Blog of the Dragon

Game of Thrones/Song of Ice and Fire news, theories, and other nerdy goodness

Month: April 2016 (Page 1 of 2)

Will Bran Stark’s Visions of the Past Save Westeros for the Future?

With the return of Bran Stark to Game of Thrones this coming Sunday, I have dedicated this character prediction to him. Please don’t read if you want to avoid potential spoilers.

Bran Stark in A Song of Ice and Fire

In A Dance with Dragons, Bran finally finds the three-eyed crow, who turns out to be Brynden Rivers (aka Bloodraven). Bloodraven is a Targaryen (legitimized) bastard, formerly both Hand of the King and Lord Commander of Night’s Watch. He was a spymaster who was also said to dabble in sorcery. He played a key role in protecting the Targaryen dynasty from the Blackfyre pretenders, but was ultimately sent to the Wall for his for his underhanded methods.

We know Bloodraven is extremely powerful, and he has seen this power in Bran. He lures Bran beyond the wall to train him in his gifts, and we assume that they will use these gifts to help stop the Others from destroying humanity. However, Bran’s final chapter in A Dance with Dragons is full of ominous imagery and a sense of fatalism. There is a detailed breakdown here, but we find out that worship of the Old Gods historically involved blood sacrifice and that the Children of the Forest likely practice it still.

Prior to this, the Children of the Forest and the Old Gods seemed to be forces for good which battled against the forces of evil (the Others). Bran appeared to be on an important journey to awaken his gifts for the betterment of humanity, and he still may. But nothing is black and white in A Song of Ice and Fire, so we are left to wonder how Bran’s story will play out – will he be a hero, villain, or something in-between?

I do believe Bran will discover important information about the Long Night, the true nature of the Others, and also about his family and ancestors. He will probably be the vehicle for revealing Jon’s true parentage and the significance it has for Westeros (if any). What is more difficult to determine is how he will use this information.

Bloodraven’s time as Hand and Lord Commander seemed marked by his desire to keep the realm safe and at peace, and to preserve the Targaryen legacy. Are these goals important to him still? We don’t know what he has learned from the Children and from his visions, and – not knowing Bloodraven’s true motivation – we are left to wonder how he plans to use Bran to further his ends.

Bran Stark in Game of Thrones

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Bran’s role in Game of Thrones seems to be less ambiguous than in the books. From the footage that’s been released so far – and what we’ve learned from interviews – he seems poised to become a powerful warg and greenseer who will use his gifts to try and save Westeros from the White Walkers.

We know that he will see the events at the Tower of Joy, where Ned Stark went to retrieve his sister Lyanna Stark after Robert’s Rebellion was over. Bran will likely discover that Lyanna gave birth to Jon (Rhaegar’s son) and made Ned promise to raise him and keep him safe. Hopefully he will use his power to share this information with Jon prior to his resurrection.

The trailer footage appears to show the White Walkers burning the cave where Bran, Meera, and Hodor are sheltered with Bloodraven. If this is the case, they will need to escape but where will they go? They will be in extreme danger from the weather and the White Walker army. It remains to be seen how they will survive, but if Bran has the knowledge necessary to save Westeros he will hopefully try to find his family. Jon and Sansa (with help from Davos) appear to be on track to unite the North against the Boltons. With the Bolton threat removed, they will need to turn their focus to the threat beyond the Wall –  before it’s too late.

 

Game of Thrones Season 6 Premiere Play by Play (Spoilers, obviously)

Below is my running commentary of the premiere episode, The Red Woman. If you haven’t watched it, please stop reading now.

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Ok, we get it, Jon is dead. Poor Ghost is howling in the distance; you should have kept him close Jon. Davos suspects something is up and goes to look, along with (luckily) some other loyal brothers. Yes, take him somewhere safe – or better yet – take him to Melisandre. Am I the only one who thinks the blood in the snow looks a bit like a dragon? I feel like I’m taking a Rorschach ink blot test – tell me what you see. Poor Edd is ready to fight, but yes please go get Ghost. A direwolf by your side couldn’t hurt.

Poor sad Melisandre – nothing is going the way she planned. Have faith, I think your visions are true; you just need to get better at interpretation. If you bring Jon back he can still fight at Winterfell. Let’s get on that, okay?

Alliser is showing no shame or remorse and telling the entire Night’s Watch what he did. Someone please go Caesar him and the rest of his cronies. Where’s Wun Wun when you need him? At least Davos is making plans; it’s good to see him taking charge. The wildlings will not be happy about this turn of events…maybe Alliser should have killed Jon before they let a wilding army past the Wall.

Poor creepy Ramsay actually seems sad – or more accurately like someone whose favorite toy got broken. Myranda looks pretty good for landing face first. I’m glad to see Ramsay hasn’t become too sentimental – l suppose good meat is hard to come by this time of year. Roose needs to watch his back. You can see Ramsay plotting his murder while Roose is handing out criticism. Walda and baby Bolton probably won’t be far behind.

Run, Sansa, run! Freezing to death in the woods would be infinitely better than going back to Ramsay. It’s good to see Theon (no longer Reek) have a backbone again, and so sweet him hugging her like that – I could see these two get together if it weren’t for him being, well, you know. Theon is willing to sacrifice himself to the Bolton pursuers to save Sansa – how valiant! It’s too bad they didn’t buy it. But no worries, here are Brienne and Pod to the rescue! I’m glad Brienne finally gets to do something useful after staring at a window for season 5. It appears Pod has been doing some training, but not enough. Thankfully Theon comes to his rescue. Brienne swears an oath to Sansa like she did to Catelyn – I hope it works out this time.

Cersei has lost another child, and her performance is so heartbreaking I almost feel empathy for her. She surprisingly isn’t furious with Jaime because she knew it was coming – has she given up and resigned herself to the prophecy being fulfilled? Jaime isn’t having it though and vows to fight their enemies. I really hope they start hating each other soon; that was the best part of his redemption arc in the books.

Poor Margaery is still in a cell, and it looks like Septa Unella is making another enemy. She will regret that one day. The High Sparrow sounds reasonable here – they must be playing good cop/bad cop. He may be swaying Margaery to truly repent and confess, or else she will wise up and play the game.

Ugh, Dorne. Do we really have to see them again? Oberyn was so amazing that he must have sucked the awesome out of the rest of his family. Doran finds out about Myrcella; what will he do to Ellaria now? Ah. Nothing at all, because he’s dead, along with Areo. And with that, a bad storyline just got worse. Yes Ellaria, I’m sure Oberyn would be thrilled you are murdering his family on his behalf.

Cue Trystane on the boat. How did Nymeria and Obara get to him? Weren’t they on the dock when the ship left Dorne? Maybe Gendry showed up in his rowboat. Jaime, you should have kept Trystane as a hostage. He’d probably still be alive. What happens now? Can we just cut Dorne off from the rest of Westeros and pretend it doesn’t exist?

Tyrion and Varys must feel pretty secure in their plot armor to walk around Meereen unguarded. Tyrion cracks a joke at Varys’ expense. Glad to see he hasn’t lost his sense of humor, although his Valyrian could use some work. I see the harpies are still stirring the pot (with some freedmen going over to their side perhaps?). They are apparently setting things on fire too. There goes Dany’s fleet…which opens an opportunity for the Greyjoys to have some significance this season.

Daario and Jorah make an awkward search team. Neither of them deserve Dany –  I hope she comes to her senses. Keep that greyscale covered up Jorah! I don’t see his carelessness with it ending well for Essos (or Westeros if he makes it that far). Of course he conveniently finds Dany’s tiny ring in all that grass. Now what? The two of them will take on a Dothraki horde? Sounds like a great plan.

Speaking of Daenerys – she doesn’t look too happy. These crude Dothraki are going to regret whipping the Mother of Dragons when she unleashes Drogon on them. Dany meets Khal Moro and doesn’t take any of his crap. Fire and blood – she remembers who she is and doesn’t care who knows it. And now Moro knows she is Drogo’s widow, so it’s the Dosh Khaleen for her. At least until Drogon decides to show up and burn them all.

Arya is still blind. The waif takes advantage of it to beat her with a stick. I see her Arya sticking her with the pointy end sometime soon.

Alliser tries to negotiate with Davos, but he isn’t falling for his lies. Just open the door and let Ghost have at him – Ghost is looking rather hungry. It will end with blood all right; hopefully Alliser’s. The brothers are concerned that their fate is in Edd’s hands, but Davos reminds them about Melisandre. I’m shocked that he is putting some faith in her. At least until he finds out she was responsible for Shireen’s death.

Melisandre doesn’t look very confident though… more like defeated (not a good sign for Davos or for Jon). And now the moment the men have been waiting for – Melisandre naked. Until she turns until an old woman; I’m pretty sure the men don’t want to see that. Book readers shouldn’t be shocked that she’s old, but it is surprising to see it revealed, and for what purpose? And of course that’s the end of the show.

I guess they want to keep Jon on ice a while longer. It’s been 5 years for some of us to find out if he comes back – haven’t we waited long enough? Oh well, here’s hoping for next week!

 

 

Will Melisandre Find Redemption and Help Save Westeros?

Happy premiere day everyone! The long wait for Game of Thrones season 6 is finally just a few short hours from being over. In honor of tonight’s episode – The Red Woman – I am doing my character prediction on none other than Melisandre. Love to hate her or hate to love her, no one can deny she is an intriguing character who looks to have a big impact on the story. Possible spoilers below, so read at your own risk.

Melisandre in A Song of Ice of Fire

She first appears in the books under mysterious and villainous circumstances. Most of her actions are seen through Davos Seaworth’s point of view, and he sees her as an evil, negative influence on Stannis Baratheon. Indeed, she does many things that disturb the reader and paint her as an antagonist.

It isn’t until Melisandre’s POV chapter in A Dance with Dragons that we get the opportunity to see inside her head. We then get the impression that whether or not you believe in her cause or her methods, she truly believes in what she does and that it’s necessary to save Westeros from annihilation.

Melisandre’s story ends with her warning Jon about the danger he faces and his impending betrayal. Many readers assume that she will resurrect Jon in the next book, since we have seen this done by Thoros of Myr (another red priest of R’hllor). Unlike in the show, Melisandre did not see this feat being performed, so it’s not guaranteed that she knows about it.

I do believe Melisandre will bring Jon back. Thoros brought Beric back by accident, not knowing it was possible, so it may be a similar circumstance for her. Many think that she will burn Shireen to perform the resurrection (believing she will need king’s blood to give her power). Although this is likely to happen, I don’t see it being done in conjunction with Jon.

The rest of her story is a mystery to me. There are many theories about Melisandre, but it seems to be certain she is much older than she appears (and possibly the daughter of Bloodraven – there is a wonderful synopsis of that theory here). She has seen Bloodraven and Bran in her fires, believing them to be agents of the enemy – perhaps their stories with intersect. I do think she will become a believer in Jon as Azor Ahai Reborn (whether he actually is or not) once he returns from the dead.

Melisandre in Game of Thrones

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Her purpose seems more straightforward on the show – we are clearly set up for Melisandre to resurrect Jon after she witnesses Thoros bring back Beric in season 3, and then she returns to Castle Black in season 5 right before Jon’s stabbing. From the released footage we’ve received, Davos and the other loyal Night’s Watch brothers seem to be protecting Jon’s body for a reason. Surely Melisandre would have shared the possibility of bringing him back.

As much as I would like for Jon to come back in the premiere, I think we might be kept in suspense a while longer. Carice van Houten and Liam Cunningham have said something big happens with Melisandre in the premiere, and that it isn’t what we think. What seems likely is that it will involve something surprising about her – her true age perhaps, or maybe more about her backstory.

I, for one, can’t wait to find out what this season has in store for Melisandre. Will she redeem herself after her failure with Stannis? Will she atone for Shireen? I find her fascinating and look forward to seeing more of “The Red Woman.”

Just 5 hours left – enjoy the show!

 

Algorithm Predicts Game of Thrones Season 6 Deaths: Is Your Favorite on the List?

Do you hate not knowing which characters will be suddenly and brutally taken from you during any given season of Game of Thrones? Students at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have attempted to take the guesswork out of it using Artificial Intelligence (AI). They developed an algorithm which analyzes online data about the A Song of Ice and Fire books and the Game of Thrones series to predict who will die this year. The entire article is available here.

The accuracy of the algorithm is currently 74%. Below are the predictions for season 6, along with each character’s probability of death. This list is speculative, but if you’d rather not know, stop reading now:

Tommen Baratheon – 97%

Daenerys Targaryen – 96%

Theon Greyjoy – 74%

Arya Stark – 68%

Ramsey Bolton – 64%

Sansa Stark – 3%

I personally think Tommen and Ramsey are the most likely to happen this season. Theon would be my next guess. I find it very hard to believe Daenerys wouldn’t make it to the final season; that one seems like quite a stretch. Arya will probably die before the end, but not until next year; Sansa seems to be pretty safe for now.

What do you think? Do you believe any of these characters will die this year? Are there any others you feel should be on the hit list?

 

Will Davos Seaworth Unite the North?

With just 3 days left until the Game of Thrones season 6 premiere, I will focus on a character who should have a large part to play in the first episode (and the season as a whole). As usual, please note that my speculation is largely based upon filming news, released footage, and The Winds of Winter sample chapters. Stop reading now if you want to remain Unsullied.

Davos Seaworth in A Song of Ice and Fire

In A Dance with Dragons, Davos was last seen at White Harbor and assumed to be going to find Rickon Stark on Skagos. I think he will eventually find Osha and Rickon, and convince them that they will be safe at White Harbor, or perhaps another loyal northern house.

Davos will likely stay with them, as the coming winter will make travel difficult. I think Stannis will eventually be defeated or killed, but the Stark loyalists will ultimately win back the North from the Boltons. However, without Stannis to follow, perhaps Davos will be forced to go find the one leader who understands the real threat to Westeros – Jon.

Davos is loyal and trustworthy, so whether Jon becomes King in the North or even the Seven Kingdoms, Davos would be an excellent advisor to have by his side. I think he will be key in helping Jon rally Westeros to his side. Without allies, they will not be able to stop the Others.

If Davos survives the battles to come – and if peace is returned to Westeros – I think he will finally go back home to his family, knowing his has done his duty in defense of the realm.

Davos Seaworth in Game of Thrones

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It’s clear from the footage we’ve been given and the amount of publicity Liam Cunningham has done on behalf of the show, that Davos will have a huge role to play this season. He and Melisandre will find Jon’s body and protect it from the mutineers.

I’m not sure if Davos will be involved in resurrecting Jon, but he will become his key advisor and emissary. He will be sent out to find loyal northern houses to help defeat the Boltons. Once they are dispatched, the north can focus on the true threat of the White Walkers.

I’m not sure if his story will follow the books from here, but I think it likely Davos will die on the show. Hopefully it will be a noble sacrifice and a hero’s death – that’s the least he deserves.

Another AleHorn Giveaway!

If you didn’t win Alehorn’s Game of Thrones sigil tankards in their last contest, don’t give up! They are now offering sigil tumblers and plates, and they are giving away one of each engraved with the house of your choice! You can enter here.

The tumblers and plates are also available for purchase, although the original tankards are currently sold out. They have several other products available for purchase via Amazon.com.

Cheers, and good luck!

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Is Sansa Finally Becoming a Player in the Game of Thrones?

Just one week to go until the Game of Thrones premiere, so I will attempt a few more character predictions before the season starts. As with the others, if you don’t want to hear speculation based upon released season 6 footage, filming news, or The Winds of Winter sample chapters please stop reading now.

Sansa Stark in A Song of Ice and Fire

Sansa’s fate in the books is difficult to guess. As of A Dance with Dragon, she is still in the Vale with Petyr Baelish who is scheming to marry her to Harrold Hardyng (the heir to the Eyrie if Robert Arryn dies). There is a possibility that she either won’t marry Harrold or that he will die, leaving her free to make another alliance – maybe Aegon Targaryen (this is the subject of the Ashford Tourney theory). I don’t think she will ultimately end up with either of them, becoming either the Queen of the North or acting as regent for Rickon if he is found.

I believe she will reunite with Jon at some point – perhaps at Winterfell once he defeats the Boltons. Sansa will likely be instrumental in Littlefinger’s demise, because she is the maiden who slays a giant in a castle of snow according to the prophecy of the Ghost of High Heart (theory is here).

Beyond that, I don’t know what fate will befall Sansa. Will she survive to the end of the story? Will she reunite with her first husband and become the Lady of Casterly Rock? Will she marry someone else entirely? I can’t decide, but I’m leaning toward her dying before the end.

Sansa Stark in Game of Thrones

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It’s a little easier to determine her storyline on the show. From the trailer, we can see her running with Theon as they are pursued by Bolton men. It looks as though Brienne will save them, and Sansa will probably take refuge with one of the northern lords.

When she hears about Jon’s resurrection and the impending battle with the Boltons, she will involve herself in the conflict. The Boltons will be defeated, and she will order Ramsay’s execution (and possibly Littlefinger’s – they were all seen filming at Winterfell). Jon may have been offered the lordship of Winterfell by this point, but he won’t take what belongs to Sansa (or Rickon if he is back in the picture).

Sansa, Jon, and Davos will likely be key to uniting the north in the face of the White Walker threat. Perhaps she will marry a northern lord to cement an alliance, or someone from another region to bring in more support.

What do you think will happen to her? Whatever the outcome, her story seems to be taking a very interesting and exciting turn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Liam Cunningham interview; Benioff and Weiss on Final Seasons and Their Hatred of Spoilers

Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth) has been quite busy promoting Game of Thrones Season 6. In a new interview with IGN he promises plenty of “death and destruction” and says “the guillotine swings quite heavily” this year. He also discusses new character alliances, the pressing threat facing Westeros, and starting the journey toward the end of the series. Read the entire interview here.

Game of Thrones’ Showrunners Considering Shortened Runs for Seasons 7 and 8

Speaking of the end of the series, creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss speculate to Variety that the final two seasons may be shorter than the standard 10 episodes we’ve enjoyed thus far. “I think we’re down to our final 13 episodes after this season. We’re heading into the final lap,” Benioff is quoted as saying. “That’s the guess, though nothing is yet set in stone, but that’s what we’re looking at.”

Although those numbers were later clarified as being “premature,” it’s likely that we won’t get 2 more full seasons. Benioff and Weiss said that producing 10 full episodes given the scope of the show is becoming problematic.

While I definitely don’t want to see this happen (10 hours per season never seems like enough to me), I also don’t want the quality of the show to suffer, or the ending to drag out longer than necessary just to fill a quota. That being said, the already incredibly long offseason would be even longer. Thankfully there will be plenty of filming news/leaks/speculation to hold us over…

Benioff and Weiss Despise Spoilers

Of course, if the showrunners had their way, they would keep us in the dark as much as possible. EW reports that the Game of Thrones creators go to great lengths to keep things under wraps and preserve the element of surprise for the fans. Dan Weiss believes “any sane person would admit that knowing this stuff in advance lessens the experience of watching it, and yet people are really hungry to find out things that that will make something they presumably like worse for them. So I don’t totally get it.”

David Benioff agrees. He insinuates that while people sneakily capturing pictures during filming are crazy, the spoiler seekers are crazier. “The idea that people want to go to sites and find out those spoilers … it’s like if there was a website called Last Pages of Great Books, would you read that?”

My personal belief is that every care should be taken not to inadvertently spoil anything unless someone is specifically looking for it. During the waits between book releases and during the show offseason, I search for every bit of news I can find. If there are a few spoilers, it doesn’t ruin anything for me – a good story doesn’t become less enjoyable even if you know how it ends.

I love the guessing and speculation that comes with spoiler territory. If anything, it heightens my excitement for what’s to come.

 

 

 

New House Stark and Lannister Steins!

Prepare to toast the Game of Thrones premiere in style with a House Stark or House Lannister stein! These beautiful 22 oz steins feature a ceramic base with the Stark or Lannister sigil and house words, and pewter tops fashioned into the Baratheon crown. They are officially licensed by HBO and available for purchase on Amazon.com, so you should have them in plenty of time for your premiere party. IMG_2354.JPG

I’m partial to House Stark of course. Which is your favorite?

Will Tyrion Lannister Win the Game of Thrones?

Another day, another character prediction. The speculation below is partly based on filming news, released season 6 footage, and Tyrion’s sample chapter from The Winds of Winter – if you want to be like Jon Snow and know nothing, stop reading now.

Tyrion Lannister in A Song of Ice and Fire

Tyrion’s story in A Dance with Dragons ended with him joining the Second Sons, with the intention of having them switch their alliance back to Daenerys before the siege of Meereen by the Yunkish forces. In his sample chapter from The Winds of Winter, we learn that the Ironborn ships have arrived, the dragons are flying over the battle, and the Second Sons are indeed “Queen’s men” again. I think Dany’s forces will defeat the Yunkai’i, and that Tyrion will take a hand in governing the city until Daenerys returns (paralleling his arc on the show).

At the end of his sample chapter a white cyvasse dragon falls at his feet, and he picks it up – could this be foreshadowing Viserion being injured and nursed back to health by Tyrion? If so, there is a good possibility Tyrion may be able to ride him.

Eventually I believe Daenerys will return, take him into her service, and make plans to sail to Westeros with the Ironborn. Tyrion will likely play a key role in keeping her out of Euron’s clutches and helping her maneuver the situation with “Aegon.” Since we know there will be a second Dance of the Dragons, Tyrion may help her discover his true identity.

I think Tyrion will be instrumental in forging an alliance with a resurrected Jon to battle the Others. Given their past relationship and the respect Tyrion has for him, he should be able to convince Daenerys that there a genuine threat and that Jon will be an important person to have by her side. It’s possible that Tyrion may die before the end of the story, but I feel he may end up as Lord of Casterly Rock and/or Hand to the eventual ruler of Westeros.

Lastly, there is a theory that Tyrion is a Targaryen – that he is the bastard son of Aerys and Joanna. There is a good summary of the hints in the text here. I’m not sure I believe it, but I don’t think it can be completely refuted either. I don’t know that it will ever be revealed to us, or that it will matter to the story. However, there would be a certain poetic justice in Tyrion inheriting Casterly Rock if it were indeed true.

Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones

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Tyrion will probably keep the peace in Meereen for a time, but Dany being gone will embolden the Sons of the Harpy, and tensions will mount. Problems within the city, and threats coming from outside, will erupt into conflict. We see from trailers that Tyrion looks like he will release the dragons, and they will unleash fire and blood on the city before Daenerys returns.

As with Jon and Daenerys, I think his storyline on the show will largely follow the remaining books from here. Since the fates of these three will probably be intertwined, they wouldn’t be able to deviate too much from the main thrust of their stories. I think Tyrion will be instrumental in shaping the future of Westeros, and I’m excited to see how it plays out on the page and the screen.

What are your thoughts about Tyrion? Is he a central player in the great game?

 

 

 

 

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