The sixth season of Game of Thrones came to a close, and boy oh boy did they ever bring the goods at the finish. After seeing the Starks reclaim the North in the penultimate episode, the grand finale upped the ante and gave viewers all kinds of reasons to get excited for the seventh season. There are rumors that this season will be shorter than the rest – perhaps only seven episodes – as the showrunners believe that there are only around 13 more episodes of material remaining before the series reaches its conclusion. If that is the case, then season six did an admirable job of setting us up for the final lap of this political thriller/fantasy series.
That said, there are a number of things to consider following the epic finale, and we here at Deck Ape media have the big questions that should be on everyone’s mind.
1. Are the Lannisters the villains again?
Truth be told, the Lannister twins have always been morally gray at best, and that’s only when we consider Jaime. Cersei has always been a bitch. Her only redeeming quality – her love for her children – went splat on the cobblestones in the finale.
During the course of the season, we’ve seen them go from the arrogant elite family to seeing them have to face heartbreaking loss and adversity. Yet this past season showed their vile streak. Jaime threatened to murder a baby if he wasn’t able to get back to his sister. Cersei blew up a church and killed hundreds. Neither blinked. It helped define these characters. And no, they aren’t the heroes.
But with the White Walkers descent into the Seven Kingdoms a given, is anyone else really the true villain?
2. Speaking of which, the White Walkers were absent in the last two episodes. How long before they get past the Wall?
The words of Benjen Stark in the finale expressed that the magic runes in the Wall itself kept the Walkers and their undead army from going any further. In the books there is mention of the fabled Horn of Winter, which would break the Wall, but it’s been left unmentioned in the series. Sam did discover a horn at the Fist of the First Men, but we haven’t seen hide nor hair of the artifact since then, so my guess is something else might break the spell within the Wall.
That said, it’s a huge plot point that needs to be answered. If the Wall can’t be breached, then it neuters the true evil and makes the series more about people squabbling over land. So, yeah, something’s gonna happen. My guess is it will be answered either in Sam’s research at Oldtown – really, why else is he there other than to give us some historical background of the White Walkers? – or through another revelation of our newest Three-Eyed Raven, Bran. My money is on Sam, because Bran’s purpose now has to be in letting Jon Snow know that he’s not just of House Stark, but of House Targaryen as well.
3. What will Jon Snow do when he realizes he is the son of Rhaegar Targaryen?
I’m sure I don’t know, because despite his true heritage Jon is much more like Ned Stark than anyone else. In many ways, his acceptance as the new King in the North felt slightly out of character for him. Jon has always been more concerned with doing the right thing rather than receiving glory, but glory always comes to him anyway.
Still, discovering that he is the next male in line for the throne – guys go first here, ladies, sorry – might send the North into an even greater frenzy. The last male Targaryen was believed to be Viserys, an abusive little shit that got his head melted way back in season 1. Now there is a stronger leader, with a host of Wildlings and the Houses of the North rallying behind him, with a broken south laying ahead.
4. The Southern lands certainly seem fractured. What’s going to happen in the Riverlands following Walder Frey’s bloody end?
This is where it gets interesting, because one of the true wild cards in the series is Arya Stark. When she hears that Winterfell is back in her family’s name will she return home? I say no, because she has some murdering left to do. The way she pretty much nullified the power of the Twins was quick and surgical. But her list remains.
That said, the Riverlands has its share of blood. The Brotherhood without Banners could seize power with the Freys suddenly leaderless. After all, they didn’t just bring Sandor Clegane back to do some axe murders and say the c-word. At least, I don’t think they did.
If the North decides to strike, now is the time, with the brunt of the Lannister forces back at King’s Landing. But there are other forces to consider as well:
One is in the form of the Knights of the Vale, headed up by Littlefinger. He seemed none too pleased that the North passed up Sansa as the leader in favor of the bastard Snow, and his soldiers have no desire to fight alongside Wildlings. It’s a stretch, but with his plans thwarted could he return to Cersei’s side by using the Arryn forces to reclaim the Riverlands in her name? The Riverlands border the Vale of Arryn. It’s not impossible. Anything with Littlefinger is hard to read, especially with his plan left flapping in the wind.
The other option leads to our next question…
5. What in the world does Euron Greyjoy have in mind?
He came a little late to the party, and with little fanfare, but Euron Greyjoy has to have some sort of role to come. Otherwise why bring him in at all?
Sure, he spoke of an alliance between the Dragon Queen and the Iron Islands, but that is wrecked to shit now, whether he knows it or not. If word reaches him, the Iron Fleet will need a new plan…so where could he go?
My first guess is the Riverlands, which is the closest region to Pyke. It’s ripe for the taking and could be a huge victory for the otherwise winless Krakens, but for what gain? The Greyjoys don’t have the numbers to hold the lands after an invasion. Their power rests in the sea.
My second guess makes more sense: an alliance with Cersei. Hear me out. Euron believed the combination of his ship and his wang would be enough to sway Daenerys Targaryen into a marriage and alliance. If he discovers that’s out of the question, there is another queen in power that could use his ships and is probably in need of allies after blowing up a church full of people. And Cersei understands using sex as a means to an end, so she could find a common ally in the King in the Iron Islands, especially with the alliance between Dorne, Highgarden, and the Dragon Queen in the South and the newfound forces in Winterfell in the North.
6. Even if that happens, what chance does Cersei really stand?
Things don’t look good for the Queen, that’s for sure. She’s proven good at surrounding herself with powerful forces that want to see her fall. And here we are once again.
That said, Cersei always manages to emerge victorious in these matters, and after that finale she is the most ruthless and dangerous character on the show. The true Holy Shit! moment of season six wasn’t the Tower of Joy scene or the bad death of Ramsay Bolton, but instead the intricate plot to trap everyone within the Sept of Baelor, plant hundreds of barrels of wildfire beneath their feet, and watch them all go up in a blaze of green flames. All of this was put in place by Cersei, and oh shit was it perfect.
Well, not perfect, as her son killed himself in the aftermath. But Cersei didn’t seem too fazed. After all, she’s grown numb to losing her children, and Tommen had kinda thrown her under the bus with the whole abolish trial by combat thing. With her children dead, Cersei has little left to lose, making the most dangerous character on the show only more dangerous. You really want to mess with Cersei Lannister? You’re a damn fool, then.
That said, I fully expect Cersei’s death to come at the hands of her twin brother in true Shakespearean fashion…he’s already had to put down one insane monarch.
No matter if my answers bear fruit or not, it should be an amazing run when Game of Thrones returns next year. Think my answers are way off base, or do you find my clairvoyance disturbingly accurate? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.
Vaya con Dios!
All opinions are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Deck Ape...or anyone else. Arrr!