Having re-watched the first six seasons over the course of several months, in bits and pieces, and also having viewed the preview material provided by HBO, and attempting to understand the way D&D and GRRM might play the story out, I’m ready to make some predictions! We’ll go by region, as before:
Essos: I’ll be surprised if we see much of this. Daario is pretty boring, especially by himself, and so I just don’t expect to see a lot of him given the dying daylight on this series (13 episodes total).
The Citadel: They didn’t spend all that time on Sam and his ball and chain last season for nothing. Either he’s going to find something related to Jon’s parentage (unlikely; I think that’ll be a Bran thing), or he’s going to discover something useful in the war: either how to make Valyrian steel again, or some other way of killing white walkers and/or wights. Probably not both. The South is already going to be loaded to bear if things play out like I expect, and Sam is always sort-of a joke so it won’t be *both*.
Dorne: Crickets. I expect little if any time spent *in* Dorne, but I do expect Cersei/Jaime to get revenge. I even hope they do; the Sand Snakes fucking suck and they’re boring, which is the worst sin for a fictional villain.
Highgarden: I’m not sure if we’ll see Highgarden, but with Olenna all alone, I expect her to unleash whatever holy hell her family has left.
King’s Landing: I’m *really* not sure how Jaime is going to react to what Cersei did last season. I think she is going to be offed during the course of the season. Perhaps an angry Jaime (the younger brother), perhaps Tyrion (definitely younger), perhaps Arya (younger… well, “no one.”), or even Sandor freaking Clegane. Actually, hey — if Jon is the son of Rhaegar, isn’t he technically a younger brother? What about Bran, using his new powers?
The Middle: Iron Islands: I imagine they’ll let Urine Greyjoy at least come across as having a fighting chance against Dany’s fleet, but seriously, vs a fleet of that size, with dragons? Also, literally nobody cares about Urine. He and Daario should open a bar together.
Riverlands: Are there any Freys left? There won’t be if Arya has anything to say about it. I’m not sure how mad she is at the general Frey population, but the girl has a taste for blood. The meat pie thing last season was really over the top and it takes dedication to be that… well, it’s vile, even if Walder deserved it. So if there are Freys left, they better hide. (Can Arya take any person’s face, or must they be dead, or is it just like she has a limited supply she smuggled from Braavos?)
Wherever Dany is going: I expect her to establish a beachhead, a base, something, and then realize that the kingdom she wants to rule so bad is full of people who suck, and an army of ice zombies coming from the north. She’ll need to make alliances, which brings me to…
The North: I’m not sure where Bran is even going anymore.
Based on the stuff Jon and Davos have been saying, and seem to be saying in previews, I think they’re going to rather quickly turn to dealing with the shitstorm coming from the north. They’re going to look for allies other than northmen. I do not see them working with Cersei — Sansa would not be able to tolerate that, and Cersei wouldn’t bury that grudge. Even if Cersei pretended to help them I don’t think she’s a good enough person to do it. She’d rather let the ice zombies eradicate the north, and hope they melt before they reach her cushy little kingdom. I just — if they trust her, they’re stupid. I don’t think they will.
The natural alliance is, of course, Dany — she’s got dragons, which breathe fire. And if dragon glass (which, I think, is supposed to be some sort of by-product of dragon’s burning rocks with their fire?), and Valyrian steel (which is dragon-fire-forged) can hurt the White Walkers… why not dragon fire directly? We saw them wipe out a big ship in water last season. They could erase wights from the earth in a matter of hours. That alliance makes sense, aside from the fact Theon is with her, or was last season, and Jon isn’t likely to be very conciliatory to the man who took his home and betrayed his brother. (Even if Jon finds out he’s not Ned’s son, Robb will always be his brother.)
So that’s some guesses. I’ll fine tune as the show goes on.