by Luv Mehta, Radhikaa Sharma, Srijon Mukherjee,
Devanjali Banerjee, Amrit Paul and a Guest Writer.
It's that time of year again. Game Of Thrones is returning, with more murder, more intrigue, and more magic.
What sets this year apart from the rest, though, is that for the first time, the book readers are just as much in the dark as the TV series faithfuls - because from this season onward, the show-story is deviating from the book-story.
With the first episode of the sixth season right around the corner, six of us speculate about what's to come next, with six questions.
1. What are you looking forward to the most?
Luv: As a book reader, the books have been dragging their feet with plot resolutions, with every character either moving farther and farther from each other, or dying before their storyline can come to fruition. GRRM's got a nasty habit of subversion as an end, instead of a means to an end, which means he doesn't really give anything better to us once he surprises us by not following through on a potentially brilliant storyline.
As a series watcher, I'm at loggerheads with myself, because while the show has improved on the fourth and fifth book in a lot of aspects, making the storylines intersect in interesting ways and introducing fantastic new scenes, it's also been an endurance test, with the sadism of the books often being matched, when not exceeded, by the showrunners.
So basically, I want the storylines to start resolving themselves. It's been too long since we've had a glimmer of hope, and the trauma conga line isn't novel anymore.
Radhikaa: Mostly, to see how Dany's crossing of the sea goes. And how the White Walkers storyline progresses.
Srijon: I am looking forward to the White Walker crisis and how the other kingdoms react, since its inevitability is slowly becoming known. Also, the in depth politics that the show is so well known for, which should be even better now, since crossovers are happening. Also, Jon Snow, regardless of whether he's dead, the Night's Watch will be a very interesting topic, with so many factors and consequences to consider.
Devanjali: Jon coming back to life. Sansa and Theon planning some sort of coup. Arya coming to terms with the fact that she hasn't been taking her apprentice as seriously as she should have as well as misusing her new found powers for vengeance.
Amrit: What Melisandre does now that both the Baratheon and Jon Snow are presumably dead. And Bran Stark.
And goddamn Gendry.
2. Which character do you want to succeed?
Luv: Jon Snow. The guy's storyline had improved by a huge amount last season (improving on the books immensely too) and while I think the show did earn his death scene well, the fact remains that he's got a lot of potential yet. I know it's a stereotypical measure of having the chosen Hero rise back to life and win, but GoT has punished him long enough to start treating him better.
If he's alive.
Radhikaa: Tyrion. YAYYYY TY.
Srijon: The one true character I really admire is Tyrion. I love his insight and he reminds me of me, not because I think myself to be insightful of course, but because I want to be. Also, the wildlings are a people I've come to admire, and I'd want to see more of them get the freedom they want.
Devanjali: Jon. Largely because he seems to be the only thing standing in the way of civilization from an eternal winter.
Amrit: I would want the Targaryens to succeed because THRONE and DRAGONS and MARRIAGE.
(In all seriousness, I'd want Sansa and Theon, and Tyrion and Varys to do well, or make it alive.)
3. Which character do you want to be shown better?
Luv: Sansa Stark. The whole squandering of her character arc, from victim to active player to a rape victim now, the show has done nothing to earn the constant torture she has to ensure. It's time to start her ascension or just kill her off if the showrunners don't like her that much (which seems to be the case), because this is just base exploitation.
Radhikaa: Jaime. Jaime needs more and better portrayal.
Srijon: Varys, though it's very reasonable how he's not shown much: game changers operate on the board in the shadows.
Devanjali: I feel that Sansa is just shown in light of her repeated abuse. There is a lot more depth to her character than a simple battered woman and damsel in eternal distress.
Amrit: Excepting the characters that weren't shown in the last season, it'd be Jaime. We've only seen him in his duty and passion - kingsguard, father, lover. As a person, he warrants better portrayal.
4. Which character would you prefer just died?
Luv: Ellaria Sand. Not only did she replace Arianne Martel's storyline with a stupid, useless plan to kill the princess, she's ruined the image of Dorne in the eyes of the show watchers too. Just kill her off already.
Radhikaa: Cersei pls. She's getting too whiny.
Srijon: Cersei, not for what she's done, okay maybe a little bit, but also because while I respect survival and desperate measure, there's something about how cunning and cocky she is about it, that irritates me. Also, the Red Witch as smug failure infuriates me.
Amrit: Littlefinger, that douchey man from The Wall, Ramsay Bolton.
5. What have been your favourite moments till now?
Luv: Hardhome! We've waiting quite a long time for something to top the battle of Blackwater, and we've waited a long time for the White Walkers to justify their menace, and we finally got it in Hardhome. The fifth season may not have been stellar overall, but the war of Hardhome was just brilliant.
Radhikaa: When the White Walkers go and try to kill all the Wildlings.
Srijon: The battle at Blackwater, Daenerys's rise, Tyrion's speech at his trial (Incredible acting), the battle between the wildlings and the Night's Watch, literally every moment featuring Mance Rayder, and the battle between the White Walker. Also, Tyrion's conversation with Daenerys where he subtly sizes her up.
Devanjali: Cersei's walk of shame. It was pathetic and beautiful.
Also Drogon's rescue of Daenerys.
Amrit: Dragons, dragons and dragons.
And the turning of White Walkers.
6. Who do you think will die in Season 6?
Luv: Jaime Lannister. He's an interesting guy, sure, but it feels like he's nearing the end of his arc, with a final sacrifice to erase all his last mistakes and guilt incoming. Let's see though.
Radhikaa: Um. Jorah.
Srijon: I honestly can't say. (Who can?) But somehow, things don't look good for Theon. Just a feeling.
Devanjali: Arya. I think she's got it coming.
Amrit: Ramsay, Olly, The High Priest.
[The sixth speculator had the same reply to every question,
so, to save space, we put him here.]