Just watched episode one of season 7 and RAWWWWR that’s some powerful storytelling. George has been skillfully setting up these epic conflicts, getting us emotionally invested in every one, and now they’re all about to pay off. Ice and Fire are ready to clash at last. The only question now is, what twists will GRRM throw at us along the way?
These aren’t spoilers, BUT, I’m spookily good at predicting stories. Don’t be shocked if they all come true.
Things go badly for Daenerys and Jon.
Thrones is a gritty, pseudorealistic fantasy world where death is brutal and strikes at random. But two characters do not live by the established logic of Westeros. Jon can fight an infinite number of men and win, while Dany is literally fireproof and rides the fantasy equivalent of an Apache attack helicopter in battle. George lets his two leading heroes get away with murder…but don’t expect that to last for this season. The two Targaryen’s wedding to unite Westeros is the obvious ending…and therefore the least likely.
Cersei has the bankers on her side.
Things aren’t looking good for the Lannister twins. Cersei is bat shit crazy, Jaime is going grey and jowly. On the strategic map of Westeros, they are a single state surrounded and at war on all fronts. But consider this…the Iron Bank are into the Lannisters for an epic sum. And they’ll only recover it if the Lannisters win. Banking clans have a long real world history of dirty tricks to put their puppets in power. Expect to see the Iron Bank throw some serious black ops behind a win for Cersei.
Tyrion for Prime Minister.
The littlest Lannister carried the first two seasons of Thrones. Most viewers are expecting a new King, but the show has an outspoken social justice agenda, that doesn’t sit well with the values of Monarchy. While electoral democracy is some distance off in Westeros, we could see see a constitutional monarchy with a rudimentary parliament. Tyrion would be the natural choice for PM, with Varys as Chancelor.
Matriarchy for the win.
Strong women are now in charge of most of the map of Westeros. Dany and her Dothraki hoarde, the Dornish Sand Snakes, Cersei in Kings Landing, Olena Tyrell in Highgarden, Sansa in the North, with Brienne as the toughest sword in the land and Arya poisoning entire halls of men while sparing all women. Jon Snow and Jaime are both well under the thumb. Thrones is going to be an all woman affair from here on, as the matriarchy replace the old patriarchy of Westeros.
Bran finally gets to do something.
Bran’s story is the most compelling in the books, a psychological journey through trauma and grief and a slow awakening to magic and grief. All that interiority has never translated well to screen. But in this final season Bran is no longer an adept. He’s now the only true wizard in Westeros, with unbounded powers, ready to make merry hell on the battlefield. Army of zombies? No problem, Bran can field a whole army of wargs.
The final battle for Westeros will be won or lost on loyalty. Jon and Sansa, Cersei and Jaime, there are serious fractures within each of the camps vying for power. Jaime could well be the one to kill Cersei, and then himself. The open question about Thrones at this point is how willing GRRM is to upset the audience by foregoing pat heroism and epic final battles, in favour of more realistic politucs and human fraility that have defined the show up until this point. Whatever the answer, I’m certain George has a few very nasty suprises for us before the Game of Thrones is won. Or lost.