by: Geoffrey Golia
In an episode aptly titled “Home,” life is breathed into this burgeoning sixth season…
Here we find ourselves, in uncharted territory, amongst the Winds of Winter, where I am forced to shed some of my smug, let-me-clue-you-in aura and join you Unsullied1. Still, what I lack in knowledge, I can make up for in providing context, context, context. So, let’s roll!
ATM: And he’s back! Just as you predicted last week, Jon is of the living! Well, we suppose. What’s the deal here? How does this magic work? And why do you think Sir Davos was petitioning Melisandre to help bring Jon Snow back from the dead? What’s his end game there?
G.G.: So, initially, I thought Melisandre was going to use R’hllor’s time-tested approach to raising people from the dead: a nice wet kiss. Remember Thoros of Myr continuously raising the once-dreamy Beric Dondarrion from the dead way back in Season 3? That is how us book-readers envisioned it, when we weren’t teasing the Unsullied with the idea that maybe Jon was just, well, dead. And here’s what’s really interesting: in the television show, a somewhat chastened and rather skeptical Melisandre, who appears to be feeling hopeless about her religious devotion, seems to utilize some other form of magic to bring Jon back to life. Not a kiss, but still a rather erotic approach if you ask me; and let’s not get started on the Christian imagery within that scene, what with the washing of the wounds. I can’t say how Melisandre’s magic works, or what “tradition” it comes from, but I’m going to suggest that Jon’s resurrection will speak to Melisandre (and maybe the ever-skeptical Davos Seaworth, among others) more powerfully than Stannis half-heartedly holding up a sword that’s on fire ever did. Jon’s clearly back for important reasons. I have my ideas, but I think it’ll be more fun to hear what others think in the comments!
ATM: Young Hodor (aka Wylis) – how special was that! And then young Ned and Uncle Benjen! And who was that young girl – is that Jon Snow’s mother? Tell us anything. Everything!
G.G.: Wylis. LOL. In the books, his actual name is Walder, believe it or not. Yes, like Walder Frey, that sonofabitch. I imagine they used Wylis so that loveable Hodor would not be tainted by Lord Frey’s given name. Perhaps this is one unambiguously good thing the show runners have done? (I kid….)
So, here we’re seeing Bran, assisted by The Three-eyed Crow, Brynden “Bloodraven” Rivers, a hundred-and-something-year-old Targaryen bastard, who has essentially turned into a Weirwood time-traveler, utilizing his greenseeing abilities to look back in time. In the books, Bran and Bloodraven, can only see through the Weirwoods, though they can see any time in the past, present, or future. This is pretty interesting, if not important, because this means that, at one time in the distant past, all the Weirwood trees could act as a kind of information hub to provide greenseers with the ability to monitor large portions of Westeros. It’s like the home-security camera I use to watch my cats play, but way more helpful for ruling an entire kingdom.
Anyhow, yes, it’s young Ned and young Benjen and the elusive and totally awesome Lyanna Stark, who many believe is the true mother of Jon Snow (I guess now it’s safe for you all to Google: R+L=J). If this is the case, and I strongly believe it is, Bran’s discovery of Jon’s true parentage will be powerful evidence of his credibility (I can’t say legitimacy, if you know what I mean?) as a potential ruler/savior of Planetos.
With that said, I’m excited to see what else Bran and Bloodraven come up with, and what they can use to generate 1.21 gigawatts if they get stuck on, say, Skagos.
ATM: Holy fuck is Ramsay evil! His dad – well, is it really evil to kill a Bolton? – and step-mom – is it really evil to kill a Frey? – and his new-born step-brother all feel his wrath. Please, tell us all you can about this monster!
G.G.: In the books (as in the series), Ramsay is Roose Bolton’s legitimized bastard. Why would Roose need his bastard legitimized? Oh, that’s right, it’s because Ramsay murdered Domeric Bolton, Roose’s surprisingly good-natured and capable heir. The story goes that Domeric sought out his half-brother, Ramsay, against Roose’s orders, as Roose knew of Ramsay’s evil nature. Domeric desired a relationship with Ramsay, and Ramsay, sensing an opportunity to become Roose’s sole heir, poisoned him. Roose, in the books and show, is aware of Ramsay’s nature, trying to harness his shrewdness and cruelty, while tempering his excessive sadism. And Ramsay, sensing that Roose’s child with his new wife may supplant him, decides to take matter into his own hands…with deadly consequences.
It’s clear Ramsay is not long for this world. Now that he has lost lost most of his confidants, and killed basically all of his family, he is alone, which I think is foreshadowing his doom. And it will be sweet…almost as good as the notion of watching Lord Frey kick the bucket in time.
ATM: What war does the three-eyed raven see coming?
G.G.: There’s a strong suspicion that what’s in store is a kind of final clash of Humanity (and allies) versus The Others and their army of the undead. The question remains, who are the allied combatants? And who leads them? Is it as simple as Jon and Daenarys’ earth-shattering love-making combined with some dragons and direwolves that banish evil forever? Will this lead the way for the Jorah-Daario spin-off we’ve all been waiting for? And if the prophecy is correct that there are “three-heads to the dragon,” will Tyrion be involved? Is what I’m proposing even legal?
ATM: Could you foresee that Tyrion was capable of being a dragon whisperer?
G.G.: Yes. And not just because I’m very intuitive; it’s indicated strongly in the book. One of Tyrion’s gifts, aside from his ability to drink Legolas under the table (Two Towers joke), is that he is well-read and very learned. The dude knows more about dragon-lore than Khal Drogo knew about killing dudes. Not to mention, as a kid he dreamed of dragons all the time, and desperately wanted one as a pet. And then there’s that pesky theory that Tyrion is a secret Targaryen, the child of The Mad King and Joanna Lannister, wife of Tywin and mother of Jaime and Cersei. I know, another secret Targaryen? Whether he is or not, I don’t know that it makes a difference, especially for the show, which I don’t feel is under the same scrutiny to be strictly consistent. To be honest, and not just because Peter Dinklage plays him, I think Tyrion is one of the most capable characters in the series.
ATM: Let’s dig into the arrival of Euron Greyjoy! What a sick fuck. Cutting tongues out of his crew’s mouth for silence! Please, let us know….what’s his deal!
G.G.: Euron’s just this guy, you know. No, but seriously, Euron is the outcast of the Greyjoy brothers. He is a seasoned and ruthless captain, has traveled all around the world, picked up magic and strange customs, and has a thirst for power and glory that would be impossible to realize whilst his brother, Balon, is still king. So, in typical fashion, he commits regicide and, due to a technicality in Ironborn customs, is in a strong position to compete well in the Kingsmoot – a kind of caucus, if you will – to choose the next iron-born King. And while I feel Yara (Asha, in the books) would be a pretty decent ruler of the ironborn, I think the end-game is that we’re setting up a redemption arc for Theon. But, as always, I could be way, way off.
There’s only one thing left to do: tune in next week! And, please, comment, comment, comment. I want to know what you folks think of this latest episode and what you want to hear about next!
- Non book-readers! [↩]