Winter is coming. We’ve heard those words for the last eight years on Game of Thrones, and now winter is here. On April 14, the wildly popular television show will start its eighth and final season, and tens of millions are expected to tune in to HBO live for each of the final six episodes. The biggest question surrounding the series is who will sit on the Iron Throne at series end, so of course there is betting on the outcome. Let’s get it.
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Who Will Rule Westeros at the End of Season Eight?
- Bran Stark +227
- Jon Snow +232
- Daenerys Targaryen +277
- The Night King +874
- Sansa Stark +1223
- Arya Stark +1223
- Gendry +1233
- Varys +1223
- Tyrion Lannister +1327
- Jamie Lannister +1431
- Cersei Lannister +1866
- Samwell Tarly +2918
- Euron Greyjoy +3683
Fans of the show might be surprised to see that the favorite to sit on the Iron Throne at the end of the eighth season is Bran Stark. Bran has been a major character throughout the series, but his backstory is not what you would expect of the most powerful person in Westeros. He was paralyzed after witnessing Jamie and Cersei Lannister getting freaky while they were visiting Winterfell, and unlike other characters that have traversed far and wide, he has only been in the North.
Bran Stark has spent the last five seasons of the show becoming the Three-Eyed Raven, and he is now arguably the most powerful human being in Westeros. He can warg and use greensight to look into the past and communicate with characters hundreds of miles away, and that gives him possibilities that other characters don’t have. He is also the oldest surviving son of Ned and Catelyn Stark, so that gives him somewhat of a dubious claim to the Iron Throne.
However, the real reason that Bran is the favorite is that there may have been some inside information leaked here. These odds were initially released shortly after the end of Season Seven, and Bran was considered a longshot. In March 2018, a flurry of bets on Bran forced sportsbooks to close the market, and when it re-opened, he was a considerable favorite. More action has come in on other characters to even it out since then, but Bran is still a slight favorite here.
Fan favorites Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen are the next favorites according to the oddsmakers. In a show where pretty much anyone can be killed off, these two are arguably the only characters that are unkillable, and they have repeatedly survived encounters that proved deadly for others in this series.
Both characters are beloved by fans, and they fit the mold of a traditional hero. Jon and Daenerys each have the royal blood needed to rule Westeros, and both characters are leaders with sizeable followings and formidable fighters. In most other shows, it would be quite obvious that one of these two would end up triumphing, but Game of Thrones is a different beast.
The next name on this list shows us just how different the show is from others. The Night King is the only other character with less than 10-1 odds to rule Westeros at season’s end, and he is the primary antagonist. For all the gnashing of teeth regarding Cersei Lannister and her decisions as queen, the Night King is the real danger facing the land and everyone knows it.
The Night King has the ability to bring the dead back to life, and he now has an ice dragon that he can take into battle. He will be the most formidable foe in the show, but it’s still really hard to believe that the showrunners would end the series on such a downer. Additionally, I feel like showrunners are becoming sparing with the axe, as no one of real importance died when Jon Snow ventured north of the Wall in Season Seven. After that decision, I don’t see them going totally dark at the end.
If you’re looking for a long shot here, I like Sansa Stark. Sansa has been through more than any other character in the series, and she has real depth that others lack. She is the oldest surviving child of Ned and Catelyn Stark, and she is cunning enough to rule Westeros.
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