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January 18, 2019

5 Things We’re Looking Forward To Seeing In Season 8 Of Game Of Thrones

Text by Tina Dastur

Here’s what we’re hoping will go down in the last instalment of one of television’s most popular shows

The New Year brought good tidings for the ever-growing Game of Thrones fandom, with a minute-and-a-half-long official teaser dropping on January 14th – an auspicious day indeed. In the clip, the Stark siblings Jon, Arya and Sansa can be seen in the crypts of Winterfell as certain key dialogues by Ned, Catelyn and Lyanna Stark are played in the background. The initial bit of the teaser sees the feather placed by Robert Baratheon in the hands of Lyanna’s statue in episode one of season one fly to the ground and ends with Jon, Arya and Sansa being confronted with their own tombstones in the crypts – although we must admit that Jon’s tombstone does look quite aged in comparison to Arya’s and Sansa’s. As they are struck with the realisation of their impending doom, the familiar blue icy mist gathers in the distance, turning the delicate feather to ice. In the next shot, we see Jon and Arya whip out Longclaw and Needle respectively, readying themselves for the long-anticipated battle against the White Walkers. Yep, goosebumps all over because WINTER IS FINALLY HERE!

All the twists and turns of the many diverging plots were tied up last season – what with Daenerys meeting Jon, Jaime (finally) abandoning Cersei and Sansa and Arya decimating the deceitful Petyr Baelish (or Littlefinger) – urging us to get hype for what promises to be an epic final season. Also, given that author George R.R. Martin still hasn’t finished writing the books, the end of the series will offer some closure to its book readers.

Instead of looking back on the show’s early seasons – because that would just be too emotional – I’m looking forward to what the final season has in store for us fans. And, as a hopeless GoT geek, I can’t help but jump on the ‘what could/should/will happen’ bandwagon in season eight:

Come On, Cleganebowl!

Cleganebowl has been in the works for some time now, and is slated to feature brothers Sandor and Gregor Clegane, who go by The Hound and The Mountain respectively. The Hound has been my favourite character for a long time now, and I’m excited to see him go head to head with his zombified giant of a brother, who shoved Sandor’s face into burning coals when they were just children all because Sandor was playing with his toy, resulting in those signature burns on The Hound’s face that we’ve come to love. Suffice to say, Sandor’s got a bone to pick with his hulking brother and I can’t wait to see him annihilate The Mountain and squash him to pulp. Let’s not forget also the message he conveyed to Gregor last season – “It’s not how it ends for you, brother. You know who’s coming for you. You’ve always known.” The Mountain may be even more intimidating and creepy after becoming zombified by Cersei’s Man Friday, Qyburn, but I have hope in Sandor and pray he makes it out alive at the series’ end. F*** the King. And f*** The Mountain, too. And then, we can all partake in some ‘chikken’ devouring sessions with our favourite Clegane!

Jon And Sam + Jon And Arya

How lovely would it be to see Sam and Frodo – sorry, Jon – reunite? Game of Thrones’ very own Lord of the Rings’ Sam and Frodo equivalent, Samwell Tarly and Jon Snow have been the best of friends ever since the pudgy and nerdy Sam was forced into joining the Night’s Watch in the first season. Although, Gilly does tend to throw a spanner in the works from time to time. While Sam hasn’t been the epitome of a warrior, he’s more than made up for it with his intellect. Remember when he pierced a White Walker in the back with a shard of dragon glass back in season three? Jon recognises that Sam, while not physically competent, is knowledgeable in his own right and values his no-strings-attached friendship with him. Unbeknownst to Jon, Sam could very well play a pivotal role in the final season, given all that he’s learned since training to become a Maester at The Citadel in Oldtown – the abundance of dragon glass at Dragonstone, curing greyscale, and most importantly, the fact that Jon (Targaryen in reality, but always a Stark in our hearts) is actually the true heir to the long-contested Iron Throne. Guys, meet up already!

On the flip side, an even more anticipated reunion involves Arya and her half-brother Jon. It’s been pretty evident since season one that Arya and Jon are extremely fond of each other, closer in friendship than any of the other Stark siblings. It’s hard to forget the moment from season one when Arya leaped into Jon’s arms after he presented her with her now-indispensable weapon Needle, which she safeguards with her life and carries on her body at all times. Arya and Jon haven’t reunited since the latter left to join the Night’s Watch; and considering how badass the both of them have become over the course of the last seven seasons, it would sure be nice to see them reunite. The teaser clip shot of the both of them drawing their weapons as the eerie blue icy mist gathers at the far end of the crypts of Winterfell is too much of a tease, and while it is just that – a tease – I can’t help but hope that the two meet soon and duel together with their swords Longclaw and Needle.

Team #Jaimenne

Because portmanteaus are in.

I’m going to completely ignore the incestual Jaime/Cersei relationship in favour of Jaime and Brienne of Tarth – or as I like to call them, Jaimenne. Hands down, the best romance in the show…yes, over #Jonerys any day! Their story arc goes way back to season two, when Brienne is tasked with escorting a kidnapped Jaime back to King’s Landing by Catelyn Stark. Along the way, the two experience much adversity together – like Brienne almost getting raped by the Bolton army, Jaime getting his hand cut off by the Bolton soldiers and Brienne being thrown into a bear pit by one of the Bolton men – all the while peeling away layers of their characters to reveal the secrets hidden deep under their tough exteriors. Perhaps most revelatory is when Jaime reveals how he got the name ‘Kingslayer’ to Brienne when they were soaking in a communal bath in Harrenhal. As Jaime’s character begins to undergo a transformation under Brienne’s influence, he even lets Brienne go after Sansa after Sansa escapes King’s Landing, entreating her to find Sansa and keep her far away from Cersei. As a parting gift, he gives her an impressive suit of armour and allows her to keep his Valyrian steel sword, which she chooses to name ‘Oathkeeper’. They meet one last time at Riverrun, where Brienne fails to convince Brynden Tully – the Blackfish, Catelyn Stark’s uncle – to surrender the castle to the Lannisters and is eventually smuggled out of the castle (along with Podrick) by the Blackfish. I think it’s fair to say that the look of love and respect exchanged between Brienne and Jaime (who saw her and Podrick escape in the boat, but chose to do nothing about it) speaks volumes about how far they have come, both individually and together. Now that Jaime’s forsaken his conniving and manipulative sister for good (hallelujah!), there’s hope for Jaimenne, and it’s giving me all the feels!

As a side note, though, I would love to see Tormund send some more crass looks Brienne’s way, and have Brienne react with disgust. They make for good comic relief.

Dancing With Dragons

While we rue the fact that Viserion has become an ice dragon fighting for the army of the White Walkers, I’m totally game for seeing him take his brother Rhaegal and Drogon head on. If we’re being honest, the initial threat seemed to come from Drogon, the largest, wildest and most magnificent of the brothers, who was fashioned after Daenerys herself, when he killed a young girl, resulting in his brothers being chained up in the catacombs of Meereen. But, as the plot twist would have it, it was poor Viserion who was eventually struck by an ice spear by the Night King during a rescue mission in season seven, transforming him into an ice dragon and making him the Night King’s official vehicle into the Seven Kingdoms. Part of me still hopes that, by some miracle, Viserion doesn’t desert Daenerys and his brothers, at a crucial juncture but in the unfortunate event that he has, in fact, gone over to the dark side, it would be intriguing to see him battle it out in the skies with Rhaegal and Drogon and see how that plays out. Explosive fireworks in the sky? Bring it on!

The Mother Of All Battles

After seven long seasons, and after all the many shocks and heartbreaks we’ve suffered through, we deserve to see who perseveres and overcomes to finally sit on the much-coveted Iron Throne and rule over the Seven Kingdoms. Will it be Jon Snow? Or Daenerys Targaryen? Or perhaps someone altogether unexpected like Tyrion Lannister? Time will tell, but before that comes the epic final stand. For there to even be an Iron Throne, the nefarious army of the wights, led by the White Walkers – and more critically, their leader, the Night King – must be vanquished. But given where we left off in season seven, with Viserion bringing the Wall down with his new-found blue fire, thus giving right of way to the Walkers to pass comfortably into the Seven Kingdoms, the battle is guaranteed to be chilling, entertaining and admittedly, a bit depressing, too…because we know there are going to be casualties. But more than anything, I’m sure it will be quite legendary and unforgettable for all fans of the show who have patiently seen out the last two years in eager anticipation. Fingers crossed for all our favourites!

Game of Thrones, thank you for the craziest rollercoaster ride for nearly a decade. Season eight, be the best one yet!

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