It was somewhat of a quiet week for Game of Thrones — no great houses of Westeros overthrown, not one living person murdered. The second half of season six started in similar fashion to the first, setting the stage for episodes six through ten, which — based on their names — promise to be massive.
What the episode definitely teased were more revealing visions from Bran. Even though he’s lost the heart tree and Three-Eyed Raven, it seems like he still has a lot of history banging around behind those white eyes of his. At the start of the episode, a multitude of moments flashed in front of him quickly and chaotically.
It’s unclear if Bran digested any of what he saw, but thanks to modern technology and our obsessive compulsion to break down all things Game of Thrones, we can make sure you do. Let’s take a look at everything that came out of his visions in episode six, “Blood of My Blood.”
There were many shots from past episodes that got replayed in Bran’s head. A lot of it was Stark related: Bran falling, Ned losing his head, Robb and Catelyn dying at the Red Wedding. The White Walkers also made several appearances; we got glimpses of the Fist of the First Men, Hardhome, the Children of the Forest transforming the Night’s King, and the Night’s King transforming Craster’s abandoned baby. Bran was also shown the birth of Daenerys’ dragons.
That brings us to the new footage.
There were visions of a dragon’s shadow flying over King’s Landing. Daenerys’ dragon? Or was this further in the past where Targaryen’s dragons flew over the capitol regularly? Bran has had visions of the future before; remember that he saw the sea swallow Winterfell in a dream shortly before Theon Greyjoy captured the castle.
More Tower of Joy footage. We’ve got young Ned’s hand (the armor in the image matches Ned’s armor from the fight scene with Ser Arthur Dayne) and what we assume is Lyanna Stark’s hand. And there’s a lot of blood, which just makes us want to know what went down in that damn tower even more now.
And then there’s our first look at Aerys Targaryen, the mad king. I’ll quote Jaime Lannister from season three of the show to explain everything we saw regarding Aerys and his wildfire.
“Have you heard of wildfire? The mad king was obsessed with it. He loved to watch people burn, the way their skin blackened and blistered, melted off their bones. He burned lords he didn’t like, he burned Hands that disobeyed him, he burned anyone that was against him. Before long, half the country was against him.”
“Aerys saw traitors everywhere. So he had his pyromancers place caches of wildfire all over the city. The sept of Baelor, the slums of Flea Bottom. Houses, stables, taverns. Even the Red Keep itself. Finally the day of reckoning came. Robert Baratheon marched on the capitol after his victory at the Trident. But my father arrived first, the whole Lannister army at his back, promising to defend the city against the rebels.”
“I knew my father better than that. He’s never been one to pick the losing side. I told the mad king as much. I urged him to surrender peacefully. But the king didn’t listen to me. He didn’t listen to Varys, who tried to warn him. He did listen to Grand Maester Pycelle, the grey sunken c*nt. ‘You can trust the Lannisters,’ he said. ‘The Lannisters have always been true friends of the crown.’ So he opened the gates… and my father sacked the city.”
“Once again I came to the king, begging him to surrender. He told me to bring him my father’s head. Then he turned to his pyromancers and said, ‘Burn them all!'”
“He said, ‘Burn them in their homes, burn them in their beds!’ Tell me, if your precious Renly commanded you to kill your own father and stand by while thousands of men, women and children burned alive, would you have done it? Would you have kept your oath, then?”
“First I killed his pyromancer, and then the king turned to flee. I drove my sword into his back. ‘Burn them all,’ he kept saying. ‘Burn them all!’ I don’t think he expected to die. He meant to burn with the rest of us and rise again, reborn as a dragon to turn his enemies to ash. I slit his throat to make sure that didn’t happen.”
Bran could actually hear Aerys ranting “Burn them all!” during his visions. Just foreshadowing before we get a more detailed vision showing the mad king’s fate, or a secret message connecting wildfire to the destruction of the White Walkers? Will wildfire play a role in saving Westeros from the Others, or is this a reminder that King’s Landing is full of the vile green stuff setting the capitol up for a fiery doom?
As usual, we’ve got more questions than answers. Good thing there are four more episodes in this season of Game of Thrones to (hopefully) explain a few things.