Season 5 is over, but is the story of Winterfell’s bastard finished? We’ve scoured through evidence from A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones to give you some hope that Jon Snow will survive his seemingly fatal betrayal by his Night’s Watch companions. Did George R. R. Martin kill off the favorite character for good in order to keep up the series’ infamous body count? While HBO seems to want its viewers to think so, we theorize different. Watch and discuss the ultimate fate of Jon Snow with us!
Join in the debate on Twitter @Sub_Cultured with the hashtag #GameOfTheories!
We are so excited to share our teaser trailer for Game of Theories! Our brand new project has been an epic labor of love by our team and we know it’s something that novice and master level fans of George R. R. Martin’s fantasy series will really enjoy. We hope to generate some fun discussions and debates for months to come (even though Martin will likely grind all of that into the dirt whenever the next book comes out).
Each major character will get their own video segment in which we will present several theories, from the ridiculous to the “we-hope-so” and weigh their merits. First up are the surviving characters from House Stark. Early warning: Game of Theories will include analysis of all written text through the e-published chapters of The Winds of Winter as well as the supplementary encyclopedia The World of Ice and Fire.
Next week you can expect an in-depth analysis of the future prospects of young Rickon Stark. Be sure to follow us on Tumblr, Twitter or Youtube to make sure you don’t miss our updates! Be sure to tag your responses with #GameOfTheories !
On the heels of the “just okay” premiere episode of Game of Thrones, we were gifted a wonderful second episode ripe with character development even as the realm threatens war at every turn. From this point forward there may some spoilers, so please read at your own risk!
Right away we are taken to the Free City of Braavos, complete with towering Titan statue, and our favorite wayward Stark orphan brought to the steps of the House of Black and White where she is promptly turned away (Kindly Man, my ASS!). Arya must make her way in the strange city with no friends, no money, and nothing to keep her company, save for the grim prayer she whispered to herself every night. She knows she has no choice but to make this work, and after a brief encounter with thugs in an alleyway, she is whisked off to the House by a familiar “face.” Will she find safety in future episodes?
To the north, in the city of Meereen, Daario lead a small group of Unsullied to find a hidden outpost of the Sons of the Harpy, and after a rousing (yawn) speech about fear, one guy is found hidden in the walls. Daenerys’s council discussed what to do with the Son, and opinions differed on how best to deal with the traitor. Barristan lingered behind to warn Dany about showing crazy displays of power, and she heeds him…for now. Her already fragile grip on the city as she decided on her courses of action reached a head, as her prisoner is executed out of loyalty without her consent. Stuck between a rock and a hard place, Dany has impossible decisions to make, and the ominous hiss of the freed men and women of Meereen left us all wondering what’s to come for our dragon queen.
Tyrion’s journey to Meereen is devoid of his fascination with the history of Essos as we see in book, and we instead get a rambling sort of conversation from Varys about Tyrion’s purpose and colorful symbolism about boxes. Insert witty dry remarks from Varys about the amount Tyrion has been drinking, and that’s literally all we have to go on this week for this odd couple.
Back across the sea in King’s Landing, Cersei started to unravel as she received a gift from Dorne: a snake with teeth bared, and a one of a kind necklace belonging to Myrcella dangling from its fangs. Her biting tongue wounds the only person willing to listen to her, and so Jaime vows to travel South to Dorne to bring Myrcella back, and enlists Bronn for help. Her paranoia disappears into a cold, condescending demeanor at a meeting of King Tommen’s small council and she names creepy Maester Qyburn as new Master of Whispers in Varys’ absence in the name of the King. Tired of her imperious attitude and lack of good direction for the realm, Kevan Lannister spurns Cersei in front of the others after he is not granted position of Hand (a title she took as well as being Queen Regent).
Tensions also rise in the royal court of Dorne as a vengeful Ellaria, paramour of Oberyn, exchanged heated words with Prince Doran Martell about a course of action following Oberyn’s death. She mentions the country wants war and action, and the Sand Snakes stand with them, but Doran recommends restraint much to her anger.
In one of the bigger deviations from the books, Brienne and Pod encountered Petyr Baelish and Sansa Stark in an inn. Brienne confronted the two, exchanging a quick banter with Baelish after swearing fealty to Sansa, who will not have her in her service. Needless to say, Petyr expertly delivered a veiled threat, and Brienne fled at the first opening with Pod right at her horse’s hooves, and her eyes staring after Sansa Stark. They watch Baelish and Sansa ride West, their destination still unknown.
At the Wall, Stannis tempts Jon with legitimacy and the official surname of Stark if he would bend the knee to him as the true king, and hand him the loyalty of the North. It’s all Jon has ever wanted…before he swore the vows of the Night’s Watch. What’s a bastard to do?! The rest of the Wall is preoccupied with the election of the newest Lord Commander and the choice seems clear, until Samwell Tarly nominates Lord Snow. His character shines here as he vouched for the character of one befitting of the title, no matter how young Jon Snow might be, and no matter how many enemies that would make for the young man.
Tons still awaits us this season, and we are practically beside ourselves with the angst of waiting since we are playing the good game and watching weekly with the masses!!
The fifth season of Game of Thrones premieres on the twelfth and will take us through the last two published volumes of the book series. This is almost two thousand pages worth of content and if every moment and detail were to make it to the small screen, there would be enough to adapt two season of the show and we wouldn’t have to worry about it passing the most recent novel. However, even if it meant delaying the inevitable, there’s still bits of Martin’s beloved prose that we hope Game of Thrones trims from its scripts. Martin has written some great plot lines and characters, but even a Lannister doesn’t shit gold every time he sits.
1) Tyrion and the River Monsters
Where Feast for Crows covered the characters and chaos brewing in the South, A Dance for Dragons took us to Essos, a land that had previously only been explored through Danaerys’ chapters. Tyrion arrived from King’s Landing in coastal Pentos, one of the nine free cities, and makes his way east with team Aegon across the continent. Super fans will love the details of geography and history of each nation state, but should understand this too much information for the television series. However, we take particular exception to a weird bit of lore that was introduced in which crazy tribes of greyscale-infected (a sort of a fatal and communicable disease that turns the flesh hard and flakey as sheet rock) river-folk patrol some misty ruins along the Rhoyne and attack passing boats for no reason. At one point in Dance, Tyrion and the crew of the Shy Maid have a battle with these silly people, but are mostly and understandably afraid of being touched by one. We super hope Game of Thrones skips all mention of these men, and not just because only a few show-fans will probably remember that greyscale was the same disease that little Shireen Baratheon contracted when she was young, a throwaway factoid mentioned seasons ago. We like the Others and wights in small doses, because while Game of Thrones is a fantasy series, the true monsters of the show should be the characters. We don’t need anymore, especially when they’re so ridiculous.
2) Barbrey Dustin Models How to Be Spiteful
Disregarding the opinions of the Great Northern Conspirators, was there any character that fans wished would go away as much as this chick? What a bitter biddy. I’m sorry shit didn’t work out for you 20 years ago, hun, but we wanted to hear your story less than Theon did. It was a super awkward exchange between the former Barbrey Ryswell and pitiful husk formerly known as Theon Greyjoy down in the crypts of Winterfell, where she ranted about how much she hated the Starks, that turned us off the character. The short of it is that Dustin had an affair with Brandon Stark when he was both alive and betrothed to Catelyn Tully. Brandon of course died trying to save his sister Lyanna so Barbrey married Lord Dustin all who also died fighting for the Starks in Robert’s Rebellion. She plans to be actively nasty by intercepting Ned’s bones to ensure they never rest in their ancestral home. What a nice lady! Unless somehow her undying hatred of the Starks will somehow either develop into a game changing betrayal or the saga’s best feint, let’s just skip it please.
3) Quentyn Martell
Wouldn’t it be funny if this season included Quentyn Martell in the series while writing out his sister, Arienne? She wouldn’t think so, since her character was harried by her suspicion of her father’s desire to make her younger brother his heir instead of her. Let’s look at Quentyn’s character arc in Dance, the only book in which he appears. He goes to Essos to marry Dany to fulfill the terms of an alliance between the exiled Targaryens and Dorne that no one seems to know or care about. He gets to Meereen, but Dany is already promised to marry the Meereenese Hizdahr zo Loraq so she kindly tells him to go kick rocks. He decides that the way to deal with the rejection is to steal one of her dragons. Viserion burns him during the attempt and he dies. Wow. Please, save us from the boredom, HBO.
4) The Plot to Crown Myrcella
This was one of many stupid plot lines in Feast and Dance that, as the reader, we knew will crash and burn, yet we had to suffer through the hair-brained planning, the fumbling execution, and the inevitable failure. The young and excitable nobles in Dorne hatch a plot crown the eldest living Baratheon heir, Myrcella, according to Dornish law in order to goad the seven kingdoms into war as revenge for the death of Oberyn and the long dead El–know what? Doesn’t matter. It’s stupid and didn’t work out and is immediately discovered then promptly abandoned once the smarter scheme to wed Arianne to the hidden Prince Aegon is introduced to the story. With the much discussed casting of Trystane Martell, who is betrothed to Myrcella, and the decision to send Jaime Lannister to Dorne, we definitely think that this big waste of pages will make it into the show to pad the Dornish plot line and therefor increase number of the appearances of nipples on breastplates.
5) Porn Without Plot
Ok so without question, Game of Thrones has a tendency to insert lots of gratuitous sex into almost every episode. Gratuitous of course refers to scenes that offer the viewer no information other than the particular shade of a character’s nipple. Remember that long and minor arc with Podrick and his first time at a brothel? What was the purpose of that? Plus, the series for some gross reason likes to switch the depiction of some scenes to either toe the line of consent or blatantly depict rape. When the writers decide to do this, but then change nothing else about the course of the story or the characters’ relationships. Why make a clear deviation from the text in a scene if it’s not going to ever be brought up again? There is no answer besides the aim to insert gratuitous sex and violence. Do better in season five, please!
Senior Staff Correspondent
The global fantasy phenomenon returns to HBO April 12th, but Sub-Cultured’s month long celebration of the production and reach of Game of Thrones will hopefully make the wait until then more bearable. We plan on producing a king’s wealth of content as well as a facilitating some fun conversations for super-fans and filthy casuals alike. Check out some of what we have planned for Game of Thrones Month
We plan to roll out our first major youtube project, Game of Theories, which has been a pretty epic work-in-progress here at Sub-Cultured. The series will examine popular theories in the book fandom and will attempt to make some predictions about the fates of major characters. We promise to shred your favorite hypotheses and kill your hopes of dead characters returning to life. Should be fun, but beware of spoilers if you haven’t read the A Song of Ice and Fire books!
Be sure stop by later in April for reviews and articles about our favorite tie-in merchandise like Game of Thrones Beer, recipes, and the Telltale games series (definitely expect live-streams on Twitch!).
We’re really excited to announce that our favorite Westerosi virgin, Jen, will be diving into the series for the first time! Jen will be powering through A Game of Thrones, the first novel in the book series by George R. R. Martin, all during April and will be keeping and publishing a journal of her experiences. Our other writers are on board to be her gurus in her epic journey. Make sure to check up on Jen’s progress and relive your favorite moments through new eyes!
This is only a glimpse at our plans for April, but of course join us on twitter for live tweets of every new episode and of course hit us up to talk GoT any time!
Just so you know that we mean business, read up on some of our past Game of Thrones content.