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The next Winds of Winter predictions thread


Nathan Stark
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I figured I would post my own predictions for the upcoming Winds of Winter. So here it goes.

The Winds of Winter will have 12 Danearys pov chapters, split between her rise to power in Vaes Dothrak and her ongoing anti-slavery crusade. She will sail to Westeros at the end.

The Winds of Winter will see Tyrion become an even darker and more villainous character. He will worm his way into Dany's court and become an enabler of Dany's worst impulses.

The Winds of Winter will be the most Sansa heavy book yet, both in terms of character development and plot progression. Her rise to power begins here.

Davos will find himself leading Rickon, Osha and Shaggydog through the icy hellscape of whatever is happening at Hardhome. This will be the horror setpiece of the story so far, leaving even The Forsaken in the dust.

Stannis will take Winterfell, which will soon prove a Phyrric victory once his momentary alliances with the Northern lords become politically fraught. He will ultimately do what his banner suggests and set his heart on fire by sacrificing Shireen. His fall and end will come in this book.

Arya's journey away from the Faceless Men will be precipitated by a chance encounter with Jeyne Pool. She will make her way to the Riverlands and be confronted with her biggest test yet, Lady Stoneheart.

Bran will graduate to Meera-paste before he discovers Bloodraven and the Children's duplicity and escapes south. His powers will continue to be revalatory.

Marwyn the Mage will not be getting to Meereen anytime soon. In fact, he and the Cinnimon Wind will be captured by the Iron Borne as they sail out of Oldtown.

Speaking of Oldtown, Sam's new duties as a student and acolyte of the Citadel will be rudely interrupted by Euron's invasion and sacriledge. His journey as a true hero will continue as he guides Gilly, Alleras and the baby out of the city.

Meanwhile, Euron will find the source of knowlegde he seeks at the Citadel, and will use it to acquire a dragon, most likely Viserion.

Jaime will return to Kings Landing with a cruel mission: kill his sister Cersei. He will struggle over this decision until Cersei's paranoia over the Tyrells and Aegon's succesful campaign forces his hand. 

Aegon/Young Griff will become a popular new ruler, but will make boneheaded youthful mistakes with regards to Elia Sand. As with his "father," these will be the seeds of his downfall. 

Arriane will be a power in Kings Landing, even as her cousins complicate her father's plans and make House Martell unpopular with the common people.

We will meet Willas Tyrell, and he will be a genuinely nice guy.

Jorah Mormont will get a well deserved sword in the belly (or maybe worse) for disobeying Dany's directive to never return to Meereen.

The matter of Quaithe's real identity will remain more interesting then Quiathe is.

Jon Snow will not only return, but will never have died at all. We will not learn this until fairly late in the opening act.

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I pretty much agree with Sansa, Davos, Sam, and Jon.  You are the only other poster that sees Davos at Hardhome. 

I think Arya meets Jeyne but not by chance.  She hears someone with her name is in town and goes to find out who and why.  I agree she leaves the FM, probably with a promise to help if asked, and goes to the Riverlands, with Jeyne, who is pregnant, in tow.  Not sure about LSH.

I think Jaime dies in the Riverlands, possibly trying to rescue the Frey prisoners.  The only reason I don't think he is already dead is because his body hasn't appeared yet.

I think Bran does leave the cave but that Meera is the one who finds something that causes their departure.  It may be via the underground river.

Stannis wins Winterfell using the Karstarks.  Beyond that, I don't know.

I think that, in the latter part of the book, there will be a big powwow at Winterfell to decide how to deal with the Others, who invade sooner rather than later.  The Starks and everyone else important in the North will be there.

Unsure about Dany, Tyrion, and a host of others.  Some, like the ironborn and Dornish, I don't really care about.

Overall, good job.  It mostly tracks my own assessments and it's all stuff I can see happening, even if I disagree :D

Edited by Nevets
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On 10/13/2021 at 8:54 AM, Nathan Stark said:

I figured I would post my own predictions for the upcoming Winds of Winter. So here it goes.

The Winds of Winter will have 12 Danearys pov chapters, split between her rise to power in Vaes Dothrak and her ongoing anti-slavery crusade. She will sail to Westeros at the end.

The Winds of Winter will see Tyrion become an even darker and more villainous character. He will worm his way into Dany's court and become an enabler of Dany's worst impulses.

The Winds of Winter will be the most Sansa heavy book yet, both in terms of character development and plot progression. Her rise to power begins here.

Davos will find himself leading Rickon, Osha and Shaggydog through the icy hellscape of whatever is happening at Hardhome. This will be the horror setpiece of the story so far, leaving even The Forsaken in the dust.

Stannis will take Winterfell, which will soon prove a Phyrric victory once his momentary alliances with the Northern lords become politically fraught. He will ultimately do what his banner suggests and set his heart on fire by sacrificing Shireen. His fall and end will come in this book.

Arya's journey away from the Faceless Men will be precipitated by a chance encounter with Jeyne Pool. She will make her way to the Riverlands and be confronted with her biggest test yet, Lady Stoneheart.

Bran will graduate to Meera-paste before he discovers Bloodraven and the Children's duplicity and escapes south. His powers will continue to be revalatory.

Marwyn the Mage will not be getting to Meereen anytime soon. In fact, he and the Cinnimon Wind will be captured by the Iron Borne as they sail out of Oldtown.

Speaking of Oldtown, Sam's new duties as a student and acolyte of the Citadel will be rudely interrupted by Euron's invasion and sacriledge. His journey as a true hero will continue as he guides Gilly, Alleras and the baby out of the city.

Meanwhile, Euron will find the source of knowlegde he seeks at the Citadel, and will use it to acquire a dragon, most likely Viserion.

Jaime will return to Kings Landing with a cruel mission: kill his sister Cersei. He will struggle over this decision until Cersei's paranoia over the Tyrells and Aegon's succesful campaign forces his hand. 

Aegon/Young Griff will become a popular new ruler, but will make boneheaded youthful mistakes with regards to Elia Sand. As with his "father," these will be the seeds of his downfall. 

Arriane will be a power in Kings Landing, even as her cousins complicate her father's plans and make House Martell unpopular with the common people.

We will meet Willas Tyrell, and he will be a genuinely nice guy.

Jorah Mormont will get a well deserved sword in the belly (or maybe worse) for disobeying Dany's directive to never return to Meereen.

The matter of Quaithe's real identity will remain more interesting then Quiathe is.

Jon Snow will not only return, but will never have died at all. We will not learn this until fairly late in the opening act.

There is already a winds of winter thread why make a new one? Actually there are two threads you could have posted in any thread. 

I don't agree with dany sailing to westeros bit. There's a quite a lot to wrapped up in essos. Asshai, qarth, volantis, meereen, dothraki , valyria. And how does dany have 12 chapters? How will you fit the other pov. 

 

What happens to brienne? And how does Jaime just walk away from the bwb. 

 

Edited by Daenerysthegreat
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On 10/12/2021 at 8:24 PM, Nathan Stark said:

I figured I would post my own predictions for the upcoming Winds of Winter. So here it goes.

The Winds of Winter will have 12 Danearys pov chapters, split between her rise to power in Vaes Dothrak and her ongoing anti-slavery crusade. She will sail to Westeros at the end.

The Winds of Winter will see Tyrion become an even darker and more villainous character. He will worm his way into Dany's court and become an enabler of Dany's worst impulses.

The Winds of Winter will be the most Sansa heavy book yet, both in terms of character development and plot progression. Her rise to power begins here.

Davos will find himself leading Rickon, Osha and Shaggydog through the icy hellscape of whatever is happening at Hardhome. This will be the horror setpiece of the story so far, leaving even The Forsaken in the dust.

Stannis will take Winterfell, which will soon prove a Phyrric victory once his momentary alliances with the Northern lords become politically fraught. He will ultimately do what his banner suggests and set his heart on fire by sacrificing Shireen. His fall and end will come in this book.

Arya's journey away from the Faceless Men will be precipitated by a chance encounter with Jeyne Pool. She will make her way to the Riverlands and be confronted with her biggest test yet, Lady Stoneheart.

Bran will graduate to Meera-paste before he discovers Bloodraven and the Children's duplicity and escapes south. His powers will continue to be revalatory.

Marwyn the Mage will not be getting to Meereen anytime soon. In fact, he and the Cinnimon Wind will be captured by the Iron Borne as they sail out of Oldtown.

Speaking of Oldtown, Sam's new duties as a student and acolyte of the Citadel will be rudely interrupted by Euron's invasion and sacriledge. His journey as a true hero will continue as he guides Gilly, Alleras and the baby out of the city.

Meanwhile, Euron will find the source of knowlegde he seeks at the Citadel, and will use it to acquire a dragon, most likely Viserion.

Jaime will return to Kings Landing with a cruel mission: kill his sister Cersei. He will struggle over this decision until Cersei's paranoia over the Tyrells and Aegon's succesful campaign forces his hand. 

Aegon/Young Griff will become a popular new ruler, but will make boneheaded youthful mistakes with regards to Elia Sand. As with his "father," these will be the seeds of his downfall. 

Arriane will be a power in Kings Landing, even as her cousins complicate her father's plans and make House Martell unpopular with the common people.

We will meet Willas Tyrell, and he will be a genuinely nice guy.

Jorah Mormont will get a well deserved sword in the belly (or maybe worse) for disobeying Dany's directive to never return to Meereen.

The matter of Quaithe's real identity will remain more interesting then Quiathe is.

Jon Snow will not only return, but will never have died at all. We will not learn this until fairly late in the opening act.

I bolded the parts I agree with. 

Some comments on the parts I disagree with.   There is too much complication at a time when GRRM ought to be maneuvering to some kind of conclusion.  I agree that Euron is after dragons, but the idea that he needs to muck around in Oldtown or the Citadel first seems to me to be pure fan delusion, albeit a popular one (yes, I have read The Forsaken sample chapter, and nothing there indicates Euron is going to Oldtown or intends to meet the Redwyne Fleet).  All the pieces should be more or less in place for Dany to head for Westeros at the close of the Battle of Meereen.  That includes all 3 dragons under some kind of control.   Marwyn is lying to Sam and has no intention of going to Meereen at all.  I believe and hope you are wrong about Sansa ever becoming a player of the game.  That's not her.

Edited by Mister Smikes
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45 minutes ago, Daenerysthegreat said:

There is already a winds of winter thread why make a new one? 

I guess this thread is about Nathan Stark's Winds of Winter predictions.  

45 minutes ago, Daenerysthegreat said:

I don't agree with dany sailing to westeros bit. There's a quite a lot to wrapped up in essos. Asshai, qarth, volantis, meereen, dothraki , valyria. 

Wow.  You really don't want Dany ever to get to Westeros.

45 minutes ago, Daenerysthegreat said:

What happens to brienne? And how does Jaime just walk away from the bwb. 

He never predicted Jaime would ever meet the BwB.  Jaime meeting the BwB is like Euron going to Oldtown - a fan assumption which, however popular, is little more than an assumption.

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30 minutes ago, Mister Smikes said:

He never predicted Jaime would ever meet the BwB.  Jaime meeting the BwB is like Euron going to Oldtown - a fan assumption which, however popular, is little more than an assumption.

Then what does brienne, a major character of affc do? 

The assumptions isn't euron himself going to Old Town. Its his fleet attacking oldtown with or without him

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53 minutes ago, Daenerysthegreat said:

Then what does brienne, a major character of affc do? 

I think her arc as a POV character ended with her hanging.  I think from now on, she is a mystery character, who is seen from the POV of other characters, who don't know what is going on with her.  We already saw this in the second half of ADWD.  I think we'll see more of this.  One or more tall, scarred, mystery warriors may appear, and readers may have to debate such persons' true identities.  I don't think we'll find out the truth until book 7.

Same with Jaime.  He left for a day's ride and has already been missing for weeks.  Whatever happened between Jaime and Brienne, we missed it.  He will return to King's Landing, and be seen from Cersei's point of view.  She will not know what has happened to him or why he has returned.  She will die at his hands not knowing.

53 minutes ago, Daenerysthegreat said:

The assumptions isn't euron himself going to Old Town. Its his fleet attacking oldtown with or without him

Both are mere assumptions, so it does not make much of a difference.  The Iron Fleet is in Meereen.  Euron and his 12 captains will follow.  Euron will leave the rest behind to get slaughtered by the Redwyne fleet.

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I want to see what happens to Jeyne Westerling. She will definitely try to avenge Robb and Raynald Westerling, both who got killed at the Twins.

Jaime will kill Cersei, but it's going to take a lot for him to do it. Maybe if he finds out that Cersei is going to blow up King's Landing and he tries to stop her?

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We see more of the interaction between wight and animator, both of the fire and ice variety.

Sansa dies a maid for life on the eve of her wedding to Faegon

We lose all track of what's going on at the Wall for the majority of the book and only get rumors of wilding invasions, the fall of the Watch and the betrayal of the LC.

 Cersei beats the odds and manages to keep the Tyrells hating her but stuck with her and with Kevyn and anyone else with any sense out of the way she's able to rebuild her hold on the Red Keep, but it's increasingly isolated from KL and Westeros at large

Tyrion doesn't actually meet Dany. He and Ben Plumm make off with a dragon. Tyrion is hellbent for the darkside

Theon doesn't burn, he keeps his head and somehow survives Winds -  It's revealed that whatever Ramsey took from him didn't include his little heir maker – he’s got more children to sire and slay before he’s done

Stoneheart gets powerful.  BWB keeps growing (despite the fact that its own members are disillusioned with just hanging Freys for the new boss). As KL loses relevance SH fills the void. She eventually becomes the de facto ruler of the Riverlands which are a flooded, bloody ruin. Mires and bogs and twisted bodies (yeah, floods are a spring thing, but Mr Martin will find a way). Nymeria and her wolfpack become aligned with the new BWB

Connington’s greyscale spreads. Ravages the Golden Company and anything they conquer. Ultimately their invasion is undermined and the greyscale becomes the crisis they were supposed to be. Faegon has Connington put to death when he learns that he’s spent his whole young life as a fraud and it was all for naught because Connington didn’t have the sense to cut his own hand off.

It will be revealed that Manderley has Robb’s will (by way of the Myraham) and the deal he offered Davos was consistent with it. Regardless of who he named heir, Robb didn’t will his successor a rebel’s death, he willed fealty to Stannis (as was Ned’s plan in the first place)

Enraged at the fact the guy she was a little sweet on ate her brother Meera Reed loses it and gets real violent, ultimately ending up in the porridge as well after Bran as Hodor puts her down. Howland Reed and the Neck are lost to the North over this apparent betrayal.

Dany moves west, but doesn’t get past Volantis in Winds.  That’s where she meet Tyrion, Plum and Rhaegul, but it’s a cliffhanger ending. Will they fight or find common cause? Stay tuned for the next 12 years

I’m not sure how Vic and Euron’s horn intersect with all of this, but I don’t think that we’ll see 3 dragons over Volantis.

Bronn fights Ser Tallad and both survive. They will meet again.

Of course there’s more, but my fingers are getting tired.

 

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2 hours ago, SeanBeanedMeUp said:

I want to see what happens to Jeyne Westerling. She will definitely try to avenge Robb and Raynald Westerling, both who got killed at the Twins.

I too hope to see what happens with Jeyne Westerling. I agree that she will try to avenge Robb and Raynald, but maybe Raynald never died at the Twins? I don't think they ever found a body. Unfortunately, I think Lady Stoneheart will have Jeyne killed along with the rest of her family, treacherous and noble alike.

2 hours ago, SeanBeanedMeUp said:

Jaime will kill Cersei, but it's going to take a lot for him to do it. Maybe if he finds out that Cersei is going to blow up King's Landing and he tries to stop her?

This is what I see happening. Jaime is going to be forced into action when Cersei orders the wildfire stash to be lit.

5 hours ago, Daenerysthegreat said:

There is already a winds of winter thread why make a new one? Actually there are two threads you could have posted in any thread. 

There was enough to predict that I figured it should have a thread of its own.

5 hours ago, Daenerysthegreat said:

 don't agree with dany sailing to westeros bit. There's a quite a lot to wrapped up in essos. Asshai, qarth, volantis, meereen, dothraki , valyria. And how does dany have 12 chapters? How will you fit the other pov. 

Dany only had six pov chapters in ASoS, and that was an explosive ark. This time around, she has more to get done, though some of that may be accomplished on her behalf by someone like Tyrion. And yes, Dany is going to return to Westeros at some point, likely in A Dream of Spring. Winds is all about resolving all the Essosi plotlines.

5 hours ago, Daenerysthegreat said:

What happens to brienne? And how does Jaime just walk away from the bwb. 

Lady Stoneheart gave Brienne a choice; sword or noose. She will give Jaime a similar choice; Cersei or noose. Jaime will choose to live without immediately choosing to kill his sister, but I did say he would be on a mission to do so. Brienne I think will find herself in the Vale, with Sansa.

5 hours ago, Mister Smikes said:

I bolded the parts I agree with. 

Some comments on the parts I disagree with.   There is too much complication at a time when GRRM ought to be maneuvering to some kind of conclusion.  I agree that Euron is after dragons, but the idea that he needs to muck around in Oldtown or the Citadel first seems to me to be pure fan delusion, albeit a popular one (yes, I have read The Forsaken sample chapter, and nothing there indicates Euron is going to Oldtown or intends to meet the Redwyne Fleet).  All the pieces should be more or less in place for Dany to head for Westeros at the close of the Battle of Meereen.  That includes all 3 dragons under some kind of control.   Marwyn is lying to Sam and has no intention of going to Meereen at all.  I believe and hope you are wrong about Sansa ever becoming a player of the game.  That's not her.

My feeling is that Winds intended role is to resolve the various plotthreads before we get to Dream. This book will be George manuevering to his intended conclusion. But there are so many important threads that he simply can't abondon, so they need attention and some sort of resolution. The Essos plotlines are such that I do not see Dany heading west until her final chapter.

As for Sansa, she is being tought to become a player, by the master player himself. Littlefinger is a dark mentor for Sansa, in the same way the Faceless Men and Bloodraven are dark mentors for Arya and Bran. Sansa will learn the skills she needs to survive from Littlefinger, but must resist the temptation he offers to become as nihalistic and cynical as he is. Sansa can be a good player without losing her idealism and empathy.

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I kind of think Stoneheart is going to kill Jeyne Westerling in the prologue, to be honest. 
 

It occurred to me that George could really troll us and have Davos arrive at Skagos only to find out that Rickon is dead. He’ll probably still learn something relevant about fighting the Others, however.

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12 minutes ago, Nathan Stark said:

My feeling is that Winds intended role is to resolve the various plotthreads before we get to Dream. This book will be George manuevering to his intended conclusion. But there are so many important threads that he simply can't abondon, so they need attention and some sort of resolution.

Ok.  But surely that need not include (for instance) Euron doing stuff in Oldtown.

12 minutes ago, Nathan Stark said:

The Essos plotlines are such that I do not see Dany heading west until her final chapter.

Her rise to power among the Dothraki will consist of little more than saying, to the Horde she just met, "I've got a dragon, follow me".  She will bring them with her when she returns to the battle of Meereen.  She will never abolish injustice in the World.  She either heads to Westeros after winning the Battle of Meereen or stays in Meereen forever and eventually decides that Drogon must be put down for eating his 25th maiden.  I think she goes to Westeros.  

12 minutes ago, Nathan Stark said:

As for Sansa, she is being taught to become a player, by the master player himself. Littlefinger is a dark mentor for Sansa, in the same way the Faceless Men and Bloodraven are dark mentors for Arya and Bran. Sansa will learn the skills she needs to survive from Littlefinger, but must resist the temptation he offers to become as nihalistic and cynical as he is. Sansa can be a good player without losing her idealism and empathy.

Littlefinger just creeps around her while tittering and boasting.   This gives GRRM occasional opportunities to use LF as an info-dump mechanism.  Maybe she can use some of this information.  If may eventually dawn on her that LF is deliberately poisoning Sweetrobin.

LF's main role at this point is to organize a tournament, so that Sansa can meet a mystery knight or two.  At some point, Sansa will summon the courage to flee LF's clutches.  She's going to grab a horse, grab Sweetrobin, maybe even grab a mystery knight, and flee from the marriage they have made for her.

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39 minutes ago, Mister Smikes said:

Ok.  But surely that need not include (for instance) Euron doing stuff in Oldtown.

Her rise to power among the Dothraki will consist of little more than saying, to the Horde she just met, "I've got a dragon, follow me".  She will bring them with her when she returns to the battle of Meereen.  She will never abolish injustice in the World.  She either heads to Westeros after winning the Battle of Meereen or stays in Meereen forever and eventually decides that Drogon must be put down for eating his 25th maiden.  I think she goes to Westeros.  

Littlefinger just creeps around her while tittering and boasting.   This gives GRRM occasional opportunities to use LF as an info-dump mechanism.  Maybe she can use some of this information.  If may eventually dawn on her that LF is deliberately poisoning Sweetrobin.

LF's main role at this point is to organize a tournament, so that Sansa can meet a mystery knight or two.  At some point, Sansa will summon the courage to flee LF's clutches.  She's going to grab a horse, grab Sweetrobin, maybe even grab a mystery knight, and flee from the marriage they have made for her.

I must disagree on all these points, though I admit I can be a little flexible. For starters, I cannot see either the logistics in how Euron gets to Meereen in the plot-required timeframe, or the narrative purpose in him doing so. We already have Victarion in that setting, and The Forsaken puts Euron closer to Oldtown than Slavers Bay. Given that the Iron Borne have been causing problems for the Reach, and the Hightowers, Redwynes and Tyrells are all mobilizing to meet the threat, we have the setup for a major confrontation. Let's say Euron does suddenly head off to Meereen. Where's the payoff? If there is no payoff, after all that setup, it's just bad writing.

Now, Euron doesn't necessarily need to attack Oldtown. If George upends our expectations, he could have Euron attack Kings Landing, which would shake up the story in interesting ways. But Euron going to Meereen is not only redundant, it's also logistically impossible in a short time frame.

The problem with your Dany prediction is that it only resolves one problem; getting back to Meereen. The reality is that Essos has a host of plotthreads that need to be resolved. Dany must confront Quaithe's "prophesies" by going back to Vaes Dothrak. She must convince the Dosh Khaleen not to force her to become one of them. She does need to resolve things in Meereen and meet up with Tyrion, but then there is Volantis to deal with. And Illyrio Mopatis has much and more to answer for. Dany can't simply bring fire and blood to Meereen and then head straight for Westeros. Otherwise there is no payoff to all the other plotlines circling around her story.

In AFFC, Littlefinger does more than titter and boast. He plays the Lords Declarent against each other. He isolates Bronze Yohn Royce by buying out the other declarents. He consolidates his power in the Vale. And he does it all with Sansa in the room, watching and listening and learning.

In the Alayne sample chapter, we learn that the tournament is Sansa's idea. AGoT Sansa would have simply been blown away by the spectacle of a tourny. In TWoW, Sansa understands that the spectacle can be used to mask political ends, in this case, finding a group of protecters for Sweetrobin. She is no longer entirely passive in the sample chapter, but taking a more active role. She has come a long way. It would be a disservice to her character to reduce the whole event to a means by which she can be rescued by a mystery knight.

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3 hours ago, Nathan Stark said:

For starters, I cannot see either the logistics in how Euron gets to Meereen in the plot-required timeframe, or the narrative purpose in him doing so. We already have Victarion in that setting, and The Forsaken puts Euron closer to Oldtown than Slavers Bay. Given that the Iron Borne have been causing problems for the Reach, and the Hightowers, Redwynes and Tyrells are all mobilizing to meet the threat, we have the setup for a major confrontation.

If the gunfighters shoot up a bank and ride out into the desert with their loot, does that imply a setup for a shootout in front of the sheriff's office, merely because that's where the posse is organizing, and the sheriff's office is closer to the bank than the Mexican border is?

The Ironborn are raiders.  The best part of Ironborn naval power has already been sent to Meereen.  Euron knows the Redwyne Fleet is coming.  Why on earth would he wait around to face the concentrated naval power of Westeros with only 13 Ironborn raiding ships and a bunch of captured merchant vessels?  

And the Redwyne Fleet cannot find Euron if he does not want them to.  The ocean is not a bathtub, and Euron can sail out of sight of land.   He has just left some unidentified island somewhere in the ocean.  It is probably off the Arbor, since one of his captains thinks so, but probably only Euron knows for sure, since he is the one actually controlling the navigation, out of sight of land, with the aid of blood magic.  

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Let's say Euron does suddenly head off to Meereen. Where's the payoff? If there is no payoff, after all that setup, it's just bad writing.

Something is not bad writing merely because it disappoints fan theories that may be popular on some forums.  Euron has made no secret about the fact that his real interest lies in Slavers' Bay, and he intends to leave the idiots who he left holding the Shields to face inevitable defeat.

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Now, Euron doesn't necessarily need to attack Oldtown. If George upends our expectations, he could have Euron attack Kings Landing, which would shake up the story in interesting ways.

Or he could just bring his 12 captains and his fleet of captured ships to Slavers' Bay, where they will be available to ferry Dany and her hordes across the narrow sea to Westeros, while the  Redwyne Fleet has been decoyed to the other side of Westeros to attack the Shields.  That might actually cause the plot to advance slowly towards some eventual conclusion, rather than merely "shaking it up in interesting ways'.

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But Euron going to Meereen is not only redundant, it's also logistically impossible in a short time frame.

It's not logistically impossible at all.  Euron, it is heavily hinted, controls the winds by blood magic.  He is the Storm, or so he says.  We've already seen Stannis' fleet reach the Wall in record time, thanks to such methods.  At a steady 12 knots, Euron can do wonders.  Euron is not going to be becalmed and delayed for weeks and months the way Victarion was.   

Victarion thinks he is on his own, and thinks he can manipulate the situation to his advantage.  But Victarion is an idiot.  Victarion will die, and Euron will show up and take whatever spoils result.

As for "redundant" -- just because you have 100s of characters, does not mean they all have to be in 100s of locations.  One's chances of progressing the plot are much better if you bring them together.

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The reality is that Essos has a host of plotthreads that need to be resolved. Dany must confront Quaithe's "prophesies" by going back to Vaes Dothrak.

No she doesn't.  Who knows what "to go west you must go east" means.  That issue may not be resolved till book 7.  I'm not even sure Vaes Dothrak is east of Qarth.

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She must convince the Dosh Khaleen not to force her to become one of them.

What?  You do realize she's got a dragon, right?  Who cares what the Dosh Khaleen think?  Unless the Drogon is in need of a quick snack, the Dosh Khaleen simply are not relevant.  And why would she fly Drogon to Vaes Dothrak just so Drogon can eat a few stringy old women?  

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She does need to resolve things in Meereen ...

Yes.  She needs to resolve the Battle of Meereen.

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and meet up with Tyrion, ...

They've already met.  They can meet again in Westeros, or after the Battle of Meereen.

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but then there is Volantis to deal with.

Why?   Just sail past them.

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And Illyrio Mopatis has much and more to answer for.

Surely he is last on her list of priorities.   He gave her the dragon eggs, and if he is her enemy, she is barely aware of it.   The confrontation need not come til book 7.  Who knows, he may even be in Westeros by then.

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Dany can't simply bring fire and blood to Meereen and then head straight for Westeros.

Why not?  All she needs is a decisive victory.  And ships.  And Euron is bringing them.

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Otherwise there is no payoff to all the other plotlines circling around her story.

Like what?  For all we know, we will have exposed the Harpy before the Battle of Meereen closes.  I'm sure she'll place a suitable figurehead in charge before she leaves.

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In AFFC, Littlefinger does more than titter and boast. He plays the Lords Declarent against each other. He isolates Bronze Yohn Royce by buying out the other declarents. He consolidates his power in the Vale. And he does it all with Sansa in the room, watching and listening and learning.

Doesn't mean she wants to become like him.  To me, she seems too busy teaching Sweetrobin the ideals of True Knighthood.

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In the Alayne sample chapter, we learn that the tournament is Sansa's idea.

I never said she had no agency.  But she's still a romantic and idealist.  She likes knights; and she likes tourneys.  

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AGoT Sansa would have simply been blown away by the spectacle of a tourny.

She was enthusiastic about tourneys then, she is still enthusiastic about tourneys now.   Little has changed; except that she is a little older, and not quite so foolish, and this is no longer her first Tourney.  

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In TWoW, Sansa understands that the spectacle can be used to mask political ends, in this case, finding a group of protecters for Sweetrobin.

She believed, then and now, that a True Knight defends the weak.  And if she is concerned for Sweetrobin's safety, then she and LF are acting for entirely different reasons.

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She is no longer entirely passive in the sample chapter, but taking a more active role.

Nothing I said suggested she would be entirely passive.   Being LF's trainee and protegee sounds pretty passive to me, as well as morally degrading.

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She has come a long way. It would be a disservice to her character to reduce the whole event to a means by which she can be rescued by a mystery knight.

I never actually mentioned her being "rescued" by a mystery knight.  The mystery knight may turn out to be a villain.  What I did mention was Sansa rescuing Sweetrobin.  Maybe she'll take Sweetrobin and a horse and flee on her own.  But if she flees LF, it would obviously be sensible to procure what protection she can.  I'm not woke enough to be ideologically opposed to the idea of True Knights rescuing maidens.   It is exactly the sort of thing that a True Knight ought to do.  That, at any rate, is what Sansa is teaching Sweetrobin.

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11 hours ago, SeanBeanedMeUp said:

I want to see what happens to Jeyne Westerling. She will definitely try to avenge Robb and Raynald Westerling, both who got killed at the Twins

It might be that she wants to do that, but I'm not sure how she'd go about that unless she joined up with the BwB, but knowing Stoneheart, it's entirely possible that she'd just hang Jeyne as being a Westerling collaborator (a false assumption but a logical one). Other than her somehow working with the BwB, there's no way Jeyne could do anything. With the surrender of Riverrun, the last point of resistance disappeared.

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On 10/14/2021 at 8:47 PM, Mister Smikes said:

If the gunfighters shoot up a bank and ride out into the desert with their loot, does that imply a setup for a shootout in front of the sheriff's office, merely because that's where the posse is organizing, and the sheriff's office is closer to the bank than the Mexican border is?

The Ironborn are raiders.  The best part of Ironborn naval power has already been sent to Meereen.  Euron knows the Redwyne Fleet is coming.  Why on earth would he wait around to face the concentrated naval power of Westeros with only 13 Ironborn raiding ships and a bunch of captured merchant vessels?  

And the Redwyne Fleet cannot find Euron if he does not want them to.  The ocean is not a bathtub, and Euron can sail out of sight of land.   He has just left some unidentified island somewhere in the ocean.  It is probably off the Arbor, since one of his captains thinks so, but probably only Euron knows for sure, since he is the one actually controlling the navigation, out of sight of land, with the aid of blood magic.  

There's a problem with your math. Euron has 900 longships total, with around 23 of them accounted for in The Forsaken. The whereabouts of the other 867 longships are unknown to us, but presumably not to Euron. Additionally, while the Iron Fleet is made up of the best warships, they are not the totality of Euron's fleet. 

We also know that Euron is sailing close to the Arbor, probably at the Isle of Pigs. You might assume that Euron is trying to avoid being destroyed by the Redwyne fleet, which is admittedly much stronger than his. But I do not believe that. He wants to be seen. He is using  his meager 23 longships and assortment of captured merchant vessels as bait. He is not escaping a trap, he is setting one up.

Yes, he will use blood magic. He will become the storm. And he will destroy the Redwyne and Hightower fleets. That's a better use of magic than jetpacking to Slaver's Bay.

On 10/14/2021 at 8:47 PM, Mister Smikes said:

Something is not bad writing merely because it disappoints fan theories that may be popular on some forums.  Euron has made no secret about the fact that his real interest lies in Slavers' Bay, and he intends to leave the idiots who he left holding the Shields to face inevitable defeat.

Wrong. Euron has made no secret of the fact that his real interest lies in taking the Iron Throne. He wants Dany for her dragons, but he does not need them immediately. As for the Shield Islands, those idiots are all former Victarion allies, so it serves a useful purpose to Euron in setting them up for defeat. Again, we already have Victarion in Slaver's Bay. We do not need Euron there.

On 10/14/2021 at 8:47 PM, Mister Smikes said:

Or he could just bring his 12 captains and his fleet of captured ships to Slavers' Bay, where they will be available to ferry Dany and her hordes across the narrow sea to Westeros, while the  Redwyne Fleet has been decoyed to the other side of Westeros to attack the Shields.  That might actually cause the plot to advance slowly towards some eventual conclusion, rather than merely "shaking it up in interesting ways'.

We already have a fleet in Slaver's Bay for the purpose you ascribe; the Iron Fleet. Plus, the Volantene fleet is on its way, made up of mostly slave soldiers who will likely be sympathetic to Dany. She will have more than enough ships to ferry her hordes to Westeros. She doesn't need Euron's help for that.

On 10/14/2021 at 8:47 PM, Mister Smikes said:

It's not logistically impossible at all.  Euron, it is heavily hinted, controls the winds by blood magic.  He is the Storm, or so he says.  We've already seen Stannis' fleet reach the Wall in record time, thanks to such methods.  At a steady 12 knots, Euron can do wonders.  Euron is not going to be becalmed and delayed for weeks and months the way Victarion was.   

Victarion thinks he is on his own, and thinks he can manipulate the situation to his advantage.  But Victarion is an idiot.  Victarion will die, and Euron will show up and take whatever spoils result.

As for "redundant" -- just because you have 100s of characters, does not mean they all have to be in 100s of locations.  One's chances of progressing the plot are much better if you bring them together.

Yes, I suspect Euron will use blood magic, or at any rate, blood. One of his large merchant vessels seems to be filled with blood. But he isn't going to use it for transport, or a means of retreat. I think that would be politically treacherous for Euron anyway, since his captains all expect blood, battle, and spoils. No, he is using blood magic as a means to win his battle with the Redwyne/Hightower fleets. 

As for Victarion, yes, he is that stupid. Namely, he is stupid enough to realize all Euron's gifts are poison, without comprehending that this applies to the dusky woman. She is Euron's creature, and they are almost certainly linked in some way. He is keeping an eye on events in Slaver's Bay through her, but this does not mean Euron is going there himself.

Euron going to Slaver's Bay is redundant, because him going there doesn't advance the plot. It simply replaces Victarion with Euron. The narrative purpose of Victarion's fleet in Slaver's Bay is to supply Dany with ships to sail for Westeros. That in itself progresses the plot far more than Euron showing up in Slaver's Bay does. And Euron defeating the Redywne/Hightower fleet progresses the plot more than Euron retreating to Slaver's Bay does. So my money is on Euron staying right where he is.

On 10/14/2021 at 8:47 PM, Mister Smikes said:

No she doesn't.  Who knows what "to go west you must go east" means.  That issue may not be resolved till book 7.  I'm not even sure Vaes Dothrak is east of Qarth.

Well, it does seem like "to go forward, you must go back" means Dany returning to Vaes Dothrak, and eventually Pentos, where her story began. Qarth is actually East of Vaes Dothrak. Who knows? Dany could take her hordes there to sack it. Which could satisfy those parts of Quaithe's "prophesy."

On 10/14/2021 at 8:47 PM, Mister Smikes said:

What?  You do realize she's got a dragon, right?  Who cares what the Dosh Khaleen think?  Unless the Drogon is in need of a quick snack, the Dosh Khaleen simply are not relevant.  And why would she fly Drogon to Vaes Dothrak just so Drogon can eat a few stringy old women?  

Dany has a dragon that she doesn't know how to control, and who listens to her commands when he feels like it. That's the whole reason she's out in the Dothraki Sea. If Drogon were completely under her command, she could absolutely do as you say, and that is ultimately where she is headed, but it isn't going to be that simple. It's still up in the air whether Drogon will just fly off, leaving Dany at Khal Jhago's mercy. George does not like to make things easy for his protagonists.

On 10/14/2021 at 8:47 PM, Mister Smikes said:

They've already met.  They can meet again in Westeros, or after the Battle of Meereen.

Dany saved the lives of Tyrion and Penny without ever being introduced to them. That does not qualify as "meeting" in my book.

On 10/14/2021 at 8:47 PM, Mister Smikes said:

Why?   Just sail past them.

Again, where's the payoff? George didn't show us how restless the Volantene slaves are getting for shits and giggles.

On 10/14/2021 at 8:47 PM, Mister Smikes said:

Surely he is last on her list of priorities.   He gave her the dragon eggs, and if he is her enemy, she is barely aware of it.   The confrontation need not come til book 7.  Who knows, he may even be in Westeros by then.

You know who is aware that Illyrio is Dany's enemy? Tyrion. You know who is Illyrio's sworn enemy? The Tattered Prince, who intends to take Pentos. Once Dany learns Illyrio sent her out into the Dothraki Sea to die, while raising fAegon in relative safety, she isn't going to be enormously pleased with Illyrio. Dany's original plan was to sail back to Pentos, before she got sidetracked in Astapor. Now she will, with an army.

On 10/14/2021 at 8:47 PM, Mister Smikes said:

Why not?  All she needs is a decisive victory.  And ships.  And Euron is bringing them.

She already has ships. Ships she will use to subdue the rest of the slave cities, like Volantis. She doesn't need Euron for any of that.

On 10/14/2021 at 8:47 PM, Mister Smikes said:

Like what?  For all we know, we will have exposed the Harpy before the Battle of Meereen closes.  I'm sure she'll place a suitable figurehead in charge before she leaves.

Like the House with the Red Door. Like Vaes Dothrak. Like Illyrio and Pentos. Like the probable slave uprising in Volantis. The Essosi plotlines are important enough on their own merits to warrant a conclusion. I believe TWoW is meant to resolve those plotlines.

On 10/14/2021 at 8:47 PM, Mister Smikes said:

Doesn't mean she wants to become like him.  To me, she seems too busy teaching Sweetrobin the ideals of True Knighthood.

True.

On 10/14/2021 at 8:47 PM, Mister Smikes said:

In the Alayne sample chapter, we learn that the tournament is Sansa's idea.

Also true.

On 10/14/2021 at 8:47 PM, Mister Smikes said:

She was enthusiastic about tourneys then, she is still enthusiastic about tourneys now.   Little has changed; except that she is a little older, and not quite so foolish, and this is no longer her first Tourney.  

What has changed is Sansa's realization that she can use the spectacle of a tourney to her political advantage. It's actually an example of Sansa using her own idealsim as a useful tool in getting something she wants, like protection for Sweetrobin.

On 10/14/2021 at 8:47 PM, Mister Smikes said:

She believed, then and now, that a True Knight defends the weak.  And if she is concerned for Sweetrobin's safety, then she and LF are acting for entirely different reasons.

Okay. This doesn't mean that Sansa isn't learning valuable political skills from Littlefinger.

On 10/14/2021 at 8:47 PM, Mister Smikes said:

Nothing I said suggested she would be entirely passive.   Being LF's trainee and protegee sounds pretty passive to me, as well as morally degrading.

No more so than being the Kindly Man's trainee, or Bloodraven's trainee. All the Stark children have dark mentors whom they must choose to morally reject.

On 10/14/2021 at 8:47 PM, Mister Smikes said:

I never actually mentioned her being "rescued" by a mystery knight.  The mystery knight may turn out to be a villain.  What I did mention was Sansa rescuing Sweetrobin.  Maybe she'll take Sweetrobin and a horse and flee on her own.  But if she flees LF, it would obviously be sensible to procure what protection she can.  I'm not woke enough to be ideologically opposed to the idea of True Knights rescuing maidens.   It is exactly the sort of thing that a True Knight ought to do.  That, at any rate, is what Sansa is teaching Sweetrobin.

Fair enough. My apologies if I implied you were doing so. My argument was simply that Sansa has grown as a character and as a political actor. And that she probably would not have done so to this extent if not for her learning from Littlefinger. That Sansa loves and wants to protect Sweetrobin I have no doubt. But I think Sansa is done with fleeing. 

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16 hours ago, Nathan Stark said:

There's a problem with your math. Euron has 900 longships total, with around 23 of them accounted for in The Forsaken. The whereabouts of the other 867 longships are unknown to us, but presumably not to Euron. Additionally, while the Iron Fleet is made up of the best warships, they are not the totality of Euron's fleet. 

The Iron Fleet is the royal fleet and he sent it to Slaver's Bay.  I don't know where you get the 900 figure, but Euron does not have magical telepathic control of every longship controlled, directly or indirectly, by an Ironborn Lord who is in theory his subject.

I checked the Foresaken chapter again, and it seems to indicate that Euron has about 3 dozen longships.  More than I  had misremembered, but still not enough to face the combined naval might of Westeros.  Unless you think he's going to use blood magic to summon krakens or something.

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We also know that Euron is sailing close to the Arbor, probably at the Isle of Pigs. You might assume that Euron is trying to avoid being destroyed by the Redwyne fleet, which is admittedly much stronger than his. But I do not believe that. He wants to be seen. He is using  his meager 23 longships and assortment of captured merchant vessels as bait. He is not escaping a trap, he is setting one up.

I see no evidence of the bolded parts.  And it is meaningless to speak of him as escaping from a trap he was never in to begin with.  It is the 4 lords who hold the shields who are in a trap.

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Yes, he will use blood magic. He will become the storm. And he will destroy the Redwyne and Hightower fleets.

If he can to do that, then it is hard to understand why he thinks the 4 lords who took the Shields are doomed.  The Iron Throne will have a hard time retaking the Shields without naval forces.

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That's a better use of magic than jetpacking to Slaver's Bay.

That's your opinion.  It is also the opinion of many Ironborn Lords.  It is not Euron's opinion.  He wanted them all to come with him to Slaver's bay, and he said so.   Those who did not want to come, he is leaving behind to face the wrath of the Iron Throne.

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Wrong. Euron has made no secret of the fact that his real interest lies in taking the Iron Throne. He wants Dany for her dragons, but he does not need them immediately.

You seem to think Euron is one hell of a multi-tasker.  And I suppose he is to some extent, but this is a bit much, IMHO. 

He wants Dany and her Dragons, precisely so he can use them to take the Iron Throne.  He captured the warlocks in Slavers bay, heard about and perhaps even saw Dany and her dragons, then sailed on the storm to the Iron Islands and the Kingsmoot so he could summon the Ironborn to Slavers Bay to claim Dany and her dragons.   Prior to that, he seemed to have no particular interest in the Seastone Chair.  Dany and her dragons are the key.  If he did not need them for what he wants, he would have just conquered the world for shits and giggles years ago.   But I guess he can't -- not without dragons.

I don't now about "immediately" but his plan is almost certainly to get Dany and her dragons FIRST, and only THEN to take the Iron Throne.

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As for the Shield Islands, those idiots are all former Victarion allies, so it serves a useful purpose to Euron in setting them up for defeat. Again, we already have Victarion in Slaver's Bay. We do not need Euron there.

Who is "we"?  If he wants Dany, and he wants Dragons, he will need to be present to claim them himself.  His plan is not to put Victarion on the Iron Throne.

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We already have a fleet in Slaver's Bay for the purpose you ascribe; the Iron Fleet.

Okay.  Maybe one of those longships can marry Dany and bond with one of her dragons.  What good does that do Euron?  

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Plus, the Volantene fleet is on its way, made up of mostly slave soldiers who will likely be sympathetic to Dany. She will have more than enough ships to ferry her hordes to Westeros. She doesn't need Euron's help for that.

Dude!  Euron is not interested in what Dany needs, nor in what the Volantene slaves need.  He's in it for Euron.

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Yes, I suspect Euron will use blood magic, or at any rate, blood. One of his large merchant vessels seems to be filled with blood. But he isn't going to use it for transport, or a means of retreat. I think that would be politically treacherous for Euron anyway, since his captains all expect blood, battle, and spoils. No, he is using blood magic as a means to win his battle with the Redwyne/Hightower fleets. 

Why, then, does he think the Shields are doomed to be retaken?

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Well, it does seem like "to go forward, you must go back" means Dany returning to Vaes Dothrak,

Or the House with the Red Door.

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Dany has a dragon that she doesn't know how to control, and who listens to her commands when he feels like it.

That issue will be resolved, more or less, by the time she returns to the Battle of Meereen.   And I suspect that Dany the Conqueror will be more in sync with Drogon than Dany the Tree-Grower was.

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Again, where's the payoff? George didn't show us how restless the Volantene slaves are getting for shits and giggles.

I don't think payoff for the Volantene slaves is a high priority for most readers.  In any event, something's got to give.  Where's the payoff for Nymeria and her Chekov's wolf army?  Or a hundred other loose ends readers care about?  We'll never get there we have to put them on hold to get payoff for Volantene slaves.

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You know who is aware that Illyrio is Dany's enemy? Tyrion.

He hasn't told her yet, and may never tell her.   Or she may be in Westeros by the time he tells her.

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You know who is Illyrio's sworn enemy? The Tattered Prince, who intends to take Pentos.

The Tattered Prince is already dead, IMHO.  Gerris knows this, which is why he gets so nervous when he hears Barristan wants to send them on a mission to the Tattered Prince.

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Like the House with the Red Door. Like Vaes Dothrak. Like Illyrio and Pentos. Like the probable slave uprising in Volantis. The Essosi plotlines are important enough on their own merits to warrant a conclusion. I believe TWoW is meant to resolve those plotlines.

The House with the Red Door is the only one of these that needs to be resolved, IMHO, and it will not happen til the last volume.

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23 hours ago, Nathan Stark said:

True.

Also true.

What has changed is Sansa's realization that she can use the spectacle of a tourney to her political advantage. It's actually an example of Sansa using her own idealsim as a useful tool in getting something she wants, like protection for Sweetrobin.

Okay. This doesn't mean that Sansa isn't learning valuable political skills from Littlefinger.

No more so than being the Kindly Man's trainee, or Bloodraven's trainee. All the Stark children have dark mentors whom they must choose to morally reject.

Fair enough. My apologies if I implied you were doing so. My argument was simply that Sansa has grown as a character and as a political actor. And that she probably would not have done so to this extent if not for her learning from Littlefinger. That Sansa loves and wants to protect Sweetrobin I have no doubt. But I think Sansa is done with fleeing. 

Sansa is a smart girl in many ways.  But your evidence that she is being idealistic and moral and interested in knights and tournaments for politically savvy reasons, is basically evidence that she is being idealistic and moral and interested in knights and tournaments.   A little older, sadder and wiser, maybe, but still the same old Sansa in many ways as well.

And she seems to keep returning to these themes.  Which seem worthwhile themes to me.  I don't think a character necessarily has to be a Power Player to be a worthwhile character.   Must a woman have the brawns of Brienne or the brains of a World Leader to be regarded as a worthwhile person?   Such an attitude would end up writing off most of them, except in some fantasies.

And it has not yet even occurred to her yet that LF may be plotting Sweetrobin's death.

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