"Game Of Thrones" Season 7 Could Contain Some Surprising Clues About The Next Book

Helen Sloan/HBO

It's hard out there for a Song of Ice and Fire fan. Sure, you might watch Game of Thrones season seven. You might even enjoy it, because it's pretty hard to argue with such a large concentration of hot people and dragons. You definitely have your problems with it (and you've probably ruined at least one Sunday night with your constant refrain of "that's not what happens in the book"). But, mostly, the show is just inescapable. Everyone is watching it, or bragging about how they don't watch it. Everyone is talking, tweeting, and blogging about it. And all of it is a huge, painful reminder that George R.R. Martin still hasn't finished The Winds of Winter. But rather than mope about it, let's look at the things that season seven of Game of Thrones can tell us about the next books in the series (if George ever finishes writing them).

Firstly, as all you nerds know, the timeline of the TV show has surged well past the timeline of the books. Plots have diverged, characters have been rewritten, and entire arcs have been discarded entirely (R.I.P., Lady Stoneheart). The HBO show was set up to have roughly one season per book, but now that we have five books and seven seasons of television, who knows if that still holds true. Plus, The Winds of Winter is rumored to be a massive tome, probably worth a season and a half at least.

So, despite the stark (get it?) differences between book and show, here are a few things we can guess about the next books from season seven so far:

1Dany will go full “fire and blood”

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Where we left Dany in the books, she was wandering around the Dothraki Sea, half-starved, and tripping on some weird berries. She comes to the conclusion that she's royally screwed everything up in Meereen (no kidding), and that she should stop being such a pushover and instead go full Targaryen. That could just be the berries talking...but season seven so far has shown Dany going for the "fire and blood" strategy on the Lannister armies. There's still a glimmer of the sweet, tenderhearted Dany from the earlier books, but the show hints at a possibly villainous turn for our favorite Targaryen queen.

2Maybe Howland Reed will show up?

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In season seven, episode four, Meera Reed tells Bran that she needs to head home to be with her family. Bran's response is pretty much, "Kay whatever I'm a tree," but this passing mention of the Reeds could mean a lot for the books. Howland, Meera's father and one of Ned Stark's BFFs, is the only person besides Bran who knows the truth about Jon Snow's parentage. He was at the Tower of Joy, where Jon was born. If Howland does finally show up, he could support Jon's claim to the Iron Throne (and also maybe apologize to his daughter for sending her and Jojen on a nutso suicide mission beyond the wall).

3We might finally find out what’s up with that dagger

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Remember back in book one, when someone tried to murder a comatose Bran using a Valyrian steel dagger? And Littlefinger lied and said it was Tyrion's dagger? And it started the war of the Five Kings? No? Well, we never actually did find out who sent that dagger to kill Bran. Tyrion and Jaime both think it was that little snot Joffrey, but we never get closure. Season seven has brought the dagger back, so hopefully this means that one of the first mysteries of the series is going to finally be solved. (Plus, Bran quoted Petyr's "chaos" line back to him, which was mega creepy.)

4Aegon won’t win the Iron Throne

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I mean, I know that show has taken a lot of liberties with the source material, but I think it's safe to assume that if a contender for the Iron Throne hasn't shown up in the show by season seven, they've been cut from the TV plot-line. That seems to be the case with Aegon Targaryen, the supposed son of Rhaegar who pops up in book five to jump on the bandwagon and start invading Westeros. His complete absence in the show is a pretty strong hint that he's either a fake Targaryen pretender, or that he's going to die a quite gruesome death like the rest of his family.

5Jaime will survive his fight with Brienne

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We all know that the true love story in Westeros is between Jaime the Kingslayer and Brienne the Beauty. These two have a complicated friendship, but at the end of book five, Brienne seems to be leading Jaime into a trap on Lady Stoneheart's orders. However, since Jaime is so central to the plot this season, and since he might be the only person who can stop Cersei's reign of terror (once he comes to his senses), I think we can assume that Jaime will survive this particular encounter. Let's just hope that Brienne makes it out alive, too...

6The Night’s Watch will get their dragonglass...somewhere

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We know by now that the Snow Zombies can be killed with "dragonglass," or obsidian. But in the books, the Night's Watch doesn't have all that much of it. In the show, Jon has just received permission from Dany to mine the dragonglass under Dragonstone, but will that happen the same way in the books? It seems very possible...but there is also a huge amount of dragonglass in the ruins of Valyria. If Dany really wants to get in good with the North, she'll swing by and pick some up on her way home. Either way, it seems like the Night's Watch will get their weapons just in time for a good ol' fashioned zombie battle.

7The Starks might have a weird family reunion

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The Starks are all over the dang place in the books. Jon's at the Wall, Sansa's in the Vale, Arya's in Braavos, Rickon's in Skagos, and Bran is a tree. But by season seven of the show, all the living Starks are slowly being brought back to Winterfell, one by one. I think it's likely that a whole lot more nonsense will happen before the Starks actually make it home (and Rickon may not come home at all), but this suggests that we might actually get to see our beloved wolf babies together again at least once before the end of the series.

8Tyrion will have his loyalties tested

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Tyrion hasn't met Dany yet in A Song of Ice and Fire, but he's made it all the way to Meereen. And it seems likely that Dany will stop by Meereen to pick up her posse before she peaces out to Westeros. So, if Tyrion does join team Targaryen, he'll probably find his loyalties tested. In season seven of the show, we've already seen Tyrion start to feel uncomfortable while watching his queen burn up his brother's army—and destroying his entire family to take their throne won't be easy for him. He may drink a lot and talk a big game, but deep down Tyrion is one of the most sensitive characters in the series.

9The Freys aren’t going to make it

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It's curtains for house Frey. In the show, we got to see Arya pull off a brutal reverse Red Wedding: baking Walder's sons into a pie, slitting his throat, and poisoning pretty much every other Frey around. In the books it's Manderly who pulls the Sweeney-Todd-style pie trick, and I'm betting on Lady Stoneheart for massacring the Freys. Either way, though, it's not a good time to be a Frey.

10It all comes down to Dany and Jon

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Never has there been another piece of media that got so many people to root for a nephew hooking up with his aunt. If you ignore their unfortunate biological relation, though, it seems pretty darn clear that Dany and Jon are going to have some kind of intense connection. They've finally met face-to-face on the show, but Jon refuses to bend the knee to Dany. Dany refuses to help him if he doesn't. It seems like the only way out of this stalemate is...marriage. Seriously! That would be such a valuable alliance! And they're both super hot! With all the fire-and-ice and Azor Ahai imagery surrounding them in the books, it seems like these two might have some larger destiny in The Winds of Winter and beyond. I guess we'll just have to wait and see...