You never know what’s going to happen next on Game of Thrones, especially now that the show has outpaced George R.R. Martin’s books. But Martin didn’t just build the world of Westeros up with several thousand years worth of detailed history, he also plotted a lot of things out into the future using prophecy. He’s on the record as a big fan of prophecy as a literary device, almost as big of a fan as he is of subverting traditional fantasy tropes like good vs. evil, heroes winning, and rightful heirs ending up on the throne. So while he has cooked a ton of prophecy into the Game of Thrones series, he’s made it very clear both in the books and in interviews that they rarely play out the way you think they will.
“Prophecy is like a half-trained mule,” Tyrion says in A Dance With Dragons. “It looks as though it might be useful, but the moment you trust in it, it kicks you in the head.”
That’s just as true on the show as it is in the books as we’ve seen prophecy misinterpreted over and over by many characters. Even Melisandre, who enjoys a flame-based direct line to R’hllor, has an atrocious batting record when it comes to accurately understanding the many visions she’s seeing. But there’s no doubt some force is giving people glimpses into a very real and inevitable future. Unfortunately, the practical outcomes of said prophecies have proven very difficult to deduct.
Unlike the people at the center of prophecy who tend to die in terrible and often ironic fashion, viewers get to appreciate the symbolism and twists cooked into a prophecy once it plays out. Bran saw the sea flowing over the walls of Winterfell, and soon after Theon Greyjoy sacked the castle with a force of Ironborn. Melisandre assured Stannis he’d defeat the Boltons because she had visions of flayed men banners being lowered to the ground. That exact thing happened … but only after Stannis died in battle and Jon Snow won back the North.
With only six episodes left before Game of Thrones ends, it’s definitely time for all the major prophecies to play out. Here are all the ones left that are set to shape the course of events in season eight.