Dear readers, it is that time of the year again, Game of Thrones rumor season. Unsurprisingly, I have things to say about this. In particular there are two rumors going around that I believe are confirmed and from which we can deduce a number of things about the coming season. It seems that most people who speculate about these matters are in agreement that we are going to see Euron Grayjoy make an appearance this season, and that we will get some sort of flashback to the showdown at the Tower of Joy.
With regards to the last one, I strongly suspect that it will be used to make the first couple of scenes in the first episode mirror the start of the previous season. More concretely, the previous season began with a flashback of when Cersei was young and met a witch, followed by a scene showing how she was remembering the whole thing while attending Tywin’s funeral. I can imagine the coming season beginning with a flashback of Eddard facing off with Arthur Dayne and then seeing Lyanna die, followed by a scene showing how Bran had seen all that when practicing his ability to see things that have happened or will happen. After all, Bran needs something to do while waiting for his part of the story to start getting interesting again and this would be a useful justification for all kinds of flashback and thus a way to utilize matrial from the books that has been skipped.
The introduction of Euron Grayjoy into the series means that we are going to be seeing things happen at the Iron Islands again. This new theater of operations will need a point of contact with the rest of the series, in the way that Jamie went to Dorne so that Dorne would matter. There is as far as I can tell only one easy way to do this.
It seems unlikely that this will be done by trying to connect Euron to Daenery’s storyline. Think about it, Balon is still alive, he has to croak in an interesting way, and there is no way to first have Euron show up in the west and then transport him all the way to Slaver’s Bay. There is also no time, in just ten episodes, to have Euron first appear in the islands, and then in a way that makes sense to the TV viewers have him send someone interesting to Mereen and have things happen there. So it has to be Theon. Theon will make his way back home. I once read something unconfirmed somewhere about this being the case and it makes sense, Theon escaped from Ramsey in the cliffhanger in episode ten of last season and we book-readers know where he ends up in The Winds of Winter, but don’t expect it to be the case here. Yup, I feel it strongly now, Theon is going home, that was the whole point of the cliffhanger, remember where you read it first (if you read it here, I know it has earlier been suggested elsewhere).
We were of course left with many more cliffhangers at the end of the previous season. The one with Jamie setting sail back from Dorne to King’s Landing and Myrcella then dying on the ship after being poisoned by Ellaria is the most striking one. What should happen here is rather obvious given what we know about Jamie and his temperament.
Assume for a second that Trystane doesn’t just have the antidote and that the whole thing would be resolved then and there, then we will probably never hear about this again, so assume instead that Myrcella really is dead. The classical Jamie move would then be to turn the ship around, jump ashore, roll up his sleeves, spit on the ground and start cutting throats. We’re not gonna get this though, at least I don’t think we are. Considering the budget limitations and in particular the limitations in time, episode length that is and not production time, I suspect that certain compromises have to be made.
The fact that there will be a new front opened up in the Iron Islands, while we will still have things going on in the North, in King’s Landing, in Mereen and so on, doesn’t leave much time left for showcasing Jamie transforming into the Doom of Dorne. Couple this with the fact that Cersei won’t necessarily be a major player anymore, that she may be under surveillance by Kevan Lannister and that she is generally traumatize by what happened in the season five finale, and the most likely outcome is that the first scene we see of Jamie and Cersei is him telling her what happened, she crying and breaking things and the matter then never being brought up on the show again. Perhaps mentioned a few times, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it never turns out to be a catalyst for any further action.
In addition to all of this there has been more casting announcements from which one could conclude all kinds of things, such as the reunion of the Tarly family and so on. I will hopefully write about that too at some point, and in a couple of months we will probably be treated to a trailer or two, that should be interesting. Stay tuned.