Warning: the following contains plot spoilers for Game of Thrones. Proceed at your own risk.
When it comes to fan theories, it’s nearly impossible to get Game of Thrones enthusiasts to agree upon anything. Who will end up on the Iron Throne? Prepare for a dozen different answers. Should Brienne of Tarth hook up with Jaime Lannister or Tormund Giantsbane? Buckle up for a heated debate. Despite this common difficulty, it is a truth almost universally acknowledged among GOT fans that, in the series’ final season, star-crossed lovers (and unwitting relatives) Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow will procreate. If you’re expecting a “happily ever after” for this Targaryen family, though, remember which show you’re dealing with.
Jon and Daenerys, both orphaned at a young age themselves, are undeniably intertwined: one ice, the other fire. It could be argued that the entire show centers around the dance between their destinies, finally culminating in their alliance and battle to save the world as they know it. Because of the inextricable links between the pair — being raised as outsiders, defying death, eventually rising up to inspire and lead victimized groups of people — it’s reasonable to assume that their fates will align, as well. This means that if things go south during their battle beyond the Wall, both Jon and Dany will perish during season eight, leaving their child behind.
Unless you have greensight like Bran, the details of Jon and Dany’s deaths are a mystery. A cryptic teaser implies that the couple — along with the remaining Starks and Lannisters — sit squarely in danger’s way during the coming episodes. Jon and Daenerys are always willing to put their own lives on the line to fight for their kingdoms (and khalasars); considering that the season eight trailer shows the two suited up and preparing to take flight on Dany’s remaining dragons, they could easily die in combat against the Night King and his White Walkers. On the other hand, in a cruel twist, Daenerys could kill Jon to fulfill the Azor Ahai prophecy, then meet a gruesome death herself.
With yet another Targaryen love-child in the picture — yes, we’re including Jon in this equation — the “how” of the ill-fated parents’ deaths isn’t the biggest concern. Rather, the question of the infant’s future looms large: who will raise Jon and Daenerys’s orphaned baby?
Luckily, there are several excellent contenders to take on the responsibility of royal child-rearing. In the event of Jon and Daenerys’s untimely death, these are the candidates most likely to take up the mantle as their child’s guardian.