Winter is here and the final season of Game of Thrones is right behind it. With only 9 days left until the premiere, the Soapbox Staff is going to give you thoughts and predictions each week between now and then. Get Hype!
We all know that Brienne is loyal to her oath for the Stark’s, so where does that leave her after everything is settled with the Iron Throne. Does she get released from the oath that she gave Lady Stark to protect her children? If so, does she end up with Jaime or stay because she feels duty bound to do that until her last day?
Armando – I see this as two diametrically opposed storylines. Brienne and Jamie are clearly in love. It's real too, not lust. It's a respect and mutual admiration for each other that goes deep. Like soul mate deep. Jamie is a Lannister though, and Brienne is sworn to protect the Starks. I think the bigger question is what will the Starks allow? Will the Starks be OK with Brienne being with Jamie, being that Jamie's family, the Lannister's, are behind just about every family member being killed? Or do they see some kind of change in Jamie as the story progresses, allowing Brienne to be with the one she loves. Her romantic fate, assuming she survives, is in the hands of the Starks.
Josh – Brienne will most definitely be staying with the Starks for the rest of her days. All the men of Winterfell are gone now save for Bran and Jon Snow. Bran isn't going to be much of a Lord with having to be the Three-Eyed Raven and I don't think Jon is making it out alive. I could see Winterfell being ruled by women when all is said and done. They would be wise to look up to little Lady Mormont. And if Danaerys sits on the throne at the end of it all, it makes it an even stronger narrative. Girl Power baby! Brienne would be the First Sword/Captain of the Guard of Winterfell and marry Tormund and have monster babies but think about Jamie Lannister when they make them.
Stephen - I don’t think her leaving them is even a question. If the Stark women and Brienne survive, then Brienne is staying there for the rest of her life. The real question is does she have the chance to stay with Jaime at all or does Podrick finally beat her sword fighting and she decides to see his magic cock? I know that the tension between her and Jaime is strong, but Podrick is there and has been there the entire time, so at what point does he take off his glasses, let down his hair, and let Brienne know that love was in front of her face the entire time. If the show ends and we don’t hear any more about Podrick’s monster dong, then the show has failed us all.
George RR Martin is fantastic at weaving stories together and paying off tiny parts of the story that we never saw coming. If he writes a character, they have a backstory and are very well thought out. With all of that being said, what is Bronn’s last name? He’s never said it and that seems like a hole in a story from a person that doesn’t leave holes. Do we find out that Bronn was part of some larger part of history than we initially thought?
Armando – I like Bronn, one of the best, but he's totally a fill in piece. That's not to say he isn't important to the story, he absolutely is. His role is that of transition though. Sometimes characters alone explain themselves, but characters can't always explain their situation in the story. Ser Bronn is an Arc expander. His character allows there to be stepping stones for the bigger characters. He expanded Tyrion's arc, and expanded Jamie’s. What would be amazing, is if he somehow expanded Cersei's arc, and saved another Lannister from what seemed like inescapable death. Sadly though, given both actors relationship off screen, that's not going to happen.
Josh – I really like to think that Bronn is an absolute nobody from Flea Bottom that rose up to rub elbows with the highest of the land through sheer smarts and ability with a blade. It would be interesting if he were a Blackfyre, the offshoot of the Targaryen line that rebelled some hundreds of years before the story we are in now. I believe Blackfyres carried the platinum hair genes, but Bronn is not exactly light-haired. Joffrey's hair color was a major plot point, setting up that hereditary features are quite distinct, so I think that rules out that possibility and I'm ok with that. I like the idea of Bronn the nobody being a major player in the history of Westeros. Not everyone has the luxury of being born into a great family. The great ones rise up despite their origins. Just ask Ser Davos Seaworth.
Stephen – Bronn has to be more than just a sell sword in all of this, right? Was he hired to protect Littlefinger’s interest in The Veil all of those years ago and Tyrion just beat the price? Remember, that all of the stuff that started between the Stark’s and Lannister’s was Littlefinger to begin with, and the world’s best sellsword/doer of bad things for money just happened to show up when Lady Stark AND Tyrion are there working through some shit? I think there is much, much more to Bronn that we haven’t found out, but I’m not sure the TV series will show that. It may be more of a book thing that GRRM was holding for himself. Either way, I don’t think it’s a coincidence and even though he’s not part of some great house that he left, he’s going to have more than we thought.
Let’s play soap opera rules for one question: You get one character that has died in the series that mysteriously comes back after all of these years because they were never dead. That person gets thrown into the show as is right now, so it would be a surprise, not that they never died and were there the entire time. Who is your pick to come back right now for the final season? You can include book storylines as well.
Armando – Ned Stark, who else?! Outside of Tyrion, Ned was the perfect character. His only flaw was that he trusted justice and truth. It's funny when you watch a movie or a TV show, and you go back to that TV show and you pick up on events and moments, that are awful. You're sitting there knowing "that's a bad idea". Sometimes you see it happening for the first time. This whole show is so pivotal on the death of Ned Stark. Season one was literally just an epilogue with the centerpiece being the murder of Ned Stark. He should have been king. He had the better temperament, passion, and love for people that the seven kingdoms needed.
Josh – I would love to see Hodor back, but there is a lot of grief to be had yet and he deserves peace so I am going with The Waif. We never saw her die and she could be anyone around Arya biding her time for revenge. I feel like Arya is not done with the Faceless Men just because she left and went back to Winterfell. That seems like a gang that doesn't let members out. Jaqen H'ghar singled Arya out as a recruit and I'm not so sure he's going to let her go knowing the secrets of the Many Faced God. Could be that Arya goes back willingly, but bringing The Waif back into the story at least gives her a good fight scene.
Stephen – What I really wished would have happened in the TV series is that Lady Stoneheart would have shown up to exact revenge. I get that doing that in the show would have been a tough sell to the general public, but it would have been great. Since it would be hard for her to show up now, give me Joffrey back for the final season. That’s right, I said Joffrey. Sure him drinking wine and getting shut up forever was great, but ultimately not satisfying. Tell me you wouldn’t have been happier if Sansa and Arya had him cornered and just straight fucked him up for 20 minutes for all of the things he put them through. The two of them killing Joffrey like that would be more satisfying than Ned coming back. Think about that for a minute……that’s how much of a cunt he was. Lady Olenna was right!
Stephen Balding is the founder of Cinema Soapbox. You can reach him at email@example.com
Armando Rodriguez is a writer and contributor for Cinema Soapbox