They Could Well End Here
We’ll do King’s Landing first. I knew Margery was going to figure out why Cersei wasn’t there, and the moment Frankenclegane blocked Tommen heading to the Sept it was clear the Sept was doomed. The allusions to Cersei burning stuff proved true. (Seriously, re-watch all the Cersei scenes for the last few seasons and notice how often she mentions burning stuff to the ground, or in other ways references it.)
I did not expect both Loras and Margery to die. But the Sparrow was stupid and arrogant, and thought he surely knew better than everyone else and he paid for it.
While I didn’t expect him to take a header from the Keep (let me be the ten thousandth person to make a “King’s Landing” joke), I was not surprised at all that Tommen died. It was the how.
At the end, Jaime comes in to see Cersei crowned. This is tricky, but she may well have a claim — just not a great claim. (Technically, if R+L=J isn’t true, Dany is next in line.) It also isn’t clear how she will enforce her claim now that the Tyrells, the Martells, and the Targaryens are aligned against her.
It also isn’t clear how long Jaime will tolerate her. His expression was not one of happiness.
Speaking of Jaime, his interaction with Walder Frey was perfect. His disgust at being compared to the cowardly old traitor was profound enough to be physical. It was no surprise he headed back to the capital as quickly as he did.
Then there was the Freys. All along the story has built toward one of revenge by Arya aimed at those bastards. She’s gotten revenge on lesser foes, but Walder’s Red Wedding shenanigans cost her older brother, her mother, her unborn niece or nephew, et cetera. Her uncle is imprisoned and treated horribly. She was denied being re-united with her family at the last moment.
It paid off big last night. There was no other fitting end to the Freys than the one she gave them: “A Stark will smile down at you as you die.” Cersei and the Mountain are the only two show-characters left on her list that I recall — unless she also added Melisandre, but I don’t remember that. Still, she may well kill her, too.
On the topic of revenge: Olenna has nothing left. That makes her dangerous and Cersei is foolish for allowing her to leave alive. After Olenna I’m not sure who takes the Tyrell lands (or, honestly, quite where they are in the geography of the show versus the book, given the amount of time they’ve given to making travel and geography sensible). Perhaps Olenna can simply gift it to a person in her will.
The Dorne scene was the most interesting Dorne scene that didn’t involve Bronn and Jaime. It led quite well into the Dragon Fleet:
The scenes with Dany and Daario have been boring for some time. There is no loss in leaving him behind. But the scenes with Dany and Tyrion have been fabulous. She’s always done well with good advisors — Jorah for a time, Selmy after that — and both of them are made better by their interactions.
The Dragon Fleet and Dragon Army may well be unstoppable at this point. If it were just Dany’s forces and the hundred Greyjoy ships there would be a chance. But with the weight of House Tyrell and House Martell behind her…
In the North there was another bit of unification. Jon has been declared King of the North. At this point it seems as though he’s been “legitimized” as Jon Stark by the northern nobles — and if they all say so it’ll take a bigger army to go back on it. That scene was one of the best laid scenes on the show and quite emotional. It was well done.
Littlefinger is still a problem. The Sansa/Jon dynamic will be quite interesting going forward. She should trust Jon over Baelish but…
The Tower of Joy scene spelled out who Jon’s parents are. It didn’t spell out if Rhaegar and Lyanna were married (though she could have whispered that). It would make sense if they were — Targaryens took multiple wives.
– Bran knows more than we do about Jon’s parentage. He will tell Jon the truth. The problem with this is proving it to anyone.
– Cersei cannot possibly stand up to the combined might of Dany’s forces. She may well seek an alliance with Urine Greyjoy (perhaps through marriage). In fact I would fully expect each of the principle members of her “cabinet” to have an enemy on Cersei’s side: Yara/Theon against Urine, Tyrion opposite Jaime (Jaime said he’d cut Tyrion in half for killing Tywin) or perhaps Cersei’s Hand, the Martells opposite the Mountain (goes without saying), and Olenna having something personal against Cersei/Qyburn directly.
– Dany said alliances and marriage, and who better to align with than the King in the North? There aren’t a lot of men left for her to choose from: There’s Bronn, Euron, Jaime, Jon, Littlefinger, the little momma’s boy in the Vale (Robert Arryn?), or some minor lord. Euron is right out: Dany made her alliance. Jaime is a long-shot unless he really comes around, and I don’t see that happening. Bronn would go for it and Dany likes sellswords but he doesn’t offer much.
Varys and Tyrion would advise against Littlefinger. A minor lord would be cheap and stupid — the Mother of Dragons doesn’t marry some random simpleton.
I’m not entirely convinced Robert Arryn is going to survive much longer. He also offers little to Dany.
Jon has an army and loyal lords who also have no love for the Lannisters. Tyrion understood the need for the Wall and the Night’s Watch more than many did, and his few interactions with Jon were generally positive. He may well be the legitimate heir to the throne anyway. All signs point to him being very important in the long run.
– My guess is the three-headed dragon will be Dany, Jon, and Tyrion.
– There is a severe dearth of male heirs and suitable men on this show at the moment. Alliances are made through marriage — and there aren’t many men left to marry. Out there coupling: Tyrion and Yara. They both like women a whole lot, Tyrion does not have a great marriage track record, and they could produce heirs to the Iron Islands and Casterly Rock and unite their lands.
– House Giantsbane would be an awesome name for a House.
– Davos is old, but he could well produce an heir still. Otherwise House Seaworth is short lived indeed.
– Olenna and Davos would have hilarious conversations. Not a prediction so much as an observation.
– If Sansa has any sense at all she’ll stab Peter Baelish in the neck in the first ten seconds of the next season.