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Ida Hearst

The Fall of the Great Houses

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I think that there will still be several Great Houses at the end of the story; though they may not be the exact same ones as at the beginning.  There will be some shuffling and jockeying for power.  I also think that at least a few of those Houses will be led by women:

I definitely believe that Asha Greyjoy will survive and end up as Queen of the Iron Islands or Lady of House Greyjoy after the deaths of her uncles and (probably) Theon (who is ineligible to rule by reason of physical defect).

House Tully and House Arryn and House Targaryen are in the most danger.  House Tully has Edmure, who is a dispossessed captive with a Frey wife and supposedly a son.  Are we sure that this Tully baby boy really exists; and if so, is he really Edmure's child?  Winter is here and is not kind to babies...However, there are four Starks who could reclaim Riverrun if Edmure dies and the Lannisters/Freys are driven out - Sansa, Bran, Arya and Rickon.  House Arryn's lord is a sickly boy prone to seizures and of dubious character; while his heir is a healthy, but over-confident boy whose main talent is siring bastards.  However, I have a feeling that SweetRobin will survive and Harry-the-Heir will not.  If he does survive, Robin may or may not be able to eventually sire children.  House Targaryen consists of one definite claimant, Daenerys; with a very troubled reproductive history, and her supposed nephew Aegon (who I believe is a fraud, though he doesn't know that) and Jon Snow (who is utterly clueless that R + L=J and he's probably dead, too).  Possibilities for future Targaryen heirs seem dim.

House Baratheon is low on legitimate heirs, even fake ones; since I doubt that Tommen or Myrcella will live long enough to produce children.  But House Baratheon does have at least three healthy bastards - Mya Stone, Gendry Waters, and Edric Storm.  Edric has been recognized and might be able to live out Winter in Essos and come back, and, being noble-born, make a case to whoever rules what's left of Westeros that he should become Lord Baratheon.  I don't think Gendry would want the job, but he might change his mind if he survives Winter.  I'm not counting poor Shireen, because I don't think she has long to live.  I wonder if Lothar Brune will persuade Mya to marry him and claim the Stormlands in her name...

The Tyrells have two sons and a daughter, and loads of cousins.  If they're all wiped out (and if Garlan and Willas are both in the same place and fighting an Ironborn incursion, the main male line of House Tyrell dies out, unless Leonette is pregnant), I could see Randall Tarly trying to take over as lord of the Reach if he and Dickon survive.  I could see Arianne eventually ruling Dorne; and if she and Trystane both die, one of the surviving Sand Snakes managing to take over.  

As for the Starks...I don't think that Jon is going to survive.  I think the Stark line will continue through Rickon (if he lives) or Sansa (if he doesn't).  Arya does not strike me as being at all interested in marriage and motherhood; though I think she will survive the series.

I think Tyrion Lannister will survive and become Lord of Casterly Rock.  If he can't father children, or he doesn't want to risk siring dwarves; he could adopt a young Lannister cousin as his heir.  

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Interesting premise, but I think too many random/irrelevant ideas being brought into this thread as possible justifications for a future we cannot possibly predict. DON'T BRING THOUGHTS FROM THE SHOW INTO THINGS. Take the facts are we have them (or appear to have them) from what we've read so far. In that vein:

1. The Starks seem to be in trouble, but maybe not so bad. I don't know Rickon's chances of survival (if he is alive) or whether or not GRRM has ever intended to make him a prominent character at a later point, but he is one chance of their survival. Another would be the offspring of Arya and/or Sansa, who would have to take the Stark name to make it official. Jon as a bastard (if he is alive) would be unsuitable unless it's true he is the son of Lyanna (and how do you prove that?). Bran cannot father children. Benjen seems a long shot. I think the Starks will survive somehow, and they still command the sentimental loyalty of most Northern houses as opposed to the houses current predicament of having to live in fear/subservience to the Boltons or support southron Stannis.

2. The Baratheons and Tullys are toast. Brynden is too old. Lysa and Cat are dead. Edmure will remain a prisoner of the Lannisters, who will never allow his offspring to rule (if the child isn't aborted first anyways). The Spicer/Westerling complicity in the Red Wedding has been so downplayed compared with the more abrupt violence of the Frey/Bolton/Karstark actions, but they screwed Robb Stark pretty thoroughly as well. I think the Riverlands are going to end up being up for grabs and whomever sits the Iron Throne at the end of things will have to name a new house as Lords Paramount of the Trident.

The true Baratheons are hanging on by a thread, we all know that. Robert dead, his "children" not his own, his ACTUAL children all bastards, some dead, one in exile, etc. etc. Renly is dead. Stannis is in a tough spot and has no sons. 

3. The Arryns will continue, but most likely under Harry Hardyng (Arryn), not Robin. Even if he survives the chaos surrounding him (unlikely, as Baelish seems to be lining things up to eliminate him), he is not a respected future ruler of the Vale. He has no allies other than Vale lords who just don't want to be ruled by Baelish and will follow the Arryn name. If Harry HAD the Arryn name, they would follow him. 

4. The Crownlands belong to the Iron Throne, so that will be settled by whomever prevails in that struggle. 

5. The Tyrells and Lannisters seem to have plenty of potential successors. So unless a Targaryen ruler emerges and replaces them as punishment, I think they both make it. It would not be the first time in the history of any of these Great Houses that the line of succession had to follow a bit of a diagonal, rather than a nice straight line. 

6. The Greyjoys I believe will be replaced internally, as the affairs of the plot line pick them off one-by-one. I could see the Harlaws, Botley's, Drumms, etc. be named as the new ruling house by the Iron Throne (unless they are granted their independence). Very apt considering that's exactly how the Greyjoys came to replace House Hoare anyways. 

7. And the Martells seem well positioned to at least survive as rulers of Dorne, even if they don't get their way with the outcome of the battle for the Iron Throne. I think whomever wins that will want peace with Dorne, not continue to fight the Dornish when there is so little to gain. Attacking Dorne is like attacking Russia in the winter, only it's 110 degrees instead of -10. 

So overall IMO, Starks/Lannisters/Tyrells/Martells/Arryns survive (in one form or another)....Greyjoys/Tullys/Baratheons do not. 

 

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Posted (edited)

I think there is foreshadowing for a great Houses' fall with Dontos, Jon Mudd, and Jon Lothston. These aren't very well developed characters, but their House backstory is very developed.

I know the Jon Lothston and Jon Mudd in the GC might be posing as members of that house. I'd say the foreshadowing is enough.  

The Lothstons are interesting because House Targaryen, House Stark, and House Tully are all connected through this backstory. Lady Danelle went mad and apparently did some scary blood magic, losing their seat. The Whents took over after that, and Cat's mom was a Whent. The Whents hosted the tourney of Harrenhal, where Rhaegar met Lyanna. Harrenhal was occupied by a lot of terrible houses, but the Whents have no negative foreshadowing. The Lothstons, do, however, and the shield Brienne carries has a black reputation. I think the blood magic details and the similar-sounding name is foreshadowing Dany ruining the reputation of House Targaryen in Westeros. Painting over the shield means a new vision painting over the old, so if Jon were to claim the throne I don't think he'd choose the Targaryen sigil/name. Sansa would be heir to Harrenhal through her mom so this Lothston backstory connects her (or Arya) to a 'new vision' in the Riverlands.

House Mudd also ties into the Starks and Targaryens. Robb makes Jon his heir next to the tomb of Tristifer Mudd. Jenny of Oldstones could be their descendent. She is a romantic figure who married a Targaryen; she is connected to Cat/Sansa again. The Mudds mostly have positive imagery, but the death of a House is also foreshadowed. It could be House Stark or House Targaryen, or the new line of kings Robb would have started with Jeyne. Tristifer winning all the battles except for one, foreshadowing Robb's he won all the battles except one.

Dontos is the last of his house and in his backstory we learn more how Aerys' madness starts. He starts making decisions on his own without his Hand's advice. Dany may do this and she wouldn't even have to be "mad." So this could be negative foreshadowing like the Lothstons. I think Duskendale is a pre-warning about the fall of House Targaryen, they will go the way of the Darklyns and Hollards whom they killed (like a curse). But only one will survive. Dontos connects Targaryen history to Sansa because of his involvement in her storyline. 

Conclusion: Jon, like Dontos, Jon Mudd, and Jon Lothston, will be the last survivor of an extinct house.

Edited by Rose of Red Lake

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