A #GameOfThrones Q&A to Prepare for Sunday’s Season 6 Premier

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One of HBO’s Promotional Poster’s for Game of Thrones Sixth Season

The World of Ice & Fire that George R.R. Martin created and David Benioff & D.B. Weiss are now stewards of is massiveWhile this is an incredibly impressive feat, it also sometimes makes Game of Thrones a confusing and overwhelming show to follow due to the extensive character list and the breadth of geography stretching across Westeros & Essos.

But do not fear, for that is where I come in. As Fawkes’ resident Maester, I, Matt Atwell, First of His Name, will help you along through Season 6, offering insight in the form of weekly recaps and Q&A’s on anything that you may not have understood or want some more information. Below, I will answer any and all questions fans of the show may have in preparation for Sunday’s premier.

A quick note: I am a book reader as well as a show-watcher. I will do my best limit any spoilers that may remain from the books but also if people have question’s on the differences between the books and show, I will be happy to answer them. I also may use book information to supplement information given by the show that I do not feel spoils anything.

Without further ado, let’s get to reader questions.

Luke asks via Facebook:

Who should rightfully sit on the throne of Westeros after Robert Baratheon dies? Joffrey, Tommen, and Myrcella Baratheon have no true claim to the throne, as they are bastards and have no blood relation to the king, Robert.

If Robert is the rightful king, wouldn’t it transfer to his closest relative with kingsblood? Would that be Stannis? He certainly believes so. Or would it pass on to one of his bastards (AKA Gendry, or… Jon), because they share his blood? Typically bastards cannot hold lordship (see Ellaria Sand) but that can certainly change (see Ramsay). I’m aware of certain people’s vows, but they can be released by the Lord Commander or death (no mention of resurrection…).

Would it pass to Daenerys? She does have the original kingsblood in her, but her family has obviously lost the throne. Does it default to her?

Does kingsblood even matter? Does anything in a fictional television show really matter? Does it say something about me that I think this much about it?

There is a lot to unpack here.

To start, Luke is correct in saying that neither the deceased Joffrey and Myrcella, as well as the current King Tommen have no claim to the throne because they were born of incest. King’s blood does not run through their veins.

As Luke points out, Robert has fathered many a bastard. While Bastard’s like Gendry have no lawful right to the throne, they can be legitimized by Royal Decree. This is what happened with Ramsay Bolton, who since he is no longer bastard is the lawful heir to all of Roose Bolton’s titles, which currently includes Warden in The North, Lord of Winterfell, and Lord of the Dreadfort. Stannis also offered to legitimize Jon Snow, which would have made him a Stark and the true Lord of Winterfell but obviously Jon refused and became the 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch.

The point of saying all of that is that since Gendry and other assorted bastards of Robert have no been legitimized, they have no lawful claim to the throne.

So, since Robert had no heirs, the Throne would pass to his brothers, from oldest to youngest, making Stannis the rightful Ruler of Westeros. There’s just on problem: Stannis is dead and with him the Baratheon bloodline. This makes matters even more murky. There has never been a ruling queen in Westeros but I’m inclined to say that if we are accepting the Baratheon’s as the ruling bloodline, then I believe Cersei may in fact be the rightful ruler.

However, Robert was called the Usurper for a reason: he stole the Iron Throne from the Targaryens. Now, Daenerys is seeking to steal it back. The Throne does not default to her but if she is able to win it back all bets are off.

In this question, Luke mentions Jon Snow as a possible suitor for the Throne. While he does not have any Baratheon blood, if we are to believe the unconfirmed rumors and theories that he is actually the son of Lyana Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, this would make his claim as strong, and perhaps stronger than Dany’s on the merit of blood.

If Jon does come back, and it is revealed that he is the son of Rhaegar and Lyana, Dany and him will have to figure it out. I could see Dany not being to keen on giving up her claim, but Jon would be the true heir the Throne should have passed from Aerys II, to Rhaegar, and then to Rhaegar’s heir, Jon.

As for the final question, Melisandre has proven that King’s Blood does matter through her sacrifices (although Shireen didn’t pan out so well). In addition to having the original King’s Blood (Targaryen), he is also a Stark through his mother. Now, there is no such thing as King of Westeros. The proper title is “King of the Andals, and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, and Protector of the Realm.” The reason I say Jon has a stronger blood right is because his blood is as noble as it gets: The Starks are descendants of the First Men. So that is some holy blood running through the snow at Castle Black.

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As for if anything in a fictional TV show matters, as the great Albus Dumbledore once said “of course it’s happening in your head, but why on earth should that make it any less real?” It’s fun to make believe, Luke. And if you think about these things too much, what does it make a guy devoting his weekend to refreshing his already-far-too-extensive knowledge of a fictional world?

Jake asked via Twitter:

As you may remember, the last time we saw Daenerys she  surrounded by a menacing group of Dothraki as she wandered the desert after being ditched by Drogon. Her situation certainly looked bleak in every glimpse we’ve gotten of her in the Season 6 trailers. However, for all the Dany fans out there, fret not, for I don’t think her situation is as dire as it appears.

It’s clear in the trailers that the Dothraki have taken Daenerys back to Vaes Dothrak, the only city in the Dothraki Sea. While in the trailers, Dany appears to be their prisoner, I don’t think that is the case. As you can see in this clip, while the Dothraki rider gives her a nudge, he also refers to as the “Great Khaleesi.” I believe the Dothraki have taken Dan back to Vaes Dothrak so that she may take her place on the Dosh Khaleen, a group of former Khaleesis who serve as seers for the Dothraki, interpreting omens for them. It is a position of great honor.

We’ve gotten a glimpse of members of the Dosh Khaleen before. After her housing some horse heat, they pronounced Dany and Drogo’s forthcoming baby as the Stallion who Mounts the World.

You may also remember Jorah’s proclamation that Dothraki “follow strength above all”. Well, I would say Dragon’s are a sign of strength.

So, while Dany has been taking to Vaes Dothrak, she’s going to be fine and my bet is that when the time is right, Drogo will return and Dany will lead the Dothraki back into Slaver’s Bay, where shit will be popping off this season.

Mike Ferrier, via Twitter, has a couple questions: 

Let’s take this one question at a time: Will we ever know what White Walkers are?

The short answer to this question is yes.

While it is clear that wights are merely the equivalent of frozen zombies doing the biding of their masters (which includes throwing themselves off of a cliff in truly terrifying fashion), there is something different about the White Walkers, especially the Night’s King. They communicate with one another and seem to have grander plans, presumably with some snowy end goal in sight. We’ve heard it repeated over and over that “Winter is Coming” and last season it seemed to arrive North of the Wall. With each passing season, we’ve learned more and more about the ultimate existential threat facing Westeros, except for as Mike points out, what they are and where they originate from.

That will change this season thanks to the return of a tragically underrated character, especially in terms of importance: Bran Stark.

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Bran starring into the eyes of the Night King from the Trailer for Season 6

In addition to being a Warg (being able to see through and control animals, and of course, Hodor) Bran also posses the gift of Greensight, or The Sight. The Sight allows Bran to see past, future, and present – although geographically distant – visions. In addition, the two visions together allow Bran to see through Weirwood trees.

We didn’t see any of Bran last Season but he’s been chillin’ underground, honing is magical abilities under the tutelage of the Three Eyed Raven. But this season, I believe Bran’s improved Greensight will be the key to unlocking what exactly the White Walker’s are, where they come from, and possibly how to defeat them – as well as other key secrets (R+L=J, anyone?).

Is there a Dragon in The Wall?

This is a really interesting question. Both the show and the books have explicitly stated that  The Wall has means of protecting itself. However, I don’t think those means include a dragon hidden inside.

With that being said, there is the whole Horn of Joramun/Winter thing. For those of you who do not remember, the Horn of Winter is said to have the ability to bring down The Wall and awaken “the giants from the earth.” It was previously in Mance Rayder’s possession. While Mance claimed that the Horn was broken in Stannis’ raid, our favorite (living) ginger, Tormund, said that the horn Mance had was a fake. So, where is the real horn you ask?

Remember when the Night’s Watch stumbled upon that cloak filled with Dragonglass? Well, I bet you forgot there was a horn in there too. In the show, that horn is forgotten about, and to my knowledge, never really mentioned again. In the books, Jon deems it to be broken and bequeaths it to Sam, who brings it with him on his journey towards The Citadel. Could this be the Horn of Winter that has the power to bring down The Wall? I would say that if the Horn is to play a major role, than it is likely. And, if the Horn has magical powers, The Citadel would be the best place to find out. Is it possible that the Horn wakes up a dragon inside The Wall? Maybe, but I doubt it.

However, the last thing I’ll mention is that in 1980 George R.R. Martin released a children’s book entitled The Ice Dragon. It is not confirmed but the book appears to be set in the World of Ice and Fire. In the book, the Ice Dragon eventually melts into a pond. There is a pretty nice pond in the Godswood of Winterfell…

Will Jorah & Khaleesi Make Out?

Another interesting question.

Let me begin by noting that while there are many similarities between Jorah’s character arc in the book and the show, there are also major differences. For example, in the books Jorah actually kissed Daenerys only for her to reject him and, as we all know, banish him from her service.

Another major difference is that in the books, Jorah does not contract Greyscale, the ugly rash spreading across Jorah’s perfectly tanned skin that will eventually take over his entire body, drive him mad, and prove fatal. That ill-begotten fate falls to a different character, who I will not mention here because #spoilers.

Unfortunately, due to the contagious nature of Jorah’s Greyscale and the risk of it spreading to Dany, I just can’t see a much anticipated make out happening.

Luke Palguta asks via Facebook, “Is Tyrion really Daenerys Targaryen’s time-traveling fetus?”

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Tyrion Lannister thinking about his parentage, probably

While on it’s nose, this question appears to be patently absurd and totally false, further digging brought to light an impressively researched and thought out fan theory drawing parallels between Tyrion and Oedipus and pointing to some evidence that suggests it may be possible.

You may remember Dany and Khal Drogo’s stillborn baby, Rhaego, and the godswide Mirri Maz Duur who has some choice words for Dany. The theory posits that through blood magic, Rhaego time traveled and is now Tyrion. The theory points out some compelling similarities between the unborn Rhaego and Tyrion.

However, no, Tyrion is not Daenerys’ time-traveling fetus. There is obviously a great deal of magic and fantasy in Game of Thrones, but neither Martin or Benioff and Weiss have employed anything as wild as physical time travel. Also, at this late of a stage in the Game, the show and books just do not have enough bandwidth to explain that crazy story and how Tyrion’s entire life at Casterly Rock and King’s Landing was all just a product of magic and the ramifications that would cause.

So, while it is not totally out of the question, I’d be extremely surprised if this theory were true.

One last thing: there are other, more plausible theories about Tyrion’s true parentage, which I do in fact believe but that is for another time.

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