‘Game Of Thrones’ Discussion: A Very Popular Theory Was All But Confirmed

With so many book-to-show changes, and the fact that many plots are caught up with George R.R. Martin’s text, we’re only doing one Game of Thrones recap this season: this one. Please try to talk about last night’s episode, not plot points half a season away (context from the books will be provided as needed, though nothing will be spoiled). Also, each week’s recap will be broken down into (Faith of the) seven questions that need answering, beginning with…

1. Did anyone else, even just for a second, think this was Gendry?

No, just me? Okay, moving on…

2. Why did Cersei send Mace Tyrell out of town?

Margaery and Loras’ Master of Coin father is off to the Iron Bank of Braavos because King’s Landing is out of money (those pigeon pies don’t come cheap). Anyone could have gone, or the matter might have even been solved through ravens, but Cersei strategically moved an important chess piece off the board. Once he was gone, she attacked, basically giving free rein to the High Sparrow’s army of religious fanatics. It went splendidly, for Cersei at least (or so she thinks): Throats were slit, whores were shamed, and Loras was thrown in prison. Disarray has been sown between Margaery and Tommen, who’s too naive to let his Kingsguard spill blood outside the Royal Sept. A kind Lannister? What’s next, Stannis showing actual human emotion? Oh, wait…

3. And what about Meryn Trant?

This season, more than any other, has been about pairing up characters. Brienne and Podrick run into Littlefinger and Sansa, Jaime and Bronn head to Dorne, etc. Arya, I mean, No One has Jaqen H’ghar to keep her company at the House of Black and White, sort of, but she’ll need something to do, other than weakly dust the floor. Guess who’s coming to Braavos? One of the names on her list: Meryn Trant, who killed Syrio. Good thing she didn’t toss Needle into the water.

4. Why did Melisandre try to have sex with Jon Snow?

In an interview with EW, actress Everything’s Coming Up Carice van Houten admitted that she’s not sure if Melisandre is “attracted to a younger, beautiful guy,” referring to Jon Snow, “or if there’s more to it.” There’s more to it. I mean, maybe the Red Priestess wants to teach that redhead-loving Know Nothing a little something something (and if she gets a shadow-demon-baby-assassin out of the tryst, all the better). But she also wants the same thing as Stannis and Davos — to march to Winterfell with Jon and his army — and she used her womanly ways to get it. To no avail. He refused because he’s a proud dip who, well, knows nothing, as seen here.

That is the most Jon Snow face that’s ever Jon Snow’d.

5. Are Samwell and Gilly actually the “hottest couple” on Game of Thrones?

While it was nice seeing a Gilly on SNL who wasn’t that Gilly, I must respectfully disagree with Samwell and Gilly being named the “hottest couple” on Game of Thrones. The correct answer is obviously Bronn and Jaime. The rugged duo bicker and give each other a hand (or not) like in a real relationship, and they even share a romantic, not-at-all-subtle sand snake dinner on the beach. They’re a dating saying come to life: I Want to Be the Reason You Look Down at Your Sword and Smile, Then I’ll Stab a Horse and Make You Finish Off the Bloodthirsty Rider Using Your Digits as a Shield. That’s love. Do you disagree?

6. What’s the significance of Barristan’s (probable) death?

You mean, outside one of the few decent people on this show, someone who’s been around since the third episode, sacrificing his life? Well, it could mean either one of two things, or maybe even both: Dany finally unleashes her dragons, because f*ck that city and all its soon-to-be-a-pile-of-bones residents, and without Barristan, she’ll need someone else to protect her from the riff-raff. And a certain former-protector is heading her way, with a gagged, wine-thirsty prisoner to boot.

Also, Game of Thrones has terrible job security.

How did you find out [you were going to die]?

Ian McElhinney: It proves you should probably not read the books. I’ve read the books. So I thought this season I was going to have more to do, and I was really looking forward to that. And then I got my dates from my agent and I thought, ‘That doesn’t tally.’ Because there was no way if they were sticking to the books that I should be in for that number of weeks. It seemed to me they must be writing me out. So I had a word with the line producer and said, “Can you corroborate that they’re writing me out?” Then the [showrunners] rang me and told me, ‘Your time is up in this series.’ So perhaps I took them by surprise that I knew. (Via)

7. R+L=J?

R+L=J. You may have a read a thing, or nine, about this popular theory, which posits that Ned Stark isn’t Jon Snow’s father; Rhaegar Targaryen is, and his mom is Lyanna Stark. Both characters were prominently mentioned in tonight’s episode, Rhaegar twice, first in the crypts by Littlefinger, who told Sansa about how Rhaegar chose her aunt at the legendary Tourney at Harrenhal (an event so scandalous, it ended the reign of the Targaryens), and again, right before Barristan the Bold (who lost to Rhaegar) was killed by the Sons of the Bitches of the Harpies.

Plus, Stannis casually mentioned to Selyse that it wasn’t Ned Stark’s way to sleep with some “tavern slut.” It was a lot of time spent on characters most non-book readers don’t care about, which means R+L=J is either all but canon, or the showrunners like f*cking with us.

Both are plausible.