Following the shocking Red Wedding in the penultimate episode of “Game of Thrones,” many fans are asking what's next for the characters and for Westeros. With just one episode left in the third season, there is plenty of speculation as to what the fourth season will be about.
The third-season finale of “Game of Thrones,” “Mhysa,” will undoubtedly deal with the fallout caused by the Red Wedding and the deaths of several major characters. The term “Mhysa” means mother and was used by the people of Yunkai to refer to Daenerys Targaryen after she freed the slaves and captured the city. With that as a major clue, we can expect Daenerys to be a focal point of the episode.
With the third season of “Game of Thrones” dealing with roughly half of “A Storm of Swords,” it is unclear how far Daenerys will progress before the season ends. There are only two major plot points for her character, and “GoT” could save some developments for season four.
In the preview for the season finale, Daenerys is seen standing in front of her army of Unsullied, perhaps indicating she'll get a triumphant sendoff for the season and saving some of her story, which will include another encounter with a hostile slaver city and conflict among her closest allies, for the fourth season. The biggest change in Daenerys’ story involved the immediate reveal of Ser Barristan Selmy, and that may alter the character's story arc.
In the HBO preview, the focus is on the Lannisters and the fallout of the Red Wedding. Winterfell’s banners are burning, and Tyrion Lannister’s reaction indicates that any concept of peace should be forgotten. War will be the only answer for Westeros. While the Lannisters may have plenty to gloat about, the “GoT” season finale could sow the seeds of dissent within the family as the preview shows Joffrey lashing out while Cersei and Tywin continue plotting. The season finale could also see Jaime Lannister and Brienne getting close to King’s Landing, whetting fans' appetites for a reunion between the Kingslayer and his sister in the fourth season.
The theme of returns could also play out at The Wall. Jon Snow may be able to return to Castle Black during the season finale while Bran and the Reeds may meet a familiar face as they go beyond The Wall.
Stannis is seen briefly in the season finale preview. While he has sat out for much of this season, he may find a new purpose and a reason to leave Dragonstone. Stannis will become an important character during the fourth season as he tries to gain the crown that he believes rightfully belongs to him.
The Hound prevented Arya from running into the Red Wedding and the unlikely pairing may continue on their journey in the fourth season. There are a few important developments between the characters and the season finale just might have Arya and the Hound figure out what to do next, leaving the bulk of the story for the fourth season. Shortly after the Red Wedding, Arya has a strange dream involving Nymeria, her lost direwolf, which could be removed from the show depending on how “GoT” showrunners want to reveal an interesting, and supernatural, plot detail involving Catelyn Stark.
Arya’s sister, Sansa, may play only a small role in the season finale but could be getting her wish of leaving King’s Landing and Joffrey’s presence in the fourth season. As is the case with Sansa thus far, his wish might not be what she actually wanted.
With a surprising third season that included the Red Wedding and the deaths of Robb Stark and Cat Stark, the fourth season of “Game of Thrones” will continue that trend. Expect plenty of death and war when “GoT” returns in 2014. The season finale preview can be viewed below.
Charles Poladian joined IBTimes in October 2012 and, when not reporting on all things topical, can be found reading or photographing concerts.