Between Meera Reed, Lord Varys and Hodor, the secondary characters in “Game of Thrones” proved they have more to say than we could have imagined based on Sunday’s mid-season installment of Season Six.
As far as main characters were concerned, Sansa sent Brienne to Riverrun to convince her Great Uncle Brynden “Blackfish” Tully, her mother’s brother, to join her forces; Theon publically sacrificed his claim despite being welcomed back with open arms; We discovered that the White Walkers were initially created to protect the Children of the Forest against men; and Bran is about to wake up to find himself smack dab in the middle of another nightmare.
Halfway through the season, the many storylines of Game of Thrones took some interesting turns on Sunday.
Sansa doesn’t share the Honorable Ned Stark’s values. I’ll admit I was happy to see that Sansa finally grew a pair, but I can’t ignore the fact that her experience in King’s Landing and her time playing mentee to Littlefinger properly groomed her for the game. This could be a good thing, considering Jon wants nothing to do with the politics, but it also worries me. I think it’s worth noting Sansa’s inclination to “let her enemies hang,” because that would not have been her father’s way, which was a quick, merciful death by beheading. Jon did the same with his own enemies earlier in the season, which stuck me as peculiar then as well. Two of the Stark kids have finally reunited and yet both have forgotten the bits of their father that made him the most honorable and well-liked liege lord in Westeros. This could just be speculation on my part, or it could be an issue for them on their mission to rally the northern houses.
There’s more to say about Sansa for once. The only reason Sansa didn’t destroy Littlefinger then and there for what he did is because she understands that someday she might need to use him to her advantage—and she can’t possibly think he’s going very far. The fact that she kept this encounter from Jon goes along with my theory that Sansa’s morality and trust was shaken by her experiences with Joffrey and Ramsay. What bothers me more, however, is not knowing where Littlefinger gathered his knowledge about Sansa’s escape from Winterfell and where he learned about Sansa’s great uncle taking back Riverrun. The fact that he has sources in enemy territory is suspicious, to say the least, and Sansa needs to be careful where she steps if she’s going to keep this sort of information from her brother, or “half brother” as Littlefinger so deliberately pointed out.
Speaking of northern houses, Jorah the Andal needs to head north. Interestingly enough, the only person we’ve met who might be able to help Jorah is Ser Davos Seaworth, who is the only living character who could possibly know details about Shireen Baratheon’s case of Greyscale and how her father found a cure. It’s a bit of a long shot but I’d be interested to see Jorah meet up with Davos and the Men of the Night’s Watch if only to come face to face with his father’s men. To clarify, Jorah Mormont betrayed his father, Lord Commander Jeor Mormont, and was made to surrender his Valyrian steel sword, which was given to Jon Snow and is now known as Longclaw. Jon’s Longclaw and Brienne’s Oathkeeper are now the only two Valyrian Steel swords in Westeros—which, as Jon’s knows and Brienne might soon find out, can kill white walkers.
Arya’s curiosity and thirst for revenge are her most redeeming qualities. But they could cost her. Arya’s determination to succeed is undeniable, but the question is to succeed in what? It’s one thing for a teenage girl to forget her true identity, but I’m still not convinced that Arya wants to. Arya calling her target a “decent woman” makes me wonder if she’s willing to take a life without knowing the reason. Based on her face during the fabricated reenactment of her father’s death, it seems to me like Arya might still be hung up on that list of hers—which I’m hoping now includes her no-named friend. As an interesting side note to the fans that haven’t been thrilled with Arya’s recent turn of events: keep in mind that she and Brienne are the only women on the show who are trained in combat, which makes her rather fascinating if you ask me.
Lord Varys knows more about the Lord of Light than he let on. No surprises there, I guess. Varys and Tyrion met a new character on Sunday named Kinvara, who, like Melisandre, is a Red Priestess and serves Daenerys Targaryen the same way Melisandre served Stannis and now Jon Snow. She believes Dany is the princess who was promised and is willing to help Varys and Tyrion to counsel Daenerys in any way she can on her journey to win the Iron Throne. On the one hand, it might intrigue Dany to know that this woman has the power to convince non-believers that her dragons are “fire made flesh,” a gift from the Lord of Light, and that Dany herself was “reborn from the fire to remake the world.” On the other hand, Varys has the same skepticisms of Kinvara as Davos has of Melisandre and apparently there’s a reason that has to do with the Spider’s unique history.
Daenerys needs new ships and the Iron Fleet needs men. Theon and Yara’s role in Sunday’s episode was moderately straightforward but worth mentioning nonetheless. Euron Grejoy, Theon’s uncle, intends to lead the ironborn to Meereen, where he insists that his fleet will sway Dany into marrying him and taking the Seven Kingdoms as a pair. Admittedly, it’s a pretty solid plan if you’re into the Greyjoys, but this isn’t exactly a trustworthy character. The good news is Theon and his sister escaped and managed to bring a decent amount of men and ships with them. The bad news is, we have no idea where they’re heading or to whom.
Another direwolf goes down and Hodor’s history is revealed. I’m honestly not even sure if I’m more heartbroken or confused after Sunday’s climax. Despite the loss of yet another favorite character, not to mention Bran’s direwolf, we’re finally getting somewhere with Bran’s visions. But it’s a little tricky to put into words, so let’s just applaud George R. R. Martin for being able to do that and hope the coming episodes shed some light on the situation. I think it’s even more crucial that we acknowledge how adamant the Night King and the White Walkers are about destroying Bran Stark. They obviously know something we don’t about the power that Bran has and the information the Three-Eyed Raven was trying to relay before he died. We still have no idea what that power is, and it’s possible that Bran doesn’t either, but he is clearly going to be one of the most crucial characters once the “great war” begins—regardless of how slow his storyline is now.
We’re already halfway through Season Six and I’m already dreading the inevitable sense of loss that comes with each season finale. It appears as though some of this week’s missing characters will have some crucial moments next week, which can only mean that we’ll have to wait another two Sundays to learn the fate of many of this week’s characters.
In the meantime, Jon did subtly mentioned House Mormont as one of the smaller northern houses to rally on their way to Winterfell, but it’s unlikely that Jorah would go there willingly after his betrayal. Dolorous Edd insisted that he is not the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch despite Jon’s handing over the reigns and demanding that Edd take over. I’m patiently waiting for Arya to reunite with her sword—and her direwolf if she’s still alive. Currently, my biggest interest is in Meera, not only because I feel like she’s in the most heartbreaking position, but also because I think there’s more to her story that we haven’t seen yet. But more on that subject next week.
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