GoT, ASOIAF, and the two paths to the end

Well, one of the things that happens when you don’t do a lot of blog posting is that you fall WAY behind on your GoT/ASOIAF commentaries.  My bad.  Our friend and fellow GRRM fan Patrick is way ahead of me on all things Season Six, and frankly he has helped motivate me a bit (thanks man!).

So, now that life seems to be getting a bit more under control, it’s time for me to start catching up on all that.  After all, Season Six starts six weeks from this Sunday.  And there is all sorts of stuff to talk about.

Since the show is now ahead of the books, the variations in the storyline will continue to diverge a bit, but as we have said, the end game is something the writers of the show have always known, thanks to GRRM sharing it with them.  So while there will be differences in the way the stories are told, the ending is going to be the same. And we will still see a lot of general overlap in the two storylines, even if many of the details vary.

Of course, everyone is (understandably) going nuts over the trailer and what they see (or think they see) in it.

So, since Patrick had an outstanding scene by scene summary of all the good stuff (note that this version is different from the one linked to above, as it is intended for those who have read the books and generally know what’s going on), I will suggest people check it out if you haven’t already.  But I have a few things to add of my own.

Most people are freaking out about the fleeting (supposed) sighting of Jon Snow in the trailer, riding a horse and quite alive.  I honestly can’t tell if it’s him myself, at least just from that scene, but frankly I think it’s highly, highly likely that he will be brought back to life.  In fact I would go so far as to say that’s a gimme.

Much more significant in my mind are two other scenes (not Other scenes, although I’ll get to those too) that seem to show what is almost certainly one of the most important events in the book: the Tower of Joy.  In fact, the first time I saw that fleeting scene showing six men of the North (at least, six that I can see clearly), standing in the outdoors in an area that looks fairly desolate, I thought to myself “Seven Hells, that’s the Tower of Joy.  That’s Ned Stark and his companions! HOLY CRAP THEY ARE ACTUALLY GOING TO SHOW IT!!!”

As I suspected, in Season Six (and almost certainly Book Six) we are finally going to see Howland Reed.  Wow.  Just wow.  We know he was there at the Tower with Ned and the rest of their companions: Ethan Glover, who had been Brandon’s squire; Martyn Cassell, brother to Ser Rodrik and father to Jory; Theo Wull; Lord William Dustin, whose widow Barbrey (Ryswell) Dustin was so angry at the Starks and spoke with Theon/Reek in Book Five; and Ser Mark Ryswell.

These six men fought three of the best members of the Kingsguard there at the Tower of Joy.  In fact, we see one of these men in the second Tower of Joy scene, where he can see him fighting two of the Northern men while wielding weapons in both hands.  And more importantly, we can clearly see the Targaryen sigil on his breastplate.  That’s a dead giveaway that it is indeed the Tower of Joy fight we are seeing.  We can’t tell which Kingsguard he is supposed to be, although he does not resemble the book descriptions of any of the three as far as I can tell.  But I think it likely he is supposed to be Ser Oswell Whent, if for no other reason than he is not wielding Dawn (so not Ser Arthur Dayne) and he does not look big enough to be Lord Commander Gerold Hightower.

I also imagine that if we are going to see the fight, we are also going to see Lyanna Stark.  WOW.  I wonder who will play her.

And furthermore, I imagine that the whole question as to the promise that Ned made to her, will finally come out.  As a result, I think it is safe to say we will finally know the whole story of who Jon Snow’s mother really is, and thus who Jon himself is.

This story, the story of the Tower of Joy, is hands-down the most important thing to come out of the Season Six trailer, in my opinion.  Sure, the fact that Jon is not dead is important (especially to those who have only watched the show) but it’s only the tip of the iceberg.  And it’s not nearly as important as why Jon has to come back to life.

Anyway, a few other points I wanted to make.

Clearly, there is going to be a large battle again in the North somewhere.  On one side, the Boltons, and the other… is not entirely clear yet.  But I do hope it will be someone loyal to the Starks, even if just the memory of the Starks.  I seriously hate the Boltons, and even if they fight White Walkers I am not going to cheer for them. To paraphrase something we Red Sox fans say about the Yankees, my favorite houses are the Starks and whoever is fighting the Boltons.  Even the Lannisters have Tyrion at least.

Speaking of the most godawful family in the North, we do briefly see a scene where someone who has been flayed is also being set on fire.  Well.  Let’s hope that is no one we like.  And it’s great to see Brienne killing some random Bolton soldier.  Let’s hope there’s plenty more where that came from.

” I choose violence.”  Although I was never a fan of the Mountain, or of Cersei Lannister, I do have to admit that the prospect of seeing “Ser Robert Strong” wade into those sanctimonious Sparrows, starting with cousin Lancel, fills with me with serious glee.  I fully expect that to be one of the messiest things on television in 2016.  If not, it should be.

Little Bran is all grownsed up, isn’t he?  And then all of a sudden he turns around and BOOM THE NIGHT’S KING AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!   So… does this mean that the whole Greenvision thing works both ways?  Bran can see the Night’s King and the Night’s King is now aware that Bran exists?  Man, that’s something to think about.

My first thought when I saw the dragon was “that’s not Drogon”.  I may be wrong, but I think it’s one of the others.  Viserion, maybe.

And don’t even get me started on the whole Ser Davos thing.  I love seeing him at the very end of the trailer, drawing Longclaw as (I can only assume) he intends to fight the disloyal Night’s Watch over Jon Snow’s corpse.  Man, I love that guy, and I desperately want him to have that interaction with the Manderlys (or some sort of Manderly stand-in) from Book Five.  Please please please please.  Come on, I don’t ask for much.  You’re giving me the Tower of Joy, which I can appreciate more than you can imagine.  Just give me some version of the Manderlys and the awesome speech and I will definitely consider Season Six an epic win.

More to follow, hopefully sooner rather than later.




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