*Spoilers for Game of Thrones season 7, episodes 1-6*
After the most recent episode’s theatrics, losses and general ice vs fire mayhem, things are keenly poised in the world of Westeros. Daenerys and her supporters are set to meet with Queen Cersei and her brother; dragging a zombie prisoner in tow. A tantalising, if bizarre prospect, to be sure. One thing’s for certain: it’s anyone’s guess as to how this will turn out. And there are numerous intriguing questions ahead of next week’s season finale. Will Cersei attempt to kill Daenerys? Fans are no doubt bracing themselves for the prospect of a ‘Red Wedding II’ when the opposing rulers meet. Tyrion knows a trap is likely, and even with (two) dragons, a Dothraki horde, and an army of Unsullied outside King’s Landing, his sister’s thirst for blood might not be checked.
Perhaps the biggest shock would be if the whole thing passes off without a hitch. Is ‘Cleganebowl’ finally going to happen? Fans have long suspected that The Hound will one day defeat his elder brother in single-combat. And now, the Clegane siblings are set to be back in the same place. The Mountain at Cersei’s side; The Hound with Jon. If it all kicks off, perhaps these two will come to blows. Ironically, if Sandor needs to finish his undead brother once and for all, he might have to use fire to do so… Will Brienne’s presence have an impact on Jaime? This will be the first time the pair have seen each other since Riverrun. And Brienne always brings out the Kingslayer’s softer side.
The idea of Jaime shifting loyalties away from his tyrannical sister is a potent one. Perhaps the Tarth warrior could be a catalyst for that. Can a zombie captive convince Cersei to play ball? This is probably the most integral plot point. The idea that a wight would be enough to convince Cersei to join forces always seemed fanciful. Especially as she already has her own undead bodyguard. It seems unlikely Cersei will be swayed, even if she is shocked. But Jaime might be. What is going on with the Greyjoys? We have heard little of Euron recently, or his captive niece Yara.
The prospect of the Iron Islands’ king turning up to rattle cages is an interesting one. Theon may also yet have some trick up his sleeve to free his sister, and redeem himself. Can Sansa and Arya pull back from the brink? The Northern storyline has been rather fraught and stressful this season; forcing conflict and unease among the reunited Starks. Last episode, it seemed Arya was threatening to over-throw Sansa while the elder sister was considering her own drastic measures.
Just how this will end up is uncertain. Though it would be terrible to see one fall at the other’s hands. Of course, that situation is entirely tied-up with another question… Has Littlefinger over-played his hand? The slimy arch-schemer has been forced to change tack numerous times this season. Sansa was proving difficult to win back. Bran proved to be a poor option. Then Arya scared the bejesus out of him. So now he is attempting to fuel discord among the Stark sisters, to Gods only knows what end.
Chaos is a ladder, but ladders are unstable; and Littlefinger may finally fall in the finale if Arya and Sansa can put aside their differences, and realise that he is the true enemy. We can but hope. Is The Night King finally getting through The Wall? Magic protection or not, at some point the Night King is surely getting past The Wall. And that may be happening soon. After all, he has a new pet dragon to help him smash through. Or even fly over the top. Will Jon find out the truth about his birth? The writers may be holding back the revelation for the final season. Especially with Bran and Jon still being kep