A brief warning: if you are not up to date with the show, having watched season eight, episode four, you probably shouldn’t read on.
Last week’s episode brought an end to poor Rhaegal, as well as Missandei. Unfortunately for me, I predicted neither of those events. However, some ideas I wrote about last week are still alive and kicking. Though I may be a fool for it, I’m not giving up on them.
I pegged the long-awaited Cleganebowl for episode five, and that event is still on the table (and seems more likely with every passing minute of screen time). I also argued there would have to be a group of characters that survived the show, and with the presumed departures of Sam, Gilly, and Tormund, I have three predictions, at this moment, in my favor.
I also had a prediction for Bronn and Brienne that did not play out in episode four, but still has a chance to play out in episode five. That also goes for my bold prediction for Arya, which seems more likely for episode six now.
I invite you to read last week’s blog post here.
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But now we’re getting down to the nitty-gritty. Only two episodes left. Episode four spent its run-time attempting to turn Daenerys Targaryen into the “Mad Queen,” and very well might have succeeded. She was left without another of her children (she is now just the Mother of Dragon), without her best friend (Jorah), without her most trustworthy ally (Missandei), and her relationship with Jon Snow (and everyone is Westeros, for that matter) is about to go from awkward, to downright homicidal. Poor Emilia Clarke must have had a massive headache after filming, as it looked like she was trying to make her own head explode in each and every scene.
Episode five is shaping up to be a music video for Five Finger Death Punch’s “Burn It Down” starring Daenerys Targaryen and Drogon. (I won’t type the lyrics here, as they are rather profane, but it’s a heavy metal song about burning everything to the ground, so… yeah, you get it). So I’m grouping my predictions into larger categories for this week, and the first is what I’m going to call…
The King’s Landing Inferno:
Dany and Drogon are going to have a Southern Bar-B-Q and a lot of innocent people are going to burn. In fact, I’m not sure King’s Landing or the Iron Throne will even be around once it is all done with. Unhappy with how dark episode three was? Well, you might have to turn the brightness down on this one.
First to the flame? I’m picking Euron Greyjoy for death by Drogon. This seems like a simple enough revenge sequence. He killed Rhaegal, after all. I’d also throw Qyburn in here as next to get torched. Why, you ask? Frankly, because I don’t know why he’s still around, and Dany needs kindling for her fire. I expect both these characters to die early on amid the burning of the city, ultimately setting up King’s Landing as the flaming backdrop for the rest of the episode.
Now that we have our fiery city, it’s time for Arya and The Hound to reach King’s Landing and hunt down Cersei. I had thought it would be poetic if Sansa were the one to kill Cersei, but things don’t seem to be shaping up that way. Arya is going to make an attempt, even if she’s not successful.
The Mountain will be protecting Cersei and it will be up to the Hound to dispatch him. I believe he will succeed, but in doing so suffer an excruciating and inevitably fatal blow. This will give Arya a second opportunity to put the Hound down. This time she will be merciful and kill Sandor Clegane. The Hound Kills the Mountain, and then Arya gives the Hound a merciful death.
Enter Jaime Lannister. Cersei will look to Jaime for protection from Arya, but Jaime will turn his back on his sister, and instead the Captain of the Golden Company will come to Cersei’s aide just before Arya can reach her. Fighting ensues, but only as a means to change scenes. Cersei can’t die just yet.
Moving on, I believe Jaime Lannister only said what he said to Brienne in episode four to keep her from following him to King’s Landing. I don’t think he really meant it. I think Brienne will ultimately come to that conclusion, as well, and come looking for Jaime. Here is where I think my prediction from last week will come into play.
Cersei will find Bronn and expect his protection. Bronn will play his Highgarden hand, as discussed with the Brothers Lannister, and want to know just why he should protect her. If Cersei knows Euron has been killed, she will be able to offer Bronn the greatest reward anyone could: If we win, I’ll marry you. You’ll be a king. Cersei will be desperate and mostly unhinged at this point, so nothing is off the table.
So, Bronn and Cersei will find Jaime just after a reunion with Brienne. Then, Bronn will take his shot, Brienne will step in the way and tragically die in Jaime’s arms. Bronn and Jaime will then fight, and Jaime will win, but sneaking up behind will be sister, and… Cersei will be the only one to exit this scene after slicing her brother’s throat.
Meanwhile, Arya, Jon, and Greyworm fight through the Golden Company giving Dany passage to find Cersei for a final showdown.
Here, I expect Cersei to do something shocking in front of Daenerys, and I think it will be to reveal her double-agent as… (buh-buh-buh-boom) VARYS. There has to be a reason why Euron and Cersei have always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. Whether it’s taking Yara Greyjoy, or Killing Rhaegal, or allowing the Unsullied to take Casterly Rock while the real army slips into Highgarden. Cersei has been making all the right moves for a while, with seemingly little info to go on. We’ve heard time and time again that Varys works for the Realm, and if he has always had doubts about Daenerys, he may have been playing Cersei and the Dragon Queen against each other for the benefit of the Realm.
Cersei will reveal Varys, and reveal that she knows about Jon’s parentage, and this will bring the “Mad Queen” to the forefront.
Daenerys will fry Cersei, and then she will begin tracing the whispers back. Varys got his info about Jon from Tyrion, who got it from Sansa, who obviously got it from Jon. The Mad Queen will turn her fire on Varys, and then on Tyrion. Then, in possibly the most stunning moment of the season, if not the series, Daenerys Targaryen will cook her nephew/lover, Jon Snow.
This will all set up the last episode and…
Where I’m placing My Gold
They will bring the show back to Winterfell for the final episode. Arya will escape the ruins of King’s Landing and let Sansa know the Mad Queen is coming for her.
Maybe Samwell, Gilly, Davos, Podrick, Tormund, Ghost, and Yara will have their stories ended through absence, but I just have a hard time believing that. Especially when Bran and Sansa are still away from King’s Landing, and such important characters.
The Mad Queen will march what’s left of her army north, the Three-eyed Raven will have a final purpose, Yara will bring the Iron Islanders to the fight, and a Sansa vs. Daenerys showdown will come to pass. Hey, maybe even Ghost and Nymeria will bring a pack of dire wolves into the fray.
It might just be the fantasy writer in me, but I’ve had a hard time with the HBO show waving away the supernatural elements of the story so easily. We never learned enough about the Night King, or his connection with the Three-eyed Raven. We never learned enough about the Lord of Light, though it seems he had a heavy hand in the way everything played out. Even the Children of the Forest seem to be oddly absent.
I may be pinning for something that will never be addressed, but bringing the story back to Winterfell, and putting Bran at the forefront, could help to tie up a lot of these holes.
But… given Game of Thrones’ penchant for pulling the rug out on my assumptions, I’m going to hedge my bet here.
Not-so Bold Prediction:
George R. R. Martin will have the last laugh.
We, fantasy fans, will be forced to wait for his conclusion before we get any sort of satisfying explanation for the “fantasy-heavy” elements of A Song of Ice and Fire.
Game of Thrones will serve as the soap opera version of the tale, ever-popular with those interested in person against person dramatics, and political gaming. Those of us who were always on Jon’s side, putting our petty differences aside for the true battle, the profound, existential battle, will have to wait for Mr. Martin’s final book. And he will laugh all the way to the bank.
After all, gotta sell those books. Am I right?
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Thanks for reading,
Dylan Lee Peters