because the real world has been just awful lately. Terrible. Horrible. I just can’t bring myself to talk more about it because it’s just too depressing. Things just get worse and worse rather than better.
So yeah, let’s talk about Westeros – the North in particular, although I am sure I will wander around to other places at some point.
Well, after much anticipation by me, the famous Manderly speech was pretty short, a mere shadow of the version in Book 5, and the wonderful line “The North remembers” was delivered not by Lord Wyman Manderly but instead by young Lady Lyanna Mormont. Oh well. Still, overall that whole scene where Jon Snow is declared the King in the North was pretty awesome. Once again Winterfell is in the hands of the Starks, or what’s left of them. I expect we will see Arya return to Winterfell at some point. Hopefully Melisandre will not run into her along the King’s Road, else her story may come to an end as Walder Frey’s did. That’s one name off her list. I wonder what, if anything, Arya will do to the Brotherhood Without Banners if she runs into them. She is certainly upset with them for what they did to Gendry. And of course the Hound, whom she had left for dead, is still very much alive. Oh yes, very interesting to see what happens next with all of them.
And of course, R+L=J has been confirmed now. So time to speculate about some other things. There’s a few things that have been bothering me.
First, we now know that Bran was himself responsible for Hodor becoming Hodor in the first place, due to his warging into Hodor in the present through Hodor in the past. Wow, what a strange sentence to type. Does that make sense? But think about what that means. Bran may have already been influencing events throughout the series – hell, throughout the entire history of Westeros – and we have only now caught up to the part in the story where he (and through him, us, the readers/watchers) figures out that he has that ability.
And we now know that Bran does have the ability to speak to people while he is greenseeing – we all saw young Eddard Stark reacting to hearing something at the Tower of Joy, and turning around to see that nothing is there. We don’t know exactly what young Ned heard, but he heard something, even if he saw nothing. And we know Bran was able to interact with the Night King while greenseeing, to the detriment of all (but the Night King, of course). And we know that at some point, young Hodor was able to actually see him when he was watching the events of the past. Oh, boy. What if Bran interfered with other events in the past, helping to bring events to pass in a certain way, even if he is unaware of it now? Oh, man. What a can of worms this might prove to be.
Second… what is Winterfell’s significance, beyond it being the home of House Stark? There are lots of castles in ASOIAF and in GoT, but few of them seem to have some sort of role to play in the story the way that Winterfell does. Winterfell is almost a character, rather than just a place, that seems to drown out the significance of any other castle in the show. It seems to me there is some significance, although I can’t seem to put my finger on it. Certainly in the books, there seems to be some importance to Winterfell, and especially the crypts underneath Winterfell – a something that goes beyond just being the place where dead Starks are buried. Winterfell is old – very, very old. Perhaps it even goes back to the time of the first invasion of the White Walkers, and the Battle for the Dawn. So is that it? Winterfell played some role in the Long Night, when men first battled against the White Walkers perhaps? Or the Stark family did? Or both? In the books, Jon Snow dreams of the crypts quite a bit. Something very important to Jon’s story is down there. We just don’t know what yet. We also know that in both the books and the show, we hear a lot about how “there must always be a Stark in Winterfell”. It’s like Winterfell is part of the Stark family too, somehow. Now that there are once again Starks in Winterfell, perhaps we will find out. Besides, there just isn’t a lot of time left in the show for them to reveal everything.
The only other structure that seems to have the same amount of importance as Winterfell is the Wall. Obviously, the Wall is important to the story. But like Winterfell, it is so old that its origin seems to have been somewhat lost to history, at least to some extent. There are all sorts of tales and legends about it. Both the Wall and Winterfell were introduced in the very first episode of the show. And we know that “Bran the Builder” is supposed to have built both the Wall and Winterfell. In fact, I think Bran the Builder is also supposed to have built Dragonstone. So there is some tie between the three places already. And what role they played in the Long Night, I don’t know. But I think they did play a role of some sort.
Anyway, just thinking out loud, so to speak.