Daenerys: This is the greatest setback she's faced since losing Drogo back in book 1. Meereen was a total cluster****, as I suspected it would be. But given how Varys is making out Aegon to be an apparently good ruler, Dany's role is clear. She's not
a ruler. At least, not yet anyway. That's Aegon's turf. She's shown inherent skills at fighting, conquering, and the ways of war. This has been shown again and again throughout the books with the victories she's amassed against adversaries like the Qartheen warlocks, outwitting the Yunkish slavers at Astapor, and even at the very beginning of her story, standing up against Viserys and executing Mirri Maz Duur. If she musters what's left of the people loyal to her, including the Ghiscari loyal to her at Meereen, she'll give Aegon some heavy reinforcements when he take's Storm's End. I think the Unsullied and all of her troops would daunt even the fiercest knights in Westeros.
But to do all of this, she needs to somehow get back to Meereen from Drogon's lair. With Jhaqo's khalasar at the very end, it's going to be a difficult journey back. I wish there were a map of the Dothraki Sea and the surrounding lands so we could get an idea of where everything is. The map of Slavery's Bay is nice but I was hoping for something more comprehensive showing Essos.
I thought hallucinations/epiphanies Dany had at the very end were incredibly compelling. I can empathize with what happened to her actually since I nearly died in the Utah desert over 4 years ago due to dehydration and heatstroke. GRRM got that part down very
Jon: He ain't dead. I refuse
to believe he's dead.
Having said that, I think the next thing up North is the Wall. It's coming down. No doubt about it in my mind now. With Jon and his plan to ally the Night's Watch with the Wildings against the Others out of the way, some fool is going to blow the Horn of Winter and everybody's pretty much going to be screwed. But I think that's going to be necessary. The Others approach from the Wall with the North in disarray while Aegon and Dany approach from the South. Inevitably ice and fire are going to meet up... and have an interesting party.
My favorite moment: This will seem vindictive to some but Cersei being utterly humiliated and broken in public was by far the most satisfying thing for me to read in the past 5 books. With so
many people suffering due to her machinations, not the least of which would be Sansa and the Starks, I felt no pity for her whatsoever and honestly I'd probably be one of the people throwing food at her given what she's said and done.
Tragic moment: Quentyn. *shakes head and sighs* Dude, you are NOT the blood of the dragon. The only reason Dany ever got away with whipping Viserion or Rhaegal was because the dragon brood thought of Dany as their mother in an instinctual way. They'd never tolerate anybody but her doing that. But... *sigh*. Dany needs that dragon horn or she'll never keep the brood in line.
Wishlist: Theon (I refuse to call him Reek) and/or some of the Starks flaying Ramsay Bolton and the rest of his damned house.
Predictions: I picture Arya growing in strength and beginning to exhibit supernatural abilities superior to her siblings. Killing the insurance dude was slick, but I think she's destined to pull off much bigger hits in the future. As for the whole Azor Ahai prophecy, I think that it refers to not just Aegon, but applies Dany too and perhaps their entire family. Given how their sigil is a 3-headed dragon, I wouldn't be surprised if there's another Targaryen floating around out there somewhere.