By Ethan Alter, Yahoo Entertainment
As Game of Thrones inches ever closer to the 14 April premiere date for its final season, social media is going into overdrive trying to predict what the showrunners, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, have in store for the citizens of Westeros. A just-released batch of posters — each one featuring a favourite character sitting on the Iron Throne — has added fresh fuel to the (ice and) fire. Here’s your first look at the new artwork and what it may mean for who is going to be left standing at the end of this eight-season game.
You know something, Jon Snow? You’re looking an awful lot like your old man, Ned Stark, in this particular pose. (Yeah, yeah, we know that Rhaegar Targaryen is his actual father. But he doesn’t know that…yet.) We hope that doesn’t mean you’ll be parting with your head before Season 8 ends. But then again, you’ve bounced back from other supposedly mortal wounds, right?
Read more: Thrones S8 trailer offers new clues
The Mother of Dragons is looking plenty regal, and extra-ferocious in her poster. And she’ll need both of those attributes as she prepares to take on the Iron Throne’s current occupant: Queen Cersei. At this point, we can definitely see the family resemblance between her and Drogon.
— ✨ 𝒸𝒽𝑒𝓎 ✨#ForTheThrone (@dragonsbeauty) February 28, 2019
Note the lack of Cersei’s specially made crown in this particular image. Is that a signal that the villains won’t win this time? On the other hand, it’s also hard to find someone who meets the definition of a hero in Westeros. Except for Hot Pie, of course.
Jaime’s alter ego certainly has thoughts about how nicely his character fits on the Iron Throne:
— Nikolaj CosterWaldau (@nikolajcw) February 28, 2019
Sure, that splash of gold lightens up the grimness of the iron. But if you ask us, Jaime’s unkempt appearance is the opposite of kingly. He’s more like a guy who knows his unhappy fate, and is halfway between denial and acceptance.
Excuse us if we’re fascinated by the appearance of the Hand of the Queen’s right hand. Not that we’re the only ones!
Tyrion’s right hand tho????!!!!!!????? pic.twitter.com/zZUDvpG0Bg
— nora (@pinkcoconnut) February 28, 2019
While some on social media are suggesting a Photoshop mix-up, don’t forget that Tyrion was exposed to greyscale back in Season 5. He didn’t demonstrate any symptoms at the time — unlike his then-traveling companion, Ser Jorah — but maybe there’s a three-season latency period we weren’t previously aware of.
Speaking of the former greyscale patient, Jorah is currently fit as a fiddle and ready for battle. Given his demonstrated resiliency — he also survived a pitched brawl with the Night King’s White Walkers, after all — we completely expect this good knight to make it to the end of the series intact. But we also know that he’d never take a seat meant for his beloved Daenerys. If she’s still alive, that is.
Dragon scales or fish scales? That’s the Sansa-centric battle currently playing out on Twitter, and both camps are seriously dug in.
— Michal (not Michael) (@inkasrain) February 28, 2019
TULLY FISH SCALE ARMOUR!!!! SANSA REALLY OUT THERE IN THE VANGUARD OF CATELYN STARK WARRIORS!!!! pic.twitter.com/WfFfPxdFEP
— liz (@lannisterholic) February 28, 2019
If those are dragon scales, it would point to a deepening connection — or rift — between Sansa and the Jon/Daenerys alliance. Fish scales, meanwhile, mean that Sansa is becoming her mother’s daughter and getting in touch with her House Tully heritage. Much as we love dragons, we’re leaning towards fish here.
We know she’s got assassin training and all, but Arya is looking mighty cocky for a vigilante with a bunch of names still left on her kill list. Then again, Twitter is digging the badass ‘tude, so what do we know?
— Atakan Ay (@AtakannAy) February 28, 2019
Brienne of Tarth
Having to rule Westeros is a fate we wouldn’t wish on our best friend … which is why we wouldn’t wish it on Brienne. All we want for this towering warrior is a quiet life — without any relationship drama — once all the killing is over.
Bran Stark and the Night King
Those looking for more evidence to bolster the popular “Bran is the Night King” theory won’t necessarily find it in these two posters. The posture of both characters is different, and Bran’s Jedi-like robes are worlds away from the Night King’s armored appearance. On the other hand, those matching sets of cheekbones can’t be a complete coincidence.
Greyworm and Missandei
These lovebirds are the couple we most want to see survive the coming conflagration. Greyworm’s ever-ready dagger lets you know he’ll be fighting #ForMissandei rather than #ForTheThrone.
Melisandre and Varys
The Red Priestess and the Spider are no fans of each other, but they are big fans of… themselves. If teaming up ensures their respective survival, you can bet they’ll do it. One question: Will Varys be the one to see Melisandre’s true form?
Theon and Euron Greyjoy
Congrats, Theon! Ever since your Uncle Euron came along, you’re no longer the most hated Greyjoy in Westeros. But that doesn’t mean we want you on the Iron Throne. The best way back into our hearts is if you die in the process of freeing your sister, Yara, aka the Best Greyjoy, from Euron’s clutches.
Davos Seaworth, the Hound and Samwell Tarly
Westeros has tried warrior kings before, and it’s generally ended badly. Maybe it’s time for a nerd-king? Resident bookworm Samwell more than fits the bill, and he’s got a powerful publishing advocate.
— Random House (@randomhouse) February 28, 2019
Whoever winds up on the Iron Throne will benefit from Sam’s historical expertise. They’d also be wise to keep around the always loyal knight, Ser Davos. As for Sandor Clegane, he’s on a collision course with his super-sized brother, Gregor — who is currently serving as Cersei’s zombified bodyguard — so getting over that particular mountain to the throne would be a challenge.
Season 8 of Game of Thrones premieres on Sky on 14 April 14.