It Is Known: “Blood of My Blood”

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There seem to be two dominant thematic motifs at work in “Blood of My Blood,” simultaneously building off of and tugging at one another. On the one hand, there is the conceit of returns: most notably, Uncle Benjen Stark makes his grand debut on the narrative stage after a five-year and 53-episode absence, but there’s also Arya Stark’s existential return to being Arya (after chasing a long string of aliases and alternate identities, starting with Arry and ending with “no one”), Jaime Lannister’s involuntary return to being merely a “ser” after serving a short spell as “lord commander,” and Samwell Tarly’s reversion to a timid, meek, impotent child in front of his father’s unyielding gaze. Hell, even the likes of Drogon and Lord Walder Frey get their chance to re-enter the storytelling fray after noticeable absences of their own.

(It’s easy to see the pull that this particular theme holds on the writing staff. With a cast of characters, both main and tertiary, that teems in the several dozens, setting each individual up and allowing him to have his moment in the narrative sun is both a necessity and a privilege, one that can take entire seasons – or more – to execute. And as we continue to barrel down the final storytelling stretch, it becomes all the more imperative for each of these disparate individuals to be gathered up once again; now that we’ve touched base with the likes of Osha, Rickon, Benjen, and “the late Walder Frey,” Gendry and the rest of the brotherhood without banners will undoubtedly not be far behind.)

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On the other thematic hand, there is the pattern of decay or deconstruction (and not in the analytical or literary sense), best exemplified by a pair of developments: the Freys’ inability to maintain their hold on the riverlands after having so flawlessly implemented their strike against the Starks and their coup against the previous liege lords of the territory, the Tullys, and the fledgling (and improbable) Lannister-Tyrell alliance’s being shrewdly outmaneuvered at nearly every step by the High Sparrow. Given that the show is predominantly couched in a highly politicized court setting, in which the major aim of each faction is to accumulate as much influence over the Iron Throne as possible (if not, of course, actually claim the crown for itself), this is to be expected to begin with, but both Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire take an especial joy in delineating the degeneration of – well, whatever: military plans, political partnerships, assassination attempts (as we see in this week’s installment with Arya rebelling against her assignment from the Faceless Men), marriage arrangements, and, even, individuals’ psyches.

It’s material rife for the very basics of drama – namely, conflict, conflict, conflict – and it’s easy to see how it has served, and will probably continue to do so until the very end, as the narrative soil from which the various characters sprout up out of (and, even, occasionally blossom). If nothing is ever meant to last in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, then neither can the sporadically-appearing ancillary characters; Benjen’s reappearance, for instance, might be meant at least partially to tie up some loose threads, but there is little doubt that Walder’s sudden reemergence in the plot is anything other than to provide the very beginnings of his ending and, just possibly, start to resolve the occupation of the riverlands by the “unjust” Lannister-Frey regime.

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Then again, this being Game of Thrones, there is just enough of a tendency for this decay motif to affect either audience’s expectations or the clichés of the genre, making it impossible for one to predict either the short- or long-term developments of the story with any sort of certainty at all.

Well, except for Jon Snow’s resurrection, of course.

 

You can view all previous It Is Known posts here. Or you can peruse my older column, Anatomy of a Throne, here.

153 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. I find it perplexing that those aware of the WW threat don’t seem eager to spread the word on the upcoming doom: why doesn’t the Jon-Sansa small counsel talk about WW? Why doesn’t castle black send Ravens or riders to all the major lords warning of WW return? Why Sam didn’t earn his family of what is coming before leaving?

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    2. Dothraki Gid,

      Nobody believes in those tales. No mass communications in those days; Only Ravens. And even then, how many times has CB sent out Ravens to every house telling of the threat and that they need more men? Stannis was the only one who believed it, and that was only because Davos and Mel pushed him. So…those old fairy tales couldn’t be true, right? Think of things most don’t believe in our world: Big Foot and others like it that some are convinced are real and try to tell us, but are not believed by most people.

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    3. Dothraki Gid,

      I think they tried. I remember one letter by Lord Commander Mormont I think to the small council of King Joffrey, which read “the cold winds rise, and the dead rise with them” back in season 2 or 3. They just ignore it because they don’t believe it. They think it’s a phony claim to urge lords to send more men to the wall

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    4. So are we going to get the episode 8 preview Sunday night before the official title is revealed? Has that happened before?

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    5. Dothraki Gid,

      Yeah, its been done plenty of times and nobody takes them seriously. The parallels of this fantasy/fiction show resonate so well with today’s world. Scientists (read as Earth’s Watch) have been crying out about global warming for the last decade or more. But there are still Southerners (read as Republicans) living in denial, thinking that all this is a mummer’s farce

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    6. Forgive my stupidity. but Sam, has a baby, What did I miss. he says it’s his. But he was at the Wall. He shouldn’t be allowed, right?

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    7. As for Jaime Lannister becoming merely a “ser” after being Lord Commander. Doesn’t he become Lord Lannister of Casterly Rock? He is Tywin’s legitimate and eldest male heir. Wouldn’t he also become Warden of the West? It was only because of his position in the King’s Guard that he wasn’t eligible to inherit the title, etc. So, this is actually a pretty good deal for him.

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    8. Dee,

      Yes, but he claims it is his. And at the Wall you are not allowed to have Children? Could it be that Jon Snow sent him to the citadel to become a Maester that somehow ends that vow of no Children?

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    9. JOB,

      Well he just lied and said it was his because he wants to protect the child. A child out of incest let alone a wildling is not safe in Westeros. But mostly he was lying to his father.
      Im not sure he cares about vows anymore.

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    10. Frankenhound would be a very broken man…

      And also I want to see some Brotherhood without Banners…any way Gendry is galavanting around w Thoros of Myr?!

      Thoughts

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    11. Onion Knight don’t cry,

      I wouldn’t mind him just appearing.

      in affc he kinda just appears although we knew he was in the RL

      I also wouldn’t mind he and Daenerys (in the rowboat) passing Theon as he approaches Slaver’s Bay.

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    12. That would be amazing!

      Or

      If Gendry was a Bravosi fishmonger and sailed into harbor…saw Arya and they battle the Waif!

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    13. Nice piece Marc; but do you seriously think Gendry’s coming back? What on earth for? Unless they want to end the war against the WW with a representative of all major Houses. No Baratheons around any more.

      Thanks Rhaenys Stark!

      Αλλά τι χαζομαρες γραφουν στις λεζαντες!

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    14. Jack Bauer 24,

      We got the title and synopsis for ep 4 and 5 the friday before ep 3, and the title and synopsis for ep 6 and 7 the friday before ep 5. So…..tomorrow will be a good day.

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    15. Sou,

      Χαχαχα προσπαθούν να το παίξουν αστείοι κατάλαβες… 😛
      I don’t see how Gendry would be of any use to the story now but I really liked the actor. Nonetheless, I think we will all be happy to have him back to our favourite show. Unless they kill him right away lol

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    16. The great thing about GoT is that we really don’t know what any character’s purpose is truly and if Gendry were to appear I would have to believe that there is a great purpose of some sort…
      In Dan and Dave we trust…
      *cough except Dorne is useless cough cough*

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    17. Dothraki Gid:
      I find it perplexing that those aware of the WW threat don’t seem eager to spread the word on the upcoming doom: why doesn’t the Jon-Sansa small counsel talk about WW? Why doesn’t castle black send Ravens or riders to all the major lords warning of WW return? Why Sam didn’t earn his family of what is coming before leaving?

      They’ve tried a couple of times

      Jon was sending letters to all the Northern Houses last season (remember Sam laughing at Smallwood and Jon saying “not him” in reference to Lord Bolton)

      And before that to the Small Council after the Battle of the Fist where they shrugged it off as superstition

      Obviously it’s a bit of a case that the further south you get the more cynical they are

      Of course the irony of Dany landing in Dorne and going northward and hopefully Euron intersecting with Sams storyline by striking at the Citadel and upwards is that the southerners will be in their own form of panic while the northerners will be worked up about the WW;s, eg the Umbers can’t have failed to notice an increase in Osha like WIldlings rambling on about encroaching White Walkers etc

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    18. Horn Hill are non believers as well…

      And Sam just stole their only defense

      Speaking of which… If the Nights King dies in battle then do all the wights and white walkers fall…chop off the head of the ?…
      This would mean we would only need a few Valyrian steel swords or dragon glass pieces to prevail…

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    19. Yeah it’s quite interesting, if my theories hold I’m “shock horror” starting to see the sense and the theme relating to the order in which the show has included things

      Eg KL and RL relate to the Lannisters arc, split amongst Cersei and Jaimie, North and RL relate to the Starks, split amongst Jon and Sansa, with the adversaries in the RL being the Lannisters/Freys

      Eg the Lannisters have suffered a hit, but are slowly working their way up, get a victory but catastrophically crash at the end

      What interested me was Jaimie no longer being in the KG, sure you can criticise the writing side as he doesen’t get to finish White Book entry etc etc but in terms of a visual medium it is a precursor to only seeing Jaimie in Lannister armour and the fact I reckon the Lannisters (and Tyrells) are set to be evicted

      Some conjecture though as to his status, eg when Tywin died Cersei became Lady Lord of Casterly Rock, no small thing but she wants to remain Queen. But now I’m trying to figure out if she is still aiming to be Queen and has been happy for Jaimie to re-take up his birthright as Lord of Casterly Rock. Perhaps we’ll find out next week depending on how he introduced himself?

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    20. Ghosts Lunch,

      Did you see that blip in Bran’s vision of Jaime sitting on the Iron Throne!?

      Perhaps foreshadowing…way too early in the Game to start talking that though…lots of work still to do…

      Btw I hate Tommen for completely different reasons than Joffrey…but still all the same

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    21. The other side to that is the Starks, the Starks seem to have had an inverse relationship with the Lannisters for some time, eg Tywin melting down Ice is the high point for the Lannisters and the low point for the Starks

      So consider this season as an arc of the Starks re-rising, they’ll have some victories (eg getting Bannermen to back them), suffer a blip with Rickon and Edmure getting killed which equates to Lannisters re-taking Riverrun but than a spectacular ascension

      This holds on two levels, I reckon Sansa ascends to being Queen in the RL as the “Tully Queen”nand perhaps Jon in the North but more likely Bran perhaps, he’s the 3-eyed Crow now but he is also the King in the North once he steps back through the Wall and Robbs heir. Possible though he may abdicate to Jon if he knows the truth about the Tower and that he is of Royal lineage as a kind of stand-in to Robbs heir

      This is where like Benjen it is great to look at the early episodes, in particular Sansa. In particular her conversation with Catelyn when doing her hair, about in this case wanting to marry Joffrey as “she’d be Queen some day” and it being “all she ever wanted”.

      She is very much a Southron and Cats daughter, add to that Littlefinger putting into her head the idea of her ruling and then he did it again in Moles Town when referencing the Tully’s and the idea of an army of her own

      So Jon and Sansa have been rather awkwardly merged but they’ll diverge again

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    22. Dothraki Gid,

      Did you see what happened when Gilly told the Taryls that Sam killed a White Walker? She might as well have said he killed the Easter Bunny. These people have no idea what is going on, the problem is thousands of miles away, out of sight. Sounds familiar.

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    23. Onion Knight don’t cry:
      Ghosts Lunch,

      Did you see that blip in Bran’s vision of Jaime sitting on the Iron Throne!?

      Perhaps foreshadowing…way too early in the Game to start talking that though…lots of work still to do…

      Btw I hate Tommen for completely different reasons than Joffrey…but still all the same

      Yeah missed it on my rewind pause session but saw it on a video review, obviously some people have better screen grabbing abilities than me lol

      Aside from the thematic links between Mad King being heard and very qickly seen for the first time as Dany speech at the end, It is quite fascinating to ponder that they’ve included this grab of him sitting the Iron Throne in his KG armour in the same episode he was stripped of it

      Could be a case that he is the Kingslayer but Kingmaker as well in a sense, someone pointed out that he isn’t just chilling there, given all the stabby points no one sits comfortably on the Iron Throne

      Could be a case that he has lost the Kingmaker ability as he has lost influence over Tommen?

      Or it could be a case that the event has folded in on itself where he struck down the King as a KG and now he has been struck down as a KG by the King.

      Of course we haven’t hard the term Kingslayer for some time so it could be a case of he is now “Jaimie” and perhaps it’s no coincidence he is heading back towards Brienne?

      lol, I soooooo want to see Casterly Rock

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    24. Goooooood stuff!

      And ooooooo Casterly would be amazing …actually we may next season…GoT is trying to film in Canary Islands and are negotiating…might be CR time there!
      Glad to see Horn Hill
      Also on a side note I cant wait to see or Id like to see these other places

      Deepwood Motte
      Old Town
      Assai
      Summer Isles
      Southos!
      The Fingers
      AND THE INSIDE OF THE TOWER OF JOY! ?

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    25. O for sure I knew that…they spoke of it just before Ned’s first small council meeting…but I do feel like Dan and Dave are selective in what they show and use and its usually multi-purpose deliciousness ?

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    26. Dothraki Gid

      I find it perplexing that those aware of the WW threat don’t seem eager to spread the word on the upcoming doom: why doesn’t the Jon-Sansa small counsel talk about WW? Why doesn’t castle black send Ravens or riders to all the major lords warning of WW return? Why Sam didn’t earn his family of what is coming before leaving?

      The trouble is most of the noblemen of Westeros don’t give a damn about the Wall or the Night’s Watch. To them, the Night’s Watch is a dying institution, fit for an age long gone. They couldn’t care less about what’s happening north of the wall, no matter the threat: wildlings, white walkers etc. Thousands of years have passed since the White Walkers fought the First Men – the noble houses consider them nothing more than fairy tales.

      From what I remember, with the exception of the Stark family, Tyrion and Stannis are some of the few highborn of Westeros that actually took notice of the Wall or the Night’s Watch. It’s a sad state of affairs: Westeros is falling apart.

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    27. Dee:
      great read

      also, soooo so so happy about Benjen <3

      Me too although Im NOT digging his new look… I was kinda into the FRESH face and not this new decrepit Benjen.. but hey I will take him anyway they give him…

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    28. Ice Spider,

      Haha cut the poor guy some slack, he’s been roaming north of the wall for god knows how long now and he’s been stabbed with obsidian TWICE!! He’s not looking too bad, considering. At least his flesh isn’t rotting off, yet… 😛

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    29. Onion Knight don’t cry,

      We’ll probably see Oldtown and the inside of the ToJ, but that’s about all I reckon. HBO don’t have bottomless funding, let alone the time it would take to setup scenes in every place on ‘Planetos’ 😉

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    30. Cosine:
      Ice Spider,

      Haha cut the poor guy some slack, he’s been roaming north of the wall for god knows how long now and he’s been stabbed with obsidian TWICE!! He’s not looking too bad, considering. At least his flesh isn’t rotting off, yet… ?

      Yeah I know. But not quite what I was hoping for when I saw him again. He was one of the hotties I enjoyed. Now he’s kinda walking death. But I love the Starks. So I’m down!!

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    31. Sam is now running around with a big brain and a valyrian steel sword… Gendry is floating around somewhere with an unknown part to play and skills in blacksmithing…
      Perhaps they will meet and together they will figure out how to create more valyrian steel. Perhaps they will melt down Heartsbane and create valyrian steel arrowheads…

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    32. I don’t get why many people care so much about Gendry. We haven’t seen him in almost 3 years and he’s not got a very big role at all. Explain what interests you about him. Thanks!

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    33. Onion Knight don’t cry: And ooooooo Casterly would be amazing …actually we may next season…GoT is trying to film in Canary Islands and are negotiating…might be CR time there!

      Calling it.

      After whateverthefuck happens this season, Jaime turtles up in Casterley Rock, intending to make the best of a bad situation by ruling as Lord Lannister… only for Dany and Tyrion to make landfall nearby as part of their invasion of Westeros! Cue epic confrontation!!
      “I stabbed your dad!”
      “I shot your dad!”
      “I have dragnz!”
      etc etc

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    34. JOB: Forgive my stupidity. but Sam, has a baby, What did I miss. he says it’s his. But he was at the Wall. He shouldn’t be allowed, right?

      I was wondering about that as well. I mean, yeah, we know the baby is really Craster’s little incest-baby that Sam is passing off as his own son.

      But the Night’s Watch vows is very specific that they shall not father any children. Sam is passing off li’l Sam as his own child, therefore he is basically admitting that he broke the Night’s Watch vows. I’m surprised that Randyll Taryl, who despised Sam so much he basically threatened to kill Sam if he didn’t take the black, didn’t even say anything about Sam fathering a child (or taking a “wife” for that matter) which is so clearly against the NW vows. One would think that as soon as Sam came to Horn’s Hill bringing along a son and the mother of his baby, Randyll would immediately punish them, letter from the Lord Commander or no letter.

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    35. Onion Knight don’t cry: Did you see that blip in Bran’s vision of Jaime sitting on the Iron Throne!?

      Perhaps foreshadowing…way too early in the Game to start talking that though…lots of work still to do…

      Not foreshadowing. A flashback. After Jaime killed the Mad King, he sat on the Iron Throne “to keep the throne warm for Robert.” Ned Stark made him get off the Iron Throne when he showed up in KL and saw what Jaime had done.

      Pretty sure that was referenced in S1 a few times.

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    36. Yes I know that I mentioned that in a different post…however I also believe that thevwriters choose to show us the past for multiple reasons …that certain events also shows us a glimpse into the future…Ned mentions this just before his first small council meeting as Jaime “greets” him to KL..this is when they reference it…but I think D and D show us history to write the future as well..albeit indirectly …

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    37. Awesome!

      I believe 9 is called Battle of the Bastards

      And 10– Winds of Winter

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    38. Rhaenys Stark,

      Interesting. If “No One” was legit, it’s probably safe to assume that the titles for E9 (Battle of the Bastards) and E10 (Winds of Winter) are also legit.

      If so, I’m kinda surprised that they went with that title for E9. It’s a bit more “on the nose” than most GoT episode titles tend to be.

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    39. I was surprised too but perhaps its inevitable based on events that occur in 7 and 8…where Hardhome was a surprise and the Wall was not in ep8 before ep9 Watchers on the Wall…Blackwater was named after the battle so that was a bit more like this one perhaps

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    40. Onion Knight don’t cry,

      I can’t see Gendry voluntarily hooking up with Thoros after the BWB betrayal of Gendry, actually selling him over to Melisandre. It could happen if they ran into him again, I guess. Davos saved his life, and told him to go back to King’s Landing and hide in Flea Bottom. I think that’s what Gendry intended to do. Now obviously that plan may have gotten canceled by unforeseen events, etc.

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    41. Onion Knight don’t cry,

      Well ‘ Winterfell’ or ‘Wolfswood’ (as someone here suggested) sound better to me but I really don’t care much about the title as long as the episode is good. And it will definitely be one of the best so they could name it Bastardbowl for all I care 😛

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    42. I want to engage in some speculation and I hope some of you will react to it and give me your opinions: Edmure. He obviously hates the Freys. Do you think D&D will redeem him, by letting him do something heroic? Maybe he will be the undoing of the Freys. I would love to see Sansa & Jon slice Walder Frey in pieces, but I think I would settle for Edure getting his revenge. Anything to get rid of Walder Frey. And his sons.
      I’m also suspicious of the fact that we don’t see The Blackfish die. Hoping that somehow he and the remnants of his army survive to fight with Jon.

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    43. Dee,

      I think he’ll get into a ”commanding” attitude before the battle and he’ll snap during it..

      Sadly I believe Rickon will play a part in this…..

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    44. Roz’s Ghost,

      I will speculate with you…The King in the North! will be avenged…and although the living are fine candidates to lop off the knucklehead of Walder Frey …who I want revenge on more than any character in GoT… I am still holding strong on the front that Lady Stoneheart will be the one to take him down…

      But Edmure Jon Sansa Arya Blackfish or one his own child bride or his sons will do …but I want his whole House to the ground so I am hoping the Walder boys get it too

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    45. Dee,

      Unless

      she kills the Waif in ep.7, reaches Westeros by ep.8 and wears someone else’s face.

      I have no idea what I’m saying xD

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    46. Dee,

      Yea what Ive learned is that every time an amazing victory and or incredible battle that will bring me joy appears on the show …it all came with a high price an iron price or a bunch of paying with someone awesome’s life…

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    47. Dee: then whats going to happen to arya in episode 7 ?

      My guess?

      E7 is the Arya vs. Waif fight. Arya kills Waif with Needle.

      E8 is probably the episode with the final resolution with the Faceless Men when Arya officially abandons the “No One” persona, leaves Braavos, and heads back to Westeros.

      If the “two truths, one line” revelation that Arya takes three names off her list is legit, I’m guessing Arya kills Waif (name #1) in E7, either the Sansa actress or Jaqen (name #2) in E8, and Walder Frey (name #3) in E10.

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    48. Rhaenys Stark,

      haha no I wanted to check before I read it

      yeah the more I think about it, the more it could be that… and that’s why its called no one? lol
      at least I hope. I want her to leave bravos asap

      Josh L,

      I like that – did not read the spoiler cover

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    49. HelloThere,

      they were posted by someone a few days ago but theyre not confirmed
      honestly don’t read them theyre very spoilery – wish I didn’t see them

      unless you like to know hahah

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    50. JohnnyLaw,

      Perhaps Sam isn’t done collecting Valyrian steel, either. At least in the books, doesn’t a Valyrian steel sword named “Vigilance” belong to House Hightower of Oldtown?

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    51. ygritte,

      1) King’s bastard, probably his oldest male son – making him Robert’s heir, since Robert never had legitimate children. He has a potential claim to Storm’s End, Dragon Stone, AND the Iron Throne

      2) He loved Arya, and wants her as his lady (and he’s probably the only man in Westeros who could make Arya want to be anything close to a lady)

      3) he’s a loose end that needs to be tied up!

      4) He’s super hot

      You know NOTHING!

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    52. ygritte,

      Because he is the actual heir of the IT, he was a fun character to watch while he was with Arya, he survived the Red Priestess, and he is still out there rowing his boat and possibly still alive. Plus he is very cute.

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    53. Josh L:
      Rhaenys Stark,

      Interesting. If “No One” was legit, it’s probably safe to assume that the titles for E9 (Battle of the Bastards) and E10 (Winds of Winter) are also legit.

      If so, I’m kinda surprised that they went with that title for E9.It’s a bit more “on the nose” than most GoT episode titles tend to be.

      Yep, if ep8 matched the previously leaked titles/synopses then this information is pretty legit IMO.

      I don’t see what the fuss is about Battle of the Bastards as an episode title: we know this battle is coming and it’s the title that was being loosely used around the set, so it’s highly probably let this came from from the script (assuming the titles have been assigned at that stage).

      As for episode 10. Get hype- the Wall is falling (as I’ve always suspected) ?

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    54. Its sad…the Wall is one of my favorite characters…the Climb…the Watchers…the Jon Snow Sam discussion about love and Jon professing hes not a “bleeding poet” before the death of Igrette.. Jons slaying… And his return and revenge…Hold the Gate doesnt happen without the Wall around it… And most of all the very first scene ever as the Nights Watch rangers set out on a journey along with us and still, 6 seasons later, are on that journey…the Fall of the Wall will be epic…incredible…a sight to behold but on that day I will witness it as a friend’s passing…however, Onion Knight don’t cry…

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    55. Apollo: As for episode 10. Get hype- the Wall is falling (as I’ve always suspected)

      The Wall falling down as the S6 final scene was my speculation since before the season even started. I’m still sticking to that speculation. Everything is lining up for it to happen.

      It’d also be a great “holy #$%^!!!!!” moment to end S6 with, and push S7 hype even higher.

      I’m 80% positive it’ll happen. I also suspect that other indications that “Winter is here” will also happen in E10, such as:

      Snow falling at King’s Landing, a white raven making an appearance, and the deaths of Kevan Lannister / Grand Maester Prycelle via Varys’s “birds.”

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    56. Here’s a crazy idea: Battle of the Bastards: Arya finally makes her way to CB, reunites with Jon, etc. Fine. But as they go about assembling the armies to fight Ramsey, and planning their attack, maybe Gendry actually does show up with Thoros, or possibly through some other means, & Davos & Melisandre know he’s Robert’s, and of course Arya vouches for him, so Gendry ends up, somehow, with Jon. So that’s another Bastard. LOL!

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    57. Dee:
      Josh L,

      I also have predicted for this season finale, and I don’t like at spoilers during the off season. But yeah. Its happening people

      I’d say 90% of the folks around here were predicting it. It’s logical for both end-S6 and end-TWOW.

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    58. Josh L,

      If that does happen it increases the odds that the speculation about the Night King’s mark is true, in which case, oof, poor Bran. That would be probably the most epic fuck-up of the entire series.

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    59. FireKitty: 1) King’s bastard, probably his oldest male son – making him Robert’s heir, since Robert never had legitimate children. He has a potential claim to Storm’s End, Dragon Stone, AND the Iron Throne

      A bastard cannot inherit anything unless he’s legitimatized by an actual king. That’s why Ramsay Snow had to be legitimatized by King Tommen before he could become Ramsay Bolton and inherit Dreadfort (and eventually Winterfell). There’s no way any king will legitimatize Gendry, especially since that’d immediately place Gendry above them and make Gendry king.

      Because King Robert had zero legitimate children, his legitimate heir would then be his next older brother — Stannis. And since Stannis (and his entire family) got wiped out, the next person in the line of succession would then be Renly.

      Unfortunately, Renly’s dead as well.

      I believe the next person in the line of succession would then fall to King Robert’s father’s oldest brother (if such a person exists) and any children Robert’s uncle would have. Failing that, it’d then go to Robert’s paternal grandfather’s oldest brother and the oldest surviving member of that family. I don’t know how the Baratheon lineage well to figure out who it would be, but considering that the Baratheons and Targaryens intermarried at some point, it’s entirely possible that the next legitimate living heir of King Robert would actually be Dany. (Or Jon Snow if R+L=J is true, and R married L before they died.)

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    60. Josh L,

      That was a gorgeous scene in the novels, but it worked mostly because nothing else was resolved.

      Here, they have numerous possibilities: Dany either leaves Essos or reaches Westeros. Wall falls, or the Walkers pass through it. Summer died (sob) metaphorically beginning Winter.

      long way of saying I’m not sure if they need that white raven to make the point that circumstances have changed, so tune in season 7.

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    61. Chad Brick,

      yeah, many unsullied I have spoken to thought it was a bit early, as in ” why would have 13-15 episodes of WW battles and stuff”

      so its going to be extremely shocking for most viewers.

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    62. The debate is not if the Wall will fall but how it does…horn in novel? /the arm mark key as Bran passes threshold in the show? Still horn in show? A really big gust of whitewalker breath? Edd throws a party and actually manages to knock the fooker down? Jon shows up like a disappointed dad?

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    63. Onion Knight don’t cry,

      Waiting for winter, maybe?

      I agree it’s questionable, but if the Wall really is going to fall, the mark is the only thing that has been remotely set up and we’ve only got four episodes to go. There’s been no mention at all of the Horn of Joramun.

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    64. Sean C.,

      Just like there was no mention of

      Valonqar, but Jaime will still kill Cersei

      Just like there were no RW visions in S2 or Dothraki ones, yet Dany still did those things and Rob still died.
      Or those visions the crone has, Balon still died…etc.

      The show doesn’t really forshadow so much.

      But I agree with you, that the mark, as of now, seems the safest bet. What I want to say is that I wouldn’t be suprised if the

      Horn is what brings down the Wall in the end though.

      .

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    65. Mihnea,

      The difference I see there is that the other things you cite are storylines, character actions, etc., where cutting prophesies and the like did not detract from the underlying concerns. It doesn’t matter that there were no visions of the Red Wedding; the Frey story proceeded much as it did, and we had Tywin’s letters, etc.

      The Horn of Joramun is a plot device. It’s the sort of thing where introducing it at the last minute to resolve a series-long obstacle (the Wall) would feel cheap.

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    66. Mihnea,

      What about the horn Sam found in episode 2.08 ? Could that possibly be the Horn of Winter ? Perhaps something will happen with it upon his arrival at the Citadel ?

      On another note, I also find it interesting/strange that the vision Bran has in 4.02 and again in 6.06 shows a dragon (presumably one of Dany’s) flying over KL, and yet there is no snow in KL in those shots. It seems strange, given that by now snow should be starting to fall there. It’s also strange, given Dany’s vision in the House of the Undying at the end of season 2 of the throne room covered in snow and dilapidated. Which is something Bran also saw in 4.02.

      So I’m really wondering how all of this is going to work out in terms of timing, and also with respect to Cersei potentially burning KL. She really doesn’t seem crazy enough for that yet (she even was the voice of reason last episode when talking to Jaime), and I don’t see her getting there by the end of this season.

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    67. Dee: Josh L, I also have predicted for this season finale, and I don’t like at spoilers during the off season. But yeah. Its happening people

      Ohhhhh yeah 🙂

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    68. The Wall can fall whenever the Walkers pass through it, as that would undo the Wall’s magic, which is the thing keeping it up.

      How will the Walkers manage, though? Bran knows the Walkers can follow him wherever he goes, magic be damned, so why would he risk all of humanity by going south of the Wall? He’s a smart kid, a self-sacrificing Stark. He’d have to be dragged through against his will. Then there’s Sam’s broken horn. The show’s done so little with it that using it for something so earth shaking would be anticlimactic. Then there’s Euron. But Euron doesn’t have a horn in the show.

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    69. I said the same thing about Sam 2.08 and people were like What horn? ?…

      Do yo homework people!

      Goooood stuff MarkStark

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    70. maria: long way of saying I’m not sure if they need that white raven to make the point that circumstances have changed, so tune in season 7.

      Is it needed? Probably not, but the show has already established that white raven = season changing. There was a white raven in the first episode of S2 to signify that the Long Summer had ended, and fall was here. I can’t see why they wouldn’t continue that conceit.

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    71. Markus Stark,

      That horn won’t be ever mentioned again. At that point they were still following the books page by page because they didn’t know where the story will eventually go, because they didn’t had that talk with Martin yet.

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    72. Sean C.:
      Onion Knight don’t cry,

      Waiting for winter, maybe?

      I agree it’s questionable, but if the Wall really is going to fall, the mark is the only thing that has been remotely set up and we’ve only got four episodes to go.There’s been no mention at all of the Horn of Joramun.

      I’m guessing Brans greenseer capabilities also have something to do with it. I doubt there’s been many opportunities for the NK to make contact with the most powerful greenseer who ever lived. The NK did mark him in the vision after all, not in reality and seeing as the mark has crossed over that boundary, I’m guessing it can also penetrate the magic of the wall.

      Another point is that the WW army were very close to the 3ER cave when Bran was touched, so I’m guessing they were waiting for this opportunity and/or were perhaps en-route to the wall after they had procured a huge army at Hardhome.

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    73. Mihnea,

      Well you’re the one who said you think the Horn could be the reason why the Wall falls, despite no set-up. I’m just saying that if they do go that route, there is no reason not to use what they did set-up : the horn Sam found.
      And that horn exists in the books too, and is in Sam’s possession at the Citadel. No reason why it can’t come into play. If it’s going to have a role in the novels, GRRM probably told D&D about it.

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    74. Mihnea: The show doesn’t really forshadow so much.

      You’re confusing foreshadowing with prophecies. The show doesn’t do prophecies … much. But the show certainly does a ton of foreshadowing.

      Example:

      Book prophecy: Melisandre looking into the flames and trying to see Azor Ahai, but only seeing “Snow.”

      TV show: Melisandre meets Thoros of Myr, and learns the resurrection trick in S3. Sam telling Ollie “Jon Snow always come back.”

      The same with the means of the Wall falling (if it is to fall at the end of S6, as most of us are speculating). It has to be something that the show has set up. Bran being “marked” is one such set-up. Yeah, there’s also the horn that Sam found at the Fist of the North, but that hasn’t even been mentioned of referenced at all since then. If it was to be important, it’d be brought up every so often. It wouldn’t be that hard to do.

      Sam arrives back at Castle Black. “Oh yeah, I brought those dragon glass and this horn. The dragon glass kills White Walkers. I don’t know what the horn does, it seems to be broken.”

      A scene of Sam researching the horn when he’s in the Castle Black library.

      Sam leaving to become a maester: “I’m bringing this horn. Maybe I’ll finally fix it or find out what it does there.”

      Those scenes would’ve been sufficient to keep the horn in our mind, and to subtly alert us that it’s an Important Item and will probably come into play at some point. The show never did any of this set-up. It’s likely a long-forgotten plot item, remembered only by the hardcore-est of the hardcore fans.

      If the horn suddenly became important in bringing down the Wall, it’d come off as extremely deus ex machina, which is something the show has strived hard to avoid as much as possible (not 100% — see Brienne’s miracle rescue of Sansa/Theon and BenHands’s rescue of Bran/Meera — but they don’t rely on Surprise Items of Power).

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    75. Josh L.,

      At this point, any horn being used to bring down the Wall would be extremely deus ex machina. But if they do go down that road, they might as well use the horn Sam found.
      It’d be slightly less of an outrageous deus ex machina.

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    76. Sean C.,

      So what do you think brings the wall down … the door being left open/unguarded because all the NW are killed (by Ramsey)? The way Sam and Gilly got through? Bran passing through the wall and allowing the NK to pass through? The wights going over the wall and opening it from the other side?

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    77. Darkrobin,

      The NW being killed (which I don’t think will happen) functionally makes no difference. They’re not capable of defending the Wall against the White Walkers (or anyone else) anyway.

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    78. M,

      It seems to me that Sam has a lot of “figuring” to do in a pretty short time. It’s not as though a time-lapse montage of Sam learning things at the Citadel is a possibility as winter is already upon the realm. As such, he will likely need to meet up with another character already in “the know,” or stumble upon a dusty book with all the answers. And now equipped with valyrian steel, that would seem to be part of the solution . . .

      Season 1, I seem to remember a scene with Bran trying to learn archery and his siblings making fun of him. Perhaps the Night’s King will be done in by a valyrian steel arrow to the heart from Bran or someone under Bran’s control . . .

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    79. Sean C.,

      Do you think in the show that there is magic which would hold the WW back regardless of whether the wall is manned or not? They’ve brought men who have turned through the wall so there is no magic that keeps wights from going over the wall (as we’ve seen they are quite adept at climbing). But do the WW just walk though or does something (Bran or something else) need to occur to allow them through on the show. In the books you have

      an mythical horn

      but I don’t see that on the show

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    80. Darkrobin:
      Sean C.,

      Do you think in the show that there is magic which would hold the WW back regardless of whether the wall is manned or not?They’ve brought men who have turned through the wall so there is no magic that keeps wights from going over the wall (as we’ve seen they are quite adept at climbing).But do the WW just walk though or does something (Bran or something else) need to occur to allow them through on the show.In the books you have

      but I don’t see that on the show

      My guess it that Bran is the “key” to the Wall for several reasons. Otherwise the WW would simply have gone through already, especially now that they have a huge army.

      And from a storytelling viewpoint, there’s zero point in having a 700ft wall of magic ice without that thing falling at some point. From a show/CGI/cost perspective though it’s difficult to be sure what they’ll do (although I doubt D&D would avoid showing this in all its glory).

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    81. orange:
      Onion Knight don’t cry,

      Jaime sat the iron throne after he killed the Mad King. It’s where Ned found him. I don’t think it’s anything more than a nod to that.

      I agree that it’s a nod to what Jaime did after killing the Mad King. I disagree that it’s not meant to be more than that. Because as people around here were so fond of pointing out before we got this flashback, there was no reason for Bran to have a vision of Jaime slaughtering the Mad King. Well guess what? He did have that vision, and it didn’t end there – it ended with showing Jaime sitting on the throne. I think those who have finally begun to question it (as in, “Hey did everyone see that? Why do you think they did that?”) are right to do so.

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    82. Aryamad,

      I was thinking the only one that could defeat The “new” Mountain in a trial by combat is his younger brother. It’s a bit intriguing that we haven’t seen him die.

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