Thus far there has been little insight from anyone associated with Game of Thrones into what we might see in the show’s eighth and final season, but like Samwell Tarly pouring over an old dusty book at the Citadel, we’re always digging for any information that might prove useful. So it’s only fitting something said by the man who plays Sam himself, actor John Bradley, has offered up one of the first truly intriguing clues into what might happen during the show’s last six episodes, and it could tell us something about everyone.
In an interview with TV Guide, Bradley talked about the show’s “rich” and “detailed” characters, and what it’s like to watch them when they are put in a “new environment.” That’s when he possibly slipped up and gave away a little bit more than he should have.
“Each of the characters this year is placed in a completely alien environment at some point in the season that they’ve never been placed in before. The thrill is seeing how they react to it and how they respond… This season, I think, more than any other is stretching these characters.”
Each character will be in an “alien environment” you say? Well that might not be overly specific, but considering we have a pretty good idea where the major characters will start season eight it’s way more than we’ve been given so far. So what can it all mean? Unless he’s talking hypothetically, as in “Cersei could find herself powerless for the first time” or “Jon loses a battle,” let’s do some good old fashioned speculating by looking at the major characters and where they could end up, which leads us to some famous places.
It wasn’t 100% clear Jaime would actually leave Cersei and King’s Landing in the season seven finale, especially when it started snowing, but this feels like confirmation he is heading North to fight in the Great War. There is no more famous–or infamous–face in the Seven Kingdoms, so it likely won’t be easy for him to get there without any issues. And while Jaime went to Winterfell in season one, that was so long ago that the North and its people are dramatically different now, so it will be totally foreign to him. Especially when he goes there to fight with them and not against them like he has the entire show.
When it comes to the Mad Queen, Bradley’s comment might carry the most weight, since she has both been firmly ensconced in King’s Landing since arriving back their in season one, and she ended season seven by hunkering down there and sending for reinforcements to face whatever enemy emerges from the North. If Cersei is going somewhere entirely new though, the range of possibilities are pretty wide and exciting. She could eventually realize her plan to ignore the White Walkers is incredibly stupid and take her army North, or she could go there to attack a wounded foe if Daenerys and Jon defeat the army of the dead on there own but at great costs.
But she might also have to flee King’s Landing if either Daenerys and Jon come for the Iron Throne, or if the White Walkers march on the capital. In that case she could run to a number of places that would prove a poetic final spot. She could go to Highgarden, which the Lannisters took from the now extinct Tyrells. It would be deliciously ironic if Cersei met her doom in the home of the family she betrayed, which might have sealed her own fate. She could go south, right into the waiting hands of the Dornish who loathe her and her family. We don’t know if anyone is currently bothering to occupy the emptied Casterly Rock, but she could hole up in her ancestral home as Tyrion comes after her, or nearby to Euron Greyjoy in the Iron Islands, though if she’s no longer a ruling queen what are the odds he would even want her anymore?
She could even head east to Essos, much like Daenerys’s pregnant mother once fled when Robert usurped the Mad King. It would bring the story of the Iron Throne full circle in a beautiful, fitting way.
No matter where Cersei ends up though, that means someone else will hold King’s Landing.
DAENERYS, JON, AND THEIR ALLIES
Technically almost anywhere in Westeros will be new for Daenerys, including Winterfell where she is currently heading. If the White Walkers force her and Jon Snow south, that will also mean she visits a number of “alien” environments. That’s why it’s probably best to focus on the only place the Mother of Dragons has ever truly wanted to go, the Iron Throne room. Her vision at the House of the Undying in season two prominently involved a destroyed Throne Room covered in snow. Could she fulfill that prophecy by heading there after Cersei burns the city down on her way out? Or after the White Walkers destroyed it during the final battle in the Great War?
It’s hard to imagine a scenario outside one of them dying where Jon and Daenerys split their forces, not when they have to defeat the White Walkers, so wherever one goes we expect the other to be there too. But that also covers all of their closest allies, like all the Stark children, Sam and Brienne, Tyrion, Grey Worm, and Missandei, and others like Tormund and Beric Dondarrion (if they’re alive). That’s a lot of people to end up in new places, which is why this could be the best clue yet for how successful the Night King will be on his march into the Seven Kingdoms.
THE WHITE WALKERS WILL REACH KING’S LANDING
Nothing will move every single character to a new place more than the White Walkers making their way through Westeros. Jon and Daenerys are heading to the North now, but there’s no guarantee it will be in time to stop the White Walkers from rolling over the living since they just broke through the Wall. If that success extends to King’s Landing it could lead to Cersei fleeing the capital, while everyone else bands together for one final battle with the dead somewhere close to the Iron Throne everyone has been fighting over this whole time.
That also raises the possibility of an all new setting being prominently involved, especially one that already played a major role in the history of the Realm.
THE ISLE OF FACES
The Isle of Faces in the God’s Eye Lake is where the First Men and the Children of the Forest signed their peace pact thousands of years ago, and it might contain the secrets Bran needs to figure out how to defeat the White Walkers. We know he’s more like a reference book now as opposed to being omnipotent, so could he eventually turn his third raven eye there to look for answers, requiring others to physically go there?
There are still many other characters whose stories will be finalized, like Theon who is going after Euron. Where could they end up facing off for the last time? Where might the Hound and the Mountain hold their Clegane Bowl? Which castle will Bronn move into? And how fast can Hot Pie run away from ice zombies?
It’s terrible we might be more than a year away from season eight, but at least we have time to start pouring over maps for possible escape routes. Because when it comes to searching for answers about Game of Thrones, Sam Tarly has nothing on us.
What do you think though? What could all of this mean? Give us your best guesses in the comments below.