GAME OF THRONES Season 7, Episode 4 Mailbag: “The Spoils of War”

Each week, Fawkes’ resident Maester, Matt Atwell, will be taking all of your Game of Thrones’ questions and answering them in a weekly mailbag. You can ask your questions in the comments section below, at our Facebook page, via email at FawkesDotCom@gmail.com or through twitter @FawkesCulture & @MatwellsaysYou could also catch up with all of Fawkes’ GAME OF THRONES coverage here.

Is Tyrion going to be okay after watching Daenerys burn all those soldiers from his home, sworn to protect his own family? Why did Dany bring him there in the first place?

I’m not so sure it was entirely Dany’s decision for Varys and Tyrion to ride along. I’ve got to think that Tyrion strongly protested Dany going without the support of her other advisors and would have wanted to be with her on the front lines.

As for Tyrion, I think it was clear from his reaction to watching Jaime that he had some remorse for what was happening, and at the very least had concern for his brother and probably for his old friend Bronn as well.

Now, while it is true that Tyrion always lusted for Casterly Rock, which he considered to be his birth right after Jaime donned the white cloak of the King’s Guard, I doubt that he has too many fond memories there. After all, it is at the Guard’s Barracks of Casterly Rock where his first wife, Tysha, was brutally gang raped by the Tywin’s guards under Tywin’s orders. It was also the scene of all the torment that Cersei put him through as a child. I’m sure Tyrion wants to see damage done to his ancestral home, now that he is actually in position to claim the Rock as his own but I doubt that there was much loved lost between Tyrion and many of the soldiers who lost their lives on Sunday.

Yet, if Jaime survives his dip, it would create an interesting opportunity. Remember, Tyrion is only alive thanks to Jaime freeing him back in Season Four, after he is found guilty for regicide. I’m willing to bet that Tyrion may just repay the debt he owes Jaime. After all, Lannister’s always pay their debts.

Prior to being maimed, and even before being named to Aerys II King’s Guard, Jaime Lannister had built himself a reputation as a famous fighter.

After Aerys II refused to allow Jaime to squire for Rhaegar Targaryen, Jaime traveled to Crakehall to squire for Lord Sumner Crakehall. While still a squire, he won his first tourney at the age of 13.

At the age of 15, Jaime participated in the campaign against the Kingswood Brotherhood, an infamous band of outlaws, the most notable of which were their leader Simon Toyne and the Smiling Knight, who Jaime refers to as “the Mountain of my Boyhood.” It was during this campaign that Jaime really first made a name for himself. During the campaign, Jaime saved Lord Crakehall from Big Belly Ben. Later, Jaime briefly crossed swords with the Smiling Night, holding his own against one of the most feared outlaws to ever roam Westeros. Although Jaime was not the man who slew the Smiling Knight – that fell to the Sword of the Morning, Arthur Dayne, who needed two separate exchanges to defeat the infamous outlaw. Yet, Jaime’s feats were nevertheless recognized and he was knighted right there on the battlefield by Ser Arthur Dayne of the Kingsguard himself, one of the most famous knights to ever live.

Later, Jaime was raised to the Kingsguard at the age of 15 during the Tourney of Harrenhal, making him the youngest Kingsguard in history. While some scheming by Cersei and Jaime, as well as an attempt by Aerys to slight Tywin Lannister played a part in this, it is important to note how significant this honor is. Currently, the Kings/Queensguard has fallen on rough times, but prior to Robert’s Rebellion, only the greatest knights of Westeros were raised to the Kingsguard. It is an incredible honor, and for Jaime to receive that honor by 15 was truly impressive.

Jaime would go on to be crowned the champion at the tourney celebrating the wedding of King Robert and Cersei in 284 AC. At the tourney celebrating the defeat of Balon Greyjoy’s rebellion, Jaime and Jorah Mormount met in the final tilt. However, after nine broken lances, Robert named Jorah the champion, which I’m sure was an attempt to slight Jaime who the old King held in contempt. During the Tourney of the Hand, Jaime defeats Barristan Selmy before being unhorsed by Sandor Clegane. While at this point, Barristan the Bold was well past his prime fighting days at age 57, he was still regarded as one of the greatest fighters in the Seven Kingdoms and had defeated Sandor Clegane just one year prior at an unnamed tourney, showing that he still had it.

jaime-lannister

All this is to say that since the age of 13, Jaime’s fighting prowess, both on the battlefield and in tourneys, brought him acclaim as one of the greatest swordsmen in the Seven Kingdoms. Obviously, he committed other acts that led him to become infamous, notably killing Aerys II Targaryen in 283 AC, forever earning himself the title “Kingslayer.”

Thanks for the question.

Why is Bran holding what he knows back? Does this mean that perhaps Littlefinger has a greater role to play?

That is certainly a possibility, although I think the answer lies mainly in the question below: Bran just has not seen the full story on Littlefinger thus far. I think it is also likely that he knows or has seen that the perfect moment for Littlefinger’s ultimate demise will arise at some point and that killing him too soon may result in the Stark’s losing the loyalty of the Knights of the Vale.

Has Bran fully developed his powers? If that’s the case, does he know how he’ll die? Is there any other ability more important in the whole than Bran’s Greenseeing?

Well, the answer to the first question is no, Bran’s powers have not reached their potential. In “The Queen’s Justice,” Bran tells Sansa:

[Being the Three-Eyed Raven] means I can see everything. Everything that’s ever happened to everyone. Everything that’s happening right now. It’s all pieces now. Fragments. I need to learn to see better. When the Long Night comes again, I need to be ready.

So, Bran is still working on mastering his powers. In his own words, what he is seeing now are “fragments” and “pieces.” To me, that sounds like Bran is still learning to control where he is able to Greensee, what period of time he sees, and how long he is able to stay in his visions.

Now whether this means he knows how he will die, I’m not sure. My guess is he may have an idea, which could explain his current depressive streak. But I would doubt that he knows all of the circumstances that will eventually surround his death. Just like he may have seen glimpses of Littlefinger talking about ladders and chaos, or even what Arya will do with her new dagger, I’m sure he’s seen glimpses of the end of his life.

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I think one of the more interesting things that Bran said in this week’s episode when reuniting with Arya was “I thought you might go to King’s Landing.” This seems to indicate that while the past is dry ink, the future may be still changing based on the individual choices. Much has been theorized about everyone having their own set destiny after watching what happened with Hodor last season, but maybe characters do have agency over their own destiny’s after all. Perhaps Bran is able to see the potential outcomes from each choice but cannot flawlessly see the future since choice is still involved. So, maybe Bran even has a choice on how he dies. But it is just as likely that his destiny has been written for some time now.

As for the final part of the question, I think it is pretty clear that there is no power that is as impactful as Bran’s. Arya and Jon may very well be wargs as well (they certainly are in the books, as well as Rickon RIP), but neither has the ability to Greensee. The only thing that may rival Bran’s ability is the Last Kiss. the ritual that has brought both Beric Dondarrion and Jon Snow back to life. If Red Priests/Priestesses were able to perform that ability in mass it could be a game changer.

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