There are but two episodes left in Game of Thrones’ sixth season— and with Ramsay Bolton and Jon Snow headed for the showdown of the season in "Battle of the Bastards," it’s the perfect time to make a few predictions. Who will live? Who will die? Who will win the battle in the episode title? Which characters will succeed or fail in their various quests for revenge, love, freedom, and power? Below, several Vox staffers weigh in.
Varys will strike a deal with Dorne
In "No One," Varys departed Meereen for parts unknown, promising Tyrion that he was heading back to Westeros to find allies and ships for Daenerys. Those who’ve read George R.R. Martin’s books might well expect him to show up next in King’s Landing — as his book analogue memorably did at the conclusion of A Dance With Dragons, in order to assassinate a couple of noteworthy figures. But I’m guessing that in Game of Thrones’ season six finale, Varys will instead travel to warmer climes.
Dorne has been conspicuously absent since Ellaria Sand and her daughters took power in a coup there in the season premiere. Since the Dornish hate the Lannisters, they seem to be the most likely allies for Daenerys, so I’m guessing that’s the deal Varys will try to make. The only question is whether Ellaria and company will bother to wait for Dany to show up before moving against the capital. —Andrew Prokop
Cersei will make a power play — and Tommen should watch his back
For the past couple of seasons, Cersei has caught a lot of bad breaks. True, there are other Game of Thrones characters (e.g., Sansa) who’ve fared worse, but it seems like she’s been stuck in a pool of rotten luck lately. She’s also been in a reactionary position rather than pulling the strings like she used to — when she’s not following other people’s game plans, she’s been playing checkers while characters like Margaery and the High Sparrow are playing chess.
I think she’ll do something drastic. I’m not entirely sure what, but I bet Cersei is about to change the pace of the game — put it on her terms. And I could see her taking out her own son/nephew Tommen to make that happen. —Alex Abad-Santos
Tyrion will narrowly escape death at Dany’s hands
I think Grey Worm and Missandei are going to rescue Tyrion from the fire-breathing wrath of Daenerys.
It's the only way to explain some of the otherwise useless scenes we’ve seen so far in season six. In "Oathbreaker," Tyrion tried to corral the two Dany loyalists for a drinking game. In "No One," he encouraged them to tell jokes, none of which were particularly revealing (or funny). None of this forced bonding among the trio — more than seven minutes of it! — has served any real plot purpose.
At least not yet. At the end of "No One," Dany returned to Meereen to find her city under siege, and she's going to be mad as all hell at Tyrion as a result. Grey Worm and Missandei, having glimpsed Tyrion's dream of "Imp's Delight," will come to his side — and rescue him from Dany's ire. —Jeff Stein
Tormund will break our hearts — and Brienne’s — by dying at the Wall
The penultimate episode of each season of Game of Thrones is traditionally a pretty big one as far as casualties are concerned, and as we head into "Battle of the Bastards," I’m feeling a little nervous about Tormund Giantsbane’s survival. If Jon needs to live a little longer to make his resurrection "worth it" from narrative standpoint but the Night’s Watch still has to take a pretty major hit, it would make sense for the show to throw an emotional punch by offing the ginger fella with a soft spot for Brienne.
Wildling or not, Tormund seems like a pretty stand-up guy — and lots of fans are delighted by the possibility of seeing him and Brienne get together — which obviously puts a target on his back. I hope I’m wrong. —Jen Trolio
Sansa will step up her leadership game
Why not: I’m gonna predict that a woman will sit in the Iron Throne by the time Game of Thrones ends. Maybe Daenerys. Maybe Sansa or Arya. Hell, maybe even Yara. (Probably not Cersei, though. Because, come on.)
Call this a cop-out if you will, since there are so many possible ladies who could lay claim to that title. But Game of Thrones has always been about subverting the expectations of fantasy tropes. Fantasy, and the medieval times on which it’s often based, is notoriously patriarchal and misogynistic. And especially lately, we’ve seen a lot of female characters flourish and a lot of bad-dude behavior get punished, or at least be presented as something obviously foul.
Remember the Mountain smashing that dude’s head against the wall after he bragged about showing Cersei his cock? And the Hound taking an ax to the guy who digitally raped his buddy at the campfire for a laugh? God, that was so good.
And now, with Sansa not taking any bullshit and showing some real agency, Arya reclaiming her name, Yara leading the House Greyjoy rebels, and Margaery clearly scheming away, I think we’re about to see the end of Dany being the only woman on the show who can rally support as a leader. In these last two episodes of season six, I’m expecting big things from Sansa in particular. —Emily Crockett
Littlefinger will be the ultimate winner of the "Battle of the Bastards"...
Ramsay Bolton's larger forces will substantially defeat Jon Snow's army of Free Folk — leaving the Stark cause once again looking desperate. But before all is lost, Littlefinger and the knights of the Vale will arrive on the scene in time to save the day, leading to a marriage pact with Sansa that leaves her back in Winterfell and Jon headed back to the Wall, with the wily Baelish de facto in charge of the North. —Matt Yglesias
...but Ramsay might kill Rickon Stark, motivating Jon to kick his ass
Jon Snow will ultimately prevail in his fight against Ramsay Bolton, but mostly because Ramsay is going to make him really mad by killing young Rickon Stark. It’s been a while since we were forcibly reminded of how terrible Ramsay is, so we really should have that point driven home one last time before he dies in battle. —Todd VanDerWerff
Come back on Sunday evening to read our recap of "Battle of the Bastards" and see which of our predictions, if any, came true.