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This Ned Stark quote could reveal how Game Of Thrones ends

Game of Thrones has succeeded in placing medieval fantasy into the heart of 21st century America. It's an impressive feat, to take a once-niche genre, popularized by the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and make it mainstream prestige TV alongside HBO hits like The Sopranos.

It's the deep characterization that filled the screen time of seasons one through three, the realistic portrayal of strategy and the mistakes that great people make at war in their times, a look at the cutthroat nature of politics and the striving of noble families against one another. Without a clear-cut protagonist (at least until Jon Snow stole the whole show), the compelling drama was underpinned by the expectation that no one was safe, and peoples' own decisions and personalities would seal their fates in a realistic fashion.

Back in season one, Ned Stark showed us that no hero, no main character, would last in a world that respects power over honesty. His decision to appeal directly to the honesty of Cersei and the kingsguard, rather than kidnap the monarchs in their sleep, ended his life.

ned stark game of thrones Credit: The Independent

Yet, the Stark family lives on, and Ned Stark, in his prescient wisdom, said something at the very inception of the show that may hold unforeseen consequences:

"The lone wolf dies, but the pack survives."

I believe that this quote predicts the ultimate fate of the Stark family.

(Spoilers incoming!)

Of course, so many Starks have died since the fall of Ned, the family patriarch. Robb was killed by a series of poor decisions, alienating his allies in the north and finally betraying Walden Frey, who conspired with Robb's enemies and his alienated allies to plunge a dagger in his heart. His mother, the brilliantly-portrayed Catelyn Stark, also died at the infamous red wedding. Then, just for the hell of it, Rickon Stark was shot through with an arrow because he couldn't zig-zag across an open field.

Jon snow game of thrones bran death Credit: Time Magazine

The 'lone wolf' refers to a Stark who alienates or turns against their family, so such a person would certainly die. Who could the lone wolf be?

It's clearly Bran Stark. Think about it. He has abandoned his family, and no longer considers himself a Stark. He is the Three-Eyed Raven now, a lone wolf with no attachment to worldly affairs, nor the love of his sisters.

If Ned's words are to be believed, then here's what will happen:

Bran Stark will die, but the Stark family will survive. Arya and Sansa, as the last remaining Starks (since Jon is a Targaryen) will have children and renew the Stark name for the next generation. So let's see what happens. If Bran is killed, then he was the lone wolf, the Stark who abandoned his family, but in the end, may have saved his pack.

bran stark will die game of thrones Credit: Esquire

If Bran can foresee the threats posed by the Night's King, then perhaps his knowledge will end up saving Westeros, even though he sacrificed himself and his family to do so? The lone wolf dies for the pack.

By this time next year, we'll know whether I'm right or wrong. But my money's on Bran Stark's death. His father Ned foretold it...