Blog of the Dragon

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

Category: Game of Thrones news

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?

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?

 

Kit Harington on Jon Snow’s “Biggest Season” (Spoilers and Speculation)

Entertainment Weekly’s cover story this week features Kit Harington, in which he discusses the hows and whys of Jon Snow’s death and resurrection on Game of Thrones. Kit talks about the difficulty of keeping it a secret from friends and cast mates, and also how season 6 will be Jon Snow’s biggest season to date. The entire article is worth a read – you can pick it up in stores now or order a digital copy here.

There are a couple of tidbits I find quite interesting. Kit states that even after receiving the season 5 script containing his infamous stabbing, he held out hope that he would return since Game of Thrones never resolved the mystery of his parentage. “Why would there be this whole arc about your mother if that was never going to be relevant information because you died before finding out?” Why, indeed.

Kit later states, “There’s one episode this season, which is Jon’s story, that’s the most epic episode we’ve done.” So it appears we will discover who Jon’s mother is (and likely father as well – most of us are sure it isn’t Ned Stark). Since tonight’s episode will feature a vision of the Tower of Joy (you can read my previous post on why that’s so important), is it possible we will finally get the truth?

Mother’s Day would certainly be a fitting day to show the mother of Jon Snow, but unfortunately I think Game of Thrones will tease us and save that reveal for a later time. Hopefully that “epic episode” will be soon, and it will give us the answers we’ve been waiting years to see.

 

The Tower of Joy – What is it and Why Does it Matter? (Potential Spoilers)

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If you have seen the previews for Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones, then you are aware it will include a vision of a young Ned Stark’s confrontation with some Targaryen soldiers. The soldiers were members of the Kingsguard tasked with guarding Ned’s sister Lyanna, who was being held at the “Tower of Joy” at the end of Robert’s Rebellion.

The story goes that Rhaegar abducted Lyanna sometime after the Tourney at Harrenhal, in which Rhaegar was victorious and crowned Lyanna the Queen of Love and Beauty. He supposedly fell upon her in the riverlands and carried her off to the tower. There are reasons to doubt this tale, however.

Rhaegar was perceived as an honorable man by all who knew him (with the exception of Robert Baratheon who never forgave him for stealing Lyanna from him). Lyanna was independent and impulsive, and she was not happy about being betrothed to a womanizer like Robert. She could have gone with Rhaegar willingly, and one theory (detailed here) suggests Rhaegar may even have rescued her from an increasingly paranoid King Aerys.

Why is any of this important to the current story? Well, the theory commonly called R+L=J suggests that Rhaegar and Lyanna had a child together, and that child is Jon Snow. When Ned finds Lyanna in the tower, she is lying in a “bed of blood,” which is used throughout the A Song of Ice and Fire novels to describe the birthing bed. She then makes Ned promise her something, which many people believe was a promise to keep Jon’s identity a secret and raise him as Ned’s own child.

Now that Jon is indeed back from the dead, his heritage matters more than ever. With Stannis gone, Melisandre needs a new champion. Jon could possibly be Azor Ahai reborn or the Prince That Was Promised – legendary figures who are prophesied to defeat the White Walkers/Others and stop the Long Night (more information on that here).

Jon Snow may not even be a bastard. It’s possible that Rhaegar and Lyanna married in secret (Targaryens had practiced polygamy in the past), which would make him an heir to the Iron Throne. There are numerous hints in the novels about Jon being a king, which are catalogued here. In short, Bran’s vision on Sunday could confirm a theory that has been discussed for almost 2 decades by book readers, and which could have enormous implications for the future of Westeros.

I am incredibly excited to see how this plays out on screen. Do you think we will find out the truth about Jon this Sunday?

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

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

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

Tommen Baratheon – 97%

Daenerys Targaryen – 96%

Theon Greyjoy – 74%

Arya Stark – 68%

Ramsey Bolton – 64%

Sansa Stark – 3%

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Benioff and Weiss Despise Spoilers

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

New Game of Thrones Trailer! (Updated)

Coming on the heels of the Game of Thrones season 6 red carpet premiere in Los Angeles last night is a newly released trailer! Be warned that there is some exciting new (spoilery?) footage, so watch at your own risk.

Jon still dead, HUGE Drogon possibly getting ready to roast some Dothraki, Arya getting a new face(?), Sansa looking very Queen of the North, Freys!, Davos on the battlefield, the White Walker threat looming over Westeros, and Tyrion releasing the dragons(?). Call me sufficiently hyped. April 24th can’t get here quickly enough!

Update – History of Westeros and Watchers on the Wall have posted scene by scene breakdowns of the above trailer, and HBO has released 3 new clips:

The hype train is going full speed ahead this week!

To Watch or Not to Watch?

The Game of Thrones season 6 premiere is rapidly approaching – just over 2 weeks to go! – and I know many book readers have decided to skip this season in favor of waiting for The Winds of Winter to be released. I definitely understand the desire to see some of the big cliffhangers from A Dance with Dragons resolved on the page rather than the screen, but I can’t wait to see how things play out this year.

There has definitely been a divergence between the A Song of Ice and Fire novels and Game of Thrones. The main thrust of the story will likely be the same, but many of the side plots and stories have changed. I don’t think seeing the TV adaptation will in any way ruin my appreciation and love for the remaining novels once they are released. The books contain so many wonderful details that unfortunately don’t make it into the show.

My biggest reason for tuning in is that I have been waiting 5 long years to find out what happens to Jon Snow (since finishing A Dance with Dragons in 2011). Ideally The Winds of Winter would have revealed his fate to me before the show, but unfortunately that wasn’t to be. I (along with the majority of book readers and plenty of show watchers) believe he will be back with a huge role to play in the remainder of the series, and I think it will be exciting to see.

On that note, Carice van Houten (Melisandre) and Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth) have been heavily promoting season 6, and it appears that their characters will have a significant impact on the storyline this year. Carice has stated in The Telegraph that Melisandre will be insecure and having a crisis of faith in the wake of Stannis’s death, and has previously mentioned she has a “pivotal” role this year. Liam teases new alliances, shocking developments, and that the first episode (titled “The Red Woman”) is “astonishing.” Liam’s latest interview on Conan contained an extended version of a clip from the trailer:

It certainly seems that something huge will be taking place at Castle Black early on, and if it’s Jon’s resurrection I would rather watch it happen on Game of Thrones than read about online after the fact. After reading filming reports last year, seeing the teasers and trailers, and reading cast interviews my excitement level is reaching an all time high. These last 15 days of waiting are going be tough!

Are you planning to watch this year? What are your expectations for season 6?

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