Most everyone who watches “Game of Thrones” has a theory or two about how “Game of Thrones” will end. But during a recent chat with Jared Harris about his phenomenal performance in the upcoming HBO miniseries “Chernobyl,” I asked the actor to share his “Game of Thrones” thoughts and unwittingly unleashed a super fan.
“I don’t know, I don’t know,” he groaned, putting his hands to his face. “I keep going in circles. What if it’s something really sick? Cersei’s pregnant with a child — and this is all about cyclical things… the whole thing about this is they seem like they’ve defeated the Night King but he’s been through this before —what if Cersei’s baby is the new Night King?”
As someone who has played his fair share of kings, villains and tragic heroes, Harris doesn’t hold out much hope for “poor old Jon Snow” or Daenerys either. “The dark version is it’s Cersei, and his [George R.R. Martin’s] writing is very dark.”
And though the first two episodes of the final season set up a lot of couples, Harris does not think “it’s like a Shakespearean ending, where everyone ends up married.”
He regrets very much Littlefinger’s death — “he was the Richard III character and I would have had him on the throne for like three weeks before someone kicked him off” — but points out that now that Arya has Littlefinger’s face, “I would expect she will wear that face and go south to King’s Landing.”
He also wonders if Cersei will become the new “Night Queen” because she is the only character who would be willing to give up living to ensure absolute power.
So deep and intricate was his thinking about the show that I asked if I could check in with him after each episode.
Here is our email conversation going into Episode 3:
Harris: The attack on Winterfell is a feint. The Night King is elsewhere. (There was no sign of him in the promo.) There will still be a fight there, but not the one they were expecting.
If you look at the opening titles it shows the world from the perspective of north of the Wall, and it's tracking the advance of the army of the dead. In Ep 1 it reaches as far as Last Hearth. In Ep 2, you see it advance on Winterfell. There would only be a point to this if it continues all the way through Ep 6 and the map of the [Seven Kingdoms] is slowly taken over by the Night King.
Which means our heroes still have to make a last stand somewhere.
I'm guessing the Night King's gone south. He has an undead dragon. Cersei’s dragon weapon won’t work on it, and she has no dragon glass. There's millions of buried dead at King's Landing. All of which means Bran's not much help!
Oh, and the crypt will erupt with dead Starks!
Also everyone's assuming the Night King is going after either Bran or Jon Snow. But his target may be elsewhere. Maybe he wants Cersei’s child. The witch’s prophesy said she would have three children. This last episode confirmed the pregnancy is genuine.
McNamara: Well, there will be a battle at Winterfell, but I hope the undead dragon gets Euron first, he is such a pain. I would like to see Cersei versus Night King — do you still hold with your theory that she will actually become Night Queen?
And yes, the “let’s go to the crypts [because] it is the SAFEST place seems to indicate a mass rising of Starks — most of the men are beyond resurrection (I think you have to have a head attached and Ned was just bones), so Starks will be forced to kill versions of their mothers (and Jon is just finding out who his was!)
Where do you reckon the last stand will be? I do feel like the action will move to the Iron Islands because a) Yara made such a point of going there, b) there is value in being surrounded by water and c) I feel like that damn Drowned God is going to surface at some point.
Harris: Re: Yuron, Lodos made a prophecy that the Drowned God would destroy Aegon the Conqueror. Yuron called himself the Drowned God before he threw his brother off the bridge. So I expect he still has a part to play in this.
Cersei’s unborn child is now a piece on the board; it's been mentioned so frequently, the writers have to make use of it. It would be a hugely unnecessary red herring at this point. If it had served its purpose in just duping Tyrion you wouldn't mention it again in this last episode.
I suppose the question is how prescient is the Night King? How much of all this is being orchestrated by him? He operates in the temporal world of men, and Bran's nonlinear mystical world.
McNamara: Any predictions on who will or will not survive Episode 3?
Harris: Theon is screwed. He gets redemption at Winterfell through a heroic death. And it would be in keeping with possibly the most extreme character arc in the whole series if he ends up as part of the army of the dead.
[Jaime] survives this episode. His love for Cersei is going to be tested one last time.
I don't think Gilly will survive the crypt. The remaining Night's Watch characters are all goners. It could be curtains for Brienne of Tarth. She just had her greatest wish realized in Ep 2….
Grey Worm and Missandei had that fatal conversation where you dream of a better life once the ... is over. That said, [David] Benioff and [D.B. Weiss] are smart enough to know how that trope plays out.
I don't have much hope for Podrick or Lyanna.
McNamara: Gilly???? Cold. I agree re: Brienne and Lady Mormont, though I hope it doesn’t happen in the same episode. I don’t think I could survive that, emotionally. Also I love that Jorah is wielding the sword of Tarlys, who Daenerys torched.