Game Of Thrones, Season 6 Preview: House Stark

With Season 6 set to premiere next Sunday on HBO, our resident recapologist is back to take a look ahead at what might be in store for the various houses over the next 10 weeks.

Even though they’ve lost some high profile family members over the first five seasons, House Stark is still the largest of the various parties looking to stake their claim on the Iron Throne, though at this point, they – like just about everyone else – are just trying to survive to see tomorrow.

Given their numbers, it only makes sense to look at the Stark clan individually to open this three-part preview and then address everyone else tomorrow, since it feels like there are as many Starks scattered around the kingdoms as there are other families still fighting to be royalty in King’s Landing.

Away we go…

Jon Snow

Let’s just start with the guy everyone has been obsessed with since last season ended with him laying in the snow, a dark crimson pool collecting below him. That scene kicked off a summer (and fall and winter) of speculation about his true fate, with conspiracies and theories cribbed from the books popping up everywhere.

The most popular of the bunch is “R+L = J” which puts forth that the now deceased former Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch wasn’t Ned Starks bastard son, but rather the child of his sister Lyanna and Rhaegar Targaryen, which would be kind of a big deal, except he’s dead.

(this is the point where everyone says, “Or is he?” in a suspicious tone)

Going into this season, most assume Jon will come back from the dead one way or another; either by Melisandre figuring something out about his parentage that allows her to work her “Red Woman” magic on him or through some other means.

Even though everyone involved with the show swears Kit Harrington’s only efforts on set this year were playing a corpse, let’s be real: if this dude isn’t coming back from the dead, they went to great lengths to keep that cold body laying dead in Castle Black looking authentic this season.

Prediction: Jon won’t be dead for long and we learn that R+L does, in fact, equal J.

Bran Stark

After a season off, the young, paralyzed warg of the family returns this year and as the trailers foretell, he might be the only one that literally sees the impending danger in the form of the Night’s King and the White Walkers.

In theory, Bran has spent however much time has passed since his last appearance learning from and/or training under the Three-Eyed Raven, who told Bran he would make him fly. Given that the rallying undead army has been one of the central themes of this show from Jump Street and the trailer shows Bran getting rolled up on by the Night’s King, there is a good chance that he’s going to be central to things going forward, starting with a pivotal role in Season 6.

Prediction: Sporting stronger powers, Bran sees what is coming and eventually connects with some member of his family to start warning the living about the one army they all should be focused on fighting.

Sansa Stark

Sansa has grown up a great deal over the last couple seasons and endured some grim moments before escaping the clutches of Ramsey Bolton alongside Reek/Theon at the close of Season 5. She’s started to learn about the game from Petry “Littlefinger” Baelish and Reek/Theon seems to have snapped back to reality a little, which means they should be working together when the season begins.

But where are they headed?

Initially, expect them to go back to the Iron Islands to rally some troops in preparation for a battle with the Bolton’s over Winterfell. We see in the trailer that she’s pissed about everything that has gone down and wants some revenge, so don’t be surprised if she’s involved in something big this season.

Prediction: Sansa becomes a bit of a bad ass and rolls with the Greyjoys, who stop hanging out in the Iron Islands and start being active members in this game for the first time.

Arya Stark

Left blind in Braavos at the end of last season, we’ve seen in the trailers that she gets a second chance – and “there will not be a third” – and becomes a “No One” like her pseudo-mentor Jaqen H’ghar.

This season will be about Arya receiving further training towards being a bigger bad ass and one of the major players when this game gets into crunch time. Her journey has been too winding and detailed for her to only be a bit player going forward, but her big coming out party won’t be until Season 7.

Prediction: Blind Arya becomes sighted Arya becomes No One Arya becomes Assassin Arya.

Other Starks

Rickon: He and Osha were sent North last wee saw them, but he’s never been a factor in the bigger picture and that shouldn’t change this year.

Benjen: He’s presumed dead, but this is Game of Thrones, so who the hell knows, right? Remember, last year’s set up to Jon getting stabbed was him being told someone showed up with news of Uncle Benjen, so further mentions and a back-from-the-dead situation could play out.

Come back tomorrow for a tour through House Lannister and check in with “The Mother of Dragons” as we continue setting the stage for Season 6 of Game of Thrones.

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte is a freelance journalist based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, where he lives with his wife and dog. In addition to his work here, he writes about sports for Complex Canada and covers the UFC for various outlets. His mom also still tells him what to do on a regular basis, even though he’s nearly 40. He tweets from @spencerkyte.

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