Photo: Helen Sloan/Courtesy of HBO
A slaughter in a feasting hall! Jon Snow making a tough political decision! Ed Sheeran singing a little Lannister ditty! We got a little bit of everything in Sunday’s fierce return to Game of Thrones. But like the House of the Undying, this show always leaves us with more questions than answers. Here’s what we’ll be pondering until next week.
Who will Arya kill next?She crossed Walder Frey off her Kill List last season, but in a particularly canny move, Arya ripped the old bugger’s face off and used it to wipe out his entire lineage with poison wine. So who’s next to die? Arya is among Lannister soldiers now, although she appears slightly chastened by her quick affection for their easy banter and relatable struggles — she was even charmed by Ed Sheeran’s medieval ditty-writing skills — so it’s possible they’ll offer her some cover. Of those remaining on the kill list, Thoros, the Hound, and Beric Dondarrion are far to the north, Cersei and the Mountain are in King’s Landing, Melisandre is presumably headed south after Jon Snow cast her out of Winterfell, and Ilyn Payne is MIA. Our best guess? She’ll encounter the Red Woman on the road and takes things from there.
Was that Wun Wun marching with the White Walkers?Led by their ringwraith Night King and his trusty undead steed, the walking piles of bones is inching ever closer to The Wall and civilization. But who was that giant thundering along with them? Its rotting face might belong to Dongo or Mag the Mighty, but it was missing an eye — exactly like poor Wun Wun, who was the last to die in the Battle of the Bastards after Ramsay Bolton’s arrow to the cornea. Is it possible that Jon Snow didn’t burn his body? Or do all giants just look alike?
Will Dolorous Edd end up a hero?Just spitballing here, but what if he prevented the Wall from being breached and stopped the Night King’s entire army, thus saving Westeros from extinction? Wouldn’t he be hailed as the true King in the North? Now that’s be a twist nobody sees coming.
Will Jon Snow and Sansa have a falling out?Our prediction: abso-Wall-horn-tootin-lutely. If Game of Thrones has taught us nothing else, it’s that men in power may say they’ll regard the opinions of the women who stand beside them, but that’s utter rubbish. Publicly questioning Jon’s decision to allow the Karstarks and Umbers to keep their castles earned Sansa a public dressing down. But with her newfound power, is there any chance she’ll sit by quietly while her bastard half-brother (who is really her cousin, but she doesn’t know that) dismisses her suggestions with the flick of a wrist? Littlefinger is basically that dude who won’t stop texting about your “chemistry” after one bad date, but is he powerful and smarmy enough to convince Sansa that a third marriage might be the charm? It’s worth noting: Sophie Turner has said that Sansa will be “unlikable” this season, and Kit Harrington added that their troubles grow beyond sibling squabbles.
What will the Lannisters do next?Surrounded on all sides by enemies (including “a brood of bitches” from Dorne and that “old cunt” Olenna Tyrell), Cersei and Jaime are stuck in a once-golden capital that’s now quite literally covered in shit, if you believe Ed Sheeran and the Lannister soldiers. Sure, Cersei has called on Euron Greyjoy as her ally, but he wants more than she may be willing to give — or Jaime may be willing to part with. Would she marry a Greyjoy? Would that even make a difference against the Lannister’s many enemies? For Cersei’s own sake, I hope she takes the best battle advice ever given and doesn’t start a land war in Asia the North.
What is the “gift” that Euron says he’ll bring to Cersei?Or, rather, who? My vote is Ellaria Sand’s head. Dorne scenes have always been the show’s signal to take a bathroom break, and Ellaria feels extra expendable now that the endgame is on the horizon.
Does Euron have a rat tail with beads? Or is that some sort of epaulette adornment on his “hot sea raver” jacket? Please be the former.
Are Jaime and Tyrion headed for a showdown? Cersei knows that Daenerys is sailing to Dragonstone and that Tyrion has been appointed as her Hand. That puts Jaime and Tyrion, as the closest advisers to their respective monarchs, on a collision course. Is that how Jaime will die? Would he make the ultimate sacrifice for the younger brother he’s not-quite loved enough? It seems like Jaime has to die eventually: There is no place for him in the new Westerosi order, so it seems possible that he’ll be sent on a quest to kill yet another Targaryen ruler, only to collide with his baby brother along the way.
Or will Cersei kill Jaime?Unless he fights Tormund for Brienne’s hand and/or starts fighting for the other side, it seems likely that someone will kill Jaime before this series end. Euron’s little dig about murdering his own brother — that Cersei “should try it, it feels wonderful,” — is just the kind of line that’s dropped in so that we’ll remember it down the line. It could happen!
Does Euron think he is Captain Jack Sparrow?His makeup artist sure does.
Did Daenerys stand for the entire journey from Meereen to Dragonstone?Girl must’ve saved all her sitting for that new throne.
Will Dany somehow find sand in her underwear next week because she was on a beach for two minutes?Yep, that’s life.
How did Jorah Mormont wind up in Oldtown?In what will forever be known as TV’s best poop montage, we caught a quick glimpse of Jorah’s greyscaled arm poking out from a Citadel cell as he asks Samwell Tarly whether Daenerys has yet landed. Dany did send Jorah on a quest to find a cure for himself, and there’s no better place imaginable to find it in all the Seven Kingdoms. As for why he’s locked away, it must be out of fear that he’ll pass along the infection. This sets us up perfectly for Sam plus Jorah, a beautiful buddy plotline.
Why is Beric Dondarrion still alive?Dondarrion has been raised from the dead by the Lord of Light six times now — once after a sword fight with the Hound himself. Why him? What is his purpose? There’s a theory among some fans that the Hound is actually Azor Ahai, a.k.a. The Prince That Was Promised, and it starts to come together in this episode. Ever the cynic, the Hound doesn’t believe there is anything to see in the fire, but upon peering into the flames with Thoros of Myr, he sees the Wall, the army of the undead, and the epic battle to come — which means he too has the power to see what the Lord of Light bestows. If the Hound is destined to stop the Long Night, as per the Azor Ahai prophecy, has Dondarrion been revived again and again to help him?
Was that Nymeria in the teaser for next week’s episode?These direwolves just gotta have some bigger meaning than just being kickass pets. Let’s hope we’re about to find out what it is.