Spoiler alert: If you think gambling behavior can be predictive, you may not want to read this story about betting irregularities on “Game of Thrones.”
On Monday, online gambling outfit Betway suspended all betting on an entertainment prop for who will sit on the Iron Throne at the end of the eighth and final season of “Game of Thrones,” expected to be released next year, after a flurry of suspicious bets came in on one character in particular.
Actors were shown their scripts for the final season in January, and the only thing that has really leaked out is when an HBO executive told an Innovative TV conference in Israel yesterday to anticipate a bloodbath.
Among fans, most of the speculation has centered on Daenerys Targaryen or Jon Snow ruling Westeros once the series comes to a conclusion. But Betway found a number of bettors had put money on Bran Stark (played by Isaac Hempstead Wright), a relative long shot to take the throne based on the current situation in the series.
“All bets are off for who will sit on the Iron Throne at the end of season eight, following multiple requests coming in for Bran Stark,” Betway spokesperson Alan Alger said. “Bran was previous priced at 14/1 but, following the amount of bets we had on him on Monday, we have had no choice but to suspend the market.”
If you’re unfamiliar with the series, Game of Thrones (based on the “Song of Ice and Fire” series of novels by George R.R. Martin) follows the personal and political lives of several prominent families in the fictional land of Westeros. The Iron Throne is the seat of power for the nation, known as the Seven Kingdoms.
Sizing Up GOT Odds
Currently, the throne is in the hands of Cersei Lannister, who weathered an alliance of several powerful houses (and three dragons) to hang on to her position at the end of season seven. While Betway has taken down its betting, Sky Bet currently lists Cersei as a 9/1 underdog to still be in control when the series ends.
Leading the charge against Cersei is Daenerys Targaryen (7/2), daughter of the last king of the previous dynasty that was deposed prior to the events of the series. Jon Snow (2/1) is the King in the North who has pledged himself to Daenerys, but neither of them know that he is also her nephew and the lineal heir to the Targaryen claim. Since the series could flash forward to the future, a potential child of Jon Snow (2/1) is also considered a strong contender.
Relative to those central figures, Bran Stark – the last surviving son of the northern Stark family – might seem like an unlikely ruler. But Sky Bet now has him at 7/2 odds to sit on the Iron Throne.
There are reasons to think his ascension is possible, even without any spoilers. Bran’s ability to see events in the past and future and influence events in various times and places make just about anything theoretically possible for the young double-leg amputee known as Three-eyed Raven.
Other characters under consideration include Bran’s older sister Sansa Stark (12/1), his younger sister Arya (16/1), Daenerys’ advisor Tyrion Lannister (12/1), or the Night King (10/1), who leads the White Walkers. More fanciful bettors can take odds on long shots like royal cat Ser Pounce (250/1), baker Hot Pie (500/1), or Ed Sheeran (1000/1).
The final season of Game of Thrones will be broadcast on HBO sometime in 2019. The television series has now outpaced the book series it’s based on, meaning that the ending of the television show may actually spoil the conclusion for book readers, though there is no guarantee Martin will follow the same path for his novels.