Game of Thrones “The Winds of Winter” 6×10 Preview: PART 2
The aftermath of the victory in “Battle of the Bastards” is far from simple. Davos looks to Jon for help in punishing and maybe even killing Melisandre now that he knows the truth of what happened to Shireen. Jon aims to not just love and protect Sansa, but to trust and respect her, treating her like an equal. And Littlefinger moves to reward himself for his part in “Battle of the Bastards.” And all of this will determine the future of the North and Westeros itself.
Jon will unfortunately be forced to choose between the woman who brought him back to life, and the man who’s been his most trusted advisor this season and who convinced Melisandre to try and bring Jon back to life. I see this situation ending one of three ways. The first is that Jon banishes Melisandre, deciding that he can’t allow her execution since she brought him back to life, but he also can’t allow her to remain at his side because of what she did to Shireen. It would be similar to Daenerys’s decision to banish Jorah Mormont twice. The second is that Jon, who didn’t really know Shireen, says to Davos that Davos is the one who must decide what to do with Melisandre, that if Davos wants her to die, as per Northern philosophy, “The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword.” So if Davos believes Melisandre should die, then Davos needs to be the one to execute Melisandre. The third scenario is that Jon says he doesn’t have the right to punish or execute the woman who brought him back to life and that it is only fair she remain by his side. He’ll want Davos to remain by his side as well, but Davos will refuse and abandon Jon and Winterfell. Melisandre’s true age may come back into play. With her life and position on the line, she will reveal her age to help herself, even if it’s just pity she seeks.
As for Littlefinger, he’s going to seek a handsome reward for bringing the Knights of the Vale to help defeat Ramsay’s army. Political influence over the North and romance with Sansa is what we’ll see him after in this episode. He spent season 5 trying to achieve this in the North, from allying with the Boltons via the Sansa-Ramsay marriage to convincing Cersei to name him Warden of the North and give him Winterfell if he defeated the victor of the battle between the Boltons and the army of Stannis Baratheon. Cersei said she’d have the king issue a royal decree. Littlefinger may have that royal decree and tell Jon and Sansa Winterfell is his; he has the larger army and can take it from them by force if he must. However, that’s far too straightforward for Littlefinger. What’s more likely is he’ll propose an official alliance between the Vale and the North once again led by House Stark. In time he will betray them to help himself, but for now it’ll just be creating an official alliance. Where Sansa is concerned, I believe he’ll make romantic advances but Sansa will shut him down, making it clear that’s not what she wants. Littlefinger will be disappointed but won’t force the relationship. Doing so would make him too much like Ramsay. Instead, Littlefinger will promise to be patient, promise he won’t force anything between him and Sansa, but he’ll always have feelings for her and whenever she’s ready, they can begin their relationship. I dearly hope he doesn’t try to arrange an alliance between the Vale and North via a marriage between him and Sansa. Ultimately, Littlefinger will take what he wants, but he plays the game of thrones arguably better than anyone. He’s been playing a long game from the beginning and isn’t going to start taking what he wants straightforward and by force now.
There’s a lot more for the North to decide than just an alliance with the Vale. Jon will do his utmost to ensure that he and Sansa are in a good place with their relationship in the ensuing political complexity. I expect the Northern Houses to once again recognize House Stark as the reigning House. It’ll be interesting to see whether the Houses push for Sansa to be the Wardeness of the North, for Jon to be the new King in the North, or perhaps even for both to happen. I loved the sassy expression Lyanna Mormont gave Ramsay Bolton in the last episode. I hope to see her playing a role in deciding the future of the North. Tormund and the remaining wildling should also have a say in that matter.
Daenerys finally has the ships and combined forces she needs to sail for Westeros. The seemingly endless quandary of Meereen and Slaver’s Bay is finally resolved, and she has fully asserted her identity as the Mother of Dragons. At last it is time for her to head to Westeros using the ships provided by Theon and Yara, and the fleet she and her forces took from the Masters. Three fully grown dragons, Grey Worm and the Unsullied, the Khalasar, Daario Naharis and the Second Sons, Theon and Yara and their fellow ironborn, Missandei, Tyrion Lannister, and Daenerys herself will all be headed to Westeros by the end of this episode.
- The Wall
Bran, Meera Reed and Benjen Stark really need to reach the Wall. The White Walkers and wights have managed to kill or force everyone to flee the lands beyond the Wall. Only Bran, Meera and Benjen remain (except perhaps for Craster’s wives, we don’t know for sure what happened to them after Jon and his faithful brothers of the Night’s Watch killed the mutineers at Craster’s Keep and burned it down).
In this episode I expect to see this newly formed trio reach Castle Black where Lord Commander Edd will fill them in on all that’s happened. They’ll enjoy some shelter and food and warmth before heading to Winterfell to reunite with Jon and Sansa. With Arya also planning to head to Winterfell, the ultimate Stark reunion may come to fruition in season 7. This includes not just Arya and Bran seeing the recently reunited Jon and Sansa for the first time in years, but their Uncle Benjen as well. Like Jon, Benjen can say “My watch is ended” honorably because he too died and through extraordinary circumstances came back to life.
Edd and the rest of the Night’s Watch will be in trouble as I expect the White Walkers and wights to begin breaching the Wall at the end of the episode. There’s nothing left to stand in the way of the White Walkers and wights beyond the Wall. The episode is called “The Winds of Winter” because the White Walkers and wights are bringing the winds of winter with them as they begin spilling into Westeros.
- Wild Card storylines
I doubt we’ll see Arya, Sam and Gilly, Jorah Mormont, Varys, Brienne and Podrick, or Ellaria Sand and the Sand Snakes in this episode. But I’d love to see Sam and Gilly since there’s been a severe lack of them this season and I want to know whether Sam is sticking with the maester plan or headed back North after what transpired at Horn Hill. If Varys is back in Westeros I suspect he’ll either go to King’s Landing to murder some significant characters or to Dorne to forge an alliance between Daenerys and Dorne. Even at 69 minutes I’m not sure the episode can squeeze in these other storylines, but we shall see in what is sure to be an iconic Game of Thrones episode!
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