We are just 41 days away from the start of the sixth season of Game of Thrones. With the Season 6 trailer debuting last week, our anticipation is revving up, so we thought we’d ask our in-house Maester and guru of all things GoT, Jason Concepcion, to answer a few nagging questions as we get closer to game time.
Chris asks: “Where is Tyrion right now, and what’s at stake for him?”
When we last saw Tyrion, he was on the walls of the ancient city of Meereen, gazing down at the royal ex-boyfriends, Ser Jorah and Daario Naharis. Shortly before that odd couple rode out of the shadow of the great pyramid in search of Daenerys, their queen had recently flown off on the back of her dragon at the height of the fighting-pits debacle.
For, like, thousands of years (up until Season 4 or thereabouts) Meereen — along with Yunkai and Astapor — was a hub of Essos’s vast slave trade. Then Dany showed up with her baby dragons and ragtag collection of followers. Long story newsletter-short: The Stormborn reigned as Queen; the old slave-holding oligarchies were overthrown and their powers greatly curtailed; their former chattel were (ostensibly) granted equal rights of citizenship; and Daenerys’s government enforced its rule on the restive population via an army of spear-wielding freedmen.
But before you try to break the wheel, it is perhaps wise to attempt breaking a training wheel. Meereen was supposed to be batting practice for Dany’s overarching (we hope!) goal to conquer and govern Westeros. Tyrion quickly found a place in the Queen’s court, despite his Lannister heritage, because of his skills as an administrator. With Dany disappeared and possibly (as the leading families of Meereen will surely argue) dead, her fledgling government rests completely on Tyrion’s shoulders.
Riley asks: “Did the Dornish people know that Myrcella was Jaime’s daughter?”
Stan asks: “What are some ways in which Stannis Baratheon could ‘come back,’ and what would be on his vengeance agenda?”
He’s not coming back. But if he did it, the resurrection would have to involve either the ice magic of the Others or the fire magic of Melisandre. Which is awkward since the Red Woman’s painful execution for the crime of not being good at seeing the future would likely be the first stop on Stannis’s back-from-the-dead revenge tour. But! He’s not coming back. Nope.
Mal asks: “In the closing seconds of the Season 6 trailer, we catch a glimpse of Ghost behind Jon Snow’s dead head. Every GoT fan has spent the offseason wondering whether there’s any way to save Jon. Now, my question is: Is there any way to save Jon and the Ghostest With the Mostest? Is Ghost there just to cuddle, or is he there to play a key role in Jon’s inevitable revival?”
The shot troubled me as well. We’ve seen so much death and pain and sadness, and have been subjected to multiseason torture arcs. Ghost’s death, though — and I say this knowing that he is mostly CGI — would be heartbreaking.
This is, in the main, a space for discussion of fake history. That said, since Season 6 will largely encompass undiscovered/unpublished narrative territory, I would like to announce that I have a theory! It is mostly unoriginal in its speculative mechanics and, admittedly, its best trait is that it allows for Ghost to continue being alive. But here goes:
As many, many, many people have noted, there is ample precedent in the books to support the theory that Ghost acts as the backup hard drive for Jon’s postdeath consciousness. So far, so good. Now, in the segment of the trailer in question, Davos says, “I’ve never been much of a fighter,” and then, “Apologies for what you’re about to see.” We see Davos, flanked by several brothers of the Watch, in a small room. In the middle of the room is a table on which lies Jon Snow’s body (a-mouldering in the nave) and a motionless Ghost. Davos, I imagine, will need to leave that room, and Castle Black in general, with Jon’s body before the black brothers burn it. How does he accomplish this considering he’s “not much of a fighter” and he looks to be alone? Maybe with the help of a very large direwolf?
Look at this still, particularly the shading and shadow around Jon’s head. That looks computer generated to me. Meaning, Kit Harington is not lying on a stuffed wolf dummy. Why use CG if the wolf isn’t going to move around?
Amanda asks: “What developmental stage are the dragons in right now? Are they still teenagers?”
Well, dragons have lifespans of several centuries — and the older they get, the stronger they get. Dany’s dragons are around 4 or 5 years old. Certainly, they’re dangerous, especially Drogon, but they’re still quite vulnerable. Let’s call them preteens.
Juliet asks: “If you despise the Faith Militant plot line from Season 5, should you watch this season?”
You can go ahead and dip, Juliet. I’ll tell you what happens.
This piece originally appeared in the March 14, 2016, edition of the Ringer newsletter.