The final hours until the long-anticipated first episode of the final season of Game of Thrones are being ticked off the clock, and the betting public favors Bran Stark to be the person who ultimately occupies the Iron Throne, ESPN reports.
You may be surprised to be reading about legal betting on the outcome of a TV series, but outside of the United States, it’s a thing. In fact, on British and Irish websites such as Paddy Power, you can bet on just about anything and everything, including the gender of the next Royal Baby, whether or not Donald Trump will be impeached, and a host of other, non-sports propositions.
In fact, ESPN reported that Amy Jones, a public relations manager for Paddy Power, commented that “The betting we’ve seen on the final season is unprecedented for a television series.”
And as of Friday, April 12, one of the most popular propositions on Paddy Power is the outcome of Season 8 of the popular HBO series. Here are the odds of who will ultimately sit upon the Iron Throne at the end of the series, at least as regards those who are most likely to do so.
DISCLAIMERS: 1) The remainder of this article will contain open spoilers for Season 8 of Game of Thrones, as well as for previous seasons. 2) Check with your local laws before attempting to place a bet online, if you choose to do so. 3) The information in this post is accurate as of 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time Friday, April 12, 2019.
Cersei Lannister (12:1): Cersei is in the unique position among claimants to the Iron Throne in that she actually sits upon the Iron Throne, as of the final episode of Season 7. Of course, she’s also being challenged for that seat by at least one other claimant, and a couple of others may also have a shot at it.
Daenerys Targaryen (4:1): The Mother of Dragons, unlike Cersei Lannister, actually has a claim to the Iron Throne through her birthright. She believes that she is the oldest, nay only, living descendant of her father, the deposed Mad King Aerys Targaryen. However, unbeknownst to Daenerys, another, older Targaryen descendant lives, and he has a better claim to the Throne. He just doesn’t know it yet.
Jon Snow (who is actually Aegon Targaryen) (3:1): In the waning minutes of the final episode of Season 7, it was revealed that Snow is not the bastard child of Ned Stark, as he (and fans) have believed since the beginning. He is actually the secret son of Rhaegar Targaryen, spirited away in secret to Ned Stark’s care and given the name of a bastard in order to protect him. Snow’s claim to the Iron Throne is stronger than that of Daenerys’, given that his father, Rhaegar, was the first son of Aerys. Daenerys, on the other hand, is Aerys’ youngest (of three) children, and the only living one. Complicating matters is the fact that Snow and Daenerys don’t yet realize that they’re nephew and aunt, are allies on the battlefield, and are in a sexual and romantic relationship.
CAN OUR CANDIDATES LISTEN TO JON SNOW? “When enough people make false promises, words stop meaning anything. Then there are no more answers, only better and better lies." #GamesOfThrones #Halalan2019 pic.twitter.com/eEvL76O9am— Karen Davila (@iamkarendavila) April 12, 2019
Bran Stark (10:11): The youngest living Stark, who has no claim to the Iron Throne by blood and who almost certainly doesn’t want it, is the heavy favorite among the British and Irish betting public. As to why is anyone’s guess. It could be sentimental betting, considering he’s a fan favorite. It could be that someone knows more than they’re letting on and has placed huge bets accordingly. Or it could be because Bran, as a character, is both everywhere and nowhere, and exists both within and without time and space as we understand them (as Bran himself says within the show, “It’s difficult to explain”). So there may be some reason, that makes perfect sense within Bran’s corner of the Game of Thrones universe but isn’t obvious right now, that he may yet ultimately rule Westeros.
Other Characters: Should Jon and Daenerys have a baby before the end of the series, that hypothetical child is pulling in 3:1 odds of being Westeros’ monarch at the end of the series. Sansa Stark, who neither wants the Iron Throne nor has any claim to it, is at 11:2. Gendry, who has a stronger claim than Cersei by virtue of being the son of former king Robert Baratheon (albeit a bastard son), is at 7:1. Over at the other end of the odds spectrum are Onion Knight Davos Seaworth at 70:1, and Jaime Lannister’s Man Friday Bronn of the Blackwater at 60:1.