Sometimes I wonder if my wife– the beautiful Kelly– knows how much I love Game of Thrones, how much I think about it, trying to predict what will happen, lamenting the lost characters, accidentally quoting Syrio Forel.

So how has this season been? Awesome.

Does anyone else feel like Dany became a thousand times more dangerous the moment Tyrion sat by her side?

But perhaps I can elaborate. With the season finale fast approaching, let’s break it down by how the characters were this season. And then I’ll give a few thoughts on where I think things are going.

It should be noted that, even though I’ve read the books, I’m not going to spoil anything that hasn’t happened yet. There are a few minor spoilers for things that happened in the books 1,000 pages before current events on the Game of Thrones TV show. But there are spoilers galore for anything up to Episode 9 “The Dance of Dragons” of the current season.

Cersei Lannister

Cersei was so full of ambition and pride this season, I think even she should have known that she would be hoisted on her own petard. She set up her daughter-in-law, the excellent Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell, for aiding and abetting the “sodomy” of her brother Loras. But Cersei didn’t understand that the new High Septon/Sparrow was motivated, not by ambition or greed, but by the love of the Seven, one of the religions of Westeros. So before Cersei was thrown into that cell for fornication– accused by her cousin, Lancel, who had fornicated with her–she should have seen it coming. Certainly, her father would have. So what will happen to Cersei as a result? Is she about to learn a lesson in humility? Or at least in planning? Or is she going to double down and lose all the power she has gained? I have no idea. We might not even find out this season. But Cersei’s fatal flaws are legion, so I can’t see anything but a long spiral down from here.

But let’s take a step back and talk about Lena Headey as an actress. Her TV son, Joffrey, played by the excellent Jack Gleeson, got a lot of press as a love-to-hate-him sadistic oaf, but I think Lena is actually even better. She’s a smart, strong woman who doesn’t realize that she is in over her head and completely in love with the power that she wields as a cudgel, not a scalpel– and it’s mostly in Lena’s eyes. When she is delighted by something or happy, Cersei seems almost likable. Cersei is a villain, but Headey plays her as a human.

And what in the hell is she funding for Qyburn? I mean, I think the clear implication is that the headless Mountain is somehow alive in his dungeon. But that “the work continues…” implies to me that Cersei’s fall is going to be spectacular, gothic, and, dare I say, Frankensteinian. Don’t mess with that stuff, Cersei!

Jon Snow

Sweet Jon Snow! You are trying to do the right thing and the Night’s Watch just doesn’t understand, the real enemy are the White Walkers, not the Wildlings. You have returned to Castle Black with your giant and the scorn of your men, even that kid who should like you. But having more responsibility really suits you. I think all of Jon Snow’s growth into leadership has been excellent, from Season One until now, joining the Night’s Watch, ranging beyond the wall, joining the Wildlings, falling in love with Ygritte, leaving the Wildlings and Ygritte, standing his ground and defending Castle Black . But frankly, I believe that this must be his best season, beheading Janos Slynt, killing a White Walker, being a general badass, but still green and trusting.

So what’s ahead for Jon Snow? I think he’s going to be Dany’s one true love. No one has said this out loud, but I’m pretty sure that Jon Snow is not Ned Stark’s bastard, but rather the offspring of Ned’s sister, Lyanna and Rhaegar Targaryen. King Robert also loved Lyanna and alleged that Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna. But I think that’s a “history written by the victor” thing and that Lyanna and Rhaegar loved each other. I think Lyanna made Ned promise not to tell anyone since Targaryens were being killed as babies, so Ned raised Jon Snow as his own. Sharp-eyed readers of this paragraph will note that I think that Jon is going to marry his half-sister. Yep. Game of the Thrones is the olden days! People are always doing stuff like that. If you read the books, Martin mentions that Targaryen’s marry their siblings. (Editor’s note: Ellaria Sand tells Jamie Lannister that if he had been a Targaryen a hundred years ago, he and his sister would not have to love each in secret.)

Brienne of Tarth

Brienne got short shrift this season! Obviously, Brienne is an awesome character, but how long has she just been waiting for that candle to show up in the tower? The beginning of the season was hilariously good, with her and Pod locating Sansa so soon after losing Ayra. But she hasn’t really had a lot to do because they did most of Brienne’s story last season. So she’s a piece, she’s in place, and I’m going to have faith that they have something good planned for her. But this has not been Brienne’s season.

Although, I suspect she’s going to have something to say about Stannis attacking Winterfell next episode (supposition on my part, not spoilers). But what do I think is going to happen to Brienne? Well, I think she’s going to end up with Jamie in one way or another, that is, married and living in a little hut away from King’s Landing… or dead. Probably Jamie and Brienne end up dead doing the right thing bravely. Brienne and Jamie just don’t think before they act.

Stannis Baratheon

Okay, Stannis. I never liked you, but I respected you. I always thought that you were tough, but fair. I understood why you murdered your brother. He was your younger brother and you were next in line to the throne. I understood why you got everyone killed in the Blackwater, because you believed your cause was just. But burning your daughter? Too far! You’ve sold your soul, my friend!

I actually thought that they were lightening up Stannis’s character just because books and TV are different. That scene with his daughter, “You are Shireen of the House Baratheon,” was so awesome. And now I see it was all to set up a terrible thing. I don’t approve of it at all, but I do get why he did it. Their religion is REAL. He has seen it do magic. Wouldn’t church be different if every Sunday they actually turned water into wine or walked on water? I bet a lot more people would go and be really strong believers. The Red Woman has power! Burning Shireen will work and they will take Winterfell. But… too far, Stannis. You’ll never be happy, satisfied, or content again.

For those of you who only watch the TV show, this might not be obvious, but the Red Woman thinks that Stannis is the chosen one who will defeat the White Walkers. She’s wrong, it’s probably Dany, Tyrion and Jon (the dragon has three heads). So I think Stannis is going to die for his king’s blood, namely that they will need some help killing the White Walkers and Stannis will realize that his blood is needed. So I see him walking willingly to an immolation, particularly now that he killed his daughter.

Why Tyrion? Well, this is a book thing, but it really seems like the mad king, Aerys, might have raped Joanna Lannister, wife of Tywin. As you may or may not recall, Tywin was the hand of the king, Aerys, and Aerys lost and Jamie killed Aerys. So either Tywin screwed up and lost the city or Tywin withdrew support for the king for some reason. There’s a lot of “you’re no son of mine” to Tyrion. And that scene where Tywin explained that Tyrion would never inherit Casterly Rock seemed very significant. Anyway, Tyrion is probably a closet Targaryen.

There are all kinds of reasons that this could not be true, Tyrion and Jon have both been burnt where Dany is significantly NOT burnt. But… who knows. I think that’s all red herrings and that Jon and Tyrion are Targaryens.

Tyrion Lannister

I’m hesitant to compare the books and movies too much, but I will admit that when I got to the end of A Dance with Dragons and Tyrion still hadn’t met Dany, I was a little bummed. So I’ll give the show points for not having endless road blocks to getting to the point. On the other hand, A Song of Ice and Fire is, above all else, a great adventure of the road and getting there is the whole point. Sure, it’s fun having Tyrion and Dany together, but I wouldn’t trade one moment of the book to get to the end more quickly.

Tyrion is handled wonderfully by the book and TV show. He’s smart and calm and every now and again, he has to kill someone with a sword or ax. I have mixed feelings about Tyrion killing his dad. I actually think his dad would have sent him to the wall, not killed him. But it did seem clear that Tywin wanted nothing to do with Tyrion and I can’t really empathize with the need to kill, well, anyone. But in the Game of Thrones world, it didn’t bother me too much that Tyrion killed Tywin. As a matter of fact, watching Stannis burn Shireen made Tyrion seem like a saint. But Tyrion isn’t a saint. Does anyone else feel like Dany became a thousand times more dangerous the moment Tyrion sat by her side?

My predictions for Tyrion are very difficult to separate from my hopes for Tyrion. I really want him to figure out what happened to his first wife and re-unite with her. Remember, in Season One, he told Bronn and Shae about her? He married her but then it turned out that she was a “whore” that Jamie had hired? In the books you find out, devastatingly, that she wasn’t a prostitute, but just a girl who Tyrion happened to meet and fall in love with. But it would never work. Tyrion isn’t a young hopeful person any more. And, quite frankly, he got his wife gang raped and then joined in, so I don’t see any kind of happy ending there.

I could probably say this about most of the actors, but I am constantly surprised by Peter Dinklage’s excellent acting. Did you see his face when that dragon showed up? He was terrified, panicked, and truly transported with joy. It was a helluva a moment. I don’t know anything about Dinklage as a person, but I feel like he really understands what makes Tyrion tick.

Sansa Stark

Sansa’s story has been extremely difficult to watch, but not because I feel like it’s not true to the character. I just hate to see her in such a horrible situation with stupid flaying Ramsay Bolton. Just to be clear, I want Sansa to kill him. She had her moment with Joffrey when she could have pushed him off the roof. I have a feeling that if she gets a second chance, she’ll take it to kill Ramsey. And Sansa had finally seemed to take control of her own destiny with Littlefinger. But it turned out to be an illusion and he left her to this terrible fate. You know, you hear a lot about women being property, but to see it illustrated so viscerally is truly disturbing.

I know this is probably crazy, but I see Sansa marrying the Hound. He’s everything she ever described, except he’s ugly and talks ugly. But when push comes to shove, he does the right thing. I’m not even sure that he killed Ayra’s butcher boy. That all happened off camera. Although maybe the Hound killed him because Joffrey was going to do some crazy thing to the butcher’s boy. (Editor’s note: I will be amazed if the Hound is still alive.)

By the way, I doubt I’m the first person to notice that Theon Greyjoy is Game of Throne’s Golem. I’m sure that Theon is going to be forgiven when it seems like he shouldn’t be and then die doing something extremely true to himself.

Ayra Stark

Does anyone believe that Arya is trying to be no one? Anyone who said yes, I slap thee on the face and dub you a liar! Arya is trying to get her revenge and that is, essentially, all she cares about. And she is my favorite. She just keeps going. She’s learning to be a faceless assassin! Arya is the best.

Arya is obviously going to kill Meryn Trent, who might be my least favorite person in Westeros, who now turns out to be a child molestor! Great job, Meryn. I really didn’t think you could get any worse. First of all, he may or may not have killed Syrio Forel– who I keep hoping is still alive. There’s a very slight chance that Syrio was a faceless man (There is only one God and his name is Death), so Syrio could still be around. Remember how happy Meryn was when he was terrorizing and hitting Sansa? I hate you, Meryn Trant! I can’t wait for Arya to kill you! I hope it’s painful. Although, from the setup, it seems like Arya is going to pose as a courtesan (since Meryn likes ’em young) and so we might get a nice face-to-face murder.

I always think of the Hound, “The greatest swordsman in the world was killed by Meryn Fucking Trent?”

By the way, just to throw out some predictions. I think that the Faceless Men have people all over Westeros just waiting for the White Walkers. Who do the Faceless Men worship? The many faced god whom we call “Death.” What do the White Walkers represent? The end of death. Arya is on the side of light, fighting for death! Game of Thrones, as I might have mentioned before, is awesome.

Where do I think Arya will end up? TV Arya seems a lot like she is going to marry Gendry. But my guess would be that Arya is going to end up by Jon Snow’s side fighting the White Walkers, right in the middle of the action. Hell, maybe Gendry will be there too.