The final season of Game of Thrones has provoked mixed reactions from fans, many of whom have complained about rushed pacing, unearned plot twists, and a sense that many characters are making unjustifiable decisions in service of getting the plot where it needs to go. But that hasn’t reduced the excitement and hype over the series finale, which will air on HBO this Sunday.
Ever since Season 7 ended in summer 2017, bookmakers have been offering up odds on what would happen at the end of Game of Thrones. And with just one episode now remaining, there are still plenty of outstanding wagers out there for fans to try and cash in on. Be aware – if you don’t want spoilers and feel that betting odds may give you a bit too much insight into what’s expected for the series finale, you might want to stop reading now.
Iron Throne: Plenty of Contenders, One Betting Favorite
The premier Game of Thrones betting market has always been predicting who would end up on the Iron Throne at the end of the series. And for well over a year now, it has been Bran Stark that has taken on the role of favorite in that race.
That felt like a bit of inside information, as while it wasn’t inconceivable that Bran could ascend to the throne, a lot of things would have to happen to more likely contenders to get him there. And even the betting markets had the possibility as far from a sure thing: Bran was typically the top choice, but wasn’t favored against the field.
That seems to have changed in the past few days, however. Bovada is one of the few bookmakers still offering a full range of prop bets on the final episode, and now has Bran as an overwhelming -400 favorite to finish as the king of Westeros. That puts him ahead of the other major contenders: Sansa Stark (+450), Tyrion Lannister (+800), Jon Snow (+1000), Gendry Baratheon (+1800), and Daenerys Targaryen (+2000).
It’s still unclear exactly how this would happen: while the fact that Bran doesn’t want to be ruler (or “want” much of anything as the Three-Eyed Raven) may well make him a good king, a lot has to change in the final 80 minutes of screen time to get him on the throne. It’s also far from clear that there will be a true ruler of Westeros once the dust settles. If that’s the case, Bovada’s settlement rules could be important, as they state that in the absence of a king or queen, “whomever rules or controls King’s Landing will be deemed the winner.”
Based solely on the way the betting odds have played out over the past year, Bran does seem like the most likely candidate – the internet is dark and full of spoilers. But Sansa and Gendry may both offer good value at the odds being offered: the eldest surviving Stark sibling could have a good claim and has positioned herself well politically, while Gendry has already risen to the rank of a lord this season and has been legitimized as the son of a former king, giving him some claim to the crown.
Game of Thrones Prop Bets
Bovada is also offering a range of prop bets on which of two or three characters will die first, with bets voided if all parties make it to the final credits. For instance, Jon Snow (-300) is considered more likely to get the axe than Bran Stark (+200), while Arya Stark (-230) is seen as more likely to perish than her sister Sansa (+160).
If you want to bet on something that can’t be spoiled, a better option might be found at Sky Bet, where the British bookmaker is taking odds on the number of viewers who will watch the finale and other markets.
In terms of US viewing figures, you can take the over on a number of targets ranging from 13.5 million viewers (1/3) to 16 million (4/1). If you’re more interested in the quality of the episode, you can bet on the Rotten Tomatoes “Tomatometer” rating of critic’s reviews for the finale. Over 60.5 percent is considered just about even money at 10/11, while a rating of over 74.5 percent (3/1) is unlikely, but would be welcome news to the show’s millions of fans.