The first thing I want to say is that right now, at this moment, I don’t even care what happens in the show, and how it ends. For all I care it could end up being Bran’s coma dream and it’s revealed that nothing happened after he was shoved out the window by Jaime Lannister and everything we’ve seen was all just a side effect of the milk of the poppy he’s been given to dull his pain, similar to the “it was all a dream” trope.
So much of this season has made so little sense I find it difficult to guess as to how it will ultimately conclude. I never would have guessed that Daenerys would commit mass genocide. I understand that people want to continually point out that she was slowly becoming the “Mad Queen” and point out all the times she’s done something cruel. Yes, she executed Randyll and Dickon Tarley. Yes, she crucified the masters. But guess what – they were in direct opposition to her. They were threats to her. The fleeing, terrified populace of King’ Landing had acquiesced to her will and were no threat. There is a massive difference between executing your enemies in a cruel or savage way and massacring innocent non-combatant civilians. There was literally no reason for her to do that.
Watching Jaime spend several seasons trying to overcome his Kingslayer perception only to revert right back to it was maddening and frustrating. He mentioned on several personal and intimate moments (especially the scene in the bath house with Brienne) how he did what he did to save the people of King’s Landing, only to tell Tyrion that he never cared about the people of King’s Landing. If that was true, he would have let Aerys Targaryen immolate the city and every living inhabitant, instead of breaking his oath and becoming forever tainted as a kingslayer and tarnishing his honor and reputation.
We also watched the entire buildup of the Azor Ahai prophecy get thrown away, watched the Night King be reduced to nothing but a minor inconvenience and so many characters pulling complete about-faces and ignoring years of character development. One of the most difficult things the final episode has to overcome is wrapping up every single plot thread still left hanging. So I will do my best to give the most accurate predictions for how things will finally end.
PREDICTION ONE: TARGARYEN VS TARGARYEN
“No. Hear me, Daenerys Targaryen. The glass candles are burning. Soon comes the pale mare, and after her the others. Kraken and Dark Flame, Lion and Griffin, the Sun’s Son and the Mummer’s Dragon. Trust none of them. Remember the Undying. Beware the perfumed Seneschal.” – Quaithe, A Dance of Dragons.
Did episode 5 set up Daenerys’ ultimate demise? The above quote was something from the books that was never referenced in the show so to introduce it now gives the showrunners far too much credit, based on what we’ve seen so far this season. Maybe it’s a Biblical reference, the pale horse representing death and especially with Arya riding said horse as an agent of death. Now there are a lot of hints that foreshadow Arya killing Daenerys, which means I doubt it will happen. Calling back to Melisandre telling Arya about the eyes she’ll close forever – brown eyes, green eyes, blue eyes – saying that she’ll kill Daenerys because of the green eyes part. Of course, that was also the reason everyone was sure she’d kill Cersei, who unlike Daenerys actually has green eyes.
If anyone kills Daenerys, I think it will be Jon. People will say “well that’s why he was brought back from the dead”. Right. He was brought back from the dead to ensure that Daenerys was allowed to destroy King’s Landing and massacre tens of thousands, only to kill her for it after. Personally, I think the whole reason for Jon’s resurrection was left by the wayside along with so many other plot points and it doesn’t matter anymore. How Jon gets close enough to kill Daenerys will be interesting, as she already mistrusts him because of his superior claim to the throne and the fact that other people are aware of this. I think Jon will be fighting for his life, but will ultimately survive and go North, joining with the Free Folk and reuniting with Ghost and living the life he always wanted after giving up his claim to the Iron Throne.
I think that Tyrion will give up his Hand of the Queen duties, and will be put on trial and potentially executed as a result of him releasing Jaime in the last episode. Why Daenerys wouldn’t have just executed the man who killed her father and was on his way to betray her I can’t figure out, especially based on the way she treated Varys, but here we are.
The big thing (literally) I’m struggling with is Drogon. What happens to him if Daenerys dies? The only way Jon (or anyone) can kill Dany is if she’s inside a building, because if she’s outside then Drogon will most likely be at her side. As we’ve seen, Drogon is essentially impossible to kill. Okay then, how about Bran wargs into him and either holds him still so Jon can kill him or makes him fly into the ocean, drowning him. Neither of these will be particularly satisfying, but we are long past that point. I honestly don’t think that Drogon will be able to be controlled once Daenerys is dead, and he will have to die as well because he can’t be roaming around unchecked and unchallenged.
Daenerys will certainly die, and I have to say that I am not really happy with the fact that the character we’ve been rooting for since her emergence from the funeral pyre with her three hatched dragons, seemingly the savior of the realm was instantly transformed into the series’ true villain. Perhaps if we had some more time to deal with this, or even with the books’ ability to give us her inner monologue and slow descent into madness and her decision that justifies (at least in her own mind) her actions in King’s Landing.
PREDICTION TWO: ARYA
There are several major obstacles standing between Daenerys and her eventual demise. Obviously on an individual scale, Drogon and Grey Worm are extreme impediments anyone who wants to kill Dany must overcome. This will be no small feat, although one will be far easier than the other. I would not be surprised to see either Arya or Jon be the one who kills Grey Worm, but as I’ve pointed out earlier I’m not sure how that would be accomplished.
The other, more significant impediments (if that can be said about a dragon) are the Unsullied and Dothraki armies. For the purpose of the difficulty level in this example, a dragon would at least be one-on-one whereas battling an army is impossible. I’m not saying fighting a dragon in single combat would be easy because we have of course seen Drogon annihilate anything and everything in his path. I really don’t know what will stop them from killing Jon should be manage to get Daenerys away from her mass of protectors, so I really don’t know how it could happen, unless the killing of Daenerys and Grey Worm leave a vacuum in leadership that prevents anyone from making their own decisions. For the Unsullied, that would make sense, but the Dothraki don’t really need much motivation to start destroying everything in their path.
Perhaps Arya kills Grey Worm and uses his face to allow Jon to perform his duty without fear of reprisal. She can then give the Unsullied orders as their ultimate leader as they now have to one to serve. This will also allow Arya to do what she has been longing to do for quite some time – explore what is west of Westeros. Maybe she takes Harry Strickland’s horse that managed to survive the slaughter and whisk her away from the fiery horror of the last episode on her way to her destiny.
PREDICTION THREE: SANSA AND THE NORTH
I’m still completely certain that Sansa will become the Lady of Winterfell and Wardeness of the North. The problem lies with the rest of the North, including the true North, beyond the Wall. With many of the castles formerly occupied by Stark allies now empty, there is ample room for all of the survivors to find shelter and grow and expand. The Last Hearth, Deepwood Motte, Moat Cailin, the Dreadfort are all in need of people to live there and tend to the lands surrounding them to keep the North prosperous. They will also be able to trade and interact with the Free Folk like never before. Under Tormund’s likely leadership they will be able to cease their raiding and pillaging, and instead have honest and straightforward interactions instead of their midnight attacks on unsuspecting farmers. What would be great is if they could make a road from Eastwatch-by-the-Sea that allows for trade back and forth between the two groups.
Sansa will have the task of assigning loyal families to new homes, similar to what she wanted to do after the Battle of the Bastards to punish those Houses that denounced their liege lords and refused to come when Jon called his banners. Now she will be responsible for creating new loyal Houses by dividing up these lands and rearranging, both politically and metaphorically, the landscape of the North.