Jon Snow

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.

THE 10 MOST ANNOYING GAME OF THRONES CHARACTERS

In just a few short months the world of Westeros will once again grace our screens.

What the war to come will bring we cannot tell …except that many beloved and hated characters will surely die in increasingly grisly ways – it is known.

Beloved heroes such as good old dead Ned fall victim to George R R Martin, but then so do deliciously evil dogs like the late and not-so-great Bastard of Bolton.

To celebrate our much anticipated return to the seven kingdoms here is my definitive list of the ten MOST ANNOYING inhabitants of the realm. Not necessarily the villains of the piece in every instance, but certainly protagonists for whom the god of death would be wise to hurry the hell up, if he hasn’t called already.

Robyn Arryn

The breastfeeding brat from the Vale. Lover of moon doors, Littlefinger, and most of all, himself. He couldn’t make the bad man fly (praise the gods), but he could display bad judgement at every turn, and a wilful disregard for snow sculpture. The cad.

Joffrey

As well as being a psychotic spoilt brat (I’m sensing a theme here – parenting skills must be pretty dire in Westeros) Joffrey boasted: lack of empathy, sadism and an arrogant entitlement, which sever to render him the most slappable resident of King’s Landing – which explains why not only did our beloved imp sock it to his royal highness once, but twice. On behalf of each an everyone of us, I thank you sir.

Shae

Oh Tyrion. You are afraid your despotic daddy will kill me ? Just because he is all powerful and has said repeatedly that he will? Don’t worry my lion, I will kill them all through sheer wishful thinking and my collection of floaty dresses. And if he does come for us? I will willfully misunderstand your attempts to save my life and sleep with your beloved papa. Because that’s how Shae rolls.

 

Stannis

I applaud the man’s appreciation of grammar, but COME ON. You have Davos on one hand, and a red witch on the other. It’s pretty obvious who you should be listening to. But no. You burn your own daughter alive on the advice of a lady in red .Not exactly majestic behaviour my liege, and your sorry end could have been avoided had you applied your not inconsiderable intelligence to matters of life and death instead of semantics. Just a suggestion

The Sand Snakes

I am including Ellaria in this, because lets face it with their lack of characterisation in the series they are all pretty interchangable. in the books these women are enigmatic ninjas. In the show they are foolish b-movie porno wannabes. Thank the lord Olenna showed up to get them in line. Oh and killing Oberyn’s brother because he didn’t wanted to slaughter an innocent girl? Waaaaaay too far guys. Not cool.

Game of Thrones game of thrones hbo ellaria sand indira varma GIF

Olly

What the hell Olly?! Your family is killed so you turn on the man who took you in and tried to make peace in the land? No child was ever so hated. By the old gods and the new, your ending was deserved.

Loras Tyrell

Apparently all the Tyrell brains go to the women of the clan. Margaery becomes Queen and warns brother to be more subtle in his illicit trysts but no, he plays right into Cersei’s hands. Without his weapons the captive knight of the flowers is merely a wilted rose for Margaery to tiredly rescue from the Sparrow’s clutches even as she too is in the talons of the faith militant due to his failure to heed her warnings. Not the brightest torch in the castle then.

The Waif

What in seven hells is her problem? From the very first she marks Arya as a target, waxing lyrical on how a girl is not up to the challenge. Then she giddily rushes off to assassinate her rival, whom she had been PROMISED she could kill, meaning she has asked in advance for this extra special treat? A girl is not amused.


Tommen

The boy’s lack of spine is infuriating. He won’t stand up to anyone. Not even a crown upon his his little head gives him the power to rescue his beloved wife, or to stand up to his own mother, or even to stand up FOR his mother after mr faith militant himself parades her naked through the streets! As a king the boy wonder is dead flop (pun intended – too soon?). Margaery has more gumption in her little finger.

Bran

Hold the door

Hold it yourself you disobedient entitled lordling *sob*

Technically a hero of the piece, so this choice is perhaps controversial, but hear me out. If he hadn’t climbed the wall against his mum’s wishes he wouldn’t have fallen. If he hadn’t sent Rickon away he might have lived. If he hadn’t disobeyed the three eyed raven then his most loyal protectors, Summer and Hodor, would still be growling and Hodoring respectively.  In fact Hodor would have retained all his marbles and still be named Willis. FOR SHAME BRAN.


Here ends the official record of ye moste irritating inhabitants of yonder seven kingdoms.

Valar Morghulis. All men must die, but some deserve their fate more than others.

HAPPY BLOGMAS – TV HEROINE OF THE DAY – DAY 8 – LYANNA MORMONT

Each day in Advent I will be celebrating one of the TV heroines of 2016 -as let’s face it, it has been a pretty sucky year, and we could all use some female fictional icons to take our mind off Brexit, Trump, and the general doomsday vibe!

Why a heroine and not a hero? Well one of the reasons I am such a TV fanatic is that the genre seems to be far more ‘equal-opportunities than it’s film relation. No longer are the fairer sex subjected to the role of love interest or sister – they are now allowed to be rulers, protagonists, and saviours of mankind. This is both forward-thinking and inspiring, as, let’s face it, a story with twice as many complex characters is twice as interesting!

8th December

Heroine: Lyanna Mormont

The new star of Westeros. Lyanna Stark doesn’t play games. She doesn’t care about beauty, compliments and childhood pursuits. While Robin Arryn was still breastfeeding this girl was leading Bear Island in the wake of her own house’s grief. Only Davos sees the leader in the child’s body nand treats her with the respect she deserves – unsurprising when you remember only he truly knew and loved the late Shireen. Lyanna has no time for Sansa’s platitudes, of Jon’s great plans. She has time for the ex-pirate leader who fights for what is good and right in the darkness of the coming winter. She fears no man, especially Ramsey, for though she is little she is fierce.

Lyanna’s best moments of 2016

1.Lyanna the fierce

2.Lyanna meets Ramsay (if looks could kill)

HBO

HBO

3.Lyanna’s rallying cry

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.

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 5 – THE DOOR

All hail Sansa, survivor of psychopaths, and queen in the north. No longer the little Stark lost, this Sansa is a stranger to the underestimating Littlefinger “If you didn’t know you’re and idiot. If you did know you’re my enemy”. The former ingenue unleashes her direwolf claws and gives the mockingbird a dressing down – yet is he still under her skin? She finally has a seat at the table, and a voice she is unafraid to use, yet she lies to Jon. I am hoping this is not a sign of Baelish still pulling the strings, but, rather, that the little dove has learned to keep her own council after past horrors.

Over in Bravos Arya is still hitting things with a stick. Who knew assassin training would be so dull? The play is an utterly repulsive parody of heartbreaking events, which stops just short of becoming too contemporary with its crassness. In this play within a play we are an audience full of Aryas, witnessing injustice with incredulity. I would have thought a girl would know not to question a man after all this time, yet perhaps it it the easiest way for a network to show a girl’s doubts?

Over on the Iron Islands Yara is bringing girl power to Pyke, bidding to become their first queen. I thought the newly armoured Theon might to play turncoat once more – all credit to Alfie Allen for making us wonder. Then mad bad Uncle Euron crashes the family party, with his drunken voice and a swagger to make skin crawl. A self-confessed murderer, whose only apology is that the drowned god didn’t rouse him fast enough to slaughter his niece and nephew. The rites of the Drowned God gave much needed insight into the culture of the islands -Dorne take note! However
I doubt the Mother of Dragons will be impressed by this wannabe emperor – the iron price is nothing when you pay in fire and blood.

What is a dragon queen to do with a betrayer who saved her life? Not much makes a Khaleesi cry, but the greyscale reveal leaves her teary. Jorah had to say goodbye to be forgiven: “I command you to heal yourself and then return to me”. With goosebumps a plenty she rides off into the sunset – it is good to she her on horseback again – Drogo would be proud.

In Mereen Tyrion continues to be dumbed down for cheap laughs, however Red Woman 2.0 redeems the scene with a calm power and the promise of danger waiting in her eyes. Vary’s discomfort in the face of her all-knowing gaze is extremely unsettling.

Finally we come to Bran. The big reveal of the Whitewalker origin narrative pales in comparison with the tragedy that follows. Bran is too impatient to wait for a guide, and wanders his vision quest alone, bringing the enemy to the gates. The slaughter is immediate. Summer dies for his master, Leaf blows herself and plenty of walkers to smithereens…and then Hodor, sweet blameless Hodor, is told via Bran’s vision to HOLD THE DOOR. Bran caused the sweet giant’s mind to implode with his time travel theatrics, then sentenced him to death with this last request; the order that made him and destroyed him.

Farewell sweet giant, you will be sorely missed.

Direwolves: Ghost lives but Summer dies. These Starks are irresponsible pet owners
Dragons: Still none. Drogon where art thou?
Nudity: Some rather odd theatrical exposure in Bravos
Deaths: Summer, Leaf and HOLD THE DOOR *cries into stuffed direwolf*

GAME OF THRONES SEASON 6 EPISODE 4 – BOOK OF THE STRANGER

Brace yourselves people of the seven kingdoms, we may have just born witness to the best episode of all time. I kid ye not, it as if last week’s lackluster effort was simply to blind-sight fans before unveiling a surprise masterpiece.

Two Starks, In the same place. At the same time. Hugging. My emotions cannot take the joy, and surely someone we love will die pretty soon to pay for this brief moment of triumph, but right now I don’t care as JON AND SANSA ARE HUGGING. Plus Tormund and Brienne are my new favourite couple. Of course something had to break the Stark spell, and as usual, that something is Ramsay. Each ‘come and see’ built the horror, particularly when read in Jon’s dispassionate tones. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and it is Sansa, not Jon, who instigates the plot to wreak vengeance on the bastard of Bolton. Hang out your dire wolf flags – Sansa is taking back her birthright.

Indeed this episode was a smack in the teeth for all those critics who deem Thrones to be misogynistic. While Margaery picks delicate holes in the Sparrow’s highly crafted parable of an autobiography, Loras breaks under the strain. Take the sword away and the knight is dwarfed by his sister’s strength. The Iron islands glimpse of the week told a similar tale – Theon is broken in every way, longing only for home and family, whatever form that takes. His sister provides a chilly welcome until Theon explains he wants her, not himself, to rule. Well, obviously, Yara. He can’t look you in the eye, let alone fight you.

The only downer of the episode is that Tyrion continues to languish in Mereen devoid of all his usual wit. His political reasoning was sound and cunning, but I predict the slavers are a few steps ahead of our favourite dwarf in this game.

Tonight’s episode, though, belonged to Daenerys, the mother of dragons who does not need her children, or her advisers, to rescue her. The Khal’s grotesque threats echoed those of her late brother, a sure sign the Khal had signed his own death warrant. After she (literally) brought the house down, Dany’s cold yet fiery gaze as she emerged naked and goddess-like from the flames was triumphant. Those focusing on her nudity here have missed the point – this moment was not sexual. Hers was a stance of power, not vulnerability. Sorry Katniss, but we have a new girl on fire.

Dragons – None. This Khaleesi can save herself

Direwolves – Ghost remains silently scouting the wall with Jon. I didn’t see him, but I know he’s there, which makes me happy.

Deaths – Oh Osha. That wasn’t much of a Thrones return for you was it?

Nudity – The new Dothraki Goddess. Bow down muggles.

GAME OF THRONES SEASON 6 EPISODE 3 – OATHBREAKER

It is rare for a Game of Thrones episode to disappoint me for non Dornish reasons, however it is not exaggeration to say Jon Snow’s storyline was the only one of interest this episode. The shellshocked Lord Commander’s discomfort upon his return seemed only natural – his last breathing moments had seen him riddled with wounds from the very men he sought to protect, anyone with those memories has got to feel just a tad non-plussed on returning to life’s battleground. Once again Davos (Westeros’ first Life coach) was on hand to provide a pep talk, and Jon’s reunion with his loyal friends brought warmth to the wall.

Elsewhere HBO’s lack of source material was beginning to show. Both Arya and Dany have had their current storylines spread over multiple episodes, when the scanty material was scarce adequate to keep pace and interest alive. Had Daenerys reached the dosh khasheen in the first episode momentum would have been salvaged, or had Arya had received more than a blink-or-you-miss-her moment in episode one, the restoration of eyesight would feel less hasty. Even though the training montage was a wondrous thing to behold (‘a girl sounds confused’ ‘a girl was confused’) it felt as if they were rushing to establish her role in a far shorter space of time than required.

In Mereen the wittiest dwarf in Westeros was reduced to making jokes about drinking games, and only Varys’ deceptively compassionate manipulation of the harpy’s foot-soldier proved of any interest. We got a brief glimpse of Olenna Tyrell, but no witticisms fell from her lips either, and Cersei’s temper seemed reduced to childish petulance.

We did finally glimpse the legendary Tower of Joy, only to be dragged away just when it looked as though the show’s greatest mystery would be solved (R+L=J anyone?). I think young Ned was superbly cast, and am suitably concerned about Bran’s meddling…

Ramsey get a new Stark to play with, however before I cry into my overused direwolf handkerchief I am putting all my hopes on a cunning northern conspiracy. After all: are we sure that was Shaggydog (I am in denial), and why would Lord Umber refuse to swear fealty?

It comes to something when the only moment you cheer is when the traitors meet there maker. Thorne died well, as expected, and members of the kill Ollie movement saw their dreams come true. It doesn’t say anything good, though, when your favourite moment of an episode is when a soldier kills a child…then you remember it was Ollie, and you feel ok again.

Dragons: NONE

Direwolves: 2, but one was dead, if it was indeed Shaggydog (denial)

Deaths: Oh too many to count, but no-one important

Nudity: A newly risen Jon, and the hint of a stripped dragon queen who majestically retained her modesty.