Small Council: What character is involved in George R.R. Martin’s new ‘Winds of Winter’ twist?

Geroge R.R. Martin recently revealed that The Winds of Winter will feature a plot twist that’s no longer possible on the show, since one of the characters involved is dead onscreen but alive in the books. Who do we think this plot twist will involve? Any guesses/wishful thoughts as to what it might entail? The Small Council is in session.

DAN: Back when Martin first mentioned that he was thinking about including a plot twist the show could no longer make work, I was hoping he would eventually drop another hint or two about it, and he did not disappoint.

I’m not sure which character might be involved, but I have an idea of who’s not a part of it. As much I miss them on the show, I doubt that Stannis or Barristan Selmy is involved in this plot twist. They may not be dead yet in the books, but the writings is kind of on the wall for both of them—I’m not convinced they’ll last long enough to participate in a twist.

I think we should look at characters whose potential in the books remains unfulfilled. When I heard that the twist involved someone who’s died on the show but remains alive in the books, my first thoughts went to Jojen Reed.

So much about this kid and his family remains shrouded in mystery. Where do his powers come from? His father, Howland Reed, was one of Ned Stark’s best friends—what does he know about the Stark patriarch’s past? The Reed castle, Greywater Watch, is said to move—what does that even mean? There’s a lot of uncertainly about Jojen, and it strikes me fertile ground for plot twists.

As to what exactly that plot twist will involve, I couldn’t begin to guess. I dunno…Jojen is Melisandre’s son. Probably not. All I know is that I thought it was a shame when the character was killed off on Game of Thrones, because there’s more to him than he showed.

RAZOR: This intrigues me, because I can’t imagine the twist having anything to do with a minor character, so that narrows the playing field down a bit. I don’t think the twist has anything to do with Jojen, as I believe he is dead and mashed up into paste, Dan…duh. But, I also don’t think the twist is an obvious sign pointing at our favorite bastard, either. My mind instantly went to Stannis when I heard this news.

I know Dan thinks the writing’s on the wall for the rightful King of Westeros, but I disagree. In fact, at the end of A Dance with Dragon, his story was about to get a whole lot better. Theon Greyjoy was about to divulge all sorts of secrets about Ramsay Bolton to him, Tycho Nestoris had just agreed to fund his campaign to regain the Iron Throne for House Baratheon, and he had figured out that House Karstark had betrayed him and he dealt with the traitorous Lord Karstark and his men. Stannis Baratheon is prepared for any attack by Ramsay Bolton.

What if the twist is that Theon escapes Stannis and kills him? Or, what if Stannis actually lays a trap for Ramsay at the crofter’s village because the snow is so deep, and Ramsay and his men ride out on the ice with all the holes in it, fall through and drown, and Stannis wins the battle? Could this be the twist? Stannis actually winning? Boy would that be a thumb in the eye of the television showrunners.

ANI: Let’s do this the logical way. Who is alive in the books and dead on screen?

  • Myrcella
  • Mance
  • Barristan
  • Jeyne Westering (Talisa)
  • Jojen
  • Pyp
  • Grenn
  • Stannis
  • Shireen
  • Hizdahr zo Loraq

Now, let’s roll through twists that could possibly involve them.

  • Myrcella: In Dorne, being hidden away by Doran who doesn’t want the Lannisters to find out she’s been horribly disfigured. A good twist for her? It would involve her finding out that the Dornish are secretly supporting the Targaryens, and being the way those in King’s Landing find out.
  • Jojen: He takes Meera and goes home. When they arrive, it is revealed that Meera is Jon Snow’s twin sister.
  • Pyp and/or Grenn: Instrumental in helping Resurrected Jon Snow in taking Winterfell after they follow him South, leaving the Night’s Watch.
  • Mance: Currently being tortured by Ramsay Bolton. He could be the twist that helps Jon Snow defeat the Boltons and retake Winterfell
  • Stannis: Pledges his allegiance to Resurrected Jon Snow, providing him and army to take back Winterfell.
  • Shireen: She reads a thing in a book that allows the Night’s Watch to defend Castle Black when the White Walkers finally attack?
  • Barristan: Left behind in Meereen. He would be a fantastic way to get Tyrion into the city and running things. (Currently, Tyrion missed meeting Dany, and only saw her in a dragon riding fly by.)
  • Hizdahr zo Loraq: Hires an amusign dwarf to help him run things. Accidentally gives away everything about Dany, allowing Tyrion to take control of Meereen.
  • Jeyne Westerling: She had Robb’s baby after all.

A note on the poll: for purposes of simplicity, we’re not going to include characters whose deaths are ambiguous, undisclosed, or otherwise weird.

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