Game of Cliffhangers: Now We Answer Some Questions

I have a new book! It’s so shiny and pretty, and it’s a genuine, official, HBO-sanctioned product!

“Game of Thrones: The Noble Houses of Westeros, Seasons 1-5” by Running Press

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In which I peer disapprovingly at my ridiculous Cousin Cersei’s latest antics. 

We’re the Riverlands Lannisters, the ones that packed up and intermarried with the Tullys, hence the auburn hair and blue eyes. We still rock the red and gold, though.

I read basically all of this book on the way home from work this evening, and while it could use a bit more proofreading, the photos are gorgeous and some of the information is super helpful.

The book lists Brienne as part of the Stark household along with such stalwarts as Hodor, Osha, and the Reed siblings, which I think is adorable. She’s never been inside Winterfell, and she’s also mentioned in the Lannister section as Jaime’s friend, but for the purposes of this book, she is a Stark associate.

It is confirmed, in both Brienne’s and Stannis’s entries that, in as many words, Brienne really killed Stannis. He is well and truly dead. That much isn’t likely to convince certain fans, but let it not be said that HBO is being coy about his death. Myrcella, also, is confirmed in at least two places to have died of poison in Jaime’s arms.

Characters still alive, however, include Trystane Martell, who is reported to be sailing back to King’s Landing with Jaime to take his seat on the Small Council. What’ll happen to him once he shows up along with Myrcella’s corpse is another question, but so far, Jaime and Bronn appear to be keeping the boy in one piece.

You know who’s conspicuously absent in this? Sandor Clegane. He’s just barely mentioned in the Lannister household section, but he doesn’t get his own entry. That seems like a deliberate omission. Almost like HBO wants us not to think too hard about what happened to him. We get entries on plenty of characters who were nowhere near as important and who’ve been gone considerably longer, but just a passing mention of Sandor.

Oddly enough, the book mentions even less of Podrick. There’s an entry on Ser Ilyn Payne, who hasn’t been seen since S3, but absolutely nothing about Podrick. He should be listed in the Lannister household, but he simply isn’t there. Almost like they really, really don’t want us to know what Podrick is up to. We’ve seen enough filming news to know that Podrick is alive in S6, but this HBO-sanctioned book is totally silent on what exactly he’s trying to accomplish as of the end of S5.

There’s quite a handy explanation of the mechanics of Cersei’s arrest: the entry on Lancel says that Littlefinger told Olenna about Lancel’s past activities, so she forced Lancel to confess to the High Sparrow, and in confessing, he set Cersei up for arrest. Which means Littlefinger and Olenna effectively conspired to have Cersei put on trial for her life.

I think Unsullied fans should really appreciate the Tully section, which confirms that Uncle Brynden escaped during the Red Wedding, and Edmure is currently unharmed, and being held hostage by his in-laws. This is the same situation as in the books, but it’s nice to get official confirmation, especially about Edmure. It doesn’t mention Roslin’s pregnancy, but that part may have been omitted from the show.

Melisandre’s entry! “Her visions have told her that Stannis is the true king, and as his advisor she has encouraged him to pursue the throne at all costs. At her urging, Stannis sacrificed his only child to help turn the war in his favor, only to see further tragedy befall the camp. After Selyse’s suicide, Melisandre abandoned Stannis and has returned to Castle Black.” This doesn’t tell us much about Mel’s motivations, but it does suggest that she knew about Selyse’s death before she high-tailed it back to Castle Black.

Balon Greyjoy’s entry does not give us any new information since we last saw him in S3, which suggests that Balon is still alive when we first see him in S6. I don’t think he’ll stay that way for long, though. Has anyone seen the actor who plays Balon? I don’t think we have.

Littlefinger’s entry in the Arryn section concludes: “Littlefinger has engaged Sansa to marry Ramsay Bolton…but has also offered Cersei the Knights of the Vale to take the North.”

Qyburn’s entry concludes: “During Cersei’s imprisonment, Qyburn became Cersei’s only ally—well, almost only.” I think by “almost only,” they’re referring to Ser Robert Strong, aka Undead Gregor Clegane. But it seems she doesn’t have anyone else on her side.

No, seriously, you guys, the photos are amazing, especially of the costumes. I so want to wear Cersei’s lion-shoulder gown, it’s perfect in every way.