Spoilers for Season 8, Episode 5 of Game of Thrones ahead. Something remarkable happened last week — for the first time in a long time, Game of Thrones fans are united about what needs to happen next in the show. After watching Dany ignore the King's Landing surrender and burn her way through hordes of unarmed men, women, and children, GoT simply can't end without killing off the Mother of Dragons. Most of Reddit agrees: it's not a question of if, but how Dany will die in the season finale. Someone is going to take her out.
Of course, fans have speculated for some time that Dany won't live through the end of the series. Given that she spent eight years inching toward the Iron Throne, it would be far too satisfying — and totally out of character for GoT — for her to calmly claim her prize. But now that Dany has gone full Mad Queen, we can't ignore the possibility that GoT, still determined to subvert our expectations, will have her live precisely because we no longer want her to. Dany's coming into the finale in a strong position of power, and likely with a hit on every Stark's head. If the idea of Dany continuing her killing spree and getting away with it in the GoT finale is giving you hives, cool down with these Reddit theories predicting her death in myriad, vicious ways.
1. Jon Will Kill Dany For Going After His Sisters
Jon, perhaps more than anyone, has ample incentive to kill Dany. Not only is he largely responsible for her becoming as powerful as she has, but he's also gone out of his way to defend her when warned, time and time again, of her tyrant-like tendencies. Jon isn't just shocked and angry: he's mortified at having let his feelings blind him to the truth. (Oh, and killing Dany would make him Azor Ahai, an added bonus.)
All that being said, this is still Jon Snow we're talking about here. Marching up to an ex-lover and killing her in cold blood isn't exactly his thing — nor is it clear that he would survive an attempted attack like that, especially if Drogon is in the vicinity.
On a Reddit post lamenting not listening to Sansa earlier, several fans have theorized that it will take Dany going after Jon's sister to prompt an attack. Stick_and_Rudder predicts that, "Arya is going to attempt to kill Dany, get captured, and be sentenced to death for treason. Jon will stop this by killing Dany," while BeeGravy writes that they're "worried that Dany is going to burn Sansa alive, which is what will cause Jon to kill his queen and then perhaps become king, or abdicate like Maester Aemon?"
Given that Sansa and Arya have both not-so-subtly challenged Dany's power before — not to mention their spreading the word of Jon's lineage throughout Westeros — it seems likely that Dany will stage some kind of attack. The only question is whether Jon requires further motivation to kill his Queen, or if he's already plotting a takedown.
2. Arya Will Kill Dany As Greyworm
After Arya killed the Night King, it's hard to imagine her having a tough time killing anybody — and fans have been clamoring for her to focus that murderous energy on Dany for a while. Given how much time we spent watching Arya become the Girl With No Name, she'll hopefully use some of her powers this time around too, as theorized by hoowuurd on Reddit, who writes:
"The obvious problem is getting close to Dany as well as killing her without it being frowned upon by the realm. This will lead to Arya killing Grey Worm, as I mentioned he's been chaotic, plus he's Dany's right hand and slightly starting to go crazy after he lost his love. Arya will use Grey Worms face to kill Dany, and set it up to look as if either Grey Worm killed Dany and then himself, or just flee the scene and leave it a mystery to the realm."
3. Arya Will Kill Dany As Herself
Using Greyworm's face would certainly allow Arya to get close to Dany without putting herself in danger — but what if Arya didn't need to get close to her to kill her? Reddit user NoMoney98 put forward the theory that "Arya will shoot and kill Dany with an arrow," and gave ample reasons to support it.
First, the sheer number of scenes in which Arya shoots an arrow during Season 8 could be foreshadowing. Considering that "Arya didn't do much with her bow in the great zombie war," it's likely that "the reason behind showing her practice is still to come." Second, there have been several callbacks in Jon-Dany scenes to his relationship to Ygritte, which ended with her being taken down by an arrow. Dany's death scene could mirror Ygritte's exactly: in Season 4, Ygritte "points her weapon at Jon, but she can't do it because she loves him." Seconds later, she's struck by an arrow. NoMoney98 suggests this for Dany's death: "She points her dragon at [Jon]. But she can't do it because she loves him ... And Arya shoots her with an arrow."
4. Brienne Will Kill Dany To Protect Sansa
This one's slightly more far-fetched, but still compelling. In a Reddit post titled "an end that would add some symmetry," eurasian suggests that Brienne of Tarth, "the noblest of knights," could be forced to kill Dany. Brienne is sworn to protect Sansa, and we can all but guarantee tensions between Sansa and Dany coming to a head. So, if Jon doesn't step in to save his sister, Brienne might — with the added poetic touch that this would make her "the new Queenslayer." Add to that the fact that she would kill Dany with Jaime's sword, the Oathkeeper, and it's almost too good to be true. Then again, hasn't all of Brienne's storyline this season been a little too good to be true?
5. Varys' Poison Will Kick In & Kill Dany
This is another slightly far-fetched but deeply satisfying theory, put forth by in several Reddit comments. Shortly before Varys was executed by Dany, he had an exchange with a girl named Martha, where they discussed Dany's eating habits. Fans quickly realized there was subtext to that conversation (isn't there always with Varys?), and concluded that Varys was trying to poison Dany.
In addition to justifying Varys' execution, this poison plot could pay off in one other way. Commenting on the aftermath of Varys and Martha's conversation, GoodShark said this: "The only question that remains, is if the girl is still alive, and continued to try. Because I assume Dany eventually started eating. Perhaps she dies next episode from the poison finally kicking in." Corneysheep concurred, writing, "I'm thinking Dany will die from Varys poison next week. Varys is definitely the true hero in this story, based off nothing other than the fact that writers love making the weird parts of themselves into a freaky hero."
Some parts of that statement may be more sound than others, but there's no denying that Varys went out as a hero — and one of the few people who saw what might happen and tried to stop it, even when it cost him his life. While death by poison seems a little anticlimactic for GoT's most-hated villain, it wouldn't be the first time the show shocked us with a less than gruesome murder (Cersei went fairly peacefully, in the end).
Honestly, it barely matters which one of these theories ends up being true. Maybe none of them! What does absolutely matter, however, is that the series doesn't end with Dany smugly ruling from Dragonstone while her remaining disciples sweep up the ash that is King's Landing. That's an injustice that, hopefully, not even Game of Thrones would feel right about.