The end of Season 6 of Game of Thrones was not kind to its bad guys. Two of Westeros' biggest a-holes were offed when Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) took a dog to the face and Arya (Maisie Williams) put a hole in Walder Frey's (David Bradley) turkey neck, giving fans reason to celebrate. But did we ever stop to think that we needed their evilness to root against? Because we're going to miss it.
With two of the show's most nefarious bad dudes gone, who will step up and be the big bad in Season 7? I've put together a list of the people who'll potentially be on our dartboards next year.
The obvious choice. Cersei's (Lena Headey) shocking and explosive rise to Queen of the Andals via wildfire and BBQ'd sparrow can only mean terror for the rest of Westeros. She wasn't the kindest soul to begin with, but imagine how nice she'll be now that all three of her children have been killed (one indirectly through her own actions, ouch). Cersei's biggest drive might be her growing loneliness; not only are all her kids gone, but her brother/lover Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) didn't look too jazzed that she was sitting on the Iron Throne at the end of Season 6. With no one to back her up except a zombified sack of blue meat in armor and a creepy necromancer with the power to bring the dead back to something close to life, Cersei is well-equipped to be the most hated person in King's Landing and in Game of Thrones.
Sure, you look at her and you see the platinum-blonde hair, the pretty face and the steely determination to do what she considers to be the right thing. But I look at her and see that Dany (Emilia Clarke) has come a long way since being married off to a horse lord, showing little or no tolerance for those who disagree with her morals as she's roasted plenty of her enemies. She can win any argument with one word: Dracarys! So who's to say she and her trio of dragons won't feel the Targaryen fire burn inside her and go power mad just like her psycho daddy?
This guy had to be added to the show for some reason, right? Euron (Pilou Asbæk), Theon (Alfie Allen) and Yara Greyjoy's (Gemma Whelan) uncle, returned to the Iron Islands in Season 6, promptly threw his ruling brother over the side of a bridge to become chum below, announced that he would be taking over the Salt Throne and then ordered the murder of his niece and nephew for challenging his rule. Yep, he's a jerk. His plan to conquer Westeros with Dany was submarined by Theon and Yara, but if his builders made the ships he requested, he'll be a major presence on the seas. Still, in order to be a true Game of Thrones villain, he'll have to do something particularly nasty to a character we love.
Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish
A master of the manipulative arts, Littlefinger (Aiden Gillen) is the man behind Joffrey's poisoning, Lysa Arryn's fall out of the Moon Door, Sansa's incredibly unpleasant marriage to Ramsay and the skeeziest facial hair in the kingdom. As a man who makes personal gains by putting others at risk, he's not well liked or trusted, but you have to give props to his impressive cunning. Sansa must owe him something for bringing reinforcements from the Vale to turn the tide in the Battle of the Bastards, and her refusal to be the Stark that others follow — she let Jon take the role — irked Littlefinger as she was his ticket to the Iron Throne. Littlefinger may see that as a slight and betray Sansa and Jon. Remember, it wouldn't be the first time he did that. He was also the one who turned Ned Stark over to the Lannisters.
This one might require a tinfoil hat, since Sansa (Sophie Turner) became one of Season 6's biggest heroes following her nightmare visit in Ramsay Bolton's version of Winterfell and subsequent transformation into one of the biggest badasses in the show. But hear me out! Jon Snow (Kit Harington) is Game of Thrones' golden boy, a hero's hero who will almost certainly be the last character standing when all is said and done. Sansa has been disagreeing with Jon ever since the hug heard 'round the world when they reunited, causing tension between the two (who never really got along when they were younger, either). If she becomes a foil to Jon in any way, possibly teaming up with Littlefinger in the process, she'll be treading in bad gal territory.
I mean, yeah, he wants to march down south and freeze all our butts off and turn our dead friends into his soldiers. I'd say that qualifies as a villain.
THINK ABOUT IT. His adoptive father (Tommen) and mother (Margaery) were both killed as a result of the King's Landing tragedy, which was caused by his evil grandmother. This is a supervillain origin story if I ever heard one. At the very least, he better pee on Cersei's new jacket.
The front desk guy at the Citadel
If Jon is finally able to claim the Iron Throne, will he have to go through this guy in order to fill out the necessary paperwork to officially become king? Ugh, it won't even be worth it.
Who do you think will be Season 7's bad guy?