There are only two episode's of Game of Thrones left, but that's still plenty of time for some truly shocking and tragic deaths to occur. Now that the stage is set for the final battles and betrayals, fans theories are going into overdrive, trying to predict who wins, and who will die.
A new theory seeks to predict the ending of Game of Thrones based on creator George R.R. Martin's love and emulation of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings novels. That theory boils down to Jon Snow getting a tragic ending, even in victory.
The theory lays out an extensive side-by-side comparison of Martin's Game of Thrones saga and Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy, comparing the principal characters in each story. It mainly examines the end of Lord of the Rings, in which Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee successfully take the Ring of Power to Mordor and destroy it in the volcano on Mount Doom. Gollum, consumed by the ring's corrupting influence for so long, jumps to his death trying to retrieve it, rather than giving it up. Frodo and Sam return to the simple life of the Hobbit Shire; Sam settles down and has a family, but Frodo, pained by the scars (literal and figurative) of his journey, must find peace and rest by following the elves away from the world of men, into the Undying Lands.
The parallel to Game of Thrones (according to Vanity Fair) is this:
- The Iron Throne is the Ring of Power in this story: it's the powerful MacGuffin everyone wants, but corrupts everyone who either comes into contact with it or seeks to obtain it.
- Jon Snow is Frodo: The unlikely hero who will achieve his mission and bring peace to the realm - but only by resisting the lure of the corrupting power he holds and destroying the object of power. That will mean Jon not taking the Iron Throne, and instead heading into the True North or Land of Always Winter, to live alone or amongst the Wildlings. While Jon heads off to live alone outside the realm of men, his friend Sam will settle down and have a big family and live in peace.
- Daenerys Targaryen is Gollum - This will be a definite Hot Take with the pro-ladies crowd, but as Vanity Fair argues, Daenerys is the character who (like Gollum) has been seeking the object of power for so long she's been twisted by the obsession. Whereas Jon will be willing to resist the lure of the object of power (the Iron Throne), Dany will choose to cling to it and be destroyed in the process.
- Bran will be like Aragorn - The character of royal lineage who never embraced his true identity and claim to power. Because of that immunity to power's corrupting influence, Bran (like Aragorn) will ultimately be deemed to be the rightful ruler of the realm.
As the theory argues, a lot of this may have been directly foreshadowed in Game of Thrones season 8 episode 4, "The Last of the Starks". Jon's direwolf Ghost was sent to roam free in True North (where Jon could potentially join him at the end of the series); Dany's obsession with be the sole ruler of the Iron Throne has been building rapidly all season; the battle with Cersei could finally push her into Gollum territory; and Tyrion suggests to Bran that the power of the Three-Eye Raven could make him the best ruler of all.
What do you think of this Game of Thrones ending theory by way of Lord of the Rings? Let us know in the comments!
Game of Thornes' final two episodes air Sundays at 9/8c on HBO. A new Lord of the Rings TV series is now in production at Amazon.