New 'Game of Thrones' Theory Explains the Author's Biggest Ending Clue

There are only six episodes left of Game of Thrones, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that everything will be wrapped up in a bow by the end of them — especially based on what George R.R. Martin has had to say about endings over the years. A new theory takes the author’s use of “bittersweet” to describe the endings he likes and proposes what that could mean for Game of Thrones Season 8.

Potential spoilers for Game of Thrones’ final season below.

We’ve spent a lot of time wondering what each character’s chances of surviving (and thriving) through Game of Thrones Season 8 might be, but what if the only real winner is the Night King and his undead army? That’s what GoT fan and redditor u/VixToonsDesign suggests in a recent post.

“No one wins. They don’t defeat the army of the dead,” they write. “History has been manipulated to tell the story and create the heroes but the truth is the army of the dead marched forward until the wall was created to stop them. And this time it’s going to be the same. The forces against the dead will be pushed back and forced to retreat and once they realize they cannot win, they will build a wall (dragons) to try and keep them out again with the dead now managing to occupy a greater percentage of Westeros.”

VixToonsDesign also notes that Martin has repeatedly used the word “bittersweet” while talking about the end of his series.

“The tone of the ending that I’m going for is bittersweet,” he told The Observer in 2015.

“I’m attracted to the bittersweet ending,” he said during a talk at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. “People ask me how Game of Thrones is gonna end, and I’m not gonna tell them … but I always say to expect something bittersweet in the end.”

He said the same thing the following year at the Guadalajara International Book Fair.

“I don’t know that I, as a writer, really believe in the conventional, clichéd happy ending, where everything is resolved and the good guy wins and the bad guy loses,” Martin said. “We very seldom see that in real life or in history, and I don’t find it as emotionally satisfying myself as what I like to call the bittersweet ending.”

“I think there’s a difference between a loose end and something that’s deliberately left by the author ambiguous, or something for the readers to think about and worry about and debate about,” he continued at the Fair. “For me, that’s part of the fun of reading and writing is having stories that maybe have a little ambiguity to them, a little subtlety to them, and everything is not crystal clear and laid out.”

Redditor u/VixToonsDesign’s theory seems to take this into account as well.

“There are no winners only survivors,” they write. “The threat of the dead managing to again figure out a way through the wall remains with the potential for the future them taking over the entire continent.”

But just because Martin sees a “bittersweet” end for his series doesn’t necessarily mean the Game of Thrones TV show will end that way … or does it?

“It’s an incredibly emotional, haunting, bittersweet final season, and I think it honors very much what George set out to do, which is flipping this kind of story on its head,” co-executive producer Bryan Cogman told Entertainment Weekly.

Leaving the series in a place where humanity survives but is forced to live on a smaller slice of Westeros with the knowledge that death is right around the corner would certainly be “bittersweet.”

Game of Thrones Season 8 will premiere in April 2019 on HBO.


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'Game of Thrones' Season 8 is coming
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