We learned a lot from season seven’s sixth episode, “Beyond The Wall,” like how Gendry was on the all-city marathon team at King’s Landing High School, and that people who live on rock houses shouldn’t throw stones. But the episode raised plenty of questions, too, and in this week’s Mailbag Of Thrones we’re tackling your inquiries about Arya versus Baelish, Jon’s love life, and the powers of the Night King and his new dragon.
Justin emails: After the Frey massacre in the season premiere, one can argue Arya’s shapeshifting ability has made her the most overpowered person on the show. Perhaps she will knock Cersei off her list in the form of Jaime. I don’t think that will happen, and instead I find myself scrutinizing every Winterfell scene for hints that a character is actually Arya in disguise. With that said, has it ever been established in the books or the show that a Faceless Man can only take the form of a dead person by retrieving the corpse’s face? There hasn’t been an exception to this rule to my knowledge, and it seems like a natural way to balance out her power as she would only be able to impersonate an extra, and not a major character like Sansa or Jaime, to spring a trap on her enemies.
There was a major exception on the show, when Jaqen H’ghar punished Arya for killing Meryn Trant by making her go blind. At first he made it look like he killed himself to save her. He drank something, collapsed, and Arya started screaming how he couldn’t die because he was her friend. Then the Waif walked up behind her and said he wasn’t. When Arya turned around the Waif revealed she was actually Jaqen. A confused Arya turned and looked at the “first” Jaqen still dead on the floor, before ripping off a series of different faces from the “dead” person until she got to her own face. So Jaqen wore the face of the very-alive Waif, while the mystery, multi-faced “dead” person wore Jaqen and Arya’s faces. That means there is some magic that allows a Faceless Man to wear the face of a living person, which means Arya might be able to be anyone dead or alive, anywhere and anytime. We covered the “glamming” powers of Faceless Men in our second Mailbag, which might help explain how this is possible—but it still won’t make her more powerful than Bran or the Night King.
Lewis emails: Did Sam actually grab anything of use when he went on his tear through the forbidden section of the Citadel? Did Gilly keep the book where she “discovered” the annulment? Will it make any difference or are we still waiting for Bran to chime in after he finishes his bong hits of sativa in Winterfell?
Sam was sneaking into the Citadel’s equivalent of Hogwarts’ Restricted Section for weeks, so I trust he knew exactly what he wanted to grab. As for Gilly, her accidental find is the biggest revelation in the show’s history, so it would be totally insane and really bad writing if it was never revealed to the characters, so I bet she took it. But whether Sam or anyone else figures that out in the season seven finale isn’t as certain.
Even if everyone realizes Rhaegar and Lyanna were officially married, no one alive except Howland Reed knows she was pregnant and gave birth to Rhaegar’s son. As far as everyone knows, Jon Snow is Ned’s bastard. That’s why both facts have to come out for people to realize Jon is really a Targaryen and rightful heir to the Iron Throne, so we still need Bran to chime in. He just needs some munchies first, maaaan.
Criss emails: With Thoros gone, Beric still creeping around, and no Lady Stoneheart in sight, do you believe Beric will be able to pass off his “ressurective” power to another and, if so, whom? Also: Is Sandor Clegane the best character on the show?
Yes, I do think Beric will do that, and it will be to Sandor, the best character on the show. Here’s my favorite theory on how: We get CleganeBowl in King’s Landing this week, the Mountain kills his brother, but then Beric, believing this moment is why the Lord Of Light has kept him alive, transfers his “ressurective” power to the Hound, bringing him back. Beric dies for good, but the Hound kills the Mountain in CleganeBowl II: Zombie Boogaloo, and ends up playing a major role in the final battle with the White Walkers. Though I doubt Beric kisses the Hound to bring him back the way he did in the novels with Lady Stoneheart.
Maria emails: What are you thoughts on the Littlefinger-and-Arya plot since last week’s episode? Did she really do all that training to not have the upper hand in this dynamic? Is she faking him out or is she really fooled?
I believe in Arya’s skill at the lying game, a.k.a. the Game Of Faces. She knows what Littlefinger is, and she’s been one step ahead of him this whole time with Sansa’s letter. Arya’s been using this time to test her sister. She might even hold the final exam in a scene where she wears Littlefinger’s face to truly find out what side Sansa is on. I’m going with this: Arya kills Baelish this week and the Stark sisters unite.
Lonnie emails: That moment between Dany and Jon at the end of the episode certainly makes it appear they’re headed toward a romance, no?
Incestuous marriages in Valyrian families go back millennia, long before the Targaryens landed in Westeros, continuing right up to the Mad King, who was married to his sister. It’s not a stretch that a Targaryen aunt and nephew would marry, or that Game Of Thrones would be okay with it, but despite his real father, Jon was raised at Winterfell, so he’d likely find it gross. Right? Please?
Ultimately it won’t matter because Jon will be dead by series’ end.
Steve emails: If Jon Snow ends the series on the Iron Throne and—either because of death, incest aversion, or some other reason—not with Daenerys, then who is his queen? At this point pretty much all of the highborn women we’ve seen who aren’t related to him are either too young (though awesome), imprisoned (and probably not interested anyway), destined to make giant children with Tormund, or Cersei.
Okay, if I’m wrong and Jon is alive at the end this is a fun question. Jon won’t have time between now and winning the Great War to fall in love with someone that isn’t Daenerys, so it would have to be a politically strategic marriage if it’s not her.
Brienne wouldn’t make sense politically, and I don’t see Euron letting Yara live, or Ellaria getting free of Cersei.
Uh… is Cersei the only option? Sign me up.
Henry emails: Littlefinger gets everywhere and knows what’s going on everywhere. Is it possible he too is capable of Faceless Man abilities or is actually a faceless man himself?
No, he’s just the smartest, most foreward thinking player in the game. He’s the Bill Belichick of Westeros, only if Belichick somehow managed to win Super Bowls with Robin Arryn at quarterback.
Zack emails: Do you think Viserion will breath fire or ice? I think most people are thinking ice, but I’m predicting he melts the wall with fire.
Here’s how I handicap it:
- Blue flame, even hotter than normal dragonflame: 50 percent. He’ll use this to melt a hole in the Wall for the White Walkers to pass through.
- The frozen breath from the legends of ice dragons: 35 percent. The ice-demon king should have an ice-demon dragon who breathes ice.
- Both fire and ice: 10 percent. This would be cool for numerous reason, but it doesn’t seem likely. We are dealing with magic though, so it can’t be ruled out.
- Regular dragonflame: 5 percent. Boooooooo.
Kevin emails: So do the White Walkers just carry around those dragon-killing spears with them at all times just in case one happens to show up, or did the White Walkers know somehow that Daenerys and her dragons were going to show up at that specific time? Do the White Walkers have the same types of powers that Bran has, perhaps? We have seen that they can sense when Bran is doing his thing that Bran does as well as interfere with it.
The fact the Night King could see and “mark” Bran in a vision means he probably has powers we don’t fully understand yet, so at minimum he probably knew dragons had returned to the world (if he didn’t downright know Daenerys was going to show up at that exact moment). Jaime took the only scorpion bolt in the world with him to Highgarden just in case—why wouldn’t the Night King keep a sack of dragon killing javelins nearby for the same reason?
And yet, despite the untold abilities of the Night King, I still can’t accept that he had access to giant steel chains. Where? How? How? He raised tens of thousands of dead corpses at Hardhome—he couldn’t have just pulled a “Yoda lifting the X-wing on Dagobah” move with Viserion? It’s the most shocking moment in the show’s history, and all I kept thinking was, “Where in seven bloody hells is there a White Walker hardware store?”