This is the part where I do a little rundown of making ASOIAF (books!) predictions based on what we just got on GoT (show!). Putting this biz under the jump for the benefit of my peeps who haven’t been able to watch the episode yet.
First of all, I am going to make it my mission in life to point and laugh at anyone who still thinks Lady Stoneheart is happening on the show. I’m sure there are still people telling themselves it can yet happen, but they are wrong. I was wrong about Uncle Brynden playing the Stoneheart role, but my problem there is I was too generous with the Stonehards. D&D aren’t adapting the LSH storyline with a different character in her role; what happened last night felt like they just raised the world’s biggest middle finger at the very idea of Undead Catelyn Stark. Beric’s still there! Still in charge! Thoros still having fun! The guys who seemed like they may have been answering to Undead Catelyn turned out to be going against the Brotherhood’s orders, and they’re the ones who get hanged.
I think the endgame can work just as well without the Lady Stoneheart storyline. In the books, she’s significant to what happens between Jaime and Brienne, but their relationship can be handled differently. Maybe she just…doesn’t contribute anything concrete to the story, except for giving J&B a chance to show us what happens when Kingslayers band together.
The endgame can also work well enough without Uncle Brynden. I’m sad that he’s gone, and I’m unimpressed with the way they handled his death, but he’s gone. We didn’t see Stannis’s body either, and he’s done.
However, we are getting a very faithful adaptation of the way Jaime handles the conquest of Riverrun. His talking with Edmure about Cersei and Catelyn is a show invention, but the basic arrangement of putting Edmure and his family up at Casterly Rock in exchange for him giving up the castle? That’s from the books. Edmure has a baby boy with Roslin! And they’ll be living at Casterly Rock until Jaime decides otherwise. Seems this is important.
Brienne did not “storm out of the tent” at her reunion with Jaime. She looked about ready to cry when she left the tent, but there was no storming out. Some people who give filming leaks are just…wrong.
Also, there were no flaming arrows from the Blackfish. There was no using the siege engines.
Cersei is not allowed a trial by combat, and Sandor is headed north with the Brotherhood. Last week should have been the final nail in the coffin of Cleganebowl, but now we have a better answer of what Sandor is doing with himself now that he can’t hang out with Brother Ray and the Riverlands Hippies anymore. Also, Cleganebowl is nonsense and it was never gonna happen. I will point and laugh at anyone still riding the Hype Train.
I like the idea of Sandor heading north. I think that scenario works well for him in the books, too.
They made a show of Brienne trying to give back the sword, and Jaime insisting she keep it! Which is the sort of thing that makes us J/B enthusiasts hyperventilate, and it suggests that Brienne being in possession of Oathkeeper is important to the endgame.
Arya’s coming back to Westeros! It is known.
The Jaime/Brienne reunion was basically D&D and Mark Mylod hammering it into our skulls that the characters are madly in love, just in case it wasn’t obvious already. At this point, anyone who can watch those scenes and still insist it’s not romance, it’s “just” mutual respect, is literally refusing to see what’s happening because they don’t want it to happen. The longer they keep on acting like this isn’t romance, the harder I will point and laugh at them when Jaime and Brienne finally make out.
I’m kind of worried about what’ll happen to King’s Landing in the finale. Seems like the writers are saving up a whole lot of deaths until then. Cersei is increasingly out of options, and even her dearest little boy isn’t working with her anymore.