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Now that the big bad of 'Game of Thrones', the Night King, has expired, one huge question remains: what will be the fate of the living in Westeros?

‘Game of Thrones’ endgame: How will the story finish?

Now that everyone’s finally over the disappointment of Game of Thrones season eight – which was a big surprise to us considering the show jumped shark after season four when George R.R. Martin left and everyone had years of soap opera-level melodrama to wake them up in the meantime – we look back at our predictions for the final season with envy at our pre-chagrined selves.

Now that the big bad of HBO’s hit low-fantasy series Game of Thrones, the Night King, has expired at the hands of a diminutive, cute assassin in her childhood backyard, one huge question remains: what will be the fate of the living in Westeros? You don’t have to be a Casino Guru playing at to work out that things are not going to end well for this show.

Unlike the situation 8000 years ago during the original Long Night that lasted a generation, the warm-blooded bipeds of Westeros won’t be facing off against White Walkers for years and years. Instead, a simple little battle at Winterfell decided the whole thing.

The only people on Planetos affected by the ice zombie menace were some Northern houses’ troops (Starks and Mormonts mainly), stalwart soldiers from the Eyrie (where was Bronze Yohn Royce during that battle, hm?), a handful of Ironborn, some wildlings, a good amount of Dothraki, a legion of Unsullied, and some random champions.

The slaves and masters in Qarth and Meereen, the Faceless Men and clamdiggers in Braavos, Illyrio Mopatis and other randos in Pentos, the Crannogmen, the rest of the Ironborn, everyone in Dorne, the Westerlands, Highgarden, all those Maesters in Oldtown . . . everyone else is just going on as normal.

So what’s left? Dany, two dragons, and a few hundred stragglers lighting a funeral pyre and figuring out what to do next. Cersei’s got the Golden Company, an army of sellswords led by her boyfriend “Horny” Euron Greyjoy, and the subtle mind of ex-Maester Qyburn. Seems like more of an even fight than Dany would prefer.

Daenyrs and Jon have their own drama to sort out. They fell in love before they knew they were aunt and nephew – and even more importantly, before they knew Jon a.k.a. Aegon VI might have the superior claim to the Iron Throne. Not a good look for a unified front.

Their troops are exhausted and depleted and a thousand leagues from King’s Landing. With only three episodes left, the prospect of a drawn-out campaign trying to convince various noble Houses of Westeros to join their cause to put another Targaryen on the Iron Throne seems far-fetched.

Here are our top three picks for the shakeout after the stake-out.

The Seven Kingdoms: Seven again

For many thousands of years, power in Westeros was a lot more decentralized. Sure, the Maesters were pulling a lot of strings by sending their “educated” men to all the Noble Houses in Westeros and whispering in the ears of the lords and kings, but that was soft power.

It wasn’t until 300 years before the start of Game of Thrones that the Targaryens arrived in Westeros and yoked the Seven Kingdoms together with Fire and Blood. It was their superior biotechnology (dragons) that enabled this, and nothing else.

Some say dragons altered the power structure too much for the Maesters’ liking, and they succeeded in destroying all the dragons in two hundred years. However it happened, once the dragons were gone, it was only a few generations before a non-Targaryen, King Robert Baratheon, sat the Iron Throne.

With the War of the Five Kings, the dissolution of the Westerosi Targaryen empire was well underway. Lady Sansa’s not about to bend the knee, and the rest of the areas in Westeros seem quite content to ignore the problems of faraway lands.

In this scenario, Dany realizes the folly of power over men, and finally undoes the curse her forebears wrought on Westeros. With a simple “dracarys”, Dany mounted on Drogon melts the Iron Throne, and the political centralization of the continent, for good.

King’s Landing becomes a simple independent city-state of commerce, like the Free Cities of Essos, surrounded by seven totally independent kingdoms who live in peace (or not) forevermore. The End.

Fire and Blood

The tension is simply unbearable. Dany and Jon just can’t come to terms with their new situation, and take sides. It’s dragons plus Unsullied on the side of the Unburnt vs. the combined Northern troops following the King in the North. Ice and fire meet in the battlefield and both are extinguished.

Sansa becomes Queen in the North. She’s already married to Tyrion, so that’s a great way to keep the peace with the South. Cersei keeps the Iron Throne and her Dornish wine and lives in the Red Keep with her lover, Euron. They have non-inbred kids and live creepily ever after. The End.

Queen Arya FTW

Did you notice Dany and Jon didn’t help much in the Battle of Winterfell? After seeing her Dothraki mercilessly slain in a particularly ill-advised charge on the undead, she abandoned the plan of waiting to lure the Night King, instead opting to fly around randomly in a dark snowstorm.

Then Jon got caught in the Winterfell courtyard trying to dodge undead dragon coldfire. Meanwhile, supernaturally badass Arya was sneaking around, seemingly teleporting from section to section of Winterfell Castle, before she perhaps jumped out of a window or something to attack the Night King from above. Seriously, how did his White Walker homies not notice her?

Dany, Jon, Arya, and Gendry sit down at the Winterfell planning room table to discuss heredity and the Iron Throne. Everyone knows Joffrey and Tommen, having no Baratheon blood, were illegitimate rulers. Cersei is basically just a regent.

Meanwhile, Dany and Jon are actually offspring of a defeated ruler. Robert Baratheon seized the Iron Throne fair and square after smashing in the chest of the heir in one-on-one combat at the Trident. So they agree young Gendry Waters is actually the legitimate heir to the Iron Throne.

Naturally he asks Arya to be his queen, who reluctantly agrees, as long as she doesn’t need to do any paperwork. The End.

Got a prediction for how Westeros turns out after the fall of the Night King? Tweet us.

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