Game of Thrones: Mother’s Mercy. AKA The crap all your book reading friends have kept a secret from you since you said, “I’m going to start watching Game of Thrones.”

Seriously though all your friends that have read this series and encouraged you to watch the show have been waiting for this moment to see your reaction (well and your reactions to Ned, the Red Wedding, the Purple Wedding, etc). I’m sure you’ve seen all the theories floating around out there of what’s really going on though, but a lot of other things happened before that final scene so let’s get to those first. (BTW if you haven’t watched the season 5 finale– don’t read this. Actually get off the Internet and go watch it or don’t complain about spoilers).

Stannis and Melisandre

We open the episode to Stannis hearing one thing from Melisandre (It’s great you burned the one person that loved you alive!  See the snow melted!) and another from his men (dude, you’re screwed– everyone has bailed on you– including your wife). I don’t know if they had Melisandre purposefully lead him poorly so she could get rid of him or if she’s just off her game now.

Melisandre runs away though after hearing all the bad news– headed back to Castle Black (we don’t know that at first, but that’s where she shows up later) and Stannis keeps with his plan to march on Winterfell. Cause he doesn’t have much choice otherwise.

Once he arrives at Winterfell though he’s not even given an option to lay siege to the castle, but the come out and meet him and slaughter everyone there. Stannis manages to stay alive, but becomes wounded and can’t get away. Abandoned by everyone he appears to have given up. This is how Brienne finds him and gives a very stirring speech about how he killed Renly with blood magic (which he admits to) and then she sentences him to death. It was all very dramatic, but all I could think was kill him and get out of there! It just seemed like a bad idea to be hanging around waiting for Ramsey to find them (which I’d rather get killed by Brienne than tortured and killed by Ramsey Snow, so he had that going for him.

Differences from the book:

Stannis didn’t burn his daughter, his wife didn’t hang herself, they are in fact back at Castle Black all nice and cozy with Melisandre. Stannis is buried in snow drifts, but isn’t doing too shabby by this point and is working out a plan to take Winterfell (where there is a limited amount of food and too many people there to keep fed for very long).

Jon Snow

Jon has a nice touching talk with Sam (come on– that’s a bad sign by itself– nothing good comes out of happiness in this world). He tells Sam all about what he saw at Hardhome and how he knows everyone at Castle Black hates him right now. Sam talks him into sending him to Oldtown with Gilly to become a Maester. It makes a ton of sense, but just so you know– in the books Sam is long gone by this point. Jon sent Sam to Oldtown just for this purpose with Gilly, Mance Rayder’s baby (she had to leave hers behind), and Maester Aemon (who died as soon as he reached Braavos and heard about the dragons– which was a super sad part of the books). But he’s now at least headed in the direction he was in the books.

Davos is trying to get help for Stannis (who he doesn’t know has been defeated). But then all of a sudden he knows they’ve been defeated because Melisandre shows up at the wall and even though she doesn’t say anything– it’s obvious everyone is dead.

Then Olly shows up and says that one of the Wildlings knows where his Uncle Benjen is and he needs to come talk to him. Other brothers back him up, but it turns out they were just looking to stab him a bunch. Olly delivers the last blow and Jon Snow falls back on the snow with blood pouring out of his back. (Please read this for some reasons that this isn’t the worst thing in the world– probably).

Differences from the book:

First off Melisandre, Stannis’ wife and Shireen stay at the Wall the whole time and she’s been warning him that something was going to happen and to keep Ghost close. In the books Ghost is locked up in Jon’s room so that he doesn’t fight with the other Warg’s animals so that’s where he is right now. Also Olly doesn’t exist, but his steward is a gay male prostitute named Satin, who doesn’t betray him at all. Other than that he totally gets stabbed a bunch and it looks like he might be dead.

Sansa

Sansa manages to escape her room to put the candle in the tower to call for help (which she manages to do just after Brienne turns away from watching), but drops her corkscrew on the way out of her room. It might just be me, but that looks like a handy weapon to keep a hold of. Myranda finds her wandering about and threatens her with a bow and arrow that the only part of her that is needed is her reproductive organs. Right before Myranda shoots Reek (aka Theon) pushes her to the side and before she can then attack him Theon pushes her over the wall where she falls to her death. (Yay Theon!)

They hear Ramsey’s return and begin to panic so of course go to the edge of the castle and jump into a snow drift– as you do. Cause that’s not a bad idea at all.

Differences from the book:

Well as you know the biggest one is that Sansa is way far away in the Eyrie, but Theon does help save the fake Arya from Ramsey Bolton and does jump off the castle into a snow drift. He breaks his ankle in the process, but gets picked up by some of Stannis’ crew (who also have his sister) and he begins to become himself again.

Sansa and Theon from episode 5x 10.

Arya

Meryn Trant shows us that he’s an even bigger scumbag than we first expected and disguised as a child prostitute she murders him violently. She’s caught by Jaqen H’ghar when she’s putting the human mask back and it appears that he kills himself to atone for her actions. The girl then turns into Jaqen and Arya begins to pull the faces off of the body until she gets to her own. Then she goes blind. My theory on what we just saw there is that he never drank the poison, but gave it to her and that was all an hallucination.

Differences from the book:

Ahh this is all out of order, but she does kill Meryn Trant and she does go blind, so just roll with what is going on. It’s mostly correct.

Jamie and Bronn

The Dornish people are once again poorly written and overly sexualized. Jamie admits to Myrcella that he’s her father and she’s says, ” Oh I’m totes cool with that dad– I think it’s awesome you had sex with your twin sister” or something like that. And then she dies. Cause that’s what people do in this show. She was killed by the goodbye kiss with the same poison that Bronn was infected with. We then see her killer take the antidote for herself– all while all of the sand snakes are in see through dresses– because why not? Boobs.

Differences from the books:

Too many to list– none of this crap happened.

Meereen 

Grey Worm is wearing adult diaper pants and they all make the best decisions ever made in the history of this show (which can be scary as I said earlier). Tyrion, Grey Worm and Missandei will stay behind and rule in Dany’s stead and Mormont and Daario will go out to search for their lost queen. There is a lot of snark and awesome one liners here. I think Dany will be happy when she gets back. Tyrion watches them ride away and then all of a sudden Varys shows up! He shows that he has more things up his sleeve. This storyline is going swimmingly– which once again makes me nervous.

With the Direwolf CGI team drastically underutilized, we have only Drogon left to properly express our collective exhaustion with this season of Game of Thrones. 

Go away Mom! I’m sleeping!

Drogon is hurt and Dany is clueless how to control him (come on and warg!) so she goes for a walk after giving up on him (that’s a good idea right?) While on her walk a bunch of Dothraki surround her. Dothraki who for some reason are behaving more like American Indians from old movies than the nomadic people of previous seasons, but oh well.

Differences from the books:

Tyrion isn’t around yet in this capacity, and Dany starts her period– and has less clothes on. Other than that it’s about right.

Cersei

She has finally given in and “confessed” to some of her crimes in hopes that she’ll be released. She denies the others so she will still have to go to trial. And then the High Sparrow drops the bomb that she’s going to have to walk back to the Red Keep, naked, shaved, and doing a serious walk of shame.

They then use this time to show her naked a bunch– oh and to show a bunch of other people naked. Because it’s HBO and that’s what they do. (To be fair that all happened in the books too). The nuns evidently don’t own scissors so give her a rather painful razor cut (I also get my hair cut with a razor, but it tends to turn out better than this).

After a very embarrassing and painful walk she finally ends up at the Red Keep where she does get covered up, but she has to face her enemies naked and vulnerable. This is going to be something that will be hard for her to get over. The big thing you need to notice though is the new member of the Kingsguard. That would be Ser Robert Strong who has vowed to not speak until all the Grace’s enemies are defeated, but in reality it’s the Mountain in zombie form. He’s been resurrected by Qyburn and is their (his and Cersei’s) secret weapon.

Differences from the book:

Not much.

 So we have so many unanswered questions that won’t be answered until next year– or if by some miracle GRRM finishes book 6 before the new season. Riiiiiight.

I was sad about The Game of Thrones Season 5 Finale and then I read this. . .

That clickbait title is for all four of my brothers– if no one else thinks it’s funny– they will. Can you do clickbait ironically? I’m going to assume so. Seriously though– don’t be sad, I bring hope. All is not lost. Everyone is (probably) not dead.

Overall HBO has done a great job of translating George R.R. Martin’s very long, very detailed, sometimes rambling book series to screen. However, they have left out one very important detail that ties the story together. This post will contain some spoilers– possibly (since the show has deviated away from the books some things I think are spoilers may not ever show up). My goal is not to ruin big plot points, but make events that are about to happen and what has already happened make more sense. I will mark these parts with spoiler warnings, but there is one thing you have to know to understand what I’m about to say. So I’m about to explain R+L=J. If you don’t know what that means already and have no desire to know more about Jon Snow, then stop reading now.

Who is Jon Snow?

OK so Jon Snow’s parentage is something that, as a TV viewer you might assume is just what it seems. That Ned Stark came home from war and brought a bastard child back with him. Catelyn asked about Jon Snow’s mother at one point and Ned evidently lost it and told her to never as about Jon’s mother again. There were rumors that his mother was a few different women, from washerwomen to another noble’s child. Ned told Jon that they would talk about his mother when he returned from King’s Landing (yeah about that. . .) so the one person we know for sure knew of Jon’s parentage is dead and, although I think Howland Reed knows as well, that isn’t known for sure.

I could go on and on about all the possibilities, but the reigning theory (that I also believe) is that Rhaegar didn’t kidnap Lyanna Stark, but that they ran away together. King Robert talks to Ned about how Lyanna was taken and raped by Rhaegar, but if they ran away together then everything was consensual and it is very possible that Lyanna became pregnant and gave birth to a baby (a baby born of fire and ice— dum dum dummmmm). Lyanna is known for saying “Promise me Ned” on her deathbed, so perhaps she was securing his promise to keep Jon Snow’s ancestry a secret and to raise the baby as his own.

That’s all I’m going to go into that though— there are pages and pages on the Internet arguing for this theory and if you need more info– Google is your friend.

Why is his parentage important?

Because theories, prophesies and stuff. Keep reading– I get to that.

The Prince that is Promised

Rhaegar becomes obsessed with the prophesy of the Prince that was Promised. He believes that this prince will be born from his bloodline. The prophesy is very old so this is something that people have been waiting on for a long time (also it’s been a long time since White Walkers were up and about so. . .). Some of the signs of the advent of the Prince that was Promised are:

A bleeding star (which might lean towards Dany being the Prince(ss) because she was reborn during the red comet), the prince is the blood of the dragon (so this works for both Dany and Jon), born in smoke and salt (Dany was born during a violent storm surrounded by the sea– and then again when she burned her dead husband, her witchy midwife and walked among the flames herself; Jon Snow was born during battle when Ned was “rescuing” Lyanna from the Tower of Joy in Dorne (near the sea)), return of dragons (OK this leans towards Dany a lot), and “the dark eye” falls upon them– no not Sauron. The dark eye could be many things including the evil beyond the wall or the witches that are giving Dany crap.

Azor Ahai

Azor Ahai is a hero from history that had a sword called Lightbringer (that he made by cooling the metal off in his wife’s heart– nothing says “I love you” like stabbing your wife in the chest with a molten sword). He did all kinds of awesome crap and defeated the Others (yeah those guys), but it was prophesied that he would be reborn. Melisandre has been working under the assumption that Stannis is Azor Ahai. She thinks he’s Azor Ahai because he is from Dragonstone, but I feel like that’s a weak reason. She’s also seen it in her fires, but here lately (in the books) she has been asking the flames to see Azor Ahai, but “all she can see is snow.”

There are some signs for this hero that overlap with The Prince that was Promised including the red comet. It’s said that after “the long summer” this hero will return to fight the Others and will wield Lightbringer. Melisandre uses the terms The Prince that was Promised interchangeably, but it’s not for sure that these are the same people.

That whole Oath issue

So what if Jon Snow really is either of these people. He’s sworn to serve the Night’s Watch until death. So even if he is a Targaryen prince and the savior of the world he can’t break his vows to the Night’s Watch. Welp that’s where Bowen Marsh and some other black brother’s come in. HERE ARE SOME HUGE SPOILERS if you haven’t watch the season finale. So go away if you have no desire for such.

The brother’s of the Night’s watch are super unimpressed with pretty much everything Jon has done while he has been Lord Commander. So when he decides to march on Winterfell to try to save his sister (who isn’t really his sister, but he doesn’t know that yet) the guys aren’t super excited about that. So Bowen Marsh and some others stab Jon Snow and it appears that he’s dying. Stay with me here though that’s a good thing. To be released from his oath to the wall honorably he would have to die. Melisandre is at the wall (in the books and at the last minute in the show) and her religion is known for raising people from the dead (Catelyn Stark was one of those– but that’s been left out in the show). So he could be revived by Melisandre and then go save the world by being Azor Ahai.

Also since he’s a Targaryen his funeral pyre might awaken his dragon blood somehow (with the help of Melisandre’s blood magic) and he might have a scene very similar to Dany’s funeral scene when her dragons were born.

But what about Dany?

So many of the signs could also apply to Dany as well. So what do I say about that? The Dragon has three heads. So Dany has her three dragons and they all need riders. She has Drogon, I think Jon’s dragon is Viserion (cause it’s all white and stuff), and then they have a spare (Rhaegal) to be ridden by a yet to be determined Targaryen. (Or perhaps just a yet to be determined badass– come on Arya– no I don’t really think she’ll get one, but it’d be awesome).

So Keep Hope!

So don’t worry– Jon Snow may be stabbed and dying in the snow, but I think he’s calling out to his dragon mentally (he’s searching for Ghost, but he’s locked away so he’s actively trying to warg with something) and his dragon (who is now free) will come and find him at the wall. This will bring Dany and Jon together (and Jon can teach her how to warg) and then they can set fire to all the bad guys and ride off into the sunset on their dragons. While holding hands. Right?

Seriously though. I do think they will end up on the same side and rain down terror upon all the people/monsters that really know nothing.

I hope this help you in your despair about Jon Snow. I don’t think he’s really dead, or at least not permanently dead.

Now if George R.R, Martin would hurry and finish the next book so I can be proven right or wrong.

Every Game of Thrones fan right now.

Just so you know:

Kit Harrington is stating that Jon Snow is really dead, but he could still be really dead, but still going to be returned. I also wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t focus a lot on Bran next season (remember him?) and going into some of the historical events that we’ve only heard about up to this point (Bran can look through time through the weirwood trees). Then finally reveal what’s going on with Jon late into season 6.

Game of Thrones: A Dance With Dragons, More Theories Confirmed!

Stannis

Melisandre is caught unawares by Ramsey’s attack team that sets fire to much of the camp and ruins all of their food and much of their shelter. OK I’m gonna let you finish, but seriously I find it hard to believe that Melisandre wouldn’t have seen a direct attack on Stannis much less one that used fire. I feel like she could have controlled the fire in some way as well, but since in the books she’s was busy being a weirdo creeper to Jon Snow on the Wall this is all new territory. Stannis does have many set backs in the books, but no direct conflict with the Boltons at this time. Oh and there’s something else that he doesn’t do. . .

Oh right!   He doesn’t burn his daughter alive! He does burn some people that ate a fellow solider (who had died of exposure first) as an example of what he will do to others that have the same idea. Also to sacrifice to the Red God R’hllor to help speed them to Winterfell. If there is anything I hate more right now it’s this character change. Stannis isn’t an amazing dude, but he’s not a guy that killed his daughter and I don’t see how anyone could want him to be King now even if (OK here’s a spoiler so skip ahead if you don’t want to know) the Iron Bank steps in to bankroll him like the do in the books (they don’t like Cersei defaulting on the loans so much).

Oh and the Queen feeling bad at the end? Um no– not that Shireen gets burned in the books, but the Queen would have been totally fine with it.

I wonder what Davos will think of this when he makes it back?

Jon Snow

Jon Snow doesn’t have a big role this week, but it looks like they are setting him up to have a very pointed role next week. We see a tense moment though when it doesn’t look like his men are going to open the gates to the rescued Wildlings. Even though they do finally open the gates for Jon and Co. it’s obvious that no one (besides Sam) is happy with what Jon has done. Wun Wun (the giant) walking past the brothers doesn’t do anything to make this better. We end our stay at Castle Black with these ominous words:

Will it really get all of them killed?

Meanwhile in Dorne

Jaime expects to be killed, but of course Prince Doran can’t kill off the Kingslayer. Oberyn’s widow is openly hostile to everyone and it’s a nice happy tea time. They finally agree to release Myrcella as long as her betrothed goes with her and he gets a spot on the small council and Bronn gets punched. Oh and there is an odd scene with the Sand Snakes again. I’m loving Prince Doran, but really everyone else and everything else in Dorne is weird to me.

This sentiment is pretty on the money compared to the books. Prince Doran wants to avoid useless war.

Arya

We see Cat of the Canals (or whatever the young kids are calling her these days) about to kill off the person she’s been designated to kill, but she gets distracted when she sees Ser Meryn Trant hop off a boat with the envoy from Westeros. Meryn if you remember (which I don’t blame you if you don’t) is the one who killed her fencing teacher (at least that’s assumed since Meryn is still alive) and allowed her to escape. He’s also been on her night hit prayer list since she ran off on her own. I believe what we are seeing is a set up for what happens in a released chapter of Winds of Winter (the book that GRRM still hasn’t finished). (SPOILER WARNING AGAIN) In that chapter Arya is playing an actor (who is playing Sansa in a play about Westeros) and while she’s an actor she runs into Ser Meryn and gets him to go somewhere private so they can have sex. Which isn’t quite what happens.

Arya has wasted her day following the people from Westeros though and hasn’t killed her man. She makes her way back to the House of Black and White and lies about why she didn’t complete her task. It’s unsure whether or not she’s believed, but I’m gonna say not. As much as I hate Stannis’ story changes I am completely cool with Arya’s. They seem to just be moving things along for her and not so much changing things.

Oh also remember that the envoy from Westeros is there to tell the Iron Bank they aren’t so much going to pay their debts. It’s going to go great for them.

Meereen

We see Dany about to witness the Roman Gladiators fighting. They even say ” We who are about to die salute you” or something insanely close to that. Tyrion is just as offended by all of this as Dany is. The best part about the fights themselves is Daario flirting with Dany right in front of her fiance. She obviously still prefers him to anyone at this point.

So a bunch of people die, Jorah shows up and kills a bunch of people too and then suddenly throws a spear towards his Queen! Whaaaat? Oh, just to kill the assassin that was standing behind her. Chaos erupts and people are killed right and left. I’m not sure why Sons of the Harpy would kill the commoners, but they kill everyone the can and work through the Unsullied like they are not the formidable fighting men they were trained to be (seriously is their armor made of paper mache?)

It’s not until they begin to try to run away and are cornered that the thing happens that I’ve been waiting on since the fighting began.

Drogon shows up.

In the books Drogon also comes when Dany attends her first fight and when people start attacking him she runs out and (gets all her clothes burned off of her– because GRRM is a creep) jumps on the dragon and flies off with him.  She wasn’t in immediate danger like here, but someone does try to poison her (but it doesn’t work). She then spends a while out in the desert abandoned by her dragon and then on her period. Yeah.

Drogon coming is amazing both on screen and in the book and I love that they confirmed (at least in my mind) that Dany called Drogon to come get her. In the books she was uncomfortable and wanted to be out of that situation so I still think she called out to Drogon in her mind (like the Starks do with their wolves) and he came to save her.

Her face here kinda confirms that for me:

Hey Drogon, you up?

In the show she seems to have much more control over Drogon in this scene and climbs aboard just like the books and flies away– but leaves her friends abandoned behind in the pits.

Sucks to be you!

No matter what Drogon rocked it. Next week is the season finale so I’m sure it will be jam packed full of back stabbing feels!

Game of Thrones: Hardhome. Did they really just confirm [SPOILER]??

Well we ended last week with Jorah delivering his gift to Dany and her not really knowing what to do with him. It looks like right now not much has changed in that aspect.

Dany and Tyrion

We open up this episode with Dany questioning Tyrion about why she shouldn’t just kill him right now (which she has a point) and asking Tyrion what he thinks she should do with Jorah (who she told she’d kill if he came back).

Tyrion points out that he’s kill more Lannisters than anyone else she knows and that he knows more about her than she probably knows about herself. I’m glad that Dany seems to be impressed with this.

This right here is a complete departure from the books (at least as far as he’s written so far), but it’s something that the books have been working toward. In the books right now Tyrion is a slave right outside Mereen who later frees himself and escapes to hide in a mercenary war camp– all the while waiting to get to meet Dany.
Dany on the other hand is out in the wilderness with Drogon who swooped into the fighting pits to eat some easy prey and she jumped on his back to try to save him from the people that wanted to kill him. Now she’s abandoned in the wilderness unable to control her dragon (which I’m pretty sure Tyrion knows the secret to this–which I’m also pretty sure is warging to control them like the Starks do to their wolves) and on her period. (Yep totally on her period– which is worth mentioning because she was told that would never happen again after she sacrificed her baby to save Drogo).

OK so all that about the dragon and the fighting pits might happen next week and if it does I apologize for the spoilers, but I’m really not sure where the writers are headed right now. Dany meeting Tyrion and actually getting advice from someone who has run Westeros before though is a great development. He knows all the houses and how they will react to her and he knows all the ways that she could take over that part of the world. Up to now she’s been getting advice from old warriors who were never politicians or people that have never been to that part of the world. I can’t wait to see what Tyrion makes of the politics of Mereen and how long he comes to the same conclusion I did— the dragons need to be seen and feared. Without her dragons she has no power.

Needless to say though Tyrion and Dany working together is going to be something amazing to watch.

Oh and Jorah is sad and gets banished–rubs some on his greyscale and then returns to the fighting pits. I’m not sure what his play is here, but I’m curious as to why he did this.

Cersei

The Queen is locked away without food or water until she confesses. We see her get struck across the face with a wooden spoon when she refuses to do so. She finally gets to hear the charges against her (fornication, treason and incest– not far off the mark there) and told that none of her family is coming to save her. Not even Jaime (remember– as Tyrion left he told Jaime that Cersei was having sex with everyone she could and he can’t get that out of his mind. Of course in the show he’s in Dorne, but still not racing back to her.

She rounds out this episode by licking water off the nasty floor. So things are going great for her.

Arya

Arya is working on her lying skills and is telling Jaqen all about her life at the canals. She makes an adorable oyster saleswoman. She is being given her first job in this new role and is figuring out what she’s supposed to do. She’s been given the job of killing an insurance salesman who isn’t paying out to widows.

This right now is going along pretty evenly with the books. Except instead of Lana of the Canals she’s Cat of the Canals and is given the same task, but told it has to look like he just died. It cannot look like murder at all. I liked that she was Cat in the books because is spoke to her life with her mother as well as her new found ability to warg into animals besides her wolf. Also they aren’t mentioning that she’s having wolf dreams every night and that her connection with her wolf back in the Riverlands is growing stronger. I really wish they would touch on the whole warging thing more because I feel like that’s going to be important later on. . .but I’m not a writer for the show so. . . .

Sansa and Theon/Reek

Sansa confronts Theon about him telling on her. Theon is 100% Reek in this scene, but she manages to find out that Bran and Rickon really aren’t dead. Theon lets it slip, but runs away when he realizes what he’s admitted to. Hopefully this means that he’s finally working his way out of Ramsey’s control. Maybe. Hopefully.

In the books he’s cowed still by Ramsey, but with the arrival of the outsiders that have come for the wedding Theon is given a little more status since the guests expect to see Theon the prince there not Reek the servant. The storyline that I’m really sad they’ve left out is that Mance wasn’t really killed at the wall, but a wildling called Rattleshirt was and Mance has taken Rattleshirt’s place with the help of magic from Melisandre. She then changes his appearance again and is sent to Winterfell as a traveling minstrel and his “sisters” aka other wildling women meant to look like regular camp followers. They are sent to break “Arya” out and get Theon to help with this. I’m really sad they left all this out because it creates some warm feelings towards Melisandre– who hasn’t needed any up to now and it shows the ingenuity of the wildlings around the Boltons.

The Boltons

They are discussing Stannis and his plans and Ramsey offers to take 20 men out into the snow to take down Stannis. Lets just say they are both insane and horrible people and then just move on from this right now. I’m sure it will be gross and graphic later on.

The Wall

So we see Gilly and Sam being all awkward and post coital, but then Olly manages to come in and be Debbie Downer. He expresses his doubts about what Jon is doing and his hatred for the Wildlings. Olly is a new character and I really don’t know why there is such an emphasis on his character unless it’s just to remind you that the Wildlings aren’t all nice people and they’ve done horrible things.

Meanwhile Jon has landed at Hardhome with Tormund to try to negotiate with the Wildlings there to come back and help the Night’s Watch hold the Wall. Evidently Rattleshirt (aka Lord of Bones) is the leader of this group and he doesn’t want anything to do with the new arrivals (remember I mentioned him earlier and how he was killed by Melisandre). Welp he keeps insulting Tormund so Tormund takes his staff from him and beats him to death with it. All the Wildlings doubt Jon’s word, but eventually everyone but the Thenn’s agree to go with Jon and they very very slowly start getting on boats.

They load up a good number people and then suddenly the wights attacked the walls and for some reason instead of loading the boats faster they stood around and stared at the skeletal beings that were breaking down the walls. They move from staring at them to fighting them which does about as much good (once again why are they not sticking people into boats as fast as possible?).

Then all of a sudden the White Walkers themselves show up and Jon gets into a fight with one that looks like it’s not going to end well for Jon when a theory from the books is finally confirmed in that although all other blades have shattered against the White Walkers Jon’s holds up. It not only holds up it kills the Walker and turns the tide of the battle.

The reason this is true is because Jon’s sword is Valyrian steel and forged with magic from Ancient Valyria as well as dragon’s breath (dragon steel is another name for it– which sounds familiar like dragon glass you could say). Then as the people load the last of the ships that are able to escape Captain Barbossa  the Night’s King (aka the head White Walker) shows up and tells the boys to take a walk. The furious onslaught of the undead is more than the remainder can handle and the battle is soon lost. The Night’s King then reanimates all the dead and Jon stares on in horror from his (painfully slowly) retreating boat.

So this doesn’t happen at all in the books. He does send people to Hardhome to try to save them and bring them back to the Wall, but he doesn’t go himself. Also in the books the whole Valyrian steel theory hasn’t been tested yet, but Sam suspects that it will work. I’m pretty sure this was an interlude for everyone watching to allow them some action in a otherwise battle light season. I do question the wight and White Walker’s lack of fear of fire. In the books and the show they have been scared or at least repelled by fire, but aren’t phased at all by it this go round.

There are a lot of revelations this episode, fan theories proven right and fan desires made true. I have to say even though I don’t always support their departures from the books, it is making it an interesting watch.

Why do book Readers think “It’s not as bad as what happened in the books” is an excuse for violence?

After the Sansa wedding night episode I had friends on Facebook going crazy (along with a ton of other people throughout the Internets). They were done with Game of Thrones!  They were shocked and appalled that once again the show used rape to as a plot/character development device. On a particular thread a friend of mine had expressed her outrage at this and I had responded that, “It’s not near as bad as the stuff that happened to the woman he married in the books.” My comment triggered an angry response from another person who questioned why that was OK? Just because something is worse in the books that it was based on why is that an excuse for that action?

That got me thinking. Why did I think that excused what was shown for entertainment purposes? I finally came to the conclusion that I don’t think it being worse in the books is an excuse, but more that I came into the show informed as to what to expect. Also that reading about something happening isn’t the same as watching it played out in front of you.

I knew going into watch Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince that Snape would eventually kill Dumbledore. But reading it in the books and watching it on the big screen are two different things. In someways it was more emotional to actually see the look in Snape’s eyes and the corresponding look on Dumbledore’s face at the moment of death, but you also don’t get the whole thought process of each of the characters. You are relying on facial expressions instead of getting to hear an inner monologue or having the author explain a back story on the character.

So when Snape takes out his wand and kills off another main character I wasn’t shocked or emotionally crippled. I was when I read it the first time, but by the time the movie rolled out I was used to the idea. I knew it was coming so it didn’t pack the same emotional punch.

This is true for so many things in literature. There are things added and taken away by knowing what is coming and seeing it acted out on screen for the first time. Yeah you know that Mr. Darcy is going to fall for Elizabeth, but seeing Colin Firth say the words out loud brings a whole new emotion to the scene. Or a better example for me is you don’t really see how annoying Elizabeth’s mother is until you see her.

But why have I talked about Harry Potter and Austen when Game of Thrones was the culprit? Seeing emotions and knowing back stories is one thing, but this is rape that we’re talking about. Here’s where I come to my conclusion about why people use “it was worse in the books” as an excuse.

If they’ve read the books and then chose to watch the show they know what’s coming. They know (for the most part) who is going to be raped, tortured, enslaved, killed, stabbed at their wedding, etc. They’ve read it, accepted it and kept reading for one reason or another.

I’m sure there were readers along the way that said– wait– they just killed my favorite character– this series is depressing– I’m out!  Or I’m tired of the sex scenes that are written like a twelve year old’s fantasy– I’m out!  (Seriously– GRRM has words for female genitalia that make me want to vomit. He talks about sex like a pubescent boy). So many things happen in the series (and the show has left out a lot of disturbing crap) that would be horrific if they happened in real life that as a reader I skim those parts. Jaime and Cersei having sex again? Cool– I’ll just skip the in depth description of her “sex” and just remember that it happened. Theon getting flayed again? Alright– gross–but instead of reading the full description I’ll just skim over the super gross parts and realize that Reek has a fewer toes/fingers than he did before. Skimming is the only way I got through some of the parts of these books (and the only way I got through the Wheel of Time books after Robert Jordan lost his mind and until Brandon Sanderson took over).

I may not have read every single disgusting detail of the bad things that happened in this series, but I know what happened. I’ve already processed that Ramsey is the most disgusting person ever, I know that Cersei thinks she’s the smartest person in the world, and that Sansa is an idiot. Still I wouldn’t have wished Jeyne’s fate (the girl Ramsey married in the books that was pretending to be Arya) on anyone. That’s why book readers were upset that Sansa had returned to Winterfell. They knew that if she married The Bastard that things would not be pretty for her. I know people who just had seen the show were probably excited to see a Stark in Winterfell again, but believe me Sansa should have kept her butt in the Eyrie.

So do I think it’s OK that Sansa was raped? NO! But that was what she was doomed for the second Littlefinger took her there to marry Ramsey. If he had treated her like a lady that would have been completely out of character. He is insane and likes to inflict pain on everything and everyone he can. Obviously his wife would be subject to that as well.

What I am saying is reading about a horrible act and seeing a horrible act visually acted out is totally different. Knowing what is coming allows the reader to prepare themselves for what is to come (and even you non-readers– seriously what did you expect from Ramsey?).

So if seeing Sansa get raped makes you no longer want to watch Game of Thrones stop watching. I have family members that refuse to watch the show because they don’t want to relive everything that happens to these characters (as well as family members who have refused to watch or read because of what these books entail). I’ve left some shows mid series because I didn’t like the direction they went in. With everything else that has happened in the series though I question your surprise at this violence. Dany was raped in the first episode (which by the way didn’t happen in the books– Drogo was very kind to her and besides the fact that she was disgustingly young for him it was not violent like that), Ned was beheaded by a psycho with too much power, and Theon was brutally tortured. All of that plus everything else that I’ve left out should have clued you in that this wasn’t going to be a happy, peaceful show.

I don’t think that rape, torture, incest, or zombies are acceptable things, but as a reader I came into this show informed as to what I was going to see. If you don’t want to continue watching the show because of the horrible violence it shows, stop watching it, but don’t expect the show runners to make an insane torture loving character nice and sweet all of a sudden.

Game of Thrones: The Gift. Life after Sansa’s Wedding Night.

Everyone was in an uproar after last week’s episode that showed Sansa’s wedding night so thankfully no one else gets married this week, but we do get to hear Dany plan her own up coming nuptials.  That should be a fun time too right?

So this season we’ve had a lot of misdirection with the episode names (Kill the Boy, Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken, etc) and this one has a few meanings as well. On one hand we have Jorah taking his gift to his queen, we have Dany giving the gift of the fighting pits to her people, and lastly in the books Jon offered “The Gift” or an area of land between the wall and Winterfell to the Wildlings who wanted to come over and down. They would have to answer to Winterfell and the Seven Kingdoms, but they wouldn’t have to worry about White Walkers. So although all the Watchlings out there probably assume this title is talking about Jorah giving over Tyrion, it’s totally derived from that 5 minutes you see Jon and try to remember what he’s doing right now.

The Wall

Speaking of Jon we see him saying his goodbyes so he can go off and try to talk the rest of the Wildlings into either settling in the Gift or populating the abandoned castles along the wall to try to fight against the White Walkers. The Wildlings aren’t all crazy about this idea and neither are the men of the Night’s Watch. It’s very important you remember that they are super unimpressed by that and think Jon a traitor for what he’s doing. It plays a big role in things to come.

We also see Maester Aemon playing with Gilly’s baby and confusingly talking about his baby brother Egg (who later became King). You can tell Sam in worried about Aemon and it looks to be his last days. This is yet another departure from the books. In the books Jon send Maester Aemon and Sam off to the Citadel with their stories of White Walkers (and for Sam to become a maester to replace Aemon) and switches Gilly’s baby with Mance Rayder’s kid. Gilly takes this other baby off to safety with Sam and Aemon and Sam plans on telling his parents that her baby is his bastard. Gilly is heartbroken to leave her child, but eventually bonds with the other baby and the eventually bonds with Sam numerous times as well. Aemon does die in the books, but he does so on the journey while in Braavos (where Arya kills one of the men from the Night’s Watch for abandoning Sam). Sam thinks he died because the Wall and the cold were keeping him alive.

“He was the blood of the dragon, but now his fire has gone out. And now his watch is ended.”

So instead of taking an epic journey Aemon just dies (in the books he is super upset that he died before reaching Dany. He heard about her during the journey and he wants to tell her things about her family– I think he wants to tell her how to control her dragons). Sam and Gilly just have sex (in the most realistic sex scene yet in the series) and Ghost for some reason isn’t with Jon (but he saves Sam’s life which is awesome).

Sansa

Sansa had a rough week to say the least. Last week we saw her wedding night raping and evidently the fun hasn’t stopped for her. She’s being kept a prisoner with no contact with anyone besides Theon. In an act of desperation she gets Theon’s help signalling that old woman that offered her help before. The thing she doesn’t know is that Theon is 100% scared of Ramsey and instead of going and lighting a candle like Sansa asked he went straight to the Bastard and told on her. Which didn’t go quite so well for the old lady.

Sansa and Ramsey walk around the castle discussing their future– or really just discussing Ramsey’s future as the Lord of Winterfell. I have to admire Sansa’s guts at pointing out the obvious, but she’s crazy. You don’t call Ramsey Snow Bolton a bastard to his face. She’s given him something to think about though even if she’ll definitely pay for it later. (She did manage to grab a weapon for later on this walk about– but will she be able to use it?)

Ramsey: Call me Bastard one more time!

Seriously though– I’m pretty sure she just guaranteed a pregnant woman’s death. Do you think the Frey’s will be cool with it when it’s one of their own?

Sansa: Yeah, about him. . .I didn’t like him either.

After viewing Ramsey’s work on the old lady help I think Sansa is finally realizing what kind of person she married. As much as I cannot stand Sansa in the books and wish that she’d been killed off in place of any of the other Starks, I have to say she’s much more in control of herself on the show than in the books. In the books she’s just concerned with what is happening to her and where her next lemoncake is coming from. Of course she’s also not married to Ramsey so she has that going for her.

Stannis

Stannis is stuck in the snow trying to march on Winterfell and losing people by the day. Either deserting or dying from lack of heat and food. He’s losing before he’s even started and he can’t go back to the Wall because he will just be stuck there. Defeated. Melisandre states that she knows how to take Winterfell and that all they need to do is sacrifice someone with King’s blood. Which just happens to be his daughter who she wants to burn alive. Yeah totes sounds like good idea. I love Stannis for not only rejecting this idea but sending the Red Woman away after she suggests it. It truly is a despicable plan (and not at all in the books).

In the books she’s wanting to burn Mance’s baby which is why Jon sends the baby away from the wall. Melisandre really is a horrible person, but she might play a role in helping Jon with all those people that think he’s a traitor now so I don’t wish her dead. Yet.

Jorah

Jorah and Tyrion manage to get sold together (after some quick action on Tyrion’s part) and are headed to the fighting pit of Mereen (you know the pits that Dany just opened back up under the condition that no slaves would be used. . .yeah about that).

In the books Tyrion actually saves Jorah here. Jorah is in a somewhat in a catatonic state at this point and Tyrion is being sold with another dwarf  Penny. (Be super glad they cut the whole Penny and her dog and pig show out of the series). He says that Jorah plays the bear in the act and all good acts must have a bear. They also don’t get sold into the fighting pits, but Tyrion ends up there later on and gets saved at the last minute by Dany (it’s more complicated then that, but pretty much that’s what happens).

We see Dany getting some lovin’ time with her man Daario who she claims she cannot marry because she has to marry the Master from Mereen for political purposes. Let me say though that Daario has the right idea about killing all the masters and showing people what’s up. If she did marry Daario they would make a pretty BA team. She has become too careful (and gotten a rather odd wig too).

Now we have come to a meeting between Jorah and his queen. In a scene copied from Gladiator they are all fighting in front of the queen and Jorah realizes it and runs out to fight too. I’m pretty sure Russell Crowe was in the group of fighters, but Jorah manages to kill them all. Dany is shocked and appalled by this sight and obviously is having second doubts about opening the fighting pits again (as she should). Jorah reveals himself to her at the end and before she can have him removed he tells her he has a gift for her. On cue Tyrion runs out and announces he is the gift. When asked he proclaims himself Tyrion Lannister. Oh you know just the son  of the man that ordered the slaughter of your family. She seems to take it like you’d expect.

Queen of Thorns

The Queen of Thorns and the High Sparrow have words together. He seems to genuinely like her and spars verbally with her for a while. She can’t figure him out though and doesn’t exactly win this exchange. This of course frustrates her and she is obviously trying to figure out a way to bring down the High Sparrow.

She meets with Petyr who tempts her with a deal to take down the Lannisters. He’s playing all sides to make sure that he has an agreement with the winning party. . .no matter who that is.

Cersei

Well, well, well. She’s still oblivious as to what is going on with the church and thinks everything is going her way. After Tommen threatens to go talk to the High Sparrow to get his wife freed Cersei steps in tells Tommen that she’ll go on his behalf to try to get her freedom.

She does visit the High Sparrow and Margeary as well. She’s super smug about what’s going on with Margeary and obviously thinks that everything is going her way. Well that is until she starts talking to the High Sparrow. He tells her about how Lancel came to them broken and slowly unburdened himself to the church. He told them about the horrible things that he did with Cersei and that gives them grounds to arrest her as well. Yeah she tries the same reasoning that Margeary did and it gets her just as far.

In the books Cersei’s plan to get rid of Tommen’s bride is much more complicated and it looks like she has framed Margeary successfully until the men she had swear that they had sex with Margeary were tortured until they admitted they were lying. I do hope they keep the punishment the same in the show as in the books though. Let’s just say that it’s very very satisfying. Plus boobs.

Dorne

Back in Dorne Myrcella doesn’t want to leave because she loves her betrothed and wants to marry him. Jamie doesn’t quite know how to handle her. Bronn mocks and taunts the Sand Snakes in their cell which is amusing until one of them feels the need to make sure we see some breasts this episode. It’s totally unnecessary and ridiculous. All of you people that were up in arms last week about Sansa should be kicking up a fuss about the show’s use of naked women to keep viewer’s interest. I don’t need to see someone naked every five minutes to keep my attention. Bronn of course was poisoned by his cut and after boobs were seen he receives the antidote. Because boobs. I don’t know this whole scene is confusing. But there are boobs so I guess we’re not supposed to question it.

On the bright side– no rapes this week!  Plus Cersei is getting a taste of her own medicine so it’s almost a cheerful episode even if we did lose a main character.

Supernatural: Brother’s Keeper. When we learned the Mark is [SPOILER] and other life lessons.

I’ve had theories as to how they were going to fix Dean all season long, but I have to say this episode dealt me surprise after surprise.

We start out this episode with a ranting Sam giving all the reasons they should do whatever they can to save Dean, but with Cas warning about the consequences about doing that. I know they will figure something out (they always do), but I’m going to agree a little with Cas here. Sam and Dean don’t always make the wisest decisions about each other.

First Life Lesson of the Night

Next we see Dean most assuredly not alright.

Nope you’re not good at all Dean. If any of you wake up like this in the mornings– you are also very far from good. [Insert “The More you Know” Rainbow].

Dean’s day just keeps getting better too. He starts off by calling a murdered girl a whore (which he totally missed the opportunity to make a comment about the Whore of Babylon) and the rounds it out by trying to run off the hunter that called him in on the case in the first place. His charm gets even better in a minute. When he goes to interview the dead girls parents he not only makes them so mad that the dad punches him repeatedly in the face, he also pulls a gun on the dad AND the son. Hunter of the Year right here. He did find out the location of the vampire nest though so there’s that.

Rowena doesn’t fall for bluffs

Evidently Crowley can’t find another witch for them (why has that not been asked yet?) so they are stuck with Rowena. She strong arms them into promising her freedom and the Codex in exchange for performing the spell. I’m sure this is going to go perfectly.

She reads the spell out loud telling Sam and Cas the three ingredients she’ll need to do the spell. It turns out that Dr. Seuss invented the language it was written in and that they need the forbidden fruit, the golden calf and the thing Rowena loves. A little bit of a challenging shopping list.

She looks pretty fantastic for someone chained up in a nasty dungeon-y place.

She once again establishes that she’s the worst mother ever and doesn’t love Crowley, but Cas does read her mind and finds out that she did love a boy named Oscar. After Sam gets a phone call from the Hunter that Dean was a douche to he gets Cas to go get the ingredients for the spell while he goes to find Dean.

Dean is Passing the Point of No Return

Dean makes it to the cabin where the vampires are holed up and kills one immediately then walks in to find Red Shirt Hunter Dude trapped with a knife to his throat. First off Dean is scary in this scene with his lack of desire to try to save a fellow hunter. Secondly I feel like any other hunter would have escaped that vampire while he was waiving that knife all around. So I don’t agree with the fact that Dean proceeds to mock the vampire into killing the guy, but I do think that someone with better instincts would have gotten out of the way so Dean could have chopped the bad guy’s head off. Dean cuts the hostage loose before leaving her with multiple dead bodies, but I was surprised that he didn’t check to make sure she hadn’t been turned before leaving. I half expected him to chop her head off just to be safe.

Dean may have left calmly, but everything he just did hit him hard once he got back to the hotel room as was evidenced by his temper tantrum.

If anyone can sexily destroy a seedy hotel room though it’s this guy.

 The Bro Love is Strong with Crowley

So Sam just tried to kill Crowley with the help of his POS mother yet all Castiel has to do to get him to help Dean is ask nicely. That’s it and all of a sudden Crowley is back with the fruit from the tree and a piece of the Golden Calf. These boys are too close to let a little attempted murder to bother them.

I, along with everyone else, love Castiel’s literal take on everything.

Now we know things are bad

Sam finds Dean’s hotel room, but he’s gone and he left a note with the keys to the Impala saying simply, “She’s all yours.” You know that Dean is gone when he gives away the Impala. You can see how much it freaks out Sam as well to see this casual note along with the trashed hotel room.

We cut to Dean summoning something that looks dangerous and turns out to be Death. Death is one of my favorite characters. He plays by his own rules. He helped the boys beat Lucifer, but he’s not really on their side.Dean asks Death to kill him and when he refuses he asks Death to remove it (I might would have asked those things in the opposite order). Death tells Dean that he can take the Mark away if he agrees to pass it on to someone else. Why you ask? Because of course the Mark isn’t just a curse, it’s also a key to a prison that holds back “The Darkness.” That not only sounds ominous, but also sounds like the writers are running out of names for their bad guys.

Dean agrees to Death’s other deal then and calls Sam so he’ll come and meet him for one final goodbye.

Crowley is still a sad lonely little boy

Crowley is still on the hunt for something that Rowena loves, but we find out that the diner owner he was talking to last week was actually the one person that Rowena loves. So by bringing him to her to murder he’s really just happy he’s found a way to hurt her. She lied to Castiel about Oscar and pretended like he was long dead when she knew he was immortal and hanging around somewhere. So her freedom must not have meant that much too her– until she was almost made to look weak in front of her son.

Poor Crowley.

Now Rowena has everything she needs to make the spell work and Sam doesn’t know that they are performing the spell as he’s meeting Dean.

Sam and Dean still like to fight

Sam shows up and right off the bat argues with Dean over his decision. He thinks that Dean is going to go off to space with Death and leave him all alone. However, Dean’s next statement surprised and shocked me.

The thought of Dean killing Sam is so alien to me I can’t wrap my head around it and I mostly watched the rest of the episode with my mouth open unsure of how this was going to work. Also here’s an image of Dean chilling in Space like Death wanted him to:

Dean’s thought process is that Sam won’t let Dean live wherever Death has planned so Sam has to die so that Dean can live forever alone in peace. Ummm no Dean. I get what you’re saying, but no. Sam begs with him, argues with him, and then finishes it off with a fist fight. . .as brothers do.

I love so many things about this. Sam got into a fight with crazy Dean knowing that when it went too far that he could cry Uncle and get him to stop. They also have a thorough discussion of good and evil. This is something that I feel like the writers have been dancing around for a while. The boys were obviously good when this show started, but after it all are they still good? Should they be one of the monsters hunters hunt?

Sam finally agrees to let Dean kill him though. Before he completely surrenders he gives him pictures of their family as reminders of what good and love really are. It’s at this moment we see something break in Dean, but I’m still not sure how Dean can get out of killing Sam. Something I’ve worried about since he originally took the Mark.

He reaches up to bring Death’s blade down onto Sam and keeps swinging around, stabbing Death in the chest with it. Death’s blade was established as the only thing that could kill Death way back when during the Apocalypse. So now Dean has killed Death for some reason (well to save Sam, but he’s the one that called Death in the first place) and he doesn’t quite seem to know what to do next.

RIP Death. You will be missed.

As he’s trying to figure out what their next move should be Rowena finishes the spell and successfully manages to remove the Mark from Dean’s arm. The only down side to this development is that Rowena is now free and appears to have taken control of Castiel and sent him to kill Crowley.

Taking a cue from the Sopranos it cuts to black before we know if Cas goes through with it or not.

Oh yeah that too

Oh yeah “The Darkness” thing that Death was going on about now seems to be free and not wasting any time taking over the world. Ooops. I’m sure it’ll be all OK right? At least Death is dead so no one can die until a new Death takes over. . .