Warning: Spoilers ahead for Game of Thrones!
Game of Thrones has powered its way into our homes for its sixth season. Moving toward episode 4, fans have already witnessed: the death of Balon Greyjoy, Melisandre’s true form, the resurrection of Jon Snow, and the loss of the Warden of the North, Roose Bolton.
Clearly, all is not quiet in the realm. That’s because the show’s diverse cast of characters is moving, plotting, reconnoitering, and surviving the Westerosi wrath.
The third episode, “Oathbreaker,” was perhaps the most significant effort of contextualization viewers have seen in quite a while. “Oathbreaker” was a powerful plot “catalyst” that found many anecdotes steadily gaining steam. With each passing week, the Iron Throne seems more attainable for figures like Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow. (Let’s be honest, Tommen’s not long for this world.)
But what still remains unanswered? What do fans want to see from David Benioff and D.B. Weiss in the next seven episodes — and perhaps beyond that.
Here are five unanswered questions we’ll address today (in no particular order).
1. What do the White Walkers truly want?
Season 5 saw Jon Snow being ambushed at a wildling village beyond the wall. There, the Night’s King had a close encounter with our favorite bastard Night’s Watchman. (Thanks to some Valyrian steel, the lord commander survived…for a time.) The Night’s Watch members and some of the wildlings made it onto the water, away from the White Walkers. Much like the aliens in M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs, these guys seem to be repelled by water, in liquid form at least.
But in Season 6, where will we find the White Walkers again? And in what role? It’s hard to imagine these zombie-esque ice creatures taking over the G.R.R.M. world, now, for no apparent reason. As Time’s Megan McCluskey pointed out in an April article, at least Ser Davos acknowledged the real threat. In a Season 6 trailer, Davos says, “The real war is between the living and the dead, and make no mistake, the dead are coming.”
2. What is Uncle Benjen’s plight?
Viewers haven’t seen Uncle Benjen (Eddard’s brother and the First Ranger of the Night’s Watch) since Season 1, when he went ranging beyond the wall and did not return. Only his mount found its way back to Castle Black.
Naturally, Game of Thrones fans took his arc and began to explore the different possibilities. In a 2015 Bustle article, Leah Thomas wrote about various fan theories surrounding Benjen’s strange disappearance.
The most probable point: He is still “out there.” Thomas wrote:
Benjen Stark’s horse returned to the wall without him, and on the show we later saw his companions as wights. For all we know Benjen is still out there, fighting the White Walkers, teaming up with Wildlings, and/or solving mysteries…
The other theories: he’s a “sentient wight” called Coldhands, he’s the Night’s King, he’s Daario Naharis, or just long dead. Perhaps we’ll encounter Benjen again; Season 5 teased us with his reemergence.
3. What is happening with the Iron Islands plot line?
The true heir of the Iron Islands, Theon Greyjoy, was captured and emasculated by the (appointed) heir to Roose Bolton, Ramsay. In that time, Yara Greyjoy attempted a stealthy rescue, but retreated back to her homeland. Now, a wedge has been thrown into this plot (that may’ve seen Yara take her father’s place), for Euron Greyjoy, a lost-at-sea brother of Balon, returned with a thirst for blood. (He kills his older brother.) What Euron wants is still unknown, but with Theon returning to his stomping grounds, a power struggle is imminent. If there’s one likable aspect about Season 6’s return to the Greyjoy story, it’s that there will be no shortage of bloodshed, of out-maneuvering, and infighting. (Plus, people of the water? It’s just plain interesting.)
4. Will Walder Frey reappear on Game of Thrones?
Fans haven’t seen Walder Frey since Season 3’s “Red Wedding.” At that moment, the world grew to hate a fictional character more so than any in recent history. If the shrewd, conniving, and incestuous old man — the Lord of the Crossing and head of House Frey — were to return, he could take on a newer, more important role as the Houses take up against one another. That’s to say, it’ll happen if Jon Snow’s watch is truly over, and it’s Winterfell and the Iron Throne he wants. And if Walder Frey learns of Ramsay’s brutal murder of Walda Bolton — at the “paws” of the ravenous hounds — perhaps he will help eradicate the men who fillet their enemies.
5. What’s the deal with the Tower of Joy?
In his May 10 article, Cheat Sheet’s own Nick Cannata-Bowman wrote about the intricate fan theories surrounding the Tower of Joy, shown to Bran via the Three-Eyed Raven in episode 3. But what is the significance? As Cannata-Bowman points out, it could very well be hinting at the “end of the line” for Game of Thrones.
Fan theory (bear with us, it unwinds slowly):
- When Bran is shown the fight at the Tower of Joy — with his father as a combatant, the Three-Eyed Raven may be hinting that: What’s happening inside was more crucial than the bloody backstabbing occurring in the sands outside.
- It’s been suggested that Ned’s sister, Lyanna Stark, is inside. The “known” story is that Lyanna was kidnapped and abused by the son of the Mad King, Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. But when Ned shows up at the Red Mountains of Dorne, Rhaegar is already dead (thanks to Robert’s sword). But Lyanna has also been killed.
- As the story goes, Ned fights his way inside, to see Lyanna lying dead. The rest is history: The Baratheons align themselves with the Lannisters; Robert is betrothed to Cersei Lannister, etc.
- But perhaps, as the Raven may be suggesting, Lyanna eloped with Rhaegar out of love and bore his child. The baby survives childbirth (the cause of Lyanna’s death?) and is rescued by Ned, who agrees to raise it as his own — as his “bastard.” And that bastard: Jon Snow (or should we say Jon Stark or Jon Targaryen).
- If that’s the case, the Iron Throne would have its true heir!
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