I know it’s hard to predict anything in this series, but one of the things I love about it is that nothing ever happens completely out of nowhere. You can always look back and see the progression towards any event, even if you didn’t notice the progression the first time around. So here are my predictions for later books:
Melisandre is a fraud. We know she’s from Asshai, and we know shadowbinders generally come from Asshai, and we know she can give birth to shadows (eww). The logical conclusion is, she’s a shadowbinder. She pretends to be a red priestess of R’hlorr, but she is just using the prophecy of Azor Ahai for her own ends, whatever that may be. Possibly she serves the Other, the dark god she’s always going on about, and is trying to manuver Westeros into leaving the north open for a massive wight and Other attack.
Stannis is not Azor Ahai reborn, like Melisandre claims. He doesn’t seem to believe it himself, but thinks the red woman is useful so he goes along with it. When he pulls the supposed Lightbringer out of the burning statues of the Seven, he has to wear thick mitts and he still catches fire, and Davos notes that the sword seems ruined afterwards. The sword we see later with the flashy light show doesn’t give off any heat, and Stannis complains that it doesn’t perform any better in combat than a normal sword.
If there is an Azor Ahai, it’s Beric Dondarrion with his red priest, Thoros. Dude should have died several times, but he’s still lurching around. Plus, in the fight with the Hound he cuts himself with his sword and it catches fire for real, then he uses it to ignite Sandor’s shield. Oddly enough, Thoros was a false priest, but seems to have found religion again, enough to raise Beric from the dead, and even Catelyn! :eek:
The Hound is not dead yet. Although Martin has no problem killing off any character at any time, none of the major characters have died off-page. And characters have escaped imminent demise before, like Davos in the Battle of Blackwater. He will go seeking after Sansa and his brother, not necessarily in that order.
Eddard Stark will turn up at some point. Varys got someone who looked enough like Ned to face Joffrey’s verdict and secreted Ned away somewhere. Varys did in fact hint that he could sneak Ned out, and we know he snuck Tyrion out later. We (from Arya’s perspective) don’t see Ned very close up, and she hardly recognized him since he was so gaunt and dirty. Later, when Joffrey makes
Sansa look at the head on a spike, she can’t see much resemblance either, with the tar and crows and all.
Some people here have speculated that Jon Snow is actually the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. I’d have to go back and read the books again, but it makes more sense to me that Ned would pretend to be Jon’s father to protect him, as opposed to Ned breaking his wedding vows and actually being Jon’s father.
Samwell Tarly will eventually become a warrior of great renown, but will still have all his love of books and learning. His specialty will be fighting Others, and he will delve into ancient texts to discover their weaknesses.
Tyrion is quite the wild card. He may go to the Mountains of the Moon and get the wildling tribes’ help against Lysa Arryn. When he discovers that Littlefinger holds the Vale, he will be equally pleased to get revenge there also. Or, he may try to take power in Casterly Rock. Or, he may give his services to Dorne, or Stannis, or Danaerys, or even all of the above.
Coldhands is actually Benjen Stark. He got turned into a wight, but because of the magical abilities inherent in the Stark line he became something else instead.
Danaerys will send her dragons against whatever fool is holding Harrenhal at the time, this time reducing it to a great heap of slag and scaring the crap out of all Seven Kingdoms. If the Vale isn’t aligned with her, she’ll storm the castles Sky, Stone, and Snow, showing that they aren’t invulnerable from above.