Over a year has gone by since the extremely controversial Game of Thrones finale aired. Although many people wish they could forget what they’d seen in that last episode, the internet is still filled with discussions and theories about unanswered questions and plot points that could have unfolded differently.
So without further ado, here are 15 of the best Game of Thrones theories we wish had turned out to be true.
You may use these as therapy if you were disappointed, too.
1. Bran Leads the Night King Past the Wall
Bran had a lot of potential after becoming the Three-Eyed Raven and fans were certain that his prophetic powers would eventually play a huge role in the show.
Unfortunately, few of the theories linked to this character came true, even the cool one in which he would accidentally lead the Night King through the Wall after being marked back in season six.
If Bran’s marked arm was able to give the Walkers access into the Cave of the Three-Eyed Raven, it could’ve given them way beyond the wall. But no. A dragon’s icy breath did it instead.
If only that was the only disappointment.
2. Tyrion is a Targaryen
Tyrion has always been a fan-favorite thanks to witty one-liners that made him far more likable than his generally snobbish blonde-haired siblings.
So obviously, to make him even cooler, it was theorized that he might be a Targaryen instead – the fruit of a love affair between the Mad King and his mother, Joanna.
This A + J = T theory is a result from the GoT books which detail the King Aerys’ obsession with Tywin Lannister’s wife. If this theory were true, Tywin’s final words to his son, “You’re no son of mine” would have made major sense, too.
This is yet another plot twist that would have been ten times more interesting than, say, most of what happened to Tyrion in the end.
3. Jon Snow is Azor Ahai
Over 5000 years ago in Game of Thrones history, a legendary hero named Azor Ahai defended the Seven Kingdoms against the menacing White Walkers. Legend says that Azor was to be reborn again to fight the coming darkness.
Theory had it that Jon Snow was reborn as Azor Ahai when Melisandre brought him back to life in season six.
Why? The reincarnation of Azor Ahai is presumed to be the descendant of the Mad King, and well, Jon was exactly that. Both Jon and Azor had a special sword used to kill White Walkers – Azor, the “Lightburner” and Jon, “Longclaw”. In the novels, Melisandre is given several hints about Jon, more specifically, she thinks to herself, “I pray for a glimpse of Azor Ahai and R’hllor shows me only Snow”.
Naturally, all fingers point to Jon.
4. Bran Stark and Bran the Builder are the Same Person
As we said, a lot could have been done with Bran’s character. Some fans have gone as far as to speculate that he was one with Bran the Builder, his ancestor who built the Wall to shield the North against the White Walkers many centuries prior.
This theory has been backed up by a passage from A Game of Thrones:
“Sometimes Nan would talk to him as if he were her Brandon, the baby she had nursed all those years ago, and sometimes she confused him with his uncle Brandon, who was killed by the Mad King before Bran was even born. She had lived so long, Mother had told him once, that all the Brandon Starks had become one person in her head.”
Time travel actually wouldn’t have been a stretch considering Bran’s Three-Eyed Raven abilities, but none of that was proven.
9. Jaime Lannister Kills Cersei
5. Cersei is the Mad Queen
As soon as Cersei looked utterly unbothered about killing innocent civilians when she blew up the Sept of Baelor, it was crystal clear that our dear queen had lost her marbles.
From then onward, many were expecting to see her turn into the Mad King and perhaps even blow up the entirety of King’s Landing with wildfire when she would be faced with Daenerys’ army.
Instead, she died an easy death under some rubble and it was Dany who disappointingly became the Mad Queen.
6. Westeros is Divided Again
Another interesting theory that did not happen is Westeros being divided into Seven Kingdoms once more.
Some have indeed speculated that Aegon the Conqueror had unified the kingdoms to be stronger in the face of the Night King, which would justify things going back to normal after the latter’s death.
An ending where all Westerosi kingdoms declared independence certainly would have been more accurate. Sansa could have reigned the North (as she did), Jon and Daenerys – the Crownlands, and Tyrion could have ruled the Westerlands.
7. Jon Snow Becomes the New Night King
Although it would have been quite bitter, some fans were hoping for Jon Snow to become the Night King. And in retrospect, we’re pretty sure we would have preferred that to him ending up in prison for killing the love of his life.
Although it’s a wild theory, it would have been quite plausible.
The Night King’s death was a little too sudden and final, after all, and fans believed we didn’t quite see the last of him.
According to this Reddit user, Jon would have taken the Night King’s place and raised the Army of the Dead in order to finally defeat Cersei, or worse, the Mad Queen – AKA Daenerys. This fan-theory can be backed up by Tormund’s last words to Jon, saying that he “has the true North” in him.
Yeah, maybe this conspiracy is a bit of a reach, but fun to say the least.
8. Tyrion Kills Cersei
Unlike Jamie, who was clearly in love with his own sister from day one and had to grow out of it throughout the series, Tyrion disliked his bullying sis from infancy. Therefore, having him kill her wouldn’t have been that surprising.
That being said, it sure would have been better than Cersei being killed by a building.
The Valonqar Prophecy stated that a “younger sibling” would be the one to kill Cersei. We saw some of this being said to her in season five by Maggy the Frog, but it was covered in more detail in the books:
“When your tears have drowned you, the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you.”
The “valonqar” meaning “younger sibling”.
9. Jaime Lannister Kills Cersei
Few will disagree when we say that Jaime Lannister’s character development was eventually butchered, he and Cersei dying in a tight embrace under the crumbling Red Keep. It actually seemed likely across the eight seasons that Jaime would be the one to put a dagger through his sister’s heart after having long distanced himself from her nastiness.
Perhaps he was the “younger sibling” (from the Valonqar Prophecy) to kill Cersei rather than Tyrion.
After being dubbed the “Kingslayer”, it would make (wonderful) sense if he were to be a “Queenslayer”, too. An outcome that would have satisfied us all and would have made a hell lot of sense.
Unfortunately, “satisfying” was never going to be this season’s key word.
10. The Night King Wins the War
This ending theory was a hit among fans before the last season aired. As no one ever imagined Game of Thrones would end with sunshine and rainbows, this bleak conclusion wouldn’t have been such a shocker.
The Night King and his Army have done some pretty disastrous things in past seasons and until Arya’s badass move, he did seem rather unkillable.
The Night King winning and thus teaching a lesson to Westeros for ignoring the threat he posed would have actually been quite sensational to see. But, spoiler alert, that didn’t happen either.
11. Jon and Daenerys Become King and Queen
In contrast with the aforementioned theory, some fans hoped that Daenerys and Jon would end up on the throne together after gloriously winning the war hand in hand.
This was *so* *so* close to happening, but Dany went all cray cray on us, and Jon decided to end her life (yeah, that ending still hurts our souls).
Sure, Jon and Daenerys are related, and this would have been a case of incest, but relatives getting together is no taboo in the Targaryen family. Jon and Deanerys together could have restored House Targaryen to the throne – peacefully.
Of course this isn’t Lord of the Rings we’re talking about, and even without the disappointing finale we did get, that was always unlikely to happen.
12. They All Live Happily Ever After
In a show that once killed half of its main characters during a wedding ceremony, it’s safe to say that no one actually believed a happy ending would happen.
But it’s still comforting to imagine an alternate outcome in which Daenerys and Jon ended up ditching their responsibilities and ran away together to live off the land somewhere else.
Cersei could have backed down from the Throne, reconciled with Jaime and moved elsewhere to raise their child, while everyone else went on to live their best lives. But in the words of Ramsay Bolton:
“If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention”.
13. Arya Stark Kills Cersei
As any normal teenager growing up in a healthy environment, Arya Stark spent several years going to sleep by saying the names of people she would kill. Cersei was definitely in her top three, so seeing her kill the queen would’ve made sense.
Imagine if she disguised herself as Jaime, infiltrated the Red Keep, and deceived Cersei by pulling off her face and slaughtering her using her signature killing style.
Unfortunately, such satisfying sight was never brought to our screens as the young Stark already had the honor of killing the Night King himself. You can’t slay them all.
14. Gendry Becomes King
Another ending theory that fans got totally wrong, but had massive potential to be right.
Gendry was legitimized by Daenerys and was proven to be Robert Baratheon’s true heir, which could logically have led him to the Iron Throne if he wanted it badly enough.
Not to mention that the character was likable and so far down the list of obvious choices that it would have been a cool plot twist to end the series with.
Unfortunately, Benioff and Weiss decided we couldn’t get the nice things, so we didn’t. Instead we saw Gendry get hot and heavy with Arya (oh so random).
15. Bran is the Night King
Through warging or time-travelling, Bran could have turned out to be the Night King and it wouldn’t have been that far-fetched since he was basically a god by the end of the show.
There was much evidence leading to this GoT theory including his appearance – the first being that the Night King’s face, specifically his nose, looked ever so similar to young Bran’s. Their clothes were also remarkably alike and the Night King’s stare-offs with Jon and his failure to kill him could have been because he recognized his brother (or cousin).
Alas, Bran didn’t end up being the Night King or anyone else other than good old Bran (oh and a King – we almost deleted that memory from our minds). And we’ll all have to be okay with that until G R.R. Martin possibly tells us otherwise in his long-awaited last book.
(Please George, tell us otherwise)
16. Jon Snow Becomes King
Here we have the least surprising, but most logical theory of them all. An alternate ending where Jon Snow becomes king of Westeros and rules the Seven Kingdoms with a fair and compassionate heart.
As son of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, it ultimately makes him the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. And after everything Jon went through (being stabbed in the heart, brought back to life, ridden a dragon and fought off White Walkers), you’d think he deserved some accolades.
As we said earlier, whether he was to rule with Dany or on his own, such a fairytale ending wouldn’t have looked like Game of Thrones even though everybody expected it.
But boy, our standards would have gone down if we knew what was going to happen to Jon in that finale… so now we’ll dream of this theory in our sleep and pretend it is canon, just because we can.
It goes without saying that Game of Thrones didn’t end like most of us wanted it to. With questions left wholly unanswered and some character arcs being tossed down the drain, it’s difficult to imagine anything less anticlimactic.
But what’s done is done, so all we can do is rely on the theories and alternate endings we love most and act like they somehow came true.
What did you think of these Game of Thrones finale theories? Let us know in the comments and don’t hesitate to share your own. It’s unlikely you’ll do worse than the actual script.