The final season of Game of Thrones is here, and there’s a lot to remember from the last sixty-seven episodes. Who’s fighting who, who’s related to who, and who’s having sex even though they’re related? What’s going on in Thrones Season 8? Basically, Jon Snow and Daenerys and almost every other character are united against the white walkers and their army of the dead. But in the south, Cersei Lannister has the Throne. She said she’d help the good guys, but she lied, and she’s got Euron bringing her an army to help her hold power.
Cersei’s brother-lover Jaime has left her to help fight the dead. Theon is trying to rescue his sister Yara from their uncle Euron. Melisandre’s off in the east. And Hot Pie’s kickin it in the riverlands. So how’d everyone get here – what are their motivations, conflicts and relationships?
Jon Snow was a misfit bastard at Winterfell . He joined the Night’s Watch, and became a heroic and principled leader. He’s made sacrifices for the greater good – giving up his love, his pride, and his life.
Now, he’s King in the North. He’s sworn to serve Daenerys, and they’re ready to fight the white walkers together. But Jon and Daenerys are in love, which’ll get awkward , because they’re about to find out that Daenerys is Jon’s aunt , and Jon is the rightful king ahead of her . How will Jon balance love and duty? And what more will Jon have to sacrifice to save the world?
Jon’s sister Sansa helps him rule Winterfell, but there is tension, cause they don’t agree on all his decisions . Jon’s favourite sister was always Arya, and soon they’ll finally reunite. Jon is close friends with Sam , and Edd, he’s friendly with Tyrion, and Davos is his advisor. Jon also has a special doggo who we almost never see because he’s tricky to film. Melisandre said that Jon is the prince that was promised , a hero prophesied to defeat the darkness with a flaming sword . She also said Daenerys has a role to play, which, the prophecy suggests, might involve sacrifice.
Daenerys Targaryen was a meek abused girl , til she embraced the power of the Dothraki , and the magic of her Targaryen blood . She got three dragons, conquered Slaver’s Bay, and learned to be a queen – balancing peace and compromise against violence and fire . Daenerys has compassion for the weak , she liberates thousands of slaves . And now she wants to claim the Throne of Westeros , and build a better world . But how can she win her war without killing thousands , and being a tyrant like her father ?
Her war is further complicated by the zombie apocalypse, and by her hot nephew. Daenerys keeps saying that she can’t have children , which probably means she’ll have a baby with Jon. Daenerys’ closest friends and advisors are Missandei and Jorah, aka Ser Friendzone.
She also has Tyrion and Varys who she doesn’t entirely trust . Daenerys has an army of Unsullied and Dothraki, and only two dragons now, because one of them was taken by the white walkers. Daenerys has wanted to rule Westeros for seven seasons now – but will she ever win the Throne? In a vision in Season 2, she reaches for the Throne but never takes it.
Cersei Lannister was always frustrated trying to be a powerful woman in a patriarchal world . She was married to a drunk violent idiot, when her true love was her twin brother Jaime [a handsome violent idiot] . Cersei learned to be ruthless and manipulative to protect her children and her power . Cersei hates her brother Tyrion, especially once he murders their father Tywin.
Cersei’s jealousy and paranoia brings about her downfall, so she strikes back with fiery vengeance – killing hundreds of innocents, torturing her enemies, and taking the Throne. All her children are dead now, and her lover Jaime is gone. So all Cersei has left is the Throne, and her grief, and her hate, and her unborn child .
Euron Greyjoy is bringing her an army. And she’s got the mad scientist Qyburn and the murder-zombie Mountain. Can Cersei hold the Throne, or will she self-destruct? There’s a prophecy that Cersei will be cast down by someone younger and more beautiful – which could be Daenerys, or maybe Sansa or Brienne. In the books, the prophecy says that Cersei will be killed by her brother – so she might be killed by Jaime. Or maybe by Arya wearing Jaime’s face.
Jaime Lannister began as an arrogant violent villain. He pushed Bran from a window to hide his incest with Cersei, and he attacked Ned Stark. But then Jaime got captured, and lost his sword-hand, and Brienne taught him honour and humility. We learned Jaime’s backstory – that he killed his king to save a city, but was hated for breaking his oaths .
Jaime wants to redeem himself, achieve deeds worthy of the White Book – so he sent Brienne to help Sansa and Arya, and tried to save his daughter Myrcella . And finally, Jaime has left his lifelong lover Cersei, and rides north to help fight the white walkers . Jaime might not be very welcome at Winterfell. Because Jaime crippled Bran, and warred against the Starks, and killed Daenerys’ father, the Mad King.
His relationship with Tyrion is also difficult, since Tyrion killed their father. Jaime said he wants to die in the arms of the woman he loves . So will he die with Cersei?
Or is Brienne his true love? Tyrion Lannister always felt unloved and unappreciated – using his wits and wealth to protect himself. He found love with Shae, and enjoyed having power in King’s Landing. But the hatred of his father Tywin, and of Cersei and Joffrey, led to him kill his father and his lover. Tyrion was depressed and hopeless until he met Daenerys.
Tyrion believes in Daenerys, and her dream of a better world . But Daenerys wages war against Tyrion’s family, so Tyrion’s loyalties are torn . Tyrion is friendly with Jon, and with Varys. He’s mates with Bronn and Podrick.
He was briefly in an arranged marriage to Sansa, and they seem to respect each other. But his brother Jaime is still mad that Tyrion killed their dad, and his sister Cersei despises him. Tyrion desperately wants a peace with his siblings.
Cause if Tyrion’s family doesn’t love him, who will? Sansa Stark once dreamed of being a queen and marrying a handsome prince – but she was soon disillusioned. She became a political pawn, beaten and abused by Joffrey then Ramsay . But gradually, Sansa learned politics from some of the most devious players in the game – like Littlefinger, Olenna and Cersei . Sansa helped take back Winterfell, and enjoys having political power.
So how will she react when Daenerys and Jon threaten that power? Sansa is friends with her sister Arya, after a shaky reunion last season. And Brienne is sworn to serve and protect her. Sansa will soon reunite with ex-husband Tyrion, and with the Hound – who was kind to her in the capital.
Arya Stark was a tomboy who didn’t fit in the role of a noble lady. She got separated from her family, and her identity, and saw terrible suffering and injustice. Her mentors were killers, each more deadly than the last – Syrio Forel, the Hound, and Jaqen H’ghar.
The Faceless Men trained her to fight, and wear faces as magical disguises. But she rejected their religion, and returned to her identity as a Stark. Arya wants revenge on the people who hurt her family, and Cersei and the Mountain are on her list. She’ll also help fight the white walkers and the dead.
But the more Arya kills for anger and hate, the more she’s separated from her family – she’s become distant, and suspicious, and threatened to kill her sister. Can Arya find peace and love, or only blood and death? She will finally reunite with Jon – and probably with the Hound, and Gendry. Gendry liked to call Arya “my lady” , they could have a relationship. But Arya is fiercely independent – she said she’d like to go explore the world .
Arya’s direwolf Nymeria is still out there, leading a wolf pack – maybe they’ll help in the battles to come. Bran Stark used to be a happy kid, who dreamed of being a knight – until Jaime pushed him from a tower, crippling him. Jojen Meera and Hodor journeyed with Bran to the three-eyed raven – who taught him to have visions of future and past, and to warg into the minds of other creatures. But power came at a cost – Jojen and Hodor and Summer died, and Bran damaged Hodor through some timey wimey stuff. Bran became the new three-eyed raven, and kinda lost his personality, he’s become cold and weird, disconnected from his sisters Sansa and Arya.
His powers will be important in the fight against the white walkers. He might warg into a dragon, or have important visions, or have a psychic battle with the Night King. There are theories about Bran being the Night King in some time loop, which might be cool, or dumb. But will Bran ever be Bran again? Bran has no memory of his fall. But Jaime is returning to Winterfell – maybe seeing the man who pushed him will remind Bran of the boy he used to be.
Theon Greyjoy just wanted to belong. He never fit in as a Greyjoy at Winterfell , so he betrayed the Starks – attacked the family that raised him , and killed innocent kids . He was captured by Ramsay, who tortured him, castrated him, and took away his very identity . But then Theon helped Sansa escape Winterfell, and joined Daenerys with his sister Yara. Theon is still traumatised, but he now hopes to face his fears and to rescue Yara from their uncle Euron, just as Yara once tried to rescue him.
Theon says that his crimes are beyond forgiveness. But what is dead can never die, and Theon might still have the strength to do some good. Yara is a warrior and a leader who wants to be the first queen of the Iron Islands. As for Euron, he’s a scary eldritch pirate sorcerer king in the books, but in the show he mostly just wants to wear leather and pork Cersei. Brienne struggled to find a place for herself in a world that didn’t accept female warriors. She felt that she failed King Renly, and failed Catelyn Stark .
But then Brienne avenged Renly, and helped protect Catelyn’s daughters Sansa and Arya . Brienne has finally found success and respect, and now more than ever, Brienne knows who she is, as she joins the fight against the white walkers. Brienne almost killed the Hound one time, but they’re cool. And Tormund has a giant crush on her.
But her closest bond is with Jaime – they taught each other to be better versions of themselves. Will they become lovers, or die together, or just remain close friends? Brienne’s loyal squire Podrick has been training at combat – maybe he’ll do something heroic, and finally be made a knight. Also, Pod fucks.
Jorah was exiled from Westeros for selling slaves . Shamed and disillusioned , he originally spied on Daenerys, and almost got her killed. But seeing Dany’s power and her dragons inspired Jorah – he became totally loyal and in love with Daenerys .
She did exile him a couple times – for his earlier betrayal, and for his gross skin condition. But now, Jorah’s loyalty is unquestioned. He’s even accepted that Dany loves Jon not him . Jorah is willing to die for Dany , and he probably will. Jorah is grateful to Sam, who cured his greyscale, and Jorah now wields Sam’s family Valyrian sword.
Also Lyanna Mormont is Jorah’s niece – she might not be happy with her deadbeat uncle coming home. Sam Tarly was a misfit and a coward, rejected by his father. But Jon helped find him a place at the Night’s Watch, and eventually to study at the Citadel. Sam found the courage to kill a white walker – and to stand up to his dad. Gilly grew up in the cruelty of Craster’s Keep – Sam was the first to treat her with kindness, and helped Gilly flower into a bright and more confident woman.
They found unlikely love in one another, and Sam adopted Gilly’s baby as his own. Though, that baby was originally promised to the white walkers – and the walkers might want him back. As Jon’s closest friend, Sam plans to break the news that Jon is heir to the Throne, and is the nephew of his girlfriend.
The red woman, Melisandre, is a priestess of the Lord of Light. She once believed that Stannis would save the world , and she did all sorts of fucked up magic for him. But then Stannis died, throwing Mel into doubt and depression.
We saw her at her most vulnerable – turns out that Melisandre is ancient, and uses magic to hide it. But then Mel resurrected Jon Snow, restoring her faith. She now believes that Jon and Daenerys are the chosen ones. She’s gone east to Volantis, maybe to bring help from other red priests.
Melisandre said that she’ll return to Westeros, and die there . Jon and Davos both promised to kill Melisandre if she returns, because Mel burned Davos’ friend Shireen. So maybe Mel will die as she lived – with fire, magic, and blood. Also Melisandre once met Arya, and said that she’d see her again. Varys grew up on the streets, and his cock and balls were cut off by a wizard – so he’s not a big fan of magic , or people who use it, like Melisandre.
Varys was spymaster for King Robert. But he secretly supported the Targaryens . Varys wants a ruler who will protect the people , and he believes that Daenerys is the best hope for peace .
But he has said he’ll stop supporting Dany if she stops being a good queen. And Daenerys promised to burn him if he betrays her . Melisandre said that Varys will die in Westeros . When the Hound was a boy, his brother the Mountain burned his face – scarring him for life, and giving him a fear of fire . The Hound feels betrayed and alone , and hides this with violence and hate . The Hound found a kindred spirit in Arya, then he was almost killed by Brienne.
The Hound returned, and was offered a chance at redemption – to do some good in the world . Beric and Thoros tell him that the Lord of Light has a plan for them all. The Hound starts to show some compassion . And he helps the heroes fight beyond the Wall. But the Hound has unfinished business with the Mountain .
Maybe he’ll overcome his fear of fire to kill his brother, and put his demons to rest.
Maybe Grey Worm or Missandei will die next season. Bronn was once an opportunistic killer. Now he’s a rich opportunistic killer, thanks to Tyrion and Jaime . But after everything he’s done for the Lannisters, Bronn wants a bigger reward – he wants a castle . Cersei did give him one once, but then she took it back off him.
And now, Tyrion has asked Bronn to join him again. Tyrion says he’ll “pay double” . So one cool theory is that Bronn will get the Twins – the two Frey castles linked across a river. The Twins are conveniently vacant, since Arya killed the Freys last season.
So maybe Bronn of all people will get his happily ever after. Beric Dondarrion believes that he has a special destiny for the Lord of Light. He’s been killed then resurrected six times.
But now that his priest Thoros is dead, Beric’s on his “last life” . Tormund fights for the survival of his people, the wildlings. He also hopes to win the heart of his beloved Brienne.
Davos was a smuggler, a common man who rose to be advisor to Stannis, and then to Jon. He’s consistently a voice of reason, telling leaders to the right thing, not the easy thing. He’s no-nonsense, and no-drama – he barely ever mentions that Tyrion blew up his son. However, he is furious at Melisandre for killing Shireen. And he’s also very fond of Gendry. Gendry is the bastard son of King Robert.
He’s a blacksmith, and he can swing a hammer good. He’s got decent rowing form, excellent cardio, and possibly a crush on Arya. He’ll be forging special weapons to fight the dead. The white walkers are a mysterious looming threat – an ancient force of winter and darkness. They were originally created by the children of the forest, to defend the children from humans – but the walkers apparently got out of control, and now threaten all life. The walkers can raise the dead as mindless zombies called wights.
The walkers can be killed with dragonglass or Valyrian steel. And the wights can be killed with fire, glass, steel, or basically anything. The walkers and wights are led by the Night King, the first white walker, who also seems connected to magic like Bran. We don’t know exactly what the white walkers want. We know they turn human babies into more white walkers, and make symbols out of corpses.
So there might be more to learn about the walkers before the end. The white walkers have taken one of Daenerys’ dragons, and have at least a hundred thousand dead soldiers – they seem unstoppable. But Beric reckons that if the Night King is killed, all the walkers and wights will fall . There are connections between the white walkers and the Starks – go watch this video. Finally, Hot Pie has been chillin n killin since Season 1. He’s survived Harrenhal, and the brotherhood, and his baking’s only got better.
Hot Pie’s a survivor, and he’ll prolly outlive the rest of them. So that’s where everyone’s at the beginning of the end of Game of Thrones. We’re holding a livestream right after each episode of Season 8, about 10pm Eastern time, and we’re making breakdown videos each week – so subscribe and press the bell. Patreon supporters can watch past livestreams, and get extra updates.
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