It's been one heck of a ride, but alas, it must come to an end. And Game of Thrones fans are expecting a bloody one for Season 6 this Sunday. The finale Winds of Winter, which takes its title from George R.R. Martin's upcoming 6th Song of Ice and Fire novel, will surely see the death of at least one major character. And there will be shocks a plenty. Though the confirmed title gives us little to work with, we take a look at what might transpire in tomorrow's rousing climax, which is suspected to set up the final leg of this entire saga as Seasons 7 and 8 are expected to bring everything to a close over the next two years.
Miguel Sapochnik, who directed last week's epic Battle of the Bastards, returns for the Winds of Winter, and we've already seen a sneak peek along with a handful of photos. The footage was quite cryptic, and HBO hasn't officially released a plot rundown. So everything is on the table. Last week's Battle of the Bastards brought the biggest battle in show history, and possibly even the history of television itself. Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) and their allies defeated the nefarious Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) to take back control of Winterfell, leading to Ramsay's gruesome death. We saw in the season finale preview, and in last week's episode, that Davos finally came to learn about how Shireen (Kerry Ingram), Stannis Baratheon's (Stephen Dillane) young daughter, died, late in Season 5. Davos is quite furious, presumably after learning that Shireen was burned alive as a sacrifice to the Lord of Light. We'll have to wait and see how this development plays out come this Sunday.
Season 6 is most notable for bringing Jon Snow back from the dead, but there have been quite a few big surprises and a lot of heartbreak already over the past several weeks. And while some fans have complained that a few episodes were 'slow', in actuality this season has shot by with what can only be described as a lightening pace. There are surely serious changes about to happen. And the fate of these characters is all up in the air.
Tyrion Lannister, Jon Snow, Cersei Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen, and Jaime Lannister all appear to be in the clear, but that's when the show gets you, as it did with Season 5, where Jon Snow was killed off, only to be brought back in these latest episodes. Truth is, anyone could go at any moment, and that certainly keeps fans on their toes. It should be noted that Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau have all signed new deals for Season 7 and possibly Season 8, which will bank them big raises. But as their contracts state, even if they die, they still get what's coming to them in the end. Which will be a lot of money.
That said, everyone else on the show is up for grabs, and there are a number of individuals we may have to say good-bye to come Sunday night. To the North, Jon Snow and Sansa Stark have WInterfell in their grasp, and the Stark family is back in power. They need to stabilize their position fast so they don't lose it, and it is believed that help is on the way from Littlefinger (aka Petyr Baelish). Littlefinger stands as the power behind the throne in the Vale, though his motives are not yet known. His plan of attack will more than likely be executed before Winds of Winter's 69 minutes are up, a runtime that marks it as the longest episode in show history.
At the same time, Arya Stark is heading back to join Snow and seek revenge on everyone responsible for the fall of the Stark family seen way back in Season 1. Though many of them are dead, Red Wedding organizer Walder Frey is still breathing, though it seems likely that he won't be for long as Arya makes her way through the Riverlands, where he currently resides.
Many fans believe that Winds of Winter will finally unveil the true identity of Jon Snow's mother. This will bring Snow's origin story full circle, and should involve his brother Bran. And it may be Bran who uses his powers to see into the past that discovers the answer.
Elsewhere in Essos, Queen Daenerys has regained control of her empire. This has set her up for the invasion of Westeros she has been planning since the very first season. Theon Greyjoy and his sister Yara have arrived to offer their help in exchange for reclaiming rulership of the Iron Islands. It is expected that Daenerys and her dragons may reign down on Westeros from the heavens above.
Over in King's Landing, it is likely that the Season 6 finale is heading towards an epic three-way confrontation in the Capital city that will see Cersie Lannister, Queen Margaery and the High Sparrow converging in what will likely be this episode's centerpiece. And from here, anything can and probably will happen. Add to this the news that Tyrion dropped to Daenerys about a stash of Wildfyre (Westeros napalm) hidden away in King's Landing's most significant buildings. This includes the Sept, headquarters of the Faith of the Seven, where Cersie's trial is set to play out. It is being speculated that this will play into a plot that sees a great big portion of Westeros' religious leadership and ruling class destroyed.
It is expected that Brienne and Podrick, as well as Samwell Tarly, will reemerge at some point in Winds of Winter after being absent these past few episodes. And it's expected that their story threats may finally be tied up. Some also suspect that a return to Dorne, which hasn't been revisited since the Season 6 premiere, is in order. And finally, it is believed that Ser Davos will call for Red Priestess Melisandre to be brought to justice after he discovered she sacrificed King Stannis' daughter Shireen to the Lord of Light back in season 5. Were all of this will leave us during the final moments of Season 6 is anyone's guess. But we suspect that more than one individual will not survive this night. Winds of Winter debuts Sunday, May 26 at 9:00, only on HBO.