DO NOT CONTINUE READING UNLESS YOU HAVE READ THE BOOKS. THIS THREAD WILL CONTAIN DISCUSSIONS WHICH WILL SPOIL THE SHOW. YOU'VE BEEN WARNED. When I'd first created the discussion thread for the fifth season of Game of Thrones, I'd stipulated no book spoilers. Well, unfortunately, I'd broken my only stipulation in my first reply to the thread, and I'd ended up eliminating the "no book spoilers" stipulation—all because I wouldn't have been able to mention a theory I'd had regarding a scene from the show and its book counterpart. I realized, after a fashion, not everyone who watches the show has read the books; in fact, very few of us show-watchers have read the books as well...yet, I'd continued posting book spoilers, which discouraged discussion of the show, to an extent, I think. Any time someone commented about something from the show, along with their own theories about what might happen next, I'd counter with an argument from the books—which, to be fair...isn't fair. It wasn't fair to non-book-readers, and it wasn't fair to those who've read the books but who'd like to discuss the show separately, as its own universe. I'd like to apologize here for that, because it was my own greed for wanting to discuss the books that may've caused a lot of you to have certain things spoiled you'd have otherwise never had spoiled if it weren't for me openly discussing the books (spoiler tags or no). The show's fifth season ended with a lot of fanfare; the season finale had the highest ratings of any previous Game of Thrones episode. It also ended with a lot of anger, frustration, feelings of betrayal, and a lot of speculation about what's to come in the show's final two seasons. (The showrunners have reiterated, time and time again, that Game of Thrones will only last for seven seasons, unless HBO steps in and forces them to continue the show.) That said, I think now would be a good time to split the discussion threads in half—one for the show, which already exists, and one for the books, which, as far as I can tell, doesn't exist and has never existed. Because it's likely for the show to veer even farther down its current diversionary path from the books, I think it'd be better for there to be two discussion threads; this will allow us book-readers (however many of us there are) to have our own discussions separate from the discussions of the show-watchers, and it'll also eliminate the prospect of having certain elements of the show spoiled if they happen to be brought up in previous discussions about the books. (This is why I'd also stipulated pointing out which book your book spoiler was from. Alas.) I'd like to think we can use this thread to discuss our favorite plots from the books, our favorite characters, our favorite settings; I'd also like to think we can use this thread to discuss theories about the Song of Ice and Fire series, from the Great Northern Conspiracy to R + L = J. Based on what I've seen in the previous Game of Thrones threads, there's much we can discuss regarding these topics, but it's very hard to do so within the confines of a show-only thread. I'm hoping this can alleviate that problem. Again, I'll reiterate: Bear in mind that this thread will contain spoilers from all the books, and we won't be using the [noparse][/noparse] tag in this thread. (Well, we shouldn't have to, at least.) Let's start off with a poll (and probably the only poll that'll exist in this thread): Who do you think will be sitting the Iron Throne at the end of the series? (I've listed the choices alphabetically by their family names where I could.) The list of names I've come up with is...well, it's the most straightforward list I could think of. I've included all the major players who are actively trying to win the Iron Throne—like Stannis, Dany, and Aegon—plus those who may end up winning the Throne without ever actively fighting for it for themselves—like Tyrion, Jon, and Sansa. Of course, I've also included the Others, who may very well sweep Westeros and bring on another Long Night and sit their own Night's King on the Iron Throne (which would be a crazy way to end the series)...and, of course, I've included an option for you to select someone else. Alright, then...let's get to it. Let's discuss the fuck out of this series, which is my second-favorite series behind Harry Potter.