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That damn crossbow

This is another Game of Thrones post. If you’re not a fan, you don’t have to read it. I’m going to try to post later on the Michael Flynn unredactions and the Russian successful hacking of election servers in two Florida counties in 2016.

If you are like me, you’re probably wondering what Bronn was up to this season. We first saw the sellsword in episode one, frolicking with three harlots (one of which was going to die of pox in a year according to the Queen’s hand). He accepted a commission and a crossbow from Cersei to kill Tyrion and Jaime. Of course, Bronn decided to use it as leverage when he finally caught up to the Lannister brothers in Winterfell. Highgarden for their lives. Deal.

Where that deal stands now is anybody’s guess but one thing is for damn sure. Bronn is in possession of “Checkov’s Gun”. The blog, Now Novel, describes Checkov’s Gun like this:

Chekhov’s Gun‘ is a concept that describes how every element of a story should contribute to the whole. It comes from Anton Chekhov’s famous book writing advice: ‘If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired.

Technically, the “gun” was fired into a post just beside Jaime Lannister’s head as a warning shot but that’s not why I think the writers introduced it.

It’s going to get used. The question is, who is going to use it and who or what is the intended target.

Let’s recap, shall we? I’m going to spoil episode 5 for viewers so if you haven’t seen it, now is the time to go check your Twitter account.

Ok. Here goes.

In the previews for the finale, King’s Landing is a smoking ruin. Danaerys is about to seize the Iron Throne after having razed the city and nearly everyone in it after it had surrendered. Let’s not go into whether Danaerys was ruined by bad writing. I think GoT Academy had the right idea in that Danaerys is the alternate path for Galadriel had she decided to accept the Ring from Frodo.

But I digress.

So we see Dany from the back, facing her army, while the sky is grey and still thick with smoke. It’s an ominous vision. It looks like something out of the Third Reich as shot by Leni Riefenstahl. And why not? Danaerys Ghenghis Targaryen has done something her psychotic father only dreamed about.

The other characters have to be thoroughly horrified. We know that Arya is. Jon is finally coming to terms with his missteps and the dishonor his own men have brought him. Tyrion wanders the ruins an orphan, the last of his name. His family is gone.

Where is Sansa? On her way with all of the forces that Varys could muster before he was executed. Bran may be with her. Brienne will definitely come. We can expect to see the Vale, Riverrun, maybe Dorne, Highgarden…

Wait. Highgarden? Didn’t Tyrion give Highgarden to Bronn? Hard to say how that will work out considering Dany is going to want to toast Tyrion. But ok, let’s say Sansa has decided to make good on Tyrion’s promise on Jon’s behalf. After all, Jon is the true king.

So, Bronn comes to King’s Landing with Sansa, carrying a crossbow.

By now, we all know that Dany and her dragon can’t be allowed to continue. Dany is the worst of war criminals. (Note to Sansa: draft new articles of war at Harrenhal and call it the Harrenhal Convention. Just a suggestion.)

Jon knows that Sansa, Arya, Bran and Tyrion are all in danger, especially if they don’t bend the knee. But Dany has likely no idea who Bronn is.

Bronn, the guy with Checkov’s Gun.

We also know that one sure way to take out a dragon is to shoot it in the brain through the eye.

Now that doesn’t mean that Bronn will do it. Arya is also a crack shot. But she’s already got her “Slay the Monster” and “Master a Valerian Steel Dagger” merit badges on her Winterfell Council Girl Scout sash. Let someone else have the glory. So, my prediction is that Bronn will take out the dragon. With that, he will be entitled to whatever empty castle and lands he wants.

The rest is up in the air. I’ve heard that Bran will become king once Jon abdicates. But if anything, Bran might be as responsible for the carnage as Dany because he has greensight and that was amplified when he became the Bloodraven. And Bloodraven’s goal was to do whatever was good for the realm, even if that meant carnage along the way. Anyway, Bran doesn’t appear to have the temperament to be king. I don’t think he wants it. It doesn’t play to his strengths. (Can you tell I don’t like the rumors I’m hearing about the ending?)

If I were to write this ending, Sansa would be queen temporarily. Bran would be her new Varys the Spider and bring her intelligence from around the seven kingdoms. Tyrion would go off to a spa In Dorne for rest and art therapy, then return to take up his role as Sansa’s consort. Brienne would become Sansa’s Hand of the Queen. Arya would ride off to Storm’s End. Jon would don the black and find a nice wildling girl in the North.

The unsullied would return to Essos. The Dothraki would hold a funeral for Dany where they would burn her body. Hold on, Dany doesn’t burn. So after many futile attempts, the Dothraki stop partying and get on the boats with the Unsullied to go home.

Nobody’s completely happy. But hey, this is George RR Martin. We’ll be lucky if no one is maimed or dismembered before the final credits.