A Man is amused
We’ll start in the North and work out way down through the kingdom as I understand the geography:
The North: Crickets.
The Riverlands: A surprisingly powerful set of scenes without any real on screen violence. Brienne and Jaime had a touching moment, and Jaime once again showed that he is much more interesting away from Cersei. Brienne managed to sting his pride a bit with her, “you are a knight” line of argument. He clearly respects her, and perhaps even cares for her in a platonic way. Brienne feels the same way, but they are on opposite sides.
At the end of the day, though, they are both very interested in honor. Keep in mind that Brienne is working for Sansa, who is rebelling against the Crown in a way and also suspected in murdering Jaime’s son. But he respects his word — and hers — enough to not cut her down in that tent, or have someone shoot her in the neck with a crossbow.
Bronn is hilarious as usual, and his brief possession by Buffalo Bill was one of the funniest moments from the show. “Would you fuck her? I’d fuck her. I’d fuck her hard.” Not word for word by any stretch, but the way he said it was just… pitch perfect.
I don’t know where the hell the Hound is, but I’m assuming he’s also in the Riverlands. His scenes were made of win, from start to finish. The way he walked right through the first camp, and the banter with the Brothers without Banners, was flawless. The boyish fantasy violence of the first set of killings was a great big “about time” moment.
One more detail: Does this mean Edmure is going to be allowed more freedom and latitude, or is he still going to be the play-thing of the Freys?
King’s Landing: She chose violence. Too bad the violence stopped short of ripping Lancel’s damn head off. Late in the week I had the hilarious idea that the Faith Militant should announce Tommen as their champion in a trial by combat, but it appears that is not to be. Oh well. Cersei’s continuing frustration at being cut out is going to make her dangerous, and I have a feeling whatever Qyburn is looking into for her will be the death of the Sparrow. I have a few theories.
We did not hear from Margery, which makes me wonder just what is up with her. That little announcement Tommen made was definitely the work of the Sparrow but I am not sure how much the Queen was involved. She has a long con planned, but Loras being tried before seven Septons may not end so well.
Dorne: Crickets. But I have a sneaking suspicion they’ll be back next week or the week after, with new guests.
Going across the sea…
Mereen: Varys leaves, Tyrion drinks, and then Dany shows back up by herself during a siege. I have a feeling the stolen Greyjoy fleet will show up, but at the same time: three dragons could rightly fuck a fleet of ships.
Braavos: I did not know the Waif was a Terminator.
Also, Arya is spry for someone with a slashed gut and at least two deep stab wounds.
The single candle moment with Needle was well played. Arya has lost to the Waif constantly but eventually was able to out-do her when blind — while the Waif could still see. She didn’t beat her but she did block the shot. With both of them in the dark, Arya had the clearest advantage. It was a nice touch seeing the face on the wall, too.
I am still unsure of what Jaqen thought was going to happen. He’s been preaching about becoming No One — even this episode — but he didn’t so much as object when she said she was Arya Stark and going home. Maybe this bullshit about becoming No One is just something they throw at people while they train them?
Also, I thought only death could pay for death — shouldn’t the Waif have killed Arya or the actress, but not both?
Theories, Speculation, Etc
The preview for next week pretty much featured the Battle of Bastard Hill and not much else. It looks like Tormund gets surrounded, and Wun Wun takes a lot of arrows. In fact, those archers are serious problems. But it also showed Davos seeing the place where Shireen was burned and he made a grim face at that. I’m… not positive what he will do.
Theories, in the reverse order of above:
The Iron Islands: As they weren’t mentioned at all I’ll actually start here. We haven’t seen Urine Greyjoy in a long time, show-wise. I do not know how long it takes to build ships in Westeros. If they have the technology Littlefinger uses to travel I would guess not very mnay episodes. Still, those ships didn’t sail themselves — he had to lose some sailors, too. By the time he gets to Dany she’ll either be dead or already have ships.
Braavos: We’re done, but I’d love it if Jaqen somehow stayed on the show. That actor is really good in his role, his theme is awesome, and we still don’t know why he was in Westeros. (I remain unconvinced he’s not either the many faced god and he merely has disciples, or that he was Syrio, or both.)
Mereen: Varys leaves just before that attack? To do what? I think he is behind the Harpies, in some way or another. I think he has taken the measure of Dany and realizes she’s a crazy ass bitch, too. If I had to guess his destination: either the North or Dorne, which are pretty far apart.
Either the dragons or the Greyjoys will save the day, or a combination of both. Still, flying on a dragon is a Game Genie way to travel so her new horde is at least weeks behind her. Even if that damn lizard only flies at about 50mph he’s outrunning the Dothraki by leaps and bounds because he can avoid forests, lakes, oceans, mountains, rivers, and all the other shit that slows down a caravan of Horse Riding Rapists.
Dorne: I expect Varys to show up here. I also think it is not a huge stretch that Olenna Tyrell shows up here — she and Varys were at least somewhat together on killing Joffrey, if I recall correctly. And he hated the little shit. Tyrells hate the Lannisters, Dorne hates the Lannisters, and the Targaryens hate the Lannisters. Also, it’s one of the least deadly regions in the world right now (which is fucking tragic!) because only people related to Alex Siddiq die here. Dany, what remains of House Martell(slash Sand), and the Tyrells are a natural fit right now.
King’s Landing: I’m tempted to put this off until the end, but there are so few good outcomes here.
First, if Cersei is convicted of incest and having Robert killed to cover it up, Tommen no longer has a claim to the throne. Through the natural progression, Dany is the only confirmed heir left. Stannis is gone. Renly is gone. Shireen is gone. Unless one of Robert’s bastards can be legitimized, it’s Dany or bust. Which may be the goal of the High Sparrow: he could replace the crown with a theocracy.
I do not see how Margery is helped by this, unless she plans on using the Tyrell might to claim the throne somehow. Or maybe she just wants to get the hell out of town. Even pregnant with Tommen’s baby doesn’t help if he isn’t the legitimate king.
Either way, Cersei sowed the seeds of her defeat, and Tommen may be following in her footsteps. Did good sense only get passed down from Tywin to Jaime and Tyrion somehow? He didn’t have an abundance himself (in many ways seeding his own demise), but he was smarter than Cersei.
Now, questions abound as to what Qyburn is looking into. There are a few possible answers:
– A secret about the High Sparrow. Unlikely, as he doesn’t give a fig about anything other than the gods.
– Aerys’ wildfire stock. I could see her roasting the Faith Militant with it. I have a feeling that all got used up, or that it’d backfire horribly.
– Some way to put a wedge between Margery and Tommen.
I expect her to take on all three in the next two episodes.
I also expect that someone is going to kill Qybyrn as soon as possible, because that dude is creepy.
Still betting on Tommen dying by season’s end.
The Riverlands: The battle is won here. I don’t know what’s going to happen to Edmure, or with the Brotherhood. But we have old friends Brienne and possibly the Hound nad the Brotherhood hanging out here. We’ve got the Freys, and for now Jaime Lannister. With the castle returned I expect Jaime and Bronn to head home — and arrive just in time to miss whatever fool plan Cersei has to blow up in her face.
That said, we still have Brienne, the Hound, and the Brotherhood. We also got a turd-wagon full of Freys. Brienne has a great deal of honor. The Brotherhood, in the books, hate the Freys. The Hound hates everyone. And the Freys committed one of the greatest sins in this world during the Red Wedding.
The Freys also are the only people in the realm currently in a celebratory mood. South, there is discontent and war. North, there is discontent and war. East and West there’s discontent and war. However, the Freys just got one shitty castle back and Walder is going to have a celebration.
What justice it would be if, during the celebration, they finally got theirs. In fact — how about Arya travels with a trope of actors, reunites with at least one person wanting to protect her, and manages to slaughter a few Freys. I thirst for the blood of the Freys like a demented Westerosi vampire.
Also, Brienne has failed at mission after mission. It would be suitable if she were able to help off a Frey or six and convince Arya to go with her north.
Along with the Brotherhood, who are aiming to kill some White Walkers it sounds like to me.
The North: We’re getting the battle next week. Game of Thrones is too cruel to let Ramsay die (and I vote they keep him to give to Theon), but anything other than a Stark victory would be ridiculous. Here’s how I’d see it playing out.
Ramsay is fool enough to meet Jon in the open rather than be under seige and let the rank and file lose interest in waiting outside the castle. He’s arrogant. He won’t face Snow man to man — Snow would destroy him in a “fair fight.”
The Starks are outnumbered, but they have some magic men from Bear Island. They have a giant (the last? I haven’t seen any others this season). They have Jon Snow and Davos, and I think Melisandre might have some sort of trick up her sleeve.
Rickon is probably going to die. The show has a hard time with little kids, and they really haven’t given him much development. It’d also steel the resolve of the Stark clan.
I hope Tormund lives, of all the people in this battle, because he’s hilarious and us ginger-beards gotta stick together.
I think there’ll be a hell of a fight between them. Even outnumbered, the Wildlings, Giants, Mormonts — they’ll hold their own. I expect a Last Stand type moment for the Starks, though. Surrounded. All hope lost — and then Littlefinger swoops in with the Knights of the Vale and crushes Ramsay’s force.
That’s how I’d write it, and more importantly, that’s how Littlefinger would. Even if he was able to get in the fray earlier, he’d wait until the last possible second to maximize the appreciation of the rescue.
Also, I think Sansa is pregnant with Ramsay’s child and she knows it. That will allow her to at least be regent “Wardeness of the North.” It would also complicate the hell out of the relations between North and King’s Landing.
I have a feeling we won’t get a true confirmation of who Jon’s parents are next episode, but someone will imply it. Isn’t House Reed a northern house? Where the hell is Howland?
The Ur-North: Bran and Benjen are going South, and I think during that Bran will use his abilities — and he will, in some way, help the Starks. An interesting, out-there theory would be for him to see the battle and see Rickon die and then flip his lid and mind-fuck Ramsay the way Hodor got it. Imagine if mid-charge the leader of the entire army fell over screaming gibberish.
Further Out Thoughts: The War of the Five Kings is over and it looks like it’ll be replaced with the War of the Five Queens: Sansa in the North, Dany on dragon-back, Cersei in King’s Landing (assuming she doesn’t fuck herself to death and I don’t mean by masturbating), Margery as the actual Queen, and Elia Martel as Queen in the South. With honorable mention to Queen of the Boat People Yara Greyjoy. Though someone should tell Yara she can’t get another woman pregnant.
Actually, given that Dany talks like she can no longer have children (is this confirmed?), Cersei will not have more (via prophecy), the whole idea of succession is facing a brick-wall in this show.
– I want to see Brienne and the Hound fighting along side one another, mostly because it’d be funny.
– Brienne, Tormund, and the Hound would be one hell of a trio in a bar fight. But Bronn’d win because Bronn wouldn’t get involved.
– I want Jaime to see a White Walker, somehow or another. Maybe next season he goes north to deal with that mess and sees one. I think it’d be quite helpful for his character development. He talked with Joffrey about the blank pages surrounding his acheivements, and he’s spoken to many about honor. There’s no honor like slaying White Walkers.
– Anyone trusting the Sand Snakes is a fool, unless they’re trusting them to kill Lannisters.
– I’d like to see Daario chop Urine Greyjoy’s head off.
– I’d still rather see dead Freys than dead Ramsay. I also kind of want Sansa to pour boiling soup on Ramsay’s dick.
– If Jon isn’t from R+L=J, then R+L= someone, and that someone is important.
– I feel that the show has done a great disservice to the potential scheming between Cersei and Margery. That could be a whole show, right there. We also could have an entire show of Varys and Littlefinger intrigue, to be honest.
– Hey, if Tommen can’t be king, could Melisandre revive that demon-baby she had with Stannis? Demon-baby for King 2016!