Monday, June 24, 2013

Game of Thrones: The Prediction Post That No One Asked For


SPOILERS for all five novels in the A Song of Ice and Fire series.  This prediction thread is for the novels ONLY.  So if you are purely a fan of the TV show or have not read the novels, LEAVE NOW!!!!!

Ahem.

Since I've already done one lengthy post about Game of Thrones and the A Song of Ice and Fire series, why not another one?  There are more predictions about the last two novels than you can shake a stick at.  If I were to post this on any dedicated message board, it would instantly be smothered by countless other thoughtful and incisive posts.  Fortunately, I have this blog, and can go as long-winded as I want.  Without further ado...


Major Predictions for A Song of Ice and Fire

1.  Benjen Stark is Cold Hands.  Either that, or the "boss" of Cold Hands.  Benjen Stark has been hardly discussed since his first disappearance.  Martin never depicts his absence in the same melancholy fashion as he does other lost or dead characters, which makes me suspect that he is really alive, or at least "alive."  

2.  Sansa Will Run Into Nymeria.  Sansa is currently in the Vale, which isn't far from the Riverlands.  Nymeria is currently roaming the Riverlands, leading a wolf pack.  While I know that Martin loves for characters to keep missing each other despite being in close proximity, he eventually has to have some of them meet up.  What is the point of Nymeria being in the Riverlands if Ayra is in Braavos with no clear return date?  What if Nymeria is destined to play a role in another Stark's life?  Many people assumed that Sansa lost her "Starkness" when Lady died, but perhaps Sansa was really meant to bond with another direwolf -- one more suited to who she is now.  If Sansa discovers her warging ability through warging into Nymeria, she might also connect with Arya.

3.  And Sansa Will Be the First Stark to Meet Lady Stoneheart.  Likewise, Sansa's proximity makes her likely to be the first Stark to see her undead mother.  Lucky her.  In typical Martin fashion, Sansa's life will probably be on the upswing, with her having outsmarted Littlefinger and leading an army from the Vale, only to have Jaime Lannister kidnap her and take her to Lady Stoneheart.  No doubt Sana's reaction will be heartbreaking, but Lady Stoneheart's may be more interesting.  Will she remain a ghoul, or regain a little of her humanity?

4.  Jon Is Azor Ahai.  That much seemed obvious when Jon "died," and all of the elements necessary for "the prince that was promised" were in place.  If Melisandre's visions of Jon as Azor Ahai weren't enough, the smoke that rose from one of Jon's wounds was a big sign.  The question now is whether Jon will actually die, warg into Ghost (as the opening chapter hinted), or go into a trance state, only to transform into Azor Ahai.      

5.  Bran Will Not Be a Tree.  This is something I hope more than something I can argue with any certainty.  Things look grim for Bran and company beyond the Wall, and Bran's "mentor" Bloodraven is a tree, but it just seems like a depressing end for Bran.  Great, he gets to free his mind and be everywhere, even in the past, but he will never be physically reunited with his siblings.  Meanwhile, his companions are fated to die... does that sound like a happy ending to you?  Then again, Martin said that the ending would be bittersweet, and Bran being a tree would certainly leave a bad taste in my mouth.    

6.  Bran Will Be the First to Learn... That Jon Is Really a Targaryen!  He came so close in A Dance With Dragons, which was one of the frustrating things about that novel -- everyone came so close to a big meeting or revelation.  However, with his ability to look into the past, Bran will probably witness the aftermath of the Tower of Joy.  I can't wait.

7.  The Faceless Men Will Send Arya to Kill Daenerys.  That seems like the most logical outcome of Arya's training.  She can't kill someone she knows, and she knows most of the baddies in Westeros.  But she doesn't know Dany, who is the biggest threat to a lot of people.  It is highly likely that one of them would be willing to pay a steep price to have Dany killed.  The question then becomes where Arya meets her, and whether Arya tries to follow through.  If she aborts the plan, or goes through with it and is caught, what will the consequences be?  Will the Faceless Men want to kill Arya for disobedience?  Will all be forgiven with Dany if it turns out Arya can warg into one of her dragons?    

8.  Aegon Is a Blackfyre.  I had not realized how prominent the Blackfyre Rebellion was in the novels until others pointed it out.  But it makes sense that Aegon is not really Rhaegar's son: there was that reference to the "mummer's dragon" and to a Blackfyre black dragon sigil being rusted red (like the Targaryen red dragon) after being in the river.  The final clue is that he is being protected by the Golden Company, which was founded by Daemon Blackfyre's loyalist brother, who swore to put a Blackfyre on the throne.  The question is whether Jon Connington and Varys are aware that Aegon is not really Aegon.  Varys probably does know but doesn't care: he just wants someone on the throne who will rule wisely (or so he says).  And if Aegon is a Blackfyre, will he prove to be benign or a threat to Daenerys?

9.  Daenerys Will Make It to Westeros.  Given her extended stay in Essos, many fans have become skeptical that Dany will ever come to Westeros.  Some believe that Martin's upending of fantasy tropes means that instead of being the heroine riding in to save the day, Dany will choose to rule in Meereen for the rest of her life.

I don't believe that.  Even though Martin likes to upend fantasy tropes, he still understands the basics of good storytelling.  After spending many chapters raising Dany from a scared girl to a conquering queen, and dropping hint after hint that Dany's journey is far from over, Martin would lose a lot of good will if he just left Dany and her dragons in Essos.

"But what about Eddard and Robb?" you say.  True that Eddard appeared to be the protagonist in A Game of Thrones, but did Martin ever set expectations that he would survive beyond that novel?  If anything, Eddard's chapters come across as rather bleak, as though Eddard himself expects his doom.  As for Robb, while the trope of a son avenging his father is alive and well, we are given hints that Robb is not meant to survive to the end.  First, the fact that he is never given his own point of view chapters.  Second, Catelyn's constant warnings that the Freys would not be pleased with Robb's betrayal.  And finally, Robb's choice to create a will designating Jon Snow as his heir.  If the last one doesn't say "I could die soon," I don't know what does.

By contrast, we have had several hints that Dany's quest has barely begun.  She is told by a mysterious presence that she must go south to go north, east to go west, which we still have not figured out.  She will encounter a blue eyed king with a red sword and a mummer's dragon.  She is also told that she will only bear children after certain events occur -- events that seem impossible until you consider that the "sun" and the "mountain" might represent people.  Finally, what would be the point of the dragons, and Dany being the "mother of dragons," if she and the dragons play no final role?

That said, I can't say for certain whether Dany will ever sit on the Iron Throne.  Even if Martin allows her to be a hero in the Final Battle, I wouldn't put it past him to kill her before she gets to sit on the throne.  Even so, I think that she will be the ruler at the end.  Instead of completely upending the "good guys win" trope, I could see Martin undermining it with more subtlety.  Most of these scenarios play out with a sudden cut to "10 years later," where everything is happy and shiny.  I could see Martin instead showing us a bewildered Dany, looking at the ruined kingdom she just won, thinking: "I have to rule THIS?"  There might be some discussion of the new alliances she has to form and the hard choices she has to make in order to get anywhere close to a Happy-Shiny Future.  I could even see signs that former slave cities in Essos, still steaming with resentment, are planning to attack Westeros.

But Dany never make it to Westeros?  That would be far too anticlimactic.      


Remaining Questions

The above did not nearly cover all of my questions or predictions, but I only have so much time.  Unanswered questions abound, but I think my biggest ones are:

1.  What the hell is happening with the Citadel?  Martin has one member of the Citadel travel to see Dany with seemingly benign intentions, but another who is a Faceless Man with intentions unknown.  What is the Citadel's end game?  Will they help or hurt Dany's rise?

2.  What the hell is happening with the Faith?  I really don't know what the end game will be with the growing prominence of the Faith, except maybe Margaery's or Cersei's permanent downfall.  Why create yet another complicated, endless subplot?

3.  How much time will Martin spend on the Sand Snakes?  A whole bunch of Sand Snakes are going with Princess Arianne to spy on the Lannisters.  How many chapters will their madcap adventures take up?  Enough for people to wish that these chapters were spent on other characters?

The above image is used under the Fair Use Doctrine.

11 comments:

  1. Like your theory about Ayra. I've wondered about that myself.

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    1. Thanks! I've heard another theory, too, where Arya might be sent to kill someone at King's Landing whom she doesn't know, but gets tempted to break her vows and kill Cersei. To me, that's boring. I think Cersei has enough doom over her head without Arya there. I would much prefer that she meet with Dany.

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  3. Great predictions here is one my own that the whatever wards there protecting the wall were removed when the horn was burnt clearing the way for The Others to invade Westeros which no one on the other side of the wall is prepared for and they will be unstoppable. I think we will see the giant ice spiders scaling the Wall with ease and I also predict the White Walkers will use the tunnels beneath the wall that Bran and Samwise used. So my prediction is most if not all of Westeros will fall to the others before the end of the books.

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    1. That sounds interesting, if rather depressing...

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    2. Coldhands is Not Benjen. He is the Night's King. and he's warging Bloodraven to get bran there. and he is the political power over the Others. if you would like, go to Youtube and watch James Johnson's asoiaf's predictions especially 13 and 14

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    3. also, Mother Mole is Ned's mother. she and benjen and Mance (rhaegar) have been waiting for this moment. this IS the prophecy. Jon is Lyanna and rhaegar's son. he IS azor ahai.

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  4. Dany, Tyrion, Jon fly the dragon's through Westeros. Jon focuses on the North to stop the White Walkers. Tyrion focuses on the East and reclaims Casterly Rock. Dany conquers King's Landing. Jon and Dany rule together and have kids. Tyrion runs Casterly Rock and rebuilds the kingdom with the gold. Sansa takes over the North from the Vale after Baelish is killed. Varys helps Jon and Dany as Hand (or Tyrion is Hand). Arya kills Robert Strong and the Freys. Jaime kill Cersei and then Jaime becomes Kingsguard leader. All too optimstic?? Oh yeah. and Bran is a tree watching over everything.

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    1. Your theories are quite plausible. The only thing I would hate was if Tyrion were a secret Targ. Bran as a tree would make me sad, but Jon and Dany ruling would make me happy... which is why I think the latter probably won't happen. I could see Jon getting Dany pregnant (before he inevitably dies) or Dany passing on leadership to Jon (before she unexpectedly dies).

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    2. Bran may be one of the heads of the dragon, by warging into one of the dragons...I am worried about Jon Snow too, he is too well liked to survive.

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