#GameOfTrones Finale: Review, Theories, and Development for Season 6

Posted on June 15, 2015

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by Alex JS, editing by Adam MS

(7/28) new update: Did HBO Just Spoil Jon Snow’s Fate on Game of Thrones?!

HBO is trying too hard to keep Game of Thrones spoilers under wraps! (You know nothing, HBO! Or do you know everything and you’re pulling one over on us?) The hunt for real answers will surely drive us insane.

Still, the evidence appears to keep mounting that Jon Snow’s (Kit Harington) fate is not what we thought it was at the end of the season five finale.

This needs no spoiler alert anymore because if you’re not caught up on Game of Thrones season five by now, then you probably never will be. But Jon Snow was stabbed, apparently to death, in the latest episode, and we’ll never ever forgive The Night’s Watch and the worst child on television (Olly).

Game of Thrones, Season FinaleNow, the latest: According to Pedestrian, HBO sent out an email promoting their “Honour The Fallen: The Memoriam Collection” toys. Basically, it’s a sale of toys for dead characters on the show…and there wasn’t a single mention of Jon Snow in the dearly departed list. If HBO isn’t mourning the Lord Commander’s death, then why should we? The toy sale included several now-dead characters, including (Spoilers) Joffrey, The Hound, and Oberyn Martell.

So we can now officially hopefully declare that even if Jon Snow died after being stabbed repeatedly by his traitorous Night’s Watchmen brothers, he’s not gone for good from the show.

And of course we can’t forget Exhibit A: Kit still hasn’t cut off his Jon Snow hair,despite him previously saying he would cut it off as soon as he was killed off the show.

And also Exhibit B: Kit’s been spotted near the Game of Thrones set in Belfast. So unless he’s just visiting his friends who are still alive on the show, we’re pretty sure that means there are more Jon Snow scenes in our future.

Please join us in our denial for the rest of the nine months while we wait so impatiently to be proven right in season six.

(7/19) Emilia Clarke Is Still Teasing Game of Thrones Season 6 Details

In a new interview, the actress says the next installment of the series will be both “epic” and “mental.”

The new season of Game of Thrones is going to be “mental,” according to Emilia Clarke. “I’m saying that obviously because I’ve read the script for next season. Muwah ha ha! I know stories. It’s really exciting,” the actress said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.

Clarke has been one of the most vocal cast members during the show‘s off season, dropping hints about the possible fate of Jon Snow, when she’s not nailing Clueless impersonations.

While in the past she has admitted that the show-runners keep secrets from her (“They know that I can’t lie very well,” Clarke said,) she did have a few insights into the upcoming season. Specifically that the show won‘t waste time setting up the drama and introducing character after character. “It’s just go, go, go, go. Shocking moment to shocking moment. Epic moment to epic moment. It’s mental; it’s epic. And definitely Dany’s a part of it,” she said.

[Spoiler Alert] At the end of last season, Daenerys found herself surrounded by Dothraki horsemen, which implied a return to her role as Khaleesi, but also meant Clarke had to brush up on her Dothraki. “I found it so much easier doing Valyrian than I did learning Dothraki, which is weird because Daenerys’ mother tongue is Valyrian,“ said Clarke. “But yeah Dothraki is not my forte. Weirdest sentence ever.”

In the interview with the Los Angeles Times, the actress also discussed her Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, which she found out about in the waiting room of her doctor’s office. “All you want to do is just scream and shout, and you have all these people glaring at you thinking, ‘What is that woman on?’,” said Clarke. “So, yeah, I had to try and contain my excitement for that moment. But it was pretty brilliant nonetheless.” For the award, she will be going up against her Game of Thrones co-star Lena Headey, whose character Cersei Lannister had a dramatic fall from grace this season. In addition, the show had a staggering 22 other Emmy nominations and with so much of the cast and crew up for awards, a few logistical problems have arisen. “It’s right in the middle of our filming schedule,” said Clarke. “So begins the war of, ‘But I’ve gotta go. You can stay and do your bit of filming. I want to go to the Emmys.’ I think there’s going to be lots of that.”

For her part, Clarke already has sure-fire plan to make sure she attends the awards show. “I’ve got my dress already, so, I win,” she said, adding that the show might “be really clever and just shut down filming for a second. But that would have massive repercussions, so I don’t know if that would be the case, but we shall see.”

While the show was graced with many well-earned nominations, Drogon was (rudely) not among them, despite the fact that Clarke claims that as an actor her dragon son is “so good. He is … just … he gives, and he gives.”

(7/6)  Here’s Why People Think Jon Snow Is Coming Back to Game of Thrones

[Warning: Spoilers for season 5 to follow]

Kit Harington was spotted at Wimbledon this week sporting his Game of Thrones character’s signature long hair, prompting rumors that Jon Snow would make a comeback for next season.

Harington, whose character who was killed off during the HBO show’s season five finale, gave fans a rush of hope particularly because his hair has been a fore-teller of Snow’s fate. When Harington chopped of his hair last winter, fans thought of it as a spoiler that Snow, much like other heroic Game of Thrones characters, would meet an untimely end come the end of the fifth season.

Harington has said that he will not return to the show, but don’t expect any Game of Thrones fan to give up hope now—unless he decides to get a haircut.

See the picture below:

Wimbledon kit harrington

(image:Getty)

(Updated 7/4, via BGR.com) New Director Teases Season 6, Why He’s Treating Show Like ‘LOST’:

Mind-boggling!!! That’s the way Jack Bender – one of five newly announced directors who’ll be responsible for two episodes each in the coming sixth season of “Game of Thrones” – describes the next batch of episodes on deck for HBO’s hit drama.

Bender himself will direct episodes 5 and 6 next season. And before he leaves for Belfast in a few weeks to start shooting, a commitment that will take him through the rest of the year, Bender gave BGR a small taste of what it’s like to be attached to and have a hand in shaping one of the buzziest, most obsessed-over shows of the modern era.

Naturally, he’s not coughing up any secrets of what’s coming down the pike in Westeros — Bender, after all, is a seasoned director whose past experience has included working on everything from “Under the Dome” to “The Sopranos” to “Lost,” a show that had a similarly cultish fandom around it.

He did acknowledge, though, that he’s read most of the next season’s scripts, including those for his two episodes.

Worth nothing: With the long-awaited sixth book in the “A Song of Fire and Ice” series yet to be released, the fact that the next season of the show apparently has not only been mapped out but scripted raises interesting prospects for where the content will venture outside of the published books. As Entertainment Weekly put it a few days ago, the next season “is expected to be the first year that ‘Thrones’ largely extends beyond the storyline in George R.R. Martin’s published novels.”

game of thrones finale“(‘Game of Thrones’ showrunners) Dan Weiss and David Benioff are enormously brilliant and unpretentious guys, and I know they communicate closely” with author Martin, Bender told BGR, adding that the degree to which the material deviates from or goes beyond the books isn’t as much of a concern for him.

“This is how I look at it. As a director on ‘Lost,’ for example, I liked to say we get recipes from (‘Lost’ showrunners) Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. Then, me and the writers and the rest of the team, we’d cook the meal. That’s always how I saw the metaphor.”

Bender does that a lot, reaching back to “Lost” to make a point related to “Game of Thrones.” He does it, for example, when talking about what’s changed in the hit-obsessed world of TV since then. One thing he points to along those lines is the speed with which information spreads today, necessitating more secrecy than ever — especially with something like a “Game of Thrones” episode that has to gestate for so long after it’s been shot.

He’d been approached some years back to have a go at directing “Game of Thrones,” but he had to pass at the time because of the lengthy time commitment involved.

“You have to commit to four-and-a-half to six months because of the enormity of the episodes,” he says.

To get a sense of Bender’s past work, he directed close to 40 episodes in all of “Lost,” including some of its most memorable, like “The Constant.” That one featured the gut-wrenching story involving the character of Desmond careening through time to reconnect with his long-lost love, Penny.

A bit of “Lost” lore: Bender, a painter, also took it upon himself to create the hatch wall painting in the show. He still clearly recalls the brainstorm that turned into dispatching an assistant to fetch different colors of chalk to bring it to life.

In a way, that’s indicative of the psyche Bender brings to the table — whether it’s “Lost” or “Game of Thrones” or anything else, he pegs his approach and attitude as that of an artist. That, along with his past comfort with rich, emotionally resonant storytelling, makes it interesting to see how he’ll approach his latest directorial turn.

“When I’m really old, maybe one day I’ll sit there and start going through the scrapbook and think about how this or that show got put together,” he says. “Right now, every day you just get up and do the best you can. It’s like building a pyramid, one block at a time.

“I really fluctuate as an artist between audacity and insecurity. The audacity is about you having the balls to put your vision out there. But then in certain moments you go … well, what the eff do I know? All you can do is trust your instinct. All you can do is put your tracks in the snow.”

Besides his work on “Game of Thrones,” he’s got plenty else to keep him busy. At the moment, for example, he’s also promoting and in the process of crowdfunding his illustrated book “The Elephant in the Room,” which he describes as a “children’s book for adults.”

After he says goodbye to Westeros, Bender will direct an adaptation of Stephen King’s detective novel “Mr. Mercedes” for TV.

“I think there’s something to be said for the amount of stuff you put out there,” Bender said. “It’s about laying tracks in the wilderness. You’ve got to put it all out there. Keep working. That’s why I do what I do. You can’t overthink or get caught up in perfection.”

Said another way, in the words of one of Bender’s favorite Leonard Cohen lyrics:

“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.”

(Original reporting) It was the most shocking and heartbreaking season finale, it’s extremely devastating, and yet they managed to make it as one of the show’s most stunning episodes ever!

by Alex JS, Editing by Adam MS

Spoiler ALERT: Do not read on unless you’ve seen the “Game of Thrones” season five finale, titled “Mother’s Mercy.”

HOLY MOTHER OF GOD!!! Mother have mercy on us all, since it seems that “Game of Thrones” showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss saved the most brutal and bloody episode of the season for last, with series regulars and supporting players falling victim to the Many-Faced God in equal measure.

“Game of Thrones” wrapped up its fifth season with a very big finale, full of game-changing plot twists and surprises. Sunday’s episode felt a lot like the ninth episodes of the previous four seasons (Ned Stark’s beheading in Season 1, Blackwater in Season 2, the Red Wedding in Season 3 and the battle at The Wall in Season 4) as it packed in major moments, including huge deaths, acts of revenge, penance and some surprise returns.

Here’s our blow by blow recap of Season 5, Episode 10 – “Mother’s Mercy”:

King Stannis Baratheon

Melisandre is in a good mood. “The Lord of Light has made good on his promise, my King. His fires have melted the snows away,” she tells Stannis, looking smug that her advice (that ended with the death of Shireen Baratheon in last week’s episode) worked. Only, it hasn’t. Moments after Stannis suggests they ride for Winterfell, bad news comes. Nearly half the men deserted before dawn – all the sellswords with all the horses, one of his men tells the king. Melisandre hears the news and sighs. Another soldier has more horrible news. He takes Stannis into a tree-filled area where the king’s wife, Selyse, is dead (by hanging). And, since bad news comes in threes, there’s one bit. “Your grace, the Lady Melisandre was just seen riding out of camp,” a man tells him. Following that bombshell, Stannis does the only thing he can think of. He tells the soldier to get the men into formation. “On to Winterfell,” he says.

Jon Snow & Samwell Tarly

The battle at Hardhome has got Jon worried. He knows the Night’s King (of the White Walkers) has the biggest army the world has ever seen, and there’s not enough dragonglass to defeat them – or swords made of Valyrian steel. As their chat continues, Jon says he’s the first Lord Commander to sacrifice the lives of brothers of the Night’s Watch for Wildlings, and he knows he’s the most hated man at Castle Black. As usual, Sam tries to cheer Jon up, and he does a bit. They share a toast, and then Sam asks for a favor. He wants to go to the Citadel to learn to become a Maester (and bring Gilly and the baby with him). Reluctantly, Jon agrees. After another toast and a little more chatting (Jon finds out Samwell and Gilly consummated their relationship) Samwell, Gilly and the baby head off in a wagon on their new adventure.

GoTn2King Stannis Baratheon, The Boltons, Sansa Stark & Brienne of Tarth

It’s time for the battle at Winterfell. Through the snow, what’s left of Stannis’ forces – a sorry sight – march to Winterfell. On a hill, Podrick spots them and runs to Brienne with the details. “M’lady. Stannis! Stannis Baratheon is coming. His whole army,” he tells her.

They’ll strike at sunrise, Stannis tells his men. “There’s not going to be a siege, your grace,” one of his soldiers tells the king as an army on horseback – The Boltons’ army — rides toward Stannis’ troops. Stannis takes out his sword, but it’s a bloodbath and the king’s army is defeated. Stannis appears to be the last man standing (or rather leaning against a tree after he’s attacked and injured by two men). As he looks over his wounds, a woman walks up. She’s not part of the Boltons’ army she tells him. She is Brienne of Tarth, and she is here to deliver justice for Renly Baratheon. “You murdered him, with blood magic?” she asks. “I did,” Stannis confesses. “In the name of Renly of House of Baratheon… I, Brienne of Tarth, sentence you to die,” she says, before asking him for his last words. “Go on, do your duty,” he tells her. And she does.

Out on a bloody battlefield, Ramsay Bolton kills one last soldier and prepares to head back. He wants to see his wife, Sansa. Inside Winterfell, Sansa Stark lights that candle in the window as a signal that she needs help. Myranda, though, Ramsay’s girlfriend on the side, has come to confront her. She’s brought a bow and arrow too, and wants to do some damage (except to the bits Sansa needs to make Ramsay’s heirs), Myranda says, as Reek watches the exchange. Myranda pulls her bow string a little tighter and just as she’s about to turn Sansa into her own play toy, Reek, no, make that Theon, acts, shoving Myranda off a ledge and to her death. Then, he and Sansa make their escape.

Arya Stark & Ser Meryn Trant

Ser Meryn is busy beating a trio of young girls at a brothel in Braavos, but one of them won’t scream. Meryn doesn’t like this, so he hits her again and again, but she just responds with silence. She looks up at him. Unhappy that she’s not crying, he hits her in the stomach. The young woman still doesn’t cry, but she hits the ground from the blow – and then she shocks Meryn by changing her face. It’s Arya Stark. While he stands there stunned over what he’s just seen, she uses the moment to attack, stabbing him in one eye, then the other. She puts a rag in his mouth too as she tells him who she really is (Arya) and that he was on her prayers/hit list for killing her water dancing teacher Syrio Forel (in Season 1, the man her father, Ned Stark, hired to teach her to fight). And then she slits his throat.

Back in the Hall of Faces, Arya puts the young girl’s face she borrowed back in its right place. “A girl has taken a life. The wrong life,” Jaqen says, as he and Waif appear and confront Arya about what she did. “That life was not yours to take. A girl stole from the Many Faced god. Now a debt is owed,” Jaqen says, opening a poison bottle. After drinking it down, he collapses onto the ground, dead. “Don’t die,” Arya says, screaming and crying. Behind her though, something happens, Waif becomes Jaqen, and Arya gets reminded of her past lessons. “He was no one,” Jaqen says, referring to the body on the ground. As for Arya, she hasn’t learned how not to be “someone” he tells her. So who is the body on the ground? Arya frantically pulls half a dozen faces off of it until she sees her own. “To someone, the faces are as good as poison,” Jaqen tells her. And with that, the poison changes Arya and she goes blind.

gotgJaime Lannister, Myrcella Baratheon & The Martells

It’s time to say goodbye to Dorne. Jaime is taking his daughter/niece home with her fiancee, Trystane. Even Ellaria is on the dock to bid them adieu, and she gives Myrcella a parting kiss – on the lips. On the boat, Jaime decides to open up to Myrcella. He’s happy she’s found Trystane and fallen in love with the man she was “assigned” to marry. He stumbles around for more words about how people fall in love with who they fall in love with, but Myrcella stops him. She knows what Jaime is trying to say. “I’m glad that you’re my father,” she tells him, snuggling into her dad’s chest (the first hug from one of his kids who knows who he really is to them). But the happy moment is interrupted. Blood trickles from Myrcella’s nose. Ellaria! She poisoned the princess. Myrcella collapses in her dad’s arms. Back on the dock, Ellaria drinks the antidote as she and the Sand Snakes watch the ship sail away.

Tyrion Lannister, Jorah Mormont & Daario Naharis

“You love her, don’t you?” Tyrion asks, breaking the silence as he sits on the steps in Dany’s Meereen throne room with Jorah and Daario. “Of course, it’s hopeless for the both of you,” he continues. Grey Worm enters the room with Missandei and cuts off their little chat. The leader of the Unsullied doesn’t understand why Jorah’s back. He was banished. Daario explains Jorah saved the queen’s life. With that business sorted, the next step is to deal with finding Dany. Daario and Jorah will go out on that mission, while Tyrion, Grey Worm and Missandei will stay behind and rule Meereen.

As Tyrion watches Daario and Jorah head out, he hears a familiar voice. “Hello old friend…” Varys says, walking over. He’s back and he’s here to help. “I did miss you,” Tyrion tells his old King’s Landing pal.

GOTDaenerys Targaryen

“We have to go home,” Dany, in her charred dress, tells her dragon, Drogon. He won’t budge. He’s injured and just wants to curl up and rest. Hungry, dirty and with no idea where she is exactly, Dany heads down the hill and looks around. A sound in the distance makes her stop. There’s a man atop a horse, then three more appear in the distance. They all have long hair and body paint – Dothraki! Quietly, Dany drops her ring on the ground (as a marker) as a khalasr ride up and circle her, shouting and hollering.

Cersei Lannister

Cersei can’t stand being in the cell and this horrible treatment any more, so when one of the High Sparrow’s nuns comes in telling her to “confess,” the queen mother gives in. She goes to the High Sparrow and confesses. She admits to sleeping with her cousin, Lancel Lannister, but no others. Digging for more, the High Sparrow asks if her children are “bastards born of incest and adultery,” but Cersei insists that’s just Stannis’ ugly lie. She’ll face a trial to “separate the truths from your falsehoods,” the High Sparrow tells her.

With her confession out of the way, Cersei asks for a kindness – she wants to see her son. The High Sparrow agrees, but there’s a catch. She must perform”atonement.”

Cersei’s taken to a cell, stripped naked and scrubbed raw by the nuns, who chop her golden Lannister locks off. In a simple dress, she’s taken outside in front of the masses. “A sinner comes before you – Cersei, of House Lannister… She has committed the acts of falsehood and fornication. She has confessed her sins and begged for forgiveness, she will cast aside all pride, all artifice and present herself as the gods made her, to you, the good people of the city. She comes before you with a solemn heart, shorn of secrets, naked before the eyes of gods and men, to make her walk of atonement,” the High Sparrow tells the people, who have packed the streets to see this woman from one of the most powerful families in the land do her walk of shame. And with her dress removed from her body, she does.

Naked, and with the nuns behind her ringing bells and saying, “shame, shame, shame,” Cersei walks through King’s Landing. Insults come from every side. Someone spits on her, others throw rocks. A rude man gets out his genitalia and demands she perform a sex act on him. The Sparrows (thankfully) knock him aside. Cersei Lannister’s feet are ripped to shreds as she continues to walk past the people throwing things and shouting insults — until finally, she stumbles. The palace is so far away. But Cersei gets back up, chokes back her tears and continues. It’s not until she reaches the palace’s gate that the tears really flow.

Inside, her Uncle Kevan and Maester Pycelle look at her like she’s disgusting, but Qyburn rushes up and embraces her, throwing a cloak over her nakedness. “It’s good to have you back,” he says genuinely. “Come, we’ll take you inside. I need to have a look at those feet,” he adds. But before he does, he has an introduction to make – the newest member of the Kingsguard (aka the new version of The Mountain). The giant picks her up and carries her away.

Gotn1Davos Seaworth & Jon Snow

Stannis needs men, Davos tells Lord Commander Jon Snow. Give him the Wildlings. But Jon Snow can’t. “It’s not their damn fight,” Jon says. A sound at the gate ends their argument. Melisandre rides in on a horse – alone. Davos sand Jon storm over. “Stannis?” Jon asks. She shakes her head a little. “Shireen?” Davos asks. “The Princess?” Melisandre just looks at him and Davos knows, and his heart crumbles.

Jon Snow

Later that night, Jon is reading scrolls when Olly rushes in with good news. “Lord Commander, it’s one of the Wildlings you brought back. Says he knows your Uncle Benjen. Says he’s still alive,” Olly tells Jon. Without a second thought, Jon rushes out into the cold to find out more information about Ned Stark’s missing brother. Ser Alliser Thorne (who lost to Jon for Lord Commander in the vote earlier in the season) greets him when he gets outside, and leads him – not to a Wildling, but to a sign. “Traitor” it reads. “For the Watch,” Alliser says – and he stabs Jon in the chest. One by one the men stab Jon in a very Julius Caesar-like assassination fashion. “For the watch,” a man in black says. Stab. “For the watch,” says another. Stab. “For the watch,” says a third. Stab. Jon falls to his knees, the blood rushing out of him. And then, Olly approaches. “Olly,” Jon says (et tu, brute). Olly stabs him too. And Jon falls to the ground, dead. The blood drains out of him and stains the snow.

THEORIES:

Game of Thrones Is Finally at the Beginning of the End?

by Alex JS, Editing by Adam MS

Game of Thrones traffics in misery. Death and torture, agony and despair, estrangement and abandonment. It’s hard-core bummertown 99 percent of the time. (The other one percent is establishing shots.) Last night’s season-five finale didn’t change course — carnage and woe, as always — but it did feel a little different from previous instances of destruction. It felt like the beginning of the end.

GotJ2GOT‘s creators have said they’d like the show to go seven seasons, though HBO executives have indicated they’d love for it to go longer. There are still two more installments on George R.R. Martin’s to-do list, but at this point, the show has deviated substantially from the books — and unless GRRM surprises everyone and drops both volumes in the next few weeks, the show will have to continue covering un-booked territory. We assumed this day would come, when the show lapped the books, but prolonging that era doesn’t seem wise.

GOT‘s biggest vice is that the story only sometimes feels like it’s moving forward; more often feels like it’s just moving outward. More, more, more, more, more: more people, more locales, more beefs, more baggage. There was so much to get to this season that a number of characters sat the entire ten episodes out. But “Mother’s Mercy” indicated a shift in direction. With Stannis’s apparent death, and the death of his whole camp, there’s no one there left there to revisit. Even Melisandre has fled. If Jon Snow dies, plus Sam is gone, who’s left for us among the Night’s Watch? Many (including me) think Jon is just mostly dead, and that either through Melisandre’s magic, or maybe through White Walker–led zombification, he’ll live to fight another day, but even so: We’re already back from beyond the Wall. Jon has gone (physically) as far as he’s going to go. Same goes for his occasional mirror Daenerys: She finished last night’s episode back where she (more or less) started, among the Dothraki.

On some level, we know the series is headed toward another massive battle, and that involves proximity. Everyone’s eventually going to die or be marching toward each other. Exactly who will be fighting against whom remains unclear: all of humanity against all supernatural beings? All blondes against all brunettes? Daenerys and her followers against all comers? Whatever the fight card, the drumbeats are getting louder.

Season one mostly set the table, precisely but precariously, and then, with Ned’s execution, the dominoes started falling: Seasons two and three were about ripples and sprawl and distance covered. Season four still had plenty of scattering momentum, and then in season five, things slowly started to fold back in on themselves. The season opened with a flashback, a reminder of the gravitational pull of “destiny” in the series. Cersei decided to bring Myrcella home. Jorah and Dany were reunited. We heard Arya’s list over and over. A sense of repetition developed: another marriage, another massacre, another advance and retreat. We’ve seen the mighty fall and the dead rise. How much more “out” can there be? We’ve reached the physical ends of the world, and now it’s time to hasten the end of the world.

GOT

Season 6 Development:

Shooting Location:

Game of Thrones is headed back to Spain. The HBO hit will film portions of season six in the country, the network announced. Spain has been an important location in season five, with the country serving as the setting for Dorne, a land newly introduced this year.

Filming will take place in the cities of Girona and Peniscola. For season five, the show shot in Osuna and Seville, with the latter city reporting tourism had increased fifteen percent as a result of the show. Thousands of extras applied last year when a casting call went out in Spain.

What does the Spain shoot tell viewers about season six? Likely, it means that we’ll be spending more time in Dorne. With two episodes left in the season, Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Bronn (Jerome Flynn) remain imprisoned in Dorne, with a tense political situation making it possible Dorne could go to war against the Iron Throne.

GOT1There has been rumors that Game of Thrones’ season 6 is set to be partially shot in Croatia to benefit from the country’s cash rebate scheme, local media have reported, but HBO says no decision has been made yet.

“Locations for season 6 and seasons beyond are still being scouted, and incentive applications will follow naturally from those decisions when they’re made,” an HBO spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter.

“The Croatian [Audiovisual Center] HAVC have always been and continue to be incredibly supportive of our work there, and we’re most grateful,” she added.

Meanwhile, Croatian media quoted local entrepreneurship and trade minister Gordan Maras as saying that HBO will invest over €8 million in Game of Thrones’ next two seasons’ production in Croatia. Game of Thrones was one of the first projects to benefit from Croatia’s cash rebate scheme, adopted in 2012, which guarantees the return of up to 20 percent of projects’ qualifying expenditure.

HBO has filmed the series in Dubrovnik, as well as in the Dalmatian city of Split, in Klis and Šibenik. Last year, HBO spent around €5.7 million on production in Croatia, the magazine Croatia Week reported. HBO’s choice of Croatia as one of the filming sites for Game of Thrones gave a boost to tourism in the region.

More specifics on the shooting locations are to be announced as production nears.

What Might Happen?

Game of Thrones’ season five finale shook up the game in a big way. The field of contenders for the Iron Throne has been whittled down, and fan favorite Jon Snow’s (Kit Harington) watch has ended. The series is known for major shakeups, from Eddard Stark’s (Sean Bean) death in season one to last year’s finale murder of Tywin (Charles Dance). Sunday’s finale leaves the field of contenders in more disarray than ever — and presents many key questions for season six.

GoTj3Who is still competing for the throne?

Stannis (Stephen Dillane) is dead. Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) is captured and effectively sidelined for the time being. That leaves Roose (Michael McElhatton) and Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) as frontrunners. They have just won a great victory over Stannis, the latest victory in the sadistic father-son duo’s rise. The Lannisters remain power, but with Cersei (Lena Headey) on trial and Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman) a green boy-king on the throne, things are not looking good for them. They’ve also lost their princess Myrcella (Nell Tiger Free) and will have to deal with the fallout from that tragedy, which could potentially spark war with Dorne. Things have never looked worse for the Lannisters.

There’s also the Tyrells. While members of the younger generation Margaery (Natalie Dormer) and Loras (Finn Jones) are imprisoned, savvy grandmother Olenna (Diana Rigg) has formed an alliance with Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen), who helped her get Cersei imprisoned. The wealthy Tyrells, whose homeland, High Garden, is already providing King’s Landing with most of its food, makes them popular among the people. They could make a legitimate run for the Iron Throne.

GoTj1Who will defend against the Night’s King?

With Jon gone, there are few people alive who know what the Night’s King is capable of. The Night’s Watch does not subscribe to Jon’s idea that allying itself with the Wildlings is a good idea. And so the battle against the White Walkers seems more hopeless than ever with both Stannis and Jon gone, as they were the only non-Wildlings who really understood the threat. Perhaps Sam (John Bradley) can pick up the anti-White Walker mantle.

Where will Sansa and Theon go?

It’s difficult to predict what will happen to Sansa (Sophie Turner) and Theon (Alfie Allen). In excerpts from George R.R. Martin‘s upcoming Winds of Winter, Theon and Jeyne Poole, who (instead of Sansa had posed as Arya and married married Ramsay) escaped together and made it to Stannis’ camp. Stannis sent Jeyne to The Wall to be reunited with her “brother” Jon. Could the series see Sansa and Theon head to The Wall? It seems that would be the logical place to go, unless they could travel to Theon’s homeland, The Iron Islands. Sansa now knows her brothers are alive, so she would likely attempt to find them, if she learns they went north of The Wall.

GOT2Will Daenerys be rescued?

It would be such a pity if Daenerys went the way of Jon Snow and didn’t survive long enough to ride her dragons into Westeros. But fans also assumed the mystery of Jon Snow’s true mother meant that he would survive until that revelation happened. Is it possible Jorah (Iain Glen) and Daario (Michiel Huisman) could use Daenerys remaining dragons to track her?

Is Meereen in good hands?

Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson), Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) and Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) are now in charge of Meereen while the Mother of Dragons is away. This storyline has a lot of potential, as Grey Worm and Missandei are two of the series legitimate “good guys.” Tyrion has real acumen for ruling. The question is … will the terrorist-infested city accept them?

GoTjWhat’s next for Arya?

Arya is now blind, after ignoring the training of the Faceless Men and killing Meryn Trant (Ian Beattie) for personal reasons. With nowhere else to go, she will presumably complete her training. If that’s the case, she would truly need to let go of her identity (no more vowing to kill Cersei and her other enemies).

Don’t forget about Bran

Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) and Hodor (Kristian Nairn) sat out season five, but are expected to return for season six. When viewers last saw them, they met a member of The Children, an ancient race who live beyond the Wall. They also finally made it to the three-eyed crow, and presumably have spent the last year training. When Bran returns to the show, he might have some even more impressive powers with him.

“Game of Thrones” returns to HBO in 2016.

(image:HBO)

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