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What This Season of 'Game of Thrones' Tells Us About 'Winds of Winter'

By Genevieve Burgess | Game of Thrones | August 31, 2017 |


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There’s only one season left of Game of Thrones and it appears that we’ll be waiting a long time for it. A VERY long time. Of course, those of us who read the books are used to waiting a long time. A Dance With Dragons was released over six years ago now, and as best we can tell, we are still no closer to getting Winds of Winter than we were when it came out. BUT! The universe is mysterious and it’s always possible it will come out before the show comes back. Not likely, but possible. However, the books will probably still be behind the show even if it does. We’re well into the end game in the show whereas the books are still very much laying the scene.

We already know that the show’s conclusion was going to happen in a very different way from the books. Characters are in different places, we have a different set of people alive and dead in both, and even just more characters to go around in the books. But some of the really big plot points? I’m willing to bet they’re the same. So here are my bets on what’s coming in either Winds of Winter or A Dream of Spring whenever we get them:

Jon’s coming back. (Duh.) - I don’t actually feel like there’s anything to debate here. Jon Snow is absolutely going to be brought back from the dead, almost certainly by Melisandre. However, I do wonder if the cost to bring him back will be greater in the books. Maybe not, Thoros keeps bringing Beric back without any kind of sacrifice, but the books have set up a pattern of “blood magic” that was never properly introduced in the show, and I can see that playing into Jon’s resurrection.

L+R=J is true. - This also doesn’t feel particularly controversial, since some of the most glaring evidence of this is in the very first book. The marriage aspect will likely be more complex. Particularly the part where Rhaegar disinherited his children with Elia through an annulment. Rhaegar was obsessed with a prophecy stating “The dragon has three heads” and his primary reason for pursuing another woman seemed to be that Elia was told she could not have a third child. Elia was from Dorne, a land where paramours and lovers are socially accepted, she may have encouraged him to find another wife. Targaryens have taken multiple wives before, typically in sibling marriages, but it wouldn’t be unheard of for Rhaegar to have more than one wife. Just unheard of for them to be completely unrelated to him or each other. (Targaryens, man.)

Arya will not become a Faceless Man. - I’ve suspected this since she got her sight back by warging into a stray cat; there is too much of Arya Stark left to ever be No One. The fact that she’s still maintaining her kill list even after all her training on letting go of herself and who she was and being a humble servant also points to this. I don’t know that she ever goes back to Winterfell, I think in a lot of ways she’s trapped between two lives at this point. She is too much of Arya to be No One, but she is too much of No One to really be Arya. I also think that there’s not necessarily a happy end waiting for Arya in the books. She and Lady Stoneheart are both vengeance incarnate, and there is purpose in vengeance but not a lot of future.

There will definitely be an ice dragon. - The actual creation of the ice dragon will likely go about in a very VERY different way, but the actual existence of one feels too significant to be a show-only development.

The Wall is absolutely coming down. - Just another one of those institutions that have been around for thousands of years that come crashing down through the course of the books. I’m starting to suspect there won’t be an actual Iron Throne when all is said and done either. I think the show will keep it, because the kind of TV they’re making now needs that kind of button on it and they gave Daenerys a vision of the ruined throne room in winter way back in season 1 to tease how it might look AFTER the war, but I feel like in the books it will literally be gone.

Cersei might be around longer than anyone would have suspected. - Cersei of the books likely won’t get the magical improvement in intellect and cunning that show Cersei did, but it’s possible that she’ll manage to keep humming along in King’s Landing for longer than we would have thought. Tommen is still the king in the books, with Margaery as his queen, but Cersei is now out of prison and has a new, hulking companion by her side. She also has the help of Varys in keeping her in the game by eliminating Kevan right at the end of Dance, and so far Varys has been very good at getting what he wants. For now, he wants Cersei in some form of control and it looks like that’s where she’s staying. Until the valonqar wraps his hands around her pale neck, of course.

Jon and Dany are gonna do it. - Sorry, but it’s gonna happen. Maybe not in Winds, but sooner or later.

Anything you’re betting on after seeing seven seasons of the show? Feel free to share below, we have to wait so long for new episodes I might start writing a few myself to kill the time.


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