This morning on the Metro, I was running some further analysis on Brienne & Podrick, as I am given to do, and this time the question was: plot significance. What were all the things they’ve done since saying goodbye to King’s Landing, and how did those events contribute to the plot? It’s not like I haven’t already obsessed multiple thousands of words of speculation on our big swordswench and her loyal squire, but this particular exercise was actually enlightening.
Okay, first thing out of the way: having run the plot-significance questions, I’m kind of embarrassed at how steadfastly I ignored the foreshadowing of Brienne being Stannis’s cause of death. Yeah, I should’ve seen that coming. I oopsed some pretty big things in watching S5, and that was arguably my biggest oops, and thus my biggest learning experience.
So, that happened, and as far as what happens to Brienne in S6, I don’t have any new ideas. I have become thoroughly committed to the idea of the protection assignment finally happening in S6, and at this point there’s probably nothing that’ll change my mind. I can no longer tell whether I’m seeing further supporting evidence for Brienne finally becoming Sansa’s protector, or whether I just bend and twist everything in the direction I need it to go. At this point I just can’t be bothered to imagine what could happen if the protection assignment isn’t working out. So I won’t try to argue for or against that at this point.
I DO think we’ll be seeing more of Podrick, either which way.
Between his scenes earlier in the season, and that last moment in the finale of him picking up his axe, I think it’s clear he’s being set up to have a more important, less comic-relief role this Spring. He’ll be a good fighter, he’ll be a valued friend to Brienne, and he’ll generally have more interesting stuff to do than being adorably inept. And I think Daniel Portman has more than earned opening-credits status.