The Winds of Winter: 12 Major Plot Points to Anticipate
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
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
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
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.