The final season of Game of Thrones has finally arrived, and all fans can do is obsessively rewatch each episode to look for tiny details they might have missed the first time around—and theorize about what could happen next. Reddit has already been flooded with predictions for the rest of the season, and now that season 8 has finally premiered, those fan theories only seem to be growing by the minute.
While, ultimately, fans want to know how the series will end, right now they're focused on predicting what major plot points and reveals we could see when the season's second episode airs on April 21. Here are four of the most popular ones.
1. Daenerys will find out the truth about Jon.
While we knew that Jon Snow would eventually learn the truth about his parents in season 8, viewers were surprised that we saw that particular bomb dropped in the first episode. Samwell Tarly was the one tasked with delivering the news to Jon that Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen were his birth parents, which makes him not only the true heir to the Iron Throne … but the nephew of Daenerys Targaryen, his new love. With news as big as this, Jon will have to tell Dany the truth immediately; there's no way he'll be able to keep it a secret for long.
2. Jaime will ask for forgiveness.
The last moments of "Winterfell," season 8's first episode, saw Jaime Lannister arrive at Winterfell—with Bran Stark patiently waiting nearby. However, it's not just Bran that Jaime's going to need to make some serious amends with. In the preview for next week, we see Jaime on trial before Daenerys because, in case you forgot, it was Jaime who killed her father, the Mad King Aerys Targaryen (thus earning him the "Kingslayer" moniker).
As we know from Jaime's conversation with Brienne of Tarth back in season 3, Jaime only killed Aerys because he knew that the Mad King was planning to kill innocent people by burning up the whole city, along with his father Tywin Lannister. In the new episode, Jaime might explain this to Daenerys, but it seems more likely he'll just ask for forgiveness. Given the stakes with the White Walkers quickly approaching, there won't be time for a heart-to-heart between the characters, especially not after we've already witnessed that extremely emotional scene from Jaime already. He knows of the threat in the North, and he's not proud of killing the Mad King. He even tossed the title of the Kingslayer years ago. In favor of the greater good, fans are predicting that Jaime will apologize to Daenerys and that the two of them can (hopefully) move on.
3. Brienne and Tormund will reunite.
Out of the multiple long-awaited reunions we saw in last night's episode, fans were disappointed we didn't see one between Brienne of Tarth and Tormund Giantsbane. While we're not sure if there are any mutual feelings between the pair, we know at least Tormund has been after Brienne for a while now—and his very vocal attraction to her has made for some laugh-out-loud moments. Seeing them meet again in the new episode might not lead to anything, but it'll be entertaining at the very least. As the preview for next week shows Tormund in Winterfell, we can only assume that he'll see at Brienne at some point.
4. The Night King will reach Winterfell.
Unfortunately for our favorite characters in the North, the next episode will likely include the Night King and his army arriving at Winterfell. As the preview shows Tormund telling Jon, "Before the sun comes up tomorrow," we can only assume they're talking about how long they have until the undead arrive. We're predicting episode two will continue to tie up loose ends, as well as set up the rest of the season, and that it will likely include—or end with—the Night King's arrival at Winterfell.
Fans are under the impression that since episode three is the longest one, clocking in at 82 minutes, that is where the big battle we've been promised will take place.
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As the 16,000 spectators began filing out of the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, following a night of fights on June 28, 1997, MGM employee Mitch Libonati noticed something strange on the floor of the boxing ring. He later described it as being roughly the size of a fingernail, with the texture of a piece of hot dog or sausage.
It was no concession stand remnant. It was a piece of Evander Holyfield’s ear.
Wrapping the morsel of flesh in a latex glove, Libonati hurried backstage, where Holyfield was conferring with officials and doctors after his opponent, Mike Tyson, had been disqualified for biting him on the left ear. In all the commotion, Libonati wasn't allowed inside the room. But Michael Grant, one of Holyfield’s training partners, accepted the ear fragment on Holyfield’s behalf.
Libonati’s discovery was the climax to one of boxing’s most controversial and bizarre evenings, one in which "Iron" Mike Tyson—the most famous fighter of his era—meted out a savage reprimand for what he perceived was dirty fighting on the part of Holyfield. The ear-biting far exceeded the brutal underpinnings of boxing and added to Tyson's reputation as a frenzied combatant both in and out of the ring.
Mike Tyson’s collision with Evander Holyfield had started when the two were just teenagers. On the amateur circuit, they had sparred together—not quite knowing the heights each would achieve, but understanding the other would be a formidable obstacle if they were to ever meet as professionals.
Tyson was a prodigy, having won the heavyweight championship of the world in 1986 at the age of 19 and dominating the division up until an upset loss to James “Buster” Douglas in Tokyo, Japan, in 1990. Holyfield was the lighter fighter at cruiserweight (190 pounds), moving up to the heavyweight division in 1988 and gaining respect for his trilogy with Riddick Bowe.
Long before that fateful night in 1997, Tyson's personal life had started to overshadow his accomplishments inside the ring: An allegedly abusive marriage to actress Robin Givens darkened his image in the media and ended in a very public divorce after just one year. In 1992, a rape conviction sidelined the fighter for more than three years while he served out his prison sentence.
When Tyson returned to the ring, he rattled off a string of wins against fighters not quite at his level, including Peter McNeeley, Buster Mathis Jr., Frank Bruno, and Bruce Seldon. Holyfield had stepped away from competition in 1994, but as Tyson knocked off inferior opponents, talk of a bout with Holyfield intensified. Finally, the two met in Las Vegas on November 9, 1996, with Tyson a 17-1 favorite over the semi-retired Holyfield.
Holyfield would prove his doubters wrong. Through 11 rounds of action, he outmaneuvered and outclassed Tyson by negating his opponent's power with movement and volume. Holyfield also landed headbutts that were declared unintentional, but to Tyson seemed deliberate. Before the fight could see a 12th round, Holyfield knocked Tyson down and earned a technical knockout victory.
While it was an undoubtedly disappointing moment for Tyson, an upset in boxing virtually guarantees a lucrative rematch deal. Both men agreed to meet a second time, with Holyfield earning $35 million and Tyson getting $30 million. Tyson’s camp, however, insisted that the referee from the first bout, Mitch Halpern, not be booked for the second, because Tyson felt he failed to call the illegal headbutts. The Nevada State Athletic Commission didn’t want to be seen capitulating to Tyson’s demands, but Halpern stepped aside voluntarily. So referee Mills Lane took his place.
Before a huge crowd full of A-list celebrities like Sylvester Stallone and a then-record 1.99 million households that had purchased the event on pay-per-view, Tyson and Holyfield met for a second time at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on June 28, 1997. While Holyfield took the first round, Tyson appeared fit and adaptive, and came out blazing in round two. Then, just as Tyson had feared, Holyfield’s headbutt struck him again.
The clash of heads opened a cut over Tyson’s right eye, which threatened to obscure his vision as the fight went on. It also opened a reservoir of frustration in the fighter that would manifest in a spectacularly violent way.
Coming out for the third round, Tyson had forgotten his mouthpiece and had to go back and retrieve it—a foreshadowing of things to come. His aggression was working against Holyfield, but with 40 seconds left in the round, the two clinched up. Tyson moved his mouth so it was near Holyfield’s right ear. With his mouthpiece still in place, he clamped down on the ear, ripped the top off, and spat it along with his mouthguard onto the canvas.
Holyfield jumped up in the air in shock and pain. Referee Mills Lane was initially confused by what had happened until Holyfield’s trainers, Don Turner and Tommy Brooks, yelled out what Tyson had done. Lane called for a doctor then told Marc Ratner, the executive director of the athletic commission, that he was going to end the fight. Ratner asked if he was sure. Seeing Holyfield was bleeding from his ear but otherwise ready to fight, Lane waved the two men back into competition.
Incredibly, Tyson bit Holyfield a second time, this time on the left ear, before the round ended. This time, Lane was aware of what was happening and had seen enough. Before the start of the fourth round, he disqualified Tyson.
That was far from the end of it. Realizing he had lost the fight, Tyson grew incensed, shoving Holyfield from behind and pawing at the security guards who had stormed the ring in an attempt to restore order.
After the bout, Tyson didn’t appear to be overly contrite. He explained that he was frustrated at Holyfield headbutting him without being penalized, and said he had lost control.
“Listen,” Tyson said. “Holyfield is not the tough warrior everyone says he is. He got a nick on his ear and he quit.”
Tyson believed his retaliation was justified. “This is my career," he said. "I’ve got children to raise and this guy keeps butting me, trying to cut me and get me stopped on cuts. I’ve got to retaliate. What else could I do? He didn’t want to fight. I’m ready to fight right now. Regardless of what I did, he’s been butting me for two fights. I got one eye. He’s not impaired. He’s got ears. I’ve got to go home and my kids will be scared of me. Look at me, look at me, look at me!”
Two days later, Tyson issued a tempered apology in an effort to minimize the consequences, but it was too late. In addition to losing his boxing license in the state of Nevada, Tyson was fined 10 percent of his purse, or $3 million, which was thought to be the largest fine in sports at the time.
Tyson could never entirely shake the stigma of his actions. When a lucrative bout with Lennox Lewis was being planned in 2002, the fight ultimately ended up taking place in Memphis, Tennessee; Nevada refused to restore Tyson's license following a press conference brawl between the two men.
Tyson ultimately continued competing through 2005, when he lost his last bout to Kevin McBride. Holyfield retired in 2011. Earlier this year, the 54-year-old Tyson expressed a desire to return to the ring. The fighter once known as "The Baddest Man on the Planet" is scheduled to fight Roy Jones Jr. on November 28, 2020. Yet Holyfield, now 57 years old, remains a possible future opponent.
The two have occasionally interacted in public in interviews, with Tyson expressing remorse and Holyfield admitting he briefly thought about biting Tyson on his face right back. The pair even filmed a spot for Foot Locker in which Tyson “gave” Holyfield the missing piece of his ear.
In reality, Holyfield never did get his ear back. After Mitch Libonati handed it over to Michael Grant, the piece somehow fell out of the latex glove while being transported to the hospital.
Many fighters talk about leaving a little piece of themselves in the ring. It’s usually metaphorical. For Evander Holyfield, it was simply the truth.