Stannis

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.

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 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?

BRIENNE’S TOP FIVE GAME OF THRONES MOMENTS

FIVE DAYS TO GO KLAXON! Today let us all bow down to the Goddess who is Brienne of Tarth! The Lady Knight who puts men to shame, wreaks vengeance with her blade, and even makes incestuous kingslayers a little likeable…

Renly

Not even grief can hinder her blade.

Catelyn

The union of two formidable females

Jamie

From Kingslayer to Oathkeeper

Hound

The battle to end all battles – she fights like she means it, every time.

Stannis

Vengeance is hers.

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

GAME OF THRONES SEASON 5- EPISODE 9- THE DANCE OF DRAGONS

***Note- yes this is belated, it took me a while to recover….***
Next time you fall out with your parents, spare a thought for Shireen Barratheon, sweetest and unluckiest girl in the seven kingdoms. ‘Devoted’ Dad Stannis sends a reluctant Davos on a futile errand to Castle Black answering his queries about the youngest Barratheon with the ominous: ‘My family stays with me’

The men may be freezing but none is colder than Stannis. Faced with his daughter’s poetry and smiles he seeks absolution for a sin as yet uncommitted and of which she is wholly ignorant. the stag princess signs her name in blood without feeling a pinprick- ‘forgive me’- like hell we will.

She is marched to the pyre, and, seeing her end at the hands of the lady in red begs for her father, refusing to believe he is the cause of her destruction. The screams pierce even her mad mothers heart the goosebumps, the tears and the gut punch as the men look away, and the screams rise until they are drowned by flames. Such primal horror puts the Boltons to shame- Ramsey, meet Stannis, one man you are very much allowed to flay. RIP princess, you were too good for this world.
Arya’s mission is rudely interrupted by the arrival of the murdering paedophile Meryn Trent – the wolf stalks her pray through candlelit brothels where he ruins frightened virgins with cold cruelty. one name surely must be close to being ticked off the infamous list – valar morghulis after all. Mace Tyrell provides his normal bumbling comic relief during this dark interlude- his spontaneous song was particularly entertaining, though Arya was not distracted. Yet I am not convinced a man is convinced by a girl’s lies…
Back in Mereen the fighting pits are opened, the queen a necessary but reluctant viewer. Dani distracts herself from the performative bloodshed by way of by Daario’s shameless third-wheeling. The lethario undercuts Hizdar the grim future husband (who may or may not be a harpy) at every turn, grin in place. Tyrion’s interjection to the future king: ’My father would have liked you’- may be the best insult ever.Until he comes out with yet another witty put-down that is: ‘in my experience eloquent men are right every bit as often as imbeciles’

Horror, confusion and futility cross Dani’s eyes as they lock with the enslaved jorah and the real match begins. Khaleesi looks on as the dust flies with each blow, tortured inside but serene outside. The beloved bear has so many near deaths my heart stops as the blood stains rain down….yet Mormont says ‘not today’ to the god of death. Winning to boos he launches a spear to the queen’s dais- into a waiting harpy. Like cockroaches the golden villains crawl everywhere out of the stonework, Facing death and destruction at every turn the mother of dragons finally accepts Jorah’s proffered hand, and her two loves, the scoundrel and the bear, encircle her as Tyrion rescues a forgotten Missandei- nobody expects a killer dwarf. Almost all my favourite people appear to be facing a bloodily massacre- until DROGON FLIES IN! Saved by the dragon. the spectacle of scales and blood set to soaring score is breathtaking, the harpy cannot defeat the dragon- it is known. Then the war drums of slavers bay return, and the queen mounts her weapon of mass destruction whispering ‘fly’ and the goose pimples return for a happier cause, and the Targaryen is risen anew, as her court can only stand and stare at her dust. We mourn a princess, but cheer for the Khaleesi.

GAME OF THRONES SEASON 5- EPISODE 7 ‘THE GIFT’

It’s snowing- winter is finally here! If only Ned was here to see.

I really want Jon’s mutiny-tempting expedition to be a success, but I am not at all sure his brothers will welcome him home upon his return. Maester Aemon is dying, revealing memories of Egg the future tyrant king. A heartbreaking exit from a minor but remarkable character; ‘Egg, I dreamed I was old’. As the Maester’s life fails he calls to the dead, and Sam waves goodbye to his final friend.

When the rotund hero defended his lady I feared him lost -‘I’ll take my chances’ he gambled, as the blows reigned down. But Ghost haunts his steps and Sam lives to be deflowered- one sex scene i really didn’t need to see, like spying on your brother- something only Cersei is comfortable with.

Reek feels rather reminiscent of Igor this season- a crippled shadow haunting the halls of Winterfell. Sansa is bruised and battered from her candlelit horror, yet regal in captivity, a teary rage fueled Sophie Turner is utterly compelling. Please let the damsel save herself from this distress.

Stannis bravely touts his ‘only forward’ policy, but in what world will his steps venture forth? Surely not a land where he butchers his only heir to secure a kingdom? Not Shireen! He speaks for us all when confronting Mellisandre’s horrific suggestion: ’have you lost your mind?!’ Stannis, she never had it.

In Kings Landing the stage is occupied by sparring partners worthy of the title; namely The Queen of Thorns and the High Sparrow. As they compare ailments Olenna comes to realise the sparrow has changed the rules of the game – can she outwit the fledgeling usurper?

Across the seas on the isle of disappointment… I mean Dorne… some rebels are languishing in a prison cell. A lot can be forgiven of this scene simply for the joy of hearing Bronn sing. The littlest Sand Snake sheds her tacky garb and performs a striptease. Classy. Weren’t the Sand Snakes meant to be kick-ass women, not strippers who just happen to have weapons? And what is the point of poisoning the Bronn, stripping for him, then curing him? Is this where the saying ‘mad as snakes’ comes from?

Back at the Meerenese slave sale: Tyrion beats a man bloody with his chains to remain with his captor- Stockholm syndrome? Jorah has his Khaleesi sensors up, and ploughs into battle fearlessly without slaughtering a soul. NO ONE PUTS JORAH IN THE CORNER. But will the dwarfish gift be good enough to save his skin? Did he keep the receipt?

And finally Cersai gets her comeuppance, but I somehow feel for her. What black magic is this? Sympathy for the devil? Or is she simply what Daddy dearest made her? She might be down, but not out just yet – never bet against a Lannister.

One princess endangered, two Queens imprisoned and one Khaleesi learning the best things come in small packages. Except dragons.

GAME OF THRONES -SEASON 5 – EPISODE 4 – SONS OF THE HARPY

Kidnapping a dwarf should not look cool. In fact if your friendly neighbourhood half-man is snatched bound and gagged, the appropriate emotional response should be that of horror and disbelief, as opposed to comical joy. Yet Jorah has abilities us mere mortals lack, and he conducts his crime with such panache he might as well be wearing a leather jacket upon a Dornish motorbike.

Even a gag cannot contain the wit of Tyrion, he reads Jorah like one of his many books, provoking the Mormont bear until he swipes with half-hearted annoyance, then resumes his stance of the least-bothered- I told you this double act would delight.

Cersai continues her scheming game of chess, but does she realise the High Sparrow is playing too? She gives him the faith militant and his side of the board strengthens tenfold: hellfire and damnation rain down on the sinners of Westeros as they beg for mercy from a militia that knows none…and imprison the little queen’s brother. Cersai’s move may be check for Margaery, but the checkmate is within reach of the Sparrow’s wings.

Across the Narrow Sea Bronn and Jamie wash up on Dornish shores straight into a tremendous battle sequence- blood stains the sand and Jamie finds his golden hand comes in handy. Witticisms and capital choreography aside I am beginning to fear Jamie is not all that bright. He claims he doesn’t want to start a war, yet he is invading and kidnapping/rescuing his niece/daughter… He has not thought this through.

By contrast on the same shores the Sand Snakes prove a great disappointment. The predatory women feel toothless and contrived in comparison to the richer characters woven into the bloody tapestry, all shoe-horned exposition and melodramatic pronouncements. We can but hope these vipers have a hidden sting.

From fire to ice, and The Wall is yet again home to the episode’s greatest scenes. Stannis is thawed into humanity by his disarming progeny- his tale of death, dolls and paternal devotion reveals a hidden heart in a beautiful exchange with the intimacy of a play. His red women offers no such sentimentality in her attempted seduction of our favourite bastard, but the commander while tempted rejects her advances with the dregs of lost love still clinging to a furrowed brow.
The spurned sorceress may creepily echo Ygritte’s refrain in parting, but we all know that Jon here has proved he knows more than Ygritte ever hoped. That’ll do Snow, That’ll do.

However this is Westeros and the credits cannot roll without a final fatality to mourn.
The harpy’s many heads rise again striking at those Daenerys holds most dear- farewell Sir Barristan, we only saw your talents as they failed you- if Grey Worm follows him to an unexpected grave i am going on strike. Harpies beware, here be dragons.