The most recent Game of Thrones episode, “Book of the Stranger” was all about family reunions. While Sansa and Jon’s was heartwarming — the North really does remember! — and Loras and Margaery’s was grim, Yara and Theon’s was a mixture of the two. It also might have been confusing if you’re a casual fan who is neither a book reader nor an internet discussion lurker. “You happened to show up on Pyke right before the Kingsmoot,” Yara said. What-moot?
Sure, that word also came up in “Home” after Balon Greyjoy’s death, but you assumed whoever said it had something in their throat. But now that’s it’s come up again, it must be important. Is it worth caring about? Your book fan friends are pumped for it — but they also got you hyped for the Sand Snakes and look how that panned out. Let’s examine.
Iron Island Election Season
If the real world American election circus isn’t enough for you, good news! Now you’ll have it in your fantasy, too. The Kingsmoot is how the Iron Islands elect their new leader. House Greyjoy has been in power for many years, but that’s not how things used to be done. Many years before the War of the Five Kings, when a king died, leaders of each House in the Iron Islands would gather atop a hill home to the remains of a dead sea dragon. Because what’s a good election without a dead sea dragon? There, they’d determine who the king’s successor would be in a democratic process, complete with epic speeches.
As this will be the first Kingsmoot in thousands of years, it’s kind of a big deal.
But anything Greyjoy related is semi terrible
Yes, it’s true Theon’s plot line has been a drag for several seasons now, transitioning from torture-porn as Ramsay’s plaything to misery porn as the downtrodden Reek. His bland and joyless sister Yara isn’t exactly a thrilling character either. And their uncle is supposed to be a badass, but his dramatic lines were Sand Snakes level cheesy as hell when he was introduced in “Home.”
These could all be strikes against how theoretically cool this is. Will we have another Dorne on our hands?
But it could connect to the Meereen plot
Meereen is the fetch of Game of Thrones: the show keeps trying to make it happen, and the writers just don’t get that it’s not going to happen.
Meereen is such a black hole of plot and interest, it nearly manages to make Tyrion and Varys less compelling. But that’s where the Kingsmoot comes in. If the show follows the books — spoiler alert — Theon and Yara’s uncle Euron will win. Part of his plan involves sending his brother to find Daenerys, court her, and use her dragons to conquer Westeros. As the show cut his brother, it won’t proceed in that exact manner, but perhaps Euron will travel to Daenerys himself, or send envoys (like Yara or Theon?) to Meereen.
That would not only tie together two disparate storylines, but it would also be mightily convenient to Tyrion and Varys, who are currently without ships.
Should You Care?
If you give zero fucks about Theon, Yara, and the Iron Islands, this probably won’t be enough to change that. Game of Thrones has six seasons worth of damage to retcon in order to convince us that Greyjoys are compelling. On the other hand, everyone cares about Tyrion and Varys. And if this gets them out of Meereen, then sign us up as Kingsmoot enthusiasts.