I had planned to make this discussion topic soon, and just yesterday io9 published an article listing 12 subplots from A Storm of Swords that will likely be cut from season three of Game of Thrones. That seemed like a great jumping off point for further discussion of how you think they will handle the storyline for this third season.
The biggest question, to me, is where they will split Storm? A recent interview with George R.R. Martin, revealed that season four will be part Storm with some A Dance of Dragons and A Feast for Crows mixed in. So we know that the book won’t be split in half. More like a two-thirds split. But there is a lot of wiggle room here; a lot of independent storylines that could be held back or moved forward, depending on how the writers want to play their cards. After the break, I will give my (very spoilery!) guesses as to where each major storyline will end this season and I invite you to give your own in the comments.
The Wall: Ygritte dying in Jon’s arms
Considering a big part of Jon’s storyline this season will be about how he falls for Ygritte, I think this tragic moment will make for a poignant ending for his arc. The skirmish at the Wall also lends a little action. There are still plenty of developments for season four, including Jon’s battle with Janos Slynt, and Slynt’s primary backer Alliser Thorne, over who will be the next Lord Commander. And, of course, the major battle between the wildlings and the Night’s Watch.
Essos: Dany steals the Unsullied
Yes, this happens pretty early on in the book, but it is such an epic scene (and very effects heavy), that I think they will rework her storyline and make it a season-ender.
Riverlands: The Red Wedding, Arya gets Needle back, UnCat
We know the Red Wedding will be in this season. My guess is it will be in episode nine. That leaves one episode to show some of the aftermath. Part of that will be the Hound and Arya meeting up with Polliver (but no Tickler), where they will kill him and his companions, and Arya will get Needle. Sandor will be injured and him and Arya will make for Saltpans. Meanwhile, Thoros and Beric will happen upon the corpse of Catelyn Stark and Beric will give her the kiss of life. We didn’t get to actually see this scene in the books, but it is the perfect conclusion to the storyline with the Brotherhood without Banners and as a capper to the Red Wedding. It will give viewers some hope that the Starks will have their revenge. Due to the shocking nature of it, plus the heavy supernatural element, I think this will be the final scene of season three.
The North: Bran and Rickon split up, Sam makes it to the Wall
I think following the encounter at Queenscrown, Osha will decide it is best if she and Rickon split from the rest of the group. Bran will continue north with the Reeds, while she spirits Rickon away to an undisclosed location. Their final scene will be them saying their goodbyes. Beyond the Wall, Sam and Gilly will have made it safely back to the Wall, with the help of Coldhands (who, in my new theory, will be played by Burn Gorman). He will tell them to find Bran and send him and his companions through the Wall to meet him.
King’s Landing: ??????
This one is tough. Not much happens in KL this season (Lena Headey said she only had 14 days of filming this year). I’m not sure where they will end this storyline, but I feel confident that it WON’T end with the Purple Wedding. That would just leave things too packed at the end. I suspect they will be inventing quite a bit of scenes for KL this year, so we may see the season end on something that isn’t in the books.
Harrenhal: Jaime rescues Brienne, they head for King’s Landing
We know they shot the bear pit scene, and I think that would make for a nice conclusion to the arc for these two characters. There will likely be a scene or two of them heading to King’s Landing together in the final episode.
Dragonstone: Sailing to the Wall
The Dragonstone storyline will be pretty insular this season and I don’t see any possible conclusion to it other than Stannis deciding to sail towards the Wall.
What do you think of my speculation? Am I on the money or way off? Debate and discuss!