Game Of Thrones Season 7: What Can We Expect?
We saw some major revelations in Season 6, but we were left with even more urgent questions. We've waited long enough. Here are 7 questions that Season 7 will have to answer, and a few predictions.
Cersei may have been sitting the Iron throne last time we saw her, but make no mistake: she's in trouble. She can call herself 'Queen' if she wants, but what is she Queen of, exactly?
The North is back in the hands of the Starks. The Vale is controlled by Littlefinger, whose allegiances are always in doubt. Dorne is in open rebellion, as is the Reach under Olenna Tyrell.
The Riverlands are controlled by... well, that's not clear, since Arya murdered Walder Frey and baked his eldest sons into a pie to avenge the Red Wedding.
It may not matter to Cersei that Westeros is a pile of rubble as long as she gets to sit atop the ruin, but it's hard to imagine she'll be sitting there for long. She has no major allies left, and she's surrounded by rivals desperate to take revenge. The only real question is: which of them will get to her first?
The one most likely to put an end to Cersei is Daenerys, who was sailing for Westerns with her enormous fleet and three dragons last time we saw her. In that case, we might hope for a devastating scene where Tyrion finally settles the score with his deranged older sister. Then again, Game of Thrones doesn't often deliver the most likely outcomes.
Arya Stark is another candidate to put Cersei out of her misery. The Queen's name is among the most prominent on the list Arya used to recite every night before she slept, and Arya is very much back in Westeros, looking to repay her debts.
With the newfound skill of altering her appearance, Arya might actually be the deadliest of Cersei's surviving enemies, the one with the greatest capacity to slip past the guards and corner the Queen in the Red Keep.
But maybe Cersei won't be killed by someone who hates her. Maybe the one person in the world who truly loves her will do the deed first. (continued...)
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Jaime Lannister's face spoke volumes as Cersei was crowned in the dying moments of last season's finale.
This is no longer the woman he knew and adored all his life. Now shes the woman who killed his last surviving son. Shes the woman who used wildfire against her own people - just like the King he's famous for having murdered.
Perhaps Jaime will complete his transformation into a decent human being by killing the only woman he ever loved. You have to admit, there would be a poetic irony in that.
The relationship between Jon and Sansa is an intriguing one, and not without complication - even though their "reunion" scene last season was actually their first real on-screen interaction.
In that scene, Sansa acknowledged that she had been unkind to Jon in the past and expresses regret. And that seems to bury the hatchet. But does it really?
We saw that there's more plaguing their relationship than just bad (shared) blood. Throughout Season 6, Sansa repeatedly tries to warn Jon not to underestimate Ramsay Bolton, that he needs more men, that he's marching toward defeat. But Jon just shrugs off her advice.
Sansa has seen enough of the world to have some political savvy, while Jon has seen virtually nothing south of the Wall. She tries to impart some wisdom, but her half-brother is just as stubborn and blockheaded as her father was.
Jon has a solid sense of purpose and morality; once he makes up his mind, hes basically immovable. If Sansa hadn't gone behind his back and enlisted the help of Littlefinger, who arrived with the Knights of the Vale at (quite literally) the last second, they would both be dead. It was Sansa, not Jon Snow, who saved House Stark.
And yet it was Jon Snow who got all the credit. Despite his recklessness, his inability to take advice, and the fact that he's illegitimate, Jon is instantly hailed "the King in the North". This immediately following the battle in which he nearly got everyone killed because he couldn't control his emotions.
According to the laws of Westeros, Jon isn't the rightful ruler of the North. Sansa is. And I have to wonder whether she won't come to resent her half-brother's usurpation over the course of the next season.
We also have to consider the fact that Littlefinger is in the mix too. What on earth is he up to? (continued...)
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It's obvious from the way he looks at Jon that he has no use for the King in the North. Littlefinger openly told Sansa that his only wish was to sit on the throne with her at his side.
To that end, expect him to work at driving a wedge between Sansa and Jon. If hes successful, he may convince Sansa to take a page out of Cerseis book where inconvenient relatives are concerned.
Another 'family reunion' that's likely to happen this season is an encounter between Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen. It seems so fantastical that we're talking about characters who have lived such distant lives finally encountering each other, but at this point it's inevitable.
We learned something shocking about Jon's parentage at the end of last season. He's not actually the bastard son of Ned Stark and some unknown woman. He's the bastard son of Deanerys' dead brother and Ned's dead sister. Ned only lied about Jon's background in order to protect him.
Jon and Daenerys know nothing of the fact that they're related; that information was vouchsafed to Bran in one of his visions. But it's bound to come out at some point.
And when it does, it has the potential to spark a serious feud between the two. If Jon is the only living son of Daenerys' elder brother, that arguably gives him a better claim to the throne than her. That could lead to a showdown between the two rival claimants.
And if Jon is a Targaryen, does that mean he's fireproof like Daenerys? And can he ride a dragon too? I have visions of him and Daenerys flying over the armies of the dead, raining fire on them from above. If they can put aside their differences and get along.
Another possibility is that Jon and Daenerys could end up getting together. (Yes, as stated above, they're actually blood relatives, and therefore the idea of them hooking up is gross, but... come on, this is Game of Thrones. Gross is almost a prerequisite.)
Daenerys left her mercenary lover Daario Naharis behind in Essos because she knew she needed to be free to remarry. Marriage in a feudal society such as this isn't just about love or personal fulfilment. It's a tool of conquest, and you want to marry someone who can make the most of your ahem tool.
Jon could be a legitimate suitor for Daenerys. Think about it. (continued...)
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Jon controls the North. He's also the person best equipped to lead the war against the dead which is, as we're often reminded, the real war. Also, let's face it: Kit Harrington's smile can melt glaciers. Who doesn't want to see this romance happen?
There are a couple of drawbacks though. 1) She's his aunt; 2) He's a potential rival; 3) Hes a bastard; 4) Neither of them seem likely to take a back seat to the other; 5) She's his aunt, and I feel like I really can't say that enough.
But there's someone else who might make a plausible suitor for Daenerys. Jaime Lannister.
Asking Daenerys to marry the man who killed her father might be worse than asking her to marry her nephew, but there is some logic to the proposition. Jaime has an army, no desire to rule anything himself, and if his sister gets ousted, hell be single for the first time in his life. Isn't it time to experiment?
One of the most loveable characters in the GoT universe is undoubtedly Arya Stark. From the very beginning, we fell in love with her tomboyish pranks, and her oft-stated desire to be a knight rather than a lady.
But it's hard not to feel like her story must be coming to a crossroads. When you step back and consider what she's done... things have gotten dark.
This young woman is a trained and tested assassin. To some extent, it has been easy to ignore the sheer scale of her violence, because she's been taking it out on entirely deserving targets. But I mean... she bakes people into pies at this point. She has reached Sweeney Todd levels of brutality.
At first, her journey seemed like an empowering quest to avenge her murdered family and take out some people who had it coming. But it's starting to feel like Arya has damaged herself as much as anyone else. She has allowed the people who wronged her to turn her into a monster - just like them. Her whole character arc feels like a Tarantino film unto itself.
So where does she go from here? (continued...)
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Does she keep on fighting like the Russell Crowe of Westeros? Or does she reunite with her family, reflect, and realize that she can't keep letting a barbarian world make a barbarian of her?
I began this piece by saying that Cersei is doomed. And I think that's true. But there is one person who might be willing to help her.
Euron Greyjoy, the surly, unpleasant uncle who kicked Theon and Yara out of the Iron Islands last season.
He wants to be King of the Seven Kingdoms. Cersei can make that happen by marrying him. Let's look at the upside for this potential match.
1)He has a fleet that could rival Daenerys; 2) Cersei needs someone to help her fight; 3) He's an insane murderer. ...Wow, it's really starting to sound like he and Cersei were meant for each other.
But even if he has a bunch of ships, how does Euron plan to protect them from dragons? Dres Euron perhaps have a secret weapon of his own?
Remember that scene a couple seasons back where Tywin Lannister told Cersei that the whole Kingdom owed a massive sum of money to the Iron Bank of Braavos?
Those were the same bankers who gave Stannis Baratheon a hot cash injection so he could show up at the Wall and defeat the Wildlings. And take the throne. And pay them back.
It's worth remembering that whoever ends up winning this ridiculous war will ultimately be a beggar with a crown. They're fighting over a land that is not only divided, but neck-deep in debt.
I guess Westeros isn't so different from the real world after all.
What do you think will happen in Season 7? Let us know!
Those of us who live in New York live this truth on a daily basis.
Sometimes, you just meet a person who isn't quite all there. It's hard to tell at first, but then you talk with them for a little while and it just becomes abundantly clear if they're two eggs short of an omelette.
The stories of how you find out are so interesting. But yet, they teach us to look for clues when we interact with others.