“The Long Night” gave us the long-touted Battle of Winterfell. We’ve already broken down who lived and died. We’ve already told our choice for the episode’s MVP. Now we’re going to get into the ramifications leading into the rest of the season.
The literal existential crisis between the living and the dead was resolved in a tidy 82 minutes. Dumb White Walkers let down their guard and let Arya slip through their icy fingers. One Valyrian steel dagger stab to the stomach later and the Great War was over—no fuss, no muss… minus the thousands of casualties. But what is dead may never die! And we’re already looking ahead to next week’s episode. Here are three predictions for what will follow Game of Thrones‘ Battle of Winterfell.
Prediction 1 – Sansa and the North Will Accept Daenerys as Their Queen
Missandei succinctly put into words what many were feeling. Sansa, in the crypt during a war with the literal dead, was complaining about Daenerys even while the dragon queen was above defending the living. Without the Mother of Dragons, everyone at Winterfell would have died. Hearing someone say as much so directly and with such force hopefully offered Sansa some perspective about whether Daenerys is at least worthy of consideration for the role of queen. If not, hopefully seeing her long dead-relatives emerge from their tombs did the trick.
Our bet is the events during the Battle of Winterfell will be enough for Sansa and the rest of the North to accept Queen Daenerys as their ruler. She’ll help to both stabilize the Realm and keep them united against their other common enemy: Cersei.
Prediction 2 – An Old Proposal Will Get Renewed
Speaking of Sansa, she and Tyrion had us worried the former husband and wife might be leaving the world together as they comforted each during the wight attack in the crypt. It was a tender moment between the two, who have a complicated (that’s an understatement) past. Sansa had to marry Tyrion against her will, but they never consummated the marriage. Tyrion refused to share Sansa’s bed if she didn’t want to. After he joked they should have stayed married during this episode, Sansa told him it would never work between them, but not for the reason we’d think.
“The dragon queen” he serves would prevent that from happening, she said, but if our first prediction is right that won’t be a problem. And a marriage between the Lady of Winterfell and the Hand of the Queen—a Lannister, no less—would help a fractured Westeros heal. If Robert and Cersei’s loveless marriage managed to do that after his rebellion, think how effective Sansa and Tyrion’s marriage built on mutual respect, admiration, and genuine fondness would help. Someone will suggest this second shot at matrimony, and it will become a serious possibility.
Prediction 3 – Daenerys Calls Her Forgotten Bannermen
The living won the Battle of Winterfell… barely. The combined forces of Daenerys, who lost all her Dothraki and many Unsullied; Jon, who lost most of his Northeners and wildlings; and the Knights of the Vale, also decimated during the fight, are greatly lacking in numbers now. Cersei’s army easily outmatches them; she’s got Lannister forces, the Iron Fleet, and the 20,000 strong Golden Company. Even without her elephants, that’s a formidable sight. Assuming both of Daenerys’s dragons are still alive (we don’t know if both are or only one), it might still be impossible to take King’s Landing without burning all one million residents to the ground. Not unless Daenerys can find more troops.
Fortunately for Daenerys and everyone allied with her she has two people she can call for help: Yara Greyjoy and Daario Naharis. Yara only had two boats with her, but there will be some other Iron Born still on the islands whom she can convince to join her cause. And though Daenerys told Daario to stay behind and keep order in the Bay of Dragons, she needs him and the Second Sons now. We’re sure he will eagerly get to Westeros, since no other woman can compare to her and he likes to fight.
The dead almost wiped out the living at Winterfell, but they still have friends around the world who can help them take the Iron Throne.
Bryan Cogman Confirms His Spinoff Isn’t Happening
Veteran “Game of Thrones” writer Bryan Cogman has confirmed that his potential spinoff series from the HBO epic will not be going ahead.
“This is it for me in terms of Westeros,” Cogman told Variety. “It’s been a beautifully cathartic thing re-watching the series recently, it’s been ten years of my life.”
The most recent episode of the show, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,” was Cogman’s last as a writer, and he says he “couldn’t think of a more beautiful episode to go out on.”
In the episode, Daenerys and Jon are interrupted in the middle of a rather important conversation. Jon had just told her that his real name is in fact Aegon Targaryen, and that therefore he is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne and, seemingly less important to Dany, her nephew.
However, just as she is getting to grips with the consequences of this enormous revelation, Jon is saved by the horn.
“If you’re Jon and Dany, you’re probably the only two in that castle who are glad that the White Walkers just showed up. He would be saying to her, ‘OK, good talk let’s go, the end of the world is here, phew,’” jokes Cogman
Cogman reveals that when he submitted his first draft of the episode it came back from showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss covered in red pen, which is when he realized the magnitude of the episode and how much work there was to do.
“It was a sea of red like blood dripping from my soul because it was a mess and they were right,” he says. “It was a lot of talking about stuff that had happened and asking questions the audience already knows.”
Eventually Cogman managed to wrangle the complicated script together, and he also adds that he and the showrunners had been “working towards” the heart-melting scene in which Jaime Lannister knights Brienne of Tarth “for quite some time.”
“David and Dan were pretty adamant, kicking ideas around in the writer’s room, that it not be on a hill at sunrise with their capes billowing in the wind,” Cogman says. “We wanted it to be the antithesis of that and subvert that trope.”
Cogman signed an overall deal with Amazon last year, where he will now focus his attention. He was one of one of five writers, along with Max Borenstein, Jane Goldman, Brian Helgeland and Carly Wray, chosen to develop a new show in the “Game of Thrones” universe. HBO ordered the show being developed by Goldman to pilot in June, 2018.