The Winds of Winter: 12 Major Plot Points to Anticipate

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Warning: Massive Spoilers on events past the third HBO series of Game of Thrones & Minor The Winds of Winter spoilers!

George R.R Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series is widely accepted as a landmark of modern Fantasy fiction. In the realms of Westeros and Essos nothing is romanticized, nothing is predictable and absolutely no one is safe. Martin repeatedly dispenses with the cliches that riddle cheap fantasy fiction throughout A Song of Ice and Fire to form refreshing plot lines, and emotionally involving characters that have an unfortunate tendency to be killed off.

The principal part of my enjoyment of the Fantasy Series stems from the copious foreshadowing that has sparked an almost endless number of theories from the reader community. Chances are that like myself, once you’d finished A Dance with Dragons (ADWD) you spent a good few hours over at the A Song of Ice and Fire subreddit, and the Westeros.org forums dumbfounded by all the highly probable fan theories you had completely missed.

Through combining these fan theories and The Winds of Winter (un)released sample chapters, I have culminated a list of 12 major events and plot developments you can expect to unfold in The Winds of Winter by the time of its inevitable Winter 2014/2015 release.

12. A Clash between Aeron Damphair and Euron Greyjoy

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Aeron Damphair – who premiered as a minor POV character in A Feast For Crows (AFFC) – has been officially confirmed by George Martin as a returning POV character in The Winds of Winter (TWOW). In light of Aeron’s recent threat to raise the commoners of the Iron Islands against the newly elected King Euron (who seemed completely unfazed by the notion) it can only be assumed that through Aeron’s POV, the reader will be provided a detailed insight into the revolutionary activity set to occur on the Iron Islands.

On the face of it, Aeron’s Casus Belli for revolutionary action against Euron Crow’s Eye revolves solely around his opponents ‘ungodly’ status; after all Euron’s kingship does offend the Iron Island’s only true rule: ‘No godless man may sit the Seastone Chair.’ However if you subscribe to the theory that Aeron was repeatedly molested by his older brother Euron when they were younger, Aeron’s motivations for instigating civil war appear all too personal; note that stories rarely end well for those with an unhealthy thirst for revenge in A Song of Ice and Fire – just look at where Robb Stark ended up.

I can’t imagine the Seastone Chair changing hands (or asses) by the end of TWOW, but I don’t expect mere talk of revolution either. You should expect there to be one of two minor sackings, and perhaps even a couple of big battles on the Iron Islands when you finally clasp your hands around the hilt of The Winds of Winter.

11. Davos in Skagos

Davos mu fucking seaworth

At the mid-point of A Dance With Dragons (ADWD) we happened upon the fate of Davos as he was charged by “Lord Too-Fat” Wyman Manderly with the retrieval of Rickon on the Skagos Isles – a place ‘where men break fast upon human flesh instead’ – in exchange for the lord’s treasonous loyalty to Stannis. The Skagosi are a terrifying band who swore their unwavering loyalty and vassalage to the Starks of Winterfell after their failed revolt 100 years prior to A Game of Thrones. During this revolt they somehow managed to knock off the Lord of Winterfell and hundreds of his troops despite harshly unfavored odds. Additionally, the Skagosi name is synonymous with cannibalism and otherwise savage traditions to boot; our Onion Knight is going to end up in a trough if the Skagosi lore is more than mere legends.

Now you’re probably asking yourself: If Davos does survive on Skagos long enough to gain an audience with Rickon, what could possibly ensue? Sadly nothing concrete is available with there being a distinct lack of a Davos TWOW preview chapter, but with George Martin expressing an interest in giving Osha a more significant role in the last two books, due to Natalia Tena’s superb performances in the HBO series, I have an inkling that she will be the one to swing Rickon around to trusting Davos.

Rickon and Shaggydog’s previously aggressive and distrusting temperaments will have come to a simmer under the guidance of the oddly reasonable Osha, and although it’s unlikely, the Skagosi may have taught the boy a thing or two about self control, leadership and the extent of his warging powers.

10. Aegon VI Seizes Storm’s End

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Aegon Targaryen, who was initially under the guise of ‘Young Griff’, managed to ascertain the sizable legion of the Golden Company and a strong foothold in the Stormlands having used the sum of his force that reached Westeros to besiege the forts Crows Nest, Rain House, Greenstone and Griffin’s Roost, all during his introduction in ADWD. Aegon VI wisely capitalized on the power gains presented by the lingering devastation from the War of the Five Kings, but you can’t deny that this early triumph has puffed up the boy’s ego enormously.

“The perfect prince but still half a boy for all that, with little and less experience of the world and all its woes.” – Tyrion Lannister on Aegon VI

According to extensive fan notes from George Martin’s reading of TWOW’s Arianne II chapter at Worldcon, Connington and Aegon successfully captured the Baratheon seat of Storm’s End without any reported injury to Aegon, who took it upon himself to lead his forces into battle. Unfortunately solid details on how they captured the notoriously impenetrable fortress are absent, however that hasn’t stopped fans speculating. I’m convinced by the theory that suggests Connington & Co betrayed the misplaced trust of the Baratheon banner men within, who will have granted them easy access inside the fort following their swift removal of the unsuspecting Tyrell retinue who were camped outside.

Aegon is bound to become increasingly cocksure and self entitled following this ‘grand’ victory, inevitably mistaking his good fortune for great leadership skill and military strength. George R.R Martin has an expressed passion for punishing arrogant characters, nonetheless I’m betting on Aegon being an anomaly to the trend in an effort to withhold the series’ total unpredictability.

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Article covers: Literature

Article by: James Walker

1,314 Points
18 year old college student. Big fan of Game of Thrones, Movies and Fiction; post as often as possible.

188 Comments

  1. Where to begin. The main key in Winds of Winter is to group all the diverse POV’s and remove unnecessary ones. Dany, Victarion, Barristan, Tyrion can all meet and have a plot told from only Tyrion and Dany’s POV, the north can all be condensed down to Theon, the Wall to Jon, Kings Landing to Cersei. Then if we can see some serious progression and action from these smaller number of plots… and ultimately we need to see the story take a serious contraction on its way to the end. Anyway I’ll buy you a beer when we cross paths, this is a beast article.

    • Thanks very much for the compliment, I’ll gladly take the beer! I like multiple POV’s in one region in some instances. Having Barristan and Dany’s views on events in Meereen will be great because of the contrasting characters in my opinion, but I agree that POV’s in the north could be condensed, perhaps to Theon and Davos.

      • I don’t see how you could not have Arya POV chapters as well.

        • Or Sansa and Sam might just be getting interesting now that he is at the citadel

          • Is Pate the faceless man jaquen or some other servant of the god

  2. There is definitely lots of ground to cover in TWOW. As of right now we have 20 POV’s remaining (assuming no new ones are introduced), so there are major things happening all across the board. I believe in G. Martin, we are in good hands.

    • Well, contrary to what many believe, I don’t think a POV needs to disappear by killing off the character. I think GM should use POVs according to the needs of the story, so that if a POV is no longer necessary he can just fade away. For example, Areo Hotah and Victarion can just become background characters without dying. Then we can get new POVs like the Sand Snakes.

  3. Kelsey Clark

    Great read. It shall be definitely exciting to see what’s to come. Well done!

  4. Marlon Shingles

    Really good to read, been a while since I read Winds of Winter. Completely forgot how many exciting stories we finished on. As Mathew said above, we also have the Sand Snakes to hear from!

    • The Winds of Winter isn’t out yet.

      • He meant a Dance with Dragons

  5. Awesome read and great insight. Two things I’m seeing differently is Dany’s trust for Tyrion and the Iron Born. I think Quaithe’s warning to not trust the lion or the kraken will hold true and Dany might try to dispose of the people mentioned in Quaithe’s foresight. Therefore I do not believe Tyrion will have a good ending in TWOW.

    I’m also firmly under the belief that Jon Snow will be revived by Melisandre the same way Beric Dondarrion was by Thoros. And I think Melisandre will also live to advise him and might even praise him as the new Lord of Light. I think there will be some new light shed on who Jon Snow’s parents actually are, thus making him key to the true fight to come.

    • If Dany puts her trust in Quaithe’s phrophetic advise, couldn’t Victarion and Tyrion head for Casterly Rock together and thus both remain forces to be reckoned with?

      Lovely article by the way, I really can’t wait for this read.

      • I don’t think it’s going to end that way, if that happens. If Dany decides against Tyrion and the Iron Born, I would think that’s the end for all of them. She’ll have dragons that have grown by now to wipe anyone out.

        • And that’s why I think Dany is toast. GRRM has made it pretty evident that this series is going to destroy most obvious fantasy tropes. Dany is really the only plot-line that has been a 100% Mary Sue fantasy plot-line. expect her to leave us the way Robb did.

          • I totally agree … if she reaches Kings Landing she’ll die in sight of the Iron Throne or the Red Keep never reaching it.
            It would be non-martin-like to let “Aegon the Conqueror with teats” reach anything she wants and is more or less expected to achieve.
            There was one Aegon I already in the story, there won’t be another.

          • I disagree that Dany’s story will hit a dead end if only because she was the only character in the first book whose story took place in Essos. This, to me, is a signal that her story is part of the tale’s endgame. Martin’s epic has certainly sprawled since, possibly out of even his own control to focus it down, but there’s no doubt that when he began it he knew how it was going to end – if only in broad strokes.

          • Dani will be queen of a slavers bay made over like the lamb people making her a kind of ‘christian god’ – betrayed three times ets- she will also bear a child – the witchwomans speech is suspiciously like something Azriaz says to Azhrarn in Tanith Lee’s Deliriums Mistress and the dancing mountains or whatever it was will turn out to be something from The Doom where Valyria was

    • Jon’s parents are Rhaegar and Lyanna. Is there anyone left who still have a doubt about it?

    • Ned Stark and Elia of Dorne- why else chuck in a new ‘elia’ character whi is ‘half a horse’ like Neds sister was …..Jon will rise again as Azor Azhai – though I think he needs Arthur Daybe’s sword rather than stanni’ fake- When Mel looks for Azor Azhai in the flames she sees jon

  6. I think the battle for Winterfell will be a very interesting one. Another point of note that should be considered are the Ravens Stannis Baratheon managed to get his hands on from the Dreadfort Maester travelling with the now dealt with Karstark men who planned to betray Stannis. They will fly straight to Winterfell. As far as Bolton is concerned the Karstarks are still planning to betray Stannis. I highly suspect that if Stannis wins his battle on the Ice, he will use these Ravens to send false reports of a Ramsay victory to Winterfell, perhaps using this false information to gain entrance to Winterfell under false banners. If Stannis could pull this off, he could get inside the walls of Winterfell without having to siege it, which is something he cannot contemplate at this point given the freezing conditions.

    • I hope you’re right, and the ravens/ice scenario can’t be for nothing.

  7. I am not sure the warging prologue is about Jon. Bran is a warg too, even if he is becoming a greenseer or whatever they are called. GRRM has claimed all of the Starks are wargs, so it could be Arya or Rickon too. Nymeriah is still out there and Arya has at least dreamed of being in her skin. Plus, she has lost her identity anyway to some extent so if she somehow gets into Nymeriah she would have even more trouble maintaining a hold on herself.

    • Nymeria is Arya’s link to her former self. She is now just Beth or Cat. She is a faceless man who has no identity. If she starts having warg dreams then that means that she’s coming in touch with her true self

      • When was the last time you read the books? Arya wargs into Nymeria every night. She notes as she’s blind that she can only see when she’s “the night wolf”. Every night she wargs into Nymeria. Arya just doesn’t know it and calls her the “night wolf” instead.
        That’s a huge reason why Arya hasn’t lost her identity. Note how she uses her anger at her father’s death to force herself to assassinate the man she’s supposed to. She also has a nightmare of the deaa bodies of her family on one of the last pages of her most recent chapter. She has an identity, that’s why the Kindly Man and everyone calls her out for lying every time she says she’s “no one”.

  8. I enjoyed the article, and I agree about Izembaro possibly being Tobho Mott (the comment you linked to was actually mine). Here are some major events I think you missed.

    1. Euron’s Fleet vs The Redwyne Fleet – We know the Redywne fleet was dispatched following the sacking of Dragonstone to deal with Euron and his ironborn. In an Arianne preview chapter we are told the Redywnes have already passed through the Stepstones, and so are well on their way to Oldtown where the ironborn currently reside. Euron’s forces are sorely outgunned by the Redywnes.
    Personally, I’ve speculated that Euron employs a combination of a naval trap (a la the real-life Battle of Salamis) and uses his Quartheen warlocks to create a storm and thin out the Redywne fleet.

    2. The Dornish Make Their Moves – Last we knew the very dangerous Nymeria Sand was sent along with Myrcella and the equally dangerous, but disguised Tyene Sand to King’s Landing to occupy Oberyn’s vacant seat on the small council. We also know that Doran had knowledge that there was a plan to ambush this return trip and have Trystane Martell killed in retaliation for Myrcella’s maiming, and to relieve her of the betrothal.
    The plan was to blame this attack on Tyrion, but Doran was informed (most likely by Varys imo) ahead of time. Doran has now sent Arianne to treat with Aegon and pursue a marriage with him. Although Aegon seems to want to wait for Dany, so it remains to be seen how this will turn out.
    Personally I think the Dornish are chomping at the bit to make a move and will hop onto team Aegon in some fashion. I also think they will attempt to pursue an alliance with the High Septon and that once the move is made, the Dornish will leave King’s Landing in grand fashion by leaving a gift in the form of a dead Tommen.

    3. The Volantene Slave Revolt – There have been a great deal of rumblings regarding the Volantenes and where their true loyalties lie. Officially their massive fleet (estimated by Victarion to be from 300-500 warships) is headed to Meereen in opposition to Dany. But we know between Benerro and Moqorro that there is a slave revolt in the works. From a logistical standpoint it also answers the question of just how Dany intends to make it to Westeros.
    The Iron Fleet is way too small to transport Dany’s forces, especially if she acquires a sizable khalasar. It is mostly smaller longships not meant for transport. The Volantene fleet is just what Dany needs to realistically enter the Westerosi arena.
    Unlike the article I strongly disagree that Dany remains on the other side of the Narrows. She will likely linger there some time longer, but there have been far too many hints about a second Dance of the Dragons between Dany and Aegon. I suspect Dany sets foot on Westerosi soil by the latter half of TWOW.

    4. Dany Moves Backward Before Going Forward – I think Dany’s last chapter suggests she will head back to Vaes Dothrak (which I don’t think she is that far from). With the Dothraki Sea drying up I suspect many of the major khalasars have headed back to their only city for refuge.
    At book end we see Dany before Khal Jhaqo’s khalasar (which I think she will take from him), but the largest khalasar that split from Drogo’s was Khal Pono’s. It was last seen near Volantis, but I think Dany may come across it and add it to her own in Vaes Dothrak. Plus there is the vision of wat I suspect to be the dosh khaleen that Dany had in the House of the Undying.

    • Your second prediction is definitely one I can imagine coming to fruition. Cersei awaking to the seemingly random death of Tommen would be a very George Martin-esque tragedy, and I imagine Aegon will side with the Dornish through a marriage alliance, if he actually listens to Connington’s advice.

      I’m also having second thoughts about the whole ‘Dany not reaching Westeros’ thing. You’re right a second Dance of Dragons does look like it’s in the pipeline for ADOS.

      Thanks for the great input!

      • What happens if Aegon is not a Targaryen, then what would happen then. And if Jon was a Targaryen as well, then who would be fit for the throne? And what would Dany do with all this?

        • I think that Dany, Aegon, and Jon will be the 3 heads of the dragon. They are the only possible Targaryns left. I also think Jon will be the most important. If it’s true that he came from Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryn then he truly is Fire and Ice!!

          • That would be totally epic way to end the series or really good twist because it’s called the song of ice and fire and rhaegar I think was supposed to be a good singer. not sure

          • It is certainly possible that there is another Targaryen you didn’t mention – Tyrion Lannister. It’s possible that the Mad King raped his mother. I don’t find this theory implausible, as we need a “mummers” dragon at some point, and Tyrion, Dany, and Jon are the three (closest to) main characters in the book.

          • I think Aegon is actually a Targaryan, just not the one he thinks. I have him down as a Blackfyre from the female line, likely Ilyrio’s son.

            @ogemaniac: I think the Mummer’s Dragon is just in reference to Aegon, because he’s either a fake all together, or he’s Varys’ (mummer)dragon.

    • Khal Jhaqo obtained the largest portion of Khal Drogo’s khalasar after the Drogo’s death.

      “But in the Red Waste, all her joy had turned to ashes. Her sun-and-stars had fallen from his horse, the maegi Mirri Maz Duur had murdered Rhaego in her womb, and Dany had smothered the empty shell of Khal Drogo with her own two hands. Afterward Drogo’s great khalasar had shattered. Ko Pono named himself Khal Pono and took many riders with him, and many slaves as well. Ko Jhaqo named himself Khal Jhaqo and rode off with even more. ” – ADWD

      • The Dothraki exchanged uncertain glances. “Khaleesi,” the handmaid Irri explained, as if to a child, “Jhaqo is a khal now, with twenty thousand riders at his back.” -AGOT

        “The last reports had Pono near the headwaters of the Selhoru with a khalasar of thirty thousand.” -ADWD

        I suppose it’s possible that Jhaqo gained more than 10K riders for his khalasar since AGOT, but based on the most recent specific numbers Pono appears to have the larger khalasar.

        • I suspect she may give the “dracarys” command on Khal Jacquo, and Mago would be soon to follow, after that it would just be a formality of the rest of Khal Jacquo Khaal joining her

          She may be able to re-join all of Drogo’s former Khalesar under her command though, the power and of course the very fact that Drogon is named after Khal Drogo may do the trick

  9. Am I the only one who can only see 10, 11 and 12? Where are 9 through 1? Maybe its my browser or something.

    • Disregard the above, it was my browser. :p

  10. >passed

    I think you mean “past”, Mr. Walker.

    • And I managed to misspell ‘Jaime’ as ‘Jamie’.

  11. Kathryn Talbot

    What an excellent article- I am even more excited now! I have read a lot of GOT stuff in the past few days, but this is by far superior. Well done!

  12. It had been speculated on the ASOIAF forums that whatever spells were warding Storm’s End are broken following the little trip of Sir Davos and Mel under its caverns, the birth of a shadow and murder of the castelan Penroy. By and large, it appears Sir Davos – the savior of Storm’s End – is also the instrument of its demise. The caste still stands strong, but visions of Melisandre of crumbling towers at the sea are what foreshadows its demise. So, connecting the dots, Aegon is almost sure to take Storm’s End.

  13. Well there are three things that I want to comment on so I will put it neatly in a list like yours :)

    1) This is an outstanding article! Very well researched and sourced info correctly by adding credits and discussed your points elegantly. Your style of writing is very impressive. Definitely best article on The Winds of Winter so far.

    2) It is no surprise that your article went to the very top of Reddit’s Game of Thrones subreddit page yesterday:
    http://www.reddit.com/r/gameofthrones/comments/1gezsg/all_spoilers_game_of_thrones_the_winds_of_winter/
    Actually it has almost as many upvotes as that fan theories post which is very cool and totally deserving.

    3) I have been browsing and reading articles on this site and I have to give praise where its due. Each and every article here is top frikking quality. I swear I read an article involving unicorns that completely took me away. Anyway unlike all other sites, you all don’t publish any fillers or just mirrors of what we can find everywhere. Impressive.

    Keep it up :) Cheers!

  14. The biggest threat to Cersei is the Iron Bank of Braavos. They’re calling in their debts – and the Iron Throne owes an enormous amount that the Lannisters probably can’t cover without bankrupting themselves. Plus, the Iron Bank has chosen to support Stannis. Even if she gets out of her immediate threat of her trial by combat, and manages to keep the Tyrells and Aegon at bay, her terrible finances will do her in for good.

    Sansa’s controversial chapter: I think she’ll “accidentally” give SweetRobin too much sweet sleep and kill him. It’ll be a situation that she believes will be a mercy.

    Osha: Natalia Tena – ugh. In the books Osha is an interesting character, Natalia turned her into an annoying weirdo. I wanted Meera to stick a spear in her and be done with it.

    • The Braavosi bank may call upon the faceless men to take care of this problem…

    • You’re clearly missing something if you think Natalia Tena is wrong for the part. I may not have read the books, but I’m a huge fan of the series and I just happened to read an article quoting G.R.R. Martin & the producters saying she is doing such an amazing job bringing life to this caracter that they’re actually creating more time for her on screen (AND in the story). She may be a weirdo but definitely not annoying.
      Thank you to the author by the way, great article, your theories are really interesting =)

  15. Nice article!

    Some other things I’m keen to see…

    1. What is Jaqen H’ghar doing at The Citadel, and what will Sam do to help or hinder him?

    2. What will Bran do with the weirwood system?

    3. Is Loras Tyrell really near death, or is it a trick? If so, what is the Tyrell play?

    • a guess on your second question i think jon snow and bran will meet again. And bran being able to see into the past, present and future will tell jon who his real parents are… maybe.

      .

  16. My question is : if Cersei and the Boltons/Freys are defeated ….there will be no more bad guys .
    Its true that the beauty of ASOIAF are the “grey” characters but i feel the lacking of strong evil characters with the departure of Tywin and Joffrey .
    The White walkers yes are the main bad guys but are so little talked about that is easy to forget them !!
    My bet : a massacre of the Tyrrel family made by Cersei’s men ( a bit like the Huguenots massacre in France )

    • House Tyrell are not House Stark. They are every bit as vicious and manipulative as House Lannister or even House Targaryen (as evidenced by the poisoning of Joffrey). Secondly, they would not have been in the game this long had they possessed the same virtuous ideals of honor and nobility as the Starks. Lastly, they learn from their mistakes, and simply know, their link with the Lannisters is a power play, mostly of economical proportions. But make no mistake, they do not trust the Lannisters one bit. They won’t allow themselves to slaughtered en-masse. Maybe individual Tyrells will picked apart here and there, but the Red Wedding is unique its brutality as well as its genius, in GoT lore. My bet is that Jon Snow and Dany will take upon the age old Targaryen custom of sibling incest (once Jon learns his true identity, no doubt he’ll be a Targaryen, given that Ned was too honorable to propagate with whores). Jon Snow, Dany and Aegon will find themselves riding their dragons with Tyrion in tow as advisor in chief. Dany will most likely fall, given her emotional propensities for righteousness instead of pure power (the “moral” of GoT). Snow (who may assume a more proper Targaryen title such as Aerys) and Aegon may fight each other over legitimacy or choose to cooperate and defeat greater foes. Tyrion’s angle will be mysterious, but given that no one will fully trust Tyrion, given the immense duplicity and brutality of House Lannister, he will be disposed in TWOW. Snow being both a Stark and Targaryen, will think that no lion can be trusted. I also won’t be surprised if there’s a new alliance between House Dorne and House Targaryen, given that Dornish blood runs through the current remnant of House Targaryen through decades of intermarrying, and the slaughter and King’s Landing that pretty much unites the two Houses. The Boltons will fall I believe, given that no will trust backstabbers, and Snow may lend the support of his newly formed Targayren armies to temporarily aid Stannis, because of that whole Red Wedding ordeal. Lots of possibilities await us, but I’d be surprised if both Dany and Tyrion made it out of TWOW alive. Lessons I’ve learnt from GoT, emotional characters who place righteousness and nobility before foresightedness and power don’t last long (All the Starks) and characters who are stigmatized by their families will never develop the trust of others (Theon Greyjoy). Wits and cunning can only help you survive for so long, until so many people associate you with one stigma, and in Tyrion’s case, that’ll be House Lannister. Sadly, Tyrion and Dany are beloved characters and I’ll accept their untimely demises. However, I’ll be glad to see House Targaryen back into the fray. I’ll be delighted to Snow assume a proper Targaryen title and fight alongside his brother, Aegon. House Lannister will certainly fall, given that Tywin was literally the rock of Casterly Rock. Tywin may well have been the smartest character in GoT. No one comes close in my opinion, pure genius. Cersei possesses all of his cruelty but none of his poise nor genius. She will face a complete demise. Jaimie Lannister will also die in TWOW, without the wise navigation of Tywin, House Lannister’s enemies will fall on them like a sharp knife. In fact, if any mass slaughter will happen, I think the Tyrell’s will return in-kind the favour that House Lannister bestowed upon House Stark. They have the hunger, ambition and none of the erratic behavior of Cersei. I think the main survivors of TWOW, will be a revived Snow/Targaryen, Aegon, Margery (as well as most of House Tyrell being intact) the Ironborn and Stannis and his Baratheon forces. I think this book will crush a lot of houses and will leave us for a final book will four main houses will compete for power if not in alliance with one or the other. House Baratheon vs. House Targaryen (no way the Targaryens will ever forgive House Baratheon or accept them on the Iron Throne) and House Dorne and House Tyrell. Dorne will most likely ally and intermarry again with House Targaryen given their history. House Tyrell will be the wild card, which will give them great leverage because they don’t necessarily have a dog in the fight. The supported House Targaryen in their war against Rob and Ned, but also bent knee to Robert Baratheon. Their resources and possible hold on King’s Landing after the disposal of House Lannister in a possible bitter and brutal feud, will make them a reckoning.

  17. Superb article, my only addition would be Bran’s storyline, but it seems like Im one of the few interested in what role he has to play.

    • yes, Bran is an important character that is often overlooked. the vision that both he and Dany have had of snow in the throne room. i think Bran will show Dany some things about the Targaryens past. like Ned wanting to protect the babies that were supposedly killed.

  18. George RR Martin has bee quoted “What lies really north in my books—we haven’t explored that yet, but we will in the last two books.”

    I’m wondering which characters are likely to explore this region. My thoughts are that no one will either have the time and survivability in the super-extreme cold of “further north”. My candidates are:

    Bran – with his warging ability and network of weirwoods at his disposal, Bran can almost go anywhere. I doubt Bran, Meera or Jojen will physically move from where they are, especially further north.

    Daenerys – “To go north, you must journey south. To reach the west, you must go east. To go forward you must go back, and to touch the light you must pass beneath the shadow.”

    Daenerys is able to travel faster than any person in the known world due to her vehicle of choice; Drogon. Luckily for her, Drogon also provides a source of heat to negate the harsh cold of the north.

    After the battle of Meereen, Deaneries’ cause will have a great army and an Ironborn fleet. Her cause could very well split and travel different routes en course to Westeros.

  19. Jon is undoubtebly not the bastard of Eddard, rather the son of Lyanna and Rhaegar. The clues in GOT are numerous, so Jon must be the ice and Dany the Fire.. this is after all called a song of ICE and FIRE. Either as enemies or allies Dany and Jon Snow will have some kind of contact I am certain.

    • If Jon was the son of Lyanna and Rhaegar, if the two were not married then Jon would still be an illegitimate son of the Starks, but if the two did get married then would he be stark or a Targaryen? And would he be able to rule Winterfell and the Iron Throne because he is a man of the Night`s watch. Assuming the Jon does survive being stabbed. And I wonder if he lives or dies he will somehow meet Lady Stoneheart when he learns bout his true parentage, and if he could tell her that he wasn`t a son of Eddard Stark at all.

      • Jon would be a Targaryen. First of all he would have no claim to winterfell. Lets assume that Bran and/or Rickon survive until the end of the series- a pretty safe assumption I think. One of them would be Lord of Winterfell before Jon anyway (legitimized bastards take lordship after there are no more trueborn sons). I Guess he would have the right to winterfell if Bran and Rickon die or are believed to be dead (live or die I think its safe to say neither Bran nor Jojen Reed are coming back from beyond the wall).

        As for the Iron Throne, the dragon has three heads. Who says that all three of them (Aegon, Dany, and Jon) can’t share power? Thats how Aegon the Conqueror did it. He was king in name, but his sisters held most of the real power, handling the day to day running of the kingdom.

        As for Jon’s membership in the Night’s Watch, I’m pretty surprised to not see anyone mention this: who says the Nights Watch still exists by the end of the books? I can totally see them disbanding by the end of ADOS. Think about it: if the Others are defeated once and for all, there will be no point in the Nights Watch existing anymore. Jon would have nothing to which to keep his oath. What makes me think this is the most likely semi-obvious resolution to the plot is that Jon would never break his vows to the Watch, but GRRM made a HUGE, HYOOOGE foreshadow for Jon’s future in ADWD. Crows sometimes spout out words that they overhear (“Corn!” is a popular one). the one time a crow says more than one word at a time it says, “Jon Snow king.” GRRM doesn’t just drop hints like that on a whim.

        • Its implied that Rob named Jon as heir to Winterfell, and therefore his legitimacy stems from there. The vows of the Night’s Watch are “until death”. Jon may die temporarily but assuming he is resurrected, he will be free from his vows to the Nights Watch.

          • Robb left documents naming Jon Snow as his heir, making Jon Snow the current King in the North and Lord of Winterfell.

          • This is the plot point that I think most people miss. Jon’s death makes the most sense in that having died and been resurrected he is free from his vows to the night watch as they have been satisfied: “until my death.”
            From my point of view (a little late to the game, I’ve consumed all the books and the TV shows in a little under three months, and now working on what the internet has to say about ASOIAF), this is the most plausible reason that Jon would continue to live as a character. GRRM seems to have invested a lot of foreshadowing into Jon Snow and his death leaves a lot of unanswered questions. It does seem most logical that Melisandre will resurrect him and that his Worging will have some role in that transition.

          • I think this a character development plot tool, that is to say unlike before where in His dreams where the crypts are saying he doesen’t belong etc, Robb’s will acts as a means to tell Jon he does belong amongst the Starks, and unlike conversation when they were kids He CAN be The Lord of Winterfell

            Obviously Bram and Rickon come before Jon, Jon will obviously serve as Lord-Regent until either are of age (assuming he is resurrected)

            I assume this to be character development of WoW, unlike before when he was seated away from the dais, the northern lords as well as wildlings will follow him in the north

            I suspect ADOS will then cover his Targeryan heritage and his acceptance by Westeros at large

        • I actually suspect Mance will become LC of the Night’s Watch, which is now populated with large swathes of free folk. He is a member remember so can be elected

          This makes some sense as he can settle and control the free folk on the gift and stop them pestering the hill clans (there’s some intimation in ADwD that along with karst arks and thenns, Toregg – Tormunds son – is being hooked up with a northern mountain clan daughter

      • if jon is still alive who will tell him the truth is bran, that will discover this by his contact with the heart trees

  20. Regarding Jon’s “Caesar moment” and possible future “resurrection moment” … Varamyr Sixskins lived 10 lives as a warg … or at least he experienced 9 separate deaths during his existence. I wonder if Jon possesses this same gift.

  21. Corrie Parks

    I am eagerly awaiting the reunion of Arya with Nymeria. I’m pretty sure that is going to happen at some point and the consequences will be monumental.

    • Should be pretty awesome, I suspect she is going to help Brynden Blackfish and BWB help take back the river lands on behalf of The Tully’s

      Perhaps in conjunction with Sansa/Littlefinger utilising the Vale military to help push the Freys/Lannisters out

  22. Joe Harker

    This is a great article, touches on most of the big things I think we will see in TWOW.

    I really do think that if any more characters die the Great Houses are finished. The Starks don’t seem to be getting anywhere anymore, at least not until Rickon Stark grows up, The Tyrells look to be in a strong position but their own hold over Highgarden is weak and their younger members need to start having kids soon to keep the family going. The Arryns are pretty much gone, as I don’t think Little Sweetrobin has much time left. The Lannisters are a large family but they’ve been chipped away and there aren’t many younger members left to keep the dynasty. The Baratheons are down to Stannis and Shireen and Tommen and Myrcella (not real Baratheons I know). The Tullys may survive through Edmure and Roslin.

    The Greyjoys have few young members left, Asha is in the clutches of Stannis and I don’t think Theon will be continuing the line anytime soon. Both Euron and Victarion are a bit old now too. The Martells seem to be the only ones with any strong future… for now. George is always watching.

    As for the Targaryens, Daenerys cannot bear children anymore so cannot establish a dynasty that survives her and Aegon is still young and all it takes is for him to die and his cause is gone. We all know how easily one person can die…

    As for who I think should take the throne, Stannis. The Baratheons had a legitimate claim to the throne and Stannis is the rightful heir to Robert. The Lannisters plotting has caught up with them and the Tyrells connection to the throne is entirely based on Tommen. Daenerys provides no future and has lost all support in Westeros now Aegon is on the scene, he has a better claim than her anyway.

    • Sweetrobin will survive everyone. Since Sansa has been taking care of him, he grows stronger everyday. She encourages him to be brave, supposedly to protect her, so he becomes more confident and stops shaking so much. It was clearly his over-protective mother that was making him weak, nervous and sick. Soon enough he will no longer need taking drugs.

    • Dany might not be permanently infertile. When Mirri “castrated” Dany she gave a whole bunch of things that would happen before she conceives again (“When the sun rises in the west”) all of which are supernatural. This series has a supernatural bent. I’d be willing to bet that Dany will be capable of having kids again.

      Assuming GRRM doesn’t decide to fuck with all of us by killing her off in the prologue to TWOW

      • When the sun rises in the west aka when House Martell takes power in Westeros.

        • OMG this comment may my day, never tough about that

      • Personally I wonder if that similar to Eurons blood magic on Victaripns hand, whether that blood magic ritual can be undone (preferably without burning her womb like Victaripns hand lol)

        That may be the meaning of, “to go west you must go east, to see light you must pass under the shadow” (of Asshai), eg if that is where Mirri Maz Duur learned the rituals, perhaps the key to undoing them lies in Dany going to Asshai?

        Given GRRM has had a tendency to overwrite and had to push ADwD chapters into WoW, I find it hard to imagine he’ll finish it in 7 books, I suspect he’ll end up pushing into 8. Better than condensing 8 books into 7

    • Hi from Spain!

      You say “I don’t think Theon will be continuing the line anytime soon”… Well, I like to think Theon has become our particular ASoIaF Smeagol, and like in TLOTR, he will have his stellar moment at the end… when will that come? No idea, but it would be awesome to see him change into Gollum in a future encounter with Ramsay Snow… maybe he could bite and rip one finger off Ramsay’s hand! :P

      • Fernando, I think Theon would have very clear ideas of what he is going to bite off of Ramsay and it’s not going to be a finger :)

      • Personally I have a theory that he fathered a bastard son/daughter with the captain of myrahams daughter. She wanted to tell him she was pregnant when he walked past with Asha.

        This will help Theon and Asha’s mother at least because she has lost her sons but has a grandson. Obviously if Theon is put up as King to dethrone Euron ant hypothetical child can then be legitimised

  23. Bill Scheggia

    I don’t know how many years have passed or what age Rickon is now, but hopefully when they re-introduce him he’s more than a match for the new Aegon. Rickon comes of age on Skagos, grows up among warriors, looks undeniably like Ned/Cat, and returns home with Davos to unite the North. They could call him the Vengeful Wolf or something.

    • not to mention that if Jon somehow survives, he’ll support Rickon as well

    • Now that is an awesome idea I would love to see it done but I honestly think its not gonna happen, Rickon is 6 years old in the first season, assuming they’ve grown at least one or two year since the beginning, even if GRRM does what he said he would like to do and make a time-jump of 5 years in the story, Rickon would only be like 14, 15 years old top in the last book. I hardly think that’s enough to become a proper swordman and unite the north… But I still think he will have an important part to play in the story before the end =)

      • Robb was 14 years old when he was named King in the North

  24. I just finished A Dance with Dragons, and finally allowed myself to read this article! You bring up very excellent points; I hadn’t even considered Bolton’s bluff and assumed that something had gone horribly wrong. I also figured this was the (surprise) end for Jon, but the hint at warging did leave me wondering. So many storylines to follow up on, and the next book is so far away! It’s worse than the wait for Harry Potter…
    Otherwise, awesome article, fantastic details! Can’t wait to see which predictions come true.

  25. Great article. I just can’t wait to see how these plots develop in the book.

    Regarding Sansa, I have a strong hunch that she will rebel against Littlefinger, based on what we saw of her “new” personality in her last chapter. I think the reason most fans are starting to like Sansa a lot more lately is that she shows up as a competent, grown-up woman. To me, she just wants to live a simple, quiet, happy (in a way) life taking care of Robert; she doesn’t want to play the game which took away all her family anymore (also, she’s terrible at it). That’s why I think she’s not particularly eager to get involved in Littlefinger’s plan, especially considering she also seem to have developed a strong affection to the irritating, spoiled little Robert, so I don’t think she will be OK with Petyr’s thinly veiled plan to murder the boy.

    I’m dying to see how Sansa’s story turns out. I think she will become a major character (not that she was unimportant, but you know what I mean) soon.

    • Hola!

      What about a marriage between Sansa and young Aegon ?

      Stark and Targaryen… Ice and Fire… would that work?

    • Tbf to Sansa, everyone seems to dislike her but it is worth mentioning she was the perfect epitome of what she was raised to be in accordance with medieval standards

      This of course flies against the whole politically correct “strong woman” stereotype of modern society

      This of course works fine in peace time but it didn’t do Sansa too much good in KL when war broke out (then again maybe it did because for all his taunting the Hound did actually look out for her).

      It is worth noting though that of she is perceived as a scheming woman like Cersei that would drive people against her, so there is some merit in widening up but managing to maintain the “little Dove” image. By the sounds of it Tyene Sand strikes this balance excellently

      One thing I did like about the Theon is that Jeyne pooled as the same and was swooning over Beric Dondarrion etc, of course things turned out very bad for her but ironically she ended up being saved like in the songs but unlike the songs it wasn’t some great handsome Knight but instead a car-wreck of a human being

  26. Do you think that Howland Reed will make his first appearance in the next book or the book after that, and reveal what happened that day with Lyanna?

    • I’m becoming increasingly convinced that he might rear his head by the end of TWOW, but George Martin may push his arrival back to ADOS, it’s hard to say honestly.

  27. Any guess as to what might happen with Greatjon Umber and Marq Piper?

    • Presumably they will get rescued on their way to KL, one or two may die but considering the Lannisters sent the large escort force west with Edmure Tully the escort force in what they perceive a largely pacified Riverlands may be light – and ripe for the BWB and/or a huge pack of wolves to descend on it

      Alternatively the Freys may send a large military force with it to head off Freys getting poached by Stoneheart. In this case I wonder if this will link in with Sansa’s Vale arc and the Vale military will descend on the Freys

  28. kill all characters except Hodor…kill them,kill them all!!!
    Hodor!Hodor!HODOR!!!

    ps: and maybe leave Remsey, Deneris and Ghost in love ..

  29. I really enjoyed this profound article, it touched many of my own expectations and gave me some more to rethink.
    Though in your Cersei prediction I missed Maggy the frogs prophecy – which is foreboding the Lannister-(continuative Kinslaying)-tragedy:

    “Cersei: Will the king and I have children?
    Maggy: Oh, aye. Six-and-ten for him, and three for you. Gold shall be their crowns and gold their shrouds, she said. And when your tears have drowned you, the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you.”

    valonqar = high valyrian for “younger brother”;
    This memory from her childhood is the reason why she is so hysterical toward Tyrion but Jaime is a few minutes younger than her too …

    • Has it ever been suggested that the “younger brother” from the prophecy is not one of Cersei’s brothers (Jaime or Tyrion) but another younger brother from a different family? In that case there are countless possibilities; Sandor Clegane (if he’s not dead), Rickon Stark, Stannis Baratheon, Edmure Tully, Garlan or Loras Tyrell, Aegon Targaryen, Theon Greyjoy….. granted many of those are unlikely but it still opens up a lot of possibilities.

      • Tommen is the younger brother of Joffrey, could it even be him? Though I feel like I’ve read somewhere that her children all die first, so I may be wrong here.

        • You’re right, Maggy’s prophecy to Cersei pretty much predicts that Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen will all die before her: “Oh, aye. Six-and-ten for him, and three for you. Gold shall be their crowns and gold their shrouds, she said. And when your tears have drowned you, the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you.”

  30. i believe the man arya will follow is accually syrio forel and jaquen h´ghar, they´re all from bravos, they are all awesome, it all fits

    • Syrio died in AGoT

      • We don’t know that Syrio is dead. There was never anything in the story to confirm this. My guess is thaty we’ll see him again.

        • I completely agree that Syrio will come back…and is J’quin Hagar (I know spelled wrong). It was never said Syrio died when he went up against the gaurds…my theory about him is he got thrown in jail became Jaquin and thats when Arya saw him next being transported to the Nights Watch.

  31. I believe that the prophecies through out the series are meant to come to fruition, it’s just a matter how and when. Because of this, I don’t think that you theories involving Cersei, Jon, and Dany will come to pass. Magi the frog’s prophecy concerning Cercei is clearly pointing toward Dany to come and take the throne from her, and she will die by one of her brothers (I believe there is a chance that Jaime, not Tyrion could end up killing her). Also, there are too many POV characters with importance to the story with strong interest in westeros converging in Mereen for her to ultimately end up staying in essos (I ultimately believe that her victory in Mereen will seal her rule in slaver’s bay, and Tyrion’s gift of gab will convince her, if it is deemed necessary to do so, to complete her mission to Westeros). As much as people tend to point out how many deaths there has been in the series, only three POV characters are truly dead (not counting Cat due to her resurrection), and only one was a major POV character being the all famous Ned Stark, whose Death set the tone for the rest of the series in my opinion and was completely necessary to ignite the chaos. As much as Robb was beloved by many in the series, there was always that sneaking suspicion that he would not make to me due to the fact that you had to always hear about him through others, mainly Cats POV. Because of this, I have to believe that Jon Snow is not dead 100%, and if he warns to save himself it won’t be long until he resumes a human form. I believe the mystery surrounding his birth bears importance to the song of ice and fire, and he is easily one of the heavy weight POV characters. When Martin split the time line, I think it spoke volumes that of the main POV characters that have been around since AGOT Bran, Dany, Jon, and Tyrion were excluded from AFOC, and I think this carried meaning.

    • Please excuse the misspellings/ miscommunications in my paragraph my phone keeps changing words on me.

  32. Thomas Munday

    Great article! I learnt a lot whilst reading this article. I think these stories are popular because they discuss conflict in a vastly different time. We can then compare and contrast both time periods and how they contain similar occurrences and conflicts.

  33. Great article with some interesting points. I can’t wait for TWOW. I think it has the potential to be as good as ASOS. So many interesting things are going on by the end of ADWD.

    In King’s Landing the Lannister/ Tyrell struggle has been tipped to the Tyrell’s favor with Cersei being stripped of power and Kevan Lannister being murdered. The sand snakes rocking up will definitely mix it up even more and I see many deaths occurring (namely poor little Tommen.)

    The whole Meereen situation finally got interesting with battle about to kick off. Will be interesting to see Barristan/ Victarion/ Dany/ Tyrion/ Jorah potentially meet up.

    If Brienne kills Jaime I will be very very sad. I really don’t know what’s gonna happen here…

    Same with Jon Snow… like no idea.

    Really looking forward to the battle for Winterfell. Definitely agree with Stannis forcing the Frey/ Bolton troops onto the ice. That would be awesome. I really want Stannis to defeat the Freys and Boltons but Roose Bolton is notoriously cunning and definitely wont go down without a fight. I can see him faking his own death and popping up again to wreak havoc.

  34. In regards to cersei’s champion. I think that Robert Strong is actually the Mountain. If I remember right, the mountains death was sketchy and too awhile. I think he survived and is keeping his identity secret to not cause problems with dorne. How about them apples

    • Yes, I think that’s pretty obvious. Qyburn was experimenting on him, and it sounds like he turned the mountian into something like a “robot”.

      • Qyburn lost his chains due to the fact that he was experimenting with necromancy. Also, GRRM made a big deal in the Martell chapters about the Mountains Head and had some ceremony around it. It is totally believable that Qyburn did something to the Mountain and he is, in fact, Robert Strong.

        • Cersei fears the valonquar (‘little brother’). Cersei has heard her own future death prophesized as a little girl (“at the hands of the valonquar”). Cersei’s life will shortly depend on a trial by combat.

          Everyone (well, 99% of everyone) thinks this ‘little brother’ will be Tyrion. But it is clearly Sandor Clegane, who now limps but is ‘redeemed’ as a pseudo-brother of the faith (healed and hidden by Elder Brother in that monastery, where he now works as a gravedigger).

          Clegane can come back, ride into town, and take up his sword as the champion asserting Cersei’s guilt. Only Kingsguard can fight in the Queen’s trial, and he is still a Kingsguard. One could argue he now has some ‘Faith’ about him. And, best of all, HE IS A VALONQUAR (YOUNGER BROTHER).

          My guess is that Clegane fights Clegane, either killing his older-brother-monster, or at least revealing him to be an undead monster. It would be perfect in a literary sense were Sandor to use fire in this battle. And, at the very last, as Cersei sees her champion topple and her life forfeit, she realizes that the maegi was right those many years ago, and that the valonquar has killed her.

  35. That was a very good read but as far as Cersei is concerned I believe her Valonqar will end her life and I don’t mean the halfman

  36. Wow – Absolutely amazing read with lots of new meat to chew on potential outcomes for TWOW. I’m absolutely shocked by your great writing style and vocabulary at the age of 18, maybe you should write your own Song of Ice and Fire :)

  37. The author’s idea, about Jon being given the “Kiss” by Mel, is way off. Jon will be brought back by the Old Gods, with the help of his “brother” Bran and Bloodraven; via a blood sacrifice(most likely the death of Theon or Asha.)

    Later in the book he will revealed to Robb’s heir. Then by then end of Winds, the truth about his real parents, will finally come to light.

  38. Great job, thanks for writing this, glad you put Brienne/Jaime arc third they are really the best, for me it is the only thing really interesting…. well also want to see Cercei and Stannis get their punishment…

  39. I think this mysterious character Ser Robert is really The Mountain Gregor klegan. Qyburn is a sneaky one and if I’m not mistaken wasn’t he expelled from the citdal in oldtown, or am I thinking of another maester. Either way I think they bought the Mountain back to life. Also I think Jon Snow is the one and true king he is the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targareyn. Melisandre stopped seeing Stanis in her fires only to see Jon Snow. He has kings blood in him. Thats why she must give him the kiss.

  40. What happened to the idea that Jon Snow is Azor Ahai reborn? A few things lead to this thinking.
    1. Jon is continuously seen in Mellisandra’s flames as Jon or the image of snow.
    2. Jon has a dream in which he is fighting the Others with a flaming sword.
    3. At the end of ADWD Jon’s wounds smoke.
    4. He sacrificed Ygritte like like Azor Ahai sacrificed Nisa Nisa to forge Lightbringer.

    • he is prince that was promised and azor ahai

  41. Wow absolutely amazing article! Even more impressive that you’re only 18. As someone has already said you should write your own Song of Ice and Fire. Keep up the good work!

  42. I think you’ve got some right and some wrong. I have a lot of theories about Jon Snow. I’m surprised I haven’t heard the theory of him coming back as a wight in the nature of Cold Hands.

  43. Thanks for this excellent analysis! I am also of the opinion that Dany will never set foot on Westeros – for whatever reason. By constantly and repeatedly referring to Dany’s desire for returning to the home of her ancestors, GRRM prepares the ground for finally denying her that wish, which will appear most tragic at that moment, taking into account all that she did for realizing this dream. However, I would prefer seeing her living (e.g. with Ser Jorah) in the house with the red door over letting her die in the end.

  44. In relation to Jon Snow’s survival, my theory is that he does die (or is very close to it), gets thrown on a funeral pyre, and the fire restores him as a Targaryen by blood.

    I’m holding on to the theory that Jon is the son of Ned’s sister (Lyanna?) and the Targaryen prince (Rhaegar?) who “kidnapped” her (I don’t have the books handy right now, so names will have to wait).

    I believe that Ned’s sister went willingly with the Targaryen prince, but Robert couldn’t handle the idea she didn’t love him, and crafted a story of a kidnapping in order to spark a war.

    I’m basing this mostly on two things. 1. Ned refuses to reveal who Jon’s mother is, and 2. Ned’s dream/memory regarding his sister making him promise something (my guess being that he will look after her son).

    Can’t wait to see if I’m right.

    • If John is a Targaryen and thus immune to fire, why did he burn his hand when fighting the wight?

      • That did cross my mind but Visery burned as Dany pointed out.
        Also Jons only (maybe) half targaryen blood.

        Less war now and more whites n magic.

    • GRRM has said multiple times that Targaryans aren’t immune to fire and Dany’s not immune to fire. She just didn’t burn in that one ritual.

  45. I believe that:

    -Srong is the Dog.
    -Jon will survive and is the son of Illyana and Raegar so is a Targaryen but he is not inmune to fire becouse his blood is only 50% pure.
    -The Nigth Watch is going to disappear but somethig new will born from the mix of the Nigth Watch and Wild People. (In that way Snow could participate in Westeros Wars and become Daenerys ally.
    -Rickon will appear and become Invernalia Master.

    • Jon isn’t even close to 50% Targ, sorry. Inbreeding was a common tradition, but not everyone did it. I don’t know the.weddings and family tree by heart, but I did see an article that explained how Dany was <5% Targ.

    • After Jon’s “death”, the Wild People will go wilder than ever and fight and kill all the Night’s Watch men… thus, cancelling the “magic spell” against the Others in the Wall: ‘I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men.’…

      So, if there is no more shield in the Wall, the Others would cross to the south freezing everyone’s arse! :P And that could give a full meaning to the book’s name… TWOW!

      • you might be right. if you watch the second season, when dany is in the house of undying (qarth) she goes through a door leading her to the throne room in kings landing where she sees that the place is a wreck and theres snow evrywhere… or maybe someonee had laid siege to the place.

        • Dany sees an ice wall with a blue rose coming out of it, in the House of the Undying. That is further reference that Jon Snow is Lyanna’s son as her favourite flower was the blue roses that grew at Winterfell.

  46. Seeing as one of the primary functions the Faceless Men serve is to collect debts for the Iron Bank, Arya has quite a few more possible targets. The Lannisters are in debt, so assuming she actually plays by the rules only Kevan is really important enough to be worth consideration. The person who was the most involved in putting the kingdom in so much debt outside Robert himself was Petyr, who has Arya’s sister. I’m not saying he would beige most likely target but he’d be the most satisfying, especially if he married Alayne to Robert first or revealed who Sansa is and married her, making her in charge of the vast majority of the east before being killed.

  47. Well done. There is also the matter of the White Wal;ers to be resolved. As well, Dragonstone has been attacked by Loras and his troops, but Stannis either hasn’t heard about this, or has not mentioned it for some other reason. In addition, it will be interesting to see what further part, if any, these characters play in the saga: Varys. Loras. Samwell. Coldhands. Bronn. The Blackfish. Quaithe.

  48. I agree that this article has helped reignite excitement for the story for me. I’ve read through the series twice and am going through again, hoping that TWOW will be out by the time I finish ADWD for the 3rd time. I think that the Bran and Arya story arcs are going to become focal. I know that GRRM discards tropes and cliché like no other author, but he still needs a cohesive line of thought to carry his story, and I think Bran and Arya are it. Jon and Sansa have their roles, which may turn out to be tragic (very likely in Sansa’s case). The Old Gods need to put down R’hllor, and Bran is their representative in Westeros. Arya will carry out some deeds for the Faceless men that will have significant consequence, but she will never forget who she truly is. The Song of Ice and Fire could very well refer to the Old Gods and R’hllor, rather than Jon and Daenerys. There is still power on the Isle of Faces, and certainly in the North. The humans involved in the story may be an afterthought to the higher powers righting themselves.

  49. you’re missing the entire idea of what is about to happen to dany in this article. they will take her back to the mother of the mountains to be a crone, where the other crones will bow before her, thus fulfilling her vision in the house of the undying. as a crone (and with the worship of the rest) she will be able to command all the khalasars. that’s how she will command them.

    HOWEVER… quaithe keeps basically telling her she has to go south east, and to pass beneath the shadow. asshai is directly southeast from where she is now, and is situated south of the shadowlands. i know GRRM said we will only see asshai from flashbacks, but i think that was also when he was planning a 5 year jump between books.

  50. Melisandre kept on seeing Jon when she looked for Azor Ahai. There seem to be three Targaryens in Jon, Danearys and Prince Targaryen. Oathbreaker sounds a bit like the sword Azor is said to weild. There are three dragons, two male and one female.

  51. Bran will travel farther north and defeat the great other
    Melisande will revive jon snow but not before he dreams of talking to eddard and learning he is the bastard son of rhaegar targ he will awake a new man with kings blood and be melisandres fire champion. He will hold the wall fire will not burn him similar to dany.
    dany will somehow travel north to the wall with her dragons and a small cohort jon will become a dragon rider by warging with one and by having targ blood something dragons can sense. The others and wights army will be destroyed but so will the wall. Making the north whole again. Jon and dany fall in love causes some tension with jorah. Danys forces grow barristan and victarian bring a fleet of reinforcements to westoros
    davos finds rickon with the cannibals they fashion an army together rickon is made lord of winterfell they march on winterfell. Stannis and manderly destroy most of the bolton frey army but dont kill ramsay he escapes to winterfell. Stannis surrounds it davos and rickon return stannis is killed in battle infront of davos rickon takes winterfell but ramsay kills his father and his frey wife and flees to the dreadfort. Mance raydar is rescued. The greyjoys and ironmen escape in the fighting fleeing to the readers lands. Rickon holds winterfell reunites with jon tyrion dany danys forces swell but are still small. Wildlings are made northmen. They all march on moat caitlin then the twins.
    The greyjoy kids flee to tge reader and their mother they build a small fleet decide to kill euron aeron damphair is in open revolt with the small folk euron has his fleets with victarion and at the arbor he is surprised by the return of theon aeron etc they capture him give him to the drowned god to judge euron doesnt survive. Theon is made king and has one son who he made with the ship captains daughter in CoK osha is made fleet commander aeron is theons priest
    victarion loses more ships most of danys fleet arrive barristan is in command they all march toward winterfell.
    Cersei wins her trial by combat but the bravoosi bankers have sent a faceless girl to kill tommen enter arya arya kills tommen plus maeryn trant and perhaps a kettleblack or two she then flees north to handle the freys.
    Sansa is unflowered by baelish in a slip up he admits to being behind jon arryns death she puts it together that he told joffrey to behead her father. She has robert execute him. She then has robert call his banners the vale is about to join the war when a raven from the twins tells of the return of rickon and jon.
    Lady stoneheart captures jaime who helps her take back riverrun and kills more freys jaime hears of tommens death and myrcellas wounding and some more of cerseis dealings.
    The stark children will all meet at the twins. Arya will steal a face enter kill lord walder the north army will beseige on side the vale the other jon and dany burn the twins to the ground much like harrenhal killing most of house frey. The vale the north maybe the greyjoys return whats left of the ironborn all march on kingslanding.
    Gendry is told by brienne that he is a bastard of roberts the eldest boy. Stannis and his family died in the north. Gendry meets up with a solemn davos he brieene and gendry march with dany gendry becomes the next lord of storms end being the eldest bastard son of robert baratheon. Aegon and the company take storms end he marrys arrianne they battle a larger tyrell army mace tyrell is killed the sunspear family has its king. They march on kings landing. Doran martell succumbs to his illness tristan martell is made lord of sunspear. The sand snakes cause havoc everywhere. Cersei alone with a lannister army has margaery tyrell murdered by robert strong she has the city shut now here is where it gets tricky. I see either tommen being brought back by qyburn or no one saying the king is dead anyways the lannister brothers enter kings landing in secret maybe with loras tyrell also bc the tyrells knowing the last lords of highgarden were killed by dragons so why fight and switch to danys side or aegons. Anyways kings landing is under siege the lannisters and loras enter the castle kill qyburn robert strong and i think jaime or tyrion dies for the other. The survivor i think will be jaime who kills cersei by strangling her thus ending the war. Maybe tommen survives and jaime becomes warden of castley rock before his son maybe not. But bran stays north rickon becomes warden of the north arya marrys gendry becomes lady baratheon sansa becomes lady of the vale marrying robert or harrold idk jon and dany leave westeros for the summer lands aegon and arianne rule westeros willas tyrell lords highgarden loras tyrell is commander of the kingsguard samwell tarly is grand maester somehow everyone is dead except ramsay theon somehow has him captured and brought to pyke goes to his dungeon towards the end of the book and starts to return all the favors ramsay did him one flay st a time. Dany and jon will rule the east aegon westeros bran will stay in the far north among his trees watching over his family

    • OK, there’s a difference between commenting and spewing out every minutia of thought you have spunking through your brain. Also, sentences in English are always appreciated. Thanks.

    • Jon can be burned. He was burned saving Mormont from the wight.

  52. Cait Woodcock

    I just finished ADWD (I was holding off because at the end of AFFC all my favourite characters were still alive…) and I was sort of surprised that none of them got officially offed in ADWD. Reading here that Jon Snow will (hopefully) be making some kind of return is a small comfort. There’s something about his story line that makes me really want him to succeed, so I found his possible death to be disturbing. Thanks for the article. Cheers.

  53. JadeAnnalize

    Great article! I’m glad you included Davos in Skagos, I can’t wait see what has become of Rickon and Shaggydog.

  54. Great read thanks! I cant wait to see what’s to come! I personally think Syrio is going to make a reappearance during Arya’s faceless man journey. I hope she makes her way back to Gendry too! Although I doubt it based on GRRM’s lack of happy endings.(If you couldnt tell Arya is my favorite…or any Stark for that matter) I look forward for more to come on Rickon and Shaggydog too! (I didnt even think about that before..doh! way to miss something) I also think Jon isnt officially dead (via one of your 3 ways mentioned). I honestly think there is a potential he will be part of the “3 headed dragon” that will help Khalessi banish winter forever! (Per Games of Throne’s Catelyns POV…its rumored Jon’s mom was a beautiful women with violet eyes…eh hem aka Targaryen eyes)Either way…I cant wait to see where this story takes us!
    P.S I dont see how this story can come to a conclusion with just 2 more books…of course I am not the creative author (But…the series has been known to be extended in the past 3 books to 5 to 7)

  55. If only people would stop quoting that sensationalist Vulture article that misquoted Elio Garcia, and would quote his actual words instead. He did not say that the Sansa chapter would be “highly controversial” or “sure to cause controversy”. What he actually said was that it “MAY cause controversy in CERTAIN QUARTERS of the fandom”. That’s a far cry from “highly controversial”. For comparison, Elio used the same phrase to describe Brienne’s line “You sound like a bloody woman” on the TV show.

    And Sansa’s bedding is hardly “imminent”. She cannot marry anyone as Sansa Stark until her marriage to Tyrion is annulled, and she may need to remain a virgin to prove the non-consummation. Littlefinger knows this and is not a complete fool to endanger all his plans. Sansa knows this too, and stands absolutely NOTHING to gain from tangling with Harry under the sheets – especially since you’re right that she’s hardly going to be enamoured of him.

  56. I believe Jon Snow to be the son of Aerys and Edd Stark sister. Especially with the thoughts of Barristan in DoD, the bits and pieces over all the books about his parentage came together for me.
    I look for him to have survived and perhaps something about a burning to be included. Perhaps they think him dead and burn him so he did not rise again, but Jon will still be alive.
    The Dragon riders will be 3 who did not burn.
    Victarian will be the 3rd

    • I agree about Victarian. There is some significance to his burned hand in the last book.

  57. I believe Jon to be the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna Stark which would make him
    “The Son of Ice and Fire”.
    When that thought first crossed my mind i almost had to change my trousers haha.
    Also something i didn’t realise until my second read through of ADWD is that the perfumed seneschal that Quaithe warns Dany of is the name of the boat tyrion came over in.

  58. Articles like this and subsequent article comments are what make me absolutely love the A Song of Ice and Fire fandom.

    The books are soooo dense and there are some many loose ends to tie up (or not!) that one can spend all of their time theorizing and questioning.

    Love it!

  59. Awesome article – can’t wait for Season 4 of GoT!
    I agree with the above comments – The Iron Bank of Braavos is the most dangerous threat of all to Cersei. I’ve never been a fan of House Lannister but now that it comes down to it, I don’t want Cersei to die… at least let her have a painful, endless imprisonment. That’s what she deserves. Death would be too light a punishment for her.

  60. Great article!! Wondering what your thoughts are on Jon snow’s lineage? I feel we have been given most of the story via subtext but “Septa Lemore” struck me as someone we have been presuming is dead the whole series!! What if Lyanna Stark is Septa Lemore? And has been helping to raise Aegon under the guise of a Septa out of her true love for Aegon’s and Jon snow’s father, Rhagar Targaryean!
    “…though Lemore was not near as innocent as she appeared. She had stretch marks on her belly that could only have come from childbirth.”…”Septa Lemore laughed. Like everyone else on the Shy Maid she had her secrets. She was welcome to them.” (P181-182 ADWD)

    • Many believe that “Septa Lemore” is Ashara Dayne, though I am not totally convinced. She was very close with Elia of Dorne and she apparently committed suicide by jumping off a cliff after losing her baby, with the body never found so it is plausable. I just dont know how that fits into the whole scheme of things as I am a firm believer of R + L = J.

      • The description Tyrion gives of Septa Lemore in ADWD(pg181), “She was past forty, more handsome than pretty, but still easy on the eye.” which is pretty much the exact same description he gives of Arya throughout the books, who’s supposed to take after Lyanna in looks. We hear how Ashara Dayne dies, all we hear about Lyanna’s death is that Ned finds her in a pool of blood- which if you are going with R+L=J the blood could be from her giving birth to Jon whom Ned takes and promises to raise as his bastard as Robert would kill any of Rhaegar’s children and Lyanna out of love for Rhaegar (because she obviously loved him) went into hiding with the septas or the silent sisters or posed as one or whatever, Jon Connington (Rhaegars BFF who obviously knows about Lyanna) and the kid got over to Ilriyo via Varys bada bing bada boom Lemore aka Lyanna hooked up with them at some point after Robert was married to Cersei etc etc…it all fits!! I hope it’s her!!!

        • But Ned said he saw Lyanna die. Could that just be a story he made up to protect her? Protect her from what? Marrying his best friend? From Robert finding out she has an illegitimate son with a Targaryen? In Book 5, she is addressed as Lady Lemore when they arrive in Westeros so that indicates she is or was a Lady. Who else could she be?

    • Maybe that’s why Ned insisted in burying his sister in Winterfell while Robert wanted to bury her somewhere else. THere is no corpse and he knows that.

  61. Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. Jon Snow is dead… And released from his oath. However he is brought back magic or medicine he is free. A lot of the problems G R R has had writing the series is getting characters to where he wants them be it geographically Tyrion or character development Dany/ Jon Snow.

  62. What if Westeros and Essos is connected by a land bridge? The Others would be sandwiched between Dany’s forces and Westeros’ (Jon’s).

  63. FANtastic article…very well thought of. Are you sure you not related to GRRM;). This book and TV series are driving me crazy, I cant stop searching theories and news hoping/praying that TWOW will be released soon. My girl asked me when we getting married and I suspiciously asked her “what’s the hurry, are you planning a ‘Red Wedding’” Lets just say that Varys and I have something in common now;) I get a feeling that GRRM is going to shock us all, say kill of Jon for good etc. There is just to much going on and this guy teases us with releasing chapters / readings. Its exciting and articles like these feed my soul. Thanks and Good Job:)

  64. I don’t think that one can assume that Arya’s assigned assassination victim will necessarily be someone the Faceless Men regard as their enemy. They are primarily contract killers, so it could be any one of many potential targets, as long as there’s somebody with enough money who dearly wants them dead. Could even be Cersei going after Tyrion, if she can get her act together enough at this point.

    Since Stannis is sending an envoy to Braavos to bring back a boatload of sellswords, I think that we need to keep an eye out for a mysterious cabin boy or other small anonymous person tagging along for the voyage. And I expect that GRRM will keep us guessing a long time about who her target back in Westeros will be; I won’t be surprised if we don’t find out until the last book.

  65. Great article. I recall GRRM mentioning that he wishes to conclude a few of the major battles that have been culminating. So the book is called “The Winds of Winter” I’d think that the war with the white walkers would surely surface in this book. Cold Hands =Benjen Stark? What of Bran and the Green Seeer along with the remaining children of the forest? I’d say there’s a battle too. Perhaps that will come to light in the final book “A dream of spring”

  66. I certainly hope the Manderly forces successfully align with Stannis against the Boltons and Freys as soon as possible. Manderly is loyal to the Starks and The North and so far has played his cards bravely and well (assuming he survives the wound he got from Hosteen or whomever the Frey was); it would be a tragedy for the Manderlys and Stannis to weaken themselves fighting each other.

  67. I don’t think it was Ramsay who sent the letter. To me, it stinks of a certain Wilding named Mance Rayder.

  68. I think the two plot points I’m most excited for are Young Griff/Aegon Targaryen and Jon Snow.

    1. I am pretty convinced that this new, young dragon is not who he says he is. I guess in my mind it seems a little convenient that one of the Targaryen children was not murdered during the siege of King’s Landing. I am both very excited to be proven right or to be proven wrong – I’m not picky which so long as the truth is revealed. The Targaryens (both Aegon and Daenerys) seem to be the least crazy contenders for the throne since the deaths of Renly and Robb Stark (who honestly were both my first choices for the crown). I’m also curious to see how Tyrion plays into this storyline as he gets further from Westeros and closer to these outcasts.

    2. JON SNOW. He can’t be dead, I refuse to believe it. GRRM spent too much time explaining how wargs worked and the connection between Jon and Ghost for killing him to be that easy. Not to mention, I’m secretly hoping that Jon somehow also throws his hat into the ring for the crown once his speculated parentage comes into light. Or at the very least makes his way into the Small Council.

    And now as I’m writing this comment I realize that I’m pretty much excited/curious/anxious for everything to come in Winds of Winter. Crazy Catelyn, Brienne and Jamie, if Arya makes it back to Westeros, will Sansa awkwardly be forced to marry Littlefinger?

    Can this book just come out already?

  69. What about the sand snakes, surely they will have a big part to play given the revenge they want over Oberon Martells as they see it, murders

  70. JAQEN H’GHAR AT THE CITADEL IN OLDTOWN POSING AS PATE THE PIG BOY.

  71. If we had a white analog to ebony, I bet those two kinds of wood would be combined all the time. If that’s a convincing argument that the smith dude is a faceless man, then I guess anything is.

  72. I’ve read the books I read this article I read ALL the comments and still I’ve seen only one concerning about what I have thought… In the summary of AFFC at back of the book it says Sam has brought a mysterious child to the citadel (Who is that child? What will happen with Sam and that child?) Also everyone says of the ADWD book things that happened but noone about the 1st book… All you have to do is (since you’ve read all the books) pay more attention to what says in the 1st book the whole thing with the Dance of Dragons the 2 brother and sister who fought easch other (Daenaerys vs Aegon for example). The thing about Jon’s birth which is a big issue also… .The fact that every child of Eddard Stark is a warg and that everyone of them has a Direwolf as in the beginning everyone saw… And one thing in a comment I read and I wanna clear (as an opinion always) The Others start to appear more often in The Winds of Winter … When the Others come the day becomes night and dark falls The Others will bring the winds of winter and the long dark so… The whole thing about Azor Ahai and Quaithe’s riddle for Daenaerys that she must pass through shadow… This is the shadow she must pass the shadow The Others will bring and since they die from fire SHE HAS DRAGONS! Her dragons will kill The Others and that was my 1st thought when I learned everything about Dragons and Others… And all those plots about the other POV Characters are just thoughts only George Martin knows about that and in the end it will all involve Daenaerys’s cause and fullfill these prophesy. A Song Of Ice And Fire… the Targaryen who knew how to sing(can’t remember his name right now) Ice:the Starks Fire:the Targaryen the previous name of the last book A Time For Wolves : the Direwolves of the Stark children except from Lady and Greywolf and the new name A Dream Of Spring: that means the Great Battle Noone Mentioned With The Others..A Dream that when they are finished(The Others) Spring will come back earlier than expected.
    As I said read again the 1st book.. since you know about the other books… read it, connect the dots… and THEN make BETTER assumptions.

    • I reckon Jon is son of lyanna (Stark warg blood) and Rhaegar (dragons, der) and when he was “killed” he slipped to Ghost and from there will somehow, probably through Bran’s help (I’m sure GRRM will figure it out) get contol of a dragon and kill the others with fire.

    • I have never heard of a book called “A Time for Wolves”. I dont know how anyone can make BETTER assumptions on a book that doesnt exist.

      I feel like a lot of the assumptions that have been put forth are very plausible and have a lot of merit.

  73. And what about Archmaester Marwyn, who rushes off to Meereen at the end of AFOC then is never mentioned again. Or does he add to the Dothraki / Barristan’s knights/ sellswords / freed slaves / iron born / dragons / Unsullied army that Dany is bringing together.

  74. Stark Worgs to eventually take over control of dragons…
    Communism to come to Westeros from the West, a Revolution and all claims to the throne become invalid….
    Nobody lives happily ever after, Winter Comes

  75. Splottboy :-)

  76. Everyone seems to have forgotten.. There is a large she-wold prowling around the riverlands. That will come back into play!!!

  77. Caleb Smith

    What’s so great about the ASoIF series is how no sane person could ever predict the levels of craziness the series goes into later on. From opening to closing of the first season of Game of Thrones (sorry guys, I was a show watcher before I read the books), I was super excited to see where the show was going, but I could have never predicted that Tyrion would have been exiled across the Narrow Sea or Catelyn would have come back as a zombie. And what’s even crazier is that there is a significant amount of foreshadowing in Book 1 and Season 1 that hints at all of our favorite character’s destinies!

    It makes me even more excited to see where the series is going from this point, because there are still a large number of unexplored topics (The Others, the Asshai, etc) that could continually twist the series into something we could have never predicted.

  78. While talking with some guys I work with about the various characters an Idea came up I would like to put out there. If Jon did die from the stab wounds and is brought back with the kiss of life, does that mean his watch ended. The vows say you serve until death and technically he will have died, so does that open him up to be used in other ways away from the nights watch because he wouldn’t be braking any of his vows if he leaves the wall now. Could he take stannis up on his offer and become a stark, or join the wildlings, prove himself to Val and marry her? Just curious what people think.

  79. Sean Buckley

    Not exactly looking forward to what the current characters will do, there has always been one sequence in particular I had always wanted to see presented in length.

    During Robert’s Rebellion, there was a brief mention of a battle between Ned Stark and six of his fellow men against three members of the Kingsguard including Ser Arthur Dayne. Ned and Howland Reed are the only survivors, and it was mentioned that Ned would not have survived without Howland. Some sort of flashback involving Dany’s, Arya’s, Jon’s or Bran’s arc just showcasing the Battle at the Tower of Joy would elaborate on one of the most overlook and over-the-top sounding battles in GoT lore.

  80. Not once have I seen Marwyn the mage mentioned. Although mentioned little in the series, I anticipate him being a powerful ally to Dany, possibly playing a part in assisting Dany to have full control of her Drogo.

    • Amazing Article!! I just finished reading the entire series so far and find myself going through withdrawl and looking for more information.

      I love all of your theories and cant wait to see which ones actually turn out.

      I am a firm believer of the Rheagar/Lyanna theory of Jon Snow’s parents. It makes sense to the whole “Ice and Fire” theme. I believe Jon will find this out via Bran.

      I have also laid a lot of weight on the Dany story to what the Maegi said about how she will re-unite with her sun and stars. I believe Dany will die. That is the only way she will truly re-unite with him. She will fulfil the profecy and then die and be re-united with Drogo, her one true love. I dont see any relation between her and Jon Snow and feel this is a Red Herring.

      At the end, I think it will be Jon Snow sitting on the Iron Throne, after defeating the Others.

  81. I haven’t read any of the previous comments, as there are many of them. There are interesting things I’ve thought about that were not mentioned in the article, but that probably should have been.

    1. What about the Maegi’s/Frog Lady’s prophecy to young Cercei about her downfall? The prophecy said something to the extent of “Your little brother will kill you” and “You will be taken down by a younger more beautiful queen.” This has been explained in the books as the reason she’s obsessed with killing Tyrion and hating Margaery Tyrell. I wonder, given that her relationship with Jaime has seemingly fallen apart, if Jaime is actuality the one she should be worried about, but she mistakenly attributes the prophecy to Tyrion. I don’t know if I’m making this up, but I could have sworn there was a sentence early on the series about Jaime being born a few minutes after Cercei, which would also make him her younger brother. Dany is a possibility as the younger queen as well, but this is a bit more of a stretch.

    2. Is Jon Snow Azor Ahai’s reincarnate? The series has always bewildered me in that beliefs of lots of religions turn truthful in weird ways. The weirwoods seem to actually be the old gods. And the R’hollor stuff at least works when it comes to burning leaches, making blood sacrifices that foreshadow people’s deaths, and bringing dead people back to life. That being said, Melisandre has dropped several lines about Azor Ahai being on the wall, and being in the north etc. She thinks it’s Stannis, but we obviously know this to be her misjudgment, as Maester Aemon noted before he died that Stannis’ flaming sword only emits light and not heat, like the real sword ought to be according to the prophecy. Is Jon’s sword, Longclaw, the real one? Who knows. Will Melisandre pull a Berric and give her life for Jon when she realizes he is the one she keeps seeing in the fire and not Stannis? (By the way, there is definitely an instance where Melisandre looks into the fire to see stuff and makes a prediction about Stannis, when the dream is clearly about some sort of wolf that is really Jon).

    3. I know all the ladies love the Dany story line, and lots of people love all of the stuff in the east. I, myself, have been most fascinated with the idea that we really have no idea why Bran getting trained by the Three-Eyed Crow is so important. They say something in ADWD about Bran never being able to leave once he’s in that cave. It kind of foreshadows the TEC’s death as it talks about him being so old and rooted in the ground that he becomes more of a tree every day and less of a man, until he’s gone forever into nature… or something like that. ADWD also describes Bran as increasingly less physical and more “in his own head” as the novel progresses. Is Bran going to take over? What exactly has this guy done from his cave all this time? Knowing Martin, and how he operates, Bran’s training as a green-seer has to have some kind of monumental impact on the final outcome of Westeros, and I can’t wait to see what it is.

    4. Something is brewing with the 4 1/2 book disappearance of Benjen Stark. Obviously, Martin has a reason for making him disappear, constantly making Jon think about him all the time, and the Night’s Watch guys finally finding the other dudes who disappeared with him, when he’s nowhere to be found. I’m really hoping he has nothing to do with a turn-cloak thing, where he’s a wilding, or that it’s not something crazy like him becoming an Other and infiltrating them like Jon did with Mance. I’d imagine that’s impossible as once you’re an Other, you seem to be an Other. Nevertheless, Benjen better not be the Other’s king or something. That would suck. And what was all that unexplained Coldhands stuff? We never find out who the guy is. I thought, reading it, that maybe it was Benjen? Coldhands is kind of dead I guess, and it did mention he used to be Night’s Watch guy. Who knows. Who knows.

    5. Do we actually see Sandor Clegane die? The book alludes to Arya leaving for Bravos, watching the Hound die, refusing to give him the mercy of a clean death. Am I missing something, or do we never actually see him completely dead? I feel like there’s reports from people in the Riverlands about seeing him dead, or who knows? But I wouldn’t be surprised if Martin wants you to think, “Oh yeah, she left him there and he died of puss and stink in his face,” when he really never completely croaked. Plus, I kind of liked him at the end with his whole “screw-everybody” thing.

    6. Finally, the last thing I can remember that stumped me: For all the people hoping that Dany will ascend to the throne and rule for her entire life as a just and merciful queen, don’t build yourself up for it. There is an obvious allusion to the fact that it will never happen. The Maegi that she used to turn Drogho into a vegetable also told her and she’d never have any ancestors and that she’d die before she got to rule. How do people miss this? She’ll probably play some sort of huge role in the outcome of the series, given that she’s about to have a bagillion soldiers fighting for her, but she’s not going to ascend to the iron throne. The prophecy, along with some of the weirder stuff that happened when she was in the house of the undying, basically tell us this.

    • “Something is brewing with the 4 1/2 book disappearance of Benjen Stark”

      Thank you! Someone else feels this way! haha it’s my biggest need to know mystery of the series!

  82. I think Jon Snow will prove to be alive and a Targaeryan . remember that Ned found his sister Lyanna in the tower of joy dying, with the smell of blood and flowers, and that she had been held there after being abducted by Prince Rhaegar, son of the mad king, which led to Robert Barratheons rebellion and subsequent kingship? she made Ned promise her something. Ned then appeared at Winterfell with a wet nurse and the baby Jon Snow, prior to Catelyn and the baby Robb Stark.
    Aegon, aka young Griff will be the next Targaeryan.
    Danaerys is the third. The Targaeryan sigil is a three headed dragon.
    Tyrion may also be a Targaeryan. if you remember, Tywin always questioned his wife Joanna and the the mad King Aerys relationship. Aerys pondered on their wedding night that it was a shame that the right of the first knight was abolished, and Tywin always dispised tyrion and disowned him upon his death.

    • Wow. Never considered Tyrion being a Targaeryan.

  83. With the Jaime plot, I reckon he may well be a key pawn in the theorised Red Wedding 2.0, one theory source: http://www.reddit.com/r/asoiaf/comments/1ilaw6/spoilers_all_ill_find_another_and_the_rw_20/

    There has been a theory that even Arya has taken part (as Nymeria), though her Mercy chapter suggests that Nymeria is migrating North.

    Either way if this happens, this would be my number 1; 2 being Meereen, 3 Jon Snow & 4 Battle of the North (unless Manderly is heavily involved).

  84. i love coming back here and re reading this column.

    here are My crazy predictions:
    1. i think Stannis will be sacrificed to Save Jon.
    2. Rickon will lead an army from Skagos that will reclaim Winterfel. Shaggydog eats Ramsey Bolton.
    3. Aegon is a Blackfyre and not the son of Rhaegar.
    4. Jamie who will be one will Kill Cersei.
    5. Dany never reaches Westeros but will rein over the Free Cities with Tyrion as he Hand after Barrister Selmy dies in battle.
    6. Robyn Arryn dies and Harry becomes Lord of Vale and marries Sansa. Sansa manipulates him and the Vale teams up with Highgarden to take Kings Landing from Cersei.
    7. All the Dead characters including a headless Ned Stark will Rise in the final book to take part in the Great Battle between the Red God and the Great Other.
    8. Arya will leave the Faceless Men & return to Westeros in search of Sansa.
    9. the Dragons completely destroy the Iron Islands
    10. Walder Frey is Flayed by Roose Bolton after he refuses to send troops to the North to aid the Boltons.
    11. Littlefinger is ambushed on the Kings Road by the Brotherhood and is killed by Lady Stoneheart.
    12. Arianne marries Bronn
    13. Sandor will finally fight his brother, “Robert Strong”
    14. Jon Snow will kill Roose Bolton in battle
    15. The Spider travels North and joins the White Walkers.

    • Love the idea of Sandor fighting Robert Strong.

  85. Helen Parshall

    Oh this was a lovely read… I don’t even know where to begin with a comment but boy did I feel compelled to leave one. I can’t wait for TWOW to come out. Thanks so much for all the research that went into this! Fan theories are so plentiful that it is hard to sift through and this article is just… amazing!

  86. Several things you may have forgotten:

    1) The prophecy Cersei received as a child that she would die by the hand of the valonqar (“little brother”). She’s the eldest of the three children of Tywin; as neither Jaime or Tyrion are near King’s Landing, we know she’ll survive until she meets one of them again, at minimum, before losing her throne to another queen, “younger and fairer” (Daenerys, presumably).

    2) The dragons will be pivotal in fighting the White Walkers. At the end of AFFC, Archmaester Marwyn takes ship from the Citadel for Meereen after hearing Sam’s testimony about events at the Wall. There’s no way that won’t influence Daenerys’s ultimate path, and she will indeed end up at the Wall.

    3a) Arya has her revenge list; why would she bother going after Qyburn? She’s not going to care about him.

    3b) For all the speculation of the fate of Arya’s “dancing master”, Syrio Forel, I have not seen anyone comment about the new TWOW chapter “Mercy”, in which the playwright Phario Forel is mentioned. Syrio in disguise, or a relative of his? In either way, likely not a coincidence.

    4) Just before the Red Wedding in ASOS (Chapter 45, aka Catelyn V), Robb Stark names Jon Snow as his heir should something happen to him. We never hear anything about it afterward, but presumably there are surviving noble witnesses. How will this affect Jon, no matter the method of his survival?

  87. Quite the comprehensive list overall. The only major plot area that seems to be missing is the one centered on Oldtown/the Citadel. What is Jaqen’s mission there on behalf of the Faceless Men? Will details of the maesters’ secret war against magic/worldview engineering be exposed, and what role will Sam and Alleras play in the organizational/political machinations of the order? The real hidden power and influence of the order have yet to be explored, only hinted at by Marwyn the Mage.

    • It’s never been clear to me that the faceless men have a political agenda. Any time Arya has tried to attach morality to killing she has been rebuked by her instructors. The phrase “many faced god” could be a euphemism for coin, implying that they are apolitical hired assassins. Jaqen himself has expressed allegiance to the red god and we don’t know whether he belongs to their order anymore or is a wandering ronin type. (I’ve also always wondered how it was that a faceless man would come to be captured in the first place for any length of time, and why he stayed at Harrenhal as long as he did.)

      I also don’t think we can assume any kind of unified conspiracy on the part of the Citadel. Like any organization, there will be competing interests. Marwyn, for example, is very pro-magic, whereas the maesters in general have been described as anti-magic.

  88. Of all the theories listed on this great thread, the one that blew my mind is that Tyrion might be the 3rd Dragon. UNBELIEVABLE!! I cannot believe that no one has really commented on that.

    It makes great sense. First off, i feel that Aegon (Young Griff) is just too convenient a character. He has to be the mummer’s dragon. Of all the stories and characters introduced, he sticks out as fake. Too pretty. Too refined. No hints of his survival in earlier books. Too arrogant….and we all know that arrogant characters like Joffrey, pre-stumped Jaime, pre-stumped Theon, and Renly, and King Robert are easy marks for GRRim Reaper Martin. Aegon does not fit George’s writing style. He smelled false the moment Tyrion fathomed who he was. In short, he is a fake. Martin will continue to let most readers think he is a true Dragon…..and then he will meet some fantastically hideous fate. Just imagine how ironic it would be for him to approach a Dragon confidently thinking he is a born rider, and get burnt to a crisp.

    Second, there are plenty of hints about Mad King Aerys being infatuated with Tywin’s wife. Also, I always found it kind of inplausible that Tywin would hate Tyrion so much just for being a dwarf. BUT IF TYRION WERE A BASTAND, that hatred makes perfect sense. Tywin could never tell Tyrion who he really was. OR MAYBE Tywin suspected it, but could never be sure. OR MAYBE Tywin never suspected it. Anyways, there were several hints that the Mad King had a thing for his Hand’s wife. These hints give A LOT of credibility to this theory.

    Third, Tyrion was enamored with dragons. He did not really know why….he just was since he was a child. All the reason to suspect he is really a dragon bastard.

    Crazily, it all seems to fit. And it is George’s style. A total left hook from the blind side. EVERYONE loves the arc of the “Giant of Lannister”. I can just hear G.R.R. Martin saying as he is typing “they will never see this one coming!!! MEHEHEHEHEHEH!!

    Anyways, Aegon is my least favorite character in the whole series. He truly has to be the mummers dragon.

    • Twin has also shown a propensity for living in denial (about Jamie and Cersei’s incest) so it’s possible on some level he knew that Tyrion was a Targaeryan. Great point about Tyrion being fascinated with dragons since youth, too!

    • Thats my prediction too! So far out there that it could be legit! I forgot which book, also said Tyrions hair was fairer than his siblings. Thats why i also think that Jaime will kill Cersei; he is her one true brother. We shall see! Anyways, i left that comment early July, but now i have another one i wont give out because my friends think im insanely obsessive compulsive about the books

  89. This was a really great read. Thank you. I’d like to add my two cents on this thread of excellent comments.

    I predict Jon is the fulfillment of Dany’s vision in the house of the undying – of a blue-eyed king who casts no shadow wielding a flaming sword – and that Jon will die and be re-animated by the power of the Others, which will change his eyes to bright blue. Whose side he fights for is up for grabs. We know that Cold Hands was re-animated but still chooses to oppose the Others. We could also be in for an even bigger surprise if Jon decides to fight for the forces of cold or make peace with them. In the same way Jon looked beyond the common perceptions of his day that all people north of The Wall were bad, Martin might take it one step further and subvert our idea that the Others are the antagonist of this story. Because when you really think about it, this story might not have an antagonist. Martin has done nothing if not mess with our expectations, specifically our craving to place a good vs. evil narrative on top of the story he’s telling. Martin’s novelistic worldview is beyond simple good and evil (everybody has a reason for what they do) and even though many of his readers pick up on that, I think most of us are still looking for a moral true north, so to speak, and assuming the Others are the evil Nazi/Orc horde all epic stories need to frame themselves within. Whereas the more I read, the more I see a story of two elemental forces – cold and heat – clashing against each other, and probably ultimately going back to a state of equilibrium. It’s not that I think Martin wants Ice to prevail. It’s just that I can’t picture him making Fire the hero. In this story Winter is coming but that only means that Summer will inevitably rise up to bat it back down. The stakes are being raised. Both sides are re-animating the dead to their own ends. But neither force will win. Nature will, and nature is the balance of its forces.

    Also remember, the Stark’s have at least one ancestral incident of making cause with The Others. The Night’s King fell in love with one and made her his queen. If nothing else, this tells me that the Others are not irrational demons but simply another sentient species.

    I think Dany’s story is bigger and deeper than reclaiming the Iron Throne for her clan. I think she has to be a major player in the story’s outcome for the simple fact that, from the outset, she was the only character not in Westeros but a major POV anyway. That can’t be an accident. Martin knew where this story was going when he started (even if it may gave gotten a bit wieldy in the telling) and I think we can read a lot into the proportion of the framework he laid down in the first book to know who will be essential to the conclusion.

    But I don’t see Dany as a hero, admirable as her character may be. Though she has done her best to learn to rule wisely (leadership derived from wisdom), her power so far has stemmed from the threat of her dragons, which is the power of brute strength. And her insistence that Westeros belongs to her is as arbitrary as Stannis’s claim. Both think they should rule because of historical succession rights, but both of those successions derived from people who conquered and stole power for themselves in the first place. In this story Dany is but one of the many players symbolizing the elemental force of fire. Is she any different or better than the followers of the red god, who practice a kind of fundamentalist witchcraft that employs human sacrifice and mindless groupthink? Dany’s dragons were birthed from flames which were fueled by the burning Mirri Maz Duur – essentially her power derives from sorcery and human sacrifice. (It is interesting that Dany, having no knowledge of the red faith, was so quick to burn her first betrayer to death.)

    Dany thinks that “home” for her is Westeros, but that’s only because that was the most recent seat of power for the Targaryan dynasty. Before that it was Valyria, so maybe her destiny is to restore those ruins. Or maybe her true home is Pentos, where she was raised. How do you define home? By any definition, Westeros has almost nothing to do with who she is.

    About Arya. It’s not clear to me that the faceless men are an idealistic order. Couldn’t the phrase “many-faced god” be a euphemism for coin? Every time Arya tried to impose her own opinions about right and wrong onto contract killing her masters rebuked her. I think that they are simply apolitical assassins for hire. Even if they are scheming behind the scenes I don’t think we can expect Arya to follow their agenda. She was never truly able to renounce her sense of self (symbolized by the fact that she couldn’t give up Needle) or her wish for revenge. It’s similar to Jon Snow, who wasn’t able to give in fully to the selfless ideals of the Night’s Watch when he thought his family was threatened. Wild prediction: the Iron Bank took out a hit on the seat of power in King’s Landing. Arya kills Tommen and then assumes his face.

    Speaking of predictions, here are a few more:

    - The stone statue dragons at Dragonstone are actual dragons that have been sealed that way by magic. The spell is broken at some point in the story and they come to life. This would be a fulfillment of Dany’s vision in the house of the undying of a great stone beast flying from a smoking tower, breathing shadowy fire.

    - This series stretches beyond 7 books. I mean, come on. There’s no way he can wrap up this chess match in two more novels. He’s spent five books just setting the pieces up on the table.

    What are the other great unresolved mysteries?

    -Benjen Stark (I don’t think he’s Cold Hands for some reason, maybe because Bran would have gotten an inkling)
    -Howland Reed
    -Ashara Dayne’s Suicide
    -Syrio Forel’s fate
    -The Hound’s fate
    How Brienne survived (she shouted “Sword,” right? Could Oathkeeper be the flaming sword of R’hllor?)

    And the big daddy, Jon Snow’s parentage. I guess I feel like Jon must be the child of Rhaegar and Lyanna only because I know that the answer is knowable based on what is in the first four books. When Martin sat down with the would-be producers of Game of Thrones to discuss the possibility of making a show he tested them by asking who they thought Jon Snow’s mother was. They answered correctly (ADWD wasn’t out yet) so it can’t be that out-there of an answer.

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