Maisie Williams, Gemma Whelan, and John Bradley on Game of Thrones Season 6 and beyond

Arya2

The cast is as eager as ever to get back to work after the success of Game of Thrones’ latest season. With Entertainment Weekly, Maisie Williams shares her desired direction for Arya next season along with cast mates Liam Cunningham (Davos) and Lena Headey (Cersei). The trio stopped to talk Thrones while raising awareness during their trip to a Syrian refugee camp.

Relishing in their character’s developments, Gemma Whelan discusses Yara’s sexuality and her on- set experiences with Vulture. At The Hollywood Reporter, John Bradley reviews Sam’s numerous victories despite only appearing in three episodes.

After returning to Westeros, Arya Stark avenged her murdered mother and brother by slaying the despicable Walder Frey.  There’s a few places Arya could go next so Maisie offers her insight with Entertainment Weekly.

I’d love for her to be a bit of a lone ranger. I’d love for her to be kind of like The Hound. I don’t really want her to reunite with her family because I don’t think that they’re the same people anymore or that she’s the same person anymore. I think she’s better off on her own. I’d love for her to be alive, actually, and be her own boss.

Be like The Hound or be reunited with The Hound?

aryalaughing

Liam Cunningham, on the other hand, has more a relaxing lifestyle planned for Davos.

I don’t want a knife in the back. I don’t him blown up with wildfire. I don’t want to be poisoned. I think perhaps he would open a little flower shop somewhere, some begonias, tulips, and settle down with a lot of attractive women from Dorne, with lots of Dornish wine.

I’m sure Bronn would approve.

As for the new Queen of Westeros, Lena Headey says her end for the lioness would be a “great death by Arya.” Option #2 of Headey’s death wish list would be by the hands of her brother Tyrion for “no one would relish her death as much as he would.”


Yara Greyjoy in "Home"

Yara Greyjoy went from prospective ruler of the Iron Islands to an ally of the most powerful character in Westeros. Gemma Whelan revels in her character’s journey with Vulture.

Yara sacrificed her home’s traditions for an alliance with the Mother of Dragons. Whelan gives her thoughts on the Ironborn’s compromise.

I think at that point, Yara and Theon realize they don’t have a plan B. This is plan A, and they have to make it work. I think they’re prepared to make sacrifices for a greater good. And why not make a change? By all accounts, Yara doesn’t really agree with the way her father’s been running things, and things are different now, so she makes a decision right there. They have to change something, they can’t go back home, and we need this woman, so we compromise. It’s a very tactical move. It’s a heavy decision, but it’s not too difficult for her, because she’s got to get this deal done so we can get on with things.

She also goes into Yara’s sexuality which was explored more in season 6.

I don’t think she’s bisexual. There’s a new saying going around, “pansexual,” which means if she’s up for it … I think she says, “I’m up for anything.” That’s her ethos. I don’t this she swings any way in particular, other than the way she feels at the time. She’s just open-minded, which fits the character perfectly.

As for a possible romance between Yara and Daenerys:

Emilia and I both enjoy the idea. [Laughs.] We get along very well, so we enjoy working with each other quite a lot. So maybe! I don’t know! It’s up to the writers and the machinations of their minds. We like each other, we reflect each other, and whether it’s more than friendship is irrelevant, really.

For more, including filming with director Miguel Sapochnik and which character Whelan would most like Yara to cross, head on over to Vulture!


Oldtown

Season 6 was also a victorious season for Sam the Slayer who overcame his emotionally abusive father, stole the invaluable Valyrian steel blade, and finally made it to his great destination: Oldtown.

Bradley explores his character’s mindset with The Hollywood Reporter.

Sam’s finally in a position where he’s accepted and his skills are accepted. All of the certain attributes he possesses are worth something in this place, kind of for the first time. Even at Castle Black, he learned a lot there and was able to apply that knowledge a little bit, but he was still a bit of a fish out of water there. It’s such a macho environment, with an emphasis placed on physical prowess, so he felt like a bit of a stranger there. Now he’s in a place where everybody’s like him. Everybody’s an academic. Everybody’s devoted to learning and devoted to knowledge. I think for the first time, he’s arrived at a place where he feels at home with himself and doesn’t have to pretend to be anything he’s not. Everyone there will accept him for who he is, because they’re exactly the same as he is.

He also touches on Heartsbane and its future use:

I think when he took the sword, it was a symbolic gesture of him taking what’s his. He has every right to have that sword and to use it for whatever practical uses it has. But he knows only too well that if it’s wasted, and if it stays at Horn Hill, if it’s just there as a symbol of the power of the Tarly house, if it’s just an ornament, a little trinket or affectation, then it’s not going to do the good he knows he can do with it. Although Randyll might be furious, and probably is furious, Sam knows only too well that as symbolic as it is and how much he would like to have it just to claim ownership and prove a point, that if he learns how to wield its practical use then it will be of much more good to him than it is displayed on a set of antlers in the Tarly dining room. It’s a beautiful moment of when someone’s impulse and bravery to do the right thing is combined with a slightly more abstract practical knowledge as well. It’s a big payoff for him.

Bradley delves more into Sam’s recent victories at The Hollywood Reporter!

What are your thoughts? Will Arya go straight for Cersei or meet up with the Brotherhood? Do you ship Yara and Dany? What about Sam wielding Heartsbane? Let us know below!

74 responses

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    1. Hodor!

      Yey, my first Hodor.

      I do think it would be strange if Arya were to reunite with her family permanently. She is now way more feral and deathly, but everyone else would probably still treat her as a child.

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    2. Williams has a pretty good opinion here. Her brother and sister will be having some drama next season and Arya doesn’t really need that political crap right now.

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    3. I don’t like the idea that Arya shouldn’t see her siblings again. If by reuniting with them means staying with them forever then I agree, that shouldn’t happen. I want her to see Jon again at some point, if nothing else but for him to know that she’s alive and okay.

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    4. I hope Arya cares about her family enough to go visit them and see they are doing fine. She was very close to Jon and she knows Sansa had a bad time. I think she will feel a little disappointed she wasn’t there to help recover Winterfell. But, after she realises Jon is more focus in dealing with the White Walkers than avenging their father I wouldn’t be surprised if she leaves.

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    5. I like the idea of Arya doing her own thing, but at some point, probably near end game, they meet again (Jon and Arya), some way they can help each other. In the meantime….offing Cersei would be nice, but I have a feeling Cersei is doomed another way. Maybe running into the Hound. Too soon to know.

      YarAsha/Danaerys. I could care less. I would rather Danaerys focuses on what is coming in front of her with no distractions. Danaerys has already wasted too much time on useless flirtations.

      Sam. I more wonder what is going to happen to Gilly. He seems protected within the Citadel but she is left in the lobby with Baby Sam’ish. He will learn about Heartsbane and find a way to make it useful, again as part of end game, rejoining with Jon.

      For Davos? I hope that someday he does get his little flower shop in Dorne. Why do I have a feeling that isn’t going to happen….

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    6. Ugh, I hope the writers don’t share Maisie’s ideas for Arya. Yes, Arya is different but so are her siblings. They’ve all been traumatized but they should get the chance to see each other again before the end. If Arya decides domesticity is not for her then she can peace out. But, she should remember that in winter the lone wolf does not survive.

      Interesting that Liam would like Davos to retire to Dorne with beautiful women surrounding him. I guess he’s not married anymore in the show? Or was he always single? I can’t remember. I’ll assume he’s not married since he’s hitched his wagon to Jon Snow and doesn’t seem to be turning back anytime soon.

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    7. Eh if Arya cared enough to save Lady Crane and become friendy with her she can handle reuniting with her family.I think she and Jon and the others will reunite but not stay together in the long run and I’m already prepared to cry when the day comes lol

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    8. Arya will die or go off on her own, possibly having had one last sight/encounter with Jon/Sansa/Bran while incognito.

      And the only sign that she was ever around will be Needle.

      Jon will recognise it on a dead Arya.

      Or she will leave it for Jon to find at Winterfell as a final goodbye to her family, to Winterfell and to Arya Stark.

      The fact that Sam has taken Heartsbane makes me think that Randyll Tarly will die in battle next season, probably scythed down by the Mountain while leading the Tyrell forces. And Sam will consider himself partly culpable for his father’s death.

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    9. I think perhaps he would open a little flower shop somewhere, some begonias, tulips, and settle down with a lot of attractive women from Dorne, with lots of Dornish wine.

      This is why he is one of my fav actors on the show, as well as one of my fav characters. Add a few book kiosks to that shop and I’ll be there.

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    10. Jaime. Definitely Jaime will be the one to end Cersei, but not until the end of the season. Arya’s skills will be useful elsewhere, I’m sure, but she does need to reunite and strategize with the family first. The pack that preys together stays together.

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    11. Funny but I see Arya as more committed to Winterfell and Jon and Bran and being home, than I do Sansa. I have had the impression, since Season 1, that Sansa has always pulled away from Winterfell, wanted to go out into the world marry royalty and be a great lady at least, if not Queen.

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    12. Why do I fell that Maisie Williams is trolling again? At this point most people would think that Arya will go to Winterfell next season, so Maisie already started misdirecting lol No, I don’t think Arya should never reunite with her family and be a loner forever. That would be No one’s Arya, that’s not the Arya Stark of Winterfell who walked away from the house of black and white. That’s not the Arya Stark who avenged her family as soon as she arrived in Westeros. Arya still cares deeply about her family, she just thinks that there’s nothing left of it and that’s why she’s on this revenge path. I don’t think Arya would choose not to go to winterfell to see her dearest brother (and sister) once she hears the news. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking but I don’t want to see arya get consumed for revenge and killing for the rest of her life. Remember how he couldn’t get rid of Needle? Can she really hear about her family (especially Jon) and not want to get back to them? I highly doubt it.

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    13. I think it makes the most sense for Arya to meet up with the Hound and the BwB and head North with them. She should end up in Winterfell by episode 4-5 and knock some sense into Sansa if she’s willing to work with LF again. Time to bring all the storylines together (and she said she was going home last season so….).

      And yes I ship Yanerys because I have amazing taste.

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    14. I want Arya to find her direwolf she sent packing with that rock she threw at it in S1. I want them up to no good.

      I’d much rather Cersei see the fate that Maggy told her she’d see. If that means Arya kills Jaime for his face and kills Cersei then so be it. I still want Jaime to have to pay for what he did to Bran. It’s only fair.

      Yara/Dany bores me. Dany’s relationships have never been engaging to me as a show watcher.

      I’d like to see Davos counseling whoever is on the throne at the end of everything. Not, “The Hand” but definitely small council. I’d like to see him get to live out his days in peace after all the mess goes down.

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    15. It’s clear now that we won’t get this on the show, but I still think that in the books, the event that will end Arya’s quest for revenge will be giving the Gift of Mercy to LSH. That’s her bittersweet ending.

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    16. Flayed Potatoes:
      I think it makes the most sense for Arya to meet up with the Hound and the BwB and head North with them. She should end up in Winterfell by episode 4-5 and knock some sense into Sansa if she’s willing to work with LF again. Time to bring all the storylines together (and she said she was going home last season so….)

      I hope that you are correct. I want Arya to see her siblings again, even briefly. The lone wolf dies…

      I adore John Bradley. He offers an interesting theory in the Hollywood Reporter interview about the appearance of the gyroscopes in the Citadel:

      One theory is that what we’re seeing now and how we’re experiencing Game of Thrones is Sam telling the story of Game of Thrones. If you take the logic of the story now, the story of Westeros and the story of the battle for the Iron Throne, it would be a book in that library.

      I want to see Sam play a pivotal role in the end game. He clearly is not a warrior but I like the suggestion that he could be the historian that pulls this story together for future generations.

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    17. Would love Jon and Arya to meet again – they always meant the most to each other of the siblings. Arya and the Hound again would be a dream, but I don’t know if it’ll happen. She and Nymeria need to find each other again and go on a few adventures. Arya will definitely survive until the end, along with Jon and Bran.

      I wonder if bringing down Cersei might be a team effort, but I do think it has to be up to Jaime. Their relationship is so much stronger than her’s and Tyrion’s, which has always just been dislike.

      Sam will probably end up saving the world without exactly meaning to, it’ll be by accident. 🙂

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    18. jdtargstark,

      Maisie wouldn’t have the scripts for next season yet so she isn’t trying to troll/misdirect anymore than Liam is with his answer. Being a wandering loner in Westeros is just what she, personally would like Arya to do next. I doubt that’s what the writers are planning , it doesn’t jibe with her attitude when she left Braavos ( “A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell, and I’m going home.”) and she’s been a loner, essentially, for a long time already.

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    19. Arya going back to Winterfell would kill her story stone dead, in my opinion.

      She may well encounter the Hound and probably Melisandre on her travels.

      But her story dies the moment she returns to Winterfell, which is why I think that if she returns there at all it’ll be towards the very end and probably in bittersweet circumstances.

      One thing I could picture is her reuniting with Sansa if Sansa leads any Northerners who can’t fight south when the White Walkers invade.

      Brienne would probably be required to fight in the war with Oathkeeper, so I could picture Arya popping up to act as Sansa’s bodyguard, whether Sansa realises it or not. Especially after the whole “no-one can protect me” tease from Sansa this season.

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    20. I think Arya is doomed to be the lone wolf who dies in the winter. The foreshadowing is right there in book 1. She will chase her vengeance.

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    21. I have to say that while I already really liked both the actress and the character, no one took a bigger leap in my esteem over the course of Season 6 than Gemma Whelan and Yara Greyjoy. She was awesome this year, and Gemma is delightful. I’m looking forward to her playing a big role in Season 7!

      entertainment weekly,

      Because TV Guide’s rival EW gets all of the insider scoops and subsequent GOT-related traffic thanks to corporate synergy. Ergo, they have a massive bloody stick up their collective asses, and post garbage like this as clickbait to make up the difference.

      I’ve seen more than one piece in this vein from them already. I didn’t read this one, because I have no desire to give it pageviews. I bet I can guess exactly what it says anyway, word for word.

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    22. i swear, Maisie and Sophie say the dumbest shit during interviews, then i remember they are in reality, teen age girls………silly shit is the soup du jour for teen age girls…

      Arya LEFT the faceless men while proclaiming she is ARYA STARK OF WINTERFELL

      thats her identity.

      She is going back to join up with KITN and Sansa. Prob by way of reuniting with the BwoB and The Hound

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    23. Jack Bauer 24: That was nothing more than a shallow hit piece on GoT. A straight up hit piece.

      That’s what I expected it to be at first, but the further I read, the more I realized that the author has a very valid point about the rule change. People who vote for industry awards like the Emmys should indeed be required to have seen all the entries – otherwise it does just devolve into a popularity contest.

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    24. I believe Arya has already predicted her fate in Season 6.

      “What’s west of Westeros?”

      “I want to see it.”

      She is hell-bent on vengeance and is definitely not the same tomboy from Season 1 but reconnecting with family will bring it all full circle for her. This horrid chapter in her life coming to a close. I don’t believe for one second she is a heartless killer. She couldn’t kill Lady Crane because she didn’t feel she deserved it. She has only sought out those who have wronged her family. And Gendry, who she felt was family. That brings me to what I believe will be her fate at the end of the series. I definitely think she will reunite with Jon, after traveling north with the BwB.
      I think Sandor will be crucial at this time for her because she will still have her “list” but seeing him, while not so much a softer sort but with a renewed purpose, could really impact her. Until they run into Melisandre, which I expect Gendry to be brought up multiple times. She will want to avenge him but will learn he lives. I expect after a reunion with Jon (which will make me ball), she will head south against Jon’s wishes to get to Cersei and will meet up with Gendry at that time. By this time, Dany will probably be in the fold and will take care of Cersei or Jaime will. Or, she will hear of Cersei sending Ser Robert Strong north for Sansa’s head and will turn around to warn them. Either way, I think there will be some back and forth until her story comes to a conclusion. Gendry and Arya will head back north, once they learn the real battle is coming. He is a smith after all. I don’t known if she will fight against the WW but I think she will be there.
      At the end, if she lives, well we know she doesn’t want to run her own keep, like Sansa.
      “That’s not me.”
      At the end of the series, she will head “west of Westeros” for adventure.

      This is of course my dream scenario because I don’t want her to die. I want to see her live the life she has wanted but wasn’t allowed within the constraints to this society. Just like my hope for Sansa is to choose her own happiness and not be confined to a political marriage and noble chains.

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    25. I would LOVE to see Arya reunite with The Hound! I do hope he’s really off her list though. I think they could have a fantastic adventure west of Westeros. As far as Sam goes I would also love to see him do some slaying with Heartsbane and become a true battlemage.

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    26. Flayed Potatoes: She should end up in Winterfell by episode 4-5 and knock some sense into Sansa if she’s willing to work with LF again.

      Seeing as he caused her first, and greatest trauma, LF ‘s death at Arya’s hands would be almost poetic… especially if it comes while she’s rescuing her big sister.

      And, yeah, it’s got to be Jaime who off’s Cersei (and probably himself), although I’d love to see him join in The Great War to Come and get a chance to die a redeemed hero. Things just don’t work out that way in this world, though.

      Gendry has to return. It’d be a shame if he didn’t get to use that cool helmet.

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    27. Martyn_Lannister,

      And that, by itself, would make for an interesting character dynamic. I say bring the Starks together, as different as they all are now, and see how they get on.

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    28. There are only two seasons left and 13 hours. I expect the Stark family reunion to happen next season for sure before the Long Night begins. It would be cool if all the siblings are together to listen the truth about Jon’s parents.
      Besides, imagine Arya training with Jon, Brienne or the Hound at Winterfell …

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    29. It’s amazing how much Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams are out in the land of Oz somewhere when talking about their characters in interviews. How is it good storytelling for Arya to never reunite with her family? Has separation from her family not been the actual arc of Arya since episode 9 of season 1? The time has come to go full circle and reunite with them. And then she says she wants to be a lone ranger in one sentence, yet reunite with the Hound in the next.

      I’ll be more fair to her than Sophie though as Maisie is a troll in interviews. So who knows what she really thinks.

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    30. Yes, there are some hints in the books and less so the show that Arya may die, but the fact that D&D gave her the west of Westeros yearning might indicate where she’s really going once the hurly-burly’s done and the Big Battle’s lost and won. I’d be truly disappointed if she doesn’t at least first have a brief reunion with her siblings or at least Jon. Other than Ned (and possibly Robb), she’s the only Stark who ever really really deeply loved Jon. I hope we get to see her reaction to his other identity and that she’s happy for him. Bless Lena and Liam for their choices. Davos deserves happiness.

      I feel very strongly that we must not lose any more Starks. Bran will certainly survive to know and tell the saga (the writer’s surrogate). Jon will probably die, having saved the world. Sansa–maybe be Queen in the North, but who knows? Probably both direwolves (and the dragons) won’t last through the final finale because probably there will be no room for magic in the post-apocalyptic world. But hopefully the Starks in the North, the Targs in the South, and maybe the Iron Islanders in the west–will survive and reign. They will equate to the countries of Great Britain: Scotland, England and Wales or Ireland. How appropriate that the ever-adventurous Arya wants to be the Columbus/Leif Erikson and find whatever is out there. Or as Tennyson said of Ulysses:
      … Come, my friends,
      ‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
      Push off, and sitting well in order smite
      The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
      To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
      Of all the western stars, until I die.

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    31. orange:
      And then she says she wants to be a lone ranger in one sentence, yet reunite with the Hound in the next.

      She said she wanted to be a lone wolf like the Hound, not that she wanted to be reunited with the Hound.

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    32. Arya’s brief time with Lady Crane represented a chance to step aside from this path she’s on.
      After her ‘success’ at the Twins she will keep on hunting her enemies.

      Foreshadowing in book 1:

      “You’ll be sewing all through winter. When the spring thaw comes, they will find your body with a needle still locked tight between your frozen fingers.” Jon to Arya before he gives her the sword Needle. Winter has now come and Arya is sewing.

      That’s pretty clear foreshadowing. She can’t be an avenging assassin without it taking a toll.

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    33. If Maisie keeps saying this after she has read the scripts and filming has begun then we can rest assured arya is reuniting with her family in season 7 lol

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    34. I’m not taking Maisie’s comments with much more than a pinch of salt tbh. It’s a little early for the cast to have seen their scripts as well.

      I’m with most of you guys. “I’m Ayra Stark of Winterfell and I’m going home!” Then she heads straight to the Twins and seeks revenge, telling Walder Frey that the last thing he is going to see is a Stark smiling down at him.
      She retrieved Needle and her identity when she left the house of black and white and she isn’t going west of Westeros as there aren’t any ships which sail in that direction.
      When she left Bravos, her family were all dead for all she knew. She will discover that’s not the case quite easily as she is now back in Westeros. Wandering around being some sort of Lone Ranger isn’t going to fit in with the coming WW invasion it doesn’t seem. There’s no time for disconnected story arcs now with only 13 episodes left.
      She may not reunite with Jon and Sansa straight away but somehow I can’t see it not happening.

      If she does run into the Hound who is with the BWOB, the first place they’d want to take her to is Winterfell. She is worth gold to them.

      I just can’t see Ayra running around Westeros on her own when the show is bringing all the main players together as they are.

      She’s always resisted being a lady. Maybe the twist is that Ayra will end the show as Lady of Winterfell.

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    35. Arya storyline is a bit unpredictable. As she wants to take revenge on the people who has wronged her or her family, her natural destination begs to be Kings Landing since the only people on her list are in Kings Landing but then she also wants to go home. I think they can choose either path next season but her plot armour could come to a halt if she goes back to Winterfell next season. I am quite interested to see what show runners decide to do with her. And with all the Faceless Man stuff, I am not sure how much of Maisie we are going to see next season.

      Loved what Liam has to say about Davos lol

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    36. mariamb,

      I also have a feeling that when all is said and done the last scene we have will be Sam Tarley sitting down to pen the story of his time, what will become the history of the long night when 2 legends/heroes, one of which was his best friend, fought bravely and won. This probably means that Jon dies at the very end in the WW battle 🙁

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    37. arya has the thickest plot armor of any other character.
      interview spoiler

      she is george r r martin’s wife’s favorite character and she whispered in his ear …. promise me, george.

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    38. ygritte,

      I would hate that ending! ??

      I’ve already had Jon die once. That was bad enough. Of all the characters I love, he is the only one I would hate not to see alive at the end.

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    39. Atish Vaze,

      Agreed. It could go either way for her next season, imo. If I had to guess, Arya seems too consumed by her desire for revenge right now, which could see her head to KL instead of Winterfell. Besides, seeing Jaime at the Twins may have given her increased motivation to go after the Lannisters. She was definitely eyeing him.
      Maybe she will actually have to make this choice once she hears Jon and Sansa have retaken Winterfell, revenge or family.

      Flayed Potatoes,

      I would root for that! I think Sansa has a very good chance of surviving, she is the ultimate survivor, Tyrion’s line saying Sansa might just outlive them all might be a foreshadowing too?

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    40. I’m really hoping to see Arya meet up with the Brotherhood and the Hound. I actually think it will happen and at some point we can add Melisandre to the mix. I don’t think Arya is going to the be one to take Cersei down. I honestly believe it will be one her brother’s and fulfill the prophecy. I hope that she heads home to Winterfell. All the children have changed in huge ways, but as she said in the HoBW, she’s Arya Stark of Winterfell. For that reason I think she’ll head home, but I’m not certain she will make it. I certainly hope so.
      I love the interaction between Yara and Dany, but I don’t ship them. They both have bigger fish to fry and I definitely think they will be focused on what they are about to do.
      As to Sam, well he’s Sam. I absolutely love his character. He’s so sweet and kind. I thought the bravery he showed in taking Heartsbane was so out of character for him and showed just how far he also has come since the beginning. I did wonder what would become of Gilly and Baby Sam. They certainly aren’t welcome at the Citadel. Sam has no money to put them up somewhere and I’m not certain how much time he will have to devout to them as he is there to learn about the Night’s King and the WW. It should be interesting to see how it plays out.
      Liam Cunningham is the BEST! I just love him and his character. I grinned when I read what he said about retiring and could certainly picture it, but I’m sure that is not in the cards for him…sadly. I’d love to see him make it through to the finale.

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    41. Halfman,

      Same. If by “bittersweet” George partly means one of the big two are going to die, then let’s hope that Jon fans get the sweet part instead of the bitter. I would feel sad at Dany’s death, but Jon’s would be heartbreaking.

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    42. entertainment weekly,

      Oh, get over it TV Guide. I don’t recall any of this kind of hand-wringing back when the ridiculously overrated Mad Men was winning best drama year after year after year. Or when Bryan Cranston was winning best actor year after year after year (he’s very good but every year?). The Emmy voters have frequently voted based on what they are familiar with, not necessarily what they have actually watched (witness Modern Family continuing to win years after the show’s quality dropped off) so why the whining about it now?

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    43. Halfman,

      Wandering around being some sort of Lone Ranger isn’t going to fit in with the coming WW invasion it doesn’t seem. There’s no time for disconnected story arcs now with only 13 episodes left.

      How would going back to Winterfell fit in with the White Walker invasion?

      Is she going to lead the vanguard in Jon’s army?

      The story at Winterfell is fairly one-dimensional right now. The North will be preparing for the oncoming war and trying to figure out how to rally the other kingdoms. The only likely intrigue and complication will come from Littlefinger, and that is very much Sansa’s priority right now.

      With Bran potentially heading back to Winterfell, he would provide a decent injection of Stark reunion drama in Season 7.

      Meanwhile, the Hound is in the Riverlands. Melisandre is heading south. And Cersei, who is at the top of Arya’s list, is sat on the Iron Throne ruling with an iron fist. There’s much more for Arya to engage with away from Winterfell.

      Arya has always been torn between her family and her independence. I don’t think that’ll change next season. I think she’ll be confronted with the choice, possibly more than once, of whether to head back to Winterfell or whether to continue doing her own thing.

      And I think she’ll choose the latter.

      And I think the producers see her as offering necessary added drama. There are still 7 hours to fill in Season 7. They can’t all be at Winterfell, King’s Landing or with Daenerys.

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    44. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      The North / Wall has been the best location for the past two seasons, imo. And it could very well be equally interesting in the next season as well, with whatever drama goes on between Jon /Sansa/ LF / Davos. Not to mention the BwB and the Hound are headed there as well. Possibly Brienne as well. I doubt the story there will be too one dimensional.
      And even if Arya was to reach Winterfell, it will probably be only towards the end of the season (along with the BwB and the Hound?). So I don’t think her story will suffer by going to Winterfell. It could go either way, imo.

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    45. ghost of winterfell,

      I think the roles could be reversed somewhat next season.

      I think the North could be the focus of the political intrigue and a slow-burning storyline building towards the White Walker invasion, while the south will feature the battles and turmoil as the Lannisters try and crush the Tyrells/Dorne and Daenerys finally begins her invasion.

      The only way I can see the North getting involved in any conflict next season is if they decide to capitalize on Walder Frey’s death and try to liberate the Riverlands alongside the Knights of the Vale, while the Lannisters have their hands tied dealing with the other kingdoms in open rebellion.

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    46. *scratches head* I am honestly bewildered by how many posters have a very homey, romantic, justified sense of end game here. Ramsay has only been dead two episodes and it seems the most important lesson he taught us was not to think inside those “perfect world” boundaries. Like it or not, as all of us know, this isn’t a period piece romance where Elizabeth ends up with Mr. Darcy and all is right with the world. It is bloody Game of Thrones. The ending is going to be bitter sweet and that means, yes, there will be victory, but the sacrifice and loss is going to be enormous.

      I guess I am more a realist. This is now closing on end game, the test of their time. Preparing for war and able to face the huge force that is ready to destroy all seven kingdoms. There will be no safe place, danger and death will be literally over every hill and around every turn. I want to be happy for the moments when I can get them and be prepared for the reality so there isn’t such a huge disappointing crush when they do happen.

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    47. JCDavis,

      A Bittersweet ending doesn’t suggest mass death, destruction and misery either though. LOTR had a bittersweet ending and hardly any of the fellowship died.

      GRRM doesn’t believe in war, so I can’t see Dany unleashing Dothrakis and Ironborn who just rape and pillage, burning people with dragons, and causing untold collateral damage just because she thinks she has a God given right to the throne working out well for her.

      I’ve no idea how it will work out, we really are in the dark now. I don’t expect a happy ending but if we get an end which is just depressing then I will be hugely disappointed. I loathe films and stories that end like that. If I want to end up depressed, I can just turn on the tv and watch the news. I look to entertainment for some escapism and enjoyment. Maybe it’s best to have your take on it, then you aren’t likely to be gutted at the end lol.

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    48. Ramsay's 20th Good Man,

      I would like to see that, Sansa/ Jon consolidate the Riverlands behind them. But yeah, the biggest conflict will be Cersei vs Dany, but Jon as KitN will somehow factor into it too. Besides, Jon and Dany might well meet next season too, before the big conflict with the WWs in S8. So I don’t think the North will be totally isolated from the main storyline.

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    49. Ramsay’s 20th good man wrote: “And I think the producers see her as offering necessary added drama. There are still 7 hours to fill in Season 7. They can’t all be at Winterfell, King’s Landing or with Daenerys.”

      Agreed. But surely there are more than 7 hours to fill–these episodes may run longer, like Ep 610. After all, that gives more ‘room’ to each episode’s story-telling but keeps things somewhat pruned. I’d be shocked if we don’t get at least 8-8.5 hours total. As to other locations, no doubt Sam in Oldtown will be one, probably with the introduction of a few maesters but especially Maester Marwyn (hey, that’s a great role for Brian Cox!). The Riverlands are bound to be well-explored next season, certainly with Arya, Mel, Hound, BWB and maybe Nymeria wandering around. Possibly there might be a storming or siege of Riverrun or the Twins. And if the show is thorough, they might address the taking of Dreadfort and Deepwood Motte. Resentful Littlefinger could head to the Vale. There might be even some interesting (fingers-crossed) scenes in Dorne. We’ll no doubt see the Wall and probably its end. Bran’s journey will probably take him to, in, and from Greywater Watch, and I’d bet good money that he and we will finally meet Howland Reed. (Possible actors; Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan, or Paul Giamatti (all chubby but short), any recent Dr Who (all tall but thin), Andy Serkis or Robert Carlyle–just perfect.) It will be interesting to see where Jaime, Jorah, or Gendry pop up. Nobody has even mentioned Bran-flashbacks of Rhaegar. And speaking of flashbacks, it’s time the show give us some new flashback footage of Ned, perhaps Catelyn, Tywin and other long-gone major players.

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    50. Ramsay's 20th Good Man,

      “Or she will leave it for Jon to find at Winterfell as a final goodbye to her family, to Winterfell and to Arya Stark.”

      I like this. It kinda goes with my theory that Arya will return to the House of B&W to give herself up or be killed after her revenge journey is complete (maybe Jaquen has it delivered there has to be some consequence at HB&W.) But I kinda like the tragic idea that no one knows her contribution to the cause and she is just lost to the history books. “Arya Stark last seen at King Landing before her fathers execution, no one ever saw her again.”

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    51. BunBunStark,

      “But, she should remember that in winter the lone wolf does not survive.”

      Nice! But maybe the wolf pack she survives with is Nymeria. Though I think that is a little too far off for the show at this point”

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    52. ghost of winterfell,

      I’m getting ahead of myself here, but I could picture Littlefinger encouraging an invasion of the Riverlands.

      If he really wants the Iron Throne then he’ll know that the Lannisters have to be removed from power. Cersei would never accept him as her King, obviously. And it’d be better if his puppets (Sansa and Robin) had a hand in the Lannisters’ downfall than if they leave the Tyrells or the Dornish to take all the credit.

      Plus, both Sansa and Robin have Tully blood. That would strengthen his puppets’ claims to rule an alliance of the North, the Vale and the Riverlands against that of Jon Snow.

      Finally, conflict in the Riverlands is where Robb’s reign deteriorated. Littlefinger could figure that seeing Jon retread Robb’s steps might sow discontent in his leadership.

      I’d be surprised if they did go in this direction, especially since they already have Arya and the Brotherhood in the Riverlands to occupy airtime, but I think it’d be an interesting way to go.

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    53. Just had an idea, If the remaining Starks get together. I only imagine Bran is heading there; as im sure he is updated on the events of Westerose, Starks in Winterfel etc. (per interviews i understand the 3ER to almost download and understand what going on in the realm) Arya will find out eventually Jon is KITN and Starks have their home back.

      What if Bran fills them in on Baelish and Arya is like “oh hell no, i got this one!” And then her story to kill Baelish plays out like a strategic heist movie. Setting up the pieces to get in place to silently kill him off. That would be sweet!

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    54. Ramsay's 20th Good Man:
      Arya will die or go off on her own, possibly having had one last sight/encounter with Jon/Sansa/Bran while incognito.

      I love the idea of Arya seeing her siblings but them not recognizing her because she’s in disguise. In fact, I can’t imagine D&D not doing it, because it’s so tantalizingly bittersweet.

      Maybe Arya feels like she’s lost too much of herself, but still has the need to reconnect with Jon and Sansa and Winterfell. She knows that she can never be Arya to them again, so she disguises herself as Jeyne Poole and comes for a visit before heading to KL to finish off her list.

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    55. Firannion,

      Well, people vote for the Oskars without having actually seen all the nominees. I thought it crazy too, but I guess that voters are people with real lives and real jobs, and maybe actively watching all that TV does take a lot of time…

      Roz’s Ghost,
      That was true at first, but where have you been these past 3 seasons? ?

      Mag,
      Did I read somewhere that D+D said that at this point they cannot say anything on the episodes number/running time left? Was at at this post on Season 7 premiere being moved after April 2017? Or did I imagine that? I’ve been reading so much on GOT lately that I am beginning to fear that some of it I make up. ?

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    56. The article on / interview with Sam/John Bradley was a very good read. Before I clicked the link I was a little apprehensive – I didn’t really consider Sam’s storyline as having three “victories”. Heck, he still cowered before his dad and only took the sword surreptitiously. And his welcome at the Citadel did not really seem to be a warm one.

      But the interview was great. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a bit of a kindred spirit (heck, as a youngster before the age of the internet, I would read the Encyclopedia Britannica for entertainment) but it seems like he has a good grasp on the character and I hope to see much more of his storyline next season.

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    57. JCDavis:
      *scratches head*I am honestly bewildered by how many posters have a very homey, romantic, justified sense of end game here.Ramsay has only been dead two episodes and it seems the most important lesson he taught us was not to think inside those “perfect world” boundaries.Like it or not, as all of us know, this isn’t a period piece romance where Elizabeth ends up with Mr. Darcy and all is right with the world. It is bloody Game of Thrones.The ending is going to be bitter sweet and that means, yes, there will be victory, but the sacrifice and loss is going to be enormous.

      I guess I am more a realist. This is now closing on end game, the test of their time. Preparing for war and able to face the huge force that is ready to destroy all seven kingdoms.There will be no safe place, danger and death will be literally over every hill and around every turn.I want to be happy for the moments when I can get them and be prepared for the reality so there isn’t such a huge disappointing crush when they do happen.

      I was going to say something similar…I’m flabergasted at the fanbase’s whishes…

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    58. I have a feeling there is going to be a Arya/Hound reunion because I think D&D know the fans would love that. I can’t see her making it all the way to King’s Landing without something like that happening.

      I feel that a Yara/Daenarys union would feel a little to contemporary for this story, and I mean that in a good way. It seems that homosexuality in this show isn’t a front-running theme, it’s more of a desire and I don’t feel it would work in what’s left to be done in the show.

      Hartsbane will probably be used against the WW somehow, either as a whole or broken down into smaller daggers or something.

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    59. Pau, JCDavis,

      Yeah, I don’t know what it is, but it’s like a lot of people are now suddenly willing to overlook the darkness and unpredictability that has historically characterized ASOIAF as a series (maybe this is just a product of the fanbase getting more generalized and possibly skewing a bit younger than it has in the past?) and are now all on board for some kind of fairy tale happy ending/mostly happy ending. In the twenty years this story has existed in one medium or another, it’s been well-established that the story is going to end in a bittersweet manner, and I really do hope there will be some curve balls to undermine so many of the seemingly “obvious” and safe assumptions that are commonly made in our predictions as well, most of which are rather similar to each other–because they’re based in well-worn theories that have been around for some time. These days, though, it seems like people are also trying to push highly unrealistic scenarios designed to keep all of their fan-favorite “good guys” alive until the end while punishing the “bad guys”…which kind of floors me, since I think we all know by now this isn’t that kind of story. Not to mention that for many of us, that fact was and remains a big part of the appeal.

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    60. Azor Asshai:
      Pau, JCDavis,

      Yeah, I don’t know what it is, but it’s like a lot of people are now suddenly willing to overlook the darkness and unpredictability that has historically characterized ASOIAF as a series (maybe this is just a product of the fanbase getting more generalized and possibly skewing a bit younger than it has in the past?) and are now all on board for some kind of fairy tale happy ending/mostly happy ending. In the twenty years this story has existed in one medium or another, it’s been well-established that the story is going to end in a bittersweet manner, and I really do hope there will be some curve balls to undermine so many of the seemingly “obvious” and safe assumptions that are commonly made in our predictions as well, most of which are rather similar to each other–because they’re based in well-worn theories that have been around for some time. These days, though, it seems like people are also trying to push highly unrealistic scenarios designed to keep all of their fan-favorite “good guys” alive until the end while punishing the “bad guys”…which kind of floors me, since I think we all know by now this isn’t that kind of story. Not to mention that for many of us, that fact was and remains a big part of the appeal.

      Well said

        Quote  Reply

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