‘Game of Thrones’ returns for season 6 on Sunday. Check out our wishlist of the top 9 things we’re excited for and one thing that we don’t want to see.
Wild Speculation and potential A Song of Ice and Fire spoilers ahead!
1.) “We Know Nothing”
While this list is in no particular order of importance, Jon Snow’s fate is still on top. While the showrunners and cast members alike have worked tirelessly to insist that Jon is dead after the season five finale cliffhanger, the man himself, Kit Harington, has gone as far as talking about his part as a “corpse” this season. The “is he or isn’t he dead” (just to be clear he totally is) discussion rages on. The title of episode one, “The Red Woman,” continues to tease the possibilities for some kind of resurrection, though. If that person will truly be Jon Snow remains to be seen.Isaac Hempstead Wright & Max von Sydow as Bran Stark & The Three-Eyed Raven
2.) The Three-Eyed Raven
It’s been a whole year (our time) since we’ve seen Bran Stark and his cohorts. It cost Jojen his life to get there. We may have missed out on seeing Coldhands
aka the long lost Stark brother, Benjen but once there we met Leaf and Brynden Rivers. The latter is the three-eyed crow and the last greenseer. Bran possesses very strong warging abilities and it would seem Brynden is a literal look into his future. Last season we saw our first ever flashback of a young Cersei learning her future. But now, Bran will learn to harness the power of the trees and will have a look into the past, present and future. This is an important relationship because it will answer some questions about the larger story. One of which is Jon’s true lineage and the other is who are the two Targaryen’s remaining besides Dany.
3.) The Tower of JoyGame of Thrones season 6 trailer Photo: HBO
Gif: taxinerd via Tumblr
Piggybacking off of that last point, given Bran’s newfound abilities, we’re most definitely getting a very important flashback! The Tower of Joy is not just a huge plot point for book readers. But it’s where a crucial scene where Ned, Howland Reed and several other notable Stark allies went to rescue Lyanna Stark. The details on this event remain murky but we do know that it was guarded by three members of the Kingsguard and Lyanna made Ned promise her something before she died. The casting announcements for season six and one particular filming location were confirmation enough that we would be getting a look at this moment, but it was the Season 6 trailer that gave us the most exciting confirmation yet!Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister in Game of Thrones Photo: HBO Gif: virgin-who-cannot-drive via Tumblr
4.) Jaime and Brienne in the Riverlands
Okay, so I had to find a way to include my Game of Thrones OTP. I openly admit that I ship the shipping ship out of everything. And if you don’t believe me, it says it right in my bio, so get used to it.
Jaime and Brienne are my absolute fave characters, and it just so happens that they also totally love each other. I would argue this forever except I don’t have to! Nikolaj Coster-Waldau answered a question about this in an interview where he talked about their deep connection, which like the go-to phrase for characters in love
I’m looking at you The Walking Dead about Caryl. But before you run fleeing from my flailing and wondering why I brought this up in the first place, I actually have a point. Jaime and Brienne were separated last season and spent the ten episodes doing a variation of nothing in equally stagnant circumstances. But this season they’re both going to the Riverlands! Plus, episode three is titled “Oathbreaker” and Brienne swore her sword to Catelyn and then named the one Jaime gave her Oathkeeper. It’s all a sign that there’s a good chance they’ll run into a long anticipated Lady Stoneheart. I know the showrunners have commented on this, but in a season when it seems like everyone is coming back and there’s a resurgence in interest in The Red Priests of R’hllor, it’s more likely than ever that the Starks’ revenge plot line will make finally play a part.
5.) The Northern Rebellion
The potential for Lady Stoneheart is one facet in a much larger storyline. There is a long-standing, multi-part theory called The Grand Northern Conspiracy. The big takeaway is this: “The North Remembers” and they’ve been planing a secret rebellion unbeknownst to the likes of the Boltons and the Frays and everyone and anyone else who has betrayed them. This means that the Brotherhood Without Banners, whom you’ll remember from back when Gendry left Arya (and we still cry over that goodbye!) will return. Speculation is pretty heavy that the big battle scene we know was filmed for this season has to do with the rise of the North so the question really is who will lead them?
6.) #CleganeBowl Get Hyped!
Cersei’s Walk of Shame was a highlight of season five. She chose a trial by combat and Maester Qyburn delivered what is to be believed the reanimated corpse of The Mountain. So that’s one Clegane brother up and about. But then Ian McShane has been rather forthcoming about his role this season and it’s not at all subtle when he talks about bringing someone back from the dead. The answer to who is likely no other than The Hound, whom we last saw wounded and dying and asking Arya to kill him. It’s another longstanding theory that an offhand mention of a gravedigger, in the book series, is actually Sandor Clegane. Which means that the brothers will finally get to have that long-awaited stand-off and it’s going to be epic! Seriously, get hyped!
7.) DragonsGame of Thrones. Photo: HBO / Gif: Giphy
This is a given. Everyone loves Dany (well not me, I find her problematic and subscribe to the theory that she might actually be the subverted trope of the villain in this whole thing and I am happy to discuss it!). But people really love her dragon babies. Last season we didn’t even get to see Rhaegal and Viserion. However, Drogon played a very large part in the end. We hope to see more dragons this season but even better than that, the Greyjoys and their CPR religion (seriously that’s what the Priests of the Drowned Gods do) are finally back. Most specifically Euron Greyjoy has a fleet heading in the direction of Meereen, where there are a bunch of dragons running loose. And Euron also happens to be in the possession a very useful dragon binding horn.
8.) Returning Characters
With the potential for so many characters coming back from the dead it’s easy to forget that there are actually characters that are still alive and kicking. There is every reason to look forward to seeing the likes of Melisandre and Davos. Or confirmation on what’s to happen to Margaery and Loras Tyrell. There’s also the strange rumor about Shae. But what about the characters we haven’t seen in some time? Is Gendry still out there rowing that boat or has he finally made his fine shirtless way to Lady Stoneheart’s inner circle? And what about Osha who was charged with protecting Rickon? While it remains to be determined exactly how many more Game of Thrones seasons we’ll get, we’re heading toward the end of the story, which means these looser ends need to be addressed. There’s every indication that this is the season to see every character put into play.Lena Headey, Natalie Dormer & Emilia Clarke Photo: mage Credit: MARC HOM for EW
9.) The Five Queens
Ruling the Seven Kingdoms and the rightful claim to the Iron Throne is the most basic explanation of what Game of Thrones is about. Of course it misses all the nuances of the series but that’s what the original setup was. And it got right to the point with Robb Stark declaring himself King in the North and Stannis toting the title of The One True King of Westeros. But the series has long since shifted from the kings to the queens. Dany spoke directly to that by deciding to do what queens do and rule. Sansa was positioned (terribly, poor Sansa let’s talk about that!) to become the new queen of the North. Yara attempted to win the Kingsmoot. The ladies of the show are the ones to watch, and not because they take their clothes off more than the men. The Battle for the Seven Kingdoms has only just begun, and we’re here for the women taking the lead.
One Thing We Don’t Want to See:
You knew it was coming. And to be blunt, I’m not going to let the show get away with what they did last season. There was no reason for the way the women were treated. We understand that rape exists throughout the realm. But it doesn’t need to be so explicit to the point of that it became more fetish than statement. There is nothing fun about watching the women be demoralized over and over again so that a male character’s hero arc can be played out. There was no reason for the best part of Jaime’s character, who worked so hard to prevent Brienne from being raped, to then sacrifice those values for a non-consensual scene beside Joffrey’s dead body.
And it’s not because the book and the show are different mediums. It’s because natural character progression was sacrificed in favor of unnecessary brutality. The women of this show are so many things but above all they are people. And they should be treated as such. By all means put us and them through their paces and let’s see what kind of people they come through. But don’t do it through the loss of agency and autonomy that plagues the already negative rhetoric of women and the violence against them. When has any plot done that to a man? And that’s not to say that that’s what anyone wants to see either because it’s not. Gender and power are major aspects of this series, but there’s a line, and Season 5 crossed it too many times.
There’s always something we don’t like, it comes with the territory with a show like Game of Thrones. But for everything we don’t want, we come back for the things we do. What’s on your season 6 wish list? Is there something we missed? Share your thoughts in the comments. See you at the premiere!
Game of Thrones returns Sunday April 24 at 9/8c on HBO. Be sure to tune in!