Who will sit on the Iron Throne? MailOnline looks at who will survive the Game of Thrones finale

After eight years, 72 episodes and almost 200,000 grisly deaths, Game of Thrones is set to come to an end – but who will be left alive by the end of the last episode?

In a shock penultimate episode, Daenerys Targaryen turned her last surviving dragon on the residents of King’s Landing, claiming she must rule Westeros ‘by fear’. 

It was a stark personality change for the once popular ruler, who became a fan favourite with her freeing of slaves, and willingness to help against the White Walkers.

Game Of Thrones fans got another peek into the series finale when HBO shared two striking stills from the end of the saga. Above, Daenerys is seen peering out above her army while Kings Landing smolders in the background, about to give a victory speech

Game Of Thrones fans got another peek into the series finale when HBO shared two striking stills from the end of the saga. Above, Daenerys is seen peering out above her army while Kings Landing smolders in the background, about to give a victory speech

Game Of Thrones fans got another peek into the series finale when HBO shared two striking stills from the end of the saga. Above, Daenerys is seen peering out above her army while Kings Landing smolders in the background, about to give a victory speech

Another image shows a war-weathered Tyrion standing in front of rubble. In a shock penultimate episode, Daenerys Targaryen turned her last surviving dragon on the residents of King's Landing, claiming she must rule Westeros 'by fear'

Another image shows a war-weathered Tyrion standing in front of rubble. In a shock penultimate episode, Daenerys Targaryen turned her last surviving dragon on the residents of King's Landing, claiming she must rule Westeros 'by fear'

Another image shows a war-weathered Tyrion standing in front of rubble. In a shock penultimate episode, Daenerys Targaryen turned her last surviving dragon on the residents of King’s Landing, claiming she must rule Westeros ‘by fear’

Many notable characters died in the onslaught, including – we believe – Jamie and Cersei Lannister, Sandor Clegane and Lord Hand Qyburn. 

Earlier in season eight, other significant characters including Jorah Mormont, Theon Greyjoy and the red witch Melisandre all perished.   

The dragon queen’s cruelty has led many to suspect she too may not survive until the end of the show, due to be broadcast on Sky Atlantic at 2am on Monday.

Although she may continue her reign of terror, slaughtering any who oppose her, including, perhaps, any Stark who takes issue with her rule. 

Here, MailOnline looks at who might survive the final episode, and if indeed Daenerys does stand a chance at retaining the crown until the bitter end.              

Daenerys Targaryen

Will she rule? (15/1)

Will she die? (1/2 die) (6/4 survive)

Daenerys went from flawed heroine to heel in the season’s penultimate episode, spawning Twitter outrage and a petition demanding a do-over.

She used to break chains, not burn innocents. Now the beloved queen seems to have turned into a mirror-image of her father.  

But many viewers, however, thought it a logical, even inevitable, turn of events. She had just seen her best friend beheaded for example. 

Daenerys went from flawed heroine to heel in the season's penultimate episode, spawning Twitter outrage and a petition demanding a do-over

Daenerys went from flawed heroine to heel in the season's penultimate episode, spawning Twitter outrage and a petition demanding a do-over

Daenerys went from flawed heroine to heel in the season’s penultimate episode, spawning Twitter outrage and a petition demanding a do-over

Alongside having seen her longest-serving retainer killed in battle, and her cherished birthright cast in doubt by the man she loves. 

Now, having conquered the capital, with a ruthless army still intact and her dragon seemingly unstoppable, she has everything she once wanted, except Westeros’ love.     

Having horrified her closest allies, will she hang on to it all? Fall to the sword of an angry Stark? Can her conscience return as quickly as it left?

All these questions remain, as fans wonder whether a Stark will now overthrow her terrifying rule. And of course, John is the actual male heir to the throne. 

Jon Snow appears to be as confused and aimless as when he began, refusing to force his birthright and yielding his power to a now murderous queen

Jon Snow appears to be as confused and aimless as when he began, refusing to force his birthright and yielding his power to a now murderous queen

Jon Snow appears to be as confused and aimless as when he began, refusing to force his birthright and yielding his power to a now murderous queen

Jon Snow / Aegon Targaryen

Will he rule? (15/1)

Will he die? (13/8 die) (4/9 survive)      

Is it possible that after eight seasons, Jon Snow still knows nothing? Even after everything he has been through over the years.    

He rose to become lord commander of the Night’s Watch, united enemies to fight the army of the dead and even came back from death himself.

The fan favourite has even learned he’s not a bastard but a Targaryen who should be heir to what’s left of the Iron Throne.

But despite all this, he appears to be as confused and aimless as when he began, refusing to force his birthright and yielding his power to a now murderous queen.   

Will he find a way to rise once more and fight back against this destroyer version of Dany?  Or will he use his newfound dragon-riding skills to somehow hijack Drogon into triumph? 

Such a heroic end would require more of him, but perhaps he may just surprise viewers and confront Daenerys – now revealed to be his aunt – over her murderous rage.

Although if he does so, as she has warned, he may face her wrath. Could he died once more? Especially now Melisandre won’t be around to revive him. 

Arya Stark  

Will she rule? (30/1)

Will she die? (2/1 die) (1/3 survive)

Arya could have wandered into the woods and disappeared halfway through the season and she would have retired a legend. 

She used her years of assassin training to kill the Night King when all seemed lost at the Battle of Winterfell, snatching the savior-of-humanity role from her big brother Jon Snow. 

Arya could have wandered into the woods and disappeared halfway through the season and she would have retired a legend

Arya could have wandered into the woods and disappeared halfway through the season and she would have retired a legend

Arya could have wandered into the woods and disappeared halfway through the season and she would have retired a legend

Arya became a firsthand witness to Daenerys' atrocities. Is there one last name on her kill list? That may be, but such action could put her in grave danger

Arya became a firsthand witness to Daenerys' atrocities. Is there one last name on her kill list? That may be, but such action could put her in grave danger

Arya became a firsthand witness to Daenerys’ atrocities. Is there one last name on her kill list? That may be, but such action could put her in grave danger

She’s killed most of those responsible for her mother and brother’s slaughter at the Red Wedding. 

She even lost her virginity on her terms in a moment of mature empowerment rarely afforded to women in this world. But her role has become uncertain since. 

She turned away from her attempt to assassinate Queen Cersei in the last episode, and seemed to have sworn off a life of revenge. 

But then she became a firsthand witness to Daenerys’ atrocities. Is there one last name on her kill list? That may be, but such action could put her in grave danger.

Sansa Stark

Will she rule? (4/1)

Will she die? (N/A)

Sansa sat out the last episode, and she chose the right one to miss, staying safely in the flame-free North at her family home. 

As the show’s ultimate survivor – and the character who has grown and learned the most since she started as a prissy princess in waiting.

It is easy to imagine her as ruler of an independent Winterfell should the finale play out that way. But the major figures of Dany and Jon still stand above her – and in her way.

Sansa sat out the last episode, and she chose the right one to miss, staying safely in the flame-free North at her family home

Sansa sat out the last episode, and she chose the right one to miss, staying safely in the flame-free North at her family home

Sansa sat out the last episode, and she chose the right one to miss, staying safely in the flame-free North at her family home

She has had her issues with both in the past, and most recently urged Daenerys to leave the north be when she finally sits on the Iron Throne. 

Likewise with Jon, she has warned him to not allow his feeling for Daenerys cloud his judgement. Although recent revelations that she is his aunt have made like difficult for him. 

For a Targaryen, it might not be that unusual to engage in relations with your relatives. But for the Starks in the north, it is a little more unusual. 

Bran Stark

Will he rule? (1/5)

Will he die? (N/A) 

In the show’s first episode, Bran was forced to behold a beheading. Since then, seeing things has become his specialty. 

He’s become desensitised to looking on such horrors, assuming a mystical role as the Three-Eyed Raven, timeless seer of all. 

In the show's first episode, Bran was forced to behold a beheading. Since then, seeing things has become his specialty

In the show's first episode, Bran was forced to behold a beheading. Since then, seeing things has become his specialty

In the show’s first episode, Bran was forced to behold a beheading. Since then, seeing things has become his specialty

Bran's become desensitised to looking on such horrors, assuming a mystical role as the Three-Eyed Raven, timeless seer of all

Bran's become desensitised to looking on such horrors, assuming a mystical role as the Three-Eyed Raven, timeless seer of all

Bran’s become desensitised to looking on such horrors, assuming a mystical role as the Three-Eyed Raven, timeless seer of all

He’s played a crucial role at various points in the story this season, luring the Night King for his sister Arya to kill, and dispensing some essential bits of wisdom. 

This included revealing to Jon that he was indeed a Targaryen and the true heir to the Iron Throne. The question also remains, where did Bran go during the battle of Winterfell? 

He used his warg ability to disappear for a large portion of the battle, and we are yet to find out what he was doing during this time. 

It’s hard to imagine him taking the Iron Throne in the final episode however, and he is an easy target for Daenerys and her dragon. 

Tyrion could take one last stab at counseling the seemingly now-mad queen, or maybe use his proximity to her to attempt a literal last stab and sacrifice himself to save the realm

Tyrion could take one last stab at counseling the seemingly now-mad queen, or maybe use his proximity to her to attempt a literal last stab and sacrifice himself to save the realm

Tyrion could take one last stab at counseling the seemingly now-mad queen, or maybe use his proximity to her to attempt a literal last stab and sacrifice himself to save the realm

Tyrion Lannister

Will he rule? (7/1)

Will he survive? (4/6 die) (11/10 survive)  

Tyrion has become an expert at survival and reinvention, but as Hand of the Queen he has failed miserably this season in trying to rein in Daenerys and steer her toward diplomacy over destruction. 

He was technically still in Daenerys’ service when the last episode ended, and in one of very few images revealed of the finale, he is shown walking through the ruins of the city. 

He could take one last stab at counseling the seemingly now-mad queen, or maybe use his proximity to her to attempt a literal last stab and sacrifice himself to save the realm.

But she has expressed frequent disappointment with his behaviour, especially after he remained convinced his sister Cersei would come and help defeat the White Walkers.

Perhaps he will be executed in the final episode, or perhaps one of his cunning schemes will come to fruition. We can only wait and see. 

Gendry

Will he rule? (30/1)

Will he survive? (N/A) 

Also considered a possible heir to the Iron Throne, Gendry is the bastard son of Robert Baratheon who was ruling over Westeros at the start of the series. 

He was even recently dubbed no longer a bastard, after Daenerys gave it the new title as a reward for his service during the battle of Winterfell.

Also considered a possible heir to the Iron Throne, Gendry is the bastard son of Robert Baratheon who was ruling over Westeros at the start of the series

Also considered a possible heir to the Iron Throne, Gendry is the bastard son of Robert Baratheon who was ruling over Westeros at the start of the series

Also considered a possible heir to the Iron Throne, Gendry is the bastard son of Robert Baratheon who was ruling over Westeros at the start of the series

This could mean he has an even stronger claim to the Iron Throne, and this might be something Daenerys acts upon in the final episode. 

He has only been a minor character throughout the series however, and so his likelihood of sitting on the Iron Throne remains slim.

His hopes of forming a long-term romantic relationship with Arya where dashed earlier this season when she insisted she did not want to be ‘a lady’. 

So a partnership between the empowered young woman, and this possible heir remains unlikely as we head into the final episode. 

Samwell Tarley

Will he rule? (50/1)

Will he survive? (7/2 die) (1/6 survive)  

The best friend of Jon, the bumbling Samwell Tarley has miraculously survived all the way up until the final episode. 

Many did not think he would make it this far, having little to no fighting experience when he joined the Night’s Watch in season one. 

The best friend of Jon, the bumbling Samwell Tarley has miraculously survived all the way up until the final episode

The best friend of Jon, the bumbling Samwell Tarley has miraculously survived all the way up until the final episode

The best friend of Jon, the bumbling Samwell Tarley has miraculously survived all the way up until the final episode

But he has been key to the future survival of others, after finding out Dragonglass can be used to kill White Walkers. 

And he spent some time at the Citadel in Oldtown learning to become a maester and figuring out where enough Dragonstone can be found to defeat the White Walkers. 

Other key players   

Bronn

Will he rule? (N/A)

Will he survive? (10/11 die) (10/11 survive)

We last saw Bronn haggling with Jamie and Tyrion Lannister for money should he not follow through with a promise made to Cersei to kill them

We last saw Bronn haggling with Jamie and Tyrion Lannister for money should he not follow through with a promise made to Cersei to kill them

We last saw Bronn haggling with Jamie and Tyrion Lannister for money should he not follow through with a promise made to Cersei to kill them 

We last saw Bronn haggling with Jamie and Tyrion Lannister for money should he not follow through with a promise made to Cersei to kill them. 

He did not fight in the Battle of Winterfell, but was in the area for a short while as he discussed the proposals.  

He may re-emerge in the final episode and rekindle his friendship with the two brothers. Or perhaps he will not get what he was promised, and seek revenge?   

It's very unlikely Ser Davos will take the Iron Throne, as he has no seeming desire to do so. He has been a fan favourite throughout the series, with a strong moral code

It's very unlikely Ser Davos will take the Iron Throne, as he has no seeming desire to do so. He has been a fan favourite throughout the series, with a strong moral code

It’s very unlikely Ser Davos will take the Iron Throne, as he has no seeming desire to do so. He has been a fan favourite throughout the series, with a strong moral code 

Ser Davos

Will he rule? (80/1)

Will he die? (3/1 die) (2/9 survive) 

It’s very unlikely Ser Davos will take the Iron Throne, as he has no seeming desire to do so. He has been a fan favourite throughout the series, with a strong moral code.

It would be devastating for viewers should he perish, after he survived the battle of Blackwater bay, the battle of the bastards, and the battle of Winterfell. 

He has always been a comforting presence throughout the series. But he will no doubt be angry at Daenerys recent actions.  

Jamie Lannister    

A fan theory has claimed that Jamie Lannister is alive, and survived Daenerys Targaryen’s bloody siege of King’s Landing in season eight’s fifth episode.

The character was last seen in The Bells clutching his twin sister, and main villain, Cersei in his arms as the walls of the Red Keep cellar fell on top them.

But some viewers are convinced the Kingslayer manages to get out of the ruins, and will make a surprise return in the show’s final episode.  

Perhaps his sometimes apparent good nature will shine through, and he leads King’s Landing to a peaceful future.  

The character was last seen in the fifth episode clutching his twin sister, and main villain, Cersei in his arms as the walls of the Red Keep cellar fell on top them

The character was last seen in the fifth episode clutching his twin sister, and main villain, Cersei in his arms as the walls of the Red Keep cellar fell on top them

The character was last seen in the fifth episode clutching his twin sister, and main villain, Cersei in his arms as the walls of the Red Keep cellar fell on top them

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