Due to the lack of material (and budget, probably), poor ol’ Bran Stark and his band of buddies had to sit Game of Thrones‘ fifth season out. We had to sit through two whole years of watching them walking, and as soon as it got to the good stuff he was cut? C’mon, now.
Luckily that looks to be rectified for the upcoming sixth season which is filming at the moment. Veteran actor Max von Sydow was cast (well, recast) as the Three-Eyed Raven, and common sense tells us that we’ll finally get to see him learn “to fly” – i.e. see through weirwood trees. Oops.
Previously we ran a story revealing that the Tower of Joy had been confirmed to appear in Season 6; chances are you have no idea what that is, so it’s a good job that I’ve read A Song of Ice and Fire twice. The Tower of Joy is where Lyanna Stark died. Ned went all the way down to Dorne after Robert was crowned king, accompanied by his friend Howland Reed (dad of Jojen and Meera) and a band of merry men, and fought off the remaining Kingsguard knights – including the legendary Arthur Dayne. Lyanna was found on a bed of blood, with Ned only recalling the words, “promise me, Ned.” There’s been much debate over the past, uh, nineteen years, over what those words refer to, but the most widely-accepted theory is that it’s too much of a coincidence for Ned to return to Winterfell with a bastard right after his sister disappeared for a year and was found on a bed of blood making him promise something.
Los Siete Reinos, the ultimate Spanish Thrones fansite, visited the Castillo de Zafra which will be standing in for the tower. Filming preparations have already begun, and I wouldn’t be surprised if filming itself had already started. As you’ve probably guessed from the title and the article, the site revealed that Bran Stark himself will be present at the scene.
Like I said earlier, Bran is a good mechanism for flashbacks because he learns to see into the past, present and future through weirwood trees. So far in the books he hasn’t quite mastered this ability – and astral projection isn’t included, but it clearly is on the show. I don’t really mind this change as it gives us someone clear to relate to during the scene. While we know Ned (who will inevitably appear), it probably won’t be Sean Bean, sadly.
Another possibility is that Isaac Hempstead-Wright is actually playing Young Ned, but I doubt that.
As well as Bran, the site also reports that there will be fourteen horses on set. In the books Ned travelled with six men to the Tower of Joy and I assumed that number would be cut down to just he and Howland for simplicity’s sake, however if there’s fourteen then maybe I was wrong. They could also belong to the guys already there and are just tied up outside. I doubt they are a big deal.
What is a big deal, however, is the unconfirmed stuff. The site is saying that Jack Bender is directing the scene, which would place it in either episode 5 or 6. This is kinda surprising given how big a bombshell the Tower of Joy will be for both the show and the books, although it’s possible the exciting stuff will be cut and left for the finale. Even more interesting is that Barristan Selmy is supposedly taking part in filming – played by someone other than Ian McElhinney – which raises a ton of questions.
My inner book-nerd immediately raised eyebrows at this because Selmy wasn’t actually at the Tower of Joy in the books, or anywhere near it. He was fighting with Rhaegar Targaryen at the Battle of the Trident and then agreed to serve under King Robert. I can see why the showrunners would do this as Barristan is a recognisable character for viewers (none of them know who Arthur Dayne, Gerold Hightower or Oswell Whent are), however all the Kingsguard knights are supposed to have died at the Tower of Joy, and if Barristan is there then evidently the showdown will be pretty different. This could just be the writers doing things their own way – again – or it could mean that whomever he’s replacing from the books made it out as well.
There’s a few more interesting details over at Reinos, so make sure to head over there to check ’em out!
Those guys are pretty reliable, so I would trust all this info. It’ll be interesting to see how the Bran stuff develops and whether he’s spotted on set in Spain – will we get a Sean Bean sighting? Hopefully!
Game of Thrones returns next Spring.