With HBO holding on tight to the titles and synopsis for Episodes 9 and 10 of this season of
, speculation and rumors have begun to run wild. One can’t blame HBO for trying to control the flow of
information. If George R.R. Martin titled each season like he did his books, he would have called this one “A Rash of Leaks.” The season arrived with a huge piracy windfall, when the press screeners for the first four episodes
were uploaded 24 hours in advance of the premiere, and has been dotted not only with record after record for episode piracy being smashed week after week, but certain outlets letting out the spoilerific “Inside the Episode” clips before the episode in question airs. (One wonders if there might be some sort of language issue at play there, since the people who are uploading these to their website ahead of schedule entitle them “An Advanced Look” at the episode.)
With a lack of information, and a hunger for any sort of rumor, people are once again turning to our old friend IMDb. Now, we all know that IMDb is not exactly the most reliable of sources. Just about anyone can go into any page and edit the cast lists and the episode titles. And unlike, say, Wikipedia, which has the same feature, there’s not an army of mods to quickly take down false info and keep pages from being tampered with.
Which leads us to IMDb’s latest offerings for the final episodes of this
season. We have interesting cast listed for all three upcoming episodes, from this coming Sunday’s “Hardhome” to next week’s “The Dance of Dragons (title is a rumor) to the finale.
Let’s start with the interesting cast notes for “Hardhome.” Here’s what we know of this episode:
There is a huge battle at Hardhome. It took five weeks to film and required extra budget.
Despite that fact, “Hardhome is not a standalone 50 minute all-battle-all-the-time episode.
In the “Inside GoT: Stunts” video, we have a clear shot of stuntmen for Hardhome fighting with White Walker-type weapons.
One of those weapons looks very much like the sort of sword one would expect The Night’s King to use.
So it is not all that far fetched that IMDb lists (among other cast members for Episode 8) Richard Brake as The Night’s King. The Night’s King, as you may remember, was introduced in Season 4’s Oathkeeper, when we saw him turn a Craster baby into a White Walker child. Richard Brake was credited in the role at that time. IMDb also lists our regular White Walker, Ross Mullan, as making an appearance. If, in fact, the huge battle of Hardhome is between the White Walkers and the free folk, these cast listings make sense.
Most interestingly, Episode 8 lists Joseph Mawle as making an appearance. If you cast your memory back—waaaay back, to the pilot episode—that was the actor who played Eddard’s younger brother Benjen Stark. Benjen was influential in getting Jon to join the Night’s Watch, but once Jon arrived, he went out ranging and never returned. Book Readers suspect he is the (so far cut) character Coldhands, a White Walker-esque character who helps Sam and Gilly in their hour of need, as well as guiding Bran Stark and company to the giant weirwood tree. If the show was to finally bring in the character Coldhands, or bring back Benjen Stark as a White Walker, this huge battle with the army of the dead would be the perfect time to do so, and to have Jon recognize him.
Also, as a side note, Gemma Whelan (Asha Greyjoy), who has not been seen all season, despite her agent listing her as being part of Season 5, is also on the cast list. It’s doubtful she’ll be in the White Walker battle—more likely, if we have a stop in with Stannis, her crew from the Iron Islands will run into his stuck army and join forces against Ramsay Bolton.
Let’s move on to Episode 9. We have a leaked title (which is accepted as probably right) as well as a synopsis, which is less certain. What we know about this episode:
There is a major scene in Dorne where Jaime and Doran meet. There is a mystery character involved. Speculation runs from a disfigured Myrcella (which seems unlikely, unless there is a major Sand Snake scene prior to it) to the maybe-he’s-legit-and-maybe-he-ain’t Aegon Targaryen.
There is a major Meereenese scene where Daznak’s Pit is opened.
The Sons of the Harpy attack Dany and her crew in the Pit.
Drogon will probably show up regardless of his brother’s attendance.
Gemma Whelan is again as appearing in this episode on IMDb, which strengthens the argument that Stannis may supplement his army with Iron Islanders. A Pit Announcer is also featured, which makes sense with Daznak’s Pit opening. No mysterious Dornish characters are listed, but if Doran really is going to reveal Aegon Targaryen, this would be the moment. (It would also be a major coup for the production to have kept that entirely under wraps.) Meryn Trant and Arya are both on the list, and if that showdown is happening, this would be the time. Notable for not being listed: anyone from King’s Landing. There’s nothing about King’s Landing in the purported synopsis either, so if we are indeed seeing Cersei’s walk of shame this season, it’ll probably be in the finale.
As for episode 10, IMDb has a name for it: “Winter.” That’s very different from most speculation, which has favored “For The Watch” as the title, with the
wiki going so far as to use it as the tentative title (although it was taken down less than an hour after posting, which suggests it was a mistake).
To be honest, we don’t know squat for sure about this episode.
We know that Cersei’s walk is coming. We had assumed it was going to be part of episode 9, but if everything we see above is true, it makes sense the show will hold it for episode 10.
We know what happens to Jon in the books. We know it doesn’t look likely that will happen so quickly after Hardhome, so we might assume the show is holding it for a cliffhanger finale.
Now, “Winter” would be a very interesting title for the show to use, rather than “For The Watch.” The latter title suggests an episode focused on Jon’s return to the Wall, mixed with perhaps the held-over Cersei denouement. But “Winter” would mean that everyone is left on a dark note, (The Winter of our Discontent, as it were.) Cersei is certainly in a dark place by the end of her shaming. Arya is listed on IMDb as appearing, and we know what dark things befall her in the books. “Winter” would also suggest that perhaps the final episode of this season would lead to a wintry battle between Stannis and the Boltons (something that hasn’t happened in the books yet), or Sansa and Theon could escape into the folds of Winter and snow. In short, “Winter” opens up a lot of possibilities.
But IMDb doesn’t list Stannis, or the Boltons, appearing in episode 10. Heck, it doesn’t even list our friends at Castle Black. Instead, we have a list that includes The Night’s King, and Wights and White Walkers, and a Thenn called “Loboda.” Could they be heading back to Castle Black following Jon Snow? Could they cross the Wall and head south to prey upon the Northerners, as Winter comes? (Aren’t we a bit early for that?)
Can any of this be trusted? To be honest, no. We all know back in January IMDb gleefully listed Lady Stoneheart and the internet went nuts for a week, and then it disappeared again. By tomorrow these rumors could all be gone and faded away, subsumed by the gaping maw of the internet. We’ll have to wait for HBO to release the official titles and synopsis of final episodes (Pencil that in for next Monday afternoon, if history is any guide.) to see if Winter is in fact coming.
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I thought that the Coldhands=Benjen speculation had been definitively laid to rest by the author already. The Children of the Forest, who have freakishly long lifespans, tell Bran & Co. that Coldhands is a member of the Night’s Watch who died a long time ago. A popular current hypothesis is that he is
I will hate it if Jon has to kill a wight with the face of Uncle Benjen.
To simply have Benjen reappear as a white walker feels a bit weak.
For what it’s worth, I swear I saw Galbart Glover (missing since Season 1) during Sansa’s wedding.
Actually, nearly no book readers thought Coldhands=Benjen. That’s always been a lazy fringe theory and it doesn’t have any traction.
Ive always been sure about that theory
Actually, most book readers DID consider Coldhands was Benjen until GRR Martin said otherwise.
How about Gendry, he gets picked up by a Dornish trader and they pass him off as Aegon
I was a expecting a title like winter for the finale because at the end of a Dance with Dragons when a “character” appears to kill “someone” …. I believe a bird brings a letter announcing the beginning of winter.
Imdb had the actress who plays Yara Greyjoy appearing in the recent episode The Gift. So as usual imdb is full of crap and I wouldn’t put any stock into it whatsoever.
The KL people will not appear in episode 10, i do Believe i read that, aswell as atleast the Boltons will appear. As for other things, spoilers here Tyrion is going to survive, that is the only thing i’m certain of, he spoiled that himself.
Dance with Dragons ends with a white raven arriving marking the start of winter… i bet that’s where the name comes from.
The white raven in season 2 was to announce autumn. It’s used every time that the season changes.
The title for episode 9 isn’t a rumor guys. It’s on HBO’s schedule:
I think that this article has got Episodes 8 and 10 back-to-front, insofar as the IMDb cast listings are concerned.
My Benjen theory has ALWAYS been that while escaping the Others, which his companions did not, he fell through some ice that was covering a DeLoren time machine that Doc had left there centuries earlier. Traveling ahead 5 years, he sees what would happen if the white walkers win the war because Jon did not become lord commander. Jumping back into the present time, he helps facilitate the mutiny and death of LC Mormont. Knowing what he learned from the future, he find Maester Aemon, skins him, wears his face ala the faceless men, and guides the process it elect Jon Snow. He then pretends to die and puts his Aemon mask back on Aemon’s frozen corpse to get out of the situation.
At this point, that is just as good as the Coldhand is Benjen theory. BENJEN IS NOT COLDHANDS!
He could be a wright or somehow turned into a WW and he shows up at Hardhome. That’d be cool.
I thought this site was supposed to be run by people who were pretty hardcore asoiaf followers. How can you still make the claim that book readers believe that benjen=Coldhands? Seriously. That whole theory has literally been debunked by GRRM himself, which most, if not all, book readers know. I mean I enjoy most of the content here, but cmon guys. You dig deeper holes for yourselves each week. Your credibility is really going away quickly.
Now I am may be bold to say this…. but I have a theory which may be completely wrong but worth a mention… could it be true that Benjen Stark is actually cold hands… and that he appears in the next episode to save Jon Snow from the nights king… or is actually sitll alive as a wildling hostage? and either after he saves Jon or is maybe about to die, he then tells Jon Snow about his mother and real father? which perhaps puts a lot in to prespective for Jon Snow… and that way if episode 10 was to be what happens to Jon in the book is then at least gives the fans the answer which they have been longing to find out, and then if he is too survive perhaps he will quit the nightswatch and bring ice against fire for the throne…. I may be way off…. thoughts?
George R. R. Martin has said definitively in writing that Benjen Stark is NOT Coldhands. That being said, 7 was great and episode 8-10 look to end a slow burn of a season on a pretty high note.
I pray they bring Benjen back and NOT as some darn White Walker..lame duck. This mystery of his disappearance seems deeper but with this season-let downs are a BIG possibility.
I really do think it would make sense if Benjen Stark returned not as a white walker… and actually was the man who explains to Jon Snow about his mother…
Umm, Episode 9 “The Dance of Dragons” has been confirmed for like 3 weeks, it`s on the HBO schedule.
Wonder if we’ll see some pale spiders along with the white walkers
Could it be that Benjen Stark is a wildling at this point, maybe he was originally captured but found reason in the wildling cause (like Jon seemingly has) and that opens the possibility of Benjen revealing R + L = J.
I would really appreciate, author, if you did another article after episode 10 has aired going over all the IMDB rumours and seeing which ones turned out true and which ones didn’t.
I think that would give us all a really good indicator as to how seriously we should take IMDB rumours from now on.
What if Benjen stark is the envoy of the wildlings with Wight powers going to help Jon in uniting and rescuing these wildlings along with Giantsbane.He could then play a part what mance did in the books and rescue sansa only to be caught by Stannis.
Also I’m expecting Howland Reed to appear in atleast by the last episode of this season or the first season ,like to Confirm R+L=J
IMDb had Stephen Dillane, Liam Cunningham and Carice Van Houten being in Watchers on the Wall last year, right up until the episode went out.
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