Brendan Moody wrote:
I don't see the Others storyline as one that's ever going to involve all the characters directly. This doesn't feel like a series that's building to an epic confrontation with humanity unified against a monstrous onslaught. In fact, the relevant prophecies and visions suggest it's individual players (Jon, Dany, perhaps Tyrion and Bran) that are important rather than rallying the troops. Probably the threat will manifest in some way that makes all the characters aware of it, creating a sense of finality and moment without requiring Arya, Sansa, Brienne, Jaime, and other characters with no evident connection to that storyline to be shoehorned in.
I expect many of the POVs in the south to have their stories wrapped up in resolving the "game", but Arya and Sansa will be involved in the Others' story somehow, I don't doubt.
This series was originally going to be a trilogy:
(1) A Game of Thrones
: Starks vs. Lannisters, ending with the Red Wedding.
(2) A Dance with Dragons
: Dany's invasion.
(3) A Time for Wolves
: Westeros vs. the Others.
Book 1 became three books, with an additional two bridging books, but the remaining two books are now The Winds of Winter
and A Dream of Spring
. Expect the series' original main characters to be on deck for the final battle, including all the Starks (the "wolves" whose time it was to be, after all).