Guesses Of ‘Thrones’: Hashing Out What Will Happen Next With Bran, Jaime, And Cersei’s Elephants

HBO/Uproxx

The season premiere of Game Of Thrones came and went, giving us a mix of heartwarming and awkward reunions, amazing burns, and meme feed in the form of Jon Snow’s dragon ride. But mostly, it left us with even more questions heading into the next episode and the four that come after that. How will things resolve? We’ve all got our opinions, but are you ready to defend yours in a fiery trial by conversational combat? Uproxx’s Kimberly Ricci and Jason Tabrys are very ready to do exactly that, and this week, they’re going to discuss Jaime’s fate, Jon Snow’s next move, and more before turning the discussion over to you in the comments section.

Jason: There are so many big questions following the season premiere, but I guess we should dive into the most important and polarizing one first: will Cersei get her damn elephants, and what, exactly, is she going to do with them once she gets them? Because it’s gonna be bad, right? Like, we know she’ll do almost anything to get what she wants. When Qyburn showed up with all that money for Bron, I totally thought she was sending him on a quest to get them elephants. Kim, am I right to think that we haven’t seen the last of Cersei’s elephant fixation?

Kimberly: Well, I’d like to think that you’re right about Cersei’s damn elephants, and since she seemed to be truly obsessed, one would logically think that she’s bound and determined to keep those complaints going. However, she’s also supposedly pregnant with Jaime’s child, and we heard zilch about that matter during the premiere. Yet she’s back on the wine train with Euron Greyjoy talking about getting her pregnant. Consistency is not her strong point right now is what I’m saying, and the elephants might never come up again. Maybe they’re merely a literary Easter egg, since the Golden Company did possess them in the books? They’re a cool nod, but maybe HBO simply doesn’t want to plop them onscreen with all the other beasties running amuck. What can elephants do, really, besides make more chaos? So I’m going with no more elephants.

Jason: Dammit. Fine. I know that it’s a little odd to complain, as a viewer, over being deprived the sight of elephants when we still have two and a half dragons, but I’m very willing to be the person to do it. Speaking of the lil’ psychopath in Cersei’s oven, is the baby daddy, Jaime, ever going to see the kid? And by that, I mean, is Jaime making it out of the north alive? Bran’s presumably on the hunt for him now and all bets are off when it comes to how the Stark kids are going to receive him.

Kimberly: That’s a tough one. I can’t even imagine how the other Stark kids will react to seeing Jaime, but we know that Bran’s got his number. That was a death stare, right? That’s how Jaime interpreted the pants-wetting moment. Obviously, being the Three-Eyed Raven, Bran now knows that Jaime’s the reason why he’s paralyzed. There was that ominous Bran line when he reunited with Jon Snow, who marveled, “You’re a man.” Bran replied, “Almost,” and I want to read into that perhaps too badly, as if Bran is now greatly disconnected from his humanity, and then I don’t have to feel bad about rooting for Jaime because his character growth has been significant. We’ve seen that largely through his waning allegiance to Cersei. He’s in Winterfell now, after all! Whereas Bran, although he was certainly wronged by Jaime and is justified in holding a grudge, has held a more singular purpose. With all the dark and dreary aspects of Thrones, wouldn’t it be odd to see Jaime come out as a hero and not die? I’m 50/50 here on whether he’ll make it.

Jason: I am here for bygones to be bygones and a Jaime/Bran team up where they right wrongs across the North. Lefty And The Warg. An amazing spin-off idea. HBO, you have my digits. But in all seriousness, this is where we are: major characters are going to start dying (more than the normal amount) and some of these redemption stories are going to end in ways that feel … not right or otherwise incomplete. And such is life, ya know? Is Jaime on that path? I think, with all he’s done, it’s weird if Jaime lives and also weird if he dies. That’s an interesting character, but he’s a tweener in a war between sorta good and super duper bad and then also ice zombies. I don’t think there’s space for him at the end of all of this, so I think the best and likeliest out is for him to sacrifice himself to advance the Stark’s cause. Him being in Winterfell with the dead getting closer… I’ll go out on a ledge (sorry!) and predict that Jaime’s song ends by this season’s third episode. And when it does happen, I guess I’ll be sort of sad? Which is sort of surprising.

Kimberly: Admittedly, I feel for Jaime at this stage, unlike Theon, whose form of suffering and redemption present a whole other ballgame, not to mention a further distraction to ending all the human infighting. I mean, the Night King is coming, and so many characters are still sniping at each other. Will they, at any point, stop fighting and rally to the cause?

Jason: I kinda want to say no. Like, the show already dealt with the false narrative of everyone putting their problems aside to tackle a looming threat when Cersei shrugged and decided to let the North and the army of the dead kill each other. People are messy. This show reflects that better than most. So in a way, I feel like if they stop sniping and if egos get put in a corner on a timeout, well, it’ll sure be heroic and, in a way, feel right in a conventional way. But it’ll also feel like a betrayal for what this show is. You can’t have your problems fall into a manageable hierarchy, so I think Cersei’s army of elephant assassins are going to storm into Winterfell at the same time as the Night King comes soaring in on his ice dragon and Jon Snow is just gonna have to deal with all of it at the same time and no I will not let go of the elephant thing, Kim!

Kimberly: Enough with those elephants, man. Really though, the Night King’s not distracted from his mission, while the humans are bickering and doing their territorial pissing all over the place. Yes, that fits with how this series has gone, but it’s game time. Speaking of which, we really don’t know when the enormous Battle of Winterfell will take place, but it certainly will. I hope that before it does, Jon Snow makes his next move. Will he clue Dany in about their family relations or swallow what Samwell told him? If he chooses to stay quiet about being the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, this will eat him up inside, but I can see him deciding to not say a damn thing. If Dany spills something like a pregnancy before he decides what to do, though, Jon Snow’s head will explode, no Night King needed. At this point, he knows too much and can’t handle it.

Jason: Mark my words, Cersei will have her elephants, Tormund will hijack one, and then that blue-eyed beard God will ride that lumbering beast right up the Night King’s undistracted ass. That’s my boldest prediction and the one I love the most, because I made it with my heart.

Kimberly: Aaand of course that’s where you’re headed — Tormund on an elephant! I’m not convinced that he’s not dead, by the way. He was at the top of the wall when the ice dragon unleashed ice fury. That joke about his blue eyes was not enough to throw me off the Undead Tormund scent, and I’m bitter about it. Feel free to convince me that Jon Snow knows what he’s doing, though!

Jason: I … don’t think I have the thought bullets in my mind gun to do that. Jon Snow is a great warrior and he tries to do the right thing, but he’s also a bit of a schmuck. You want a real bold prediction? No way he makes it to the end. I’m sure Jon’s gonna sit on the tidbit Sam gave him for honor or some such notion. Or, at the very least, he’s gonna hold onto it until he realizes that Dany is actually sorta terrible, and by then, it’ll be too late and not even a horde of majestic combat elephants lead by (the very much ALIVE) Tormund will be able to save him. The question is, if not Jon Snow, then who is sitting atop the Iron Throne at season’s end? I want to keep going back to this question because I assume the answer is going to change week by week. This time around, I’m going with Sansa. She’s got Arya in her corner. She’s been through hell and learned a lot of hard lessons about how the halls of power work. She’s also already suspicious of Dany, which feels like a big deal. Sansa is the smartest Stark and the toughest. I feel great about this pick and my chances of winning the big prize at the end of this season: a stuffed elephant.

Kimberly: Now you’re simply trolling with those elephants, along with calling Sansa the “toughest” Stark. I’m going with Arya on that note, and I wouldn’t be mad if she was the last one standing. The lady (who, it must be noted, doesn’t want to be referred to as a lady in her entire lifetime) did stick up for her older sister while formally reuniting with Jon Snow, but seriously, she’s good with castle-forged steel. Yes, Sansa’s been through so much, but when it comes to battle mode, it’s all Arya. She’s now building up her arsenal with a Valyrian steel addition, and there’s no doubt she can work any weapons even without the benefit of sight. If anyone’s been playing the long game in this series without the distraction of ego, it’s Arya Stark. She’s better than elephants, but I’ll see you next week to see how Cersei’s fixation worked itself out.

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