Well, I haven’t done one of these in years. The last one I did was a couple of episodes before the final episode of the last season we saw, and I feel like I did pretty well there.
So, let’s go through what I believe is going to happen, much of what we can see in the trailer for Season 8.
Gendry Baratheon is going to have an increased role. First, he’s going to become the main armorer for the living in Winterfell. He will likely shape dragon glass into weapons for the Unsullied and the Dothraki. But Gendry is also going to do something else. I believe he will revive the link with House Stark (remember that Robert and Ned were extremely close friends–to the point that even if Ned felt Robert might be doing something dishonorable, Ned still followed him in fighting to get back Leanna). Gendry is going to be with Arya, and they will have a child together to continue the Baratheon line. There’s a very small chance it might be to Sansa, but it’s so small that it’s not even worth mentioning, imo. And there’s no room for maneuvering in the Baratheon line since Gendry is supposedly the last remaining Baratheon. He has to have a child with someone. My guess is Arya, but I have no idea if they’ll be able to marry. He’s a blacksmith who can make the best weapons. She’s an assassin who can use those weapons to murder anyone. Match made in heaven, as far as I’m concerned, and I think we’ll see some chemistry as soon as Arya sees Gendry again for the first time.
Obvious other stuff involving Starks. Sam is going to tell Jon that he is actually Aegon Targaryen, and Ned told him he was a bastard to protect him because his dying sister Leanna made him promise to do so with her dying wish. Jon will take a couple of episodes to come to terms with adopting his actual name, but he eventually will. I think this may have a chilling effect on both the Northerners and Arya/Sansa Stark. However, they’ll be in the thick of the Winterfell battle and fighting for their lives, so no one can really leave his side.
Following the Stark storyline, I have a feeling Winterfell will fall but not because of what you might think. I think there’s going to be a battle outside of Winterfell, and the dragonglass forged by Gendry, the few Valyrian Steel weapons that exist, and dragons themselves are going to be effective in stopping the force that is coming at them. Unfortunately, there’s an entire crypt of Stark ancestors below Winterfell. And they’re all going to rise to fight for the Night King. There’s a scene from the trailer with women, children, and Varys hiding in a cellar, but I think it’s probably the crypt. They’re, in my opinion, going to be the unfortunate first line of defense against the Starks that rise from the crypts. Meaning everyone you see here is pretty much likely to die unless they manage an escape out of Winterfell. Notable deaths that are likely to happen here. I think Varys is going to die here. I think both Gilly and her baby are going to die here and Sam will escape. I think this is going to ultimately cause him to accept his role as the chief Maester in the series finale. Bran Stark will die because he isn’t mobile enough to leave. I think he might even be killed by one of the risen Starks we know well (Ned, his mother, aunt, or someone close).
Outside of the walls, I think the battle will be a success at first, but we’ll lose a few people and it will feel worth it because it will happen before the crypt erupts. I’m guessing Tormund will die trying to protect Brienne (I really want this relationship to work out, but I believe she is too tied to Jaime Lannister). Beric is probably also going to die. I think Melisandre will also appear to provide assistance to Jon Snow/Targaryen, and I think she will die in the same battle as Varys, ultimately, which will fulfill her own prophecy when she met Varys at Dragonstone in Season 7. She’ll return to her old hag form and probably catch on fire to prevent her from coming back as a walker.
Euron Greyjoy will arrive with The Golden Company at King’s Landing, using the gold that Cersei secured from the Iron Bank. They will be the main fighting force that will block the organized retreat of the northern army. When the Golden Company meets the armies retreating, they will have a few things in their favor. First, Jon Snow/Daenerys will not be expecting them, and Two, the dragons will be harassing the white walker army to the north, covering the retreat of the humans with Jon and Daeny. This means the well-armed Golden Company will be facing off against people who are mostly armed with weapons for fighting white walkers (the dragon glass), not actually good weapons for fighting plate armor or chain mail. Consequently, we’re actually going to lose quite a few of our favorite people here. I think we’ll lose both Greyworm and Missandei, likely within feet of each other, and I think we might even lose Jorah in the initial melee. About the only good thing that will come out of the Golden Company scenes will be that Euron is going to be absolutely distracted with pleasuring Cersei Lannister that Theon will be able to rescue his sister.
Edit: so the rescue of Yara happened in the first episode, mostly as I expected. So, I’ll add on here because now we know a bit more. Theon is on his way to Winterfell. I think this has a chance to complete his redemption arc. He fought the Starks instead of supporting them, and he abandoned his sister once. He saved his sister, and now he will save the Starks or at least try. It’s very possible he dies trying to help them at Winterfell, but I think he may have a role in helping them retreat from the battle. Possibly ferrying some on boats. However, if he were to die here, at Winterfell, saving one of the Stark sisters or even Bran, that would be a hell of a redemption arc. Can’t wait to see what they do with it here. End Edit
One of the dragons will die either in the Battle of Winterfell or during this encounter with the Golden Company. My guess is it actually happens during the latter fight.
And I think there are going to be four people, especially, who get really, really pissed. The first will be Tyrion. Because of his sister’s treachery and because of his history with the people of King’s Landing who ridiculed him and wanted him dead, despite what he did when Stannis attacked, I think he’s going to use his knowledge of the alchemy storage room in KL to burn the whole place down. Literally, all of KL including the Iron Throne will be burned to the ground.
The second pissed off person is going to be Jaime. I think he’s going to enter King’s Landing to kill his sister. During the Battle of King’s Landing, we should also get The Mountain battling The Hound. Jaime will start to battle The Mountain, but it will be a huge mismatch. The Hound will kill Qyburn and then will start to fight The Mountain. The Mountain will almost kill The Hound, but The Hound will kill him. I think he’s going to be missing an arm though when he leaves, and he might just bleed out and be found by Arya. He’ll have to die by fire to prevent the white walkers from taking him. While Cleganebowl is going on, Jaime will slip into Cersei’s chamber and push her out of the window, much like he initially pushed Bran. I think Jaime will die in the fire, and Brienne will be forced to watch him from below, burning through the window. He may fall outward, leaning over the windowsill that he pushed his sister/lover out of.
There’s an alternate possibility here that I think would be remarkable. The Hound and The Mountain are fighting and Brienne comes in to try to save Jaime from the fire as Jaime has gone to kill Cersei. She will have to fight The Mountain with The Hound because The Mountain will not let her pass to help Jaime, so The Mountain will mortally wound The Hound and Brienne will be forced to kill The Mountain. She’ll be injured but will make it in time to see Jaime burning in the tower. She will escape but she will be emotionally injured beyond repair.
The Iron Throne will burn down and melt into a puddle thanks to the alchemical fire that Tyrion unleashed to burn all of King’s Landing. No one will win the Iron Throne because of this, which is fine with Tyrion because he thinks the fight over it is so ridiculous and wasteful and is the true cause of the strife, and this is his solution to the problem.
After being basically surrounded by the Golden Company to the South and the white walkers to the North, Jon and Daeny will get super pissed, but they’ll both understand that the white walkers are the bigger threat. Jon will go on a suicidal mission against the Night King, and both dragons will die and Jon will kill the Night King and sacrifice himself in the process. With both main fire priests dead who have raised someone, he will be truly dead this time.
Word will reach The Golden Company that Cersei is dead and their contract is done. Daeny will rule what’s left, and she will be pregnant with Jon’s child. Sansa will rule Winterfell as it is rebuilt. She may end up marrying Robin Arryn, who has grown up quite a bit, and who she can control. Arya and Gendry will leave together with the implication that they will marry and/or just go on adventures together.
Now, what will happen to Tyrion? If he really does burn down all of King’s Landing, I have a sneaking suspicion that Daeny will try him for a combination of murder and treason. And this time, there won’t be Jaime or Jon or anyone who will speak up for him. He’ll be the imp that everyone hates and has no real friends. Podrick may or may not still be alive, but his word will not be enough to really sway anything. There will be a final trial of Tyrion Lannister and this time, he will be convicted and executed. The Tywin Lannister line will die out, and there will be an even emptier ending left for fans of the series.
Sam will chronicle everything officially as the main Maester. I think they may even show him checking out this mechanical map we see in the intro to every episode.
Anyway, let’s see how this plays out. I’m sure I’ll get most if not all of it wrong, but it’s a fun exercise.
And if you’re wondering if this much treachery is going to be happening in the Age of Magic series, well… just wait until Demogorgon makes his appearance :).