Welcome to the Supreme Court of Westeros! Every week, three pressing questions from the community will be answered by the esteemed judges Stefan (from your very own Nerdstream Era) and Amin (from A Podcast of Ice and Fire). The rules are simple: we take three questions, and one of us writes a measured analysis. The other one writes a shorter opinion, either concurring or dissenting. The catch is that every week a third judge from the fandom will join us and also write a dissenting or concurring opinion. So if you think you're up to the task - write us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, leave a comment in the post, ask in the APOIAF-forum or contact Amin at his tumblr. Discussion is by no means limited to the court itself, though - feel free to discuss our rulings in the commentary section and ask your own questions through the channels above.
One word on spoilers: we assume that you read all the books, including the Hedge Knight short stories, and watched the current TV episodes. We don't include the spoiler chapters from various sources in the discussion, with the notable exception of Theon I, which was supposed to be in "A Dance with Dragons" anyway.
And now, up to ruling 15 of the Supreme Court of Westeros! Our guest judge this week is Thomas , who has the tumblr Stannisifthefury and covers Game of Thrones for esquire.com.
Will Jaime and/or Brienne die at the hands of Lady Stoneheart and the Brotherhood Without Banners? Or will they fight them together?
Main Opinion: Stefan
Consider the third option that they fight each other. My best guess is that Jaime will take up the sword to slay Cersei. After all, he has to survive long enough to kill her (as for Cersei’s prophecy and the irony in all of it), and the repeatedly reinforced notion Cersei has about them leaving the world together or shortly after one another almost certainly will come true in a sense. My theory is that he will get to King’s Landing, kill Cersei and die defending Tommen, his king and son, as a proper kingsguard Lord Commander, either against Aegon or Dany. But nothing of this mentions Brienne. Her fate is much more uncertain, but somehow, I don’t think she will die there. The Brotherhood without Banners, at least the part with Lady Stoneheart, is not on the “good” side of things anymore and desperately needs to go.
Concurring in Part, Dissenting in Part: Amin
I agree that Jaime will make it out of the Brotherhood camp alive. The prophecy related to him killing Cersei is simply too strong and he must survive long enough to do that one way or the other. If he was going to die, he would have been killed already and they would have found his body by the end of A Dane with Dragons. However, I agree with Justice Thomas that Jaime will survive past Tommen’s potential death, as that is also included in that prophecy and it is hard to wriggle around that particular point. Brienne has already betrayed Jaime in order to save Podrick Payne’s life. She has lured in Jaime and proved her current usefulness. If Pod is still with the Brotherhood, which he likely is, then Brienne must follow their orders to keep him safe. If the Brotherhood follows the wiser path, they will make continual use of her. That might be overruled by Lady Stoneheart’s urge for vengeance, but even she could inflict greater overall damage to her enemies by making continual use of Brienne.
Dissenting Opinion: Thomas
While Jaime is bound to escape in order to kill Cersei, he won't then die defending Tommen. The valonquar prophecy says that it's only after her children and crowned and she is drowned in tears that she'll die. As for Brienne's fate, it could go either way. I could see her sacrificing herself to get him to safety. Unfortunately, I can also see another POV fake-death that just makes us think that's what happened.
Final Verdict: Jaime at least won't die at their hands, and Stefan somehow transformed the question into one of Jaime's future fate, so we don't get to the rest.
Will the Champion of the Faith unmask UnGregor in the duel, provoking a peasant uprising against the Iron Throne?
Main Opinion: Stefan
Possible, but unlikely. UnGregor needs to win this thing, because how else would Jaime get the chance to slay Cersei? But UnGregor will be unmasked, I don’t doubt. It could be the final tipping point that brings the Faith and the mob over to Aegon, allowing him to take the city (and possibly killing Jaime, as I detailled). That mob could storm the Red Keep before Aegon gets there, too, again giving Jaime the opportunity to die defending Tommen, who would then in turn be ripped apart by the mob (fulfilling my earlier ruling that Tommen will die pretty brutally and bloody). The more I think about this, the more complex the timing becomes. If Martin ever starts to write about his problems with the “King’s Landing knot” or the “Knot of Baelor”, you know what he means, I guess.
Concurring Opinion: Amin
I agree with my fellow judges that UnGregor will eventually be unmasked, but not exactly in the way the submission proposed. I am not sure why that unmasking itself would be the direct trigger that sets the peasants in an uproar, I think they are more likely to run in fear than to attack him in anger. However, it may be a triggering point with the Faith, as mentioned, who could then themselves try to rouse the populace if it fit their purposes.
Concurring Opinion: Thomas
UnGregor won't be revealed in the actual trial, but once he wins the duel, you can bet the whispers will start about how freakish big he is (especially amongst the sparrows, who saw The Mountain firsthand). Once it's revealed, you can bet there'll be fallout.
Final Verdict: UnGregor will win the duel, so no, but there is bound to happen something, probably not long after.
Do you think Martin will be able to wrap up the series in just two more books, or will he need to write a third book to finish the story?
Main Opinion: Stefan
Who knows? Anything can happen. I’m pretty positive that he will manage, however. The final act doesn’t need to be as long as the first one, because you don’t need that much setup, leaving to “A Dance With Dragons”-sized books amply sufficient for everything there is to tell, I guess. We’re already heading to conclusions of several storylines, after all - Meereen will be resolved quickly, the War in the North as well, then we have the stage set for the Lannister-Tyrell-conflict and Aegon’s War, while we get Jon and stuff at the Wall and, finally, Dany’s arrival on dragons and the the pivotal conflict with the Others before we have a dragged out ending, Lord of the Rings style, telling us what each character does. I’m guessing, though.
Dissenting Opinion: Amin
I think that George may finish the series with 8 books, rather than 7. A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons can be seen as two parts of a single book and can certainly be read that way (see FeastDance), which would still fit the poetically appropriate 7 books number. I think that George himself has even mentioned this technical numbering and the potential for 8 books; he has softened on his 7 book response in recent interviews, if I recall correctly. He is leaving the door open in case he needs to go there, with a proper warning to prevent a corresponding uprising in the Faithful :)
Concurring Opinion: Thomas
George is absolutely going to finish in two books. With the high death toll on the horizon, between war, dragons, Others, and greyscale, we're going to see a handy resolution to a lot of storylines. The world is suitably built, so there shouldn't be any more big speedbumps on the road to completion.
Final Verdict: Yes, George will finish in two books.