What to Expect in Season 8: Got ‘Thrones’?

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Photograph by Macall B. Polay, via HBO

by Mia Schoenberg

WARNING: SPOILERS ARE COMING

With a 95 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a 9.5 out of 10 rating on IMDb, and a 9 out of 10 on TV.com, it is no surprise that the seventh season of “Game of Thrones” has sparked theories, fears, and hopes in hardcore fans and casual viewers alike. With shooting for the final season slated to begin in October 2017, viewers have two years to speculate about which characters will die in horribly spectacular ways, whether or not their favorite characters will live to see the end of the “long night” that is the winter, and whether their morals can support the new incestuous relationship on the show.

Season seven saw the collapse of the Wall protecting the land of Westeros from the evil White Walkers (Ice Zombies), the reunion of the remaining Starks, the coupling of long-time fan favorites and aunt and nephew, Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow, and the end of Cersei and Jaime’s relationship. Many, many characters died as well, including, but not limited to: Petyr Baelish, Olenna Tyrell, Viserion the Dragon (now a White Walker), Dickon and Randyll Tarly, the Sand Snakes, and the men at Eastwatch. Despite this, season seven was relatively peaceful, serving to set up what is likely to be an action-packed series finale to one of the most popular shows on television.

Season eight will likely build upon what season seven established, like the feminist tones and the changing relationships between several characters. Sansa and Arya went from bitter enemies to sisters, Cersei remained Queen, and Daenerys is rearing to take the Iron Throne, despite John being the rightful heir to the throne. However, my concern for season eight lies with Sansa Stark, who is still recovering from the trauma she went through at the hands of villain Ramsay Bolton. Proving herself a good ruler, Sansa tried and executed the man who orchestrated all of the pain Sansa and her family went through and organized her home to become the last stronghold in a soon to be war-ravaged North. Despite this, Sansa has never exactly been a “fan-favorite.” Called whiny and immature in earlier seasons, and crucified for being a female character who has the gall to feminine, she has outlived several, more liked characters. Her fate in season eight, however, remains up in the air, along with Tormund Giantsbane and Yara Greyjoy.

My personal wish for Cersei to kill Daenerys, then for Jaime to kill Cersei, leaving Jon Snow, Samwell Tarly, Sansa Stark, Tyrion Lannister, Brienne of Tarth and Tormund Giantsbane to destroy the Night King and the several billion white walkers that will ultimately join his ranks as he moves south. I want the undead Viserion to defeat Rhaegal, only to be completely eviscerated by Drogon. I want Cersei and the Mountain to finally die and I want all of the citizens of King’s Landing to be punished for being despicable people every single season. Seeing an undead Stannis Baratheon would be really cool, as his body seems to still be rotting in the woods around Winterfell.

Relationship-wise, I’d honestly like to see a love triangle between Jaime, Brienne, and Tormund. Season eight is likely to be one of the more serious of seasons, and long gone are the days of Robert Baratheon asking a homely Lancel Lannister to fetch the breastplate stretcher. Tormund and Brienne lighten the mood, and tossing a newly single Jamie into the mix will only help. Whether or not Jon and Daenerys’ relationship will last as they find out about their close relation remains to be seen, but if it does, I’m willing to accept a slightly more morally acceptable incestuous couple. “At least Jaime and Cersei aren’t together anymore” is my new mantra.

I enjoyed season seven immensely, but I have to admit that out of all the seasons so far, it had the most plotholes out of any season so far, such as time jumps. Timing was a huge issue where it hasn’t been so before. It took one character less than a day to run a journey it took three days to walk, and for a normally consistent show, it took characters a very short time to accomplish what would be extremely long journeys. This is something I hope is fixed in season eight because it adds just a little realism in a fantastical show.

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