Okay, we’re halfway through the final season of this intense, often disturbing but never boring series. Many questions have been answered, but there are a lot that still remain. Most of these won’t be answered until the final episode, if ever. This episode is going to be nearly as long as The Long Night episode we just got, so there will be a lot that gets covered. I will say this and I’m so sure about this that I’m not considering it a prediction but a foregone conclusion – everyone who survived will engage in some post-battle lovin’. They’ll be happy to be alive, turned on, and ready to pair up. That aside, here are a few things that I think we just might learn in the next episode.
PREDICTION ONE: WHAT WAS BRAN DOING?
While I don’t claim to have any idea what the hell Bran was doing during the battle when he told Theon “I have to go now”, or where the hell he went, I do think we will get an answer to that question. A lot of fans were wondering why Bran was so useless during the battle, and I think it was because he was bored, honestly. He already knew what was going to happen, he knows everything and I think that contributes to his overall demeanor. Nothing surprises him and he knows what the outcome of every conversation will be, the punch line of every joke, and the end result of every battle. Part of why he doesn’t tell people outright about what he knows is that by doing so, it could potentially change the outcome in a way that he cannot foresee. Such are the perils of messing with the timeline.
We’ve already seen him alter the timeline when he called out to Ned Stark at the Tower of Joy, and we saw the look on the then-Three-Eyed Raven; it was almost like he was desperately hoping Bran wouldn’t learn that he could cause problems by interfering with the past. But since that night in the cave when the Night King broke the magical seal by putting his mark on Bran, his whole personality has changed. Perhaps this is due to his overwhelming amount of knowledge or perhaps he is now the center of a sort of hive-minded kind of entity that has always been personified by the Three-Eyed Raven and the knowledge gained through the Weirwood trees like those in Winterfell’s Godswood. We have also seen that Bran doesn’t always know everything and occasionally must tap into that hive mind in order to gather all the facts. This was evident when he tells Sam that Jon isn’t really Ned Stark’s son, but he is a Targaryen bastard. Sam quickly corrects him and tells him that Jon’s parent’s – Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark – were married in a secret ceremony. Bran then travels back to that moment to witness it with his own eyes.
That makes me think of something.
PREDICTION TWO: FLASHBACKS
I think we’re going to see some flashbacks to a few pivotal events in the history of Westeros, and I think a lot of those moments are going to be centered on Robert’s Rebellion. For example, I think we’ll see a flashback featuring the Tournament at Harrenhal, during which Rheagar proclaimed Lyanna the Queen of Love and Beauty over even his own wife Elia Martell with whom he had three children. I think we will finally get to see the cause for the events that set into motion not only Robert’s Rebellion but the entire story that we’ve seen over the past seven-plus seasons to get us where we are.
Consider this: because they ran off together, Rhaegar and Lyanna not only condemned themselves to death, but they started a war that would ravage all of Westeros, result in the deaths of Lyanna’s father and brother (Rickard and Brandon), the death of King Aerys (Rhaegar’s father) at the hands of Jaime Lannister, Robert Baratheon taking the Iron Throne and ending a thousand-year Targaryen Dynasty. Elia Martell and her children were murdered. Daenerys Targaryen and her older brother Viserys had to be smuggled away and live like beggars instead of royalty. Every unnatural death that occurred throughout the series resulted from their love remaining secret. What would make them do such a thing that has such far-reaching consequences? I believe we may find out.
I also think we’re going to see Rhaegar’s death at the hands of Robert Baratheon. I think we’re going to see the death of the Mad King. We’ve seen a few glimpses here and there, but I think we will get the full scene. I also think we’ll get a deleted scene from the first season; Mad King Aerys executing both Rickard and Brandon Stark for treason. Rickard demanded a trial by combat, but for his champion, Aerys chose Wildfire and simply immolated Rickard inside his armor while Brandon strangled himself trying to reach a long sword attempting to save his father.
PREDICTION THREE: JON SHARES HIS HERITAGE
In the trailer for this upcoming episode, we see Daenerys raising a glass to the gathered northerners to thunderous applause to her statement that “We have won the Great War, now we will win the Last War”. This is tricky editing because the outfit she is wearing at the beginning of the sentence is not the same she is wearing when she finishes it. She is also surrounded by different people and in a different location. Clearly, these are two different scenes. The thing I think the northerners are applauding is something we saw teased in episode two.
I do believe that Jon will tell Sansa and Arya who he really is and as we’ve seen, Jon doesn’t want to be King. He didn’t want to be Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, he didn’t want to be named King in the North, and he certainly doesn’t want to rule the Seven Kingdoms. I think he will bargain with Daenerys and not challenge her claim to the Iron Throne in exchange for the North getting the same autonomy that was granted to the Iron Islands (remember that?) and naming Sansa Lady of Winterfell and Wardeness of the North. I think Daenerys will agree to that in order to get the survivors to continue to fight for her and that is what the gathered northerners are applauding in this scene.
Jon will continue to fight with and for Daenerys because I think he is really the only one who can help her to see reason. She has spent so long thinking of nothing but taking the throne that everything else has become secondary to her. She has only deviated from her plan once – to help Jon fight the Night King and his army. Of course, as the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, the North does fall under the blanket of her protection so it wasn’t like she was doing something overly noble or altruistic; she was simply upholding what she deemed to be her rightful position in life and society.