(WARNING: The following contains giant, Wun Wun-sized plot SPOILERS for 'Game of Thrones' recent season finale — Season 6, Episode 10. Proceed with whatever level of caution your friendly neighborhood Three-Eyed Raven suggests is wise.)
Now, there may have been a whole lot of subtle details hiding just underneath the surface of this weekend's Game of Thrones season finale, but the majority of them were more focused on nodding towards iconic moments from the shows past, rather than looking towards its future. Instead, the show's sixth season's final episode left much of the forward-looking teasing to a number of dangling plot threads, a slightly unclear timeline, and, thankfully, plenty of space for some in-depth speculation. And, so, it's time to ask the burning question:
What Does The Game of Thrones Season Finale Mean For Season 7?
Well, let's take a look...
10. Jon And Sansa May Be Less United Than They Seem
It wasn't just that final lingering glance between Sansa and Littlefinger that cast doubt on Sansa and Jon's newfound sibling loyalty - Sansa has been growing in both confidence and scheming-related capability over the past season, and there's no reason to believe that won't continue in season seven. If she finds herself once again ignored in favor of Jon's frequently foolhardy decision-making, there's a good chance we could see a 'conscious uncoupling' of the newly unified Starks. Fortunately, though...
9. Arya Seems To Have a Cunning Plan
Now, true, it's not at all clear what that plan is - Arya's pie-making masterclass may have been a diversion en route to reuniting with her siblings, or the beginning of a vengeance-inspired killing spree - but it sure does seem that Arya has finally taken control of her own path in life. Perhaps a team-up with Brienne (or The Hound) is in order? Meanwhile...
8. Tyrion Has Finally Found His Faith
It's taken six seasons (and a whole lot of alcohol), but Tyrion has finally found a cause he seems to genuinely believe in. Now, sure, that cause is essentially just allowing his inner child to follow whoever has their own gang of dragons (and isn't noticeably evil), but that still seems likely to work out better for him than fighting for the Lannisters' fame and fortune. Speaking of dragon gangs:
7. Daenerys Is About To Enter One Hell Of A "Great Game"
She may be about to arrive in a Westeros even more torn apart by war and internal squabbling than usual - and one destabilized by new rulers in both the north and south of the country - but that doesn't mean Daenerys is going to have an easy time of it. Sand Snakes, Queens of Thorns, Iron Islanders, Unsullied and a literal horde of Dothraki do not the most settled of alliances make. Though, that being said, there are queens out there with bigger problems. Y'see...
6. Cersei Is Going To Have Bigger Problems Than Holding The Throne
Specifically, that whole 'being invaded by an immensely powerful army with vengeance on its mind' thing, detailed above. After all, the primarily revenge-fueled Sand Snakes and Olenna Tyrell are out to see Cersei horribly mutilated (for good reason), and Daenerys doesn't seem likely to cut a deal with a widely-loathed Lannister who just blew up a church. Plus, with winter having finally arrived, there's unlikely to be any, y'know, food. Which tends not to make dictatorial rulers' lives any easier. What's more:
5. Jaime Might Just Be Set To Change His Course Forever
With as monumentally screwed up a relationship as Jaime and Cersei's, it's legitimately tough to gauge what his reaction to her coronation will be - but it seems entirely plausible that it won't be a good one. With the past season having offered Jaime a grim vision of his dark side - as well as the possibilities that doing the right thing opens up - could we perhaps see him walk away from his sister (and even his family name) entirely? Or, alternatively, will he stay just as true as ever, and retake his place as the leader of the King's Guard? His choice could prove to be deeply significant to Cersei's chances of long-term survival. Speaking of importance:
4. Bran Is Finally Set To Be Genuinely Important
After all, he's now one of the only people alive (indeed, perhaps the only one) who know the truth of Jon Snow's parentage. How he chooses to use that remains to be seen, but it could reshape Westeros forever. Assuming, of course, that his crossing south of The Wall doesn't allow the Night's King to cross over it somehow, thus bringing about the end of days and all that. Meanwhile, on a darker note...
3. There's A Whole Lot of Vengeance (And Redemption) On The Way
The Sand Snakes, Olenna Tyrell and Arya Stark all want revenge on Cersei (as, quite possibly, does half of King's Landing, and both of her brothers), Cersei wants revenge on pretty much everyone alive, and The Hound has a significant casus belli against his now zombiefied brother. Meanwhile, Sansa still owes Littlefinger a betrayal or two, Davos is unlikely to be done with Melisandre just yet, and the North very much remembers everything that was done to it by the Lannisters. It's fortunate then that the likes of Arya, Jon, The Hound, Jaime, Tyrion and Theon are all out in search of some sort of redemption, too. Otherwise next year might make this season finale look tame when it comes to bloody vengeance. Meanwhile, in Mysteryville:
2. Brienne And The Hound Will Soon Be Able To Surprise Us
Now, I'm still not entirely OK with that fact that we didn't get a chance to see how Brienne or The Hound were doing before the season ended, but at least we now have the chance of seeing an entirely surprising few scenes from them near the start of season seven. A Brienne/Arya team-up seems fan-pleasing, but perhaps not quite so much as Clegane-Bowl would be. The biggest Brienne-related story-line we could see, though, might just blow any of that away. Y'see...
1. There's Still A Chance Of Us Seeing THAT 'Lady'
Now, by now you probably know exactly who I mean - and if not, you can read more about her, and her long-hoped-for surprise appearance, right here - and as it turns out, there's a pretty solid chance we could still see her in season seven. After all, last we saw her in the books, she was waylaying Brienne in the Riverlands. An earth-shattering season seven cold open, anyone?
The big question now, though?