5 predictions for Season 7 of 'Game of Thrones'
From Jon Snow's destiny to Littlefinger's ambitions, here's how we think the Seven Kingdoms will evolve in Season 7.
Warning: Spoilers ahead!
Another season of HBO's hit fantasy drama "Game of Thrones" has come to an end, pushing us all that much closer to a climactic conclusion of which vying party will finally rule the Seven Kingdoms. The scary part? According to showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, there's officially only about 13-15 episodes left to wrap up the bewildering array of plot lines in motion.
"The pieces are on the board now," Benioff told Deadline. "Some of the pieces have been removed from the board and we are heading toward the end game."
What exactly will a Season 7 "Thrones" look like? Below are just a few predictions to ponder while we all wait anxiously for the spring 2017 premiere to roll around.
The rise of the Queens
While "Game of Thrones" initially opened on a world predominantly ruled by men, the scales have since dramatically shifted in favor of women. By the end of Season 6, Daenerys and her considerable allies are sailing toward Westeros, the Iron Throne has been claimed by Cersei, the Iron Islands are in the sights of Yara Greyjoy, the rising Sansa Stark is one (little) finger away from becoming Queen of the North, and Arya Stark is literally baking her enemies into cakes.
Oh, and let's not forget the leader of Bear Island, Lady Marmont, who at 10 years of age has shown more force of character than any other ruler of the North.
Winter is finally here, and it's brought the age of powerful women with it.
For Season 7, we expect women to remain firmly in the driver's seat. What will be interesting to see is whether these new rulers fall victim to the same corruption that has plagued their male counterparts or strive for peace over fear.
“Our fathers were evil men," Daenerys, played by British actress Emilia Clarke, said in a recent episode. "They left the world worse than they found it. We’re going to leave it better than we found it.”
A Red Priestess gathering
At the end of Season 6, Melisandre, a Red Priestess of the Lord of Light, has been banished from the North by Jon Snow. The character, played by Dutch actress Carice van Houten, is now seemingly adrift after holding incredible power over the last several seasons. Where will she go?
One hypothesis is that Melisandre will find refuge in Meereen, where another Red Priestess named Kinvara holds power. Played by actress Ania Bukstein, a rising Israeli star of the stage and cinema, Kinvara appeared earlier this season to help Tyrion Lannister quiet turmoil in the city. While the scene was brief, Bukstein's haunting smile and beguiling charm foreshadowed much more for her character.
With the God of Light so far being the only supernatural deity to make itself known in "Thrones," it's clear there's still more to come from the red ladies. Could Melisandre and Kinvara team up to become a competing force all their own?
Jon Snow is both ice and fire
It's been hinted at for quite some time, but the Season 6 finale finally put to rest the question of Jon Snow's lineage. As we saw in Bran Stark's vision quest, Jon is the son of Lyanna Stark and the late crown prince Rhaegar Targaryen. He's both ice and fire. Ready for one more crazy fact? Daenerys, the Mother of Dragons, is actually Jon's aunt.
So what does this mean for the unofficial hero of the series? For one, his claim to the Iron Throne is now completely legitimate. It's also likely, once/if Bran tells him about his heritage, that he will team up with Daenerys. While Jon doesn't seem like the type who may want to actually sit on the Iron Throne, it's completely possible that he'll sit on a dragon. After all, it's been implied throughout the series that only those with Targaryen blood can ride the beasts.
One more prediction: With only two seasons left, it's becoming more likely that Jon is the second coming of Azor Ahai. Who? Azor was a legendary hero who, 5,000 years earlier, defeated a darkness with the help of a burning sword called Lightbringer. For a couple seasons now, Melisandre has been name-dropping Azor, originally believing that Stannis Baratheon was the hero incarnate.
"Stannis Baratheon is Azor Ahai come again, the warrior of fire. In him the prophecies are fulfilled," she told the officers of the Night Watch. "The red comet blazed across the sky to herald his coming, and he bears Lightbringer, the red sword of heroes."
While Melisandre was horribly wrong about Stannis, we wouldn't be surprised if Snow is the actual Azor. Plus, c'mon, who wouldn't want to see Jon wielding a flaming sword while riding on the back of a dragon?
Littlefinger makes his move
Of all the characters of "Game of Thrones," the one we know the least about is actually becoming one of the more powerful. Lord Peter Baelish, aka Littlefinger, has been quietly utilizing his cunning charm to work the kingdoms like no other. The character, played by Irish actor Aidan Gillen, recently openly admitted to Sansa Stark that his mind is firmly set on acquiring the Iron Throne.
While Sansa dismissed his dreams for both her hand and the ultimate prize as nothing more than "a pretty picture," the look shared between the two during Jon Snow's de facto coronation as the King of the North tells us something different. We're thinking that Season 7 will mark the moment where Littlefinger finally emerges from the shadows and lays bare all of his plans. The question is, will Sansa Stark join him?
"I like Sansa, you know?" Gillen said of his character in May. "So I’m trying to find something humane and gentle and maybe even warm in the midst of my treachery and calculation – which is pathological. That stuff is so much part of Littlefinger I barely notice it."
Jaime and Cersei split
At the end of Season 6, Cersei Lannister is finally where she's always wanted to be: on the Iron Throne and unequivocally in control of Westeros. Of course, all of this is news to Jaime Lannister, who comes riding home to find both his remaining son dead and his sister/lover on the throne. In a season filled with silent looks between characters, the one shared by Jaime and Cersei at the end of the finale is more foreboding than approving.
Should power corrupt Cersei, we wouldn't be surprised if Jaime decides to leave. While her character has decidedly become more cold, his has trended the opposite; setting the stage for a confrontation that could ultimately mean the end of her life. So far, everything foretold in the prophecy about Cersei has come to pass; including the loss of all her children. The last part, that she would be killed at the hands of her younger brother, was always interpreted to mean Tyrion. Could Jaime, who is also her younger brother, be forced to put down yet another "Mad King"?
If true, that's likely a Season 8 plot point; but don't be surprised if the generally heated passion between these two becomes acrimonious in Season 7.
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