Arya: To bring her back into the story I see her being given an assignment to kill someone we know. This could go many ways: perhaps the Slavers enlist the FM to kill off Dany; the Iron Bank enlist the FM to kill Cersei for her not paying her dues; or, something really tragic would be Arya given the task of killing someone close to her / a Stark to prove she has cut her ties with her "old life".
Sam: Will be our eyes in the Citadel. hoping befriend Sallera/Alleras the SandSnake. Will reveal the truth about The Others and/or some more aspects of the PWTP/AA prophecy and why Rhaegar was so obsessed with it - but of course will be so far south that he will have no way to let Jon/The Wall know in time.
AzorAhai: Still torn as to who this is: I was convinced it was Dany, but then Mel during her visions asked to see AA and kept seeing Jon... this could tie-in with the "dragon has three heads" but I think it will end up being Dany and Jon might be lightbringer.
Jon: Has warged to Ghost.
Mel: Will be our eyes at the Wall. I imagine we will see the Others come out in force just as "war" breaks out between NW/Wildlings.
Stannis: The pink letter is very confusing; I believe it was sent by Bolton believing it to be true HOWEVER it will be base don false information provided by Manderley. I do believe Stannis will die by the end of the book though (I don;t get why he is so popular with readers!!!)
Davos: We;ll see him make his way into Skaggos to find Osha/Rickon.
Mereen: I think Ser Barristan, Tyrion and Victarion will be our eyes in the city for the first third of the book as war breaks out there. Then Dany will appear (wihout any chapter describing what she has been up to until this point) with a Khalasar. upon meeting Tyrion she demands that if he is to earn her trust, then he must uncover te Harpy - which being Tyrion he is does. Imagine a lot of rivalry and tension between Tyrion and Selmy and Mormont. After taking Mereen and fending off Volantis she will leave the city as a "free city" like the western cities of Essos. Then she decides it is time to go "home" - everyone thinks westwards, but instead she heads East through the shadowlands. In the epilouge she is witnessed to reach the shores of Westeros.
Sansa: I believe Brienne will make it to the Vale (eventually) and will encounter Sansa (still in disguise). As Brienne is about to go, there will be a culmination to Sansa/LF story that leads to Brienne stepping in and saving Sansa and Sansa realising what a controlfreak LF is. Revealed Sansa will rally Robin, and therefore the Vale to the Riverlands/North cause.
Cersei: The clarity of not drinking for a while turns her into a more clearheaded and ruthless leader. Jamie returns to Kl and she kills him for his failure to come to her aid.
Dorne: Not sure what will go on here, other than being the viewpoint for Aegon's uprising.
Bran: Will replace Bloodraven who's powers are all but gone. Becomes the new Weirwood supremo.
ETA: I like what Dollybird said about the ultimate fight not being about the Iron Throne, but about survival / The Others. For this to happen the different kindgoms MUST be united (hence why I think we have been introduced to the youngsters from each kingdom). I believe that this will be what Dany comes to realise in Mereen. Leading is not about conquering and then sitting back, it is about uniting the different factions to a common goal: she will have Tyrion and Victarion onside, and if she deals with the Others, then hopefully she can be a figurehead that everyone wil appreciate.
Jon Snow won't die, because smoke came out of his wounds and more importantly because GRRM is so obviously not done with him.
I don't remember the smoke from the wounds, but that might suggest at the point he got stabbed he is a mirage created by Mel?
Edited by Isy, 10 May 2012 - 04:09 PM.