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

Tag: Jon Snow

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Will the Starks Finally Win? (Spoilers and Speculation)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are your predictions for Bastardbowl?

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?

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?

Games of Thrones Episode 2 Play by Play (Here Be Spoilers!)

Here is my running commentary of last night’s episode, Home. HUGE spoilers within, so read at your own risk.

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It looks like we are kicking things off in the Three Eyed Raven’s cave. It’s good to see Bran back – it appears the two of them received a visit from a barber while he’s been training. Now it’s vision time. Here are young Ned and Benjen Stark sparring under young Rodrik’s tutelage. I love seeing Winterfell during happier times. Yes! We have a young Lyanna riding in on a horse. I hope we get to see more of her this season. There’s young Hodor – no, Wyllis (no, Walder actually. Enough with the unnecessary name changes from the books guys).

Bran wants to stay longer… so do we all. It was good to see the Stark family happy again. And Hodor was talking; I wonder if we will find out what happened to him. Meera is out getting some fresh air. It must get stuffy in that cave. Boring, too. At least it sounds like they will leave the cave eventually, so Meera can have a purpose again.

At Castle Black, Alliser is trying to talk Davos into surrendering. Davos isn’t buying it. I don’t think I would be trying to bust down a door with an angry direwolf on the other side. This won’t end well for the Night’s Watch. Where’s the wildling cavalry when you need them? It’s sounds like there is a giant knocking on the door… Wun Wun is back, and he is pissed. Alliser wants to fight, but the odds are most definitely not in his favor. The guy who shot Wun Wun with that tiny arrow serves as a messy reminder not to fool around with a giant. Alliser’s men wisely surrender except for Olly, who clearly has a death wish.

Off to King’s Landing, where a random commoner is telling raunchy stories about Queen Cersei. I don’t see that going well for him. Cue Zombie Mountain – at least he gave him a quick death. Cersei looks like she wants to unleash Zombie Mountain on the guards who aren’t letting her attend her daughter’s funeral, but she restrains herself. She must be saving that for later.

Poor Myrcella. And poor Tommen losing another sibling. Jaime seems a bit naïve thinking that Cersei wouldn’t have Trystane killed. I wish he would stop defending her already. Has no one told him of Cersei’s crimes yet? The High Sparrow doesn’t seem too intimidated by the Kingslayer, and why would he when he has an army of militants to do his bidding? Jaime seems to finally realize the danger they are in, when the common people no longer support those in power.

Cersei is being very calm during Tommen’s apology – when is the crazy going to come out? Tommen definitely needs to grow a spine, but I don’t think his mother is the best person to look to for guidance. I hope he doesn’t become more like her.

We move on to Meereen and more eunuch jokes. That’s getting a bit old Tyrion. Meereen seems to be in worse trouble than they thought, as the slavers have undone all of Dany’s hard work in Astapor and Yunkai. “I drink and I know things” is now everyone’s new motto, and apparently Tyrion is confident enough in his dragon knowledge to pay them a visit. If the dragons know Missandei why on earth wouldn’t Tyrion take her with him?

Thankfully Tyrion’s plot armor is firmly in place or I’d be worried. Varys wisely isn’t having any part of this crazy plan. The dragons look amazing, and fierce. I really hope they understand the Common Tongue, for Tyrion’s sake. Tyrion tells them the story about wanting a dragon as a boy, and book readers rejoice! Tyrion is able to unchain them without getting burn to a crisp, and we all breathe a sigh of relief.

Time for more stick beatings in Braavos. I think the waif will come to regret this when Arya gets her sight back. Jaqen comes to the rescue, and seems to believe Arya is sincere about being no one. She hasn’t convinced me though, and probably never will.

At Winterfell Roose is looking for a way to fix the damage caused by Sansa’s escape. Ramsay wants to march on the Night’s Watch, but Roose doesn’t agree. He dishes up more criticism to Ramsay, who clearly doesn’t like it. Roose needs to be careful, especially now that Walda has just given him another son (who probably won’t live very long). Apparently neither will Roose – who didn’t see that coming? Good riddance Roose. Robb Stark sends his regards.

Ramsay doesn’t waste any time dispatching the last 2 threats to his brutal takeover of House Bolton. Poor Walda never had a chance. She shouldn’t have set foot in that kennel; I’m just glad that part was heard and not seen. I really can’t wait for Ramsay to die a (hopefully) horrible death.

In the woods and still on the run, Brienne tells Sansa that Arya is still alive. I hope they get to reunite soon. Sansa is reluctant to discuss her ordeal, and Brienne wisely doesn’t push the issue – poor Sansa has been through enough. Theon decides to go home, telling Sansa even taking the black won’t absolve him of his crimes, and that he doesn’t want forgiveness. I hate to see them part ways, and I’m very apprehensive about how Theon’s homecoming will go.

Speaking of home, we see the Iron Islands is still under Balon’s control. He is refusing to give up his plans for conquering Westeros, and Yara clearly isn’t happy. It’s time for Balon to go; he’s outlived his usefulness. It appears his brother Euron agrees, as he returns to confront Balon and throws him into the sea to his death. There will be a Kingsmoot to decide the new ruler, much to Yara’s dismay. How will she react to her uncle’s return? Will her life be at risk as well? Euron has proven he will stop at nothing to get what he wants.

Back to Castle Black, and Melisandre looks defeated. Davos is being awfully kind to her, considering their history. Once he finds out what she did to Shireen, that will definitely change. I’m not sure why Davos is asking her to bring Jon back, since he has never trusted her magic. He must be desperate for a strong and just leader to follow now that Stannis is gone. I’m surprised Melisandre didn’t think of it on her own. She should realize that if Jon comes back, her visions can still happen.

Jon appears very Jesus-like as Melisandre cleans his body. She looks tired and not at all confident, but fingers crossed she can pull it off. The anticipation is killing us all. Melisandre tries, and fails. She is giving up. Come on, open your eyes Jon. Please don’t leave us all hanging for another week…

Everyone leaves except Ghost, and he stirs. Clearly something is happening. Annnnd YES! Finally!! Millions of people are screaming at their TVs right now, and the internet is about to explode! After almost a year of waiting and speculating (and 5 long years for book readers), Jon’s resurrection is confirmed!

If tonight’s episode is any indication, this season is going to be the most exciting one yet. I can’t wait to see what next week holds in store!

 

Game of Thrones Episode 2 Play by Play (Here Be Spoilers!)

Here is my running commentary of last night’s episode, Home. HUGE spoilers within, so read at your own risk.

10308028-game-of-thrones-saison-6-episode-2-bande-annonce-epique-pour-la-suite-home

It looks like we are kicking things off in the Three Eyed Raven’s cave. It’s good to see Bran back – it appears the two of them received a visit from a barber while he’s been training. Now it’s vision time. Here are young Ned and Benjen Stark sparring under young Rodrik’s tutelage. I love seeing Winterfell during happier times. Yes! We have a young Lyanna riding in on a horse. I hope we get to see more of her this season. There’s young Hodor – no, Wyllis (no, Walder actually. Enough with the unnecessary name changes from the books guys).

Bran wants to stay longer… so do we all. It was good to see the Stark family happy again. And Hodor was talking; I wonder if we will find out what happened to him. Meera is out getting some fresh air. It must get stuffy in that cave. Boring, too. At least it sounds like they will leave the cave eventually, so Meera can have a purpose again.

At Castle Black, Alliser is trying to talk Davos into surrendering. Davos isn’t buying it. I don’t think I would be trying to bust down a door with an angry direwolf on the other side. This won’t end well for the Night’s Watch. Where’s the wildling cavalry when you need them? It’s sounds like there is a giant knocking on the door… Wun Wun is back, and he is pissed. Alliser wants to fight, but the odds are most definitely not in his favor. The guy who shot Wun Wun with that tiny arrow serves as a messy reminder not to fool around with a giant. Alliser’s men wisely surrender except for Olly, who clearly has a death wish.

Off to King’s Landing, where a random commoner is telling raunchy stories about Queen Cersei. I don’t see that going well for him. Cue Zombie Mountain – at least he gave him a quick death. Cersei looks like she wants to unleash Zombie Mountain on the guards who aren’t letting her attend her daughter’s funeral, but she restrains herself. She must be saving that for later.

Poor Myrcella. And poor Tommen losing another sibling. Jaime seems a bit naïve thinking that Cersei wouldn’t have Trystane killed. I wish he would stop defending her already. Has no one told him of Cersei’s crimes yet? The High Sparrow doesn’t seem too intimidated by the Kingslayer, and why would he when he has an army of militants to do his bidding? Jaime seems to finally realize the danger they are in, when the common people no longer support those in power.

Cersei is being very calm during Tommen’s apology – when is the crazy going to come out? Tommen definitely needs to grow a spine, but I don’t think his mother is the best person to look to for guidance. I hope he doesn’t become more like her.

We move on to Meereen and more eunuch jokes. That’s getting a bit old Tyrion. Meereen seems to be in worse trouble than they thought, as the slavers have undone all of Dany’s hard work in Astapor and Yunkai. “I drink and I know things” is now everyone’s new motto, and apparently Tyrion is confident enough in his dragon knowledge to pay them a visit. If the dragons know Missandei why on earth wouldn’t Tyrion take her with him?

Thankfully Tyrion’s plot armor is firmly in place or I’d be worried. Varys wisely isn’t having any part of this crazy plan. The dragons look amazing, and fierce. I really hope they understand the Common Tongue, for Tyrion’s sake. Tyrion tells them the story about wanting a dragon as a boy, and book readers rejoice! Tyrion is able to unchain them without getting burn to a crisp, and we all breathe a sigh of relief.

Time for more stick beatings in Braavos. I think the waif will come to regret this when Arya gets her sight back. Jaqen comes to the rescue, and seems to believe Arya is sincere about being no one. She hasn’t convinced me though, and probably never will.

At Winterfell Roose is looking for a way to fix the damage caused by Sansa’s escape. Ramsay wants to march on the Night’s Watch, but Roose doesn’t agree. He dishes up more criticism to Ramsay, who clearly doesn’t like it. Roose needs to be careful, especially now that Walda has just given him another son (who probably won’t live very long). Apparently neither will Roose – who didn’t see that coming? Good riddance Roose. Robb Stark sends his regards.

Ramsay doesn’t waste any time dispatching the last 2 threats to his brutal takeover of House Bolton. Poor Walda never had a chance. She shouldn’t have set foot in that kennel; I’m just glad that part was heard and not seen. I really can’t wait for Ramsay to die a (hopefully) horrible death.

In the woods and still on the run, Brienne tells Sansa that Arya is still alive. I hope they get to reunite soon. Sansa is reluctant to discuss her ordeal, and Brienne wisely doesn’t push the issue – poor Sansa has been through enough. Theon decides to go home, telling Sansa even taking the black won’t absolve him of his crimes, and that he doesn’t want forgiveness. I hate to see them part ways, and I’m very apprehensive about how Theon’s homecoming will go.

Speaking of home, we see the Iron Islands is still under Balon’s control. He is refusing to give up his plans for conquering Westeros, and Yara clearly isn’t happy. It’s time for Balon to go; he’s outlived his usefulness. It appears his brother Euron agrees, as he returns to confront Balon and throws him into the sea to his death. There will be a Kingsmoot to decide the new ruler, much to Yara’s dismay. How will she react to her uncle’s return? Will her life be at risk as well? Euron has proven he will stop at nothing to get what he wants.

Back to Castle Black, and Melisandre looks defeated. Davos is being awfully kind to her, considering their history. Once he finds out what she did to Shireen, that will definitely change. I’m not sure why Davos is asking her to bring Jon back, since he has never trusted her magic. He must be desperate for a strong and just leader to follow now that Stannis is gone. I’m surprised Melisandre didn’t think of it on her own. She should realize that if Jon comes back, her visions can still happen.

Jon appears very Jesus-like as Melisandre cleans his body. She looks tired and not at all confident, but fingers crossed she can pull it off. The anticipation is killing us all. Melisandre tries, and fails. She is giving up. Come on, open your eyes Jon. Please don’t leave us all hanging for another week…

Everyone leaves except Ghost, and he stirs. Clearly something is happening. Annnnd YES! Finally!! Millions of people are screaming at their TVs right now, and the internet is about to explode! After almost a year of waiting and speculating (and 5 long years for book readers), Jon’s resurrection is confirmed!

If tonight’s episode is any indication, this season is going to be the most exciting one yet. I can’t wait to see what next week holds in store!

 

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?

What Does the Future Hold for Jon Snow?

With season 6 of Game of Thrones approaching – and no The Winds of Winter in sight – I’ll be doing a series of character predictions while we wait to find out what really happens. I’ll make separate predictions for Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire, since there will be divergence between the two. Having them written down here will give everyone a good laugh when we look back and see how wrong I was, but I’ll give it a shot.

Jon Snow in A Song of Ice and Fire

When we left Jon in A Dance with Dragons, he was bleeding in the snow after being attacked by his Night’s Watch brothers. I believe he will warg into Ghost for a time, and then be resurrected with Melisandre’s help. Maybe warging will help him preserve more of himself, or maybe he will display the “wolf blood” when he returns.

I think Jon will discover his true parentage (R+L) while “dead” – either by Bran connecting with him when he is in Ghost, or by him finally finishing his dream in the Winterfell crypts. My opinion is that he is a legitimate Targaryen with Lyanna and Rhaegar marrying in secret. The Kingsguard staying with Lyanna makes more sense that way, rather than them guarding a bastard. There are also numerous “king” references (link here) surrounding Jon throughout the text.

Jon won’t stay in the Night’s Watch – he will leave because his watch ended at his death. He will likely play a big part in the battle for Winterfell and win back his home for the Starks. He won’t become Lord of Winterfell, because his “siblings” (cousins) still live, and he won’t take their birthright from them.

I do believe Jon will be Azor Ahai reborn/The Prince that was Promised. He will be key in fighting (and later likely brokering a peace) with the Others. Some theories have him marrying an Other to seal a pact with them, but I believe he may become King of the Seven Kingdoms – more out of duty or because he is chosen rather than any desire for the throne on his part. There are too many clues and allusions to him being a king to discount them all.

Jon Snow in Game of Thrones (SPOILERS below)

GOT5-5-Jon-snow

Melisandre will resurrect Jon like Thoros resurrected Beric in Season 3. He will leave the Night’s Watch and march on the Boltons to take back the North (as evidenced by a photo taken during filming of him at the battle scene in Stark armor). Jon will defeat them and capture Ramsay, then execute him at Winterfell. I also believe Sansa will inform Jon of Littlefinger’s scheming, and Littlefinger will be killed as well. There were reports of a scene being filmed at Winterfell with these four actors and a giant(!), so perhaps Wun Wun will be doing the deed instead.

I don’t think Jon will find out his true parentage this season, but Bran will discover the truth in one of his visions (Tower of Joy). If the show doesn’t include Jon warging into Ghost, I’m not sure how he will relay this information to Jon – perhaps Meera and Hodor will leave the cave – or maybe he will find proof in the Winterfell crypts. I believe most of his story will follow his A Song of Ice and Fire arc, so ultimately his fate will be as outlined above.

I’m interested to hear your take, so please comment below to let me know how right (or wrong) I am.

 

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