The World of Ice & Fire that George R.R. Martin created and David Benioff & D.B. Weiss are now stewards of is massive. While 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 7, 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. You can also catch up on all my recaps and mailbags from last season here.
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.
I will answer any and all questions as I receive them.
While I find it endearing that Maisie Williams is also into amateur theorizing about Game of Thrones, the theory that the former First Sword of Braavos, Syrio Forel, is Jagen H’ghar, or in general a Faceless Man, has been around for a while.
This idea centers around the fact that Meryn Trant with a cadre of other King’s Guard/ City’s Watch knights would not be enough to defeat a swordsman as accomplished as Syrio. Obviously, the Braavosi connection of Syrio and the Faceless Men plays a part as well. The problem here, however, is that Syrio was armed with nothing but a wooden sword, was not wearing armor, and was facing off against multiple knights with real iron swords. The odds were stacked heavily against him, so my belief is that while it is an interesting theory and you should never trust that someone is truly dead on Game of Thrones unless you see it happen on-screen – and still not trust even those deaths sometimes – I believe Syrio to be dead.
This also gets into the deeper and more meta conversation of is Jagen H’ghar even Jagen H’ghar, but that’s for another time. Thanks for the question, Mike.
“Is it possible that Meera Reed has Dark Sister?”
For those of you who do not know, Dark Sister is one of the ancestral blades of House Targaryen, the other being Blackfyre. While Dark Sister was originally carried by Aegon I’s older sister Visenya and is believed to have been forged for a woman warrior, Blackfyre was a hand-and-a-half longsword wielded by the Targaryen kings, and then eventually the Blackfyre Pretenders during the series of the Blackfyre Rebellions. Both have not been seen for decades.
The last known possessor of Dark Sister was Brynden “Bloodraven” Rivers, more commonly known in the world of Game of Thrones as the Three Eyed Raven. I always believed that he still had the sword with him and that he would eventually bestow it to Bran and his party. That, however, did not happen. At least on screen.
It is entirely possible that at some point Meera found or was given Dark Sister but the audience doesn’t know about. I hope so, since Valyrian Steel is decidedly dope.
I always theorized/hoped that Jon would come into possession of one of the Targaryen ancestral swords, whether it be Blackfyre (I have a half-cooked book theory on where this may be but it is very book spoiler-y) or Dark Sister. Then. later, after Dany’s invasion, and Jorah finds some form of redemption, that Jon would return Longclaw to him. Or maybe, his younger sister Lyanna, which would be pretty full circle. But who knows.
“Who do you think ends up in control of The Twins?”
In the finale of last season, we got to finally see the skills Arya learned at the House of Black and White in action, when she switched faces with a Frey serving girl to infiltrate The Twins, bake Lothar and Walder Frey, and kill the Lord of the Crossing to claim her vengeance from the Red Wedding. What happens to The Twins, and who becomes the next Lord of the Crossing is anyone’s guess. Below, I’ll discuss the five most likely scenarios in my mind:
Stevron Frey: While Arya succeeded in killing the two most prominent Frey sons, neither was Walder’s actual heir, Stevron. In addition, Walder famously had nearly an army of offspring, many of them being men. It is entirely possible that the remaining sons take power after their father’s assassination. It is also entirely possible that in a move to trim some fat, show-runners Dave Benioff and D.B. Weiss remove the other Frey offspring from the picture, whether mentioning that they are off at court in King’s Landing or at Riverrun, keeping guard of their brother-in-law/prisoner Edmure Tully, or that they were disposed of through other measures, such as being attacked by a clan of wolves led by a massive she-wolf or the Brotherhood Without Banners, who remain in the vicinity.
Edmund Tully: While House Tully was not always the rulers of the Riverlands, they’ve controlled the area since Aegon named them Lord Paramount of the Trident following his invasion, a post they held up until the War of the Five Kings and the Red Wedding. What’s more, Edmure is married to a Frey. I am sure Walder left some of his other sons and men-at-arms in Riverrun to watch over Edmure but what remains of the Tully army is now under his control. Last season Edmure did essentially cede Riverrun to Lannister-Frey forces rather than opt for a protracted siege with his Uncle Brynden “Blackfish” controlling the castle, but I’ve got to think he would like some semblance of vengeance on the Frey’s for ruthlessly murdering half his family, including his sister. What better way than routing their men present at Riverrun and capturing their home?
Another wild card here, is perhaps the Blackfish somehow survived when the Lannisters captured Riverrun. This is improbable but never trust a death unless you see it on screen.
The Lannisters: While Jaime returned to the Crownlands, presumably with the majority of the Lannister forces in tow or heading to Casterly Rock, I think it’s safe to assume he left at least some residual forces in The Riverlands, either at The Twins, in Riverrun, or both. If they were not killed or otherwise sabotaged by Arya’s covert ops or some other force, they’d be close by.
Another thing to mention here is that in the trailers, Brienne and Pod both appear to be wearing Lannister army at some castle that appears to be Winterfell. We last saw them at Riverrun treating with the Blackfish. Maybe before heading back North, they stopped by The Twins. Whether they seized it in the Lannister name or for Sansa would be interesting to watch.
The Northern Stark-Baelish Army: We know Littlefinger grew up around here in Riverrun and that he coveted Cat Tully. I would assume his power-lust also stretched beyond Cat, to all of the Tully lands, which since Aegon’s Invasion have included the Twins. He also has some nominal control in the region in both show and book as the Lord of Harrenhal. In the books, his titles also include Lord Paramount of the Trident, making him the de jure liege lord of the Freys AND Tully’s, and thus The Twins would be his to control or bestow to another vassal House.
Whether LF would head south to take the castle with Sansa, Jon, or some other northern contingent, who knows? But I’ve got to think Jon and Sansa wouldn’t mind taking the Castle in the name of justice for Robb, Cat, and the other Northerners slaughtered there. It would also provide an opportunity for Jon to meet…
The Brotherhood Without Banners: They’re in the area, as they’ve been rolling through the Riverlands since the start of the War. We know they connect with Jon at some point, and that at least Beric and the Hound head North of the Wall with the new King in the North thanks to the trailers. So it would seem to make some narrative sense if both parties simultaneously converged on the Twins. It would also provide an opportunity for Arya to reunite both with the Brotherhood and her siblings. And who knows? Maybe we’ll run into Melisandre here too. After all, she foretold seeing Arya again way back in Season Three.
Steve asks, “Did Sansa and Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish end up getting married last season?”
There was a lot that happened last season between Lord Baelish and Sansa Stark. After Sansa’s harrowing escape from Ramsay Bolton’s clutches thanks to help from Podrick Payne and Brienne of Tarth, she was able to reach her half brother at The Wall. A short ways away in Molestown, Sansa and Petyr reunited for the first time since Littlefinger married Sansa offer to sociopathic serial rapist. Needless to say she was not please to see him. She then rebuked his offer of support from the Knights of the Vale to retake her home of Winterfell.
Flash forward to The Battle of the Bastards, as Sansa rides in with Petyr by her side and the Knights of the Vale at her back. Obviously, there was some conversation off-screen that led to this newfound allegiance. We still do not know exactly what was said. I’m sure that Littlefinger felt his aid would allow him to finally slide into Sansa’s DMs or at least put him back into her good graces.
While the latter may be true, the former certainly was not. Following the Battle of the Bastards, Littlefinger finds Sansa in the Godswood, where he declares his desire to sit the Iron Throne with Sansa by his side as queen. Sansa, unsurprisingly, quickly rejects his marriage offer. You’ll find in life that people don’t readily forgive and forget being essentially sold into sex slavery. A bit later, however, the two exchanged a tense look as Jon is declared King in the North. You can bet that Littlefinger will continue to court Sansa, while also trying to sow discord in the Stark ranks throughout Season 7.
I think it is also important to mention just how powerful a Stark-Baelish marriage pact would be. While there seems to be a shaky alliance in place, it is safe to say Littlefinger would turn on Jon at the drop of a hat if it became beneficial to him, so the only way to really cement an alliance would be through marriage (which would probably totally push Jon from the picture). While a total dick, Littlefinger’s maneuvering has brought with it great esteem. Petyr Baelish is Lord of Harrenhal and Lord Protector of the Reach. Sansa would secure all of the North. Meanwhile, after the murder of Walder Frey, the Riverlands are for the taking for whoever can get there first, whether it be the Northern army of Stark-Baelish, or Daenerys.
But no, there was no marriage between Sansa Stark and Petyr Baelish, and I do not expect there to be one this season.