After my previous Game of Thrones update (beware spoilers) I thought a lot about what else could happen in Game of Thrones’ final season.
Some of your responses were interesting, there was talk that some characters might not get the air time next year to do a big story with them.
I agree to an extent that this is a risk, but I think the cast is whittling down fast enough that stories will be closing off episode by episode at this rate.
I specifically spoke about Arya and Bran previously because I think they’re critical characters to the overall story.
My prediction for the Stark trio is as follows:
Sansa’s main story has come to an end now, she is riding with the flow of the episodes and will be a ‘leader’ in Winterfell, taking part in the debates and strategising with the other houses of The North.
She is the mother figure of her two younger siblings and can direct them and drive their stories on from the background a little.
I feel wary of making a bold statement that she will become quite a peripheral character now, but that is what my gut tells me.
Littlefinger was the driving force of her miserable life. Sure she hates Cersei, but Joffrey is already dead alongside most of the other people that wronged her in life.
Arya wants to be the one to kill Cersei, so maybe she will aid her in that goal.
I can’t quite see Arya being the one to do it though. It feels like she is too remote and disconnected from it all to somehow end up by Cersei’s side stabbing needle into her heart.
I feel like she will want to set off and complete her list, but with The Night King riding south with his army it seems mad to think that she would mount a horse and head for King’s Landing.
If that is how things are to progress, I wonder whether she will reconnect with Gendry in the final battle, alongside Jon and the team.
Gendry’s heritage has been mentioned so much in the recent episodes, and in past season’s, that it seems like it simply must be acknowledged on a wider scale when the battle nears it’s end.
I think during this battle, she will catch up with The Hound and witness his death, she presumed he was dead anyway, but his name was on the list from early on and surely her list will be completed?
It would make sense for Arya to accompany Gendry south again after the battle has finished, perhaps even as his potential wife to be.
It would be awesome to see Cersei a prisoner who thinks she will be set free eventually, only to be killed by Arya in a disguise (as a deceased Jamie maybe?) giving her a death befitting a D list character and not the former Queen of Westeros.
I feel convinced that Cersei will either die in childbirth or at the hand of Jamie.
But since there is little time left to make him hate her that much it might be more feasible for Arya to tie up her list in the last two episodes and finish things as Gendry’s Queen.
A position she has never sought for or shown interest in, and pretty much all Sansa wanted as a young girl which would make it slightly ironic, though of course Sansa would be proud of her sister and laugh at the thought of her having to be prim and proper.
Arya can equally remind her sister that she is now the Warden/Queen of The North and following in her father’s footsteps, something Arya dreamt of doing.
Some nice symmetry, which probably disagrees with GRRM’s style to be fair.
That leaves us with Bran. He feels too sinister to be of use to the army of men trying to defend against the army of the dead.
There are lots of theories going around that he is somehow controlling The Night King, or is in fact him.
The actor who plays Bran has come out and said this is not the case. So it leads me to think perhaps they’re ultimately two huge rivals in the battle of good vs evil.
The 3 Eyed Raven and The Night King both go back to the dawn of mankind.
I would like to think that Bran and the previous Raven have been pulling strings a fair bit behind the scenes.
The Night’s King might not realise that they are enemies as such. He may just be aware that they have both been around for so long, and he felt Bran’s presence when he was originally turned.
Bran – or someone – simply must be helping The Night King with intelligence, there is no way he knew to wait for the Dragons to arrive, prepare weapons, and prepare a huge chain to drag the dead dragon out for reanimation.
I think the show will imply in one of the early episodes of the season that he and Bran are conspiring against The Seven Kingdoms, before the twist reveals that Bran has been playing him all along.
It will seem unnecessarily brutal to sacrifice his uncle, a dragon, The Night’s Watch, and The Wall, all to lead The Night King to a battle against Azor Ahai who is written as the one who will save them all.
(We don’t properly know who this will be yet, but it is assumed that it could be Jon, though they could equally throw a curve ball here.)
But Bran can justify those sacrifices, that ‘long con’ that essentially lasted for thousands of years, just to reach this point.
It seems unlikely he will ultimately be bad, but he may test the faith of his people quite far, and I think he would be rather useful to Jon’s army which I expect to set up camp in Winterfell or thereabouts, eventually.
I will write up some more thoughts at a later date. I have some theories around the state of Westeros after the battles have subsided.
There are many more characters to explore. As a note I think it is worth saying here that in my mind that there are few remaining ‘factions’ that the story will switch between now.
I see it as follows:
It has to eventually end up being Fire vs Ice, and I think we’re pretty much there now. All the other factions are essentially dead.
Keep an eye out for Part 3 of my Game of Thrones updates, and let me know your theories in the comments!