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[TWoW Spoilers] The Winds of Winter - OUR PREDICTIONS -

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1) Aegon is set up to ally with the Faith, Dany with the Red Priests.

Yes. But what is going to happen when Mel realizes Jon is AA? Like I said, the Red Roller's followers might just be scattered to the wind and left out in the snow to freeze. Dany is entirely unpredictible and there is no evidence she will embrace the Red Priests out of hand, not if she sees advantage in siding with Aegon. And even if she does convert, there will still be a day of reckoning not too soon where it becomes obvious Dany is not a saviour and is more so a destroyer of cities. When that moment comes, the Red Priests will be so confused.

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1. We will find out the Mellisandre is dead and has been all along. Only the Ruby choker keeps her alive. Her purpose is that AA is the only person that can heal her so she searches for him everywhere. This is also why Maester Cressen's poison could not kill her.

This is true, I think. I have had the same thought.

I am rereading Dance right now. I saw the part where Mel tricked Jon into seeing Ygritte. A glamor. Making him think she was her for a moment. Gods only know why. But it struck me that she really is a full blown witch.

I've thought she is a corpse for a long time, though. But now I'm wondering if he true appearance, once seen, she might look like a full on flaming demon. Fire being associated with hell, I think once her glamor is undone, she is not going to be a pretty sight.

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Third, another inside connection to the citadel, and more importantly Archmaster Marwyn and Sam Tarly. If the theories are correct, Alleras the Sphinx is actually Sarella Sand, another sand snake that is obviously under a secret mission and poised to possibly even become a maester.

Although this is indeed as important as you make it out to be, I do not think that Doran has actually assigned her a mission. Doran refers to her as "playing a game" (masquerade as a man in the citidel). I think she is there oif her own will and choice. But what she choses to do there will likely have impact. Let us not forget, her no doubt fast friend, fat Sam, has the Horn of Winter...

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Yes. But what is going to happen when Mel realizes Jon is AA? Like I said, the Red Roller's followers might just be scattered to the wind and left out in the snow to freeze. Dany is entirely unpredictible and there is no evidence she will embrace the Red Priests out of hand, not if she sees advantage in siding with Aegon. And even if she does convert, there will still be a day of reckoning not too soon where it becomes obvious Dany is not a saviour and is more so a destroyer of cities. When that moment comes, the Red Priests will be so confused.

Mel is just a fringe-phenomenon in terms of Rhollorism. Their main power base is in Volantis. Not much danger of freezing there. And what we've seen of Red Priests so far, there's little reason to assume that they would shie away from some destruction when it furthers their agenda. As long as Dany doesn't reintroduce slavery, she should be golden.

In the end, the answer to the question whether Jon or Dany is the actual AA of prophecy might not be all that relevant. From a political perspective it simply makes more sense for the Red Priests to back Dany.

As to the possiblity of Dany refusing an alliance: it's largely a question of timing. I predict that when Moquorro makes his offer, she'll be in sore need of him (to sort out the Victarion situation for instance) - she probably can't afford to refuse his help. When Aegon finally appears on her radar, it's probably too late to reconsider.

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Mel is just a fringe-phenomenon in terms of Rhollorism. Their main power base is in Volantis. Not much danger of freezing there.

In the Mel chapter, she does state that she believes she is perhaps the most gifted seer there is. She might not have much authority, though, yes...

In the end, the answer to the question whether Jon or Dany is the actual AA of prophecy might not be all that relevant. From a political perspective it simply makes more sense for the Red Priests to back Dany.

This is true, I suppose. But if Dany destroys every city she sets foot in and reduces it to bloody slaughter (even if it's "not her fault"), sooner or later they've got to realize it also isn't in their best political interests as well, right???

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This is true, I suppose. But if Dany destroys every city she sets foot in and reduces it to bloody slaughter (even if it's "not her fault"), sooner or later they've got to realize it also isn't in their best political interests as well, right???

Well, if the battle of Meereen will be the massacre we all expect, the slavers in Essos might think twice about opposing her the next time, which might bode rather well for a Dany-backed Volantene slave revolt. The next cities Dany destroys are probably going to be in Westeros. Less of a problem for the Rhollorist base in Volantis, I could imagine.

Volantis very likely wouldn't be another Astapor, doomed the moment Dany leaves with the dragons. Firstly, because the slavers will be in a sorry state after Meereen and less of a threat. Secondly, because there would probably less internal strife, as the slaves in Volantis are already organized. Once the current elite is disposed, the Red Priests are ready to take over - the replacement power structure is already in place. Whether their reign would be so much better from a humanitarian perspective might be debateable, but they could certainly establish some sort of new order and sustain it for a while.

The Red Priests will need Dany to do a bit of dirty work for them, and they probably would want to keep her around in the medium or even long term, in case the slavers eventually recover from their defeat in Meereen, but they probably won't mind an excursion to Westeros after she hands them over Volantis.

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Well, if the battle of Meereen will be the massacre we all expect, the slavers in Essos might think twice about opposing her the next time, which might bode rather well for a Dany-backed Volantene slave revolt. The next cities Dany destroys are probably going to be in Westeros. Less of a problem for the Rhollorist base in Volantis, I could imagine.

I don't get your reasoning (or lack of). Even if the Yunkai'i forces are destroyed (prob by Victarion), it will still be deemed a victory for Slavers in general world wide if Mereen is destroyed. I think the Yunkai'i would rather have Mereen wiped off the face of the earth than have it in the hands of freedmen and dragon queens. Same with the Volantenes and Xaro's buddies from Qarth and Mantarys and so on.

But if Mereen survives and for so long as it remains standing as a free city, it is a symbol to people world wide of the weakness of Slavers and a symbol of rebellion. It must be crushed if order is to be restored properly.

Volantis very likely wouldn't be another Astapor, doomed the moment Dany leaves with the dragons.

That's hard to predict. It depends mostly on the government left. A lot of revolts or barbarian conquests have failed mainly due to poor leadership. These sorts of people just do not know how to govern and lead. Some examples are the Mongols (great for examples of Dothraki comparison which is like to be what befalls Volantis) - great conquerers, the largest empire ever built and the shortest lived at that because they knew nothing of government and how to set the cities up after the conquest. Or Spartacus, who was on the verge of freeing so many and fleeing north to safety, but his leadership fell apart at the last moment due to poor discipline and they failed utterly.

Are there any slave revolts that did not end badly in real history? I suppose Moses got away, but there are serious doubts as to the accuracy of the Jewish accounts of what really happened in the exodus, and it's more than likely he only actually escaped with a handful of people rather than an entire people. And Moses was well educated and capable of leading, so that's different. A far cry from leaving a "priest, healer and a scholar" to oversee the birth of a new civilization being built in Astapor. I wish Tyrion had been there for that one, to slap Dany over the face and tell her how bloody stupid that idea was.

Anyway... Volantis. Yes I think it depends on what sort of army the Slavers have. With cities like Qarth and Mantarys and on and on untouched and with virtually unlimited resources, they will have their hands full.

All this is why I think Dany is just a destroyer. What she's trying is just not possible. Utter overhauls of civilization do not happen overnight.

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I don't get your reasoning (or lack of). Even if the Yunkai'i forces are destroyed (prob by Victarion), it will still be deemed a victory for Slavers in general world wide if Mereen is destroyed. I think the Yunkai'i would rather have Mereen wiped off the face of the earth than have it in the hands of freedmen and dragon queens. Same with the Volantenes and Xaro's buddies from Qarth and Mantarys and so on.

The point is that if the Yunkai forces are destroyed, they can't help out suppressing the Volantene slave revolt. That should be a bit of a plus, shouldn't it?

Quarth et. co may still be untouched, but maybe they are not so keen on sharing the fate of their Yunkai allies. There is such a thing as a deterrent effect. The Japanese did not attack again after Hiroshima (some might argue that the Japanese were essentially defeated by that point anyway, but it's not implausible to speculate that Hiroshima may have hastened things).

The massacre of Meereen might not utterly quell the opposition but at the very least it should give them pause. That reprieve might give the Volantene enough time to get on their own feet.

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That's hard to predict. It depends mostly on the government left. A lot of revolts or barbarian conquests have failed mainly due to poor leadership. These sorts of people just do not know how to govern and lead.

Don't know about the track record of slave revolts in general, but theocracies can be pretty good at the whole "clinging to power"- thing. The church of Rhollor in Volantis is not just a couple of priests.... It seems to me like a pretty solidly established institution. That's what I meant with "replacement power structure" - you don't just need individuals, you need institutions. A random barbarian hord may lack that, but the Church of Rhollor is a different beast. Say what you want about those religious types, but the one thing they usually don't lack is discipline.

I agree that utter overhauls of civilizations don't happen overnight. But the Red Priests might already have been at it for a while.

Christianity started out as a religion for slaves as well (although that's sadly not what it ended up as). Maybe the Red Priests are like those early Christians and Dany is their emperor Constantine.

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Church refers to Christ. You generally say temple when talking about any other religion, fictional or real, unless another word is given. Temple of the Red Roller.

The point is that if the Yunkai forces are destroyed, they can't help out suppressing the Volantene slave revolt. That should be a bit of a plus, shouldn't it?

Well there will still be a lot of wealthy people left in Yunkai'i to hire more sellswords, so it's not that final. And given the devestation is not in actual Yunkai city nor is it Yunkai blood (mostly foreign sellsword and slave armies), I doubt they will be put off.

Maybe the Red Priests are like those early Christians and Dany is their emperor Constantine.

Gods let us hope not...

Dany is yet a convert, anyhow, so this has less ground. Unless the Red Priests are going to be the actual leadersof the revolt (which is possible), and Dany merely an inspirational idol.

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Well there will still be a lot of wealthy people left in Yunkai'i to hire more sellswords, so it's not that final. And given the devestation is not in actual Yunkai city nor is it Yunkai blood (mostly foreign sellsword and slave armies), I doubt they will be put off.

It's probably a fifty-fifty chance. But I think that a "Torrhen Stark after Harrenhal"-reaction is a distinct possibility, certainly not without historical precedent in this world. Especially if Dany actually succeeds in uniting all those khalassars, as many people speculate.

Another thing to consider: There will probably be a bit of a sellsword shortage soon.... A lot have already gone with Aegon to Westeros and the rest might soon be hired by Justin Massey for Stannis. The rest are going to be really, really expensive. I don't think that the slavers resources are quite as unlimited as you seem to assume.

Unless the Red Priests are going to be the actual leadersof the revolt (which is possible), and Dany merely an inspirational idol.

That's what I consider most likely, yes.

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About khalassars... I just can't picture thousands of dokrathis sailing, nor managing Danny's conquests after she goes to Westeros. I think she can get the Dokrathi's loyalty, specially after burning a bunch of khals. But I'd guess their use is limited to conquering parts of Essos.

Given the distances and, since apparently the Battle of Mereen will happen right at the begining, no khalassar would interfere there

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Given the distances and, since apparently the Battle of Mereen will happen right at the begining, no khalassar would interfere there

Maybe not, but they are still useful as a deterrent for the remaining slavers, in case they are still up for a little opposition after Meereen. I'm not necessarily talking about "managing Dany's conquests" (as a said, I think the Red Priests might already have a plan for that), but about defending them.

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Just like to share some thoughts on the "northern theatre", as it were. I may post other predictions later:

Bran is obviously going to be heavily entrenched in the Otherpocalypse. I imagine the early chapters of WoW will have him learning more about the Others from BR (information we desperately need at this point in the series), though I’m not fully convinced that BR isn’t an agent of theirs to some extent. He may have some hand in Jon’s resurrection, but I’m thinking that perhaps Bran will never again meet up with his siblings: How bittersweet would it be to have him play a major role in stopping the Others through his warging abilities/greensight but to never have the other characters discover this? Alas, I feel Bran may end up taking BR’s place in the tree, where he’ll be able to walk and fly for all eternity. Maybe Meera can share his story with the world (I’m guessing Jojen will pass before the end).

I’m with everyone else on Jon’s resurrection – no way he dies like that. I wonder if we’ll next see him as Ghost, which would take him away from the Wall for a little while and let him become more involved in the Others’ storyline. Also, I believe Jon is one of the least likely candidates to be king at the end of the series, parentage notwithstanding, because that would undermine his whole arc of growing to accept that his place is on the Wall. Will he ultimately die? Azor Ahai reborn? Maybe – more likely than Dany or Aegon, in my book. But I don’t think he’ll sit on any throne (and indeed, he may not sit at all by the end of the series).

I am very interested to see what happens at the Wall following the assassination attempt: There are at least four different factions there now (Marsh’s group, members of the Watch who may have been frustrated with Jon but still supported him, Selyse’s men, and the wildlings), so the interplay could be interesting. I have to imagine that Tormund won’t look too kindly on what Marsh did to his buddy Jon, and I’ve always felt that Marsh’s group mostly acted independently of the other Night’s Watchmen (evidence that Yarwick was involved is mostly circumstantial, no?). I think the wildlings located in and around CB vastly outnumber the NW and Queen’s men put together, so if what happened to Jon sparks a conflict between them I’d place money on the free folk. In any case, I don’t think the wildlings will go south to Winterfell, but I’m wondering if Tormund will instead focus his energies on the Hardhome expedition – perhaps as a way to remove his people from CB without completely ruining their relationship with Stannis. Our only POV on the Wall is Mel, who will likely be involved more in Jon’s resurrection than anything else, so we may not get many details for a while. All in all, the Watch is likely nearing its end. I do hope that those members of the Watch who were on Jon’s side are able to keep the peace with the wildlings and prevent them from just surging south, which would create general confusion. This might require that the conspirators die.

I think Stannis will win at Winterfell, simply put. Theon’s arrival will spoil Arnolf Karstark’s plan (as revealed in the sample chapter), and I can’t imagine Manderly engaging militarily with Stannis, whom he plans on acknowledging as king. Stannis has surprise on his side, as well as his own men, the hill clans, Mors Umber’s forces, and at least two lords within Winterfell (Manderly and the other Umber) who’d rather see the Boltons and the Freys dead than alive. Assuming Martin plans on finishing things within two more books, I think the Boltons need to be taken care of. Their story is mostly played out, in my opinion, so WoW will detail their downfall in (relatively) short order.

There is the Pink Letter to consider, and I can’t even speculate as to how that came to be, but there’s something fishy going on: Why would Ramsay be the Bolton writing to Jon, if things played out as depicted in the letter? I don’t believe for a second that Roose will predecease his son – Ramsay is many things, including a bit of a dimwit, and Roose is nothing if not calculating (he has his son’s number better than anyone). If the Boltons win against Stannis, Roose is still alive, and any letters that need writing are written in his hand. Most likely: Mance and his spear-wives are caught. Panic likely descends over Winterfell in the wake of Theon and Jeyne’s escape, and Ramsay sends his letter to Jon because he thinks that’s where “Arya” will head and he wants to draw Jon to him. Ramsay’s entire claim to the North rests on being married to Arya, after all, so the Pink Letter is about 75% bluff. Of course, that’s only my opinion, but it falls in line with my theory that Stannis will win the upcoming battle (especially once it gets out that “Arya” has escaped).

Theon won’t be killed by Stannis – I think it’ll be revealed early in WoW that he did not in fact kill Bran and Rickon, thus lifting the need for Stannis to kill him in order to maintain legitimacy with the northern lords. I’m torn between thinking he and Asha will stay involved in the northern plotline and thinking they’ll return to the Iron Islands and become involved with toppling Euron. Continuing Theon on the path to redemption would indicate the former. I do think that by the end of WoW, we’ll have Stannis largely accepted in the North and unchallenged in the south because of other complications there. Davos will retrieve Rickon – eliminating the need for Jeyne Poole to maintain her disguise – and I suspect that after vanquishing the Boltons (or something like that – I’m not saying they’ll both die immediately, or that Roose might not escape for a while, just that their time as leaders of the North is over) - most everyone else in the North will bend to Stannis. The reappearance of Galbart Glover and Maege Mormont - with HR in tow - could complicate things a little but not much.

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- No Jon for the entire book, except maybe a pro-/epilogue as Ghost

- Aegon takes King's Landing with the help of the Tyrells and/or the Tarlys, but catches greyscale from Jon Con and becomes a tragic King Baldwin parallel. Luckily he's a Blackfyre anyway

- Stannis finally "breaks". I can't decide whether this will involve a turn to the dark side or outright death

- Dany's chapters are infuriating once again as she spends the whole book dithering in the Dothraki sea

- Cersei goes full King Aerys before finally being slain by Jaime. Robert Strong perhaps kills Tommen

- Brienne gives her life for Jaime, perhaps killing Lady Stoneheart in the process

- Sansa kills Littlefinger somehow

- Victarion kills Selmy, Mormont kills Victarion

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I was watching the first season a few weeks ago and there is a moment where Rickon tells Bran that none is coming back to Winterfell. I don't remember if that's in the book as well. Since both kids were having green dreams by that time and we know the series will have a bittersweet ending, I wonder if the Stark children don't reunite at Winterfell - those who reunite, that is. If Rickon had that dream in the books as well, there is the issue of whether he meant only him would be at Winterfell, or none at all.

Here are my guesses:

Sansa: LF will kill SR, and that murder will feel a lot more personal to her than, for instance, Dontos or the bard. Maybe LF will involve her, to buy her silence. It will be some sort of mild moral event horizon for her and her graduation in 'Littlefinger's Academy of Courtly Intrigue'. She will get married with Harry the Heir - whom LF ultimately wants dead - and will have a chance to rule the Vale through him, although she wants to go home. Given her story and her relationship with knights, I'd say Sansa is in for an unhappy marriage, only this time she'll have to save herself from that. And, maybe, she'll do it in a way the implicates LF, killing two birds with one stone. Yohn Royce and maybe the Blackfish will recognize her, but she might not be revealed during TWOW. She'll probably be pregnant, possibly with Harry's offpring, by the end of the book. Uncat will be a grandmother!

Jon: Will remain. Either he survives, or he becomes some sort of wight or UnJon thanks to Mel. In any case, he'll retain his personality. He'll depart the wall, but I think he'll go North instead of south, maybe with Coldhands? Maybe he'll lead the Wildings who remained beyond the wall or become some kind of good King of Winter if he's undead. I don't think he'll claim the North until the Others get across the Wall, which will happen by the end of the book.

Rickon: I don't think everything is all good and dandy in Skagos. Davos is not going to show up, get handed Rickon (if the kid still lives) and go back. OTOH, the Skagosi probably have dealings with the Wildlings and should be aware of the White Walker's menace. If Rickon is alive, he'll make it back, eventually, and Manderly will become the Warden of the North. The dreams of an independent North will be death while Stannis lives, though. Which brings me to

Stannis: He'll win at Winterfell and he'll die before the end of the series. The issue is, who's leading the south then? I don't see Manderly becoming the Regent of North (?), not because of his position, which is strong enough, but from a narrative viewpoint. Rickon is way too young, I don't see Sansa claiming the Queenship (?) of the North and Jon's battles are against the Others, not the Southern Lords. Maybe Stannis will live after all?

If Martin doesn't want to end the Northern war soon, one of the Boltons might survive for a while.

Arya: I think she will abandon the FM against their will and, therefore, will be hunted by them. Reuniting with Sansa seems easier than reuniting with Jon or going to Danny. I'd say Jeyne Pool is revealed as, well, Jeyne, and Arya can never openly reveal herself as Arya Stark due the FM. Which will be fine by her. Her siblings will know she's alive and under which alias she's living, but she'll never be able to become a lady.

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Words are wind. Is repeated at least 13 times in ADWD

The Winds of Winter is the next book title.

The Words of Winter?

Winter is Coming?

The Starks?

Is GRRM telling us that the Starks will have revenge? If so Jaime lannister will die by the hands of Cat (or whatever you want to call her). The Starks will prevail at everything in the next two books.

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Words are wind. Is repeated at least 13 times in ADWD

The Winds of Winter is the next book title.

This is an interesting observation, although I would draw a different conclusion.

So far the proverb has been used for dismissive purposes. When someone says "Words are wind", they usually want to express that words count for nothing (in comparison to action, for instance).

But there's a potential second layer of meaning to the proverb: in winter, winds mean storms. Storms are dangerous. And so can be words. Winds and words can bring chaos and upheaval, upset the old order, clear out the place. => My prediction: The Winds of Winter will be about the power of propaganda, the danger of rumours, the importance of proper PR.

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A recent theory I just had:

Red Wedding Planners:

Freys - Lannisters - Boltons

Epilouge POV Characters:

Freys - Lannisters - ???????

A Bolton Epilouge character in WOW is a possibility.

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A theory on Cersie and WOW:

Cersie begins the book descending into maddness. She has her trial by combat, hopefully a trial of 7, and comes out victorious thanks to Robert Strong. She heads to Casterly Rock with Myrcella and not Tommen. The sand snakes manipulate Kings Landing, Dorne, and Cersie. The way I see it:

Dorne says they are willing to declare for Tyrstan and Myrcella...Cersie thinks she has already lost Tommen (either through death or corruption by Tyrells) and her control over the Iron Throne...

The armies of Dorne come to Casterly Rock to join up with the Lannisters to march on Kings Landing, which either is ruled by the Tyrells through Tommen or Aegon through marriage with Margary. My thought is Aegon needs more then just his claim, he needs a queen and Arianne is not it.

Dorne turns cloak on the Lannisters and invades Casterly Rock, moments after Jaime mercy/revenge kills Cersie who has descended into total maddness.

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As a similar thread was started today in the General ASOIAF forum and this one is getting close to 400 posts, I'm closing this one and directing you over here to continue discussion. Thanks.

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