The calendar is slowly moving towards July 16th and the beginning of this abridged, penultimate season of the greatest show on earth is right around the corner. The show has long outpaced the books, which means no one but the show runners have any idea what’s coming next. Well… the show runners and – thanks to my off-season training as a greenseer – yours truly. So join me after the break as I connect to Weirwood WiFi and share my predictions for Season Seven of Game of Thrones! (And yes, if you’re not caught up through season 6, there are tons of spoilers).
Melisandre loses face: The Red Lady’s Season Six story arc left her riding from Winterfell, exiled from the North for her role in the horrible death of Princess Shireen in Season Five’s “The Dance of Dragons.” It seemed a bit anti-climatic for a character that has caused so much suffering and elicited such anger, especially knowing Davos Seaworthy was ready to cut her down in the halls of Winterfell, with only his respect for Jon staying his hand. Melisandre must have another role to play, but what? Would she return to Dragonstone and perhaps meet the Queen her peers in the East consider “The Prince that was Promised?” Would she meet up with the Brotherhood without Banners and head behind the wall to redeem herself fighting White Walkers?
I believe the show only kept her around to play one last role: Victim. See, there’s one person who might want the Red Witch dead more than the Onion Knight, and she was last seen serving Frey pudding and slitting Frey throats in last season’s ultra-satisfying closing episode. Melisandre occupies a prominent spot on Arya’s murder-kill list for stealing away Gendry (who rumor has it will appear this year after three seasons of rowing in circles) way back in Season Three, and I think a chance encounter is going to end up with our favorite false prophet on the pointy end of a Needle.
Sansa steps up: Perhaps one of the most satisfying Season Six stories was Sansa’s long-awaited metamorphosis from oft-victimized caterpillar to beautiful, scheming, Ramsay-killing butterfly. Mopey bastard Jon may be King of the North, but Sansa is its unsung hero. Without her willingness to put the Littlefinger card in play, Ramsay’s pooches would not have closed out the season eating Bolton-biscuits and her brother… er… cousin Jon would have been just one more corpse in the field after the Battle of the Bastards. Perhaps more importantly was her rebuke of Creepy Uncle Petyr, with its implications that she is ready to play the game without him. And her troubled look in his direction tells me she knows using this tool came with a number of risks.
But she’s up to the challenge, and while Jon is off forging uneasy alliances with his Aunt Dany the guy accused of hiring an assassin for Bran, and the guy who pretended to kill Jon’s little brothers, Sansa will be back in Winterfell, preparing the North for the ultimate battle and cementing her rightful place as Queen of the North.
Sam the Patricide: The Westorosi Hall of Bad Dads gained another entrant when they introduced the fat-shaming master of House Tarley, Randyll. We already knew Sam’s dad belonged amongst the ranks of Tywin Lannister, Balor Greyjoy, and Stannis Baratheon …
….way back in Season One, when our portly Night’s Watchman revealed his father had forced him to the wall under threat of death for the unimaginable sin of being hefty and bookish. We finally meet the elder Tarley in last season’s “Blood of my Blood” and he proved to be just as awful as Sam’s stories portended, re-banishing his first-born and consigning Gilly to the kitchens of Horn Hill. Sam puts the brakes on that plan, stealing away with Gilly and baby Sam, and stealing the Tarley ancestoral sword Heartsbane.
Obviously, Randyll isn’t going to take this lightly, and I’ve no doubt he will show up at the Citadel, favored son, Dickon in tow, to exact retribution. Somehow, I don’t think Randyll will suddenly embrace his eldest son’s pursuit of knowledge, nor his need for Valaryan Steel, and however the confrontation begins, it’s going to end with Heartsbane living up to its name.
A Lannister dies (but not the one you want): Cersei Lannister is a marked woman, of that there is no doubt. She has betrayed dozens and killed hundreds (perhaps thousands) on her path towards becoming the first Queen of Westoros. Someone in the remaining cast is going to kill her…
…just not in Season Seven. Cersei’s arc is not done, and I think she survives the season because there is still so much more she can screw up. Jaime, on the other hand, has nothing left to do but die. Lot’s of folks think Jaime is the neck-wringing “Valanqar” Maggie the Frog prophesied back in Season Five, but as his speech to Edmure Tully in last season’s “No One” tells us, Cersei is really all Jaime has left in the world. I don’t see him killing his sister-lover.
He may betray her, though. Or perhaps he simply won’t support her enough, and to the increasingly paranoid Cersei, that’s really the same thing. At some point in the next 8 weeks, Cersei’s dagger, either real or metaphorical, will slide between Jaime’s ribs. Or maybe he does make a half-hearted attempt at doing what’s right, and Frankenmountain pops off his head. Either way, before Season Seven closes, Jaime ends up dead.
The Wall comes tumbling down: The most powerful person in Westeros is a skinny boy with no working legs and a strange affinity for three-eyed poultry. Bran Stark was last seen north of the Wall, hooked up to a Weirwood and revealing Jon Snow’s true parentage to an unsurprised viewing public.
Bran will eventually cross the wall. When he does, the mark of the Night’s King (the one that opened up the cave of the Three-Eyed Raven to the undead in Season Six’s “The Door”) will negate the magic imbued in the ice and snow and open the lands south to the Army of the Night.
I don’t think this will happen right away. But I have my own vision of the last episode of Season Seven. An army of wights gather beneath the horrified gaze of the remaining brothers of the Night’s Watch. The frozen king steps forward, places a horn to his lips and blows. The wall crumbles into billowing clouds of ice and snow. Stepping through the breach, an army of blue-eyed horror… and then we’ll need to wait until 2018 to find out what happens next.
What do you think of these predictions? Do you have any of your own? And what secrets will be revealed when Season Seven kicks off next week with “Dragonstone?”