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. Things might get confusing. To help you out, after every new episode, our Thrones experts will answer your six most pressing questions.
1. Who exactly is Edd bringing back to the Wall to save Jon Snow?
Ryan: Wildlings. The answer is obviously wildlings, and maybe a couple of giants to boot. Specifically, I’d guess that Edd will be dealing with Tormund Giantsbane and his more jovial, less cannibalistic brand of wildling friends. That being said, it’s not so much who’s coming back as what. Ser Davos isn’t wrong when he says they need to even out the numbers in order to survive their situation, but that means potentially kicking off another major battle between the Night’s Watch and the newly immigrated free folk.
Then again, it seems like Ser Alliser didn’t murder Jon Snow because he planned on continuing his brother’s wildling amnesty policy. So why not bring a whole bunch of angry wildlings with weapons into the mix? Game of Thrones isn’t the kind of show that shies away from battles and death, which is good because we’re probably going to get some of that when Edd returns with allies.
Josh: Ser Alliser really should have thought this one through. The Free Folk might not take too kindly to the man who fought beside them being slain. I get underestimating Melisandre — after all, he’s never seen her give birth to a smoke-demon that assassinated a would-be king — but Melisandre, Davos, the wildlings, and a direwolf? That’s a recipe for disaster. And I have an appetite for seeing Olly get what’s coming to him. Let’s say we get the battle we both think is coming. What does the Night’s Watch look like then?
Ryan: It looks like nothing much at all, but don’t be too bummed out about that. The Night’s Watch has been on its last legs since season one. Maybe replacing the celibate force of conscripted rapists and criminals with a more flexible group of Free Folk and Northmen isn’t the worst thing that could ever happen… unless there’s some magic junk regarding the Wall’s ability to keep the Others away that’s tied into the Night’s Watch brand. But hey, after “Hardhome,” I’m kinda #TeamWhiteWalker at this point. Let’s get those things south of the Wall so everyone sees who the real enemy is.
2. What crazy mission are the Sand Snakes about to drag Dorne into?
Josh: The mission: Keep the Lannisters in the show. A Dornishman was arguably the best thing about season four, but Dorne itself was a colossal failure in season five. The Sand Snakes failed to leave a positive impression, and no one spent the months between “Mother’s Mercy” and “The Red Woman” demanding vengeance for Myrcella. “That character we haven’t seen in forever is dead? Oh well, that’s Game of Thrones for you.” But Ellaria Sand, who quickly disposed of Prince Doran, matters, because she’s out for Lannister blood, and honestly, what are other purpose do Cersei and Jaime have right now? Their father’s dead, their horrible son’s… also dead, their other son’s the king, but barely acts like it, and Tyrion’s walking around like a rich man in a foreign land. Game of Thrones is more interested in the future, and Cersei, Tommen, and the other Lannisters/Baratheons are the past.