Well, now we’re all caught up! Hopefully we can put this childish civil war between readers and viewers behind us. Sure, George R.R. Martin will likely have different stuff waiting for us when Winds of Winter is published, but until then we’re all on even ground. So let’s recap last night’s ceasefire. (Note: This is a recap, so there will be spoilers.)
1. Jaime/Bronn/Myrcella – Bronn says goodbye to his newfound ‘love’ while Jaime and Myrcella bid adieu to Prince Doran, Ellaria, and the gang. Of course, for Jaime and Myrcella, it was a permanent goodbye as Ellaria’s parting lip-lock was laced with a delayed poison that wasn’t set to kick in until Jaime and Myrcella were finished with their heartwarming moment. In this moment, the Kingslayer confessed that he was his niece-daughter’s father and they hugged. A little cough of blood and a collapse later sees Ellaria popping the antidote back on the shore.
2. Stannis/Brienne/Melisandre/Ramsay – After half his men desert him and his wife hangs himself, Stannis chooses to march on to Winterfell, but Lady Melisandre was having none of that, deserting him as well and fleeing to Castle Black. Well, it seems GoT used up their big battles budget for the year and they skipped out on showing us what happens as we see the Bolton army close in around his men. We see the aftermath of the battle with significantly fewer men and an injured Stannis confronted by none other than Brienne of Tarth. She concludes her duty to Renly by killing Stannis and totally misses Sansa calling for backup via the candle in the tower. Ramsay kills more people (I know, a shocker).
3. Sansa/Theon/Miranda – Sansa endeavors to sneak out while Ramsay’s away and lights the candle meant to bring Brienne. When Brienne doesn’t arrive, Sansa tries to sneak out another way and is caught by Ramsay’s girl, Miranda, who insists on hurting Sansa for trying to escape, but leaving her ‘fun bits’ for Ramsay. Theon (and not Reek anymore it seems – at least for now) refuses to let this happen and redeems himself by throwing the girl off the Winterfell walls and jumping to freedom with Sansa.
4. Dany/Mereen Crew – After flying away with Drogon, Dany is left to fend for herself as Drogon goes all temperamental on her. As she crosses some plains, it appears she may have flown back to some Dothraki lands, but we’re not for sure. Meanwhile in Mereen, Daario and Jorah decide to go after her while Tyrion, Misandei, and Greyworm are left to run the city. As Tyrion prepares for this undertaking who should appear but Varys himself, ready to help out.
5. Cersei – Has finally agreed to atone and confesses some but not all of her sins. She’s forced to strip naked and perform the walk of shame all the way from the Church back to the Red Keep all the while her haters and detractors and people who’d love nothing more than to kill her spit, flash, say, and perform other derogatory acts against her. She also has her hair cut. For this, the walk, I’ll admit that even I’m a little sad for Cersei. No matter how beyond screwed up you are, I don’t think anyone deserves that. (Maybe Stannis for killing his little girl.) Regardless, she makes it back to the Red Keep where her supporters welcome her, introduce her to a new Kingsguardmen who has taken a vow of silence who carries her off to safety (and I’m assuming a bath).
6. Arya – Has finally crossed off Número Uno on her hit list, but has paid a terrible price. After donning a mask to do so, she is punished by the Many-Faced God and loses her sight. Sorry, but there’s not much more to say in this regard. It was a powerful scene where Arya learns that everything has consequences and I don’t want to write it off as “Not much more to say,” but there honestly isn’t.
7. Jon/Sam/Night’s Watch – Finally, the big one. In a scene that was set to shock you all and that readers had been waiting for, Sam left to become a maester alongside Gilly and her kid. After a warm moment between the two, Sam took off and Jon stayed. Ser Davos arrived, begging help from Jon with Melisandre arriving shortly thereafter, saying nothing, but with everyone knowing. Later, after receiving word that Benjen had been heard from, Jon raced outside only to be greeted by a sign that read ‘Traitor’ and a bellyful of knives. Laying on the ground bleeding out, Jon stared up from the snow as blood began to pool around him.
Now, to address the theories surrounding Jon right fast while we’re on it: While Weiss and crew have stated, “Dead is dead,” George R.R. Martin has deftly countered with, “My readers should know better than that. If there’s one thing we know in A Song of Ice and Fire it’s that death is not necessarily permanent.” However, in an interview with EW, Kit Harrington expressed how he was straight up told by Dan and David that he was dead and not coming back. Take that how you will, folks. Maybe he’s simply dead in the show but not in the books. We won’t know until either comes out, so just give yourself a little time to process things.
Now to wait until either Season Six or “The Winds of Winter”.