For the love of all that's holy, this post is ONE HUNDRED percent filled with spoilers for 'Battle of the Bastards'. DO NOT continue if you haven't watched it yet.
Alright...let's take a moment to calm down and reflect on what's just happened in this week's amazing episode of Game of Thrones. Bastard Bowl has finally happened - and it was epic! But it was also a huge game changer for a lot of characters, even some that weren't involved in the battle themselves.
Let's examine what's next for Sansa, Jon, Littlefinger and some of tonight's players. And again, spoilers ahead.
The newly self-made - however not proclaimed - Queen of the North, Sansa has kept her vow to retake her home and curse the Boltons to hell. Although, some might say, she's deceived a couple other key players in the process. It appears she's learned quite a few things from Littlefinger in their time together in the Eerie.
Seeing the Stark banner being unfurled in Winterfell means that Sansa is now Lady Stark of Winterfell, but the title will absolutely not come without a price. She managed to become the sole legitimate heir to Winterfell by considering Rickon collateral damage, she decimated Jon's forces - which could potentially defy her later on - and she allied Starks and Arryns once more, but rest assured Littlefinger didn't help her out of the kindness of his heart.
On that note, we should expect Petyr Baelish to collect his spoils of war, one way or another. He may use Sansa's feelings for him - which she does in fact still possess - to have her marry him. Now that she's recently become a widow from the late Lord Ramsay Bolton, she might as well take another as her husband and, hence, another Lord of Winterfell.
This will assure Littlefinger has the control over the biggest part of Westeros and, with such control, comes great power. We must bear in mind, however, that by helping Sansa regain control over the North, Littlefinger has also fallen out with the Lannisters. So, unless he manages to overthrow them as well - or Cersei damns King's Landing to hell - he'll have some more scheming to do to secure his power.
Jon lost most of his fighting men in this battle for the north, with only a few wildlings and northern bannermen escaping the massacre. The bannermen will, of course, pledge to Sansa as Lady of Winterfell, which means that Jon will probably have to rely on his wildling friends for a bit longer.
It's also interesting to note that, even if he remains in Winterfell supporting Sansa, he's still a bastard. And that's where next week's episode comes in, possibly bringing some really anticipated news for book fans and theorists. If he actually manages to raise his status and grow on his own, we might see some conflict between him and Sansa. After all, she shrewdly eliminated his supporters in a single battle by withholding vital information about Littlefinger's help.
But, since winter is actually upon us, it might just be that Jon doesn't give two sh*ts and a f**k about Winterfell, and will focus his strength in the fight against the White Walkers.
Ser Davos and Melisandre
As many had foreseen, Ser Davos figures out what happened to Shireen when he discovers the wooden stag he'd made for her among the ashes of her pyre. Since tonight's episode was battle-oriented, he didn't get the chance to confront Melisandre - the one responsible for his friend's fate.
There are two ways this might play out. Either he'll remain loyal to Jon and the fight against the real threat in the form of the White Walkers, which means he'll simply have to put up with having Melisandre around for the sake of Jon. Or he could possibly demand justice for Shireen by having Melisandre killed, which - judging by next week's episode promo - might just come to pass.
Tormund and the Wildlings
The Wildlings suffered some heavy casualties and their numbers have dwindled considerably, but at least now they may settle peacefully south of the Wall - and away from the White Walkers. Though it's fair to assume that, since Jon's position isn't really one with power, the wildlings might have a rough patch ahead of them.
If Sansa does indeed join her house with Littlefinger's, it's really doubtful that Petyr will allow the wildlings to remain in the north. As much as we are aware of the White Walker threat, most of the characters are still oblivious to it.
The (Remaining) Northern Houses
With the victory of Sansa's army, the Hornwoods, Mormonts and Mazins are definitely safe, although their numbers are way down. The Boltons have died with Ramsay - and his baby brother who he killed a couple episodes back - and the Karstarks and Umbers must either bow to Sansa or scatter to the wind.
With her coming to power, all the other houses which did not join the battle will pledge to Sansa as well, thus uniting the North. It might have seemed this was a battle for the Starks' right to rule Winterfell but, as Ser Davos put it to Lyana Mormont, the dead are coming and only an unified north could withstand a battle for the dawn.
When Game of Thrones started, the Starks were nothing more than meat for the grinder, but now that they're getting some power back I'm excited to see what they'll take it. We've still got one more episode to go and, with it, some more characters will be making their journey west, paving the way for the seasons to come.