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. Who burned their rival better, the Queen of Thorns or the Blackfish?
Josh: In one corner, you have Olenna Tyrell, the Queen of Thorns, who was at her thorny best in this episode. I’m not sure which line was better: “I wonder if you’re the worst person I’ve ever met” (I say this at least four times a day), or “You lost, Cersei. It’s the only joy I can find in this misery.” She cuts Cersei to the core — her barbs slice deeper than any sharp object thrown at her during her Walk of Atonement. Cersei doesn’t respect the dirty commoners who linger outside her shelter, but she has a begrudging sense of appreciation for Olenna, whom she recognizes (and fears) as another powerful woman.
In the other corner, there’s Brynden Tully, the Blackfish, caretaker of Riverrun. Jaime and his army try to intimidate Cat’s uncle into abandoning his castle, but he and his men aren’t going anywhere. They have enough supplies for two years, and nothing but time. The only reason the Blackfish — who deserves a better rival than the blundering idiots Lothar Frey and Walder Rivers — decided to meet with the Kingslayer is because “sieges are dull.”
And the winner is… the Queen of Thorns, who not only had the better stinging witticisms, but she’s on her way to safety in Highgarden, semi-content in the knowledge that Margaery hasn’t been turned into a brainwashed slug by the High Sparrow. The Blackfish is a surly bastard, but his options right now are fight and die, or wait it out and eventually die. I don’t like those odds.
Ryan: As Tyrion once said, “Death is so terribly final, while life is full of possibilities.” It’s those possibilities the Blackfish is referencing when he asks Jaime if he’s got two years to sit around and starve him out of Riverrun. As we all know, Brienne is about to show up on the scene. The Brotherhood Without Banners may be vicious murderers now, but that’s not always a bad thing because they hate Freys and Lannisters.