The Hound, A GoT Prediction

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The Cersei / Tyrell plot keeps mercilessly going down its awful path. The houses are now basically split with Olenna’s dismissal of Cersei, and all of this against an enemy that is EASILY dispatched with the Tyrell army or the Lannister army. For no discernible reason, Margaery has denied her family’s army from freeing her, has stayed in a situation that she can obviously get out of (she literally could have signaled her grandmother to kill the overseer that was tasked to her), and has intentionally led Tommen into embracing this path. If the Faith are what they claim they are, they wouldn’t kill Loras over her betrayal, but whatever.

This is so out of character for Margaery that I’m just flabbergasted. Unlike Dorne, which is such a minor plot in the shows that it can be safely and mercifully ignored by the showrunners, the Lannister/Tyrell conundrum is such a central part of the kingdom (since it literally involved the King), we have to deal with this ridiculous plotline directly until Cersei and Jaime are dead. Again, who cares that the people loved Margaery right? The showrunners can forget about this, so I guess we can too? Sure. Why not?

The entire Lannister family (sans Tyrion) dying simply can’t happen fast enough at this point–not because they deserve it or they haven’t played the game well enough. No, I just can’t believe the Lannister storyline at this point. I can buy dragons and magic and undead and changing history from the future through nothing but a vision (i.e., Bran), but what I am having major trouble with here as a viewer is believing the city’s reaction to Margaery’s imprisonment, her ridiculous change in demeanor, etc. Even if you could buy that she is simply mimicking a rose (beautiful to look at it, but thorny to the touch), if you want to invest yourself fully into symbolism, a rose doesn’t kill you, and the Tyrells have killed many people, including Joffrey after he married Margaery. It simply punishes you for getting too close (e.g., touching the stem to pluck it by hand). The Tyrells are more capable than just annoying someone who touches them. This is so bizarre. Unfortunately, the Lannister plotline (i.e., the death of the main Lannisters) won’t happen until next season at the earliest. Cersei will watch the Zombie Mountain destroy someone in a trial-by-combat and it will be a hollow victory, really. I still think Cersei will die at the hands of Tyrion next season, but she has to watch her last child die first. I hope she kills the High Sparrow, but it may only happen after her son Tommen dies. And it will be a desperate last act (a final victory before accepting her own fate).

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There is one Lannister-aligned plotline which anchored this episode: the return of the Hound. Ian McShane (who btw is one of my favorite actors) gave away all of this months ago, when he said he would be responsible for bringing an old character back to life. However, it played out very well on screen, including how I thought it would from having read A Feast for Crows (the fourth book), where we see what readers thought was the Hound digging a grave as he accompanied a band of priests. The Hound is going to destroy the entire raiding party that killed his new friends, and he is going to seek out frontier-style justice across the Riverlands. I think we’re all looking forward to him meeting up with the Starks. When Arya sees him for the first time, it’s going to be an amazing episode, I hope.

What do I expect to happen from the Hound? Well, I think the showrunners are going to probably disappoint me again, but I would love to see the Hound fight Zombie Mountain and they kill each other. Brother against undead brother. If I were to write the scene, Zombie Mountain will get on top of Sandor like he did to Oberyn, and he will start to blind the Hound. The Hound would scream in pain as blood starts to flow out of his destroyed orbs, but then the blinded Hound would manage to permanently kill The Mountain. He may burn him like his brother did to him (which seems to work well against the Undead in this show, though The Mountain is very different in resurrection style–a medically-induced resurrection in the show–than the White Walkers’ form of resurrection).

Will that happen? Probably not. We’ll probably just get a Hound that walks around the Riverlands doling out frontier justice for those who cannot do it themselves. Perhaps he will return to the nice man and his daughter that Arya and he visited before he stole from them and pay them back in some way. When he finds Arya, he will help her with her list. I feel like that would be the perfect opportunity for him to have good reason to fight his Zombie Brother. After all, The Mountain is on her list, and so is The Hound. By killing The Mountain and being himself killed in the process, he effectively helps her in her frontier-style vengeance. To me, it’s perfect. To the showrunners? Who knows what they’re thinking. I wipe my hands of it. I’m trying to lower my expectations so I have less disappointment.

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The only real things to speculate on here are 1) Littlefinger and 2) Arya. Littlefinger is going to end up being the target of Sansa Stark’s letter at the end of the episode. She’s finally learned a lesson about the game, as I noted earlier she needed to understand. Her name didn’t mean crap to the North. Her role with the Lannisters and Boltons is more poison than catalyst, and she needs Littlefinger’s army. Finally, something that makes sense. I’ll give the showrunners an A++ for the turn around on that one. The second speculation is that Arya is going to survive and escape to the boat. She will not go after the Waif, who may believe Arya is dead for now, but Jaqen is unlikely to buy it. He will want her face, and until the Waif finds Arya’s body, it’s probably a task the Waif will have to continue with (finding Arya). That’s more likely to happen in Westeros the second time. At least that’s my prediction, and this time, Arya will have more friends around her or an environment that works to her advantage. I think she will use the Waif’s overconfidence again her, and drive Needle into the Waif’s heart.

Anyway, that’s my speculation. My record of prediction has been slightly off this season, but that’s what I’m predicting. What do you think?

Game of Thrones: Disappointment

There are now two plotlines that I am very disappointed in at this point: Dorne and Margaery/Tommen. And Daeny’s plotline? We’ll go over that in a bit.

dorne2-1940x1291I’m not going to go over the plotline for Dorne much. I think the rest of the internet has gone over the complete cluster that is the Dorne subplot including the meager exit of the Martells and the eradication of the family of Oberyn (I seriously still cannot believe the showrunners thought this was a good idea, given how well Doran played the game in the books and how a woman who loved Oberyn so much should never want to kill his entire family line, but whatever). This was a plotline that unfortunately could have used a better steward than the showrunners, in my opinion. The bad accents. The stupid lines. The pettiness. Ugh.

got-margaery-arrestedAnyway, Margaery and Tommen. What a complete let down! Yeah, some of my angst about this plotline may be due to the fact that I had envisioned this sweeping gesture by the Tyrells (way before Cersei requested the gesture) resulting in the sad death of a strong Margaery and the ruining of Tommen and subsequently Cersei (you can read my poor prediction here). But don’t I have the right to feel a little let down here? How did you feel about the way this developed?

Margaery was one of the strongest female characters playing the game, and even if the showrunners would argue that she is still playing the game with the High Sparrow, I think they’ve completely missed the mark and made her into a much weaker character for no reason. Think about the history of the character. She and her family had put her into a queen position with Renly, then Joffrey, and now Tommen. Do you understand how ridiculously well the Tyrells had played the game to get her in all three of those positions? And she seemed to understand her position throughout–it wasn’t like she was the unwitting pawn of her grandmother.  Three separate candidates for Queendom, and an absolutely sharp intellect that was perfectly adept at playing the game. She played Joffrey’s personality against him to make him love her more. She played Tommen’s ignorance into complete devotion.

And what about her manipulation of the people? Do you remember how much she had played the population into not only loving her but also got them to even cheer Joffrey just by association with her? She played the population and made them love her, and yet not one person in the crowd of King’s Landing begged for her release? Not one riot? Not one whimper of protest? What kind of writing was it to even hint that the population could become so godstruck by this resurgence of religion that they would forget their allegiance to her? Does religion ever spread so quickly as it did in this season that entire populations forget everything they love and replace it with religion in a span of weeks?

There was NO sign that religion was this widely regarded by the people in King’s Landing up to this point. Look at the Battle on the Blackwater.

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When shit hit the fan and people lost hope, what did the people do? Did they all start praying? No, they looked for a person to step up. This turned out to be Tyrion but earlier, the soldiers and people had hoped it would be Joffrey. There were not mass shouts of “Please, Stranger, help us” or anything like that. This has felt absurd.

When her family’s army arrives at the steps in Episode 6, and she sees them, a strong character would have played this. She would have ordered the charge. Can you imagine how strong this would have played with her family? Even if she were to die, she would have been a martyr that the people SHOULD (given how they pined for her before her imprisonment) have gotten behind to overthrow the entire sect of religious nutjobs. The Tyrells could have just watched it unfold, maybe without Margaery, but even stronger than before because the people would have been completely behind them.

Margaery has to know that this religion is not the pillar of the throne. Even playing them and making them even stronger than Cersei did by accident is not going to make her safer or her rule more solidified. Her husband also knows this as one of the few pieces of advice that his grandfather Tywin gave him was that faith cannot be the basis of the throne. I mean watch this video and understand just how much Tywin would be rolling over in his grave about this development. Baelor the Blessed was a laughing stock of the kingdom and for a good reason. This religion is neither well-financed nor well-armed. What could they possibly do against a mounted cavalry? Nothing. They’re more likely to cause a stampede and get everyone around them killed than they are to do anything worth doing.

What the absolute hell is going on with the writing this season? Cersei is arrogant and overconfident, but she was never this stupid. Jaime’s defrocking as Kingsguard? His reaction to this was pretty much the only part of this episode that was in character for the Lannisters. And next week, we’re just going to have Jaime allowing the Blackfish at Riverrun to go, as he did in the books? That was probably the weakest Lannister moment in the book, and it showed how a major wedge had come between Cersei and Jaime, that he wouldn’t even come to save her because of how she had alienated him and overplayed her spite hand before her atonement. Now? Now, the action’s at her suggestion.

And Daeny? The vision of her burning the Khals alive was well done. I think everyone can agree with that.  The scene of her riding a dragon and giving an unnecessary speech that in no way drives the plot forward? I saw the after episode wrap up with the showrunners, and I get that they like this cyclical connection with Khal’s speech for Daeny. But everyone was bowing to her after she burned the Khals. Everyone was onboard. Theatricality is fine. Why not?! But this dragon scene literally has no purpose. What are the horsemen going to do? Build her 1,000 ships? I mean, maybe they think that mentioning this sets up the connection to the coming Greyjoy fleet and the marriage proposal. Maybe this would all work. But Daeny’s storyline, despite the dragons, feels a bit weaker than Sansa or Margaery’s up-to-this-point.

Sure, Daeny has overcome adversity, but she has not done it with her intellect. She has done it with her dragons and by letting people underestimate her. Think about it. When it comes to ruling people, she has never been very good at this, and she is not learning new things. She lost her husband and the first dothraki horde because of her overreliance on her poor judgement of character. She lost her dragons and got them back because of other people not quite understanding the “I control fire-breathing dragons” thing. She burned the slave masters with similar misogyny and men underestimating her. She burned the khals with similar misogyny and men underestimating her. She almost died due to not taking the Harpies seriously enough, and a dragon saved her. She didn’t do it. She has simply been a stock “saved-by-prophecy” character apparently constructed with boobs and white/blonde hair.

Does this not feel like lazy storywriting to you? I mean, don’t get me wrong. Maybe this series is exactly what Ian McShane joked that it was: “tits and dragons.” I can love a series like that. I’ve loved worse concepts. But there are only so many times that you should succeed because people underestimated you. You keep winning, and people should definitely stop underestimating you. You have three fire-breathing dragons bigger than any other creatures in Westeros, and no one, and I mean no one, should be underestimating you. We should be far beyond the point that Daeny is underestimated. If Daeny blazes across Westeros simply because men underestimate her, I’m going to get physically sick watching how this plays out. Maybe she’ll just be the incapable ruler with the infinite power of three dragons at her call. Maybe that’s the point of the character arc: that sometimes you are just born with so much power and righteous direction that you can bumble your way through almost anything and still win.

Contrast this story to Sansa or Margaery or even Arya. Adversity has been heaped on them, and they have used wits and some luck to get themselves into better positions. Granted, Margaery’s position seems undermined now, and Sansa is going to feel some repercussions for her time with the Lannisters during her visit to the Northern families in the next episode. But Sansa is still the strongest female position right now, in terms of strength of character. Daeny does not grow as a person, she relies on others to fix her problems and get her out of trouble. She’s a damsel in distress with dragons. Does that not sound ridiculous?

Arya? She has sliced her way through the world to avenge her family. She’s even drawn the wrath of a God’s followers, and I think she’s going to kill the Waif soon, despite the Waif being so much better than her at everything, really. Arya, if the writers are doing their job, is going to be almost killed but she is going to use the Waif’s confidence against her, and Needle will come as a surprise. Please, please, please, at least get that right. Please let the face that goes on the wall (the one Jaqen promised must happen) be the Waif’s.

Sansa? Raped. Beaten. Humiliated by Ramsay and Joffrey and countless others. Used and abused but not broken. Maybe even a bit stronger with each action. Growing. Becoming a player of the game despite the people around her. Finally in a position of power to see her justice come to pass. I think she’s going to survive the Game of Thrones, unless she makes more decisions like she did with Petyr and the rejection of an entire army. This certainly shows problems in her growth.

Margaery? She’s going to fall now, and it’s going to be sad. Not because the showrunners are going to kill a strong character that I’ve grown to like but because her downfall will now not be of a martyr but of a character that I just don’t like the plot of. That I don’t believe the people’s reaction to her incarceration or the rest of these events. The whole series requires a suspension of disbelief, and I’m willing to do that, but the interaction of people still has to make sense. And I don’t feel this story is making much sense right now.

Predictions are light in this post as I feel like the showrunners are relying on randomness more than useful foreshadowing at this point. Part of the reason for that is because Martin gave them so much foreshadowing in the books, and now they are obviously winging it. I’m sure I’ll watch this series to the end, but man, I’m certainly not as happy with the way this episode played out as I was with Hodor’s finale.

Post episode 5 Game of Thrones catch up

hodor-gra-o-tron-2Watching episode 5 (The Door) was a slightly agonizing: not because the episode was bad (it was actually quite good) but because some of my previous predictions (or at least the details of some of the predictions and not the outcomes) seemed to come off the rails a bit. Arya’s choice may be tied to a common actress rather than Jon (I updated my Arya prediction with this sidestep), although I would argue the actor troop’s portrayal of Arya’s family members Ned, Sansa and even Tyrion’s demeanor may have set her off on a path to correct public perception of people she still loves (regardless of whether she is trying to pretend she is not Arya Stark anymore).

I appear to be wrong about at least one other predictions details (possibly not the result) about Margaery. Was the secret of the High Sparrow about Margaery’s atonement or about Tyrell’s involvement in the assassination of King Joffrey? The next week trailer seems to show that it is the former, but I am still holding out that the really damning secret is still about the assassination. I’m leaning towards being probably wrong about this prediction now though because of the preview appearing to show an almost Atonement for Margaery directly before the troops come in (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ePO5JXVULM).

And Sansa Stark’s story? I unfortunately predicted that Sansa would be a bit irrational about Petyr when she saw him again, but I didn’t expect her to sever ties with him (though hopefully briefly, since Petyr is a good companion to have until Daenerys arrives in Westeros). She wants Winterfell, but she turns down what fans estimate is an army of 30k+, more than 10x the number she currently has through Jon, because she blames Petyr Baelish for Ramsey’s torture. The Knights of the Vale could have single-handedly ruined Ramsay’s force, but now she is forcing Jon to exclusively recruit from the other families in the North instead. Anyone who has played and been played by the game for this long should understand that you don’t look a gift horse like this in the mouth. He should have been forgiven for this play of his with Ramsay, no matter how irredeemable Littlefinger’s ambition might be as an objective thing, the game itself is only won through alliances. This emotional, instinctual repulsion of Petyr is typically rewarded in GoT with getting people you like killed. Then there is Sansa sending Brienne away, one of the only pure people that can and will protect her, and opening herself up to trouble. Why? Because she’s with Jon, a person she doesn’t trust enough to tell about her meeting with Petyr? I think Petyr will come to her aid anyway with his armies, but maybe not. Maybe his ambition takes him elsewhere for a bit. I worry Sansa is playing the game less wisely than she could be, and Jon will have a much tougher time at Winterfell because of it.

The new Fire priestess Kinvarra that talked with Tyrion and Varys? She’ll help fill in the power structure of Daenerys and probably provide more backstory about the gift of fire through the Dragons and maybe even the relationship it holds in fighting the White Walkers. However, I have a feeling Daenerys is going to come back and have immediate anger and mistrust issues with both the fire priestess and Varys, whom she still believes tried to spy on her and poison her as an enemy. Perhaps her recent emotional scene with Jora Mormont is enough to open herself to forgiving someone like Varys more easily. I expect she will forgive Varys, possibly after Tyrion vouches for him. I think she’s going to be less forgiving of Tyrion’s approach with the masters, and perhaps that will cause another Sons of the Harpy revolt which is likely to kill someone important (let’s hope not Greyworm or Missandei, but this may be the season for killing off the help, as seen with Hodor–though we know from the producers that Hodor’s fate was directly told to them by Martin).

Arya the Faceless Dropout, A GoT prediction

arya-pulls-needle-out-of-the-rock-official-hbo-810x539I just realized I haven’t really touched on the Arya story. I think Arya’s story is going to take a major turn in the next two episodes (starting with episode 6, as she faces a choice in the summary), and if you’ve been a bit bored with her Braavos storyline, expect her to head toward Westeros very soon (within 4 episodes, I think).

In short, I think she is going to be given a mission in Westeros, but the target is probably going to be someone who will divert her from the “no one” path and resume her identity as Arya Stark. I think the most appropriate target assigned to her will be Jon Snow because he has escaped “Death”, also known as the Stranger and the Many-Faced God by the Faceless Men. I think it would make sense for Jaqen to assign such a target to: 1) prove Arya is no longer Arya and 2) get vengeance for the death that was stolen from the Many-Faced God. I expect her to retrieve Needle from its nook in the wall and to come to Jon’s aid at Winterfell.

I would love to say she’ll kill Ramsay, but an assassination of Ramsay seems so cheap. I think he’ll have a more public death, almost certainly at the Battle of Winterfell. However, if he manages to escape Winterfell and hide with the Freys, for example, then this would be where Arya would come into the picture.

ARYA UPDATE: After seeing episode 5, the series creators have thrown unpredictability into the mix about why she will leave the Faceless Men. It seems just a reminder of her past and how the public viewed her father and sister may be enough to cast shade on her anonymous ambitions. Ultimately, it’s the people remaining on her list and her bonds to her family that will break her from this employment. What’s really ominous about episode 5 though, was Jaqen’s statement that “one way or another, a face will be added to the hall.” The organization is spread across the world, from what I understand, so she can’t just kill the Waif and Jaqen to get out of these obligations. They need to either allow her to peacefully exit or no matter what she does, they will eventually collect her face. Where is this going to go? I hope she is useful to the Stark plotline, but sometimes, the showrunners feel that a random death is useful to their storytelling. If the series allows her to escape Braavos, she could have a really interesting series of scenes in Westeros where she kills lots of people (similar to how Jaqen helped her escape from Tywin’s camp). However, given what the series creators did with Hodor, I feel they are just as likely to kill her cheaply to advance the inescapability of fanatics in GoT. END ARYA UPDATE

Cersei vs Tyrell, another GoT prediction

Game-Of-Thrones-Cersei-JaimeIn the recent episode of Game of Thrones, something weird happened. No, not Daenerys killing the Khals and everyone else in the command hut. No, not Theon backing his sister instead of his own claim. No, not Brienne all but threatening Melissandre and Davos. No, not Ramsey killing the wildling girl. No, not Jon Snow and Sansa Stark finally reuniting the Stark clan members for the first time in years. All of those were to be expected.

What was really strange was the behavior of Loras and the confession of Tommen about something that the High Sparrow told him. To me, there’s an impending chaos here that was hinted at and that I have predicted previously. The most obvious connection is that Cersei and Jaime managed to convince Lady Olenna Tyrell and Kevan Lannister to go along with their plan to bring in Tyrell troops to break Queen Margaery Tyrell out of the clink before her own supposed walk of atonement. If you think that the secret that the High Sparrow told Tommen is about Margaery’s atonement, there is literally nothing pointing to that being the case.

First, remember the circumstances around Cersei’s atonement. She confessed. She broke down to see her child. The atonement came only after her confession. Margaery, on the other hand, had absolutely no interest in bowing to the High Sparrow. Her reaction to Loras’s complete breakdown was a show of strength, to try to lift him up, but his reaction to that was more of a man who had been pushed over a threshold. To him, the damage had already been done. He had already fallen. He was irredeemable.

What could Loras possibly have done to push himself over a point of no return? What had he revealed to the High Sparrow, who had passed on the information to King Tommen.

It is my belief, and it seems others have posted about this online as well, that Loras spilled a dark secret about the Tyrells, one that the High Sparrow felt would help Tommen with healing and understanding why the Tyrells must stay imprisoned. What secret could that be? Well, Lady Olenna had worked with Petyr Baelish to murder Joffrey. You forgot about that? So did most of the other viewers, I think, and that makes sense. After all, every viewer was as happy about Joffrey dying as they are going to be about Ramsey dying after his clash with Jon Snow. For a TV viewer, Joffrey’s death was over and done with and not soon enough. Justice had been done. Except, Cersei would never see Joffrey’s death as justified. She did not relish in his death.Her children are sacrosanct, no matter how awful they might be. When she finds out who killed her boy, revenge will occupy her entire mind until it is done.

So, it is my belief that the High Sparrow told Tommen that as part of his ongoing confession, Loras had admitted that the death of Joffrey was at the hand of his grandmother Olenna and not Sansa Stark or Tyrion Lannister. I am unsure of whether or not Littlefinger will have been implicated by Loras. It depends on how loose Olenna’s tongue was with her family. However, Cersei is about to get her revenge. Here is how I expect it to go down.

The Fall of the Tyrells

The Tyrell troops will enter the city and put the Sparrows to the sword. I still think Margaery will die, and I have a feeling that Lady Olenna will die at the hands of Zombie Mountain, while Cersei watches. I can’t imagine Cersei letting Lady Olenna die in some more dignified way. Margaery, as I’ve said before, is likely to die in the oncoming melee. Whether it is Zombie Mountain or the Sparrows, the effect on Olenna Tyrell will be devastating, as Cersei expects, but I don’t think she quite understands the effect it will have on Tommen.

The New Impotence of the Lannisters

Cersei has no foresight and believes she is a lion that can stand alone against the rest of the kingdom. The loss of the Tyrells is going to hit the Lannisters much harder than Cersei realizes. House Lannister no longer has its gold mines and is in major debt. Her father struck the deal with the Tyrells out of necessity, and with the Tyrell bond forever severed, House Lannister will lose all of its monetary and troop support from the Tyrells. Cersei will almost certainly lose Tommen (due to Margaery’s likely death), and I still think it’s going to be by his own hand after he finds out about Margaery. Loras will die a miserable death.

Ramsay

Ramsay is going to be sandwiched in between the armies of Jon Snow, the Umbers, and Littlefinger’s army from the Vale. Other men will join Jon Snow once they hear of a Stark marching on Winterfell. But Ramsay is likely to take out several main characters, and not just the wildling girl Osha whom he killed in “Book of the Stranger.” Whether Rickon lives or dies is completely up to the producers. I don’t feel he has any major part, and killing him may just serve as additional reminders that Ramsay must go (not that any viewer doubts it at this point). Ramsay must be dealt with before Jon can deal with the White Walkers. He is almost certainly going to die during the Battle of Winterfell in Episode 9.

Littlefinger

Petyr Baelish is probably going to have an inglorious death. It’s unlikely to be Varys’s doing (certainly not directly). Littlefinger is playing too dangerous a game and is far too obvious in his ploys now. He is above his station, and his most obvious weakness would be if Robin Arryn suddenly reverses in his reverence to Littlefinger. Petyr no longer has his main sources of income from brothels in King’s Landing due to the Sparrows, and he is over-reliant on his power from the Vale. Sansa is going to be wroth with him, and Brienne is likely to speak poorly of him. He’ll overplay his hand soon, and he will probably die a commoner’s death (e.g., being tossed through the moon door in the Vale).

 

Well, that’s enough speculative predictions for now!

 

Azor Ahai, a Game of Thrones Prediction

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It’s been several months since I did a Game of Thrones post, and we’re two episodes into the new season. I’ve been pretty close in my predictions and tonight, we got the big reveal–the lynch pin of my predictions so far–that Melissandre resurrects Jon Snow.

Old predictions

So, what’s left in my predictions? Well, Ramsay still needs to attack the Night’s Watch, and that was setup perfectly in the episode with Ramsay offing his dad, his potential sibling, and his stepmother. This will setup poorly for Ramsay with the Freys as Ramsay’s stepmother was one of Walder’s granddaughters. Ramsay has no idea that an entire Wildling army will now be answering to Jon Snow. This will get bad for Ramsay very quickly.

As I suspected, Brienne and Sansa have joined forces in the first episode, and she is on her way to meet with the Azor Ahai as well. Theon is heading back to his islands and may actually join them in time for the King’s Moot (something he was unable to do in the books). This was unexpected. I honestly am unsure where Theon’s story might be going.

New predictions

Jon Snow is going to take some time to realize his new powers. I’m pretty sure he’s destined to ride one of the three dragons, and my guess is Drogon, the largest one. He’s going to command the Wildling army and eventually the army of man that stands between the white walkers and the rest of the world.

The Mountain is going to kill a lot of people. He may be unstoppable. We’re not sure of his full powers and the type of magic that binds him to a master. However, he may not stop until the maester and at least Cersei are dead. He’s a freaking super zombie.

Cersei, Jaime, and Tommen will finally form a strong team again, and the High Sparrow will die within a few episodes. It is likely that a large army will be mobilized within the capitol, and it is very possible that the Queen Margaery will die in the melee (possibly killed by the High Sparrow or the Lannister cousin). I’m guessing Tommen will kill himself over this, and Cersei will be depressed. The valonqar (little brother) from Cersei’s prophecy is likely to be Tyrion who kills her, instead of Tommen (who is also the little brother and sole survivor of Cersei’s three children). The only way Tommen would be the volanqar is if the maester raises him from the dead, like The Mountain, and he kills Cersei immediately. My money is on Tyrion. He will arrive with Daenerys, they will find Cersei beside herself in depression, and he will end her.

What will happen to Jaime? My guess is an ignoble death, likely a sword through his back and probably from a very minor character. Brienne will be visibly shaken by the news, and it will worsen Cersei’s depression. She will be alone with no other Lannisters to support her. She will wither and await the valonqar.

What about the dragons? Now that Tyrion has set them free, my guess is that they will search out Daenerys before she is forced to sad widow island and kill a bunch of Dothraki who are trying to force her to obey their ancient customs. The Dothraki army will join her. Lots of people are going to join her once they see the three dragons as grown adults.

Ramsay will likely die at the hands of Jon Snow, after Sansa tells him what Ramsay did to her after their marriage. Brandon Stark will join Jon Snow before the battle with the White Walkers. Brienne? She’s a wild card. She could kill Ramsay at the order of Jon Snow.

The Grey Joys are going to end up being led by Theon and his sister Asha. Asha is going to kill their uncle Victarion after he wins the King’s Moot to succeed his brother, whom he killed. Theon may play some part in their uncle’s death. It was going to be highly unlikely such a thing could have happened in the books, but by putting Theon enroute to the Iron Islands, this seems to be the setup for the HBO series.

Obviously, this is all just speculation. That’s part of the fun of predicting the future in a series sort of designed to be less predictable. What do you think is going to happen? Feel free to comment!

Shadows of Our Fathers drafting completed

I recently went on a trip to Italy for some invited talks and posters, and while I was there, I did a lot of writing. I’m happy to say that Shadows of Our Fathers is through the first draft at just under 100,000 words. The number of words are more likely to go up than down, so this concluding chapter of the first Primal Patterns trilogy should be the longest book, and probably by ~10k words over The Goblin Rebellion when it’s finished.

Anyway, there is a pretty funny story about how this book was finished. There was a seven hour flight from Frankfurt to Newark, and I had decided to push through the final three chapters. Nearly 10,000 words were written on this flight (that’s a lot for me in a single stretch). The 10,000 words were effortless, in that I knew what I was going to say. I’ve known exactly what was supposed to happen in these final chapters since before I finished the first draft of Lucifer’s Odyssey, nearly 6 years ago. So, there was no writer’s block. However, that doesn’t mean the drafting was continuous. There were frequent breaks.

What for, you might ask?

Crying like a little girl.

So, imagine a middle-aged white man, sitting in the exit row, next to the bathrooms where basically every person on the flight ends up at some point during this long flight. You’re waiting in line to relieve yourself, and you’re probably irritable. You’re cursing under your breath at the people in front of you, just because they’re there and you’d like to pee. Beside you, in the exit row, there’s this guy with a laptop. He keeps wiping at his eyes, staring into space for a while, and blowing his nose.

I’m frequently laughing because I realize how ridiculous this looks and is. The guy next to me, we never said a word to each other. I didn’t even want to know what he thought about what was going on. I have no idea if he was ever looking at my bright laptop screen and reading along. I’m sure he would have appreciated his flight more though if the guy next to him wasn’t tearing up and crying for at least 2.5 hours of the 7 hour flight.

Anyway, I still have to find a cover artist for all three books (Lucifer’s Odyssey, The Goblin Rebellion, and Shadows of Our Fathers) since mine completely flaked out. I also have to reread this book along with all of the others to check for any continuity problems. Then the book will be shipped to an editor. So, I’m still sticking to my original estimate of October for this to be released.

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