UK bookmakers have suspended betting markets on who will be sitting on the Iron Throne at the end of the final season of Game of Thrones after a flurry of fishy bets on Bran Stark.
Until this week, Bran, the crippled youngest son of Ned Stark, was a long shot to end to up as supreme ruler of Westeros at the end of the eighth season, which is due air on HBO in the US in 2019.
“All bets are off for who will sit on the Iron Throne at the end of season eight, following multiple requests coming in for Bran Stark,” said a spokesman for Betway on Tuesday. “Bran was previously priced at 14/1 but, following the amount of bets we had on him on Monday, we have had no choice but to suspend the market.”
Hackers and Spoilers
You don’t have to be a clairvoyant Warg, or even a three-eyed raven living beyond the Great Wall among the Children of the Forest, to see into the future of the hit TV series. Last season was plagued by online leaks that followed a cyber attack on HBO in July 2017.
In August, someone uploaded the script of the entire fourth episode, “The Spoils of War,” to several internet forums. Subsequently, the entire episode became available to view online before its official broadcast. Several days later, the script of the fifth episode “Eastwatch,” appeared on the web too.
In November, Manhattan federal prosecutors indicted Behzad Mesri, an Iranian national alleged to be behind the attack. Mesri, who is not in US custody, allegedly demanded $6 million not to reveal the stolen scripts and footage.
According to HBO executives this week, the script for the final series is finished and has been delivered to show’s stars, which makes a leak possible.
Sheerhan in the Running
Bookmakers pulled many of the markets during Season 7 due to concerns over leaks. These included the ever-popular “Game of Thrones Death Pools,” in which bettors would speculate on which character would die next.
But as the saga nears its conclusion, “who will end up on the Iron Throne?” is the ultimate bet. It is, after all, the name of the game.
Before the suspension of the market, Bran’s half-brother Jon Snow was favorite at 2/1, followed by Daenerys Targaryen at 7/2, with Cersei Lannister at 9/1. Ed Sheerhan, who made a cameo appearance in Season 6, was a decidedly outside bet at 1,000/1.