“No One” was another solid, if unspectacular, episode of Game of Thrones, with its greatest strength perhaps being its tight focus. Only five different plot lines were featured this week, a relatively low number by Game of Thrones standards, and each one got the care and attention it deserved (with the possible exception of Tyrion and Meereen, but that’s almost always the case). With next week’s penultimate episode, titled “Battle of the Bastards,” devoted almost entirely to events in the north, it’s likely that we’ll have to wait until at least the season finale to get clarification on some of the more perplexing elements from this episode, so think of this as the most pertinent questions leading into the season 6 finale.
10. What Was The Point of Arya’s Braavos Story?
After almost two full seasons of waiting, it looks like we’re finally done with Arya’s time in Braavos. Although things got quite exciting near the end, with the Waif’s creepy It Follows-like pursuit of Arya ratcheting up the tension, it hardly makes up for what largely amounts to a middling plot line that dragged the show’s pace down more often than not. With Arya now on her way back to Westeros, it looks like we’ll be leaving the Faceless Men behind for a good while, so why did we need to spend so much time with the Braavos story to begin with?
Yes, Arya definitely has more skills now than she did before, but it honestly doesn’t seem like she really learned all that much, other than how to kill someone in the dark (which, to be fair, could come in handy). Arya’s growth and development over the last two seasons came at the cost of her having anything interesting to do and overall, the Braavos story felt more like a device to keep her away from the main action for an extended period of time than a story that needed to be told.
9. Does Arya Even Know What’s Been Happening At Winterfell?
“A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell, and I’m going home.” With those words, Arya officially signaled that she’s moving onto the next (and possibly final) stage of her long journey, returning to her family home. Of course, this is something we’ve been waiting a long time for Arya to do, but has she been keeping up to date with what’s been happening in Winterfell lately? Yes, Jon and Sansa are poised to reclaim Winterfell and either way, the “Battle of the Bastards” will be all sorted out by the time Arya arrives (unless she has access to Littlefinger’s teleporter, of course), but it sure seems like Arya may need a few updates on what’s been going on in the north lest she walk right into a trap. There’s also the question of what Arya will do when she returns. She’s pretty much a trained assassin at this point, but are those skills really going to help when the White Walkers are knocking on the door? Really, the best thing that can be said for Arya right now is that her story could really go in any direction and it will be exciting to see what will happen when she sets foot back in Westeros.
8. What’s Varys Up To?
Sadly, it looks like Game of Thrones fans will have to hope for another delightful Tyrion character pairing, as we had to say goodbye to Varys this week. No, he’s not dead, but it looks like it will probably be awhile before we see these two together again, as Varys has set sail for Westeros. It’s clear that Varys is on a mission to try and make Daenerys’s conquering of Westeros go smoother, but what exactly is he up to?
Again, relying on Martin’s source material for guidance is a fool’s errand at this point, but in the final scene of A Dance With Dragons, Varys destabilizes King’s Landing by killing Ser Kevan Lannister, the current Hand of the King. The other possibility is that Varys has set sail for Dorne, as that kingdom is now run by the Sand Snakes, who hate the Lannisters more than pretty much anyone outside of the Stark family, making them potential allies for the war to come. Speaking of Dorne …
7. Will Dorne Make An Appearance In The Finale?
We’ve noted Dorne’s absence repeatedly over the course of this season and “No One” didn’t disappoint in this regard, as we still didn’t get any update on what’s been happening in the southern kingdom. Dorne has pretty much become a running joke at this point, as even the show seems bored by the entire subplot, but it seems like a fairly safe bet that we’ll see something from Dorne in the season finale. Next week’s episode looks like it will be devoted almost entirely to the battle between Ramsey Bolton and Jon Snow in the north, so there’s no place for Dorne to be worked in other than the finale.
As already mentioned, there’s a strong possibility that Varys is headed there, which would allow Dorne to be naturally reworked into the show’s plot instead of just being haphazardly checked in on. It’s looking like we’ll finally see Daenerys wage war on Westeros in season 7 and Dorne will likely be a key ally for the Mother of Dragons, so it would be very surprising indeed if Dorne doesn’t pop up in the last episode of the season (hopefully, it won’t be for too long).
6. What Rumor Was Qyburn Referring To?
Cersei may be the biggest loser in “No One,” as her own son basically signs her death warrant by outlawing the practice of trial by combat. Now that Cersei can’t rely on Ser Robert Strong to kill someone in order to spare her life, Cersei’s back is up against the wall, but a cryptic Qyburn may have a solution. The outcast maester tells Cersei that he’s been looking into some rumors and that what he’s discovered is “much more” than they thought, but he never explicitly mentions what he’s referring to.
The popular theory right now is that Qyburn’s investigation has something to do with Wildfire, meaning that we could be seeing Cersei literally raining fire down on her enemies before too long. Whatever Qyburn has planned, it will no doubt help Cersei in her fight to overcome the Faith Militant, but it will be interesting to see what she does with Tommen now allied with the Faith. Speaking of which …
5. What Will Cersei Do Now?
As Jaime mentions in a separate scene this week, Cersei would burn a city to ashes for her children, so it would be quite fitting if her solution to her current dilemma is to literally burn King’s Landing to the ground. Although this seems like the most likely scenario at present, there are a few problems with going this route. First of all, laying waste to the city will cause significant collateral damage and while Cersei is likely not too concerned about this, it’s possible that Tommen could be caught in the crossfire.
Cersei’s entire reason for being these days pretty much lives and dies with her only remaining son, so it’s unlikely that Cersei will do something rash if there’s a chance that Tommen could be hurt or die. Besides, we’ve barely even seen Cersei use Zombie Mountain yet, so it would be just a little disappointing if her next plan doesn’t just involve her saying “F–k it,” and letting him go to town on the High Sparrow and his goons.
4. Seriously, The Blackfish Was Killed Off Screen?
One of the unofficial laws of storytelling is that if you don’t see a character die, there’s a good chance they didn’t. Such is the case now with the Blackfish, who was unceremoniously killed off screen while fighting Lannister soldiers. Now, there are two ways of looking at this. The first and most likely scenario is that the Blackfish was indeed killed. After all, the Lannister soldier who reports the news to Jaime would have no cause to lie about something like that and the Blackfish was just enough of a minor character that the show could away with killing him off in such a manner (even if it was an incredibly disappointing way to do it).
The second, very unlikely scenario is that the Blackfish escaped and the only supporting evidence for this theory is that the character does so in Martin’s source material. The problem with this theory of course is that Game of Thrones really has no reason to keep the character alive and the show has deviated from Martin’s books countless times in the past, so why wouldn’t it do so again here? Still, with a character built up to be such an old badass as the Blackfish was, it’s more than a little disappointing that we didn’t get to see him go down fighting.
3. Is A Lady Stoneheart Reveal Still Possible?
Fan theories were dashed pretty heavily this week when it was revealed that not only are the Brotherhood Without Banners still living by a code (it turns out those men that butchered Brother Roy’s parish were simply traitors) but that the group is still being run by Beric Dondarion. Many were expecting Lady Stoneheart aka the resurrected Catelyn Stark to be calling the shots but she was M.I.A. This was even more surprising given how many references to Catelyn were in this episode.
So does this mean that Game of Thrones isn’t going to adapt this part of George R.R. Martin’s books after all? The show pretty much just missed the perfect opportunity to have a Lady Stoneheart reveal, so it’s looking more and more like we probably won’t see her, but there’s still a chance, especially with the rate at which Game of Thrones has been bringing characters back from the dead this season.
2. Will The Hound Join The Brotherhood?
This week’s episode (brutally) hammered home how exciting The Hound’s return has been, especially now that it looks like he may be ready to turn over a new leaf … or at least have his propensity for murder redirected into something positive. His reunion with the Brotherhood is definitely intriguing, as the group’s leader, Beric Dondarion, goes out of his way to try and recruit Sandor Clegane to the Brotherhood’s ranks. Will The Hound play ball though? Again, we very well could still be in for a dramatic Lady Stoneheart reveal, so it’s possible that the Brotherhood is just playing Clegane and actually plan to hang him for his crimes against the innocent over the years.
However, Dondarion also makes reference to the White Walkers and the need for fighters like Clegane in the war to come, so evidently the Brotherhood is aware of the true threat that Westeros faces. Even if he’s reluctant to admit it, Hound 2.0 is seemingly looking for a place to belong and the Brotherhood could provide him with a sense of renewed purpose, especially if they enable him to finally confront the one man he wants to kill more than any other …
1. So … Is The CleganeBowl Cancelled?
With Sandor Clegane’s return last week, many were theorizing that we would finally get to see him fight his brother The Mountain as the Faith’s champion in Cersei Lannister’s trial by combat. Of course, with Tommen shockingly outlawing trial by combat in the Seven Kingdoms, this theory was squashed almost as quickly as Oberyn’s head. Or was it? While the chances of a “CleganeBowl” look much more remote now, there are still ways it could happen.
According to one Reddit user’s theory, Cersei will find herself travelling to Casterly Rock after setting fire to King’s Landing, where she will be set upon by the Brotherhood and forced to defend herself by requesting a trial by combat, a practice the Brotherhood still supports. Well, we all know who the Brotherhood’s champion would be in that situation. At this point, it would definitley take some convuluted maneuvering to make the CleganeBowl happen, but considering The Hound is probably the only man alive who has any chance of putting The Mountain down for good, we’re hoping Game of Thrones will find a way to make it happen.