Maester Aemon once said, "Fire consumes, ice preserves." That makes sense to me. All of the dragon-kings are dead except for ol' Aemon Targaryen who has been tucked away in the freezer. (In this metaphor the leftovers are the Night's Watch—something that used to be wonderful and delicious but is now made up mostly of rapists and thieves). I was hoping that we could extrapolate this theory beyond explaining Aemon's remarkable longevity to understand A Fantasy League of Ice and Fire. There's both fire AND ice, meaning the two are forever locked in battle and the season will never end. Right? Wait last Sunday was the final episode for an entire year? Fuck. When does the next season of Breaking Bad start? Never? What about the Walking Dead? Who am I kidding, that show sucks.
I'm getting distracted, let's head back to Westeros. This week the League took us from Kings Landing to the Wall to somewhere in the Vale to back to the Wall and then back to Kings Landing again for a little kingslaying. I was exhausted just watching it. Typically Week 10 of any season is less dramatic than the previous week, and in this case the previous two weeks (I miss you Oberyn). It was very interesting that we haven't seen the Dornish reaction to Oberyn's death. Actually given that their postal service manages to somehow be less reliable than USPS I'm sure the raven got lost in them ail. Or shot down by an arrow along the way. I guess we'll just have to wait another year to find out what they think (fuck, I hate waiting).
Let's take a look at the top scorers this week shall we?
King Stannis "The Mannis" Baratheon (635 points)
Stannis might have been busy abandoning his castle Dragonstone and securing a loan from Braavos most of this season, but he certainly hasn't forgotten how to kick some ass on the battlefield. People don't give the Mannis enough credit as a battle commander because he lost the Battle of theBlackwater. Sure, he did lose that fight, but he almost won - if Tywin and the Tyrells hadn't shown up at the last second Stannis would have been making himself comfortable on the Iron Throne the last two seasons. Actually, I don't think it's possible to be comfortable on the Throne - literally everyone who has sat in it has died (except for Jaime but that was only to keep it warm or Ned Stark when he came to claim it for Robert during the rebellion). Stannis was one Westerosi-equivalent of a Ray Allen corner 3-pointer away from achieving his birthright a WBA Championship (just like the Spurs in 2013 in the NBA).
And just like the 2014 Spurs, Stannis came back with a better army thanks to the Iron Bank. His opponent was also significantly less formidable (like the 2014 Heat). This time around, Stannis had an army on horseback attacking a camp of untrained wildlings on foot who didn't know he was coming. This included Jon Snow, who was in the middle of a parley with Mance Rayder (195 and 305 points respectively). Mance proved to be the bigger man not once but twice in this scene. He didn't come to fight a war, he brought his host to the Wall to hide behind it from the Others, just like the crows. The only black mark on Stannis's week was because of Mance's refusal to kneel. He did look pretty badass when he said, "It's customary to kneel when surrendering to a King." But Mance didn't kneel. Bad ass (+40 points). His people had bled enough for him (though not enough for Stannis, I bet some motherfuckers get burned real soon). This was largely a moot point considering that prior to the parley with Jon Snow, Mance had sent 400 raiders to climb the Wall ~10km from Castle Black (a.k.a. 4 times the number of crows present). As far as Mance is concerned, he was one Ray Allen corner 3-pointer away from being the First King Beyond the Wall to stop being beyond it...
Brandon Stark (595 points)
After two seasons of walking, Bran and Company have put more miles behind them than Sam and Frodo did during their walk to Mordor. They might be the furthest North of all the living people in Westeros. I imagine there are plenty of Wights and White Walkers up that way. Bran had a huge scoring week because he achieved a major part of his destiny. He found the Three Eyed Raven. And he is the first man to meet one of the fabled Children of the Forest in multiple centuries. It wasn't all fun and games though, we had to say good-bye to the little Grandfather Jojen Reed (110 points). The Three Eyed Raven, a.k.a. Bloodraven, a.k.a. Brynden Rivers the bastard son of King Aegon the Unworthy back during the Dance of Dragons ~100 years before season 1, explained that Jojen knew he was going to die the entire time but did it anyway, that's dudefest as fuck (+150).
Meera Reed (375 points) deserves a lot of credit for putting Jojen out of his misery during a tearful good-bye that wasn't so long that it resulted in her dying also. Is it possible that she didn't die because at this point in the series that would have been too obvious? I wouldn't put it past George R.R. Martin. While I'm on the subject, I'm not a fan of Bran hodoring into Hodor. You can tell Hodor doesn't like it, and I want Hodor to be happy. He deserves it after all he's been through. Maybe he could be rewarded for his efforts by reuniting with Osha and showing her just how much giants blood he has in him (hypothetical +100 points for Hodor and +50 for me for coming up with the idea—there's totally already erotic fan fiction about this very thing out there somewhere but I'm taking credit for the idea).
Giants and Dragons (-1000 and -150 points respectively)
One observation we can draw from this season of A Fantasy League of Ice and Fire is that being a part of a mythical species is not a guarantee for scoring a ton of points. After getting out to a fast start last week, the Giants were dealt a crushing blow when Mance revealed their royal bloodline had been extinguished. The dragons didn't do much better. Drogon couldn't keep his dracarys in his pants and Trogdor'd a little three year old girl. And then like a giant dick he took off and left Rhaegal and Viserion to pay the price. Dany is the Mother of Dragons and she just put her children in what appears to be permanent time out. Personally I think this is a huge mistake because it will be a dragon sized pain in the ass to get them out of the catacombs. Anything holding up Dany from getting to Westeros and raining down dragonfire is bad. Hurry the fuck up Dany, people didn't like the Star Wars prequel because of all the time spent on intergalactic trade law and Hayden Christensen (at least there haven't been any Young Vader sightings yet, if anyone is looking for an MC name feel free to use Young Vader. You're welcome).
Brienne of Tarth (400 points)
I wasn't too optimistic about Brienne's scoring potential this week after her scene started with her horses going missing. But she turned it around after beating the Hound (365 points) like he just piddled on the carpet for the 1,000,000th time. This wasn't the most brutal fight of the season, but it was certainly the dirtiest. The fact that neither of the combatants were knights probably contributed to that. It should be note that this was the first fight in A Fantasy League of Ice and Fire history that involved both a dick punch and a cunt punt.
Brienne may have won the fight, but she failed Catelyn Stark (again) by not rescuing Arya—something Arya points out. The Hound was correct when he explained that "safety" was no longer a thing in Westeros. This wasn't the most interesting speech in the scene though. Seeing Brienne identify with another girl as a tomboy was probably the closest thing we've seen her to looking happy. She's all chainmail and lobstered gauntlets on the outside, but on the inside she's just a girl whose dad let her play with swords. If there were such a thing as A Twitterfeed of Ice and Fire, I would hashtag this #precious.
Something that wasn't very precious? Arya leaving the Hound hanging by not killing him. Even when he listed all the terrible things he's done to people she cares about AND then begged like a little bitch. Instead she stole his gold (cold blooded) and left him for dead. As far as we know he isn't dead because Westeros follows comic book rules and if we don't see the death, we can't confirm it.
One death that we can confirm... Actually two.
Tyrion Lannister (340 points)
Let's not glorify what he did here. He killed his Dad and the woman he loved. Sure she was in his Dad's bed when he did it. And she did testify at his trial. At his behest. Actually, I guess she had it coming. Tywin too really. He went out with a bang (fucking Shae) and got some solid one-liners in. I don't want to get too in-depth in this part of the episode because it will make up the majority of my end of season wrap-up next week.
Thanks for reading everyone, let's look at the leader board for this week...
And the season power rankings...