Winter is nearly upon us as the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones returns on Monday.

With so many power players in the game, the TimeOut team has narrowed down the list of potential victors, to reveal who we think will come out on top - and what's going to happen to everyone else.

The person who will win the Iron Throne is...


If anyone deserves that throne it's Cersei Lannister. She's essentially been ruling the Seven Kingdoms for decades while the men in her life take credit for it all, and if we've learned anything from #Time'sUp, it's that the Cerseis of the world deserve their (over)due recognition.


Yes, she's done some horrendous things (like setting half the city on fire so she could avoid a trial) but at the end of the day, she did what she had to do to survive and protect the people she loves.

She was forced to marry, endured that heartbreaking walk of shame and the deaths of her parents and all her children, and more recently the loss of her brother (slash lover), all for the throne.

Let's be honest, Dany is not equipped to rule seven kingdoms, and Ygritte already rightfully pointed out that Jon Snow knows nothing. But Cersei is a badass, who does what it takes to get things done. She's also smart enough to keep her nose out of the battle in the north so it's entirely possible Dany and the Starks will all die defeating the White Walkers and Cersei will reign over everything south of the wall because guess what? She's earned it.



There are no happy endings in Game of Thrones, we know that. So the little love story introduced at the end of season seven between Jon Snow and Daenerys can only be building to one thing: extreme pain and anguish. As the next six episodes unfold, Dany will find herself pregnant with a little Snow baby. She'll be ecstatic. Jon will be slightly less depressed than he usually is. Then he'll die. It's the Westeros way.

He won't be the only one. Come closing credits of episode six, expect just about every character you've ever cared about to die. Dragons? Dead. Brienne of Tarth? Dead. Every single Lannister? Dead. The only survivors will be Dany and Sansa, who will be saved from mortal peril by the ultimate badass of the whole show - Arya. Together, the three women will form an alliance to bring peace to the Seven Kingdoms - which won't be hard as nearly anyone who might have opposed them will be dead.

Let's call it the Beyonce theory. Who runs the world? Girls.




I can't think of a more resilient character than Sansa Stark, and I'm willing to fight anyone who thinks she only got "strong" around seasons 4/5. She's been a player from day one.

The entire show has been a living hell for Sansa, and she's come through as the only level-headed leader of them all. She's had to rescue Jon Snow from his own ego (remember the disastrous Battle of the Bastards?), and both Cersei and Daenerys are too blinded by power to play the long game.

My theory? Sansa will head south and leave Daenerys to fight the White Walkers (Jon will stay and fight alongside her, and let's be real, probably die). At King's Landing, Sansa will have Arya kill Cersei Lannister (crossing another name off her list) and together, they'll seize the throne.

Then, wanting nothing to do with the city that enslaved her for years, Sansa will let a bruised-but-victorious Daenerys take her place in King's Landing, leaving Sansa to return to rebuild Winterfell. Daenerys, with little knowledge of how to actually run the kingdom, will essentially be Sansa's puppet in the capital. Sansa, back home in Winterfell, sipping wine and snacking on cashew nuts, will comfortably hold the power from afar. A diplomatic, and truly deserving, queen.




The true dark horse of Game of Thrones, there would be no better (stranger?) plot twist than having Theon (aka Reek) - one of the show's most unlikeable characters - reign supreme at the end of it all.

Widely dismissed throughout the series as arrogant, narcissistic, vain, treacherous, cruel, insecure, cowardly and weak, most viewers are blind to Theon's albeit few endearing qualities.

Sure, he might not possess the good looks and rugged masculinity of Jon Snow, or the fierce leadership qualities of Daenerys, but what he lacks in charisma and genitalia, Theon more than makes up for in his cockroach-like ability to survive and endure.

Yes, he burned those kids, betrayed House Stark, and abandoned his sister, but Theon has suffered as much as anyone, particularly during his time as Ramsay Bolton's tortured prisoner and plaything.

And he showed strength of character and deserves some respect for killing Myranda and helping Sansa escape Winterfell, and by the end of last season, he'd ditched the persona of Reek and overcome his post-traumatic stress disorder to start on the path to redemption.

Everyone loves an underdog, right? Underestimate Theon at your peril.




By now we've all come to terms with the fact that everyone is going to die this season, right?

You can try to delude yourself into believing that your favourite guy or gal will somehow miraculously make it through if you think that will make watching this final season more enjoyable or bearable.

But, friend, that comfort will be as cold as the coming winter because deep down you know they aren't. They are going to die. Because just like Ned Stark's chopped-off head, that's how Game of Thrones rolls.

So, if all the characters that all the people like are going to die then who's going to win?

The guy killing them of course.

Yes, my money's on Ol' Blue Eyes himself, the Night King, to win this deadly game. He's got a fearless army that needs neither supplies nor rest and can be constantly reinforced with freshly slain troops, he's got the seasonal advantage of winter in his favour and he's got a freaking undead dragon.

The only thing he doesn't have is the Iron Throne but by the time the final credits roll he will have. Because when has this show ever had anything like a happy ending? That's right, never.



Who has the most power? At first thought, you'd say Daenerys. She has the power of the Unsullied, the Dothraki, a soon-to-be alliance with the North, and with a quick
"dracarys" can flame grill any opponent with the breath of two dragons. (Well, almost any opponent. Miss you Viserion).

Daenerys also has a power. She's unharmed by fire which may come useful in the battle of the undead since fire can stop them.

But she's not the most powerful in Westeros. That is our man Bran Stark. He can see the past, even change the past, the present and the future. He's seen how this all ends. Sure he's not your natural king and can't swing a sword to save himself but he can warg into the best swordsperson instead. He'll just sit back and then warg himself to the throne. Maybe even warg into a dragon as well.

If not Bran then please be Hot Pie. The key to a kingdom's heart is through the stomach.


Listen to The Worst Game of Thrones Podcast in the World:

Game of Thrones screens Mondays at 1pm on Sky SoHo and is available the same day on Neon.