By John Geluardi
As the sublime sound of dragon wings fades into the distance, we can start to look up from the bleakness and possibly see a pencil-thin ray of hope. Yes, Game of Thrones season 6 is over and our lives suddenly seem so vacuous that we wonder about how our geekiness is effecting our personal relationships and mental stability. But we can also maybe see that the Thrones’ skilled storytellers, Martin, Benioff, Weiss and incredible directors like Miguel Sapochnik, have left us with the makings for an incredible season 7.
Cersei Gets Her Ring Kissed
In a scene reminiscent of Godfather I, Cersei cleared the decks of all her enemies and became Queen of Westeros. All she had to do was by blow up the Great Sept of Baelor and kill hundreds. The list of dead is long, but I’ll see if can name the most important victims – there was the High Sparrow and all of the little sparrows, her son King Tommen’s wife, Queen Margery, the queen’s brother and heir to Highgarden Ser Loras Tyrell, Lord Mace Tyrell, Cersei’s Uncle Kevan Lannister, her cousin Lancel Lannister and nearly every member of the high court.
When King Tommen learns of his wife’s death, he throws himself from a window in the Red Keep. Cersei’s consigliere, Qyburn, has Grand Maester Pycelle brutally stabbed to death by a pack of precocious, preteen “little birds” and Cersei herself takes care of Septa Unella, the cruel nun-type character who tormented Cersei while she was imprisoned in a cell on the orders of the High Sparrow. Cersei introduces Unella to her “new God,” the Frankenstein-like Ser Gregor Clegane who presumably is going to torture her until well into next season.
Cersei is now the undisputed monarch of the Seven Kingdoms. She does not even have any pesky meddling religious orders to impede her vindictive whims. She is also no longer hindered by a mother’s worry. All of her children are dead and she no longer has to temper her impulses to a any notions of a safe future. She is, in a sense, free. Though it’s uncertain what exactly that means. The Lannisters, who supported the monarchy for decades, is now broke. Cersei will have to rely on the Iron Bank in order to fund any war of aggression, troops, weapons, horses, supplies all cost a great deal of money so it will be interesting to see how she proceeds with no revenue, no Small Council and no restraints. And she is going to have to be smart given there are two armies and three dragons and an angry Dwarf sailing toward Westeros. Cersei will no longer be able to shrug off Daenarys and her “baby dragons.”
Oh, did I mention Cersei now an unabashed day drinker, which makes her all that much more unpredictable. Cheers!
As far as troubled Westerosi romances go, Ser Jamie Lannister is facing a bit of quandary. The love of his life and the only woman he’s ever been intimate with, his twin sister Cersei, has just drunkenly blown up the Great Sept of Baelor and killed hundreds of innocent people. Remember, Jamie killed the Mad King when he threatened to do the exact same thing. So the question is if Jamie going to stay on Team Cersei now that she’s become a wildfire-crazed mass murderer or is he possibly going to kill her as he did the Mad King?
It’s me, Arya…
The youngest Stark daughter made a brief but powerful appearance in the final episode. Newly returned from the Free City of Bravos, Arya is again prosecuting her “list” with flare, panache and industry. Arya celebrated her return to Westeros by avenging her mother Catelyn and brother, Robb. She killed Black Walder (who Lady Stark and Lame Lothar Frey, put them into a meat pie, which she served up to Lord Walder Frey before cutting his throat. Arya is now in the Riverlands with an interesting cast of characters including her old frenemy The Hound, Brienne Tarth (who is sworn to protect her), the Brotherhood Without Banners, which once held her captive and the Red Woman who has been banished from the North by King Jon. Also rumored to be in the Riverlands is her direwolf Nymeria who is said to be the leader of pack of a rapacious pack of wolves. These disparate elements could come together as a powerful rebel force possibly under Arya’s command… Or, given their past interactions, they could all kill each other.
The other question is how will Arya’s return play out with Jon and Sansa. Arya was close with Jon who had Needle specially made for her. The relationship between Arya and Sansa is bit more complicated and has been since Sansa lied to protect Joffery in S1. As a result of the lie, Cersei forced Ned Stark to kill a family direwolf, the sigill of House Stark. The direwolf’s killing woke Bran from a coma and was the symbolic event that started a chain of bad luck, which nearly brought the Starks to ruin. So while Jon is ready to trust Sansa, Arya may be more wary of her, which will be a good thing, because Jon trusted the Night’s Watch and that did not work out so well.
Jon’s Sansa problem
Then there’s Jon’s ongoing Sansa problem. She again met with Little Finger and kept the meeting from Jon who has been named King of the North. If Sansa was loyal to Jon, she would have told him about Little Finger’s ambition to become King of the Seven Kingdoms and that Little Finger called Jon “a motherless bastard born in the south” and therefore he should not be King of the North. Little Finger also told Sansa that he wants her to be by his side when he becomes King and while Sansa rejected the offer at least initially, but it was easy to see she was thinking about it.
Remember, when Little Finger visited the crypts below Winterfell and told Sansa about her Aunt Lyanna who we discovered in episode 10 is actually Jon’s mother. Perhaps Little Fingers knows Jon’s father is actually a Targaryan, which would give him a legitimate claim to the throne, a claim more legitimate than Little Finger could ever dream of. That means that Jon is a menacing threat to Little Finger’s ambitions.
Sansa apologized to Jon for not telling him about the Lords of the Vale’s availability prior to the Battle of the Bastards, but it was pretty thin and Jon seems too willing to trust her and we all know that Jon’s trusting nature got him into trouble with the Night’s Watch. So Sansa’s loyalty remains in question and if Jon is smart, he’ll keep an eye on her in season 7.
Daenerys has two armies, three grown dragons, 100 plus fully loaded ships and she’s set sail east Westeros where her landing has been softened by Lord Varys. He has established alliances with the lord of Dorn and Lady Olenna Tyrell, the sole surviving member of the wealthy House Tyrell. The only question is how she will prosecute the conquering of Westeros and how long before there’s a showdown between Daenerys and Cersei? Who doesn’t want to see that?
Then there is the Night King who is bringing his army of the dead south of The Wall. This, I expect, will be the defining conflict of season 7 and major players in what has been called the “True War” will no doubt be King Jon, Daenerys, Arya, Hand to the Queen Tyrian, Davos possibly the Red Woman, Samwell Tarly and Bran, the new Three-Eyed Raven. Oh, did I mention Drogon, Rhaelgal and Viserion? That’s right those fire breathing dragons who we all want as house pets, am I right?