‘Game Of Thrones’ Discussion: Five Questions About ‘The Spoils Of War’

There are no books to work from on Game of Thrones this season — even George R.R. Martin might be surprised with what’s happening on the HBO series — and things could get confusing. To help you out, after every new episode, two resident Thrones experts will answer your five most pressing questions.

1. The Children of the Forest fought alongside the First Men to defeat the White Walkers? Didn’t they create the White Walkers?


Ryan: There’s a lot of history between the Children of the Forest and the First Men going back 12,000 years to when the latter arrived on the shores of Westeros from the east. The first thing they did while settling was cut down large swaths of trees, pissing off the Children and starting a war. The First Men had bronze swords, leather armor, and horses, while the Children had world-shattering magic, which legend says they used to do things like raise the ocean, submerging the land bridge from Dorne to the east and creating the boggy “Neck” that divides the North and South of Westeros.


R: The dagger could be important for a number of reasons. First off, it’s Valyrian steel, which is never a bad thing to have this close to White Walker territory. But its history as the weapon used to try and assassinate Bran could be even more relevant. Who sent the would-be killer is still shrouded in mystery, but if you had to make a wild guess, would you not suspect Littlefinger? Lord Baelish was already working hard to turn the Starks and Lannisters against each other at that point.

J: Sorry to interrupt, but “would you not suspect Littlefinger?” answers itself: I always suspect Littlefinger of everything, from trying to murder the future Three-Eyed Raven to eating my leftovers in the fridge that I was looking forward to all day, even though the bag clearly had my name on it.

Anyway, continue.

R: Way back in season one, a letter sent to Catelyn from her sister Lysa blamed the Lannisters for the death of her husband and King’s Hand Jon Arryn. In season four, Lysa admitted she poisoned her husband and sent the letter at Littlefinger’s request… before he pushed her out the Moon Door. That letter fostered a huge amount of the distrust Catelyn Stark had for the Lannisters, and when Baelish later identified the knife as belonging to Tyrion Lannister, Catelyn seized the dwarf, kicking off the War of the Five Kings.

J: I’m butting in again to bring up Bran’s cryptic reference to chaos being a ladder. It’s something Littlefinger told Varys in season three: “Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail, never to try again. The fall breaks them. And some given a chance to climb, they refuse. They cling to the realm, or the gods, or love, the illusions. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.” Littlefinger embraces the chaos, because that’s all he knows, and all things considering, he’s gotten him pretty far in life. But a consequence to this mad pursuit of power is that he’ll do anything to get it, like the time he betrayed Ned Stark. Sansa doesn’t know about this, but Bran does, hence Littlefinger’s uneasy reaction to his “ladder” line.

R: These are all pretty subtle moves, making the assassin with the Valyrian steel blade seem rather crude by comparison. Still, it would have furthered Littlefinger’s goal of stoking paranoia between Stark and Lannister, so can we really put it past him? That said, even if he wasn’t the one that tried to have Bran killed, his deception of Catelyn and a hundred other moments could easily unmask him as the architect of a lot of the Stark family’s misery, should Bran care about that kind of worldly problem to look into it.

J: When is that moment going to happen, though? It’s like Bran downloaded a 2.0 gb file when he only has 1.9 gb of free space on his fried-out laptop of a brain. But to this point, he’s refused to tell Sansa that, oh yeah, Jon Snow is actually a Stark-Targaryen and that he can spiritually eavesdrop on Littlefinger. For someone who’s dead inside, he sure has a flair for drama.

Catch the rest of the analysis @ UPROXX

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