The Winds of Winter: 12 Major Plot Points to Anticipate
6. Daenerys Reforms Her Long Lost Khalasar
Daenerys final moments in ADWD saw her being discovered by Khal Jhaqo and his great khalasar amidst the Dothraki Sea. Khal Jhaqo formerly gave patronage to Khal Drogo as a kos within his khalasar, only to declare himself Khal upon the eve of Drogo’s illness. Khal Jhaqo’s head Bloodrider, Mago was recently confirmed by Martin as a recurring character in TWOW in spite of his death in the TV series. Disregarding this, I believe it’s accurate to assume that the final verdict spells out a grizzly end for Khal Jhaqo and Mago. This signposting Daenerys quote from A Game of Thrones lends the assumption sturdy support:
“It was a cruel fate, yet not so cruel as Mago’s will be. I promise you that, by the old gods and the new, by the lamb god and the horse god and every god that lives. I swear by the Mother of Mountains and the Womb of the World. Before I am done with them, Mago and Ko Jhaqo will plead for the mercy they showed Eroeh.” – Daenerys (A Wiki of Ice and Fire)
By the time of Daenerys’ TWOW reintroduction, I expect Drogon to have singed Jhaqo, Mago and a chunk of their forces at the command of Daenerys. As you will know, the Dothraki don’t bow to bloodlines, the Dothraki bow to strength and ample leadership. Therefore the fear of Daenerys and Drogon’s power will assuredly compel Jhaqo’s stolen khalasar to flock back to their original Khaleesi. Where then will Daenerys take her new found army of screaming savages?
If Daenerys’ plot progression doesn’t immediately take her to Westeros I won’t be disappointed, in fact I wouldn’t be too let down if Daenerys never sets foot on the shores of Westeros. On the other hand I will be disgruntled if Daenerys’ arch stagnates as poorly as it did in ADWD. I’m getting a heavy impression that Dany will come to realize that Westeros holds no true sentimental value to her in TWOW, in spite of Illyrio and Viserys ceaselessly trying to convince her otherwise, which may irritate the majority of readers. Daenerys returning to her beloved house with the red door may well be the bittersweet ending George Martin has repeatedly referenced too, and that is an ending I would be pleased with.
5. A Highly Controversial Sansa Chapter
In a recent interview with Vulture, Elio Garcia – the webmaster of Westeros.org and the corresponding A Wiki of Ice and Fire page – hinted at a very controversial, unreleased Sansa chapter that he was handed in a proof reading process by George Martin himself. Here is the relevant quote if you’ve had trouble finding it:
“And yes, that means [Elio’s] read parts of book six, The Winds of Winter — including a Sansa chapter that is sure to be controversial.” – Vulture Magazine
The nature of this controversy is tricky to pinpoint; I doubt I will ever say this again but, I completely doubt the chapter is controversial because Sansa dies – at least in the physical sense. Along with a bulk of the community, I’m presuming that Sansa’s imminent bedding, whether it’s shared with Harry the Heir or the slimy Petyr Baelish, will be the focal point of the controversy.
Although we haven’t met Harry the Heir, enough titbits of information have been shared regarding him in AFFC for us to reach the conclusion that Sansa will be far from infatuated with him. Harry the Heir’s promiscuity and scheming tendencies, whilst not attractive, will avert Sansa’s gaze from being distracted by romance, granting her the opportunity to disillusion herself and become the player in the game she needs to be. An uncomfortable battle beneath the sheets with Harrold might prove to be Sansa’s crowning moment of personal progression.
George Martin is unfortunately susceptible to opt for unseen soul shattering tragedy; Littlefinger raping Sansa on-page would fit the bill, but would feel like a step too far, even for George Martin. If I remember correctly, Littlefinger has often remarked on Sansa’s resemblance of her mother Catelyn – whose hand he nearly died for – whilst transferring his previous affections for Catelyn onto her daughter, which aligns him with the very definition of creepy. Thankfully Littlefinger isn’t very liable to risk jeopardizing his grand plans for power to satisfy his base desires. Sansa is safe from his clutches, at least for now.
4. Tyrion Regains a Position of Power
By the end of Tyrion’s arch in ADWD, he had slipped free from the stranglehold of his late Yunkish slave master Yezzan Zo Qaggaz, immediately securing safety amongst Brown Ben Plumm’s Second Sons following brash promises to bestow large sums of Casterly Rock’s gold upon the company, for a price. In accordance with brief fan notes from the EasterCon reading of an early Tyrion chapter, our Lion of Lannister will be persistent in trying to convince Brown Ben to turn his cloak back to Daenerys cause. Absent of Dany’s assistance and strength, the Second Sons have only a fleeting hope of seizing the grand Lannister seat of Casterly Rock.
Tyrion’s powers of persuasion will make swaying Plumm around to his mindset a mere stepping stone; Tyrion’s true challenge rests in gaining Daenerys trust. The Dwarf’s Lannister heritage will immediately sow a seed of doubt in Daenerys’ mind, but if Tyrion falls at Dany’s feet alongside her keen lover Daario – whom he’d had a keen interest in saving during the reading of his TWOW chapter – the Dragon Queen will surely hear him out.
Tyrion will not dawdle if he is given the opportunity of an audience with the Mother of Dragons. Telling the hard truth concerning Dany’s demented father – The Mad King Aerys – will be his first course of action because it would be the surest way of gaining her trust. Better still it would allure her into adding her desperately required forces to his own during the planned sacking of Casterly Rock, which I’m suspecting to be initiated from the east as it would allow Dany to pursue her career as the Breaker of Chains.
You should anticipate Tyrion to be Daenerys’ most trusted adviser by the mid-point of TWOW, and if 1500 pages will allow enough room for progression in Daenerys’ own story line, you may even see him assuming his rightful place at the head of the Lannister heritage.