Hello those few insanely clever people who follow me and read this humble blog. Welcome back to Game of Thoughts, where I write about one or two important aspects of the latest episode of HBO’s amazing Game of Thrones. On Sunday, the episode entitled Blood of My Blood premiered, and once again, I was impressed by how quickly and impressively the story moving during the sixth season. Two scenes stuck out to me for possible implications concerning potential character moments or plot lines, which I will be discussing below. Obviously, just like in last week’s piece, here be spoilers.
Is Dany going to turn into her father, the Mad King Aerys? That final scene, her only scene of the episode by the way, was very similar to Khal Drogo’s speech from season one how he was going to conquer the world, particularly in the dialogue. Her closing speech was practically word for word what Drogo once said, minus the lines about the raping and pillaging. Dany sounded mighty selfish and power hungry in that moment, and I found myself more scared then impressed. I have always wanted to see her succeed, ever since she broke free from her brother’s ever maddening grip on her. But this was not the freer of slaves, the breaker of chains Dany. This was, as Daario said, Dany the Conqueror. And I’m not sure if I can trust a conqueror.
I always felt that Dany would come to Westeros bringing peace and justice to the land while defending the realm against the impending doom brought by the White Walkers and the Night King. But now, I’m not so certain the story will play out that way. Now, I’m thinking that Dany might become a villain, a Targaryen like her brother Viserys and her father Aerys. As she brings the sellswords, the Unsullied, the Dothraki over on a thousand ships and three dragons, it will cause chaos and war. A war that only exists because Dany wants the Iron Throne, a thing that she claims is hers. Jorah tried to teach Dany how to be a fair ruler and how to properly rule Westeros early in the series, but I feel those lessons are fading from her memory, because she is starting to look more power hungry and fear mongering than just and noble.
Bran flashed back to Aerys screaming, “Burn them all”, which, I believe, is to remind the audience of how crazy and violent and obsessed the Targaryens can be. And what did Dany do to several Khals a couple of episodes ago when they would not bow to her? She burned them all. I feel like the show is planting the seeds to organically transition Dany from a hero to a villain. Maybe she will become an antagonist next season. And that might be kind of awesome. Seeing someone who we all have been waiting to start meeting the rest of the cast and rule King’s Landing, but then be viewed as this invader, this foreigner who could royally ruin the entire status quo of Westeros is incredibly interesting to me. This is all speculation and has been theorized before, but it is intriguing. We very well may have a Mad Queen Daenerys yelling, “Burn them all.”
One character who is the opposite of burnt, is a return of a character show watchers and book readers were never sure would return. Benjen Stark is back, and in this version of the story, is Coldhands. Coldhands is a character in the books who has helped Sam and Gilly, and Bran and his gang North of the Wall. He is half-dead, half-alive, with black hands and bright blue eyes. The books never explain who he is, except for hints that he might have been a member of the Night’s Watch and he might have been magically stopped from turning into a wight or walker. Essentially in the books, he is a good half-human-half-zombie person, who rides an elk like a badass. When I read the books after the first season of the series premiered, I assumed Coldhands was just Benjen, like so many others, even if George R.R. Martin adamantly denied this theory, so I’m glad that my and so many others’ theory is correct on the show, even if it may not be in the novels.
Having Coldhands be Benjen brings a stronger connection between Benjen and Bran. It gives more motivation for this mystery character to save Bran and to aid him. Plus, it gives another unusual moment for Game of Thrones: catharsis for the Starks. Between the reunion of Sansa and Jon, having Arya see Joffrey die, albeit in a play, and now two more Starks have been reunited. These are winning moments for the main family in Game of Thrones. The Starks have seen so much shit since Jon Arryn died in the pilot, that it’s great seeing these happy moments and reunions occur now. Five seasons of pain and suffering and now, some semblance of hope is now in the hands of the Starks. Which is why I’m glad the show decided to make Coldhands Benjen. Because after teasing his return so much over the years, that if Coldhands became just another bearded white dude new to the show, then it wouldn’t have been so emotionally satisfying, so rich, so wonderful, as that reveal when Benjen pulled down his scarf to reveal himself to Bran. The Starks deserve to win a lot after everything that has happened, and even though Bran and Meera and Benjen are still running from wights and are still in peril, it’s great seeing something good happen to another Stark.
Two final notes: it was great meeting Sam’s family, even his monstrous father, because we finally see the love and support Sam so fondly remembered about his mother; and I’m excited to see Jaime go to Riverrun next week to meet with the Blackfish, which is a storyline I didn’t expect the show to adapt after the differences they made with Jaime over the last couple of seasons. I am very excited to see where this season goes, it has been terrific so far.