‘Game Of Thrones’ Discussion: Six Questions About The Brutal ‘The Battle Of The Bastards’

We’re in uncharted territory on Game of Thrones. There are no books to work from — even George R.R. Martin might be surprised with what’s happening on the HBO series — and things could get confusing. To help you out, after every new episode, our Thrones experts will answer your six most pressing questions.

1. Is Daenerys pretty much unstoppable now that she has her dragons?

Ryan: It certainly seems like Daenerys has everything she needs to take Westeros with ease. She has the Unsullied, Daario’s mercenary army, a horde of Dothraki screamers, and a bay full of ships. And now she’s got three dragons that reliably do her bidding. How that last part came together is still a little mysterious. She’s ridden Drogon enough at this point that I can buy that. But Viserion and Rhaegal busting through a wall like fire-breathing Kool Aid monsters seemed a bit too convenient, if still awesome.

There are vocal critics of Game of Thrones who have accused Daenerys of being a Mary Sue, a literary term for an overly perfect character who breezes through all the challenges she faces with ease. Her flawless destruction of the Masters is the latest example that said critics will add to the list. But hey, she has dragons. They’re crazy powerful. So you better get used to Mary Sue Targaryen, because she’s showing no signs of slowing down.

Josh: I’ll get back to your point in a moment, but it’s worth mentioning that it’s amazing Daenerys flying around on a dragon and then trading smirks and wink-winks with Tyrion and Yara is the second most eventful thing to happen this episode. Game of Thrones is pretty wonderful sometimes.

Anyway, the only thing that can possibly delay (I won’t say “stop”) Daenerys right now is the Iron Islands. Euron and his self-proclaimed “big cock” are on the way, but don’t forget about Yara’s pact with the Mother of Dragons — she agreed that the Ironborn will give up raping and pillaging. I won’t comment on the former, but the latter might be a tough sell. The Iron Islands are harsh and largely inhospitable; its people have made a living by stealing from others. I don’t think the Ironborn are going to be thrilled about this new way of life. There could be blowback against Daenerys and Yara, who’s “up for anything.”

Smirk, wink-wink.

2. Is Davos going to have to stab a Red Priestess?

Josh: Apologies for sounding like a monster in advance, but: I don’t care that Rickon Stark is dead. I care about him as an idea (Team Stark for life, obviously), but as a person? Not so much. We never had the chance to form an emotional attachment with him; he’s been gone for too long, and even when he was on the show, his screen time was fleeting. I’ll go so far as to say Rickon had to die. In my defense, imagine if he hadn’t been killed by Ramsay — Wun Wun would have been the only “good guy” to die. That’s simply not plausible in a battle where, to quote Lou Reed, all the dead bodies piled up in mounds. You need an occasional hero to fall; otherwise, you’re in Stormtrooper territory. The fatal arrow through Wun Wun’s face was a bummer, but again, it didn’t hit me the way Hodor’s death destroyed me in “The Door,” or Shireen’s did last season. Davos feels the same way.

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