Warning: contains potentially spoilery speculation for the Game of Thrones season six finale: “The Winds of Winter.”
Now that HBO’s Game of Thrones has accelerated past the story territory of George R.R. Martin’s books, for the first time we’re all equally clueless about what to expect in a season finale.
Previously, A Song of Ice and Fire readers knew to expect Dany’s dragon eggs to hatch, or the betrayal of Lord Commander Snow. But the major events of the season six finale? We don’t have a Scooby.
What we do have is the combined power of speculation and too much time on our hands. That’s led to a theory developing at Geek Towers. It’s right below Daphne the (potential) spoiler squirrel for those who want to join in on the pondering.
Hypothesis: In the season six finale, “The Winds of Winter,” Cersei is going to blow up King’s Landing using wildfire stockpiled there by Mad King Aerys II.
Here’s the working that led to this quite possibly erroneous conclusion:
Hint one: Bran’s vision
In “Blood of My Blood,” Bran’s vision included repeated shots of what looked like alchemists stashing pots of ultra-flammable wildfire in basement corridors. It also included blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shots of a green wildfire explosion racing through said corridors. We know that the Mad King didn’t get a chance to set off his bombs, so what was that explosion if not a future vision?
Hint two: Cersei and Qyburn investigate an “old rumor”
In “No One,” just after Tommen quashed his mother’s chance of escaping the justice of the High Sparrow by outlawing trial by combat, Qyburn whispered something interesting in Cersei’s ear. There certainly was something to the “old rumor” she’d had him investigate. His little birds assured him.
As the sister of the man who killed King Aerys II to stop him from burning King’s Landing to the ground (and emerging from the flames in dragon form. That’s Targaryens for you.), it stands to reason that Cersei would be one of the few to know about the Mad King’s wildfire plot. And one of the few people mad, desperate, and cruel enough to consider adopting it for her own purposes.
Hint three: Jaime said Cersei would do it
Not in as many words, but in conversation with Edmure Tully in “No One,” Jaime drew a comparison between Cersei and Catelyn Tully’s extreme love for their children. “Catelyn and Cersei, there’s a fierceness you don’t often see. They’d do anything to protect their babies. Start a war, burn cities to ash, free their worst enemies…”
If Cersei thought the only way to get Tommen out of the clutches of the High Sparrow and back at her bosom was to destroy an entire city, she’d do it in a heartbeat, suggests her brother.
Hint four: Tyrion’s handy recap in Battle of the Bastards
When Dany was preparing to go full Targaryen on Meereen’s attackers in “Battle of the Bastards,” Tyrion urged caution and illustrated his point with a story about her father, the Mad King.
“You once told me you knew what your father was. Did you know his plans for King’s Landing when the Lannister armies were at his gates? Probably not. Well he told my brother and Jaime told me he had caches of wildfire hidden under the Red Keep, the Guildhalls, the Sept of Baelor, all the major thoroughfares. He would have burned every one of his citizens, the loyal ones and the traitors. Every man, woman and child. That’s why Jaime killed him.”
The Sept of Baelor is specifically listed among the cache locations. That just happens to be where Cersei’s trial will take place.
Hint five: there’s not a whiff of it in the official episode trailer
When it wants to keep secrets, Game of Thrones does it better than most. Among all the well-deserved hype for episode nine’s titular Battle of the Bastards, the dragon battle at Meereen came as a wonderful surprise. Keeping a wildfire explosion out of the official promo material would be true to Game of Thrones secret-keeping form.
There we have it. Just an idea, and possibly an utterly wrong one of course. If that turns out to be the case, we promise to write 3000 words on why Hot Pie is the only possible true heir to the Iron Throne as penance.