How will "Game of Thrones" end?
How do we want "Game of Thrones" to end?
We each have our dream ending, but we also know that "Game of Thrones" — the 80-minute finale airs Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO — isn't about making dreams come true. So I went back to Long Island's own "GoT" dream team — which earlier this spring offered thoughts about the new season — for answers. These experts know the show cold. They've invested countless hours in watching and thinking. They're smart, invested and passionate. I put both questions to them and here's what they had to say:
MEL NORMOYLE, HOLBROOK
Normoyle says that "With a shortage of sane or capable rulers in Westeros, the best ending would be to put Jon on the Iron Throne. While Gendry, a newly appointed Baratheon, legitimized son of former King Robert, may have a claim to the throne — he is woefully inexperienced. Jon has never wanted power: He took both titles of Lord Commander and King in the North with reluctance, but perhaps Varys could have been right all along: It's best to have someone on the throne who doesn't want it. If he's going to succeed though, he's going to need advisers. Seasoned Ser Davos, wise Sansa, cunning Arya would make a formidable Small Council. " Normyle adds, "Personally, I'd like to see the seven Kingdoms rule themselves, dismantle the throne — or 'break the wheel.' Simply let each kingdom find some peace in the aftermath of this terrible war."
GIL RAPPOLD, CORAM
"I'm kind of a classic fantasy guy," says Rappold — he owns Selden's Brothers Grim Game and Collectibles — and "I'd like to see Jon Snow on the Thorne and like to see Daenerys atone for her crimes. And in fact, I think she will bite the dust — and Arya will be the one to do it — and Jon will take the throne. Everyone of course has been attempting to interpret Melisandre's prophecy to Arya [in 'The Long Night'] where she said 'I see a darkness in you. And in that darkness, eyes staring back at me: brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes. Eyes you’ll shut forever.' Arya's already killed Walder Frey — brown eyes — and the Night King — blue eyes. So everyone is scrambling to decide if Daenerys' eyes are green.
"As to what I think will happen, there are so many possible outcomes. Let's say Daenerys turns on Jon and tries to have Drogon kill him, but Drogon refuses because he's [Jon] a Targaryen, and the same with Tyrion — who turns out to be a Targaryen after all too. Maybe Drogon simply dies — and recall that the dragons always died off in the past when the Targaryens went crazy. There could be some link there.
"My long shot possible ending is that Daenerys turns on Jon, and Jon gets killed, at which point Arya kills Daenerys, leaving Sansa as the person who ends up taking over. The other long shot? No one takes the throne and the Kingdoms are left to rule themselves."
BONIFACIO DIAZ, OLD WESTBURY
Diaz says "We're beyond the point of no return with Daenerys — or seem to be. The people of the North in fact shared some of the same animosity to the Lannisters and King's Landing as she did — the Lannisters killed their king and queen and everyone else. So in that scenario, with the support of the north, she becomes queen and takes the Iron Throne.
"But certainly a lot of people disagree: She will have to answer for her crimes, and for that reason, I feel like Bran will end up on the Iron Throne. When Jon killed Olly back in season 6 [Olly was Jon's personal steward who turned on Jon, and when Jon was resurrected, he killed Olly] he said 'I don't want this anymore' then resigned as commander of the Night's Watch. But I still think Jon's heart lies with the north, and that he'll leave King's Landing a broken and ruined man. Dany is not going to live with the consequences of what she did.
"My ideal ending — that perhaps Daenerys was pregnant, and gives birth, then dies, and Jon takes Drogon for his own and ends up on the Iron Throne, and won't be able to run away from the child — and future king or queen."
FABRICE GAILLARD, CENTEREACH
Gaillard has long professed to be an Arya fan: "She is so compelling: She has great strength and courage … She’s become a really fierce woman and she’s someone who resonates in real life. So … I want Arya to kill Dany. The Starks will then become the rulers of the Seven Kingdoms once and for all. But before Arya kills Dany, Dany turns on Tyrion, killing him by dragon fire, as she did to Varys. My other prediction: Jon dies by fire too, prompting Arya to seek her revenge even more quickly."
BETH SEDER, LEVITTOWN
Seder says "I don't know how this will end, but I do think it's gonna be tragic. Daenerys is going to die and there's a chance that Jon will die too. And who sits on the throne? There's a real possibility that nobody does. In fact, in all my 'Game of Thrones' polls I have no one sitting on the Throne. I really do believe all the characters are tired of the 'game of thrones' and they all see how stupid it all is. The majority of people [in Westeros] just want to live in peace, and if Dany dies, then nobody else cares who will take her place.
"All the people who ever wanted the throne — Dany still excepted — are dead; plus [producers] have foreshadowed a number of times that the throne would be empty, like that scene where Bran can see snow — or ash — coming down on the throne, which I feel isn't important anymore, especially now that King's Landing is completely destroyed.
"How do I hope it will end? I want them [the producers] to do a good job at finishing this story, even if it is tragic, as long as everything comes full circle. I want resolution."
JACKY ALTILIO, BETHPAGE
Altilio says, "I would like to see it end with Tyrion actually being a Targaryen and sitting on the throne. There’s many theories and scenes that point to this being a possibility throughout the series, and the way this season is going, it would be a satisfying ending. I think we will see Jon or Sansa killing Daenerys (Sansa also now knows to 'stick em with the pointy end.').
"I too think Jon is going to die. He’s been rather useless so far. I think Sansa will live … maybe she’ll renew her vows with Tyrion (that’s probably not going to happen, but they have bonded over the season.)"
ALEX GAMBINO, SELDEN
Gambino predicts "GoT" will wrap "with Jon on the throne. He now knows what has to be done, and will take a page from Arya's book. That meeting between Jon, Sansa, and Arya said a lot to him, and he knows that Sansa was right about Dany all along. I do think Jon will kill Dany and take the throne because that's how he will keep the peace.
"But how do I want it to end? For him to kill Dany and to refuse the Throne. I want him to be selfish and go back beyond the Wall, and leave the rest of the world to burn. He knows he would hold only a temporary peace if he held the throne anyway. He feels jerked around and has been jerked around in all directions, from being a Bastard then a Stark, then a Wildling, then a king several times over. He's never done anything for himself and that cost him the first woman he loved. Everyone's said to Jon that he's the right person for the job, but he doesn't care whether he is or not. I want Jon to walk away from it all. Be selfish."
When in doubt, go to the prophecies, and a key prophecy of "Thrones" (also "A Song of Ice and Fire") is the Azor Ahai legend, AKA the Prince Who Was Promised. To quote, “In this dread hour a warrior shall draw from the fire a burning sword. And that sword shall be Lightbringer, the Red Sword of Heroes, and he who clasps it shall be Azor Ahai come again, and the darkness shall flee before him.” Of course the Prince Who Was Promised actually has to use Lightbringer and — if the theory holds — he will use it on Daenerys. If so, both legend and prophecy would be fulfilled, and the great circle of history closes: Recall that Jaime long ago told Brienne that he killed Aerys II Targaryen because the Mad King had threatened to burn King's Landing (like Dany, Aerys was a pyromaniac.)
If this is the ending, then Jon survives. But not as king. To paraphrase that sage philosopher, Lily Tomlin, those who win the rat race are still rats. Jon certainly doesn't want to win this particular rat race. He heads back north, leaving Arya (and perhaps Gendry) to rebuild King's Landing. They melt down the Iron Throne for scrap.