Spoilers ahead for Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire.
So much has happened this season on Game of Thrones, especially the whirlwind of information we got from the weirwood net on Sunday, from the Children of the Forest creating the White Walkers to Bran creating Hodor. Before we head into the second half of the season, let’s take a moment to unscramble our brains. Here’s a refresher on a few details that may be important to remember.
Say Uncle. The Stark parents may be dead, but the children still have family out there. Littlefinger gave Sansa some valuable intel when he told her that her great-uncle, Brynden “The Blackfish” Tully, has gathered what remains of the Tully forces and retaken Riverrun. He hasn’t been seen since season three, when he escaped the Red Wedding during a well-timed bathroom break. Prior to that, he made an impression with his archery skills at the funeral of his brother, Catelyn’s father, Lord Hoster Tully. Less helpful might be Sansa’s uncle Edmure Tully, the heir of Riverrun who spent his Red Wedding night in the Freys’ dungeon. As far as we know, he’s still a prisoner of the Freys. But we’re holding out hope for yet another uncle, Benjen Stark, who went missing after going beyond the Wall in season one. Could he have survived, after all this time? And if he ran into Bran, would they recognize each other?
The Citadel. The reason Sam left Castle Black was so he could study to become a knight of the mind — a maester. (He’s taking a detour to drop Gilly off with his family first.) The various maesters we’ve met (Luwin, Pycelle, Cressen, Aemon, Qyburn) all studied at the Citadel to earn the links in their chains for different fields: black iron for ravenry, silver for healing, gold for money and accounting, iron for warcraft, Valyrian steel for the so-called higher mysteries or magic. The maesters act as scholars, healers, and advisers, and they are assigned to a castle versus the House in control of a castle. They’re not supposed to have allegiance to any one family (unlike Pycelle, who has a Lannister fetish).
Westeros’ justice system. Unlike Tyrion’s aborted trial by law, a trial by the Faith operates a little differently. As the High Sparrow informed Cersei before her arrest, a sacred court of seven judges would sit upon the case, with seven Septons (including himself) acting as judges. When a woman is accused, three of those judges would be Septas, if it goes according to custom, to represent the Mother, Maiden, and Crone. If a trial by the Faith is not to your liking, you could choose violence — a trial by combat. But when it’s a queen on trial, in this case Margaery, her champion has to be a member of the Kingsguard. There are only seven members of the Kingsguard, and Cersei has the newest member — Ser Robert Strong, otherwise known as the Mountain.
Wildfire. It melts wood, stone, steel, and of course, flesh. Tyrion used wildfire to help beat back Stannis’s fleet during the Battle of Blackwater in season two, but barely even scratched the surface of the massive supply at King’s Landing, which was estimated at some 7,811 pots when Tyrion took of a tour of the pyromancer’s storage space. “The contents of this room could lay King’s Landing low,” Tyrion marveled. It’s worth noting that it was Cersei who commissioned the larger cache. And it’s worth remembering that Cersei likes to use fire (at least as a metaphor) when she talks about destroying her enemies. (“I will burn their cities to the ground.” “I would burn cities to the ground.” “I will burn our house to the ground.”) What do you think could happen if she’s pushed to the edge?
The mounting debt (with interest). Mace Tyrell returned from Braavos safe and sound (unlike his very own Kingsguard), but we’ve had no report on the status of his meeting with the Iron Bank. The Bank had called in one-tenth of the crown’s debt, and the crown was only able to afford half of that — so was he successful in renegotiating the terms? Or are the Lannisters and Tyrells on the verge of economic ruin, in addition to all their troubles with the Faith? We’ve yet to see the bill, but it’s easy to predict that the Lannisters might not be able to pay their debts after all.
A wooden stag. Davos made a present for Shireen before he left Stannis’s camp — a wooden stag, after the sigil of House Baratheon. She cherished it, and even carried it with her as she walked through camp, all the way to the pyre where she was sacrificed. If she dropped it during her struggle, it could still be there. A clue for anyone looking to find out her fate?