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Fan Theory: How Game of Thrones will end

Fan theories and GAME OF THRONES go together like spoilers and nerd rage. Ever since the 90s, geeks have poured over every word George R.R. Martin’s A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE novel series for glimpses and clues as to where the series would go. And it’s not always for naught! For instance, many fans predicted the whole “L+R=J” thing decades before…well, actually, Martin hasn’t even officially confirmed it in the books, but the show certainly has. Either way, Martin has revealed in interviews that fans have indeed guessed correctly where certain plot points would be headed in the series (though he has been wise to not reveal which plot points), so guessing where the series will end is not totally useless (just mostly useless).

Anyway, here’s how I think GAME OF THRONES will end. Hold onto your butts.

First off, the White Walkers – the conflict that the whole show has been gearing towards, and the source of the oft-repeated phrase “Winter is Coming” – are just a red-herring. Daenerys’s dragons, as well as Jon’s army using Dragonglass, will take out the White Walkers by the end of this season – or at least long before the finale  – and it will be an epic, blockbuster, budget-busting, unambiguously happy ending! The evil is defeated and Westeros is saved. Yay!

...except there'll still be a whole ‘nother season left…and that's where the sinking dread comes in: Dany has actually been the main villain this entire time.

Of course she will never think she's the villain – and won’t turn all cackling evil or anything – but she'll definitely be despotic (for good things like equality and such, but still despotic). She'd be the walking epitome of "the path to Hell is pave with good intentions". It's when she goes too far (I imagine she'll feel any dissenters - even well-meaning ones - might have to burn at some point), that Jon (who has also been shown to believe in similar progressive ideals) will have to fight against her. It'll be then that we realize that the true meaning of “The Song of Ice and Fire” was the battle between Jon and Dany, not the union.

This would fit in with one of the main themes of George R.R. Martin's story, which is the dismantling of the romantic notion of divine rule by monarchy - essentially a satire of J.R.R. Tolkein's LORD OF THE RINGS and other high fantasy novels where all problems are solved by the rightful king on the throne. Martin has mentioned many times his admiration, but also criticism of the great fantasy author. It would also refute similar heroic narratives that, while most of the plotlines in GAME OF THRONES seem to buck tradition of fantasy literature (such as Oberyn's quest for revenge or Ned Stark's role as the central character), Dany’s rise in the ethnically-diverse Meereen – as well as domesticating the Dothraki – seemed, up to this point, following tradition. Her heel-turn would then be the ultimate rug pull.

And the seeds for her inevitable turn are all in the text as well. For instance, Daenerys has shown her naivety in thinking that the world would greet her with open arms (I imagine most of Westeros isn’t just going to cave to her will - hatred for Cersei or not). Not only that, but we’ve seen how cruel and violent she can be to detractors (such as crucifixions, as well as constant burnings and purgings). Again, she was (mostly) justified in those cases, but that drives home the main point: we’re seeing her slowly, but surely, become the very thing she despised when she started using those same tactics on characters and people we care about. Even though she's stated she doesn’t want to rule over “ashes”, the failure of Tyrion’s plans and Oleanna’s plodding about "being a dragon" could certainly derail that. We must also not forget that she comes from the Mad King lineage…

And, sure, (like Jon) Daenerys’s goal is to - again - demand more gender equality and ending slavery, but their methods are very different. By contrast, Jon has shown his reluctance about being a leader and king, as well as his willingness to be fair and listen (such as saving the Wildlings, or refusing to punish the sins of the father on their children, not to mention granting Sansa leadership of the North). So I believe in the end Jon, the rightful heir to Westeros (as both a Stark and Targaryen) will defeat Dany and then denounce monarchy to create a democracy (or something akin to the Magna Carta). That's the only way this series can end, since the story has shown countless times that the archaic rules of the “divine right of kings” are bullshit, and ending it would be the ultimate “fuck you” to that sort of thinking (as well as a counter-point to most other fantasy narratives). 

Going further, we have to recognize then what the White Walkers actually represent, which is another refutation of Tolkein and other fantasy authors’ use of "Others" (i.e. the White Walkers as a variation of Tolkein-esque Orcs and Trolls) to use as easy fodder for more pure heroes to destroy and unite against (with some obviously uncomfortable implications). However, in the endgame of GAME OF THRONES, while the banding together DOES happen as the kingdom fights against these White Walker “Others”, that peace is temporary, and ultimately fleeting and unstable. It inevitably goes back to one main problem: the dishumanity of man against man. That's why we've been spending so much time with plotting, political mechanizations, and the perils of governing - because that was always the story Martin was telling. Uniting against the White Walkers wasn’t ever going to be enough to end that. Because, again, they were always a red herring.

Look, I know a large subset of fans want Jon and Dany to get married (even though they're related) and rule happily ever after after saving the kingdom and defeating the evil White Walkers. But like Ramsay Bolton said, "if you think this has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention". See, every victory in this story is Pyrrhic (Tyrion wins the Battle at Blackwater, but loses his prestige as the Hand; Daenarys conquers Meereen, but it leads to economic upheaval; the Vale saves Jon from Ramsay, but they are now indebted to Littlefinger), so why should the finale be any different? Even George R.R. Martin is on record saying that the ending will be bittersweet (and despite adaptation changes, the showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss have said Martin laid out how the series will end). Also, would you really be satisfied if the ending of one of the most complex and morally ambiguous fantasy stories of all time ending with a fairy tale "happily ever after" bullshit? Come on!

Then again, this just could all be in the head of some autistic kid looking at a snowglobe.

Extra Tidbit: Alternative theory: Gendry rows up to the throne after everyone is dead, and decides to take a breather on the Iron Throne before smash cutting to the ending credits.
Source: JoBlo.com

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