BySolon Papageorgiou, writer at
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Solon Papageorgiou

While everyone is still trying to collect themselves after the explosive finale of the sixth season of Game of Thrones, production of the next season is well underway, and the leaked pictures promise us an exciting continuation of the saga of . As with the previous season, the coming episodes are going to be based on an outline of the two final books in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series — Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring.

In the seventh season, we’re likely to see the greatest battle in the history of , a showdown of epic proportions between Daenerys Targaryen's forces and the Lannister army. Daenerys has already won the support of the Dornish people, the Tyrells, and the Greyjoys. There’s also fan speculation that she is probably going to ally herself with Jon Snow — or Jon Targaryen, if you like — uniting the North and much of the southern regions against the crown.

Everyone wants a piece of Cersei. So it would seem that the Lannister queen has zero chance of winning the war against the beauty — I mean, the only real allies she has at this point are the useless Freys. And while there’s also a theory suggesting the Mad Queen will forge an alliance with the detestable kingslayer Euron Greyjoy, I’m not sure if the three teams can pose a threat to the North-Targaryen alliance.

Cersei Is Fighting A Lost Cause — Unless The Tarlys Back Her Up

James Faulkner plays Randyll Tarly, pictured here in 'Downton Abbey' [Credit: BBC]
James Faulkner plays Randyll Tarly, pictured here in 'Downton Abbey' [Credit: BBC]

House Tarly is led by Randyll Tarly, a huge douche who also happens to be Samwell’s father. It’s one of the most powerful vassal houses who swears fealty to House Tyrell. Since they are bannermen, House Tarly are strategic allies of the Targaryens, with Olenna Tyrell siding with Daenerys after the destruction of the Great Sept of Baelor by , an act which led to the deaths of her grandchildren Loras and Margaery. However, there’s a crazy theory floating around that suggests Randyll Tarly will betray Olenna and Daenerys and side with the Lannisters for the war. If that does happen, Cersei stands a greater chance of defeating the invaders.

So where does the fan theory originate from that suggests Randyll Tarly will side with the Lannisters?

1. Leaked On-Set Footage From Belfast

[Credit: HBO]
[Credit: HBO]

If you’re a GoT fanatic, you’ve probably seen the leaked pictures from Watchers on the Wall depicting the Lannister army preparing for war. Rumor has it that Jaime’s soldiers are going to be ambushed by 's hordes, leading to a climactic battle somewhere near episodes 4 or 5. There’s also another theory suggesting that the Lannisters have a secret weapon in order to defeat the dragons, something like a giant dragon harpoon. However, apart from this weapon, they may also have another ace in the hole: the Tarlys.

Just take a look at these pics! It looks as if the Tarly army is standing nearby, ready to fight alongside the Lannister soldiers.

2. Dickon’s Recasting Reveals Some Secrets

[Credit: HBO]
[Credit: HBO]

Dickon is Randyll’s second son and a true warrior, unlike his older brother Sam. The role has been recast for Season 7, with Tom Hopper set to replace Freddie Stroma, who portrayed the character in the previous season.

Why would production recast Dickon? They probably needed a more physically imposing actor to portray the heir of House Tarly. Perhaps the most interesting part of the switcheroo was the details leaked regarding Dickon’s role in the upcoming season. According to Watchers on the Wall, Dickon is going to participate in some nail-biting scenes with Randyll, Jaime Lannister and Bronn, among others.

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Randyll and Dickon’s interactions with the Lannister army commanders are as good as confirmed. Either the Lannisters and the Tarlys are working together, or Randyll is acting as Daenerys’s battle commander, assigned the task to destroy her enemies’ armies. Realistically speaking, it would not have come as a surprise if Daenerys chose Randyll as her representative in battle, seeing as the Lord of Horn Hill is very experienced and skilled, the only man to ever defeat Robert .

However, Daenerys has never met Randyll. Also, I’m not so sure she would like Randyll if the two were to meet — he’s coldhearted and egotistical. In real life, this wouldn’t have been a problem; it’s not uncommon for leaders to make peace even with the worst reprobate in order to achieve a common goal. David Benioff and D. B. Weiss will probably try to make Daenerys’s army villain free — and that’s also why there's a probability that the Sand Snakes are in trouble.

3. It Would Make Too Much Sense!

[Credit: HBO]
[Credit: HBO]

We cannot deny that the head of House Tarly really hates his son Samwell. And just like every other horrible father in Thrones, this bad dad is going to get his comeuppance — it is, after all, somewhat of a Game of Thrones tradition.

Jon Snow is probably going to support Daenerys, since his relationship with the Lannisters isn’t the greatest — mainly due to a certain beheading in Season 1. Sam is Jon’s best friend, so I’m 100 percent positive he will back his bud up. And since Sam is a supporter, Randyll will probably go with the Lannisters, mistrusting Jon for his acceptance of his weak son.

This, of course, could prove to be a fatal mistake, with valued son Dickon likely to die in battle. The destruction of the Lannister forces is probably going to be Randyll's turning point, with his obsession with the survival of his house leading to its downfall. In the end, Randyll will have two choices: reinstate Sam as his rightful heir, or get the treatment.

[Credit: HBO]
[Credit: HBO]

4. There’s A Video Hinting At Randyll’s Betrayal

Last but not least, there’s an video about the lore of Game of Thrones, narrated by Randyll Tarly actor James Faulkner, which hints at House Tarly’s betrayal. Faulkner talks about his character's decision to drive Sam away from his ancestral house, depriving him of his rights as the rightful heir of Horn Hill in order to save the house’s reputation and guarantee its survival in the coming wars. He also talks about the arrogance of the Tyrell women:

"We know our place, even if the Tyrell women don’t!"

With Loras and Mace Tyrell now dead, the ruler of Highgarden is Olenna Tyrell. And we know that Randyll holds a grudge against the ladies of House Tyrell. Now that the male line of the Tyrells is extinct, I don’t think Randyll is going to play nice. Remember, Westeros is a patriarchal society, and Randyll is a very puritanical man. He’s not going to follow the orders of a woman, and he will probably side with the Lannisters, aiding Jaime’s army in the wars to come.

Game of Thrones returns to HBO with Season 7 on June 25, 2017.


Is Randyll Tarly going to betray the Tyrells?

(Sources: Game of Theories, Watchers on the Wall)


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