Game of Thrones 6×08 Roundtable “No One”

We’re getting close to the end, people. And we’re both scared and excited. Though mostly scared. Vaguely nauseous even. Because Game of Thrones is known for going all out in the last two episodes, and there’s been plenty of happiness this season.

Something’s gotta give.

But, before we get into that, let’s delve into the end of Arya’s journey, the only ship worth shipping in this show and Cersei’s plan, as we discuss “No One”

arya

Arya finally defeated the Waif and she’s back to being Arya Stark, albeit Arya Stark with some, ahem, abilities she didn’t possess before. Where do you see her turning up? Is she heading straight for Winterfell? Will this be the last we’ll see of her in Season 6?

CHLOE

I think it would be odd for Arya to not make an appearance since there are two episodes remaining, but I wouldn’t be mad if we left off with “A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell, and I’m going home.” I mean, what more can you ask for? She has reclaimed her identity and is ready to rejoin the game. Her destination seems pretty clear, but Winterfell is a long way away. I think she will try to get a ship for Westeros, certainly – but she could easily be waylaid by a “side quest” before she makes her way back to the North. I don’t think she’ll make it back home for a while yet.

CARYN

I think we will see Arya in the finale, either back on a boat, or turning up in Westeros just so we have some vision of where she is going. However, I don’t think she’ll go straight to Winterfell, there are still some people in the South that are on her list – namely Cersei, The Mountain and Walder Frey. Hopefully she’ll land in Riverlands and meet up with the Brotherhood or Nymeria.

LIZZIE

I would love for her to head to Winterfell, and I think that’s her destination, but I have a feeling she’ll end up in the Riverlands first, maybe as soon as this season finale, for there are still people to cross of that list, and now she has to feel like maybe she can achieve it. Also, she doesn’t know that Jon and Sansa are alive and fighting to retake Winterfell, so there’s no reason for her to hurry back home. No, she might just stop and pay a visit to Walder Frey, which, oh, please, Arya. Do. We’ve been waiting a long time for revenge.

What I’m really looking forward to, though? A reunion between the Stark siblings. I don’t think Bran is coming back to this side of the Wall soon, so a Jon/Sansa/Arya reunion is about the best I can hope for right now. I doubt it’ll get it this season, but next year? Please.

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Jaime and Brienne finally reunited, and in their conversation it was clear that Jaime wants to be the man Brienne sees in him. But he isn’t. What do you think is next for him? Can he ever become an honorable man? And will Brienne get back to the North in time to even help Sansa in her time of need?

CHLOE

Their scenes were EVERYTHING. The growth of both characters and the relationship between them over the years – I’m so here for it. That said, it was clear from Jaime’s later conversation with Edmure that he hasn’t completely let go of the Kingslayer of old. He has accomplished his mission of retaking Riverrun, so it seems that his next step is to either finalize his business with the Freys at their keep or return to Kings Landing (and Cersei). I don’t think his actions at Riverrun were exactly dishonorable – sending Edmure in may have been a ruse, but the Blackfish at least saw right through it. He forced their hand. Jaime has become a much better man – a more honorable one – since we first met him. While I don’t think he’ll ever stop putting his family first, I’m also not sure that’s such a bad thing. As for Brienne – she’ll be cutting it really close. She may miss the start of the fighting, but I think/hope she’ll make it back before all is said and done.

CARYN

I think that Jaime’s natural instinct is to do what is right, but he is so intoxicated by his love for both Cersei and Tywin that he does what they are expect of him most times which is when he makes questionable decisions. His healthy relationships like what he has with Brienne and Tyrion show that he is capable of more than just being another Lannister bastard, and he seems the most comfortable in these situations, he almost seems to shine.

LIZZIE

I think it’s not Jaime’s destiny to share the same fate as Cersei. He’s much more of an honorable man than most people think he is, and I think that the show is setting him up to choose the honorable path in the moment we least expect it to. Maybe it all ties back to Cersei’s plan. Maybe it’ll be on Jaime to stop her. Previously, I would have said – never. He’ll never turn against her. But, what if she truly loses it? What if he has to choose between her and thousands of innocent people? What if she inadvertently hurts Tommen? I wonder.

And, no, Brienne won’t get back in time, I’m pretty sure, which leads me to believe there’s still something for Brienne to do. Is it fight the white walkers? What does destiny and GRRM have in store for our favorite knight?

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Do you agree with Bronn’s assessment of Jaime and Brienne’s relationship? Is it really romantic or are they just two people who respect and care for each other, without the need to add a romantic element?

CHLOE

Bronn speaks for the shipper in all of us. I loved his blunt acknowledgment of the (sexual?) tension between Jaime and Brienne. As much as I wanted to scream “NOW KISS” when the two reunited, I can also respect that it hasn’t come to that. I feel like their relationship could be romantic – maybe with Cersei out of the picture – but it doesn’t have to be. I want Brienne to have every good thing, but I love that she’s a strong independent woman who don’t need no man. I’ll be happy either way as long as neither ends up having to betray the other.

CARYN

Is it romantic? Of course it’s romantic. I will go down with this ship. I think the fact that both of them haven’t gone *there* yet is because Jaime does not understand feeling affection for someone other than Cersei, and I think he is uncomfortable with the positive, healthy love that he has with Brienne. And poor Brienne is so used to being overlooked and ridiculed I’m sure she does not think that someone like Jaime would ever love someone like her. But geez when he said ‘it’s yours, it will always be yours’ I melted, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau said it with so much gravity.

LIZZIE

I spent the week in a Jaime/Brienne spiral, thanks to not just the writing (Bronn was pretty obvious, after all), but the incredible performances. These actors are selling it, and they’re selling it hard. I saw literal heart eyes in their scene together, and though I think before it could have been possible to sell this as a relationship of two equals who deeply cared for each other, at this point, I have to say it’s definitely romantic. You don’t give Bron the lines he uttered and then contrast that with the two people inside the tent who are making eyes at each other but can’t/won’t ever express how they feel without wanting the audience to get that this is not just a romance, it’s a tragedy.

But hey, at least they didn’t have to fight each other. That’s what I was really and truly worried about. I can deal with this kind of tragic love. I mean,  I think I can.

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Cersei’s planning something. But then again, she always is. What do you think her plan is and does the fact that Tommen outlawed trials by combat change what she’s planning?

CHLOE

Even though the trial by combat seemed like a sure thing, Cersei obviously still had a backup plan – and now is the time to enact it. Between Bran’s visions, Qyburn’s whispers, and the many variations on “I will burn this house to the ground,” I think it’s safe to assume that the hidden caches of wildfire in the city are about to be in play. As I mentioned in one of my previous “doomsday” scenarios for Westeros, I predict Cersei trying to target the Great Sept to take out the High Sparrow. Best case scenario, she pulls that plan off without a hitch. Worst case: the wildfire spreads throughout the city (leading to the desolate, ash-coated throne room from Dany’s vision in the House of the Undying) and/or the attack ends up killing Tommen. But yeah Cersei, go ahead and keep plotting.

CARYN

I think Cersei thought that if she had a trial by combat, she would be able to clear her name and go on her merry way but now that option is gone, she will fall upon more desperate measures, like making full use of the wildfire under King’s Landing that Aerys wanted to use to burn down the city. I think her plan is to burn down the sept which will kill the High Sparrow and his sparrows but just like most of Cersei’s plans it will get out of control.

LIZZIE

We’re all thinking the same thing – Cersei’s not going to take this lying down, no. She’s going to fight. And she might get the High Sparrow, but I think it’s possible that she also ends up harming Tommen. And can she survive with the guilt if that’s so? Will she even be able to control the wildlife? Will someone (*cough* Jaime *cough*) have to stop her from killing everyone? I think the answer is a pretty firm yes.

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Daenerys seems to have another battle on her hands. Or does she? Is it finally time for the Mother of Dragons to release her children?

CHLOE

As happy as I am to have Dany back with her people, I was really hoping for more of a grand entrance. That aside, before she walked into the pyramid, I was waiting for her council to decide to let the dragons loose. I think it may very well come to that, especially with Daenerys set on moving out to Westeros as soon as possible. If she can take the Masters’ ships, that would certainly help that plan – but if she has to burn them down to win, at least the Greyjoys are on the way. With Drogon – if not the other two dragons – flying overhead, I’m not sure how long the Masters will hold their resolve anyway. That’s enough to strike fear into anyone’s heart.

CARYN

Yes, I think Daenerys has spent waaaaaay too much time trying to save a city that does not want to be saved, I have a feeling she’s just going to burn the place to the ground and make her way over to Westeros. She’s not getting any younger.

LIZZIE

Dear God, please. The show has done a good job of making Daenerys an engaging character even though she’s been separated from the main story for six years, but it’s time. I’m tired. This is the same reason why I got tired of her in the books. It’s like the same story over and over again. I need more. We need more.

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Share your hopes and fears about next episode. What’s the best case scenario and what’s the worst case scenario you can imagine.

CHLOE

I have so much nervous anticipation about the Battle of the Bastards. I hope that it will be a rallying moment for the North – the Starks’ North – and that we’ll see Sansa and Jon reclaim their home and their brother. If things go really well, Ghost (or Jon or Sansa or even a shadow baby) will kill Ramsay. Painfully. Worst case? Let’s just say that I wouldn’t be surprised if Rickon and/or Davos ends up dead. I’ve had enough of seeing people I love flayed though, so fingers crossed it doesn’t come to that. Now what would really be a twist is if the White Walkers decide to crash the party. That would be a game-changer for the battle and all of Westeros going forward.

CARYN

Best case scenario: Ramsay dies, all the Starks as well as Davos, Tormund and Ghost survive and they move on back into Winterfell. Worst case: Ramsay survives, one of the Starks and company dies, the Starks lose the battle. I feel like we will get a combination of the two.

LIZZIE

Best case scenario: Ramsay dies, Jon and Sansa live, Rickon is rescued, Tormund doesn’t die honorably and no one hurts Wun-Win.

Worst case scenario: Rickon dies, Ramsay wins and takes Sansa back, Tormund and Davos are killed and Jon is left alone.

What do I think it’s going to happen? Well, I think Ramsay will die, and the Starks will win the war, they just won’t win it easily or handily. I think they’ll need help from the nights of the Vale, and that that help will come after having lost either Davos or Tormund, maybe both. And I think Wun-Wun is toast.

Agree? Disagree? Have any more pressing questions you want answered? Sound off in the comments below.

Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.

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