Get to know Game of Thrones

 

Read Part 1 of the Game of Thrones Prep School here.

Read Part 2 of the Game of Thrones Prep School here.

 

Class, we have officially made it. It’s the end of the year and I’m sure that all of your heads must feel like they are going to explode with all of the things that we have learned. I must say, it’s moments like these that make me proud to be your teacher; seeing your bright-eyed and eager faces yearning to learn fills me with joy. However, we do have one more lesson to get through before the final. The Season 6 premiere of Game of Thrones is one week from today, and there are still some major things that we have to cover. Today, we are going to review the eight core characters of our story, all of whom we have been with from the very beginning. So class, buckle down for one last cram session, as we finish the year out strong with the major characters upcoming in this season.

FULL SPOILERS AHEAD

Jaime Lannister

Where we left him: Is there a character in all of television who has made such a drastic turn-around in terms of fan support as this guy has? We opened the series with him sleeping with his sister and pushing a child out of a window and now, well, we still have the incest thing but he’s become one of the most likable characters on the show. Ever since he lost his hand, viewers have rooted for Jaime in hopes that he will break away from his sister and follow more noble endeavors. Last season was a weird one for this Lannister, as he found himself saddled with a storyline that did little to interest fans (sans his interactions with Bronn). In an attempt to rescue his niece/daughter Myrcella, Jaime made his way to Dorne, squabbled with the Sand Snakes, and found himself in prison. Through some negotiating, Jaime was able to leave Dorne with Bronn and Myrcella in tow. However, after revealing himself as Myrcella’s father (something she oddly already knew), Jaime had to watch his daughter die in front of him as a result of poison from the Sand Snakes. Now, Jaime is returning to King’s Landing and a battered Cersei, and all he has is a dead child to show for his rescue efforts.

Where we will see him go: The trailers have featured quite a bit of Ser Jaime, and what we’ve seen is discouraging if you’re rooting for his character’s redemption. Clearly in support of his sister (at least in the early going), Jaime has reignited his “relationship” with his sister, and seems to be in support of her militarily. This certainly makes sense in the short-term, as his sister/lover and family name has been besmirched by the Sparrows, and now he has lost another of his children. Plus, in the scenes from the trailer that seem to depict legitimate warfare, Jaime is seen riding in front of Lannister tents and banners. Again, all of this is to be expected and is par for the course for Jaime. However, I’m of the opinion that Jaime will begin to become disenchanted with his sister as he sees the cruelty and barbarity that she is sure to unleash on Westeros. Prediction: Jaime might see Brienne on the other side of the battlefield (she’s been seen in front of Tully war banners), and remember what it was like to be away from the drama that comes with being a Lannister. I’m not saying that he will feel romantically for Brienne, but her presence might be enough to sway Jaime in the right direction, or at least start the momentum that will lead him to break away from his sister for good. While this is good for him morally, I don’t like what it suggests for his physical well-being. In short, you never want to be on Cersei’s bad side, because it kind of sucks even when your on her good side.

Cersei Lannister

Where we left her: Hell hath no fury, am I right guys? Well, Cersei has never been so full of fury as she was at the end of last season, following a very active year from the Queen Mother. As usual, Cersei was actively involved in the goings on in King’s Landing, manipulating her son and essentially ruling Westeros through him. In an attempt to stifle the power-grabbing of Margaery Tyrell (and likely prevent the realization of a prophecy she heard as a child), Cersei manipulated the Sparrows into putting the young Tyrell and her brother on trial for “acts against the Gods.” This led to their imprisonment, and a smug Cersei believed herself to be victorious. Well, things turned drastically for Cersei, as her incestuous relationships with members of her family (the Lannisters really, really love incest if you can’t tell) was exposed to the Sparrows. This led to her imprisonment and subsequent shaming throughout the streets of King’s Landing. Needless to say, Cersei is now filled with a rage that we have never seen before, one that she will unleash with reckless abandon on Westeros.

Where we will see her go: Wherever it is, Cersei will go there with one hell of a vendetta in mind. We will see Cersei find out about the death of her daughter very early in the season, which will only serve to add to her vindictive pursuits. Cersei arguably had the best line of all of the trailers, choosing violence over peace. With the Zombie Mountain by her side to do her dirty work, Cersei will be a wreaking ball throughout Westeros, taking down all who oppose her. All we’ve seen of Cersei in the trailers to this point has been a woman with one sole purpose, destroy everything and everyone who doesn’t fly the Lannister banners. Because of this, there is very little to speculate with when it comes to the type of journey she will take in terms of character development. However, I find it hard to believe that Cersei will just be able to get away with everything that she intends to do this season. As I’ve speculated previously, Jaime may find her actions too insufferable, and may finally split away from his sister. If he does this, I would expect Cersei to travel down her darkest path to this point, and it may end poorly for her.

Tyrion Lannister

Where we left him: Last season was an interesting one for this fan favorite, as he found himself completely away from the happenings of Westeros for the first time in the series. Swooped away by Varys at the end of Season 4 after Tyrion murdered his father (who totally had it coming by the way), our favorite Lannister found himself in Essos to open Season 5. After going on a pretty extensive road trip with Jorah, Tyrion eventually made his way to Merreen. Reaching Merreen meant only one thing for Tyrion, as he joined forces with Dany. Forming a pretty powerful coalition between himself, Dany, Varys, Jorah and Daario, things seemed to be looking up for Tyrion. For the entire series, Tyrion had struggled to find a place where his political prowess could be respected and used properly, but was met with resistance at every step due to his being considered the black sheep of his family. In Merreen, Tyrion has had the chance to flex his political muscles, fulfilling the advisory role that he is very well suited for. However, with the flight of Dany, Tyrion and Varys are left saddled with complete control of the government of Merreen, a city on the verge of complete social upheaval.

Where we will see him go: In terms of location, Tyrion won’t go very far at all, as I imagine that he will stay in Merreen for the long haul. With the absence of Daenerys, Tyrion will serve as the political voice of this city and, although he will face a ton of turmoil and danger from the Harpies, he will thrive in this role. Throughout the series, Tyrion has longed for this opportunity to truly prove his political chops, and he won’t let it run from him. However, upon Dany’s eventual return, Tyrion will likely learn of the turmoil happening in Westeros (not from Dany necessarily but I imagine these things will happen simultaneously). With this news and a renewed belief in his abilities, Tyrion will end the season by making his way back home.


Daenerys Targaryen

Where we left her: Another fan favorite, Dany has lost a little bit of her swag in recent seasons. The Mother of Dragons has spent all of her time throughout the series spanning the lengths of Essos. Throughout this time, Dany has added troops and dragons to her growing army that she is building to take down Westeros. For a while, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Dany would ran rampant throughout the world, taking down anyone who opposes her and adding believers to her growing ranks. However, Dany got a little distracted. Trying to change the culture of people who she didn’t understand, Dany found herself dealing with a full-fledge rebellion by season’s end. Without the help of Drogon, her biggest dragon, Dany would have been killed by this rebellion. However, Dany literally jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire, as Drogon abandoned her on the middle of Essos, only for her to get picked up by a band of roaming Dothraki.

Where we will see her go: Now a (possible) prisoner of this Dothraki tribe, Dany hasn’t looked too good in the trailers. It’s hard to say what her role is here, but she seemingly is being led along as a commoner by these Dothraki, going to places such as Vaes Dothrak, the Dothraki capital city. Dany first came to power as a leader of the Dothraki, so it’ll be interesting to see how she maneuvers herself through this relationship. After the passing of her husband Khal Drogo, many of the Dothraki followed a new leader and would likely not have good feelings for Dany. If this group is THAT group of Dothraki, Dany might be in trouble. However, Dothraki tradition necessitates that they follow the strongest among them. With the hopeful return of Drogon, Dany will likely prove herself to be exactly that, the most powerful individual in the realm. With a new collection of Dothraki to add to her army, Dany will finally be ready by the end of the season to make her move on Westeros.

Arya Stark

Where we left her: Let’s just say it, shall we? Shit got super real for Arya last season. After being put through massive amounts of crap through the entire series (father is executed in front of her, she’s hanging out with Tywin Lannister and then the Hound, and then she’s wandering around on her own), Arya reached Braavos, where she proceeded to be put through even more crap. Reaching Braavos in an attempt to reunite with Jaqen H’Ghar, who helped her during her journeys in Westeros, Arya wanted to learn the ways of the Faceless Men so that she could become a badass assassin and take vengeance on those who wronged her family. However, becoming an assassin for the Faceless Men wasn’t as easy as Arya expected and she quickly found herself anxious performing meaningless tasks. This led Arya to go outside of her bounds a little bit, targeting and brutally (yet, gloriously for Stark fans) one of the men responsible for the death of her family members. Displeased with Arya’s indiscretions, Jaqen blinded Arya through some form of magic, leaving Arya lost and confused on her path to vengeance.

Where we will see her go: I imagine Arya’s storyline will be pretty straightforward this season, at least in the early going. In short, we will watch as she struggles to cope with her new disability while simultaneously learning how to become a Faceless (wo)Man. It seems obvious that blinding Arya is meant to teach her a lesson, requiring her to rely on her other senses in order to survive. After honing these senses and her assassin skills, I imagine that we will see Arya given back her sight. While I don’t see her leaving Braavos by the end of the season, the interesting question for Arya will lie in whether she will commit to her teachings, or use her new skills to seek revenge. Long term, I imagine that Arya will choose the latter of the two, and I’m afraid that it may lead to poor consequences for one of our favorite Starks.

Sansa Stark

Where we left her: Much like her sister, Sansa has been dealing with her fair share of troubles throughout the series, with these issues reaching its apex during last season. Throughout the majority of the series, Sansa was kind of an inconsequential character, roaming around King’s Landing as a relatively safe prisoner of the Lannisters. It was clear that they would probably never harm her due to the political ramifications of such harm and, thus, Sansa was kept pretty safe, even if it was against her will. Last season, however, with Sansa finally out of the grasp of the Lannisters, she found herself in even more trouble than she was in before. Encouraged by Littlefinger, Sansa married Ramsay Bolton, a member of the family who helped murder her mother and brother. The Boltons, who are currently residing in Winterfell (the home of Sansa’s once strong family), are a sadistic bunch with Ramsay leading the charge in psychotic acts. Some of the scenes involving Sansa and Ramsay were so bad last season that they drew some criticism from fans and critics (and this is a show that has done some pretty gruesome things in its past). However, all of it hammers home the point that Sansa was in the darkest hours of her life, nearing death with every passing day. However, with the sudden help of Theon Greyjoy, Sansa was able to escape Ramsay and the Boltons, using the attack by Stannis Baratheon as a distraction. Now, Sansa is roaming the cold North with no one other than a feeble Theon at her side.

Where we will see her go: Although things look pretty rough for Sansa right now, they are certainly better than they were throughout most of the series. Sansa’s story throughout this season will be told in multiple parts in my estimation. The first part will involve Sansa’s survival in the North, which I imagine will be short-lived when she eventually is found by Brienne. Now in a position of legitimate safety, Sansa will shift to Part 2, a phase in which she gathers her confidence and focuses her attention on the Boltons. This will involve her being a figurehead for the North (remember the woman telling her that “the North remembers”?), rallying supporters of her family. Part 3 will involve Sansa enacting her revenge (possibly alongside a family member and some Wildlings) in an attack on the Boltons, which will hopefully lead to her retaking of Winterfell for her family. In the trailers, we have seen a rather intimidating Sansa, looking healthy and donning leathers of the Stark House. Rumors have suggested that Sansa may take on the role of Lady Stoneheart from the books (Google it for a book spoiler if you’d like), which would be pretty awesome if proven to be true. No matter what, however, we will see a much more powerful and confident Sansa than we’ve seen before, which is a welcome change for this character.

Bran Stark

Where we left him: We took a break from Bran’s story last season, as we saw nothing of him at all last year. However, in the previous season, Bran’s story focused on his journey North, trying to fulfill a vision involving a Three-Eyed Raven and a weirwood tree. Realizing that he possessed weird powers, Bran knew that he had to follow these visions. With the help of Hodor, Jojen and Meera Reed, Bran trekked deep through the North, way past The Wall. It took some time, but eventually Bran reached his destination, finding the weirwood tree on the hill. Although they lost Jojen in a battle against a group of zombies (called wights), Bran and company discovered that certain legends and myths were reality. Helped by a Child of the Forest, who were all assumed to be dead or myths, and actually meeting the Three-Eyed Raven in human form, Bran was left to learn of the powers that he possesses, and how these powers could help save the world from impending doom.

Where we will see him go: Let’s be honest, the most exciting thing about Bran’s reintroduction into our story is that he cut that stupid hair of his. In all seriousness, the emergence of Bran into our main story means big things for the bigger concepts of the show, as fans of the books will know. Without giving too much of the key content away, Bran is capable of doing some pretty awesome stuff aside from simple possession. In short, Bran holds the key to discovering the truth behind past events, giving him insight into what has actually happened, and how this knowledge will affect the things to come. Bran has been a focal point in most of the released trailers, and for good reason. I imagine that we will open the season with Bran very far developed in his powers since the last time we saw him. This will allow us to jump right in to the juicy details of his storyline/powers, and we will get some answers to some of the biggest theories that we have pondered to this point. Specifically speaking, Bran (with the help of the Three-Eyed Raven) will discover the truth as to what happened at the Tower of Joy during Robert’s Rebellion. Because this happened before the series even started, and the only known survivor of the event is Meera’s father Howland Reed, the information Bran will discover there may have massive implications on what will happen moving forward. Needless to say, Bran is poised to make a massive and immediate impact on our story, and I am very excited to see what happens.

Jon Snow

Where we left him: Listen, if you’re reading this and you honestly don’t know what happened to Jon Snow last season, then I am revoking your Game of Thrones fan club membership effective immediately. Last season was a big one for our favorite Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, as he struggled with the role that he was recently given. Primarily speaking, Jon grappled with the politics of being a leader like that, housing Stannis Baratheon and his army at Castle Black while also trying to figure out how to deal with the Wildlings. One of the biggest moments of the season came when Jon travelled with Tormund (Wildling leader) to Hardhome, a sort of central city for the Wildlings. It was at Hardhome that Snow battled with White Walkers for the first time, sharing an intense stare-down with the leader of the White Walkers, the Night’s King. This moment, and the simple fact that Jon is one of the very few people in the entire world to know of the threat of the White Walkers, foreshadowed some serious conflict between Snow and the Walkers moving forward, right? Well, the writers and George R.R. Martin decided to throw a little wrench into all that foreshadowing. Upon his return to The Wall, Jon ordered that the Wildlings be let through The Wall to enter the North, a move that his fellow Night’s Watch members did not approve of. In one of the most shocking moves in all of television, the Night’s Watch tricked Jon into a vulnerable position, and proceeded to stab him to death. The season ended with Jon Snow looking towards the sky, and our final image saw the light leave his eyes.

Where we will see him go: “But Mr. Kirby, Jon Snow is dead. Where else will he go other than a funeral pyre?” Well student, your simple asking of that question gives you an F in my class, because it shows that you haven’t been paying enough attention throughout the series. Producers, writers, and Jon Snow himself (Kit Harrington) have all confirmed that Jon Snow is indeed dead, and I agree with them. As of the end of last season, Jon Snow was 100% dead as a doornail, no doubt about it. However, as I am sure all of you agree with, Jon will not stay dead for very long. First, this show has already established that resurrection is a legit reality in this world (reference back to my discussion on Melisandre in Part 1) and, with Melisandre at The Wall, Jon has someone ready to perform the act in his near vicinity. Plus, as is shown in the trailers, Davos and a select group of Night’s Watch members seem committed to protecting his body. Why protect his body if he’s just going to remain a dead body? Plus, the show has done a ton of foreshadowing involving Jon Snow’s character. This foreshadowing has ranged from the truth behind his parentage (the Tower of Joy sequence will answer this, along with the R + L = J theory that we all know by now), Jon’s possession of the ability or a sword that can fell White Walkers, and that intense showdown between him and the Night’s King. Why go through all of that trouble if you are just going to kill him off? Sure, Martin and the writers have proven that they have no issue killing off popular characters, but none of them have been given a sense of grander importance like Jon Snow has. Killing off Jon Snow isn’t just a poor decision popularity-wise, it’s a poor writing decision too. Simply put, Jon Snow is too important to just be dead like that, and I imagine that we will see him back on his feet after the first or second episode. Now relieved of his duties as a member of the Night’s Watch (death relieves you of this and Snow definitely did die), Jon will be able to become more involved in the happenings of Westeros, which will allow him to spread knowledge of the threat of the White Walkers. In my opinion, I imagine that Jon will be an active contributor to a unified Northern and Wildling effort to take back the North from the Boltons. All of this will lead to an eventual reunion with his brother (or cousin) Bran where Jon, now established clearly as a leader of men, will discover the truth behind who his parents are, and realize what his destiny truly is.

Starting next week, I will begin to write articles on each episode as soon as I can after they air. However, I’d like to do something different with these recaps, so tweet at me @couch_qb with any cool ideas you might have for these articles moving forward. Plus, feel free to ask me questions on Twitter as to what I think might happen next and I’ll answer them in the article. Our lesson has now concluded class, and now summer vacation begins. Everyone enjoy Season 6 of Game of Thrones and I will talk to you next week!

Kyle Kirby covers TV for MFST. You can follow him on Twitter @couch_qb.

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