(This post contains spoilers for Sunday’s final episode of Game of Thrones as well as the series as a whole.)
For as long as Game of Thrones has been on the air – it started in 2011 before wrapping up its final season on Sunday – fans of the series have made a lot of predictions about how things would end up. Sure, some of those who had read the A Song of Ice and Fire books had more clues than those who hadn’t, but no one quite knew for sure how the series was ending. But that didn’t stop them from trying.
A lot of these predictions, of course, have been wrong. But others managed to make predictions that were dead on.
While many fans complained after the penultimate episode that Daenerys’ turn toward violent, indiscriminate destruction came out of nowhere, some saw that coming in advance. Joanna Robinson of Vanity Fair, in fact, wrote a piece in 2017, during Season 7, asking if Dany was in fact on the way to becoming the “mad queen.”
The idea that Jon Snow would kill Daenerys was also seen by some fans of the show. Last year, the newspaper The Express interpreted a George R.R. Martin interview as a hint that Jon would kill Dany. Meanwhile, others, per the ASOIAF Theories page, predicted such a killing as part of the “Prince Who Was Promised” prophecy, although that part of it factored less in the actual motive for Jon’s action.
At the end of the series, Jon Snow ends up north of the Wall with the wildlings, as he was for much of the early seasons. Joanna Robinson, again, predicted this earlier this season, also in Vanity Fair.
While it seemed to come out of nowhere on the show, the idea that Bran Stark would be king was heavily rumored in fan discussion leading up to the finale, leading to rumors of leaks. Nearly a month ago, YouTube user YezenIRL was among those who predicted early that Bran would end the series as king of Westeros.
Sue the Fury, in a Reddit AMA back in 2017, predicted that the Iron Throne would be destroyed, as it was.
— James Hibberd (@JamesHibberd) May 15, 2019
And yes, “Cleganebowl,” the climactic fight between brothers Sandor “The Hound” Clegane and Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane, was predicted (and wished for) by numerous fans before finally taking place in the next-t0-last episode.
Even earlier, back in 2013, Aamer Rahman wrote a piece for IO9 called “Daenerys’ Whole Storyline On Game of Thrones Is Messed Up,” which denounced Dany’s storyline up to that point as living up to white savior tropes. Per the article, Daenerys was ” a liberal white woman who goes around saving and civilising brown people.” This critique was heavily criticized at the time. Yet not only has it matched more recent criticisms of the series, but caught on early to the imperial hubris that was central to Daenerys’ downfall on the show.
There were, of course, numerous Game of Thrones theories that didn’t come to pass. Bran was not the Night King. Varys was not found to be a merman. Tyrion Lannister was not revealed as a Targaryen. Lady Stoneheart never made an appearance. The dragons weren’t pregnant, and Arya Stark’s Faceless Man powers never figured in the endgame in any major way.