Game of Thrones season 5 left things in a pretty bleak state by the time the credits rolled on the finale. Most of the show’s primary plots were left wide open, with some in particular ending on excruciating cliffhangers and big questions that won’t be answered until George R. R. Martin releases his next novel, The Winds of Winter, or the show returns for its 6th season next spring (whichever comes first). Seeing as how Martin hasn’t set a release date for his long-gestating novel, the only hope Game of Thrones fans have of getting some resolution to the gut-punches of season 5 is to wait for the new season. Nobody other than Martin and showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff truly know what season 6 will have in store, so until then we must rely on rampant, occasionally baseless, speculation. Here are 10 reasonable predictions for what season 6 might have in store.
10. Dorne Will Actually Be Interesting
Part of the buzz surrounding season 5 prior to release was that we would finally get to see the southern kingdom of Dorne. Season 4 was notable for adding several Dornish characters, including the charismatic Prince Oberyn, so naturally it was assumed that Dorne would be just as interesting . Unfortunately, it quickly became apparent that Dorne was a pretty boring place, as the plot had little in the way of payoff or excitement. This is all likely to change in season 6; partly because the writers are likely aware of the criticisms and because the Dornish pretty much incited a war by the end of season 5. That seems like a pretty good recipe for Dorne to not be an utter snoozefest next time around.
9. Sam Will Re-Encounter His Father (And Stand Up To Him)
Samwell Tarly’s father has been referenced before on the show (basically, we know he’s a pretty awful guy) and as Game of Thrones fansite Watchers on the Wall notes, the season 6 casting call all but spells out that Randyll Tarly will show up next year. This makes total sense from a story standpoint, as season 5 ends with Sam journeying to Oldtown to train as a maester, which brings him quite close to his father’s seat of Horn Hill. Although Sam is definitely set to be ridiculed and abused by his father, expect him to channel his time spent surviving in the Night’s Watch to stand up to his dad in a major way.
8. Bran Performs Some Crazy Magic Voodoo
Bran and his retinue took season 5 off, but we already know they’ll be back for season 6. The 4th season ended with Bran tapping into his mysterious powers, which enable him to not only control his direwolf Summer and bodyguard Hodor, but to see across time. The true extent of Bran’s powers are still largely unknown, but it’s clear that the young Stark has an important part to play in Westeros’ fate. Bran’s powers will likely be explored in more detail in season 6, concluding with some sort of grand display that shows just what all that business with the three-eyed crow was all about.
7. Someone New Will Sit On The Iron Throne
Tommen, bless his soft-natured heart, is simply not fit to rule the seven kingdoms and will likely either be forced to vacate the throne or more likely, considering what show this is, meet an untimely end. King’s Landing is in turmoil at the close of season 5, the city having been overtaken by the fanatical Sparrows faith militant, and it seems like a good bet that the Lannisters won’t be able to quell this uprising easily(they sort of just stood by and let it happen to begin with). While it looks like Cersei is set to bash some heads in thanks to her new undead bodyguard, Tommen is probably not going to last long as an ineffectual king who can’t even spring his own wife or mother out of prison. By the end of season 6, someone else will sit on the Iron Throne; who that will be is anyone’s guess.
6. Arya Is Sent To Westeros On A Mission
Arya’s story in season 5 was a bit of a letdown. It started promisingly enough, with the vengeful orphan finding herself in the mysterious House of Black and White, home of an assassin’s guild that held the promise of giving Arya the skills and tools to cross off the remaining names on her list. Unfortunately, keeping Arya isolated from every other major character for a season didn’t help her story’s pacing. The season 5 finale left Arya in an ambiguous state, having her sight taken away from her as penance for killing Meryn Trant. While that will leave her in a bit of a setback as season 6 opens, it’s a safe bet that Arya will eventually find her way back to Westeros next season, likely as part of a mission for the Faceless Men.
5. The White Walkers Breach The Wall
After the events of last season, the real surprise would be the White Walkers somehow NOT breaching the wall by the time season 6 wraps up. The best episode of season 5, “Hardhome”, showcased the overwhelming power of the undead army beyond the wall, making quick work of an army of Wildlings thousands strong. With Jon Snow currently out of the picture (more on that later) and the Night’s Watch being all but dismissive of the imminent threat, the White Walkers are poised to steamroll over them and the Wall as well. As if that wasn’t enough to suggest what’s coming, there’s also the fact that Martin’s next book is titled “The Winds of Winter”, which seems like a pretty clear indication that Westeros is in for a cold hard reality check.
4. Ramsay Dies
While this is more of a hope than a prediction, there will probably be fan riots if Ramsay doesn’t bite it next season. The former bastard of Bolton has easily become the most hated character in Game of Thrones history, a villain so vile he makes former worst villain candidate Joffrey seem likable by comparison. The problem with Ramsay is that there is no nuance to his characterization; he exists simply to make the lives of everyone he comes into contact with a living hell and season 5 in particular only magnified this to epic proportions. Of course, Game of Thrones is not a show that adheres to any sort of karmic law, but Ramsay has long since served his purpose and needs to be castrated (hopefully in the literal sense, courtesy of Theon and Sansa) before he can incite more horror.
3. Starks Will Reunite
It would be a major missed opportunity if at least some of the remaining Stark children don’t reunite in some way next season. The central family of the series has been completely undone by war and death, with the remaining members scattered across the continent (and even on a different one, in Arya’s case). Season 5 offered the beginning stages of bringing characters together in prepartion for the show’s final act (Daenerys and Tyrion, Sansa and Theon) and that’s only going to become more prevalent as season 6 unfolds. It seems most likely that any reunion will involve Sansa and one of her siblings, probably the oft-forgotten about Rickon, who is currently being protected by the still loyal Umber clan. Any other reunion would be more of a stretch, considering Arya is thousands of miles away, Bran is basically a tree wizard, and Jon is inconveniently dead (or is he?). Still, anything could happen.
2. Daenerys Invades Westeros
Considering the way her story left off at the conclusion of season 5, it feels like Daenerys is further then ever from realizing her goal of claiming the Iron Throne. The Dothraki army that she encounters will probably not be kind to her initially, but all signs are pointing to this being the army Dany needs to invade Westeros. How she will convince them to do this is anyone’s guess, but simply having Dany be a captive for an extended period of time at this stage in the series makes no sense. Bringing the Dothraki back now is a way of circling back to developments from the 1st season, when Dany was poised to conquer Westeros with her husband Khal Drogo and his Dothraki horde. It’s finally looking like Dany will have the chance to make that a reality.
1. Jon Snow Returns
If this prediction turns out to be false it will be a huge shock, considering the Game of Thrones community is pretty much united in their belief that Jon Snow is not truly dead, despite claims to the contrary by Kit Harrington and the showrunners. While the producers are engaged in a shadow game to convince us that one of the show’s main protagonists is dead and gone, there are numerous hints that suggest that Jon’s demise is not all that it seems. First of all, if the theory of Jon’s true parentage is to be believed, he is way too important to the overall storyline to be nothing more than a corpse at this point. Adding fuel to the fire, Emilia Clarke, who plays Daenerys, admitted in an interview with MTV news that she has no idea whether Jon Snow is truly dead and guesses that there’s a “50/50” chance of the character returning. At this point, we’ll take those odds.