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I have seen death,
He‘s got many faces
I look forward to seeing this one!
Some balls from Arya Stark in the official trailer released by HBO. Those words, coupled with the fact that she was also afraid when uttering them sort of prepares us for what’s going to be a season of Fire, Ice, War, and Death! Clearly, Ned Stark was right after all: “the only time a man is ever so brave is when he faces death,” and winter is here!
So, if death seems to be the likely outcome awaiting the Westerosi, who then, gets to sit on the damn Iron Throne? Same old question we’ve all been asking ever since King Robert died in season one. Of course, at the end of this season, this curiosity will finally be answered. Unless in a sick twisted jape Benioff & Weiss decide to leave the seat vacant in the end, which is an interesting theory I’ve been working on. But for now, let’s predict how some of our favorite characters would fair this season. Shall we?
Queen Cersei Lannister
Our lion queen is in fact one of the best players in Game of Thrones, and it’s no wonder she still occupies the Iron throne. Cersei’s hunger for power doesn’t stem from a higher need to see to the welfare of the realm or concern for her people, it rather comes from a personal need to keep power within her family. Prolonging the family legacy by all means possible, of course is a lesson she learned from her father Lord Tywin. And so she’s willing to make strong and to some extent, uncomfortable, alliances, in order to keep her hold on the throne. Even if it means betraying the Northern alliance, and going back on her word by not aiding in the war against the Night’s king. In Game of Thrones survival logic, most of Cersei’s decisions make sense, because that’s how to win. It is known that in Westeros the most manipulative people usually triumph over honest and honorable ones. And now Cersei is about to get even more powerful with the arrival of the Golden Company army, which means she’s going to be superior both on water, and on land. But then the upcoming war has a third force, dragons, which is her only concern at the moment and I’m pretty sure Qyburn’s cooking up a big surprise on that score too. Well, I look forward to her decisions when the war up North is done, because whoever wins will be marching South! My prediction on Cersei? She poisons herself and dies, but only after putting up a good resistance.
King Euron Greyjoy
The king of the Iron Islands is the most fearsome sea captain in Westeros, and a somewhat big player in the game. However, season seven revealed a couple of his weaknesses, which the other players could exploit to their advantage. First of all is his pursuit of Cersei to be his queen (or from Cersei’s POV, navy commander). Those are two different perspectives, and Cersei, being the clever player she is, even though she needs him (or his army) the most, has already begun exploiting them. As she clearly stated, no one walks away from her, so at the moment Euron’s ‘little man’ is the only thing doing the thinking for him. Secondly, even though he is a proven warrior on land, his fear for the dead men means he’s going to be useless to Cersei, the Stark-Targaryan alliance, and to the realm, if the battle with the Night’s king moves southward. However, his biggest strength is his lack of honour (per my initial GOT survival theory). That, and the fact that he is in charge of leading the Golden Company into Westeros, makes him a bit dangerous to the Lannisters. For all we know he could go back on his word, attack King's landing, and win the Iron throne for himself. I mean, anything can happen in the Game of Thrones! Anyways, I’m predicting he will be betrayed by Cersei, and then his own men, and gets killed by either Theon or Yara.
The Spider, for me is an intriguing character in the series, not because of his cunning, but his story. Here is a guy from Lys who was given off to strangers at a young age. He was castrated and lived on the streets for much of his youth. He learned the importance of knowledge and secrecy, then made a trade out of it. Soon he was in Kings Landing whispering into the ears of kings, while increasing his power and hold on those who had secrets to hide. And as he once told Tyrion, even if you throw him into the sea, the big fish come and go, and he will keep on going. That’s someone who beats the odds every time. Personally I find it curious that despite the fact that he’s one of the most honorable men in Westeros (self-proclaimed), he has been able to switch sides and camps without any real suspicions about his real intentions. Only Ned Stark, Oberyn, Tyrion and Dany came close to getting any genuine answers, and he may have revealed some half-truths, but does anyone really know what Lord Varys wants? He once told Tyrion that all he wants is peace, but I also recall a funny encounter in the throne room with Oberyn in Season 4. So really, what’s the spider’s endgame? Those are questions I look forward to getting answers to this season. I’m predicting Lord Varys to stay alive when the show ends, having hidden in the Winterfell crypts until the war is done. Cowardly act, but that’s the only way I see him surviving this winter and war.
Well, speaking of balls, or phantom balls for that matter, our commander of the unsullied is in sharp contrast to our Lord Spider. Grey Worm is brave and would be in the midst of affairs in the battles to come. In the grand scheme of battle plans, I’m really looking forward to where the unsullied will be positioned. The unsullied are disciplined, and well trained to withstand an onslaught. Unlike the Dothraki who are good for a cavalry attack. Now, the real problem is where to position them, because if Dany and Jon decide to put them in the vanguard, they may be able to hold off the army of the dead for a while. But then, if they are broken, it would mean doom for the living. On the other hand, if Dany decides to keep the unsullied behind as the final line of protection for Winterfell, and the realm, it would mean unleashing the indisciplined Dothraki on the dead men and white walkers. Which would also mean more army for the Night’s king, because from what I saw last season, the Dothraki die just as easily as they kill in war, because they sort of act without really assessing the situation. And either way, Grey Worm would still be distracted on the battlefield, thinking about what might, or might not, happen to Missandei. This distraction will be his doing or undoing, because he would be fighting not only for his life or his queen’s, but for his other queen! I predict Grey Worm to keep on protecting them at the end of the show.
You see, unlike the previous two, Prince Theon has his balls intact, or are they? A question for the philosophers! Even though I find it strange that Theon survived to the final season, I think he’s one of the most dynamic players in the game. He knows how to adapt to every situation he’s in and when exactly to turn his weaknesses into strength. This is why after all he’s been through, Theon has been able to survive, and in fact, I think he will survive the wars this season too. All hail Lord Theon Greyjoy, lord of the Ironborn in the end!
Yara is a strong character but at the moment she’s in a precarious position. Been held captive for amusement by her uncle isn’t a place she wishes to be. Well, Theon will try and rescue her, or she might even manage to escape and join the battle. I believe if Yara somehow manages to be free, her best move is to make it to the Iron Islands to ensure her survival. However, I don’t think she’ll go for that option. Her pride won’t allow that cowardly act, and that will be her own undoing. My prediction is she doesn’t survive in the end, which is sad really!
Sir Davis Seaworth
The Onion knight is also a good player of the game, because he also knows how to turn unfavourable odds in his favour. From a ‘lowly’ position of smuggler, he has been able to serve as right hand man of Stannis, and currently Jon. What beats me is, he does all that by being honest and honorable. In GOT survival logic that shouldn’t be possible but Sir Davos uses the skill of blunt honesty to move up the ladder. Of course, he is a master manipulator (in a good way though), and his tactics work because the other characters don’t really regard him as the ambitious type. This makes me wonder, what does Sir Davos really want? Because in the Game of Thrones everybody wants something. I don’t see him joining the battle in the early stages, because he’s not really a good fighter, which also plays well into his survival tactics. My prediction is he survives the show to serve as a reminder that honesty and honor is still a virtue that ensures survival in Westeros when used well!
Lady Brienne is another of the honorable characters in the Game of Thrones. Duty-bound, unexciting and a bit humorless, but all the same, has managed to survive to the final season. She’s also the least manipulative person in the show, and only thrives on her courage and sword skills. Brienne is sworn to protect the Stark siblings so we all know her role in the wars to come. And even though I admire her as a non-conforming ‘fuck-societal-gender-roles’ character I don’t see our Lady in shining armour surviving the winter.
The hound is also an interesting character in the series. I personally like his understanding of the world of Seven Kingdoms. He believes the strong ones (or anyone who can afford enough sellswords) always survives. In a way, I find him honest (though much of his honesty is a slap in the face), and loyal. The Hound is a great fighter, but his fear for fire and burning things makes me wonder how much of a fight he’s going to put up in the wars to come, because there’s going to be a lot of burning. There’s also the personal score with Gregor (the mountain), which he wishes to settle. Will the hound get what he wants? Big question. Anyway, I don’t think he’s going to survive the wars.
Sir Jamie Lannister
The kingslayer is one of the most complex characters in the Game of Thrones. Complex, because I believe of all the characters in the series, Jamie has been faced with the toughest decisions to make. And he always makes the choices that ensure his survival, which is basically GOT survival theory 101. However, not all of these decisions are selfish, if you recall him saving Brienne from the Bolton soldiers, twice if I recall. But then you could also argue that he saw her as a good fighter, whose services could be useful to him in the long run, so it was a selfish move after all. However, I think he has some compassion. In actual fact, he did save the realm by disobeying the mad king’s orders and killing both the king and pyromancer. However, that act was in conflict with his sworn oath as a kingsguard. Pushing Bran off the widows in Winterfell was a tough call. Personally, I think many of the other characters would have done something similar if they were in that situation. Anyway, I believe there’s no limit to his moral scale, and he does whatever ensures his survival in that particular moment. However, in the coming wars, I don’t really think he’s going to survive the battles mostly because his left hand is not as good as his right. Bye Jamie!
Sir Jorah Mormont
Our bear knight will be in the thick of affairs this season. He’s definitely going to fight his butt-off for his queen. I have this feeling that he’ll survive the wars, because I don’t see any reason why the writers would cure him of greyscale, and then kill him off later.
Sam the slayer is an interesting character. In fact, the self-proclaimed ‘coward’ has accomplished a lot of brave acts, that even the greatest warriors in the realm can’t comprehend. Last season saw him abandoning his studies in the Citadel and moving to Winterfell. However I don’t think that was a very intelligent thing to do, even though he helped confirm Jon Snow’s true heritage. Sam isn’t a fighter, and so bringing Gilly, and little Sam along, into the war zone wasn’t right, mainly because I don’t think he will survive the war.
Bran is a powerful character in GOT, and I believe he has a bigger role to play in the wars to come. The exact role is what I’m looking forward to. I expect him to utilize his abilities as a warg in one way or the other, especially in dealing with the Night King’s dragon. However, I don’t think he will make it out of this season alive.
Sansa is also one of the most evolved characters in GOT. In Season one we saw a naive maiden with dreams of becoming a princess and living in a part of Westeros where songs and stories of noble knights and their bravery are sung. She may also have contributed to her father’s imprisonment and death by disclosing his plans to Cersei. Over the seasons she has really evolved into a manipulative character. Well, she learned from the best. Anyway, I don’t really know her endgame this season, but I believe she wants to rule. Well, I’d really want to see her alive in the end. Sansa survives!
Another character who’s really good at adapting to situations is Arya. From the start of the show she has been rebellious against established gender roles that dictate a female’s place in society. I’m sure it is the rebel in her that enables her to endure every obstacle she’s encountered. Her sword skills have improved immensely, and I’m really looking forward to how much of a warrior she is; that is, if she’s allowed to fight. I’m predicting Arya to stay alive after the wars.
Our favorite translator is going to be under emotional unrest this season. Her queen will be at the heart of the battles, and so will Grey Worm. I predict Missandei to survive the wars after hiding in Winterfell’s crypts.
Tyrion is my favorite character in GOT. Not only does he understand the game, he also enjoys playing it. Tyrion is also a character that knows when to turn his weaknesses into strength. He also has immense knowledge of the other characters that he can use to manipulate events, by using their own weaknesses and strengths to his advantage. If you really assess events in the Vale during his brief imprisonment in Season one, you will notice Tyrion turned a no-win situation into a winning one. Calling for a trial by combat, and declaring Jamie as his champion was a big play, because he knew his captors were honorable and would respect his right to a fair trial. And even when his call for Jamie was denied, he convinced his way out by getting himself a loyal sellsword. Seriously, Tyrion has been turning losing odds into big winnings that one might even be tempted to contemplate him ending up on the iron throne in the end. And let’s not forget he’s a good battle strategist! My prediction is Tyrion stays alive!
Queen Daenerys Targaryen
Daenerys is going to have a busy season. Between learning Jon’s true heritage, planning battle strategies, and actually going into war, she'll have a lot of decisions to make. And I look forward to them. Dany is a fan favorite, no doubt, because she’s another character who knows how to turn losing events into favorable outcomes. However, I still think she has a lot to learn about the Power-Game in Westeros, and it’s a good thing she has two of the players in Tyrion and Varys advising her. Last season proved that her dragons were not invincible against the Night’s King, and I look forward to how she protects the remaining babies against those killing spears of the White Walker king. If Dany doesn’t survive the wars it would be her own doing or undoing. Well, I don’t want to go into spoilers, but I’ve heard she won’t survive the wars. However, I’m predicting Dany to be alive in the end, but I can’t say the same for her dragons though, I believe both dragons will be killed.
King Jon Snow
Where do I even begin? No wait, I’ll just predict he survives the wars. He might even sit on the Iron throne! 😀
The Night’s King
His villainous Highness has always been a big player in the Game of Thrones, even though some Westerosi still believe he’s a product of fiction. Which is pretty funny on all levels, because the Game of Thrones is fiction. Big power play right there, your highness! For now, we know obsidian and Valyrian steel are the only weapons that can kill him and his fellow walkers, but how the f*ck are they going to kill his damn dragon? Another for the philosophers. The Westerosi army stand a good chance of defeating his, if the archers direct their obsidian arrows at the White Walker generals. I believe the humans will survive but only after the war gets to the South. I predict death for King Walker in the end.
I really want to know if there were any survivors from the East Watch. And, if there were any, I’m really looking forward to the night's watch attacking the White Walker army from behind. Of course, they need to have weapons made of obsidian, or else, what’s the phrase?
Anyway, I look forward to a great ending to a great show. Thanks HBO! Benioff & Weiss! And thank you George R. R. Martin!