1. JON’S RESURRECTION
Lastly, there’s no question Jon Snow’s death is what fans have had the most difficulty grappling with since the season 5 finale. Book readers felt very much the same when they read Jon’s final chapter in A Dance With Dragons, and in the time since then there have been a few theories put forward to explain how Jon could come back.
And Jon will be back. After all, both Game of Thrones and the Song of Ice and Fire novels spend a lot of time discussing the true nature of Jon’s parentage, and to have that reveal come after the character is already dead seems anticlimactic to say the least. But Jon is also definitely dead, as both actor Kit Harrington and producers Benioff and Weiss have repeatedly stated.
With that in mind, the theories surrounding Jon’s resurrection all suggest that the man who returns won’t be exactly the same man who died. If it’s the Lady Melisandre who brings Jon back, then he’ll probably have lost a part of himself in the process – something Beric Dondarion talks of after he’s brought back to life by Thoros of Myr. The other option is for Jon to have warged into his direwolf, Ghost at the last possible moment, preserving his consciousness while his body dies.
Whether Jon is resurrected by the red priestess or lives out his days as a wolf, fans likely won’t have long to wait out before they learn if Jon is returning. It’s still the plan for Game of Thrones to finish in only seven seasons, and if that’s the case then Jon must return next season (if he will at all).
2. DRAGONS UNDER CONTROL
When we last we saw Daenerys in the season 5 finale she was being surrounding by a massive Dothraki khalasar. The books leave off with her in a similar predicament, though Drogon is more clearly nearby and the Dothraki are wary of the large dragon. There’s no indication given for whether or not the khalasar poses a threat to her, but many have speculated that with Drogon by her side she could easily win the Dothraki over to her cause. After all, the Dothraki follow strength and there’s nothing more powerful than a fire-breathing dragon.
However, word of Daenerys’ dragons has spread and there are others interested in controlling that power for themselves. Of those seeking Dany and her dragons, the biggest threat is Victarion Greyjoy. In the novels, Euron Greyjoy is chosen as the next Lord of the Iron Islands and he entrusts his brother, Victarion, with a mysterious horn he found in Old Valyria – Dragonbinder. As the name implies, this horn supposedly has ability to control any dragons within earshot and it’s been said that Valyrians tamed and controlled their dragons with magical horns prior to the Doom.
The novels have yet to produce any evidence that Dragonbinder can do what Euron claims, but with the Ironborn returning next season there’s a good likelihood Dragonbinder could appear as well. And while Daenerys struggles to control her children, another may use Dragonbinder’s magic to seize control away from her. Either way, someone will need to control these dragons if they’re ever going to be useful in retaking Westeros. The question is, who?.
3. TYRION RULES MEEREEN
Whether or not Varys is in cahoots with Prince Doran, as of the season 5 finale it appeared the spider will hang around Meereen and possibly assist Tyrion in ruling. And much like when Varys helped Tyrion during his time as Hand of the King in season 2, there could be a real battle ahead for the city of Meereen.
In the novels, when Daenerys takes off with Drogon, there’s already a large host sitting outside the walls of Meereen. The army is comprised mostly of hired sellswords and slaves from Yunkai, but they are led by the great masters who want to see the slave trade return to Slaver’s Bay and for Daenerys to surrender. In Daenerys’ absence it’s left to Ser Barristan Selmy to keep the peace within Meereen and defend the city from the forces of Yunkai.
However, to make matters worse the sellswords and slaves have brought with them plague. Called either the “bloody flux” or “pale mare” in the books, we know the disease better as dysentery (of Oregon Trail fame) and it is very deadly and very contagious. By the time Daenerys leaves, the plague is already savaging much of Yunkai’s forces, but it becomes a much bigger threat to Meereen when they begin catapulting disease-ridden corpses over the walls and into the city. Once that happens, Ser Barristan chooses to ride out and meet their armies head on in the hopes of defeating them before the plague overruns Meereen.
There’s no telling whether Tyrion will be facing exactly what Ser Barristan does in the novels, but compounding threats of an army at the gate and a horrible plague would make ruling in Meereen very difficult. Hopefully, Tyrion is up to the challenge
4. DORAN’S FUTURE PLANS
There’s no question the Dornish plot this season was underwhelming largely due to the absence of what actually made the excursion worthwhile in the novels. In A Feast for Crows, after the thwarting of Arrianne’s (Doran’s daughter) failed kidnapping and crowning of Myrcella, Doran finally lets her in on something he’s been planning for years: to place a Targaryen on the Iron Throne with the full support of Dorne.
Initially, his plan had been to wed Arrianne to Viserys to seal the alliance, but plans had to be changed (once Visery wound up getting a fatal crown at the hands of Khal Drogo). Now Doran intends to wed his other son, Quentyn to Daenerys. Obviously, neither Arrianne or Quentyn appear to have made the cut on Game of Thrones so it’s difficult to speculate just how much (if any) of Doran’s plans for the future will remain the same.
One possible way the television series could involve Doran’s wish for a Targaryen ruler is to combine his ambitions with those of Varys. This season Varys was instrumental in bringing Tyrion to Daenerys, but in the novels Varys is working for another Targaryen. Yes, another Targaryen, which is a needlessly complicated plot line that is very likely cut from the show.
Having Doran working with Varys to bring Daenerys to power in Westeros would give the excursion to Dorne this season a purpose and reveal how the region ties in with the larger and ongoing battle for the Iron Throne.
5. SAM’S FAMILY & OLDTOWN
Something else that appears to be all but confirmed for Game of Thrones season 6 is the introduction of Samwell Tarly’s family. Not only is there a character included on that season 6 casting breakdown that is very likely Sam’s father, Randyll Tarly, but there’s also a casting breakdown for his wife, Melessa Florent and two children.
Presumably, this means that on their journey south to Oldtown – where Sam will train at the Citadel to become a Maester – he and Gilly will stop by his childhood home, Horn Hill. Lord Tarly may not be at home (having been named Master of Laws by new Hand of the King, Kevan Lannister), but Sam’s mother and siblings will be there to welcome them. And it’s also quite likely that Sam will insist Gilly stay at Horn Hill, which is an option he’s considering during their journey in A Feast for Crows.
After a stop at Horn Hill, Sam will continue on to Oldtown – Game of Thrones‘ new location for next season. But readers are actually introduced to Oldtown before Sam arrives: in the prologue chapter of Feast we follow a young novice of the Citadel named Pate to familiarize ourselves with the ins and outs. Game of Thrones hasn’t depicted a prologue chapter onscreen since season 2, but if Oldtown is introduced next season, this prologue seems like a must.
Collected And Prepared By Nayab Khan