Game of Thrones fans are a passionate lot.
For eight seasons they wrung their hands and argued back and forth about who would sit on the iron throne and rule the seven kingdoms in the end.
But it turns out, the show may have told us right from the beginning.
HBO show writers and producers worked hard to give us plot twists and character developments that most of us could never have imagined (even if we had read whatever books were available up to that point.) They clearly did a great job of it since people could never quite nail down who the final king or queen would be.
Most of us were pretty sure it would be either Daenerys:
Or maybe this beautifully conflicted know-nothing (Jon Snow, not the puppy, though we're totally here for that re-write.):
By the final episode there was no iron throne for anyone to sit on and Bran—who wasn't exactly a pivotal character for most of the show—ends up as king. Fans were shocked, but maybe they shouldn't have been.
Sitting on the throne we have Ned Stark looking tired; like way down deep in his bones. Anyone who is a fan of fantasy knows the dude who starts on the throne never keeps the throne.
Ned Stark was never king, but he was pretty important. Based on the look on his face, and the "you win or you die" tag line, we are pretty sure this one's going to die.
Even if you're not the type to follow that sort of logic, this is Sean Bean we're talking about. Sean Bean always dies.
That's kind of his thing, folks. Movies, TV shows, even video games... nobody dies like Sean Bean dies.
Look to Ned's left, though. Sitting there with him on the arm of the throne is a raven so small and inconspicuous that lots of you probably didn't even notice it.
Kind of like Bran Stark, the three-eyed raven, who became king.
We don't know if it was purposeful. The show-runners allegedly didn't know the ending at that time.
Realistically they couldn't since George R.R. Martin hadn't written the last book yet. He still hasn't, but we're all here waiting... patiently... kind of.
Twitter couldn't help but notice the serious foreshadowing, though...
Well played HBO, well played.