Game of Cliffhangers: I’m making a list for Ep1.

There’s a bunch of interesting filming news at both Watchers and Winter today. We have lots of actors showing up in Belfast, we have Lady Olenna preparing to get her thorns out, and we have lots of dead horses and corpses with certain House sigils. Yet somehow I’m just not feeling it today? I feel like we’re getting lots of information, yet not really any good speculation fodder. Everything is either stuff we already know, or so vague it’s not telling us anything.

For instance: I assume everyone will be filming something in Northern Ireland unless/until I hear otherwise. Actors showing up in Belfast is nowhere near as interesting as actors showing up in Girona. The House sigils on the dead horse dummies are nothing beyond what we already knew. Diana Rigg’s interview is entertaining, but, relative to what we’ve already seen from Lady Olenna, hardly a revelation.

There is something at the Watchers link about certain wild-type animals having been seen at a certain location, but even that much is highly suspicious. I await further specifics, especially with photographic evidence, before I try to extrapolate anything from that.

ETA just now: See this Tweet from Nikolaj!

I will assume for now that he just snapped that pic on his phone earlier today. Which means he’s not filming at Corbet-Banbridge; he’s at home in Denmark. Which means that if we’re still getting reports of filming at the Riverrun set, I can say they’re not filming anything that includes Jaime. Or maybe, even, filming at Riverrun is finished or paused for the moment.

Instead, I’m trying to collect my thoughts about what we should expect for the S6 premier.

There were a LOT of cliffhangers in late S5, yes? So now I’m trying to sort out which of those questions should have Ep1-worthy answers. Tons of spoilers and industrial-grade speculation fodder below the jump!

If there’s a pre-opening-credits sequence for this premier, I think Bran is the best candidate for the featured character. Him learning stuff from the Three-Eyed Raven would make a good opener.

That’s not a cliffhanger, though, is it?

We’ll need a follow-up on the Lannister twins right away. We need to see Cersei get the news of Myrcella’s death, we need to see what kind of shape Trystane Martell is in, and we need to see Jaime react to the circumstances surrounding Cersei’s new haircut. The finality of Myrcella’s death is not a cliff-hanger: she’s dead. The question is how her death affects her remaining family. I think Tommen should be involved in those scenes, too. He may have some feels about becoming an only child. Uncle Kevan should also be in there somewhere.

Doran Martell can wait until early Ep2, but not much more than that. When he finds out Ellaria pulled one over on him, and that Trystane’s fiancee died on the boat, that’ll put Doran in a very ugly position. I can’t quite picture Doran and Areo Hotah getting first-episode priority, but they’ll need to show up early-season.

I was about to say the Tyrells can wait, but actually, I think Mace Tyrell’s return to King’s Landing warrants Ep1. Margaery and Loras are safe in their cells, but Mace’s return represents the news of Meryn Trant’s death, and his finding out about his children’s arrests, AND his having to face his mother in light of his children’s arrests. That should be the next thing we see in King’s Landing after the twins reunite over Myrcella’s body.

We need to follow up with Sansa and Theon right away. We already have enough filming news to know they’re not dead, but we need to see how they manage to get away from Winterfell.

By the same token, we also need to see how Ramsay-fucking-Bolton reacts to finding out his loyal Reek and pretty bride escaped. I think the most fun thing would be for Roose and Ramsay to get the news together.

We also need to see Brienne and Podrick. We need to see what Podrick was doing with that axe, and we need to see how Brienne reacts to having missed the candle. If I’m right about them finally making a connection with Sansa in S6, then Bri & Pod should be involved in the follow-up on Sansa and Theon. If they don’t make that connection, that leaves the show with a hell of a lot of explaining to do, but even so, we still need to find out about Podrick and his axe.

We need to see how Dany’s doing with that khalasar. We’ve seen enough filming news by now to know they don’t kill her, and she may even be getting fairly comfortable with them, but we need to see how she begins that process.

Tyrion and Varys in Meereen can wait until Ep2. We may get them in Ep1, but they can afford to wait. Daario and Jorah on the road can also wait until Ep2 or later.

Littlefinger is a big open question, but he can also afford to wait a bit longer.

We need to follow up with Davos and Melisandre, now that the Baratheon name is extinguished. I’d like to know how Davos keeps himself from throttling Melisandre, for one. We need to see how Mel responds to Jon Snow getting poked full of dagger holes. She had high hopes for him.

We need to see what the Night’s Watch looks like now that nearly all the nice people are dead or fled. That’ll be associated with Davos & Mel’s opening. We need to see what Davos & Mel and whatever is left of Stannis’s knights do with themselves after the mutiny.

Sam and Gilly can wait until later. They were nowhere near any of the crazy shit happening in the finale.

Arya can wait until Ep2. She’s not happy about being blind, but she’s not fighting for her life and she’s not going anywhere. She’ll keep.

Margaery and Loras might not show up until early-mid-season. As long as there’s no one trying to break into their cells and kill them, they’ll keep.

Ergo, the minimum list of cast names I expect to see in the opening credits of S6:E1 will be:


Lena Headey

Emilia Clarke

D-C Chapman

Sophie T

Alfie A

Isaac H-W

Liam Cunningham

Carice van H

Gwen C

Daniel Portman — I think he’s earned opening-credits status by now!

Iwan Rheon

Michael McElhatton

Diana Rigg — I think she warrants full cast membership by now, too.

We might see Kit Harington in corpse mode.