*WARNING: SPOILERS FROM THE PREVIOUS 6 SEASONS*
*Apologies that this post isn’t filed into one of my sections. If anyone could tell me how to do that, I would be really grateful!*
Right now I feel like HBO and D&D are amused with regards to the teasers for the upcoming season. Costumes, melting blocks of ice, and some authoritative striding… we’re all desperately chomping at the bit. Admit it.
I’m anticipative to the point that I feel Ian McShane’s demand for fans to ‘get a f****** life’ was aimed at me personally. Everyday I give ‘Game of Thrones Season 7’ a quick Google, and selectively navigate for theories (and the odd spoiler…) I want to take this opportunity to give some of my own ideas as to how the next season will play out, as well as some of my views on the theories circling about right now (Cersei’s potential alliance with the Night King? A tad far fetched if I’m honest!) Anyway, let’s crack on:
Theory 1: Sansa Will Die
Before you sentence me to death for seemingly taking Maisie Williams’ slip up at ‘South by South West’ as literal truth, let me explain. Firstly, I could be wrong because that slip up may have been constructed by the panel to throw fans off the scent and give them something to chew on. We know that this is possible given D&D’s past tactics of construing fake scenes in front of the beady-eyed media. I know that most of us are probably remaining open minded, but I genuinely believe there is a chance that Sansa will die this season.
Let’s couple this possible outcome with the much desired annihilation of Little Finger. I feel that if he dies, then he is most definitely going to bring a key character down with him. We know that Little Finger is inclined to side with the most powerful before he begins his puzzles. If he knows he is a goner, he may (at the very least) turn Sansa or something / someone over to Cersei in a fit of malice. If Sansa doesn’t die, she will most likely be subject to a very potent threat (made credible by Jon’s confirmed journey to Dragonstone.) This outcome would definitely fall in line with George R.R Martin’s belief in the ‘bittersweet.’
Yes, Sansa has been through hell and high waters (especially that icy cold water with Theon.) Yes it would be incredibly cruel, and perhaps even repulsive to fans. But we have to think about what role she would serve to the overarching narrative. If my next theory of Jon’s decline of the throne is anything to go by, what purpose would Sansa serve if she is constantly in the shadow of the ‘King of the North’? Jon and Sansa have reunited, but a small regression into tragic separateness is still possible.
I think for this one I am also re-iterating that all characters are vulnerable (as always.) Overall, I don’t think the Starks are exempt from the wrath of death even after Rickon.
Theory 2: Jon Will Deny His Claim To The Throne
We know for a fact that Jon’s main concern is the ‘long night’, and thus the overall safety of the realm. Whilst the throne would give him considerable influence in order to direct attention to this cause, we know that his roots are in the North, and that operating from a Southern throne would be counter-productive (especially since he is the most knowledgeable on what is coming.) Of course, we all want Jon to find out about his parentage, and no doubt knowing who his parents are would give him the sense of closure he has longed for. Moreover, this knowledge may assist in consolidating Jon as more than the ‘bastard’ title that still looms over his new status as the Northern King.
However, this personal closure and a higher respect is perhaps all we can hope for with the threat of the Night King becoming ever more present. An extended theory would be that Jon’s denial of the throne will subsequently lead to the manifestation of him as Azor Ahai…but that most likely will not happen until Season 8. Azor Ahai seems to me to be an omnipotent presence that no throne can house, and one that is prophesised to be vital in the war for the dawn. Furthermore, the inclusion of Rheagar and Lyanna in the show storyline will matter even more, as the sacrifices of their own lives in Robert’s Rebellion will have contributed to a greater victory (all being well.)
Theory 3: The Aspirations of Daenerys Will Be Checked In Some Way
It cannot be denied that Daenerys Targaryen has had a long and challenging journey to get to the stage of actively vying for her ancestral seat. However, as D&D hinted at the end of Season 6, the image of her consolidated forces chartering the Narrow Sea seems a little too perfect…We know George by now, we know that he is inclined to summon havoc where we least expect it. Of course, it is a given that Daenerys will suffer losses along the way. It is part and parcel of war, especially in Westeros. The question is what these losses will be.
I believe there is evidence both for and against the death of a dragon. It would be extremely bittersweet if the Night King re-animated a dead dragon, and would completely turn the tables if the living seem to be on an initial winning streak in terms of an intricate battle plan. Some have suggested the dragon to fall will be Viserion, as this symbolically re-iterates the deserving death of Viserys Targaryen.
However, this outcome would also bring into question the sigil of House Targaryen. It is important to note that D&D left out Daenerys’s dream of Rheagar, whereby her brother asserted that the dragon must have three heads. Thus, it is plausible that the prophecy of the three headed dragon will not be taken up on screen, and that a dragon will die. Alternatively, the three dragons may be salvaged by the big reveal that Tyrion is a Targaryen. Tywin said himself, even in the face of death, that Tyrion was no son of his. To stick to that assertion so adamantly gives credibility to this theory. Then there’s Tyrion’s connection with the dragons themselves. However, the hair of Peter Dinklage on screen isn’t exactly silvery-blonde as such…
Fans have also been trying to figure out the battle plans of Daenerys. I personally think she is being daring enough settling in Dragonstone, even though nobody has claimed this seat since the defeat of Stannis. She is prey to Euron’s fleet whatever happens, but would possibly have to be prepared for a siege surrounded by his ships. Some people have said she will attack Casterly Rock, but how would she allocate her forces there without coming into the view of King’s Landing?
Lastly, it has been suggested that characters such as Ellaria Sand and Yara Greyjoy will be captured by Euron, and taken to King’s Landing as a means of him consolidating an alliance with the crown. This, some argue, is meant to lead to Daenerys attempting to get them back, and thus making herself vulnerable. Whilst I have faith in Daenerys’s compass of justice, she may have to sacrifice some of those dear to her, and this will consequently illuminate what her rule will entail…leading on to my next theory:
Theory 4: The Marginalised Will Pioneer A New Way (Or Plan To)
This theory pertains more to the eventual conclusion of the show, but traces of its desirability may be discernible if characters do converge next season.
For me, the whole of Game of Thrones has been built upon the rise of those marginalised at the beginning. This isn’t always obvious, given that all storylines deal with a barrage of blood and death at some point. Jon Snow has risen from a spurned bastard to Lord Commander, and now King of the North (with a royal lineage yet to be revealed.) There is also a sub-narrative for the Starks here. The wolves of Arya and Jon have not yet died. A common idea is that a Stark wolf dies when a mistake is made. It is thus rather poetic that Ghost and Nymeria remain, as Arya was also marginalised within the Stark household for her ‘unladylike’ ways – ways which seem to have served her well so far, particularly in avenging her family. Moreover, Arya is incredibly close to Jon (perhaps a result of their marginalisation.)
Daenerys has also risen from the abused pawn of her elder brother to a headstrong potential leader and adept conqueror. A final case in point is Tyrion, who has risen from the falsely born and blameable dwarf sibling to the hand of the Queen, allowing him to feel a sense of belonging, as well as test his intellectual strengths. These three storylines do add possibility to the three heads of the dragon onscreen yet, but also to a dramatic change in the way Westeros is ruled.
Each character, through their individual storyline, focuses on pioneering a new way for the sake of a greater good, despite contentious opposition from traditional or interest groups. For this reason, I think a collaboration between these three charismatic characters would ultimately lead to a proposed discontinuation of the Iron throne, as well as the intemperate game that has been played at the cost of many. Even King Robert wasn’t happy sitting the throne, and he usurped it for a greater good. Plus, as Daario said, Daenerys is a gifted CONQUEROR.
Theory 5: Jaime May Not Kill Cersei
I admit that I do not completely and utterly reject the idea of history repeating itself for Jaime. It would most certainly define his trajectory throughout the show as that of the tragic hero. There would be heartache amongst all of us knowing that Jaime has to face that incomprehensible choice once again now that a childless Cersei has a lot of power on her hands, and especially since we have started warming to him as a character. After all, the biggest warning to newcomers is ‘do not get attached.’
However, as Nicholas Coster-Waldau said himself, this outcome is ‘rather poetic.’ To me this infers a sense of predictability that we know is not innate to the show. An alternative idea would be Jamie at the very least listening to Tyrion, attempting an escape to the North in order to aid against the greater threat. If Euron becomes a potential suitor for Cersei, then Jaime will surely have little purpose eventually, especially since he is no longer a member of the Kingsguard. However, this may mean he can kill Cersei without denting his honour this time around, and resultantly become understood as a person (with a possible defence from Brienne.)
Alternatively, the Lannister forces are likely to become Jaime’s purpose, but I feel that Jaime may reach a point where he no longer feels love for Cersei, considering her requests of him irrational / potentially catastrophic for her alleged ‘enemies.’ Whatever happens, there will be friction between Jamie and Cersei in some form. Another possible idea I have is that Jaime will face an ultimatum between Cersei and Brienne, with Cersei’s paranoia perhaps reminding her of how Jamie actively chose to save Brienne’s life, or even leading her to discover Jamie’s request for Brienne to protect Sansa. This may motivate Cersei to request Jamie to prove his loyalty.
In my opinion, this is one of the trickiest theories to navigate. It would also be slightly ‘poetic’ for Jaime to realise his potential and unite with Brienne and the North. I mean, he could do that and die up North instead of down South. Overall though, I would like to see him considering the opportunity to redeem himself for hurting Bran, and enrol in the great war with the honourable of the living. Nevertheless, his enlisting of Brienne to protect Sansa may be redemption enough…
Theory 6: Cersei May Not Die At The Hands Of The Valonqar
If the Valonqar theory is what it is, then surely it has to be Tyrion. He is the little brother that Cersei has wrongly detested. As a baby, how could he have conscience enough to purposefully kill his mother? This undeniably points to the irrationality that will end Cersei’s rule in either season 7 or 8. It also suggests that she is well aware that, as her little brother, he will likely play a part in her death.
However, in the flashback to Maggy the Frog at the beginning of Season 5, the show did not depict the final prophecy of Cersei’s fate at the hands of the Valonqar. This gives some scope for Jaime killing her instead, her dying in a completely different way, or even surviving longer than we would imagine.
Alternatively, the show may be concealing Cersei’s prophesised fate in the sense that she has seered it from her memory, denying it entirely, and as a result intensifying the madness that has come with the loss of all three of her children. I am also inclined to predict that Cersei may go in search of the older Maggy next season – either to try and change her fate, or perhaps punish Maggy for the truth of the prophecy so far.
Thanks for reading! I hope that you have enjoyed entertaining what are just a mere few theories for the future of the show. There may be some theories I haven’t contemplated that you may wish to discuss. Feel free to rigorously debate in the comments. And finally, as a bonus, I would like to pose a motion for further discussion:
Will the realm find out that it was Little Finger all along?
That’s all for now. Happy theorizing!
PS: I would like to make everyone aware that I have only read the first book. I endeavour to read the rest, and know most of the content through YouTube lore videos / fan-made videos / posts relating events from the books.