Fans have been waiting years for the long anticipated The Winds of Winter, book six in A Song of Ice and Fire series, and it looks like we'll be waiting a little longer. On his blog, George RR Martin announced that he would be releasing a new book in October. This sparked new excitement levels among fans, but it turns out the book is not the one we were expecting. Instead of a new installment, we'll be getting a special edition of the first book in A Song of Ice and Fire, A Game of Thrones, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the beloved book. This will include an introduction, as well as 73 black and white illustrations, along with eight full color illustrations.
While this is exciting, this isn't the surprise fans have been waiting for. Luckily, HBO's Game of Thrones schedule is right on time. With approximately a year to go, there's a lot of time to speculate what events could take place. The biggest question fans are asking, however, is who will take over as lead villain in the series. There are quite a few heroes left, but with characters like Alliser Thorne, Walder Frey, and of course the infamous Ramsay Bolton gone, who could be the next 'big bad'?
Cersei Lannister Is The Mad Queen
Cersei Lannister is finally the Queen of Westeros, but her price for this power has been high. With all of her children gone, she's officially gone mad, destroying the Sept of Baelor and killing many of her people. She doesn't care about the people of King's Landing. She only cares about holding all of the cards, which now she does. With so much power in her hands, there's no question that this Lannister will be one of the season's biggest villains. She doesn't have enough humanity left to be anything else. And while I'm all for girl power and the Queens of Westeros, Cersei is far from a good ruler.
Could The Night's King Cross The Wall?
The White Walkers have always been villians, but they've sort of been on the back burner until now. After all, most people aren't aware of their existence, and they've stayed on their side of the Wall. But now the Night's King has built up an army and is ready to move. If they are coming to Westeros this season, they'll transform from a silly myth into actual threat. War could be coming. The Night's King is a formidable foe, but for many seasons he didn't hold the same hatred as humans like Joffrey or Ramsay did. However, now that he was responsible for Hodor, it's safe to say that he's hated enough to bring to the forefront now.
Euron Greyjoy Is Out For Blood
Yara and Theon have escaped their uncle and have joined up with Daenerys, the Mother of Dragons, the Queen of the Andals, etc, etc. Personally, I'd never go up against her, but Euron Greyjoy has a quick temper and is absolutely ruthless. He will search for his niece and nephew at the ends of the Earth if he must because they are a threat to his claim. He'll also want Daenerys for himself. With a large fleet at his side, he could prove to be a big threat this season. Perhaps we'll witness a war completely fought at sea this season! Only time will tell.
Will Randyll Tarly Go After Sam and Gilly?
Season 6 ended with Sam taking Gilly and their son away from his house and off to the Citadel. Before leaving, he also took his family's Valyrian steel sword. Technically, as Sam is the firstborn, the sword is rightfully his. Though his father certainly doesn't see it that way. Randyll hates everything about Sam, even more so now that he is in love with a Wildling. I wouldn't be surprised at how far he would be willing to go to destroy his son's happiness, which is why Sam and Gilly could be in big danger this season. And as Randyll is very powerful, we may see other Houses getting involved as well.
Petyr Baelish Is, As Always, A Wildcard
Littlefinger has and always will be a wildcard. His loyalty lies with no one but himself and the opportunities that might serve him best. However, in Season 6 Sansa taught him that she is not to be messed with. He took her away from one monster, yes, but only to hand her to a worse one. She doesn't take that lightly. He admitted to her that he dreams of sitting on the Iron Throne, with her by his side. He would do anything to make this dream a reality. While Sansa and Jon are close at the moment, Sansa isn't getting the recognition or respect she deserves. Littlefinger could easily use this to manipulate her and turn her against him. Sansa and Littlefinger make an unstoppable duo, but if he turns a Stark against her own family, he can be considered a big villain in Westeros. After all, there is nothing a Stark admires more than loyalty.
Season 7 has a lot of potential, what with Daenerys travelling to Westeros and Cersei sitting on the Iron Throne. There's a lot of potential for villains, and who knows? Perhaps we'll be introduced to a new one this season! It's hard to believe that it's been 20 years since A Game of Thrones was first released, and one can only hope that we'll soon be getting The Winds of Winter. I'd say we've waited long enough!
Who do you think will be the big baddie of Season 7? Let me know down in the comments!