The Big Idea
7 Mostly Crazy Predictions for The Game of Thrones Finale
Season 6 may end with more than one whimper, more than one bang.
As our wonderful Members know, the purpose of The Big Idea is to tackle the conversation that’s consuming the pop culture sphere this week. It’s been an eventful week – big Star Trek news, big Justice League news, even a bunch of Star Wars: Rogue One news – but none of really clicks quite like Game of Thrones. And seeing as I write so much Thrones content for the masses (and it’s our hottest Members Only Slack channel), I thought it might not be a bad idea to give you some special predictions for the season 6 finale. I try to give the people what they want. My apologies in advance if you came here looking for 1,000 words on Kellan Lutz being up for the He-Man reboot.
First, a word on these predictions: let’s call them informed speculation. Very little, if any of this, is informed by spoilers from the production. HBO has done a wonderful job of keeping the finale under wraps by keeping the rest of us focused on The Battle of the Bastards. If we’re to take the episode preview at it’s word, it’s just going to be a boring week of sending Dany off to conquerer camp and Cersei sitting through hours of High Septon deposition on her sexual endeavors. It’ll be a mashup of that moment when sailors go off to war and the people on the dock waving realize that ships are really slow and the Bill Clinton impeachment trial from the ’90s. Say it with me, Cersei, “I did not have sex with mah cousin.”
Since we’ll be basking in the light of The Seven this Sunday night, I’ve prayed really hard to The Crone for guidance. These are the seven predictions she’s bestowed upon me.
1. Arya Will Lead The Brotherhood
Like Daenerys, Arya is going to need some allies to help her get back to Winterfell or do some murder or whatever is left on her list. Who better to help her than her old pal The Hound and his new gang? They are strategically positioned in The Riverlands, where Arya may land, and they’ve got a plan to head North and fuck shit up. The show has done its best to convince us that Lady Stoneheart isn’t coming, so it might as well put another Stark girl in charge of hanging Freys.
2. Jon and Sansa Won’t End The Season on Good Terms
There’s a lot hanging in the balance for the half-Wonder Twins this week, as Jon is going to realize that his sister basically sold him out. Was she ready to sacrifice Rickon? Absolutely. Would she have been okay with sacrificing Jon, as well? Perhaps there’s a part of Ramsay that does live inside Sansa – AND IT’S NOT THE ONE YOU THINK – perhaps he’s poisoned our sweet summer child. What happens when Jon finds out that Littlefinger is owed a reward, and that reward is – as Littlefinger told Cersei last season – to become Warden of The North. That’s not exactly uniting the people against The Night King. I smell a contested convention in The North.
3. Cersei Murders Everything
This isn’t exactly Babe Ruth calling his shot. We know that Cersei has her back against the wall. We know that she’s had Qyburn sniffing around King’s Landing for a very lucrative special project. And the show won’t let an episode of season 6 go by without reminding us that The Mad King wanted to “burn them all.” There’s only one person who knows where the wildfire is buried and she may use it this week to level the seat of power in Westeros. Just in time for the snow to fall on a hollowed out Red Keep and Daenerys Targaryen to show up and inspect the charred remains:
I’m. Just. Saying.
Thrones director Miguel Sapochnik – the man who delivered all the visual flavor of “Hardhome” and “Battle of the Bastards” – won’t be able to resist a juicy tracking shot of Cersei, Qyburn, and The Mountain riding away as King’s Landing goes up in flames in the background.
4. Lady Olenna Rides a Dragon
It’s long been expected that someone in addition to Daenerys would ride a dragon at some point. “The Dragon Has Three Heads,” or so the old prophecy goes. For years, readers of A Song of Ice and Fire have attempted to identify George R.R. Martin’s list of Secret Targaryens. Top candidates include Jon Snow (see: R+L=J) and Tyrion Lannister (see: this theory).
That’s all fine on Team Fire. But what if an Ice Dragon comes bursting from The Wall (in some sort of catastrophic Walltastrophe that we’ll talk about further down)? If Jon Snow is off being a Secret Targaryen, who gets to ride the Ice Dragon?
Stay with me.
Lady Olenna Tyrell was originally of House Redwyne of The Arbor, who were descendants of Garth Greenhand, one of the very first of The First Men to cross into Westeros via the arm of Dorne. He was said to be the first human to interact with the Children of the Forest, who later created The Night King in response to the First Men chopping down their trees. Garth was also notoriously fertile, able to give previously barren women child with his potent Andal seed (this is all real – look it up). What if Garth had an affair with one of the Children of the Forest (or maybe he just looked at one and made her pregnant, a power that was also part of his legend) and in the Redwyne blood is some Ice Dragon magic. With her grandkids burnt to a crisp and the Lannisters at-large, Lady Olenna might say “fuck it” and summon herself an Ice Dragon. Upon which she would put out the fire in King’s Landing and pursue vengeance against anyone who had previously wronged her.
No? Okay, let’s get back to the more reasonable stuff…
5. The CleganeBowl is On
If I’m right about Cersei’s plan and Arya’s takeover of The Brotherhood, then only one thing can happen next: Cersei is happened upon by Arya and The Gang. Allow me to set the scene for you: Cersei, The Mountain, and Creepy Qyburn are rolling through the Riverlands. Their almost to The Twins, where they believe Jaime and Walder Frey are waiting to receive them and plot the next move for Team Lion. What they don’t know is that Walder, Jaime, and everyone at The Twins has just been dispatched by agents of Stark vengeance. As Arya and her men exit the hall where her mother and brother were slain, a hall now soaked in “Lannister regards,” they see Cersei’s crew approaching.
What happens next is a melee in which The Hound fights The Mountain in an epic single combat that lasts – let’s say 20 of the episode’s 69 minutes. While all eyes are on the Deathmatch of Titans, Arya slips by and puts Cersei down with extreme prejudice. She recites her list slowly as her knife meticulously opens Cersei’s throat. Qyburn is hung by Thoros and Lady Stoneheart emerges from the woods clapping with pride for her murderous daughter.
With the exception of that last part, it’s all plausible.
6. A Greyjoy Steals a Dragon
Book readers know that many a character has had delusions of dragon riding, including poor Quentin Martell, the son of Prince Doran and nephew of our dearly departed Oberyn. He was sent to Meereen to woo the Mother of Dragons. What he got instead was a Queen-less city and a private audience with Viserion and Rhaegal, who promptly torched him. Throughout the entire slog of the Meereen plot, book readers have wondered if anyone would ever pick up the torch from Quentin and become part of the BBQ. Now that there are Greyjoys in town, is this the role that Theon or Yara will ultimately play?
Nope. This theory isn’t some simple mashup from the books. This is a deep cut. In the books, one of Euron Greyjoy’s campaign messages during the Kingsmoot is that he has found a sorcerous horn in the ruins of Old Valyria (his semester at sea) that will allow him to control a dragon. Book Euron gives it to his brother Victarion, whom he sends to (you guessed it) woo the Mother of Dragons. The show went to great lengths to introduce Euron, then give him nothing to do but build 1,000 ships. But what if he’s got an ace in the hole? What if he shows up in Meereen with a dragon horn and makes off with one of Dany’s children. That’s some next level “WHERE ARE MY DRAGONS?!” to end an otherwise triumphant run for Ms. Stormborn.
7. The Wall Comes Tumblin’ Tumblin’
Let’s assume that horns will play a big role in bringing about “The Winds of Winter,” the titular and thematic core of this finale. Euron shows up with a dragon horn and picks off one of Daenerys’ dragons, then someone else shows up with The Horn of Winter, better known as The Horn of Joramun, and brings The Wall down.
In the books, Mance Rayder claims to have in his possession this magical horn, which belonged to Joramun, a wildling King Beyond The Wall. It is said that the horn can wake giants from the earth and destroy The Wall itself. It’s assumed that by marking Bran with his evil, The Night King has begun breaking the spells used by the Children of the Forest and the Three-Eyed Raven to keep him North of The Wall. What if this newfound boldness leads him to blowing The Horn of Winter, bringing The Wall down on top of Edd and the last 4 other members of The Night’s Watch. You can almost imagine a scene in which Sawmill Tarly has made it to Oldtown and is in the great library of The Citadel. As he’s reading about The Horn of Winter, we see The Night’s King pull it out and give it a toot. The Wall falls right as Sam looks up, “I have to tell Jon.”
Cut to Winterfell: Jon hears a rumbling, the walls of Winterfell begin to shake.
CUT TO BLACK. DROP MIC. SEASON OVER.
Title card: GOOD LUCK FINISHING THAT BOOK, GRRM!
These are crazy theories. There are many like them. These are mine. What are yours? Feel free to leave me a Response below.