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.

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.

Game of Thrones: Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken. Another Wedding!

Weddings are such fun times in Westeros and Sansa’s wedding is included in that. First we will cover all the other plot movements though and then come back to Sansa.

Arya

Arya is still working on becoming A Faceless Man even though she still doesn’t quite know what that means. She’s cleaning dead bodies though and trying to figure out what they do with the bodies after. She’s also still learning how to lie. This lying game takes up a few chapters of the books and she has trouble with it. I think because she is so proud of who she is and what she’s done that she has issues denying that fact. She also gets a little child abuse going on, but that’s nothing compared to what she’s been through.

The thing they are leaving out though is that in the books her eyesight was taken from her briefly while she learned this lesson and she didn’t gain her eyesight back until she figured out who was hitting her. Which she found out by warging into a cat and looking through it’s eyes. I feel like her connection to her wolf and this ability aren’t being shown enough in the show and I feel like that’s an important character point. Arya is strong and part of her strength comes from her nightly hunts with her wolf. Nymeria rules the Riverlands and in part so does Arya.

Arya finally passes the test though, with a Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade type moment, and is taken to where they take the bodies. She gets to see a super creepy room with a ton of dead people’s faces and is told that she will get to be someone else. This part sounds nasty in the books and I assume it will be nasty in the show too.

Tyrion and Jorah

They are having a nice little hike across the world. Jorah is trying to hide his greyscale (which will surely kill him– and in the books it’s recommended that that part of your body is cut off– of course in the books he doesn’t get it, but Lord Connington does). Tyrion is doing an amazing job of getting on Jorah’s last nerve and manages to criticize Dany in a very logical fashion.

But my favorite part was when he accidentally told Mormont that his dad was not only dead, but had been murdered horrifically.

BTW your Dad is totes dead– it’s super sad. I’m glad you got to hear it from me.

Tyrion did manage to save his life and Jorah’s though and direct them in the way they were trying to go– the only down side? Now they are slaves. Yeah. . .

Petyr 

After obviously teleporting to King’s Landing he runs into Lancel on his way in and finds out some of the new lay of the land. Petyr then goes and plays Cersei to get exactly what he had wanted all along. If he gets his way he’s now set up to have Sansa and Winterfell. I can not stand Petyr, but I respect his cunning both in the books and on the show. He expertly works the people around him in such a way that they think they are using him.

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Everyone in Dorne

OK so everyone is mad still in Dorne that Oberyn is dead and Jaime is still trying to rescue Myrcella and the Sand Snakes are trying to kill her. So of course they all end up in the same place at the same time. This is very mixed up from the books, but so far I’m OK with it. That is as long as the Sand Snakes are imprisoned right now as well as Jaime and Co. I thought it showed great diplomacy and control that they were locked away until they were begging to do as the Prince of Dorne wished. There were a lot of good one liners in this sequence, but other than that I’m tired of this plot line as it sits.

Hey Dad. . . I mean Uncle Jaime.

Random side note: The Dornish people are what I imagined the Calormen looked like and dressed like in the Narnia Series. I keep expecting them to worship Tash. Or try to marry Queen Susan. Who kinda looks like Myrcella now that I mention it. . . .

The Highgarden Group

Margaery’s grandmother has swooped in to rescue Loras and it doesn’t go as expected. She has a nice exchange with Cersei in which she issues more insults than she receives and threatens to remove her assistance to the crown if Loras isn’t released. Cersei doesn’t take this seriously or deal with it well. She still thinks she’s in control of this situation.

Totally what she was writing.

Now that Grandma is in it’s time for Loras’ trial which doesn’t end well for the Queen or for Loras. Both of them swear under oath that Loras totes loves the ladies and then Loras’ latest boyfriend shows up and says that not only has he had sex with Loras, but Margaery walked in on them once.

His response to the accusations about him and Renly.

They are all then arrested and taken away. Margaery shouting for Tommen’s help the whole time and Tommen looking like a scared little boy while Cersei looks like a cat that just caught a mouse. I still can’t believe that Cersei doesn’t see this as troubling for Tommen’s authority.

tommen

Sansa

Now we’re finally to the bride to be. She gets a nice hot bath by psycho girlfriend and then escorted to the wedding by Theon. I have to say I lost a little respect for Sansa when she didn’t offer Theon any help whatsoever. No matter what he did (or she thinks he did) he hasn’t deserved any of the stuff Ramsey has done to him.

Sansa now walks into this marriage with her eyes wide open as to what she is marrying. This is a departure from the books in that Ramsey married a fake Arya in the books and many people know that she isn’t really Arya. Ramsey does really horrible things to her and makes Theon help. So was I surprised that in the show Theon was made to watch? No not really. But I hate that Sansa after all of her character development allowed Ramsey to abuse her like that. The real Arya would have opened his guts for him and then killed Roose as well. There is a theory that Sansa will always be less than because of her lack of a wolf. It is thought that with the death of Lady that Sansa lost her compass and that’s why she’s so much weaker than everyone else.

I did love show Sansa for this:

It gives me hope that Sansa has finally realized that Tyrion wasn’t that bad and if it hadn’t been for Joffery it might have been a happy marriage. Yes he’s a dwarf and by that time he was not awesome looking, but he was better than any other option she’s been given yet.

Ramsey is by far the worst. If ever I wished that she was back in the Vale pretending to be Alayne Stone it’s now. Because no one deserves this.

So am I upset that Ramsey raped his wife? No. Am I upset that  Sansa is his wife? Yes.

Game of Thrones: High Sparrow. The one where they throw the books out the window– like Bran.

This week’s episode shows us what they meant when they said they were changing things from the books. They totally weren’t kidding about that.

Arya

She is striving to become no one yet she is holding onto her anger and her past. She continues her prayers and her hoard of treasures that she gathered since her escape from King’s Landing. Jaqen H’ghar is very mysterious here talking about how A Man behaves and who A Man is. I feel like I should start talking like that. “A Woman needs you to take out the trash.” That works right?

There is a young blind girl– or what appears to be a young blind girl who works there who begins to hit Arya when she questions her. Before Arya can kill her though Jaqen points out to her that Arya cannot become a faceless man while still holding on to her name. This leads Aray to throw away all her belongings– well all of them but Needle which she stashes in a crevice.

I’m so glad they left this scene in– in fact I’m going to just quote the book:

“It’s just a stupid sword,” she said, aloud this time…
… but it wasn’t.
Needle was Robb and Bran and Rickon, her mother and her father, even Sansa. Needle was Winterfell’s grey walls, and the laughter of its people. Needle was the summer snows, Old Nan’s stories, the heart tree with its red leaves and scary face, the warm earthy smell of the glass gardens, the sound of the north wind rattling the shutters of her room. Needle was Jon Snow’s smile.”
― George R.R. Martin, A Feast for Crows

I feel like if she had given up Needle that she would have been lost for good. One other thing that the show hasn’t done well with Arya is show that she’s still having wolf dreams. This whole time she’s been living through her wolf at night– seeing what she sees and killing with her. Unlike Sansa, who lost her wolf, Arya is still connected to the North through her wolf. And through Needle.

Later on Jaqen takes her to learn how to clean the dead and starts her on her journey to become a faceless man. Which is important too, but not as many feels as the scene with Needle.

Margaery and Tommen

First of all– gross. If we want to cover departures from the books this is one of those. In the books Tommen is a whopping 8 or 9 years old and his favorite thing to do is stamping his royal seal on documents. So obviously they don’t consummate their marriage. Actually Cersei tries to frame Margaery later on in the books for cheating on Tommen. She assumes that an older woman would have a sexual appetite and although she might be right– it back fires on her just a bit. So although some of the resulting scenes are hilarious after their wedding night all I could think was– wow that’s disgusting. I know in the show he’s older, but still not that much older.

Margaery is an amazing manipulator though. She takes Tommen’s virginity and then pushes all the right buttons to begin to push Cersei out of the way. Cersei tries to do the same to Tommen the next day, but he turns it around on her. He’s begun talking about sending her away and that scares Cersei more than anything. Sorry mom– I’m pretty sure that the carrot is going to do a lot more than the stick in this instance. And once again even that analogy grosses me out. He’s a little boy.

Cut to Cersei interrupting Margaery talking about all the sex that she had last night with her child husband. Other than the child molestery comments Margaery is perfection. She issues barb after barb in Cersei’s direction. She mentions over and over again how old Cersei is and how she isn’t of any importance anymore. Well played Margaery, well played. Even if you did just have gross sex.

Disgustingly well played

Reek

It rhymes with meek. And grossed out. Poor Theon. The changes to show from the books have actually been in Theon’s favor– I hope for Sansa’s sake that it continues that way.

Sansa

Littlefinger has arranged for Sansa to marry Ramsey Snow Bolton and then stands uncomfortably close to convince her to go through with it. The only thing I can hope is that his speech about avenging her family means that he’s going to take the part of Lord Manderly from the books and is really plotting against the Boltons. After all Roose Bolton had a big hand in killing Caitlin Stark– the woman he truly loved.

This is the first huge departure I’ve seen this season from the books. In the books the Lannisters send “Arya Stark” to marry Ramsey Bolton. The Arya they have is a childhood friend of Sansa though that is just pretending to be Arya. Horrible. horrible things happen to this pretender and her situation leads Jon Snow into making decisions that are detrimental to his health. So I’m curious to see where they are going with this.

But in the show Sansa ends up back at Winterfell and Ramsey’s bitches (his term for them) look on– knowing what her fate will be if she marries Ramsey.

Ramsey and SansaSneak peek from tonight’s episode on Game of Thrones by tvafterdark

Pod and Brienne

We get to hear more of their back stories and we see why these two are how they are. Brienne has been horribly mistreated all her life because of her size and build. Brienne was loyal to Renly because of his actions towards her and I think we all can empathize with that sentiment.

Pod was similarly saved by the Lannisters because of his heritage (Pod is the relative of Ser Ilyn Payne– the King’s Justice who in the books received the Stark’s Valyrian steel sword, Ice. Until it gets melted down into 2 swords that is). He talks of his time with Tyrion with fondness as he’s one of the few  people that has seen Tyrion for what he is worth.

This was a nice scene for all the feels– and to keep us from forgetting about these two.

i can’t get this line out of my head and I kinda keep crying about it

Jon Snow

He’s now the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch and is still receiving pressure from Stannis to take Winterfell. Stannis then announces that he is going to march on Winterfell and they discuss the fate of the Wildlings. I have to say I was glad when he left though and he talked to Davos. Davos has a similar sense of honor, but with a pirate/smuggler feel to it and I feel like this is the first real conversation Jon has had with any of Stannis’ camp.

We are mostly on par with what happened in the books here with just a little less detail. This is one of the stories that I don’t understand why they are speeding up. Unless it’s just because the scenes at The Wall are dark and depressing.

Jon later splits up duties assigning a few menial duties and naming Ser Alliser first Ranger. He then tries to assign one of the broken down tower to Lord Janos Slynt. Slynt refuses which doesn’t go quite like he expected it to. Jon beheads him there in the yard for all to see. But really what other choice did he have? Here are some more book excerpts to explain the situation better:

Alliser Thorne smiled a thin smile, his black eyes fixed on Jon. At another table, Godry the Giantslayer began to laugh. “As you will.” Jon nodded to Iron Emmett. “Please take Lord Janos to the Wall— ”

and confine him to an ice cell , he might have said. A day or ten cramped up inside the ice would leave him shivering and feverish and begging for release, Jon did not doubt. And the moment he is out, he and Thorne will begin to plot again . And tie him to his horse , he might have said. If Slynt did not wish to go to Greyguard as its commander, he could go as its cook. It will only be a matter of time until he deserts, then. And how many others will he take with him?

“— and hang him,” Jon finished

Of course that’s not exactly how it ended:

“He would not dare to hang me. Janos Slynt has friends, important friends, you’ll see …” The wind whipped away the rest of his words.

This is wrong , Jon thought. “Stop.” Emmett turned back, frowning. “My lord?”

“I will not hang him,” said Jon. “Bring him here.”
“Oh, Seven save us,” he heard Bowen Marsh cry out. The smile that Lord Janos Slynt smiled then had all the sweetness of rancid butter.

Until Jon said, “Edd, fetch me a block,” and unsheathed Longclaw.

Jon really shows off how perfect he is from here on out. Which of course bodes well right?

I totally wouldn’t want to cut someone’s head off.

The High Sparrow

The High Septon is drug out of a brothel naked and made to walk back in front of everyone nude. He goes to complain to the small council and Cersei sees it as an opportunity to put someone in her debt into the High Septon’s place. So she goes to find the “High Sparrow” or the leader of the refugees that have come into the city.

He is a devout man that follows the law perfectly and stands by what he did to the High Septon. She behaves that she totally agrees and has arrested the High Septon and thinks that her and the Sparrows are on the same page. This will be important later.

In the books the High Septon was actually pulled to pieces during the riots and his crown stolen. The church then flounders for a while and shows it’s corruption while trying to find a new High Septon. This leaves it primed for the Sparrows to step in and take control– which they do.

I was shown a theory about the High Sparrow that I had somehow missed and I really really hope that it ends up to be true. I’ll just post it here though and tell me what you think. That would just be amazing.

We also get a glimpse of Qyburn’s project and are given the impression that he’s working on a Frankenstein like monster– which isn’t too far off.

He is special.

Tyrion

He utters his famous last words about how everything will be fine and he’ll blend in. Which of course he doesn’t at all. They take in a speech from the League of Assassins– I mean a Red Priestess and Tyrion of course draws her attention. So they follow that up with a restful evening at a brothel. A brothel that just happens to have Jorah Mormont in it as well. As soon as he can he snags Tyrion and proclaims he’s going to take Tyrion to the Queen. Now some watchlings might hear that and think that Jorah is going to take Tyrion to Cersei so he can reclaim his home and his title. However they’d be hella wrong. That is unless HBO is taking a huge left turn and really changing the story. Jorah is going to try to take Tyrion to Dany and try win her favor back.

As far as what’s happening on the show versus what’s happening in the books they’ve cut out about half a book’s worth of what Tyrion was doing. I’m not really sure why they did that since they are basing these shows on books that are running out of content. You’d think they’d flesh out what material they have instead, but I’m not in charge of this show obviously so I wonder if they are going to bring it around full circle or if this is one of the areas they also make big changes. We’ll see next week!

Cause Jorah just has ball gags laying around. . .for reasons.

Game of Thrones: The House of Black and White. Where have all the strong female characters gone?

Two episodes into season 5 and we get to see a better picture of how they are deviating from the book storylines. However, I was reminded last night about how stupid most of the female characters become. Do we have hope that they will redeem themselves? I’d like to talk about each woman we saw this week, so here it goes:

Arya

No one can say Arya is weak. She’s one of the strongest characters in the whole series and now she’s going to learn how to become No One. Not too put off by her rejection from the House of Black and White she goes to make her own way in Braavos. Yeah she waits around for a bit. . .says a prayer. . . and then makes her way out into Braavos to find her next move.

Arya is super scary in her pigeon killing and fearlessness. The Old Man came and got her before she killed the boys harassing her though and took her back to the House of Black and White– showing himself as Jaqen H’ghar (which had long been speculated by fans but now at least confirmed on the show). She is starting a long and hard journey to become No One and I have a feeling it will be hard to watch. Although after watching all of Daredevil I’m open to blind people doing hardcore stuff.

I bought this robe at Coachella

Brienne 

Brienne and Pod are making their way trough the Wide Wide World and wonder of wonders they run into Sansa and Littlefinger. This is a departure from the books, but I’m interested to see where they are going with this. I’m just glad to not only see scenes with one of the few remaining strong female characters, but we also got to see her be a BMF. She might be a little naive when it comes to how the world works socially, but she totally knows how it works when it comes to killing people. She offers her help to Sansa and Sansa (like the idiot she is) turns down her help citing Brienne’s presence at Joffery’s wedding (umm I’m pretty sure everyone was there). Littlefinger makes a few jabs at Brienne’s motives and comments on her new sword, but she ignores those. She also manages not only to avoid Littlefinger’s attempt at killing her,but kills everyone in the general area while she’s at it.

We see her last following after Littlefinger and Sansa still not giving up on her quest. Although Sansa is less annoying here than in the books I still can’t stand her.

In the books Pod and Brienne are still searching for the Stark girls having found neither of them, but have found someone who was probably once The Hound and then later run into Lady Stoneheart. Sansa is being an idiot in the Eryie still pretending to be Littlefinger’s bastard. So I’m cool with these changes– although I hope they don’t write out Lady Stoneheart.

Seriously how can she resist an oath by the old Gods and the new?

Cersei

First off that is a crazy package to hold a fake snake. Of course they are sending it to a crazy woman. Cersei is super cray cray. She’s breaking under her attempts to control Tommen, Jaime, Highgarden, and it’s driving her crazy that Myrcella is out of her control. Of course her family ordered the murder of the princess of Dorne and that resulted in the rape, murder and then rape again of said princess all while The Mountain had Prince Aegon’s brain matter on his hands. So I could see why she would worry about Princess Myrcella’s safety in Dorne. She sends Jaime away to get Myrcella back which is going to leave her more vulnerable than she realizes.

In the book she’s even crazier, but she thinks she’s in control of everything. Jaime has already left to go squash the Stark rebellion and avoid his sister after what he heard Tyrion say about her. A lot happens to him out on the road during that so I’m wondering if they are going to have all that stuff happen on the way to Dorne. Also in the books they send another member of the Kingsguard to Dorne which is full of tension for other reasons so I wonder how closely they are going to stay with the storyline of what is happening in Dorne right now.

Cersei manages to offend most of the Small Council and shows her inexperience and lack of political savvy by not managing them well. Her uncle whom she tries to push to the side refuses her and leaves. In the books she asks him to be hand, but he only agrees to it if she will go to Casterly Rock and leave Tommen alone so as to not corrupt him like she did with Joffery. She takes that super well and is glad to see him go. She meanwhile continues to dig her own grave.

Lolly’s Stokeworth

Haha she’s totally not a strong female character. Here we see a flighty character that is complaining that her  sister (who is heir) likes to pick on her. Bronn very scarily tells her that her sister will get what is coming to her. In the books Lollys was raped repeatedly by people in Flea Bottom when Joffery was attacked on the way back from see Myrcella off to Dorne. She became pregnant and Bronn agreed to marry her to jump up his status. She is written off as a simple witted person (which could be anything from a serious mental issue to just kind of stupid), but the rape and pregnancy has made her even worse. Later in the books Bronn does kill off everyone so that Lollys inherits, but it looks like that now they might not even get married.

I kinda liked the union– Bronn was 100% a psycho, but still. . .

Sorry for the language, but I’m pretty sure that’s his official title

Myrcella and the Sand Snakes

I know that that’s two very different types, but they are in the same area so that works right?  The Sand Snakes are Oberyn’s bastard daughters who are warrior women and want vengeance for their father’s death. Myrcella is weak as weak can be. She’s a silly girl playing at Princess. It is well noted that she’s a sweet girl in the books which protects her from a lot of the cruelty. A bunch is about to go down in Dorne and I’ll be interested to see if what new characters get introduced into the show.

There is foreshadowing in the books that Myrcella will one day be Queen for a while.

Daenerys

 This is the person that makes me the most upset that she isn’t strong anymore. She’s caught a Son of the Harpy and what she needs to do is feed him to her dragons and instead she holds him prisoner for trial. Welp, that works out as well as you’d expect. He is murdered while in custody and she then chops off the murder’s head in front of all of her supporters.  Who suddenly don’t support her anymore (she’s the only one surprised by this). Let. Your. Dragons. Loose. Burn this city to the ground. Now. Seriously woman.

She does bond with Drogon for a moment which is nice.

I’m pretty sure he’s saying “Why haven’t you figured this out yet?”

Varys

What do you mean he’s not a female? Well he doesn’t have all the requisite man parts so I’ll count it. He once again shows that he knows what’s up as does Tyrion. We finally get to see Tyrion become a little motivated again and Varys is doing a good job encouraging him. I mostly just want to mention that the next time I go on vacation I want to travel in a carriage like that.

Yes, yes she is. Oh and Qyburn is the creepiest creeper ever.

Gilly and Shireen

Gilly is trying to learn to read and is being taught by Stannis’ daughter Shireen who has greyscale. I find it so interesting to hear Gilly talking to her about the disease. In the books the wildlings are openly disgusted by Shireen’s illness and think she should have been put to death years ago. I’ve always wondered if an interaction with White Walkers would change Shireen’s illness for better or for worse. Shireen for someone so put down is actually a lot more independent than you would think. Gilly on the other hand isn’t so much. She does seem to have a bit more character development here though and maybe she will end up better than she does in the books (not that she’s a bad character– just a forgettable one).

Lyanna Mormont

All the Mormont women are strong forceful women and I have to say I love her response to Stannis. That’s what I would like to think I would have said to him. She’s lost her mother and her sisters (they aren’t all confirmed dead, but it doesn’t look great for them) and she still sticks by the Starks. Even though there aren’t really any Starks left either– that she knows of. These are she-bears who ride into war– they won’t be pushed around by any pretender King. And I love her for it.

Bye Felicia.

We also see Stannis offer Jon Snow Winterfell and the title of Lord Stark. This has to be the hardest thing ever to turn down. This is what he would have dreamed of, but in true Jon Snow fashion he sticks by his word and stays with the Watch.

The Frozen/Game of Thrones mashup you always wanted

Sam also manages to get Jon Snow elected as the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. I’m mostly disappointed in how they did this on the show. The book had this election last for days and Sam tricked all the people running into supporting Jon so that he won. Also when he won Lord Mormont’s bird flew out and chose him as well. So much more flair.

So this week we learned that most of the women in Westeros are weak, simple minded, idiots, but when they are strong they are super crazy strong. Thanks GRRM for writing such well rounded characters. . .oh wait.

(I do believe my recent marathon of rereading Brandon Sanderson’s books and seeing real women as leaders I’ve become angry at GRRM for writing such weak women).

There were an amazing lack of boobage this week and I am 100% happy with that. If you’re going to show me weak women at least leave their clothes on them.