The Future Is Uncertain For Sansa & Theon

As HBO's Game Of Thrones wrapped its Season 5 finale, viewers were required to make a leap of faith that showrunners David Benioff & D.B. Weiss still had a long-term plan, and weren't simply torturing their fans by killing off all their favorite characters in one hour. Meanwhile, Sansa Stark and Theon Greyjoy were required to make a leap of a whole different kind. With Ramsay Bolton gone from Winterfell, busy routing Stannis Baratheon's paltry army, they took advantage of their sadistic lord's absence to escape the castle. But, there was only one way out: A dizzyingly high jump from the ramparts into the snow below. Assuming they survived the fall, of course, where will Sansa and Theon go next in Game Of Thrones Season 6?

(Obviously, if you want to know the answer to that question, it's going to involve spoilers. Just to be clear.) It's hard to say exactly what's in store for this unlikely duo. Sansa's storyline has already diverged so much from her counterpart on the page that literally anything could happen to her at this point. Theon is pretty much on track with where his character left off at the end of George R.R. Martin's A Dance With Dragons, although circumstances around him have changed so drastically that predicting his future is difficult as well. But, let's try anyway!

They'll Head To The Vale Of Arryn

There's a chance now that Sansa has escaped the confines of Winterfell and the clutches of Ramsay, Benioff & Weiss will take this opportunity to reroute her character to her storyline in the books. In A Feast For Crows, Sansa never left the Vale of Arryn, staying safely secluded under the assumed identity of Petyr Baelish's "bastard daughter" Alayne Stone. From there, Littlefinger plans to wed her to the Eyrie's heir and then use the famed knights of the Vale to retake Winterfell for her.

Of course, Sansa won't be marrying anyone else unless (until?) Ramsay dies, since they can't use the same "the marriage was never consummated" excuse they used with her marriage to Tyrion Lannister. But, the Vale is still one of the only places left in Westeros she has positive associations to, so she may still flee there for protection before rallying the troops and going to reclaim her homeland. (Theon isn't in the Vale in the books, but he's welcome to tag along.)

They'll Get Captured By Stannis

Of the two, Theon is the one whose storyline remains relatively unchanged, so it almost makes more sense that they would both follow his trajectory. But, since that involves Theon and "Arya"/Jeyne Poole getting captured by Stannis, that seems unlikely... Unless Brienne didn't kill Stannis in the finale, as we were all led to believe, but rather had a last minute change of heart.

So — assuming for a moment that Stannis is still alive — what would that mean for Sansa and Theon? In the Greyjoy Formerly Known As Reek's preview chapter from The Winds Of Winter , he and Jeyne run smack into Stannis's army as they're fleeing Winterfell. This is a good-news-bad-news type of situation: good news for Jeyne, who's sent north to Castle Black (since everyone still thinks she's Jon Snow's half-sister)... but bad news for Theon, whom Stannis decides to execute as a sign of solidarity with his northern allies (since everyone still thinks he killed Bran and Rickon Stark). Talk about out of the frying pan and into the fire, amiright?

They'll Seek Shelter At Castle Black

Seeing as how Stannis' army is already defeated, and the king himself may be dead, perhaps Theon and Sansa will skip that little detour and head straight for Castle Black like Jeyne Poole does in the books. This would be a logical choice, considering Sansa believes her bastard brother to still be the 998th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. Of course, if they do head in this direction, they'll arrive at The Wall, manned by a group of unscrupulous rapists and thieves, just moments after they've murdered the only person who would have protected them.

While this option might not seem like good news for forever-imperiled Sansa, it might be good news for fans still mourning Jon Snow's death. If Melisandre hopes to resurrect the fallen Lord Commander, she'll likely need a blood sacrifice to do it — and since Theon appears to be marked for death in the books anyway, he'd be a prime candidate. Perhaps his status as son of the self-proclaimed "King of the Iron Islands" will be close enough to king's blood to work. Theon sacrificing himself to help bring back his childhood friend would be a perfect way to redeem the character and bring his story full-circle.

Or... All Of The Above?

Then again, maybe Benioff & Weiss will use the opportunity of Sansa and Theon's escape to put them both back on their book trajectories. Perhaps the fugitives will run into Brienne and a still-living Stannis in the woods outside Winterfell and, after some supremely awkward moments, the foursome will split up. Stannis could take Theon captive, dragging him back to the Wall for Melisandre's use. And Brienne could escort Sansa to the Vale, both fulfilling her oath to Catelyn to protect her daughters, and also placing the character closer to the Riverlands for her Season 6 storyline.

Maybe it will turn out that, in the end, all the changes in Season 5 were simply detours that will eventually lead all the characters back to precisely where they're supposed to be for The Winds Of Winter. Stranger things have definitely happened on Game Of Thrones.

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