One set of arc words that really stuck with me from the novels is 'there must always be a Stark in Winterfell.' GRRM loves upending expectations, sure, and the Stark family has been all but massacred.. yet I could see these books ending with Lord Rickon Stark ensconced at Winterfell. Like Tommen, he was introduced as a prefunctory additional brother, and that might be the point of him... or not. Really, eh? I don't know. The Red Wedding was shocking, but the books never seemed to have much faith in the Young Wolf, who sometimes felt like he was off being the hero and doing interesting things while we're faffing about with Arya. I always suspected Robb would die (Catelyn dying is what surprised me), it was just a matter of where and when. The Starks had too limited an interest to really be the ones to 'fix' the realm, anyway. They only wanted to be Kings in the North, and it took all of Westeros to repulse the Others last time around. In some ways Ned seems to have had the better idea with Stannis - not that Stannis is an ideal choice, and he seems to be set up for a pretty bad fall (in believing falsely he has the Lightbringer and all that) but of the available Westerosi options for that iron chair at least he's interested in defending the realm as a whole. There is someone I think who is far better suited but between the choices of various Baratheons and the old Stark blood Stannis was decent enough... ...I'm still rooting for Daenerys. I always liked her, but really fell in love with her rise in Storm of Swords. I am but a girl and I know little of war... That a lot of signs have been pointing to her being the one person who genuinely could fix this mess - and by 'a lot of signs' I do mostly mean dear old Aemon - doesn't hurt. Even granted that GRRM likes gutting our would-be saviours Daenerys has spent a lot of time growing as a ruler and leader of men, and if she can't bring the fire to melt off the ice then I can't see Westeros as anything but doomed... ...although I do not consider it beneath GRRM to end the book series with the Others flooding the continent and killing everything in Westeros. All this said, we may be rooting for the same thing, given the mad idea the Greyjoys now have that having Daenerys' hand would be the key to getting the Iron Throne and the whole damn kingdom. It'll be interesting to see how Dany deals with Ironborn and Dornish interest in her crown. Wait, that was Marillion? I guess that must be what they meant.