Blog of the Dragon

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

Author: vkcole277 (Page 1 of 4)

Game of Thrones Episode 6 Play by Play (Spoilers as Always)

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Episode 6 (Blood of My Blood) resumes where it left off last week, with Meera pulling Bran through the snow. She is looking pretty tired – she needs to pick up the pace if she expects to outrun the undead army. Bran is still in his trance, and the visions are coming fast and furious. It appears he is seeing the past (events that have happened on the show in the last 5 seasons, the Mad King preparing to burn the city, Jaime becoming the Kingslayer, Ned at the Tower of Joy) as well as the future (dragon flying over King’s Landing, possible wildfire explosion?).

Meera finally collapses, and things aren’t looking very good for them. Bran is still unconscious, and the wights are coming. Bran awakes – he seems to know what has happened, and he appears sad but not frightened. A figure on a horse appears, and he takes out the approaching wights. He pulls Bran and Meera onto the horse, and they flee from their undead pursuers.

Down south, Sam and Gilly are in a carriage headed to Horn Hill, Sam’s family home. Gilly remarks how green everything is, and Sam proceeds to make awkward conversation about trees. Gilly calls him out, saying he’s a nervous talker. Sam admits he is apprehensive about seeing his father again (understandably since the guy threatened to kill him – what an uncomfortable family reunion this will be). Sam stresses the importance of Gilly sticking to the story that little Sam is his child, and warns her against telling them she is a wildling.

They finally arrive at the castle, and Gilly is awestruck. Sam’s mother Melessa and sister Talla greet him, and they are warm and welcoming to both Sam and Gilly. The women are taken with little Sam as well, and we see now why Sam is such a kind and helpful person. Sam asks about his father and brother, and his mother says they are on a hunt but will join them for dinner (Sam looks less than thrilled at the prospect). Talla offers Gilly a bath and a dress – finally she’ll get to take off that sack she’s been wearing for five seasons.

In King’s Landing, Tommen discusses Margaery’s walk with the High Sparrow. Tommen is concerned for her safety, but the High Sparrow assures him she will be protected the entire way, and that the smallfolk love her (in contrast to their hatred of Cersei).

The High Sparrow allows Tommen to see Margaery, and she tells Tommen the High Sparrow has helped her see who she really is – a pretender who only put on the appearance of being a good person. She seems changed and relieved at the chance to repent her sins. Tommen asks about Loras, and she says she loves him, but he needs to atone – the gods have a plan for them all (I’m sure Margaery does at least – I don’t buy the repentant sinner act).

Back at Horn Hill, Gilly meets Sam for dinner. She is clean and dressed in finery – this scene reminds me of so many teen movies where the nerdy girl gets a makeover, and the guy swoons over her (she needs a little practice walking in those shoes though). As they sit at the table, we get our first look at Randyll Tarly – he seems unlikeable before he even says a word.

They discuss the meal, and Dickon (Sam’s brother) talks about the hunt. He asks about hunting at the Wall, and Sam stammers on about hunting squirrels and rabbits and admits it’s mostly his friends doing the hunting. Sam also says Gilly is a hunter, and Melessa talks about Northern lords teaching girls to hunt. Talla tells Gilly that Randyll could learn a thing or two from Gilly’s father (ugh, I would certainly hope not).

Randyll says that’s enough, and Melessa offers Sam more bread. Randyll asks if he isn’t fat enough already, and Sam declines the food. They then discuss Sam going to train as a maester, and Randyll continues making everyone uncomfortable by complaining that the Night’s Watch should have made a man out of Sam, but that he’s still soft and fat. Gilly sticks up for Sam saying he’s a greater warrior than either his brother or his father – he killed a Thenn and a White Walker. Dickon then laughs, responding that there’s no such thing (oh you sweet summer child).

Gilly slips up by saying they were on the way down to Castle Black, and Randyll gets her to admit she is a wildling. Randyll is furious to have an enemy of the realm in his hall; he had taken her for a Mole’s Town whore. He points out their ancestral sword Heartsbane and says the sword should go to his heir, but that Sam will never have it. He’s a disgrace to their house and dishonors them all by bringing a wildling whore to their table.

Melessa has had enough and leaves with Gilly and Talla, telling Randyll he disgraces himself (well done mama Tarly – please give Sam some of your backbone). Randyll continues to berate Sam, but says he will take Gilly and little Sam in to please Sam’s mother. However, Sam is never to come back to Horn Hill.

In Gilly’s chambers, she tells Sam she isn’t angry with him but at his father for treating people the way he does and getting away with it. Sam says his goodbyes, and Gilly tells him that his father doesn’t know him, that Sam isn’t what his father thinks he is. Sam leaves… but only for a few seconds before returning to take Gilly and the baby with him. He also steals Heartsbane, and something tells me Randyll won’t let his prized sword go so easily.

Over in Braavos, Arya is watching the play once again. This time it’s the Purple Wedding, which grossly distorts the actual events. Arya seems to be amused by watching “Joffrey” die, but she is also moved by Lady Crane’s portrayal of Cersei’s despair. Arya notices “Sansa” offstage mouthing “Cersei’s” lines (likely practicing to replace her).

We then see “Tyrion” kill “Tywin” as Arya makes her way backstage to put the poison in Lady Crane’s rum. As the actors come backstage, Lady Crane stops Arya, getting her to admit she’s been sneaking in to watch the play without paying. She tells Arya she used to do the same before running off to join a mummer’s troupe.

Lady Crane then complains about her final speech, and Arya suggests she change it. Arya says Cersei should be angry that her son was taken before she could say goodbye. Lady Crane compliments Arya and asks if she likes pretending to be other people. Arya seems to be considering this (something she will have to do forever if she wants to be “no one”) before saying she has to go.

As Arya walks off, the other actors praise Lady Crane’s performance. Lady Crane mentions she has some ideas for the play, but she is shot down by the troupe leader who tells her she has no right to an opinion. Lady Crane raises her glass to take a sip of her rum, and Arya runs up to smack it out of her hand. Arya points at “Sansa” and tells Lady Crane to be careful of her, because she wants her dead. As Arya leaves, we see that the Waif has witnessed the entire scene (looking quite smug – look out Arya).

Arya goes to retrieve Needle – which she had stashed away after joining the temple – while the Waif informs Jaqen of Arya’s failure. He seems disappointed but not surprised, and he tells the Waif not to let Arya suffer. The Waif looks much too pleased with this assignment for someone who is supposed to be a dispassionate assassin – perhaps Jaqen is testing her as well?

Back in King’s Landing, the Tyrell army is marching through the streets. Mace Tyrell (looking magnificently oafish in his feathered helm) gives a less than rousing speech – while Jaime looks embarrassed in the background – before they head on to the Sept to free Margaery and Loras. They arrive – along with Lady Olenna – just in time to see the High Sparrow on the steps with Margaery, recounting her crimes.

Jaime demands that the High Sparrow free Margaery and Loras by the authority of King Tommen. The High Sparrow says none of them have the authority to release them, that it’s up to the gods. Jaime says they will all die if they don’t do as ordered, and the High Sparrow responds that it’s an honor to die in the service of the gods (cut to Lancel giving Jaime the crazy eye – when is anyone going to tell Jaime that Cersei slept with that creep?).

The tension mounts, but then the High Sparrow proclaims that there is no cause for anyone to die – there will be no walk of atonement. Margaery has already atoned by converting Tommen to their cause. Jaime looks confused and angry as he watches Tommen walk out with his Kingsguard in new armor, featuring the seven pointed star of the Faith (that’s some quick work by whatever armorer is responsible).

It looks like we now have a theocracy on our hands, as the High Sparrow announces a (un?)holy alliance of the crown and the Faith. Poor Mace doesn’t have a clue what’s going on, so Olenna has to tell him they’ve lost the battle against the High Sparrow.

Back in the Red Keep, Tommen dismisses Jaime from the Kingsguard, saying he attacked the crown when he attacked the Faith. Jaime asks if he has to walk naked through the streets (I don’t think the female watchers would object) or if he will be sent to the dungeons. Tommen tells him he will continue to serve his house and his king, but not in the city.

We cut over to the Twins(!), and old Walder Frey makes a reappearance (this can’t be good). He has a new young bride it seems – poor girl – and he is berating his sons for losing Riverrun to the Blackfish, Brynden Tully. Walder blames them for losing him at the Red Wedding and not being able to capture him afterwards. He tells them to take Riverrun back; he won’t bow to the Tullys ever again. They say they don’t have enough men – the Mallisters and Blackwoods have risen against the Freys, the Brotherhood without Banners attacks their supply trains and camps, and that Riverrun could withstand a siege for a year.

Walder replies that everyone is laughing at them, and that he isn’t dead yet. He won’t die until everyone chokes on that laughter. His sons counter by saying the Blackfish won’t yield. Walder tells them to remind him what happened at the Red Wedding and who it was that got married there, as Edmure Tully is brought before them in chains.

One last visit to King’s Landing, as Jaime and Cersei discuss Riverrun. Jaime is being sent with an army to help break the siege. Jaime refuses to go – he want to pay Bronn and other sellswords to kill the High Sparrow and his minions. Cersei tells him they can’t do that, that if Jaime tries to kill him he will die in the process. She tells him to go take Riverrun back and show the world who the Lannisters are.

Jaime doesn’t want to leave before her trial, but Cersei tells him she will be fine with the Mountain at her side. She then tells him they are both stronger now, and I can’t watch anymore what with her ridiculous wig, the incest-y makeout session, and the destruction of Jaime’s character arc. Ugh. Yes Jaime, please go and remember who you are without your crazy sister around.

Back beyond the Wall, Meera and Bran’s mysterious savior is butchering a rabbit. He squeezes the blood into a cup (gross), and Meera asks why he saved them. He says the Three Eyed Raven sent for him – when Meera replies that he’s dead, the man tells her that he lives again.

Bran wakes, and the man remarks that he last saw Bran when he was a boy climbing the castle walls and frightening his mother. Bran asks who he is, and he reveals himself to be Benjen Stark. Benjen recounts that they found White Walkers on a ranging party and that he was stabbed and left to die, and then to turn. The Children of the Forest found him and stopped him from turning by using dragonglass, similarly to how they created the White Walkers in the first place.

Benjen tells Bran he is now the Three Eyed Raven. Bran replies he can’t control it, but Benjen says he must learn before the Night King comes. He then orders Bran to drink the blood, which he does (as Meera looks on disgustedly). Benjen warns that the Night King will find his way to the world of men, and they must be ready.

Over in Essos, Daario and Daenerys discuss the logistics of getting to Westeros. She needs a thousand ships which no one has (give it time – Euron is building them on the Iron Islands with their nonexistent trees). Daenerys doesn’t seem worried – she’ll get there and take what is hers. Daario tells her she wasn’t made for ruling, but for conquering. She looks off into the distance and orders him to wait as she rides off.

Daario prepares to go look for her, but then Drogon flies overheard. He lands before them with Daenerys on his back, and she gives a stirring speech in Dothraki – recalling Khal Drogo’s speech back in season one – about sailing to Westeros and killing her enemies. The khalasar is fired up, but I’m not. This scene felt a little out of place, and although I am a fan of Daenerys, I hope she realizes what she is asking them to do. Unleashing a barbarian horde to savage Westeros isn’t going to win the people to her side.

This wasn’t one of the stronger episodes this season, but I suppose we needed a break from the tension and action after last week. There were some nice (re)introductions, and they seem to be setting us up for exciting things to come. What are your thoughts?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Sources for Game of Thrones Analysis and Discussion

Can’t get enough of Game of Thrones on Sunday night? There are some great podcasts and videos available after each episode to help you through your weekly withdrawals. I’ve included my favorites here.

History of Westeros puts out two fantastic reviews every week – one on Monday (show only review), and one on Wednesday in collaboration with Radio Westeros (for book readers). You can visit their YouTube channel or find them on iTunes. Radio Westeros also has a YouTube channel and podcasts available on iTunes. Both are great sources for not only reviews, but also book discussion – including characterization, theories, history, and predictions.

If you prefer short, succinct reviews and explanations, Alt Shift X is a great resource. His YouTube videos are under 20 minutes, and he not only recaps each episode but has several videos detailing popular theories. His R+L=J video is one of the best at summing up all of the evidence:

If you’re interested in learning more about how each episode is put together, HBO has a website called Making Game of Thrones. There you can find behind the scenes information like storyboards, interviews, and in depth videos on the filming process. Last but not least, the official Game of Thrones YouTube channel publishes clips, interviews, and an “Inside the Episode” series that allows the producers to elaborate on the storylines and the choices they make for portraying them onscreen.

What are your go-to sources for Game of Thrones information? Please feel free to share your favorites!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will the White Walkers Breach the Wall in Season 6? (Spoilers and speculation)

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After watching the latest Game of Thrones episode, “The Door,” I’ve been thinking about the implications of Bran’s actions. In the episode, Bran enters a vision on his own only to encounter the White Walkers and their army of the dead. The Night’s King grabs his arm, leaving an icy blue mark. When Bran awakes, the Three Eyed Raven tells him that the White Walkers can now find Bran because of it, and that the magic surrounding the cave will no longer protect them.

When the White Walkers reach the cave, the Night’s King touches the ground and appears to send a shock wave toward the cave which “breaks” the magic. Now that Bran and Meera have escaped (assuming they will be able to outrun the White Walkers and their army), where will they go? The logical choice would be the Wall and the safety of Castle Black.

With Bran being marked, does that mean the Night’s King can find him anywhere? We know that the Wall is supposedly infused with magic to keep the White Walkers from passing; if Bran is on the other side, will the Night’s King be able to break that magic as well? I think it’s very likely we will see this happen, and that the Wall will come down by the end of the season.

Along these lines, did the Three Eyed Raven see that this would happen and purposely allow Bran to go into the vision on his own and be touched? Are he and the Children of the Forest really on the side of Men now, or were they using Bran all along? I’m not sure if we will get answers to these questions anytime soon. However, I do believe Bran and Meera will be allowed to escape, and that they will be intentionally driven toward the Wall so the White Walkers can use Bran to break through.

The possibility of the Wall falling is foreshadowed earlier in the episode, as Jon is leaving Castle Black. As Jon says his farewells, he walks over to his friend and acting Lord Commander, Dolorous Edd. Jon jokingly tells him, “Don’t knock it down while I’m gone.” I just hope Bran will give them enough of a warning to give them a fighting chance.

Game of Thrones Episode 5 Play by Play (Chock Full of Spoilers)

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“The Door” opens – pun intended – on Sansa doing some sewing. She receives a letter with a mockingbird seal; apparently Littlefinger has used his teleporter (how else does he travel so fast?) and is awaiting her in Mole’s Town. She arrives with Brienne, whom Littlefinger doesn’t look too thrilled to see.

He tells Sansa he’s happy to see her unharmed. She scoffs at this and asks what he’s doing there. Littlefinger tells her he’s brought the Vale army to her aid, which he left encamped at Moat Cailin. Sansa asks if he knew about Ramsay – “if you didn’t know, you’re an idiot, and if you did know, you’re my enemy.” Sansa then goes on to vaguely hint at the abuse she suffered. She asks him what he thinks Ramsay did and forces him to guess. It’s a very uncomfortable conversation for both Littlefinger and for us watchers, but Sansa is hardened now and doesn’t flinch from the truth.

Littlefinger tells her he didn’t know, that he made a mistake and underestimated Ramsay. Sansa continues to give him disturbing hints about what she suffered – she’s not letting him off the hook for this one. Littlefinger says he’ll protect her, but she’s done with his lies. She says he can’t even protect himself if she orders Brienne to cut him down. Sansa doesn’t need him anymore.

Littlefinger tells her he will do whatever she wants, even die. Sansa orders him to go back to Moat Cailin, but he gives her one more bit of information – her great uncle, Brynden Tully (the Blackfish), has retaken Riverrun and suggests she needs his army. Sansa says she has an army to which he replies “your brother’s army…half brother.” Leave it to Littlefinger to sow the seeds of discontent on his way out.

Over to Braavos, and we have yet more stick fighting in the House of Black and White. Arya’s eyesight doesn’t seem to be helping much as the Waif continues to beat her down. She tells Arya she’ll never be one of them – calling her Lady Stark – and Jaqen enters, saying the Waif has a point.

Jaqen takes Arya into the Hall of Faces, telling her about the origin of the Faceless Men. They were not highborn, but slaves in Valyria. The Many Faced God told their founder how to shed his face and give the gift; he in turn told others and eventually the masters and overseers were gone. The Faceless Men fled and founded Braavos and the temple.

Jaqen tells Arya she is one of them, if she desires. Arya says she has no desires, and Jaqen presents her with a vial of poison. She asks who and is told it’s an actress (Lady Crane). Jaqen tells her this is her second chance and there won’t be a third. “One way or another, a face will added to the Hall.” Arya had better tread carefully.

Arya goes to watch the play, which parodies the events that kick of the War of the Five Kings – King Robert’s death, Ned’s “treason,” and Ned’s beheading (with a nice reference to The Winds of Winter thrown in for fun). Arya initially seems to be amused but quickly appears distressed at the portrayal – Robert and Ned are idiots, and Cersei and Joffrey are sympathetic. There is also a scheming Tyrion and naïve and exploited Sansa. It’s interesting to see her once again in the crowd, unable to affect the events that are playing out before her. It seems she hasn’t really become No One.

We are taken backstage and treated to a close up of “Joffrey’s” penis as he laments finding warts (not sure I really needed to see that…). “Sansa” is criticized for her unconvincing performance and is told to do better. Arya sees Lady Crane sharing a drink with “Tyrion” as they flirt and compliment each other. Arya returns to Jaqen with a plan to poison the rum, which only Lady Crane drinks; she wants to use a face from the Hall but is told she isn’t ready. She observes that Lady Crane is a good actress and seems a decent woman, to which Jaqen responds, “Does death only come for the wicked and leave the decent behind?” Unfortunately not, as we’ve seen since season one.

Arya wants to know who wants Lady Crane dead, and deduces it must be “Sansa,” who is jealous of her talent (I’m not sure how a lowly, mediocre actress can afford to hire a Faceless Man, but I digress). Jaqen tells her she must decide if she wants to serve, and Arya says she has decided. Jaqen states that a servant doesn’t ask questions. Somehow I don’t see Arya being a servant – perhaps she’ll kill “Sansa” instead?

Another day, another vision courtesy of weirwood.net, and this time Bran sees the Children of the Forest back when the lands beyond the Wall were green. They are in a stone circle spiral around a weirwood, where a man has been stripped to the waist and lashed to the tree. It seems to be some kind of ritual/sacrifice, and Leaf steps up with an obsidian dagger in hand. She slowly drives it into the man’s chest, and we see his eyes turn White Walker blue…

Bran awakes to find Leaf looking at him. He accuses her of creating the White Walkers, and she defends it by saying they were at war and being slaughtered, their sacred trees cut down. They needed a weapon to defend themselves from men. Unfortunately, it seems their creation got out of hand and away from their control.

Time for the Kingsmoot on the Iron Islands, and Yara stakes her claim to the “Salt Throne” (it’s the Seastone Chair! I just can’t get on board with this name change…). The ironborn men say they’ve never had a queen, and Yara reminds them of all the other things they never done – which basically boils down to never being successful at much of anything. They tell her a woman will never lead them, not when Balon’s male heir has returned.

Theon (looking much more Theon and less Reekish), steps up to step aside and throw his support behind his sister. He tells everyone that Yara is true Ironborn and the rightful ruler. The men start chanting her name but are interrupted by Euron, who has conveniently arrived just in time. Euron claims the throne for himself, blasting Theon for his blunders and saying that since he has no cock that explains his support for a woman.

Yara suspiciously wonders when he arrived, and states that her first act as queen will be to execute Euron for Balon’s murder. Euron has no qualms admitting his deed, saying that Balon was leading them nowhere and that he should have done it long ago. Theon says that would have been hard since he has been gone for so long, and that Yara has always been there and being a leader. Euron makes more jokes about Theon’s castration and says he will build a fleet to take him to Daenerys. He will win her over and take the Seven Kingdoms.

As the crowd chants Euron’s name, Yara and Theon apparently see the writing on the wall and take off – heading for a fleet of ships anchored off the coast (hopefully heading to Meereen to warn Dany about their crazy uncle). Meanwhile, Euron is baptized the Ironborn way – drowned and revived in homage to the Drowned God. The priest (Aeron – Balon and Euron’s brother although the show never makes note of it) crowns him with driftwood, and Euron tells his men it’s time to murder his niece and nephew. Euron’s a real family guy… Maybe Aeron is better off not being mentioned as his brother. He sees the ships taking sail and doesn’t let it bother him – he commands his men to start building him a fleet, and he will give them this world.

Over in Essos, Daenerys overlooks Vaes Dothrak with Daario and Jorah. She tells Jorah she banished him twice, and he came back both times and saved her. She can’t take him back and can’t send him away. Jorah tells her he must, revealing his greyscale. Dany asks if there is a cure, and how long he has – Jorah doesn’t know either answer. She tells him she’s sorry, but he says he’s only ever wanted to serve her and that he loves her and always will. He says goodbye and begins to walk away, but she stops him. Dany gives Jorah an emotional command to find a cure and heal himself, so he can return to her. She needs him by her side when she takes the Seven Kingdoms. Cue the tears…

In Meereen, Varys talks to Grey Worm about the status of the city, and it seems a fragile peace has taken hold. Tyrion doesn’t think it’s enough – they need to know that Daenerys is responsible for the peace (and makes a nice dig at her long string of titles). He needs to find someone trustworthy to convince the people. Varys asks where they will find him, and Tyrion responds with Varys’s line from season 5: “Who said anything about him?”

In the Great Pyramid, Tyrion and Varys meet with Kinvara, the High Priestess of the Red Temple of Volantis. Tyrion entreats her for help, but Kinvara had already planned to help – Daenerys is the One who was Promised, her dragons a gift from the Lord of Light. She tells them she will spread the word that Daenerys will lead the people against the darkness.

Varys isn’t buying it, and throws Stannis Baratheon in her face, saying a red priestess anointed him as the Chosen One, and he was defeated. Kinvara is undeterred, telling him that everything is the Lord’s will but that people making mistakes. Varys asks why they should trust her, and she says that everyone is what and where they are for a reason.

Kinvara brings up Varys’s castration, and tells him that terrible event made him become the powerful man he is. She asks if she remembers the voice from the flames when his parts were thrown on the fire, and if he wants to know what it said and the name of the one who spoke. Varys is clearly horrified at her knowledge, but she says they serve the same queen, and if he is her true friend he has nothing to fear. It’s too bad Tyrion doesn’t know about his sister’s issues with trying to ally with fanatics…I don’t see this turning out well.

Back to the cave, and Bran is lying awake. He decides to take the opportunity to plug back in to the weirnet alone while everyone else is sleeping (big mistake Bran). He is taken back to the weirwood and stone spiral from his earlier vision, only this time it’s covered in snow. It appears he is in the present, and there is a large army of the undead waiting there.

Bran walks through them to find White Walkers on the other side. The Night’s King turns to look at him (he actually sees Bran!), and Bran turns around to see the wight army has followed suit. Brans looks horrified and turns back around to see the Night’s King standing right beside him. Bran panics and tries to get away, but not before the Night’s King grabs his arm.

Bran awakes in a panic, waking the others. He tells the Three Eyed Raven that the Night’s King saw him, but the Three Eyed Raven knows Bran has been touched. There is a mark on Bran’s arm, and the Three Eyed Raven tells Bran the Night’s King will come for him, and the magic will no longer protect the cave now that his mark is on Bran. He says they must all leave and that Bran must now become the Three Eyed Raven. Bran asks if he ready, and is told he isn’t.

At Castle Black, Jon and company are planning their strategy to retake the North. Davos lists the houses that have declared for Ramsay. Sansa has given up on the Umbers, but that the Karstarks didn’t realize they had another choice. Davos counters that Robb killed their lord, but Sansa says Northerners are more loyal.

Davos argues that while that may be so, he knows men and even the bravest won’t fight for a lost cause. They have to be convinced they can win. Jon says they can start with the smaller houses – their combined strength would equal the larger ones. The North remembers the Stark name and will fight for it – Davos asserts Jon doesn’t have the Stark name, but Sansa says she does. She compares Jon to Ramsay in that they are both their fathers’ sons, even if they don’t have the name (Jon looks pretty hurt by this exchange). Sansa goes on to say the Tullys will support them, and that the Blackfish has reformed an army. She lies about the source of the information, saying Ramsay received a raven before she escaped.

Later, Sansa and Brienne are arguing because Sansa wants to send her to the riverlands to recruit the Tully. Brienne doesn’t want to leave her as she is sworn to protect her. Sansa says she’s safe with Jon (who Brienne calls trustworthy but brooding – no kidding). Brienne doesn’t trust the others – Davos and Melisandre supported Stannis and were involved in blood magic to kill Renly, and she even throws poor Tormund under the bus (come on Brienne, he’s just smitten with you – give the guy a break). Sansa argues that Jon will keep her safe, that she trusts him. Brienne asks why she lied to him then, and Sansa doesn’t have and answer.

Sansa walks outside as their group is preparing to leave, wearing a new dress (I dig the wolf embroidery and apparently Jon does too). She presents Jon with a cloak she made for him, like the one Ned used to wear (a guilt gift perhaps?). He thanks her and appears genuinely touched. Tormund gives Brienne another longing look, and she is not amused. Jon and Edd say their goodbyes, and Jon tells him not to knock the Wall down while he’s gone (uh oh, foreshadowing anyone?).

Back at the cave, Bran and the Three Eyed Raven are in vision mode (presumably uploading knowledge Bran will need before they leave) while Meera and Hodor make preparation for the journey. As they talk Meera notices their breath in the air, a sign that the temperature is dropping considerably. She fearfully runs to the cave entrance, where Leaf and the other Children are looking out at the wight army, with the Night’s King at their head. He touches the ground and appears to break the magical protection surrounding them.

Meera runs back inside to get Bran, desperately trying to wake him. He and the Three Eyed Raven are in a vision back at Winterfell, where a young Ned is preparing to leave to be fostered at the Vale. Meanwhile Meera does her best to get Bran out, while the Children fight off wights and Hodor panics. The White Walkers walk into the cave, as the wights surround the tree and begin falling through the cave ceiling.

Meera fights off the wights as she continues to try and wake Bran, telling him they need Hodor. Her voice breaks through to him in the vision, and he hears her telling him to warg into Hodor. The Three Eyed Raven tells Bran to listen to her, and as Bran looks at young Hodor (Wyllis) in the vision, he wargs into Hodor in the present. Hodor picks up the stretcher Bran is lying on and begins dragging him away. A White Walker enters and Meera kills him with an obsidian spear. More wights appear, and Summer jumps into the fight, giving Meera and Leaf a chance to run. Sadly, Summer is overcome and killed (not another direwolf! Cue more tears).

The Night’s King enters and head straight for the Three Eyed Raven. In the vision, he tells Bran to leave him as he dissolves and floats away. In the cave, the wights are relentlessly chasing Meera, Hodor, and Bran, so Leaf stops running and arms a grenade-like weapon. She waits for the wights to overwhelm her, then detonates it, taking them out with her.

Hodor and Meera finally reach a door that will take them out of the cave. Hodor manages to open it just before another group of wights reach them, then slams it shut. Meera yells for him to hold the door as she drags Bran away. In the vision, Bran looks at young Hodor/Wyllis, who looks right back at him. Wyllis’s eyes turn white, and he falls to the ground in a seizure.

Wyllis yells “hold the door” over and over as we cut back to the present, with Hodor holding the door as the wights begin to break through and tear into him. Meera looks back, helpless, as she has to continue on and get Bran to safety. Back in the vision, Bran stares equally helplessly at Wyllis, whose calls of “hold the door” gradually run together and become “hodor” (didn’t think I had any tears left, but not so. Touché, Game of Thrones).

What do you think happened at the end? Did Bran warg past Hodor as well as present Hodor, breaking his mind and making him what he became? Was this always destined to happen, and the Three Eyed Raven knew Bran needed to be in that vision at that exact time? Hopefully the mystery will be explained in future episodes.

 

Games of Thrones Episode 5 Play by Play (Chock Full of Spoilers)

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“The Door” opens – pun intended – on Sansa doing some sewing. She receives a letter with a mockingbird seal; apparently Littlefinger has used his teleporter (how else does he travel so fast?) and is awaiting her in Mole’s Town. She arrives with Brienne, whom Littlefinger doesn’t look too thrilled to see.

He tells Sansa he’s happy to see her unharmed. She scoffs at this and asks what he’s doing there. Littlefinger tells her he’s brought the Vale army to her aid, which he left encamped at Moat Cailin. Sansa asks if he knew about Ramsay – “if you didn’t know, you’re an idiot, and if you did know, you’re my enemy.” Sansa then goes on to vaguely hint at the abuse she suffered. She asks him what he thinks Ramsay did and forces him to guess. It’s a very uncomfortable conversation for both Littlefinger and for us watchers, but Sansa is hardened now and doesn’t flinch from the truth.

Littlefinger tells her he didn’t know, that he made a mistake and underestimated Ramsay. Sansa continues to give him disturbing hints about what she suffered – she’s not letting him off the hook for this one. Littlefinger says he’ll protect her, but she’s done with his lies. She says he can’t even protect himself if she orders Brienne to cut him down. Sansa doesn’t need him anymore.

Littlefinger tells her he will do whatever she wants, even die. Sansa orders him to go back to Moat Cailin, but he gives her one more bit of information – her great uncle, Brynden Tully (the Blackfish), has retaken Riverrun and suggests she needs his army. Sansa says she has an army to which he replies “your brother’s army…half brother.” Leave it to Littlefinger to sow the seeds of discontent on his way out.

Over to Braavos, and we have yet more stick fighting in the House of Black and White. Arya’s eyesight doesn’t seem to be helping much as the Waif continues to beat her down. She tells Arya she’ll never be one of them – calling her Lady Stark – and Jaqen enters, saying the Waif has a point.

Jaqen takes Arya into the Hall of Faces, telling her about the origin of the Faceless Men. They were not highborn, but slaves in Valyria. The Many Faced God told their founder how to shed his face and give the gift; he in turn told others and eventually the masters and overseers were gone. The Faceless Men fled and founded Braavos and the temple.

Jaqen tells Arya she is one of them, if she desires. Arya says she has no desires, and Jaqen presents her with a vial of poison. She asks who and is told it’s an actress (Lady Crane). Jaqen tells her this is her second chance and there won’t be a third. “One way or another, a face will added to the Hall.” Arya had better tread carefully.

Arya goes to watch the play, which parodies the events that kick of the War of the Five Kings – King Robert’s death, Ned’s “treason,” and Ned’s beheading (with a nice reference to The Winds of Winter thrown in for fun). Arya initially seems to be amused but quickly appears distressed at the portrayal – Robert and Ned are idiots, and Cersei and Joffrey are sympathetic. There is also a scheming Tyrion and naïve and exploited Sansa. It’s interesting to see her once again in the crowd, unable to affect the events that are playing out before her. It seems she hasn’t really become No One.

We are taken backstage and treated to a close up of “Joffrey’s” penis as he laments finding warts (not sure I really needed to see that…). “Sansa” is criticized for her unconvincing performance and is told to do better. Arya sees Lady Crane sharing a drink with “Tyrion” as they flirt and compliment each other. Arya returns to Jaqen with a plan to poison the rum, which only Lady Crane drinks; she wants to use a face from the Hall but is told she isn’t ready. She observes that Lady Crane is a good actress and seems a decent woman, to which Jaqen responds, “Does death only come for the wicked and leave the decent behind?” Unfortunately not, as we’ve seen since season one.

Arya wants to know who wants Lady Crane dead, and deduces it must be “Sansa,” who is jealous of her talent (I’m not sure how a lowly, mediocre actress can afford to hire a Faceless Man, but I digress). Jaqen tells her she must decide if she wants to serve, and Arya says she has decided. Jaqen states that a servant doesn’t ask questions. Somehow I don’t see Arya being a servant – perhaps she’ll kill “Sansa” instead?

Another day, another vision courtesy of weirwood.net, and this time Bran sees the Children of the Forest back when the lands beyond the Wall were green. They are in a stone circle spiral around a weirwood, where a man has been stripped to the waist and lashed to the tree. It seems to be some kind of ritual/sacrifice, and Leaf steps up with an obsidian dagger in hand. She slowly drives it into the man’s chest, and we see his eyes turn White Walker blue…

Bran awakes to find Leaf looking at him. He accuses her of creating the White Walkers, and she defends it by saying they were at war and being slaughtered, their sacred trees cut down. They needed a weapon to defend themselves from men. Unfortunately, it seems their creation got out of hand and away from their control.

Time for the Kingsmoot on the Iron Islands, and Yara stakes her claim to the “Salt Throne” (it’s the Seastone Chair! I just can’t get on board with this name change…). The ironborn men say they’ve never had a queen, and Yara reminds them of all the other things they never done – which basically boils down to never being successful at much of anything. They tell her a woman will never lead them, not when Balon’s male heir has returned.

Theon (looking much more Theon and less Reekish), steps up to step aside and throw his support behind his sister. He tells everyone that Yara is true Ironborn and the rightful ruler. The men start chanting her name but are interrupted by Euron, who has conveniently arrived just in time. Euron claims the throne for himself, blasting Theon for his blunders and saying that since he has no cock that explains his support for a woman.

Yara suspiciously wonders when he arrived, and states that her first act as queen will be to execute Euron for Balon’s murder. Euron has no qualms admitting his deed, saying that Balon was leading them nowhere and that he should have done it long ago. Theon says that would have been hard since he has been gone for so long, and that Yara has always been there and being a leader. Euron makes more jokes about Theon’s castration and says he will build a fleet to take him to Daenerys. He will win her over and take the Seven Kingdoms.

As the crowd chants Euron’s name, Yara and Theon apparently see the writing on the wall and take off – heading for a fleet of ships anchored off the coast (hopefully heading to Meereen to warn Dany about their crazy uncle). Meanwhile, Euron is baptized the Ironborn way – drowned and revived in homage to the Drowned God. The priest (Aeron – Balon and Euron’s brother although the show never makes note of it) crowns him with driftwood, and Euron tells his men it’s time to murder his niece and nephew. Euron’s a real family guy… Maybe Aeron is better off not being mentioned as his brother. He sees the ships taking sail and doesn’t let it bother him – he commands his men to start building him a fleet, and he will give them this world.

Over in Essos, Daenerys overlooks Vaes Dothrak with Daario and Jorah. She tells Jorah she banished him twice, and he came back both times and saved her. She can’t take him back and can’t send him away. Jorah tells her he must, revealing his greyscale. Dany asks if there is a cure, and how long he has – Jorah doesn’t know either answer. She tells him she’s sorry, but he says he’s only ever wanted to serve her and that he loves her and always will. He says goodbye and begins to walk away, but she stops him. Dany gives Jorah an emotional command to find a cure and heal himself, so he can return to her. She needs him by her side when she takes the Seven Kingdoms. Cue the tears…

In Meereen, Varys talks to Grey Worm about the status of the city, and it seems a fragile peace has taken hold. Tyrion doesn’t think it’s enough – they need to know that Daenerys is responsible for the peace (and makes a nice dig at her long string of titles). He needs to find someone trustworthy to convince the people. Varys asks where they will find him, and Tyrion responds with Varys’s line from season 5: “Who said anything about him?”

In the Great Pyramid, Tyrion and Varys meet with Kinvara, the High Priestess of the Red Temple of Volantis. Tyrion entreats her for help, but Kinvara had already planned to help – Daenerys is the One who was Promised, her dragons a gift from the Lord of Light. She tells them she will spread the word that Daenerys will lead the people against the darkness.

Varys isn’t buying it, and throws Stannis Baratheon in her face, saying a red priestess anointed him as the Chosen One, and he was defeated. Kinvara is undeterred, telling him that everything is the Lord’s will but that people making mistakes. Varys asks why they should trust her, and she says that everyone is what and where they are for a reason.

Kinvara brings up Varys’s castration, and tells him that terrible event made him become the powerful man he is. She asks if she remembers the voice from the flames when his parts were thrown on the fire, and if he wants to know what it said and the name of the one who spoke. Varys is clearly horrified at her knowledge, but she says they serve the same queen, and if he is her true friend he has nothing to fear. It’s too bad Tyrion doesn’t know about his sister’s issues with trying to ally with fanatics…I don’t see this turning out well.

Back to the cave, and Bran is lying awake. He decides to take the opportunity to plug back in to the weirnet alone while everyone else is sleeping (big mistake Bran). He is taken back to the weirwood and stone spiral from his earlier vision, only this time it’s covered in snow. It appears he is in the present, and there is a large army of the undead waiting there.

Bran walks through them to find White Walkers on the other side. The Night’s King turns to look at him (he actually sees Bran!), and Bran turns around to see the wight army has followed suit. Brans looks horrified and turns back around to see the Night’s King standing right beside him. Bran panics and tries to get away, but not before the Night’s King grabs his arm.

Bran awakes in a panic, waking the others. He tells the Three Eyed Raven that the Night’s King saw him, but the Three Eyed Raven knows Bran has been touched. There is a mark on Bran’s arm, and the Three Eyed Raven tells Bran the Night’s King will come for him, and the magic will no longer protect the cave now that his mark is on Bran. He says they must all leave and that Bran must now become the Three Eyed Raven. Bran asks if he ready, and is told he isn’t.

At Castle Black, Jon and company are planning their strategy to retake the North. Davos lists the houses that have declared for Ramsay. Sansa has given up on the Umbers, but that the Karstarks didn’t realize they had another choice. Davos counters that Robb killed their lord, but Sansa says Northerners are more loyal.

Davos argues that while that may be so, he knows men and even the bravest won’t fight for a lost cause. They have to be convinced they can win. Jon says they can start with the smaller houses – their combined strength would equal the larger ones. The North remembers the Stark name and will fight for it – Davos asserts Jon doesn’t have the Stark name, but Sansa says she does. She compares Jon to Ramsay in that they are both their fathers’ sons, even if they don’t have the name (Jon looks pretty hurt by this exchange). Sansa goes on to say the Tullys will support them, and that the Blackfish has reformed an army. She lies about the source of the information, saying Ramsay received a raven before she escaped.

Later, Sansa and Brienne are arguing because Sansa wants to send her to the riverlands to recruit the Tully. Brienne doesn’t want to leave her as she is sworn to protect her. Sansa says she’s safe with Jon (who Brienne calls trustworthy but brooding – no kidding). Brienne doesn’t trust the others – Davos and Melisandre supported Stannis and were involved in blood magic to kill Renly, and she even throws poor Tormund under the bus (come on Brienne, he’s just smitten with you – give the guy a break). Sansa argues that Jon will keep her safe, that she trusts him. Brienne asks why she lied to him then, and Sansa doesn’t have and answer.

Sansa walks outside as their group is preparing to leave, wearing a new dress (I dig the wolf embroidery and apparently Jon does too). She presents Jon with a cloak she made for him, like the one Ned used to wear (a guilt gift perhaps?). He thanks her and appears genuinely touched. Tormund gives Brienne another longing look, and she is not amused. Jon and Edd say their goodbyes, and Jon tells him not to knock the Wall down while he’s gone (uh oh, foreshadowing anyone?).

Back at the cave, Bran and the Three Eyed Raven are in vision mode (presumably uploading knowledge Bran will need before they leave) while Meera and Hodor make preparation for the journey. As they talk Meera notices their breath in the air, a sign that the temperature is dropping considerably. She fearfully runs to the cave entrance, where Leaf and the other Children are looking out at the wight army, with the Night’s King at their head. He touches the ground and appears to break the magical protection surrounding them.

Meera runs back inside to get Bran, desperately trying to wake him. He and the Three Eyed Raven are in a vision back at Winterfell, where a young Ned is preparing to leave to be fostered at the Vale. Meanwhile Meera does her best to get Bran out, while the Children fight off wights and Hodor panics. The White Walkers walk into the cave, as the wights surround the tree and begin falling through the cave ceiling.

Meera fights off the wights as she continues to try and wake Bran, telling him they need Hodor. Her voice breaks through to him in the vision, and he hears her telling him to warg into Hodor. The Three Eyed Raven tells Bran to listen to her, and as Bran looks at young Hodor (Wyllis) in the vision, he wargs into Hodor in the present. Hodor picks up the stretcher Bran is lying on and begins dragging him away. A White Walker enters and Meera kills him with an obsidian spear. More wights appear, and Summer jumps into the fight, giving Meera and Leaf a chance to run. Sadly, Summer is overcome and killed (not another direwolf! Cue more tears).

The Night’s King enters and head straight for the Three Eyed Raven. In the vision, he tells Bran to leave him as he dissolves and floats away. In the cave, the wights are relentlessly chasing Meera, Hodor, and Bran, so Leaf stops running and arms a grenade-like weapon. She waits for the wights to overwhelm her, then detonates it, taking them out with her.

Hodor and Meera finally reach a door that will take them out of the cave. Hodor manages to open it just before another group of wights reach them, then slams it shut. Meera yells for him to hold the door as she drags Bran away. In the vision, Bran looks at young Hodor/Wyllis, who looks right back at him. Wyllis’s eyes turn white, and he falls to the ground in a seizure.

Wyllis yells “hold the door” over and over as we cut back to the present, with Hodor holding the door as the wights begin to break through and tear into him. Meera looks back, helpless, as she has to continue on and get Bran to safety. Back in the vision, Bran stares equally helplessly at Wyllis, whose calls of “hold the door” gradually run together and become “hodor” (didn’t think I had any tears left, but not so. Touché, Game of Thrones).

What do you think happened at the end? Did Bran warg past Hodor as well as present Hodor, breaking his mind and making him what he became? Was this always destined to happen, and the Three Eyed Raven knew Bran needed to be in that vision at that exact time? Hopefully the mystery will be explained in future episodes.

 

Showdown in King’s Landing – New Interview Provides Hints About the High Sparrow’s Future (Season 6 Spoilers)

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Jonathan Pryce – who plays the High Sparrow on Game of Thrones – has perhaps said a bit too much in an interview with the Polish website Kawerna. Much of the interview focuses on his views about his character and how he portrays him, as well as some of the difficulties the role provides.

He did however let a significant detail slip when he was asked where his story goes this season, and he says that everyone is waiting impatiently for Cersei’s trial, which will be held in the Great Sept. Almost everyone will be present and the High Sparrow is firmly convinced that Cersei will appear at his request, despite messengers informing him that she has not left her quarters.

Meanwhile, there is scheming and intrigue taking place in his vicinity. Tension gradually builds while the Sept fills with people, but the High Sparrow is still pleased with the turn of events and is confident that everything is going according to plan. No one suspects that fate has a very unpleasant surprise in store.

My person opinion is that Cersei has set up wildfire around the Sept, and that her accomplices will ignite it once everyone is inside. This would definitely take care of her enemies, but would also create new ones. If the Tyrells lose members of their family there, Cersei will certainly have a war on her hands. This could be the beginning of the end for her, and for Lannister power in Westeros.

What do you think will happen?

 

Who is the Prince that was Promised? (Spoilers and specuation)

During Game of Thrones episodes three and four – “Oathbreaker” and “Book of the Stranger” – Melisandre calls Jon the Prince that was Promised. Is she right? What is the Prince that was Promised anyway?

In the A Song of Ice and Fire books, there are two saviors that are referenced – Azor Ahai Reborn and the Prince that was Promised. There are many overlapping qualities, and many people suspect they refer to the same person. There are prophecies associated with both, and they both concern saving the world from the Long Night/the darkness/the Others (White Walkers).

According to followers of R’hllor (The Lord of Light), Azor Ahai was a legendary hero who wielded a burning sword and fought the darkness that lay over the world. He may be connected to the Last Hero, who fought the Others during the Long Night with a blade of dragonsteel. Azor Ahai is prophesied to be reborn “after a long summer when the stars bleed and the cold breath of darkness falls heavy on the world. In this dread hour a warrior shall draw from the fire a burning sword. And that sword shall be Lightbringer, the Red Sword of Heroes, and he who clasps it shall be Azor Ahai come again, and the darkness shall flee before him.”

Melisandre also states “When the red star bleeds and the darkness gathers, Azor Ahai shall be born again amidst smoke and salt to wake dragons out of stone.” She seems to believe the dragons will be made out of stone, because she later tells Stannis that “only a king’s blood can wake the stone dragon.” Melisandre wants him to sacrifice his nephew Edric Storm (a bastard sired by Robert Baratheon – replaced by Gendry on the show) and his “dragon shall awaken and spread his stony wings.”

Melisandre uses the Prince that was Promised interchangeably with Azor Azai Reborn, so she obviously believes they are one and the same. We get very little information about the Prince that was Promised, other than that he will be instrumental in the war for the dawn (presumably the fight against the Others), will be born from the line of Aerys (the Mad King) and Rhaella, and that his song is the song of ice and fire.

Since there are many similarities between the two prophecies, for the sake of argument let’s assume they are about the same person. Is Melisandre right in thinking it’s Jon? She first believed it was Stannis which was obviously incorrect (and appears to be the case in the books as well), and on the surface Daenerys seems to be a better fit.

Daenerys was born (literally) amidst salt (the sea) when she was born on the island fortress of Dragonstone. She was born again (figuratively) amidst smoke when she walked unburnt out of the fire of Khal Drogo’s funeral pyre. The bleeding red star (comet) also appeared at this time, while the darkness (Others) were gathering beyond the Wall. She woke dragons out of stone when she hatched the stony eggs in the pyre (using the Khal’s blood), and the dragons could be metaphorical swords.

Melisandre may have believed that Stannis was The Prince that was Promised if she saw Dragonstone in hear flames. He was the current Lord of Dragonstone, so it would make sense for her to seek him out. She believed in this vision so strongly that she tried to force the prophecy to fit him, giving him an illusory “burning” sword. However, he is not from the line of Aerys and Rhaella (although he does have Targaryen ancestry). Daenerys is both from their line – their daughter – and was born on Dragonstone.

Everything seems to point to Daenerys, but George R. R. Martin is quoted as saying that prophecies shouldn’t be “too literal or too easy,” and that they should “come true in unexpected ways.” With that in mind, how could this be applied to Jon Snow?

If you believe he is the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna, then he would be the grandson of Aerys and Rhaella and potentially the heir to the Iron Throne (if legitimate). That would make him the Prince of Dragonstone as his father was before him, so if Dragonstone was the key to Melisandre’s vision – and she assumed it was associated with the Prince that was Promised – it could have been pointing toward Jon.

We don’t know much of the circumstances of his birth, but likely there were tears (salt). His resurrection hasn’t happened in A Song of Ice and Fire, but on Game of Thrones he was resurrected amidst smoke (Melisandre burning his hair). There has also been speculation that salt and smoke were used to describe snow and steamy breath in cold air by people that had never seen it. Additionally as Jon was stabbed in the books, Bowen Marsh was crying, and his wounds were “smoking.”

There are theories in the books about the red star bleeding – that it could be the knight with the star sigil who was torn apart by Wun Wun right before Jon’s murder, or that it could refer to Melisandre (the theory for that is detailed here). We haven’t seen much evidence for this in the show, but they could be simplifying it for television.

Regarding “waking dragons out of stone,” this is where is gets tricky. Since Jon is unlikely to find dragon eggs or a literal stone dragon, some believe that Shireen’s burning is what leads to Jon’s rebirth. Greyscale looks like the skin turning to stone, so using magic caused by burning her (releasing her king’s blood) would be waking a dragon (Targaryens are frequently referred to as dragons in both the books and the show) from stone.

My personal belief is that there is proof of Jon’s Targaryen lineage in Lyanna’s crypt. One very convincing theory is that it is Rhaegar’s harp. Discovery of this proof would be a metaphorical way of waking a dragon from stone. Blood is used many times to refer to a relative – not actual blood – so perhaps the king’s blood of the prophecy means a relative of the king. Perhaps you don’t need this person’s actual blood, but just their presence. Jon is a king’s “blood” so he may find the evidence himself, or Bran (related to King Robb Stark) could discover this proof in a vision.

Finally, Lyanna asks Ned to promise her something before she dies. Most likely she asks him to protect Jon, or preserve his heritage by burying evidence with her, or both. Assuming Jon truly is a prince (not bastard born), then he is literally a promised prince.

Do you think Jon will be the savior of Westeros? If not, who do you predict it will be?

Game of Thrones Episode 4 Play by Play (Spoilers aplenty)

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Opening at Castle Black again, and Jon is dressed as a Stark(!) with a new hairdo (not a fan of the Man Bun but he makes it work) packing up to leave the Wall. Edd does not look pleased and reminds him of the White Walker threat. He tells Jon he pledged his life to the Night’s Watch, and Jon said he gave it. They are interrupted by a horn blast, and as the gates open we see Brienne, Pod, and Sansa. Is it just me, or does Tormund look infatuated with Brienne? I could definitely get on board with Brimund.

Sansa sees Jon, Jon sees Sansa, and the Stark reunion we’ve all been hoping for is upon us. After some awkward staring, the Hug that was Promised happens (oh the feels!). As we all dry our eyes, we cut to Sansa looking refreshed and warm, and reminiscing with Jon. It appears they have done their catching up, and Sansa apologizes for how awful she was to Jon growing up. He forgives her, and she asks where he will go. He says they will go together, and she wants to go home. Jon is reluctant – he is tired of fighting and killing. He fought and lost. Sansa isn’t putting up with his self pity as she tells him she will take back Winterfell herself if she must.

Davos and Melisandre discuss their plans, and Melisandre says she will do as Jon Snow commands, stating he is the Prince that was Promised (why doesn’t Davos ever ask how that’s possible, with Jon being a bastard?). Anyway, Davos says he thought it was Stannis and asks her what happened. Melisandre is vague, and then Brienne walks up. The tension is palpable as she brings up Renly’s murder (which she hasn’t forgotten or forgiven – look out Mel). Brienne says Stannis confessed to his part in it, and that she executed him. She walks off, and Melisandre does the same (presumably to avoid Davos questioning her about Shireen again – that conversation will not go well).

Over to the Vale, and poor Sweetrobin hasn’t gotten any better at archery (or fighting in general I would assume). He is excited when Littlefinger arrives and brings him a gyrfalcon as a gift. Littlefinger’s jet pack must have broken down because it’s taken forever for him to return from King’s Landing. I mean, Robin has grown 2 feet! Yohn Royce interrogates him about Sansa’s “abduction” and marriage to Ramsay, and Littlefinger lies through his teeth as per usual. He deflects the blame onto Royce for allowing his travel plans to get out, and quietly threatens him using Robin’s love for throwing people out of the Moon Door. Royce gets the hint and acquiesces. Littlefinger convinces Robin to send Vale soldiers to help Sansa, with Royce leading them.

Back in Meereen, Tyrion discusses making peace with the slave masters with Missandei and Grey Worm, who think it’s a bad idea because the slavers are treacherous. Tyrion puts his foot in his mouth talking about his experience as a slave, and Missandei puts him in his place. During the negotiation with the slaver emissaries, the slavers want Daenerys to leave and slavery to return, while Tyrion says they don’t need slaves to make money. He proposes a seven year transition to a free society, which is a decent compromise but likely won’t make either side happy. Missandei and Grey Worm don’t agree, but feign support for now.

Jorah and Daario are still on Daenerys’ trail, and get in a pissing contest over who would be best for her. They make an uneasy peace as saving Daenerys is their first priority. They prepare to sneak into Vaes Dothrak, and Jorah makes Daario leave his weapons (which aren’t allowed in the sacred city). Daario finally glimpses Jorah’s greyscale, and Jorah assures him it didn’t touch him (yeah thanks Jorah). I’d keep my distance if I were you, Daario.

They sneak into the city and are spotted by two Dothraki. Jorah tries passing themselves off as merchants who lost their way, but the Dothraki aren’t buying it. Daario quickly dispatches one, while Jorah struggles with the other. No worries, Daario smuggled in his favorite knife and stabs Jorah’s opponent from behind (backstabbing seems to be a common theme this season).

Inside the temple of the Dosh Khaleen, the head priestess tells Daenerys that their lives have meaning and that the khals depend on them for their wisdom. This seems a better fate than being a khal’s wife to some, as Dany is introduced to a young widow who was stolen by an abusive khal after her village was burned to the ground. Dany excuses herself for a bathroom break, and the young widow accompanies her. Jorah and Daario ambush them and hold a knife to the widow’s throat. Daenerys tells them they will never be able to escape without being caught and convinces them not to hurt the young woman. Dany has another idea and enlists her new friend for help.

In King’s Landing, Margaery is still imprisoned. Prune faced Septa Unella escorts her to a meeting with the High Sparrow, who tells her she is a sinner whose priorities are all wrong. He tells her he used to desire power and wealth, but that after a night of drinking and whoring he realized how wrong he was. He then allows her to see her brother Loras, who appears to have completely broken down during his captivity. Margaery tells him to stay strong, that he is the future of their house, but it appears she will have to be strong for him.

In the Red Keep, Cersei walks in on Pycelle advising Tommen about the High Sparrow. Cersei kicks him out, and proceeds to manipulate Tommen into telling her the High Sparrow’s plan for Margaery. Later, she and Jaime meet with Olenna and Kevan and surprisingly agree that Margaery should not be forced to make a walk of atonement. They will put aside their differences long enough to bring the Tyrell army to King’s Landing and bring the sparrows down. Something tells me that Cersei will come to regret this decision.

Theon is on a ship headed home, although he doesn’t look particularly happy about it. He reunites with Yara, and it is decidedly less heartwarming than Sansa/Jon. Yara resents him for not coming with her during her rescue attempt, which resulted in the deaths of some of her men. Theon tells her he is sorry, that he was broken. Yara says she came to rescue him because she knew exactly how broken he was. She then questions his return, accusing him of trying to steal the throne from her. Theon corrects her, saying she deserves the throne and he wants to help.

In Winterfell, Osha is brought to Ramsay, and we all know this won’t end well (does anything ever end well when he is involved?). She lies about her allegiance to the Starks and attempts to seduce him in an effort to grab a knife and kill him. Of course, Ramsay is wise to her tricks and kills her first (like we didn’t see that coming). Thank you Theon for making sure Ramsay knew all about her. Ugh, someone please kill this guy soon.

Back to Castle Black, and an awkward dinner in which Tormund makes eyes at a very uncomfortable looking Brienne. Okay, I am really shipping these two. A messenger brings in a letter (Pink Letter!), and Jon apprehensively opens it after seeing the Bolton seal. Jon reads it aloud, learning that Ramsay now has Rickon. He grows uncomfortable and can’t continue, but Sansa takes it and finishes – she knows firsthand how vile Ramsay is and won’t shy away from it. They discuss the Bolton troops, and Tormund admits there aren’t enough wildlings to take them on. Sansa tells Jon they have to unite the Northern houses and bring the North back under Stark control or they will never be safe.

We return to Vaes Dothrak and the temple of the Dosh Khaleen, and the khals request that Daenerys be brought before them. They proceed to take turns insulting her and discussing her fate. They have been offered 10,000 horses by the Yunkai slavers to turn her over. Dany speaks up, wanting to weigh in, but is told she has no say in what happens to her. She proceeds to talk about Drogo and his plan to take her back to Westeros and conquer the Seven Kingdoms for her. She tells them they are not fit to lead the Dothraki, but she is. The khals tell her they will take turns raping her and they will never serve her, and Dany tells them they won’t serve, they will die. She overturns the braziers setting them – and the entire temple – ablaze.

In a scene taking us back to the finale of season one, Daenerys walks out of the inferno – naked but unburnt. The Dothraki, along with Jorah and Daario, bow down before her. Who needs dragons anyway? Daenerys is powerful in her own right.

This was a powerful, well done episode, and I can’t wait to see what next week has in store! What did you think?

Games of Thrones Episode 4 Play by Play (Spoilers aplenty)

Sansa-Jon

Opening at Castle Black again, and Jon is dressed as a Stark(!) with a new hairdo (not a fan of the Man Bun but he makes it work) packing up to leave the Wall. Edd does not look pleased and reminds him of the White Walker threat. He tells Jon he pledged his life to the Night’s Watch, and Jon said he gave it. They are interrupted by a horn blast, and as the gates open we see Brienne, Pod, and Sansa. Is it just me, or does Tormund look infatuated with Brienne? I could definitely get on board with Brimund.

Sansa sees Jon, Jon sees Sansa, and the Stark reunion we’ve all been hoping for is upon us. After some awkward staring, the Hug that was Promised happens (oh the feels!). As we all dry our eyes, we cut to Sansa looking refreshed and warm, and reminiscing with Jon. It appears they have done their catching up, and Sansa apologizes for how awful she was to Jon growing up. He forgives her, and she asks where he will go. He says they will go together, and she wants to go home. Jon is reluctant – he is tired of fighting and killing. He fought and lost. Sansa isn’t putting up with his self pity as she tells him she will take back Winterfell herself if she must.

Davos and Melisandre discuss their plans, and Melisandre says she will do as Jon Snow commands, stating he is the Prince that was Promised (why doesn’t Davos ever ask how that’s possible, with Jon being a bastard?). Anyway, Davos says he thought it was Stannis and asks her what happened. Melisandre is vague, and then Brienne walks up. The tension is palpable as she brings up Renly’s murder (which she hasn’t forgotten or forgiven – look out Mel). Brienne says Stannis confessed to his part in it, and that she executed him. She walks off, and Melisandre does the same (presumably to avoid Davos questioning her about Shireen again – that conversation will not go well).

Over to the Vale, and poor Sweetrobin hasn’t gotten any better at archery (or fighting in general I would assume). He is excited when Littlefinger arrives and brings him a gyrfalcon as a gift. Littlefinger’s jet pack must have broken down because it’s taken forever for him to return from King’s Landing. I mean, Robin has grown 2 feet! Yohn Royce interrogates him about Sansa’s “abduction” and marriage to Ramsay, and Littlefinger lies through his teeth as per usual. He deflects the blame onto Royce for allowing his travel plans to get out, and quietly threatens him using Robin’s love for throwing people out of the Moon Door. Royce gets the hint and acquiesces. Littlefinger convinces Robin to send Vale soldiers to help Sansa, with Royce leading them.

Back in Meereen, Tyrion discusses making peace with the slave masters with Missandei and Grey Worm, who think it’s a bad idea because the slavers are treacherous. Tyrion puts his foot in his mouth talking about his experience as a slave, and Missandei puts him in his place. During the negotiation with the slaver emissaries, the slavers want Daenerys to leave and slavery to return, while Tyrion says they don’t need slaves to make money. He proposes a seven year transition to a free society, which is a decent compromise but likely won’t make either side happy. Missandei and Grey Worm don’t agree, but feign support for now.

Jorah and Daario are still on Daenerys’ trail, and get in a pissing contest over who would be best for her. They make an uneasy peace as saving Daenerys is their first priority. They prepare to sneak into Vaes Dothrak, and Jorah makes Daario leave his weapons (which aren’t allowed in the sacred city). Daario finally glimpses Jorah’s greyscale, and Jorah assures him it didn’t touch him (yeah thanks Jorah). I’d keep my distance if I were you, Daario.

They sneak into the city and are spotted by two Dothraki. Jorah tries passing themselves off as merchants who lost their way, but the Dothraki aren’t buying it. Daario quickly dispatches one, while Jorah struggles with the other. No worries, Daario smuggled in his favorite knife and stabs Jorah’s opponent from behind (backstabbing seems to be a common theme this season).

Inside the temple of the Dosh Khaleen, the head priestess tells Daenerys that their lives have meaning and that the khals depend on them for their wisdom. This seems a better fate than being a khal’s wife to some, as Dany is introduced to a young widow who was stolen by an abusive khal after her village was burned to the ground. Dany excuses herself for a bathroom break, and the young widow accompanies her. Jorah and Daario ambush them and hold a knife to the widow’s throat. Daenerys tells them they will never be able to escape without being caught and convinces them not to hurt the young woman. Dany has another idea and enlists her new friend for help.

In King’s Landing, Margaery is still imprisoned. Prune faced Septa Unella escorts her to a meeting with the High Sparrow, who tells her she is a sinner whose priorities are all wrong. He tells her he used to desire power and wealth, but that after a night of drinking and whoring he realized how wrong he was. He then allows her to see her brother Loras, who appears to have completely broken down during his captivity. Margaery tells him to stay strong, that he is the future of their house, but it appears she will have to be strong for him.

In the Red Keep, Cersei walks in on Pycelle advising Tommen about the High Sparrow. Cersei kicks him out, and proceeds to manipulate Tommen into telling her the High Sparrow’s plan for Margaery. Later, she and Jaime meet with Olenna and Kevan and surprisingly agree that Margaery should not be forced to make a walk of atonement. They will put aside their differences long enough to bring the Tyrell army to King’s Landing and bring the sparrows down. Something tells me that Cersei will come to regret this decision.

Theon is on a ship headed home, although he doesn’t look particularly happy about it. He reunites with Yara, and it is decidedly less heartwarming than Sansa/Jon. Yara resents him for not coming with her during her rescue attempt, which resulted in the deaths of some of her men. Theon tells her he is sorry, that he was broken. Yara says she came to rescue him because she knew exactly how broken he was. She then questions his return, accusing him of trying to steal the throne from her. Theon corrects her, saying she deserves the throne and he wants to help.

In Winterfell, Osha is brought to Ramsay, and we all know this won’t end well (does anything ever end well when he is involved?). She lies about her allegiance to the Starks and attempts to seduce him in an effort to grab a knife and kill him. Of course, Ramsay is wise to her tricks and kills her first (like we didn’t see that coming). Thank you Theon for making sure Ramsay knew all about her. Ugh, someone please kill this guy soon.

Back to Castle Black, and an awkward dinner in which Tormund makes eyes at a very uncomfortable looking Brienne. Okay, I am really shipping these two. A messenger brings in a letter (Pink Letter!), and Jon apprehensively opens it after seeing the Bolton seal. Jon reads it aloud, learning that Ramsay now has Rickon. He grows uncomfortable and can’t continue, but Sansa takes it and finishes – she knows firsthand how vile Ramsay is and won’t shy away from it. They discuss the Bolton troops, and Tormund admits there aren’t enough wildlings to take them on. Sansa tells Jon they have to unite the Northern houses and bring the North back under Stark control or they will never be safe.

We return to Vaes Dothrak and the temple of the Dosh Khaleen, and the khals request that Daenerys be brought before them. They proceed to take turns insulting her and discussing her fate. They have been offered 10,000 horses by the Yunkai slavers to turn her over. Dany speaks up, wanting to weigh in, but is told she has no say in what happens to her. She proceeds to talk about Drogo and his plan to take her back to Westeros and conquer the Seven Kingdoms for her. She tells them they are not fit to lead the Dothraki, but she is. The khals tell her they will take turns raping her and they will never serve her, and Dany tells them they won’t serve, they will die. She overturns the braziers setting them – and the entire temple – ablaze.

In a scene taking us back to the finale of season one, Daenerys walks out of the inferno – naked but unburnt. The Dothraki, along with Jorah and Daario, bow down before her. Who needs dragons anyway? Daenerys is powerful in her own right.

This was a powerful, well done episode, and I can’t wait to see what next week has in store! What did you think?

Art of Thrones

It’s amazing to see the inspiration certain books, movies, or television shows can spark in their fans. They can lead us to create music, crafts, and art of our own. It is certainly true for the A Song of Ice and Fire novels and Game of Thrones series, which have motivated people to create entire communities dedicated to their obsession.

Musicians have covered the Game of Thrones theme song in hundreds of different ways. YouTube has a great collection of videos with people utilizing a multitude of different instruments. You can also find covers of other songs mentioned in the series, and even some original works.


Etsy is a veritable treasure trove for anything related to A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones. Whether you are looking for jewelry, collectibles, clothing, or art, you are sure to find something you will love. Speaking of art, there are numerous sites for artists to showcase their work. Tumblr has a Game of Thrones gallery, Facebook has The Art of Ice and Fire page, and DeviantArt features a large selection of pieces celebrating the series.

I have even been inspired to start drawing again – something I haven’t done in years. My header image is one example. I also have several pieces on DeviantArt; below are two of my favorites. You can view the rest on my profile if you are interested.

Gift from the Old Gods.jpg

a_girl_and_her_dragon_by_vanessacole-da1ayc2.jpg

Have you been motivated to create anything? Feel free to share in the comments!

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