Blog of the Dragon

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

Month: June 2016 (Page 1 of 2)

Game of Thrones Season 6 Predictions – The Good, the Bad, and the Completely Wrong

Game of Thrones season 6 has come to an end, and what an end it was. I thought I would look back over my predictions to see where I was right, and where I missed the mark. Most of my predictions here came from my season finale post, but some are from before the premiere or early on in the season. I’ve assigned a completely subjective percentage based on how close I think I was for each storyline. Let’s take a look at my powers of deduction, shall we?

Meereen – 80%

Before the season started, I predicted Daenerys would be taken to the Dosh Khaleen at Vaes Dothrak, and that a show of her strength would unite the khalasars under her leadership. I had thought it would be Drogon appearing, but it was all Daenerys instead. I had also assumed Tyrion would keep the peace for a time, but eventually conflict would arise; the dragons and the united Dothraki would be instrumental in defeating Dany’s enemies. This all played out a bit differently than I thought, but the end result was as I expected – Daenerys leaving Daario to keep the peace in Meereen and finally sailing for Westeros.

The Riverlands – 50%

I had thought there would be a Red Wedding type incident at the Twins, but it didn’t quite play out that way. I did guess that Arya might kill Walder Frey, so I’ll count myself half right.

Dorne – 100%

Varys did indeed meet with Ellaria and Olenna, and the Dornish and Tyrell ships in Dany’s fleet mean they are backing her to overthrow Cersei.

King’s Landing – 90%

Cersei destroyed the Sept with wildfire, as expected. I thought it might spread out of control, but luckily for the people of King’s Landing, that hasn’t happened…yet. Unluckily, I was correct in thinking many prominent players (Margaery, Loras, Mace, Kevan, Pycelle, Tommen, Lancel, and the High Sparrow) would perish.

The North – 90%

Jon Snow came back from the dead, as I (and most of the fandom) predicted, and Melisandre did the deed. He left the Night’s Watch, defeated Ramsay, and took back Winterfell (but sadly not able to save Rickon). Sansa escaped and reunited with Jon, but she didn’t just order Ramsay’s execution – she carried it out (in spectacularly gruesome fashion).

Davos has become a key advisor for Jon and was instrumental in helping garner support for the Starks. He did confront Melisandre about Shireen, and Jon elected to send her away rather than execute her. Sansa apologizes to Jon for the deceit regarding Littlefinger and the Vale army, and Littlefinger admits he wants to marry Sansa (although I definitely did not foresee him admitting he wants the Iron Throne, and Sansa didn’t have him killed – yet). She is the Lady of Winterfell and Jon is King in the North, as expected.

Beyond the Wall – 75%

Bran did find out the true nature of the Others, and he was forced to escape the cave. I didn’t predict all of the deaths at the cave, or that Bran and Meera would encounter Benjen, but once they did I correctly guessed Benjen would lead Bran and Meera back toward Castle Black (the weirwood where Bran has his last vision seems to be the same one where Jon took his Night’s Watch vow). Bran finally saw the entire sequence at the Tower of Joy, and discovered the truth of Jon’s birth (Jon remains in the dark for now). The Wall is still standing, unlike my prediction that it might fall. I did think it was probably a bit too early – count on it for season 7 though.

Average – 80%

Apparently all of my reading and researching paid off; 80% isn’t too shabby. Let’s see if I can get that close (or better) next season!

 

Game of Thrones Episode 10 Play by Play (Spoilers of Epic Proportions)

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Cersei is staring out across King’s Landing toward the sept, as everyone gets ready for the trial. The High Sparrow even dons his formal potato sack for the event (still no shoes though). The Sept opens and people stream in to watch the spectacle. The Faith Militant retrieve Loras; looks like he’ll be getting a haircut and a shave (long overdue). The septons come in and take their seats.

Tommen looks unhappy as he is informed the trial will be starting soon. Cersei looks determined as she puts on all her bling. Grand Maester Pycelle gets dressed after spending time with a whore, and as he leaves the room he is stopped by a “little bird” who whispers something in his ear. Meanwhile, the music for this opening sequence is absolutely stunning.

Back in the Sept, Loras is brought before the septons. Loras confesses his sins and states he wants to devote his life to the Seven. He renounces his name and titles, and the Faith Militant carve the star in his forehead (which looks extremely painful, yikes).

Tommen gets up to go the trial, but Zombie Mountain stops him. Cersei is still in her room, so something is about to go down. Margaery is upset about the mutilation of Loras, but the High Sparrow tells her he will be free to go once Cersei’s trial is concluded. Lancel tells the High Sparrow she hasn’t left the Red Keep, so he is ordered to go get her.

Lancel sees a “little bird” running and decides to follow. Grand Maester Pycelle is led to Qyburn, and is promptly stabbed to death by more little birds. Lancel continues following the little bird down some dark tunnels and is stabbed in the side (those little birds are a stabby bunch). Lancel looks around and sees a room full of wildfire.

Margaery is anxious and tells the High Sparrow something is wrong (no kidding). She says that there is a reason Cersei and Tommen are absent, and that they all need to leave. Meanwhile, Lancel pulls himself toward the puddles of wildfire, where candles are burning down to ignite it. I don’t like Lancel but you have to give him credit for trying to stop the impending disaster. As Margaery desperately tries to get out of the Sept – and is stopped by the Faith Militant – Lancel tries to blow out the candle, to no avail. The Sept explodes into a green inferno, while Cersei looks on, smiling and drinking her wine.

Cersei pays a visit to Septa Unella, who is strapped to a table. Cersei pours wine on her face, telling her to confess. But it is Cersei who does the confessing, telling Unella all of her crimes including the recent sparrow barbecue. Cersei reminds Unella that her face would be the last thing she saw before she died. Unella says she is ready to meet the gods. Cersei tells her too bad, she gets to be tortured by Zombie Mountain for a nice long while first. Unella screams as Cersei walks out, chanting “shame.”

Tommen stares down at the destruction, looking devastated. He removes his crown and leaps from the window to his death. Cersei is now responsible for the death of her last child. Please let Jaime take her out for this. She killed a ton of innocent people, didn’t protect her son, and is damn lucky she didn’t destroy the entire city with her stunt. Jaime is going to be pissed.

Over at the Twins, Walder Frey is toasting their success in taking back Riverrun (thanks to Jaime – the Freys were pretty much useless). Jaime and Bronn don’t look too thrilled to be there. Bronn points out the girls eyeing Jaime, and he says they aren’t his type. “Not blond enough?” asks Bronn, and I wonder if he means Cersei or Brienne. Probably both.

Walder comes over and brags about Edmure being back in a cell, the Blackfish being dead, and Riverrun belonging to him. Jaime sarcastically calls him a great conqueror. Walder brushes off the insult and says they are both kingslayers and that people fear them. Jaime retorts that people don’t fear the Freys, they fear the Lannisters, and if the Lannisters have to bail out the Freys every time they lose control over the Riverlands, why do they need them?

Back in King’s Landing, Cersei looks at her dead son – she doesn’t look the least bit sad, surprised, or sorry (oh how I hate her). Qyburn asks about a funeral, and she tells her to burn him. She wants his ashes buried where the Sept used to be, so he can be with his siblings and grandfather (how sweet).

It looks like Sam and Gilly finally made it to Oldtown, and it is gorgeous (took them long enough; they should have borrowed Littlefinger’s jetpack). Sam reports to the Citadel, and the maester at the front desk questions him about why he is there. Apparently news travels slowly, as he thinks Jeor Mormont is still Lord Commander and doesn’t know Maester Aemon is dead. He tells Sam he can wait in the library while he fetches the Archmaester to talk to him, but Gilly and her son aren’t permitted to go any further. Sam walks into the biggest, most beautiful library he’s ever seen, and he will probably never want to leave (I know I wouldn’t!).

A white raven flies toward Winterfell (winter is coming no longer – it’s finally here). Jon talks to Melisandre about growing up as a bastard, and she reminds him he still had it better than most people. Davos walks in and tosses her the burnt stag he carved for Shireen. He angrily demands that she tell Jon what she did, and she admits she burned Shireen because they were desperate – they needed the Lord’s help.

Davos gets emotional as he talks about his love for Shireen, and how her death accomplished nothing as Stannis failed; they all died anyway. Melisandre admits she was wrong, and Davos asks permission to execute her. Melisandre says she has been ready to die for many years (hundreds probably), but that the Lord isn’t done with her – they still have the great war to fight against the White Walkers. Jon decides to banish her to the south. Davos tells her if she ever returns, he will execute her himself.

Jon and Sansa discuss room assignments, and she tells him he should take their father’s old room. He replies he’s not a Stark, but Sansa says he is to her. Jon responds that she is the Lady of Winterfell, and she is the reason they won the battle. She apologizes for not telling him that she wrote to Littlefinger for help. Jon accepts her apology but says they need to trust each other. Sansa then states that a white raven arrived, announcing winter has come. Jon smiles, saying their father always promised it would.

Down in Dorne (unfortunately – I was hoping we wouldn’t come back here), Olenna is meeting with Ellaria and the Sand Snakes. At least Olenna makes the scene bearable by insulting the Sand Snakes and making them all shut up. Ellaria says the Lannisters have declared war on Dorne and the Tyrells, and they must become allies to survive. Olenna responds that her house is destroyed, so she isn’t after survival. Ellaria tells her she chose the wrong words – she is offering vengeance, justice…”fire and blood” finishes Varys as he steps out of the shadows (okay, so Dorne wasn’t quite as awful this time).

In Meereen, Daenerys meets with Daario to break things off. They are preparing to sail to Westeros, but Daario will stay behind to keep the peace. Daenerys tells him she must make alliances and possibly marry again. Daario says he doesn’t care – he loves her and just wants to be with her. She tells him she can’t bring him, and he resigns himself to his fate. Daario tells her he pities the lords of Westeros – they have no idea what’s coming.

Tyrion attempts to console Daenerys, but she doesn’t seem too brokenhearted. Tyrion tells her that self sacrifice makes for a good ruler. He says everything she’s ever wanted is hers for the taking and asks if she is afraid. He sees that she is, and says that’s good – the “great game is terrifying.” Daenerys admits what really scares her is letting go of someone she thought she loved, and feeling nothing. Tyrion confesses he has always been a cynic, but he finally believes in something – her. Daenerys replies she had something made for him, then names him Hand of the Queen as she pins on his new badge of office.

Back at the Twins, Walder is having dinner as a girl waits on him. He wonders where his “moron” sons are – they should have been back by now. The girl tells him they are here, and points to the pie in front of him. Walder lifts the crust to see the tip of a finger (Frey pie FTW!). He looks panicked as the girl removes her face and reveals herself as Arya Stark. Arya tells him the last thing he’ll see as he dies is a Stark smiling down at him, then slits his throat. Well, there’s another name crossed off the list.

In the Winterfell godswood, Littlefinger (looking so much like a creepy pedophile) walks up to Sansa and apologizes if he has interrupted her prayers. Sansa replies she is done with that, and all of her stupid girlish hopes. She asks what he wants, and he admits he wants the Iron Throne…with Sansa at his side. She replies it’s a pretty picture and walks away. Littlefinger stops her by saying he has declared for House Stark; Sansa replies he always serves himself. He responds that she is the future of House Stark, and that the North should rally behind the trueborn daughter, not the motherless bastard (quit trying to pit Jon and Sansa against each other! Sansa, please don’t fall for this manipulation).

Beyond the Wall, Benjen tells Meera and Bran that he must leave them. They are close to the Wall, and he can’t cross because the magic in the Wall keeps the dead from passing through. Benjen tells them he will fight for the living as long as he can (too bad he didn’t leave them the horse or any provisions – I guess poor Meera will have to drag Bran the rest of the way?).

Bran pulls himself to the weirwood, declaring that he is the Three-Eyed Raven and he has to be ready. He goes back to his vision at the Tower of Joy and follows his father into the tower (and I’m bursting with excitement!). Ned walks in to see his sister Lyanna lying in bed, covered in blood. Lyanna tells Ned she doesn’t want to die; he says she won’t and asks for water or a maester. Lyanna ignores this and pulls him closer, whispering to him. She says Robert will kill him if he finds out, and he has to protect him. “Promise me Ned” (and all the book readers rejoice!). A woman hands Ned a baby, and as the camera zooms in on the baby’s face, the scene cuts to Jon. I say R+L=J confirmed.

Jon and Sansa sit in front of an assembly of Northmen. They are arguing amongst themselves, and Jon attempts to keep the peace. Some of the men say the battle is over and want to go home. Jon says the true enemy is coming and bringing the storm. Lyanna Mormont stands up and calls out all of the Northern lords who didn’t come to the Starks aid. She says she doesn’t care if Jon is a bastard, he is her king and the King in the North.

Lord Manderly stands and admits Lyanna Mormont is right, and that he and the other lords were wrong not to support Jon. Lord Glover stands and declares his support as well. The other men rise and chant “the King in the North!” Sansa smiles, but then looks at Littlefinger. The look on his face causes her smile to fade, and I assume he is going to cause more problems for Jon and Sansa.

Jaime returns to King’s Landing, where the smoke still rises from the destroyed Sept. He arrives at the Red Keep in time to see Cersei walking to the Iron Throne. She climbs up to it and is crowned by Qyburn, who proclaims her Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. Jaime looks on, disturbed, as she sits the throne; Cersei looks defiantly back at him. Something tells me the twincest is over.

Yara and Theon are setting sail from Meereen with their ships, which are joined by the former slaver ships (now sporting Targaryen banners). The dragons fly overheard, as Daenerys and Tyrion share an expectant look (with Varys in the background? How on earth did he get back so fast? He must have traded Littlefinger’s jet pack for a teleporter). Daenerys smiles, eagerly anticipating her return home.

Wow. Just, wow. I was blown away by how epic this finale turned out to be. It will be so hard waiting for next season…

What did you think – was The Winds of Winter a fitting end to season six?

Game of Thrones Season 6 Finale – The Winds of Winter Predictions (Spoilery Speculation)

Believe it or not, tomorrow is the season finale of Game of Thrones. It seems to take forever for the season to start, and then those 10 weeks fly by. It will be even worse with a shorter season 7 and 8, but I’ll take what I can get.

Below are my predictions for The Winds of Winter. I used several sources to formulate my theories including filming information, previews, rumors, foreshadowing in previous episodes, and music from the recently released season 6 soundtrack (which is amazing by the way; you can download it on iTunes or order on Amazon).  Let’s see how accurate I am after it airs:

Meereen – Daenerys will tie up loose ends and make plans to return to Westeros. She will put a provisional government in place (Missandei? Grey Worm?) before she leaves, and she may leave Daario behind to help keep the peace. The final shot of Daenerys will be her sailing west with Yara and Theon (there is a track called The Winds of Winter which seems to be a mash up of Targaryen and Greyjoy music – possibly the final scene of the episode?)

The Riverlands – Jaime and Bronn travel to the Twins for some kind of Frey celebration (toasting the fall of Riverrun? Another wedding perhaps?). It’s possible that Lord Manderly will be there (or someone filling that role) and will give a rousing speech before turning on his host. The Brotherhood Without Banners, or maybe even Arya, could join in the slaughter in sort of a Red Wedding 2.0. Jaime will surely survive, but Bronn’s fate is up in the air.

Dorne? – Varys will meet with Ellaria and Olenna, I’m guessing in Dorne, but it may be the Reach instead. He will convince them to back Daenerys to help throw the Lannisters out of power. That may not be necessary however…

King’s Landing – Qyburn will have his little birds kill Pycelle and possibly Kevan to give Cersei more influence over her son. The High Sparrow will convene the trial of Cersei and Loras. While the sept fills up with people coming to witness the spectacle, Cersei will order men to ignite the hidden caches of wildfile, destroying the sept and killing several key characters – the High Sparrow for certain, and probably Lancel, Loras, and Margaery. Tommen will die indirectly, and as an unfortunate consequence of Cersei’s actions.

The North – Jon and Sansa will talk about her keeping secrets from him, and she will apologize for withholding the information about the Vale army. Littlefinger will tell Sansa he loves her and wants to marry her.  I’m not sure she will give him an answer yet, but if she learns the extent of his betrayal of her family, he may not be around much longer. Davos will confront Melisandre about the burning of Shireen, and he will ask Jon what her punishment should be. Jon won’t have the heart to execute the woman who brought him back to life, so perhaps she will be sent away instead. Sansa will be the new Lady of Winterfell, while Jon will be proclaimed King in the North.

Beyond the Wall – Bran, Meera, and Benjen will make their way toward Castle Black. Bran will have another vision finishing the sequence at the Tower of Joy. He will see his father find Lyanna in a “bed of blood,” dying after having given birth to a baby boy (there is a track called The Tower that will fit this scene perfectly). We probably won’t get the full reveal that it’s Jon, or that Rhaegar is the father, until next season. We will see the White Walkers again, and there is a slight possibility that the Wall will come down. It may be too early for that to happen, but the groundwork has definitely been laid for the possibility (see my previous post about that here).

I’m both excited and sad for Sunday to get here. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us on what’s sure to be an epic season finale! What are your predictions?

Will Arya Stark Survive to the End? (Spoilers and Speculation)

Arya Stark in A Song of Ice and Fire

In A Dance with Dragons, we last see Arya after she has made her first kill for the Faceless Men. She is given an acolyte’s robe and assigned as an apprentice to a mummer’s troupe led by Izembaro. In a sample chapter from The Winds of Winter – entitled Mercy – Arya encounters Raff the Sweetling while she is performing with the troupe. Raff is one of Gregor Clegane’s men who captured Arya and her friends in the Riverlands, killing Lommy Greenhands in the process. Arya avenges him, and in doing so she crosses another name off her list.

I think this event will lead to repercussions for Arya, as she wasn’t assigned to kill Raff and did it instead of her own volition. This proves she hasn’t truly become “No One,” and I don’t think she ever will. I’m not sure if Arya will leave the Faceless Men and escape back to Westeros, or if she will be sent to Westeros on an assignment and then decide to leave. Either way, there is still too much Arya Stark in her to ever completely give up her identity.

It’s likely she will continue to cross names off of her list, although there are few left. I could see her being responsible for killing Walder Frey and possibly Ilyn Payne, who are both in the Riverlands. I also believe she will encounter her undead mother, Lady Stoneheart, and kill her out of mercy.

Although George R. R. Martin’s original outline for his novels has Arya surviving to the end, there are hints in the novels that she will die. Her father tells her, “You have a wildness in you, child. The ‘Wolf Blood’, my father used to call it. Lyanna had a touch of it, and my brother Brandon more than a touch. It brought them both to an early grave.” Ned also says, “When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives” – while her siblings are scattered like she is, they have maintained their identities and are emotionally close to others. Arya is very much alone in a physical and spiritual sense.

While in disguise at Harrenhal, Arya encounters Elmar Frey – the boy to whom Catelyn promised Arya when she made her pact with Walder Frey (of which Arya is unaware). Elmar is upset that his betrothal to his “princess” has been called off, and after insulting Arya, she tells him “I hope your princess dies.” However, the biggest hint at Arya’s death is Jon Snow’s comment to her that “when the spring thaw comes, they will find your body with a needle still locked tight between your frozen fingers.” Should she die, I believe she will warg into Nymeria and live out her second life as her direwolf.

Arya Stark in Game of Thrones

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As of episode 8 (No One), Arya has survived the Waif’s attempt on her life and reclaimed her identity as Arya Stark. She tells Jaqen that she is going home. I’m not sure if we will see Arya in the season finale, but I think her story will play out similarly to the books.

It’s possible that she may be in disguise at the Frey celebration on Sunday. There is reason to suspect there will be a bad end for the Freys (possibly another Red Wedding type of scenario), so Arya could have a hand in what occurs. I think she could also potentially meet up with Sandor and the Brotherhood Without Banners once again. They are in the Riverlands, heading north, and if she goes with them hopefully she will reunite with Jon and Sansa. I still feel that she is destined to die, but the show may decide to take her character in an entirely different direction.

What do you think her fate will be?

 

Game of Thrones Episode 9 Play by Play (a Storm of Spoilers)

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The siege of Meereen is still going strong, as Daenerys watches from atop the great pyramid. Tyrion desperately tries to convince Dany that everything had been going really well until now. She looks like she isn’t buying it at all, but when Tyrion tells her they are being attacked because the masters can’t allow a free city to succeed, she relents.

Dany tells Tyrion of her plan to annihilate the masters, their forces, and their cities. Tyrion counters this by saying her father, the Mad King, had meant to burn King’s Landing to the ground before Jaime killed him (yet another reference to wildfire/the Mad King/burning King’s Landing…foreshadowing anyone?). He reminds her that she would be killing the innocent along with the guilty and suggests an alternative approach.

Dany and company meet with the masters to discuss terms of surrender, and the masters give them a pretty terrible option that involves handing over the former slaves and killing the dragons (why do I feel like these guys are going to get roasted?). Dany tells the masters they are there to discuss the masters’ surrender, not hers. Drogon arrives – looking intimidating as hell – and Dany climbs on. They fly over the city – observing the destruction – as Viserion and Rhaegal break out of the pyramid to join them (reunited and it feels so good….).

We cut to the Sons of the Harpy murdering the citizens of Meereen, but luckily the Dothraki horde comes to the rescue (even with their masks on you can tell the Harpies are thinking “oh crap”). Dany takes her three dragons out over the enemy fleet, which proceed to rain fire and blood on one of the ships.

Grey Worm talks to the guards protecting the masters, telling them they can stay and die for people who don’t care about them, or they can go home. Wisely, they choose the latter. Tyrion thanks the masters for the ships but reminds them they violated the pact they made with him, and one of them must die for that crime. Two of the masters are quick to throw the third one under the bus, so of course Grey Worm quickly dispatches them. The third is allowed to leave and let the other masters know what happened, and the fate that awaits them should they try to retaliate.

Over in the North, Jon, Sansa, and company parley with Ramsay Bolton. Ramsay is predictably obnoxious, and offers them terms they will never accept. Jon offers to settle things one on one, but Ramsay is smart enough to know that he would never win that fight. The Starks are vastly outnumbered and sure to lose the battle. Jon taunts him by asking if his men will want to fight for him once they find out he wouldn’t do the same.

Ramsay counters by asking if they are willing to let their brother Rickon die. Sansa asks for proof that they have him, and Ramsay produces Shaggydog’s head (shouldn’t that thing have rotted by now?). Sansa tells Ramsay he will die tomorrow and rides away. Ramsay takes one last chance to be awful by telling the rest of them that his dogs are anxious to meet them, and that he hasn’t fed them in seven days.
Jon, Davos, and Tormund discuss battle strategy while Sansa looks on. When the others leave, Sansa derides Jon for not asking her advice, since she knows Ramsay better than any of them. She tells him that Ramsay is cruel, that he lays traps, and that he plays with people. Jon asks what they should do to get Rickon back, and Sansa admits they will never get him back – Rickon is too much of a threat to Ramsay’s rule.

Sansa goes on to say that Ramsay will try to goad him into making a mistake. She says they should have waited until they had more men, to which Jon responds they are lucky to have as many as they do (not sure why she won’t tell him about the Vale soldiers she asked Littlefinger to bring, unless she isn’t sure they will come). Before she leaves, Sansa tells Jon she won’t be taken by Ramsay alive. Jon promises to protect her, but she says no one can protect anyone.

Tormund and Davos talk about the upcoming battle, and the talk turns to Stannis. Davos admits that Stannis wasn’t defeated by the Boltons, but by himself. Tormund says they both believed in kings who failed – Stannis and Mance – and Davos replies that maybe their mistake was believing in kings. Tormund replies that Jon Snow is not a king (nice trolling there, especially if Jon’s parentage is revealed next week).

Jon visits Melisandre (nice to see her again finally). He asks if she has any advice for him, and she bluntly replies, “Don’t lose.” Jon tells her that if he falls in battle, she shouldn’t bring him back. Melisandre can’t promise not to try – she obeys the Lord of Light, not Jon. She says the Lord gave him to her for a reason, and that he has some purpose to fulfill.

Davos is taking a walk in the snow before the battle, and he comes across Shireen’s pyre. The stag he carved for her is lying in the snow. He picks it up and seems to realize what happened to her. This doesn’t bode well for Melisandre.

Back in Meereen, Theon and Yara have arrived and have sought an audience with Daenerys. Tyrion remembers Theon and reminds him of all of the awful things he did. Yara assures Tyrion that Theon has paid for his crimes, but Tyrion retorts that he’s still alive.

Dany interrupts to discuss the ships they brought and what they want in return. Yara tells her they want her support to take back the Salt Throne from their uncle, Euron. Theon tells Dany that Euron is building ships and plans to bring a fleet to her. She asks why she shouldn’t wait for him and is informed he will force her to marry him, then kill her when he has control of the Seven Kingdoms.

Yara asks that the Iron Islands allow to be independent again, and Dany agrees, as long as they end their culture of raiding and pillaging. Tyrion wonders what will happen if all of the kingdoms start demanding independence, and Dany replies that they are free to ask. She says all of their fathers were evil men who left the world worse than they found it, but they are going to leave it better than they found it.

Outside Winterfell, the Stark and Bolton forces face each other across the battlefield; Jon’s army looks dismayed at the sheer number of Bolton soldiers. There are flayed men burning on crosses, and I’m dying to know who they could be. Ramsay rides out with a bound Rickon trailing behind him (thank goodness he isn’t one of the burning men).

Ramsay threateningly holds up a knife, then cuts Rickon’s bonds. Ramsay tells him to run to Jon, as he readies a bow behind him. Jon panics and leaps onto his horse. Arrows land close to Rickon as he runs (swerve, Rickon, swerve – don’t run in a straight line!), and Jon desperately tries to make it to him. Just before Jon can grab him, an arrow pierces Rickon’s chest, and he falls.

Jon stares Ramsay down and forgets Sansa’s advice, as he foolishly charges. The rest of the Stark cavalry is forced to follow. Arrows rain down around Jon (thankfully he is fully encased in Valyrian plot armor), and his horse is struck. Jon is thrown to the ground. Jon pulls out his sword and readies himself to face the Bolton cavalry that is bearing down on him. Things look bleak, but luckily the Stark horsemen crash into the Boltons just before they reach him.

The fighting ensues, and Ramsay orders his archers to fire on the chaos – hitting friend and foe alike. Davos refuses to do the same with his archers, and decides to lead them into the melee instead. Ramsay send the rest of his soldiers into the fray, and they quickly surround the much smaller Stark army. The Boltons form a circle of shields and spears and proceed to close in.

Wun Wun and the wildlings valiantly try to break through the shields, which continue to tighten around them. Tormund sees the pile of bodies and leads his men in that direction, hoping to climb up and away from the spears. Jon is caught in a press of fleeing men and is knocked to the ground – he gasps for breath as he’s trampled under their feet. Finally he manages to get free, as a horn sounds in the distance. It’s Littlefinger to the rescue, with the Vale army in tow. The mounted forces make quick work of the Boltons, and Sansa smiles to see her plan was a success (with Littlefinger smirking smugly at her side).

Jon climbs over the pile of corpses to see Ramsay surveying the carnage. As Jon takes off after him with Tormund and Wun Wun, Ramsay bolts for the safety of Winterfell. He reaches the castle and secures the gate, saying the Starks don’t have enough men for a siege. Maybe not, but they do have a giant, and Wun Wun quickly breaks through (looking rather unfortunately like a pincushion with the number of arrows that have been shot into him). Ramsay finishes him off with an arrow through the eye, and challenges Jon to one on one combat (oh so now he thinks it’s a good idea. Ha).

As Ramsay fires off arrows, Jon picks up a shield and charges. Jon reaches him and proceeds to give Ramsay a very satisfying beat down. Jon only stops when he sees Sansa arrive – he must be planning to let her decide his fate.

At last, Winterfell belongs to the Starks again. The Bolton banners are torn down, and the Stark banners are raised in their place. Melisandre stands on the ramparts, just as she saw in the flames. Davos looks up at her, his hatred clearly written on his face. If looks could kill, his would have thrown her off the wall to smash onto the courtyard.

Sansa and Jon look at Rickon’s body, and Jon says they will bury him in the crypts, next to their father (perhaps he will discover something meaningful while he’s down there? Pretty please?). Sansa asks Jon where Ramsay is being held. The scene cuts to a bloodied Ramsay tied to a chair. He wakes to see Sansa staring at him through an iron gate. Ramsay taunts her by saying she can’t kill him, that he’s a part of her now. Sansa replies that everything about him and his house will disappear, and we realize Ramsay is locked in the kennel.

Ramsay’s dogs walk out of their open cages, and he is confident they won’t harm their master. Sansa reminds him that he hasn’t fed them in seven days, and they are starving. One of the dogs licks the blood off of Ramsay’s face, then proceeds to take a bite. As they rip into him, we hear him scream. Sansa walks away with a satisfied smile on her face.

Wow – that was amazing, continuing the trend of the epic ninth episode every season. Minor nitpicks include predictability (was anyone actually worried Jon would die?), Sansa continuing to keep secrets, and Littlefinger being the one to save the day. I hate Sansa being obligated to him in any way, especially considering what he wants from her. Hopefully she is smart enough not to fall into a trap. But what a fitting end for Ramsay.

What did you think of The Battle of the Bastards? Can the finale possibly top it?

 

Will the Starks Finally Win? (Spoilers and Speculation)

An epic battle is brewing, and it’s hitting our television screens this Sunday. In case you aren’t hyped enough already, here is an amazing fan-made preview for your viewing pleasure (HBO seriously needs to hire whoever created this):

Episode 9 is titled “The Battle of the Bastards” – which I can’t believe is the actual name – so it appears that the majority of the hour will focus on the clash between the Starks and the Boltons. The outcome is far from certain, but I do think the Starks will win in the end.

How will they pull it off? The Starks are definitely outnumbered and outmatched, so they will need some significant help (and luck) to be victorious. We already know that Sansa has written to Littlefinger for aid, so presumably he will come to her rescue. Whether he will arrive in time, or what he will demand in return, is anybody’s guess.

I think Jon will try to settle the score by single combat – Jon versus Ramsay. Ramsay will refuse, realizing they have the larger army and that the odds are in their favor. Ramsay also has Rickon, so perhaps he will try to use him to convince the Stark forces to surrender. Of course – Ramsay being Ramsay – it’s equally likely he will torture or kill Rickon, just to spite them.

Watchers on the Wall also reported some casting news last year that hasn’t yet come into play. One of the roles being cast for this season was “Fletcher…a fat nobleman in his 60’s. He has distinctive rugged features, a Northern accent, and a distinguished air. He has a stirring speech during which he unexpectedly shifts political allegiances.” Most people speculated “Fletcher” was just a code name for Wyman Manderly. The Manderlys have been mentioned several times this season as potential allies for the Starks. I expect Lord Manderly to appear on Sunday, and to declare his allegiance to Jon and Sansa.

Unfortunately I don’t think the Umbers and Karstarks will follow suit – they will fight on Ramsay’s side, but they will likely pay the price for their betrayal of the Starks. The Vale soldiers will probably arrive after the battle starts, and be instrumental in winning the battle. I hope Sansa is just using Littlefinger to get the additional forces they desperately need, and that she won’t let him off the hook for what he did to her. Ramsay will probably be captured rather than killed (at least not right away). Jon and Sansa will execute him for his crimes after the fight is over – hopefully it won’t be quick and painless.

Good will triumph over evil this time, and it’s long overdue in my opinion. It won’t come easily, and many will die before the end. I do believe Sansa and Jon will see Rickon die, which will be another terrible loss for two people who have already suffered greatly.

What are your predictions for Bastardbowl?

Liebster Award Q & A

Liebster

I was on vacation last week, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I was nominated for a Liebster Award by baitkinblog; make sure to check out his site. Thank you so much for the nomination!

Here are the rules:

  • Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you
  • Answer the 11 questions that the blogger gives you
  • Nominate 11 bloggers of your own choosing
  • Give them 11 questions
  • Let the bloggers know you nominated them

Here are his questions to me – I finally got around to answering them (better late than never)!

  1. Least favorite movie and why?

This is a tough one – I haven’t bothered to watch many movies unless I have heard good things about them. I guess I’d say The Mist. I love Stephen King and enjoyed the story, but the end of the movie was quite depressing.

  1. How long have you had a page on WordPress?

Three months.

  1. What inspires you to keep writing?

I find it’s the easiest way for me to communicate and to organize my thoughts. I love sharing my ideas with people and getting their feedback as well.

  1. Favorite superhero?

Probably Iron Man – mainly because I love Robert Downey Jr.

  1. Do you like video games? If so, what’s your favorite?

I don’t have much time for video games, but I do enjoy watching my husband play Assassin’s Creed on occasion.

  1. Favorite book?

This is another tough one… My favorite book series would have to be George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, hands down. If I have to pick just one book though, it would be The Stand by Stephen King.

  1. If you could have any superpower what would it be?

I’ve always thought that flying would be the best superpower.

  1. Who’s your favorite TV/movie character and why?

Jon Snow (Game of Thrones) because he’s not only handsome, honorable, brave, and a good fighter, he’s also humble, conflicted, and unsure of himself at times. He’s a real, relatable person.

  1. Do you have a tip for people who would like to start writing on WordPress?

Pick a topic that you’re passionate about, and that you can write about consistently. It’s easy to get bored after a while unless you really care about the subject matter.

  1. If you could travel to any point in time and live there, where would you go?

I’m fascinated by the Roaring 20s and always imagined it would be an exciting time to visit. I’d have to leave before the Depression hit though!

  1. Social media outlets (so people can follow you)

https://twitter.com/blogofthedragon

https://www.facebook.com/blogofthedragon/

My Nominees are:

  1. Pat Sponaugle (https://patricksponaugle.com/)
  2. Lady Gwynhyfvar(https://ladygwynhyfvar.wordpress.com/)
  3. Adam Feldman (https://meereeneseblot.wordpress.com/)
  4. Saria (https://theprancingponyblog.wordpress.com/)
  5. Chelsea and Sariann(http://www.innatthecrossroads.com/)
  6. Steven Attewell (https://racefortheironthrone.wordpress.com/)
  7. Talk Stephen King(http://talkstephenking.blogspot.com/)
  8. hot2molly(https://hot2molly.com/)
  9. Rachel Howden(https://rachelhowdenblog.wordpress.com/)
  10. Blogs of a Bookaholic(https://beckysblogs.wordpress.com/)
  11. BookReaderUSA (https://bookreaderusa.wordpress.com/)

Here are my questions to you:

  1. What is your favorite book and why?
  2. What made you want to write a blog?
  3. What do you like to do in your free time?
  4. Do you have any favorite podcasts?
  5. If you could meet any celebrity, living or dead, who would it be?
  6. What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
  7. Are you planning any other writing projects?
  8. Who is your favorite author?
  9. What is your favorite TV show/movie?
  10. If you could visit any country, where would you go?
  11. Social media outlets (so people can follow you)

 

Game of Thrones Episode 8 Play by Play (Dark and Full of Spoilers)

We begin in Braavos, and Lady Crane has been able to rewrite her final speech – it seems to be a hit. She goes backstage for a drink (uh oh…did the Waif poison it?). She hears a sound and finds Arya hiding behind some costumes, bleeding. Lady Crane patches her up – a skill she learned from stabbing boyfriends in a jealous rage and then feeling sorry for them. Ok…

Arya asks about the other actress – Bianca – and learns that Lady Crane got rid of her, ruining her face as a souvenir (apparently you don’t want to mess with her). She prepares milk of the poppy for Arya, which Arya doesn’t want to take – it’s hard to sleep with a trained killer after you. Lady Crane tells her she must rest in order to heal, so she relents and drinks.

Over in the Riverlands we see some outlaws (part of the gang that killed Sandor’s commune I assume). They are talking and displaying some raunchy behavior, so obviously they will die shortly. And here comes Sandor, right on cue. He dispatches them in short order – pretty brutally – and asks the last survivor where to find the leader (Lem Lemoncloak). Sandor doesn’t get an answer, only curses.

In Meereen things seem to have stabilized after Tyrion’s deal with the slavers, and with the red priests singing Dany’s praises. Varys is wary of allying with fanatics (ask Cersei how well that worked for her), but he feels comfortable enough to leave Tyrion to handle things while he heads back to Westeros. Varys wants to drum up support for Daenerys – hopefully that means they plan to go back there soon after she returns to the city.

Speaking of Westeros, the Faith Militant arrive at the Red Keep to take Cersei to see the High Sparrow. Lancel tells her the High Sparrow has commanded her to come to the Great Sept, but she refuses, saying she chooses violence. One of the more foolish Faith Militant swings his weapon at Zombie Mountain, and it gets stuck in his armor. Zombie Mountain is not pleased and rips the idiot’s head off, as Lancel and the others look on, horrified. Cersei walks off, saying the High Sparrow is always welcome to visit.

At Riverrun, the siege is ongoing which Captain Obvious (Pod) helpfully points out to Brienne. Brienne sees Jaime in the distance, and informs the Lannister soldiers that she wishes to speak with him. As she and Jaime are meeting in his tent, Bronn jokes with Pod about Brienne and Jaime’s attraction and Pod’s prowess with the ladies. Inside, Jaime tells Brienne he thought Sansa was dead and says he’s proud of Brienne for finding her and fulfilling her vow to Catelyn. Awww…

Brienne informs Jaime that Sansa is preparing to take back Winterfell, and she is there to recruit the Blackfish and the Tully forces to her cause. Brienne asks permission to speak with the Blackfish and persuade him to give up the castle peacefully; she will take the Tully forces north, and Jaime can return home. Jaime agrees to let her try but doesn’t seem optimistic about her chances.

Brienne offers to return Jaime’s sword, saying he gave it to her for a purpose, which she has fulfilled. Jaime refuses to take it, saying it will always be hers. Before she leaves, she tells Jaime that if she fails to convince the Blackfish and the Lannisters must attack, she will be forced to fight them on the side of the Tullys. Jaime replies they should hope it doesn’t come to that, and the way they look at each other makes me want to get back on board the Braime ship (sorry Brimund).

The Blackfish is as stubborn as Jaime promised he would be, telling Brienne he doesn’t know her and can’t trust her word, or the letter she carries from Sansa. Brienne tries to convince him that they can’t withstand the Lannister and Frey forces. The Blackfish accuses her of being on Jaime’s side, wondering why he let her into the castle and why she has a Lannister sword. Brienne retorts that Jaime entrusted her to protect the Stark girls, to honor his promise to Catelyn. The Blackfish finally reads the letter, stating that Sansa is just like her mother. He understands she wants her home back, but Riverrun is his home, and he won’t go without a fight. Brienne reluctantly tells Pod to send Sansa a raven informing her of her failure.

Back in King’s Landing, Cersei enters the throne room, where there is to be a royal announcement. She tries to take her place at Tommen’s side, but Kevan sends her to the gallery with the other ladies of the court (something tells me Zombie Mountain will be ripping his head off soon). Tommen announces the date for Loras’s and Cersei’s trials and says that trial by combat is now outlawed. Instead they will be tried by seven septons, and Cersei looks crestfallen at this news. Qyburn cheers her up a bit by saying that he has looked into the rumors she told him about, and they are much more than rumors. I see wildfire in King’s Landing’s future…

Over in Meereen, Tyrion is having another awkward conversation with Missandei and Grey Worm. He tries to get them to drink with him (to avoid feeling like an alcoholic I suppose). Tyrion tells a joke – which they don’t get – and encourages them to tell jokes of their own. Luckily all of this awkwardness is cut short by the arrival of a fleet of enemy ships. It appears Tyrion’s truce with the slavers didn’t last long.

At Riverrun, Jaime meets with Edmure (who finally gets to speak!). Jaime apologizes for the Freys’ treatment of him and vows to have him clothed and fed. Edmure says the Blackfish will never surrender. Jaime talks of Edmure’s wife – and a son whom Edmure has never met – and says he can arrange for Edmure to be with them. Edmure insults Jaime and asks how he can live with himself; Jaime tells him nothing matters to him but getting back to Cersei. He threatens to kill Edmure’s son and every Tully to do it.

Edmure is allowed into the castle, where he orders the Tully forces to surrender. Since they recognize him as the true Lord of Riverrun, they do as he commands. Meanwhile, the Blackfish slips away and helps Brienne and Pod escape. They try to convince him to come with them, but he resolves to die fighting for his home (which is a real waste of his character in my opinion). The Lannister forces take the castle (apparently killing the Blackfish offscreen – a disappointing end), and Jaime stands at the ramparts watching Brienne and Pod row away.

Back to Meereen, and the slaver forces are attacking the city. Grey Worm and Tyrion argues about what the army should do, and Grey Worm convinces him that they should stay in the pyramid and let the slaver forces come to them. Something hits the top of the pyramid… Drogon has landed, and Daenerys has returned (looking none too pleased with this turn of events).

In the Riverlands, Sandor has found Lem Lemoncloak, who is about to be hanged for his crimes by Beric Dondarrion and Thoros of Myr (the true leaders of the Brotherhood Without Banners). Sandor demands vengeance for his friends, and Beric agrees to give him two of the three. Sandor goes to use his axe, but they won’t allow him to butcher them. Sandor must settle for making them hang. He does so, then takes Lem’s boots.

Later they sit down to eat (unfortunately not chicken, much to Sandor’s disappointment), and Beric and Thoros try to convince Sandor to join them. They tell him that the Lord of Light allowed him to live for a reason. They say he’s a fighter, and the real fight is against the darkness. Perhaps he will head north with them – is a Sandor/Sansa reunion on the way?

Arya is still resting in Braavos as Lady Crane watches over her. Suddenly a young man appears (surely the Waif in disguise). Arya wakes to find Lady Crane murdered, and the Waif unmasked. She tells Arya she should have done her job, and Lady Crane would have died painlessly. The god of death has received his due, and he has been promised another name – Arya’s. Arya runs (pretty well for someone recovering from stab wounds to the gut) with the Waif in hot pursuit. Arya ends up in her room at the temple, where she pulls Needle from its hiding place. As the Waif enters, Arya cuts the top off the burning candle, plunging the room into darkness.

We cut to Jaqen, who sees a trail of blood leading to the Hall of Faces. There he finds the Waif’s freshly removed and bloody face on the wall. Arya confronts him, and he admits ordering the Waif to kill her. He is impressed with Arya, telling her she is finally no one. Arya corrects him, saying she is Arya Stark of Winterfell, and she is going home.

There were a few bright spots in this episode (Brienne/Jaime, the Brotherhood, Cersei getting denied her trial by combat), but it definitely wasn’t my favorite. The scenes in Meereen fell flat, and the whole situation in Braavos was farfetched. Are we really supposed to believe Arya was that stupid to be out in broad daylight after failing her final test, that the Waif was so inept as an assassin, and that Arya could be out running and leaping after her wounds (expertly patched by an actress!)? Oh well, at least we have a big northern battle to look forward to next week.

What did you think about No One?

 

 

 

Game of Thrones Episode 7 Play by Play (Spoilers Ahead)

news-00097788-game-of-thrones-season-6-episode-7-photo-03

We start off in what looks to be the Riverlands, where a group of people are building something – possibly a sept? It must be – there is a man wearing a seven pointed star who seems to be in charge. And who do we have carrying a log, seeming to struggle a bit? Could it be who I think it is? Yes – the Hound has returned!

The septon comes over as the Hound (or is he just Sandor now?) is chopping wood. He asks how many men it took to cut him down, and Sandor admits it was only one. The septon says he must have been “some kind of monster” forcing Sandor to reluctantly admit it was a woman. The septon laughs at that. He hasn’t seen Brienne though – she’s no ordinary woman.

They ring the bell for supper, and as Sandor is eating the septon tells him some of the men are afraid of him; that’s nothing new to Sandor. The septon says he thought he’d been dead for days when he found him, and that he would die several more times after that; he asks Sandor what kept him going. “Hate” is his response (for whom I wonder? Brienne? Arya? His brother?). The septon tells him there is a reason he survived – the gods aren’t done with him. Sandor asks if the gods are real, why haven’t they punished him? “They have,” the septon replies.

Off to King’s Landing where Margaery has been cleaned up and looks very modest for a change. She is reading from the Book of the Mother as the High Sparrow comes to talk to her. Margaery looks very pious as she talks about her past – how she pretended to love the poor, but she only pitied them.

The High Sparrow gets awfully personal, asking why she hasn’t attended her husband in the marriage bed (poor Tommen). Margaery replies that her desires have changed, and the High Sparrow tells her she doesn’t need desire to do her duty – she must give the king an heir. The High Sparrow says she has made great progress, and that he hopes her grandmother will follow her lead. She is an unrepentant sinner, and Margaery must teach her the new way (good luck with that!).

Margaery goes to visit her grandmother Olenna, and the Queen of Thorns is as thorny as ever as she insults the prune-faced Septa Unella and berates Margaery for falling into the clutches of the Faith. Olenna asks about Loras, and Margaery says he will be freed once he repents, but stripped of lands and titles. Olenna is livid, saying he is the heir to Highgarden and the future of their house. She tells Margaery to leave for Highgarden, but Margaery refuses as she has a duty to the king. Margaery says Olenna should go home however, and secretly presses something into her hand – a drawing of a rose, the sigil of House Tyrell (I knew Margaery was faking!).

Back in the North, the wildlings are reluctant to fight Jon and Sansa’s war for them. Tormund tells them they’d all be dead if it weren’t for Jon. The other wildlings reply that their numbers are so few now, and if they lose, that’s it for them – all the free folk gone. Jon counters, saying if he and Sansa lose, they’re done. The Boltons will wipe them out. Jon says he knows it’s not their fight, and it’s not the deal they made, but they need each other to survive. Tormund adds that Jon died for them, and they are cowards if they aren’t willing to do the same. Wun Wun the giant stands and says “Snow,” appearing to support Jon – the rest of them fall in line (because who wants to cross a giant?).

In King’s Landing, Olenna is writing a letter and preparing to head home to Highgarden. Cersei walks in with Zombie Mountain (hopefully not planning to use him right now!) and tells her she can’t leave with Loras still a prisoner and the Faith in charge. Olenna replies that all of this is Cersei’s fault – her stupidity put both of their houses in jeopardy. Cersei swallows her pride and accepts the blame (surprising Olenna, and the rest of us), but says they need each other if they are going to win. Olenna wonders if Cersei is the worst person she’s ever met, and says she is leaving before the High Sparrow can throw her into a cell. If Cersei is smart, she’ll do the same. Cersei says she’ll never leave her son, but Olenna tells her she has lost and is surrounded by enemies. Is she going to kill them all herself? The look on Cersei’s face tells me yes, yes she is.

Over in the Riverlands, the Lannister forces approach Riverrun. Bronn observes the sorry attempt the Freys have made at a siege, and Jaime tells him he should instruct them on the proper way to do it. Bronn laments being a knight, as a sellsword at least he got paid. Bronn asks about the castle and highborn lady Jaime promised, and Jaime says he’ll get them – a Lannister always….yeah yeah we know the rest.

The Freys are attempting to lure the Blackfish out by threatening to hang his nephew Edmure outside the castle walls. The Blackfish appears on the ramparts and gives them a challenging look. The Freys take the noose off and threaten to cut Edmure’s throat. The Blackfish just stares, then says to go on and do it and walks away. He has called their bluff, and they put down the knife.

Jaime and Bronn walk up and berate the Freys for allowing 8000 men to come into their camp unchallenged. Jaime tells them to feed and bathe Edmure (and hopefully let the poor guy talk – he hasn’t had one line since he’s been back). The Freys say that he is their prisoner, and Jaime gives them a smackdown (physically and verbally). He tells them he is now in charge of the siege, and if they don’t like it they can go home.

In the North, Jon and Sansa visit Bear Island and House Mormont (and the cutest, fiercest little warrior maid – Lady Lyanna). Sansa unsuccessfully tries to flatter her, and Jon attempts to use her uncle, Jeor Mormont, to win her trust. Lyanna isn’t having any of it and demands to know what they want. Jon reminds her of the letter she wrote Stannis, that House Mormont know no other king but the King in the North, whose name is Stark. Jon says House Stark need her support and allegiance more than ever.

Lyanna confers with her maester and guard, and replies Jon is a Snow and Sansa is a Bolton (or a Lannister). Sansa says she did what she must to survive, but that she will always be a Stark. Jon adds that Ramsay Bolton has their brother Rickon, but Lyanna wants to know why she should sacrifice any more men for someone else’s war.

Davos jumps in to save the day, by telling her that the real war is between the living and the dead, and the dead are coming. Lyanna’s uncle knew it, and so does Jon. If the Boltons hold the North, it will remain divided and they will never survive. Lyanna finally relents and pledges 62(?!) men to their cause, but each one fights with the strength of ten. Davos replies with the best line of the episode, “If they’re half as ferocious as their lady, the Boltons are doomed.”

Back at Riverrun, Jaime parleys with the Blackfish. He asks if Jaime is there to fulfill his vow to Catelyn by bringing Sansa and Arya, and Jaime is forced to admit he doesn’t have them. The Blackfish then asks if he wishes to resume his captivity. Jaime replies that he is there to take the castle back for House Frey. The Blackfish sneeringly asks if they will kill Edmure if he doesn’t surrender, and says Edmure is marked for death no matter what he does. Jaime tells him they will storm the castle if necessary and hundreds will die. “Hundreds of mine…thousands of yours” is the Blackfish’s response.

Jaime tells him to surrender and he will spare the Tully men, on his honor. The Blackfish retorts that “bargaining with oathbreakers is like building on quicksand.” Jaime says the war is over and there is no point in fighting for a lost cause. The Blackfish says the war isn’t over as long as he lives, Riverrun is his home and he’s prepared to die there, and that they have enough provisions to withstand a siege for two years. Jaime asks why he bothered to treat with him if he had no intention of making a deal, and the Blackfish responds that sieges are dull and he wanted to get the measure of Jaime. “I’m disappointed,” he says (and the book readers all agree).

Jon and Sansa are still making the rounds up North, this time at House Glover. Lord Glover has no interest in helping the Starks, as the Boltons helped them win back their castle from the Ironborn. Jon says the Boltons are traitors, and Lord Glover interrupts asking who else is fighting with the Starks. Jon reluctantly admits that wildlings form the bulk of their force, and Lord Glover refuses to fight with them. Sansa reminds him that they were pledged to the Starks – Lord Glover admits they served the Starks and followed Robb as King in the North, but Robb was no help to them when they lost their home. Robb got himself and his men killed – House Stark is dead.

Over in Volantis, Yara and Theon are in a brothel. Theon looks miserable, and Yara appears to be a lesbian now? Or bisexual at least? She is enjoying the company of one of the whores, and jokingly asks Theon if that doesn’t interest him anymore (which is pretty cruel of her). She then apologizes, saying she’ll never hurt Theon. Theon asks if Euron is hunting for them, and Yara admits he will as long as they live – they are a threat. She urges Theon to drink, and stop cowering. Yara needs the real Theon to man up and help her win the support of Daenerys to take back the Iron Islands.

Jon, Sansa, and Davos are still camped in the North – apparently where Stannis once made camp (uh oh Melisandre, I think Davos will find out what happened to Shireen soon). Jon says they won’t stay long; they need to march on Winterfell before the snows come. They discuss the small number of men under their command, and Davos assures them they still have a chance if they are careful and smart.

Davos walks off to break up a fight, and Sansa questions Jon about Davos being his most trusted advisor. Jon replies that Davos served Stannis for years and Jon wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for him. Sansa argues that Stannis lost his battles and his head, and they need more men. Jon tells her there is no time, and he goes to help Davos (who isn’t being very successful with the men – not a good sign). Sansa looks over at the raven cage and decides to send a letter – to whom, we don’t know. Littlefinger perhaps?

Down to the Riverlands again, and the septon is talking to his flock. He tells them he used to be a soldier who blindly followed orders, no matter how despicable. He wasn’t brave, he was a coward. He recounts a story about killing a young boy as his mother screamed, and how ashamed he was. He says he will hear her screaming for the rest of his life. Sandor is listening intently, and he seems to understand how painful that can be.

The septon goes on to say he can never bring the boy back, but he can do some good with the time he has left. It’s never too late to turn your life around. He looks directly at Sandor and says it’s never too late to come back. He tells everyone that they shouldn’t wait for the gods to answer their prayers, but to start answering them on their own.

Just then some men ride up (outlaws? Members of the Brotherhood Without Banners?) and demand to know if they have horses. The septon says no, and no gold or steel. They ask for food, and the septon invites them to stay for supper but that they have hungry mouths as well. The men tell the septon to stay safe, and that “the night is dark and full of terrors.”

As Sandor is chopping firewood, he talks to the septon about the danger they are in from the Brotherhood. The septon asks what Sandor wants to do – fight them? Kill them? He says his people don’t know how to fight. Sandor says the septon can fight, but the septon is done with fighting – it’s a disease that you don’t cure by spreading it. Sandor replies that “you don’t cure it by dying either.”

We head over to Braavos, and Arya finds a Westerosi sailor. She requests passage home, and shows him two bags of coins. Arya demands that they leave at sunrise and takes the money with her. As she stands on a bridge, an old woman walks up behind her. Arya turns and is slashed across the belly and then stabbed by the woman, who turns out to be the Waif. Arya fights her off and jumps into the water. The Waif looks over to see blood in the water and no sign of Arya. Appearing satisfied, she walks off – which doesn’t seem to be a good technique for an assassin. Shouldn’t she have made sure Arya was dead? Jaqen probably won’t be happy with no face for the hall either.

Arya isn’t dead (yet), and gasps as she surfaces. She climbs out of the water and walks down the street, bleeding heavily. She looks around at nothing but unfriendly faces. No one wants to help her. I have a few questions here: Why is Arya walking around undisguised, broad daylight, knowing she’s now a target of the Faceless Men? Jaqen told the Waif not to let Arya suffer, but she did – and shouldn’t she have made sure Arya was dead? Won’t Jaqen be angry that the Waif didn’t take her face for the hall? Something tells me this is either bad writing, or not all is as it seems…

Back in Westeros, Sandor is still cutting wood. He finally takes a break, and hears screaming in the distance. When he returns to the camp, he sees everyone has been slaughtered. The septon is hanging from the sept, dead. Sandor grabs an axe and walks away. I suppose he isn’t done with fighting – and killing – yet.

All in all, this was a decent episode. I wish there had been more dialogue from the books for the septon (especially the Broken Men speech given the episode title). I enjoyed Riverrun and the North however, and Lady Olenna is always a pleasure to watch. What are your thoughts about The Broken Man?

 

Visions and Prophecies – Deciphering the Mysteries in the House of the Undying

I am following up my previous post (analyzing Bran’s vision from last week’s episode of Game of Thrones) with a look at another vision – Daenerys in the House of the Undying. Since I have already touched upon the show version, I will focus on the book version from A Clash of Kings (book 2 in A Song of Ice and Fire). I discuss information from a sample chapter of The Winds of Winter, so please don’t read if you don’t wish to be spoiled.

Daenerys enters and passes a series of rooms which depict various scenes (past, present, and future):

  • A beautiful, naked woman being ravished by four little men (believed to be the War of the Five Kings – reduced to four as Renly has been killed by this time)
  • A feast of slaughtered corpses below a dead man with the head of a wolf, sitting on a throne and wearing an iron crown (the Red Wedding)
  • The house with the red door in Braavos where Daenerys spent her childhood
  • A throne room with dragon skulls where an old king (assumed to be Aerys II) sits on a towering throne, preparing to burn the city
  • A room where a man with silver-gold hair and indigo eyes (presumably Rhaegar Targaryen) names his son Aegon, calls him “the prince that was promised” whose song is “the song of ice and fire,” and says there must be another because “the dragon has three heads”

Daenerys ends up in a room with a “splendor of wizards” who claim to be the Undying. They tell her they have been waiting for her and offer food and knowledge. She begins to doubt this vision, and finds a hidden door which takes her to the real Undying, withered creatures in a dark room where a rotting blue heart floats over a long table.

The Undying Ones call Daenerys “mother of dragons…child of three” and echo Rhaegar’s assertion about the three heads of the dragon. Then then whisper prophecies to her: “three fires must you light…one for life and one for death and one to love,” “three mounts must you ride…one to bed and one to dread and one to love,” “three treasons will you know…once for blood and once for gold and once for love.”

It’s unclear whether these are all predictions for the future or if some have already come to pass. However, if you put them in the context of the earlier scenes she witnesses and the visions that are shown later, they are likely a mix of both. There has been much debate over the meaning here, but my thoughts are as follows:

Three fires

I believe the one “for life” was the fire which hatched her dragons. The one “for death” probably hasn’t happened yet, but it could be related to the “pale mare” – the wasting plague that is spreading through camps outside Meereen. I’m not sure about the one “to love” – the wording is a bit different, implying this fire will be something she will take pleasure in. Perhaps she will have Drogon burn Euron? If she has been forced to marry him (which is certainly his goal and the reason his sent ships to her), his death would free her and would definitely be something to love.

Three mounts

Some people believe the “mounts” are lovers or husbands, but I think they are actual mounts, as in methods of conveyance. One “to bed” would be Dany’s silver horse that carries her to consummate her marriage to Drogo on her wedding night. One “to dread” could be an Ironborn ship that takes her to Westeros (possibly to Euron himself – definitely someone to dread), as we know Victarion is headed to Daenerys with a fleet. One “to love” is more difficult, but I’ll get into my opinion shortly – I think there may be a connection between this set of prophecies and three visions she is shown later.

Three treasons

The one ”for blood” was probably Mirri Maz Duur who sought vengeance for the slaughtering of her people by Khal Drogo’s khalasar. One “for gold” is sometimes assumed to be Jorah, but he betrayed her for a pardon and for home. I think it’s more likely Brown Ben Plumm – he’s betrayed her once already and may do it again, possibly selling a dragon to her “nephew” Aegon. One “for love” is harder to determine. I believe Daenerys is taking a darker turn at the end of A Dance with Dragons – and likely on Game of Thrones as well – but that she will eventually do what’s right for the realm. Perhaps someone who loves her will have to betray her in a way that forces her to realize she’s on a wrong path.

Daenerys is then shown a series of visions – each in sets of three – accompanied by titles given to her by the Undying:

Daughter of death

Daenerys sees Viserys with his molten crown of gold, a lord with copper skin and silver-gold hair in front of a burning city (most likely Rhaego if he had lived), and Rhaegar’s death at the Battle of the Trident. All of her close family has been killed.

Slayer of lies

She is shown a blue-eyed king who casts no shadow holding a red sword (Stannis – the false Azor Ahai Reborn), a cloth dragon on poles in a cheering crowd (“Aegon” – the possibly false prince and Blackfyre pretender), and a stone beast flying from a smoking tower, breathing shadow fire (possibly Jon Connington who has greyscale and whose sigil is a griffin). These are presumably lies that she will expose once she returns to Westeros. I’m not sure about the stone beast, since Jon Connington’s support of the false Aegon seems to be tied to the cloth dragon vision, but I don’t have another interpretation at the moment.

Bride of fire

I believe this series of visions may actually tie in with the three mounts prophecy. Daenerys sees her silver trotting to a stream beneath the stars (where she and Drogo consummated their marriage – a mount to bed). She was his bride of fire – she had to burn him upon his death.

Next she sees a corpse at the prow of a ship with grey lips smiling sadly (this appears to be Euron’s ship, the Silence – a mount to dread). In the new Aeron Greyjoy sample chapter that George R. R. Martin read at BaltiCon over Memorial Day weekend, we find out Aeron is now Euron’s prisoner. By the end of the chapter, Aeron is lashed to the prow of the Silence before they set sail, so there is a strong likelihood he is the corpse in this vision; that would mean Daenerys does indeed marry Euron. Bride of fire here may support my prediction that Daenerys will kill him with dragonfire.

Finally Daenerys sees a blue flower growing from a chink in a wall of ice (a blue winter rose representing Jon at the Wall, as he is almost certainly Lyanna’s son – the “chink” may be an ice cell where his body will be stored before his resurrection). I believe Jon will find out about his parentage during his death, as he may have warged into Ghost. If he did, Bran may be able to contact him in this state and share the truth about his birth (Bran will likely see a vision of the Tower of Joy). If these visions do relate to the three mounts, then that would mean the mount to love would take her to Jon, to be the bride of fire to his ice.

Perhaps she rides Drogon to the Wall because King’s Landing has been destroyed, and she has heard of the threat from the Others/White Walkers. If the House of the Undying vision as portrayed in Game of Thrones relates to her end game, it lends even more credence to this idea. In that episode, she enters a ruined throne room and reaches for the Iron Throne, but changes her mind and leaves. When she goes through the door, she appears at the Wall.

There is definitely evidence and foreshadowing which suggests that Daenerys will embrace violence, and the “Fire and Blood” mantra of House Targaryen. George R. R. Martin has stated there will be a second Dance of the Dragons, and it will probably be as destructive – maybe even more so – than the first. However, we also see throughout her arc a desire to be a just and benevolent ruler, with a peaceful and happy kingdom. The question is, which path will she ultimately choose? I believe there is enough evidence to support her making the right decision – hopefully before it’s too late.

 

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