Warning: This article is dark and full of spoilers Game of Thrones season 8 spoilers.
With only three episodes to go, we’re officially getting nervous for every remaining major character on HBO’s Game of Thrones. So far, even the craziest fan theories haven’t had much to say about Tyrion’s fate, but a new theory suggests our favorite Lannister may not survive the season — and we may already know how he dies.
Some background for this theory: in the GoT season 8 premiere, you may or may not remember our brief glimpse of Bronn. Back in King’s Landing, Bronn is approached by Qyburn, Cersei’s Hand of the Queen. Qyburn is relaying a message from Cersei: she wants Bronn to kill her brothers, Jaime and Tyrion. Oh, and she’d like him to do it with the giant crossbow Qyburn gifts him, which just so happens to be the crossbow Tyrion used to kill their father Tywin. Say what you will about Cersei, but her revenge plots are truly unparalleled.
Of course, we don’t know if Bronn will go for it given his relationship with the Lannisters — in season 7, he even appears to have saved Jaime’s life. That being said, he’s increasingly frustrated at not getting the riches he deserves in return. And given that Cersei pays her assassins handsomely, as Qyburn reminds him, it’s certainly not out of the question.
Ultimately, the reason fans are so convinced that this moment with Bronn is significant — and that Bronn is likely to kill at least Tyrion — is put forth in a theory by Reddit user HilmAbigail. (The theory is reported via The Independent.) As it turns out, GoT has a sneaky pattern you may not have been aware of: on at least eight occasions, characters have died in the exact same fashion that they killed someone else. Examples include: Olenna Tyrell, who poisoned Joffrey before being poisoned herself; Ramsey Bolton, who killed his stepmother and brother with his dogs, then was eaten by them; and Ned Stark, who beheads a member of the Night’s Watch, and is subsequently beheaded.
You could call it poetic justice (Cersei does), or just another way that GoT loves messing with our heads, but the pattern is clear. The only question that remains: will Tyrion suffer the same death-by-crossbow he inflicted on his father, or will he break the wheel of this particular pattern? Only three episodes left to find out.