So the dust has started to settle on what I still believe was the best Game of Thrones season yet (yep... bring on the trolling for it), and now we’re facing the usual long summer/autumn/winter of an off-season before returning back to Westeros. Yet this time, it’s different. This time, we’re not just looking towards the distant horizon of the next season but to the end itself as Weiss & Benioff lay out their plans for the climactic 13-15 episodes spread across the last two seasons. Suddenly, the question shifts from, “What will happen next?” to “What do we have left?”.... and with that, I got to thinking.
Based on everything we’ve seen from the show (mostly excluding book lore, just focusing on this TV adaptation), here are 10 things I think will still happen on screen before the show ends. Some big, some small, some already quite obvious, some wild theories and above all else, this is all just for the fun of it. In case it wasn’t as obvious as The Mountain in a room of dwarfs, this comes with a huge SPOILER WARNING for anyone not caught up with the events of season 6. So without further delay, let’s look towards the future (winter) skies....
The Mad Queen/Everyone Hates The Lannisters
Let’s start with arguably the most obvious development based on the explosive events of the recent finale. It looks pretty certain that we will be seeing Cersei turning into a vile and cruel ruler, not overly indifferent to The Mad King (aka Aerys II). This is not just from her liberal use of wildfire but that already her rule seems to be based upon fear and atrocity (“I chose violence”). It’s highly likely that we’ll see her ordering further horrific acts in the wake of her coronation, which despite achieving initial obedience, will only turn more people against her. We’ve already seen an alliance forming between Dorne, The Tyrell’s and the soon-to-be arriving forces of Daenerys. The more acts she commits, the more Houses will join them, and the more people she feels are against her, the further into madness she will slip. Whether this will result in large scale pitched battles against the Lannister forces or a smaller, more personal resolution, it's still difficult to say, but I think there will be one major consequence above all else to Cersei’s actions....Advertisement
From King Slayer to Queen Slayer
Jaime will kill Cersei.... no seriously. I really believe this will happen. This is based primarily on two factors. The show (and indeed the general storytelling principle) of events coming full circle and history repeating itself, combined of course with the show’s tendency to deliver overwhelmingly soul-destroying tragedy. Let’s start with Jaime’s beginning in the story in killing The Mad King. As it has been examined on a number of occasions, this was not an act of weakness or treachery but of righteousness and heroism as The Mad King was ordering for the whole King’s Landing to be engulfed in wildfire, including its 500,000 strong population. Jaime killed him, not for his own survival but for the greater good. Against all odds and many things we’ve seen Jaime is a good and honourable man as we learned from his time with Brienne. What is the source of all his cruel and evil acts? His duty to his father (now gone) and his love for Cersei.
This was really hammered home during his exchanges with Edmure Tully at the siege of Riverrun as he threatens to slaughter the Tully’s son for the sake of completing his mission and keeping Cersei happy. There isn’t anything he wouldn’t do for her. Now, consider his final moments with her this season: the look of shock over her actions and just what she has become. As the Mad Queen takes over Cersei, Jaime will come to see that the woman he loved is gone and as her madness reaches a pinnacle, he’ll be faced with that same choice he had as a younger member of the Kingsguard: killing a king/queen to save the people, made all the more powerful by his still-residing love for her. If done correctly, this will without doubt be the most powerful and dramatic moment the show will ever manage. After Jaime’s deed is done, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of him taking his own life. The guilt and despair will be overwhelming and of course, it would continue the dramatic irony as this inseparable brother-and-sister pair leaving the world together just as they came in.
Bring the walls down!
Now, anyone that read our review of the finale would have expected this mentioned as Benjen Stark/Cold Hands dropped a big hint about what will likely be one of the biggest visual jaw-dropping sequences of the entire show. After escorting Bran and Meera Reed close to The Wall ,he explained that he could not cross the wall due to certain magic laid within it, which also prevents the army of the dead from crossing it and into the Seven Kingdoms. This actually explained a lot. We’ve known ever since Hardhome that their boney ranks can cover ground very quickly when they want to, so they must be staying beyond the Wall by choice. So while The Wall is in place, The Night’s King and all his mass forces cease to be a credible threat as the rest of Westeros can happily stay South of The Wall in complete safety and even mocking them with a Tyrion style piss over the top of it. Therefore, The Wall has to come crashing down by the actions of The Night’s King (we have to see him doing it to present him as the all powerful villain) so that the “War for the Dawn” can take place as the human armies of Westeros all rally together to fight the dead. How he’ll do this remains more of a mystery but we can be sure it will be one hell of a show.
The Iron Throne will lose the game
Right from the beginning of the show, one of the biggest teases and themes of the show has been the literal, “Game of Thrones”, that just about everyone wants to sit upon the swords of the vanquished and they’ll either do it or die trying. Yet I believe that Cersei will be the last person on the show to do so because when Daenerys takes control of King's Landing (and presumably most of Westeros), she will destroy the Iron Throne itself by melting it with dragon fire. Why? As a character, she’s all about change rather than unbreakable tradition. She abolished slavery in Slaver’s Bay. She’s making the raping Greyjoys agree to abandon all their favourite R-words. So why would she sit on the Iron Throne? She’s trying to end and destroy it as symbolic act of change within the Seven Kingdoms. Plus, again this allows for things to come full circle. The Throne was supposedly forged by the dragon fire of one conqueror only to be destroyed in the same way by another. However, speaking of dragons....
At least one dragon will die
Daenerys is coming across the sea with a seemingly unstoppable horde that can dominate on land, see, and air. Yet where are the stakes if she seems unbeatable in comparison to her opponents? Especially as a protagonist, the show needs to still make her conquest difficult and challenging unless she turn into a veritable John Cena with smaller pecs (spoiler, she wins). So they’ll need a way to make her look vulnerable within her forces, make her seem that she can still be challenged and even defeated whether it’s against The Lannisters or the armies of the dead. The most effective way to do that is with a big shock loss: by unexpectedly bringing down one of her 3 dragons, the very personifications of her power. It’s unlikely to be the featured Drogon so instead the size XXXXXXXXXL red shirt falls to either Rhaegal (the green one) or Viserion (the white/gold one). As for how, while we know the big trio are toughm we saw Drogon take plenty of spear and arrow wounds during Season 5’s Dance of Dragons episode, so we know that even with their bigger size, they can hurt with the right weapons and enough force. One final point is worth considering. If this “dragon down” takes place while fighting The Night’s King, we could see it resurrected as a zombie dragon (Warhammer approves). Now wouldn’t that be quite the sight?
Lady Melisandre will be next on Ayra’s kill list but not her last victim
One of my favourite moments in the recent finale was the reveal of Arya to finally take Stark vengeance for The Red Wedding and make “The Late Walder Frey” a more literal nickname. Yes, there was the issue of her apparent teleportation across the sea but it was still worth it. So now that Arya is back in Westeros as a trained assassin, her story arc will be crossing off the names on her previously infamous bedtime list. Geographically if nothing else, Melisandre seems the logical next in line (she earned her place by taking away Gendry from the Brotherhood). Arya is in the Riverlands. Melisandre is heading South after Jon banished her from the North, so it’s highly likely the two will be running into each other soon enough. Also, Melisandre’s story seems like it's done. What purpose does she serve? We might still see her meeting up with Daenerys to speculate whether she is Lord of Light’s chosen one but at the same time, while she lives, Jon Snow feels immortal as she can keep bringing him back from the grave. If she dies, Jon is back down to his last life and any subsequent moments of his character in peril will carry more impact. Beyond Melisandre, it feels very likely that Arya will meet up with the Brotherhood as three of their number are also on her list. That is Thoros of Myr, Beric Dondarrion and her old not-dead pal, The Hound making for a great reunion. I think she’ll kill Beric and Thoros but spare The Hound out of affection for him that she can’t hide, and because every sane fan in existence still wants Clegane Bowl to happen. This will also take her further north towards an inevitable (though not immediate) reunion with Jon and Sansa.
Theon will kill Euron, possibly at sea
When Theon and Yara were in the tavern at Volantis, Yara (in between complimenting the local wench on her arse) pledged us the idea of Theon finding his old self again. That he wouldn’t just be running from his captivity with Ramsay but standing up strong again and to affirm that he needs a victory. So far, he’s made a mildly rousing speech to his fellow Iron Born about following Yara but that’s it. Otherwise, his general mannerisms have been weak and timid. Then consider his prior encounter with Euron at the Kingsmoot, when Euron humiliate him. Euron embodies everyone that’s laughing at Theon, everything that thinks of him as nothing and that makes killing him a symbolic act of Theon’s retribution. As for how and where, the thought occurs that despite blowing up a lot of ships in the Blackwater and scorching some more in Slaver's Bay, the show has yet to give us a real naval battle. Now Daenerys has a large fleet and Euron’s Iron Born are making a sizable fleet of their own. That has all the making of one of a coming together during which we could see Theon and Euron crossing swords during a ship boarding fight.
Littlefinger will try to side with Daenerys
“I’ve spread the message far and wide that I’ve declared for you”. If you believe that Littlefinger’s side-switching days are done as he pledges his loyalty to Sansa, then you deserve to be cooked in one of Ayra’s special pies. This is the ultimate player of the game, challenged only by Tyrion in terms of cunning but far more ruthless. He does whatever it takes to get what he wants, and he’s declared that as ruling with Sansa. He’s about as likely to take Sansa’s no for an answer as down a yard of deadly nightshade. If she won’t side with him willingly, he’ll force her into a position of acceptance and that means making her weak and vulnerable rather than her current position of strength at the centre of the new united North. His best way to achieve this is siding with their enemies to help them conquer the North in exchange for acting as Warden alongside Sansa when it’s done. Daenerys is the natural choice as while her initial conflict will be against Cersei, the Mother of Dragons is coming to conquer all the Seven Kingdoms, including The North. Plus, there is one hell of a fan pay off here the show will not be able to resist. That is once again pitting Littlefinger and Varys against each other with Varys advising Daenerys. Their mutual scenes and conflicts in the early seasons were a real highlight, and the show will not miss the chance to recapture that glory.
Bran will watch Robert Vs Rhaegar in a vision
Now if I’m honest, I have little clue what Bran’s end game will be in the story but I do believe that he will continue to serve as a tool of exposition via his historical visions as the Three Eyed Raven. Some of these will be looking more into the origins of The Night’s King to help Jon and his friends fight the army of the dead but he will also continue to be used to connect the dots over Jon Snow’s parentage. The crucial point here is that Bran isn’t yet certain himself. Jon’s spawning from Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen has been confirmed from an audience perspective (as we cut from the baby and dying Lyanna in the tower to a slow shot of Jon’s face) but right now, all Bran knows is that Lyanna had secret a baby. He needs a way of associating this vision with Rhaegar being the father. Then combine that with Bran’s flashback visions serving to show viewers some of the most legendary skipped-over moments in the source materials lore like the Tower of Joy showdown. A huge such moment (and referenced many times of the show) would be the younger Robert Baratheon fighting Rhaegar Targaryen at the Battle of the Trident. Rhaegar is said to have spoken a women’s name just before dying. Having Bran hear this at the end of the fight as Lyanna would be just the piece he needs to pull the puzzle all together. Not to mention giving viewers the enjoyment of seeing the younger fearsome mighty war hammer wielding Robert Baratheon rather than the fat drunkard we spent season one with.
Lyanna Mormont will marry Robyn Arryn
Okay, this last one has no factual basis and feels extremely unlikely to happen.... I just think it would be awesome! There’s no denying that Lyanna “The Little Bear” Mormont was everyone’s favourite new character this season as the little badass owned every single aging Lord around her. She was the catalyst in the Northern Lords rallying around Jon Snow and proclaiming him as the new King in the North (seriously, how good was that speech!). In general, she’s strong, determined, resolving and will take crap from no one. Then consider Robyn Arryn. The young Lord of the Vale that could not be more of a useless spoiled brat mummy’s boy that drastically needs some sense repeatedly slapped into him but not a soul around him will fear that he’ll fling them through the Moon Door on a whim. Who else is better to get Robyn in line, rule in his place while he sulks in the background and save The Vale from plunging into eventual ruin than Lyanna Mormont? If Robyn threw a single tantrum, she’d be dangling him by his teeny tiny balls over the Moon Door until he shuts up, with everyone else in the room smiling and nodding at her in solemn approval, wondering where the hell she’s been for the last 10 years. It gives Lyanna the kind of powerful ruling position that she was clearly made for and saves Robyn fulfilling a role he could not be less fit for.