“Game of Thrones” fans are just now starting to emerge from their post-Red Wedding catatonic states, and gingerly crawling their way back to the television set for the season finale this Sunday. But what fate awaits our favorite characters? As the last episode shows, all men must die -- even protagonists.
HBO’s official preview for the third season’s 10th episode, “Mhysa,” hints at dark repercussions from the Red Wedding. As Tyrion says, the North will not forget:
Below is how things stand currently for the main cast, plus some of our thoughts on where the end of this season might take them.
The massacre at the Twins didn’t just break our hearts -- it broke the North’s resistance against the Lannisters. But perhaps not all is lost. The only rebel we didn’t see get knifed by the Freys was Catelyn’s surly uncle, the Blackfish, who stepped out to take a leak right before the band started playing “The Rains of Castamere.” Maybe the Blackfish can make it back to Riverrun and rally the remaining troops?
For wild wolf girl Arya, season three was mostly about getting passed around -- to the Brotherhood, to the Hound, (almost) to her family and back to the Hound again. Now who will take her off Sandor Clegane’s hands? Arya’s nearest living adult relative is Lysa Arryn, who is probably being wooed to the Lannisters’ side by Littlefinger right about now.
The tables have turned for Jaime and Brienne -- now she’s his prisoner. It should be mighty interesting when this odd couple gets back to King’s Landing. The Jaime who’s returning is markedly different than the one who left to fight Robb Stark. Tywin and Cersei will probably be taken aback by the newly humbled Kingslayer.
Tyrion’s and Sansa’s already awkward marriage probably isn’t going to be helped by the news that his family brutally murdered her mother and brother. However, it does fulfill Tywin’s prediction that Sansa’s claim to the North would soon prove vitally important (remember, most of the realm still thinks Bran and Rickon were killed by Theon).
Although last week’s episode probably put viewers off of weddings for a while, there are still a couple of marriages scheduled to take place: Loras and Cersei, Margaery and Joffrey. We probably won’t see those until next season, but, meanwhile, there’s sure to be more subtle court maneuvering on both the Lannister and Tyrell sides.
Despite losing his assault on King’s Landing, Stannis is batting pretty well as far as getting rid of his rivals goes. Renly’s fallen, now Robb -- did Melisandre’s magic act with the leeches and Gendry’s blood have a role in that, somehow? Balon Greyjoy and Joffrey are the only ones left, and Stannis doesn’t have anywhere near the strength he’d need to assault the Lannisters again. But in the North, there are remnants of a rebel army without a king, and some invading Ironborn that could do with some chastising. The winds might blow Stannis northward next season.
Jon Snow barely escaped with his life after the wildlings discovered he wasn’t one of them. Now he’s riding back to Castle Black, to warn the Night’s Watch of Mance Rayder’s planned attack. But it remains to be seen whether he makes it back in time, and if he’ll ever see Ygritte again.
While everyone with some sense of self-preservation is trying to get south of the Wall, Bran Stark is making plans to venture north of it. The whole “search for the three-eyed raven” vision quest will probably take place in season four, but perhaps we’ll catch a glimpse of more weird magic from the Old Gods before that.
We haven’t heard or seen much from Theon and his sadistic captor lately. The show’s been keeping the identity of the horn-blowing kid with a penchant for stripping skin off a secret all season: It would seem churlish not to reveal who he is (and get some idea of his plans for Theon) in the season finale.
Samwell and Gilly have escaped a White Walker and made it to the home stretch of their journey; Sam knows a passageway underneath the Wall. But. as we know, there are wildlings gearing up to attack Castle Black. Out of the snow zombie-infested frying pan and into the brutal barbarian-infested fire, it appears.
To The East
The title of the third-season finale is “Mhysa,” which is Valyrian for “Mother.” Daenerys is already known as the Mother of Dragons, but she seems to be adopting more and more children these days. The city of Yunkai is hers, along with its slave armies.
We can expect that the last Targaryen will free the Yunkish slaves and punish the slavers, as she did in Astapor, but what then? Back to Westeros, finally? It would be a happily delicious turn if the Lannisters, so soon after their moment of triumph over the North, woke to see dragons on the horizon. But nothing is certain.