For many years, fans of A Song of Ice and Fire have been patiently waiting to read how the story of Westeros and the game of thrones plays out. George R. R. Martin wrote book one back in 1996 and if it wasn’t for the acclaim of the HBO adaptation of his work, those original fans may have never seen book five, released on July 2011, soon after Season One was over.
Fast forward five years and five seasons later and we still haven’t been blessed with a book six. At this pace our beloved author may well take his secret to the grave because Benioff and Weiss will end it before he does. As any avid reader will suggest, we are being cheated of being ahead of the game, of knowing more than the viewers. For the first time the nerds will not be able to taunt the mere mortals about having inside dirt on the plotline because they owned the hardcover version of the book. This sixth season has become the equalizer: All the fans are in the dark and can only opine or offer conjectures about where the screenplay will take us. Our only plea, voiced in unison, is that our favorite character survives.
With a due date range, yes range, of 2016 to 2018, The Winds of Winter has to be the most anticipated tome of A Song of Ice and Fire and is the prelude to A Dream of Spring, the finale, and culmination of two decades of apprehensive waiting. Aside from Harper Lee’s second book, no author has taken this long to conclude a well received saga in print. I know we all waited 30+ years for Episode 7 but those story drafts were known to exist even though the new universe replaced that original concept. The expanded universe kept us engaged in the meantime. Martin tried to so something similar by releasing material from before A Song of Ice and Fire took place, but it isn’t enough to quell our thirst. The suspense is literally killing me.
Because my friends would sacrifice me to the Lord of Light if I spoiled the experience of watching the show with facts from the book and speculation, I have to opt for stating, rather ambiguously, my thoughts on where this is all going. As a Dany fan, I hope Khal Drogo’s BFF finds her and rescues her, while Drogon and his brothers assist in the effort. Release the dragons! Tyrion seems to be safe so far and doesn’t look like his penchant for fast women and booze will diminish anytime soon. As for the twins, Cersei and Jamie, only time will tell if they make it out of King’s Landing alive. Arya may have her vengeance after all if they flee her way…
Confirmed rumor has it that George is planning to take us beyond The Wall in the remaining books, so expect more wights and white walkers on screen. Dorne has been somewhat removed from the narrative so Ellaria may need to get creative if she wants more air time. Out of all the HBO female characters, she is my favorite, closely followed by Arya and Danearys. The Starks better get ready to fight a whole new enemy to the south, and manage the wall simultaneously. Hopefully the Lord Commander is impervious to fire, since all the dead must be burned to avoid reanimation. (Targeryans can resist fire, wink wink, and Ghost may carry a secret way to revive Mr Snow. Cure me Melisandre!)
By the way, can someone tell me how they should off Ramsey Bolton? That Bastard needs to die and soon because the creeper factor is skyrocketing with this villain. He makes me miss Joffrey and that is saying a lot! Reek a.k.a. Theon will be back to the Iron isles if all goes well, especially since his sister is scheduled to make an appearance this season, but I have mixed feelings about this character lasting much longer. There is no use for him except to tell the world Bran and Rickon are still alive. (Please tell me you remember Rickon who has made 0 appearances recently.) No one in Westeros is holding back when it comes to winning the GoT. No one is safe nor off limits either.
I can’t stress enough how at this point no one knows where this rollercoaster ride will take us and when the whirlwind deaths will end. One by one the dominoes will fall and empires will rise and fade by the stroke of the keyboard. The readers are no longer smug about their opinions and predictions and the viewers have an edge because they clearly remember what they saw and heard; they don’t need to compare, collate and cull information in two mediums. As much as I would like the readers to have the upper hand, it seems that George R. R. Martin will stick it to us too. It is now in the hands of the Gods. Valar morgulis.
For the night is dark and full of terror.
Note that the world of Westeros doesn’t experience the same scientific and universal laws. Although it is similar to Earth, the magical power and the extensive winters make it an impossibility to explain how it all comes together based on our own rules. Everything goes. Get creative. Martin sure has.