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 Stannis/Sansa/Theon survive?
We’ll get to the other, more important death (“death?”) soon, but the fate of these three characters is in the balance, too. Or, conversely, they could all be alive. I think it’s pretty obvious that the actual-Stark and sort of-Stark are still around, despite the preposterousness of not breaking every bone in their bodies with a jump that high (I don’t care if there’s soft snow to cushion the fall; it’s super far). But Stannis? The rule is always “if you don’t see them die, they’re not dead,” but what use would Brienne have for her beloved Renly’s brother? He’s been reduced to nothing; his army deserted him, his wife committed suicide, he burned his daughter, Melisandre fled, and he’s found bleeding in the snow from multiple stab wounds. Brienne might have taken pity on him (Stannis is very much not dead in the books), or she could have decapitated him. Don’t discount crazy people suggesting that Lady Stoneheart intervened, too. My guess: He’s still alive.
2. How did Arya go blind?
A girl must learn.
Arya deliberately disobeyed Jaqen by killing the wrong person. She’s sent out to assassinate the crooked insurance salesmen, but ends up crossing that pedophilic monster Meryn Trant off her list. Her punishment is her sight. In the books (yeah, yeah), Arya goes blind after drinking “milk.” The show apparently won’t handle her story the same way, and that’s totally fine. Preferable, actually, because Jaqen being able to rob Arya of her ability to see adds to his mystical intrigue. When Arya doesn’t listen, she disrespects the Many-Faced God and this is what happens. It’s her training. On the bright side, now she can team up with Foggy Nelson.
3. What did Daenerys drop on the ground?
You may have already forgotten about him because his name is so damn difficult to spell, but Hizdahr zo Loraq was engaged to Dany, until he was stabbed by a Sons of the Harpy. Such is being involved with the Mother of Dragons, whose first husband, Khal Drogo, also died.
Most of her khalasar left Dany and Drogo before he keeled over, but they’re still out there and endlessly circling their prey, apparently. Daenerys wisely dropped the ring given to her by Loraq for two reasons: 1) she doesn’t want to appear as a traitor to the people who she once rode with, and 2) for Jorah and Daario to find her.
As for how screwed she is, Pono may still be a khal (he declared himself so when Drogo was unable to intimidate anymore), but there’s no confirmation it’s the same tribe that knows Daenerys, or how they’ll react to seeing her again. More likely, someone else is in charge, although once the Dothraki, who tend to follow the strongest ringers in their pack, see a less-sleepy but very-hungry Drogon, that’s bound to change.
4. Did Qyburn outdo himself?
First off, give it up to Lena Headey, who was fantastic in her walk of punishment. She starts resolved before completely breaking down by the end of her spit- and blood-covered stroll. It was a great performance, one that culminates with her being carried away by the Zombie Mountain. He’s been resurrected by mad scientist Qyburn, who ironically was nearly killed by Gregor Clegane at Harrenhal. They’ve patched things up, though, and The Mountain is pieced back together with whatever was lying around Qyburn’s lair. Brillo pads, dead skin, mushy eggplants, etc. He’s been resurrected for one reason only… to murder “all his Grace’s enemies.”
This guy’s probably No. 1:
Then the High Sparrow. SHAME.
5. Was everything that happened in Dorne a total waste of time?
Pretty much. Why did Jaime and Bronn go there in the first place? To rescue Myrcella. Who (probably, maybe) died in the finale. A miracle resurrection is certainly possible, but her poisoning seemed pretty definitive; there were no boob antidotes to be found. It was a frustrating distraction, a way of giving Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Jerome Flynn something to do. That’s fine, they’re great! But they were trapped in a non-starter of a subplot, one that has potential repercussions (how will Tommen and/or Cersei react to one of their own being murdered?) but seems so far removed, not to mention boring, from everything else. In fact, let’s pretend the whole thing never happened, except for Bronn’s song and the most beautiful woman in the world.
6. Where is Sam off to?
The Citadel, where he’ll become a Maester. It’s located in Oldtown, south of Highgarden and close to the water. Sam better learn quickly, as he’s the closest thing Game of Thrones has to a sympathetic audience surrogate; the quicker he returns to Castle Back, the quicker he can warn everyone, AGAIN, about the White Walkers. Not that anyone will listen, AGAIN.
7. Is Jon Snow dead?
So, here’s the thing: No one knows. In an interview with EW, Kit Harington said, “I’ve been told I’m dead. I’m dead. I’m not coming back next season. So that’s all I can tell you, really.”
But of course he’d say that. Plus, notice how he says “next season,” leaving open the chance of a final season return. There’s a chance that Jon will still be around, but Kit won’t. One theory: Jon’s a warg, and that right before he died, he became Ghost (skinchangers can stay inside the mind of the animal they’re controlling even when their primary body is dead). Not a ghost, but his direwolf Ghost, which is actually the last word he says in the books. (Olly wasn’t the one to betray him, but the same general scenario happened; that Benjen Stark lie was a mighty fine troll job, too.) But the episode never showed Ghost near the stabbing, and unlike his brother from another mother Bran, Jon being a warg isn’t alluded to any point in the series.
The other, more likely scenario is that Melisandre brings him back from the dead. We know she can do it, she’s been interested in Jon since they first met, her faith in Stannis being Azor Ahai is waning by the minute, and she not so coincidentally returns to Castle Back right before he’s shived. Resurrections are possible on Game of Thrones, and considering how Jon was positioned as the hero the show needs (plus, without him, the White Walkers would once again be a force of nature that no one talks about), it would be shocking if he were gone for good. Then again, we said the same thing about Robb Stark… The only thing we know for sure: Is Olly the worst?