The wait is almost over for Game of Thrones fans, desperate to see who will finally sit on the Iron Throne: will it be Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, the Night King... or let's not forget the chances of wily Littlefinger finagling his way to the top job.
No matter who wins out at the end of season seven, according to an online poll by Pureprofile, (interviewing nearly 2,400 people around Australia) a whopping 54 percent of Australians aged between 18 and 34 will be glued to the final season of the George RR Martin fantasy series.
That's no surprise of course. We Australians are hugely engaged with the show, even going by the fact we pirate GoT more than any other country.
The poll also found 36 percent of all Aussies will be watching -- but only 12 percent of over 65s.
Cersei Lannister is Australia's most reviled GoT character, with nearly a quarter (22 percent) of those surveyed hoping she will die, likely a painful and dramatic death, closely followed by Petyr 'Littlefinger' Baelish (18 percent). In fact, more people want these two characters dead than the Night King (11 percent).
Film critic and writer Cameron Williams told HuffPost Australia it's no surprise fans want Cersei to meet her end.
"Cersei is the one that's most divisive. Many people only like to watch Game of Thrones for her. Even if some want her dead, it will be pretty boring without her. Once she's gone, people will get pay off but then where do we get the drama from now?" Williams said.
"It's also no surprise people want Littlefinger dead. People want the pay off of seeing reviled characters die, as they're so used to seeing the righteous characters die. It also makes sense the most ruthless are surviving, but they're the ones most want to see killed off."
Fans are clearly hoping the good guys are triumphant; predicting either Jon Snow (31 per cent) or Daenerys Targaryen (27 percent) will be sitting on the Iron Throne. In third place is the Night King, leader of the much-feared White Walkers, at 8 percent.
Williams believes these results feed into the Australian psyche of wanting the underdog coming out on top.
"For Daenerys, in the beginning, she came from being nothing to being a queen to possibly sitting on the iron throne and inheriting what was taken away from her. Considering it was a coup that kicked off GoT and her family was banished, she's the centre of good and righteousness. So she could be seen as most deserving of the crown. She's the ultimate underdog," Williams said.
"Jon is the one most likely to get justice for what happened to the Starks. But, remember, we're only just fresh off the reveal that he's part dragon part Stark, so he's the best of the both worlds (both dragon and hound.) So maybe he's the best person for the job."
When fans imagined the resurrection of beloved characters, Hodor's tragic demise at the end of season struck a chord with viewers, who voted him and Ned Stark as joint favourite characters to see brought back to life (20 per cent each).
Robb Stark (14 percent) and Catelyn Stark (10 percent) were next in line for a GoT re-birth.
"Fans of the books know that Catelyn Stark is resurrected in the form of Lady Stoneheart so there will be plenty of people who'd love to see that in the TV series. But Hodor and Ned Stark seem to be right on the money in terms of what people expect," Williams said.
"Fans would want Ned to get justice. After all, he was the one that outed the conspiracy and was beheaded as a result and his whole family thrown under the bus, (or the carriage!). The thing about the resurrection of Jon Snow is that now I'm waiting to see what the repercussions were. It felt a bit too easy that Jon just came back without anything being wrong with him. I believe this season might explore the evil side of resurrection in ways we didn't' see in season six."
Cameron William's GoT Theories
- With the White Walkers coming, I think it'll be more than just being about the Iron Throne, it will be the battle for the Apocalypse. With the White Walkers rise to power, they could assault the Kingdom and destroy everything. So it feels like the series is more than just about the iron throne. Maybe they'll announce a movie and that's the way the movie will be tackled, with the White Walkers in power.
It'd be heart breaking to see popular characters return as soldiers in the White Walkers army. Imagine seeing Jon Snow fighting the Starks as a zombie version. I'm wondering if they'll resurrect older characters and have a show down between the old and the new.
I don't think GoT has been amazing all the way through; it fell into a hole and managed to climb out in the last season. The books are heavy duty but Martin is such a genius that he can master perspective in such a long story. With his books, you really get into the mindset of every single character and you can understand their actions and intentions. You just don't get that level of intimacy in the TV series.
You can follow Cameron Williams and his pop culture pearls of wisdom on Twitter.
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