I was at dinner before the episode aired, and while eating some delicious sushi burritos we came up with a few predictions for what would go down… (Spoilers kids)

  1. Cersei Wildfires everything
  2. Tommen is dead before the episode ends, probably by the Mountain’s hand
  3. Danaerys finally sets sail, probably to Dorne
  4. Walder Frey will die
  5. R+L=J confirmed, but not to Jon himself
  6. Someone is getting crowned in the North
  7. Wyman Manderly will show up somewhere
  8. We finally see Old Town.

And gosh darn it pretty much all of that came true. Mostly. Predictable? Yes. But ultimately still satisfying.

1. Cersei Wildfires Everything

The first 20-some minutes are gorgeous. The music, which was outstanding in this episodes, ebbs and swells to the tension of the Trial of the Seven. We as viewers know about the Wildfire, about the massive foreshadowing set up by characters far and wide, and about the lengths Cersei will go to get what she wants. When Zombie Gregor showed up to block Tommen from leaving I knew. It was happening. Poor Margaery knew too but was helpless to leave, blocked by the zealots who refused to leave lest they anger their gods. But they have all met their gods now. The Sparrow was outplayed, and his army, along with most of the nobles in Kings Landing, is dead.

Yes, with three little candles Cersei Lannister extinguished all of her immediate opposition. House Tyrell is all but extinct. All of the Lannister dissenters, led by Uncle Kevan, are gone. Even Pycelle is out of the picture. And his poor hooker got stiffed. Working with him for free? Girl is having a horrible day.

Cersei also removed the one other roadblock on her road to power…

2. Tommen is dead before the episode ends, probably by the Mountain’s hand

In a scene that genuinely shocked me, Tommen Baratheon, the first of his name, took his own life and reminded the world why the town is called “King’s Landing.” (too soon?)

I expected some accident to happen with Gregor; that Cersei’s orders would cause the death of her son and placing the guilt on her shoulders. And to be fair, that did happen. Her act of vengeance wracked the young boy with guilt, and he ended things on his own terms. I actually liked Tommen, he seemed like a good person… but he was too naive to ever live long.

The loss of Tommen means that the Baratheon line is well and truly dead. With no legitimate heirs the Iron Throne is there for the taking, and take it she does. Queen Cersei, long may she reign? There are no major nobles left to contest her ascension. It’s as much hers as anyone elses… for now.

With Tyrell, Baratheon, and Martell all but extinct, the political and social climate has been completely turned over. Even the Lannisters are running low on manpower. The heir to Casterly Rock, a woman, now sits the Iron Throne. But for how long? One of my top predictions for the rest of the series is that Jamie kills her. He will be both a Kingslayer and a Queenslayer- but think about it. Cersei accomplished the devastation that Mad King Aerys set out to do. She lit his caches and burnt them all. Jamie killed Aerys to prevent such devastation- can he really let his mad sister live after what she has done? And what she prompted their last living child to do? Will Jamie even survive the series himself? So many questions…

3. Danaerys finally sets sail, probably to Dorne 

At least we have answers to a few queries. Like where did Varys go? What are the Sand Snakes up to? At what level of pissed off is the Queen of Thornes? Will Danaerys actually, finally leave Mereen?

Well, she did it. She’s gone. The boats have sailed under the banners of Fire and Blood. Danaerys has backing from half of the Iron Born, from Dorne (who has long had a decent relationship with the Targaryens), and from the last member of the Tyrells who still commands a massive army, remember? She has a landing point for her ships, a greater army to join them, and an even clearer path to the throne than ever. With Baratheons still hanging around her claim was tenuous- the daughter of a deposed despot who had never lived on the continent. With Cersei in control- a woman who has no blood claim whatsoever, and whose coronation was filled with courtiers who didn’t seem especially happy to see things play out that way- things should be a bit more manageable.

At any rate, Dany left behind a lover but gained a hand. That’s right, after a season of doing next to nothing, Tyrion gets a promotion and some bling. And was anyone else getting some weird vibes between those two? Dany needs a marriage afterall. And while hype has been churning about her and Jon hooking up… I’m not sold on that. With the R+L=J reveal Danaerys is his aunt. Yeah, incest and Targaryens go hand in hand, but I’m still doubtful.

Also, just how amazing was The Queen of Thorns in that Dorne scene? Shutting down the bland Sand Snakes was blatant fan service, but it was beautiful. Never die Olenna. Never die.

4. Walder Frey will die 

The clips in the trailer were a tip-off off to this happening. Old Man Frey shows up after a long off-screen absence. Why else would he be there if not to die? The scenes with Jamie and Bronn immediately following

The scenes with Jamie and Bronn immediately following Tommen’s suicide seemed almost inappropriately funny, but those two had no idea. And in fact, they seemed to be entirely clueless until seeing the city with their own eyes. How fast does news travel in Westeros? Olenna Tyrell was informed post haste, and made it down to Dorne for immediate scheming. How did Jamie not get a raven in the Riverlands. And for that matter, does the North know yet? Does Littlefinger?

Anyway, back to the demise of Walder Frey. When that pie showed up I knew. My first jump was that the girl was a Manderly, because those guys are all about cooking people into Pies. Arya was the obvious choice of identity, but my brain just did not go there for some reason until the actual reveal. But it was deliciously satisfying. A Girl has a name, it is Arya Stark, and she is crossing off names left and right.

But that brings up a few more questions. Will she head North now? Will she go to Kings Landing? What is that girl’s timeline like anyway? This episode converged many characters, but there are still a few loose ends. Brienne and Pod, the Hound, the Brotherhood. All of them are hanging around in the Riverlands- will Arya get to them? Will her and the Hound have an awkward reunion? Will a certain gigantic wolf show up and wreck things? I hope the answer is yet to all of the above.

5. R+L=J confirmed, but not to Jon himself

I suppose there are some skeptics out there who think that Lyanna reveal wasn’t definitive enough. But I’m on board. A theory that has held for nearly twenty years has finally been confirmed-ish. Jon is the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. What that means for his rule and the realm is still uncertain. Only Bran knows this, and presumably Meera as well now. Howland Reed, the only other survivor at the tower (aside from the nurses) is also supposed to be alive, but he has yet to appear.

Does Littlefinger know? Or Varys? How will this information spread, and will Jon even want to rule the Seven Kingdoms? Will there even be Seven Kingdoms left…

6. Someone is getting crowned in the North

Will the North be the first to fall in the Winter?

Winter is here, and in a scene I personally found hilarious, the Maesters send a white raven to Winterfell which is already covered in several feet of snow. Thank guys, I think they already knew.

Jon and Sansa have a nice moment on the walls, though I was a little underwhelmed with Sansa’s reasoning for holding back on the Knights of the Vale information. All she had to say was something like “I didn’t know if they were coming,” and things would make more sense. Oh well.

What does make more sense now? Littlefinger’s motives. He lays it all out to Sansa. Everything he does he does so he can be King and so that she can be his Queen. She friendzones him with blistering speed, but you know his game is not over. When the armies of the North rally behind Jon, prompted by a speech by Season 6 MVP Lyanna Mormont, Littlefinger does not take up the chant- a discrepancy Sansa notices immediately. They dance a dangerous tango, and while a man as crafty as Petyr Baelish on your team can be a good thing (after all, Danaerys has Varys) his ambitions could directly interfere with those of Jon Snow. Tread carefully.

But back to Lyanna Mormont for a second. Can she and Davos be best friends? Can she be the new, more awesome in ever way Shireen? Please? Girl is a firecracker and put everyone in their place, forcing them to declare for their new king- their KING IN THE NORTH. I was so proud.

7. Wyman Manderly will show up somewhere 

He did! I knew it had to be coming thanks to an old casting announcement, and they kept teasing his house all season so it had to happen. I was a fan of his plot in the books but the show changed so much of that it was tough to guess where he would come into play. And while his pies and his big speech were given to some badass ladies, he still showed up on screen. So I’m happy.

8. We finally see Old Town

Not a ton to say on this, other than it happened. Sam made it to the Citadel, chatted with a bureaucrat, and entered a beautiful library. How he will tie into the rest of the narrative is unknown. Plus, what is going on with his sword? Will Randyll Tarly be extra itching to get it back now that the Tyrells are all but extinct and the Reach is essentially his for the taking? Hmm.

So that ends another season of Game of Thrones. There were some underwhelming bits in there, but it ended strong and leaves us asking for more. With a shorter season 7, and a substantially smaller named cast, we should be jumping right back into the action come 2017. 2017? So far away!

My one major disappointment is that the release date for The Winds of Winter did not get tacked on to the credits. Yes, I’m a glutton for punishment, but I had a tiny fire of hope inside that the book the episode was named after was finally finished. Oh well. I’ve waited for so many years already, what’s a few more?

Finally, I’m thinking of doing a series rewatch at some point over the next few months. I haven’t gone back to the earlier seasons, despite reading each of the books several times. Keep an eye out for reviews and musings on those in the interim between seasons.

2017… so far away.