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WMG / A Song Of Ice And Fire Part II

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Page II of Wild Mass Guessing for the A Song of Ice and Fire novels. See also Page I.

Robert Baratheon was a true chessmaster - the King Westeros deserves, just not the one it needs right now.
Robert Baratheon was a master manipulator, who would have led Westeros to glory had it not been for the boar, agent of Chaos that it was, who ended him. Many of the supposed indications of his poor rule were in fact examples of his genius.
  • Petyr Baelish - Robert is very aware that Petyr Baelish is corrupt scum, but he's corrupt scum that serves a very useful purpose to the King. By constantly borrowing gold and causing chaos, he keeps any one House from growing strong enough to challenge him even in a post-Targaryen Westeros, where neither dragons nor inertia are around to ensure the regions remain united. King Robert is also the only one corrupt enough to allow him to have a free hand in order to enrich himself, which means Petyr is actually forced to remain relatively loyal to King Robert himself since Robert's death could potentially lead to a less corrupt government.
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  • Tywin Lannister - Robert has Petyr borrow from Tywin as a part of his ultra-secret plan to weaken the Lannister family. Are the Lannisters investing in industry? In agriculture? In infrastrucure? NAH, Robert the chessmaster is siphoning off their gold for a useless return called "Influence" that is something that can be turned off and reversed at any moment. If he were to stop the corruption and stop borrowing, it could lead to a Westerland economic boom as Tywin Lannister invests that money in his own region and builds up the mother of all economic bases, unmolested thanks to this time of peace. This is also another reason why he keeps Petyr, he needs corruption in order to ensure he has an excuse to continue to destroy the Westerlands in the long-run. Gold mines - unlike infrastructure that could be built with them - will run out, and this will arguably keep his dynasty safer in the long-run than letting Tywin sit in Casterly Rock and open up a bank or something.
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  • Jon Arryn - Jon is vaguely aware of Robert's chessmaster plans, but considers the charade of mindless hedonism useful. By pretending he is the only competent one in the capital, any assassination attempt on Robert will probably target him first. He nobly takes the hit for both of them since Robert is like a son to him. It also gives them an early warning system since if someone targets him politically or physically, Robert knows that said person is hostile to his regime.
  • Ned Stark - Ned recognizes the superior mental might of his bro in the South. He was purposely kept out of King's Landing because Robert and him decided that they needed a large garrison force in the North that could sweep in at any time to help out in the case of a counter-coup. If Ned Stark was in the south, he might get captured and it would lead to the North being paralyzed since they wouldn't know whether to march or not, since Stark's kids are still too young to lead.
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  • Renly and Stannis - Deep down Robert loves these two, but pretends to be uninterested in either of them. This makes both of them less at risk to assassination attempts since Robert's enemies think they have no influence on him. He kept Stannis in Dragonstone because Stannis is his favorite, and when it comes down to it control of the Royal Navy is wayyy more important than whatever it is a Master of Laws does in a society that barely has the concept of rule by law. He also needed Stannis to dispense some JusticeTM against the extremely pro-Targaryen populace in the region. He also put Renly in Storm's End because it makes it look like Robert is generous, when in truth he's in control of two regions (Crownlands and Stormlands). Stannis also isn't gay and Renly is... So no heir to stop his plan of creating an enlarged Crownland which will create a secure base for his heir.
  • Cersei Lannister and the Incest Babies - Robert is aware of Cersei's incest, and allows it since it is all part of the plan. He knew that even real kids with Cersei would be tainted by association/their mother's teachings, so he instead decided to rely on his bastards to continue his legacy, preventing succession crisis by not having any trueborn children so that whoever he legitimizes is the uncontested heir after the Lannisters are dealt with. While Tywin would of course reject Robert's statements, nobody else would. The Rebel Alliance would ensure the Vale, North, and Riverlands came to the King's aid, while Robert's heir would be the perfect age to marry to Margaery Tyrell, which Mace would jump at, since his daughter would be the Queen. Dorne may not like Robert, but they would leap at the chance to strike at the Lannisters. This would set the Stormlands, Reach, Dorne, Crownlands, Riverlands, Vale, and North against the Westerlands.
    • Even his general hedonism and apparent mismanagement of Westeros feeds into this. It means that when he chooses his heir, everybody will be so relieved to have a much more stable alternative that they wouldn't dream of questioning his choice. Thus the stability of his heir's reign will be secured at the cost of his reputation.
    • Also: He left most of the governing to the Small Council. The Small Council is a meritocracy; the people in it need no notable bloodline to achieve power, only competence. His chief of intelligence was a foreign-born eunuch, with a great deal of talent in the clandestine arts.

...checkmate Westeros.

  • Problem with this theory. Renly may be gay but he still seems intent on siring an heir.

Mother Merciless will have the gift of mercy
Simple enough.

Arya Stark is "The Valonqar"

It's been noted before that the Valyrian language doesn't have that great a distinction between male and female, as far as words go. So "valonqar" basically means younger sibling, regardless of whether it's a boy or a girl. There's the first slice of evidence.

Second, that it would be Jaime or Tyrion who kills Cersei seems a little too obvious.

Now while this doesn't discount other younger siblings who might take her out, like Daenerys or Stannis or The Hound, I think Arya is way more likely given the nature of most "prophecies" or visions of the future that we've seen come true as well as GRRM's penchant for juicy surprises.

When Maggy the Frog tells Cersei that "When your tears have drowned you, the valonqar will wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you." So Maggy apparently believed the "valonqar" to be a boy. Of course, Arya, for most of the series and her life, has been commonly mistaken for a boy. She may even disguise herself as a boy again one day, if she's going to be a Faceless Man.

On top of this, there's the fact that Arya being the one would be nice poetic justice for Cersei. She is one of the few people on Arya's death list who is still alive. She's also one of the first people to be on said death list. When you think about it, Arya and Cersei have wanted to kill each other since book one when Arya struck Joffrey. It's noted many times what a major blunder it was for Cersei that she couldn't capture or even find Arya after she betrayed Ned. And something that the HBO show has noted even more than the book's is the fact, that Arya is a bit similar to Cersei in temperament. Or rather, Arya is becoming everything Cersei wishes she were: a warrior woman and a respected leader.

It'd be nice if the moment Cersei thinks she's going to be killed by either Tyrion or Dany, it's Arya that comes out of the shadows and finishes her. Especially since it would mean she was finally able to avenge her father's death in some way.

Arya will become another Warrior Queen Nymeria.

Nymeria was one of the many rulers of Rhoyne city states, who fought against the Valyrian Empire multiple times. The Rhoynar were wealthy people in a flourishing society, where art, literature, and music were booming. But the Valyrians attacked them, and it was only their water-magic that allowed them to survive for such a long time. There was an ongoing conflict between them and the Valyrian Empire which forced her to relocate her people in another continent to assure their safety. It was dangerous trip, mirroring that of Odysseus, the losses were great, but in the end she found herself in Westeros, where she ruled with an iron hand. She crushed multiple rebellions against her and became the reason why Dorne did not succumb to the Valyrians. Songs were sung about her reign, and her many loves.

Arya named her direwolf after her.

Arya as a Warrior

  • She can use a sword, albeit not being that good at it, but neither was Nymeria. She was a tactician, meaning she relied heavily in her brain to solve her problems
    • Arya too relies on her brain. She is smart enough to understand who to trust and who to not. She got the chilly vibes from Roose, her mother, her brother, and the rest of Stark men didn't before the Red Wedding. Smart enough to understand she is physically weak. She never kills when she is a bad position, always when she has the upper hand. That's why she doesn't go on a murder spree, —it would be Out of Character despite fans want her to—, but carefully evaluates her victims, as a tactician. And smart enough to survive the way she did.

Arya as a Queen

  • Arya is Varys' ideal queen. Almost everything Varys said about Aegon on why would he make a good king, applies to Arya as well. Arya actually is better than Aegon, because she has more experience than him. GRRM described Arya as older than most 40 year olds. Tyrion described Aegon as a child when he saw the way he acted when losing a game. He noted Aegon made 'youth mistakes.' note 
  • She has charisma. She can make friends everywhere she wants to and she can connect with the smallfolk because they have been through the same things. This is what made Margaery popular.
    • She is also willing to defend the smallfolk. She defended Mycah, she defended Gendry and Hot Pie because she has a strong concept of 'pack' where members take care and do not abandon each other no matter what. Nymeria was much the same. If it wasn't for her willingness to defend her people she could have just gone to Westeros on her own and hide there for the rest of her life. But she didn't.
  • She has been trained in spying, first through surviving on her own, then enforced by the FM. If there's anything Varys taught us, is that information is vital to navigate in the court.
  • She is manipulative as someone needs to be in the court, albeit she is not interested. It's one thing to manipulate people like Ned and Robert like Cersei did. Is something else what Margaery did to Joffrey. It's a something completely different what Arya did to a FM. You could say she only found a loophole, it's not that big of a deal. But it is a big deal. All you need to manipulate someone is find something they hold dear on and use it against them, which is exactly what she did. Not everyone could find that loophole, it even escaped to Jaqen, otherwise he would have not offered it. The second thing is, it was a FM she blackmailed. The most feared assassins in the world. And she came out alive from it.
  • She can act now. Everything that troubled her in her first chapter because of her personality, she can just pretend. She can hide her original personality with no problem now. Being a ruler is just another role.
  • These and plenty show Arya could make a queen. Before that we could see how she could be a warrior. Arya could be a warrior queen. But Nymeria is not just a warrior queen, she has a formidable personality. Let's see what we can find on what they have in common:

    • Rhoynar and Braavos are similar and the two are educated in those environments. Rhoynar was a flourishing city, a center of arts, literature and music. Braavos is the most powerful city in the known world, according to WOIAF, and a center of culture. Arya joined an acting troupe, where she became acquainted with Braavosi literature.
    • The water motif. It's said Rhoynars were said to know water magic. has had long threads on water in Arya's narrative way before this link to the Rhoynars became known.
    • They both care for the people. Arya is willing to sacrifice herself for her pack, like she did.
    • They both have parallels with Odysseus. The more they tried to reach their destination, the farther they went. Arya wanted to go to her mother in Riverrun, she ended up in Braavos. Nymeria's trip to Westerors was very troubled.

    There seems to be plenty of evidence in text, Arya might become Nymeria v 2.0 .

    Robb disinherited Sansa.
    Robb did not want the Lannisters to take over the North through marrying his sister, so he made sure to disinherit her in the will he was making. Catelyn tried to protest it, but he really went through with it.
    • Wasn't this confirmed?
      • Not yet
      • The official app confirmed Robb named Jon as his heir, assuming Arya, Bran, and Rickon are dead, but knowing Sansa is alive. It's not flat out told to the reader, but this alludes he did disinherit Sansa. She was Lady Lannister last time he heard of her.

    The Wall is made of obsidian covered by ice over time
    Think about it:
    • Stops the Others from crossing it. The Others are killed by obsidian.
      • They are bringing bad weather to cover it with ice to lower its defenses. That's the only way for them to cross it.
    • Enhances Mel's powers. It makes sense why obsidian would do that to someone who uses fire magic. Quaithe and Valyrians have used obsidian too for fire magic.
    • It's right next to Skagos, which produces obsidian according to TWOIAF. This explain why it was built there and not somewhere else, like more in North or more in South.

    The Winged Wolf is not The Hero, he's the Dark Messiah
    Bran Stark's arc from the beginning of the series to his current point in A Dance with Dragons seems to indicate that he is The Chosen One of some sort, an underdog hero with a magical destiny. That is, from his own perspective. It all seems pretty fantastical to the readers as well. However, the reality, as it is with most of the Starks' storylines, is far more dark and grim. Bran's journey, like Arya and Sansa's, gets progressively darker. And, though he may not realize it, so does Bran himself. It comes down to a few points.

    • Power: As a skinchanger and greenseer, Bran's won a Superpower Lottery. He can enter the minds of animals (namely wolves and birds) as well as people and control them. He can also glimpse into the past and to other places in the world through weirwood trees. And he also receives cryptic visions of the future in his dreams.
    • Naiveté: As a little boy no more than ten, and as a Stark with all that that entails, Bran's abilities and their implications are about the most uplifting and life-affirming he has at the moment. He's very adamant about seeing his quest through to the end so that he may learn what his powers mean and how he can control them. Along the way, he's more than happy to experiment. This is how he finds out he can control people, by accidentally (and later not-so-accidentally) entering Hodor's mind. Later on, we learn from Varamyr Sixskins, the powerful warg who had been aligned with Mance Rayder, the life of a warg beyond The Wall and how he was trained by another in what is allowed and what is taboo for wargs. Bran has violated many warg rules, namely the crime of possessing another human being (which Varamyr only finally commits when he's driven mad and freezing to death). Bran also takes in the creepy lair of the Children of the Forest and Lord Brynden a little too easily. He seems to see nothing wrong with being mentored by a hundred-year old man half-consumed by a weirwood tree, or the fact that this same man most definitely wants the same fate for Bran.
    • Ambition: Bran always dreamed being a hero and a future Knight in Shining Armor. We discover quickly that this will never happen when he's pushed out of a tower window and paralyzed from the waist down for life. Though crushed, his dreams haven't quite left the kid's mind. When presented with another means of power, agency and, most importantly, freedom (warging into Summer), Bran locks onto it immediately, unlike his siblings Jon and Arya who are too busy to pay attention to their own wolf dreams. Then with the introduction of the three-eyed crow and The Reed siblings, Bran is given a whole new purpose in life. Once Winterfell is destroyed and his family scattered, Bran goes all in for whatever the three-eyed crow has in store for him beyond The Wall. He's so determined that not even harsh wintery weather, wildlings, wolves and wights won't stop him from reaching his destination. When he finally does, Bran quickly goes under the wing of Brynden to fully understand his powers and destiny. In doing so, he also can't help but disregard his companions' pain, even if he does feel bad for them. His ambition for understanding is slowly becoming greater than his inherent empathy, much like Arya's training with the Faceless Men or Sansa with Littlefinger.
    • Anger: The loss of his legs and the dream of knighthood, as well as medieval society's unkind reaction to cripples, leaves young Bran pretty bitter. This is to be expected of a child, especially one who has as much to be angry about as him. The more The Starks lose, the more they come to resent the world. We've seen his ferocity when controlling Summer or Hodor. And it is implied that he is becoming even more powerful than the three-eyed crow. It's up in the air currently, but it's possible that Bran is now more interested in living his new life than the possibility of returning to his old one. If someone were to try and take him away from it now that he's finally gotten there, he might be angrier than ever. Point is, Bran's got anger issues as well as incredible powers, and that makes him even more dangerous and unpredictable.
    • Influence: This is the biggest, most critical point of all. Who is playing Bran, who is guiding him and supporting him? The three-eyed crow aka Brynden "Bloodraven" Rivers. We know he is a Targaryen bastard, with a reputation for sorcery and a past as a ruthlessly effective Master of Whisperers. He is unique for having both Valyrian and First Men blood running through his veins; one of which has given him the same warging/greenseer abilities as Bran. He was apparently Lord Commander of the Night's Watch for awhile before. Now he's The Last Greenseer, and implied to be observing events all across the world ("A thousand eyes and one"). And he seems to have marked Bran as his replacement. Despite how rational he makes it all sound, the stuff he's doing to Bran is pretty dark. This includes consuming a strange reddish paste (which is probably the sap that flows from the weirwoods; the sap suspected of being actual blood) and leaving the world behind and embracing darkness. He says specifically: "Do not fear the darkness, Bran. The strongest trees are rooted in the dark places of the earth. Darkness will be your cloak, your shield, your mother's milk. Darkness will make you strong." Sounds kind of... dark. In the same book, Melisandre has a vision of Bloodraven and Bran while also seeing darkness and death (both of which she believes to be calling cards of the Great Other). She even wonders if they are "the enemy" she's been waiting for. Now unless the Night's King shows up in The Winds of Winter, right now the three-eyed crow seems as morally ambiguous a character as Petyr Baelish, Varys or Tywin Lannister. And it's very likely that he's simply manipulating this child into becoming a living weapon or maybe even The Dragon for whatever war is coming. Now why? My guess is that Bloodraven is somehow in league with the Others. Maybe the Children of the Forest don't even know it. But you gotta admit it's weird that the Others start coming back right around the time dragons reappear in the world. Perhaps Bloodraven, and thus the Others, foresaw the dragons being born and Dany's rise. They knew they had to act and amass their army before the dragons grew too large and powerful. This is also where Bran, the new greenseer, comes into the picture. Bloodraven is around 125 years old at this point and likely not as strong as he used to be. So why not mold the perfect pawn for the Others in case he winds up giving out. It would mainly be to help him enthrall the dragons, though; "you will never walk again, but you will fly." After all, Daenerys has three dragons, and Bloodraven can't control two at a time. Now for evidence to support the Evil Bloodraven and Bran theory:
      • Bran only starts receiving visions of the three-eyed crow after he is pushed from the tower and paralyzed. Bran only went to the tower where Jaime and Cersei were having sex because he was drawn there by a flock of crows; in a series like this (and a character like Bloodraven), that could be intentional. A crippled, vulnerable little boy would be a lot easier to control than one who is quick and brave.
      • It should also be noted that the reason Bloodraven was made to take the black in the first place was because of his murder of a kid, one of the last of Daemon Blackfyre's sons.
      • We've seen what just a few bad years in Westeros can do to certain individuals. Bloodraven has experienced enough of Westeros to have a thousand and one Cynicism Catalysts. He grew up in a world of courtly intrigue and spent much of his playing the game of thrones at very high stakes. He spent the remainder of his human life at The Wall, no doubt contending with friend and foe alike until he went missing. That's when he learned firsthand of the ancient legends, which turn out to be as senselessly cruel and unforgiving as the human world he left behind. After all this, why not join in with the Others and let the world freeze? If you've been forced to live as long as he has and know the world as he has, maybe you'd want to end it too.
    • Irony: This series is all about deconstructing, averting, subverting, and otherwise playing around with various elements of High Fantasy. Bran is the first main character we are introduced to, we watch him as a boy who looks up to his father and brothers, all paragons of honor and justice. He is adventurous, brave, loves climbing and exploring, and dreams of becoming a heroic knight; when all of this is subverted with his crippling disability, we start building Bran up as a mythic figure with a great destiny. Now, knowing how GRRM has chosen to handle the plots of other Starks (Robb, a beloved war hero who loses the war; Sansa, the naive girly girl who becomes a cunning manipulator; Arya, the tomboy wannabe-warrior girl who becomes a cold-blooded killer) as well as a character like Littlefinger, who also saw himself as a young hero only to be scarred for life and then become one of the series' primary Big Bads, it could be that Bran's story is not one of an underdog hero, but of a good person who turns to evil without even realizing it.

    So in going full-magic and separating himself from his loved ones and humanity, Bran will become the opposite of who he thought he would be at the start of the story. And he probably won't even realize it until it's too late.

    The Starks are going to end up as the ultimate villains of the series.
    Lets just list the living (and undead) Starks and what they are up to at the moment.
    • Bran is being schooled in what is implied to be some pretty dark magic by an ultra sinister mentor, and is thought by Melissandre to be serving the Great Other, and that setting aside the Mind Rape he inflicts on Hodor.
    • Rickon is already about as feral as can be and is currently sharing an island with a large number of cannibals.
    • Arya is being trained in the art of murder by a death worshipping cult of supreme assassins.
    • Sansa is being schooled on magnificent Bastardry by Littlefinger, one of the premier villains of the series.
    • Catelyn is currently on a homicidal rampage against anyone she thinks ever wronged her or her family and has already shown her willingness to butcher innocents to that end.

    Basically not one of them is in any position to truly become "the hero" at this point, and indeed they all seem to be getting progressively darker and more ruthless as the books go on, which is natural considering the sheer amount of shit the family has gone through at the hands of the other houses of Westeros. What if by the last book the family decides "fuck it" and fully throws themselves into tearing what's left of the seven kingdoms down to punish those responsible for their suffering.

    If one also assumes that Old Nan's theory that the Nights King (who has recently and unexpectedly turned up in the TV series) was a Stark is true, this could open up the possibility of some (or all) of the remaining Starks actively throwing in their lot with the White Walkers and going on a continent spanning rampage to take out everyone who ever pissed them off. As for Jon Snow, would it not be the final kick in the proverbial balls for his final enemy to be the Family he was so loyal to?

    Also, remember that the title for the last book was originally "A time for Wolves"? everybody assumed this would mean the triumph of their favourite family in the series, but considering GRRM's record is it really too much to assume its not a devious bit of foreshadowing for whom the ultimate villains really are? and remember the Arc Words of the entire franchise, "Winter is Coming"...

    Euron Greyjoy is trying to kill his entire family
    With a background full of deceit and cruelty, Euron is already pretty heinous. Theon is haunted by the very memory of him. We find out from Aeron and Victarion's points of view that not even his family is safe from his reign of terror: Euron raped Victarion's beloved wife, knowing he'd be forced to kill her himself for dishonoring him; it is strongly implied that he abused Aeron as a child, possibly even sexually. When he returns to the Iron Isles in full Ax-Crazy Pirate Warrior Prince form, every member of House Greyjoy goes on alert immediately. And now he wants to be Iron King, doing everything he can to outmaneuver his family. This guy runs on Faux Affably Evil, so any courtesy he may currently be extending to his brothers and niece is guaranteed bullshit. It's not hard to see some of his current actions as suggesting that he might kill the remaining Greyjoys. Now for some evidence:
    • Seems pretty obvious that he had his elder brother, Balon, killed, most likely at the hands of a Faceless Man. He realizes the rest of his family will do whatever it takes to make sure he isn't made the Iron King, and uses the fact that they will organize a Kingsmoot to his advantage. Instead of getting outbid, Euron walks away with his culture's kingship.
    • One of the first things he does is order Victarion, the brother who hates him most, to sail to Essos and claim Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons for Euron. Considering Euron's habits of raping women and collecting exotic items, this doesn't seem too unbelievable. It's set up as a loyalty mission from Euron to Victarion, but Victarion immediately decides that he's going to take Dany and the dragons for himself and overthrow his brother in revenge for past grievances. Victarion sees this as an opportunity that Euron has unintentionally given to him, however, he also believes Euron's gifts are poisoned. This factors into Victarion's betrayal, since he believes the only thing he will get for helping Euron is more misery and humiliation. Could it be that this is exactly what Euron wanted? It's safe to say he knows how much Victarion hates him for raping his wife in the past (and forcing Victarion to kill her for adultery), so maybe he gave him this mission knowing he would betray him and try to take Dany himself. And maybe he's also aware that Daenerys or her dragons won't go quietly. So he's essentially sending his vengeful brother and all of his men into the jaws of a dragon, eliminating one of the greatest threats to his reign without dealing with him directly.
      • And if the other theory that Euron Greyjoy is also Daario Naharis turns out to be true, it lends credence to this theory. Since Dany and Daario have already had sex, he really has no reason to claim her (unless he wants Victarion and the Iron Fleet to slaughter Hizdahr and the Sons of the Harpies). It would mean that Euron is well aware of the kind of woman Dany is and of the state Slaver's Bay is in, making it even more likely that he just wants to monumentally screw over Victarion.
    • Given his tendency to brutally murder anyone who opposes his rule, it's fair to say Aeron is not safe at home as long as his brother is in power. No one is more against Euron's kingship than The Damphair, and he is apparently organizing other servants of the drowned god to rebel against Euron's reign in Victarion's absence. The last people who tried to rebel against him got dismembered or drowned in casks. There's already a lot of animosity between the two, and it's no stretch to think that Euron might fight a way to have Aeron killed, indirectly or no.
    • Asha is quite clearly not going to join in with Euron's insane regime, and her attempt to win the Kingsmoot revealed her as a threat to his claim as much as it did Victarion. Another contender in the Kingsmoot was Erik Ironmaker, who Asha insulted by revealing his infirmity and thus ruining his chance at becoming king. Not long after he is proclaimed Iron King, Euron arranges a marriage between Asha and Ironmaker. If Euron wanted Asha (an influential Ironborn and Balon's chosen heir) dead, then marrying her to a proud, old Ironborn lord with good reason to do her harm is an effective way of doing it. It was wise for her to leave home.
    • And Euron would likely have Theon killed out of turn just to eliminate another rival to his claim, if he knew Theon was still alive.

    So far he's put two members of his family in situations that would very likely result in their deaths, without making himself look like a kinslayer. This may not be the case with Aeron who is directly opposing him. As far as we know, though, he's in no position to kill Theon; then again, Theon's own situation is precarious enough that Euron may not even have to.

    Little Finger is the valonquar
    In a "random" conversation, we learn that valonquar literally means "little finger." It's too much of a coincidence to be random and it would be very Cersei to totally misinterpret a prophecy like that.
    • Actually, valonqar means "little brother" in High Valyrian, not "little finger."

    Garlan Tyrell would have stood as Tyrion's champion if Oberyn hadn't

    He's one of the few in King's Landing to recognize Tyrion's worth, sings his praises to Sansa, and declares that the city would have fallen to Stannis without him. I doubt he'd have followed the narrative that Tyrion murdered Joffrey, and would have volunteered his sword to clear his name, even against someone as imposing as Gregor Clegane.

    • Alternatively, Balon Swann would have, given his belief in Tyrion's innocence, his respect for Tyrion, and his knightly sense of honor—one of the few in the series to actually live up to his vows.

    There will be a Trial of Seven between Cersei and Margaery... and it's going to go horribly wrong

    After Kevan and Pycelle are found murdered, everyone starts accusing each other and growing increasingly paranoid. Most everyone suspects Cersei was behind it, while she obviously suspects everyone plus Tyrion. This turmoil, and the insistence of The High Sparrow, leads everyone to agree that the trial to resolve the feud between Cersei and Margaery shall be done quickly by combat. Since everyone on the small council knows that no single man could withstand Ser Robert Strong, it is decided that a trial of seven is to take place.

    • Cersei's champions: Ser Robert, the three Kettleblack brothers, Ser Boros, Ser Maron, and the Queen Regent herself.
    • Margaery's champions: Ser Garlan Tyrell, Prince Jalabhar Xho, Ser Tallad the Tall, Ser Mark Mullendore, Ser Lambert Turnberry, Ser Bayard Norcross, Ser Hugh Clifton.
    As you can imagine, the fight is pretty one-sided, with Ser Robert dominating the mortal knights as they face him. Garlan manages to stay out of Strong's range and is able to fight off his other opponents, wounding Maron and Boros, only for Cersei to stab him in the back, killing him. In the end, all of Margaery's champions are dead, and all of Cersei's are still standing. Mace Tyrell immediately quarrels with those who judge his daughter guilty and the entire court is in an uproar, with half loyal to the Tyrells and the other that believes Cersei's innocence has been proven by the gods. The High Sparrow tries to end this debate by asking that the trial's champion, Ser Robert, remove his helm. When Ser Robert refuses and the gold cloaks begin to move in, Cersei orders Robert to kill them. And then tells him to kill everyone. So begins a massacre throughout the (now aptly named) Red Keep, wherein Strong chases down and slays everyone he gets close to, while Cersei (having gone off the deep end) gleefully urges him on as he kills all of her enemies and then some. It goes overboard when she has him go after Margaery, only for young Tommen to get in the way, trying to protect his queen. Strong ends up killing them both. In yet another awful case of Be Careful What You Wish For, Cersei's mind completely breaks as she holds the body of her last son in her arms.It's a Pyrrhic Victory: Cersei kills a younger more beautiful queen, that queen's father, brother, the small council and dozens of soldiers and bystanders, but she has lost her son and with him what little power she has left. Besides Dragon Ascendant Qyburn and the indomitable Ser Robert, all of her champions are severely wounded and shell-shocked by the bloody massacre. Her only leverage is the High Sparrow and a few surviving nobles. Now she's left in the Red Keep, sitting on the Iron Throne, the stench of her dead son and the other mutilated bodies driving her crazier and crazier. Cersei and her people hold up in the castle of crazy until someone comes to take her out. Probably Daenerys.

    Sansa will betray Littlefinger at her wedding

    Who says a wedding always needs to end in tragedy for the heroes, after all? After being officially wed to Sweetrobin, Sansa will reveal what she heard Lysa say before her death: that Littlefinger persuaded her to murder Jon Arryn, AND that he was the one who truly murdered Lysa. She'll call on the Lords of the Vale to arrest him in the name of their liege, and consolidate her power before moving on the Boltons and Freys—either to support Stannis and assert her claim to Winterfell, or to take Winterfell and rule as Queen of the Vale and the North (and the Riverlands, too, if there's still enough loyalty to the Young Wolf for the River lords to follow another Stark). Either way, she'll probably recruit the Blackfish, who has ties to both Riverrun and the Vale.

    The Others are susceptible to Virgin Power.

    Whenever someone in the Night's Watch angsts about breaking their vows, they're not wrong - they just screwed up big time and lost most of their ability to fight the Others. The vows of celibacy taken by the Watch (and Kingsguard, septons, etc.) have their roots in humanity's vague recollection of how they beat the Others last time, but those histories have become so badly distorted that everyone figures that the vows are based on religious guilt or just a mundane desire to remove members of the Watch from lines of noble inheritance. It'd be quite the plot curve ball given the sheer amount of Virginity Makes You Stupid so far, but it lines up with who has (and hasn't) been able to fight them effectively, and given the series' status as a Deconstructor Fleet, VMYS makes a tempting target.

    Sam is going to become the new Grand Maester in Kings Landing.

    I know this sounds crazy but consider these facts.

    • Since Pycelle is now dead, there is a need for a new Grand Maester which means Sam's storyline in the next book will likely involve this decision making.
    • Mace Tyrell has been doing his utmost to fill the Small Council with loyal Reach men in order to expand his own influence (now unchecked due to Kevan's death).
    • Given their power and influence it is unlikely either Mace nor Randall would not discover Sam enrolling as Maester.
    • Given said power and influence, and the fact Oldtown is part of the Reach it is not unfathomable that they would be able put some serious pressure on the Maesters (who are as corruptible as any man as shown in the series) to "convince" them to elect Samwell to the position.
    • Since Randall Tarly's last memories of Sam were of some easily browbeaten and controlled doormat who signed up for the wall the moment he was ordered (and threatened with death) he would still view him as another easily controlled Tyrell pawn, even if he hates the idea of his son becoming a Maester. Alternately Mace could go over his head and "convince" the maesters on his own, thus causing serious friction between the two.
    • In Kings Landing he would serve as a unifying bridge between the Nights Watch/Stannis/North plotlines and the South/Kings Landing plotlines
    • The whole concept would be an ironic reversal of Sam's political machinations to get Jon Snow elected Commander of the Nights Watch (and George R R Martin does seem to have a love of such reversals)
    • Lets face it....Sam needs a chance to punch his evil shit of a father before the end of the story and this could let it happen

    Basically he would be immediately spirited to Kings Landing after the minimal training needed to become a Maester and all the rules will be bent to get him on the Small Council to act as his father's puppet in Mace's machinations to get complete Tyrell control over the Kingdom....only for his very clear and dire warnings about the rising threat of the Others and the need to send more men to the wall to throw a spanner in all of that. Randall will attempt to browbeat (or simply beat) his son into compliance and will finally learn his son has matured into somewhat of a badass, Sam's political savy and the fact everyone underestimates him (coupled with the protection his birth and position will give him) will give him an ok starting point in the political gambit pileup in Kings Landing, and when he discovers a certain giant undead killing machine, he will know the only true way to kill it should a certain dog themed warrior turn up to fight it (even if said way of killing it is the worst fear of said dog themed warrior).

    • However, don't forget that Sam's enrollment into the Citadel does not cancel his vows to the Night's Watch. He must return to the Wall as soon as he graduates.

    Melisandre will revive Jon the same way Thoros revived Beric Dondarrian.

    And he'll come back pissed.

    Robert Strong is Robb Stark.
    Inspired in part by this fanfic and based on several different facts.

    • A huge Gregor shaped skull was sent to Dorne, and with no other candidate for a donor other than Gregor it seems likely this was indeed Gregor's own skull.
    • All of Brans dreams after he fell in the first book related directly to his family members.....except for the Dream about the "stone giant" and the two figures standing in his shadow (who are described as being almost certainly Sandor and Oberyon/maybe Jaime) which seems pretty clearly to be a reference to Robert Strong given his description. This dream seems to be the odd one out unless one assumes that the stone giant is directly tied to House Stark.
      • That dream does relate specifically to the Starks; Sansa and Arya are watched over by the two figures, in the shadow of the giant.
    • Robb Stark's head remains unaccounted for, and Joffrey gave orders for it to be sent to Kings Landing.
    • Stark translates to "Strong" in German, which means "Robert Strong" translates to "Robb Stark".

    Since Qyburn knew the lannisters needed gregor's head to appease Dorne he replaced it with Robb's head which recently arrived from the Twins (and which no one cared about anymore due to recent events) to create his super knight.

    The Great Other will finally make an appearance near the end.
    And he'll turn out to be a pretty cool guy. But in all seriousness he will be surprisingly friendly and non-malicious if disinterested in normal mortal affairs. Mostly he just cares about getting R'hllor to chill out a bit. Also his and R'hllor's dialogue is going to be loaded with Ice and Fire puns. Also Foe Yay.

    R+L=J might or might not be real but the people of Westoros will think it is

    Considering how much the fandom has grabbed onto this theory it is entirely possible that people in Westeros might connect the same dots. It might not be true (or it might be) but when Dany comes back to Westoros or even before people like Varys might grab onto this as a way to hold the North for the Targaryens. It makes enough sense that the people of Westeros might actually believe it, especially considering how little anyone actually knows about what happened and Ned's famous honour.

    Drogon will die.
    • It's almost a rule of fiction that once the audience becomes lovingly attached to an animal, it's the author's duty to kill them swiftly and brutally. Prophecies have a way of blowing up in the heroes' faces and despite being one of the major villains, Victarion has yet to actually play a role in the plot. The three heads of the dragon may not be literal.
      • Or maybe they will be literal. Stuffed and mounted.
      • Euron is a much bigger threat than Victarion, according to the prophecies. Bad guy or no, Victarion is on Dany's side and he'll probably be responsible for getting her started on her journey to Westeros. Who knows what Euron is planning.

    Sansa's Storyline is Coming to an Early Close.
    Sansa has a few fleeting PO Vs in "A Feast for Crows" and doesn't really do much, and despite being a main character, doesn't appear at all in "A Dance with Dragons," a book that included every major surviving POV from the entire series (minor PO Vs like Brienne and Aeron were cut.) Mysteriously, the Eyrie was barely even mentioned. It seems that George is saving Sansa's chapters for later. It's likely that after the major development that happens late in "'Feast" that Sansa's role in the plot is nearly fulfilled. Her whole story was about her being a pawn in the game. Now that she's a player, she won't have much left to do other than make a few plot-affecting decisions before her few loose ends are wrapped up. Her detachment from the Others problem or the Iron Throne squabble might mean that her story will end on a personal note, since Sansa's storyline was always more about what she goes through than the goings-on around Westeros.
    • She also has a wedding coming up. One thing is guaranteed about weddings in this series: something really bad will happen. Maybe Sansa will be publicly unmasked.
      • ... That's kinda the point in Littlefinger's plan. He want her to wed Harry in a grey mantle, and with her hair washed red again, to ask publicly the aid of the Vale Lords to recover her lost lands.

    The Starks will win
    Not just "the Starks will recover". They will end up as one of the most powerful factions in Westeros. Why?

    Three reasons:

    • Their enemies are weak:
      • The Boltons are in a war with Stannis, and Theon is in a position to do some serious damage to them. Even if they survive, there's still the matter of the remaining Stark bannermen wanting to kill them.
      • Everybody in Westeros with a shred of honor now hates the Freys' guts.
      • Tywin Lannister is dead, and Cersei's regency has collapsed. The only thing the Lannisters really have going for them is that Casterly Rock is theirs.
    • The surviving Starks are much more dangerous than they were before:
      • Jon is Lord Commander of the Night's Watch.
      • Sansa is poised to take control of the Vale of Arryn, and one of the only armies in Westeros that hasn't been decimated by war. And she has Petyr Littlefinger on her side, to boot.
      • Arya is soon to become a Faceless Woman - one of the best assassins in the world.
      • Nymeria is leading a massive wolf pack in the Trident.
      • Bran is a warg and greenseer, with possible ties to the children of the forest.
      • Catelyn is a zombie leading an army of bandits.
      • Rickon will be more batshit insane than usual. With Shaggydog even more crazy at his side.
        • More like BATMAN insane!
    • The South is already facing a Targaryen invasion, which will only get stronger once Dany shows up.

    To paraphrase, the Starks' enemies have already played most of their good cards, and the Starks have been dealt some new ones.

    At minimum, the Starks will end up ruling an independent North, presumably having allied with Daenerys.

    Also, while the Starks started out as the protagonists, they've quickly fallen from power. So what would be a better plot twist than the Starks ending the series stronger than they started?

    The seventh book was initially named "Time for Wolves" before being changed to "A Dream of Spring". It is so happening.

    • Unless he changed it because he changed his mind...

    • Not to mention the series' historical basis in the Wars of the Roses. Plenty of people have pointed out that Robb Stark has tons of parallels with the historical King Edward IV, as he was a young noble who entered the wars to avenge his slain father, and jeopardized his reign with an impulsive marriage to a woman with few political ties. Edward IV also had his throne usurped by his enemies—with most people considering his reign at an end—but he surprised everyone by making a triumphant return and taking back the throne in the Battle of Tewkesbury. Robb might be Killed Off for Real, but the Starks making a triumphant return would logically parallel the Yorkists doing the same.
      • Word of God said that it's not a one-to-one adaptation of history. Here the Lannisters have the upper hand whereas in history, the Lancasters were losing and it took Yorkist factional strife to make them a threat. The three Yorkist brothers are closest to the Baratheons with Robert (elder Edward IV), Renly (George Clarence) and Stannis as Richard III. Eventually in history, the last Yorkist-Plantagenet King Richard III lost at the Battle of Bosworth, so GRRM who obviously likes the Yorks wants to spin that into a new direction in some fashion. And he likes Richard III so much there are four of them (Ned, Theon, Stannis and Tyrion) in his cast of Decomposite Character.

    Nymeria will warg into Arya
    Arya is trying to become a Faceless Woman. But the one part of her identity she can't erase is Nymeria. At some point, Arya's own sense of self will weaken to the point that Nymeria takes over.

    What happens at this point is anyone's guess. A few possibilities:

    • Nymeria simply takes control of Arya's body. She will retain Arya's muscle memory, so she will still fight with a sword.
    • Nymeria can call upon Arya's full mental abilities - intelligence, memories, skills, even speech. This might lead to Arya and Nymeria's identities melding.
    • This will occur just as Arya undergoes her initiation as a full Faceless Woman. Arya/Nymeria then receives her first assignment: assassinate Jon Snow. Result: the House of Black and White becomes the House of Red and More Red.
    • At the same time, Arya ends up warging into Nymeria. The giant wolf-pack becomes an army under Stark control.

    Benjen is fine.
    He's been separated from his horse, but he's alive and well (albeit freezing his ass off). What happened is that he's following some sort of trail or tracking something that's leading him ever further north. By now, he's reached the Land of Always Winter. Eventually, he will find something that's related to the origin of the Others.
    • What the heck is he eating, then?
      • Snow hares.
      • Ice spiders and wights.
    Cersei will (try to) burn King's Landing down.
    Right now she seems to be content with being around Tommen, but that could change very fast (for example, by Tommen's messy murder). We know that the last thing Aerys wanted to do was ignite the strategically placed caskets of wildfire and destroy the capital. The only reason it didn't happen was because Jaime intervened. This could easily be set up again, as the city is bound to have plenty of wildfire, after they used it to such great effect against Stannis' fleet. And Cersei is the only person I could see doing it. Literally everyone else either wants the throne, or wants some specific person to sit it, so burning down the capital only hurts them. But if Cersei loses Tommen, she could very well decide to die and take the whole city with her, since by now she has very good reason to hate the people of King's Landing, particularly the faith of the seven.And think about Jaime. He killed Aerys to save the city, and it haunts him to this day. Now imagine he has that exact same choice again. Killing his sister, former lover and mother of his children, or letting the city he once saved (without anyone ever thanking him for that) perish.

    Dany isn't barren.
    Mirri Maz Duur wasn't speaking prophecy or doing anything else supernatural when she gave her little speech about how Drogo would be fully healed and get his mind back "when the sun rises in the west and sets in the east" etc. etc. and listing Dany having another child as one of these "impossible" things. She was making an educated guess based on how fucked up Dany's previous pregnancy was (and saying the most hurtful things she could think of, of course), but she was wrong.
    • I was just coming here to say this. I think Dany's reproductive system is fine. She had a hard birth, obviously, and for an extremely brief period she was carrying something she wasn't designed to carrynote , but there's no indication that not!Rhaego actually damaged her beyond a normal birth. She has also not had another sex partner (who could get her pregnant, anyway) until Daario in ADWD, so it's not like she'd know, and given that she's unsurprised to get her period at the end of ADWD, it's obvious she's still menstruating regularly. I think Mirri Maz Duur was either lashing out with whatever she thought would hurt, or really did believe she was making a prophecy but she's wrong.
    • I think she said that she couldn't remember the last time she'd had her period, which may have been delirium but may have been that she hadn't been getting it at all. I took that to mean that now that "the sun did rise in the west and set in the east (Quentyn dying in Meereen), the mountains did crumble (the dragons burning the pyramids of Meereen), and the seas did dry up (the Dothraki sea is undergoing a drought)" (from a previous WMG) that she was barren, but was now capable of bearing a child.
      • She couldn't remember when it was, but she was trying to remember whether it was last month or the month before, so she had been having them, and regularly, because she was confused that it was the wrong time of the month. But if she might have missed one, and then she had a really heavy period, it could be that she was pregnant and had an early miscarriage. Though that doesn't necessarily mean Mirri was wrong: if so she's able to conceive, but that doesn't necessarily mean she'll able to carry a baby to term.
        • There is another possibility. In real life women who are under a lot of stress tend to have irregular periods, or even skip them altogether (one of those "body refusing to do unnecessary functions" things). I'd say being Queen of Meereen puts a lot of stress on a person.
      • She was living on the leavings of Drogon for a good while, I assumed she had lost her cycle due to malnourishment. Though I'd have to check how long she was on the half burned meat and grass diet.

    Mellisandre isn't misinterpreting her visions.
    Instead Rhllor is deliberately giving her inaccurate visions in order to manipulate her into what he wants her to do. So far, most of her bad readings have netted in good results. For example, she was wrong about Arya arriving at Castle Black but it ended up with the Night Watch gaining a powerful ally in Jeyne, something they are in desperate need of. It will remain to be seen if this continues to be the case.
    • Wait, why is Jeyne a powerful ally?
      • She's the Lady of Karhold, the head of a prominent Northern house. If she tells the other Northern houses to let Lord Commander Snow settle wildlings on the Gift, they'll listen and maybe agree. Also Karhold could help with food transportation during the coming Winter.
    • Some confusions here. Alys Karstark is the girl on the dying horse who allies with Jon at the Wall. She was fleeing her evil uncle. "Arya"/Jeyne Bolton and Theon/Reek escaped Ramsay at Winterfell and made it to Stannis camp, 3 days south of Winterfell, after meeting the banker and his escorts. And lets leave Jeyne Westerling out of it for pete's sake.
      • She's of house Bolton via marriage, and she's not the Lady of that house. That "honor" goes to Walda Bolton (nee Frey). She has nothing to do with Karhold. And no one is likely to listen to her because a) the Boltons are the enemies of almost all the Northern houses, b) those that aren't that house's enemies are following her husband's father, not his son's runaway bride, and c) she's not who she's pretending to be, she's just a steward's daughter, and the moment that becomes general knowledge, she loses what tiny sliver of authority she ever had.
      • Whoops, sorry. I misread that as Alys, who did turn up at Castle Black as an ally.
      • Jeyne herself may be of some value (and it's good she was rescued in any case). Presumably, Littlefinger told her he was going to take care of her and then had her trained as a prostitute (obviously unpleasant given the whip scars on her back). While Littlefinger is usually pretty good about keeping his hands clean, she might be able to expose some of his villainy.
      • Also, if Jeyne is pregnant with Ramsay's son, then that opens the door to claiming the Dreadfort. If Jeyne gives birth to a son, and something happens to Roose and Ramsay (say, hypothetically, Arya Stark), then she could quite easily become Mistress of the Dreadfort. That might actually be more satisfying than the Boltons falling in a Northern rebellion.

    It was Petyr Baelish who lied to Brandon Stark about Lyanna's kidnapping.
    The timeline here is sketchy because the main players are dead, but we know some things about the events between the duel at Riverrun and Brandon arriving at King's Landing. After the duel at Riverrun, Brandon left to collect his friends from the North, Riverlands and Vale. Presumably he went to Winterfell to get his wedding suit and met everyone on his way back to Riverrun. In the meantime, Petyr is stuck in bed for two weeks recovering from his wounds and having sex with Lysa. He is then thrown out and travels back to the Fingers in a litter, which is quite slow moving. Petyr would have taken the East-West road, stopping at the Inn at the Crossroads, before going Northwards and turning East for the Fingers. At approximately the same time, Rhaegar and Lyanna would have been fleeing South from Winterfell to the Dornish mountains. They would have covertly stopped at the Inn at the Crossroads.

    I theorise that Petyr saw Rhaegar and Lyanna there and gleaned two pieces of information: they were consensually running away together and they were heading for Dorne. Petyr then travels North and, to his horror, meets Brandon on the road. He knows that Brandon will hear about Lyanna's disappearance soon, if he doesn't know already, and chooses to lie in the hope of deferring Cat's wedding. He says that he saw Lyanna was with Rhaegar, that she had obviously been kidnapped against her will and that Rhaegar mentioned heading for King's Landing. Brandon believes this, is enraged and changes course. He might even stop at the Inn at the Crossroads to confirm the story.

    As we all know, a bloodbath followed and Brandon died. This is Petyr's Start of Darkness: he can't kill with swords but he can with words. This may also explain why Lyanna didn't leave a message - perhaps Petyr agreed to take it.

    • WMG assist here. LF tried to steal Catelyn directly first, Brandon beat him down and seriously wounded him. So he wasnt prancing around the country, nor could he talk to Brandon directly and expect to be trusted. Instead he writes 3 poison pen letters. (While Lysa Tully was "nursing" him back to health..)
      • Anonymous to Brandon: "Rhaegar has kidnapped your sister and is raping her in Kings Landing." ( A lie with a hint of truth in it mostly by accident.) Brandon rushes to KL in a rage.
      • Anonymous to Aerys: "Brandon and his friends are coming to King's Landing to kill you." (Guarantees Brandon a Hot Reception when he does burst in.)
      • A letter to Catelyn: We know she burnt it unread, thereby foiling Petyr's plan to get his hands on her. Fallout: Robert's Rebellion, can't make an omelette without breaking eggs...

    • WMG Petyr tried again to kidnap Catelyn after Bran's fall into a coma. She believed the kidnapper was an assassin sent to kill Bran, with unfortunate results for him. (Throat turn out by wolf means he cant explain the comedy of errors.)
      • LF had his poor pawn carry his knife because he (vainly) thought Cat would recognize it. Ironically no one recognizes the knife as his, his knife fight with Brandon was more than 15 years ago after all. This turned out to be very lucky for LF in the end since it allowed him to cover his tracks.
    • Catelyn rushes to King's Landing aboard the fastest ship she could find at White Harbor, which ironically is owned by LF, who hides belowdecks and has his first mate pretend to be captain. When Catelyn arrives at KL, Petyr has her scooped up immediately. He and Varys put on a mummers farce for Catelyn, where Varys pretends his "powers" have told him what happened. She swallows it completely. Good damage control there Petyr! Arguable Fallout: Ned takes Hand position and eventually gets killed, starting War of 5 Kings. Petyr's done it again.

    • WMG Petyr switches his obsession to Sansa. He decides to poison her husband, Tyrion, and has his pirates standing by to spirit Sansa away. Third time's a charm! Petyr finally gets his hands on a red-haired Tully woman. Fallout: Regicide as King Joffrey accidentally swallows the poison intended for Tyrion, and Tyrion is blamed for Joffrey's death, instead of Sansa being blamed for Tyrion's death. Still, compared to his previous attempts, this was a comparatively minor side effect. (Unless you also include Tyrion's murder of Tywin followed by his escape to Dany and her dragon, which probably will have Tremendous Consequences....)

    • Counting his first direct attack and his 3 plots above, Petyr took 4 tries to get his hands on a Tully, causing massive damage along the way. WMG assumes he did this due to the prophecy he received as a boy, which he said was "nothing much". Yeah right. the same way Cersei's prophecy was nothing much.... (Presumably Lysa Arryn nee Tully did not fit the prophecy, since she always just threw herself at Petyr, instead of having to be stolen/captured.)

    "Aegon Targaryen" is actually Ashara Dayne's bastard
    It's been mentioned more than once that the Daynes have coloring similar to the Targaryens, which one would suspect would be important due to the Law of Conservation of Detail. Dany was warned about a "mummer's dragon", which can be interpreted two ways: a real dragon belonging to mummers, or a prop dragon used by mummers. In other words, a fake.

    From Selmy, we learn that Ashara gave birth to a stillborn bastard daughter, however, it's possible that this was a lie spread after the child's birth. A child with Targaryen features who is the right age to be Aegon would be very useful as a figurehead to rally people behind, so the child was taken as a fallback plan or to use in addition to Viserys and Dany, perhaps to replace them if they didn't prove amenable to the plans others like Varys and Illyrio had for them.

    As to his father, it could indeed be Eddard Stark. He was in love with Ashara and spent time with her at the tourney where Selmy said she got pregnant.

    Ashara did indeed kill herself over grief - she's lost her brother, possibly the father of her child to another woman, and her child itself. Combined with post-partum depression, she killed herself.

    Less plausibly, she's actually Septa Lemore, looking after her son, and her suicide was ruse so that people wouldn't question her disapearance.

    Connington is probably not aware of the ruse and believes the boy to be Aegon.

    "Aegon Targaryen" is Ilyrio's Son
    When Ilyrio and Tyrion part company, Ilyrio talks about "Young Griff", and shows more emotion than would be expected in the circumstances. If the boy is not truly Aegon, but rather Ilyrio's son, that would explain it. It would also explain the extraordinary lengths Ilyrio has been willing to go to, and the extraordinary costs he has been willing to bear (giving away the dragon eggs, hiring the Golden Company), in support of the Targaryens; he aims to have his own son - the fake Targaryen (i.e. the mummer's dragon) on the throne.
    • It's possible, but why would Illyrio go to such great lengths to put his own son on the throne of a foreign country? After all, it's not like Illyrio couldn't have given his son a good life. Illyrio is, after all, a very wealthy merchant and powerful figure in Pentoshi politics. Why not just bring up his son to inherit the family business? Not only does that seem safer and easier, it also has the advantage of not forcing him to send his son away to be raised by strangers under a different name, never to know his real father.
      • Ilyrio may be a wealthy man, but you can't buy a kingship. And without this theory, it's hard to think of a reason why Ilyrio and Varys are conspiring to put Aegon on the throne. Ilyrio may be an old friend of Varys, but their collusion makes even more sense if this theory is true. Varys is offering Ilyrio an opportunity he can't possibly buy.
      • One variation on this that I came across is that either or both Illyrio and Varys are descended from exiled branches of the Targaryen family such as the Blackfyres or Brightflame, which may well provide a motivation if true

    Qyburn works for Varys
    In ''Dance' With Dragons', we learn that Varys is trying to keep Cersei in power so she'll destabilize the Seven Kingdoms, making it easier for Aegon to take over. Qyburn has always been unusually supportive of Cersei,even before she gave him "materials" for his experiments. Another piece of evidence that points to this theory is that Qyburn has done such a good job succeeding Varys as Master of Whispers that Cersei believes that Varys is nothing more than a fraud, and thus severely underestimates him.
    • The last point implies that Qyburn may be such an effective Master of Whispers because Varys was feeding him information, either because they were allies (thus helping to make Qyburn more valuable to Cersei), or because he was a useful tool (meaning he wasn't working with Varys, but Varys was manipulating him to his own ends).

    It's going to be three-way war on the Wall in Book 6.
    (Warning: aDwD spoilers.)

    So, yeah. We all read the end of Dance, with Jon getting all stabbified by his own Sworn Brothers. What we're forgetting is that Jon had just left a meeting in which he won the wildlings' allegiance, once and for all. (It's interesting that everyone has been spitting "You're half wildling" at him as though it's an insult, because events have proven that it's actually a great strength which will help save the Seven Kingdoms.) So what happened when hundreds of wildlings came spilling out of the Knight's Hall and saw their new King-Beneath-The-Wall getting attacked by crows?

    When we open Book 6, we will find Jon injured but alive at Castle Black, having been saved by Tormund and etc. The Watch (what remains of them) will have retreated to the Shadow Tower or Eastwatch-By-The-Sea, whilst the wildlings have taken Castle Black for their home base. It's like to be open war for a while, and heaven only knows what will happen to Night's Watch defectors (Grenn, Pyp, Dolorous Edd) who want to rejoin their friend. But Jon is likely to win in the end, especially when wights start arising south of the Wall, from the corpses of the slain. The Night's Watch isn't going to be happy, and Jon will probably not be reinstated as Lord Commander and maybe will even be hit with execution for his "crimes", but they will have to accept his methods, whether they like them (or him!) or not.

    The briefly mentioned blond archer Lewis Lanster who traveled with Jon Connington will be a Chekhov's Gun
    He's a good-looking, prideful blonde with a surname suspiciously similar to "Lannister". Too subtle to be a Red Herring, but definitely something that stands out.
    • It's mentioned earlier in the books that Casterly Rock and Lannisport are filled with Lannistons, Lanns, Lansters (etc, I can't remember the exact names). It's not necessarily meaningful, it just means this guy comes from this city.

    Sansa won't betray Littlefinger.
    Everyone seems to think that she's going to eventually be his downfall, but maybe she'll end up being his evil accomplice, either a Dark Chick or an odd sort of Dragon once her Corrupt the Cutie process is complete. The characters always develop in surprising ways, and Sansa turning into a competent Manipulative Bitch—or even a magnificent one—would be at least as surprising as a sword-wielding "for the North!" moment, while still being more in character.
    • Alternatively, she will simply displace him. After she goes public with her true identity and retakes the North, it will appear that she is Littlefinger's puppet, just as everyone thought that Joffrey would be Cersei's puppet. Then she'll do something he doesn't want (say, executing Roose Bolton), and prove that she's the one with the power. Littlefinger will stick around as her advisor. The guy's ambitious, but I also suspect he's capable of quitting while he's ahead. There are far worse fates than being the right hand man to the Queen in the North.

    Arya will come back to Westeros
    Part of the faceless man training is cutting off all ties to your past life, and in a sense becoming 'no one'. One of the problems arya might have with this is that no matter how much she cuts herself off from the starks, she is still connected to Nymeria. So the faceless men will give her the task to kill nymeria, and in the process she will get drawn back into the conflict of westeros, and possibly stop being a faceless woman as a result.

    Arya will be brought back to Westeros as Cersei's assassin.
    It's mentioned in ADWD that if a ruler doesn't pay the Iron Bank what he owes, the Bank have them killed and replaced by someone who'll take the hint. Cersei blew off the Bank while she was ruler, so they'll be looking to topple her if she wins her trial by battle and regains control of King's Landing (and, with Zombie Gregor as her champion, how can she lose?).

    It's not beyond the bounds of possibility that the Bank use Faceless Men for their assassinations, since both the Bank and the Men are based out of Braavos. And we know Arya would leap at the chance to put a dagger between Cersei's shoulder blades, especially since she hasn't phased out her own identity like Faceless Men are supposed to. Of course, this doesn't guarantee she'll succeed, but it seems like an elegant way to bring her back to Westeros for the finale...

    • While I am pretty sure Arya eventually WILL return to Westeros, would it not be detrimental to her training, from the Faceless Men's point of view? Convincing their apprentices that they are noone, or at least not who they were before, is as important to them as physical or perceptive training. So it seems like an unwise decision to send her to the country she actually hails from, where the chance of running into someone from her previous life she knows/hates in much higher than while operating in Braavos or even further east. And if they find out how exactly Arya and Cersei are connected, sending her for the kill would be against their whole training, as Arya would be "herself" almost immediately.
    • Arya cannot assassinate Cersei because she knows who Cersei is and whispers her name as part of her prayer. Faceless Men can only give the gift to those who they don't know. I do think that Arya is sent to Westros to kill someone and I'm leaning toward Melisandre. Cersei, the Illyrio-Varys conspiracy, or the Citadel conspiracy hires a faceless man to get rid of her. Arya doesn't know Melisandre and is dispatched to kill her. Of course, someone Arya loves dearly, Jon, is probably with Melisandre. I think that Jon and Arya are the first two Stark siblings to reunite and that scenario makes that happen.
      • I'm not so sure Arya would let the Faceless Men's code get in her way of killing Cersei, since in the sample chapter "Mercy" from The Winds of Winter, Arya rapidly seduced and killed Raff the Sweetling, apparently on her own initiative, upon finding him in Braavos.
        • Arya herself would have no problem with being sent to kill Cersei - it's fairly obvious that she hasn't given up her identity in the way that the Faceless Men's credo demands. But the Kindly Man (or whoever decides which agent gets which assignment) would not send Arya to kill Cersei or any other Westerosi nobles that Arya knew/might have known in her previous life as a Westerosi noble girl herself.

    Bran will become the 1000th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch
    In Winds of Winter, a new Lord Commander will be chosen to replace the stabbed Jon Snow. He will die during that book, or sometime early in Dreams of Spring.

    In Dreams of Spring, Bran will return to the Wall, leading a warhost of the children of the forest, probably a few wildlings, and possibly something else that we have yet to encounter. He will stop the Others and save Westeros. However, by this point Bran will no longer be entirely human. There will be no place for him in Winterfell. Instead, he will remain on the Wall as the 1000th Lord Commander. Jon will either die or have another destiny.

    The post-series Westeros will be a high fantasy realm
    One of the themes of the series is that magic is returning to Westeros. And outside of the Others, most of the magical elements are aligned with the heroes, particularly Dany and Bran. These will prove key to their return to power. Sam's plot will involve the maesters trying to stop the return of magic. He, of course, will become a wizard like he always wanted. In the end, they will fail, and magic will return.

    The maesters will be involved in some attempt to kill the dragons
    The maesters want magic gone. The dragons are bringing magic back. Possibilities:
    • Dany will need their help/alliance, and their price will be the death of the dragons.
    • They can use science to make her fertile, and their price is the death of the dragons, forcing her to choose between her "children" and real, actual blood children.
    • Dany will be established as monarch (very, very rockily) and they'll give her a maester, who will be a spy trying to kill the dragons/figure out how to kill them.
    Feel free to add your own ideas.

    In any case, I think it's a virtual guarantee that the maesters are going to be making themselves a nuisance to Dany one way or another.

    • Well, at the end of AFFC Archmaester Marwyn outright states that he has to rush to Dany's side to warn her about the other maesters' inevitable attempts to do just this.
    • Indeed, Marwyn's statement that "The world the Citadel is building has no place in it for sorcery or prophecy or glass candles, much less for dragons" suggests that the maesters weren't just cheerleaders for the vanishing of magic from Westeros, but actively worked to foment it.

    The Night's Watch as we know it will cease to exist
    The aforementioned War at the Wall will end in a wildling victory. The wildlings will then take over the defense of the Wall, and claim the Gift as well. Mance Rayder will become King on the Wall.

    Future POV Names
    In the more recent books, Martin has this thing of calling characters by a descriptor/changing their name for dramatic effect (i.e. Sansa as Alayne Stone and Arya as Cat of the Canals). Here's some of the ones I'm thinking could be in the future- spoilers ahead:
    • "Lady Stoneheart" (to fill in where there used to be Catelyn Pov)
    • "No One" (for Arya)
    • "The White Wolf" (for Jon, especially if he wargs into Ghost)
      • Or perhaps the Azor Ahai or the Long-lost Prince for Jon as well.
      • Come to think of it, if he has a POV after the end of ADWD, his first one will appropriately be "Ghost".
    • "The Young Bear" (Jorah, naturally)
    • "A Man" (Jaqen/Alchemist/Pate)
    • GRRM has stated there will be no more POV characters added, which removes the option of the last two. (In theory. We'll see if he lives up to this.)

    Mormont's raven contains a skinchanger
    • In the beginning of A Dance with Dragons, we are told that skinchangers who die have their souls enter the body of the animal they rode. The rest of the book then makes constant reference to the raven, how intelligent it is, and underlines how many of its responses are dramatically appropriate for whatever conversation it is listening to. This is because it was the former host of a skinchanger who died, whose soul now resides within. While they have forgotten most of their life and who they were, the faint memories that remain keep it near Jon (it wants to help). The skinchanger in question may be Mormont himself, one of the wildlings from beyond the Wall, or perhaps someone else who knew Winter was coming and wanted to help stop it.
      • Conversely, the raven is actually Bloodraven's, and he occasionally reaches out to it to spy on Jon or influence him (it's been established that distance is not necessarily a barrier to skinchangers. Or it might actually be Bran's, if his future self eventually learns how to use the greensight to project his consciousness backwards in time through the weirdwoods (perhaps argued even more effectively since the name "Bran" means "raven").

    Bolton will attack the Wall
    Let us imagine that Jon Snow and/or his allies regain control of the Wall early on in The Winds of Winter. A likely scenario is that Melisandre decides to help Jon, bringing Stannis' people in on his side. If Jon's human body is dead, Melisandre might end up in charge (or at least she will be the POV). They send Roose Bolton a fuck you raven. Bolton, furious, leads his men north to attack the Wall. In the eyes of just about everyone, this is Roose Bolton's Moral Event Horizon. The North rises in open rebellion. Roose Bolton is defeated by an army of Stark loyalists, wildlings, crows, what remains of Stannis' troops, and even Boltons - one subplot sees the castellan of the Dreadfort turn against his liege. Around this time, Sansa's true identity is revealed. One of the final scenes has her being declared Queen in the North.
    • Roose Bolton already passed the moral event horizon when he killed Robb Stark at the Red Wedding and the North is quite aware of the situation. (See Lord Manderly's Magnificent Bastard reveal).
      • Yes, but not everyone accepts this as his Moral Event Horizon. Bolton's actions had legal sanction in the eyes of the Iron Throne. Attacking the Wall would wipe out his credibility.
        • Also, people are morons (and more kindly, people are distracted right now). I'm willing to bet the Greatjon's remaining fingers that a good chunk of the North, especially smallfolk, just see "Freys did it!" and even if they do know Bolton was behind it, that's sort of been pushed to the back of their minds. (The way two people who get into a fistfight will be the ones punished, even if everyone knows that someone else was really the instigator.)
        • I think this will happen, provided that the Boltons somehow won the Battle of Winterfell. In Storm, Jon points out at least once that the Wall can't be defended from the South. Furthermore, the Iron Throne sees the Watch as part of the rebellion, and the wildlings have manned ruined castles. It's such an overwhelmingly bad situation that it has to come to pass. It seems like the kind of easy victory Ramsay Bolton would jump upon.
        • Ramsay Bolton may try to jump on it and be reined in by his more pragmatic father (or someone else, although I don't think anyone else is capable of controlling him).

    Varys wants the Targaryens back because he knows about the Others and believes that dragons will be necessary to defeat them.
    Think about it. In those rare moments when he may actually be speaking honestly, Varys always says that his loyalty is to the realm, and he's probably telling the truth. He's certainly not out for personal power: he has as much of that as he's likely to get no matter who's on the throne. But if he's truly loyal to the realm, why put it through all this messy civil war nonsense, and why prolong it by killing Kevan Lannister? He's already proven that through his manipulations of the throne and Small Council, he can keep the realm stable and prosperous even with a certifiable madman wearing the crown, so why not help whoever happens to be on the throne at the time, the way he did for over a decade with Robert? In short, why so much loyalty for the Targaryens, who've been a crapshoot at best when it comes to what's actually good for Westeros and who wouldn't have had a chance in hell of seriously attempting a return to power without his constant help?

    UNLESS there's an even greater danger to the entire realm, one compared to which years of messy civil war are a small and necessary evil, one which can only be combated by the Targaryens due to their special affinity for dragons? Enter the Others.

    As to how he would know about this threat years before even the Night's Watch suspected they were back, well, he IS the Master of Whisperers, and he had at least a passing (as in, "please pass your testicles, there's a good lad") acquaintance with a bona fide sorcerer in his youth, so it's not entirely out of the realm of possibility.

    The defining Wham Line of The Winds of Winter:
    "Shouldn't the sun be up by now?"

    Khal Drogo shall ride again.
    The sun has risen in the west and set in the east. The mountains have crumbled. The sea has dried up. Khal Drogo will return to the world under the open sky, with the infant Rhaego in his arms. He will be surrounded by four stallions. The first will have a white coat, and a Dothraki bow will be strapped to it's side. The second will have a fiery red coat, and will carry an arakh strapped to its saddle. The third will be pitch black and carry a whip. The fourth will be deathly pale, but strong as the others. Mounted atop the pale horse and with the other three in tow, Drogo will rebuild his khalasar, who will ride behind him as he tracks down the moon of his life.
    • Likelihood aside, I will officially pray for this until the last page of A Dream Of Spring.
    • Variant: after the Long Night, the sun will rise in the west. Also during this time, the other elements of the prophecy will have come true in some way (maybe on a lesser scale, maybe metaphorically). Then Khal Drogo will rise again and rejoin his khaleesi.
      • This is quoted from a post higher up on the page, under the WMG about Dany having the grey mare; the sun did rise in the west and set in the east (Quentyn dying in Meereen), the mountains did crumble (the dragons burning the pyramids of Meereen), and the seas did dry up (the Dothraki sea is undergoing a drought). So we have the metaphoric fulfillment of all the prophecies except Dany popping out another kid. So there you go.

    The arrival of Winter heralds a great change
    • It happened just before Jon's stabbing, just like the Red Comet appeared just after Dany's eggs hatched. A herald of Ice, a herald of Fire, they sing a song...

    Dany will re-create Valyrian steel with her dragons
    Given that it's also referred to as Dragonsteel and the Valyrians were known for having a lot of dragons, it seems pretty obvious to me that the Lost Technology involved in making the stuff consisted of a blacksmith smelting with the aid of dragons. Since there are currently dragons again, it shouldn't be too hard to make a lot of the stuff, which will come in handy since it reputedly can kill wights and Others. It will also be kind of funny since Valyrian steel is known for being priceless, if now any Tom, Dick, or Harry can get a Valyrian steel sword.

    The other source of Valyrian steel swords
    The Iron throne is made of the swords of Aegon the Conqueror's fallen foes. I bet were probably made of Valyrian steel, ergo, the Iron throne will be melted down so the swords can be reforged. Ultimately, Westeros will become a republic and someone (Davos? Jon? Littlefinger?) will be president.
    • Semms unlikely, given how valuable Valyrian steel is. I'd be more inclined to think Aegon took whatever Valyrian steel was there and used/reforged those weapons before making the Iron Throne.

    The source of the letter at the end of A Dance with Dragons
    In the last few chapters of Stannis' storyline in A Dance with Dragons, he spent a LOT of time staring into fire. By doing so, he was granted visions by R'hllor, and he was the one who figured out that Jon had sent Mance Rayder and the girls into Winterfell to rescue "Arya".
    • The contents of the letter are consistent with other R'hlloric visions: correct, but not really all that correct.
    • What Stannis wished to accomplish with the letter is unknown - it may have been a Hail Mary to give Jon enough encouragement to send reinforcement from the wall, or he may have intentionally led him into a trap.
      • I don't think Stannis relates to other people well enough to pull off a convincing imitation of Ramsay's probable writing style (nor is he evil enough to make up those kind of things/lead Jon into a trap).
      • This would be a sure way to make Jon forsake his vows as a member of the Night's Watch, and accept the offer to become the new Warden of the North, exactly as Stannis wants, so I think we can get a good idea of what he'd want to accomplish.

    Every POV introduced in AFFC/ADWD will play a major role in TWOW & ADOS.
    When you think about it, they are all well-placed to observe new storylines, particularly as GRRM has said that there will be no more new POV characters. An early example is Asha Greyjoy, who ended up as our POV in Stannis' army in ADWD. So, theories ahoy!
    • Brienne: the Brotherhood Without Banners.
    • Aeron Damphair: what's happening with Euron back in the Iron Islands. He may overthrow Euron ("No godless man may sit the Seastone Chair!").
    • Jon Connington: what's happening with Aegon Targaryen in Storm's End. He'll actually share this one with Arienne Martell - he'll cover the military events, she'll cover the intrigue.
    • Melisandre: she'll cover the Wall while Jon does whatever he does (which may include being dead).

    Jaime will return to the Westerlands.
    He may formally resign from the Kingsguard, but he will become the de facto (if not de jure) Lord of Casterly Rock and the leader of the Lannister faction. As a sidenote, we will finally get to visit Casterly Rock.
    • This may result in the Lannisters doing something of a Heel–Face Turn.
      • Or leaving the series entirely. Right now, perhaps the best thing the Lannisters could do to boost their own power would be to withdraw into the Westerlands, leave the Iron Throne to whoever wants it, and use their enormous economic power to erect defenses. They can let the surviving claimants fight it out and then use their gold to buy a prominent place in the next kingdom. Also, given that they are based on England, it would be in keeping with "Splendid Isolation."
    • Approved, if only because leaving the Kingsguard would free him up to get married. You know. If you were the kind of person who was hoping to see him get married. To someone. In the future. And maybe have a whole bunch of absolutely terrifying children. With stunning blue eyes.

    Benjen isn't Coldhands.
    Benjen is somewhere with the children of the forest, being kept apart from Bran either for a reason or because the children haven't realized their relationship, and we'll see him in Winds or even Dream. What evidence do I have? Well, I'm re-reading Game of Thrones and when Bran first heards Benjen is missing, he says "the children of the forest will help him!" because Old Nan was just telling him a story about that. Maybe a throwaway line, but knowing what I know now about the children, it just pings me a little.
    • Could be that the children of the forest are the ones that prevented him from becoming just another mindless wight. After all, it wouldn't be very GRRM-like to have one of the characters be saved from certain doom by magical forest elves without any drawback whatsoever.
      • No, it wouldn't, which makes me suspect it of him even more. Let's face it, he loves fucking with us and he loves being unpredictable. I think it would be just like him to randomly throw in an unreasonable bright spot (maybe just before he's killed for real or learning of it sometime after he's killed).

    Boros Blount is being poisoned, or is diabetic.
    It is common knowledge that Cersei hates Boros Blount, and even Jaime gets less crap about killing a king than Blount does for surrendering a prince. After Jaime makes him into Tommen's food taster, he becomes increasingly sickly looking. I believe he isn't just sick with shame. If Tommen's food was poisoned, then it would have been noticeable. It is likely that Tommen's diet is rich in foods that Boros is allergic to, or otherwise incapable of eating. Tommen likes sweets, so I think some sort of Westerosi diabetes is at play. Who is poisoning him, I don't know. It couldn't be Cersei, because she was planning on having him killed when he championed Margery Tyrell. Considering that Varys is going around killing people in order to troll Cersei, it could be him.

    Mance Rayder will be the 999th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch.
    If the wildling faction wins the War on the Wall, he'd be a splendid choice, perhaps enacting some choice reforms.

    Aegon is real. The Mummer's Dragon prophecy is meant to be read the other way round.
    It's not about someone claiming to be a Targaryen. It's about a Targaryen (probably unknowingly) claiming to be someone else. Going to the old Rhaegar-and-Lyanna's-son well again, it could be Jon. I know it's a stretch, but Aegon would be kinda obvious, and there is no other Targaryen pretender in sight. So maybe it actually means the opposite.
    • It may also mean a real Targaryen being used as a puppet by someone else, and Aegon does sound like a puppet to whatever Varys and Illyrio are planning.
    • Or Varys is the mummer (often compared to one and IIRC used to be one) and Aegon is his pawn, hence "mummer's dragon". There's also Moqorro's reference to "dragons real and false"
    • or Quentyn is the mummer's dragon and Aegon is the sun's son (his Mother was dorans sister
    In the world of A Song of Ice and Fire, two monozygotic twins can have different genders.
    Of course, I have no idea how this is even supposed to work, but it would explain the often described physical similarities between Jaime and Cersei.
    • I think it can be chalked up to their parents being first cousins. If Tyrion hadn't been deformed, it's possible he would look freakishly like Jaime and they would all look like triplets (except Tyrion having a little less lines in the face/scars/whatever). As it is, the extenuating circumstances make it hard to track whether they're just a family with strong resemblance.
    • In real life there is a rare form of twins called polar twins. They resemble each other nearly as much as identical twins but can be of different genders. Looks like Jaime and Cersei are polar twins.

    Danearys herself will be one of the betrayers
    The prophecy said, "Three betrayals shall you know, not "You will be betrayed three times" My original thought was that Daenerys would "betray" Mereen by abandoning it to go to Westros, "for blood", but the "for blood" betrayal would seem to be what Mirri Maz Duur did, so maybe she will betray someone (Probably Hizdahr0 so she can be with Daario - "for love".
    • I agree. I think the three "for love" parts of that prophecy will refer to the same thing. She'll betray a lover, the first since Drogo she's genuinely loved, by killing him, like Azor Ahai killed Nissa Nissa, in order to activate whatever her equivalent of Lightbringer is (thus "lighting a fire").
    • I was thinking the same thing. We also have the betrayal for 'Gold' with Viserys' golden crown...

    Balerion (the cat) will be somehow significant
    Okay, this is probably a stretch simply because this is such a minor, blink-and-you'll-miss-it easter egg, but here goes. You know that tomcat with the torn ear that Arya chases around in AGOT? And the one that Tommen whines in AFFC has been bullying his kittens, presumably the same creature? The big, angry, black tomcat? And remember when someone mentioned offhand that little Princess Rhaenys (Rhaegar's daughter, the yes-she's-definitely-dead one) had a little black kitten she adored, called Balerion? Go on, tell me it wouldn't be fantastic if that cat did something amazing. Why else is it still floating around the Red Keep?
    • Warging with someone, perhaps? Arya has demonstrated the ability to warg with cats, after all.
    • Judging by Varamyr Sixskins, skinchangers permanently meld with their companions when they die. Supposing little Balerion has the, er, "soul" or whatever of Rhaenys in him? Potential for anything interesting there?

    Dolorous Edd will have a Let's Get Dangerous! Big Damn Heroes moment.
    Because it would be so very like Martin to have the comic relief character turn out to be a complete badass. Of course, considering the bleakness of the setting, it's likely he'd pull a Forel and die.

    Jon Snow is dead, but Melisandre will raise him like Beric Dondarrion was.
    Although Martin is a real bastard when it comes to killing off characters we love (looking at you, Ned) there's something just not right with Jon's death. It looks like he's been given too much importance to the story to die like that. And, if Thoros of Myr, a second-rate priest by his own admission was able to raise Beric from the dead, what might Melisandre be capable of? Not to mention that it would give her a handle on Jon, and bind him to her.
    • The first time Thoros raised Beric was an accident - he gave him the Lord's Kiss, a standard R'hllorian funeral rite, and was amazed that he cam back to life. I'm thinking that's what's going to happen here (and finally convince Mel that he's AA into the bargain).
      • Isn't the "Lord's Kiss" what Ygritte calls cunnilingus?
        • ...R'hllorian funerals sound weird.
    • The dude had his throat slit and was stabbed once in the stomach and twice in the back. Of course he's going to live. If he was going to die, we wouldn't have seen his blatantly lethal assault on-screen, and instead would only have gotten third-hand reports about it (Tywin Lannister notwithstanding).

    Sansa will be rescued by the Mountain Clans
    Remember she is in the Vale with Little Finger and she is of-course Tyrion's wife, so it is entirely possible that her secret could be revealed to a member of one of the Mountain Clans who are still loyal to Tyrion and they could help rescue her.

    Jaime Lannister is bisexual or mostly gay
    He likes guys and has very, very, very, very far repressed it, because it may be rather dangerous in Westeros (as in any medieval counterpart society). His relationship with Cersei is so twisted that she's become the "safer" option in his mind, which is why he's never been tempted to stray from her — he was only looking at women and it never even occurred to him to look at men. This is also why he's mildly upset when he's attracted to Brienne — either attraction to any woman is slightly odd (and he's just used to it with Cersei), or Brienne being rather more masculine than the standard brushes perilously close to realizing he's not straight. Now that his relationship with Cersei seems to be over, we'll see if this emerges any.

    To clarify: I talk about both him knowing things and them never occurring to him. In psychology this is totally possible — some part of your psyche will know it if you like the same sex, but that doesn't necessarily mean your conscious mind has figured it out.

    • The fact that he's never shown the slightest sexual or romantic interest in a man shows just how far he's repressed this...
      • It may be as much repression as "is that even an option?" I have friends who got to middle school without even realizing same-sex attraction was a thing, and there are even gay people who don't realize it until late in life because it's always framed as something that happens to other people. Admittedly, there's less evidence for it than evidence against the reverse.
        • I'm pretty sure he knows what homosexuality is, considering how he specifically mentions it when taunting Loras in So S:
      Jaime:Now sheathe your bloody sword, or I’ll take it from you and shove it up some place even Renly never found.
    • I think this theory actually works pretty well. His relationship with Cersei is as much founded in narcissism as conventional gendered sexuality.
    • But he is attracted to a woman, too - the girl who keeps telling him how she fantasises about him. He mentions it was hard to send her away. Doesn't really invalidate the whole theory, but at least shows Cersei isn't his only (female) interest.

    Syrio Forel was a Faceless Man and is still at King's Landing...
    ...masquerading as Ser Meryn Trant, who he killed after Arya fled. With his wooden sword.

    Syrio Forel is still at King's Landing but is not a Faceless Man
    ...but is being held in the fourth dungeon level of the Red Keep, the one used "only for torment." He will teach Jaime Lannister to fight with his left hand and then the two of them will go an a quest to retrieve Arya Stark from Braavos, so that Jaime can fulfill his promise to Lady Catelyn to protect her daughters.

    All the events so far are part of an undescribably complex plan set up by...
    Benjen Stark. He manipulated Littlefinger, Varys, Melisandre, everyone to set the events of the books in motion. Then he went into hiding beyond the Wall. When the various conflicts (War of the Five Kings, Targaryen invasion, the Others) come to an end, he will emerge from the forest and declare himself Overlord of Everything to Ever Exist Ever. Trufax.

    Future Plans of the Brotherhood Without Banners
    They will conduct a daring jail break and free Edmure and take back Riverrun. Also, they will "gatecrash" the wedding of Daven Lannister and the Frey girl he's marrying (Tom O'Sevens will naturally be undercover as a musician) and will murder them along with their guests. This will both be an awesome moment as well as a demonstration of how much they and Catelyn have become He Who Fights Monsters. Demonstrating this, a pregnant Roslin Frey will also be killed. Edmure will survive the series but as a bitter man and will hunt down and execute the members of the Brotherhood.
    • By "daring jail break", you mean "besiege Casterly Rock"? And then turn around and capture Riverrun? You realise that would be... tricky, right?
      • Forgot Edmure was being taken to Casterly Rock and was writing this with the mindset he was still imprisoned at Riverrun. Attacking the Rock doesn't seem feasible- maybe they'll intercept Lannister troops on the road between Riverrun and there? In any case, I definitely think that wedding massacre is gonna happen.
    • After the death of Ryman Frey, Jaime wisely increases the guard on Edmure. It could be that the Brotherhood will simply have to abandon their plans and figure something else out.
      • I think the Brotherhood is preparing a major attack on the Freys, possibly with the help of the Blackfish. I suggested below it would be at the Twins, with the Crannogmen, but at Riverrun when Daven Lannister is marrying a Frey also makes sense. Also, I read online the song that could be played was "Wolf in the Night". I think Roslin will be at the Twins until her child is born.

    Quaithe is a ghost
    She can appear and vanish without explanation, can be seen only by certain people, and she comes from 'the shadow lands.' Dany bringing magic back into the world made her stronger, and self-interest is why she watching out for her with advice and warnings.Also for the sheer hell of it, I'm going to throw in that Quaithe is specifically the ghost of Joanna Lannister. Because that would be fun.
    • Or she could be the ghost of Dany's mother, Queen Rhaella.

    Jaime Lannister will not survive the series
    He has grown into one of the audience's favourite characters since his Heel–Face Turn. It is very dangerous to be an audience's favourite character in Westeros. Also, look how many people are gunning for him:
    • Dany knows him as the man who murdered her father and opened the way for Tywin's men to rape her mother and kill her brother.
    • The Martells feel the same way.
    • The Northern lords, Riverland lords and Jon Snow see him as a Lannister, one of the family that ransacked the North, orchestrated the Red Wedding and put Ned Stark to death.
    • If he remembers, Bran will know him as the man who pushed him from a window and crippled him.
    • Arya Stark is hardly going to be best buds with him if they ever meet.
    • Tyrion has decidedly mixed feelings towards him after the Tysha episode.
    • Perhaps the greatest immediate threat to him: Undead-Catelyn Stark is gunning for him, has probably sent Brienne to trap him and intends to put him to death.
    • Stannis sees him as guilty of treason, a crime punishable by death, and Stannis is not one to ignore the law.
      • I agree. I cannot picture any scenario where he survives the end of the series. Literally every one of the major contenders for the throne wants him dead.
    • Jaime Lannister dies defending Jon Targaryen. Because it would be poetic for the kingslayer to end up dying in defense of another king.
    • Or, alternatively and because this is GRRM, he ultimately lives because everyone else (or at least the large majority of those with an axe to grind) ends destroying each other or themselves first. That, or those who are left decide he's of better use alive than dead for any variety of reasons, even if its just throwing him in a dungeon to rot or forcing him to help fight the Others when the time comes. In neither would he be considered a Karma Houdini, in that he wouldn't necessarily enjoy living out his life carrying the guilt of his actions.

    Dany really can't have kids
    Mirri Maz Duur wasn't making a prophecy, she was giving the educated guess of an experienced midwife who saw firsthand the damage Rhaego's birth did to Dany. Exact wording is usually pretty important in the books, and Mirri's exact words were that Daenerys would never bear a living child. Being able to concieve and being able to carry the pregnancy to term are two different things- look at Lysa's track record.

    Jon's Sword will become the new Lightbringer
    In order to create the original Lightbringer, it had to be quenched in the body of its maker's wife. Jon used his sword to kill Ygritte, who was his wife by Wildling law.
    • Ygritte was killed by an arrow (and specifically not one of Jon's), and died in Jon's arms from her wounds.

    Daenerys will march on Harrenhal with the dragons. Or even just one or two of the dragons.
    Like Aegon the Conqueror.

    Varys caused Robert's rebellion

    • Rhaegar was not someone who kidnaps and rapes women.
    • Lyanna was not someone who can be kidnapped and raped with the rapist's protruding parts intact.
    • Lyanna knew that Brandon was overly protective so she left him a note before eloping with Rhaegar or sent him a raven afterwards. Said message has, however, disappeared. It reeks of powder and perfume.

    Why would he wanted to do that? Varys is loyal to the kingdom. Aerys was bad for the kingdom. So Aerys had to be removed. It was a Xanatos Gambit: if Rhaegar won, he would have "made some changes" - presumably dethroning his insane father. If the rebellion won the new king can't be much worse. Even if the new king or the king after him is bad, he saved Aegon so he could return and rule as someone groomed to be a good king.

    More Targaryen (or Blackfyre) claimants are due to show up
    Moqorro makes a prophecy of "Dragons old and young, true and false, bright and dark."
    • "Old and young" is tricky. Aegon and Dany are too close in age to fit, which signifies there must be more "dragons" than these two involved in the dance. Bloodraven is ancient, but appears to be dying. Aemon is dead. The trueborn Targaryens old enough to be "old" all seem to be accounted for, which suggests that there is a lost relative somewhere waiting to pop up. That, or a literal dragon...
      • Aegon is older than Dany, but in terms of experience pretty much a sweet summer baby compared to her. Old and young could refer to the vast gulf in life (or at least ruling) experience they have, which is a lot wider than the year or two of age.
      • As for the "old" dragon, the Elder Brother on the Quiet Isle could be Rhaegar.
      • Or it refers to Maester Aemon, who refused the kingship but was a Targaryen nonetheless.
    • "True and false" may be a reference to illegitimacy - the Great Bastards were legitimised (if that makes any difference to one being a "false dragon"), but Jon Snow is of course a bastard. Alternatively it might refer to a fake Targaryen (a "mummer's dragon") which may be Aegon.
      • Aegon is Varys' piece in the game of thrones - Varys was once a mummer. Of course, your possibility is possible as well.
    • "Bright and dark"; Qaithe also warns against a "dark flame" which may be a reference to a Blackfyre. Most of them are long dead, but Haegon was taken to Tyrosh by Bittersteel, so it seems likely he was at some point a member of the Golden Company. "Griff"/"Aegon" might really be a descendant of his, or else one may be concealed among the company. Alternatively, Jon Snow or Bloodraven might be "dark" due to their association with the Night's Watch.
      • There may well be Blackfyres from the female line out there — Targaryens (and, by extension, Blackfyres) do allow females to inherit should all male claimants wind up dead, as may well have happened with the Blackfyres. However, Bittersteel's line (if intact) of legitimised Targaryen bastards will have Blackfyre claims on top of his own care of his wife, Calla Blackfyre. All it would take would be some sisters and/or aunts to band together around the agreed-upon female inheritor and insist on keeping the line pure after using a son from a random father (or from a bastard son or grandson of a male Blackfyre or even Targaryen: both options are possible) for one generation to maintain the line in secret from then on. After all, the line is considered dead and of no more threat — a useful label to have if you want to spring a surprise comeback. (There is the Black Pearl of Braavos, for instance, to consider, too with claims going back to Aegon the Unoworthy — not to mention Egg's own brothers possible descendants)... Our current Aegon himself could be such a surprising, stealthy comeback, as he may have been born at about about the right time with the right colouration to be passed off as a Targaryen-true by sheer, dumb luck: why take with full force what you might trick yourselves back into having? He may not be alone, either, even though he may think he is, if he even knows.
    • Varys and Illyrio may tie into all this: by conning the Targaryens into accepting a reunification with the Blackfyres, all unknowing at first (if Ageon is, indeed, a Blackfyre), using the Usurpation and Reclamation of the throne as a means to end to the mess where armies alone outright failed. If this is the case, open reunification may be required, as there aren't that many remaining Targaryens for "official" ones to marry, after all (and, if Dany is, indeed, barren, that's a major problem). Step forward the Cadet House to more openly supply the required Valarian blood to fill the breach or shore up the out-crossing that's been going on. This might be deemed more important than past quarrels, what with both the dragons and Others in play. Game, set, match: House Blackfyre. Who knows what prophecies and dreams Blackfyre could have to match Targaryen?

    Tyrion will be the Starks' greatest threat
    He never bore them any ill will at the start, but of all the Lannisters Tyrion's the only one the direwolves treated as a danger. The Starks were less than kind to him, and he's rather bitter over everything with Sansa. Should he encounter any of the remaining Stark kids again, it'll end with them getting messed up good and proper.
    • IDK. He's certainly mad at Sansa, but I don't think he'd go so far as to actually hurt her. (He doesn't throw all of the blame on her at his trial, remember, even though from his point of view doing so would just have been being honest). The same goes for Arya, Bran, and Rickon. Basically, Tyrion, for all his flaws, is perhaps the only Lannister offspring who seems aware that he's a grown-ass man, and he's been really reluctant to do anything bad to children in the past. (If he wouldn't hurt *Joffrey* when offered the chance, how could he hurt Bran or Rickon?) Robb's dead, so that just leaves Jon Snow, who Tyrion is actually friends with (and whose direwolf actually likes him). He might be willing to go after Catelyn, but what could he possibly do to her that's worse than what's already happened? I think the direwolves are good at sensing how much a threat a person *can* be, but I doubt they actually know what a person's intentions are. So, basically, YMMV.

    Jaime Lannister will kill one or all three of Dany's dragons
    We know that Dragons can be fought and beaten if you know what to do - the Dornish managed to beat Aegon the Conqueror, and then they beat the Young Dragon as well. Similarly, we know that dragons can be killed - Harghaz nearly managed to kill Drogon in ADWD, and Dany clearly feared for his safety. At the moment, Dany is about to be captured by Khal Jhaqo. Perhaps she will be pushed over the edge by the nasty treatment she can look forward to at Jhaqo's hands, or he will use her to enslave the dragons. Also, since his Heel–Face Turn, Jaime is actually trying to become more like a chivalrous knight - saving Brienne, rescuing Tyrion (and telling him the truth), beating himself up over having to threaten Edmure, showing his respect for Lord Blackwood over Lord Bracken. And what do knights do? Kill dragons.
    • Alternatively, Drogon will prove to be untameable and require killing.

    Robb is alive as Grey Wind.
    Unlike Catelyn, who was unceremoniously dumped in a river, we know the location of Robb's body after his death, so there's little chance some convenient priest could come along and resurrect him. Indeed, we thought we knew the location of Grey Wind's corpse as well, but recent events seem to give the wolf an out, released into the woods in the confusion, though shot with crossbows. If he still is alive, then it is possible that, at the moment of death, Robb's spirit hitched a ride on the wolf. With his body dead, however, poor Robb is now stuck in Grey Wind, much like how the wildling shapechanger ended up stuck in a bird when Jon killed his human body.

    This theory is basically part interesting use of what we already "know" (as much as ever really know anything recently in this story) and the fact that, for main characters in an "Any One Can Die" series, the Starks do very little actual dying after Ned ( very little staying dead). In a sense, among all the other deconstructions and parodies, Any One Can Die is being toyed with, as the series begins with a shattering of comfort on who may live and who may die, but then doesn't really follow through with any of the main POV characters. And why let a character have the peace of death when you can make them suffer some more?

    • According to Tyrion the Freys killed Grey Wind as well and sewed his head onto Robb's corpse. Not much room for revival with that kind of cranial damage.
      • Though if above theories about Rob getting a Catlyn-style zombification pan out, a wolf-headed zombie warg would be pretty badass.
    • Tyrion wasn't there, though. That was a story someone brought back to him - you know, like the story that the Stark troops transformed into wolves when they defeated Stefford Lannister and then ate all of the corpses afterwards. Not entirely ironclad.
      • It gains credence from one of the images Daenerys sees in the House of the Undying: a wolf-headed king headed on a throne, surrounded by corpses, with an iron crown on his head.
      • Yes, that's certainly true, but there's enough wiggle room there that it's still possible to root for it. The vision about the lady and the five dwarves (to pick one at random) was true, but it wasn't literal. Sometimes, they're not literal. And I want my irrational hope, dammit!
        • More damningly, there's the fact that the Brotherhood without Banners brings this up to Merrett Frey who does not deny it.
    • Assuming that the whole "sewing Grey Wind's head on Robb's body" thing wasn't true, then most likely, Robb!Grey Wind was rescued by Nymeria's Wolfpack. Which means that said wolfpack now includes one of the best tacticians in Westeros.
    • Doesn't Summer!Bran say something about his brother going silent? And he can still sense Nymeria.

    Dany's about to become the Mad Queen.
    We know she has a capacity for very severe vengeance (see Mirri Maaz Duur, the Good Masters, the Great Masters...) and a quick temper. It only seems to have gotten worse as time goes on (compare burning one woman at the stake with crucifying 163 slavers and leaving them up for days). On top of that, she just survived weeks isolated and alone with only a dragon for company. Perhaps her dark side will only continue to grow, and Tyrion, Jorah, Barristan, or someone else will have to become a queenslayer. In any case I think (assuming she survives her Bolivian Army Ending) Dany's dark side is going to become more prominent.
    • I expect the madness/genius coin-flip described by Barristan will be left up in the air for a long long time. Although there's no reason given that a single Targaryen couldn't both great and insane at the same time, or at least alternately. At any rate, plenty of perfectly sane monarchs have had a vengeful dark streak a mile wide, both in the real world and in Westeros. And ruthlessness is a pretty useful trait in someone whose goal is to conquer a continent.
    • I like this idea. Imagine this: Dany decide to retake Westeros even if she has to burn it to the ground and attacks with her dragons. Selmy finds himself facing the same dillema Jaime had, but he decides to follow his oath. Dany's conquest leads to deaths of many inocent people, and in the end, Stark children will warg into her dragons and force them to kill each other. Selmy will live the rest of his life in guilt for the lives lost.

    "The Shadow" is a volcano that puts Valyria to shame
    Old Valyria seems to have been a volcanic region devastated by an enormous eruption, and is also strongly tied to dragons. It doesn't take a great leap of imagination to assume a connection, especially considering "dragonglass", whose real-world counterpart obsidian is a volcanic material. The other place associated with dragons is Asshai "by-the-Shadow", near a mysterious area called the Shadow Lands, which are said to be "under the shadow". So what if they're either metaphorically "in the shadow" of a great mountain, or literally shadowed by plumes of smoke belching from it? What if beyond Asshai the atmosphere becomes so caustic and poisonous (or even dragon-infested) that it's generally considered uninhabitable, a sort of naturally-occurring uber-Mordor?
    • Kinda confirmed by the World of Ice and Fire. The Shadow is a volcanic valley with very steep slopes, which is only illuminated by the sun at noon. It really is permeated with caustic vapors and covered with ash, and indeed is dragon-infested. It is also indeed uninhabitable; even the city of Asshai isn't a vacation spot, and only barely sustains its population because all kinds of sorcerers and cultists flock to the place (and possibly some of them are undead and immortal).

    will get enough assassin training to be a badass Master of Disguise killing machine, but drop out before making a final commitmentAs interesting as they are, a Faceless Man as a viewpoint character, let alone as a protagonist character, wouldn't work. They're meant to have no identity, no desires of their own, no ties to the outside world — none of the things that make a hero, basically. Arya's hidden sword and her wild direwolf both symbolise aspects of her character that she wouldn't allow to be subsumed by the House of Black and White. Either something in Braavos will remind her of home, or she will rail against a final stage of induction to the Faceless Men and flee — or be expelled — from them. Like Bruce Wayne and Luke Skywalker, she will join the ranks of the Dropout Hero. Some kind of rediscovery of Nymeria being the catalyst would be excellent, as she symbolises all the aspects of Arya that go against the FM's ethos, although it's hard to see how that would happen except as a particularly vivid wolf-dream.
    • Given that Dunsen is on his way to Braavos with Harys Swyft to negotiate with the Iron Bank, I'm guessing the bank will take a contract out on Swyft. Arya will be given it, will see Dunsen on the mission and not be able to stop herself killing him, and her killing another person she knows for personal reasons will get her expelled.
      • Spoilers for TWOW. She kills Raff the Sweetling, although whether or not this is a mission is unknown at the moment, and she's clearly unable to forget her own name and past, as she expertly recalls many things about Westeros.

    The next book will focus on the fight with the Others more than the Game of Thrones. Because of this, Dany will win.
    Stannis and the Greyjoys will make their way back to the Wall and Melisandre will recruit the worshipers of Rh'llor to come and fight. Jon Snow will use all the pull he's ever got to recruit Wildlings and Starks to come and fight. The Lannisters family would have been so weakened by the events of the last book and Ser Kevan's death that they will have only the most superficial power and Littlefinger will be too busy with Sansa to do any of his usual manipulations. Everyone who still has power will have been summoned to the Wall to deal with the zombie apocalypse and everyone else with any power will be too stuck up in their problems, so Varys and the Martells bring Dany and her dragons into the city and she'll take over before anyone else really notices. She convinces Tommen and the Tyrells to swear allegiance to her and she'll take the throne without a fight.

    Whoever wins the Iron Throne will be a Tyrell.
    Or, failing that, the person who does take the Iron Throne - consensus seems to be that Jon or Dany are the most likely at the end - will marry a Tyrell. Why? Well, Stark = York and Lannister = Lancaster, and this troper thinks that Tyrell = Tudor. The Tyrells' rose sigil looks very much like the Tudor rose in design, and one of the actual Tudor colors was green (the other being white; red and white is a common misconception because of the rose; the red and white symbolized the joining of White Rose York and Red Rose Lancaster). The Tyrells' colors are green and gold. The head of the Tyrell family is also Lord of the Marches - the Tudors were Welsh, Welsh Marches, anyone? Lastly, Margaery Tyrell's story has quite a few parallels to Anne Boleyn's, and Anne Boleyn's rise and fall is one of the better-known events in the Tudor era. Which also makes the fact that Natalie Dormer plays Margaery, and was also Anne Boleyn on The Tudors, a nice Casting Gag.
    • Going with the Margaery/Anne Boleyn parallel, and the fact that if Jon is a Targaryen he binds two royal houses together in his blood (which Henry VII did not do; he married the York heiress but it was his sons who carried both York and Lancaster blood) it's possible that Jon will marry Margaery.
    • Henry Tudor was technically a Lancastrian, though; his mother, Margaret Beaufort, was the great-granddaughter of John of Gaunt. The seeds of the War of the Roses were first planted when John's son, Henry Bolingbroke, overthrew his cousin, Richard II, and became Henry IV. The Lancasters were eventually deposed, though, because Henry VI was crazy and his wife, Margaret of Anjou, could have given Lady Macbeth lessons in ruthlessness. I don't know if GRRM knows it, but when Henry Tudor went to war with Richard III, Henry fought under the banner of the dragon (the symbol of Wales) and Richard under the banner of the white boar.
    • OP here. Yes, I know that Henry Tudor was technically a Lancastrian through his mother, but Margaret Beaufort was of a secondary line, the descendent of John of Gaunt's legitimized bastards. So he wasn't a member of the primary line, he was the only living claimant the Lancasters had left. Besides, it wouldn't be an entirely direct parallel - Cersei reads like an evil caricature of Elizabeth Woodville in some ways, and Robert like an extreme caricature of Edward IV in his later years. It's why I'm very concerned that Tommen will suffer a Prince in the Tower sort of fate.
      • Oh, Robert is so strikingly like Edward IV it had to have been deliberate. Both were both very tall, muscular and handsome as young men; excellent military commanders, and didn't get along well with their brothers. They both got fat as they aged and were succeeded by twelve-year-olds. Cersei also has a bit of Margaret of Anjou and Lucrezia Borgia in her. Nevertheless, despite that York and Lancaster sound similar to Stark and Lannister, the Yorkists and Lancastrians have more direct textual parallels in the Baratheons and the Targaryens with the Blackfyres being legitimized bastards. If Martin plans to end the series like the War of the Roses did, then the logical end would be for a surviving Blackfyre male to marry a Baratheon female. But I don't think it's going to be that exact.
        • Tommen suffering a murderous fate is almost written in stone.
    • Not to mention the TV parallels Margaery Tyrell is played by Natalie Dormer who also played Anne Boleyn.
    • Would that make Stannis Baratheon the Richard the Third of Westeros?

    A dragonrider ideally needs to be half-Targaryen
    • The three heads of the dragon will all be half-Targaryen, thus having both "Blood of the Dragon" plus a sort of hybrid vigour that preserves them from the Taint, a side effect of inbreeding. (This controversially rules Dany out but Griff in, along with Jon Snow and Targ!Tyrion). The Targaryens initially lost their hold over dragons because they got too obsessed with blood-purity; the reason there need to be three per generation is so that two of them can maintain the purity of the Blood of the Dragon and the other can marry out in order to birth the next generation of dragonriders. This is also why the most successful dragonriders in history were Aegon I and his sisters, who were the first to institute the inbreeding tradition.
      • Actually, according to the World of Ice and Fire, earlier generations of Targaeryens practiced inbreeding, so that's Jossed.

    Aegon Will Win the Iron Throne and Marry Arianne Martell
    • Aegon has Varys behind him and a very divided realm ahead of him so that's very in his favour
      • Littlefinger might even be on their side in a way
    • The Martells have been planning to get behind the Targaryens forever and their support will clearly be crucial in order for him to have any chance at winning.
    • Since Viserys is dead then it makes sense for Arianne to marry Aegon for them
      • Also GRRM has said that in Winds of Winter, they are going to meet
      • What would Aegon stand to gain by marrying Arianne? As Elia's son he's already guaranteed Dorne's support.
        • The Martell plan to restore the Targaryens always envisioned a Targaryen/Martell match. Originally they were going to wed Arianne to Viserys. Then Viserys got his crown, so they went with Oberyn/Daenerys. Now, they are angling for Arianne/Aegon. Also, Arianne has a pretty solid chance of seducing Aegon if she tried.

    Dany won't retake Meereen
    If she takes over Meereen again, she'll eventually have to choose whether to give up on Westeros, or go there and abandon her "children" as Meereen quickly backslides into the old regime. If she's exiled, much like Sansa and Tyrion it effectively dissolves her marriage to Hizdahr, allowing her to marry Victarion or some other suitor who might actually be able to help her get her eyes back on the prize.
    • Alternatively, the wild dragons will leave the city a smoking ruin and there'll be nothing left to rule over.

    The old gods, children of the forest, First Men and the Starks are less benevolent than they seem..
    In A Dance with Dragons, we learn that the ancient Starks used to sacrifice people to their weirwoods via Bran's vision of the white-haired woman cutting a captive's throat in front of a heart tree. We know that "blood magic" is a powerful and ancient form of magic GRRM's world through the examples of Melisandre and Mirri Maz Duur. Since A Game of Thrones we have been told that weirwoods have blood-colored sap and leaves and often appear to "weep blood" from their faces. The weirwood in White Harbor, which was the site of much bloody sacrifice as mentioned by Davos, is humungous and fat. Weirwoods cannot take root at the Eyrie and we know that that castle is unique in that it executes its major criminals by throwing them off the mountain as opposed to beheading (apparently the preferred execution method in the rest of the Seven Kingdoms). From this we can deduce that weirwoods thrive on the blood of human sacrifices and in fact that their "sap" is most likely, to some degree, literal blood!

    This throws the First Men and the children of the forest and the old gods into a whole new light. When we first learn of the Andals invading Westeros and driving the First Men and the children back and hacking down all the weirwoods we are sympathetic to the First Men and the children (or, at least, I was). But, if the Andals knew of the origin of the weirwoods, they could hardly be blamed for finding the First Men and children barbaric and horrifying.

    On a related note, we have the Starks. They are the only major house that is still (mostly) of the blood of the First Men. They describe their ancestors as the "Kings of Winter". They are the only major house that still worships the old gods (though they appear to be unaware of their religion's bloody origin). At one point in the story, I forget where exactly, it is noted that the Stark words are the only words of a major house that are not a boast of some kind. In contrast to things like "Growing strong", "We do not sow", "Ours is the fury", etc., the Stark words are "Winter is coming". "Winter is coming" is used as a warning throughout the books akin to something like "Knock on wood". However, what if originally, the Stark words were meant as a boast, as well? As in, look out southerners/Andals/enemies of the old gods, because when Winter gets here, we are gonna kick some serious butt. In other words, Winter coming was a good thing for the Starks of old and their gods.....

    • That's a pretty good theory actually. One problem; the Children of the Forest and the Others were enemies, and the First Men sided with the children.
    • Interesting, but it depends on your interpretation of Bran's vision, which came without any context. It could have been an execution of a criminal. That might have been the origin of the Northern custom of the local lord performing executions personally, and then going to pray before the heart tree afterward. Also, the lack of a heart tree at the Eyrie proves nothing: heart trees in the South are not weirwoods in the first place. There is no heart tree at the Eyrie because no tree can grow at that elevation.
      • Well... whether or not Bran's vision entailed an execution, a Mayan-style blood sacrifice or some kind of Extreme Bar Mitzvah doesn't really enter into it. The point is that someone's blood was being spilled at the base of a weirwood. And Abraham Stark's descendants — such as Ned — have been unwittingly feeding their tree every time they cleanse their blades in the waters of the godswood ever since. Also, no, the lack of a heart tree at the Eyrie by itself doesn't prove anything, and yes, weirwoods are not as customary in the godwoods of the southron castles. However, in Chapter 80 of Storm of Swords (Sansa's seventh of that book), a point is made that in the Eyrie they specifically tried to get a weirwood to take root and it could not. The book also notes that your explanation is of course the most likely; a tree just can't take root at that altitude... On the other hand, all this circumstantial evidence has got to add up to something at some point, and taken as a contrast to the bloated, ginormous tree at White Harbour (where bloody executions are noted to have been quite common), well...
      • Just thought of something else: the weirwood at the wildling village of Whitetree is also huge. Not only that, but it is described as having a mouth carved into it large enough to fit a sheep into and Jon Snow even finds charred human remains in there. The wildlings still worship the old gods by and large and seem to be much more in tune with their religion and history... This all but confirms that they are making blood sacrifices to the weirwoods.
        • Cremating and then interring your dead in or around a still living Weirwood carved with a face which suggests it's nicely plugged into the Greenseer network looks like it would be a really great way prevent wights happening.

    Jojen Reed was killed and his blood was used to initiate Bran as a greenseer
    Related to the above. When Jojen gets to the caves north of the Wall he seems to become more and more depressed, even in spite of the fact that he seems to get physically stronger (he had been ill). Jojen often mentions that "this is not the day I die" implying that he knows the day of his death (he does NOT say this on the day Bran consumes the weirwood paste). Meera intimates to Bran that her brother wishes to return home but will not fight his fate, though she doesn't say what that fate is; she then begins to cry. Meera admonishes Jojen for scaring Bran and Jojen's response is that "[Bran] is not the one that needs to be afraid". Martin describes the new crescent moon on the day Bran consumes the paste as "sharp as a knife"; a parallel seems to exist between this moon and the sickle used in the blood sacrifice Bran witnesses in the weirwood vision. Bran sees veins of red in the weirwood seed paste before he eats it, which he supposes is just weirwood sap. Bran nearly retches up the first bite of the paste. After his vision is over, Bran can taste blood in his mouth. Meera and Jojen are nowhere to be found after Bran eats the paste.

    Taken altogether, I believe this points to the fact that Jojen was (willingly) killed by Bloodraven and the children of the forest and his blood was used to indoctrinate Bran into greenseerhood. Perhaps Bran and the weirwood he "uses" both fed on Jojen's blood to link them together. Meera seems to have been at least vaguely aware of Jojen's fate and seemed to hope that the "three-eyed crow" (Bloodraven) would be able to alter it. Jojen may have humored her to that end in order to get her to accompany him, knowing that her huntress / fighting abilities would be needed.

    This is related to the speculation that Bran may be heading down a darker path than it initially seemed, what with his willingness to warg into Hodor against the latter's wishes.

    • Where's the rest of his blood? If they only needed enough for the bowl of weirwood paste, why would Jojen have to die?
      • Who knows how blood magic works? Maybe it needs to be the last drops of his life's blood for the magic to work. Maybe Bran needs to keep eating this stuff, and Jojen is going to keep providing it until he dies.
      • That's more-or-less confirmed by Stannis using the leeches in the brazier to try and off the pretender-kings. Melisandre warns him that doing it that way (i.e. not actually murdering the person whose blood is used in the spells, in that case Edric Storm) will "work and not work". Bloodraven (and likely Jojen himself) weren't about to induct Bran into super-warg-hood in such a half-assed kind of way.

    Alysane Mormont had sex with Tormund Giantsbane
    On a brief adventure beyond the wall, Tormund meant he had sex with a Mormont when he said "bear". Alysane said her children were fathered by a bear because she genuinely mistook Tormund for one.

    The dragon Rhaegal is female.
    That's the reason why (s)he is not named Rhaegon in accordance with Drogon and Viseryon.
    • Dragons don't have set genders, according to Maester Aemon. But chances are Rhaegel was given a feminine name in honour of the women of the Targareyn dynasty. There were several queens with the 'Rhae' prefix in their name.
    • Or Rhaegon is the name of an actual person. Or it sounded too close to Rhaegar or the names would all sound weird together. And "Rhae" isn't exclusively feminine unless Rhaegar had a really weird secret. Dragons are neuter or hermaphrodites.

    At the end of the series, the Stark in Winterfell will be... Jeyne Poole, pretending to be Arya.
    What could be more appropriate, in a series that places so much emphasis on mutable identities and the utter silliness of the medieval obsession with noble heritage, than ending up with the Stark lineage carried on by someone who we, the readers, know isn't a Stark at all? (Warning: this is going to be a long one.)In one of the preview chapters of Winds, we see that Jeyne has continued to lay claim to her 'Arya' identity even when released from the Boltons' captivity. The other candidates for the job, while by no means ruled out at this stage, all have a plausible reason why they might not lay claim to Winterfell. Arya herself is in the process of abandoning her own identity; Sansa may never feel it's safe to drop the 'Alayne Stone' persona; Bran's up in the far, far north, surrounded by hostile Others, and seems unlikely to return south of the Wall even if he survives Winds and Dream; Rickon's likely to have gone half-feral after spending so long on an island of cannibals and sharing his mind with a wolf throughout his formative years; and Jon is dead, a bastard at any rate, and likely to have more important prophecy-related business than sorting out the succession in Winterfell even if he comes back.Who else could identify Jeyne as a fake? Theon, but he has no reason to- in fact, he's been the number one supporter of Jeyne keeping up the pretense of being Arya, a pattern he continues in the Winds preview chapter. Lady Stoneheart could, assuming she's still mentally capable of such, but she's down in the Riverlands and unlikely to ever meet the girl passing herself off as her daughter. Littlefinger, Varys and Tyrion could, but none would have any objection to a fake Stark assuming it figured into their plans somehow (and, seriously, does anyone believe Littlefinger in particular is going to make it to the end of Dream?) Finally, there's Roose and Ramsay, both of whom are going to be incredibly dead by the end of the series. As cruel as GRRM is to his heroes, he does have a way of making sure his villains get their just desserts, too. Perhaps it's a bit of a stretch that none of these characters would spill the beans, but thematically it'd be perfect for the series, fitting in with the recurring message that it's not who you are that counts but who you can convince other people you are, or who other people say you are. Plus, hey, the girl could use some good luck after everything she's been through.
    • More likely she'll die before meeting Jon and it will be thought Arya is dead. Then the real Arya may return.
    • Somehow this doesn't feel right. Also, Sansa will eventually drop the pretense, that is Littlefinger's plan, and I doubt she will permanently stay as Alayne.

    The series will end with three kingdoms.
    The Lannisters are doomed. Sorry Tommen, but its true. The magic is coming back, and they're the only faction that has none of it on their side. They'll probably be wiped out by the end of book six to clear the board for the serious players. Dany will invade before Stannis can move South, securing King's Landing promptly. This will leave Stannis with a serious dilemma: he can legitimately say that Joffrey and Tommen had no claim to the throne, but Dany does have a valid claim. At the same time, though, I doubt he's going to lay down his armies, and as the magic comes back, Melisandre is going to gain access to increasingly kick-ass magic, and Dany will realize that, even with her dragons, she could potentially lose...around this time the Wall will come down, forcing the Night's Watch and the Wildlings into a hopeless battle against the forces of Darkness, but Stannis and Dany, determined to protect their people, abandon their own squabbling (something no other leader in the series was prepared to do) to protect the people. After the battle is over, Dany makes a propositions: technically, the North declared itself independent, but no longer has a legitimate King (all the Starks remain in hiding, or have taken the black, or just have no desire to rule), she offers Stannis the North, and he promptly accepts. The Wildlings at this point have come to see the Nights Watch as their leaders, due to their valiance in battle, and Stannis proposes that the gift, and the lands that were once North of the wall be merged into a single, new kingdom, and that the position of Lord Commander and King Beyond the Wall be merged, and the Nights Watch take on the role of that kingdom's knights. Thus, Jon Snow becomes the first King of the Gift.
    • While you're probably right, I'm not going to be 100% sure that the Lannisters aren't involved in anything magical until we finally see Casterly Rock. Yes, Jaime's dream about something ominous and terrible lurking under it are probably just dreams or metaphors, but still worth looking into.
    • Due to Qyburn's love of Mary Shelley, the Lannister now have some magic to them. I'm sure that could in no way turn out wrong.

    Ramsay Bolton will be hunted and killed by Nymeria's wolf pack.
    Just think about it. This is very appropriate end for him. A perfect Karmic Death.

    Dany's return to westeros will be A Big Reality Ensues.
    She missed the oppurtunity to conquer, Aegon has or will gain the support and thanks to Cersei noone wants a woman.

    There'll be a diplomatic incident involving Daenerys and "The bear and the maiden fair"
    Everybody in Westeros seems to be constantly singing it, but Dany didn't grow up there. So when she hears the lyrics for the first time, she'll take them to be about Ser Jorah and herself - cue interesting insights into a paranoid queen.

    The Drowned God and the Storm God were the original deities of he First Men
    Ironborn religious doctrine teaches that the Drowned God led their ancestors to find the Sea Stone Chair. Implying that they had been worshiping him or a being like him proceeding their settling on the Iron Islands. Thus, it may be possible that the First Men who came from Essos did in fact worship him before they discarded him in favour of the Children of the Forest. But the First Men are said to come from Essos, and within the series the similarities between the Drowned God and R'hilor are remarked upon as uncanny. Therefore, it can be further extrapolated that the Drowned God and the Storm God are merely mutations of the R'hilor and the Great Other respectively, changed as Ironborn's culture began to emphasize sea-born raiding.
    • There are hints at all sorts of gods the First Men may have had before converting to "the old gods" of the children of the forest (the ancient story of the first Storm King says he took a daughter of "the gods" as a wife, and went to war with them, which implies numerous, anthropomorphic gods, at least some of whom have powers over the weather). Either they had multiple religions, or it was a polytheistic/henotheistic religion with a whole pantheon of gods.
    • A seafaring pantheon doesn't make all that much sense considering that the First Men had to _walk_ to get to Westeros, and that destroying their bridge is seen as the ideal way to stop them.

    Gunpowder Is Coming
    Somewhere between The Winds of Winter and The Dream of Spring one of the maesters will design stable, wildfire-based compound with explosive capabilities. At first, it'll be overlooked, but invention of firearms will be just a matter of time. Using Valyrian steel for barrels shall make them lighter and stronger than in our world, while obsidian shells in particular will prove useful against the Walkers pouring from the North. Citadel will establish a powerful presence on the Reach, incorporating the remaining Pyromancers and maybe wiping out the Hightowers For Science!. The fall of knighthood will be imminent... but Westeros, having this new power at their disposal, will survive.
    • Perhaps Sam will take part in it, further cementing his 'Slayer' title.
    • As a Moment of Awesome mixed with Tear Jerker, imagine a dragon being killed with cannon fire. Cue Daenerys' lament and the words: "Fire nowadays can kill a dragon. They have taught it".

    Melisandre really is as good as she sees herself.
    Her morally ambiguous acts are done out of desperation. Consider her situation: she knows that the Others are returning, and will destroy humanity if not stopped, but no one, or almost no one, is listening to her. She needs Westeros to be united to stand against the Others, or everyone will die, and the whole world will be shrouded in eternal cold and darkness, but the rulers of Westeros would prefer to fight for power amongst themselves instead, wasting the military forces that ought to be used to defend against the Others. The only figure in Westerosi politics over whom she has any influence is Stannis, so she needs to put Stannis firmly in power on the throne in order to get Westeros mobilized against the real threat. What are her other options? What would you do in her shoes?

    Robert did not abuse Cersei.
    He cheated on her, obviously, but other than hitting her the one time in Ned's presence, when he himself said that that "was not kingly," he did not beat her or force himself on her. Cersei made that up to justify her own actions, and to play on Ned's doubts about what Robert had become. Who knows? She might even have been lying about Robert having whispered Lyanna's name on their wedding night. After all, why should we believe anything she says? She's clearly a sadistic sociopath, and probably always was one: it is very likely that she murdered Melara Hetherspoon.
    • She mentions him beating and raping her in her POV in AFFC, and characters generally don't lie to themselves in their POV chapters/people don't lie to themselves in their thoughts. Just because Cersei is a sociopath doesn't mean Robert isn't a wife beater and rapist.
      • People lie to themselves in their thoughts all the time, especially when it comes to justifying their own bad behavior. Why should we assume that the characters are being totally honest with themselves in their own thoughts/PoV chapters? It's true that Cersei could be a sociopath and Robert could be an abuser and a rapist, but why should we just take Cersei's word on it?
      • Option A is that Robert beat and raped Cersei. Option B is that Cersei made up the beatings and rape in her own head in order to justify her actions. In support of Option A you have the fact that Robert is an alcoholic who frequently gets blackout drunk and is known to have hit Cersei in full view of his court. Assuming GRRM knows anything about this type of thing, we have to assume that this wasn't an isolated incident. Also, the setting is very much based on medieval Europe and marital rape was not even considered a crime until about the 20th century in our own world. Robert (not that he would have been in any state to rationalize it anyway going by Cersei's memories), as icky as it sounds today, was within his rights as a husband and especially as a king in expecting Cersei to perform her "wifely duties" according to his whim. In support of Option B we have the fact that Cersei is apparently at least in partial denial about what she did to Melara and the fact that it sucks to find out that the Jovial, formerly-badass king who was once Ned's best buddy turned out to be a cowardly, wife-beating rapist. I don't know about you, but to me Option A just seems a lot more likely... Also, you have to keep in mind GRRM's writing style which is to often create deeply flawed characters; heroes with dark sides and villains with redeeming qualities and sometimes just plain old people who fit somewhere in the middle. Personally, I think Robert is much more interesting and believable (if repugnant) as a character if Option A is true.

    Robert knew, at least subconsciously, that Cersei's children were not his.
    Ned recollects that Robert was often quite affectionate toward his bastard children: when they were fostered together in the Vale, Ned would go with Robert to visit one of Robert's mistresses so that Robert could play with his bastard daughter, the infant Mya Stone, long after Robert had lost erotic interest in the mother. Yet Robert seems to have had no interest in Cersei's children. He would go hunting when she was in labor, and otherwise seems to have taken little or no interest in their upbringing. Maybe he knew, on some level, that they weren't his, and that was why he had no interest in them. He just couldn't bring himself to admit it to himself.
    • Playing with children is a very different thing to attending their birth. Robert's treatment of his children is just like his rulership of the realm — he's happy to be there for the fun and games, but he's not going to change any dirty nappies. As for why he preferred his bastard children to his wife's, you may be right about him knowing subconsciously. On the other hand, he may have just seen it as them having more of him in them, whereas the kids at home reminded him more of their mother, whom he hated (or he might have suspected the former deep down, but reassured himself with the latter). And finally, bastard children and a mistress could be a kind of spare family unit with none of the resentment and responsibility of his marriage.

    The series will end with the formation of new Seven Kingdoms
    1. Dany will decide that the east is her home and won't return to Westeros. She will be The Queen in the East. However, wanting to prevent further war in Westeros, she will ask them to establish six other kingdoms. Tyrion will be the one bringing her message to Westeros.2. Stannis will admit that Dany's claim is stronger than his and agree to rule Baratheon lands.3. Bran will rebuild Winterfell and become The King in The North.4. Bronn will be the fourth king because he seems to be good at gaining more power. He will make peace with Tyrion, who will be his Hand.5. Littlefinger will be the fifth king because he can.6. The sixth king will be The King beyond the Wall.7. I'm not sure who number 7 will be, but Asha Greyjoy seems like a likely candidate.

    The series will end with a Distant Epilogue, featuring life in a modern-day King's Landing.
    1000 years after the epic tale, we'll see that almost everything built up by our protagonists was either broken down or made moot. Dragons are fully domesticated, and have been bred into fat, stupid animals akin to turkeys. Magic is used so extensively, it more or less replaces modern technology. The Others are now classified as an endangered species, and their ways are fully understood. The Old and New Gods have given way to Rh'llor, but a much more mellow and secular version of the worship we're seeing now. The Faceless Men, Nights' Watch, Brotherhood Without Banners, and other such groups have been demolished or faded away (save for the Brotherhood, which is now more or less a men's club). The wildlings have faded away (perhaps, save for small reservations?), and the great families have all lost their meaning. Winter and summer can be accurately predicted, or even controlled. Airships sail back and forth across the Wall, and the glorious Red Keep is a weathered ruin upon a hill, only kept as a small museum, in which an extremly fractured version of the story is related to bored museum-goers.
    • Why would the museum-goers be bored? The story would probably still be pretty interesting even in fractured form. Besides which, why would people who find the story boring go to the museum? Wouldn't the museum-goers self-select for those who find the story interesting?
      • To them, the story is quite literally ancient history, and most likely eclipsed by "future" events. They'd be bored for the same reasons some visitors to modern-day museums get bored.
        • Not everyone thinks ancient history is as boring as you seem to. I prefer reading of the Mongol/Roman/Persian etc. Empires to last weeks news or 20th century history. I'm confident that your average visitor to an ancient history exhibition would agree.

    • As the camera pans the parking lot on the approach we can see the license plates proclaim "REPUBLIC BICENTENNIAL" across the bottom. On the tour we see the Iron Throne gathering dust behind velvet ropes...

    Stannis will gain the throne without further fighting.
    It will be revealed that Stannis defeated the Boltons at Winterfell at the end of Dance with Dragons, so the North will proceed to rally around Stannis. Stannis will then march south to fight for the throne, only to learn that Tommen had already died. After all, the valonqar prophecy holds that Cersei's children will all predecease her. Tommen, of course, has no children, and no younger brothers. As such, there would no longer be a Lannister claimant for the throne. The South will bend the knee to Stannis simply because there won't be anyone else left to contest his claim.
    • Myrcella is Tommen's heir right now. But if she managed to die before Stannis got there too, yeah, Stannis would be the heir even if the kids were trueborn. However, that doesn't preclude further fighting, because there are plenty of other people trying to get a piece of the power.
      • Only under Dornish law. In the rest of the Seven Kingdoms, a girl cannot inherit. And it seems extremely unlikely that Dorne would really want to fight for Myrcella, considering how Prince Doran feels about the Lannisters.
        • Then why is Sansa supposed to be the heir to Winterfell (going off what characters have said who don't know Bran and Rickon are alive)? Why have we heard of ladies in charge of estates and lands and such? Women do inherit, men just inherit first.
        • Rickon will be found by Davos, and will inherit Winterfell once it is removed from Bolton control.
        • Nope, women can inherit in Westeros, but only after the males. That is why Bear Island is under Lady Maege Mormont's control (after her brother Jeor took the black), and will continue to be under female control as she has only daughters. The second poster is right, Myrcella is Tommen's heir.
      • Yes, "by law" a daughter has claim to her father's title if there are no male children. But the question is: Can she defend her claim? If her uncle, cousin, or even her husband has greater economic, military or political influence than her, he WILL be able to take her inherited right away, or at least wield all the power while she is only a figurehead.
      • The laws of succession to the Iron Throne are different than the laws for normal noble succession, courtesy of the Dance of Dragons. Women can inherit the throne, but only after their uncles and possibly their male cousins.

    Jojen Reed is actually Howland Reed, and Meera Reed is Jon Snow's twin sister.
    For whatever reason, Howland Reed stopped growing after his encounter on the Isle of Faces. He developed the ability to greendream, and through these dreams he was the one who guided Eddard Stark to the dying Lyanna at the Tower of Joy. After discovering Lyanna with her newborn twins and witnessing her death, Howland saw that the twins would play an important part in future events, so for their safety he advised they be split up; he took Meera back to Greywater Watch while Eddard took Jon to Winterfell. Eddard spread the lie of Jon being his bastard son, while Greywater Watch's remote inaccessibility (no ravens, no maester, moving location) shielded Meera's existence from prying eyes. Similar to the lie Eddard put out about Jon, Howland put out the falsehood that he had a married a woman named Jyana while he was away, and that they had a daughter. Howland and Eddard would communicate through unknown means over the years, but Howland Reed was the only northern lord that never came to call at Winterfell during the rest of Eddard's tenure, most likely due to the fact that he hadn't aged and that he was secretly raising a Targaryen heir.

    Shortly after Eddard's death, Howland had several green dreams regarding the threat of the Others, and that Meera's twin brother was now a member of the Night's Watch that was opposing them. With Eddard having been killed and the twins having safely reached adulthood, it fell to Howland to reunite the twins and explain to them their heritage. To get to Jon, they first had to assist Bran Stark, Jon and Meera's cousin, in developing his powers by accompanying him beyond the Wall. Howland briefed Meera on her past, and the pair left Greywater Watch for Winterfell. To compensate for his appearance, Howland adopted the identity of Jojen Reed, his non-exisitent son.

    All of the people who want to kill Jaime Lannister will eventually converge on him.
    Okay, maybe this is just an idea for a fanfic I had. I just think it would be hilarious if one of the people or groups who wants him dead manage to corner him, and just as they're talking, another one shows up, and then another and another - Bran and his wolf pack for throwing him out the window, Danerys and her horde for killing Aerys, Aegon and his horde for killing Aerys, Varys and his little birds for killing Aerys, Cat and the Brotherhood Without Banners for all of their reasons, Blackfish and the Tullys for all of their reasons, Cersei because she's finally found out that he freed Tyrion and decided that he's the valonqar after all, Stannis because he broke his oaths, the other Stark kids to avenge Bran, Littlefinger because he's decided that today's another random murder day and Jaime drew the short straw, the list goes on - until he's just sitting there going "come on, really?" as more people keep showing up. Maybe Tyrion could talk them down. Or grab a crossbow and join in.
    • "Littlefinger because he's decided that today's another random murder day and Jaime drew the short straw" LOL! Well played! :)

    Rhaegar Targaryen kidnapped and raped Lyanna Stark.
    It just seems to me sometimes that a certain segment of this fandom has just assumed that what Robert, and, indeed, the whole realm appears to believe about what happened between them is all wrong. I don't buy it. It just seems to me, from what little we know of Lyanna, that, if her lover and her brother were fighting a war over her, she would not just stand by and let them kill each other. Even if you assume she cared nothing for Robert, she certainly loved Ned, and the fact is that she might have ended the war with a letter. It seems more likely to me that Rhaegar, obsessed with prophecies and certain that, this time, he had interpreted them correctly, and that the child he would have with Lyanna would be the Prince who was Promised, propositioned her, only to have her laugh in his face. At which point, Rhaegar, deciding that fulfilling the prophecy was more important than any other consideration, abducted and raped her. No secret love affair.
    • Assumes that Robert would have cared what Lyanna wanted. Noblewoman were married off by their families for political reasons. The Stark honor would have required them to deliver her to Robert - they had already promised the marriage. So she might have run off with Rhaegar rather than be forced to marry that drunken brute Robert.
    • It would not surprise me if Rhaegar, who is constantly portrayed as a saint-like figure who can do no wrong, is being set up for a massive subversion in the next two books. IIRC, Robert's always subscribed to the "Rhaegar kidnapped and raped Lyanna" story, but everyone else (except Ned, and he has his own reasons for keeping quiet) either has no clue what happened or believe they ran off together willingly. It would be a huge ironic twist if it was discovered that Robert, not the most credible or unbiased source regarding Rhaegar, was actually right about him all along.
    • People used to roll their eyes when Robert said that Danerys Targaryen was a serious threat, too, come to think of it...
    • Rhaegar is the guy who decided to knight Gregor "The Mountain That Rapes" Clegane. Maybe that wasn't just him being a Horrible Judge of Character.

    • "Could have ended the war with a letter?" Really? What would she say? "Oh, hey bro, sorry I ran off with this guy, I didn't mean for it to be a big to-do, do you want me to come back now?" Response from Ned: Lyanna, your father and elder brother are both dead, and I would be as well if Jon Arryn hadn't defied a direct order from his king. Aerys is convinced *everyone* is trying to kill him, and is, in response, trying to kill everyone to make sure that doesn't happen. Also Robert, who is madly in love with the idea of you even though he never really knew you as a person, is not likely to believe anything you say anyway.
    By the time Lyanna could have written something, it was well beyond her control to stop. Wars don't actually start or stop based on what happens to a particular woman; Lyanna's abduction was just one of a whole series of events that led to Robert's Rebellion.
    • Nothing in life is guaranteed, but it's bizarre to think that she wouldn't have tried. There is nothing in the books to suggest that she ever did anything at all to stop the war to the death between her brother and her people and the man who was supposedly her lover. That is hard to account for. If Rhaegar was the man who kidnapped and raped her, however, then her failure to do anything to stop her brother makes perfect sense.

    When Tyrion and Danerys finally do meet up, it's going to go badly for her.
    It's a shame, because seeing the two of them together as an unstoppable political powerhouse would be pretty sweet. She has, however, been warned against him in prophecy at least twice - once against "the lion," and once against "the perfumed seneschal." No, Tyrion's not perfumed, and he's not really a seneschal, but remember the name of the ship that brought him close to her? The one with the name that could be translated as "The Fragrant Steward," or, I don't know, possibly as something else that means the same thing as "The Fragrant Steward?" We know how prophecies are in this series. One of the two might wind up being a mislead that's actually about someone else, but both of them? Probably not.

    Winterfell will not be touched by the probable undead invasion.
    Winterfell is flooded, yes? Jojen's prediction and the Ironmen's subsequent invasion shows that much. Patchface sings his song about under the sea, and mentions that there will be no Others under the sea. Winterfell is thus 'under the sea'. Also, Patchface will probably make Winterfell his home.

    When all three dragons find riders, Danaerys will ride Drogon, and the other two will be ridden by men.
    Definitely Jon Snow, possibly Targ!Tyrion, but definitely two men. It will make for a nice symmetry with Aegon the Conqueror and his sisters - Aegon rode the black dragon, and his sisters rode the other two. Drogon is clearly the dragon that Danaerys has bonded with the most, even though he's also the most dangerous, and he's the only one named after someone who was specifically important only to her (as opposed to Rhaegar and Viserys, who were important figures in many people's lives). Jon Snow will most likely ride Rhaegal, since he's theoretically Rhaegar's son, and while I'm not yet totally convinced by the Targ!Tyrion theory, it would make a kind of sense for one valonqar to ride a dragon named for another valonqar, and one son of Aerys Targaryen to ride a dragon named after another son of Aerys Targaryen.

    The weird seasons were put in place as a way to keep the world in technological stasis.
    Some powerful magic entity doesn't want mankind to become too powerful with their technology. Giving them long, harsh winters and seasons of unpredictable length is a good way to hold back progress.
    • In the real world, a lot of technology came about in Northern Europe during the Little Ice Age (~1350-1850); in fact, it's kind of the figurative summer of European civilization. The long winters would probably spur technological progress to survive and expand, not retard it.
      • The issue is that, even during the Little Ice Age, winter still only lasted a few months. Winters in the world of A Song of Ice and Fire are short if they last three years. For a decent chunk of the population, a long winter would be entirely unsurvivable. Since they're most likely global, they also include a long time period when trade is likely to be mostly if not entirely shut down by severe weather and localized famine. The unpredictability would make long-term planning and investments difficult to justify, further impeding progress.

    Khal Drogo is Jon Snow's father
    Think about it: Jon's three best friends on the Wall are Sam, Grenn and Pypar. That sounds a lot like Sam, Merry and Pippin. And that means that Jon Snow is Frodo Baggins AKA Frodo son of Drogo.

    When Drogo returns, he will be very angry
    One of the conditions for Drogo's return is for Dany to give birth to a living child. Drogo doesn't seem like a guy who would just accept that Dany had sex with someone else.
    • Or maybe, Dany's child will be Drogo reborn.

    Brynden Tully aka "The Blackfish" is the biological father of Catelyn, Lysa, and Edmure
    Here's the theory: He was deeply in love with his sister-in-law Minisa Whent and was having a secret affair with her behind his brother's back. Hoster Tully knew about his brother's feelings for his wife and kept trying to marry him to someone else with the excuses that this match or that match will improve House Tully's fortunes. What he really wanted was to divert Brynden's attention away from Minisa. Brynden also seems to have played a more fatherly role for the Tully children than his brother, since Catelyn at one point talks about how he was always the one they went to with their problems. It would be pretty ironic if it turned out after looking down on bastards such as Jon Snow and Mya Stone Catelyn turned out to be one herself.
    • The decades long brotherly spat over Brynden absolute refusal to marry could also suggest that he's gay.
      • He shows no interest in any romance. Asexual?

    Lady Waynwood knows who Alayne Stone is
    When the Lords Declarant arrive at the Eyrie, two of the male members start making inappropriate comments to "Alayne." Lady Waynwood steps in and tells them that "Alayne" has been through enough horrors, despite the fact that they all supposedly just found out that Petyr Baelish has a daughter at all (and therefore should know nothing about the girl's past life). It also appears that she's agreed to a betrothal between Alayne Stone and Harrold Hardyng, her ward. It doesn't make sense that a sensible noblewoman would agree to a match between her valuable ward and a bastard girl. This troper belives that Baelish has let her in on the secret of Alayne's true indentity. She knows it's Sansa Stark and knows that there are advantages for her if her ward was the husband of the Lady of Winterfell.

    Sansa will start dreaming of Grey Wind.
    Grey Wind's death in ASOS is *just* ambiguous enough - the people bringing back news of it aren't terribly reliable sources, some of their accounts contradict one another, at least one remembers *something* running for the woods - to leave us with a possibility, however remote, that he is still alive. If that's so, then we're left with one dead Stark kid and one dead Stark wolf as the total for the series. Just as Sansa is losing her identity and truly becoming Alayne Stone, she will start having warg dreams about Grey Wind and remember who she is. The two will track one another down, and she will, quite appropriately, have Robb's wolf by her side when she becomes Lady of Winterfell and/or The Queen in the North.
    • Or, why not Nymeria? Personally I'm hoping she gets back to Arya, but you never know.
      • Eh...that seems less likely, given that distant as she is, Arya is still alive.
    • Assuming Grey Wind did survive ASOS, this theory actually has a bit of potential. Since GRRM has stated that all the Stark children (and Jon) have skinchanging abilities, this would imply that Robb lives on inside Grey Wolf, even though this would just make him by now little more than an unusually intelligent direwolf, and would add even more impact to "Grey wind stays by the side of the Lady of Winterfell". But, wild wild mass guess here, what if we take this line of thinking even further and imagine that in a sense, direwolves have a similar ability to meld with the Starks in some way on death — as in, Lady lives on in Sansa and has lived on in Sansa since AGoT. That is, that the Starks and their direwolves (because Direwolves Are Special) are essentially twin entities existing in two bodies, imprinting on each other, until one of them is popped off at which point they literally merge. Just as skinchangers who are "stuck" in the bodies of the animals they possess gradually lose their humanity, so Lady would gradually become less direwolf and more a facet of Sansa. There would be a sort of symmetry to it. Then again, as the TV series actually shows Grey Wind's head mounted on Robb's neck, with GRRM actually involved with the production, I doubt he'd let something as major as this happen if he wanted to have Grey Wind survive in the first place.

    The Ice Dragon mentioned in ADWD is real
    It is the power behind and probably the god of the Others and Dany's three dragons will fight it in the final book.

    The Starks are slowly morphing into a more appropriate pantheon of folkloric characters for the inevitably terrible/dark winter that's coming.
    Taking stock of what's become of them, save for Sansa and Rickon:
    • Ned's demise provides a good story about how being honorable gets you absolutely nowhere.
    • Don't go out late at night, kids or Lady Stoneheart will get you.
    • As for Robb the way the Freys mutilate his body gives good fodder for ghost stories.
    • Wargs have already been used in scary stories like the ones Old Nan told, why should Bran and his preference for taking over Hodor be any exception.
      • There is no way in seven hells that kid's official Brandon title isn't going to wind up being Brandon the Broken. Brandon the Builder, Brandon the Shipwright, Brandon the Daughterless... and Brandon the Broken, who became the last greenseer after he learned from Brynden Bloodraven beyond the Wall. Tell me that's not a scary folklore character.
      • It might be scarier if it turns out that Bran's real purpose is, as Melisandre fears, to be The Dragon of the "Great Other". Brandon the Broken?! No...he's Brandon the Breaker, the crippled little boy who broke the Wall.
    • The whole real/fake Arya thing as understood by Westeros is bound to inspire a few legends. Indeed, considering all her sightings in the Riverlands and Braavos, she's already something of a quasi-legend, spinning rumors of her sightings and doings.
    • For all we know as said above, Jon might be raised by Melissandre, or even become something akin to Coldhands, become a dark story about a Second Coming.
    • Lady Sansa will become an ironic silly song about the Ingenue and romantic story of The Pollyanna who in the end gets seduced and corrupted.
    • By the same reasoning, you could argue that the Starks' staunchest living enemy, Jaime Lannister, is a pretty damn good candidate for the role of King of Westeros by the end of the series. For all of the guy's obvious flaws and misdeeds, tell me that "The King with the Golden Hand" isn't the perfect basis for a mythic hero.
      • I can't see Jaime as King, he's a man dedicated to service. To him other people's goals are his goals, whether it's his father's, his sister's or the Kingsguard and it's only recently he's taking action. After everything he's seen and done I can't see a man less suited to royal service.

    Ilyn Payne's tongue was never removed, he is perfectly literate, and is really one of the ultimate Big Bads of the series who has outwitted and outgambited even Varys

    Ok, this is utterly unsupported by what is actually in the books, but think about it. Ser Ilyn is utterly beneath suspicion due to his supposed lack of tongue and literacy skills, he is present at crucial events, and is either explicitly or implicitly trusted with the darkest secrets and requests of some of the most powerful individuals of the series (Cersei, Jaime and Tywin), and is likely witness to many others as well given his proximity to those like Varys and Littlefinger. This mix of both proximity to power and influence, and utter non existance of any suspicion around him give him the potential to be the most dangerous man in Westeros.

    He also seems to be an extremely fearsome, yet understated warrior, given the fear he inspires and the fact he is training Jaime (the latter a factor which could allow him to easily beat Jaime if they come to blows) which further adds to his "Potential Big Bad" rating

    Not only that, but he was the one who carried out the execution of Ned Stark and earned the enmity of Arya, being added to her kill list, which means he will almost certainly have a significant part at some point.

    My theory is that at the major climactic point of the next book, he will act in a way that completely torpedoes the schemes of those like Varys, and throws the entire game of thrones into chaos, and likely cross the moral event horizon at the same time by killing a popular character, while revealing his ability to talk and what his agenda really is, as well as a possible revelation as to his real identity.

    All three Baratheon brothers are gay.
    Renly: We all know he is gay.Stannis: Described as uncomfortable around women. Maybe he didn't realize it because he never considered it. Maybe he only found out after he was married, so he never did anything about it. Maybe he always knew, but thought that having an heir is more important than his own happiness.Robert: He is in denial, and sleeps around to prove himself that he is not gay. Convinced himself that he was in love with a dead woman to justify not falling in love with another woman.
    • More likely, each one of them has a different sexual alignment. Renly is homosexual, Robert is heterosexual, and Stannis is asexual. The first two are stated canonically, the last is evidenced by his being uncomfortable with women, his dislike of brothels, and his grim, warlike determination in regards to sex. He most certainly is not bisexual.

    The Direwolves were sent by the others to wreck havoc and debilitate the Seven Kingdoms for the inminent invasion

    The Others know that the longest winter in centuries, maybe the longest winter period, is coming, and they intend to take advantage of it. Thus they sent the Direwolves for the Starks.

    It might look like it makes no sense at first, but think about the facts for a moment.

    -Nymeria hunted the White Hart Robert was going after. This gave Cersei's mooks enough time to complete the conspiration and get the "hunting accident" into motion.

    -Summer saved Bran, making for a bunch of extremely boring chapters narrated by him. Also, if he died Catelyn might had never left Winterfell, or left later due to his son's burial, and therefore would have never found Tyrion and started the OTHER chain of events that started the war

    -Ghost helped to kill Qhorin Halfhand, and travells with Jon to ensure the Nightwatch and the Wildlings kill each other as much as possible. Plus, who knows what he did when he separated himself from Jon?

    -Lady... eh... made Robert and Ned argue. Or something.

    -Grey Wind... helped to get Jaime imprisoned?

    -And who knows what evils Shaggy Dog is planning offscreen!

    • Shaggydog is going to eat a lot of people, probably starting with Davos, when he finds Rickon. Last we saw of Rickon, he was angry and nigh-uncontrollable, and Shaggydog too, proving that Rickon is a skinchanger like his siblings. And that was at Winterfell; now, he's lost his home and what remained of his family, and either has only one person for company or is living with the inhabitants of Skagos, whose reputation is not nice. And while most out-of-control five-year-olds are limited to breaking things and screaming, an out-of-control five-year-old skinchanger bound to as dangerous an animal as a direwolf brings a new and terrifying meaning to 'feral child'.
    • One of the heralds of the apocalypse in Norse mythology is packs of wolves descending on the earth at the beginning of an endless winter...

    Littlefinger took part in the plot against Joffrey specifically to get Sansa into trouble.

    My guess here is that Littlefinger's assertion that he masterminded the whole plot himself is about as honest as his claim that he deflowered Catelyn Tully. If you look at the plot, you see that a couple of people directly benefitted from it: Tywin Lannister (because he rid himself of someone who was quickly becoming an out-of-control liability, and, hey, as a bonus, making sure that Tyrion could never inherit Casterly Rock), The Queen of Thorns (because her family got to keep all of their power without forcing Margaery to marry a sociopath)... and Littlefinger, who suddenly found the girl of his dreams entirely in his power and entirely dependent on him. My guess is that he found out about the plot when it was already in motion and agreed to help out on the condition that Sansa be involved somehow and get slapped with the blame, but be "overlooked" long enough to flee right into his arms. Otherwise, it just doesn't make sense that she had anything to do with the plot whatsoever — all of that hairnet stuff was completely unnecessary when Oleanna Tyrell could just have easily have hidden something in her sleeve (since she wasn't exactly keeping her hands clean by plucking out that jewel in any case).

    • I'd be skeptical that Tywin Lannister was actually involved in the plot to kill Joffrey. Kinslaying is one of the strongest taboos that exists in Westerosi culture and even cold-blooded sociopaths like Roose Bolton take it very seriously. Furthermore, Tywin seems genuinely displeased with the accusation of kinslaying laid at Tyrion's feet, despite the fact that the two despise one another. While it's true that Tywin probably could have engineered Joffrey's death without implicating himself the kinslaying taboo seems strong enough that he'd refrain from doing so unless all other options had been exhausted (which they hadn't been).

    Jaime and Brienne will inherit the pair of swords made from Ice.
    Brienne already has one, called Oathkeeper. When Jaime learns to fight again with his left hand, he will get the other. It will be called Oathbreaker. That's the only way that the pair of them seem to function effectively these days — Jaime needs Brienne around to help him keep oaths, and Brienne needs Jaime around to help her break oaths. Whenever they get separated, they seem to run into trouble for exactly that reason.
    • How's he gonna get it? It currently belongs to Tommen, and was named "Widow's Wail" by its former owner, the late and unlamented Joffrey Baratheon. Besides, Jaime already owns one of those swords—he re-gifted it to Brienne and named it Oathkeeper for her. Who, in their right mind, will hand him the other? (besides Tommen, sweet kid that he is, but it seems unlikely he has the spine to issue those orders—or force anyone to follow them.)
      • How is that so difficult? Assuming Jaime safely makes it back to King's Landing, there are several logical ways in which he could receive/take Widow's Wail. Imagine Tommen dies. What next? Myrcella is hidden away in Dorne, and very soon Dorne will declare open war on the Lannisters and support Aegon, so making her queen is at best purely symbolic (even more so than it was with Tommen, who at least actually sat on the throne). Stannis is now undisputeable next in line, but it's far too late for the Lannisters and Tyrells to go along with that. Kevan is dead, Pycelle is dead, Cersei will never gather enough support. Who's left? Mace Tyrell, Hand of the King, and Jaime, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. One of them would have to de facto assume rulership and lead against Aegon and Dorne (And Stannis. And Euron. And Daenerys. And possible Tyrion and the Second Sons). And if that's the case, it's not at all unlikely that Jaime receives the late king's sword, if only to show that he symbolically leads in his name, even if the throne is vacant.
        • As the person who posted that original reply: "Imagine Tommen dies. What next? Jaime gets Widow's Wail" is exactly what happened in the show. Clearly one of us was smarter than the other!

    Upon finishing her Faceless Man training, Arya's first target will be...
    Daenerys Targaryen.

    Just for all the irony.

    • What irony?
      • I wouldn't be surprised if she DESTROYS the FM (how her last wish)

    There's a Kraken out there somewhere
    And I don't mean more Greyjoys. During A So S there's a point where the King's Council is meeting, and Varys mentions all this talk of dragons in the east, which we all know to be true. Oddly, he also mentions a Kraken has been seen attacking ships and dragging them underwater. As yet, nothing has come of this, but given it was mentioned in the same breath as something true, there could be more to it than just idle rumour.
    • If Euron's tale of throwing his dragon egg into the water is true, it may have hatched underwater for some reason. A sea-dragon might easily be mistaken for a kraken, especially as few people alive have seen a real dragon. However, it's far more likely that he used it to pay the Faceless Men for Balon's murder.
      • I doubt it. Sea-dragons are a thing, though whether an ordinary dragon egg could hatch into one is a different question, and they're not krakens: sea-dragons prey on krakens. And most people know both dragons and krakens from pictures; krakens wrap their squid arms around ships and pull them under (at least in every other story that involves them) so it's unlikely that a sea-dragon would be mistaken for one. Although I believe Euron about throwing the egg away. No-one else would have done it, but '... Euron's maddest of all' and what we've seen of him seems to bear that out. If anyone would throw away a king's ransom in a fit of pique, it would be him. (On a side note, I have a theory for why all the iron-born are crazy. They're brain-damaged from the ritual drownings.)
    • Going with the analogy between sea-dragons and Dany's dragons, what if sea dragons are born in blood and salt, just as Dany's are born in fire and blood (or alternately, the krakens as Elemental Counterparts to the dragons? It ties in with the symbolism around the Ironmen. The problem with this line of thought is how exactly would that work technically speaking? Kill/sacrifice some mook, toss them overboard with the egg? Wouldn't that be a bit of a gamble?
      • Or, what about the stone dragons of Dragonstone? Although all of Melisandre's burnings in the earlier books surely would have done something towards waking them by now. Maybe there's some kind of specific sacrifice thing to wake them in a way analogous to how Dany's eggs were hatched.
      • Or, what if the ice dragon(s) isn't a literal dragon but some other mythical beast or Eldritch Abomination that is only referred to as a dragon because 1. no one's actually seen it and/or 2. it's known to unleash hellish destruction, so they called it a dragon by analogy, or for lack of a more appropriate word — kind of how Renaissance zoologists referred to giraffes as "cameleopards" because they Failed Zoology Forever, or the theory that different dragon myths cropped up in the first place because of people finding dinosaur bones and being unable to explain them appropriately.

    The prophecy from the very first chapter is still not fulfilled.
    On their way back from the execution the Starks find a dead Direwolf (the mother of the direwolves the Stark children adopt), killed by an antler lodged in her throat. This is seen as a bad omen, because the stag is the animal of House Baratheon. It's some very blatant foreshadowing that when Robert Baratheon arrives shortly afterward, his bringing Ned to King's Landing leads to his death and the downfall of House Stark. However, I think that there may be more to that. Robert can't really be blamed for Ned's death, and neither can another Baratheon. So this omen may only be fulfilled in the future, when a Baratheon (possibly Stannis) is the one to actively kill a Stark, or (figuratively) ultimately "kills" House Stark. He is already up north, and may take Winterfell soon.

    • The prophecy was fulfilled when Robert asked Ned to be the Hand of the King. That led to Ned's death and all the trouble from the first book. That's what Cat's so afraid of, when Ned tells her he's going to go south with Robert.

    The valonqar from the prophecy isn't a younger sibling of Cersei's — it's a younger sibling of the young and beautiful queen from the same prophecy.

    Specifically, the younger and more beautiful queen is Sansa and the valonqar is Arya. The queen isn't the queen of Westeros — she's the Queen in the North. Sansa has, after all, already been responsible for the death of one of Cersei's children. Cersei also tends to think of the two of them — "The Stark girls" — as a unit, made up of the older one and the younger one (i.e. the valonqar). We also know that Valyrian nouns are gender-neutral, which doesn't make it much of a stretch to guess that the pronouns are gender-neutral as well (and that "wrap his hands" could be translated as "wrap her hands"). We also know that of Arya's list of future kills, Queen Cersei is always the last one that she names — the way that you'd name the final boss in a video game last. She's missed the chance to kill some of the people on that list, but Cersei was always the main one. And finally, oh, how incredibly sweet it would be. GRRM is good at making us miserable, but he's also good at dealing out the occasional moment of transcendent bliss (Jaime in the bear pit, the Tickler's death, what happened to Vargo Hoat, etc.), and that would definitely be one of them.

    Daenerys will never return to Westeros.
    Instead, she will conquer Essos and reestablish the Valyrian Freehold. She can hardly abandon Meereen now, and the only way the war in Slaver's Bay can end is with one side crushing the other; that's clear now. Once that's done, the obvious next target is Volantis; remember that woman in Volantis, the Widow of the Waterfront, who gave Ser Jorah a message for Dany, on behalf of the slaves of Volantis: "Tell her we are waiting. Tell her to come soon." Once Dany takes Volantis, the obvious next step is to do what the Volantenes wanted Aegon the Conqueror to do, long ago: conquer the other free cities and reestablish the Freehold of Valyria. This will end up being A So Ia F's version of the Holy Roman Empire, as the Valyrian Freehold was its version of the Roman Empire.

    Brandon will become the new Night's King.
    He will marry an Other princess, but this will actually lead to peace between humanity and the Others.

    The valonqar isn't Cersei's younger brother; the valonqar is her younger sister.
    Remember, at least some High Valyrian nouns are common or neuter, even ones one might expect to be masculine or feminine: we know that Maester Aemon concluded that the "Prince who was Promised" was actually a princess, Daenerys. It is therefore possible that valonqar could be a common noun, essentially "younger sibling." As such, it could refer to a younger sister as easily as a younger brother. Of course, Cersei has no sisters, only two brothers, both younger than she. But she does have three or four sisters-in-law: Selyse Florent, married to Stannis Baratheon, Margaery Tyrell (also her daughter-in-law), who was married to Renly, Sansa Stark, married to Tyrion, and Tysha, also married to Tyrion. Any one of these women could qualify as Cersei's younger sister (granted, I don't recall if we ever learn Selyse's age relative to Cersei, or Tysha's either), and any one of them would certainly have motive.
    • Sansa is interesting. Unlike Margaery (that marriage was annulled), she's still legally Cersei's sister-in-law, and she would also be able to do double-duty as the "young queen" who's supposed to usurp her. Then there's the irony in Cersei having essentially played her Evil Mentor in queenliness. Finally, just think how wonderfully satisfying it would be.

    Sansa's cover is about to be blown.
    There's a Chekhov's Gunman waiting in the Vale to blow the lid off Alayne Stone's identity. In her final chapter in A Feast For Crows she reunites with Littlefinger, who has been away in the Vale, and when she walks in he's talking to three hedge knights. Looks like there's nothing much of note there, the three are dismissed after a coupl of paragraphs. Except one of them turned up during Brienne's first chapters. Ser Shadrich, the man who saw through Brienne's cover story about a younger sister and said he, too, was looking for Sansa Stark. He's a shrewd man, as evidenced by the fact that he saw swiftly through Brinne's admittedly flimsy cover story, his reappearance was over so quickly it seems like it was designed to be missed by anyone not paying attention. He has a bigger part to play.
    • This is quite plausible, but I'd add that it's plausible that Shadrich will be acting in conjunction with another person, and that perhaps Sansa will have some allies. Myranda Royce is also in the Vale and iirc, she actually met Sansa in the past prior to meeting "Alayne Stone". Myranda is very gregarious and it wouldn't be too surprising if she and Shadritch got to talking about Littlefinger's mysterious daughter.
    • Given that Sansa's cover was blown fairly soon (and by herself) in the TV series, I don't think there's anything of ultimate importance that depends on her cover being kept. GRRM prefers that D&D follow their way, but I think that hewould speak up against deviations that would throw the story off rails too much (until now, most deviations have eventually managed to ultimately converge back to the books overall plot).

    Nestor Royce and Myranda are spies for for the bronce Yohn
    the irony that LF enemys are using his tricks on him and he is unable to see it

    Tyrion is actually Tywin Lannister's child... but Cersei and Jaime are not.
    Because Genna Lannister says to Jaime that Tyrion is Tywin's son and he is not.And that the 'liberties' Aerys Targaryen reportedly took with the bedding of Joanna and Tywin would have been before Tyrion's conception, but possibly around the time of Cersei and Jaime's.And when Cersei gets pissed at Jaime and goes "We are not Targaryens!"... well... this way they actually are. And doing the whole Targaryen incest thing.Okay, so not very plausible, but just for the irony.Oh, and this way Jaime's killed his father (Aerys) and Tyrion's killed his father (Tywin).
    • If that were true, then that would mean that when Aerys rejected Cersei as a possible bride for Rhaegar, he was rejecting Rhaegar's sister. Remember that Rhaegar married Elia Martell because he had no sister to marry. The dramatic irony is twofold.
      • The prophecy that consums Cersei says that she will be replaced by a younger and prettier queen and that she will be killed by her 'valonqar' - little sibling in Old Valyrian. She assumes that the valonqar is Tyrion, but if Cersei was Aerys' daughter, this would make Daenerys both the younger and prettier queen and the valonqar.
      • I've been thinking about this particular theory for a while, and I say its actually highly probable. The twins' incest, Robert's hatred of Targaryens, Tywin and Aerys complicated relationship, Jaime's kingslaying, Tyrion's existence, Tywin's treatment of Tyrion, Tywin's personality and his tendencies, Cersei's prophecy, Cersei's love for Rhaegar, Joffrey's madness, the Lannister bastards claims to the throne,as well as a bunch of others words thrown around in this story would receive new meaning would this turn out to be true. I sum the entire events as this: Aerys, Tywin, and Joanna are in a sort of love triangle; Tywin wins but Aerys fathers Tywin's twins; Tywin raises them as his own due to him being either or both a stubborn(and possibly deluded)hypocrite as well as a Magnificent Bastard; things get more complicated due to Aerys' douchbaggery and eventually Jaime kills him not knowing he killed his real father. Ser Barristan's words aside, Aerys and Tywin seem to have this epic game of trolling each other going on and this kind of ironic Shakespearean twist seems to be something Martin's fully capable off.

    During long summers, the Black Walkers lay waste to Sothoryos, just like the White Walkers do to Westeros during long winters
    Jalabhar Xho wasn't merely a deposed prince. He escaped the entire genocide of his people at the hands of the Black Walkers, with dark skin hot as molten rock and eyes red like fire. Unfortunately, when he first arrived he didn't speak the Common Tongue well enough to accurately explain his situation to Robert.
    • Except that Jalabhar Xho isn't from Sothoryos; he's from the Summer Isles, which lie directly south of Dorne, and are still populated.
      • The Summer Isles are part of Sothoryos in the same sense that Cape Verde is part of Africa.
    • Alternatively, the Black Walkers aren't actually black- they're called that because some people have seen the blackened, burned wastes they leave behind, but almost no one has actually seen one in person and lived. They're actually white, because their bodies are so hot they're glowing.

    Arya is really the younger and more beautiful queen/person who will cast Cersei down
    Right now, the leading fan theories on this are for Dany, Sansa, and Margaery, but they're way too obvious. Dany and Marg are clearly redherrings- Marg for Cersei since she thinks it is her and Dany for the audience because she is being set up to be in the position to fill that role, especially if we interpret the prophecy to be referring to a queen instead of just a person who may or may not be royalty or even female. But in true Martin fashion, those expectations are going to come to nothing. With Sansa, that theory just seems more like fan hopes than anything substantial.But if Arya is the younger and more beautiful one who will cast Cersei down it would be completely unexpected and almost out of no where since most don't see Arya in this way, least of all Cersei. She is obviously younger, and as far as beauty goes, Arya seems to be the ugly duckling type who is growing into her looks as the books go on. Having Cersei taken down by a younger, live version of Lyanna Stark (the woman Cersei spent the duration of her marriage living in the shadow of) would be perfect symmetry and it would explain the importance behind Arya's similarity to her aunt.
    • Interesting, although a few characters note that Lyanna Stark, while pretty, was not half as beautiful as Cersei or Ashara Dayne.
      • That's true. In this series, as in life, beauty is subjective. Some say Lyanna was incredibly beautiful. Some say she was just OK, but not even close to being as beautiful as others. But Arya goes through the same thing. Some call her ugly (Arya Horseface) while others say she is attractive. Her beauty is even referenced in ADWD by another character. Plus, Cersei has aged a decade and a half since she was in her prime. It will be much easier to surpass her in beauty now.
        • Cersei was attracted to Rhaegar when she was young and he, in turn, found Lyanna more beautiful. Since Arya looks like Lyanna...

    Jon will come back as a sentient wight a la Benjen!Coldhands.

    Okay. Coldhands is obviously Benjen. But why is he sentient and not a soulless automaton like the other wights? We know that he's down with the children of the forest— perhaps having encountered them on his last ranging, before dying?— and that they're really good at teaching people how to warg out and get their greensight on and whatnot. And warging is also a Stark trait. So he gets killed, wargs into some handy nearby animal, like, say... a reindeer. The Others raise his corpse, and he wargs right back in. Boom. Coldhands.

    Jon already has a decent degree of conscious control over his warging, so he could do the exact same thing: warg into Ghost to avoid death, then warg back after he's zombified.

    • I thought that too (about Coldhands/Benjen, not Jon), but after we encountered the three-eyed-crow I'm sure it's not. It seems like the children or greenseers or both can reanimate dead bodies too. The Others' wights aren't completely soulless: it was remarked on in-series that they seem to remember things from when they were alive. So Coldhands is a wight, but he's controlled by the three-eyed crow, not by the Others. And Varamyr was convinced that he wouldn't be able to skinchange after his true death, which seems to be borne out by the fact that he's still in One-eye and Othell stayed in his eagle. So it seems that once you're dead, you're stuck.

    King Robert knew about Cersei and Jaime's affair and the true parentage of Cersei's children long before either Jon Arryn or Ned found out, and this was the main reason he was such a failure as a king
    Originally he attempted to be a genuinely good king, but when he saw "his" children grow up, he simply put two and two together when he saw how they were the only Baratheons ever to not be black haired, and how "close" the two Lannister siblings seemed to be, but he also knew that if he did anything about it, the realm would collapse due to how vital Lannister support and money was. Thus he gave up on ruling altogether after seeing just what it would force him to do for the "greater good of the realm", and decided to spend the rest of his life drinking, hunting and whoring as he entered a protracted Heroic BSoD, which culminated in him basically committing Suicide by Pig when he realized Ned was getting to the truth (which would force him to act against the Lannisters given how Ned would refuse to simply keep it under wraps), as well as being the only one clued into the threat the resurgent Targaryans posed.
    • The Lannisters may be powerful but I doubt they are so powerful that it's essential they are on the crown's side. Robert would have the support of the other Kingdoms, the Crownlands under him and Stannis, the Stormlands under Renly, the Vale under Jon Arryn, the North under Ned, Dorne hates the Lannisters already and the Riverlands would probably support him due to the Tully marriages. The Reach would probably support Robert for a chance to make Margaery the new Queen.

    Rhaegar is alive

    Seriously wounded and rendered unconscious by Robert's hammer, but not quite dead.

    Who do we know who used to be a knight, but 'died' at the Trident - indeed, in the Trident, and floated down-river to an island where it's likely that few questions are asked (after all, 99% of the inhabitants can only speak to confess their sins)? Some other bits of his story parallel Rhaegar's too.

    The Elder Brother is described as wearing a tonsure - alternatively, Rhaegar shaved off his distinctive hair. The colour of his eyes is not mentioned. He's 44. Do we know how old Rhaegar was? 44 seems reasonable to me.

    Remember that bit about the dragon sign? One of the heads, now red with rust, washed up on the quiet isle. Bit portentous, surely, for one of the heads of a red three-headed dragon to end up there.

    Some of the details in his story would have to be outright lies, but so would some of the details in his story about Sandor Clegane, and it seems fairly accepted that he's alive.

    • It seems reasonable that Rhaegar would be in his late thirties at the time of the series - he had two children at the time of the Rebellion, so early to mid-twenties tops. The only problem I have with this theory is that it just doesn't make sense from a writing point of view. According to the Wiki at least, Rhaegar was born in 259 AL. The story takes place currently in 300 AL. That would make Rhaegar 41 and "dead" at 24. He could lie about his age, granted, but three years seems a little excessive.

    Aegon VI Targaryen will show interest in Sansa.
    Totally fanwank, but in The Hedge Knight at the Ashford tourney, the maiden's champions ended up being:
    • Humfrey Hardying
    • Tybolt Lannister
    • Leo Tyrell
    • Lyonel Baratheon
    • Valarr Targaryen

    Doesn't that bunch of surnames sound quite familiar? Well, except for the last one...unless Law of Conservation of Detail is in full force here.

    The horn of Joramun controls the Others

    It's also called the horn of winter, and what are the Others but the personification of winter? It's also said to have woken giants from the earth; I wonder, is it possible that 'giants' is a mistranslation or some kind of mistake, and it ought to have been 'monsters' or something.

    The Faceless Men are more of a major player of the Game than even Varys and Littlefinger put together.

    ...And have been for decades beyond count.

    OK... that's not so wild: it's pretty darned obvious they're a part of the whole mess, simply down to who they do and do not accept "prayers" from and how they choose to accept clients in the first place. That means an awful lot of room for an agenda beyond their open mission statement. The really wild stuff is in what comes next...

    The possible link with the Iron Bank: face it... that iron coin and an Iron Bank is rather suggestive. There must surely be some connection? And, Arya's first assignment is to kill an insurance broker of some description. Telling me the rather nervous guy hasn't racked up a few debts in the wrong places insuring the wrong things (and knows it)? Won't wash. Whether the Faceless Men and the Iron Bank actually have something that is just a rather cozy relationship or what amounts to a full-blown connection meaning they are one and the same, their combined influence goes back decades for said bank to get such a fearsome reputation when it comes to debt collection. And, who, pray tell, has been funding all sides from even before the start of the series? And, can call in debts as and when it's useful for their purposes, whatever those may be?

    If anybody tries to tell me that Jaqen H'gar was in the Black Cells when Arya first met him because he got careless, I'll start laughing. And, should they further go on to suggest that he had to go along with the Black Watch Recruitment Drive just to get out, again... I'll start turning into a hyena. I don't know what he was doing, but whatever it was, it was no accident. And, accepting Arya's little list of names, and going along with her scheme in Harrenhal? I'll be surprised if that was a total accident, as well. It certainly stirred the political pot.

    Recruiting her may or may not have been on the shopping list, but he was in a wonderful position to affect the War in various other ways, depending on the requests he could trigger just by hanging around waiting for "I wish he'd just drop dead" kind of requests all the way to the more expensive kind: just think of the characters he came into contact with through that Black Cell... including, probably, Varys. He's not only touched the Black Watch, Arya, a bastard of the late king in Gendry, one of the centre pin Castles of the War of the Five Kings, but could collect a better suited face and is now in the Citadel... Please: simple religious assassination order simply serving a conglomerate ideal of Death, my left foot. You don't land that deeply in politics just for kicks and giggles. Or, just to kill. Think of all the information he's already had access to by sneaking around King's Landing... and is primed to get where he is, now.

    He's also well placed to start collecting debts linked to the Iron Throne, should the need arise. Should Varys leave any left outstanding for him to collect, of course.

    And, something else to nibble on that is totally out there: the Waif. She's very, very short. The size of a young child, in fact. Yet, she's waaaaaaay older than she looks and admits it with one hell of a backstory... and, she's in a place where looking human is made rather easy. What if she isn't actually human, but good at singing to all that weirwood that's hanging about the place, rather? Acorn... oak... oak table: we're still talking tree, here. And, as the Children up North use bowls with carved eyes, etc... I'm betting the "dead" wood hanging around e.g. the doors of the House can still see. The Faceless Men lie about their backgrounds all the time, when they need to... Are you telling me you didn't think of her as possibly being a Child of the Forest at some point? And, the Children do mention the fact that they could be all the "gods" men have had, any way.

    If and when Tyrion kills Cersei, it will be a Mercy Kill.

    The prophecy did state that she would only die by the younger sibling's hands after she had lost everything. It would be tragically ironic if the fate she had been dreading her whole life will turn out to be something she wants after crossing the Despair Event Horizon. And when Tyrion does kill her, it won't be an act of malice, but a huge favor.

    Littlefinger's plan is to topple aristocracy

    Littlefinger's endgame is to end the game of thrones. In A So Ia F, he represents the renaissance, the rise of the merchant class and the toppling of the aristocracy. He is rich and powerful without being born into aristocracy. Instead of being born into priviledge, he uses his own hard work to create his own future. Littlefinger's motivation for what he is doing goes back to how he was screwed over because of the strict social hierarchy of Westeros.

    Petyr seemed to be a good kid when he was fostered with the Tullys. He's described as being a clever kid who was a good friend of the Tully kids right up until he was injured and humiliated by Brandon Stark in a duel for Catelyn's hand. When he's all healed up Hoster Tully sends him packing back home after a scandal involving Lysa Arryn. So he goes back to the Fingers where he gets to brood over how the system screwed him over in getting what he wanted. So this kid grows into a man and decides to climb up the ranks using his talents to screw the system over like it did to him as a child.

    From Game of Thrones TV Series

    Littlefinger: Do you know what I learned, losing that duel? I learned that I’ll never win, not that way, that’s their game, their rules. I’m not going to fight them, I’m going to fuck them.

    In a Tyrion chapter from A Clash of Kings, Tyrion is trying to determine whether he can take down Littlefinger or not and it's mentioned how Littlefinger came up multiplying the wealth of houses before being appointed Master of Coin. It specifically mentions how he replaced all the various lords running the kingdom's finances with merchants and men of modest birth. Littlefinger's movement throughout the books looks democratic and what ever he's planning is something that's gonna be good for the common folk and bad for the feudal lords.

    • Littlefinger has always been in it for himself, and his actions were a major contributing factor to a war that ravaged the land right before winter. Because of him, thousands of commoners will likely starve; he never had their interests at heart.
    • Also, that Littlefinger was not "born into privilege" is a common misconception. His father was a Lord. An unimportant one, yes, but it's not like he was born a farmer's son. True, that he achieved what he did was a grand accomplishment. But that he was fostered with the Tully family, where he could learn how the 'game' worked so that he could later manipulate it? That was because his father was friends with Hoster Tully. Or that he even got an education in the first place and did not have to start farmwork as soon as he could walk? That was because he was an aristocrat. He is way down the social ladder compared to other characters, though only because most of them are members of powerful houses like Stark or Lannister. But he was still born a part of the 1% of Westeros, so to speak.
    The WMG might still be true, though. But if he tries to abolsh the aristocracy than only because it furthers his goals, or at least to prove a point, not because he loves the common people so much.
    • Original troper here, I did not mean to say that Littlefinger cares for the common folk, I'm just saying whatever he's planning doesn't look good at all for folks in high positions and at the end of it all the common folk (who are all suffering so far) may benefit from it. I seriously doubt that Littlefinger's motive has anything to do with power or for social status. I also don't think he's gunning for the Iron Throne. We already have several characters fighting for that, I think Littlefinger just wants to dismantle and trash the whole system for what happened to him in his childhood just because he can. Yes, Littlefinger was born into and educated through aristocracy but I bet he started thinking outside the box after his time with the Tully's. While he could die before it comes to fruition the end result to his grand schemes has a renaissance theme to it.
    • No, his plans will likely turn Westeros into an After the End winter wasteland. Civilization will regress as commoners starve by the thousands and become scavengers, looking for anything to get them through. It's not just that his actions were never for the common benefit, it's that his actions will actively screw over thousands of people. Behind every noble family he ruined, thousands had to die to make it happen, and many more will die in their wake.

    The three heads of the dragon will be Dany (just possibly another surviving Targaryen), a Greyjoy, probably Victarion, and a Stark (or almost-Stark), most likely Jon.

    The reasoning is pretty simple. The accepted theory is that the heads of the dragon are the dragon riders. So they must each control a dragon. That's easier said than done.

    • The proper way to do it, we're told, is with a magic horn. There's only one of those, and the ironborn have it. Victarion is currently in possession of it, and planning to betray Euron and take the prize for himself, so he's the most likely bet, but I wouldn't bet against Euron having planned for this and/or finding some way of outsmarting him. Also, Euron fits Moquorro's vision better the 'one black eye' bit.

    • Dany already is riding a dragon, at least when he's in a good mood. It's possible that another surviving Targaryen - Aegon, if he's real or the real one is alive somewhere else or Rhaegar (my pet theory, see above) - could take her place if anything happens to her, but unlikely. Dany does it with classic animal training: Targaryen blood seems to help with it, but Quentyn had some, and he got barbecued. Possible that you have to be pure Targaryen - would tell against Aegon, who's only half-blooded - this could even be the reason, lost in the mists of time, for the incest tradition. But even if it was a pure-blood Targaryen, Dany is the dragons' mother, they know her and obey her. It would be much harder for someone else to do the same. So Dany's almost certainly the only person who can control a dragon that way.

    • So the Ironborn have the horn, and only Dany can use the whip. What's left? All I can think of is skinchangers, which means the Starks with virtual certainty. Jon seems the most likely, since there's a possibility of him having Targaryen parentage, and if he survives the stabbing, he's probably going to be out of a job as Lord Commander, and is the only surviving Stark with experience of war and leadership, (unless Benjen returns, but we've not heard he was a skinchanger). Sansa doesn't seem a likely candidate to me, and Arya's forte seems to be more murder and sneaking, Bran seems an unlikely possibility since he's busy becoming a tree but I guess he could possibly do it remotely, so to speak. Rickon feels the most likely of the trueborn Starks, but he's five and out-of-control and I can't see it working (although... dragon-Rickon could be a fantastic shock ending, by which I mean apocalypse).
      • Thing about the horn, though, is that it fries your insides. One use only, and you're not around to ride the dragon when you're done blowing. So, you'd either need someone immune to fire (A Targaryen, perhaps? Maybe Targ!Tyrion, if that theory is true? We know Jon Snow isn't immune to fire, because he burned his hand in the first book) or it's some kind of Sword in the Stone thing and the only person who can blow it without dying is the "right person," which could really be anyone.
        • Just wanted to mention briefly that Martin said Targaryens aren't immune to fire. Daenerys was unharmed by the flames of Drogo's funeral pyre because of Blood Magic and not because of her heritage. Likewise, she's burnt during her confrontation with Drogon in A Dance with Dragons.
        • The dragon-rider wouldn't be the one who blew it. Moqorro explained it to Victarion in aDwD: the dragons obey the person who claims the horn (not sure exactly how you do that but it involves blood, apparently), and you can have a mook do the blowing.
        • My personal WMG is that the only real purpose of the Greyjoy invasion of Essos is as a plot device to get that horn to fall into Danerys' hands. Then Jon could dig up the Horn of Joramund and we'd really get somewhere. A horn of fire, a horn of ice... they could play a song...
        • Jon's already dug up the Horn of Joramun. Sam has it.

    Brynden "Blackfish" Tully is heading to the Eyrie and will die there

    After Jaime Lannister takes Riverrun, The Blackfish escapes and his whereabouts and where he's headed are unknown. Brynden's best shot at being safe is to head back to the Eyrie which has stayed neutral to the surrounding chaos all this time. The Blackfish has never seen Sansa but he should recognize her because she looks a lot like a young Catelyn, and will have a northern accent. I think he'll see through Littlefinger's crap and then get killed before he can do anything about it. The only person in a great postion to royally screw Littlefinger's plan is Sansa at this point. Brynden may probably be a plot device that makes Sansa turn against Littlefinger. She seemed tolerant with all of his scheming in A Feast For Crows but killing Brynden may be the last straw for her.

    Following Sansa throughout the books we notice every time she thinks something good will happen to her it's the opposite.

    So Brynden Tully will come to the Eyrie, find the truth about "Alayne Stone", promises to come to her rescue and free her from Littlefinger's shenanigans only to be killed in the attempt. This will set Sansa on her path to get rid of Littlefinger with what he taught her.

    • That would be cool. But put it together with the fan theory that Jeyne Westerling escaped with him — that the girl Jaime saw at Riverrun was, in fact, Jeyne's little sister — and things REALLY start to get interesting. Forget avenging Brynden Tully — what do you think Sansa would do if she had the chance to save Robb's unborn (or, for that matter, born) child?

      • Whether or not Jeyne has escaped, she's not pregnant. Her mother saw to that. She was giving Jeyne some herbal drink, supposedly to make her more fertile, but we know she never wanted the marriage and it would make sense for her not to want the couple to conceive - it's certainly hard to believe she would work to make it more likely. So what was the drink? I'll bet you anything you like it was moon tea.
      • That's easy enough to believe, but you should not assume that moon tea is a completely reliable contraceptive. Don't forget that in the real world, reliable and safe oral contraceptives didn't become available until the 1950's. Westerosi pharmacology and medicine seems to be about as good as the best available in the real-world middle ages, but no better. Furthermore, pretty much all pre-modern oral contraceptives and abortifacients were highly toxic; that's how they worked, by making the woman so sick that her body could not sustain a pregnancy. If Jeyne was not visibly ill, then it is highly unlikely that the dose was high enough to prevent conception with any reliability. And as Jeyne said, she and Robb were trying everyday.

    Viserys and Dany have different fathers
    Much is made of the fact that Viserys died when Drogo poured molten gold on his head, but Dany could survive the pyre unharmed. Sure, probably this attribute just got passed down to Dany but not to her brother, or it is somehow related to a prophecy (what isn't?), but since we question pretty much everyone's parentage by now, here goes: Aerys is the father of only one of them. The other's father would have probably been a Targaryan (or close relative) as well, to explain why they both inherited the look. If it's true, the illegitimate child is probably Dany, for storytelling reasons - Viserys is dead and has no children, so the question of his legitimacy has no impact anymore.
    • The Targaryens aren't immune to fire - not even Dany: she suffered burns in aDwD, and although she recovered it seems to be just because her injuries were fairly minor. I'm not entirely sure what happened with the pyre, but there was evidently some extra magic involved that day, whether it was the sacrifice of Mirri Maz Duur, or the presence of the eggs, both (my best guess), or something else entirely. Although that's not to say that their parentage is definitely as advertised, but so far there's no evidence against it.
    • That Targaryen immunity to fire not being total would also explain something that's been bugging me — the fact that Jon Snow burned his hand badly in the first book. Maybe intent has a role to play? That is, maybe it's a power that works only with concentration or something?
      • I'm 99% sure that the Targaryen immunity to fire not only isn't total, but isn't actually a thing. What are we basing it on besides Dany surviving the pyre? That she's immune to fire was contradicted in aDwD - and I'm pretty sure she was concentrating pretty hard then on not getting roasted. There was some stuff in aGoT about 'dragons' not minding heat, but all that amounted to was liking hot baths. The pyre can only have been a one-off, with something else at work. And there's nothing to indicate that Targaryens in general have any immunity to fire and plenty to suggest that they aren't: there's Viserys; Aerion Brightflame, and it's hard to imagine he wasn't concentrating; Jon, if he is a Targaryen; Quentyn, although admittedly his Targaryen blood was more than a little watered down.
      • I don't think it's all fire they've got immunity to (even though they do all, presumably, have that hot bath thing going on). It's specifically dragon fire and the associated heat of that that they can weather... or, at least, any fire with a high dose of whatever magic is in dragon fire. Why? Every fire Dany has walked out of with only crisped hair to show for it has been linked to blood and dragons. To me, it suggests that should, say, any Red Priest try to burn her, they're in for a very long evening waiting it out: Targaryens who have connected with the family magic own Blood and Fire magic. Perhaps more than the Priests do. But, I think that's the kicker: they need to work out how to do it, first — and not get trumped by another user with their dragon. Viserys hadn't a snowball's chance in Drogon's strike-range of connecting, imo. Too self-absorbed to get the sacrifice connection.
      • It is NOT a Targaryen immunity to fire. Other Targaryens are specifically stated to have burned to death, most notably Aegon V who died attempting to hatch dragon eggs. If Dany's immune to fire at all (and for what it's worth I think she is) it's a Prince That Was Promised thing, not a Targaryen thing.

    The Three-Eyed Crow is allied to Euron Greyjoy
    Not only because so many crow symbolisms are bound to attract each other.

    • The Three-Eyed Crow (let's just call him Brynden Rivers and be done with it) doesn't necessarily have to be a neutral "teacher" character. In a meta way it perfectly fits with Martin's love of turning widely accepted fantasy stereotypes on their heads: in almost all fantasy books the man that teaches magic is benign and often neutral or if not taking a purposedly supportive role to the heroes (ie: Gandalf). So, of course, the closest thing to a Grand Wizard in ASOFAI is not only more malicious, he's directly involved in politics.

    • It would also mean that Bran slids further from Good into Neutral or Evil, if Brynden convinces him of siding with Euron (not entirely likely since he would be siding with a Greyjoy, but then again Brynden and Euron both seem to be quite good at convincing people to do their biding) and that he takes sides with the next parties in the inevitable next war (all of which are things the plot is making the remaining Starks do).

    • That aside, why Euron? The crow thing is obvious, as is the fact that Euron seems to be really into magic. He knows of the ways of the Warlocks of Qarth, and may employ the Faceless Men; but he may also know some of the First People's magic. The Ironborn are confirmed to have some sort of skinchanging tradition with those pretenders to the Driftwood Crown, so his speech about flying may be a sincere desire to become a skinchanger. Perhaps Brynden helps him with some sort of telepathy-ish powers, the reasoning would be that he wants a man in the Iron Throne that understands and respects magic. This would explain how Euron knows so many things he has no way of knowing, and how he understands so much about magic: Brynden brings him info. Euron seems like a total bastard, but god knows things are usually not that simple, maybe he eventually starts to show more features that would make him a good ruler. Not to mention that, monstrous or not, Euron does not seem to be entirely into reality, so maybe this is an effect of Brynden's influence. And it would make so much sense for a person as far away from Westerosian reality as Brynden to support a man that is so obviously not what first comes to mind when you think "king material".

    Daenerys will become the ruler of a humongous, multi-cultural empire that goes all the way from Meereen to Westeros
    • Because she was already our Alexander the Great expy anyway. And it will be named Targarya.
      • She will then die, and her empire will fragment almost immediately afterward.
      • Just so long as she doesn't found hundreds of cities named Daeneria or whatever narcissistic name she comes up with.

    The Others are weapons
    • They are, to date, the only culture that GRRM has not given any type of deepness or questionable morals. They are Humanoid Abominations that's about it. I remember that GRRM said in an interview that the next books will tell us more about them...maybe the revelation would be that there is some seriously poweful warlock on the Lands of Always Winter that summons them to attack Westeros. It would explain the whole "not sure if they come with the cold or if the cold comes with them" from the stuff Sam read.

    Howland Reed has Eddard Stark's bones
    • The silent sisters were dispatched to bring Eddard Stark's bone to Winterfell. They were going to Moat Cailin which is Crannogmen turf. When Moat Cailin gets attacked by the Iron Born the Crannogmen helped the silent sisters escape and now have Eddard Stark's bones. Howland probably made attempts to get the bones to Winterfell but he may have canceled after learning what happens to Winterfell.

    The whole series will end up being one massive Shoot the Shaggy Dog...
    • Because even if the Others and their wights are turned back, even with Dany and her dragons' issue is finally settled, even if everyone plotting and scheming and murdering and burning and avenging and destroying ends up settled, done, backstabbed, frontstabbed, sidestabbed, and stabbed from every other angle, and there is someone or a few someones still left standing who 'win' doesn't matter, because WINTER IS STILL COMING, a long long winter due to how long the summer was, and all the crops and livestock and foodstores and items needed to survive have been destroyed due to all the people playing the game of thrones and their grudges out while all their men rampaged around the continent putting everything mindlessly to the sword, and the survivors will just end up starving and freezing to death, leaving a dead land with just the animals wandering around. Like the Blue Öyster Cult sang, history shows again and again how nature points out the folly of man.
      • If true, this would give a particularly bleak twist to the phrase "A Dream of Spring". It seems to be usually assumed it's either a Happily Ever After (or at least, as close to one as one could expect in the ASoIaFverse) or some kind of mildly optimistic After the End à la Matrix Revolutions, that is, "yay, spring is here, no more Others, hallelujah", but it may simply turn out to be that everyone is dying because of the freak winter and can only ever dream of spring. Way to turn an already Crapsack World Up to Eleven.

    The Others will be defeated before they ever make it beyond the Wall. And the people of Westeros will never even know that they were a threat.
    • I can't shake the feeling that Jon, or the Watch, or somebody will manage to stop the Others, fix whatever supernatural force is causing the irregular seasons, and save the world only for the people of Westeros to never even learn that it happened. It just seems... fitting that the Others will be stopped in some great and heroic fashion, while the people south of the wall will be too wrapped up in their own wars and arguments to learn or care how close they came to destruction.

    Shireen and Edric are going to fight over Stannis' inheritance
    There are considerable parallels between the Baratheon brothers' dispute and that between the three children of William the Conqueror. William left his first son, Robert, the territory he considered most prestigious, the duchy of Normandy, and left his second son William Rufus his largest and most profitable holding, the throne of England (Robert taking the crown and giving Dragonstone to his older brother Stannis). Robert felt cheated and went to war with his little brother to claim England (Stannis feeling cheated of both Storm's End and the crown, and going to war with Renly). William Rufus died in a hunting accident, at which point their third brother (Henry) entered the stage, and won the war (how the war probably would have worked out were it not for the shadowbaby). Not a direct adaptation, obviously, but there seems to be some influence there.

    What happened next in Real Life, when the king died? He had one legitimate daughter, but many nobles preferred his nephew, and backed him in a rebellion that led to years of civil war. And who are Stannis' heirs? A single legitimate daughter, and a nephew being looked after overseas by prominent lords who dislike said daughter...

    • It's an interesting idea but there are two problems with it. First of all, Stannis isn't Robert's older brother - he's his younger brother (but older than Robert). Secondly, Stannis has never indicated that he resented Robert's crown - it's true that he felt cheated by Robert's decision to award Storm's End to Renly, but he doesn't seem to have ever desired the crown itself (and still claims that he doesn't want it). That being said, a succession dispute should Stannis die doesn't seem at all unlikely, given the patriarchal attitudes of Westerosi culture. What'd be ironic is if the King's Men - who are generally depicted as more sympathetic since Davos is counted among them and they distrust Melisandre - ultimately chose to support Edric over Shireen, since the Queen's Men probably wouldn't try to disinherit Selyse's own child in favor of a bastard who Melisandre had already marked for death.

    Shireen is going to marry Theon
    All Patchface's "under the sea" gibberish is foreshadowing of a marriage of convenience between Theon Greyjoy and Shireen Baratheon, brokered by Asha. At the moment, Stannis seems to want Theon executed, but (a) he's the heir to a fairly powerful House, (b) Stannis and Theon both need all the help they can get, and (c) the Lobster needs to learn to compromise somewhere (who better to compromise with than the Squid?). After the thorough breaking Theon's been through (and the tenderness he's shown to Jeyne) he and Shireen might even make quite a sweet couple. I could see Asha proposing such a deal and bullying Theon into playing along, and a sufficiently desperate Stannis consenting (in the TWOW preview chapter he seems in pretty dire straits, and it wasn't long ago he was seriously considering marrying her to a wildling). Theon, back from the dead and with an army behind him, his Lady Macbeth sister beside him, and now the heir to the entire realm, would then have a chance of taking control of the Ironmen's Northern conquests, and using their boats to retake the Islands. Needless to say, all this will seriously piss off Melisandre, maybe giving her the last hint that Stannis isn't AA.
    • But the Ironborn value strength above all else, which is why someone so Obviously Evil as Euron still managed to become King of the Iron Islands, as he's still a good fighter. Theon is now skin-and-bones and missing some fingers and toes. He can't really fight.

    Tyrion's nose did come from family.
    It's just... he's pegged the wrong person for the deed by thinking his sweet sister was behind it. I'm suggesting everybody's favourite Royal Brat, Joffrey. Mandon Moore wasn't wearing a white cloak for nothing, and wouldn't be the first one to act under Joffrey's orders without consulting anybody else. Add to that the veiled hints Joffrey made at the start of the Battle of Blackwater that his uncle wouldn't last long... and making Sansa kiss his sword while doing that, to boot. For luck. Yup: another plot-complicating, remote-controlled, murderous mess provided by Joffrey, when nobody else was looking.

    Jaime and Brienne are going to resolve their UST.
    But it's going to be tragic. Aware that she's leading Jaime into a trap and she won't have another chance to let him know, Brienne will be unable to hide her feelings and will confess her attraction to Jaime. He'll be initially repulsed, predictably, and will turn her down. As he gives it further thought, though, he'll consider that Brienne is really the only woman in the world he really respects. Also, despite him being faithful to Cersei his entire life, she hasn't shown anything like the same loyalty to him. For reasons that are as much as an act of contrary defiance against his previous record as much as for any actual feelings he has towards Brienne (having slept with only a single, beautiful but awful woman his entire life, it'd be ironic for him to sleep with a really ugly but good one), he'll resolve himself to just closing his eyes and accept her. Afterwards, of course, her guilt at her deception will be too much to bear and she'll confess what's happening. What happens after THAT and how Jaime reacts depends on how cruel the author is feeling.
    • If the two of them slept together, it would be the first time Brienne had ever slept with anyone AND the first time Jaime had ever slept with anyone other than Cersei, who he thinks of more of his other half than as a separate person. Tell me that the narrative wouldn't always feel a little unresolved if one or both of them died before that hugely important event happened.
      • I think saying that Martin won't do something just "because he never resolves dangling plot threads" is a pretty weak argument.
      • I am sorry. I thought this was a page for guessing. My guess is that he's deliberately not going to resolve some things, and this feels to me like something that he quite likely wouldn't.

    The descendant of Ser Duncan the Tall who has supposedly already appeared in the books is Hodor.
    According to the author, Duncan ("Dunk" from the prequels) has left at least one descendant and has left "pretty stong clues" of who it is. The next upcoming Dunk and Egg story is "The She-Wolves of Winterfell", with the two of them finally reaching Winterfell in their search for adventure. While there, Dunk will finally get to get busy with a girl- Old Nan, or as she would be known at this stage, Young Nan (or possibly Nymeria). Remember, she's VERY old, but the Dunk and Egg stories take place many decades before the present. Anyway, Duncan is forced to leave Nan pregnant and their child is the grandparent of Hodor, which explains where he got his huge size from.
    • I'm not saying I don't believe that, but given that the person (one of the people?) in question is supposed to have strong clues to their identity, it would be surprising if it's not Brienne. Who is extremely tall and has a shield like Ser Duncan's, based on one she remembers seeing at home. Could be both of them, of course.

    The importance of Patchface is...
    Patchface is so creepy that he even puts Melisandre on edge. Her visions show him surrounded by skulls and with lips red with blood, and he himself spouts some eerily accurate garbled prophecies so it seems that he could have a role to play, but what it is is unclear:
    • Patchface will destroy The Wall, and the blood from his lips comes from the Horn of Winter having a similar effect to Euron's dragon horn and killing its user
    • He will kill somebody important at a really inconvenient moment, he's essentially a sleeper agent of whatever power saved him from drowning and destroyed his mind the other skulls in her visions always indicated violent deaths, no idea about the bloody lips for this one though
    • Saved from drowning but Came Back Wrong. Remind you of anyone? Anyone ironborn, perhaps? Of course, we don't yet know if the Drowned God really exists, but my betting is that something does.
    • Keep in mind that the blood on his lips could refer to his words — basically, anything he says that winds up getting people killed.

    Jaime will buy his life by offering to help Stoneheart destroy Walder Frey
    She intends to kill him and she's clearly not going to let him go for anything less than vengeance or recovering a child for her. Jaime has no idea where any of the remaining Starks are and believes the boys to be dead at any rate. Given that Tywin is already dead, the only person he's in a position to offer her (and the only one she hates more) is Walder Frey, either by killing him or smashing his House.
    • I don't think this is likely. Walder Frey's role in the story seems to have been fulfilled, killing him would accomplish nothing. I don't think Martin would make such a big sidestep so late in the story.
    • If I remember rightly, she's already traded Podrick Payne's life for Brienne's promise to bring her Jaime, and I imagine there's only so far she's willing to suspend her bloodlust. I really don't see her doing it for some vague promise of political destabilisation. Jaime Lannister is in all likelihood the very focus of her rage, with everyone else being side dishes.
      • Although it would be pretty funny if the Bw B started adopting the same tactics that the cops use on The Wire — flipping people at every level in order to slowly work their way up the chain of command...

    Alternatively, Jaime buys his life by promising to kill Roose Bolton.
    It serves more of a role in the story as Roose is now one of the main villains, and Stoneheart may have more direct anger towards Bolton as the last thing she saw as a living woman was him murdering her last child in front of her."Catelyn Stark sends her regards." *stab*

    The whole thing ends in a peasant revolt
    Seriously, how can it not? The Westerosi are used to putting up with shit...but this much shit? War in the middle of a long winter, using up more food than strictly necessary (armies get hungrier than civilians, since active soldiers need more energy than holed-up farmers), and over what? Plus raising gigantic armies, potentially giving weapons and military training to commoners who would never have otherwise had either. And what are they fighting about? Who gets to be king? That's probably enough to make anyone say "That does it! I'm sick of kings!" and revolt.
    • I don't think it's very usual for civil wars to cause revolts (the other way around is of course a different matter). Wars are times when autocracies come into their own — would introducing a young, fragile democracy in the middle of a war end it, or just make your side more likely to lose to the guy with an iron grip over his armies? And once the war ends, the reigning monarch is the hero who saved us all from civil war, so he's got plenty of political capital to play with. Peasant revolts tend to come from long periods of misrule by a single regime on which all the blame can be easily piled (hence Cersei/Joffrey nearly causing one in KL).
      • To some degree, I see the point, but that may just delay the inevitable to the new king's successor. This also assumes there'll be one new king, and not three or five or seven or more; there's no reason to assume that the winter won't force a stalemate. In that case, the civil war will be ongoing and you'll have cruelty and rot where the Lannisters and Boltons rule, at a minimum, plus other chaos elsewhere.

    Benjen is Jon's father
    • By Ashara Dayne. All we know about the tourney is that Brandon told her that his little brother was into her; Ned's name isn't mentioned. Benjen joined the Watch, and Ashara killed herself, for related reasons, whatever they may be, which also meant Jon had to be raised by Ned. Benjen wistfully remarks at one point that he wishes Jon had been his son.
      • The problem with that idea is that Benjen didn't join the Watch until well after the rebellion. So no, there really isn't any reason to hide it if he's Benjen's son.

    Patchface will end up being the end of Melisandre and she knows it.
    • Why would someone as powerful and scary as Mels fear a once-drowned halfwit clown? Because their gods are at odd and water can extinguish fire.

    "The Winds of Winter" is going to be an absolute bloodbath.
    • As of "Dance'," Martin has all the dominoes in place. Now the only thing left to do is let them fall. He'll probably being tying up all the various lesser storylines in "Winds'," meaning only the important characters are going to make it out in one piece.
      • Let's hope! Enough chitchat — I think we're all ready to let the red run and set some wrongs aright.]

    Victarion is going to drown.
    • He wears armor because he's unafraid of drowning. In a series this irony-heavy, this seems like an "I told you so" waiting to happen.
      • "Irony-heavy." Hah!

    The Stark and Targaryen connection to their Animal Motifs and the Lannister lack of one is important
    • The Starks and Targaryens have proven magical connections to their wolves and dragons while the Lanisters are repeatedly told "you are not lions" and have been threated with injury death at the hands (teeth) of real lions in a way that highlights their lack of connection with the creatures. This might just be Foreshadowing but it seems significant.
      • BTW, has anyone seen a REAL lion in the books? This occurred to me a while ago, but while the Direwolves are prominently featured (after a long absence from below the Wall), as are Dragons, we don't see any actual Lions. That I remember.
        • We had that one Stag, right at the beginning. And mention of a Kraken. But I don't think we had any literal Lions.
        • There is the story of how Tytos Lannisters was almost killed by a lioness and we have hrakkar in Essos. There is also Cersei in ADWD remembering the caged lions when she was a kid that were kept in Casterly Rock, and how she touches one while her Jaime pulled her away.

    Asha Greyjoy will be the only surviving member of house Greyjoy
    • She's the sanest of the bunch and is an Action Girl as well which means she might have it in her to survive the last two books. The Ironborn way of life is noted in-universe to be dying out which she realises and might find another path while the rest of her family is destroyed.
      • Isn't that just a little to rosy to hope for? If anything, I think it'd seal her death at the hands of her uncle at some point. Or, completely at random, just as we think she's about to succeed at something.

    The Darkstar is actually Ashara Dayne and Brandon Stark's bastard
    • Ashara killed herself soon after giving birth, due to the trauma of being raped by Brandon, thus leaving Gerold Dayne an unwanted orphan, explaining his dark temperament. The dark streak in his white hair, either natural or cosmetic, serves as a constant reminder of his Stark/Dayne ancestry, leading him into being what amounts to a sellsword, as it allows him to kill freely in the service of his lords.
      • Then shouldn't his name be Gerold Sand?

    Qyburn and his knowledge will be essential to the fight against the Others and their wights
    • When the realm is threatened by an undead horde, someone who "knows more than any other man alive about the boundaries between life and death" (paraphrasing) and seems to be something of a dab hand at necromancy himself would be a pretty useful guy to have around, wouldn't he?
      • or he could be the reason they're on rampage mode

    The Boltons have some Other blood
    • During the Long Night when the Others invaded Westeros, deep in the forgotten past, some ancestor of House Bolton somehow managed to reproduce with an Other. This is the source of their pale, cruel descendants, with their eerily pale, icy blue eyes. Roose is detached and dispassionate in nature (he is cold to the point of seemingly barely human) and has hidden any particularly evil tendencies from the world at largenote , just as the Others have been hidden away up North for thousands of years. But now, as the the Others are stirring again, their Always Chaotic Evil tendencies are awakening in Ramsay. And in the story about the Long Night that Old Nan tells to Bran in AGOT, she says the Others "hunted the maids through frozen forests". Now, does this sound like anyone we know? House Bolton's words ("Our Blades are Sharp" according to Word of God) could refer to the Others' AbsurdlySharp ice-blades, and their historical enmity with House Stark could originate in the latter's building the Wall to try to protect the land from the Others.
      • Old Nan says that Night's King (who married an Other and had children with her) may have been a Bolton. She mentions several other possibilities and she herself thinks he was a Stark, but Bolton is the first possibility she mentions, suggesting it's at least a popular theory.

    Only one living man other than Howland Reed knows the truth about Rhaegar, Lyanna and Jon.
    • And that's Jaime. Look, we can assume Jaime knew Rhaegar pretty well and admired him- he still remembers Rhaegar's last words before he set out to the battle on the Trident. He also said that the Kingsguard are sworn to keep the King's secret- even if he was being sarcastic about himself and Aerys, I can see why he'd keep Rhaegar's secrets even after death. If Lyanna DID in fact give birth to Rhaegar's child in the Tower of Joy then, unless she had been confined there from the moment Rhaegar kidnapped her, she would have been seen to be noticeably pregnant beforehand. Maybe Selmy never had the chance to see her (although he knew that Rhaegar loved her) or he would have mentioned as such to Danaerys, but Jaime might well have.
      • Would give him something to hand Un-Cat that might mitigate the hanging, if it's true. Maybe. "I know who Jon actually is, and he isn't Ned's..." After all, one of the biggest questions/ regrets/ points of jealousy in her life was that, so I bet she'd currently still have it as as big a trigger as "you are a Frey: prepare to die".
      • It always seemed a bit weird that he was standing up for Jon to Catelyn in the TV show. Perhaps the creators of the show know something we don't?

    If Jon really is the child of Rhaegar and Lyanna, he was named after Jon Connington, not Jon Arryn.
    • I know Jon wasn't born until after Rhaegar died, but if his relationship with Lyanna was consensual (which still isn't clear) they could have discussed names beforehand, and Rhaegar wanted to name the child in honour of his exiled best friend.
      • I always assumed that - assuming the theory is true - he was named after both of them. I figure that in the days when Ned was traveling back to the North, the roads were a lot less safe, with Targaryen Loyalists still actively hunting rebels, so Ned (or maybe Howland Reed) decided to call him Jon so they could tell any loyalists that may or may not attack them that he was named after Connington, while telling any friends that he was named after Arryn.
      • Why would Ned be discussing the identity of the baby with Targaryen loyalists in the midst of a war with them? Even if he were captured, he's hardly going to give away that it's Rhaegar's heir to the people who want to keep the Targs on the throne. Either Rhaegar named it after Griff or Ned after Arryn, not both.
        • Maybe it wasn't necessarily a method of protection, but the idea can still hold up. Ned could have named Jon after Arryn, while also thinking of Connington in the back of his mind.
      • There weren't any active Targ loyalists at that time. They had all surrendered at the Trident or after the fall of King's Landing. So Ned wouldn't have needed to do that. Plus, Rhaegar wanted to complete the rebirth of the original Targ trio of conquerors: Aegon, Rhaenys, and Visenya. That was the whole point of needing a third head for the dragon and using a young teenage girl as the baby maker. He would have been expecting a girl, named Visenya, not a boy without a Targaryen name.

    By the end of the series, Rickon will be the Stark in Winterfell.
    If Stannis wins the castle back, things can work out quite easily, since Davos is Stannis's man and he's been sent to retrieve him. It's likely no other Starks will ever see Winterfell again.
    • Ned is dead.
    • Catelyn is somewhat dead.
    • Robb is super dead.
    • Sansa is set to take over the Vale.
    • Bran is a tree.
    • Arya is no longer a Stark.
    • Jon is on the wall, dead, and not a Stark anyway.

      • Got to question a couple of those:
        • Arya refused to throw away Needle, and secretly revels in her wolf dreams. She's hiding it well enough for now, but she's still Arya Stark. No way is she going to stay the course, though she will probably learn a lot of tricks before she quits/gets kicked out.
        • I have trouble believing that about Jon. I don't know whether he'll survive his injuries or be raised by Melisandre, but that scene is way too reminiscent of Theon at the sack of Winterfell, Asha in the fight in the woods, Brienne in the fight with the 'Hound', Arya at the Twins. There's probably more. Quentyn Martell is the nearest thing to an exception, but even he didn't actually die in that scene. People have died in their POV, but there's a ton where they're implied to be dead and turn up later, and the way it faded out, dwelling on the last thing he saw/felt as he lost consciousness, is far more in line with the not-dead scenes. And he was legitimised by Robb, offered it again by Stannis, and there's kings all over the place who could potentially do it a third time.

    Tyrion is going to meet up with his long-lost uncle Gerion.
    Gerion Lannister, Tyrion and Jaime's favourite uncle, went on a quest to find the ancestral Valyrian steel sword of House Lannister, Brightroar, years before the series proper began. While he is considered to be "most likely dead" due to sailing to Valyria even after half his crew abandoned him and the expedition Tywin sent out to look for him never found a trace, he has not been confirmed dead and could be ANYWHERE. Possibly he's finally found Brightroar but has lost all his men and is working on slowly hitchhiking his way back to Westeros.

    If Tyrion DOES run into him, it'll be an emotional reunion (Gerion was the man who most supported Tyrion while he was growing up) but things could get a bit awkward when Gerion asks the question "so how is your father, my eldest brother, doing?"

    Joffrey sexually abused Tommen.
    In ASOS when Jaime thinks Brienne is about to be raped he tells her to let them have her and just "go away inside". Tommen says to him later that he "went away inside when Joffy..." and then he never finishes, but the wording is unsettlingly similar. It also seems unlikely that Joffrey physically abused his brother, at least any place it would show, as people would notice. And Joffrey's certainly enough of a monster to do it.

    • I'm not saying that's not so, but he needn't have physically bullied him to explain those words without sexual abuse; we know he bullied him emotionally (up to and including killing his pet fawn and making a jerkin out of its skin). And besides, I think it would be quite easy for Joffrey to have hit him and just frightened him into saying nothing - they were both being trained in combat, not to mention that little kids fall over and hurt themselves all the time just playing, so bruises could have easily been explained away. But that's an interesting theory. I certainly wouldn't put it past the little horror, and it would be quite nicely circular (though not as much as if it was Myrcella).

    • I've heard this theory a few other places, but I just can't buy it. While Joffrey could certainly do something like that, Tommen is a much, much too happy and well-adjusted child to have been the victim of sexual abuse. Like the troper above, I think that some form of emotional or psychological abuse is more likely.

    The wishes of the Stark children in A Song of Ice and Fire come true again, but in a much better outcome in the last book.
    The Stark children have their wishes come true in the first book, which was horribly rigged against them. Now, in the final book, they will actually get their wish. It makes sense from a Bookend perspective.
    • Bran gets to fly, by possessing or taming one of the dragons.
    • Sansa gets to marry a prince, probably Aegon, the Sixth of his name.
    • Arya manages to get away from her noble privileges becoming some sort of master spy.
    • Robb is still super dead.
    • Jon Snow will lead the Night Watch against a greater threat than the politics of the day, the White Walkers and their undead, and bring them glory.

    The Seven Kingdoms will break up, at least temporarily
    The High Septon will overthrow Cersei and Tommen, possibly by declaring that Tommen is a bastard. This will be a fatal mistake.
    • The Iron Islands: The Iron Islands are still in open rebellion, and have no desire to bend the knee. The only one who could force them to do so is Daenerys Targaryen.
    • The Westerlands: Without Tommen on the throne, Jaime will have no reason at all to be loyal to King's Landing. He will become the Lord of Casterly Rock, and will likely circle the wagons in hopes of survival. If Tommen and Cersei are dead, he may well declare himself King on the Rock.
    • The North: The North is a powder keg already. Between Stannis, Melisandre, Lord Manderly, and the surviving Starks, the Boltons' hold on the North is doomed. And once the Boltons go, the Reeds will ensure that no one can send in reinforcements. The North probably won't get very involved in the southern war, due to a rather pressing need to fight the Others.
    • The Vale: Petyr Baelish and Sansa Stark are poised to take control. And there really isn't an army left in Westeros that could take the Vale by force.
    • The Riverlands: The Freys' control is so weak that the Riverlands will likely collapse into a series of independent lords. Especially if and when the Brotherhood takes out the Twins. The Tullys could eventually pull a comeback.
    • The Reach: Euron will take Highgarden, and probably kill as many Tyrells as possible. If he manages to purge the house, the Reach will probably unite under the Hightowers (especially as we have Sam in Oldtown to serve as our POV).
    • The Stormlands: Already falling to Aegon VI.
    • Dorne: Will likely back Aegon.

    If this happens, then it is unlikely that Aegon will be able to unite the Seven Kingdoms again. Dany could, with her dragons. But even if Aegon takes King's Landing, he'll only have the Crownlands, the Stormlands, and Dorne.

    The war is heading into a repeat of the Battle of the Trident
    Ramsay's letter is a lie. Stannis will crush the Boltons and the Freys with ease since most of their "vassals" hate them and will defect to Stannis at the first opportunity; the Tyrell-Lannister alliance will have enough trouble dealing with the Aegon-Martell alliance on the one hand and the Ironborn on the other to do anything about it. With Lysa out of the picture, Stannis might even get the support of the Vale if Littlefinger jumps ship or is taken care of in some way. Meanwhile, Aegon wins over the Tyrell-Lannisters and takes King's Landing, but his forces get so depleted in the process that when he immediately departs north to meet Stannis, Aegon is defeated and killed easily. By Stannis' own hand, of course.

    Jon Snow will be released of his oath as a member of the Night's Watch due to the Exact Words nature of the oath.
    The duty of the man serving the watch ... shall not end until my death. Given the ending of A Dance with Dragons, Jon surviving, or even being revived after his stabbing, will release him from his oath.

    The Lannisters will soon have their own little war of succession
    Let's take a look at the Lannister family tree, and who is left. Tywin was the undisputed ruler, he is now dead. His heir would be Jaime, but he has no right to claim Casterly Rock, since he joined the Kingsguard. Next in line is Tyrion, but he is presumed the murderer of Joffrey and in exile, so he's out of the picture. Tywin had three brothers, two are dead and the third one has been missing for years. That means the heir to Casterly Rock would be Kevan's oldest son Lancel... who has joined the Warrior's Sons, which does not automatically revoke his claim, but makes it unlikely that he will take it. Kevan's second son? Yep, also (apparently) dead.So, as of now, the rightful heir to Casterly Rock and head of House Lannister is Kevan's third son, a young squire named Martyn. Does anyone really think he will be able to sustain the claim to the richest house in Westeros without anyone interfering?

    So, a few things could happen:

    • The Tyrells and the Iron Throne back Martyn, because they think he is inexperienced and easy to control. However, since the whole point of Kevan's assassination was to shatter the Lannister-Tyrell alliance, there will be a lot of suspicion in the Westerlands about any candidate the Small Council is backing.
      • Conversely, Ser Daven, as Warden of the West, will back Martyn, and will rally most of the Westerlands to him.
    • Jaime renounces his status as Kingsguard and places himself as successor to Tywin. Many will see him as most fit to rule, but many will also consider him an oathbreaker (now TWICE, as you are not supposed to retire from the Kingsguard), and not be too keen on him becoming Lord.
    • The Faith Militant jumps on the chance and convinces Lancel to leave the Warrior's Sons and claim Casterly Rock as Kevan's heir. This would really piss off the Westerlands(and probably many other powerful people in Westeros), since it would de facto mean handing over one of the Seven Kingdoms to the High Septon.
    • Cersei tries to rightfully inherit Casterly Rock. In theory, there would be a pretty good chance to do so, since there are literally no male heirs left (except the mentioned Martyn, and Jaime and Lancel, who are sort of unable to claim) in Tywin's family (the closest would be a brother of his father, and it's never even mentioned if Tytos HAD a brother). In practise, we are talking about Cersei, who is almost universally loathed.
      • In The World of Ice and Fire it's revealed Tytos had two elder brothers and one younger. The younger brothers eldest son is Damion Lannister, Castellan of Casterly Rock.
    • A tangent to the above, the Small Council argues that it should be passed through the female line, meaning to King Tommen Baratheon himself. That would effectively mean ending the rule of House Lannister in the Westerlands, and cause quite an uproar.
    • There are other potential female claimants who aren't under arrest by the Faith.
      • Genna (Tywin's sister) is reasonably politically competent, and because she is married to a Frey, might have support from the Twins and anyone else who was a part of the Frey conspiracy (say, the Boltons). Since she's currently the Lady of Riverrun, she might also choose not to press her own claim, and instead support one of her sons, or for that matter Myrcella.
      • Myrcella also has a relatively strong claim in her own right, since she is Tywin's granddaughter, and given her betrothal to Trystane Martell, she might well have Dornish support.
    • The Lannisport branch of House Lannister rises up and tries to replace the main branch.
    • Varys, if he's responsible for Willem's disappearance, pulls him out of wherever he squirreled him away and starts maneuvering to make him Lord of Casterly Rock. Martyn's supporters, in this case, would switch to Willem.
    The seasons shall be put into order by someone
    Maybe the Night's Watch, maybe Dany, maybe something else. But something will be done which will set the climate cycle of this world to four seasons per year as by axial tilt.This will freak a lot of people out
    Someone will invent the Greenhouse
    Do you like starving to death in the dead of a years long winter? Well with a greeenhouse you can add to your food stores.
    • Done — Winterfell has (er... had) glass gardens. In our world, greenhouses date back to the middle ages. In Book V, Jon even wonders what would be entailed in building glass gardens at Castle Black.

    Someone will go to the southern hemisphere
    Lady Stoneheart will eventually ccause the death of one of her children, which will lead to her breaking down and commiting suicide.
    • Option 1: Jaime will eventually find Sansa and decide to take her to her mother. When he reaches her, Lady Stoneheart will try to have him killed on sight. Sansa will try to protect him and will end up killed. Another way this to go is for Lady Stoneheart to succeed in killing Jaime, leading to Sansa giving he a What the Hell, Hero?.
      • Why would Jaime try to find Sansa when there's no gain to be had from it?
        • An odd question considering that, at least we saw him, Jaimie is trying to find Sansa (though he's pretty unlikely to find her).
    • Option 2: Lady Stoneheart will decide that Jon Snow is her enemy. At the same time, Arya will be sent to the Wall to kill someone as part of her Faceless Man training. Following what happened to him in aDwD, Jon will be unable to defend himself. Seeing Lady Stoneheart attempt to kill him will re-awaken Arya's personality, and she will die protecting Jon.
      • Why would Lady Stoneheart try to kill Jon? He's got beyond nothing to do with the Red Wedding.
        • At this point it seems unlikely that Jon and Cateyln's plots will converge, but it's worth noting that she was always suspicious of his motives and given her increasing paranoia (as shown when meeting Brienne in A Feast for Crows) it's not implausible that she'd believe Jon collaborated with the Freys and Boltons in order to clear the Stark inheritance for himself (remember, at the time of the Red Wedding it's commonly believed that every child of hers but Robb and Sansa is dead).
        • The Blackfish seems to believe this version of events after he hears about Jon becoming Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, for what its worth.
    • Option 3 (not very likely): Hodor's real name is Walder, which is a common Frey name. Lady Stoneheart will try to kill him and will end up killing Bran.
      • What would Zombie Cat or any of her band be doing beyond the Wall? How would they know where the missing, presumed dead Hodor is anyway? Why would she waste resources to send assassins after a halfwit when her enemies are in the Riverlands?
    A Kraken will show up
    In some sea battle or something, a Kraken will come out of the briney depths and do something. Probably eat a boat or some people in the sea.

    • More-or-less confirmed, I think (don't have my copies of the books with me so I can't check). I forget which book it was in, but there have been reports of a kraken, though it hasn't yet been involved in a battle or anything history-altering.

    The Dragonbinder horn will work
    • In contrast to the runaround about the legitimacy of the Horn of Winter, the Horn of Dragons will turn out to be the genuine article and bind Rhaegon and Viserion to Victarion. Luckily, Drogon is beyond its sound. Victarion will return to Westeros will the dragons and Daenerys's next priority will be regaining them from the Ironmen.

      • It killed the last guy who blew it, so it's not a particularly wild guess that it's the real thing. Though, I'm certain that there is a genuine Horn of Winter - it's already been found and is currently in Sam's possession, probably soon to fall into the hands either of Archmeister Whichever-one-it-was or of Jaqen/Pate.
        • The Dragonbinder is certainly magical, but whether it will do what Euron thinks it will remains to be seen. Of course, in this series people wielding magic rarely get exactly what they plan. If Sam's horn really is the Horn of Winter (and it seems likely that it is), one wonders what future role it might play in the series. At this point, who desires to destroy the Wall?
        • Shall we start a list? The wildlings: if Jon is indeed out of the picture - and even if he's not dead, I don't think he's gonna be Lord Commander any more - then they're in an interesting position. Euron Greyjoy: he'd probably do it just to see what happened. The Others/a wight under their control. Jon (if he survives): he doesn't want to keep the wildlings out, and maybe he'll think the Wall won't keep the Others out and that having it divide the Westerosi and the wildlings will just make it harder to fight the real enemy. And of course, let's not forget Someone Who Thinks It's Just A Horn: who says they have to want to bring the Wall down? Anyone I missed?
        • On that last point, the fact that Sam's horn doesn't seem to make any sound suggests that (if it is the Horn of Winter) you probably have to know how to use it properly, which makes it less likely someone will bring down the Wall by accident.
        • More likely using it properly involves blood magic, like the dragon-horn. So all it takes is for someone to cut themselves...

    If Bran is the third head of the dragon, then Dany will get a direwolf
    Note this is not a declarative Bran is the third head. To me at this point its just as likely that its Tyrion. Anyways my theory is based on the fact that since the two heads of dragons are Dany and almost certainly Jon, Dany has a dragon, and Jon would have a direwolf and a dragon. Bran, if he is the third head, would also have a direwolf and a dragon. In order to be completely balanced Dany would have to get a direwolf.

    Bran's going to warg into a dragon
    This is how Dany is going to achieve control of one of, if not all 3 of her dragons. If you can warg into a human, why not a dragon? It'd be the perfect way to have Bran's superwarging abilities be not only important, but pivotal to the plot, indebt Dany to the Starks, who she restores, and once more let him fly. Only in a FAR more awesome way than a raven.
    • Or Dany will end up an insane threat and want to wipe out the Starks. Bran stops her by warging into a dragon and killing her.

    Stannis will take Winterfell.
    • Stannis is in his natural environment at the end of "A Dance with Dragons," outnumbered and surrounded by enemies. This is the guy who defeated Victarion Greyjoy (someone even iron-balled Robb Stark feared) at sea, survived the siege of Storm's End and nearly took King's Landing. As of where the book left off, he was frustrated, but not discouraged. And does someone as undisciplined as Ramsay Snow really have what it takes to stand up against someone like Stannis Baratheon? Really?
    With his bro Davos off picking up a Stark, their storylines will reconnect fittingly by book 7 if Winterfell ends up in Baratheon hands.

    Arya's and Sansa's fates will involve Ser Robert Strong
    Bran saw a number of things in his dreams before he woke from his coma, including his sisters surrounded by shadows. He describes three of these: "one ... dark as ash, with the terrible face of a hound", "another ... armoured like the sun, golden and beautiful", and finally "over them both loomed a giant in armour made of stone, but when he opened his visor, there was nothing inside but darkness and thick black blood."

    The Hound has already been involved in the fates of both girls, and if Jaime Lannister hasn't yet it's not for lack of trying, and who does the third sound like if not Qyburn's dreadful champion?

    Jon Snow's parents are actually Lyanna Stark and Robert Baratheon
    Amid the rampant theorizing that Jon is actually an undercover Targaryen, it's worth considering that Jon may actually be the (arguably) rightful heir to Robert's throne. A bit late to the party for the WMG page, but it had to be said.
    • In this scenario, would he have been conceived just before Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna (or whatever really happened)? Does the timeline work out for that? (Not saying it doesn't: I have no idea.) Also if that's so, it's hard to see any way they could have secretly married, so Jon would definitely be a bastard. I don't think bastards can inherit at all in Westeros - otherwise Edric would have a claim since Robert had no true-born children. (Although if they can, Jon would probably be Robert's eldest son, and there's always the possibility of someone legitimising him again.)
    • Robert seems to have no trouble believing that Jon is Ned's son. Not that Ned couldn't be deceiving him about that for some reason or another, but I find the idea rather farfetched.

    The Lord of Light and the Great Other are Eldritch Abominations.
    They are so great that humans can't possibly perceive them directly, but their eternal struggle with each other manifests as the uneven seasons of Westeros. Humans and normal life in general can only survive in their impasse, and victory of either one would spell immediate doom for everyone; the first Long Winter was a time when the Great Other almost won and the Doom of Valyria resulted from the Lord of Light gaining the upper hand. Humans tend to see one or the other as good and evil simply because they happened to be saved from one's wrath by the other, by coincidence. They are only vaguely aware of humans, themselves and don't really comprehend them as individuals, but seek to use them as pawns by sending power in their way that only a few with the affinity can actually exploit. And those few can mix a little bit of humanity in the essence of these entities to create the Humanoid Abominations known as the Others and Melisandre's shadow children, respectively. Ofcourse no-one has the idea of how to make more Others, any more, since they were all too succesful, but Craster had the right idea.

    Dany will accidentally obliterate King's Landing as soon as she makes it to Westeros
    Martin's last trolling will be the biggest one. Daenerys and her dragons will finally make it to Westeros after nearly 3 decades and 7 books. However, as soon as she takes King's Landing she'll place one of her ill-behaved dragons in the wrong dungeon and it will unearth and fire one of the wildfire pots laid down decades ago by the Mad King. The ensuing chain reaction will destroy King's Landing, kill Daenerys and the three dragons before she even learns of the White Walker threat. This new Doom will turn the Westerosi realm into another myth of old like Valyria.

    Roose Bolton will surprise Littlefinger attempting to switch sides
    Informed that his son is in need of a new pet, he will hand him to Ramsay who promptly will have him Littlefingored.

    Robert Strong is, in part, made up of Ned's body parts, and the head on the spike, the bones sent back, they all belonged to somebody else. Robert Strong/Frankengregor has Ned's head.
    The head was described as looking nothing like Ned, and Catelyn remarks that the bones were from a smaller man. Perhaps the Lannisters kept the body around, maybe even pickled or froze it to keep it from rotting, in order to give themselves some small extra leverage over the Starks, then the Starks were kinda taken out, so Qyburn began to make use of the old Lord of the North's body.
    • Qyburn got to King's Landing long after Ned's death and is described as working on fresh bodies. I suppose it's not inconceivable that Cersei for some reason instructed him to incorporate Ned's remains into Ser Robert Strong but what would anyone have to gain from doing so? Especially since he's not meant to go up against any Starks, so even the irony of it seems missing.
      • The Lannisters are eco-friendly, they recycle the bodies of their old enemies!

    Lady Stoneheart will eventually come up against Olyvar and/or Perwyn Frey
    It will be interesting to see how she deals with the Freys that she knows full well had no role in the Red Wedding and were sympathetic to Robb.
    • She will assume they were in on it and betraying Robb the whole time. The Brotherhood won't need much persuasion to kill more Freys.
      • She knows (or knew) that they weren't involved — in fact, their absence from the Twins was one of her first clues that something was afoot. Whether she's willing to kill them just to hurt their family could be a major test as to how human she still is.

    Tywin is not Tyrion's father but Joanna made him promise that he'd treat him as a son in her deathbed
    Why? Because assuming that R+L=J is true, this would make Tywin Ned Stark's Evil Counterpart, and that's just awesome.
    • Just so, ser.

    Daenerys will sacrifice herself and her dragons to save Westeros
    By the end of the series, the Others will make it past the wall and lay waste to Westeros. And since magic is tied to the dragons, at the end she will have to sacrifice herself and her dragons to save Westeros, and remove all magic from the world in the process.

    One of Cersei's children is Robert's
    Ned figures out they are Jaime's children by studying past Lannister-Baratheon unions and noticing they were all black-haired. Not knowing about dominant and recessive genes, he concludes that Black+Blond=Black. However, if we consider the fact that there were previous Lannister-Baratheon unions, we must also consider the posibility that Robert carried a recessive blond gene. If he did, it is possible that Cersei gave a birth to his child and assumed it was Jaime's. I don't know which child it is, but probably not Joffrey, since his mental instability is generally assumed to be a result of his incestous origin.
    • That Robert carries recessive genes for blonde hair and green eyes is the obvious assumption, but the problem with it is that the Baratheons would have carried the recessive genes for many generations and many marriages with Lannisters, making the chances of every single L+B child (and it's implied, every child of a Baratheon parent, in particular every one of Robert's bastards) ever born, being the spitting image of their Baratheon parent extremely small. It's, paradoxically, more plausible that in Westeros there is no such thing as recessive genes.
      • Can we be sure that all of Robert's bastards look like him? According to Maggy's prophecy, he has 16, and Varys claims to know about 8. So what if Varys, basing his knowledge on observation, only knows about those who look like Robert, while Maggy, using magic, knows about all of them, including those who don't have Robert's black hair.
        • I don't think Varys just looked for kids with black hair. I'm pretty sure he would have looked for women who conceived a kid during an affair with Robert. He just doesn't know about all of them yet - remember he probably doesn't know about the prophecy, so he doesn't know to keep looking until 16. So out of all eight bastards whose hair colour we know, it's black. Suppose Robert carries a blond gene. Then the chances of all eight kids inheriting the black hair gene is 1/2^8 = 4%. We need to allow for some of them inheriting a black hair gene from their mothers, but it's unlikely that more than one or two did, as properly black hair rather than just dark brown isn't that common in white people, and we also need to take account of the Baratheon-Lannister history of always producing dark-haired offspring without exception. I would estimate that the second point at least cancels the first, so the chances are no more than 4%, which is generally considered statistically significant.
        • 4%? Every child's probability of inheriting the black-hair gene is 50%. So far, we've seen 5 of them (Mya Stone, Bella, Gendry, Edric Storm, Barra) and 2 have been mention indirectly (Twins in Casterly Rock, killed by Cersei's agents), which is less than half of them. While the probability of 8/8 children inheriting the black-hair gene is 4%, if we assume the other 8 are blond, then 8/16 children inherited the black-hair gene, which is more realistic.
        • Why are you assuming the other eight are blond? Even if Robert did have a blond gene, probability doesn't work like that. We have no idea what they look like. The only data we have is on the children we've seen. The probability of eight kids black-haired and eight whose hair could be any colour is exactly the same as eight black-haired and no others. (Although we haven't seen all eight that Varys knows about, he tells Tyrion they all have black hair.)
        • Sorry, I meant if the others inherited the blonde gene. I'm just saying, until we see all 16, we can't be sure he didn't have a non-black-haired child. Also, while Varys probably did discover the bastards by observing women who have had sex with Robert, it's possible that he simply saw that those with different-colored hairs weren't Robert's.
        • I know we don't know for sure that he never fathered a blond kid. But the probability of his fathering eight black-haired kids out of the eight that we have seen, if he has a blond gene, is 4%. That's all I said and that is simply, mathematically, true. I also don't believe that Varys would have dismissed a blond kid. Why would he? not to mention, he compares them to Cersei's kids and says "the truth wasn't hard to glimpse", which wouldn't make any sense if he deliberately picked out only kids with black hair.
        • The Baratheons doesn't need to have carried the gene for a long time without it showing in their marriages to Lannisters. Although it's a different kind of 'blond', it may have come through their Targeryan grandmother and there were no L+B marriages after it. If for some (random) reason the gene that came up in one of those times was the Targeryan blond, it would probably be recessive in comparison to Lannister blond. And the green eyes;since we've seen Renly described as both green eyed and blue eyed, I won't worry much about that (and anyway makes very little sense for isn't green supposed to be more dominant than blue? And god only knows what would come between the Targeryan violet and the Lannister green). My bet would be Tommem, mostly because he isn't described as having their siblings curly hair AND Jon DOES describe him with a white-blond hair; that is close enough to silver-blond for someone who never saw a Targaryen. STILL, I thought that Cersei said that she never allowed any child of Robert's to grown in her belly/that he didn't have her as often as he thought.
        • Cersei might have said that, but that doesn't mean she was entirely correct (she had no perfect means to not allow any child of Robert's to grow in her belly while letting Jaime's, and it is not inconceivable that she simply assumed she'd succeeded thus far when she saw that all her children had blonde hair).
        • Simple mathematical truth must needs be based on sound mathematical assumptions. The 4% number is presumably based on a random sampling. However, you can't base your numbers on the 8 children we've seen, because they're the ones Varys knows about, which is likely a biased sampling. A true random sample would need to include all 16 children, 8 of which we know for sure are black-haired.
    • For sheer irony's sake, maybe Joffrey was his after all?

    Houses Stark and Baratheon will be joined in the end
    At the start of the first book, king Robert wants Joffrey to marry Sansa, joining the Starks and the Baratheons. To see the hoses finally joined would be a nice ending. This will be accomplished by marrying Bran Stark and Shireen Baratheon.
    • Rickon is possible as a match for Shireen, since he's the one everyone's looking for and wanting to use. Bran is paralyzed from the waist down, and he doesn't appear to be involving himself in family matters anytime soon.
      • Alternatively Gendry will be legitimized as a Baratheon and marry Arya. Given Arya is described as a Generation Xerox of Lyanna Stark, there would be a huge irony in her actually choosing to marry Robert's son rather than being forced into an arrangement. It would invert the Arranged Marriage between Robert/Lyanna versus Arya and Gendry meeting as commoners and befriending each other without even knowing their family legacy. Not to mention, it would go full circle to the start of the series when a Stark daughter was betrothed to a Baratheon son - just not the two Robert and Ned expected.

    Ideas on Valyria.
    Valyria was built ontop of a super-caldera like Yellow Stone park, except on a much bigger scale, on the day of the doom, this massive volcano erupted, and the destruction of basicley everything was cause by the massive techtonic shift and natural disasters that were caused by the eruption.

    The dragons have been dying out every since the doom because they draw their life force from the energies volcano, when it erupted it used up all this energy and cut them off from the life force, so each generation of dragons had to rely on whatever little was left, thus dying out. When Dany brought the 3 dragons to life, enough time had passed that energy had built up again, allowing them to live, thus ushering a new age of dragons.

    The Doom of Valyria was actualy caused by all the sorcery and power being used at once causing a resonance cascade like even that set of the volcano, which would not have erupted by itself untill the red comet came 500 years later.

    The Doom was the fire that brought forth the Light Bringer, prematurely, all the magic and Valyrian steel in the area were combined in the event to form the sword, and the incarnation of Azor Ahai will have to travel to the center of the doom, in the ruins of the capital, where s/he will find the lightbringer waiting to be drawn from the fires of the very earth itself, and as an added bonus, it will be infused with the souls of the entire nation making it like the original.

    Arya will be sent to Westeros to kill Lady Stoneheart.
    Some Frey will be distraught enough by the deaths in his family to sacrifice his entire fortune to hire a Faceless Man to take revenge, and Arya is chosen because she's ready to be tested, blends well in in Westeros and doesn't seem to have any personal connection to the outlaw queen. Ofcourse coming face to face with her mother shakes her out of her Faceless Man's conditioning and after granting her the peace of true death, she continues to pursue her own, personal revenge.
    • And Arya will die in the process, only to be revived by Thoros. Because is there a better way to tell Death: "Not today"? (Yes, I am aware that this phrase is from the TV series. Still.)
    • I'm thinking Cersei's a more likely target. She's already pissed off The Iron Bank, and they are known for hiring Faceless Men when rulers don't pay their debts. Arya may not get the order, but she'll hear about it, find her way back to Westeros and put Needle through the queen's heart.

    All or most of the great houses will be extinguished by the end of the series.
    Remember, it doesn't need all heirs to be killed. For the house to continue it has to be someone bearing that name, so only trueborn male-line descent counts.

    Stark:Arya and Sansa are both in hiding, may never be found, and in any case their children will either be Snows or of their husbands' houses. Bran is dead to the world and certainly isn't going to have any kids, Jon's not a Stark, and even if Benjen's alive he's Night's Watch. So the whole house's future rests on little lost Rickon.

    Lannister:Cersei won't have any more kids and the two she has left are doomed (and aren't trueborn Lannisters anyway), per prophecy. I somehow doubt Jaime will, and if he does they'll be bastards since Kingsguard can't marry. Tyrion can't have any trueborn children since he's married to Sansa. Lancel's going to be a septon, young Tyrek is almost certainly dead, Genna's kids are Freys. Gerion might reappear, I suppose, but even if he's alive I doubt he's settled down to raise a family. Stafford had a son and so does Tywin's other male cousin, but it would be easy enough for something to happen to any or all of them.

    Arryn:There's only Sweetrobin left and he's being murdered.

    Tully:Lysa's and Cat's kids aren't Tullys even if any survive, and Brynden is hardly likely to marry or have children. There's Edmure and his unborn child, but I wouldn't bet too heavily on either surviving the series, and the kid could be a girl.

    Baratheon:Even if Shireen survives and marries her children won't be Baratheons. Stannis is unlikely to have more children, given his frosty relationship with his wife. Cersei's kids aren't really Baratheons and are doomed by prophecy in any case. The chances of any of Robert's bastards being legitimised seems pretty slim.

    • I think Stannis wants sons, it's just his wife keeps giving him stillborns.
      • Really? I don't recall any mention of stillbirths or miscarriages in their particular case, just that they never had any other children. I guessed that they may have had trouble conceiving again, besides that the universally accepted version in-universe is that they haven't even tried in a long time. And Selyse's claim that the reason she hasn't given him any more children is because of Edric might even make some degree of sense if that's the case - if he feels (or she thinks he does) that their marriage was dishonoured by Robert's adultery on their wedding night then maybe she attributes his lack of interest to that.
    • As I WM Ged below, one of Robert's bastards, most likely Edric, may be legitimized by Stannis in case he doesn't have children. Or if Jon becomes King he may do so.

    Martell:Doran's estranged from his wife, Oberyn left only bastard daughters, and Quentyn got himself barbecued. Dornish law might make Arianne her father's heir, but she'll still don her husband's colours if she marries. That only leaves little Trystane, and he's too valuable a pawn to put much stock in his safety.

    • Dornish law allows woman to keep their own sigils. There have already been ruling Princesses of Dorne.

    Targaryen:Dany's a girl, and it's very likely she can't have kids. Aegon still has a war to fight, and in any case there's a lot of popular doubt of his authenticity. Jon is almost certainly still a bastard even if he's Rhaegar's. I suppose if Dany married a Targaryen bastard it might be generally accepted that they're Targaryens, but that's still no good if they can't have children. This troper's pet theory is that Rhaegar's not really dead, but somehow I can't see him marrying again.

    Greyjoy:Aeron's a priest, I can't see Victarion marrying again, and Balon's only surviving son appears to have been castrated. Asha's children, if she ever has any, won't be Greyjoys. Admittedly Euron is a bit of a wildcard; there's no telling what he'll do.

    The Tyrells are the only great house to really look like bucking the trend. Garlan's married - though childless as yet, and Willas might be a cripple but he's heir to Highgarden and so hardly unattractive. Garth is unmarried - perhaps too gross for most women to look at, but his brother Moryn has sons, grandsons, and a great grandson, and there's other male relatives too.

    • Some parts of this WMG are based on an assumption that children can't inherit their mother's family name. However, there are examples of that in canon (e.g. all of Maege Mormont's daughters are Mormonts themselves).

    • In Historic Patriarchal Societies like Westros, there's also a rule that allows the secondary heirs like second sons and daughters to be named to the wife's House if there are no other members.

    • Dorne has followed cognatic primogeniture since Nymeria conquered it and since then House Nymeros Martell has ruled Dorne. Now, if it is the case that the children of a Princess of Dorne inherits its father's name, that means every single ruling Princess of Dorne since the Rhyonish conquest has married a male member of her own house. Since that seems highly unlikely, and since it completely flies in the face of the entire point of cognatic primogeniture, I am confident that any marriage that Arianne makes, excepting one, perhaps, with a Targaryen, will result in the children being of House Nymeros Martell. Also, as the person above points out, it is possible for a woman to pass on her name in certain situations in feudal societies, whether through matrilineal marriages or by passing on a name and title to a second born or lower son. There is also the possibility that any of the individuals of these dying houses could adopt a member of the lesser nobility or a second or third born son, granting him their name and titles (I believe this option was discusses when the issue of Lady Hornwood's inheritance was brought up). Also, House Lannister has at least one thriving cadet branch (the Lannisters of Lannisport) and thus it is unlikely that ALL of the Lannisters will go extinct.

    The dragons of Dragonstone will wake

    The wretched place is plainly built on a dormant volcano. At some point, most probably right after Mel finally finds someone sufficiently royal to burn, it's going to erupt, and those great stone dragons will spew forth fire.

    As an added bonus WMG, could be there's a supervolcano down there, and the series ends with Westeros suffering the same Doom as Valyria.

    A Grand Unified Theory of Daenerys Targaryen's future exploits
    Daenerys has now spent five books in Essos, slowly growing in power and learning how to be a queen. It's long due for her to make her expedition to Westeros reality, but she's been adamant that she won't leave Meereen until she can be reasonably certain that its people are going to be safe for the time being. I believe that many of the elements that allow her to leave are quickly coming together in A Dance With Dragons:

    First, she will defeat Khal Jhago and his bloodriders personally with Drogon's help, and suddenly the khalasar figures out that she might be worth following, after all. They set off back to Meereen, luring Drogon with lame horses and other easy prey. Meanwhile Victarion's fleet reaches the city and engages in naval battle with the forces of Volantis and Qarth. Victarion has one of his crew use the Horn of Valyria and commands the two dragons to attack enemy forces, decimating them. At the same time surprising news come from Volantis: the slaves have started their own uprising in the absence of the bulk of the city's army and have received unexpected help from the Sealord of Braavos who sees a perfect opportunity to both end the slave trade on the shores of the Narrow Sea once and for all and make his city the dominant power in the region. The remains of the Volantean army retreat as the hear the news and the Yunkai'i are driven back or destroyed with the help of the dragons. The Ironborn are reluctantly welcomed into the city, but Ser Barristan has the Unsullied secretly block the way back to their ships.

    At this point Daenerys returns with her new khalasar. Victarion tries to force her to marry him by blackmailing her with her dragons, but at this point Moqorro reveals that he had just been using him to get to Dany. He uses the magic in Victarion's hand that he healed to take control of him and force him to blow the Horn of Valyria, himself, in Dany's name and give her full control over all three dragons. The Ironborn revolt but are crushed between the Dothraki and the Unsullied and the survivors are chained to the oars for the oncoming journey. At this point the Mage arrives and reveals Dany the threat of the Others in the North and urges her to leave at once to save millions. A certain dwarf makes an appearance and pledges his sellsword company at her service, along with his expertise of the current political state of Westeros. Dany decides to leave Reznak mo Reznak as her viceroy for the time being, as his ruthless advice turned out to be wise in the hindsight, after all, but also leaves Jorah Mormont along with half of her Unsullied as his Kingsguard with orders to dispose of him should he prove treacherous.

    With her new Iron Fleet and an army, Daenerys sails off towards the North, but first stopping at Braavos for winter supplies. There she hears of the plight of the Wildlings starving at the shores, and decides to take her fleet to them. They are the ships that Mother Mole prophecised in the last book.

    Theon isn't castrated.
    Not completely, at any rate. Ramsay only took one testicle from him, because it seems to be his shtick to take a man apart piece by piece, not all at once. Surely he would like to make Theon experience the same pain and horror again at a later date.

    • He may not have taken either testicle. We know for virtual certainty that Theon can't have sex. But men who've been castrated are generally still capable of getting an erection, so presumably Ramsay must have taken his penis, which technically isn't castration, but I don't know what it is called. He may or may not have also castrated him, entirely or half.
      • It's called penectomy, though it's a standard part of castration in certain cultures. But Theon doesn't state that he can't have sex, but that he doesn't dare. That's the reason why I'm suspecting that he isn't entirely castrated.
        • I don't recall him saying he doesn't dare. I'm talking about the bit where Ramsay makes him molest Jeyne, and he clearly does understand (at least in general terms) what he's being asked to do, but still "didn't understand", and reminds Ramsay that he doesn't have something he apparently can't bring himself to talk about.
        • I refer to the point where Abel's "washerwoman" flirts with him. As I see it, it's the shame of his mutilated nethers that keeps him from committing sexual acts, not his physical inability for them. What's more, a succesful penectomy requires more than just a sharp knife. Some medical skill is required to do it without instantly killing the victim, and even more to ensure that they survive the healing process. A tube must be inserted in the subject's urethra, or they will urinate straight into the raw tissue, causing certain infection and death. If they had Qyburn or some other talented maester with them, sure, but I can't believe that any of the Bastard's Boys could perform the operation and end up with a live victim.
        • I'm not denying he's ashamed. But I cannot see any other explanation for the scene I mentioned. As for the practicalities of doing it, possibly GRRM doesn't know/decided to use some artistic license. It's been done (with or without castration as well) to many, many people in the series - all the unsullied, any number of rapists, and Varys (and it hardly seems likely he got much in the way of medical care, form his story) to name a few. I hardly think it unlikely that Ramsay is capable of doing it without killing Theon.
        • Varys is the only confirmed character with penectomy and he experienced it under magical circumstances. He may have also omitted a bit of managing to get some healer's attention soon afterwards. The Unsullied and the rapists in the Seven Kingdoms only lose their testacles, which is a lot simpler operation with a greater chance of survival.
        • This is not so with respect to the Unsullied. The slavers of Astapor are quite specific that they lose both penis and testicles. And who said anything about Westeros? Dany commands that rapists lose 'their manhood'; the next sentence makes it clearer that that means penis. Admittedly it's not said how many survive, but it's not spoken of as if it's a death sentence.
        • I stand corrected with the Unsullied, but the Astapori are both experts at their trade and don't care if a fair percentage of their subjects die. They are likely to use the same methods that the Arab slavers did in the Middle Ages, which did involve the "tube in urethra"-bit to reduce the chance of infection. But "losing manhood" can refer to any form of castration; often "manhood" simply means the ability to father children. Cutting off the entire penis is a certain death sentence under normal circumstances, unless considerable medical care is involed.
        • And as I said, the next line makes it clear that it means penis. And you've already explained that in real life it's very dangerous. I've already explained that I'm talking about in-universe. Anyway, if you don't have a problem with Varys and the unsullied surviving, why do you have a problem with Theon surviving? Why assume Ramsay can't/won't give him sufficient medical care to keep him alive for further pain?
        • There is no line that makes it "clear" in any way. There are hints to what happened to Theon, but GRRM doesn't generally deal with vague hints when it comes to torture and mutilation. I have already explained the problem that I have: none of the Bastard's Boys have demonstrated adequate talent at healing to make a full penectomy credible. Varys was castrated under magical circumstances and the Unsullied at the hands of experts who do it for their living and don't mind losing a fair percentage of their subjects. If Ramsay had a maester in his team to patch up his victims, then sure, but he doesn't.
      • While there's no definitive answer in the books(yet), I personally feel that Theon losing his cock is as important to his character development as Jaime losing his sword hand was to him; they both defined themselves by their respective appendages. It is only through the loss of their previous self-defining feature that they're able to leave their old selves behind and become someone new, and hopefully better.
        • Since on the latest season of the TV series he -does- lose his penis on the episode penned by GRRM I think it's safe to say that he -did- lose his penis in the books as well.
        • GRRM wrote a scene ending with Ramsay descending upon an erect Theon with a knife. The reveal that he was emasculated was from another writer.

    Ser Robert Strong is going to cause a new rift between Dorne and the Iron Throne.
    Basically, the Martells will take one look at the giant knight and will get furious that the Queen Regent assumes that they'd fail to notice the tallest man in the Kingdoms just because he has a helmet on his head. This forces Cersei to publically reveal his true nature and will next find her last confidant facing charges of black magic from the Faith Militant.

    Benjen Stark is a wight.
    No, not Coldhands. Just an anonymous wight, a blue-eyed corpse somewhere in the wilderness. However, Bloodraven will give Bran a task to track him down and restore his free will, like he did once with Coldhands, simply to exercise his powers as a Greenseer.

    Young Griff isn't Aegon Targaryen, he's the Pisswater Prince.
    In ADWD, Young Griff tells Tyrion the story of how he, Aegon Targaryen, was Switched at Birth by Varys with a tanner's son from Pisswater Bend. Varys lied. Aegon Targaryen died along with his mother and sister during the Sack of King's Landing and Young Griff, who merely thinks he's Aegon, is actually the same kid from Pisswater Bend whose father sold him to Varys for a jug of Arbor Gold wine.
    • He'd have to have found a Pisswater Prince with silver hair and purple eyes then. Not impossible, but I think he's more likely to be Baby Boy Dayne, not stillborn after all. There's two possibilities: either Ashara was in on it, probably coerced into giving up her child much like Gilly. Or she wasn't, and a dead newborn, who may or may not have been a tanner's son from Pisswater Bend, was smuggled in in a warming pan (or however, but a warming pan is traditional) and they told her that was her baby.
    • Or he could be Illyrio Mopatis' bastard son, since he and his late wife were said to have Valyrian features in their youth.
      • My money is on this one. Illyrio gets quite emotional about the boy and how probable is that substitution story? Seriously if Varys wanted to make off with Prince Aegon why bother with a substitute? Answer: because they need to explain an infant body - but Varys wouldn't have known that when he made off with the boy now would he?

    Daenerys is already nuts and Quaite is a figment of her imagination

    • Then how are Quaithe's predictions coming true?
      • Because Daenerys is a Mad Oracle and makes the predictions herself.

    Lord Eddard Stark's story isn't done yet.
    Nothing really to go on here other than a feeling. But think of it. Ever since his death, some mention of his bones has been made through all five books, providing periodic updates on his journey back to Winterfell. First he is brought by the silent sisters to Catelyn near Riverrun. Then they travelled north to the Neck but were delayed for close to two books while the Ironmen held Moat Cailin. And once Moat Cailin was "freed" by the Bolton forces, the sister again resume their journey, only for a noblewoman speaking to Theon to tell him that she plans to have the bones seized and fed to her dogs as revenge for her dreams to marry into the Stark family being ruined. With all his posthumous trials and tribulations, there is a definite feeling that something will happen when/if Eddard's remains reach Winterfell.

    There is another unaccounted-for direwolf south of the Wall.
    Consider: In the early chapters, the mother direwolf is found with her half dozen pups. But it takes two to tango, so there is at least one other direwolf that was father to those pups.
    • Perhaps Ned Stark warged into that direwolf after he was executed?
      • This would go against how warging has been presented in the series so far. Ned never had any connection to that wolf, nor did he ever dream about it or see through it's eyes. Why would he just randomly warg into an animal, even if it was at King's Landing (and surely it wasn't). It can't be just because his children have a connection to it's offspring, because while all the Stark's Direwolves manage to sense each other, no mention is ever made that they sense their father. And aside from that, this would be an Ass Pull supreme.

    Lyanna Stark is Jon Snow's mother but Rheagar is not his father...
    It's another Stark, most likely Lord Rickon or Brandon. Lyanna was the victim of long term sexual abuse at the hands of either her father or eldest brother. The abuser knew he wouldn't get caught because if she were to speak up she'd never be able to marry and be stuck in the house of her abuser forever. Moon tea could stop any bastards from being born. Her desire to act like a man out a need to protect herself for the abuse but it only made it worse.

    Lyanna's engagement to Robert Baratheon was arranged because Black Hair + Blue Eyes are very similar to Black Hair + Gary Eyes so no one would be able to question any children she might have. Lyanna was happy to get away from her abuser but was scared that Robert might either abandon her because she wasn't a maiden or try to abuse their daughters as well. Only before the wedding, she realized that despite the moon tea, she was pregnant.

    So she went to the one person who could protect her from the wrath of the Lord Paramount of the North and the Heirs of Winterfell and Storm's End, Crown Prince Rheagar Targeryen. Rheagar took Lyanna to Dorne to stay with Elia Martell's family to give brith and sent a letter to Lord Rickon and his Father, King Ayes about the abuse. Rickon and Brandon went south to silence Lyanna and Rheaghar and Ayres decided execute them both for rape. Only he didn't tell anyone that because he was crazy and the king.

    So Robert's Rebellion happens and Ned finds Lyanna in the Tower of Joy. The long pregnancy took its toll on her and she confessed everything to Ned with her dying breath. Ned promises not to tell anyone Jon's true nature because Robert would kill him for being the product of her rape. Both Benjen and Ned are distrught that they never knew about the abuse and couldn't help Lyanna. Ben takes the Black out of a sense of guilt and Ned, who has to be Lord of Winterfell, makes up for it by loving Jon and his own children as much as he possibly can.

    Daario Naharis is a Blackfyre
    He has dyed blue hair and blue eyes that Dany often notes look almost purple. Remind you of anyone? Flimsy enough reasoning I know, but Law of Conservation of Detail, and it would be nicely ironic after all those comments about how he 'isn't the stuff of kings'.

    That doesn't necessarily mean he'll be a head of the dragon. He's currently a hostage, and it looks like the peace is broken, and even if he survives that, he's a sellsword and he's definitely more bold than old.

    I think Blackfyre rather than Targaryen because a) I'm pretty sure all the Targaryens are accounted for now and b) there's one or two hints that there might be at least one Blackfyre around - prophecies mentioning things like 'dark' dragons.

    Jaime will be fighting Ser Robert Strong in the Cersei's trial by combat
    There are two possible outcomes of this combat:
    • Jaime wins the combat, therefore fulfilling Cersei's prophecy about "valonqar".
    • Jaime loses the combat, either intentionally (to complete the circle of redemption he is going through ever since he lost a hand) or not, but in any case leaving Cersei even more miserable than she was before.

    The only problem is that Jaime is way too far from the King's Landing at the moment, and may not be on time for the trial.

    • It's a nice theory, but I think it's unlikely. Since she's being tried by the Faith, I'd have thought it more likely to be Lancel; some knight of whatever the newly-reformed order is called, at least. Jaime's probably got his hands full with the whole Stoneheart thing.'
      • I think no one will fight for Cersei. Who would? She's made enemies out of everyone who isn't Cersei Lannister and thoroughly burned every bridge in the Seven Kingdoms.
        • Isn't Robert Strong going to fight for Cersei? This WMG was about who was going to fight for her accusers.
      • It's going to be the Hound is my guess. Reason to risk his life to finally put an end to his brother? Check. Recently involved with the Faith? Likely. Badass? More so than Lancel, most definetly.
    The whole series will become one giant "Decon-Recon Switch".
    GRRM has basically deconstructed every trope of a Medieval Fantasy world but in the final two books:

    • The Others will come down and sweep through the Seven Kingdoms.
    • The Night's Watch, the Lords and Knights of Westeros, and the Free Folk will put aside their differences and begin to fight with Honor and Bravery.
    • Magic and the Children of the Forest will return in full force and be used to put back the invaders.
    • And a Wise and Just ruler will be sit on the Iron Throne and Herald in a New age of Heroes.

    All ending in a distant finale where the old Septa tells the romanticized tales of the Long Summer, the War of the Five Kings, and The Longest Night to the new Stark Heir of Winterfell.

    Euron Greyjoy is Daario Naharis

    Euron appears utterly confident that the Dragon Queen will give herself to him and wed him. How could he be so certain, unless in fact Daenerys has already fallen for him?


    • Daario gained a huge amount of loot from the sack of Meereen, then left the city for an unspecified amount of time.
      • Well before Daario's return in a later Dany chapter, Euron Greyjoy returns to Pyke with a huge amount of loot from the Far East. The Kingsmoot ends and we last see Euron well before we see Daario again.
    • Euron and Daario are both described as having very similar physical characteristics, with the only notable exceptions being Daario's blue hair - easily achieved with dye - and Daario having both eyes, which could also be accomplished easily enough if - as it is hinted - Euron actually does have both of his eyes.
    • Daario shares Euron's bright blue eye color.
    • Euron's sigil is the crow, and he is called Crow's Eye. He also calls himself "The Storm." Daario is a Stormcrow
    • The Prophecy says that Dany will "ride" three "mounts" - one to bed, one to dread, one to love. As of Dance, Dany has slept with exactly three men. Khal Drogo was the one she loved, and she bedded Hizhdar for no reason except that she had to consummate their political marriage. Therefore, Daario Naharis is the one to dread. There is no reason she should dread a mere Sellsword Captain more than her other enemies - unless Daario is more than he seems.
    • Dany has a vivid dream that she is being fucked by a pallid Hizhdar with bruised, blue lips, but when she awakes there is nobody in bed with her but Daario Naharis. Euron's lips are also described as "bruised and blue" by Victarion.
    • When the "bed-dread-love" prophecy is given, Dany sees a man with shining eyes and grey lips aboard a ship. Euron's eye is bright as the summer sky, and at the Kingsmoot Victarion observes that his pale blue lips appear "grey," and Euron is, of course, a sailor.

    The main obstacle to this theory is the travel time between the Iron Islands and Essos, although it is never clearly stated exactly how much time passes between Daario and Euron's respective appearances. However, it is said that Euron has sorcerers at his command, and the Ironborn whisper that they can command the sea winds. With such powers at his command, it is readily conceivable that Euron could cross the ocean much faster than Victarion or any other sailing ship.

    • If Euron is Daario, then it's clear that he can get between Westeros and Essos with relatively little difficulty on his own ship. So why go through the song and dance of making Victarion take a relatively slow ship to Essos when he can just as easily bring her back to Westeros himself?

    Whoever wins the Iron Throne gets a Bolivian Army Ending.
    Not from the Others, but from Daenerys. It's becomings pretty evident that there just isn't enough series left to resolve all the remaining plot threads, AND have another invasion. While its possible that Daenerys could simply give up on the invasion, and rule as a Queen across the Narrow Sea, this seems unlikely. More likely, during the last two books she finishes what she started by bringing about a general slave uprising throughout all the Free Cities, making her their Queen, and giving her one of the largest standing armies ever assembled, while the Seven Kingdoms lay in near-ruin. The final chapter of the final book will be the new King of the Seven Kingdoms getting a letter telling him just how thoroughly fucked he is once Dany arrives. If Martin ever picks up the series again, he will do so AFTER her victory, because her conquest will be a Foregone Conclusion, and there would be no drama in writing it down.

    Lady Stoneheart will use Jaime Lannister to gain access to The Twins and kill Walder Frey.
    We know that Jaime is headed into a trap set by Stoneheart, but instead of killing him, she will force him or convince him to help the Brotherhood gain access to The Twins. Jaime is the perfect candidate for doing this since he is such an prominent political figure and is more or less trusted by the Freys. this will lead to the fall of House Frey.

    Something terrible happend to Hodor/Walder as a child that caused him to develop severe aphasia. This is connected to Bran's ability to Warg into him.
    Aphasia is a brain disorder where the ability to speak or comprehend language is damaged. In severe cases a person may only be able to repeat an apparently nonsense word over and over, like this man. Sudden onset aphasia is typically caused by a stroke or a head injury, and given that Hodor is still relatively young a head injury during his childhood is more likely.

    As for the warging, one must ask, why is it considered an abomination by the Wildlings for a skinchanger to possess another human? Perhaps...warging into a human causes brain damage. Perhaps as a child little Walder wandered off and got caught by an unscrupulous Wildling skinchanger who possessed him For the Evulz. This damaged little Walder's brain, causing him to develop severe aphasia and regressing his mind into a simpler, more animal-like state, making it easy for an untrained skinchanger like Bran to possess him. This would also help explain why Hodor always feels terrified whenever Bran wargs into him. Every time it happens it triggers the memories of that awful night with that first skinchanger, all those years ago...

    Jorah will be the final betrayal for love
    Assuming that Dany and Jon fall in love, this would be the ultimate insult to Jorah. Jon is everything he isn't, not disgraced and the son Jeor always wanted, in addition he is allegedly Ned Starks son. This will drive Jorah over the edge, and he will really betray her.

    Varys real name is....
    Viserys Blackfyre
    • The Sorcerer who took his manhood and burned it to summon... whatever that thing was (if that tale is true) may well have picked him because of a link to Blood and Fire magic. Blackfyres, even of the female line, are just as linked to Aegon "The Dragon" and Rhaenys as Targaryens are — and, much better linked than Baratheons, for that matter, thanks to the more intensive in-breeding they've also probably pulled since their exile... And, just look what Stannis' leeches (and semen) do for Melisandre's magic, alone. Imagine what Varys' equipment could do for even a bargain basement conjurer, let alone a good one, if he were a Blackfyre Prince-in-Exile. The only problem is that "Blackfyre" is unlikely to be his surname (whatever his first turns out to actually be), unless the Blackfyre women pulled a Mormont Family Moment for at least one generation. Which they may have done for the female heir and her line, only. I'm looking at Illyrio here, too: he could be a brother/ half-brother/ cousin/ some really convoluted close-but-no-cigar family member, too. Or, they could both be Blackfyre bastards/ cousin spin-offs wanting to prove a point to both of the Dragon Houses.
      • It's worth pointing out that in A Go T, Catelyn notes about the Red Keep that "Only the blood of the dragon would ever know the secrets of the fortress the Dragonlords had built, [King Maegor] vowed", and who knows the Red Keep better than Varys?
      • Of course this raises the question of why the sorcerer would just toss away someone with blood as potent as a descendant of the Targaryen's.
      • Hey: getting your hands on a power-source doesn't also mean getting them on great wisdom. Besides: there might be more where this one came from. And, he is unlikely to survive what I've just done to him, so I'll go fishing for more Valyrian blood when I need it (in Essos, there's probably a fair bit of unkingly-but-still Drangonrider-linked blood to play with).

    Ser Robert Strong is not a reanimated Gregor Clegane, nor is he a zombie nor any kind of Frankenstein-esque creation.
    Instead, he is precisely what Qyburn says he is: An incredibly strong and dedicated knight loyal to Tommen. Because wouldn't that just be the most revolutionary twist ever? In addition, he is actually the same person as Ser Robert Stone, the knight who knighted Ser Osmund Kettleblack (who, yes, was also telling the truth). He took the name Strong after being legitimized by Tommen.

    • I'm sure he's some kind of creation, but let's face it, Gregor's body was not exactly in pristine condition by the time he died. Maybe he's clockwork.
    • However the Dornish will be convinced that he is Gregor, probably assuming him to have been saved rather than reanimated, and that will be the final spark needed to ignite war between Dorne and the however many of the other six kingdoms the Lannisters still have.

    The Faceless Men and the Maesters will soon come into conflict with one another.
    If the idea of a cabal of Maesters trying to eliminate magic is true, it stands to reason that the Faceless Men, whose entire MO is based around some sort of face switching magic, would want to prevent that. Expect high ranking men with many chain links to start dropping dead in the near future.

    Jon isn't Rhaegar's son, although he could still be Lyanna's
    In the second book, Dany goes to the House of the Undying and sees, among other things, how her son Rhaego would have looked grown up. Among other things, he would have white hair, meaning that white hair (Dany's) is dominant over black (Drogo's). Now let's look at Rhaegar and Lyanna. Rhaegar has white hair, Lyanna has black, so they child would have white. The only problem with this theory is the fact that the Baratheons have Targaryen ancestors.

    Jon Snow is Rhaegar and Lyanna's son. This will also be completely meaningless.
    At some point in the future this reveal will happen, as a completely casual remark by someone who for some reason knows about this. There will be no gravity about it, because we will only find out long after Jon has died (however). Because this is the most popular theory of them all, and just leaving it hanging or revealing that Wylla and Ned are truly his parents is not big enough of a subversion. Instead everything will play out exactly the way fans predicted - but it will be of absolutely no consequence. Yes, this reveal was set up starting from book one. And yes, all your theories were correct. But it doesn't matter, because this is not the kind of story in which the plucky hero turns out to be the long lost heir to kingdom and rules it happily ever after.
    • Or maybe Jon will continue to exist in some form... in a form similar to Lady Stoneheart or Coldhands, that is, an abomination with no place in society. Not Snow, not Stark, not Targaryen, not even human.

    Tommen will be killed by...
    Zombie!Gregor. Because it would be exactly the kind of ironic twist that GRRM loves. He champions Cersei and manages to win, but then he has a weird malfunction, goes on a murderous killing spree, and takes out Tommen. Cersei will have breakdown at that point because she'll feel slightly at fault (it was her champion) and then decide to never let anyone get near her family ever again, so she'll demand Myrcella be sent back to King's Landing, which will result in the third crowning and respective death. Everyone will freak out because Strong was a member of the Kingsguard, but in order to get back at Cersei, someone in the court that has something against her will say that Strong gets to stay in the Kingsguard because,Jaime did the exact same thing, huh Cersei? (Not saying it's the same at all, but it'd sure be a way for all of KL to spite Cersei.)

    King's Landing will be obliterated.
    But not by Dany and her dragons. The explosion will be caused by Aegon and his armies invading and conquering King's Landing. In a panic, peasants desperately trying to escape the invasion will wander underground with their torches lit and accidentally activate the long forgotten caches of "Aerys' fruit." Just as Aegon sits on the Iron Throne with Jon Connington proudly looking on, the entire city explodes into smithereens. The much coveted Iron Throne is blown to bits, leaving the surviving cast with a big feeling of "Now what?" Also prompting Jaime to fall to his knees, screaming "You maniacs! You blew it up!"

    When word reaches the other people in Westeros of what has happened, the Northern folk and Ironborn rejoice, thinking that they're free at last. And then something causes the Wall to collapse and allows the Others to invade, forcing everyone to unite against them, Northern or Southern, throne or no throne. And finally, when it seems all hope is lost, Dany and her dragons (and the other two riders, whoever they are) show up and, if not save the day, give everyone a fighting chance.

    • This would be a fantastic way to go with it.

    Money makes the world go round
    Even the desparate Last Stand against the Others will depend on who still has enough money to feed their troops. Just as the final payoff for GRRM bringing not only politics but also economy into a story with magic and dragons.

    Young Griff really is Aegon Targaryen, but...
    ...He's not Rhaegar's son. Instead, he's Elia's bastard son, fathered by someone who wasn't her husband.
    • But he has the distinctive look of a Targaryen. Unless...whoa, he could be Aerys' son. Crazy Aerys usurping his daughter-in-law. That would be a twist.
    • He could be Arthur Dayne's. I'm not sure it was ever made clear what Arthur himself looked like, but at least some Daynes have the same Valyrian look as the Targaryens. As a knight of the kingsguard, he would have been around Elia, and given his sister Ashara was one of her companions there's a chance they'd get to know each other through her. It's possible Arthur's dedication toward protecting Lyanna & Jon at the Tower of Joy was a form of atonement for him for cuckolding Rhaegar, or even the result of Blackmail (ie. if Rhaegar found out the truth, "if anything happens to my actual son, everyone finds out that Aegon's a bastard"). Plus, History Repeats, and we've had a few princes fathered or allegedly fathered by kingsguard members.
    ...He's not Rhaegar's son. He is a direct descendant of Aerion Brightflame.note  These lesser Targaryens have spent the last seventy years gathering their strength to make a bid for the Iron Throne, and see the chaos left by the War of the Five Kings as the best opportunity to stake their claim.

    The Dothraki don't pose a threat to the Free Cities, well at least the cities themselves
    They suck at sieges and the Free Cities are all walled off. The best they could do is try to scale the walls, and if they did that, they would be off their horses and go up against armored soldiers on their own terms. Illyrio was correct when he said that Drogo's Khallasar could not actually take Pentos. The real reason why they pay off Dothraki hordes when they come by is to prevent them from ransacking the countryside.

    The Lannisters are somewhat inbred.

    Not to the same extent as the Targaryens, but cousin marriage is probably more common in the Westerlands than elsewhere in the Seven Kingdoms. That's why so many of them are blonde.

    • Considering most houses have a distinctive look, this is probably true for most of them. The Tullys are red-headed with blue eyes, the Starks are dark-headed (can't remember if it's brown or black) with gray eyes, the Baratheons are black-headed with blue eyes, the brown-headed Tyrells, and then there's your example, the Lannister blond hair and green eyes.
    • This is canon; Tywin's wife Joanna was his cousin. By the time you get to Cersei's kids, there is an awful lot of inbreeding going down.
    • All of the noble houses of Westeros are inbred to some extent, but it's possible that the Lannisters are inbred to a greater degree than the Tullys, Starks and Baratheons.

    The series will end just how it started - with a succession crisis/civil war over the Iron Throne.

    • After everyone seeking the Iron Throne obliterates themselves, Walder Frey, being the opportunist that he is, will move to claim it just because there's no one left, then becoming King Walder, the First (at least the first king) of His Name, King of the Andals, and so on and so forth. Two obvious problems, though: he's close to a hundred, and mostly everyone hates him for that stunt he pulled at the twins. You know the one. He'll die of old age, illness, or a terminal case of knife-in-gut just after claiming the Iron Throne. Naturally, it'll be Stevron that would have the strongest claim to take his place as he's the oldest son. But if he and his entire branch die, then all hell breaks loose because he's had so many sons and grandsons, and since half of them are named Walder Frey and there's almost no way to ascertain birth order at this point, House Frey enters into civil war and brothers and cousins start killing each other in the Red Keep. It would be something of a "Shaggy Dog" Story (on a punny and parenthetical note Rickon becomes King in the North after his direwolf comes back to Winterfell and just goes apeshit in the castle, managing to kill the entire current usurping family. There must always be a Stark in Winterfell, after all.) yet it would also see justice done to House Frey, who is probably the one house in- and out-of-universe that nobody likes.

    Tommen Baratheon will die early on in T Wo W, setting of a new War of (Insert Number Here) Kings.

    • I mean, really? He's much too sweet for a place like Westeros, let alone the Iron Throne. And unlike some -okay, most of the character deaths in ASOIAF, it won't be in dramatic or particularly violent fashion. It'll come out of nowhere and won't be a particularly sexy death. Kid catches a severe case of a thought-to-be-relatively-innocuous illness - boom, he's gone. Cersei will go into full-blown Villainous Breakdown mode, blame Margeary Tyrell for Tommen's death, and then have her tied to a nearby stake a la Mirri Maz Duur as Cersei immolates herself. Loras, realizing he'll be deprived of the last person he truly loves, jumps onto the pyre and perishes with them - leaving King's Landing in a state of chaotic riots and the Iron Throne vacant. Now it good and truly does belong to Stannis Baratheon, but given his distance away from King's Landing, it'll be a good week or two before he even gets the news and at least another month before he can muster his forces and actually get to KL. And perhaps he thinks it will be wise to get rid of the Boltons before he leaves as well. Which would cause him to stay in the north, giving ample time for, say, Daenerys Targaryen to arrive in Westeros and her dragons to start wrecking shit. Then you've got the matter of the other Aegon (supposedly) being out there, so now even the Targaryen dynasty is split between two claimants, which could lead to a host of things happening:
      • Daenerys - mostly owing to the fact that Aegon VI still looks like the blue-haired "Young Griff" will name Aegon VI an impostor, resulting in a three-way war between the two Targaryens and Stannis, and a rare and HUGE Oh, Crap! moment for Stannis when he receives the news that he's got two Targaryens to deal with and one of them has a trio of halfway-grown dragons.
      • Daenerys says "Fuck Aegon either way - I'm still going to be Queen" (or khaleesi or whatever the hell she'd style herself.)
      • One bends the knee to the other, resulting in a replay of Robert's Rebellion in reverse, where it's a two-way final showdown between Baratheon and Targaryen for the Iron Throne.
      • The two marry and consolidate their power. However, this has the side effect of scaring the crap out of anyone that has a working knowledge of family trees and/or anyone that remembers what happened the last time a Targaryen sat the Iron Throne, which creates a third 'resistance' faction - led, of course, by Jaime Lannister.

    Sansa and Tyrion will consummate their marriage.
    Not necessarily out of love, but not malice either. It's simply that they'll choose to do it at a time when it will serve absolutely NO ONE'S agenda...thus sending a message of "we are not pawns," and taking them both off the board for potential wedding alliances.
    • The last reason would seem to be the most likely. Lots of things would have to happen before this WMG would take place, though. Like being on the same continent. But I've noticed the TV show making Sansa and Tyrion friendlier with each other. And the writers of that show already have the entire outline for the books from George R. R. Martin. Maybe that could mean something.

    Tyrion will die, but will eventually be remembered as a martyr.
    I think we're beginning to see the early stages of Decon-Recon Switch. Now, I don't expect this to go all the way, it would seem like a complete Ass Pull if we end up with the great hero leading the people of Westeros against the forces of evil, and ruling benevolently for years. However, we're definitely seeing with many people how, sometimes, when you're back's to the wall, its your best qualities, rather than your worst, that come out (Jaime and Tyrion are both showing this, and to a lesser extent Sansa whose becoming increasingly pragmatic and realistic, without giving up her morality). Alot of people are also suspecting a Distant Finale. I think the best way Tyrion's arc could be wrapped up would be if he died for something meaningful, thinking he would be forgotten because history doesn't care about dwarves (remember how he got virtually no credit for the Blackwater?), and then when we got to the future we find that the only thing anyone in the distant future actually remembers about the Great War for the Iron Throne from history class was how Tyrion Lannister sacrificed himself, because it was the single most amazing story any of them had ever heard. Bonus points if the show Game of Thrones is actually a historical drama in future Westeros, and Peter Dinklage shows up, contemplating his own portrayal of Tyrion the Fearless.
    • While I don't want Tyrion to die, his being remembered as the greatest hero would be awesome.

    A Sea Dragon will emerge
    That egg that Euron tossed into the sea was going to hatch, and it did. But since it hatched beneath the waves, it became a Sea Dragon. Growing in size and strength under the sea.

    Tyrion will find Tysha
    But it will be a bitter reunion. George R. R. Martin is cruel to his characters, doubly so to the ones the readers love. Tyrion will find Tysha (wherever she went), but when he does, he will not be able to adequately explain everything that happened the night his father made him divorce her. Rather, the awful things he and his father's men did to her that night will be the cause of an unbridgeable rift between them. She was the only woman who ever did (or ever will) love Tyrion for who he really is, and his father will have forever ruined it for him, just because he could.

    Tywin didn't get to kill all the Reynes and Tarbecks

    Tywin didn't know it, but he didn't finish the job. It's probably very likely they managed to smuggle at least one scion of Reyne out of Castamere before everything went to hell. And said scion is probably undercover in one of the other Houses who didn't like the Lannisters either but weren't stupid enough to taunt them to their faces.

    Also, I'm sure House Reyne or House Tarbeck married their daughters off to other allied Houses, meaning there are probably angry descendants of Reynes/Tarbecks just biding their time and not repeating their grandfathers' mistakes.

    (Basically, I want one of these surviving Reynes/Tarbecks to give Lannister a run for their money, causing the penning of another verse for the 'Rains of Castemere', turning it into a song AGAINST the Lannisters a la 'Weasley is our King'.)

    • Considering the Lannisters are running out of gold and they could unearth the silver mines of Castamere for more money, a return to that plot point certainly isn't inconceivable.
    • Could be the Tyrells. Given the Reynes were an old house of the Westerlands and the Tyrells are new as Lords Paramount, a marriage could lend the Tyrells some legitimacy, while the power differential means it's still a good deal for the Reynes (plus, if you are considering rising up against your liege, it wouldn't be a bad idea to have the rulers of the biggest and richest region of Westeros as allies). This would cast the Tyrells determination to undermine Cersei as queen and replace her with Margaery in a new light. The biggest problem with this, however, is that if the Reynes had married into House Tyrell 1) Tywin would probably know about it, 2) he would probably keep a very close eye on those kids. Possibly the Reyne blood comes from Olenna/House Redwynne?
    • Alternately, House Westerling. Both very important Westerlands houses, especially back in the Westerlings' Glory Days. And, given their troubles with money, it would make sense for them to want to tap into the Castamere silver mines. And it would make it especially satisfying for Jeyne Westerling, as both Robb Stark's widow and last scion of House Reyne, to bring the whole Lannister edifice crumbling down.

    Griff is a Faceless Man

    Jon Connington really did die a long time ago, and a Faceless man took his face to become Griff, the sellsword. He was hired by Varys and Illyrio, using Illyrio's vast fortune, to put Aegon/Pisswater Prince/Illyrio's son/etc. on the Iron Throne. In ADWD, Griff's internal monologue uses the phrase "All Men Must Die."

    His "greyscale" is just an excuse for him to abandon the Griff face when the charade is over and return to Braavos for a new mission.

    At some point, Littlefinger and Roose Bolton will have a degree of interaction
    .Here are some possibilities, please add any you think of.
    • A Big Bad Duumvirate, though this seems unlikely as Littlefinger has more to lose than gain from doing this- House Bolton's luck appears to be running short, with enemies on all sides. Alternatively, Roose will propose this and Littlefinger will refuse, leaving him to die.
    • Roose Bolton will be a pawn that Littlefinger uses for one of many possible reasons.
      • Littlefinger will force Bolton to move towards the Eyrie for protection, then use him as justification for wiping out his rivals and becoming the dominant power in the Vale, under the pretence of "state defence" or what have you.
      • Littlefinger will covertly send support to him as a way of making him think that he backs his regime. Said support will turn out to be assassins, targeting Roose and everybody's favourite bastard of Westeros.
      • Littlefinger will exploit Ramsay's atrocities as a way of saying "this guy is not fit for ruling Winterfell, but I know someone who is". Here, Sansa may come back into the storyline. As to how he'd unmask her without stirring up a shitstorm, I don't know, but if it worked the northern lords may side with him and overthrow House Bolton, then target House Frey.
    • Something as mundane as trade.

    Wyman Manderly will ruin everything for everybody
    • Wyman Manderly secretly has the support of about half the North right now. Once Davos brings him Rickon Stark, he'll have the rest of it. He plans to obtain Rickon and betray the Freys and Boltons and retake the North from them. He brought a ton of food (including Frey Pie) to Ramsay and "Arya"'s wedding, which is significant because the Boltons are eating of his bread and salt in their hall, so no one is the host by tradition. This leaves Manderly free to betray everyone at an opportune moment.
    • This will not, of course, happen until after Littlefinger raises the Vale to retake the North, put Sansa on the throne, and marry her (presumably after he has Harrold bumped off) and rule as King in the North. Manderly producing Rickon means Sansa is no longer heir to Winterfell, and Littlefinger's scheming is cut off right before all his plans come to fruition and he rules at everything forever. Instead, he'll be left with nothing and will die a horrible death, alone with his loneliness and bitterness, pining for Catelyn Stark.
    • Once Wyman Manderly has secured Rickon's throne for him as lord of Winterfell, he will tell Rickon to bend the knee to Stannis, the rightful king of Westeros. Rickon won't do it because he's freaking insane, and as a result, Stannis will embroil the North in civil war.
      • Well, if Rickon is freaking insane, how does Davos manage to get him to agree to coming back with him in the first place? And what about Osha and Shaggy Dog?

    Nymeria will do in Walder Frey, or another high ranking member of House Frey, for sheer irony.
    Just because.

    Yunkai's sellswords will end up betray Yunkai
    The Yunkish Wise Masters will run out of coin or the prospects of victory will not look good. As such, they will either bugger off or turn on their former employers.
    • Or they might get burnt to a toasty crisp by one of Dany's dragons (perhaps under the influence of Victarion) leaving Yunkai Wise Masters in the dust, if they didn't get burned too.

    Val was right about the greyscale, in the most horrific way possible.
    In ADWD, Val the "wildling princess" tells Jon Snow that Princess Shireen is cursed because she had greyscale. Jon sincerely hopes she was wrong, but what if greyscale is one of the tools of the Others? Once the Others manage to breach the Wall, their influence could stretch to any part of the world where people are afflicted with greyscale. The sick people will quickly die and turn into wights, and anyone who dies around them will turn into wights as well, unleashing one of the horrible plagues the world has ever seen. Since we know that Jon Connington has it, this could have a devastating effect on Southern Westeros through him. And let's not even get started with what will happen in Essos. It could be the final push Daenarys needs to get herself and her dragons moving to Westeros already, provided there's anyone able to tell her what's going on (Maester Marwyn, perhaps?).
    • There could be a scene in TWOW or ADOS that takes place in a normally very warm climate, perhaps Dorne from Areo's POV, when it suddenly turns cold without an explanation, and a dead person or a person with greyscale suddenly develops blue eyes and black hands...

    Dany will get to Westeros and resolve the war by marrying Stannis.
    As the only contenders for the Iron Throne that actually care about being a good rulers (and both conveniently fire-aligned) Dany will turn back the Others with Dragonfire and reclaim the throne by marring Stannis (who can control one of the dragons due to his distant ancestral link to the Targaryens). Presumably this would require his wife to die first, but unexpected deaths are hardly unusual. They will be joint monarchs like Britain's William III (of Orange) and Mary II. The dragon's third head will be Melisandre.
    • I had this in mind only I compared them to Henry Tudor and Elizabeth of York, this being sort based off of the War of the Roses and all. But I don't think Melisandre will be the third head. I'm thinking either Jon or Tyrion or maybe even Sir Barristan. Then again, a dragon can have more than one rider...
      • Except polyandry (a woman having multiple husbands) makes much less sense, biologically speaking, than polygamy (a man having several wives). Stannis is not going to accept his wife having a lover (even if she calls him a second husband) even if he has one himself (Melisandre) - call that hypocrisy or simply Medieval Royal logic. Also, if Stannis/Danaerys unite then Dany's heir problem (assuming she's now barren, which isn't a given) can be resolved by the throne passing to Stannis' daughter (Shireen). And presumably Melisandre can give birth to flesh & blood babies as well as shadow demons (even if they're considered illegitimate, we know a King can legitimise bastards).
      • The dragon riders do not need to be sexual partners. Aegon and his sisters were married to each other, but it does not mean that future dragon riders would have to face the same stipulation. Daenerys and Stannis could marry and be dragon riders, with the third rider unconnected to them sexually.

    Jon Snow's assassination attempt wasn't a fragging, it was Cersei's hit squad catching up with him

    While Lord Commander Jon Snow was making changes to the Night Watch, he was (for the most part) making things better for them (more men at the Wall means they're more able to resist attacks and borrowing from the Bank of Bravos means they're able to buy more food). Yes, there was grumbling in the ranks (a lot of it justified) about Jon's changes but when don't soldiers grumble? Cersei, on the other hand, definitely planned on sending assassins disguised as volunteers after him and this was them taking that opportunity to carry out their mission.

    • None of the known, named attackers is a frackin' new guy. Bowen Marsh is a veteran. Wick Wittlestick was first mentioned in AFFC as already serving on the Wall, not recently arriving from King's Landing.

    The TV show has reached a point where it gives us several clues about the future of the novels
    • For example, Arya and Melissandre will eventually cross paths (for the first time in the books, unlike on the show) — perhaps lending credence to the idea that Arya will be sent to the Wall on a mission — or else flee there when she abandons her training. Alternatively, Melissandre will flee the turmoil at the Wall in the wake of Jon's stabbing and meet her in Braavos.
      • Maybe Justin Massey and his party will reach the Wall and finding it unsafe, take off for Braavos quickly with Melissandre in tow. Jeyne Poole and Arya could even meet up!
    • Likewise, the prominent casting of Mark Gatiss as Tycho Nestoris suggests that the Braavosi banker will have a substantial part to play in the future of the books.
    • Dany's vision of a destroyed throne room in King's Landing where ashes fall like snow give credence to the theory that the buried "fruits" of Mad King Aerys will ignite and destroy the city. One could argue that she was seeing the city as it would have been should Aerys had destroyed it. Except that there would have been dragon skulls in the throne room if that were the case. And the throne room is decorated in the way Joffery wanted it to look, with braziers surrounding the pillars instead of vines. Dany could very well have been seeing what will happen to King's Landing.
    • The omissions are also potentially significant; if a character or situation is left out of the adaptation, that may (I repeat, may) suggest that they're not all that significant overall (like Patchface or Tyrek Lannister).
    • Stannis' wife and daughter were nearly written out of the TV series altogether. That doesn't bode well for their future in the books.
      • Although the opposite might be true here too — maybe Martin put his foot down and said "include them while you still have a chance, because their importance will skyrocket later on."
        • This would be my guess. A similar thing happened in Harry Potter; Kreacher wasn't going to appear in movie five, but Rowling warned the filmmakers that he had an important part to play later on, so they had best establish him now.
      • Of course, that could mean they might need to die at the Wall if they're going to. Then again, we'll see.
    • Come to think of it, how easy would it have been to write Rickon out from the first stage? He's barely done anything narratively significant so far in the show or the books. Note that I said "so far"...
    • The theory that Jeyne Westerling was pregnant or that she will play any significant role in the future has taken a major hit...
    • In the show, Mirri Maz Duur's line to Dany, "When your womb quickens and you bear a living child..." was taken out. Perhaps Dany may have another child and they left the line out so not to confuse the viewers?

    Stevron Frey was murdered
    He takes a superficial wound in the Battle of Oxcross and turns up dead in his tent days later. One of his relatives (probably Black Walder Frey) seized an opportunity to remove the heir to the Twins while avoiding suspicion.

    Aurane Waters will have a further role to play
    The Bastard of Driftmark and his new pirate fleet out of the Stepstones will cast their lot with one of the claimants to the Iron Throne — either Stannis, Aegon or Daenerys.

    "Alayne" is a cover for Sansa's true intentions
    Recent chapters shown from Sansa's perspective refer to Sansa as "Alayne", the false identity she has assumed. This might be a sign that she's having an identity crisis, but it could be something else. A smokescreen.

    Being around Littlefinger constantly and being an astute student of his, Sansa has come to understand his psyche more and more. From what she is able to observe, there are two people inside Littlefinger's head: the cutthroat, Magnificent Bastard Littlefinger, and the sweet caring Petyr who Littlefinger buried after he lost his duel with Brandon Stark. Sansa hates "Littlefinger", but she feels empathy for "Petyr" and his plight.

    However...knowing the two "people" inside Petyr Baelish has taught Sansa so much more. It has allowed her to channel two "people" inside of herself as well. Alayne Stone, Littlefinger's dutiful daughter, and Sansa Stark...who is plotting something. Since "Alayne" obeys Littlefinger and feels sorry for him, then "Sansa" must be working out a plan that will not work in Littlefinger's best interests. It will surely turn all of Littlefinger's plots on their heads. Readers however will not see what "Sansa" is plotting though, because she doesn't allow herself to think of these plots as "Alayne".

    • In some released chapters on Martin's website, Arya is going through something similar, splitting her psyche for herself and the reader. Could Alayne Stone and one of Arya's faceless personalities meet one another and not realize who their original hosts are, as well? It's believable for Arya, although Sansa doesn't seem as deeply disturbed as her sister.

    Sansa Stark serves as a parallel to Queen Elizabeth I
    The red hair is obvious, but Sansa already has many similarities to Queen Elizabeth I. She is a well-educated Princess Classic who unfortunately has been victimized by people who pretend to be her friends but take advantage of her. For the time being she's known as Littlefinger's illegitimate daughter, and it's been speculated that Robb cut Sansa out of the line of succession after she married Tyrion. For a long time Elizabeth was viewed as an illegitimate child, and she'd been cut out of the line of succession more than once. Not to mention Sansa had a beloved parent, Ned Stark, be beheaded for falisfied charges of treason, just as Elizabeth's mother Anne Boleyn was executed.

    With each bad experience Sansa has suffered, her idealized view of marriage soured considerably. "No one will ever marry me for love". Since her first betrothed killed her father, then she was forced into a marriage with Tyrion, and as of the most recent book Littlefinger is forcing her into a marriage with Harry the Heir, this isn't surprising. Like Queen Elizabeth I, Sansa now recognizes that marriage is simply a trap and despite a potential title of "Queen in the North and East", all it would mean is that she would be simply a puppet ruler under Littlefinger's thumb and under the thumb of her future husband.

    With this parallel drawn, what does this mean for Sansa? Well, it could very well mean that she will become Queen in the North but she will assume full-power and no man will have control over her any more. In the parallels of Elizabeth, she could be very much beloved by the people of the North and seen as a brutal cutthroat by her enemies, but she would have a long and successful reign. However, this also draws into the question of marriage. Because her experiences with marriages have been so negative, and she believes that no man would love her for her and not because of her title and status, she would assume the mantle of a Virgin Queen. She will forge alliances as she sees fit but she will never get married because marriage to her is just another means for someone to take advantage of her.

    Whether or not she'll remain a Virgin Queen her whole life is uncertain, but if Sansa is supposed to represent Queen Elizabeth I she will assert her authority over the North and be rest assured that nobody will take advantage of her again and she won't be pressure into political unions she doesn't want. Something that not even Daenerys Targaryen has been able to accomplish.

    How Ned killed Arthur Dayne
    While we have very little detailed information on Howland Reed, it's not too farfetched to suppose that he might be a Warg. All indications are that Dayne would have slain Eddard's entire party in a fair fight, and the manner of his death has always been shrouded in mystery. It seems possible, if not likely, that Howland warged into him like Bran sometimes does into Hodor, giving Ned a window of opportunity for a killing stroke. Such a murky, shady sort of victory would also help explain Ned's disquiet over the matter, not that killing the greatest knight in living memory wouldn't be enough on its own.
    • Is the fact of killing three noble knights simply doing their duty till the end not sufficient reason for Ned's disquiet? Also, is there also a possibility that poison was involved, since that's part of the crannogmen's style of combat?
    • /\ Indeed; poison, nets, disarming spears, guerilla warfare and other such tricks everyone else sees as dishonourable. It makes much more sense to me that skinny little Howland Reed killed 'best swordsman in the world' Arthur Dayne through a dirty trick then a sudden burst of courage and that Ned is both grateful for the help but, as you mentioned, uneasy over the dishonour. Besides, how would Warging into Ned open up any opportunity that an un-warged Ned not been able to exploit himself?
      • Wrong end of the stick. They're suggesting Howland warged into DAYNE, which took Dayne completely by surprise and left his guard wide open for Ned to deliver the killing blow.

    Jon Snow will take the Alphyn as his personal sigil after "waking up."
    Because its half-wolf and half-dragon. It'll be half white and half black on a red background, thus inverting both the Starks and Targareyan colors.
    • And if Tyrion wants to ditch the lion, he can have one with a golden mane.

    Sansa will warg into Viserion
    Even though she's not Targaryen, it's never been stated that only Targaryens can control dragons. The fact that Arya speaks High Valyrian, the language the dragons respond to, can also indicate that Sansa also speaks High Valyrian and would be able to give commands to Viserion. Word of God has confirmed that all the Stark children have warging abilities, but Sansa's have never been shown because of Lady's death early in the series and because she's not been around very many animals. Viserion was last seen by Barristen Selmy flying away from the Pyramid of Uhlez, so there's a possibility he might be flying towards Westeros. As many of the times the Stark children have warged while they're asleep, Sansa may be able to unconsciously warg into Viserion in her sleep.

    There's also a few parallels between Viserion and Lady. Lady was the gentlest of the direwolves. Viserion is by no means gentle, however events in the books have shown that he's not as aggressive as Drogon and Rhaegal, and he hasn't seem to have killed as many people as his brothers have. At most he seems quite flighty and not very prone to confrontation unless provoked. As Lady was made a scapegoat for Nymeria attacking Joffrey, Viserion was imprisoned in the Pyramid primarily because Drogon killed a child.

    Recent artwork has shown Sansa dressed in white. It might be because it's winter time, or symbolism of her lingering innocence, but it might also serve as some foreshadowing. After all, Viserion is classified as a 'white dragon'.

    So as the stress of her life finally makes her reach her boiling point, Sansa might accidentally warg into Viserion and through the dragon finally get a measure of revenge on all the people who wronged her family and her. It would also help to cement her place as Queen in the North because nobody—not the Freys and not the Boltons—would have the firepower to stop her.

    Having a dragon will also be useful to fight the Others and the Wights...

    No matter who end sup on the Iron Throne or what shape Westeros is, Stannis will get in-universe respect as Robert's successor.
    Basically, he'll be recognized as the De facto king since he's a) the only one to rule by his own power for any real amount of time, unlike the short lived Renly, Balon, or Robb, or the puppet king Joffrey, b) he'll outlive the next generation of kings as well, making him the only claimant to actually last, and c) he's the only one acting in the interests of the kingdom what with him going North to fight the Others.

    So whether Danaerys, Jon Snow, or anyone else sits the throne at the end, they'll all have recognized that Stannis was the last and best member of the Baratheon dynasty. He'll finally get the respect and credit he feels he deserves..

    Euron and Cersei will work together.
    Cersei hates the Tyrells and Euron is at war with the Tyrells. Cersei won't realize that Euron wants the Iron Throne, and will accidently put him in a position to take it from Tommen.

    Walder Frey will live to see all of his heirs dead before he finally dies bitter and alone.
    More Freys have died after the Red Wedding than in all of the battles of the war that preceded it.

    The Others will serve the same social purpose as The Black Death.
    That is to say, they'll be fought off, but kill millions, disempowering the nobility by killing off the smallfolk and allowing those who remain to demand higher wages, and then the smallfolk are richer than the nobles and start demanding titles and rights...and protection for their business know the drill. That the War of the Five Kings is loosely based on the Wars of the Roses (which happened shortly after the Black Death and was more or less the last gasp of the old way of doing things before the Tudors began to build the modern English state) lends credence to this view.

    Everything Roose knows about Ramsay's upbringing is wrong

    To recapitulate, Roose's idea of Ramsay's teen years is that 1) his mother unfulfilled her promise of not telling Ramsay about his father, and pushed him into reclaiming his share 2) he sent Reek to help them as a prank, as he was a worthless servant, and he turned Ramsay evil (or viceversa, but he seems to be joking when he says this) and 3) Ramsay poisoned Domeric to become heir to The Dreadfort. But in reality...

    - Ramsay's mother really upheld her promise until the day Domeric showed up.

    - Wanting to keep her precious snowflake apart of that people, she poisoned Domeric.

    - Reek, being actually a loyal servant to the Boltons, killed Ramsay's mother.

    - In exchange for his life, Reek revealed Ramsay his parentage and swore to help him get his share as he was now the only living son of Roose Bolton.

    Bottomline: Roose Bolton is not as smart as he thinks he is.

    Domeric actually did die of intestinal fever

    Ramsay doesn't seem the type to use poison and he's certainly not smart or pragmatic enough to go about murder stealthily. If he did kill Domeric, it would be more likely he'd do what he usually does to people he doesn't like. Roose, a grief-stricken father, is just looking for an excuse for his son's death, and... Hey, why not someone as embarrassing as his bastard?

    Arya and Sansa will wind up on warring sides

    Sansa is being tutored/brainwashed by the Magnificent Bastard that is Littlefinger. Arya is in Essos learning to be a master assassin. They're going to get involved in the coming conflict somehow, and likely on different sides. Possibly meeting on the battlefield, with one killing the other unknowingly…because the Starks haven't suffered quite enough yet.

    Sansa will never become Queen in the North

    Because the fandom so desperately wants Sansa to be in a position where she isn't a poor, abused pawn of Machiavellian intriguers, or become one herself, that's exactly what won't happen. Instead, she will be killed in the crossfire between the Lords Declarant and Littlefinger, with none of them any the wiser that they accidentally caused the death of a late, beloved ally.

    Westeros will be split into two kingdoms, the North and the South

    And the rulers will be Sansa (the North) and Daenerys.

    Sansa and Daenerys seem to be opposites of each other. The physical reason being hair. Daenerys' hair is silver/white, the colour of snow, while Sansa's is red, the colour of fire. They are already representing each other's elements (if you take Sansa being Northern as a sign that her element would be ice). Additionally, G.R.R.Martin seems to be raising women up out of their usual story ruts. So it would make sense for the victors in the end to be two women. Who both also have fathers who were unjustly killed (Truth for Sansa; Daenerys doesn't seem to know much about her family in Westeros, so this is her own personal truth).

    They are also the only two female P.O.V. who are in any condition to be victors in the Game of Thrones. Cersei is being taken down in King's Landing due to her own mistakes; Brienne may or may not be dead; Arya's interests lie only in revenge; Cat is down for the count; Mellesendrei is only working for the gains of her own gods; and Arianne has not done anything significant except have her actions result in the maiming of Myrcella Baratheon. As well, Sansa is the only Stark currently participating in the Game of Thrones (and this includes Jon; the Nights Watch takes no part). That takes away Bran and Rickon, who, despite having the same colouring, are not as involved in the war.

    They also show both sides of the iron coin. All men must die (Dany; the phrase is mentioned multiple times in her storyline) and All Men Must Serve (Sansa; she was raised to believe that she has to do her duty).

    They are also both naive in the ways of politics, though both are learning. Sansa is being taught by Little Finger, and Dany in her plot line in Meereen. Dany also has her dragons, while Sansa is theoretically able to raise a strong army through name alone.

    Aditionally, neither of them are welcome in Westeros by the crown. Dany because she is a threat, and Sansa because she is an assumed kingslayer.

    Both come from old blood, and had families that were old by the time Westeros became seven kingdoms. The Starks in the North, and the Targaryeans in Old Valyria. Both families also have strong connections to their house sygils, the Direwolf and the Dragon respectively.

    Dany is the unburnt. Who is to say that Sansa, the only living Stark without a (warging) connection to her house sygil, can't be the unfrozen?

    • The Starks in ancient history bent the knee to House Targaryen without a fight. They were the Kings who Knelt. Sansa will be one of the first Westerosi that Dany meets, and she (Sansa) will swear fealty and all her knowledge of Westeros' current political situation, in exchange for protection and vengeance. They team up. They Fight Crime!. They rule.

    R'hllor is the Storm God, and the Drowned God is the Great Other. (spoilers for A Storm of Swords onwards).

    There are quite a lot of parellels between the faith of the Red Priests and that of the Ironborn.

    Both are duotheistic religions with one good and one evil god.

    Their good gods are associated with opposite elements and colours - R'hllor with fire and red, the Drowned God with water and pale green and blue.

    The gods communicate with particularly faithful priests through their respective elements - Melisandre and Moqorro see visions in their flames, and Aeron hears the voice of the Drowned God in the waves.

    Death and resurrection are a part of both faiths. The priests of R'hllor are known to be capable of reviving the dead, and the initiation ritual for damphairs involves being drowned and revived by CPR.

    • It goes further than that. The description from Thoros about how he first resurrected Beric Dondarrion involve him giving Dondarrion a ritualistic kiss of life. What else involves a kiss of life? CPR.

    Both faiths also involve human sacrifice via their gods' repective elements - burning for R'hllor, drowning for the Drowned God.

    When particularly close to their respective god's element, Melisandre and Aeron are both capable of going without food.

    Slavery also figures in both cultures - the Ironborn have thralls while the Red Priests are all slaves to the faith, though the Ironborn think this kind of slavery is just wrong.

    Now, consider when Stannis and Melisandre did the leech ritual to kill Balon Greyjoy, Joffrey Baratheon, and Robb Stark. Joffrey and Robb were both betrayed by their allies, while Balon was blown off a ledge by a gust of wind. Aeron, naturally enough, blames the Storm God. It's interesting to note that Balon was killed by a storm, and if this theory is true, Balon would have worshipped R'hllor's enemy, so R'hllor decided to take a more direct hand here.

    Also, Davos Seaworth. He was always associated with water, but after the Battle of King's Landing, he was swept into the sea, nearly drowned, but ultimately thrown back - one could look at this as the Drowned God sending Stannis a gift to counter R'hllor's influence on him via Melisandre, who Davos does not trust.

    Finally, there's the matter of Patchface. Patchface was drowned but revived; now he's completely insane and rants about life under the sea, which occasionally resembles the Drowned God's watery halls. Also, he freaks Melisandre right the fuck out. Since Patchface was evidently given life by the Drowned God, it's natural Melisandre would react in disgust at one who has the favour of (what she considers to be) the devil.

    All of Roose Bolton's actions have been an insane Batman Gambit to ensure the downfall of House Bolton
    Roose is a troll. A cruel, sadistic troll who helped orchestrate the Red Wedding and whom has fooled the entire North into thinking he wed his sadistic bastard son Ramsay to Ned Stark's youngest daughter. But for a man who prides himself on discretion, Roose has been going unnecessarily out of his way to provoke those around him.

    It's very it must also be deliberate.

    Roose is not very pleased about the fact that Ramsay is now his heir. And while he's shown a "fondness" for his new wife Walda, he doesn't want to have any children with her. In fact, he has implicitly told Theon he doesn't want anybody to succeed him in inheriting Dreadfort. Roose has realized that House Bolton is doomed. He had a promising heir in Domeric—who lacked the Bolton's cruelty and seemed like a genuinely good person—but then Domeric was murdered by Ramsay. Roose believes that any children he has with Walda will simply be murdered by Ramsay as well. In fact, the only thing stopping Roose from killing Ramsay is that he doesn't want the distinction of being known as a Kinslayer.

    So even if the Red Wedding and Ramsay's wedding to "Arya Stark" might be just another sign of Roose's cruelty, what might be really going on is that Roose has decided he would rather bring down his entire house than let Ramsay inherit it. But considering he doesn't want the distinction of being a Kinslayer, he probably would not also want the distinction of being the destroyer of his own house. So everything he has done—personally murdering his king and allowing his crazy son to abuse "Arya"—are deliberate acts to incite people against House Bolton. After all, if House Bolton has to go down it might as well go down as it lived—as violent and bloody as possible. So Roose will act in such a way and keep such a loose leash on Ramsay that in notime flat the North will rise against them and extinguish House Bolton.

    So when the history books of Westeros write about House Bolton after its downfall, Roose will be known as a Kingslayer, a sadist, a murderer, and all-around cruel thug. But he will not be known as a Kinslayer. And Roose will ensure that he is the last Lord of Bolton before Ramsay can ever achieve the title.

    Jaime will get a Blade Below the Shoulder
    Someone will realize that, rather than throwing away his 25-years experiense and learning to fight left-handed, it would be quicker to simply craft him a hand attachment with a sword blade in it, which will make him at least a decent swordsman. Bonus points if the thing will be forged by Gendry.
    • It's highly dubious whether this would be an improvement, pretty much replacing learning how to fight with his left hand with learning how to fight without being able to move his wrist, which is incredibly important, and it would likely be less effective in the end.

    Sansa will protect Tyrion from Lady Stoneheart
    Because frankly the only thing that could defeat a revenant that dead-set on revenge is having that revenge denied by one of the people they thought they were avenging. Other than Jaime Tyrion is probability the Lady's biggest potential target since he's wandering about while Cersei is relatively safe in King's Landing and of course he married her daughter, thus making Robb disinherit Sansa altogether and Catelyn could easily see the marriage as forced on Sansa, which it was, without knowing ti was forced on Tyrion too. Also Sansa has been shown to be sad that Tyrion would be blamed while she escaped and remembers him kindly, so she would have reason to defend him if given the chance. Lady Stoneheart and the Brotherhood Without Banners will be totally unable to conceive of why a Stark would protect a Lannister and either go entirely off the deep end or deescalate the situation,with the former being far more likely.
    • Bonus points if Sansa does not recognize Lady Stoneheart at all despite being recognized herself.
    • Double bonus if it's in one of Tyrion's point of view chapters and he nearly goes into shock over who's defending him to the point of the narration being affected.

    Tyrek Lannister is not dead.
    And not only is he not dead, he's playing an important part in somebody's scheme. It's one thing to say Never Found the Body and leave it there, it's another to say that and keep saying it. Despite him vanishing in the riots in book 2, he's still being referred to by the time the events of books 4 and 5 come around, and that's a lot of references for a dead, unimportant character to have. It's worth noting that, with all the Lannisters who have died or become disinherited, Tyrek is only a couple of deaths away from becoming Lord of Casterly Rock and if that comes to fruition, he's a hell of a piece to have.

    The whole series takes place in a Stable Time Loop
    The tales we keep hearing of events in the distant past are actually things that are coming true during the series. Prince Aegon is Aegon the Conqueror. The old tree-god-man that Bran meets is an ancient Bran. This explains the Medieval Stasis.

    The Starks and much of the North will end up reuniting with the wildlings by the time the series ends.
    So much emphasis is placed on the First Men status of the Stark family(and their shared history with the wildlings) throughout the series, and with Rickon possibly on Skagos and Jon as the Night's Watch Commander working more with the wildlings, the wildlings returning to Westeros is not unlikely. The series could end with Rickon leading an independent North.

    Robert Strong is Gregor Clegane...mostly
    Consider this a sweeping unification of all of the theories about the identity of Robert Strong. It seems quite clear that he's the result of Qyburn's mysterious anatomical tinkerings, particularly those performed on the dying Ser Gregor. But, due to the skull that was sent to Dorne, Clegane's corpse is at least without a head, and his body was certainly no in pristine condition following his mortal wounding. So, perhaps Qyburn fills those needs by splicing in other bits that characters have lost during the series. (After all, Qyburn and Robert Strong seem to be a riff on Victor Frankenstein and his creation, who was assembled from more than one corpse.) Possible sources include:
    • Bits of Ned Stark (Sansa says the head Joffrey shows her doesn't looks like her father, Catelyn says the bones that are presented to her are too small to be his)
    • Bits of Robb Stark (The whereabouts of his head and body are currently unknown.)
    • The right hand of Jaime Lannister (Perhaps Qyburn kept it to tinker around with.)
    • Bits of Syrio Forel (His fate is uncertain, but may have been killed, or thrown into a black cell, either of which would potentially put him in Qyburn's human part cupboard.)
    • Bits of the Red Viper (Hey, we know his corpse was fresh and available at the right time.)
    • Bits of Margaery's "lovers" still held prisoner by Qyburn - Hamish the Harper, Bayard Norcross, Mark Mullendore, Hugh Clifton, Lambert Turnberry, and Ser Tallad the Tall (Tallad may be able to provide replacement bits large enough to match up with the rest of Clegane.)
    • Tyrion's Nose (Just kidding.)

    Tyrek Lannister is not dead, captive, or part of any scheme
    Put yourself in the poor guy's shoes: You're on the cusp of manhood, when your family has you marry a baby as part of a land-grab. You're too far down the line of succession to ever hope to inherit Casterly Rock. It's going to be around a decade and half before you can even think about trueborn children, and you will forever be known as "Wet Nurse" thanks to your incredibly embarrassing marriage. But then, like a gift from The Seven: A nice big riot, the perfect opportunity for a poor squire to get overwhelmed by an angry mob and "die". I submit to you that Tyrek Lannister saw his chance to get out, and he took it.

    The Bear and the Maiden Fair was actually written about Jorrah and his ex wife.
    No particular logic to this one, I just find it amusing.
    • The song already existed at the time of Dunk and Egg stories, long before Jorah's marriage (or birth).
      • Well then, my mistake. However I choose to believe that it was performed at his wedding, much to either his wife's or his own annoyance.

    The Winds of Winter Battle Predictions
    After all the build-ups in AFFC and ADWD, TWOW will undoubtedly be full of epic battles. Let's predict the match-ups and who will be victorious. Feel free to add one or two of your own.

    • The Free Folks and Jon Snow's supporters VS The Night's Watch: The wildlings greatly outnumber the Watch and they have Wun Wun. The Watch will be this close from being decimated before something mysterious happens to Jon (he is not dead, I'm totally sure).

    • Stannis' force VS Roose Bolton's: Manderly and Umber will backstab the northern army, later joining with Stannis. Stannis, however, gets injured with many think he dies and Lightbringer is taken by the enemy and presented to Roose and Ramsay. The battle ends in a draw. The Boltons and their allies retreat to Winterfell and Stannis to Karhold or Last Hearth or the Wall.

    • Meereen VS Yunkai: Ser Barristan will successfully lift the siege, but he gets injured or infected by pale mare and his force suffers heavy casualties. Victarion Greyjoy arrives just when the battle ends and Ser Barristan has no choice but to surrender Meereen to him.

    • Young Griff and the Golden Company VS Crownland Army (Lannister and Tyrell): Just as Griff begins his siege of Storm's End (possibly with some help from Dorne), Randyll Tarly leads a surprise attack on him. He is forced to retreat.

    • Reach VS Euron Greyjoy: Garlan Tyrell leads his force against the Ironborn on land. Euron shows off his magic and Garlan dies.

    • Daenerys VS Khal Jhaqo: I really have no idea but... the Khal gets roasted by Drogon, so the Dothraki take Dany as their Khaleesi.
    Howland Reed will finally appear in the sixth book at The Wall
    • And with him, we'll finally find out Jon's true heritage. Jon's pretty likely to survive his Bolivian Army Ending, and who knows, Reed might show up and the very beginning as The Cavalry to take down the mutineers.

    The Others are invaders from Northeros
    Each book opens with a map of the continent of Westeros. Often, these maps include a goodly amount of detail about the continent of Essos as well. The continent of Sothoros is partially shown but little to no detail is given, presumably because no important story events occur there. The fact that the continent is cut off by the edges of the map proves that the map does not show the entire world, only the part of it that GRRM wants to show us.
    • GRRM's style is one of lying by omission: If he wants us to believe something, he often gives us just enough information to believe that it's true, but not so much that the text itself SAYS that something has happened. If he doesn't say something ISN'T true, then it's usually within the realm of possibility.
    • The map cuts off the northernmost section of Westeros. We cannot know that there isn't a continent directly north of Westeros representing the fourth of the 4 cardinal directions. We have W, E, and S. All that's left is N.
    • This also allows for the juxtaposition of Ice and Fire. Ice Invaders from Northeros, Fire Invaders from Valyria. R'hllor and The Great Other. People with blue eyes and white hair, people with purple eyes and white hair.

    Once upon a time, bastard surnames were the only surnames

    And they identified that the holder was of noble blood, regardless of their parents, and their procedence. As the society of the First Men evolved with the introduction of primogeniture and marriage alliances, certain lineages adopted new names that eventually became House names. Bastards who didn't fit in this scheme, now reduced to the bottom of nobility, kept receiving the noble names of old out of tradition, when no one else used them, and eventually became the marks of shame we know them as.

    Roose Bolton will die after accidentally causing a huge riot.
    Many of the villains in ASOIAF have died with an element of irony (Vargo Hoat's practice of hacking off limbs and leaving people to die gets turned back on him, Joffrey is poisoned at his own wedding after making fun of Robb Stark's demise, Tywin is killed by the son he's been abusing his entire life, Gregor Clegane dies a slow, screaming death after a life spent causing others unspeakable pain), so there's a chance that Roose, who prides himself on subtlety and wishes for "a peaceful land and a quiet people", will perish after being caught in a chaotic scene which he himself set off by mistake. It would have to be caused by a seemingly unnoticeable mistake, though...or maybe a huge one. His son's not the subtlest man alive.

    Ramsay Bolton will be ripped apart by his own hunting dogs.
    Both Stupid Good and Stupid Evil characters meet swift ends in this series, and since Ramsay falls into the latter category, he's due for a harsh downfall. His hounds are named after his previous victims, so a death at their teeth would be most fitting, as his previous atrocities would symbolically come back to bite him in that scenario. As to how this would work, there are several passages in the books that indicate the hounds have formed an attachment to Theon, so if he, Ramsay, and the dogs were to have a reunion, and Ramsay started making him suffer, as he is wont to do...

    Daenerys is the 'Mummer's Dragon'.
    There are theories that Aegon is fake. But what if it's the other way around and it was Daenerys and Viserys that were fakes? Illyrio is said to have Valyrian looks - and conveniently, the guardian of last two Targaryens dies off screen, making swap extremely easy. Why not put his kids on the throne while he is at it?

    Now, why I say it's Aegon that is real? Simly - Connington is real, and he spent most of his life with him. Aegon being fake is much less likely, simply because he was out of Illyrio's reach much of the time. Conninton was fanatically loyal to Rhaegar, making him playing part in any funny stuff or not noticing problems with Aegon had he was fake very unlikely. But he never meets Daenerys, does he?

    Now, take a look at the prophecy. "Kraken and Dark flame, lion and griffin, the sun's son and the mummer's dragon". You might notice they come in pairs, tied to each other. Greyjoy and Red Priest, Tyrion and Connington, Prince of Dorne and... who exactly? Unless it means one of his companions, the only person tied to him was Daenerys herself, after all, he was after her hand.

    Why Daenerys would be warned from herself? Because if you think about it, she is her own worst enemy. The peaceful, meek Daenerys that wants to rule slaves as "Mother" is the worst obstacle Deanerys, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men, Lady of the Seven Kingdoms, still has. She could have landed in Westeros together with Aegon, but as of A Dw D, she is alone, half naked, starving, and unarmed right in front of big group of known rapist riders, purely due to her efforts to keep Mereen peaceful.

    You can ask - what about dragons? Well, maybe all that was needed to wake them up was deaths of 3 people? Dany burned her son, her husband, and the priestess - 3 lives sacrificed to fire. If Melisandre is right burning royal blood makes magic more powerful, the people involved would massively boost the spell. After all, besides dragons, Daenerys and her brother did not show anything special so far. What if her problems with taming them would disappear in an instant for Aegon? Or Jon, for that matter?

    Hodor is a servant of The Great Other / Hodor theories
    1. The Great Other is buried beneath The Wall, which doubles as a tomb. Hodor IS the Horn of Winter, and Hodoring in the right spot is the key to bringing down the wall and awakening what lies beneath. The Great Other assures his own revival by stimulating Hodor to constantly vocalize The Great Other's very name: Hodor. Hodor and Melisandre will eventually cross paths, and when she hears him Hodoring she will know for certain who and what he is and try to kill him on the spot. Take a look at the names R'hollr and Hodor, a linguistically, aesthetically pleasing match I feel.

    2. There will come a time when Bran and Hodor are surrounded by The Others, and Hodor will 'Hodor' and The Others will react in a curious way. Perhaps running away, or falling to their knees, or attempting to SPEAK to Hodor in some black tongue.

    3. Hodor is Azor Ahai, he will ride all three dragons simultaneously in the final battle, kill Melisandre, Ramsay Bolton, and Stannis with his bare hands, and wed Osha. He will have a son and name him Hodor.

    The Others and the long seasonal cycles are Gaia's Vengeance.

    The humans of this world are so numerous and so vile, that every so often the damn planet has its fill of them. First it sends the Others to spread fear and death. And then Winter Comes to take the rest. The few humans that survive start the cycle all over again.

    The ravens are so reliable because they are ALL controlled by Bloodraven
    It is said that "Bloodraven has one thousand eyes and one" ("Sworn Sword", and probably elsewhere)—he controls tons of creatures. Maybe the reason that all the ravens are so reliable as messengers is that they are ALL STILL CONTROLLED by Bloodraven, and people have just forgotten/never knew.

    They never talk about actually TRAINING the ravens; it's just taken as a given that they are reliable messengers, and they know somehow where to go. The Maesters/Varys/someone know that he is still alive and controlling them, but have some kind of deal for him to stay away up beyond the Wall in return for keeping their communications going.

    (This level of trust on behalf of, well, ANYONE in this universe—among other things—obviously speaks out against this theory as a likely possibility, but it still seems interesting.)

    GRRM named King Joffrey after the Serial Killer, Jeffrey Dahmer
    Dahmer was murdered in jail (and thus back on the papers) in 1994, about the time Martin would be writing, or about to write A Game of Thrones (1996).

    Daenerys or some other Head of the Dragon will get into trouble in the Eyrie when they reach Westeros
    Come on, when you read the description of the Moon Door and the Sky Cells, or see them in the series, don't you think this place is just asking for a Suicidal "Gotcha!" followed by a rescue by a Surprise Vehicle? And the only flying "vehicles" in Martin's world are dragons. Bonus points if that Head of the Dragon will be Tyrion, who already ran afoul of the Eyrie's penitentiary system in Book 1.
    • This sounds awesome, but given the nature of this series, such a scene could easily end with the character breaking their bones upon the dragon's scales. There's also the possibility that they misjudge the timing and end up splattered across the rocks anyway, though dragons are pretty huge.

    The descendants of Dunk revealed in the books would be the Cleganes .
    Dunk himself is a massive man, almost 7 feet tall. Sandor and Gregor are within that range. While there are other characters within that height, there are other things to note in the story.

    The Cleganes are the unlikely helpers of the current ruling House Lannister. This mirrors, more or else, Dunk's relationship with Egg, albeit the latter being more heroic than that of the Cleganes. Dunk himself confesses that he was a right bastard when he was a child, only getting some Character Development after meeting Ser Arlan. Gregor shows what Dunk would have become without such Character Development, and Sandor shows that its possible to change, even if you've had a fucked-up start.

    Also, the idea of Dunk of Flea-bottom having descendants who's house sigil is a hound...There's something poetic about that.

    Drogon will grow two additional heads
    You guys are all being way too metaphorical about this prophecy.

    Coldhands is the Night's King
    Since he willingly allied with the Others in life, it makes sense that they would keep his sentience after death unlike all the other Wights. Leaf says that "they" killed him "a long time ago". Leaf herself being over 200 years old should give you an idea of what "a long time ago" means to her. This also fits with Coldhands being a member of the Night's Watch. Bran being aided by the Night's King of course ties into all the theories that either Bran is going down a darker path than it seems or the Others aren't as mindlessly evil as they appear.

    Stannis will be killed by Daenaerys.
    People have a way of suffering karma- or irony- themed punishment in this series. Stannis thumps on his "legal rights" a little sanctimoniously for someone who is a usurper's younger brother. Him dying in rebellion to the lawful queen would be right up Martin's alley.

    Bran is a living cosmic reset button.
    Westeros goes through a cycle of ages, similar to Randland, during which magic gets stronger and weaker. The weaker times are catastrophic, and it's heading into another weak phase as of the time A So Ia F takes place. Bran's job will be to start the next cycle after The Other destroys everyone.

    Lady's death foreshadows Sansa's.
    The Stark children are all complemented by their dire wolves. Sansa will be sacrificed by someone she trusts.

    The Titular "Song"
    At one point before Robert's Rebellion,Prince Rhaegar sang a song to a crowd that purportedly reduced Lyanna Stark to tears. We haven't yet been told what said song was about. Not too long after, Rhaegar disappeared with Lyanna. If the theory that Lyanna and Rhaegar were truly in love is true, then what kind of song could make Lyanna cry? A metaphorical song that anyone else listening wouldn't understand: a song of ice and fire.

    How well does it match the trope?

    Example of:


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