This week’s Game of Thrones was literally explosive, with Emilia Clarke’s Daenerys burning her way out of captivity and into command of the Dothraki in a shocking finale bound to resonate with many viewers for weeks to come.
But in an episode stuffed with family reunions, political intrigue and surprise romances, it wasn’t the only thing to leave us with a few intriguing questions on our minds…
1. Is Jon Snow going to fight Ramsay Bolton?
The whole episode seemed to be teeing up to this conflict, with newly-reunited siblings Jon and Sansa (Kit Harington and Sophie Turner) deciding to rally the North to take on the horrific new Lord of Winterfell (Iwan Rheon).
Some fans are already calling the prospective battle “Bastardbowl” (in reference to Ramsay and Jon’s illegitimate parentage), and we’re betting that the next few episodes will see the Starks trying to increase the number of their 2,000-strong army to take on Ramsay’s 5,000.
Though we’re not sure if that number included the newly Bolton-friendly House Umber, who only joined Ramsay’s cause after Sansa had already escaped Winterfell. If not, the Starks might have bitten off a bit more than they can chew…
2. Will Jon Snow become the King in the North?
Here’s an interesting one – if Jon really is to try and retake Winterfell for House Stark, will he also claim his late brother’s title of King in the North? Considering his illegitimacy, it seems a bit unlikely – his two brothers Bran and Rickon and sisters Sansa and Arya are ahead in the line of succession to him – but as the oldest and the only experienced military leader, it could be that Sansa and the others stand aside to let him lead from a position of strength.
Also, Sansa suggested that the houses still loyal to the Starks would gloss over Jon’s illegitimate nature, which is nice.
3. Where did Jon get his neat outfit?
Ah yes, the most important Jon Snow question of the episode. Jon spent most of this week’s action clad in traditional Stark armour, which is a little odd considering he was stuck up at the Wall for the last few years. Do the Night’s Watch just have a well-stocked fancy dress cupboard, or was it a lucky find?
And don’t give us that “it’s what he was wearing when he arrived” nonsense – we saw his journey to the Wall back in season one, and he was already pre-emptively goth-ing up in black gear.
4. Why didn’t Daenerys get burned?
The final moments of this week’s episode saw the former Khaleesi burn some nasty Khals to death, emerging from the flames unscathed and apparently gaining the loyalty of the entire Dothraki people.
She did more or less the same thing back in season one while entering a funeral pyre, which might lead you to assume that she’s just fireproof thanks to her family’s long affinity with dragons. However, source novel author George RR Martin says that’s not the case in his books, with the season one (aka book one) burning a one-off event that probably wouldn’t be replicated.
So it seems this is an occasion when the TV is diverging from the books, though for once we don’t mind too much – it seems to make sense that she’d be a permanently asbestos Khaleesi, especially now that she has a bunch of horselords to rule.
5. Now that she has a massive army, will she take the Iron Throne?
We’d like to think so, but we can’t help but feel Daenerys will instead take the Dothraki back to Meereen to help stabilise it, then possibly free the people of the other cities in Slaver’s Bay.
After that, she’ll most likely continue to sit around in Essos for the next four seasons debating politics and rarely hanging out with dragons, because that’s just the way she likes it these days.
6. Does Tormund have the hots for Brienne?
The Maid of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) might find a bit more luck with the opposite sex north of the Wall, based on how the Wildling chieftain was looking at her this week.
7. Is Tyrion headed for a fall?
We can’t help but feel that his latest wheeze – allowing for a staggered withdrawal of slavery over seven years from other cities in Essos – could backfire on him, possibly due to a revolt from the former slaves living in Meereen or possibly because of the Masters reneging on their deal.
At the moment, his slightly imperialistic bent isn’t a good look.
8. Are we going to have a returning character “surprise stabbed” every week?
Wildling Osha (Natalie Tena) joined Roose Bolton, Doran Martell and Trystane Martell this week in being knifed at a shocking moment, and we can’t help but wonder if this is a trend (possibly started by Jon’s Julius Caesar impression last season) that will only continue.
9. Are the Knights of the Vale going to save the day?
It sounds like the elite fighting forces of House Arryn and their bannermen are about to enter the fray, after keeping out of all the wars seen in Game of Thrones thus far. We’re betting that they’ll make a dramatic appearance in the climactic Jon/Ramsay battle (if that ends up happening), saving Jon’s smaller force from destruction at the very last minute.
Or in other words, taking House Arryn’s crest into account – the eagles are coming!
OK, it’s a falcon on their crest, but close enough.
10. Is Margaery going to team up with the High Sparrow?
While Cersei (Lena Headey) and co scheme to get her released, it looks like Queen Margaery (Natalie Dormer) might be about to make a deal of her own. At the moment she’s resisting the High Sparrow, but we couldn’t help but notice her appearing a little more receptive to his religious platitudes this week.
Sure, it’s probably still just a ploy to get released, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see a newly-pious Margaery in the coming episodes.
11. Where’s Bronn?
The crucial question on everyone’s lips. Over four episodes so far we’ve had no sign of Jerome Flynn’s sellsword-turned-knight Bronn, with the character also absent from any trailers. Is he sick? Is he off murdering his way to the lordship of Castle Stokeworth? Or is he just taking a few well-deserved holiday days in Dorne?
Hopefully, we won’t have to wait long to find out…
Game of Thrones continues next Monday at 2am and 9pm on Sky Atlantic