Valar Morghulis: Game of Thrones Recap of Seasons 1-5, Season 6 Crackpot Theories

Friday, April 15, 2016

SPOILERS ALERT: This is a rundown of the collective events of the past five seasons and crackpot theories about season six. Since season 6 is airing on the 24th of this month (April), I decided that I should rehash the previous seasons. DO NOT PROCEED IF YOU AREN'T CAUGHT UP. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Can we just fast-forward to one of the season 6 posters real quick:

I MEAN WHAT IS THIS? WHAT KIND OF MIND GAMES ARE THEY PLAYING WITH US? I was devastated when Jon Snow died. I was in a state of depression for a while, but then I moved on (hardly). Why is he on the season 6 poster? What's going on here? Is he coming back as a white-walker? Worse, is he going to be resurrected or something? Because I already mourned him, and if he dies again, I'll be destroyed. Or are they just toying with us? Hard to tell, considering the nature of this show, you simply cannot predict what's going to happen.

Can I just say something? They've been saying "Winter is coming" since the first season and unless I missed a blizzard (south, beyond the Wall) or something, Winter has not come. This was the season that sort of set the stage for the show (which is the function of first seasons for all other shows).

This has to be the darkest show in all of television history. I've never seen anything like it. I think it's safe to say that none of us have. What with the violence, nudity, and the lack of sexual boundaries. Seriously, there are none. The fact that all the characters are expendable, that no one is safe, is relatively new too. I don't quite know how I feel about it yet. I sort of like it because it adds to the spontaneity of the show. The con of it is that you cannot make predictions. (I guess I shouldn't be making theories about season 6 then, huh?) The characters that you think will survive, end up being killed off. Take Ned Stark for example, unless you'd read the books ahead of time, you would not have known he was going to die in the first season, considering he's such a crucial (or not) character. And the characters you would think will die turn out to be surprisingly

In the first season, we follow (mostly) the perspective of Ned Stark- who is tragically executed at the end of the season- when he is asked by the King of Westros, Robert Baratheon, to be his chief advisor, also known as the Hand of the King. He, his wife Catelyn and his daughters go to the capital of Westeros, King's Landing after Catelyn receives a letter from
her sister saying that the House Lannister was responsible for the previous Hand of the King's death. Ned Stark, who accepted the his friend, the King's request (or rather, demand) that he become his Hand, searches for answers about the previous Hand's death, and other secrets House Lannister might be hiding. The King himself eventually killed. I think it was a "hunting accident", but even though they haven't directly indicated otherwise. We all know that "hunting accident" claim is bullshit. It was certainly no hunting accident, and no coincidence that that happened just when Ned was so close to getting his answers. As I said before, Ned Stark is beheaded. Leaving his family scattered throughout Westeros.

We also follow the story of Daenerys Targaryen and her exiled brother Viserys Targaryen who marries off his young sister to Khal Drogo, the leader of the Dothraki people, a tribe of fighters. Daenerys learns to love Khal Drogo and her new people. And the plan her brother, Viserys, thought would be to use the strength and power of the Dothraki to claim the Iron Throne, turned out to be his demise.

I'm trying to keep this post from being super long, so I'm kind of just summarizing the major events of the seasons. If go over everything, well, we'll be here ALL DAY. Not that I mind. So in season 2 we're introduced to multiple new characters, a become even more acquainted with the old. As a result of Khal Drogo's death, Daenerys and her people (the loyal ones at least) are stranded in the desert, they find refuge in the city of Qarth where a merchant named Xaro Xhoan Daxos speaks for them, and they are allowed in. In the city, Daenerys is given an offer by Xaro to marry him and receive all the ships and money needed to take reclaim the Iron as hers. She refuses, on the account that she could do all this herself. After the death of his father, Rob Stark defeats most of his enemies in the north, declaring himself the King of the North. Fighting for its independence. He quickly becomes a threat to the ruling House Lannister, whose puppet head is now "King" Joffrey "Baratheon" (turns out he's not even a Baratheon, just the product of the Cersei Lannister incestual relationship with her brother Jamie) and the new Hand of the King, his uncle Tyrion Lannister.

Arya Stark and her friends Gendry and Hot Pie are captured by Tywin Lannister's men, claiming they were looking for Gendry (whom Arya saves him by saying they'd [Tywin's men] already killed him. The captured children are taken to Harrenhal (which they later escape with the help of Jaqen H'ghar, a man Arya saved by being burned), the place Tywin keeps an army and makes strategic plans for war. Arya serves as Tywin's squire (but she was his water fetcher, more than anything) but then, again, escapes with her friends and Jaqen H'ghar.

Catelyn is sent by his son, Robb to negotiate an peace with Renly Baratheon, who also believes the Iron Throne to be his right. Shortly after agreeing to the terms, Renyl is killed by shadow believed (not initially) to be sent by Lady Melisandre who told him to stay cautious "for the night is dark and full of terrors". Back at Robb's camp, Catelyn frees Jamie Lannister whom they held prisoner for his previous crimes and belief that he and Cersei were the reason of Bran permanent state of paralysis. She send him with Brienne of Tarth, the female bodyguard of the deceased Renly, in hopes of getting back her daughters Sansa and Arya (little did she know, Arya wasn't even in King's Landing). Jon Snow makes friends with Wildling Ygritte. Theon Greyjoy is taken back to the Iron Islands by his sister (whom he didn't recognize for a while, until he did).

In the finale of season 2, the Lannisters defeated Stannis Baratheon with the help of Tyrion's wildfire. Left scarred in the aftermath of the battle, no acknowledges him for his victory or bravery. After his bodyguard (The Hound decided suddenly that he didn't want to fight and die for the King) and Joffrey desert him in combat, he took a stand as the leader of the battle, but no one appreciated him. He also loses his title as the Hand of the King to his father, Tywin Lannister (I hated him with a passion, luckily he's later killed [and rightly so] by his Tyrion). Jamie still travels with his newly befriended companion, Brienne. Robb loses the support of Walder Frey, one of the Lords of the North because he broke his vow by marrying someone (the healer Talisa Maegyr) other than his daughter.

Rickon and Bran Stark were reported dead by Theon Greyjoy who came back with his father's men to seize Winterfell, when in reality they'd escaped with Hordor and Orsha and planned on joining their brother Jon Snow at the Wall.

Stannis Baratheon still licks his wounds and listens to Melisandre. His friend and advisor is imprisoned for having attempted to kill Melisandre after continuous warning Stannis that Melisandre is evil for serving her Lord of the Light and has ulterior motives unlike his own. Having lost a few of his fellow crows along the way, north of the Wall, in season 2 Jon Snow captured Ygritte, underestimated her power of deception and was then captured himself by the Wildings. Now he joins the leader of the Wildlings Mance Rayder.

Daenerys Targaryen, determined as always, continues her quest to take the seven kingdoms. She takes Barristan Selmy, a former member of the previous King's Guard in Astapor. There she considers purchasing a stronghold of Unsullied- soldiers ruthlessly trained to fight and nothing else- by exchanging one of her dragons. She fools the leaders by letting them think she doesn't speak their native tongue (they were cursing her all the while) kills them, takes all of the Unsullied and keeps her dragons.

The season finale was epic. It centered on the battle between the Night's Watch and the Wildlings. Jon Snow betrayed Ygritte, who dies, shot by one of the younger members of the Night's Watch leaving Jon Snow heartbroken (I'd never wanted a child character to be killed so badly before, I seriously wanted Jon Snow to avenge her) and the Wildlings by rejoining the Night's Watch.

*I had a little help with the events of seasons 4 & 5 from Wikipedia.

In season 4 in King's Landing, guests begin arriving for Joffrey Baratheon and Margaery Tyrell's wedding. Amongst those in attendance is the vengeful Oberyn Martell, Prince of Dorne, who blames Tywin Lannister for the death of his sister, niece and nephew at the hands of the Mountain, Ser Gregor Clegane. After Joffrey is poisoned at his wedding by Margaery's grandmother, Olenna Tyrell, a distraught Cersei Lannister is quick to blame her younger brother, Tyrion, for the death of her son. Tyrion struggles to survive these accusations as he is pitted against both his father and his sister while he is abandoned by all those he once held dear, including his former lover Shae (turns out she wasn't even in love with him, but with his father Tywin. To this day, I wonder why)

Tyrion demands a trial by combat. Cersei chooses the Mountain as her champion and Oberyn offers to represent Tyrion. The trial ends in a victory for the Mountain and Tyrion is sentenced to death by his father. Before he can be executed, Tyrion is freed by his brother Jaime, who tells him Varys will smuggle him to the Free Cities. Tyrion, discovering that Shae had been sleeping with Tywin, strangles her before shooting Tywin and fleeing Westeros with Varys.

In the aftermath of Joffrey's murder, Tyrion's wife Sansa Stark – still grieving the loss of her mother and brother – successfully escapes King's Landing with the help of Petyr Baelish. Baelish smuggles her to the Vale, where she comes into conflict with her jealous aunt, Lysa Arryn, who mistrusts the relationship between Petyr and Sansa. After Lysa witnesses Littlefinger kiss Sansa (what a perv, I thought he was in love with her mother?), she attempts to throw Sansa through the Moon Door, only for Littlefinger to intervene and push Lysa to her death. When Littlefinger is interrogated, Sansa defends him. She then joins him and her cousin Robin Arryn in a tour of the Vale.

Bran Stark, accompanied by the Reeds and Hodor, continues his mission north of the Wall trying to find the three-eyed raven he has been dreaming about. Despite being held up by the mutineers at Craster's Keep and a wight attack that kills Jojen, Bran finally meets the three-eyed raven, who tells him that Bran will fly.

At the Wall, a recently returned Jon Snow tries to warn his leaders about Mance Rayder's impending attack on the Wall from both sides. The southern attack is being led by Tormund Giantsbane and Ygritte, who have recently joined forces with another Wildling tribe, cannibalistic Thenns. Jon Snow must also contend with the mutineers at Craster's Keep, led by the deranged Karl Tanner. Meanwhile, Jon's sworn brother Samwell Tarly struggles with his feelings for the wildling girl, Gilly, and the impact she is having on the Night's Watch. The Wildlings launch a massive attack on Castle Black, leading to the deaths of many brothers and Wildlings, including Ygritte, Pyp, and Grenn. Jon Snow bravely goes beyond the Wall to assassinate Rayder, only to be spared by the sudden arrival of Stannis Baratheon and his forces, who overwhelm the Wildlings and rescue the Night's Watch. Davos Seaworth and Stannis had successfully negotiated with the Iron Bank of Braavos to shift their support from the Lannisters to the Baratheons of Dragonstone, using the money to fund the offense on the Wildlings.

In the North, Roose Bolton aims to cement his hold on the North. To this end he orders his hunter Locke to kill Jon Snow and track down Bran and Rickon Stark (an ultimately unsuccessful venture), and sends his bastard Ramsay Snow to take Moat Cailin, a fortification occupied by the Ironborn. Ramsay uses the enslaved Theon Greyjoy, forced to assume the identity of Ramsay's serving man Reek, to secure Moat Cailin. Roose rewards Ramsay by legitimizing him as a Bolton, and moves his seat to the former Stark stronghold of Winterfell.

Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys Targaryen continues her conquest of Slaver's Bay by taking control of the largest city, Meereen, by instigating a slave uprising. However, Daenerys alienates herself from the former masters of Meereen by ordering 163 masters crucified as justice for 163 slaves they had publicly crucified to intimidate her. Daenerys decides to remain in Meereen to learn to rule, and begins a relationship with the sellsword Daario Naharis. However, Daenerys is shocked to discover that her trusted advisor Jorah Mormont had spied on her for Robert Baratheon, and exiles him from Meereen. Daenerys faces further struggles when she learns that her dragon Drogon has begun killing humans; while she is unable to capture Drogon, she is forced to chain her other two dragons as a precaution.

In Meereen, the insurgent "Sons of the Harpy" have started to revolt against Daenerys Targaryen's regime by murdering citizens and Unsullied, also taking the life of Barristan Selmy. In order to regain peace and control, Daenerys complies with the request of re-opening the fighting pits. Tyrion Lannister arrives in Pentos along with Varys, and they begin their journey to Meereen together. They pass through Volantis, where Tyrion is abducted by Jorah Mormont, who takes him to Meereen as a way to redeem himself to Daenerys. 

Daenerys takes Tyrion as her advisor, but orders Jorah exiled once more. After the Sons of the Harpy mount an attack on Daenerys and her retinue at the fighting pits, Jorah saves her life. Drogon reappears and Daenerys flies away on his back. Drogon flies far away from Meereen and Daenerys quickly finds herself surrounded by Dothraki horsemen. Jorah and Daario Naharis leave to search for Daenerys, while Tyrion, Varys, Missandei, and Grey Worm remain to rule Meereen.

At the Wall, Stannis Baratheon has Mance Rayder burned alive for treason. Stannis promises Jon Snow legitimacy and rule of Winterfell should he ride with him against the Boltons, but Jon declines the offer and stays at the Wall. As newly elected Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, Jon forms an alliance with the Wildlings, much to the dismay of the rest of the Night's Watch. They begin evacuating Wildlings at Hardhome, when the settlement suddenly comes under attack from White Walkers and their wight armies. Though many die and are revived as wights, the brothers still manage to rescue a large number of Wildlings and Jon leads them through the tunnel to Castle Black, south of the Wall. After Samwell Tarly and Gilly leave for Oldtown and Maester Aemon passes away, the majority of the Night's Watch become disillusioned with Jon's leadership and see him as a traitor. They lure Jon into a trap and stab him, leaving him to die.

In the Vale, Littlefinger puts Robin Arryn in the care of House Royce and leaves for Winterfell with Sansa Stark. Brienne, still loyal to the oath she swore to Catelyn Stark, and her squire Podrick follow them. In Winterfell, Sansa is reunited with Reek and marries Ramsay Bolton to form an alliance between the Vale and the Boltons. Ramsay subjects Sansa to physical and psychological abuse, including taking advantage her on their wedding night while forcing Reek to watch. (So much for taking care of her, right?) After Reek reveals to Sansa that he did not kill her brothers Bran and Rickon, the two escape together, jumping off the castle walls.

At his camp in the North, Stannis reluctantly acquiesces to Melisandre's demands to burn Shireen alive as a sacrifice to the Lord of Light. As a result, his wife Selyse is found hanging from a noose and half of his forces desert him. The remaining Baratheon forces ride for Winterfell, but are soon defeated by the Boltons. In the aftermath of the battle, Stannis is apparently killed by Brienne of Tarth. Melisandre flees for Castle Black.

In King's Landing, Lancel Lannister returns, now a member of the devoutly religious "Sparrows". Following the wedding of Margaery Tyrell and Tommen Baratheon, Cersei Lannister begins losing control of Tommen, and with him, her power source. She tries to regain her status by authorizing the revival of the Faith Militant, the military wing of the Faith of the Seven. The Sparrows quickly begin imposing their puritanical views upon King's Landing by ridding it of all "sins", in the process also seizing Loras Tyrell for being homosexual. They proceed to imprison him, as well as Margaery and Cersei herself for committing various sins. Cersei is released after confessing to adultery with Lancel and being forced to march naked through King's Landing.

In Dorne, the Sand Snakes, the bastard daughters of Oberyn Martell, seek vengeance against the Lannisters for the death of their father. After a threatening message arrives, Bronn and Jaime Lannister travel to Dorne, planning to rescue Myrcella Baratheon. Oberyn's brother Doran Martell discovers that Ellaria Sand had sent the message and allows Jaime and Myrcella to leave for King's Landing, provided Myrcella's betrothed Trystane Martell joins them and obtains a seat on the Small Council. En route to King's Landing, Myrcella dies, having been poisoned by Ellaria.

Arya Stark arrives in Braavos and starts training with the Faceless Men, guided by Jaqen H'ghar and another young woman. She disguises herself as an oyster seller and is told to kill a dishonest insurance agent at the harbor. But after Meryn Trant's arrival, Arya steals a false face from the temple and assassinates him instead. Doing so causes her to go blind.

Okay, so again, this will be hard to do considering anything can happen. Here are my predictions:

  1. Jon Snow will come back as a white-walker. Again, it his death was very confusing and he's on the season 6 poster.
  2. Tyrion will be a very significant figure. This is more obvious and less of a prediction. Last season, Varys came to Tyrion telling him that he could get him out of his predicament (he was being sentenced to death for the poisoning of Joffrey, which everyone knew he didn't do). Little did he know that Varys was taking him to Mereen to serve as Daenerys advisor.
  3. After the events of the season 5 finale, Cersi Lannister will be either broken and defeated from all the shame and familial death (her daughter Myrcella was killed by the Sand Snakes) or she'll come more ruthless than ever. And if you know Cersi well, you'll know that its definitely not going to be the former.  
  4. Gendry, Robert Baratheon's bastard son will hopefully arrive at King's Landing sometime this century. He's been on a boat to King's Landing after Ser Davos saved him from Melisandre for a long time. Since season 3, let's hope he finally makes a reappearance.
  5. In the books Lady Stark comes back as a vengeful Lady Stoneheart, and while I'm not sure its been confirmed, I read that sometime soon Lady Stoneheart will indeed be in the show.

Only 9 days until the season 6 premiere. How do you guys feel? Ready? Scared? Mix of both? What are your predictions?

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