Game of Thrones: Bookies Correctly Predicted How it Would End
Gambling Data Accurately Forecasted Who Would Rule, Die, and Kill Daenerys in HBO Show’s Final Season
The final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones came to a close on May 19, and many fans are still scratching their heads as we progress through a future of Sundays without Westeros. Though the season received mixed reactions from fans, the hit series lived up to its reputation of unexpected events. Or did it? While viewers may have been shocked by the outcomes of the show and its characters, bookmakers were less surprised, as betting data correctly predicted much of what happened throughout season eight.
King Bran the Broken
The most popular betting market prior to and throughout the season had been who will rule Westeros at the show’s end. While Daenerys may have broken the wheel like she set out to do, it was soon replaced by a wheelchair. Tyrion Lannister nominated Bran Stark to be king, emphasizing the Three Eyed Raven’s story as a reason for the claim.
Though fans have argued whether Bran did actually have the best story, the best betting odds gave less room for discussion.
In fact, Bran the Broken had been the odds-on favorite to rule, going from 10/11 at the start of the season to 1/2 just before the finale.
The true heir to the kingdom, Jon Snow, only reached 7/4 odds going into the last episode. Sansa Stark followed Jon closely at 2/1. Daenerys’ odds shifted significantly throughout the series, ending at 16/1 just before the finale, indicating that bookmakers and bettors didn’t have much faith in the Mother of Dragons achieving what she’d been working toward for eight seasons.
Death of Duty and Daenerys
After destroying King’s Landing in episode five, many viewers predicted a power struggle as division grew in Dany’s camp. The bookies expected her to face consequences, correctly suggesting Dany wouldn’t last through the finale. In fact, the Mother of Dragons was the odds-on favorite to perish in the last episode at 6/5 odds.
Better yet, oddsmakers also accurately suggested her lover and nephew, Jon Snow, would be the one to kill her at even odds. Other fan favorites, such as Arya Stark and Tyrion Lannister, only possessed odds of 6/5 and 3/2, respectively. Bookies were also high on Tyrion perishing in the finale, as he was the second favorite with 5/4 odds.
Fortunately, he made it through to again serve as Hand of the King.
Last Words Spoken
Interested bettors also placed wagers on who would be the last character in the show to speak. Technically, the last words spoken were “Queen of the North,” but the betting market focused on main characters, excluding random soldiers of Winterfell.
Tyrion was the named character with the final word of the show during the small council meeting. While Samwell Tarly was the odds-on favorite at even odds, Tyrion wasn’t far behind at 2/1.Ratings and Reviews
One shock to oddsmakers was the episode’s Rotten Tomatoes rating. Bookies seemed to have faith in writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, predicting the the finale to go out with a bang, with 3/1 odds of receiving a Tomatometer rating of over 74.5%. However, the rating now sits at 48%, which ties “The Bells” as the worst score of the entire series.
Betting data was spot on with viewing numbers. Going into the final episode, bookmakers expected total viewers to surpass 14.2 million at 10/11 odds. In fact, outlets have reported the actual figures surpassing 19 million, smashing the record for most watched episode of the series.
What’s Next for GoT Fans?
As they say on Iron Islands, “What is dead may never die.” Though Game of Thrones came to an end on, HBO’s massively popular fantasy franchise isn’t going anywhere. The network has at least three spin-off series in the works based on the books of author George R.R. Martin, led off by a prequel series and will take place near the end of the Age of Heroes, which was anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 years before the events that transpired in Game of Thrones.
The first prequel series reportedly already started filming and could air sometime in 2020. However, bookies don’t expect this show to air so soon. Current odds favor the show premiering in 2021 at 10/11. In fact, the odds of it airing in 2022 (2/1) are better than in 2020 (5/1).
The outcomes in the final season of Game of Thrones indicate another interesting use of betting figures. In a show notorious for giving the unexpected and shockingly killing off beloved and hated characters, bookies accurately forecasted much of the final season’s significant events.
These accurate predictions should be a good sight for fans hoping to see the prequel series before 2022.
Full betting markets before the finale can be found below, with correct outcomes in bold.
Ruler of the Westeros:
- Bran Stark: 10/11
- Jon Snow: 7/4
- Sansa Stark: 5/2
- Daenerys Targaryen: 4/1
- Tyrion Lannister: 6/1
- Gendry: 9/1
- Arya Stark: 12/1
- Jon Snow & Daenerys’ Baby: 20/1
- Samwell Tarly: 33/1
- Davos: 50/1
Last Character to Speak in Final Episode:
- Samwell Tarly: Evens
- Jon Snow: 2/1
- Tyrion Lannister: 2/1
- Bran Stark: 5/1
- Sansa Stark: 10/1
- Daenerys Targaryen: 12/1
- Arya Stark: 14/1
- Bronn: 20/1
Who dies in Episode 6?
- Daenerys Targaryen: 6/5
- Tyrion Lannister: 5/4
- Greyworm: 2/1
- Jon Snow: 4/1
- Arya Stark: 7/1
Who’s most likely to kill Daenerys?
- Jon Snow: Evens
- Arya Stark: 6/5
- Tyrion Lannister: 3/1
- Sansa Stark: 4/1
- Ser Davos: 10/1
Prequel series odds
- 2021: 10/11
- 2022: 2/1
- 2020: 5/1
- 2019: 20/1
Game of Thrones Season 8 Finale initial viewing figures:
- 14.2+ Million: 10/11
- 15.7+ Million: 11/4
- 16.5+ Million: 5/1
- 18+ Million: 12/1
- 20+ Million: 18/1
Game of Thrones Season 8 Finale Tomatometer rating:
- Over 60.5%: 10/11
- Over 64.5%: 6/4
- Over 69.5%: 2/1
- Over 72.5%: 5/2
- Over 74.9%: 3/1
Disclaimer: The odds posted in this article are for illustrative purposes only, as wagering on such props is not currently legal in any U.S. state. The data was based on betting markets offered by UK/European/worldwide operators regulated in jurisdictions where wagering on these props is legal.