Who is that new Game of Thrones Character and why is he important?

Last week we saw a new character– some would say an old character– come in and save the day. It looked like Bran was going to die and that there was no way out, but all of a sudden some BMF swooped in to save the day. Awesome right?

But who is this masked man?

Yes, yes, yes. He showed himself to be Benjen Stark and explained that he was saved by the Children of the Forest. That’s all well and good, but even though we’ve mostly moved past the written books this dude was in the books.

Benjen/Coldhands is more than just Benjen Stark returned to help out his nephews. I could go on and on about how I don’t think that Benjen is really THE Coldhands and that the show has just thrown Benjen in as Coldhands bc they didn’t want to add a new character in the mix, but I’ll not say anything about that.

In the books Coldhands is a very mysterious character. He shows up in the nick of time to save Sam and Gilly, riding an elk, calling Sam “Brother” (aka he was probably a brother of the Night’s Watch at some point), and then has Sam get Bran, Meera, Jojen and Hodor (sob) safely through the Night’s Fort to the other side of the wall. He navigated them through the North Beyond the Wall to the Three Eyed Crow and managed to do so without killing Jojen.

Throughout the journey North though they realize that Coldhands is dead yet he doesn’t have the blue eyes of the wights, can talk and obviously is very intelligent. So now that Coldhands/Benjen/YetAnotherStarkThatWeThoughtWasDead is back what does that mean for the Bran/Jon/Sansa?

Will he help turn the tide against Ramsey Snow? Where is Bran going now that he’s left the Three Eyed Crow  Raven? Why the #@#$ did they have to kill off Summer?

A few good thoughts to leave you with:

The Umber’s have given up Rickon to Ramsey, but in the books they are hinted at as being double agents that don’t like or trust The Bastard. So I have my finger’s crossed that that wolf’s head wasn’t really Shaggydog (maybe a died Grey Wind?) and that the Umber’s are playing their own–right now unknown–angle that will be BA.

My other theory that is helping me sleep at night is that Arya will see the Waif coming after her through an animal’s eyes (please be a cat) and wake up just in time to stab her with Needle.

The reappearance of the Frey’s gives me hope that they are about to get what’s coming to them. Perhaps some Frey Pie?

And finally Sansa is an idiot. (Oh that wasn’t a good thought?)

The Game of Thrones Plot Twist You’re Missing

This week’s episode was really good, but I’m not going to do my normal recap instead I’m going to address an important plot point that I feel like the show isn’t fully explaining, but are expecting you to pick up on.

In the first episode they find a litter of direwolf puppies, one for each Stark child, and they were told to raise them and train them themselves. It was made very clear that these were dangerous animals, but it also became evident that the Starks (and Jon Snow) had an unusual amount of control over these animals.

It is because they are all wargs. To an extent at least.

Why is this important? Well keep reading– not only does this influence the whole Stark storyline it also is the key to Daenary’s problems.

Jon Snow Ghost.jpg

Jon Snow

The books make it very clear that Jon Snow is a warg and a powerful one. The show does touch on this and explain that not only is he a warg, but so are some of the Wildlings. He begins to learn how to control his gift and how to control other animals besides Ghost. For Jon this doesn’t appear to be something that he has to work with at all with Ghost, but he doesn’t seem to have the same bond with any other animal.

That is until he inherits Mormont’s raven. His raven is a larger than normal raven and can speak in eerily appropriate ways. The raven seems to be strongly connected to Jon and even before Mormont was murdered he seemed to care about Jon’s welfare.

Why is this important for Jon?

Possibly Jon had warged into Ghost while he was dead making his resurrection possible, but my biggest theory is that (especially now that the dragons are freed) he will be able to become a dragonrider by reaching into the dragon’s mind to be able to control it.

And now his watch has ended and he can go do some gangster Stark/Targaryen stuff

Damn right is has.

Robb Stark

Robb was also very attached to his wolf and it wasn’t until he separated himself from Grey Wind (because his new bride distrusted the wolf and her family was afraid of him) that he became vulnerable.

Robb was not with Grey Wind when he was killed, but they made a show of killing the wolf too and then sewing the head of the wolf to Robb’s corpse.

Why was this important for Robb?

If he’d known how important and powerful this connection was he could have used it to stay in power and vet his potential enemies. He should have listened to his mother and kept his wolf close.

Sansa

Welp. Lady died pretty early on and Sansa admitted to feeling lost after Lady’s death. Sansa is horrible, self absorbed and really the worst character of the series (yes I say she’s even worse than Cersei or Ramsey Snow– she should have known better than to behave as she did).

The show has made her a lot more sympathetic a character than the books so feel free to disagree with me. I get where you’re coming from, but she never asked or thought about Arya in the books and was only concerned with what was happening to her.

Why is this important for Sansa?

I’d like to hope that she wouldn’t have been a self centered b*tch if Lady had lived. At least she would have hopefully been stronger.

Arya

Aside from Jon and Bran Arya is the next strongest warg in the Stark family. Jon learned from others that he could control other animals, but Arya finds out on her own that she can see through other’s eyes. This is my most recent issue with the show. In the books before Arya gets her eyesight back she warged into a cat to see who was attacking her and from where. I’m really disappointed they have left this out. Also left out is her wolf dreams. Ever since she sent Nymeria away she has dreamed at night of her pack and of hunting with them. In fact she was the one that  decided to pull her mother’s dead body out of the river (but seeing as they’ve left Lady Stoneheart out of this. . . ).

Why is this important for Arya?

During all of her trials and tribulations her wolf dreams have kept her anchored and given her a family when she had none. Also her warging into the cat gave her encouragement and the confidence she needed to continue her training without losing her identity as Arya Stark (even though that’s what they wanted to happen).

Her continued connection with Nymeria will also give her a ready made strong group of soldiers (even if they are four legged) whenever she gets back across the sea. She could even be a dragonrider– although I don’t see it going that way. I think perhaps you have to be a warg AND have Targaryen blood to be a dragonrider.

game of thrones, wolf, and summer image

Bran

This is the only Stark that the show has repeatedly shown as a warg. His abilities have allowed him to control Summer, Hodor, and travel through the weirwood to see the past. Kudos to the show for showing this, but it just makes me even more frustrated that they’ve left all this out for the other characters.

Why this is important for Bran?

Well his powers have led him to the three eyed crow (with Meera, Jojen and Hodor’s help) and I think they will show Bran all about R+L=J (hopefully soon– holy CRAP what a tease this week). He’s also poised to spill the beans on Jon’s parentage which could rock Westeros and it appears that he’s trying to communicate with the people of the past. I just hope he doesn’t screw up the present even more because of this. There is also something fishy about Old Nan talking about how all Brandon Starks are all the same.

Rickon

It’s stated that Rickon has possibly the strongest warg connection out of any of the Starks with Shaggydog (I really really hope that the Umbers are setting up a trap for the Boltons and that they really didn’t kill Shaggydog and haven’t really given up Rickon. The Umbers were very loyal to Robb Stark and it’s hinted at that they might be playing the Bolton’s false). He also appears to have some type of greenseer ability. He dreamed about the deaths of Ned and the rest and knew that they weren’t coming back long before anyone else did.

Why is this important for Rickon?

Ummmm because warging is cool? Also to help control Shaggydog. Not a lot is known about Rickon and I hope that we finally find out more about him and where his story will take the narrative.  Yep not believing that Shaggydog is dead or that they Umbers are bad.. .yet.

Badass Illustration of Daenerys and Drogon by captainsunshines

Daenarys 

She dreamed of her dragons even before they were born and could feel their presence in the eggs. Then once they were born she was about to train them relatively easily. (Similarly to the Starks and their wolves). She’s had visions of Drogon flying over the land when she was sleepy or her mind was wandering. My thought is that she needs to warg into the dragon to truly be able to control him. The times that she has had control are when she was very scared or emotional which just reinforces my theory that she has the ability to control Drogon, but she just doesn’t know how to access that power (but does so by instinct when under stress).

Maester Aemon was very concerned about getting to Dany before he died as soon as he learned that she had three dragons. He said that he had important things to tell her and show her. I wonder if he wasn’t going to show her how to control her dragons and if perhaps he was controlling his ravens in a similar manner. For a blind man he sure saw a lot which would make a lot of sense if he was using his ravens to see for him.

There’s always a chance that the show will tie up all these plot lines without introducing the ability to warg, but I don’t really see how. My biggest fear is that they will just throw it in and assuming you caught all the times that warging was alluded to. Like how they brought back Rickon and the Umbers with very little prep.

 

Can you spot all the confirmed fan theories in Game of Thrones: Home?

I know you think I’m going to focus on the main confirmed theory, but of course I’m going to save that for last.

Lyanna

OK so maybe this wasn’t a fan theory, but we don’t know a whole lot about Lyanna that hasn’t be told to us. In the first book we hear stories from Robert that make her sound like a sweet virgin that was attacked by a spoiled prince. Ned’s memories are tinted by grief and shrouded by mystery.

So we finally get to see Lyanna and witness for ourselves that she’s not some simpering lady that would get taken advantage of. Instead she’s a fierce woman like Arya and doesn’t seem like someone that would need much help.

Maybe then we’ll get R+L=J confirmed next week. Lyanna seems more like someone that would let the world burn around her to be with the one she loves. I need that to be true.

Important side crap

Where is Brandon in the flashback? Ned wasn’t the first heir of Winterfell and the show has kind of ignored the fact that the Mad King not only killed Brandon, he also killed Ned’s father.

Old Nan is who grabs Hodor/Wylis and pulls him away from the fight. It’s alluded to in the book that Nan is hundreds of years old and has some magic knowledge.

Whoa There, Bran / via

Hodor

Hodor.

They show Hodor young and able to talk. There’s a fan theory that Hodor was somehow traumatized when Lyanna died or during the war and that’s why he just says Hodor. Maybe the show is buying in to that and I’ll be interested if they do. This isn’t a theory that I hate, but I also don’t love it.

Random Facts

In the books Hodor’s real name is Walder and Old Nan tells them that. But that would have made like the millionth Walder so I understand why the show wanted to change the name.

Wun Wun

Wun Wun is the name of the giant– you know the one that decided to smoosh some people this episode. He’s a little more prominent in the books and I had a theory that Jon gained control of him to try to get help when he was attacked, but they didn’t got that way on the show.

However I’m happy that they involved him in Jon’s rescue. Wun Wun was proof that everything that people found scary Beyond the Wall weren’t as bad as they seemed. He was trying to learn to speak and adapting to the environment.

Ser Robert Strong

It’s been suspected that Ser Robert  (the huge quiet knight that likes to kill) is the Mountain in zombie form that Qyburn has revived. The books never really confirm it, but they hint strongly to it.

The show jumps right into this theory though and pretty much confirm that Ser Robert is the Mountain. I wonder if Qyburn has a backdoor control on his monster that will backfire on Cersei though (I hope so).

The High Sparrow

There is a running theory that he is Howland Reed (Meera and Jojen’s dad who was at the Tower of Joy with Ned Stark.

The thought is that he is taking down the people who killed his friend (Ned) through the church. I go back and forth with this theory, but we should find out more about Howland next week when Bran has visions of what really happened at the Tower of Joy (I’m sure it was all really cheerful happy things).

Tyrion is a Targaryen

OK so stay with me for a moment. In the books Prince Quentyn tries to do what Tyrion does in this episode– fully expecting the Targaryen blood he has to help him control the dragons. Instead the dragons are freed and and Quentyn dies a horrible fire-y death.

However there is a huge theory that Tyrion is not Tywin’s son, but instead is the result of either an affair with the Mad King and Tywin’s wife or that she was raped by him. There are many posts that back this theory up and just as many that refute it.

It is also known that if you have dragon’s blood in you that the dragon’s will trust you (Dany actually gets betrayed by someone because of this).  (It is known).

he’s about to write a book about the serving class of Mereen pooping in pies

In walks Tyrion who calmly (or at least a hell of a lot calmer than me) talks to the dragons– says they are totes besties and then removes their chains. All without getting burned or eaten.

So did the show just confirm that Tyrion is a Targaryen? Or is he just well versed in Dragonlore? Will he be the third dragon rider (I already have the other two picked out).

More Random Book Thoughts

Quentyn dies trying to free the dragons, but he frees the all the same. Leaving them to terrorize the area and do what they want. My theory is that the white dragon (Viserion) is on his way to the Wall to meet his rider there.

So did Tyrion just let the dragons all the way go and can Viserion go meet up with his Dragonrider now?

Arya

I already talked about how much Arya and Lyanna are alike and we see a beaten, but not at all broken Arya this episode. There aren’t any theories confirmed for Arya this episode, but I’m getting disappointed on the things that they are leaving out about Arya.

In the books she learned how to warg while she was blind so that she could still see what was going on around her. She also is dreaming nightly of her wolf and has her pack pull her mother out of the river after The Red Wedding. I hate that they are leaving these parts out because you don’t see all the growth that she’s experiencing. Also they’ve not done a good job explaining that all the Starks (except Sansa) have the warging ability (Sansa probably did have that, but then her wolf died and she’s also stupid).

So I’m holding out until Arya wargs into a cat to spy on people.

[EVERYTHING] The reunion I want to see most but we will probably never see / via

and everyone wants this again

The Bastard

OK so there aren’t any theories confirmed here either, but there is some glorious murdering— and some really really sick murdering.

The Greyjoy’s

OK the sh*t is about the hit the fan here, but I didn’t like it in the books and can’t say that I’m enjoying watching it either. Everyone from there is grouchy, dirty and an all around piece of crap. But stuff happens. And I guess it’s important.

What you need to get from this

The Kingsmoot is kinda where they will vote on who will rule next. Imagine the current election, but with more threat of murder.

Jon *$%^#% Snow

Here’s the main event. Ever since the 5th book was released there have been theories flying around that the Red Woman would bring him back, or that some other magic would save him. Now it finally happened!

George, Sr.: Hold on. I don’t have time for your magic tricks.G.O.B. :Illusions, Dad. You don’t have time for my illusions.  Pilot - 1x01

Melisandre makes a big show of a prayer and a ritual used to revive Jon, but did that really do it? Is that what saved him or did some other magic save him? Was the ritual necessary or just her faith that her god could do this that saved Jon? Or did some warg/Northern magic save Jon and the timing is just a coincidence? The only other revival we’ve seen like that was done by just a short prayer whispered in the ear of the the deceased.

Will Jon be the same?

I really think that Jon was never all the way gone because if he had been Ghost I think would have left his body. As it was he protected him until he came back to it.

Next week we will finally get to learn about the Tower of Joy and what went down there.

 

 

Game of Thrones: The Red Woman. Is (SPOILER) really dead?

OK So no I’m not wondering if Jon Snow is dead. Cause he is, but that’s not’s what is bothering me right now. (Don’t worry Jon Snow people– I’ll come back to this in a bit).

The Wall

They open up the episode at the wall showing Davos finding Jon Snow dead on the snow and quickly he and some other good guys get him into a room where they can watch over him.

Important things going on right here:

  1. Davos saw an image in the snow when they pulled him away. While watching this Sunday I rewound it twice to see the blood again and it definitely looks like a dragon that my kids drew in the snow.
  2. Ghost is still guarding Jon. I think if Jon was beyond hope Ghost would be out searching for his brothers and sister. Now don’t get me wrong– Jon’s definitely dead right this second but once again I’ll come back to that in a bit.
  3. They all verify that Jon is totes dead.
  4. Melisandre begins to doubt herself. She mentions that she saw Jon fighting at Winterfell in her flames, but he’s right there dead on the table. Davos also asks her to do something and she says that she can’t. Now that right there surprised me. My theory has always been that she would resurrect Jon so her despair worried me for a bit.

GHOST and Jon Snow

Note: in the books Bowen Marsh is the one that initiated all the stabby time with Jon, not Alliser Thorne. But he didn’t like him either.

Ramsey Bolton

Yep. Still psycho. Only he would feed his girlfriend to his hounds. Also why isn’t he out looking for Sansa and Theon? Seems right up his alley. My guess is just because the writers didn’t want to explain why Brienne didn’t slit his throat. Because she would have.

But Sansa is away from him now as is Theon. So that’s awesome.

Sansa

I love Theon for trying to protect her, but she’s still sooooo stupid and annoying. She’s the worst in the books and even though they have changed the plot in the show to give her more action she’s still whiny and only thinks of herself. I’m glad she’s accepted Brienne’s pledge now so at least we’ll get to see Brienne and Pod in her scenes.

Also hopefully she won’t trust Littlefinger any more. But she’s stupid so she probably will.

Why did she not remember the words of the oath? Seems like something romantic and exciting that she would have had memorized.

Cersei and Jaime 

Right now all things are awesome with Jaime and Cersei. He’s once again her fighter and her champion. However in the books he had already abandoned her because he had seen how she was just trying to use him. I really hope that they are headed in that direction. Cersei doesn’t really love Jaime, she loves the idea that someone is there that would do anything for her. I want him to find out every nasty thing she has done and hate her for it.

Because as much as Cersei has used Jaime he has done everything she has ever asked out of love and devotion for her.

Margaery Tyrell

Well, she’s still locked up and in a bad situation. Once again they have deviated from the books in this aspect. In the novels she was released pretty quickly because they tortured her accuser who then admitted to having sex with Cersei, not Margaery, and Margaery was released into Sam’s dad’s custody (yes Jon Snow’s Sam).

I’m curious to see where they are going with this. I’m not sure what to think of her situation right now.

Dorne

Yeah I don’t really know what to say about this crap. Maybe the writers just didn’t like writing about this place? Is it not an overall important plot point?

This is not what was happening in Dorne in the books and Doran was super in control of his country and the Sand Snakes. He also was a huge schemer and although he appeared weak at times it was because he was plotting some pretty big crap. So I’m sad this is messed up, but maybe it’ll get better?

 Tyrion and Varys 

Mandatory Tyrion scene, because this episode is light on comedy and they need to remind us that:

  1. Dany’s kingdom is in trouble without her
  2. Tyrion and Varys are both still awesome
  3. Dany needs to hurry on back home ASAP
  4. Someone shady is watching them

Daenery

We are reminded that Jorah is super sick and has a limited time span to help his queen, and he’s on her trail.

She’s not in the best situation either. After letting her captors know who she is they now want to take her to their Khaleesi retirement community that she’s already seen isn’t an awesome place to be.

This is interesting in that we have now moved past the books in her story. So what I see from here on out will be completely new.

I know one thing for sure. She needs to figure out  how to warg into her dragon so she can get back home and take control of her life again. Until she can control Drogon she will not be in control of anything.

Arya

This is another reminder scene. Yes Arya is still alive. Yes she’s still blind. Don’t worry things are about to get super interesting for Arya real quick.

Melisandre

OK we are finally  to the person that I think might have died this episode. We had made it almost this whole episode without seeing any boobs so you know that had to change! So tada!  Here’s the red witch getting ready for bed showing her boobs. Then she takes off her necklace.

Well in the books it explained a lot more that Melisandre had the power to change appearances of people with her magic and it worked as long as they wore a stone. So this does make sense even tough it seems to have come out of no where in this episode because it hasn’t been addressed much before now. So she looks really old and climbs in bed all old and crusty.

So my questions are:

Will she die then? And has she realized how much she’s messed everything up?

Jon Snow

At last!  I told you I would come back to this and here I am. We have a few interesting things happen to Jon this episode with promises of things to come. What am I talking about? Well we had the aforementioned blood dragon in the snow that seems an awful lot like foreshadowing and we have a witch that doesn’t think she can do anything to  save him. I also mentioned that Ghost was seriously protective of Jon’s body.

PrincessBride

So here’s my thought:

I do think that Jon is 100% dead because he needs to die to be released from his oaths to the Night’s Watch. I also had thought that he would be brought back by the red witch, but now that she’s seemingly given up my thought is that he needs to be brought back by the same kind of magic that was used to hatch Dany’s dragons. So when they burn his body– which they will do because–the North–zombies– etc. will he rise from the ashes? It would reinforce even more his Targaryen blood and be a more pure form of magic.

I just really hope we don’t have to wait all season to find out how Jon Snow is returning. Because he is returning. Anyone telling you different is selling something.

 

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.