Things are…not looking good, my friends. But first, your daily ***Spoiler Warning: Game of Thrones spoilers ahead through the fifth season finale, and possibly beyond! Proceed past the dragon at your own risk.
Though most of us — especially book readers — absolutely refuse to believe most Game of Thrones deaths are final, and sometimes we’re even right, this time we may be all wrong. In “Mother’s Mercy,” it would appear that two pivotal characters *could* have died, but the question is, are they really? You may not like the answers.
First up, our friend of dubious parentage and suspected Iron Throne dark horse candidate: Jon Snow. Though in the finale it appeared Jon Snow was left to bleed out after he was easily led to a mutinous deathtrap, and despite Kit Harington’s declarations that he’s really, really dead, most of us figured Melisandre (conveniently returned to the wall) was going to do her witchay woman thing and bring him back to life. We know nothing, says David Nutter, who directed both “Mercy” and ‘The Dance of Dragons.”
“I can say emphatically that Jon Snow is definitely dead. I keep hearing that phrase in my head, ‘Ding dong, the witch is dead.’ After what you saw there, I think there’s no more clear picture whether he is dead or not.
Kit Harington is just a great guy and Kit was sad to leave the crew. It’s an emotional feeling as well. But I felt it was important to set up the sequence as quickly as possible so you didn’t expect it or wait for it. I didn’t want it to linger. I wanted it to catch you by surprise. I think in how David (Benioff) and Dan (Weiss) wrote it and how I decided to shoot and how our editor cut it, it was something it was quite powerful and stunning and surprising to great effect.”
That seems pretty definitive, especially on top of Harington’s statements — which we were already writing off. However…he was asked about Melisandre, anyway:
“Any chance he could be resurrected by Melisandre, who returned to Castle Black?”
David Nutter: “That’s not my concern. My concern was to take care of Jon Snow, and he’s now deader than dead.”
Everybody say, “Hmm…” The thing is, Benioff and Weiss seem to be on a major subvert-the-readers campaign, and I think they’re enjoying it. Since the writers/showrunners already know the major Song of Ice and Fire characters’ intended by George R. R. Martin, if Jon wasn’t a final throne contender, they’d probably feel free to take him out.
Next up in our dead or not dead finale characters is Stannis Baratheon. As played by Stephen Dillane, Stannis was a complicated character who managed to earn our respect as he faced death — even after just having sacrificed his own daughter. But, since we didn’t actually see Brienne’s sword connect, many viewers have speculated that it will turn out something or someone stopped her. According to Nutter, Stannis is also dead. About the speculation:
“I think that was basically in the script. Dan and David felt it best not to be gratuitous with that. You really got a sense that Stannis had nothing else to live for. Brienne’s life-long mission had come to an end. It’s a situation in which Stannis was ready to die and prepared to die. It would have been gratuitous.”
Perhaps even more damning though, is HBO commissioned illustrator Robert Ball’s Beautiful Death poster:
That seems official. It’s also fitting. His army is defeated, his family is dead, and Melisandre abandoned Stannis. Valar Morghulis.
Here comes your second ***Spoiler Warning: Possible Season 6 spoiler ahead!
Via Winter Is Coming comes news of a spoilerish audition tape that made its way online, and was quickly removed — but a (loose) translation of Tehmina Sunny’s (Battle Creek, Extant, Children of Men, Argo) demo provides information on the character she may play (included in the first casting call), the Red Priestess of R’hllor:
The audition featured Sunny as “Kinvara,” a Red Priestess from Volantis. Kinvara arrives in Meereen to offer her assistance to Tyrion and Varys, by convincing the people of faith that Daenerys is their savior, and her dragons were a gift from the Lord of Light. When Varys challenges Kinvara, mentioning that another Red Priestess (Melisandre) declared Stannis the chosen one, Kinvara claims the “terrible things” that happen are all part of a greater plan, including Varys’ mutilation as a child — and she relates a quote from his childhood to Varys.
Very interesting…although I’m not sure how thrilled we should be that anyone else would follow the Lord of Light’s minions.