In the first two parts we concentrated on the north. This is where I believe a great deal of the action will be taking place, either at Winterfell or beyond The Wall. You just have to take a look at the promotional artwork to get that feeling, and of course it only makes sense because that’s where are overall narrative is heading. However, there’s still one tiny matter that needs to be resolved before we get to the battle of ice and fire. That of course is the battle for the Iron Throne. I believe this storyline will be consolidated into two rival factions, each containing several main characters and houses. For posterity sake we’ll say faction one is House Targaryen, and faction two is House Lannister. I had no idea how much I wanted to see these two face off until watching the second trailer. Now I can’t wait.
To be fair, the House Targaryen faction only has one Targaryen, Dany (we won’t get into Jon’s probable heritage here). However, as we saw at the end of last season, The Mother of Dragons has amassed an incredible force willing to fight with her. This force includes Theon and Yara Greyjoy who bring some of the Ironborn forces with them, although we were never really told how many joined them and how many joined their Uncle Euron. Next come the Dornish represented by the sandsnakes. Again, it’s unclear how large this Dornish force is, but in the final scene of season 6, as Dany’s armada finally sets sail to Westeros, quite a few ships can be seen sporting the sun and spear sigil of House Martell. Then there is quite possibly Dany’s most important ally at this point: “The Queen of Thorns” herself, Lady Ollena Tyrell. Why is she so important? Because that means House Tyrell is allied with Dany, and they boast one of the largest armies in Westeros. You can also be certain they’re out for vengeance after Cersei roasted Margery, Loras, and their father Mace in the Sept explosion. However, knowing Cersei, she won’t sit idly by knowing the Tyrells will be coming for her.
Faction two: House Lannister. There was much debate as to who Cersei was talking to in this scene. From a different angle we’re shown she’s giving audience to a short haired man. This caused many people to rule out the possibility it was Euron Greyjoy since he had longer hair. However, the one shot we get of him in this trailer, beating some poor soul with an oar, we see he’s trimmed those curly locks. Therefor, I’m more certain than ever that it is Euron. Oh, and we see a fleet of Ironborn ships lead by The Crow’s Eye sailing into King’s Landing. This is simply logical. Cersei has made enemies in all directions, and even though she sits upon The Iron Throne, she’s in desperate need of allies.
The same can be said for The Crow’s Eye, Euron Greyjoy. He won the kingsmoot last season by promising his people no less than all of Westeros, and I’m sure he’ll use Cersei’s weakened position to his favor and form an alliance with her…for the time being. As I stated in my review of the first trailer, I believe at least a portion of Dany’s armada will be attacked by Euron and his contingency of Ironborn before they ever reach Westeros. We see even more evidence of this in the second trailer along with Yara being Yara and jumping into the thick of the fight. Euron will take her prisoner along with at least one of the sandsnakes. He’ll present them to Cersei as tokens of good faith. I absolutely love this pairing of Euron and Cersei. The latter has shed any semblance of humanity at this point and has completed her journey to the dark side becoming “The Mad Queen”. If you’re not a book reader then Euron is obviously still a mystery since we’ve seen so little of him. However, book readers know him to be perhaps the most ruthless and dangerous man in Westeros. It’s fair to say this will be an uneasy alliance.
Fire & Blood
By this point we’ve all seen this epic Dothraki charge with Drogon soaring overhead, and the second trailer confirmed they are in fact battling Lannister forces. Now as I stated before, I believe this attack is coordinated with the sacking of Casterly Rock, the ancient stronghold of House Lannister. The second trailer shows Grey Worm sailing towards what looks to be an opening in a large rock or mountain even. I believe this is how they’ll infiltrate Casterly Rock and the intel will be provided by Tyrion since not only did he live there, but he was once in charge of the cisterns as he’s mentioned before. So Dany will unleash her Dothraki upon the marching Lannister army, and knowing that Casterly Rock is left poorly guarded, will send The Unsullied to seize it. But how does she know this Lannister army is marching and where?
As I previously stated, I don’t think Cersei will sit idly by while House Tyrell plots their revenge. Instead, given her nature, she’ll go on the offensive and bring the fight to them. There’s a shot of Jaime in the second trailer walking along the ramparts of an unfamiliar castle with dead bodies lying about. I believe this castle is Highgarden, the ancient stronghold of House Tyrell, and it’s just been sacked by Lannister forces. I haven’t seen any footage that would coincide with this theory but it could be something that occurs mostly off screen. So that powerful Tyrell force I spoke of earlier might be severely weakened, but Dany could still use this to her advantage. She now knows where the main strength of the Lannister forces are and in what general direction they’ll be heading. She’ll also know that Casterly Rock will be lightly fortified and Tyrion can provide even further specifics. Thus we get what many book readers are already calling the second field of fire, referencing a battle that took place when Dany’s ancestor, Aegon The Conqueror, brought fire and blood to Westeros. This sort of historical symmetry is something Martin uses quite often.
The Lannisters are not alone however. It’s very clear from the second trailer that House Tarly is fighting alongside them. You can catch their archers above if you don’t blink. This is interesting because House Tarly is the house of everyone’s favorite White Walker slayer, Sam, who we last saw arriving at The Citadel. We met his sweetheart of a father last season after which Sam absconded with his Valyrian steel sword Heartsbane. Randyll Tarly is constantly referred to as one of the greatest generals and soldiers in all of Westeros. He lead the one army that defeated Robert Baratheon during his rebellion. So it’s safe to say the Lannisters do have a strong ally in House Tarly. Let’s now go to The Citadel.
Last we saw Sam he was in perpetual bliss just having entered the fabled library within The Citadel. Jon sent him there for a couple reasons. One was to undergo training to become a maester and take the place of the late Maester Aemon. The other, and obviously more vital mission, was for Sam to find out anything he could about the White Walkers. So what will he discover? Well, I’m hoping for another big revelation like we got last season when we found out how and why the White Walkers were created. Besides that, Sam knows that obsidian, also known as dragon glass, as well as Valyrian steel can kill The Others. And there just so happens to be a place in Westeros where you can actually mine dragon glass. That place is Dragonstone, which is of course where Dany is. I believe he’ll learn this information and feel compelled to go there. The second part of this has to do with that hand above, which belongs to none other than Ser Jorah Mormont. He is seeking a cure for the greyscale he’s inflicted with, and what better place to go to than The Citadel. Sam and Jorah will meet and both will set off for Dragonstone. Sam was even with Jorah’s father when he was killed so this is a fairly significant meeting.
Obviously there are several other characters I haven’t really touched on and that’s because I can’t make a legitimate theory regarding their storylines. I did mention how every time we see Tyrion he looks concerned bordering on frightened. Like I stated, I think part of this might have to do with him being uncertain if Dany is taking the right course of action. This season we’ll see the dragons at their most ferocious and that might not be a good thing…at least not for the people of Westeros. In the trailer you even see Dothraki – Dany’s own men – burning alive. I believe this will become a point of contention: how far is Dany willing to go to win The Iron Throne? Up until now she’s been more of a liberator. Now she must become a conqueror and you can’t do that without getting a lot of blood on your hands. But on top of that is the obvious; Tyrion is fighting against Jaime. This will obviously be a plot point and possibly a very powerful one.
As for my girl Arya I really have nothing. The sentimental part of me wants to see her return to The North and reunite with Jon. However, I don’t see her playing a major role in the war to come. Therefor, I think she’ll continue with her list and it might be her who kills Melisandre. One interesting note on her though is in one of the released photos she’s wearing the Valyrian steel dagger that was used in Bran’s assassination attempt early in the first season. I expect Gendry to finally return with popeye like forearms after rowing that boat for three seasons. And I’d like to make one final rather bold prediction. Near the end of trailer 2 we see a man draw a sword but the sunlight hides his face. I’ve seen a couple predictions on who this might be; a popular one is Bronn. I believe it’s Sandor Clegane and he’s in what’s known as The Dragon Pit. This is an area in King’s Landing that was once used to keep the dragons when the Targaryen’s ruled and they still existed. Leaked info indicated this would be an integral site late in the season involving several main characters. I believe (maybe just wishful thinking) that Sandor is drawing his sword to fight someone in single combat. You can see an audience around the top. And I believe is opponent will be his big brother, Gregor. This is something fans have been dying to see. It even earned the title “Cleganebowl”. Now, while I don’t think this will ever happen in the books, Dan, Dave, and HBO have been known to offer a bit more fan service, and this would be the greatest fan service they could possibly offer.
By the end of the season I believe we’ll have two united fronts. The first will be those now focused on and gearing up for the great war. This includes Jon, Dany, Sansa, and Tyrion. I’m hoping Jaime will finally ditch Cersei and join up with them but I’m just not sure it will happen this season. On the other side we’ll still have a group united against them lead by Cersei. As much as I want to see Jaime strangle her I think we’re going to have to wait for season 8. Game of Thrones has always excelled at creating complex characters that more often than not can’t be categorized as “good” or “evil”. We’re now seeing clear cut heroes and villains come to the forefront and that will be even more true by the end of season 7. However, before we reach that point I believe we’ll see characters truly struggle with their own morality. Martin is a genius at taking characters and placing them in morally impossible situations. And now the stakes have never been higher because winter is here.
Thanks so much for reading. I know I went long on this one. I really appreciate anyone who takes the time to read my posts, like them or follow me since I’m obviously just getting started here and still learning the ropes. Feedback is always welcome.