With “Game of Thrones” final season premiere days away, the question of who winds up on the Iron Throne is the most highly anticipated TV mystery since “Who shot J.R.?” The difference between 1980, when “Dallas” ended, and now is that now you can legally bet on the outcome.
So here are the odds, as set by the betting website, OddsShark, as well as our own thoughts one whose rump graces the coveted chair.
Bran Stark (+220). GOT fanatics dissected every frame of HBO’s recent Season 8 preview and discerned that the youngest surviving Stark child hadn’t just become the three-eyed raven, but also warged into the all-powerful Night King. My theory? The entire point of that teaser was to send you in the wrong direction. Don’t believe the hype.
Jon Snow (+350). Actor Kit Harington once said, “Maybe Jon’s the one person who should have it, because he’s not looking for it.” We agree. While it wouldn’t be an epic plot twist to have the King of the North wind up as ruler of all Westeros, sometimes the simplest answer is the correct one. Bet a few gold coins on Ned Stark’s bastard son.
Sansa Stark (+500). She’s had the roughest road of any (surviving) character on the show, so this would be poetic justice. Certainly, we’ve seen Sansa grow from a ditsy teen to a smart, ruthless woman. It would make great drama for the finale to be a battle of powerful female characters. If so she makes the most sense.
Daenerys Targaryen (+700). She’s still got two dragons, and craves the Iron Throne more than any other “good guy” character. Dany is also the most popular choice among fans. But author George R.R. Martin is quoted as saying, “If you think this story has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.” So we doubt it.
Gendry (+800). The notion here is that King Robert Baratheon’s illegitimate son has the most legitimate claim to the crown. Odds on everyone’s favorite blacksmith winning in the end opened at +7000 – so either an insider leaked something or everyone is following a false path. We’re skeptical that a character this minor ends up with the prize.
Littlefinger (+1000). Umm, he’s dead. So, no.
The Night King (+1000). Again, consider Martin’s warning about happy endings. Assuming Bran hasn’t morphed into this embodiment of evil, it wouldn’t be shocking for the last image to be this lich king on the Throne. It might also help set up the planned GOT prequel, which chronicles the origins of the White Walkers. Make a small bet on this finish.
Tyrion Lannister (+1000). The best character over the show’s first 67 episodes, and probably the one who would do the best job ruling. For those reasons, we vote no.
Also in the running: Jon and Dany’s love child (+1400 and dropping); Arya Stark (+1600); Samwell Tarly (+2000); Cersei Lannister (+2500); Jaime Lannister (+4000).
I’ll drop a dollar or two on longshot Jaime, although he’s lost every battle he’s fought, not to mention a hand. So put me down for Jon Snow, the Night King or Jaime as an upset special.
But don’t be surprised if wildfire blows up the whole thing and nobody sits on the Throne. That might be the most fitting of all finales.