After eighteen long months, Game of Thrones has finally returned to our screens. Amongst dragon rides, awkward reunions and shade being liberally thrown around, this was a great reminder of how the show has become such essential viewing. Namely brilliant writing and characters worth investing in. Lord, how I’m going to miss it when it’s over.
If I’m nervous, lord knows what it’s felt like for those involved in the production. For the best part of eight years this TV show has rolled on to a climax and every episode, nay every scene, has to mean something. The pay-off should be huge which is why I’ve compiled an updated list after the first episode of all the things I want to see before the show climaxes.
- Someone on the Iron Throne. Yes, I know it’s an obvious one. The triumphant end shot to the whole thing should be someone sat on the throne as the camera slowly, thoughtfully zooms out. And they all lived happily ever after. Of course, Ramsey Bolton said it best when he said that, “”If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention”. Knowing how the show has gone, actually having someone end up on the throne would be an achievement in itself. Westeros is heading to Hell in a handcart so the throne itself managing to remain intact would be something of a triumph. Who actually sits on it will say a lot about how people remember the show. If the Night King then the war was lost, if Jon and Dany then romance and alliance has won. Me? I’d like to see someone unexpected at the end to prove that anyone can climb the ladder and reign supreme. Wouldn’t Arya and Gendry make a beautiful ruling dynasty? Now having thought about it, the throne in its current form represents Targaryen triumph and bloodshed. Wouldn’t it be great if after all the fighting is over, the throne was forged into something more fitting? If The Night King is to be defeated it’ll be through an alliance of houses coming together to fight for the living. Maybe a throne which commemorated all of the houses who made it possible would a fitting end.
- Gendry to land a telling blow with his warhammer. Having become a rowing meme, the return of Gendry seems telling. Not only will his weaponry expertise come in handy in creating a dragonglass arsenal, his royal blood gives him a worthy character arc. At some point, he’ll swing that warhammer to end a battle. My money is on Visierion as two dragons teaming up on their turned brother seems a bit lame. Or he designs that weapon.
- Jon Snow rides Rhaegon. Talking of dragons, the world will soon know that Rhaegar+Lyanna=Jon Snow and Dany will soon realise she fucked her own nephew. Eww. Whether he now takes on the name Aegon is up for debate but his Targaryen blood has been known to Dany since he was allowed to pet Drogon and not become chargrilled. What has to happen now is Jon taking on the mantle of his father and riding Rhaegon to victory alongside her. They didn’t waste any time with this one did they? Perhaps it would have felt more of an event had it happened after he’d known he was Targaryen but hey ho.
- Revealed: Tyrion is also a Targaryen. Talking of Targeryens, one other main character has petted a dragon and lived to tell the tale; Tyrion. At one point I thought he’d join Dany and Jon atop a dragon yet he now looks more Lannister than loyal to the Lady of Dragonstone. His dubious parentage could also be revealed as I still see some truth in the theory that Tywin hated him, not because he saw him as an embarrassment but because he himself was mortified that he wasn’t his real father. The theory is that The Mad King, Aerys Targaryen, raped Joanna Lannister and Tyrion is the so-called monster that resulted. Not that it matters so much now. Too big of a revelation and too late in the day.
- Revealed: The identity and motive of The Night King. C’mon, for the big baddie to be just a man turned into the leader of a zombie army, able to resurrect the dead and bring in another Long Night is a bit far-fetched isn’t it? He has to be revealed as someone aligned. Someone with a past. Someone important. The theory that Bran warged into him in one of his ill-fated trips back to the past is a little… complex. Yet if it was revealed he was Bran The Builder or another member of the Stark house then that’s something to get behind. The final season should reveal more of his past as so far there’s little substance to his march other than causing absolute destruction. Rarely do you get a villain who just wants to see the world burn. Usually there’s a motive that even the most fearful can see. Maybe he does simply want to rule all before him. Or maybe his reasoning is that a promise was broken and this is his vengeance. Maybe the North was always meant to be his yet since his land has been invaded he’s going to take it all. Or something. Still time for this one.
- The Valonqar prophecy comes true. The show loves a good prophecy and the Maggy has haunted Cersei since she was a child. Her prophecy is all but complete; she married King Robert Baratheon and not Prince Rhaegar. She did bear three children who are all dead. The younger, more beautiful queen could well have been Lyanna if you count all Cersei held dear as the proposed Rhaegar and the fact that Jaime has headed off to fight the good fight with Lyanna’s son, Jon Snow. All that remains now is the final part which the Maggy concluded as, “And when your tears have drowned you, the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you.” Valonqar means ‘little brother’ in High Valyrian which assumes the role will be taken by Tyrion. However, technically Jaime was born seconds after her but due to his golden hand that seems unlikely. Here’s when it becomes open to interpretation. If Jaime is the father then Cersei’s demise through childbirth would be at the hands of her little brother. Some of the best moments in the show’s history are when reviled characters finally get what was coming to them. Joffrey’s choking, Ramsay being devoured by his own dogs and the snide Littlefinger having his throat slit being just three. To see her tears of joy turn to choking would be poetic justice. Still time for this one and as Jaime has arrived in Winterfell, it looks likely that he’ll side with the Northern houses and bring about the downfall of his sister, as long as he gets a pardon for pushing Bran out of the window. If he gets executed and Cersei doesn’t find out, this does draw up the possibility of Arya taking his face and executing Cersei down at King’s Landing and the theory would still remain.
- CLEGANEBOWLLLLLLL. I swear, if this doesn’t happen we should all just turn off the TV and go to bed. The Hound v The Mountain. It’s the scrap we’ve all been waiting for. A fight to the death to end the most fraught of sibling rivalries. Allegedly, if anyone survives The Battle of Winterfell they’ll head south to fight at King’s Landing thus setting up the fight we all want to see.
- Arya ticks off her kill list. We all love ticking things off lists, it is what I’m doing right now after all. Arya has stealthily become the Seven Kingdom’s greatest assassin, able to don the mask of whoever she chooses to dispose of another target. Here’s the list in it’s entirety; The Hound,
Meryn Trant, Cersei Lannister, Joffrey, Ilyn Payne, Polliver, The Mountain (debatable), Rorge, Walder Frey, Tywin Lannister, Melisandre, Beric Dondarrion and Thoros of Myr. Should 6 and 7 go ahead, Arya would be best placed putting her efforts into Melisandra and Beric Dondarrion, both of whom look to be busy at the moment. Ilyn Payne may be difficult to get a hold of too seeing as he hasn’t featured since Episode 9 of Season 2 and the actor that plays him, Wilko Johnson, has been recovering from cancer. Looks like The Hound is back in her good books but Cersei is still a prime target.
- Theon’s redemption against Euron. As far as character arcs go, Theon’s resembles the lithe rippling of a dragon. Since ditching Reek he’s saved Sansa only to jump ship instead of saving his sister, Yara. When we last saw him he was smiling at getting kicked where his appendage should hang. All that remains now is for him to swoop in, rescue his sister and dispose of Euron to become ruler of the Iron Islands. Wouldn’t his dad be proud of him then? So he’s already saved Yara and headed to fight with Jon Snow, who’s to say he can’t finish off Euron after?
- Happy endings. Wildly optimistic I know. Should anyone get a happy ending would be somewhat surprising but wouldn’t it be grand to see Varys take his seat on the small council as a final fuck-you to Littlefinger from the schemer to rule them all? How about Grey Worm returning from battle into the warm embrace of his beloved Missandei? Finally, what we all want to see is Brienne fall for the playful gaze of Tormund.
- Bran warging into Viserion. We’ve seen Bran warg into Hodor and his direwolf, Lady. What if he could wrench control of Viserion back from The Night King and turn the dragon against the army of the dead? Surely his role can’t just be to sit there like a human version of Big Brother, ready to reveal all?
- Samwell Tarly as the Bookworm Saviour. Knowledge is Power and while Bran can see the past as easily as most of us can use Youtube, Sam realises that salvation can come from a book. Jon Snow’s claim to the throne, Jorah’s greyscale cure and Dragonstone’s hidden stash of wight conquering dragonglass. When all seems lost, expect Sam to run in clutching a book to save the day. Or giving Jon the biggest truthbomb of his life. There’s still more to come from Samwell I imagine.
- The Prince That Was Promised. The prince is supposed to have a song which many believe to be the song of ice and fire. Should that be true, the prince is surely Jon Snow as the melding of Targaryen fire and Stark ice. The prophecy is said to come from Melisandre who is surely due to return to Westeros with a final revelation. ‘When the red star bleeds and the darkness gathers, Azor Ahai shall be born again amidst smoke and salt.’ With Jon being half Targaryen that should foretell that he can withstand fire. Indeed, even Rhaegar believed that his son was the promised one as a comet was seen above King’s Landing when the boy was born. Having said that, she truly believed it was Stannis Baratheon…
And some bonus things I want to see
- Arya and Gendry become a couple, did you see how they were looking at each other?
- Jon somehow manages to either keep the secret that he’s King of The Seven Kingdoms under wraps or tells the relevant people and still gets to keep everyone onside. Tough call but he’s done it before, he’s had to choose between his love (Ygritte) and his duty (The Night’s Watch), his ethics (saving the Wildlings) and his duty (The Night’s Watch, again). He’s a man that can keep the moral high ground but now that Dany has to bend the knee suddenly changes their whole dynamic. The Northern houses also have to bow down to the True King, a few days after lambasting him for bending the knee to Dany. There’ll be a time and place to reveal all, I’m just not sure it’ll be soon. There’s also the point that once this is revealed most people will likely realise he’s fucked his aunt. Awkward, Bran likely knows though.
- Cersei let’s people believe that the baby is Euron’s and not Jaime’s. Just to mess with people.
- No Lannister troops are heading up North. They never were. Her plan looks to be to wait until the fighting with The Night King is over and then finish off the remnants with The Golden Company. Evil bitch. There’s a healthy moral strait that suggests mercenaries cannot triumph against loyal troops and The Golden Company cannot prevail against Dothraki and The Unsullied, or whoever’s left.
- Sansa comes to realise that she has to back Dany or risk losing the Great War before it’s even begun. Jon’s job now is to ensure everyone puts aside their squabbles, harder now that he knows he’s less a Stark and his father is a Targaryen.
- Jaime fights for the living then teams up with Tyrion to defeat Cersei, both of them know her and King’s Landing far too well to let this opportunity slip. Whether either of them will kill their sister is debatable.
- Bronn has a crisis of conscience when faced with aiming a crossbow at either Jaime or Tyrion. Yes, he’s a sellsword yet he’s also a friend.