sam
  5. Gilly
  6. Jon
  7. Sansa
  8. Jamie
  9. Brienne
  10. Gendry

Who dies:

  1. Dany
  2. Missandei
  3. Grey Worm
  4. Jorah
  5. Tormound
  6. Bran
  7. Bronn
  8. Cersi
  9. Qyburn
  10. The Mountain
  11. The Hound
  12. The Night King

Michelle: I agree with McKenzie and that Sam is the person narrating the story as a Maester. There is a part of me that wishes it will be Gilly, to break the molds and really surprise us. But Sam makes the most sense. There has been a lot of death within the past seven seasons, and even if the show’s storyline follows the books, I think that the showrunners will continue on this path of death and destruction.

There is a moment that I feel the show will take a turn of “hope.” A turn that will give the viewers a false sense of events going in the right direction, at least in our eyes. And then, at any random moment, something tragic will happen and an important death will happen.

Who lives:

  1. Sansa
  2. Sam
  3. Gilly

Who dies:

Everyone else.

Gillian: Yeah, definitely Sam is telling the story.

Who lives:

  1. Sansa
  2. Sam
  3. Brienne
  4. Jaime
  5. Dany

Who dies:

  1. Cersei!
  2. Tyrion (sadly)
  3. Jon
  4. Arya (another sadly)
  5. The Hound
  6. Jorah

Ashley:

Who lives:

  1. Brienne
  2. Jaime
  3. Arya
  4. Sansa
  5. Sam
  6. Gilly + Little Sam
  7. Sandor
  8. Tyrion (?)
  9. Jon (?)
  10. Dany (?)
  11. Theon
  12. Yara
  13. Bran
  14. Meera
  15. Bronn (Bronn/Castle OTP)

Who dies:

  1. Cersei
  2. Qyburn
  3. FrankenMountain
  4. Night King
  5. Ser Jorah (?)
  6. Podrick *cries*
  7. Tormund (? He’s the face of the Wildlings and the show’s only real representation of them, so I would be a bit surprised if he did, but he’s also always in the thick of battle, so it’s hard to say for certain).
  8. Varys
  9. Melisandre
  10. Euron
  11. Beric

Who tells the story:

  1. The Living
  2. Bran as the Three-Eyed Raven

Agree? Disagree? Share with us in the comments below!

Game of Thrones Season 8 will premiere April 14th at 9/8c on HBO.

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