Okay, Episode Three is in the bag, and I’m feeling maybe a little less wild-eyed and more thoughtful about the show at the moment. These are less predictions than they are reflections. Still, I now have a stronger foundation for my whacky ideas about what is to come for the rest of the show, so buckle up– here we go.
And, of course….
Again, tentatively, but I don’t want somebody hunting me down with a catspaw blade because I ruined the show for them.
One note about spoilage– there has been a great deal of it online around leak episodes and scripts, and so far some of it has been pretty accurate. At this point, for example, everyone knows Jon is going to lead an expedition north of the wall, probably in Episode Six, which apparently will get its ass kicked and cost Dany a dragon. That common knowledge helps feed my speculations.
(What, you didn’t know? Sorry about that. Please put the knife down.)
- What is it with people online expecting Dany and Jon to get down to business (and I ain’t talking about accounting) in the next episode. Crap, she and Jon just met, and they are antagonists at the moment, people– their agendas are in direct conflict. You’ve waited more than six seasons for this encounter, give it a chance to simmer.
- This, of course, ignores the fact that if Jon is, indeed, the child of Rhaegar and Lyanna, then Dany is his aunt. Face it, folks, that’s kinda problematic. How does this work, boo for incest if it’s between the bad guys, hurrah if the good guys are doing it? Ugh.
- On the other hand, it may yet be just an assumption that R+L=J. People watched the Tower of Joy sequence, and because it cut from an unidentified infant to Jon Snow, they assumed the theory was confirmed. I think it is at least possible that the show runners may yet jerk that rug out from under us.
- Of course, if so, then Dany and Jon are not related. In which case, Defcon One, Jon Snow….
- The whole interplay between Jon and Dany at their first meeting was worthy of a stage play. No special effects, no epic battles, just two determined people with irreconcilable agendas confronting one another. Some people thought it was boring, but I’m not one of them. What were they supposed to do, get into a knife-fight? Story-wise, this is exactly what needed to happen, as Dany’s plans begin to run up hard against the reality of what’s actually going down in Westeros, and Jon risks being eaten by a dragon because he knows his war is the real deal, not this petty dynastic squabble with which everyone else has been obsessed for the last six seasons. A foundation had to be laid, and this was it.
- And no, they don’t like each other. Think Beatrice and Benedick, only with dragons and undead.
- Damn, that sounds good. They did it for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (a wretched film, btw– can’t speak to the book), why not for Shakespeare? Too bad Bill is dead, I think he’d love the concept.
- Speaking of reality checks, Dany has come to rely entirely too much on political theater (which was what the dragon fly-by was about, of course, and the whole recitation of titles). I think she’s going to find that sort of thing doesn’t, well, fly as well in Westeros as it did in other parts of the world.
- The whole sequence where Cersei poisons Tyene and leaves her and Ellaria in the dungeon, just out of reach of each other, was heartrending. Ellaria deserves to be punished, and Tyene has her own sins, but this is vengeance and cruelty, not justice. Of course, one of the points of the show is that this is a world short on justice and very long on cruelty and revenge. In that kind of world Cersei’s actions approach the status of logical consequences, which only tells you how depraved the moral order of Westeros is.
- Contrast, then, Jon’s treatment of Alice Karstark and Ned Umber – where Cersei would have acted with petty cruelty, Jon shows mercy, even when his own sister is urging vengeance. It makes you want to pledge fealty right there.
- In the realm of actual predictions, from here on out major characters are going to start dropping like whores’ knickers. Melisandre hinted at her own death and Varys’ in Episode Three, and I suspect they won’t die in bed sipping cocoa. Varys will probably get cross-ways of Dany somehow, because people who think in terms of “the realm” are sometimes awfully inconvenient to monarchs.
- I suspect the showrunners have a much dramatic end in mind for Melisandre. Perhaps she’ll give her life in the fight against the Night King, and so atone in some degree for her crimes. In any event, I doubt she will suffer a straw-death.
- Beric Dondarrion is going to get it (finally and for good) when he follows Jon north of the wall (oops, spoilers, remember?), but not before he gets to use Thoros’ flaming sword, which should rock hard as a scene.
- Arya will make it back to Winterfell, but I predict she’s going to cautiously infiltrate the place to determine the lay of the land, and there may not be the sort of uber-joyful reunion we had with between Sansa and Jon.
- In the process, Arya may kill Littlefinger. I’m just hoping.
- If Littlefinger does make it past Arya’s return, at some point he’s going to spill the beans about Jon’s true parentage (if there be beans to spill). There have been plenty of hints he knows the secret. Who knows what will happen then; it could be someone will even silence him in a rather permanent fashion to keep the secret secret. From some points of view, Jon as a Targaryen would be an inconvenient truth– it would probably destroy the allegiance he has won from the northern lords, among other things. This could go any number of ways, though, and nobody who isn’t named Benioff, Weiss or Martin has a genuine clue as to the whole story.
Enough for now. With each episode the possibilities narrow and the dramatic tension becomes more focused. Anyway you cut it, we’re in for a ride.
I just wish there were more than four episodes left in the season.