Will winter finally arrive? Will anything significant happen this season?
Should the 'Game of Thrones' series have waited for the books release?
In today's world consistent ratings matter and money talks, so waiting for the release of Martin's 6th book 'Winds of Winter' before putting out season 6 would create a delay that HBO would never condone. Despite having all the key points of future tales and how the story ends, the lack of source material couldn't be more evident in the latest season. Rather than feeling like a continuation that flows seamlessly from where we last left off, thus far it feels broken, and as if the show writers are merely making things up as they go along.
We are already 4 episodes in, and with the exception of Jon Snow's return, nothing of major significance has occurred and the story continues to bounce around from character to character, so much so that you aren't given a chance to truly digest anything happening or to develop a solid interest in one particular plot line.
For 3 episodes now we have seen Arya being punished/trained with a stick, Daenerys moping around the desert, Sansa and company sitting around the snow covered woods, Ramsay consistently becoming more and more evil to where it's becoming less believable at this point, Cersei doing what Cersei does, and Tyrion drinking and contemplating. Going into the 4th episode of a 10 episode season, the lack of character/story development is quite frightening. Even the return of Jon Snow could have been written into the season premier, leaving us with a solid amount of time to build his story arc. By the time anything major happens involving his character we will most likely be gearing up for the finale to close out the season.
The most interesting story has to be the return of Bran and his viewing of past events. Rather than giving us a solid back story with the explanations we have been waiting for, the producers are teasing us with bits and pieces. By the time we are given the full story the season will be over and we will be relegated to waiting another year before relevance is explained. The flashbacks are awesome, and maybe i'm being a bit impatient in wanting to KNOW now, but I have a feeling they are going to drag it out as long as possible.
It's already becoming over saturated with varying stories as we get closer to the half way mark, and there are still a handful of characters and plots they haven't even begun to cover yet. Let's take a look what still lies ahead:
- Jon Snow left the Night's Watch, so what's next for the fan favorite?
- Daenerys is sentenced to live her life out with the rest of the widows
- Ramsay wants the north and is plotting his next move
- Arya's vision has returned and thus begins the next chapter in her training
- Sansa's journey to reunite with family
- Bran's time traveling with the Raven and the conclusion of the 'Tower of Joy' mystery
- Sam's quest for knowledge has begun
- The war with The High Sparrow and his religious sect has only started
- The purpose of the Ladies of Dorne still has to be explained
- Rickin is back...obviously some time will be dedicated to him
- Theon's journey back home
- The Greyjoy troubles
- Tyrion has unleashed the Dragons and tries to maintain order
- The Red Woman and her restoration of faith
That's a lot of material to cover and that is just the plots that have already been introduced. We can't forget the following tales they have yet to mention:
- Jorah and Daario are still searching for their Queen
- Little Finger has been missing in action for some time now
- Tyrion released 2 dragons but where he hell is Drogon
- The Tyrell's story line
- The Night's King and his army of undead
That may be a short list but that is A LOT they need to cover. My biggest fear is that it's way too much material, so much so, that it's going to feel extremely forced and more questions are going to be created rather than answers this season should be giving us.
After the amazing Hardhome episode we finally got a taste of what 'Winter is coming' truly means. One can only hope that the great battle with the undead continues, however with all that is going on throughout the kingdom I have little doubt we will be granted the next chapter in that saga. We have all seen the previews with Bran standing beside the Night's King, and by him literally 'standing' next to him it's safe to assume that is merely a vision. Unfortunately, that may be the only White Walker action we have this entire season, leaving the great battle to carry on in seasons to come.
Predictions of how the season will play out:
Jon Snow will continue his journey away from the Night's Watch, only to be called back into action after hearing about Ramsay's plan of attack and capture of his younger brother Rickin. Jon will gather the troops and march on Winterfell.
- Ramsay will continue doing some overly evil sh!t, most likely torturing Rickin a bit, taunting Snow into battle.
- Little Finger will have some clever lines, continue to slowly develop his plot to take over everything, with nothing major happening at all. I expect to see his smug face 2-3 episodes max, before he vanishes again to return the next season.
- Sansa will continue her journey home and some how get caught in the middle of the Jon Snow/Ramsay beef.
- The 'Kings Moot' will play out giving us a new ruler of the 'Iron Islands' in a story that shows no relevance to everything else going on.
- Theon will go home, argue with his sister a bit and waddle around the background for the remainder of the season.
- Cersei will enlist 'Trial by Combat' against The Sparrow who will in turn name fan favorite 'The Hound' to do battle against Cersei's champion...his zombie brother.
- Bran will have a confrontation in the dream world with the Night's King which will force him out of hiding to warn all that 'Winter is Coming'
- By the end of the season the mystery that is 'The Tower of Joy' will be revealed solidifying the R+L=J theory. The second part of Bran's mission will be to tell all the truth of Jon Snow.
- Drogon and his sibling Dragons will rescue Daenerys.
- Jorah will sacrifice himself as he tries to help his beloved Queen.
- Tyrion will prove most useful in gathering the 2 dragons he released to go and bring back their mother.
- Tommen will die somehow and Cersei will blame Jamie, beginning the inevitable rift in their romance.
- Sam will be Sam...in a distant land.
- Arya will continue her training and eventually be given an assassination order that will act as a test to see if she truly is 'No One.'
- The Red Woman will show her tatas to Jon Snow at least once before the season is over. (Hopefully, not in old lady form)
- Dorne and all that is going on there will be gone and never mentioned again passed episode 4.
Things have started out quite rocky in my humble opinion...even the return of Jon Snow seemed anticlimactic. Without the backing of the a novel to lean on, the screen writers and producers are finally on their own to carve out their own journey...so let's hope they hit their stride by the next episode and continue along the path of greatness we have seen in previous seasons.