Blog of the Dragon

Game of Thrones/Song of Ice and Fire news, theories, and other nerdy goodness

Tag: The Winds of Winter

Will Arya Stark Survive to the End? (Spoilers and Speculation)

Arya Stark in A Song of Ice and Fire

In A Dance with Dragons, we last see Arya after she has made her first kill for the Faceless Men. She is given an acolyte’s robe and assigned as an apprentice to a mummer’s troupe led by Izembaro. In a sample chapter from The Winds of Winter – entitled Mercy – Arya encounters Raff the Sweetling while she is performing with the troupe. Raff is one of Gregor Clegane’s men who captured Arya and her friends in the Riverlands, killing Lommy Greenhands in the process. Arya avenges him, and in doing so she crosses another name off her list.

I think this event will lead to repercussions for Arya, as she wasn’t assigned to kill Raff and did it instead of her own volition. This proves she hasn’t truly become “No One,” and I don’t think she ever will. I’m not sure if Arya will leave the Faceless Men and escape back to Westeros, or if she will be sent to Westeros on an assignment and then decide to leave. Either way, there is still too much Arya Stark in her to ever completely give up her identity.

It’s likely she will continue to cross names off of her list, although there are few left. I could see her being responsible for killing Walder Frey and possibly Ilyn Payne, who are both in the Riverlands. I also believe she will encounter her undead mother, Lady Stoneheart, and kill her out of mercy.

Although George R. R. Martin’s original outline for his novels has Arya surviving to the end, there are hints in the novels that she will die. Her father tells her, “You have a wildness in you, child. The ‘Wolf Blood’, my father used to call it. Lyanna had a touch of it, and my brother Brandon more than a touch. It brought them both to an early grave.” Ned also says, “When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives” – while her siblings are scattered like she is, they have maintained their identities and are emotionally close to others. Arya is very much alone in a physical and spiritual sense.

While in disguise at Harrenhal, Arya encounters Elmar Frey – the boy to whom Catelyn promised Arya when she made her pact with Walder Frey (of which Arya is unaware). Elmar is upset that his betrothal to his “princess” has been called off, and after insulting Arya, she tells him “I hope your princess dies.” However, the biggest hint at Arya’s death is Jon Snow’s comment to her that “when the spring thaw comes, they will find your body with a needle still locked tight between your frozen fingers.” Should she die, I believe she will warg into Nymeria and live out her second life as her direwolf.

Arya Stark in Game of Thrones

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As of episode 8 (No One), Arya has survived the Waif’s attempt on her life and reclaimed her identity as Arya Stark. She tells Jaqen that she is going home. I’m not sure if we will see Arya in the season finale, but I think her story will play out similarly to the books.

It’s possible that she may be in disguise at the Frey celebration on Sunday. There is reason to suspect there will be a bad end for the Freys (possibly another Red Wedding type of scenario), so Arya could have a hand in what occurs. I think she could also potentially meet up with Sandor and the Brotherhood Without Banners once again. They are in the Riverlands, heading north, and if she goes with them hopefully she will reunite with Jon and Sansa. I still feel that she is destined to die, but the show may decide to take her character in an entirely different direction.

What do you think her fate will be?

 

New Sample Chapter from The Winds of Winter

The Winds of Winter may not be available yet, but George R. R. Martin has thrown a bone to fans of A Song of Ice and Fire by releasing a sample chapter last night. His latest blog post states that he isn’t finished with his latest novel, but that it is progressing. The new sample chapter is available here, and is written from the perspective of Arianne Martell.

It’s an interesting choice, given that Arianne does not appear on Game of Thrones. There has been harsh criticism of the Dorne storyline in both season 5 and season 6, so perhaps this is Martin’s way of appeasing fans? Readers who enjoy the Dornish plot in the novels seem to have much to look forward to, if this latest chapter is any indication.

If you would like to read the other chapters that have been released, Reddit has a fantastic wiki page with information on where to find them.

Happy reading!

Will Bran Stark’s Visions of the Past Save Westeros for the Future?

With the return of Bran Stark to Game of Thrones this coming Sunday, I have dedicated this character prediction to him. Please don’t read if you want to avoid potential spoilers.

Bran Stark in A Song of Ice and Fire

In A Dance with Dragons, Bran finally finds the three-eyed crow, who turns out to be Brynden Rivers (aka Bloodraven). Bloodraven is a Targaryen (legitimized) bastard, formerly both Hand of the King and Lord Commander of Night’s Watch. He was a spymaster who was also said to dabble in sorcery. He played a key role in protecting the Targaryen dynasty from the Blackfyre pretenders, but was ultimately sent to the Wall for his for his underhanded methods.

We know Bloodraven is extremely powerful, and he has seen this power in Bran. He lures Bran beyond the wall to train him in his gifts, and we assume that they will use these gifts to help stop the Others from destroying humanity. However, Bran’s final chapter in A Dance with Dragons is full of ominous imagery and a sense of fatalism. There is a detailed breakdown here, but we find out that worship of the Old Gods historically involved blood sacrifice and that the Children of the Forest likely practice it still.

Prior to this, the Children of the Forest and the Old Gods seemed to be forces for good which battled against the forces of evil (the Others). Bran appeared to be on an important journey to awaken his gifts for the betterment of humanity, and he still may. But nothing is black and white in A Song of Ice and Fire, so we are left to wonder how Bran’s story will play out – will he be a hero, villain, or something in-between?

I do believe Bran will discover important information about the Long Night, the true nature of the Others, and also about his family and ancestors. He will probably be the vehicle for revealing Jon’s true parentage and the significance it has for Westeros (if any). What is more difficult to determine is how he will use this information.

Bloodraven’s time as Hand and Lord Commander seemed marked by his desire to keep the realm safe and at peace, and to preserve the Targaryen legacy. Are these goals important to him still? We don’t know what he has learned from the Children and from his visions, and – not knowing Bloodraven’s true motivation – we are left to wonder how he plans to use Bran to further his ends.

Bran Stark in Game of Thrones

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Bran’s role in Game of Thrones seems to be less ambiguous than in the books. From the footage that’s been released so far – and what we’ve learned from interviews – he seems poised to become a powerful warg and greenseer who will use his gifts to try and save Westeros from the White Walkers.

We know that he will see the events at the Tower of Joy, where Ned Stark went to retrieve his sister Lyanna Stark after Robert’s Rebellion was over. Bran will likely discover that Lyanna gave birth to Jon (Rhaegar’s son) and made Ned promise to raise him and keep him safe. Hopefully he will use his power to share this information with Jon prior to his resurrection.

The trailer footage appears to show the White Walkers burning the cave where Bran, Meera, and Hodor are sheltered with Bloodraven. If this is the case, they will need to escape but where will they go? They will be in extreme danger from the weather and the White Walker army. It remains to be seen how they will survive, but if Bran has the knowledge necessary to save Westeros he will hopefully try to find his family. Jon and Sansa (with help from Davos) appear to be on track to unite the North against the Boltons. With the Bolton threat removed, they will need to turn their focus to the threat beyond the Wall –  before it’s too late.

 

Will Melisandre Find Redemption and Help Save Westeros?

Happy premiere day everyone! The long wait for Game of Thrones season 6 is finally just a few short hours from being over. In honor of tonight’s episode – The Red Woman – I am doing my character prediction on none other than Melisandre. Love to hate her or hate to love her, no one can deny she is an intriguing character who looks to have a big impact on the story. Possible spoilers below, so read at your own risk.

Melisandre in A Song of Ice of Fire

She first appears in the books under mysterious and villainous circumstances. Most of her actions are seen through Davos Seaworth’s point of view, and he sees her as an evil, negative influence on Stannis Baratheon. Indeed, she does many things that disturb the reader and paint her as an antagonist.

It isn’t until Melisandre’s POV chapter in A Dance with Dragons that we get the opportunity to see inside her head. We then get the impression that whether or not you believe in her cause or her methods, she truly believes in what she does and that it’s necessary to save Westeros from annihilation.

Melisandre’s story ends with her warning Jon about the danger he faces and his impending betrayal. Many readers assume that she will resurrect Jon in the next book, since we have seen this done by Thoros of Myr (another red priest of R’hllor). Unlike in the show, Melisandre did not see this feat being performed, so it’s not guaranteed that she knows about it.

I do believe Melisandre will bring Jon back. Thoros brought Beric back by accident, not knowing it was possible, so it may be a similar circumstance for her. Many think that she will burn Shireen to perform the resurrection (believing she will need king’s blood to give her power). Although this is likely to happen, I don’t see it being done in conjunction with Jon.

The rest of her story is a mystery to me. There are many theories about Melisandre, but it seems to be certain she is much older than she appears (and possibly the daughter of Bloodraven – there is a wonderful synopsis of that theory here). She has seen Bloodraven and Bran in her fires, believing them to be agents of the enemy – perhaps their stories with intersect. I do think she will become a believer in Jon as Azor Ahai Reborn (whether he actually is or not) once he returns from the dead.

Melisandre in Game of Thrones

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Her purpose seems more straightforward on the show – we are clearly set up for Melisandre to resurrect Jon after she witnesses Thoros bring back Beric in season 3, and then she returns to Castle Black in season 5 right before Jon’s stabbing. From the released footage we’ve received, Davos and the other loyal Night’s Watch brothers seem to be protecting Jon’s body for a reason. Surely Melisandre would have shared the possibility of bringing him back.

As much as I would like for Jon to come back in the premiere, I think we might be kept in suspense a while longer. Carice van Houten and Liam Cunningham have said something big happens with Melisandre in the premiere, and that it isn’t what we think. What seems likely is that it will involve something surprising about her – her true age perhaps, or maybe more about her backstory.

I, for one, can’t wait to find out what this season has in store for Melisandre. Will she redeem herself after her failure with Stannis? Will she atone for Shireen? I find her fascinating and look forward to seeing more of “The Red Woman.”

Just 5 hours left – enjoy the show!

 

Will Davos Seaworth Unite the North?

With just 3 days left until the Game of Thrones season 6 premiere, I will focus on a character who should have a large part to play in the first episode (and the season as a whole). As usual, please note that my speculation is largely based upon filming news, released footage, and The Winds of Winter sample chapters. Stop reading now if you want to remain Unsullied.

Davos Seaworth in A Song of Ice and Fire

In A Dance with Dragons, Davos was last seen at White Harbor and assumed to be going to find Rickon Stark on Skagos. I think he will eventually find Osha and Rickon, and convince them that they will be safe at White Harbor, or perhaps another loyal northern house.

Davos will likely stay with them, as the coming winter will make travel difficult. I think Stannis will eventually be defeated or killed, but the Stark loyalists will ultimately win back the North from the Boltons. However, without Stannis to follow, perhaps Davos will be forced to go find the one leader who understands the real threat to Westeros – Jon.

Davos is loyal and trustworthy, so whether Jon becomes King in the North or even the Seven Kingdoms, Davos would be an excellent advisor to have by his side. I think he will be key in helping Jon rally Westeros to his side. Without allies, they will not be able to stop the Others.

If Davos survives the battles to come – and if peace is returned to Westeros – I think he will finally go back home to his family, knowing his has done his duty in defense of the realm.

Davos Seaworth in Game of Thrones

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It’s clear from the footage we’ve been given and the amount of publicity Liam Cunningham has done on behalf of the show, that Davos will have a huge role to play this season. He and Melisandre will find Jon’s body and protect it from the mutineers.

I’m not sure if Davos will be involved in resurrecting Jon, but he will become his key advisor and emissary. He will be sent out to find loyal northern houses to help defeat the Boltons. Once they are dispatched, the north can focus on the true threat of the White Walkers.

I’m not sure if his story will follow the books from here, but I think it likely Davos will die on the show. Hopefully it will be a noble sacrifice and a hero’s death – that’s the least he deserves.

Is Sansa Finally Becoming a Player in the Game of Thrones?

Just one week to go until the Game of Thrones premiere, so I will attempt a few more character predictions before the season starts. As with the others, if you don’t want to hear speculation based upon released season 6 footage, filming news, or The Winds of Winter sample chapters please stop reading now.

Sansa Stark in A Song of Ice and Fire

Sansa’s fate in the books is difficult to guess. As of A Dance with Dragon, she is still in the Vale with Petyr Baelish who is scheming to marry her to Harrold Hardyng (the heir to the Eyrie if Robert Arryn dies). There is a possibility that she either won’t marry Harrold or that he will die, leaving her free to make another alliance – maybe Aegon Targaryen (this is the subject of the Ashford Tourney theory). I don’t think she will ultimately end up with either of them, becoming either the Queen of the North or acting as regent for Rickon if he is found.

I believe she will reunite with Jon at some point – perhaps at Winterfell once he defeats the Boltons. Sansa will likely be instrumental in Littlefinger’s demise, because she is the maiden who slays a giant in a castle of snow according to the prophecy of the Ghost of High Heart (theory is here).

Beyond that, I don’t know what fate will befall Sansa. Will she survive to the end of the story? Will she reunite with her first husband and become the Lady of Casterly Rock? Will she marry someone else entirely? I can’t decide, but I’m leaning toward her dying before the end.

Sansa Stark in Game of Thrones

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It’s a little easier to determine her storyline on the show. From the trailer, we can see her running with Theon as they are pursued by Bolton men. It looks as though Brienne will save them, and Sansa will probably take refuge with one of the northern lords.

When she hears about Jon’s resurrection and the impending battle with the Boltons, she will involve herself in the conflict. The Boltons will be defeated, and she will order Ramsay’s execution (and possibly Littlefinger’s – they were all seen filming at Winterfell). Jon may have been offered the lordship of Winterfell by this point, but he won’t take what belongs to Sansa (or Rickon if he is back in the picture).

Sansa, Jon, and Davos will likely be key to uniting the north in the face of the White Walker threat. Perhaps she will marry a northern lord to cement an alliance, or someone from another region to bring in more support.

What do you think will happen to her? Whatever the outcome, her story seems to be taking a very interesting and exciting turn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will Tyrion Lannister Win the Game of Thrones?

Another day, another character prediction. The speculation below is partly based on filming news, released season 6 footage, and Tyrion’s sample chapter from The Winds of Winter – if you want to be like Jon Snow and know nothing, stop reading now.

Tyrion Lannister in A Song of Ice and Fire

Tyrion’s story in A Dance with Dragons ended with him joining the Second Sons, with the intention of having them switch their alliance back to Daenerys before the siege of Meereen by the Yunkish forces. In his sample chapter from The Winds of Winter, we learn that the Ironborn ships have arrived, the dragons are flying over the battle, and the Second Sons are indeed “Queen’s men” again. I think Dany’s forces will defeat the Yunkai’i, and that Tyrion will take a hand in governing the city until Daenerys returns (paralleling his arc on the show).

At the end of his sample chapter a white cyvasse dragon falls at his feet, and he picks it up – could this be foreshadowing Viserion being injured and nursed back to health by Tyrion? If so, there is a good possibility Tyrion may be able to ride him.

Eventually I believe Daenerys will return, take him into her service, and make plans to sail to Westeros with the Ironborn. Tyrion will likely play a key role in keeping her out of Euron’s clutches and helping her maneuver the situation with “Aegon.” Since we know there will be a second Dance of the Dragons, Tyrion may help her discover his true identity.

I think Tyrion will be instrumental in forging an alliance with a resurrected Jon to battle the Others. Given their past relationship and the respect Tyrion has for him, he should be able to convince Daenerys that there a genuine threat and that Jon will be an important person to have by her side. It’s possible that Tyrion may die before the end of the story, but I feel he may end up as Lord of Casterly Rock and/or Hand to the eventual ruler of Westeros.

Lastly, there is a theory that Tyrion is a Targaryen – that he is the bastard son of Aerys and Joanna. There is a good summary of the hints in the text here. I’m not sure I believe it, but I don’t think it can be completely refuted either. I don’t know that it will ever be revealed to us, or that it will matter to the story. However, there would be a certain poetic justice in Tyrion inheriting Casterly Rock if it were indeed true.

Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones

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Tyrion will probably keep the peace in Meereen for a time, but Dany being gone will embolden the Sons of the Harpy, and tensions will mount. Problems within the city, and threats coming from outside, will erupt into conflict. We see from trailers that Tyrion looks like he will release the dragons, and they will unleash fire and blood on the city before Daenerys returns.

As with Jon and Daenerys, I think his storyline on the show will largely follow the remaining books from here. Since the fates of these three will probably be intertwined, they wouldn’t be able to deviate too much from the main thrust of their stories. I think Tyrion will be instrumental in shaping the future of Westeros, and I’m excited to see how it plays out on the page and the screen.

What are your thoughts about Tyrion? Is he a central player in the great game?

 

 

 

 

Will Daenerys Targaryen Ever Conquer Westeros?

Time for another character prediction!

Daenerys Targaryen in A Song of Ice and Fire

At the end of A Dance with Dragons, Daenerys is lost and trying to find her way back to Meereen. She encounters Khal Jhaqo’s khalasar with Drogon at her side. I believe they will want to take her to Vaes Dothrak to take her place among the Dosh Khaleen, as that is the proper place for a khal’s widow. If Dany remembers Quaithe’s words (“to go forward, you must go back”), she may decide to willingly go with them.

Drogon will likely not accompany her, as he seems content to remain close to his “home,” but I do think he will appear at Vaes Dothrak and provide a show of strength that will unite the khalasars to follow Daenerys. She will lead them back to Meereen to bolster her defenses, and they will help defeat the Yunkish forces.

Daenerys will make arrangements for others to take over ruling Meereen so that she can return to Westeros. Victarion’s fleet will have arrived at the city, and she will use him to get her home. He will probably be killed trying to gain control of one of her dragons.

Once back in Westeros, Daenerys will come into conflict with Aegon (likely a Blackfyre) when she realizes he is the mummer’s dragon from the House of the Undying vision and Quaithe’s warning. I think she will ultimately win (dragons), but it will be devastating for Westeros.

At some point Daenerys will learn of the threat the Others pose, and head north with her dragons. Beyond that, it’s hard to predict what her fate will be. Perhaps she will die in battle, or she may be involved in helping Jon forge a peace with the Others (which is the only way I think the conflict will end).

Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones

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Dany’s show arc will likely be very similar to her storyline in A Song of Ice and Fire, although condensed. There doesn’t seem to be any plan to cast Victarion, but they may send Euron to her in his place. I think instead of warring with Aegon, she will fight directly with the Lannister forces in King’s Landing (or what’s left of them if they go to war with Dorne, the Faith, and possibly the Tyrells).

Ultimately she will end up heading north, as evidenced by the show version of the House of the Undying sequence in which she envisions herself at the Wall. I believe the books and the show will have a similar ending for her character, whatever that may be.

What do you think? Will she die a hero’s death, reign as Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, or have a completely different fate?

What Does the Future Hold for Jon Snow?

With season 6 of Game of Thrones approaching – and no The Winds of Winter in sight – I’ll be doing a series of character predictions while we wait to find out what really happens. I’ll make separate predictions for Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire, since there will be divergence between the two. Having them written down here will give everyone a good laugh when we look back and see how wrong I was, but I’ll give it a shot.

Jon Snow in A Song of Ice and Fire

When we left Jon in A Dance with Dragons, he was bleeding in the snow after being attacked by his Night’s Watch brothers. I believe he will warg into Ghost for a time, and then be resurrected with Melisandre’s help. Maybe warging will help him preserve more of himself, or maybe he will display the “wolf blood” when he returns.

I think Jon will discover his true parentage (R+L) while “dead” – either by Bran connecting with him when he is in Ghost, or by him finally finishing his dream in the Winterfell crypts. My opinion is that he is a legitimate Targaryen with Lyanna and Rhaegar marrying in secret. The Kingsguard staying with Lyanna makes more sense that way, rather than them guarding a bastard. There are also numerous “king” references (link here) surrounding Jon throughout the text.

Jon won’t stay in the Night’s Watch – he will leave because his watch ended at his death. He will likely play a big part in the battle for Winterfell and win back his home for the Starks. He won’t become Lord of Winterfell, because his “siblings” (cousins) still live, and he won’t take their birthright from them.

I do believe Jon will be Azor Ahai reborn/The Prince that was Promised. He will be key in fighting (and later likely brokering a peace) with the Others. Some theories have him marrying an Other to seal a pact with them, but I believe he may become King of the Seven Kingdoms – more out of duty or because he is chosen rather than any desire for the throne on his part. There are too many clues and allusions to him being a king to discount them all.

Jon Snow in Game of Thrones (SPOILERS below)

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Melisandre will resurrect Jon like Thoros resurrected Beric in Season 3. He will leave the Night’s Watch and march on the Boltons to take back the North (as evidenced by a photo taken during filming of him at the battle scene in Stark armor). Jon will defeat them and capture Ramsay, then execute him at Winterfell. I also believe Sansa will inform Jon of Littlefinger’s scheming, and Littlefinger will be killed as well. There were reports of a scene being filmed at Winterfell with these four actors and a giant(!), so perhaps Wun Wun will be doing the deed instead.

I don’t think Jon will find out his true parentage this season, but Bran will discover the truth in one of his visions (Tower of Joy). If the show doesn’t include Jon warging into Ghost, I’m not sure how he will relay this information to Jon – perhaps Meera and Hodor will leave the cave – or maybe he will find proof in the Winterfell crypts. I believe most of his story will follow his A Song of Ice and Fire arc, so ultimately his fate will be as outlined above.

I’m interested to hear your take, so please comment below to let me know how right (or wrong) I am.

 

Winter is Coming! (in Westeros at least)

Five years ago, a friend (who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty) recommended that I read a fantasy series called A Song of Ice and Fire. Being a fantasy lover anyway, it looked like it was right up my alley. He also suggested I watch Game of Thrones, so I proceeded to devour all five books and then binge watch season one.

I was hooked from the start. My first read through was an emotional roller coaster I never wanted to end. A Song of Ice and Fire is beautiful, terrible, compelling, and complex. I have since read it several times, and every time there are new details I’ve missed on previous reads. Never before have I read a series that never gets old, no matter how many times I pick it up.

Game of Thrones pulled me in as well. Although it’s impossible to pack the incredible richness of Martin’s novels into a 10 hour per season television show, the creators have done a remarkable job of creating his world for the small screen. Game of Thrones isn’t perfect, and I don’t always agree with the decisions they make, but it is still unlike anything else on television.

Through the past five years, I have read all the related works (Dunk and Egg tales, the novellas set during the Dance of the Dragons, A World of Ice and Fire) and have spent a considerable amount of time researching on forums like asoiaf.westeros.org and reddit.com. I started this blog as an outlet to share my ideas, likes, dislikes and news about the books and the show.

As season 6 approaches, I will be sharing spoilery information here. I know there are book readers who will not be watching Game of Thrones until the Winds of Winter is released, so I will always indicate if spoilers are included in a post.

I hope you enjoy this site, and please contact me or comment if you have anything interesting you’d like me to include in future posts. I want to hear from you and will be happy to share your contributions. Valar dohaeris!

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