Season 5 is fast approaching folks!!!! And in honor of that, I posted several weeks back at 4LN a request for questions pertaining to the upcoming season. I received ten such submissions that I will be splitting up into two categories: non-spoilers and somewhat spoilers. If you want nothing spoiled for you at all this season, stop when we get to the somewhat spoiler part (it will be the last two questions and include a standard warning of “please stop reading if). I will explain that section in detail further when we get there. So let’s get this starting with Joe, who has a question about a popular character who went missing during Season 4:
“What happened to Gendry? Is he ever coming back?”
Gendry’s book 3 story ended with season 3. So there was no reason to have him in season 4. But Gendry should be back and he should be running into some familiar characters in which he has not interacted with previously (I emphasize “should,” which I will address with another question further down).
Nathan asks: “Without giving any details, could there be any Red Wedding or Mountain crushing heads type scenes this season? Ones that make you go from up here smiling to questioning your existence?”
If the producers follow the book on this, no. The fourth and fifth books (the basis for season 5) are almost a reboot for the characters of the series. So many important characters in the first three books are dead, so it is like everyone that survived is starting over and reestablishing their place in this redrawn world. That reestablishing takes time for Martin to develop and really slows the pace down until the end of book four and about the middle of book five. That doesn’t mean there aren’t people dying in these books, just not the punch-to-the-gut, life questioning moments those two were. But there is a chance the producers will decide to create their own shock ending for a character (several cast members have hinted this will happen). So if one happens, I will just as shocked as you are. Speaking of changes in the source material, Richard has a question directly addressing just that:
“How close to the books do you think the show will be this season?”
This season will move farther from the source material than any of the previous seasons. It has already been confirmed that the first part of Jamie’s story will be nothing like the books. Sansa’s plot will take a different direction as well. Previews also indicate that Tyrion and Jon Snow’s arcs, though likely headed in the same directions as the book, will take a much different route getting there. And many characters (Bronn, Trystane Martell, Mrycella Lannis….I mean Baratheon) will receive more focus than the books have given them to this point. So while I think the TV show will end up in the same place as the books do, the path getting there will be different. So referring back to the first question, the producers might decide the rest of Gendry’s story doesn’t help meet their end game, so they decide to end his story where it is. I doubt this will happen, but I wouldn’t rule it out. Daisy has our next question about a popular online theory:
“What are your thoughts on the “R+L=J theory”?”
I am a firm believer in it and here are my reasons:
- No character in the Game of Thrones universe has the honor Ned Stark had (R.I.P.). He wouldn’t even sneak around when he had the information that would have kept Joffrey off the throne. Instead, he tried to do the honorable thing and be upfront with the info he had. He held true to every vow he made right to his demise, but he broke his marriage vows for a random prostitute?
- In the first book, Ned thinks frequently about the last words his sister Lyanna said to him, which were “Promise me, Ned.” Now considering there were only a few causes of death possible for young Lyanna, complications during pregnancy seems as likely as anything. And it makes sense that Ned would “promise” to raise Jon Snow as his own and keep Jon’s true parentage a secret (even in his own damn thoughts, Ned would not break his honor or reveal what he promised!!!!). It would also make sense for Ned and Lyanna to want Jon’s real parents a secret because being half “man Robert killed in battle” and half “woman King Robert loved” would not have made him very popular in the new king’s eyes.
Now I believe the theory is true, but I don’t know if the show will follow up on this. One reason is only one man, Howland Reed, is still alive who knows what happened and could confirm Lyanna’s pregnancy. And we have yet to meet present day Mr. Reed in the books or the show (though we have met his kids). So either the show would have to bring Howland Reed into the story or someone would have to see a vision and then get that vision communicated to Jon somehow. And that would take up a fair amount of screen time to accomplish, so with the season’s left being limited, this may require more screen time than can be budgeted. Speaking of the number of seasons left, Pete asks:
“How many seasons of GoT do you think there WILL be, and how many do you think there SHOULD be?”
The producers have said 7 seasons is the goal. That would mean events from (THE FRUSTRATINGLY YET TO BE RELEASED) “Winds of Winter” would cover next season and the not even worked on “A Dream of Spring” would be the source for the last season. Considering the last two books are expected to be 1500 pages long (the previous books were 900 to 1100 pages), that is a lot of content to be filled. Ideally, I think the next two books should have two seasons a piece, bringing the total to 9 or 10 depending on how much of books 4 and 5 carryover to next season (and I don’t think much will). But how many shows went in the crapper because they were on the air too long (I’m looking at you Dexter!!!!)? If keeping GoT a quality show means fewer season, than I’m all for it. My bold prediction is HBO will convince the producers to go eight as a compromise between the 10 HBO would like and the seven the producers want.
David asks: “This season will be the first to not have an episode written by George R. R. Martin. Will that have a negative impact on the quality of the show?”
I doubt that it will. As you said, Martin only wrote one episode a season, meaning there were plenty of episodes written by other professionals that turned out just fine. Though I have to say some of the best episodes (including Blackwater from Season 2 and the Lion and the Rose from last season where the bastard Joffrey met his demise) were penned by Martin. But at this point, I think the man should be put under house arrest until “The Winds of Winter” is (finally!!!) complete. Next up is Quinn, who has an ummm…”unique” theory?
“Is it at all plausible that Game of Thrones is a prequel story to the (tragically underrated) 2002 Christian Bale and Matthew McConaughey film Reign of Fire?”
Well I was not aware that Batman and the guy from the Lincoln car commercials made a movie. But from what I’ve read about it, it sounds like a horrible idea, especially considering that the setting is London (what scenario gets Matthew McConaghey in London facing dragons?) But GoT being a prequel to “Reign of Fire sure seems more plausible than the guy from “Failure to Launch” and “Sahara” in London fighting dragons, so sure, why not? You might recognize this next fellow:
Hodor asks: “Hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor. Hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor?”
Calm down big guy!!! We’re all bummed you’re not in this season as well. I guess there’s only so much the writers of the show can do with a fireball throwing child and a decrepit old man stuck to a tree inside a cave. But this just gives you more time to practice all that dialogue you’ll have for season six and further your career as a DJ (that’s right, Hodor is a DJ!!!!)
Now before we continue, the last two questions involve small spoilers involving characters from the books that may or may not appear on the show. I will not give away anything about the story arc of these characters so I don’t spoil them for non-book readers in case the show decides to use them. But if the very mention of potential names from the show arouses your curiosity so much that your fingers automatically jump on the keyboard and google their names, then stop right here. Once again, if you don’t want potential plot spoilers involving these characters to happen, do not google these names. Now Alan has the first of our semi spoiler questions:
“Think we’ll be seeing Griff and Young Griff?”
I am saying about 70/30 towards no. But I am holding out hope they do. There have been several rumors of actors who are cast for the end of the season under different character names to try and keep it secret. But that is a questionable rumor. If we do see them, I believe it will be towards the end of the season because their reveal will not mean very much to the TV viewer without more background information into their significance throughout the season. Now Cate has our last question:
“Do you think Lady Stoneheart will be introduced eventually?”
My odds are the same here as the previous question. I sure hope they do. And once again, there was a “casting leak” involving this character as there was with Griff and Young Griff which may or may not be hogwash. I really think it makes more sense to put her here in Season 5 than it would have been to put her in the place the books placed her (the end of the third book, which would’ve been the season 4 finale). A whole season can be spent building her up before revealing her as opposed to dropping her on everybody suddenly like Martin did.
Once again, I emphasize, DO NOT google the names of these characters unless you want a potential major spoiler.
Be on the lookout for my final installment of the preview series: a full primer to prepare for Season 5.