***WARNING: SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED ALL EPISODES THROUGH SEASON 5 OF GAME OF THRONES, BOOKMARK THIS ISSUE OF THE GEEKY BUGLE AND GO WATCH THEM! DON’T WORRY, I’LL WAIT***
As the days grow longer and warmer, flowers bloom and baron trees come back to life we know that spring is here, but make no mistake my friends; winter is coming. Game of Thrones is the best show on TV right now, so rather than cram my preview into one article that would be longer than the books; I found it only fitting to break it down into three parts. Why three you ask? Well, there’s three weeks until the show, three main regions of George R.R. Matins world, and I have three weeks to kill. If you missed part one and two of my preview read it here and here.
“The North remembers”
These words were spoken by a handmaiden to Sansa Stark as a way of letting her know that she still has allies in the North, but they may as well have been speaking directly to the viewer, as the North has a lot to remember. No land in all of Westeros has seen more turmoil and been more important to the overall storyline that drives Game of Thrones. From the beheading of Ned Stark, to the Red Wedding, to the battle of Hardhome last season, this land has not only seen change, but has also shown us that there is a much greater threat to the world George R.R. Martin created. The North remembers, and we should as well.
After the events of the Red Wedding through the land into chaos, Roose Bolton was there to usurp the power the Starks once held. Despised by the other Houses of the North, the Boltons have wanted to overthrow the Starks for thousands of years. While the Red Wedding gave them the opportunity to do so, their betrayal did not endear them to the other Houses of the North and their claim was questioned by many. To help validate their position in the North, Roose brokered a deal with Littlefinger in which Sansa Stark would marry Roose’s newly legitimized bastard, Ramsey. While this helped Littlefinger gain an ally in Roose, it only helped cement Sansa as a constant victim in this world. Ramsey is the cruelest, most evil character we’ve seen since Joffrey. Sansa’s story arch in season 5 was one of the most frustrating of all the characters. Those that were hoping to see the empowered Sansa that was hinted at in Season 4 were ultimately disappointed as she simply became another toy for a sadistic man of power. The torturer of Theon, Ramsey has the sociopathic nature of Joffrey but also has one quality Joffrey didn’t have: intellect. While he wasn’t busy raping Sansa or beating down an already broken Theon, Ramsey was able to demoralize and ultimately defeats Stannis’s army with the help of twenty “good” men. While Ramsey was on the battlefield killing the last remnants of Stannis’s army, Theon and Sansa finally decided they had enough. After killing Ramsey’s equally sadistic concubine, the pair took a literal leap of faith off the castle at Winterfell, their fate unknown.
Will the Ramsey finally get the long painful death he has so rightfully earned? Will Sansa step up and become the strong empowered female character we all want her to be? Will the Boltons be able to maintain their hold on the North? Will Theon just fucking die already? Sansa is a very intriguing character in season 6. In the second trailer we see her standing with an army behind her, and a Stark emblem on her chest. I think Sansa will be the person to rally the rest of the North together against the Boltons. And I hope that she gets to be the one to deliver the final blow to end Ramsey’s life.
One character whose absence was conspicuous, yet largely ignored last season was Bran Stark. We ended season 4 with Bran following the path of a lot of teenagers trying to find their way in the world: hanging out with a tree hugger and doing some trippy shit. Presumably, Bran will train under the Three Eyed Raven to become a master of warging. I think Bran will have a large role to play in the battle ahead. Maybe even warg into a dragon? Bran will also introduce more fantasy elements and magic into the show and it will be interesting to see if the casual viewers will be able to invest into something like that. Until proven otherwise, I have faith that Benioff and Weiss will be able to pull it off.
As every knife from his brothers of the Nights Watch pierced Jon Snow’s skin our heads were filled with questions: How did we get to this point? Why did Jon fall for such an obvious trap? When the hell did Olly become such a sadistic little prick? Jon’s journey through season 5 was one filled with moments of triumph and great self doubt. He began the season trying to broker peace with the King Beyond the Wall, and when all hope seemed lost Stannis came in to rescue him. Surrounded by enemies in the embattled and broken Castle Black, Jon seemed unsure of his place within the Night’s Watch. That is, until, the vote came to decide a new Lord Commander. Allistor Thorne, the acting Lord Commander after Commander Mormont’s death, appeared to have the rank well within his grasp. He had been acting Lord Commander for some time, and had much of the political pull necessary to win the election. Jon wasn’t even in the race until Samwell Tarly stepped up to nominate him, noting the times in the past that Jon has led the men of Castle Black, not the least of which his courage and leadership during the siege of the castle by the Wildlings. This impassioned speech led to a tie between Snow and Thorne with Maester Aemon casting the deciding vote in Jon’s favor. Jon didn’t waste time making enemies in with his new found power. He gave the Wildling’s shelter and food, two precious resources for the struggling fortress. It was when Jon made the decision to not only ask Tormund Giantsbane to gather his ‘free folk” from Hardhome, but to also agree to join him to ensure the Wildlings trust that the Night’s Watch aren’t trying to massacre them. This expedition beyond the Wall gave us one of the best sequences the show has ever produced. As Jon Snow began loading what wildlings agreed to come with him, the white walkers sprung a surprise attack on the small fortress. Outmanned and unprepared, this was less a battle than it was a massacre. The wildlings and Nights Watch fought valiantly, Jon Snow even took down a White Walker with the help of his Valerian sword Long claw. However knowing they had no chance of victory the surviving free folk and Night’s Watchmen retreated, with Jon Snow making eye contact with the Night’s King as the dead wildlings rose around him, assumedly transforming them into Wights and joining the King’s zombie army. All of these events led to the eventual mutiny and assassination of Lord Commander Snow. Believing his time spent with the wildlings had made him grow soft to them, the men of the Nights Watch decided that killing Jon in cold blood was their only solution, stating “For the Watch” with every fatal blow.
There is only one real question to ask here and it is the main one leading into season 6: Is Jon Snow actually dead? My theory is that he is dead, but will be resurrected with help from Melisandre’s magic. Way back in season 3 we saw another red priest, Thoros of Myr, resurrect people from the dead, and there has to be a reason for Melisandre running from Stannis’s side and returning to Castle Black. I hope they don’t make us wait too long for Jon Snow’s eventual resurrection as the longer it takes, the harder it is to suspend disbelief that he can be brought back. Furthermore, I think the reason this happened to Jon Snow is to help remove him from his oath to the Night’s Watch. Jon is an honorable man, one who will keep an oath until death, and now that he has died he is free from that oath and will be able to pursue his next course of action in the Great War ahead, free from any restraints that being the Lord Commander of the Nights Watch may entail.
That’s it for Game of Thrones my fellow geeks. I hope these previews have helped make you as excited for season six as I am. Join me next week, same Clock Dodger Time, same Clock Dodger Channel.