Contains spoilers for Game of Thrones season 8, including potential spoilers for episodes 5 and 6
Just as the night is dark and full of terrors, the internet is vast and full of spoilers.
Game of Thrones has but two episodes remaining in its epic eight-season run on television — and has several narrative threads to tie up, character arcs to conclude, and mysteries to solve in those final installments. The wait to discover how the fantasy drama will end can feel almost unbearable, but thanks to a series of purported leaks, Thrones fans may already have the answers to their burning questions.
Leaks for Game of Thrones season 8 began surfacing online several months before the series returned to HBO in April, and have continued to crop up on various forums as the season has aired. Reddit user cgmcnama compiled the leaks and posted them on the infamous Game of Thrones subreddit /r/freefolk, with a recent update including alleged details about episodes 4, 5, and 6 of the final season. Though many were initially hesitant to take details about the episodes as completely factual, the fact that the information provided about episode 4, “The Last of the Starks,” wound up being startlingly accurate has people more inclined to believe the leaks about the yet-to-air episodes are true.
Though the validity of this leaked information hasn’t been confirmed or denied by HBO or anyone involved with Game of Thrones, we advise anyone who doesn’t wish to learn of possible spoilers for the last two episodes of the series to turn their attention elsewhere.
According to the post on /r/freefolk, the remaining episodes of Game of Thrones season 8 will allegedly feature the following: Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and her army capturing Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau); Dany giving orders to execute Varys (Conleth Hill), presumably for committing treason and recognizing Jon Snow (Kit Harington) as the true heir to the Iron Throne; Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) begging Daenerys “to show mercy,” apparently when he “tries to resign as Hand,” which she refuses; Tyrion freeing Jaime and attempting to get Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) to safety as well; and Dany storming King’s Landing and engaging in a “one-sided fight,” burning the city and lighting up Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk) and the Iron Fleet.
From there, the leaked information alleges that Daenerys and her Unsullied army, scorned by Euron murdering Dany’s dragon Rhaegal and Cersei giving the Mountain (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson) the order to behead Dany’s adviser Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) during episode 4, continue to dole out extreme violence in King’s Landing. Dany is said to start “executing everyone,” which upsets and Tyrion and Jon. The Mother of Dragons, apparently now in full Mad Queen mode, arrests Tyrion for freeing Jaime and sentences him to be executed. She apparently declares that neither she nor Jon will be present at his trial.
The leaks also claim that the long-awaited Clegane Bowl — the battle between brothers Ser Sandor Clegane, a.k.a the Hound (Rory McCann), and Ser Gregor Clegane, a.k.a. the Mountain — will happen and will end in a double death. Additionally, Jaime will apparently fight Euron, murdering the crazed Greyjoy man but sustaining fatal injuries himself. Jaime is said to make his way back to Cersei, and the two “die together.”
Tyrion then allegedly attempts to convince Jon to “turn on Dany,” telling him that the Stark family will “never be safe” because Jon’s claim to the Throne “threatens Dany’s legitimacy.” Daenerys is said to ignore everything Jon tells her, believing her actions are justified, and soon Tyrion and Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) devise a plan to overthrow Dany and have Jon play a part in that. It’s said that Sansa will “betray Tyrion at the end despite promising to rule together,” in a move that may happen during Tyrion’s trial, which could take place in the Dragonpit and is said to have Samwell Tarly (John Bradley), Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie), Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson), an unidentified Dornish man, an unknown man dressed in green, and Robin Arryn (Lino Facioli) of all people in attendance.
Apparently, Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) will have a flashback to the season 1 scene in which Tyrion told Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley), “I never bet against my family.” Enraged and resentful during a monologue he gives at his trial, Tyrion is said to “fall to his knees in the middle of the speech, dragged down by the weight of his action.” He apparently dies, but it’s unclear how.
Furthermore, the apparent leaks make a bold claim about how Jon and Dany’s story ends. After failing to get through to Daenerys and make her see that her sack of King’s Landing was wrong, Jon ultimately kills her — though it’s unknown whether he was coerced into murdering her or if he independently chose to do so. According to the purported leaks, Jon will either take the black and join a new Night’s Watch, or will die before the end of the final episode.
Elsewhere, Video Game Culture Headquarters reports that the leaks claim Game of Thrones ends with a council deciding that Bran should rule the Seven Kingdoms. While the alleged leaks posted to Reddit didn’t definitively state what happens to Jon, this outlet reports that other leaks state that Jon joins a new Night’s Watch. Also, the site notes that additional leaks claim Arya will leave (to where, we don’t know), Sansa will rule the North, and Tyrion, Samwell, Bronn (Jerome Flynn), and Ser Davos (Liam Cunningham) will serve as Bran’s advisers. Unless that final point happens before Tyrion’s alleged death, this information contradicts what was posted to the /r/freefolk subreddit.
Overall, we can poke quite a few holes in these so-called leaks. For one, it doesn’t make much sense that Jaime would betray the North and die alongside Cersei, particularly because he just found out that Cersei sent Bronn to execute both him and Tyrion. Sure, Jaime professed in episode 4 that he’s just as hateful as Cersei is and has done many unthinkable things for her because he loves her, but to go rushing into her arms right after she tried to have him killed? It seems out of character. If that does end up happening, it would essentially destroy Jaime’s character arc and ruin the development he’s made over the course of the series. Daenerys turning into the Mad Queen, former supporters of her turning against her, and Jon killing her seems plausible given the tension that Game of Thrones has established between Dany and those around her — but to elect Bran, who is no longer himself but the Three-Eyed Raven and has zero interest in being king, as the person to sit on the Iron Throne instead of Dany or Jon is pretty far-fetched.
Though leaks for Game of Thrones season 8, episode 4 ultimately proved true, it’s best to take this information here with a hefty dose of skepticism. Yes, the majority of the episodes so far have leaked in some capacity before they aired on HBO. Yes, director David Nutter did mention that “leaks have grown out of proportion.” But at the end of the day, there’s no way to say for certain whether these “leaks” are valid, or if this is how Game of Thrones really does end. If this information winds up being totally accurate and the series wraps on what sounds like an incredibly divisive note, well, let’s just say that King’s Landing isn’t the only thing that will go up in flames — the internet probably will, too.