That’s it, is officially over. But before you get too depressed, remember, we have season 7 to look forward to. There’s almost a year to obsess about the storylines, cast members, and everything else to do with the next season of Thrones, so I thought we’d start with the BIG questions season 6 left us with.
We may have got revenge for the Red Wedding, Dany on a boat, and Jon Snow back, but there’s still plenty that was merely hinted at in the last series. Below I run through the major questions season 6 left us with and speculate on the answers. Be warned, it’s a beast of feature because there’s just so much GoT goodness to talk about, but if you can stick with me, season 7 will feel like mere days away. And of course... spoilers.
1. Is Jaime going to betray Cersei?
Admit it, you asked yourself this exact same question during Cersei’s coronation when Jaime had that wary look on his face. Season 6 made a big deal of Jaime’s love and loyalty for his sister/lover Cersei - remember him telling Edmure Tully he’d do ANYTHING to get back to her? In previous series, it’s been easy to forget the bond between the twin Lannisters given that they’ve had to hide it and were often separated for long periods of time, but season 6 seemed to make a point of telling us; they love each other, they’ll protect each other, and yes, it’s icky, but nothing’s going to tear these two apart.
So, of course, season 7 is going to tear them apart. This is classic Game of Thrones, setting up a plot point just to destroy it. The idea that Jaime would betray Cersei would have been unthinkable in and massively unlikely even a couple of weeks ago, but with that explosive finale, things have changed. Despite his bad reputation, there really was only one reason that Jaime killed King Aerys, and that’s because the Mad King was willing to burn the whole of King’s Landing down. He broke his oath to save the kingdom and has lived with the shame of it ever since. You only have to rewatch the scene where he tells Brienne about becoming the Kingslayer to know what a burden that decision was for him.
And what’s Cersei just done? Exactly what Jaime feared the Mad King would do. Ok, she was really lucky that she only destroyed the Great Sept of Baelor and the surrounding area, and that the explosion didn’t set off the other caches of wildfire around King’s Landing, but she still killed a boatload of people. Jaime won’t be losing sleep over the death of the High Sparrow, and maybe he can even get on board with killing the Tyrells and his Uncle Kevan as they were obviously working against him and Cersei, but what about all the other people who were caught in the blast? Cersei murdered hundreds of people just to get her revenge, and in the process, caused their last living child to commit suicide.
That look in Jaime’s eye during the coronation wasn’t anger, it was fear. Fear of history repeating itself. Fear that he is going to have to become the Kingslayer again… or, more appropriately, the Queenslayer. I think we all know Cersei won’t make a good ruler, and that the people won’t love or respect her, but what’s going to be most exciting thing about season 7 is that she’s going to lose the only person who’s ever fully supported and cared for her.
2. Will Tyrion (or Jaime) fulfil Cersei’s prophecy?
Remember how Cersei went to see a witch as a child, who prophesied that yes, she would be queen but only for a time and that all of her children would die? Yeah, well, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Cersei’s last surviving child died in season 6 just before she became queen (and not, ‘married to the king’ queen. Like, ‘actually in charge of the kingdom’ queen). But that wasn’t the full prophecy. At least, not as far as the books are concerned.
It wasn’t in the show, but in the novels the prophecy goes on to say that once all her children are dead, Cersei will die young at the hands of valonqar, which is High Valyrian for “little brother”. Guess who’s making his way back to Westeros? That’s right, Cersei’s younger brother Tyrion, and he just happens to be running with the queen who wants to take her throne. Should Cersei be worried? Well, maybe...
Even though Tyrion and Cersei have never got on, I doubt killing his sister is something he wants to do. He might not want her to be queen, but murdering his family won’t come easy to him. Plus, this part of the prophecy never made it into the show, so there’s always the chance that the showrunners have scrapped it entirely.
If the prophecy is in effect then Cersei better watch out, because Daenerys is coming for her and Tyrion is with her, but there is someone else who fits the “little brother” description. Jaime, although Cersei’s twin, is technically younger than her. In the books, it’s talked about how Cersei was born first with Jaime following close behind her holding onto her heel so she actually has two valonqars.
Like I said above, I don’t think Jaime is going to be #TeamCersei for much longer and he’s always had a bond with Tyrion. Sure, he’ll probably still be pissed that he killed their dad, but will he get over it when he finds out that Tyrion in back in town? And if he pays his brother a visit, he’s sure to meet Daenerys and he could come to the same conclusion as everyone else: that Dany would make a better queen than Cersei. Intriguing.
3. Will Daenerys actually make it to Westeros?
The end of season 6 saw Daenerys finally (FINALLY!) set sail for Westeros and I think I speak for everyone when I say, it’s about bloody time. Sadly though, that’s as far as she got, and we’ll have to wait until next season to find out when and where she’s going to land. There’s been rumours that her fleet will be intercepted by Euron’s, which would make sense given his plans, and would keep House Greyjoy relevant in season 7, but how long will the Greyjoy civil war on the sea delay Dany and her army? For a few episodes or... another whole season? *shivers*
I’m telling you now, Daenerys is going to step foot on Westeros soil in season 7 if it kills me. And not just because if she doesn’t, I’m going to hunt down the showrunners, tie them up, and explain very carefully the difference between teasing an audience and torturing them.
We might have had to wait a while, but now is the perfect time for a new queen to arrive in King’s Landing. Thanks to Cersei's bomb-making skills, Westeros has a new ruler, and despite being on the Iron Throne she’s looking pretty vulnerable. With few allies and literally one surviving relative/lover, the last thing Cersei needs now is another wannabe queen. Enter, Daenerys Targaryen, aka trouble.
4. Is Jon going to find out about his true parentage?
Another moment Game of Thrones fans had been waiting a long time for was the confirmation of a particularly popular theory that Jon Snow wasn’t actually Ned Stark’s bastard, but in fact the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. You know what I’m talking about, R + L = J.
Season 6 saw this well-known theory confirmed thanks to Bran and his super useful flashback visions, which showed us what happened at the Tower of Joy all that time ago. While Lyanna certainly incoherently whispered the name of her child, and failed to say exactly who the Dad was, that yes, Jon Snow is a Targaryen. This is HUGE news, so what’s going to happen?
Well, if you think about it, nothing. Bran is the only one who knows the truth right now, and he’s not exactly in a position to tell anyone. Even if he somehow managed to be reunited with his brother (see: cousin) in season 7 and decided to tell him, which would be stupid, he can’t prove it. What’s he going to do? Ask for a Westeros paternity test? Everyone who knew the truth is now dead, right? RIGHT?
Well actually, Howland Reed (that’s Meera’s Dad) was with Ned Stark at the Tower of Joy. He didn’t witness the promise that Lyanna asked of Ned, but I highly doubt he’s stupid enough to believe that Ned went to go find his sister in a tower and somehow managed to sire a bastard along the way. As Ned’s friend he probably agreed to keep the secret to protect the child, and unlike pretty much everyone else in Thrones, he’s actually still alive.
Given that Bran’s hanging out with Howland Reed’s daughter, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that at some point in the coming season the pair might meet and Bran might ask him about the Tower of Joy. But I can’t see any reason why the Lord of Greywater Watch would decide to break his oath and tell Jon Snow about his real parents. Especially, as this would effectively strip him of his right to be King in the North. It’s great to have this Game of Thrones tidbit confirmed, but I can’t see it making much of a difference.
5. Will Sansa join forces with Littlefinger?
The Starks are back at Winterfell! Yay! Best news of the season, right? Anyone who thinks Jon and Sansa’s troubles are over is a Thrones newbie, because that’s just not how they roll in Westeros. I predict lots of political arguments and alliance-making in season 7 and, of course, Littlefinger is going to be causing as much trouble as possible.
He might technically be in the Stark fold after saving the day with the Knights of the Vale, but this certainly isn’t how he planned for things to turn out. Sansa was under his thumb and, despite him betraying her to Ramsay, could be an ally again, but Jon? Not likely. There’s no bond between the pair and Jon’s the one with the power - all hail the King in the North! - so Littlefinger has already started to try and break the relationship between the Stark siblings.
He knows Sansa is still his best chance at taking the north because there’s actually loads of valid reasons why she should be the head of House Stark rather than Jon. He’s a bastard, whereas she’s the trueborn oldest child of Ned and Catelyn Stark. Jon might be a courageous fighter, but if the Battle of the Bastards taught us anything, it’s that he’s not a military strategist. Sansa’s also picked up some pretty sharp game-playing skills as proven by her military alliance with Littlefinger, and if it wasn’t for her, Ramsay probably would have won.
While she’s not happy with Littlefinger and certainly doesn’t trust him, Sansa does acknowledge the benefits an alliance with him brings, so if she was queen of the north, he’d be much better placed to make that picture in his head become reality. Question is, will Sansa turn on her half-brother and join Littlefinger to make it happen?
No doubt, the Stark siblings are going to have issues in season 7. They’re relationship is still very fragile and they’re both totally different people now, but I think family loyalty will win out. Littlefinger is definitely going to take advantage of any conflict and try and push his own agenda, but hopefully they won’t fall for it. Past seasons have taught us that no matter how sensible a thing is, characters often seal their own doom so I’m thinking something might force Sansa’s hand, which will lead to her unintentionally making things difficult for Jon. Hopefully though, it’s nothing they can’t come back from. Hopefully.
6. Is Riverrun back in Tully hands?
If fans were expecting the Blackfish to kick arse and take back Riverrun from the Freys in season 6, they were sadly disappointed. Jaime showed off his skills in threatening and manipulative behaviour and convinced Edmure Tully to walk into Riverrun, force his soldiers to surrender, and then walk right back into captivity. It all worked out ok though because right after Jaime tells Walder Frey what we were all thinking - “What do we need you for?” - Arya turns up to feed him his own children baked in a pie and slits his throat.
Just like that, the youngest Stark girl gets revenge for the Red Wedding and the world rejoices. It was a truly fist-pumping moment but it does leave the question, what’s going to happen to the imprisoned Edmure Tully? With the Lord of House Frey dead, along with his two heirs, surely there’ll be chaos in the Riverlands? While Walder certainly has more than enough children to take his place, I’m thinking if Edmure doesn’t escape in the confusion, he might well be released by the new lord who’s done being the Lannisters lacky.
As the rightful heir to Riverrun, Edmure could take his Frey wife (if he forgives her) and the child he’s never met back to Riverrun and start to rebuild his life. Maybe he’ll even reach out to his niece Sansa. Maybe he’ll want revenge. Maybe he’ll even support the King in the North. No doubt, if this is the case, he’s going to have some difficult questions to answer when Brienne and Pod return to Winterfell and tell Sansa how her Great Uncle Blackfish died, and there’s no way the scars of such a long imprisonment will easily heal. But I for one, think it would mix things up nicely in season 7 to see a freed Edmure and a Tully back at Riverrun. And not just because it would have really pissed off Walder Frey.
7. Will Arya be reunited with her family?
Now that the unthinkable has happened and two of the Stark Siblings have actually (finally) reunited with each other, do we think it’s going to happen again? No one was more shocked than me that Sansa and Jon found each other - as has so often happened before with the Stark family, but no, they found each other, they hugged, it was emotional. So, will we be in for another reunion in season 7?
Well, technically we already have one, but as Rickon was dead before Jon got to him, we’re not sure it counts. Too soon? Bran is still on the wrong side of the wall, so that just leaves Arya who actually looks to be in a good place to go home by the end of season 6. She’s given up serving the Faceless God and trekked back to Westeros to continue crossing names off her kill list.
Everyone (probably) cheered when she slit Walder Frey’s throat at the end of last season, but it also puts her in the Riverlands, not a million miles away from Winterfell. If, as I predict above, Edmure Tully’s imprisonment ends with the death of Lord Frey could Arya reunite with her Uncle and make her way to Riverrun? Or, another possibility is that she bumps into Brienne and Pod who haven’t yet returned to the north from their mission in the Riverlands.
Arya wasn’t all that keen on teaming up with Brienne last time they met, but something tells me the news that her sister Sansa and brother Jon are currently ruling the north at Winterfell might persuade her to drop in. There’s also the possibility she might run into the Hound as well. Details about his location were fuzzy in season 6, but while he certainly wasn’t in the north, he could be near the Riverlands. That would be an awkward encounter for the pair. Then again, maybe none of the above happens - the Riverlands are a big place after all. Perhaps Arya just wipes the Frey blood off her hands and skips on down to King’s Landing to deal with no 1. on her list - Cersei Lannister.
8. Is Cleganebowl EVER going to happen?
Speaking of the Hound. There was a pretty popular fan theory doing the rounds last season that the Hound would be reunited with his brother the Mountain and that a fight between the pair would result in . It looked like it was going to happen. The Hound was reintroduced on the show living with a religious community (turns out he didn’t die after all). Cersei was telling anyone who would listen that she would be choosing trial by combat when the time came for her to face the High Sparrow, and that the Mountain would be her champion. Just when I thought the High Sparrow was going to call on ‘a friend’ to send someone to King’s Landing who could fight for the faith, King Tommen announced that trial by combat would be outlawed and just like that, our Cleganebowl dreams died.
But could it still happen? Both the Hound and the Mountain are still alive (sort of - the Mountain’s more like a zombie now) and if they met they probably wouldn’t be happy to see each other. Older brother Gregor Clegane was the one who scarred little brother Sandor in the first place, and something tells me that relationship won’t have improved much. The thing is, there’s no need for them to fight each other anymore. There’s no trial by combat, so even if the Hound did make it to King’s Landing and discovered his zombie brother, he’d have to choose to fight him of his own accord. That might happen, but it’s by no means a sure thing.
One way it could happen is if the Hound took up with the Brotherhood Without Banners and started fighting for ‘the good guys’. There might come a point where he faces off against his brother, but I think I’d rather he teamed up with Arya instead. No Cleganebowl for you. Sorry.
9. Will Brienne and Tormund get it on?
Finally, we get to the most important question Game of Thrones season 6 left us with. Will Brienne and Tormund get together? The pair shared a few moments in season 6 - and by moments, I mean Tormund ‘meat flirted’ with her and she had a perpetual look of WTF on her face - and fans around the world went crazy for .
Sadly, the Wildling and warrior woman were separated before they could fall in love and live happily ever after, but I’m hoping that season 7 will see them reunited. Brienne has been in the Riverlands carrying out Sansa’s instructions, but she’s on her way back to the north now and will soon find out that, in her absence, Tormund has helped the Starks retake Winterfell. Surely, she’ll fall into his arms and gaze lovingly… hang on, no way, Brienne’s going to rock up at Winterfell and give Tormund props for a military job well done, before they both decided that it would be the best thing for everyone if they got married and had lots of strong children. Yep, that’s definitely what’s going to happen.
10. Is Dorne making a comeback?
One of the most hated storylines of was the Dorne plot, which meant that in the first episode of season 6 the showrunners effectively axed it. We saw nothing of Dorne or the characters living there for eight whole episodes and everyone thought, that was it. Bye bye Dorne. And then, in the season finale, they returned. It wasn’t a huge scene but it saw the Dornish characters interacting with other prominent figures within the Thrones world. The showrunners effectively used Dorne to book end season 6, and that begs the question, will Dorne be making a comeback in season 7?
Well, it definitely looks that way. We won’t be getting the Dorne storyline from the books - - because too many characters have now been killed off, but no doubt they’re going to be a part of Dany’s war in Westeros. My gut says the show will keep them as behind-the-scenes partners along with the Queen of Thorns, as they won’t want to risk making another hugely unpopular storyline as they did in season 5.
There’s nothing I’d love to see more that the Sand Sisters in Westeros causing trouble and maybe looking up Bronn, but it just wouldn’t work, not with the characters as they are now. Instead, they’ll support Dany’s claim from afar and maybe when she’s sitting on the Iron Throne we can revisit Dorne and do it right this time. Sound good?
11. Will Bran bring the Wall down?
Another character who’s made a comeback is Bran. The disabled Stark son was completely missing from season 5, but returned for season 6 a lot more grown up and a lot more interesting. Sure, he’s basically just been used as a plot device what with his super useful flashback visions that explain what happened before the start of the show, but he’s actually in a position to affect real change in season 7.
In one of the best and most emotional moments of Game of Thrones to date, we discovered the just before he died *sob* saving his friends. It’s important because the Night’s King and his forces shouldn’t have been able to get to Bran and co in the Three-Eyed Raven’s cave, but Bran let him touch him in one of his visions, and because he was in the cave when he woke up, that meant the Night’s King could pass through the magic barrier protecting them. Goddammit Bran!
Do you know what else that kind of magic is protecting? Yeah, Westeros. We also found out in season 6 that the Wall is protected by the same kind of magic and that’s why the Night’s King and his White Walkers can’t pass into Westeros. This is something Benjen ‘Coldhands’ Stark explained when he dropped Bran and Meera off near the Wall at the end of season 6. As he is halfway changed into a White Walker, he also can’t pass through the Wall, but that’s ok because neither can the baddies, right? RIGHT?
Well, the thing is, if Bran ever crosses the Wall to go home or, you know, just get warm for a bit, the magic barrier keeping the White Walkers out will be broken the same way it was at the Three-Eyed Raven’s cave and the Night’s King will be able to enter Westeros. So, basically, Bran has to live north of the Wall for the rest of his life or risk unleashing the Night’s King and his undead army on the world.
Season 6 saw the White Walkers take a bit of a back seat, what with most of our characters on the right side of the wall, but I think this means they’ll be the big threat of season 7. Some fans think that Bran will warg into a bird that flies over the Wall, bringing it crumbling down, but whether he fully understands what will happen is unknown right now. He’s definitely bringing the Wall down though (and possibly in season 7) because if he doesn’t, everyone’s safe from the Night’s King. He poses no threat. And that’s just not how George RR Martin works. He likes his characters to suffer.