Game of Thrones: Where Does It Go From Here?
Gulp. 6 episodes left. Only 6 more Game of Thrones episodes to go.
We have reached the paradoxical end point in any great story where you desperately want to see how it ends, but when it finally does you are left feeling empty, sad and alone.
And yes, we know spin-offs are coming but it won't be the same. You can re-watch and re-read all you like and try to pretend like you don't know what's coming but it won't fill the gaping void in your soul. Nothing beats the first time.
So here we are, counting down the days until 2019 when the final season will likely premiere. (Assuming we avoid total nuclear annihilation.)
While some people have become disillusioned with the writing quality of this season, I have still found it largely enjoyable.
And while I admit the writing style has changed to become faster and more fan-fiction-y, this paraphrased line from Shaun of the Dead sums up my feelings for this season.
"I know that you only watch this show for George RR Martin's stories, and when he decided not to write for 7 years, Benioff and Weiss were there to pick up the pieces. I've come to terms with that. Why can't you?"
Of course the show would be better if it had the books to lean on but we've crossed the rubicon and this is what we have from now on.
Despite the show's supposed turn for the worst, I would argue that this season surpassed season 5, and dare I say season 6 in quality.
Benioff and Weiss aren't perfect but neither is George as his Dorne and Meereen storylines can attest.
Enough about that because I don't want to spend this whole article writing about writing.
The playing field has been set. There is no more world building or major character development left for the show. The big question is how will this all play out?
As we all knew, Jon Snow is not Jon Snow after all. And he's not Jon Sand either. He is Aegon Targaryen, rightful heir to the Iron Throne. Sam, Bran and the audience know this but Aegon and his aunt do not.
Timing is everything.
Dany will almost certainly become pregnant but how she reacts to the news that Jon, or Aegon, has a better claim than she does is more suspect.
The showrunners indicated in the inside look that it will create a conflict that will interfere with their happiness. Jon never asked to be King so I don't think he would fight Daenerys for the throne.
I think he would either relinquish his claim or marry Daenerys so they could rule as King and Queen.
Episode 1 will most likely deal with this issue because there isn't much time left. Jon and Dany arrive at Winterfell and Sam and Bran tell the truth.
I think Jon will be turned off by the incest and Dany will be peeved that she's been usurped. But eventually she will come around and allow Jon to ride Rhaegal and their union will be solidified.
From there, Jon and Dany will fight the Night King on the backs of their dragons. Drogon kills Viserion as Khal Drogo killed Viserys.
I wonder what happens at the very end of the show though. George RR Martin has said it would have a bittersweet ending so I do wonder if one of the two will die. The way I see it, there are 3 options.
1) Jon Snow dies killing the Night King. Dany raises the child and rules as Queen.
2) The Night King is defeated but Dany dies in child birth. Aegon Targaryen is King and raises the child while mourning Dany.
3) Neither one of them dies and they rule as King and Queen but at a cost since most of the world was decimated.
Death pays for life in this show so I feel like one of them will die, unfortunately. (Unless the death of Viserion counts by loophole) I'm guessing Jon will die but I hope that's not the case.
Option 3 seems like it would never happen but I wonder if George RR Martin isn't this caricature of grimness we all think he is. Could the whole series be a test in patience. Terrible things happen the entire time, but in the end good will prevail showing that it's extremely difficult to achieve peace. No? Yeah I guess not...
I'm sure there are other ways that could play out such as Jon Snow plunging his sword into Dany's heart to become Azor Ahai but I don't think that would fly unless she was a reanimated corpse.
But now that the White Walkers have crossed the Wall, it stands to reason that the war would begin right at the outset. So how long can they fight?
How many episodes will it take to defeat the Night King? 2 or 3? It could be done in one episode, presumably the series finale, if the episodes are all feature length like reports indicate. And considering all of the storylines they have to wrap up, I really hope they are.More likely I think there will be episodes fighting White Walker lieutenants but saving the Night King himself for last.
Although maybe the White Walkers will simply move slowly like always even though the main cast has been able to teleport wherever they want recently.
Gendry still has to forge weapons out of Dragonglass and all the forces need to rally together. There's too much business to get settled before a battle episode so I don't think the major White Walker battle happens for a couple of episodes.
Defeating the Night King has to be the last major thing to happen right? Having to defeat Cersei afterwards would feel more like an epilogue than a climax. (I could still see it though. Like the Scouring of the Shire at the end of Lord of the Rings. Cersei tries to blow up King's Landing before getting popped.)
One thing about Cersei that's pretty certain is that the Golden Company will arrive and then promptly abandon her.
Seeing Jaime in the North will be intriguing because it seems he is his own man now. I'm curious to see whether he will reunite with Bran and if he will feel remorseful and if Bran harbors any ill will. Jaime has had maybe the most fascinating arc of the entire show.
Arya could murder Cersei but I feel like that is more for Jaime. Arya met Cersei like one time. Yes, she was involved with killing Ned but she tried to persuade Joffrey to save his life. I don't know. I just feel like Jaime's whole character is about being chained to a toxic person and refusing to do so anymore. That's why he is the Kingslayer.
Arya could kill her but I don't think it would have the same oomph as it would for Jaime. On the other hand, Arya trying to murder Cersei could pave the way for the Cleganebowl. The Mountain intercedes and the Hound comes to her rescue.
I'm curious about what Arya's big moment will be next season. She now has the ability to wear Littefinger's face and I imagine she will use that power to infiltrate King's Landing. But I don't believe he was on good terms with Cersei anyway so that shouldn't help her get that close. Oh, and I think she's marrying Gendry.
Sansa, Arya and Bran will probably work together to protect Winterfell which should be under attack any minute now when you consider their proximity to Eastwatch where the Night King busted through.
Bran has some majorly important role to play. He has to be protected while warging or greenseeing.
Theon rescues Yara. Sam figures out how to make Valyrian Steel. This really sounds like too much content for 6 episodes.
And this seems like too pointless an exercise. Trying to predict everything that will happen can only ruin the surprises that do happen.
I'd prefer to go in completely fresh like Frank Costanza and not even think about season 8 until it premieres.
Besides I'm sure you'd rather not read my fan-fiction predictions. (Instead you'd rather watch Benioff and Weiss' fan-fiction Heyy-ooo!)
As this is my last article I will leave you with this. Game of Thrones is special. It's not often that a Lord of the Rings level property comes around. So no matter how you feel about it, I would say to try and enjoy the ride. I know I'm going to miss it when it's gone.
The wait for the final season will be dark and full of terrors. Hopefully The Winds of Winter will be out by then. And maybe we will even have a new President.
A boy can dream.