Game of Speculation: If that, then something else.

At the rate we’re going, there’ll be hardly anything left of Game of Thrones S6 that I don’t know before the season airs. I guess the dialogue may still be a surprise. So far, I still haven’t embarrassed myself, but that’s partly because I’ve kept the results of my rabbit-holing a secret.

We’ve been getting some signs (if still not exactly confirmed) of what Jaime’s getting up to next year, and really, it sounds awesome. The latest development is this thing that’s happening right now, which I will put under a SPOILER WARNING because this is actually kind of spoilerish, even by my standards:

A major scene for King’s Landing is in the making right now. Lots of cast members are showing up in Girona for filming, and what are they doing?

Diari de Girona confirms that the actual scene will be shot this coming Tuesday, with rehearsals for some of the more difficult parts on Monday. Apparently one of the pieces they want to rehearse involves both Jaime and Margaery on one horse. (For details on what else will be happening in the scene, check the link here, but beware—major spoilers!) They also say that Dean Charles Chapman (Tommen Baratheon) will be part of the scene.

The idea of Jaime and Margaery on the same horse fills my little monstrous heart with mad glee. That is the biggest middle finger at Cersei in the history of House Lannister. He’s showing up for Tommen and Margaery, and symbolically telling Cersei to go fuck herself. I am loving S6 already. The annoying part has to do with timing:

Another photo of Natalie Dormer, Jonathan Pryce and the Faith Militant. I believe that is also King Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman) standing between the two of them. Director Jack Bender is also in the photo. Bender’s presence indicates this scene falls in episode 5 or 6 of this next season.

Yeah. THIS is why I don’t let my rabbit-holing hang out for all to see. I’ll refrain from saying “This and that thing WILL happen” and stick more to if/then statements. If NCW is involved in the scene they’re currently filming in Girona (and it seems that he is), then Jaime will still be in King’s Landing in episode 5 or 6. Which means he won’t go to the Riverlands until late-mid-season at the earliest. This gives him lots of time to try to bond with Tommen, lots of time to fight with Cersei, lots of time to make Uncle Kevan worry for the future of the realm, and not so much time to travel north. I still think he’ll go north! But he has no more than the latter half of the season to do so. And that limits the possibilities for what he’ll do in the Riverlands.

ETA: According to a photo seen here, the big scene they’re working on now happens in Ep6. Which means that whatever Jaime does in the Riverlands and beyond, he has a maximum of 4 episodes to do it. Forewarned is forearmed!

The real shiny-thing-I-must-bat here is that I’m finally hearing something about Brienne’s part in S6. We’ve heard very little (practically nothing, really) about Brienne, Podrick and Sansa’s goings-on in S6, and it’s making me a bit impatient. We’re still quiet on Daniel Portman, and Sophie Turner doesn’t appear to have filmed much of anything just yet (she may have done a bit of filming at Winterfell earlier), but we do have a bit of fodder from Gwendoline Christie, through the Sunday Times by way of WotW:

As for season 6, Christie shared with the Sunday Times that she’d just been filming and had “been fighting for three whole days, three entire days without ceasing or desisting. Really vicious, vicious, up-close, thuggish fighting.” When asked who the fight was with, or who had won, the actress wouldn’t tell.

Ooooooh. Please tell us more, Gwen? Please? I’m not asking for specifics, just maybe come and talk with me over some scrambled eggs and mimosas and see what tidbits happen to spill out?

Three days of filming vicious, up-close, thuggish fighting. Assuming she’s not lying her ass off, that is definitely something to chew on. At first blush, I liked the idea of Brienne being involved in that big battle in the North, but someone in the comments section pointed out that the timing is all wrong for her to be filming with that battle, and I think they’re right. I will assume, for now, that whatever Gwen filmed over those three days is separate from the big Northern battle supposedly happening in Ep9. Aside from the production schedule, that sort of fighting—vicious, up-close, thuggish—doesn’t sound like a battle. It sounds more like Brienne’s fight with the Hound. Only more of it! If memory serves, they filmed the Brienne/Hound fight over two days, whereas Gwen just did three days of fighting for S6. Yikes. What might that be? If we can figure out the where and with whom of all that fighting, the why should follow close behind.

Assuming Gwen isn’t lying, then I sure hope Brienne’s latest bout of vicious, up-close fighting isn’t for the finale. That would be getting a bit repetitive. It could be mid-season, in the Riverlands, against some Brotherhood Without Banners types, but you know what else would make sense? If she has to battle some Bolton soldiers right before she picks up Sansa and Theon from that snowdrift outside of Winterfell. If her big combat ordeal is early season, and directly precedes her getting together with Sansa, that would fit. It would accomplish two goals: a) Remind Brienne of what she should have been doing in the first place, and b) Show Sansa how hard her late mother’s sworn sword is willing to fight for her, and how capable a combatant she is.

Then again, it may also be mid-season, in the Riverlands, against some Freys (though they shouldn’t give her too much of a contest) or Brotherhood troops. I see some people asking why Brienne would “abandon” Sansa to head down to the Riverlands. This idea is new to me. The scenario I’m picturing is that Brienne and Podrick head for the Riverlands with Sansa traveling in their company. They’d be heading south, and in a very different context from the Riverlands journey in AFfC, and they’d have Sansa under their protection, the idea being to get the hell away from the Boltons. By this point, Theon has already separated from them and headed for the Iron Islands. Someone else suggested that Brienne’s big fight involves Yara Greyjoy and directly precedes Theon separating from Sansa, and I guess that’s possible? I think it would be easier to explain, though, if Brienne has to fight like a mad direwolf against some Bolton knights getting between her and her surviving Stark just outside of Winterfell. There’s no narrative reason why Sansa needs to stay in the North without interruption. (As of her first chapter in The Winds of Winter, she and Littlefinger are still in the Vale.) I’m sure her destiny involves getting back to Winterfell eventually, but for now, her primary goal is to stay alive and in possession of herself, and that means getting as far away from the Boltons as possible.

IF she joins up with Brienne and Podrick (I sure hope so), I see no reason why she can’t say to her new protectors, “Yes, please take me south. Anywhere but here.” They might not make it as far south as they’d like, but so far we haven’t heard any firm ideas of what Sansa does in S6. If she merely survives without experiencing further victimization, that’ll be a nice change of pace. When I picture Brienne going back through the Riverlands, she certainly hasn’t abandoned Sansa. If Brienne and Podrick head south without Sansa, it’ll be after they’ve made sure she’s safe with someone else. I’ve said before that even if they get together, they don’t necessarily need to stay together very long. If they don’t get her in hand early-season, though, then Brienne will spend all season busting her ass until she makes sure Sansa is safe and protected. For structural reasons, I think now is the time for the protection assignment to happen.

Three levels of meme.

Three levels of meme.

Short version of “structural reasons”: Do we really need to spend another season watching Brienne and Podrick not having already connected with Sansa Stark? Another one, really? Most of their positive accomplishments from the last two seasons consist of having met and interacted with each of the girls, which is more than they’ve been allowed in the books! Surely that should mean something?

Anyway. Whether they spend S6 traveling with Sansa in their company, or still risking their lives and losing their minds until they make sure she’s okay, I’m not entirely sure of where they’ll go. Where they’ll try to go and where they’ll end up are not the same. All we really know about the context of Brienne’s latest fight scenes is that they were filmed in Northern Ireland, rather than Iceland or Spain, which simply tells us that Brienne hasn’t gone any farther south than the Riverlands and no farther north than the Wall. Not much helpful information there.

I brought up Jaime’s movements earlier, and there’s a reason for that. If Jaime spends at least half the season in King’s Landing (looks like he will), then it’s very unlikely that he plays a role in convincing Sansa to accept Brienne’s protection. If they finally make the protection assignment happen, they’ll spend all season getting along, or not, without Jaime’s input. I still think Jaime and Brienne are due to reconnect, but now I think that’ll most likely happen in Eps 9-10. If Brienne is still in the North by that point, then Jaime will find her in the North! We think he’s going to the Riverlands, but there’s no reason why he and Bronn can’t keep heading north from there. Having them reconnect at end of season can be a good thing. The later in the season they meet up, the happier they’ll be to see each other. It’ll be a beautiful moment.

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