7 Burning Questions on the Ash Pile of Season 6
It is the first day of winter in Westeros. By the old gods and the new, it is cold. Winter is finally here after six seasons. A Game of Thrones is heating up. The dead are coming clad in ice. Dragons are coming with flame. The wolves have rallied. The Lions have nothing left to lose. The long night is dark. Here are the 7 most crucial and curious questions heading into Season 7.
Beware SPOILERS follow.
If R+L=J then?
We finally got confirmation of the most popular and frankly, greatest theory of A Game of Thrones. To all our delight, Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark are Jon’s parents making him Jon Targaryen. (I wish this wasn't figured out and published all over the internet and in every GOT discussion ever, but it was still cool.)
But, wait! If R+L=J, then is D=J or is J<D or D>J or is D+J=Iron Throne? 🤔 This episode clearly set Jon up as King in the North and more or less a viable Stark. His sister Sansa said he is a Stark. All the Lords of the North and the Vale support him as a Stark. So, what will his heritage actually mean in ‘the game’?
Why Jon and not Sansa to lead the North?
Just as we learn Jon Snow is really the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna, he is thrust into the role of King in the North by the Stark bannermen. The scene eerily mirrors Robb Stark’s rise to power. It is with seemingly a flip of the tongue by Lady Lyanna Mormont that allegiance is thrown behind Jon rather than Sansa. It was Sansa who rallied the Vale to their aid when all these bannermen failed to join them. It was Sansa who came charging in at the head of the army. It is Sansa who bears the family name and is the rightful heir. So, why not Sansa?
What is Littlefinger playing at?
The real Lord of the Vale, Peter Baelish, sat very quietly during Jon Snow’s coronation as King in the North. His face seemed to betray his intentions as he looked slyly towards Sansa. Remember, it was was Littlefinger who betrayed Ned Stark to his death. It was Littlefinger who sold Sansa to the Bolton’s in the first place. It is Littlefinger who, in this episode, declared he was out for the Iron Throne and only the Iron Throne. So what will Peter Baelish do next? Betray the Starks yet again?
With little to lose, how fierce and dangerous is Queen Cersei?
Cersei wiped the board clean of her enemies in an impressive Godfather style coup de'ta. Queen Cersei is now back to being our chief villain. The last vestige of her humanity took a top floor exit. Cersei tried to save Tommen but shed no tears for her last child. She always knew. "You either win the game of thrones or you die." Cersei was always in it to win. She has only stumbled when she put her family first or took a backseat to the men of the Lannister family. There is little holding Cersei back now. She is far more ruthless and powerful than Tywin ever was and did what only a mad King could have imagined. How tight will her grip to the throne be now that she sits atop it?
What will Jaime Lannister do now?
For the first time, the Kingslayer failed to keep madness from the Iron Throne and wildfire from burning through the streets. He has supported and loved his sister beyond any measure for six seasons. Everything he has done has been for her and their children. As he said before he pushed Bran from the balcony, “the things I do for love.” The look on his face as Cersei ascended to the throne on the ashes of their son was not one of triumph but of loss. Jaime appears to have not only lost his son but his love as well. Will Jaime Lannister fall back behind his evil twin or will his goodness finally win out as he becomes his own man?
What will Sam learn in the Citadel that will aid Westeros in the coming winter war of Ice and Fire?
Sam isn’t just going to relax at club Citadel and get some summer reading in down south. He still has a lot of purpose yet to be fulfilled. He has his father’s Valyrian steel sword, for a purpose. He is at the Citadel to uncover some crucial piece of information or learn some craft to aid Jon in the North. What is in the Citadel about the ice army of the dead?
Side note: George R.R. Martin has said he loved the Lord of the Rings and Tolkien taking many cues from those books including the name of this character, Sam. Tolkien is quoted as saying he always thought of Sam as the chief hero of the Lord of the Rings. It’s interesting to note as Sam is still out there doing his part on what appears to be a “side story”.
Who is next for Arya?
Arya has her list. Some are dead, many more are alive and kicking.
King Joffrey - DEAD, poisoned
Tywin Lannister - DEAD, killed by Tyrion
The Hound - Redeemed, then left for dead. But, still alive.
Ser Meryn Trant - CHECK
Walder Fray - CHECK
Thoros of Myr
These last two are going to be interesting. She has a lot of killing yet to be done. The Frays were a very nice start in Westeros. Who is next?
Until next season, we won't know the answers. We've got a long time to talk about it so let's get started! Please leave a comment below and have a go at one or all of these questions.