The Battle of Castle Black gets underway tonight and once again EW will be live recapping HBO’s Game of Thrones and presenting some post-episode interviews. Going into the fourth season’s ninth episode — which takes place entirely at Castle Black, The Wall and nearby areas — here are our five burning spoiler-free questions:
— Will Jon Snow and Ygritte reunite? Terminator Ygritte has been coldly killing villagers since Jon broke her heart. Now the ex-loves are on a collision course, and the big question is what will happen if/when they reunite. Could Jon kill Ygritte? Seems doubtful unless he was somehow forced into it. Could Ygritte kill Jon? Seems likely because she purposefully missed his vitals last time and has seemingly been kicking herself ever since. Could they just ditch this battle and go find a nice cabin somewhere and live out the winter snuggling by the fire with Ygritte explaining to Jon all that he does not know? Can’t see it.
— Will Sam and Gilly reunite? Now these two definitely should go for the whole cabin-fireplace option because neither are really equipped for wartime. It would be nice for Sam to get some peace of mind that he didn’t get Gilly killed by putting her into Molestown.
– Will Jon show up Janos Slynt and Alliser Thorne? Snow has taken so much grief from these two scheming jerks, and this battle could be his chance to prove himself — if he’s given the chance. (Or maybe right when we think Jon is going to win the battle The Mountain will show up and crush his head.)
— Will Mance Rayder’s forces break through The Wall? The Wildling advance party is approaching Castle Black from the south and Mance’s armies are coming to The Wall from the north. In between are only 100 or so Night’s Watch brothers and a huge ice wall. Will Mance’s forces break through? Perhaps this is the better question: Do we care if Mance’s forces break through? People traveling around Westeros keep running into murderers, thugs and rapists so the prospect of more murderers, thugs and rapists crossing the border illegally isn’t really keeping me up at night. We don’t want anything bad to happen to Jon, Samwell, Ygritte and Gilly, of course, but leading up to this week I haven’t really been feeling the stakes of this fight, I’m merely looking forward to the spectacle of it. Perhaps if we spent more time with Mance (who would have thought he’d be off-screen entirely this season so far?) and had a sense of his desires and plans vs. the Night’s Watch team, the conflict would feel more urgent.
— Will Ghost do anything cool? We haven’t seen much direwolf action this season. C’mon Jon, release the hound!
For more, here are the Game of Thrones showrunners talking about last week’s episode and teasing up tonight’s battle.