(Warning: The following contains major SPOILERS for 'Game of Thrones' Season 6, Episode 6. If you haven't yet seen the episode, then proceed with whatever level of caution your friendly neighborhood three-eyed raven suggests is wise.)
Now, after a week of endless door-related grief and internet viral-videoing, it was perhaps inevitable that the latest episode of Game of Thrones' sixth season would arrive to an atmosphere of near-frenzied anticipation on our collective part. Whether the latest episode lived up to that weighty expectation, of course, is very much up to you — but whatever your thoughts, there sure was a whole lot hiding underneath the surface in there, just like every week. And so, without further ado, here are...
7 Things You Might Have Missed On Game Of Thrones Season 6, Episode 6
(And, seriously, major plot SPOILERS start pretty much right after this sentence, and the conveniently placed — and potentially feeling-inducing — video right below it.)
7. 'Burn Them All' Is Both Good Advice, And Likely A Glimpse Of Things To Come
Now, on one level, the repeated refrain Bran heard within his sped-up visions/flashbacks/raven-related revelations — "Burn them all" — is likely precisely what it seems: A glimpse of the mad king Aerys Targaryen screaming the phrase. Which, with Bran's greensight sure to remain a major part of the show in the immediate future, seems all but certain to be something we'll see more of in the near future.
It's also, however, some damn fine advice when it comes to fighting off White Walkers — as Bran's well-timed Uncle Benjen demonstrated soon after. Was this simply a cunningly placed dramatic parallel, or a sign that Bran is beginning to see time in a less than linear fashion? Or, alternatively, could his greensight simply be tipping him off as to how to fight the White Walkers — advice which, Bran being a little slow on the uptake, he then completely failed to heed?
6. Sam's Little Sister Is Set To Marry A Member Of An Entertainingly Confusing Family
Specifically, the Fossoways. Y'see, as the books have long since made clear (especially if the names Dunk and Egg mean anything to you), the Fossoways have one of the more complicated family histories in Westeros — so much so, that there are two completely distinct branches of the family.
That's right — Sam's sister could well be marrying into the Red Apple Fossoways of Cider Hall (known for their red apple-based sigil, and for sometimes being untrustworthy bastards), or the Green Apple Fossoways of New Barrel (known for their green apple-based sigil, and for not usually being untrustworthy bastards). The families, you see, split several generations earlier than the events we're currently seeing on screen, as the result of an act of base treachery by a member of the original united Fossoways, which led to young Ser Raymun Fossoway forming his own, green-hued house.
Here's hoping Sam's sis ends up marrying into that one.
Meanwhile, back at Horn Hill...
5. The Heart Wants What The Heart(sbane) Wants
Now, it's entirely possible that Sam's theft of his family sword is simply intended as an illustration of his growing confidence and willingness to oppose his father (if not to his face just yet). Alternatively, though, it might just turn out to be important that "Sam the Slayer" now has his very own Valyrian steel sword — seeing as, y'know, they're pretty handy in a fight against White Walkers...
On a related note, it's also now entirely possible that Sam is going to break out from his scheduled storyline from the novels and do something extremely interesting and show-defining. Or, alternatively, he might just head down south and do a lot of reading for a season or two, before turning up at the end with a spell that solves everything. Deus Ex Samina, anyone?
4. There's More To Arya Than Just 'Mercy'
Arya may have named herself Mercy just before sparing Lady Crane's life (though presumably the actress is still fairly doomed, seeing as there's still a contract out on her), but it doesn't seem to be the key emotion going through the young Stark's head as she questions whether to go through with the assassination or not.
Instead, it looked an awful lot like Arya was suddenly receiving a solid, much-needed dose of empathy — and in particular an understanding that she and Cersei actually have a surprisingly large amount in common at this point. Now, that doesn't mean that she's likely to forgive the Lannisters for what they've done to her, but it might just have been what derailed her from her sinister assassin-cult-y path. Could we finally be set to see that Stark reunion we've been looking forward to for so long? And, perhaps, an eventual confrontation between two of Westeros's finest holders of grudges: Arya and Cersei?
3. The Separation Of Church And State
...Is clearly something that Jaime and Cersei are going to miss having around over the next few episodes. It remains to be seen whether or not Margaery's conversion is genuine or not — the smart money's probably still on not — but it seems as though the process Cersei herself began way back when she made the High Sparrow the High Septon is building to its inevitably destructive conclusion.
After all, the separation of church and state may be in the US Constitution (it's the First Amendment, fact fans), but that doesn't mean it is likely to be upheld by Game of Thrones' gods of being careful what you wish for.
Speaking of which...
2. Edmure Returns To The Frey(s)
Or, rather, he's clearly never quite managed to leave them behind.
Now, Edmure's wedding night may not have gone quite as planned — something that the gloriously smug lord-ling would probably have deserved, had it not also involved the slaughtering of several of our favorite characters — but that's not enough to keep a good sniveling upper class a-hole down in Westeros. Sure, he's been held prisoner by the Freys for a couple of seasons, and sure, it seems that he's about to find out whether or not his uncle Blackfish gives a direwolf's fart about him, but at least he's alive.
And not Reek.
1. Jaime Might Just Have A Date With Destiny
Now, the following may well prove to be fairly SPOILER-ific in regard to future episodes, and in a distinctly novel-centric fashion — so I've opted to coat the whole thing in a thick veneer of SPOILER-PROTECTION. If you're happy to know a key detail from the novels that may or may not turn up in the show in the near future though, then click away...
So, here's the thing. Jaime being sent to the Riverlands might just turn out to be a pretty big deal. The reason? When we last saw him in the novels, he was being duplicitously sent by Brienne to meet a resurrected Catelyn Stark. Newly renamed Lady Stoneheart. And hellbent on brutally killing all who have wronged her. Lady Stark's revenant-like return has long been rumored in Game of Thrones, and yet hasn't quite managed to make it to the big screen. With Brienne also heading in a Riverrun-esque direction, then, it seems we could finally be set to see Lady Stoneheart make her small-screen debut in the near future. An internet-denting final scene for Episode 10, perhaps?
The big question now, though?