The new season of Game of Thrones is almost upon us and I find myself painstakingly counting down the days to the premier. I'm a huge fan of the books as well so I'm supremely curious what direction the show is going to take being that they have moved beyond the source material. I probably would have avoided this season if Martin's latest book, The Winds of Winter, had a release date before the sun extinguishes, but that seems highly unlikely. Sure, the series has deviated in various ways, killing characters that are alive in the books, altering story lines and twisting material, but they have done a fantastic job nonetheless of creating a world of intrigue that sucks us in every week. Then they force us into a state of madness knowing we have to wait a year or more between seasons.
Obviously, like everyone else, I'm most excited (or soon to be fatally depressed) to uncover the fate of Jon Snow. Is he in fact gone for good or will we witness a glorious resurrection at the hands of the Red Woman or some other source of magic? Personally, I don't believe he is gone for good and i'm almost certain all this "Jon Snow is definitely dead" talk from cast and crew is a clever way of weaseling around the fact that he will return, either as Jon Targaryen (if all the R+L=J rumors are true), or even as Jon Stark since there have been countless pictures floating around with him donning armor with the Stark sigil sprawled across it. Realistically he can’t be gone for good. Martin and the show runners have gone through too much trouble to develop his character as a central point of focus to kill him off just yet. Yes, they have done a great job of killing many beloved characters, but if you look at the characters in depth, such as Ned and Rob Stark, their stories have been minimal in comparison to the likes or Jon, Arya, Tyrion and others. Besides, after that awesome moment during the Hardhome episode where Jon kills a White Walker with longclaw would be a total travesty and waste of awesomeness to kill him off just yet.
Ramsay Bolton is one of the worst characters in creation....ever. He is evil for the sake of being evil and finds utter joy in bringing pain and misery to others. He’s a Douche Royal, but he is a character that brings a necessary evil to the show. After Joffrey we really needed someone to unleash our inner hate upon, and Ramsay is that villain. We knew the Bastard of Bolton was evil when he decided to separate Theon from his man parts, but how he raped and tormented Sansa took it to a new level. Thankfully, the show runners toned it down a bit and didn’t put Sansa through the torment (in the books it was Jayne Pool) that was displayed in Martin’s text. He is a monster that will continue to bring forth cringe-worthy moments until we will finally be brought to orgasmic release at the site of his death, much like we experienced with the death of Joffrey.
Arya is another character that has been a constant to readers and viewers alike. Much time and care has been taken to develop her budding story and I'm overly excited to see how it progresses. She's currently being punished for her disobedience, but something tells me once all is said and done we will have one of the World's most dangerous assassins on our hands.
Sir Davos Seaworth
Sir Davos Seaworth aka the Onion Knight is one of my absolute favorite characters from the book and series, though I feel the series has done a much better job at developing his character. He is without a doubt the most loyal soul to be found in Game of Thrones and it will be interesting to see how his story will play out now that Stannis and family are gone. He’s been a devout follower of Stannis, loyal to a fault, and for the first time ever his actions won’t be governed by Stannis’ every move. It will be great to watch Davos come into his own and show the world he is much more than just a loyal Hand to the king.
Theon made the worst mistake possible in becoming a traitor to those that treated him like family and he has suffered dearly for his sins, ultimately shedding his former self in becoming Ramsay’s Reek. At the end of last season we were able to get a tiny glimpse of the Theon of old as he rescued Sansa from certain peril. Was it enough to redeem himself for his treacherous acts? I’m not sure, but his story is about to take an interesting turn. How poetic would it be to have Theon be the one to put an end to Ramsay Bolton? Even if he must sacrifice his life in doing so, that would be his one true chance at total redemption.
For many seasons Sansa did little to interest me. Her borderline lame persona and never evolving story made her easily forgettable up until recent seasons where she finally began to come into her own. Is she ready to stand tall and take her place as the Queen of the North? She has constantly been on the receiving end of horrific events and her strength is finally beginning to break through. It will be great to see her step out of the Damsel in Distress shadow.
Daenerys Targaryen and Tyrion Lannister
Daenerys is another character that has been part of, what I feel, is the most boring of story lines thus far. She’s had some standout moments, but for the most part it just feels like one never ending loop of void of life. It's like a long trek trough the middle of nowhere only to end up...nowhere. I think the show runners were feeling the same exact thing, which is why I believe they decided to toss Tyrion into the mix. The inclusion of his character has added some much needed life and humor to the Daenerys story line. Which also peeks my interest to see how things will turnout in this strange new land for our favorite pervert dwarf.
The return of Bran Stark is upon us. What has he been up to all this time draped in roots beneath a tree with an old man? Training of course. I’m looking forward to Bran’s return to see what kind of badassery he has learned from the raven to let loose upon Westeros. That brief clip of him and The Night's King sent shivers down my spine.
The Night's King
Speaking of the Night's King, aside from looking like a terrifying Zombie Overlord Gangster, I'm hoping they delve into his backstory a bit. All we know so far is that he can turn babies into White Walkers, raise the dead, and looks angry as all hell. It only makes the real "Big Bad" all the more interesting if there is some solid source material to back him up.
Let me start out by saying that Lena Headey is phenomal in the role of Cersei Lannister. With that out of the way, Cersei needs to go. Only the most evil are incapable of dying a morbid death. I’m sick of Cersei at this point and her uncanny ability to keep pushing forward despite her ever increasing wicked ways. I might just hate her as much as I did Joffrey and Ramsay. She’s manipulative, she’s selfish, heartless to anything not involving her own personal gain, and will gladly take an elephant sized dump on anyone that annoys her including her beloved brother Jaime. Now, she’s involved in this little war with the Sparrow, but will mostly like pull through with the help of her Zombie Mountain just to piss us off even to new heights in many seasons to come. At this point I’m hoping that Jaime can grow a pair and finally put his sister/lover in her place. The ultimate satisfaction would be her finally meeting her demise at the hands of Jaime. Something tells me that is how it will go down eventually.
Last but certainly not least, as he is one of my favorites in the story, is the cunning, yet conniving Little Finger. He’s been working in the shadows for a long time now, slowly but surely manipulating everyone to his advantage. He’s viciously smart and I feel we have only just begun to see how powerful this mental savage has become. In the world of Game of Thrones, only the most devious survive, so I believe he’s in it for the long-haul.
With an endless amount of characters, far too many too list, there is never a dull moment in the world of Game of Thrones. There are many more story lines about to break through and I am thoroughly excited to witness each. And hopefully we can finally get an answer as to where the hell is Rickon Stark, is the hound still alive, and is Gendry still paddling away lost at see. Hopefully he either found land or drowned to death as floating away, forever at sea is the lamest fate any character can receive.