Out of the ashes of King’s Landing, a new ruler is destined to rise in next Sunday’s series finale of Game of Thrones. But the identity of that ruler is very much in flux. Although the Iron Throne was Daenerys Targaryen’s prize for the taking after she and Drogon decimated the Iron Fleet and the Golden Company, her sudden, sharp turn into Mad Queen territory is going to complicate her allegiances. Westeros’s crown isn’t the only thing weighing on our minds, though. Here are three burning questions we have after the cataclysmic events of the penultimate episode, “The Bells.”
What’s up with Arya’s horse?
The youngest Stark daughter has long been one of Westeros’s most skilled death-dodgers, but there were several moments during the Battle of King’s Landing where the grim reaper appeared to catch up with her. Racing through the city’s labyrinthian streets mere steps ahead of deadly dragonfire blasts, Arya’s survival never seemed less guaranteed. And, in fact, some speculated on Twitter that she did indeed go to her final reward, as evidenced by her dreamlike encounter with a white steed amongst the ruins. For the record, Maisie Williams has said that Arya is alone in her last scene, and a solitary ride to the afterlife seems like a fitting ending for this particular warrior.
Arya is DEAD. THE white horse has been traditionally a symbol of death. Arya passed away in the destruction of Kings Landing pic.twitter.com/l8N7SvrfHC— MelVee (@rochmsp) May 13, 2019
Arya is dead. Hence the white horse.— Matt (@2ndLightAve) May 13, 2019
I think Arya is dead and on a ghost horse like Benjen Stark— Jo (@ransfourd) May 13, 2019
At the same time, this assassin also has unfinished business in the form of Melisandre’s prophecy, which states that she’s destined to close a pair of green eyes forever. Originally, it was assumed those eyes belonged to Cersei, but Jaime Lannister and a collapsing castle shut those peepers permanently. That leaves green-eyed Daenerys, whose destructive fury Arya witnessed firsthand as King’s Landing burned. In this reading, Arya isn’t dead... she has become Death, complete with the requisite pale horse.
Does the white horse Arya gets on connect to the biblical reference of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?? Bc from left to right they signify Death, Famine, War, and Conquest? Is Arya gon do some more conquering!?! #GameOfThrones pic.twitter.com/pAPUJAz6hY— Marie Wanless (@marie_wanless) May 13, 2019
Who will become the Queenslayer?
Arya certainly has the resources and the motive to bring Daenerys’s reign to a quick end. But there are still other character in play who have the ability to fulfill Melisandre’s prophecy should the need arise. For what it’s worth, oddsmakers are placing their bets on Jon Snow to take on the mantle of Queenslayer, with U.S.-Bookies naming him a 1/5 favorite. For all of Jon’s reluctance to involve himself in the affairs of the state, his dourer-than-usual expression as he watched Dany destroy King’s Landing suggested no small amount of recognition that he’d have to act and act soon.
After Jon and Arya, the next likeliest candidates are Tyrion and Sansa, whose respective odds sit at 3/1 and 4/1. The fact that Sansa is still at Winterfell inhibits her ability to get close enough to Daenerys to end her life — although people do seem to be zipping around Westeros awfully quick these days. Tyrion’s already on shaky ground with his queen after she learned he blabbed Jon’s secret to Varys, resulting in the Spider’s fiery demise. And if she discovers that he freed Jaime Lannister to help Cersei escape King’s Landing, he’ll have a date with Drogon as well.
Not for nothing, but Varys left behind a road map for how Tyrion might kill Daenerys before he meets his maker. The first scene of “The Bells” revealed that the Master of Whispers had possibly been trying to poison Dany with the assistance of a young kitchen worker, Martha. Poison proved to be King Joffrey’s downfall, and it could topple another aspiring tyrant.
Arya or Jon will kill Daenerys I just know it in my guts my girl gonna die and I hate it 7 season of her going up just to get destroyed because of people who think they know better #GameOfThrones— Lady Petra of House Stark (@peppyzzler) May 13, 2019
Arya/Jon will try to kill Daenerys, they'll fail and she'll kill them both regardless of who tried to kill her. Then she's going to kill Tyrion, set fire on Winterfell, including Sansa. She will then proceed to the North of the Wall and kill the Free Folk. Then to Essos and so on— ministra da educação e cultura lgbt+ da ursal (@ReichertTomas) May 13, 2019
Hot take: Daenerys kills Jon and Tyrion for treason then Davos kills her and takes the throne— Andy Rothstein (@AKiley617) May 13, 2019
I can’t be the only one who wants Sansa and Arya to kill Jon and Daenerys.— The Volatile Mermaid (@OhNoSheTwitnt) May 6, 2019
#GameofThrones Wow. Daenerys surprises everyone again. Biggest threat now would be Tyrion. I’m sure she knows. Watch out he doesn’t poison your dragon. He is a Lannister !— binary007 (@binary007) May 13, 2019
Will anyone sit on the Iron Throne?
There’s one possibility we haven’t considered: Maybe there’s no need for a Queenslayer because there’s no throne left for a Queen to sit on. By taking Missandei’s last word to heart, and burning King’s Landing to the ground, Daenerys may have been using fire to purify rather than punish. So far, the pursuit of the throne has brought every House in Westeros — including her own — little more than destruction and death. Destroying the seat of imperial power would theoretically usher in the dawn of a new, possibly more democratic age and make the Mad Queen’s actions look logical in hindsight.
Even if this idea doesn’t occur to Daenerys, there are those who believe that the destruction of the Iron Throne is ultimately where the show has been heading all along. That’s an argument that’s been advanced on Reddit, among other outlets, and you know that Jon Snow would be all for it since he’d much rather roam the North than wear the crown. Instead, the Iron Throne will pass into Westeros’s history, which happens to be the dominion of the Three-Eyed Raven. And hey, that finale would definitely satisfy oddsmakers, who have picked Bran Stark as the ultimate winner in the game of thrones.
a great ending would be if after all this, no one sits on the Iron Throne. all of that death, for what? absolute power kills absolutely #GameofThrones— Knighted by Jaime Lannister ⚔️ (@WalaaDeFaro) May 13, 2019
No one will take the iron throne - Jon will destroy it #GameofThrones— pauly (@Rockiegeo) May 13, 2019
Video: The Mad Queen Reigns on Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.
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