With the ending of episode 10 last night everyone is wondering what could possibly happen next season, and for the first time, this leaves both show watchers and book readers in the dark. Book readers will still have an advantage over show watchers since they have more detailed clues, even though the show telegraphs pretty blatantly what mcguffins and and plot points will become central in the future. I’m going to try to summarize the various future plots we might see played out. Spoilers of last nights episode will follow.

The Tyrion and Varys Show


#theboysareback. THIS is what I needed. Everyone talked about how the meeting between Daenerys and Tyrion was going to change everything. After all, it was the first time the two actors had finally got a chance to act together, and though the scene was good, it wasn’t as good as any of the scenes these two have shared. Their bromance has been THE thing I’ve missed this season and knowing that we are going to get to watch them fix the terrible mess the Mother of Dragons has made this season gives me hope for season 6. Obviously eliminating the Son’s of the Harpy is going to play a major part in their story next season, but I would expect to see Mereen’s neighbors try to reinstate the masters in their own city and try to eliminate Dany’s people in light of her absence. This will force Tyrion to create a force to combat it, which will also be a first step to an invasion of Westeros proper.

We will also finally see what Varys’s plans have been the whole time. We know from back in season 1 Varys orchestrated the marriage of Daenerys and Khal Drogo in the hopes of creating a powerful army to reinstate the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, and since Drogo’s death, Varys has to have a backup plan, which leads me to

Dany the Dragonrider


At the end of her arc this season, Daenerys rides Drogon out of Mereen, into the wilderness, and straight into the the heart of a swarm of Dothraki. We know from the books this is actually Drogo’s old khalasar and is being led by one of his former lieutenants Jhaqo, who took over after his death. When last this happened, Daenerys was weak and unable to lead. Maybe the steel spine she’s earned will help her regain control. That … and the fire breathing dragon. In addition to her potentially regaining the first people she tried to rule, she may also begin to learn how to ride her dragon, like the Targaryens of old.

The Red Revolution


This is one of those plots that could go anywhere. With the two Tyrell heirs in prison, Tommen hiding in his room and Cersei both disgraced (SHAMED if you will) and about to find out that her beloved daughter just died, expect Cersei to do something EXCEEDINGLY stupid. What I think is most likely is that the Tyrells will cease supplying food to King’s Landing until their family is released. This will cause the High Sparrow to whip up anger among the populace and Cersei will use this as an opportunity to destroy the faith militant. That may be the only catalyst necessary for a full blown uprising a la Russian Revolution. This story will end in bloody.

The Riverlands


This is the only part of the books the series has not explored, and I expect that’s either because it won’t factor in to the main story at all, or because they’re holding back filler for secondary characters in season 6. My bet is a combination of both.

In the books Jamie is sent to take out Blackfish Tully (remember him! The luckiest “I need to go to the bathroom” moment in history) who is still fighting the good fight against the Lannisters. This story is akin to Jamie in Dorne this season, and with the horrendously negative feedback this season about Dorne I don’t think they’ll repeat.

That being said, they will not eliminate it completely. They are already casting for a certain septom who may or may not be hiding one of the best characters who we all thought was dead. A certain fan favorite whose name may or may not sound like round.

Also, I don’t think its possible for them to have had an entire season dedicated to the Brotherhood without Banners just to establish a mcguffin for later in the series without showing the possible flaw with that mcguffin. And for those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m talking about Lady Stoneheart. MAJOR SPOILERS Lady Stoneheart was known in a past life as Catelyn Stark. Thats right, the lady who got her throat slit at the Red Wedding. She is resurrected by the Brotherhood’s resident Red Priest Thoros of Myr. Well, it’s a little more complicated than that, but it’s not important. END SPOILERS. Stoneheart is a stone cold revenge filled monster; and I mean literally. She is an abomination and an insult to the memory of the woman she once was, but I truly believe that she and the hound, and other characters whom I think are still alive, are going to be expressing the major theme of next season.

All Men must die


But not all men stay dead. Between Franken-mountain, the Hound, and Lady Stoneheart, there are going to be plenty of examples of people who we thought were dead (and whom may have actually died), that come back. I think Stannis will be one of them. His ending was too abrupt and unsatisfying to have been THE END for that man of iron. I don’t think Brienne went through with it, and I suspect he will have an arc next season about trying to redeem himself for burning his daughter to a false god. But in each of these arcs it’s going to be about how death changes you, and in some ways its for the better, others for the worse, but that the experience does not leave you unchanged. Honestly, most of the core cast fits into this category. Certainly Theon/Reek does. Probably Sansa. Arya. So for those of you traumatized by the death of your favorite character last night, take heart! There is hope. At least, as much as there can be in Game of Thrones.

The Iron Islands


I’m not going to spend too much time on this, but casting has begun for people who are most certainly Greyjoys. Theon’s father has probably met his untimely demise thanks to that leech in season 3, and it’s time to select a new king.

UPDATE 1: So I’ve already got one thing wrong. Stannis is confirmed dead. And supposedly so is Jon Snow, but I’m not buying that one. Not yet.

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