Some months ago, I posted some thoughts on likely scenarios for the Jaime/Brienne relationship. So far, I haven’t embarrassed myself on that front.
While I am still disgruntled at Jaime’s return to King’s Landing, the fact remains that he reconnected with Brienne, the romantic tension was off the charts, and they parted on good terms. They’re both still alive. The relationship development took a little step forward, and it’s staying there for now. With two seasons to go, this is a good position for an end-game romance.
In structural terms, it makes sense to say Brienne’s story at Riverrun “went nowhere” if you assume her relationship with Jaime is unimportant. Her entire presence in the second half of the season was meeting up with Jaime. That’s it. The mission to meet with the Blackfish was a plot device to get her in the tent with Jaime. We got the “you keep the sword” moment, we got the wave good-bye, and we’re pretty sure she’s still alive, whereas Jaime has just discovered what a monster his sister really is. He’s not going to die in King’s Landing without having kissed Brienne at least once.
Meanwhile, Dany broke up with Daario, and Cersei is still alive. We’re on track. I got this.