Blog of the Dragon

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

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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.

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

New Sample Chapter from The Winds of Winter

The Winds of Winter may not be available yet, but George R. R. Martin has thrown a bone to fans of A Song of Ice and Fire by releasing a sample chapter last night. His latest blog post states that he isn’t finished with his latest novel, but that it is progressing. The new sample chapter is available here, and is written from the perspective of Arianne Martell.

It’s an interesting choice, given that Arianne does not appear on Game of Thrones. There has been harsh criticism of the Dorne storyline in both season 5 and season 6, so perhaps this is Martin’s way of appeasing fans? Readers who enjoy the Dornish plot in the novels seem to have much to look forward to, if this latest chapter is any indication.

If you would like to read the other chapters that have been released, Reddit has a fantastic wiki page with information on where to find them.

Happy reading!

Game of Thrones Episode 3 Play by Play (Beware of Spoilers!)

Below is my running commentary of last night’s episode, Oathbreaker. As always, don’t read if you want to avoid spoilers.

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We start where we left off last week, at Castle Black. Davos must have heard Jon gasping since last we saw him he had left the room. He looks stunned – isn’t this what he was trying to achieve? Poor Jon looks terrified and confused. And cold. Thankfully Davos has a cloak handy.

Melisandre looks shocked as well. She asks him what happened once he was stabbed; Jon not only knows nothing, but apparently also saw nothing after his death. Melisandre appears to be hitching her wagon to Jon Snow as the Lord of Light’s champion as she tells him there still needs to be a Prince that was Promised. That didn’t go so well for Stannis – hopefully it works out better for Jon.

Davos wisely sees that Jon doesn’t need any pressure from Melisandre right now and asks her to leave them. He gives Jon some much needed straight talk and doesn’t let him wallow in self pity. Davos will be a wonderful right hand man for him whatever he decides to do moving forward.

The wildlings think the resurrected Jon is a god, but Tormund quickly puts him in his place with a well timed pecker joke. Edd is so happy to see his friend has returned and that he seems to be mostly himself. He also gets Jon to smile – no easy feat under normal circumstances, but especially now.

Sam and Gilly are on a ship and Sam looks miserable. At least the baby has finally aged a little. Gilly is excited  to see Oldtown, but Sam dashes her hopes by saying he is leaving her at his family home, Horn Hill. Gilly seems accepting, but I’m not sure Sam’s father will make things easy for her.

Bran’s Tower of Joy vision – get hype! Cue people complaining about how it’s not 100 percent like the books. It looks like Arthur’s sword could be Dawn, even if no one explicitly says so. At least they are using some of the book dialogue; considering that the scene in the books was a dream, reality probably would be different anyway.

Ned dispatches one Kingsguard with ease (Oswell Whent?), and then there are four on one. Arthur Dayne proves why he was the greatest swordsman in Westeros. Ned really doesn’t stand a chance, but luckily for him Howland takes out Dayne from behind. Ned finishes the job, although he doesn’t look too happy about it.

We hear a woman (Lyanna!) screaming, then Ned appears to hear Bran. The Three Eyed Crow says it’s time to go, and book fans everywhere are in agony. Guess we’ll have to wait another week or two to see how the rest of this story plays out.

Daenerys makes it to Vaes Dothrak and is taken to the Dosh Khaleen. She is chastised for not coming sooner as it was her duty after Khal Drogo’s death. Daenerys tries to explain that she’s too important to be there, but the head of the Dosh Khaleen puts her in her place. She tells Dany that the khalasars will decide where Dany will go due to her defiance of tradition, and that the Dosh Khaleen is the best she can hope for now.

In Meereen, Varys interrogates the woman who helped the Sons of the Harpy kill Unsullied soldiers. He tells her he won’t torture her, but that she has a choice – tell him everything and receive his help to flee Meereen with her son for safety in Pentos, or be executed for treason. It seems to work, as Varys interrupts a very uncomfortable meeting of Tyrion, Grey Worm, and Missandei to inform them that The Sons of the Harpy is being funded by Astapor, Yunkai, and Volantis – all under control of the slavers. Grey Worm and Missandei vote for violence, but Tyrion wants to send a message first.

In King’s Landing, Qyburn has taken over the management of Varys’ “little birds.” It’s uncomfortable seeing creepy Qyburn around children. Zombie Mountain enters and the kids can’t get out of there fast enough (not that I blame them). Jaime and Cersei discuss Cersei’s predicament and the upcoming trial by combat (which they are certain Zombie Mountain will win), and Cersei tells Qyburn that she wants informers everywhere.

Pycelle is running his mouth about Qyburn and Zombie Mountain in a small council meeting, so of course they walk in and hear it (along with Pycelle’s nervous, uh, emission). Something tells me Pycelle won’t be around much longer. It’s so good to see Olenna back, and the Queen of Thorns doesn’t waste time smacking Cersei down. Jaime and Cersei try to assert their power, but her uncle Kevan is having none of it, and the council members walk out.

Tommen pays a visit to the High Sparrow and similarly tries to assert his authority, but the High Sparrow easily manipulates him. He tells Tommen that Cersei is a liar, but that the Mother’s love shines through her regarding Tommen. He says the gods make their will known, and that Cersei and Tommen have to accept their judgment. Tommen is weak and seems like he will be swayed to the High Sparrow’s side.

Arya has returned to the House of Black and White but the beatings continue. She talks about Arya’s past and is forced to confess that the Hound was no longer on her list. The Waif asks her about the other names on her list and she names Cersei, Gregor, and Walder Frey. I think the Waif is going to be added to the list soon, if she hasn’t been already. Jaqen seems satisfied with Arya/No One’s progress and gives her sight back.

Back in Winterfell, Ramsay receives a visit from Lord Umber (Smalljon I assume). He doesn’t buy Ramsay’s story about Roose’s murder, but pledges to help support him to fight back the wildlings. Smalljon refuses to kneel or pledge an oath, but has brought a gift – Osha and Rickon, and (supposedly) the head of Shaggydog (which looks rather small in my opinion). Either this is all an elaborate ruse, or I really hate the Umbers now.

Back at Castle Black, Jon prepares to execute the traitors who murdered him. Bowen Marsh and Othell Yarwyck seem scared both by Jon’s presence and their impending deaths. Alliser Thorne is without remorse and says he’d do it all again. He stands by his choice and tells Jon his fight is over but that Jon will be fighting forever. Olly looks defiant and doesn’t say a word. Jon looks heartbroken, but resigned to do his duty. He cuts the rope and hangs them all.

Edd says Jon should burn the bodies, but Jon gives him his cloak and tells Edd he should do it, because Castle Black now belongs to him. Jon walks away, saying “My watch is ended.”

Overall, a good episode, and a nice bit of setup for the storylines to come. I think we all needed a breather from the tension and excitement of last week, but I don’t think it will last long.

Games of Thrones Episode 3 Play by Play (Beware of Spoilers!)

Below is my running commentary of last night’s episode, Oathbreaker. As always, don’t read if you want to avoid spoilers.

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We start where we left off last week, at Castle Black. Davos must have heard Jon gasping since last we saw him he had left the room. He looks stunned – isn’t this what he was trying to achieve? Poor Jon looks terrified and confused. And cold. Thankfully Davos has a cloak handy.

Melisandre looks shocked as well. She asks him what happened once he was stabbed; Jon not only knows nothing, but apparently also saw nothing after his death. Melisandre appears to be hitching her wagon to Jon Snow as the Lord of Light’s champion as she tells him there still needs to be a Prince that was Promised. That didn’t go so well for Stannis – hopefully it works out better for Jon.

Davos wisely sees that Jon doesn’t need any pressure from Melisandre right now and asks her to leave them. He gives Jon some much needed straight talk and doesn’t let him wallow in self pity. Davos will be a wonderful right hand man for him whatever he decides to do moving forward.

The wildlings think the resurrected Jon is a god, but Tormund quickly puts him in his place with a well timed pecker joke. Edd is so happy to see his friend has returned and that he seems to be mostly himself. He also gets Jon to smile – no easy feat under normal circumstances, but especially now.

Sam and Gilly are on a ship and Sam looks miserable. At least the baby has finally aged a little. Gilly is excited  to see Oldtown, but Sam dashes her hopes by saying he is leaving her at his family home, Horn Hill. Gilly seems accepting, but I’m not sure Sam’s father will make things easy for her.

Bran’s Tower of Joy vision – get hype! Cue people complaining about how it’s not 100 percent like the books. It looks like Arthur’s sword could be Dawn, even if no one explicitly says so. At least they are using some of the book dialogue; considering that the scene in the books was a dream, reality probably would be different anyway.

Ned dispatches one Kingsguard with ease (Oswell Whent?), and then there are four on one. Arthur Dayne proves why he was the greatest swordsman in Westeros. Ned really doesn’t stand a chance, but luckily for him Howland takes out Dayne from behind. Ned finishes the job, although he doesn’t look too happy about it.

We hear a woman (Lyanna!) screaming, then Ned appears to hear Bran. The Three Eyed Crow says it’s time to go, and book fans everywhere are in agony. Guess we’ll have to wait another week or two to see how the rest of this story plays out.

Daenerys makes it to Vaes Dothrak and is taken to the Dosh Khaleen. She is chastised for not coming sooner as it was her duty after Khal Drogo’s death. Daenerys tries to explain that she’s too important to be there, but the head of the Dosh Khaleen puts her in her place. She tells Dany that the khalasars will decide where Dany will go due to her defiance of tradition, and that the Dosh Khaleen is the best she can hope for now.

In Meereen, Varys interrogates the woman who helped the Sons of the Harpy kill Unsullied soldiers. He tells her he won’t torture her, but that she has a choice – tell him everything and receive his help to flee Meereen with her son for safety in Pentos, or be executed for treason. It seems to work, as Varys interrupts a very uncomfortable meeting of Tyrion, Grey Worm, and Missandei to inform them that The Sons of the Harpy is being funded by Astapor, Yunkai, and Volantis – all under control of the slavers. Grey Worm and Missandei vote for violence, but Tyrion wants to send a message first.

In King’s Landing, Qyburn has taken over the management of Varys’ “little birds.” It’s uncomfortable seeing creepy Qyburn around children. Zombie Mountain enters and the kids can’t get out of there fast enough (not that I blame them). Jaime and Cersei discuss Cersei’s predicament and the upcoming trial by combat (which they are certain Zombie Mountain will win), and Cersei tells Qyburn that she wants informers everywhere.

Pycelle is running his mouth about Qyburn and Zombie Mountain in a small council meeting, so of course they walk in and hear it (along with Pycelle’s nervous, uh, emission). Something tells me Pycelle won’t be around much longer. It’s so good to see Olenna back, and the Queen of Thorns doesn’t waste time smacking Cersei down. Jaime and Cersei try to assert their power, but her uncle Kevan is having none of it, and the council members walk out.

Tommen pays a visit to the High Sparrow and similarly tries to assert his authority, but the High Sparrow easily manipulates him. He tells Tommen that Cersei is a liar, but that the Mother’s love shines through her regarding Tommen. He says the gods make their will known, and that Cersei and Tommen have to accept their judgment. Tommen is weak and seems like he will be swayed to the High Sparrow’s side.

Arya has returned to the House of Black and White but the beatings continue. She talks about Arya’s past and is forced to confess that the Hound was no longer on her list. The Waif asks her about the other names on her list and she names Cersei, Gregor, and Walder Frey. I think the Waif is going to be added to the list soon, if she hasn’t been already. Jaqen seems satisfied with Arya/No One’s progress and gives her sight back.

Back in Winterfell, Ramsay receives a visit from Lord Umber (Smalljon I assume). He doesn’t buy Ramsay’s story about Roose’s murder, but pledges to help support him to fight back the wildlings. Smalljon refuses to kneel or pledge an oath, but has brought a gift – Osha and Rickon, and (supposedly) the head of Shaggydog (which looks rather small in my opinion). Either this is all an elaborate ruse, or I really hate the Umbers now.

Back at Castle Black, Jon prepares to execute the traitors who murdered him. Bowen Marsh and Othell Yarwyck seem scared both by Jon’s presence and their impending deaths. Alliser Thorne is without remorse and says he’d do it all again. He stands by his choice and tells Jon his fight is over but that Jon will be fighting forever. Olly looks defiant and doesn’t say a word. Jon looks heartbroken, but resigned to do his duty. He cuts the rope and hangs them all.

Edd says Jon should burn the bodies, but Jon gives him his cloak and tells Edd he should do it, because Castle Black now belongs to him. Jon walks away, saying “My watch is ended.”

Overall, a good episode, and a nice bit of setup for the storylines to come. I think we all needed a breather from the tension and excitement of last week, but I don’t think it will last long.

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)

Castillo-de-Zafra-or-Tower-of-Joy-Game-of-Thrones

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?

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