Spoilers are cooming.

Game of Thrones got a little hot this week. Brienne and Tormund shared some heat, as did Dany and the Khals.

Only four episodes into Season 6, and we are thankful to see some direction returning to Game of Thrones! Gone are the days of filler episodes and slow narrative progressions. They are delivering twists left, right and centre. Suddenly a collection of bad-asses are amassing at Castle Black. You’ve got the newly resurrected Jon Snow, increasingly prevalent Davos, reinvigorated Melisandre, an empowered Sansa and a whole bunch of loyal Wildlings. Don’t forget Briene of fucking Tarth, who might be courting the ginger-bearded Wildling leader Tormund.

They face fierce opposition from the apple-cutting, neck-stabbing, gore novelist Ramsey Bolton but they might have help from the Mother of Dragons that now adds Head Khalessi to her extensive resume (and name). Things are certainly heating up! (Oof, I regret that joke already…)

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The High Sparrow delivered an humble and humanising monologue this week. But what lies beneath the surface?

In King’s Landing

Cersei and Jaimie continue to run amok and do what they do best: Turn the enemies of their enemies into their friends.

The royal council crumble under the manipulative ways of Cersei, as she goes full blown ‘Emperor Palpatine’ and fuels the ever growing hatred for the High Sparrow. All eyes remain on what he has lying under his sleeves, having already sent Margery to be broken by her brother’s place in the dungeons.

At this point, we need to acknowledge Johnathon Pryce. His performance as the High Sparrow has been one of, if not the most impressive displays of acting on the show, since its inception in 2011. Humble, polite and grounded but with an assumed, unspoken sinister undertone: the character of the High Sparrow, with few to no clues, has viewers convinced that he is up to no good. Pryce’s monologue this week really sold that character while giving him a new human layer.

Prediction: It seems that many characters have adopted the Lannister’s plotting ways as we could see several ‘debts that need to be repaid’ towards the High Sparrow in the next few episodes.

Utterly captivating. Nothing else to say.
Utterly captivating. Nothing else to say.

At the Wall

Jon and Sansa reunited for the first time since episode number one and it was a real tear-jerker. The scene was masterfully orchestrated, with brilliant tension, cinematography and soundtrack. The production quality of this show is unparalleled.

Cause and effect is the most important indicator as to the reason things happen in movies and TV. Every single action, however big or small, is caused by another event and therefore happens for a specific reason. And there are a lot of causes without effects yet. Namely, why did Jon Snow die? So he could leave the Night’s Watch? No. Killing the main character is a seriously deliberate event. One reason for his death could have to do with ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’. If Jon is the ‘Prince who was Promised’ (look up the Azor Ahai prophecy), he has been reborn. Jon is reborn of ice, just as Dany is now reborn of fire. Parallels?

Also, props on the Brienne/Melisandre confrontation. Clever and unexpected.

Prediction: R+L=J confirmed.

Come on, Osha.
Come on, Osha.

In the North

Ramsay is right back at it again, and on the verge of a Predator Missile for his killstreak at Winterfell.

Ramsay knows of Osha’s intention to kill him from the outset, and intends to let her make a fool of herself and even reach for the bare, unattended blade on the table. Osha is a fool. This is a trick as old as time itself and she was easily sucked in.  Ramsay may be psychopathic, but he is also immensely intelligent and his actions are calculated and flawlessly executed. Ramsay Bolton is an utterly intriguing character. He, like Joffrey, is a very cleverly written, sadistic character who everybody can appreciate, even if he is hated. I personally cannot get enough of this character (#NewKingInTheNorth). He is destined to make some serious waves in Westeros.

Prediction: On one hand, Ramsay is going down. The North Remembers, and they will reclaim the seat of the Starks, but do not be fooled into thinking it will be a flawless plan. Ramsay is taking casualties. Some catastrophic. Dare I say he will take the life of Sansa Stark?
On the other hand, disagreements amongst the clans of the North could be their downfall, just like last time (too soon). Littlefinger and the forces of the Vale, the Umbers, the Karstarks, Jon, Sansa & Co. need some serious coordination to take on the Boltons’ empire. Also, it seems too easy and too ‘happy’ of GOT to give a win to the good guys here. Go Ramsay.

This kid just may just be the worst character ever.
This kid just may just be the worst character ever.

In the Vale

Littlefinger rears his head once again, manipulating the Lord of the Vale with a bird in a cage.

The ease of manipulation Petyr Baelish has over the delightfully painful Lord Robin Arryn strongly foreshadows the outcome of the story. Littlefinger has the Lord threatening his most loyal, unknowingly, in exchange for physical gifts… and approval. Baelish’s plan is meticulous and being executed perfectly. He’s going to be a big player when his storyline gets as much attention as Jon’s.

Prediction: That kid is going to die. Without question. And Baelish’s forces will be pivotal to a deal with Jon and Sansa in taking back Winterfell. But can Littlefinger be trusted after his last visit to the Stark’s home?

In the Iron Islands

Theon / Reek ditches the mainland and (somehow) catches a boat back home. He gets a frosty reception from his sister Yara, who is suspicious until Theon says she should rule Pyke.

Yara’s rightly wary; with the Kingsmoot pending she doesn’t need yet another Greyjoy jostling for the throne. Just now though, Theon’s in pieces (literally), so she can count on his support against crazy Uncle Euron. Even so, the Ironborn have never had a female ruler, and Yara doesn’t have Wall Street or Superdelegates to fall back on…

Prediction: If the books are anything to go by, Euron’s gonna rip shit up at the Kingsmoot with magic and badass dialogue. Stay tuned folks!

Trouble in paradise?
Trouble in paradise?

In the Far East

Tyrion exercises diplomacy, Daario discovers Jorah is a lizard and Daenerys lights up the room.

Tyrion discusses peace, at the cost of the bitterness amongst the slaves that are keeping him alive, which could indicate his role as the leader may be short-lived (Like father, like son?). Meanwhile, Jorah and Daario infiltrate the Dothrak Village, only to have Danaerys rehash her “walk naked out of the fire” trick from season 1 and reclaim her role as the rightful leader of the Dothrak people (again?).  The episode highlighted that even without her dragons, Danaerys still possess’ the ability to spontaneously combust any structure she chooses. Will Tyrion survive amongst the slaves of Mereen in time for Danaerys to return? Tune in next week for more passive-aggressive plotlines on “Game of Thrones”.

Tyrion’s diplomatic deal with the slave-masters exists in direct contrast to the traditional stalemate between the cities. This tension mirrors the disagreement between Jon Snow and the Night’s Watch, reflecting the theme of modernisation vs tradition (perhaps progressive vs conservative?). Are Jon and Tyrion endowed with a particular understanding of Westeros’ inevitable fate?

Prediction: Tyrion utterly failing due to ignorance is too unlikely and insignificant. This deal he is striking with the benefactors of the Sons of the Harpy is going to yield an interesting outcome… successful in one way or another.

Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, UNDISPUTED Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons. or just Dany for short
Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, UNDISPUTED Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons.
or just Dany for short.

 

Next week: The Door

‘The Door’ is a much less specific episode title than ‘The Red Woman’, ‘Oathbreaker’ and ‘Book for the Stranger’… or is it? Even though each week the title typically refers to a specific event, it reflects a deeper running theme throughout the majority of its scenes. The door could be Margery’s gaol cell, the rescue of Lyanna Stark at the tower of joy, Littlefinger enterring Winterfell or Jon and Sansa leaving Castle Black. Next week we will also see the Kingsmoot in the Iron Islands. Cue Yara vs Euron hype!

Interestingly, we will see the introduction of Kinvara, who goes by the full title of “High Priestess of the Red Temple of Volantis, the Flametruth, the Light of Wisdom, and First Servant of the Lord of Light”. Will Melisandre meet her partner in crime or her rival? Or will they not meet at all? Will Melisandre follow Jon, ‘the Prince who was Promised’ to Winterfell, wherein she saw Jon fighting in the flames? A lot of juicy plotlines still to come from the Lord of Light. The night is dark and full of suspense.


 

The Wrap-Up

Best on Ground: Sansa Stark. She’s only been at Castle Black for five minutes and has toughened up enough to wage war, but oddly not stomach some ale and offal. Daenerys’ triumph was impressive, but nowhere near as important character-wise as Sansa’s.

Spud of the Week: Osha. That ol’ use-your-sexual-prowess-to-distract-evil-man-and-reach-for-his-weapon chestnut. No surprises, she’s a goner. And rightfully so.

In memorium: Aggo, Osha, Khal Moro and the 10 other khals.

Next death: Young Lord Robyn Arryn. Surely he can’t survive much longer; he’s as clumsy as he is annoying and – unfortunately for him – lives in a castle in the sky.


Written cooperatively by Timothy Neville, Sam Corcrane, Gazain Zia and Ewan Roxburgh

(Our reaction to this episode)
(Our reaction to this episode)

 

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