Post Episode 1: Game of Thrones Latest Odds & Favourites
April 18, 2019
The first episode of Games of Thrones series 8 has already come and gone, and just like the Night King’s journey, the betting markets are starting to shorten. Yes, you really can expect a Night King pun with every blog on the latest action.
With regards to the Game of Thrones betting markets, they have not changed drastically since the opening episode of season eight, but a few prices have started to stick, with others increasing by some distance.
Take a look below for some interesting picks.
Quick Recap (Spoilers!)
Unlike Jon Snow on Rhaegal, we aren’t going to dive headfirst straight into the action. Instead, we have compiled a little recap on the episode and analysed the key actions that took place.
New spectators, who may have been forced or finally gave in to watching the show for one night, may have been a tad disappointed at the lack of blood, fighting and all-round suspense. Instead, the season started off with an episode that foreshadowed and helped set up future events.
Kicking off the season, Daenerys Targaryen was given a frosty welcoming to Winterfell. And no, we aren’t just talking about the snowy conditions. Instead, the Northerners and Sansa Stark were rather reluctant to give the Mother of Dragons a ‘queens welcome’, as they don’t tend to warm to ‘outsiders’ as quickly as their King. There appears to already be small cracks in Sansa and Daenery’s relationship, but who cares? As Jon pointed out, titles and honour can be dealt with once the war is won.
One woman who you won’t get following such a philosophy is, of course, Cersei Lannister. The Queen of the Seven Kingdoms is only concerned with keeping her place on the Iron Throne and she now has the Golden Company to help keep her seat warm when Winter comes. The army certainly looks impressive and well-equipped, but we too were disappointed at not seeing them arrive with a few elephants.
Such events preoccupied Cersei and Euron Greyjoy though, allowing Theon to rescue his sister. Yara is now heading back home to the Iron Islands, whilst Theon looks set to complete his character arc by helping save Winterfell. His services will be required, as the Army of the Dead are officially past the wall and are now edging closer to the highly-anticipated battle between themselves and the living.
Who Will Rule Westeros?
If we learnt anything from the first episode, it is that Cersei would rather die on the throne than give it up. Admittedly, we have known this since season one, but her short reaction of ‘Good’ to learning that the White Walkers have passed the wall seemed to even shock her no.2 in Qyburn.
She may be desperate to keep that tiara on her head, heck, she would probably marry the Night King if he required a Queen to do so, but surely, she is destined to die. We’ve picked out three names below who have a chance of occupying her spot should she do so.
Jon Snow – 5/1 with Coral
Just behind the favourite Bran Stark, Jon Snow holds some decent value at 5/1. Samwell Telly revealed to Jon that he is, indeed, the rightful heir to the Seven Kingdoms. In terms of logistics then, Jon, or Aegon for that matter, should be the man sitting on the Iron Throne if the war against the dead is won.
However, never a man for the limelight, this news was not exactly welcomed by the ex-Lord Commander. After having his ‘King in the North’ status questioned and even his decision to pledge loyalty to the Queen of Dragons, it is quite clear that Jon is becoming sick and tired of all these ‘titles’ and ‘names’.
We are yet to see how Daenerys Targaryen responds to this news, but it is completely likely that Jon is happy to pass on his duty to somebody else. If it isn’t given to his lover/aunt (we’re still waiting for this to register with him!), there are some other possibilities that Jon could consider.
Sansa Stark – 7/2 with BoyleSports
If Jon isn’t keen on settling down in Kings Landing, he could well continue to live in the North. Should Daenerys fall, he would need a trusted, respected and strong leader to occupy the throne for him. Nobody else is quite growing into this potential position more than Sansa Stark, that’s why she’s now second favourite.
It would be a bit of poetic justice too, seeing the Stark girl return to the place that caused her so much misery and ruin, to sit on the throne of her ex-hated lover and give the people a proper ruler. She has the experience of living in Kings Landing and now has a keen eye on identifying those who are trying to use her or not.
With Jon keeping the North on lockdown, the Starks would hold influence all over Westeros. It is a reputable enough name to accomplish such authority, it just depends on whether Sansa is prepared to venture down South away from her natural home for a second time.
Samwell Tarly – 20/1 with Ladbrokes
Aside from Sansa, another name that Jon would trust with such a responsibility has to be Sam Tarly. This ending sounds like most fan’s far-fetched dreams, but one that holds a bit of ground too. Like Sansa, Sam is well trusted by those around him and has a strong name to back his potential sovereignty.
Add to the mix that he has also been a maester and he should be able to accumulate enough respect from the population of Kings Landing. We are yet to see Sam take a role of leadership, but as a man that killed a White, a Fen and has cured Greyscale, he is certainly a character full of surprises.
At 20/1, he is clearly an underdog to do so, but our fellow Sam fans may fancy a punt on one of the show’s most iconic characters to end up prevailing.
Survive or Die?
Much to the contrary of some Game of Thrones betting odds, no major character died in season eight’s opening episode. No doubt this was the producer’s attempt at giving us a little ‘false hope’ for the series to come, but we aren’t falling for it.
After taking a look at the Game of Thrones betting markets, I have picked out some likely scenarios that also hold some decent value too.
Gendry To Die – 5/2 with Unibet
Everybody’s favourite blacksmith. Robert Baratheon’s secret son, Gendry, has lived quite a life.
From the armoury to the brotherhood, to being tricked by a Red Witch and then rowing on the seas for over four seasons, Gendry now finds himself at Winterfell preparing weapons to fight the White Walker’s army. Beats working in a Tavern ey?
After an eventful life, there does leave the question as to how Gendry’s story will finish. We tempted the idea of him marrying Sansa, although after the first episode, it feels like his sights may be set on Arya. However, there is also a strong possibility that he falls in battle, presumably saving the latter from some sort of evil.
He clearly flourishes in fighting, but a tragic ending is the sort of narrative that George RR Martin likes to deploy with such a character.
Tyrion To Survive – 7/10 with 888 Sport
Amongst all the ‘main characters’ markets, the best value to be found is Tyrion Lannister to survive at 7/10. Like many other figures in the show, there does remain an uncertainty over his position once the war has finished. If the Mother of Dragons survives, he will inevitably continue to rule at her side and offer assistance in making ‘the world a better place’.
It does feel inevitable that the Lannister house will crumble this season, with Cersei being the downfall of such events. We hope that the Lannister will be there to witness the predicted death of his sister – will he be the one to do it? Regardless of her killer, the name should live on with Tyrion, who is likely to survive the great war as he is unlikely to enter the battlefield altogether.
Fans would be devasted if Tyrion wasn’t to survive and honestly, I’m not sure what is gained if he does. He has no partner to mourn in his absence and bar his treasured pieces of advice, he doesn’t possess a deep connection with the majority of surviving characters. The Game of Thrones odds at 7/10 for Tyrion to survive look to be a generous price from the bookmakers.
The Hound To Survive – 5/2 with Unibet
Will Cleganebowl happen? A fight between the Hound and the Mountain is near the top end of fan’s wishes for this season and there are strong rumours that the event is set to take place. Putting this potential event into context, it is the only possible way that somebody will be able to get close to Cersei in order to kill her.
As we have seen on many occasions, the Mountain is a force to be reckoned with and whilst he breathes (kind of), the Queen is in safe hands. Cleganebowl is required to clear the path to Cersei and hopefully the Hound will prevail in doing this. There is nobody more fitting to end Gregor Clegane’s life than his brother, so it is quite likely for the Hound to survive the season after all.
If the names of each episode are released early, we could gain an indication as to when this fight will take place. For now though, the odds at 5/2 look to be rather generous in Sandor’s favour to come out of the end smiling (for once!).
The bookmakers offering Game of Thrones betting odds
As an experienced sports writer, Josh has been published across various different platforms, writing about his beloved club Manchester United and other footballing topics. He also covers a range of other sports, specialising in UFC and Formula One.