Spoilers ahead for this week’s ‘Game of Thrones’ and the Season 6 finale.
In this Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones, while Jaime took back Riverrun from the Blackfish, settling two plots that have been simmering away for a while and drawing lines in the sand for the epic Lannister versus Stark fight we’ve been dying for since the very beginning.
Hidden among the big business, though, was a small exchange between a Queen and her co-conspirator that seemed to hint at something deadly to come much sooner: the burning of King’s Landing in the Season 6 finale.
In the scene in question, Cersei demands a progress update from Qyburn, the delightfully creepy maester responsible for turning the Mountain into Frankenstein’s monster, about the rumor she asked him to investigate. Qyburn tells her that there is “much, much more” of something or other than anyone had realized.
Although many fan theories over the past couple of weeks have been proven quite wrong, it seems pretty obvious that Cersei wanted to know if the whispers about a supply of wildfire hidden in the Alchemists’ Guild beneath the city contained any truth.
We know this is going to happen because it was seen quite clearly in Bran’s vision a few weeks back. I previously speculated that Cersei would unleash the wildfire during her trial by combat in the Season 6 finale — — taking advantage of the crowds assembled to witness Cleganebowl to burn the city itself to the ground.
This week, the writerstook a pretty gleeful dump on that particular theory when Tommen ruled out the possibility of a trial by combat, instead demanding a Holy Trial to be ruled over by the Faith of the Seven, effectively guaranteeing a guilty verdict and imprisonment (or death) for Cersei.
In doing so, it gave Cersei the perfect opportunity to set her plan into motion. On numerous occasions this season, Cersei has foreshadowed the unleashing of the wildfire, once telling Tommen that she would “burn cities to the ground” to protect him, a line Jaime repeated almost verbatim in conversation with Edmure in this episode.
Jaime’s words could also prove to have some significance; he went to great pains to emphasize that Cersei is the only person he cares about. While she has always loved her children more passionately than he has, it felt like a heavy signifier that Tommen won’t be making it out of the finale alive.
But the scene in which Jaime waved goodbye to Brienne contradicted his previous words to Edmure. He cares about her more than he necessarily realizes. That in turn suggests that he cares about Tommen more than he knows, and should Tommen perish in the blaze of King’s Landing, there’s a pretty good chance Jaime will fulfill the prophecy and turn on his sister. Being killed at the hand of her twin would be deliciously ironic, considering Cersei’s burning hatred of Tyrion.
In my revised theory, Cersei commands Qyburn to unleash the wildfire, destroying the city, killing Margaery, Ser Loras and Tommen. When Jaime arrives back without warning, just in time to watch his son perish, he turns his rage on the sister he loves so dearly. What exactly Qyburn stands to gain from King’s Landing going up in flames, other than the pleasure gained from being creepy, remains a mystery…
Check out the trailer for Episode 9, “Battle of the Bastards,” above. With Jon Snow and Sansa’s makeshift army taking on the Boltons at Winterfell, it looks as though we won’t be returning to King’s Landing until the season finale, when Cersei might finally have something to smile about — at least for a few minutes.
You are the Princess Shireen of the House Baratheon, and you are my daughter.