Cersei

GAME OF THRONES – WHO WILL SURVIVE SEASON 7?

All Men Must Die – this we have learned season upon season in the realms of Westeros. From poor old dead Ned to the deep fried Queen Margaery we have lost some true gems of the seven kingdoms. Of course we have also seen some well deserved gruesome exits – who can blame Sansa for smiling as the hounds turned on their master? And is if it is wrong to cheer when a sadistic king who tortures whores for fun is poisoned at his own wedding, well then I don’t want to be right. The question, now that Season 7 is approaching at dragon speed, is who will survive the the year, and who will die before the credits roll?

Here are my predictions for the survivors and casualties of the upcoming season.

 

MOST LIKELY TO DIE IN TRULY GRUESOME GOT STYLE

1.Cersei

Because once you go full Disney villain you don’t get a happy ending.

2.Grey Worm and/or Missandei

Because it would be oh so Romeo and Juliet, except for, you know, the eunuch problem.

3.Brienne

Because someone we adore is bound to die, and she is just as noble as Eddard – and look how well things turned out there.

4. The Mountain

Clegane Bowl. It’s gotta happen. And we all know who’s gotta win – pass him a chicken. No! Make that two…

5. Littlefinger

Because Sansa is pretty badass now, and he has played her one too many times. Plus he is trying to divide the Starks – and if we have established one thing, its that Jon Snow doesn’t suffer fools. Hear that Olly?!

 

MOST LIKELY TO SURVIVE THE SEASON

1.Jon Snow

Because he can’t die twice. He isn’t Buffy Summers for crying out loud.

2.Daenerys

Because dragons.

3. Tyrion

Because we would riot. Plus I think he will die saving everyone next season *sob*.

4. Jorah

Because Dani told him not to die. And he would rather disembowel himself that disobey her. Plus now that he has greyscale his death would be way too predictable

5. Melisandre

Because the night is dark and full of terrors, and her mysterious story doesn’t even feel half told. She will have a chance to redeem herself in the war to come.

Here end my predictions. Valar Morghulis fellow Thrones fans. We meet again when winter has come – in July.

WHY WE NEED MORE GIRLS IN TV GALAXIES

Everyone was telling me I would love it. It seemed to come up in conversation, and people couldn’t believe that I hadn’t added it to my science fiction binge list already.

So finally I caved, like the weak-willed TV addict I am, and decided to give ‘The Expanse’ a go.

On paper it looked like the perfect show for me: intellectually stimulating sci-fi, heavy on the politics and less concerned with prosthetics-based aliens. IMDB describes it as sci-fi meets detective novel meets conspiracy drama.

I managed two episodes.

Surprised? So was I. But while intellectually and visually stimulating, this futuristic show was incredibly backward in one very important way: women.

In the very first episode it becomes clear both the main characters are male, which I have no issue with. Some main characters are men, some are women, that isn’t the issue. My problem is not with the gender of the protagonists, but with the scarcity of women in the show, and how the few that are present are depicted.

Of the two (yes count them, TWO) female characters we  meet , one is merely a sexual partner for our wayward hero (and is unlikely to be making further appearances in the series based on the narrative) and one is the tough-cookie chief engineer (so far, so Voyager) who wastes little time before criticising her sole fellow female crew-mate. Pretty sure this soundly fails the Bechdel test.

Now things might improve in the following episodes – maybe the female villain we glimpse on occasion will become of greater importance, and maybe the beautiful errant daughter we have not met yet will be more than just arm candy for the heroes of the tale, but the point is by the end of episode 2 I didn’t care. I was already alienated (pardon the pun).

I had thought we were past this – with shows like Buffy, Firefly, Dollhouse (anything by Joss Whedon) evening the gender divide in science fiction, and fantasy shows expanding the female reach in lands unknown. But maybe we haven’t come as far as I had thought.

When I was a mini geek girl glued to every Star Trek franchise going I had very few heroines to choose from, and allied myself with every Deanna Troi or Jadzia Dax going, eager to follow the narratives of people like me, to see my own gender included, even if only in a small way. The Expanse gave me that same desperate feeling.

Now there is no problem in having all-male shows, don’t get me wrong. But science fiction has been male-centric since its inception, and I don’t think it is asking too much to include women in the vastness of the space they inhabit. Think of the stories that could be told if women were more than pawns, sex toys or 2D villains.

But for now at least, it seems for every Buffy the Vampire Slayer, their is still a girl getting bitten. For every Cersei Lannister, there is still a Deanna Troi, sipping hot chocolate and begging to be called upon.

Maybe, next time the apocalypse comes, take a leaf out of Whedon’s book, and beep HER instead of HIM.

 

86 THOUGHTS I HAD WHILST WATCHING GAME OF THRONES SEASON 6 EPISODE 10 – THE WINDS OF WINTER

1.The Direwolf has returned to Winterfell! I have never been more excited during the opening credits.
2. Cersei is modelling her Disney villain look. This doesn’t bode well for Westeros.
3.Let us take a moment to appreciate the insane level on detail on Game of Thrones costumes.
4. If the seven gods chose the High Sparrow as their judge, I fear they belong to the dark side.
5. A gentle reminder that Pycelle is still an old lusty hypocrite.
6. DO NOT FOLLOW THE LITTLE BIRDS.
7. Margaery looks worried. That makes me scared.
8. Every shot is lit like a masterpiece in this episode.
9. The High Sparrow wasn’t mutilated – do as I say, not as I do, presumably.
10.‘You mutilated him, you gave me your word!’ I am comforted that Margaery didn’t sanction this legalised maiming.

HBO

HBO

11.The mountain bars the way of the King. Ominous is an understatement.
12.The queen mother? Drinking. Naturally.
13.Deep in the catacombs the plot is unveiled with old maesters and young murderers
14.‘This pains me my lord’ Qyburn, you are fooling no-one.
15.The innocent glee with which the urchins tear Pycelle apart is what nightmares are made of.
16.‘Forget about the bloody gods and listen to what I’m telling you’. RUN WOMAN, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE
17.Wildfire. oh Cersei, someone has been truly wicked
18.‘We all need to leave NOW’ – understatement.
19. The Sparrows bar the way to safety LET MARGAERY GO!!!!!!
20. The candle did not go out.
21. All is flames, green fire and screams.

HBO

HBO

22. Cersei is left, smiling on her hill. I see where Joffrey got it from now.
23. The revenge of the lioness – shame is repaid and the Septa drowns in wine
24. ‘I drink because it feels good, I killed my husband because it felt good to be rid of him, i fucked my brother because it feels good….I KILLED YOUR HIGH SPARROW BECAUSE IT FELT GOOD TO WATCH THEM BURN’ …well I guess she was told to confess…
25. I can’t quite muster sufficient sympathy for the victim, since she is just a different type of hateful.
26. Though I would wish the mountain on no-one,
27. The crown is too heavy for the boy king, but the beautifully framed window is perfect for an unflinching silent suicide.
28. Knew he wouldn’t last the season.

HBO

HBO

29. Oh Jamie, what company are you keeping?!
30. At least Bronn makes up for the excess of Freys.
31. How is Walder Frey skill alive?
32. ‘two kingslayers’ oh that’s a painful comparison.
33.’We gave you the River Lands… if we have to take them back for you every time you lose them what do we need you for?’ Well said Jamie. Stick the knife in.
34. No I mean literally.
35. Frey struck a nerve there – the demons of his nature would have him roll in the dirt with the Freys, but his better angels would hark back Brienne, a true oathkeeper.

HBO

HBO

36. SAM! Well met sir!
37. The Citadel landscape is breathtaking – all curves and light.
38. A welcome dose of humour lights up the dark night full of terrors: ‘this is irregular’ ‘I suppose that life is irregular’ you tell him Slayer.
39. Sam gets his very own Beauty and the Beast moment in the library.
40. Finally Winterfell feels like home again.
41. Davos is angry. You should’t make Davos angry.
42. ‘If he commands you to burn children, your Lord is evil’. Davos is one of the stars of this season: A voice of passionate reason amid hellish chaos.
43. The pained new Lord of Winterfell is as just as his father before him. No more blood, only exile.

HBO

HBO

44. It feels important that Jon admits this was Sansa’s victory.
45. But also that she apologises for not trusting him. Because you can’t trust Littlefinger, let’s face it..
46. ‘Winter is here!’ well it’s been a long time coming. The shared Stark smile warms the snow covered spires of the Stark homeland.
47.What could make Dorne pallatable? Oh I know, Diana Rigg! She can fix everything!
48. That is how I like to think the meeting at HBO went
49. And incidentally they are right. She can: ‘you look like an angry little boy, don’t presume to tell me what I need’ you tell them Olenna!

HBO

HBO

50.’Cersei stole the future from me…’ RIP Margaery. The others are no great loss.
51. Enter the Eunuch, invoking the Targarryen words. Goosebumps
52. Good riddance to Daario. He lowered the tone of Dany’s rule with oily contrived charm. Drogo forever.
53. So who will Dany gift with marital alliance? *cough* Jon *cough*
54. The bay of Dragons has a nice ring to it.
55. I’m not sure I have ever seen Tyrion sympathetic before.
56. Small people cast great shadows in the pyramid- literally and figuratively.
57. ‘I said no thank you to belief, and yet here I am, I believe in you’ finally some good lines for Tyrion – my heart may burst.
58. The dialogue between these two has always been a true meeting of the minds.
59.’ I had something made for you, I’m not sure if it’s right’ HAND OF THE QUEEN, HAND OF THE QUEEN!!!!!!

HBO

HBO

60. The dwarf only bows to the deserving.
61. The dirty murderer himself, Walder Frey enters the tale once more.
62. Someone baked Frey pie – I prefer my Freys cooked. And I’m vegetarian.
63. ‘My name is Arya Stark’ of course it is. A girl took some faces for the road.
64. And the great deceiver faces the same death as his victim Catelyn Stark, as her vengeful daughter smiles on.

HBO

HBO

65. ‘It’s a pretty picture’ Sansa is no longer the mouse to Baelish’s feline, and damns him with faint praise.
66.Sansa’s cynicism may keep her head above the winter for some time yet – she doesn’t rise to the puppeteers bait.
67. I still haven’t forgiven Bran for Hodor.
68. The Tower of Joy – Part 2! They kept us waiting long enough.
69.The truth is revealed, with two long lost Starks over a bloody birthing bed.
70. The mystery is resolved. Promise me. R + L= J.

HBO

HBO

71. I KNEW IT! The baby’s eyes open on the man’s face.
72. Notice Jon calls the Wildlings the ‘Free Folk’ – Ygritte’s legacy.
73. All hail Lyanna Mormont queen of EVERYTHING.
74. How can someone so small have such stage presence?
75. They refused the call and she judges them for it. The old cowards are shamed by a little girl.
76. Of course they all side with Jon now – LYANNA MORMONT COMMANDED IT
77. The White Wolf, King in the North – Oh the echoes of Robb are traumatising – let us hope this version of the brother’s story ends well.
78. It should – the White Wolf is wiser than the young wolf, after all.
79. His destiny will always outweigh his ambition.
80. No Sansa. If you let Littlefinger ruin this victory I do not like your chances for season 7.
81. Not the welcome home Jamie was expecting.
82. The disney villain is crowned in all her terror and glory. Castalmere plays for the inevitable doom this brings.

HBO

HBO

83. ‘long may she reign’ i doubt it
84.. Dany is finally setting sail! The pigs are flying with the dragons!
85. Her power is jawdropping. Only a dwarf stands between her and Targarryen madness, only a mad queen stands between her and the iron throne.
86. Winter is here, but dragons are coming.

39 THOUGHTS I HAD WHILST WATCHING GAME OF THRONES SEASON 6 EPISODE 9 – THE BATTLE OF THE BASTARDS

1. OK. So this is the big one. Sadist versus Snow.
2. Jon can’t die AGAIN right?
3. Wait – MEREEN?!
4. We get TWO battles?! Oh HBO you spoil us.
5. Let us take a minute to admire Dany’s braid-work in a time of crisis.
6. The dwarf tempers the less attractive Targaryen qualities – perhaps the madness can be tempered by reason in a small package?
7. Those Masters are far to smug to stay alive .Plus no one owns Grey Worm. He is a free elf! I mean- man.
8. The slavers should probably not have forgotten she owns dragons. Three of them.

HBO

HBO

9. Oh, and also she has a Dothraki horde at her beck and call – horses beat harpies, every time.
10. We should probably take a minute to appreciate how amazing grey worm is *appreciative silence*
11.The North is an icy oil painting
12. ‘You don’t have to be here’ ‘yes I do’ you tell him, Sansa.
13. Lyanna Mormont’s scowl is a weapon of mass destruction.

HBO

HBO

14. Honour and righteousness meet cunning and bloodlust.
15. But Jon can be cunning too: ‘will your men want to fight for you, when they hear you wouldn’t fight for them?’
16. Sansa doesn’t feel the cold. She IS the cold: ‘you’re going to die tomorrow Lord Bolton. Sleep well’.
17. Jon explaining military tactics to Tormund is precious.
18. Sansa is taking down the patriarchy one man at a time: ‘did it ever once occur to you that I might have some insight?!’
19. He would do well to listen to his little sister. Jon has seen hell, sure, but Sansa has lived it.
20. ‘We’ll never get him back…he won’t live long’ harsh, but I am not betting on Rickon surviving the episode.
21. ‘Has the Iron Islands ever had a queen before?’ ‘No more than Westeros’. well played, Yara. Welcome to the kick-ass queen mutual appreciation society.

HBO

HBO

22. ‘I never demand but I’m up for anything really’ – the queen is amused.
23. Can you feel the love in this pyramid?
24. Back at the battlefield, Ramsey’s games are about to begin.
25. The sadist drags the littlest direwolf out to ‘play’

HBO

HBO

26. ‘Don’t!’ Tormund knows better, Sansa warned him, but Jon falls hook line and sinker.
27. What follows is a tangle of flailing hooves, broken bodies and howling screams.
28. Jon is crushed by bodies, choking for life, drowning among the dead
29. The trampled hero choses to live! Praise the old gods and the new!

HBO

HBO

30. Tormund gets a second wind as Sansa brings a saving grace over the hilltops.
31. Now Ramsey is the hunted. He looks less than amused.
32. The she-wolf that Sansa has become smells blood and starts to smile
33. Notice the shield Snow uses to deflect Ramsey’s final futile attack features the Mormont bear – little Lyanna will be pleased
34. Only Sansa’s flinty expression makes Lord Snow put vengeance on pause.
35. Ramsey is even smug in defeat – ‘I’m part of you now’ Ye gods I hope not.
36. It shouldn’t be this satisfying to see a man eaten face-first by his own hounds.
37. And yet it is.
38. Sansa’s smile as she walks away is everything.

HBO

HBO

39. Long live the She-wolf!

Dragons – ALL THREE! Dracarys slaver scum!
Direwolves – None, which is probably for the best as no-one wants any more canine deaths.
Nudity – No time for naughty business during the battle.
Deaths – Oh thousands. Happily, though, the hounds are now fed.

58 THOUGHTS I HAD WHILST WATCHING GAME OF THRONES SEASON 6 EPISODE 8 ‘NO ONE’

1.Opening with Essie Davis is always a good idea.
2.If this Cersei were the real Cersei Kings Landing would be a happier place.
3.So it stands to reason that the bloody little stark would hide behind her curtains.
4.I have a feeling this motherly actress is too nice to live.

HBO

HBO

5.Oh the brutal brotherhood. Really? Still alive? Disappointing.
6.YES the Hound returns – armed and dangerous- they’re not laughing now.
7.Slaughter probably shouldn’t be so satisfying.
8.‘You’re shit at dying you know that’ – the Hound and Bronn get all the best lines.
9.The Eunuch’s departure does not bode well for Tyrion.
10.Who is Varys heading to for help? The Tyrells? The Dornish?
11.Remember Dorne? I try not to.
12.Cersei’s following has grown rather small – creepy Qybern and the Franken-Mountain.

HBO

HBO

13.Wow Lancel may be just as repulsive as Tommen – weakness masquerading as righteousness.
14.‘You have a keen military mind pod’ Brienne, queen of the sardonic put-down.
15.Bronn and Pod the reunion! T shirts will be made.
16.The first rule of Bronn’s Fight Club is – fight dirty.
17.Brienne is the good knight on Jamie’s soldier.
18.Sadly he listens to his sister and inner demons.
19.She sees the good in him, but he is blind to it.
20.She tries to return his sword – I may cry.

HBO

HBO

21.He’s not my friend – oh Brienne, who are you kidding.
22.‘She’s exactly like her mother’ let’s hope Sansa stays alive longer than Cat …
23.I do love the Blackfish’s spirit – even if his attitude to the siege is rather kamikaze.
24.Cersei’s uncle may not be on her Christmas list this year ‘your place is in the gallery’
25.‘From this day forward trial by combat will be forbidden’ wow, Tommen is challenging Joffrey for worst son in Westeros.
26.The ‘old rumour’ the little birds are chirping of to Qyburn – would it be to do with wildfire?
27.Meerenese Tyrion continues to be defined by his alcoholism.
28.Although his argument that Grey Worm is obeying his masters by abstaining is clever.
29.‘The Imp’s Delight’ sounds like a name for something rather more sinister than wine…
30.The outlook for Missandei and Grey Worm’s comedy career is bleak
31.…and the (rather forced) laughter is interrupted by an invading slaver fleet, naturally.
32.Tobias Menzies (Edmure) is one of the greatest actors of modern TV ( see Outlander).

HBO

HBO

33.He shows more spirit when captive than he ever did free ‘how do you live with yourself?’
34.‘Don’t talk about Cat’ – and my Stark-loving heart breaks just a little more.
35.Jamie truly has returned to the dark side. He wears it well though.
36.And so Riverrun falls, suddenly yet inevitably, due to Lannister cunning and sworn loyalties.
37.It’s like Ned Stark all over again.
38.You’ll serve Sansa far better than I ever could – well why not fight for her TOGETHER then?!!!
39.Is the Blackfish truly dead and buried? is this a Stannis or Hound situation?
40.The twilight escape of Brienne and Pod shows us a last glimpse of Jamie’s better qualities.

HBO

HBO

41.There is warmth in his heart, but his fist is still golden.
42.‘You do not know what the army should do’ – Grey Worm tells it like it is.
43.Dany’s home – and she doesn’t look impressed. Regal? Yes. Happy? Not so much.
44.Would it have killed Drogon to stick around a little longer? Burn a few slavers, like old times?
45.It is pleasing to learn the Brotherhood still have a good name.
46.I hope Sandor joins Thoros and Company – think of the witty repartee.
47.If this hanging party means Lady Stoneheart has been forsaken, I will mount an insignificant but highly impassioned protest.

HBO

HBO

48.And so the actress makes her final exit, thanks to the waif, who seems to be made of pure evil.
49.Farewell Lady Crane, you were too good for this world. Literally.
50.Is the House of Black and White really just a bunch of sadistic assassins? Why the pretence at spirituality then?!
51.The chase is incredible – I love the clumsiness of the spectacle.
52.More back alley brutality than James Bond glamour

HBO

HBO

53.No one should find murder this fun
54.Unless they are killing Joffrey of course.
55.A girl doesn’t need eyes to see, and doesn’t need light to kill
56.Goodbye and good riddance to the Waif.

HBO

HBO

57.‘A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell, and I’m going home’ : cue cheering, dancing and general jubilation
58. A man can put it in his pipe and smoke it – the Stark is back, and though she is little she is mighty.

NUDITY – None
DEATH – Lady Crane (Boo) the Waif (Yay) plus assorted murderers.
DRAGONS – One, ever so briefly.
DIREWOLVES – None, but then there aren’t many left…

GAME OF THRONES SEASON 6 EPISODE 7 – THE BROKEN MAN

Curtain up on a pastoral scene, where a show off is carrying an entire tree. Who is this shameless attention seeker? Why it’s the Hound, but we already knew that, because Ian McShane is the worst secret keeper in the history of the seven kingdoms.

in Kings Landing Margaery is mirroring the sparrow’s own moves,and what a man this Sparrow is: “Congress does not require desire on the women’s part.” Charming. Ever the crafty queen, Margaery nails her colours to the mast on a secret scrap of paper, reassuring and saving her beloved Queen of Thorns at the same time. Margaery isn’t going down without a fight. All roses have thorns – the sparrow should remember that.

HBO

HBO

She may be leaving, but Olenna has time for one final round with Cersei on her way out of the door. The matriarch of Westeros puts the blame squarely on the queen mother’s shoulders. Cersei’s franken-shadow undercuts her feigned humility, and Olenna is having none of it: “You’ve lost Cersei, it’s the only joy I could find in all this misery”.

Over at Riverun it is safe to say employing Bronn is the best decision the Kingslayer ever made. Even so, the Blackfish has more strength in his little finger than the entire pathetic siege of Freys. Nothing scares this veteran of horrors – you can’t drown a fish in home waters.

HBO

HBO

And now for the star of the episode: Lyanna Mormont. To quote Shakespeare: “though she be little she is fierce”. Don’t offer her smalltalk, and don’t attempt flattery “Lady Sansa is a Bolton. Or is she a Lannister?” Only the Onion Knight can thaw the steely bear cub. Davos is the sole voice of compassionate reason in a cruel world run mad. Lyanna joins their ranks with her *ahem* 62 men “If they are half as ferocious as their last, the Boltons are doomed” well said sir.

Lord Glover ,on the other hand, has not half of the feisty she-bear’s guts. Driven solely by fear, his honour is lost to prejudice. Sansa is bold, but rather new to negotiation. Although she is new to war I do side with her over Jon on battle strategy. They need more men, else the battle will become a martyrdom. Who else is betting Lady Stark’s candlelit missive is wending its way to a disgraced mockingbird?

HBO

HBO

We then returning to the resuscitated Hound, shortly before the saviour Septon is crushed by his own idealism. The futility of the scene is frustrating for us, but also for Clegane. He can’t bury his head in the sand to the screams; he has seen too much blood to believe blind naivety can wash the guilty clean, or that it can protect the pure from a brutal end. The hound is masterless once more, with yet more hate to fuel his life-force.

A girl doesn’t seem to be hiding back in Bravos. She acts rather more ladylike than the needle-wielder we love, then stands in plain sight ready for the wrinkly fairy tale villain to draw her blade. This is all too simple – either Arya is not wearing her own face, or this assassination is staged.. One thing is certain – a girl is harder to kill than that. Ask Cersei, Sir Meryn or Polliver. Direwolves bite back, and Jaquen may have made her list.

HBO

HBO

Dragons – None.

Direwolves – None. This is confusing.

Nudity – Ah this is more normal. The brothel scene filled the traditional quota.

Violence – Goodbye Sir Septon. I would be sad, if your actor had not been such a blabbermouth.

GAME OF THRONES SEASON 6 EPISODE 6 – BLOOD OF MY BLOOD

Over halfway through the season the pieces are starting to fall into place, but the final picture remains unclear. Characters collide, re-emerge from their hiding places and wage war on their enemies, but the iron throne is still very much in play.

Bran, my least favourite giant killer, obviously hasn’t learned the concept of chivalry, and leaves poor Meera to run for both their lives yet again. No amount of visions will bring Hodor back Bran! Although the glimpse of the mad king amongst the flashbacks is truly spectacular. Then as another Stark death seems imminent a mysterious fire-wielding horseman enters stage left. Perhaps he took the ‘burn them all’ vision a little literally. And the saviour behind the scarves? Long lost Uncle Benjen! Frostbitten, but alive. He’s no Hodor, but a pleasant surprise nontheless.

South of the wall Randyll Tarly is a new candidate for worst father in Westeros. If Tywin wasn’t dead, he’d be jealous. Let Sam eat his bread you racist tyrant! This is by far the best part of the episode. Gilly cleans up nicely – the Seven Kingdoms version of Disney’s Belle, but with a sharper tongue when provoked. “I’m angry that horrible people can treat good people that way and get away with it’ . Welcome to the seven kingdoms Gilly. The unlikely hero’s roasting on home turf left a bitter taste in the mouth, but his change of heart is both unexpected and wonderful, As always Samwell does his heroism by night, where no one can see. Our favourite couple flee with babe and sword in arms – we’ll be seeing more of daddy dearest then.

The curtain rises on the second act of the play with in a play , the satirised propaganda of the seven kingdoms, the Westerosi Mock the Week. Lady Crane makes even Joffrey piteous – a good actress playing a good actress playing a queen- an triumph of a performance. If the real Cersei had been half as charming, Arya would never have fled Kings Landing. Her name today was Mercy, and the wannabe poisoner took it to heart: ‘careful of that one, she wants you dead’. A girl is still a Stark, and a girl retrieves needle once more! Finished with stick fighting and floor washing, our favourite assassin is once more armed and dangerous…. and on Jaquen’s list.

And now for the greatest anticlimax of the episode: Kings Landing. Margaery’s lucious locks remain in tact because there is to be no walk of shame. Jamie’s dramatic horsemanship is undercut by the Sparrow’s checkmate – Tommen the brainless strikes again, pandering to fanatics, and stopping the much hyped battle on the steps of the sept, before it starts. I believe Margaery is playing the long game, and that her gullible husband will be playing a rather shortened version.

For the finale Dany’s favourite baby returns to give the Khaleesi wings, and the dragon queen rides again! Her speech is inspiring and terrifying in equal measure. She riles the troops, but is HBO hinting at a Targaryen tyrant lurking within the breaker of chains? I truly hope not. There is more than one way to kill a favourite character – please Mr Martin, don’t kill mine.

Dragons: Welcome back Drogon

Direwolves: None, since Bran allowed his to DIE

Deaths: None (barring white walkers)

Nudity: None. This is Westeros right?

GAME OF THRONES SEASON 6 – EPISODE 2 – HOME

Kit Harrington is the biggest liar in the seven kingdoms. Were he Pinocchio, his nose would reach all the way from the wall to Mereen. But there was more to this episode than Jon Snow’s resurrection (HE’S ALIVE), however it is difficult to recall what that ‘more’ is when jumping for joy and shrieking at the TV. Which I did not do. Obviously.

Aside from Lord Commander, Sansa has been the star of the season so far. Her transformation into a Catelyn-Cersei hybrid is thrilling. Her segment this episode was small, but her wry remarks on hearing that not only was her sister alive, but dressed as an urchin, were perfect. I also think it is important that Sansa’s saviour is not an armoured hero, but an armoured heroine.

Jamie’s interlude with the High Sparrow was intriguing. The Sparrow is a terrifying foe – a villain who believes himself the hero. Let us not forget Tommen, throne-holder du jour, who has surely signed his own death warrant by asking his mother for help. Cersei’s quiet rage combined with a recklessness born of the seer’s prophecy, make her even more deadly.

The Iron Islands finally made a reappearance, along with Balon (member of Tywin’s worst father’s of Westeros club) who exits soon after his entrance by the hand of the deliciously demented Euron .

Another parent meeting his maker this week was the turncoat Roose Bolton. I predicted that he would pay for underestimating his sadistic son, and their final embrace was a directiorial gem – I was sure one would die at the other’s hand, but for a second I did not know whose hands were clutching the knife. The less said about the demise of the deceased’s wife and newborn the better – they didn’t show the gore, but Ramsey’s expression was horror enough.

Arya is getting far better at pretending to be no-one, but before you give up the on the little Stark remember – needle remains hidden, as does her true self.

The Tyrion-is-a-Targaryen theory got a whole lot more credible this week, when our favourite dwarf showed us how to train a dragon. Tyrion’s dragon-charming childhood tale was so beautifully underplayed that I hung of his every word. As, apparently, did the dragons.

And so we come to the wall, where Tormund and Davos make a fearsome duo. Of course it does help that they have a giant (Wun Wun smash!). Davos’ pep talk to his former nemesis was unexpected and transfixing; the Onion Knight believes in people, not gods. Yet I fear Jon would still be stone cold if Melisandre’s incantations had not been followed a pious ‘please’.

HBO are the masters of delayed gratification – praise R’hllor that Ghost knew better than the disappointed crowd. Apparently dog still is man’s best friend, even after death.

Deaths- 5 (2 bad dads, one mother and baby, and one man who poked a giant.)

Direwolves – 1

Dragons – 2

Resurrections – 1!!!!!!!!

Nudity – None. This is Game of Thrones, right?

GAME OF THRONES SEASON 6 – EPISODE 1 – THE RED WOMAN

The long wait is over…except it isn’t, as Jon Snow is still very much dead, indicating HBO are saving the big resurrection reveal for a later episode. We obviously have NOT SUFFERED ENOUGH.

Meanwhile Davos is coming into his own in the wake his King’s death- out from under Stannis’ coattails he channels his practical pirate persona and becomes the leader of the late Snow’s disciples. He reminds them that they have hoards of Jon-loving wildlings on their doorstep. ‘Oh Yeah’ they cry, and stall Thorne with requests for mutton.

Assuming Jon DOES come back to life (cross fingers) then Davos would make a great Hand of the King, don’t you think?

Sansa and Reek’s flight is as traumatic as expected, but Brienne’s rescue was masterful. There were huge echoes of Lady Catelyn in the pledge, indicating a fulfilling of Stark destiny perhaps? The music, the fear, the battle sequence and the vows brought tears to my eyes. To remain stone faced, you had to be a Bolton.

Dorne continues to disappoint, although my idealistic side hopes this HUGE  directional shift indicates a change of plans and rejuvination? However idealism is not recommended in Westeros. Why they killed off the only two good characters in the country, is as big a mystery as why the entire nation of Dorne seems to consist of one water garden. Admittedly I did enjoy the sand snake cousin-killing, though even that humour felt cheap compared to the wider show.

Daenerys’ contempt for her captors was a joy to behold. Odds-on once Drogon deigns her with his presence they will bow before her like the goddess she is. Although they are NEVER going to remember all those titles.

Finally we climaxed upon Melisandre’s big reveal, which confirmed a long held fan theory. Beautifully done, however I can’t help wondering if the shock value would be greater if we saw the old crone become the red woman? Once her hands went to the choker it felt inevitable.

The story is finally untangling before our eyes – thank the old gods and the new it was worth the wait.

Deaths – 3

Nudity – 1 rather crucial reveal

Dragons – 0 (Drogon where art thou)

Direwolves – 1

Days until next episode – too many.

JON SNOW’S TOP FIVE GAME OF THRONES MOMENTS

Winter has come. All men must die. But not Jon Snow. We will not accept that. Nope. The time has come fellow Thronesians – in one day (at 2am tomorrow to be precise) Season 6 will debut, and sex, death, and dragons will return to the small screen. As a firm believer than we have not seen the last of the late Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch I decided to feature the temporarily dead bastard of Winterfell in this final countdown installment. With Thoros of Myr’s return confirmed, it is surely only a matter of episodes before he, and his beautiful hair, are reunited with his beloved Ghost. Right? RIGHT?!

Brother Sam

The honorable bastard protects the cowardly soldier.

Ygritte

Turns out he did know something after all.

All Grown Up

He left a boy, he returned a man – screw with him at your peril, watchmen!

Victory & Defeat

He won the battle, but lost his heart *sob*

Hardholme

THE. BEST. SCENE. EVER.

 

And as it is the final countdown I gift you with a BONUS BEST BIT. You are welcome.

Man’s Best Friend

ALL of the FEELINGS!

 

For all of the other countdowns to pass the time until 2am (eeek) see below:

View Daenerys’ top 5 moments here

View the Hound’s top 5 moments here

View Sansa’s top 5 moments here

View Jamie’s top 5 moments here

View Margaery’s top 5 moments here

View Cersei’s top 5 moments here

View Tywin’s top 5 moments here

View Catelyn Stark’s top 5 moments here

View Jorah’s top 5 moments here

View Samwell’s top 5 moments here

View Brienne’s top 5 moments here

View Ned’s top 5 moments here

View Arya’s top 5 moments here

View Tyrion’s top 5 moments here