Based on the events of the first episode, and clues that we received from the trailer I think we’re going to see a lot of the plot revolve around Jaime Lannister. On that note, let me just dive right into the predictions.
PREDICTION ONE: JAIME AND BRAN (Part 1)
As we got to see at the end of the first episode, one of the most highly-anticipated reunions finally happened; Jaime and Bran saw each other for the first time. Well, Jaime finally saw Bran- I’m sure Bran’s Green-sight has allowed him to see much more of Jaime than the former Lord Commander of the King’s Guard would ever imagine.
When Jaime and Bran last crossed paths with Bran, it was in the pilot episode of the series when Jaime pushed Bran from a window in the Broken Tower after Bran saw Jaime and his sister Cersei in a very compromising incestuous embrace. This of course set into motion the events that would lead Bran to become the Three-Eyed Raven and essentially started the War of the Five Kings that led to every tragedy that has befallen the Stark family from that moment up to this point. Jaime is going to have to face up to what he did to Bran, but as the look on his face indicated, he didn’t think he’d have to face Bran himself.
PREDICTION TWO: JAIME AND DAENERYS
Jaime Lannister is famous throughout Westeros and Essos for one thing – the killing of King Aerys Targaryen, also known as the Mad King. He was also Daenerys’ father. In the trailer for the second episode, we see Jaime standing trial in a manner similar to Lord Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish, except this time instead of Sansa Stark being the one conducting the trial; Dany is sitting in the middle of the table preparing to pass judgment.
Dany is flanked to her right by Jon Snow and to her left by Sansa as they question Jaime on both his past actions and his future intentions. After all, he is the commander of the Lannister army that just sacked Highgarden and should be accompanied by the Lannister forces that were promised by Queen Cersei. Folks are going to be wondering why not only did he arrive alone, but he did so under a cloak and with a black glove hiding his golden right hand. If he was there to help, why would he travel in disguise? We know why, but none of the other characters do.
PREDICTION THREE: JAIME AND BRAN (Part 2)
As the Three-Eyed Raven, Bran sees and knows all – past, present, and future. He will be able to explain that not only does he forgive Jaime for what he did, but it was also necessary for the grand scheme of things. He will also be able to explain that he came of his own free will and that he defied Cersei. He’ll also explain that Cersei has no intention of sending her armies north, that she will simply wait to see which side wins and hold up inside the walls of King’s Landing and await the arrival of either the Night King’s army or the Northern Forces because she assumes that the fighting will be fierce and the winning side will suffer heavy casualties.
Jaime will make this claim, and Bran will be able to back it up. At first either people won’t believe him, or will outright refuse to believe him. He’ll have to convince not just the Northerners that Jaime is telling the truth, but he must also convince Daenerys as well. That is going to be the most difficult part. Although, given Bran’s abilities as the Three-Eyed Raven, I think that things will work out well for Jaime.
And that will bring us to…
PREDICTION FOUR: TYRION AND EVERYONE
Once Bran convinces everyone that Jaime really is at Winterfell to honor the pledge Cersei made, despite not having an army and despite knowing that he would face a harsh reception, all eyes will be on Tyrion. Remember, Tyrion had a one-on-one meeting with Cersei, right before she pledged the Lannister army to the battle against the dead. There are rumors that there was some sort of deal agreed upon between Tyrion and Cersei that occurred off-screen. I think Bran will reveal what this deal is. At any rate, Tyrion will most certainly be called upon to defend his assertion that Cersei would be sending her army north.
Tyrion will be unable to assuage the anger that Daenerys feels towards the Lannister family and since her desire to see Jaime punished for what he did to her father will go unsatisfied, and she will turn her anger towards the man who served her as Hand of the Queen. Tyrion will do his best to explain his reasoning for betraying Daenerys in order to aid his family, but it will be in vain. Dany may not have him summarily executed, but Tyrion will absolutely be confined to a cell within the bowels of the castle.
However, before anyone really has much of a chance to process what to do with Tyrion…
PREDITCTION FIVE: THE ARMY OF THE DEAD ARRIVES AT WINTERFELL
This prediction isn’t all that much of a hot take, it’s been long surmised that the Night King’s army would make its way to, and possibly through Winterfell. In the trailer for this episode, we see a lot of frantic preparation for the greatest threat Westeros has seen in literally millennia, including Jorah Mormont receiving the ancestral Valyrian steel sword of house Tarley, Heartsbane. Sam will give it to him, as Jorah will be on the front lines of the battle, and seeing as how Sam is not much of a fighter and Jorah is an experienced warrior, it’s only logical that he gets the sword.
We will see the fully prepared (at least as prepared as you can be against an army of a hundred thousand zombified people, animals, and giants) Winterfell residents manning their defenses and hiding those who cannot fight in the crypts. I think we’ll also see some interesting creations from Gendry in the Winterfell forge, including the weapon that Arya requested from him. As they are finishing up their preparations a horn will sound, and it will be the warning that the Night King’s army will have finally arrived.
Here’s where I diverge from many theorizers: I don’t believe that the Night King will be at the battle. I think, as I have stated in my previous article, that he will bypass Winterfell and take a significant portion of his army south to King’s Landing and wreak havoc there, ballooning the ranks of his undead army because, in the South, they are not at all prepared for this army. They have little to no Valyrian steel, no dragonglass, and no defense against such an unrelenting force. This would be a wise move on his part as well because he could then take the reanimated dead from King’s Landing up to the North, just in case anyone tried to escape south in the face of the coming storm.
It is at this point we will see another image from the trailer; an undead horse’s legs stomping into the snow to mark the dead arriving to battle the living. Then the screen will go black, and we will have to wait another week to see what I’m assuming will be the greatest on-screen battle in television history.