The penultimate season of Game of Thrones is almost upon us, and as was the case with Season 6 we have left the books behind and struck out into uncharted territory.
This means we can have a little fun making predictions and then going back later to see how wrong we were.
Part lesson in humility, part fun thing to do for a much-anticipated TV show, here are my seven predictions for the seventh season of Game of Thrones.
1. Littlefinger will turn Sansa against Jon.
This one bothers me because I just can’t imagine Jon and Sansa turning against one another after everything they’ve been through. After all, they’re the first of the Stark children to reunite since the very beginning of the show.
And yet…how can it not happen? Littlefinger is there in the North with his army, like a bad poison. He’s still trying to manipulate Sansa and he’s the ultimate player of the Game of Thrones, going from rags to riches up a long ladder of blood and chaos.
He was able to manipulate both Ned and Catelyn, and Sansa is even more vulnerable than either of them. Meanwhile, Jon’s claim to the throne of Winterfell is shaky at best and we already know from the episode descriptions that he faces a revolt (though that could be for any number of reasons.)
I don’t think Littlefinger will be successful in the end, but I do think he’s going to cause serious trouble for the Stark children in Season 7.
2. Cersei will have some tricks up her sleeve.
When it comes to the face-off between Dany and Cersei, the winner seems all but certain. The queen with the dragons, the Dothraki horde and the Unsullied, not to mention mercenaries and the armies of Sunspear and Highgarden will almost certainly triumph over the isolated, unloved queen in King’s Landing. The Lannister armies have been at war for years and though the Lannisters are rich and have many men, they’ll be hard pressed to fight off the might of Dany’s army.
But it can’t be that easy, can it? Not in Game of Thrones.
So Cersei must have a trick up her sleeve, something we aren’t expecting. That’s how she took down the High Sparrow, after all, using a trick from the Mad King’s playbook. It’s hard to know what this might be, but I can think of one potential ally: Euron Greyjoy.
Euron is the enemy of Yara Greyjoy, who has joined up with Dany and her army. He’s also crazy and ambitious and deadly. And while we don’t know if the show is sticking to the books in this regard, it’s possible he also has the horn Dragonbinder. That’s the second magical horn in these stories. The first is the Horn of Winter, also known as the Horn of Joramun. It has the power to bring down the magical ice Wall separating Westeros from the frozen north and the army of dead.
Both these horns sound incredibly over-powered to me, and it’s possible that they simply won’t show up in the TV adaptation, but if Euron does have Dragonbinder he can use it to take control of Dany’s dragons and turn them against her. This would even the playing field in a pretty major way.
3. Arya will reunite with the Brotherhood Without Banners (and the Hound.)
Arya just got through killing the vile Walder Frey and his sons. But she still has plenty of names on her kill list. She’s also in the general vicinity of the Brotherhood Without Banners, who just met back up with Sandor “The Hound” Clegane.
It seems incredibly likely that she’ll reunite with the Brotherhood on their way to the North. Will she also find her lost direwolf, Nymeria? Probably not, but we can dream. What all this likely means is that….
4. Cleganebowl is coming. Finally.
While the Hound and the Brotherhood may be heading to fight in the North, there’s reason to believe the Hound at least finds himself in warmer climes. In the latest Season 7 trailer we get an ever-so-brief glimpse of Sandor Clegane drawing his sword against a backdrop that looks nothing like the frozen North.
it would make sense for Arya and the Hound to travel together to cross two more names off of the young Stark’s list: Both Cersei and Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane are on it still. Perhaps Sandor will finally kill his murderous brother, and Arya will get a shot at Cersei. Whether she’s successful is another question altogether.
5. Jaime will finally leave Cersei.
In the books, Jaime grows disillusioned with Cersei long before the point we are at in the show. His relationship with Brienne is explored more deeply, for one thing. But in the show he’s already showing signs that Cersei has lost his trust and love. After all, she’s done so many horrible things, and her last play, wiping out all her enemies including Margaery Tyrell, led directly to their son Tommen’s suicide.
At some point, Jaime needs to wake up to his sister’s wickedness and go be a better man. I think that time will come in this season. If Euron allies with Cersei he may precipitate the break. After all, Euron wants a Queen and she needs allies. I can’t imagine Jaime being very happy if she were to take up with the Iron Islander.
6. The Wall comes crashing down.
I’m not sure how the Wall will fall just yet, but I have two guesses. First, the Horn of Winter is finally blown. That would be the most straightforward solution, in any case.
But I wonder if that’s just a distraction from a more pressing threat: Bran Stark.
After Hodor’s heartbreaking sacrifice, Meera and Bran escaped the Night King and his horde of dead and were rescued by none other than Benjen Stark, Bran’s long lost uncle and Night’s Watch ranger. But Benjen had changed. He was nearly killed by the White Walkers, but was saved by the Children of the Forest who placed a dragonglass shard in his chest, preventing him from turning into a wight.
He reveals that the magic in the Wall prevents the dead from crossing—much like the magic that protected the Three-Eyed Raven’s cave. That magic was broken when Bran entered the Three-Eyed Raven’s vision and encountered the Night King there, who reached out and touched him. The mark that was left on Bran’s arm destroyed the magic protecting the cave, allowing the Night King and his underlings to attack, killing the Three-Eyed Raven.
So what happens if Bran crosses through the Wall with the Night King’s mark? Will it destroy the spell? That seems likely. I suspect that by the second-to-last episode of the season the Wall will fall, unless they save it for the season finale.
Meanwhile, I imagine Sam will find some Very Important Information at the Citadel pertinent to the Wall, the Night King and the rest of the huge magical forces swirling toward one another for an epic conclusion.
7. Jon and Dany won’t meet…yet.
It’s possible that the Wall will fall in the second-to-last episode and that Jon and Dany will finally meet in the finale, but I still think it’s more likely that they’ll come face to face in the final season. I’m less certain about when Jon will learn the truth of his parentage, though this revelation will be pretty crucial when he eventually meets Dany, his very young aunt.
People have been making lots of predictions about Jon and Dany getting married but I doubt it. I also doubt he and Sansa will get married. Jon just doesn’t strike me as the type to marry a relative, even if it’s a cousin or an aunt.
I can see Jon remaining King in the North while Dany takes the Iron Throne in the South. When Aegon the Conqueror subdued Westeros with his dragons, Torrhen Stark relinquished his crown, earning him the title The King Who Knelt and becoming the first Warden of the North.
Perhaps Jon will bring that full circle by becoming The King Who Would Not Kneel, or something along those lines. Whatever the case, the meeting between young Stark and young Targaeryn will be frosty rather than hot and bothered.
In the end, I think the whole One Westeros thing is a bad idea. The North, Sunspear, all the High Houses should pull a Brexit.