Game of Thrones betting: Who will rule Westeros?
It’s been 19 months since the seventh season of Game of Thrones finished. It’s been eight years since the first episode aired. In short, we’ve waited far too long.
But, in just over a month, the final season of the global phenomenon is finally set to air. How will it all end? Will the last six (feature-length) episodes match restless worldwide expectations?
The good news is Game of Thrones betting is unlike blackjack or sports wagering. There is a wonderful irony about the unpredictability of something scripted, as opposed to performance being measured by data and statistics.
That could spell trouble for Bran Stark (4/5 with BetVictor), the overwhelming betting favourite. The Three-Eyed Raven boasts many unfair advantages to make up for an inability to walk – his visits to the past, present and future have already been put to plot-twisting use.
Everyone’s hero, Jon Snow (9/2 with William Hill), is a natural top-five candidate. His real identity (unknown to him at this point) gives him arguably the most legitimate claim to the throne and, having already been brought back from the dead, you could argue Snow is destined to go all the way. How much that has to do with actor Kit Harington resembling a young George R. R. Martin is another matter, however.
Third in the running is Sansa Stark (5/1 with Sky Bet) and her resilience certainly can’t be questioned. She’s been through it all, despite not possessing the characteristics aiding her relatives: Bran’s warging, Jon’s strength in battle and Arya Stark’s prowess with a blade. She is yet to separate herself from the main contenders in her own right though, and you can’t help but feel she’ll need something truly special to end up being leader of the pack.
Chaos is a ladder and that’s why Petyr Baelish, aka Littlefinger, is 6/1 with BetVictor and William Hill – despite dying in the last episode of season seven. Fan theories suggest the ever-plotting puppet master could be ready to return to Westeros, once again controlling proceedings at will. Be wary here of Game of Thrones producers simply generating interest by allowing people to be misled.
Rounding off the favourites are Daenerys Targaryen (surprisingly long at a price of 11/1 with Sky Bet) and the Night King (10/1 with William Hill). The fact any child of Daenerys’ or Jon’s is 9/1 to rule, by comparison, says it all about the bookies’ view of the Mother of Dragons. At the same time, Martin seems far likelier to end the show on a depressing note and have the formidable Night King conquer the world of the living.
Why it won’t be Tyrion
Fan favourite Tyrion Lannister is 7/1 with William Hill to rule Westeros – a shorter price than both Daenerys and the Night King.
But, to quote Ramsay Bolton: “If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.”
Tyrion is far too popular a character to be allowed to end things on his terms. Sure, the same argument could be made about Jon, but there are a few vital differences. Since teaming up with Daenerys, Tyrion has cost lives, lost battles and proven to be an utterly incompetent wartime general. Outside King’s Landing, Tyrion is woefully out of his depth.
Five thought-provoking picks
A concept difficult to fathom is why Cersei Lannister is not being talked about more. The current occupant of the Iron Throne – which is no mean feat considering the seven seasons we have just witnessed – is as far out as 25/1 with Sky Bet.
Despite the random nature of betting on a television show, there may be value here. People keep expecting her to fail; she just keeps drinking wine and smiling right back at them – even in the trailer. Martin promised a “bittersweet” ending to the series. Here’s an outlandish prediction: The army of the dead are defeated and everything ends in bliss; except Cersei ends up in charge.
Qyburn (66/1 with Sky Bet) is another interesting choice. Cersei’s right-hand man has gone under the radar, creating a literal Zombie Mountain, devising a weapon strong enough to injure a dragon and helping his employer pull a rabbit out a hat in the season six finale. What’s to stop this Westerosi genius from creating a plan to end all plans in the last minute of extra time?
At 100/1 with several bookmakers, Jaqen H’ghar is a man too powerful to simply forget. If the Faceless Man doesn’t return during season eight in a big way, Game of Thrones will have concluded with at least one disappointing loose end. Curveball: What if Arya is actually him in disguise?
Elsewhere, the Children of the Forest are ranked surprisingly highly (33/1 with William Hill) but may be equally crucial to the plot. They started the current chain of events (creating the Night King in his current form). Have they still got something meaningful to offer?
Finally, Lord Varys (50/1 with Sky Bet, 100/1 with William Hill) has been far too quiet and obedient of late. He is a spymaster both by profession and nature and once spoke vaguely to Littlefinger about sitting on the Iron Throne. If there’s ever a good enough chance to do so, don’t let him fool you into thinking he’d say no.
Weird and whacky
Before you make your mind up on who to back, let’s take one last look at the downright weird and whacky selections available.
Dead characters you can bet on to rule Westeros include Catelyn Stark, Ned Stark, Stannis Baratheon and Hodor (*holds back the tears*). Ellaria Sand is currently poisoned in Cersei’s dungeon, but is 250/1 with Sky Bet. Lyanna Mormont – a child – is 100/1 with BetVictor and Hot Pie is 500/1 with Sky Bet.
Ed Sheeran, guest star for a grand total of four minutes in season seven, is 1000/1. Valar morghulis.
By Tim Poole