Season 8’s Battle of Winterfell to be longest Game of Thrones episode ever after all!

20. Season 8 Trailer Winterfell Battle Jorah Mormont Dothraki Unsullied

When the running times for the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones were revealed on HBO’s schedule a few days ago, the length of the third episode came as a bit of a surprise to us. Though every other episode was just as long as we reported months ago, that third episode was a great exception, as the schedule said it would run for only 60 minutes, not the previously reported 80. Now the schedule has been updated, and would you believe the original report was wrong… but in the opposite direction?

When Orange Cinéma Séries‘s representative claimed the first two episodes would run for an hour and be followed by four 80 minutes episodes, we were jubilant. When the official HBO schedule fell a bit short of those numbers, especially for the third episode, not so much—though a lot can be done in 60 minutes and I’m sure it would’ve been a great battle regardless, there’s no denying 20 minutes can make a big difference.

However, now it appears the the third episode data was merely a placeholder. The new schedule not only corroborates the original report but slightly improves upon it:

episode 803 running time

At 82 minutes, season eight’s third entry, which will be all about the Battle of Winterfell teased in the trailer, is the longest Game of Thrones episode ever. As of right now, the longest aired episode is the season seven finale, The Dragon and the Wolf, with a running time of 80 minutes that will soon be matched by the final two episodes of season eight. The updated schedule places this mid-season battle episode above even them:

  • Episode 1: 54 minutes
  • Episode 2: 58 minutes
  • Episode 3: 82 minutes
  • Episode 4: 78 minutes
  • Episode 5: 80 minutes
  • Episode 6: 80 minutes
  •  
    With the season being 22 minutes longer than we were led to believe for a few days, it appears the average season eight episode will be 72 minutes, which is longer than every single aired episode except season seven’s The Dragon and the Wolf. For other insights, see our updated chart below (which you can also compare to the outdated one.)

    GOT Statistics Updated All Seasons Running Time

    Season eight is only a month away… but that’s only the premiere. We’re all looking forward to April 14, sure, but April 28 will also be a hell of a night: in the longest episode ever, we’ll witness the Battle of Winterfell between the living and the dead!

    288 responses

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      1. Those “80 minutes” for the final two episodes are suspiciously round numbers. I can’t help but suspect that they are just placeholders.

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      2. Pretty much what I expected..

        One question though does the 54 mins include the previously on segment or it’s considered separately..
        Because since its a premiere episode i expect previously on to be around 7 to 8 mins and add that with opening track ..this alone takes around 10 mins..which means we will be getting only 44 or 45 mins of premiere episode which will be disappointing for me

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      3. Glóin the Dark,

        It may turn out they are a bit rounded up or down, yeah. Not unheard of. But only by a minute or two. The official running times are always rounding up or down anyway, obviously, because seconds exist.

        Dragonbringer: One question though does the 54 mins include the previously on segment or it’s considered separately..

        It includes everything that’s actually part of the episode, including intro and closing credits.

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      4. Glóin the Dark:
        Those “80 minutes” for the final two episodes are suspiciously round numbers. I can’t help but suspect that they are just placeholders.

        Perhaps, but Hibberd did write that they’re official. You’ll notice that three of the S7 episodes were also round, including the final two at 70 & 80.

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      5. That really does make a big difference. My only gripe is that they could have fit a 90 minute episode in there somewhere, maybe the finale. Westworld has done it twice, but overall im very satisfied

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      6. Completing the series with four episodes around an hour and twenty minutes is fantastic imo! They’ve shown they can do a lot in 50-55 minutes but adding an extra 20-30 minutes over those episodes is always noticeable. 🙂

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      7. Is it safe to laugh at the people that whinged about how the most important battle of the series would belong to a short episode? Because I am.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if some other times were slightly off as well. But this is awesome news indeed.

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      8. Dragonbringer:
        Pretty much what I expected..

        One question though does the 54 mins include the previously on segment or it’s considered separately..
        Because since its a premiere episode i expectpreviously on to be around 7 to 8 mins and add that with opening track ..this alone takes around 10 mins..which means we will be getting only 44 or 45 mins of premiere episode which will be disappointing for me

        Yeah isn’t the Season 7 premiere previously on like 5 minutes? I’m surprised the Season 8 premiere is on the shorter end, but maybe a lot of the reunions spill into the second episode. There’s a whole lot to unpack at WF and I would think the premiere would check in at KL and what’s going on with the GC’s. Probably a quick AoTD clip too.

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      9. Jack Bauer 24: Yeah isn’t the Season 7 premiere previously on like 5 minutes?

        It’s 2 min, which is why the episode is 61 minutes with it included, instead of the official 59 minutes, which does not include the “previously on.”

        The figures reported on this article, and the ones in the chart, are the official running times, which always include intro and closing credits as well as the *actual* episode, but never the “Previously on…” or “Next episode”.

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      10. Fifty-four minutes is pretty close to the average for most of the series so it should at least feel normal and not finish with us looking at the clock seeing so much time left in the slotted hour.

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      11. Where’s that guy from the other day kicking right off about how they should have made them long because he hates short features… that guy cracked me up.. “they should have filmed linger sequences, directors cut of kingdom of heaven is better than theatrical” etc..

        hype train has well come of the rails.. can’t wait

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      12. Mr Derp:
        Pasty of the North,

        That was Tyjon, if I recall.

        Correct.

        ——
        These 80 minute episodes are going to make me rework my multiple rewatch schedule on those Sundays. The second airing on HBO might not allow enough time to fit a full watch on HBO Go after the first airing!!! 😛

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      13. I didn’t whinge about it, but I did wonder at the short (ish) running time for the 3rd episode which contains the LONGEST BATTLE SEQUENCE EVER FILMED. Now it makes much more sense. I can’t wait for every delectable minute, after which we will whinge that it wasn’t enough! 😉

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      14. Well now I’m pleased. For some reason, that 60 min 3rd episode had really pissed me off. I allowed myself to feel cheated. Silly still, I now feel redeemed!

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      15. Sarrahdon,

        True, but Westworld only had one 90 minute finale each season. The rest of the episodes were normal, if I recall. In season 8, we’are having four extra long episodes rather than one.

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      16. Clob,

        If I had the fortitude, I’d divide up that 80 minute episode into two 40-minute segments and watch them a few days apart.

        But I don’t.

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      17. Awesome! I wonder if any of the later ones will also turn out to be erroneous.

        Math nazi alert: the average (58.2) was not updated (and probably should have been a weighted average of 57.5 since not all season have 10 eps). Now, it should be 57.8 – 4223 minutes over 73 episodes (instead of 4201 min).

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      18. Anon:
        Wait till they see how old Mel really is. Gendry is right to be creeped out.

        __________

        Gendry: “She stripped off my clothes, threw me down on a bed, tied me up and straddled me, and…”
        Arya (pointing): “You f*cked that?”
        Gendry: “Wait, what?” (gags; projectile vomits; left with permanent erectile dysfunction)
        Arya: “See? You should have listened to me when I said I could be your family.”

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      19. I knew there was no way that episode 3 “The Long Night” could be under an hour. Not with that much production put into it. It is going to be “the” episode of the season. Many, many deaths. But will D&D follow suit and give us some major deaths in the penultimate episode??? If so, I’m expecting Jamie and Sansa to be the major “shocking” deaths in episode 5. Episode 3 will off many of the side characters.

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      20. Well this news makes me feel bad about my ep1 tirade, but…I can blame my Irish temper somewhat for that. I been getting wasted over this good news, going to open my third Innis&Gunn Rum Aged Ale. You’all should try one, it’s on my list of top five ales.

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      21. serum,

        That’s a good list. I’m torn on whether or not Jorah will die though. I could see him living. Sadly, I think the Hound will die as well. Though him and Arya traveling to Essos or “west of Westeros” would be one helluva show. Like a slight twist on the Dunk & Egg novellas. I’d definitely sign on to watch those two and Nymeria have some adventures together. As of right now, I feel like Sam is the only character that’s 100% safe.

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      22. There have been plenty of conversations regarding prequels, but very little about “sequels” after HBO said none of their focus would be on that. Since we don’t know how this story ends it’s impossible to know who or what could be involved in a sequel. If the (first) prequel does well though maybe in the future they’d open up everything more for consideration. Perhaps in ten, fifteen years some of the actors of characters that survive would be willing to jump back into a sequel series… Just a thought.

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      23. The Wolves of Winter,

        XD

        Dragonbringer,

        7 minutes previously?

        I expect a special of the first 7 seasons. And previous of episode 1 max 2 minutes.

        Sarrahdon,

        No they couldn’t. Season 8 was cut into story per episode. No switching scenes. They knew what needs to be in which episode. Every episode a story that is almost on its own. They couldnt switch an scene from one episode to the next. And why do we need 1 episode of 90 minutes. We got 4 80 minute episodes. Westworld get 1 90 minutes episode and rest max 60.

        Mr Derp,

        He made this possible. They just finish filming those extra 20 minutes for him. And it’s all Arya.

        Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

        I wouldn’t drink to much beforehand. Because I think people will relieve onself of tension I guess.

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      24. Clob,

        Oh Gods, please no. Let this story have an actual ending.

        When it ends, let it rest in peace.

        As the creepy old neighbor says in Pet Semetary…”Sometimes dead is better.”

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      25. serum:
        Aegon the IceDragon,

        I predict the following people will die:

        Dany, Jaime, Sansa, Bran, Cersei, Euron, Theon, Jorah, Beric, Tormund, The Mountain, Greyworm.

        Dany and Sansa are not dying; Jaime, Cersei, Jorah, Beric, Euron, the Mountain are as good as dead already; Bran, Theon, Tormund and Greyworm I haven’t decided yet.
        I also think Melissandre and Varys shall die.

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      26. Mr Derp,

        Yeah, it’s usually a better idea to let the original story be. Of course, my reason for mentioning it was my thoughts hovering around the idea of an Arya adventure series. 😛

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      27. Clob,

        Lol, of course. It always comes down to Arya, doesn’t it 🙂

        It’s all good. I know I’m in the minority on the topic of prequels and sequels.

        I guarantee there will be a point where the prequels and sequels will start “expanding” and wanting to attract more “casual viewers”, which will take the edge off the show and it’ll just be another tame, watered down version of itself. This is also where shows start bending over to try and make everyone happy, which will of course make no one happy.

        Who knows, maybe after long enough, Disney will buy Game of Thrones. Then we’re all REALLY screwed.

        Don’t say I didn’t warn ya 😉

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      28. I really hope that the first episode is not so short because they want to recap a bit things. I’m sure most of us re-watched the series and/or re-read the books so no recap necessary! On with the show!

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      29. Mr Derp,

        “Lol, of course. It always comes down to Arya, doesn’t it 🙂

        __________
        Isn’t there an ancient Roman adage, “All Threads Lead to Arya”?

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      30. Mr Derp,

        That would be The Twist. Dany’s dying in the middle of the season. Ultimate trolling.

        Why did you have to open the door to the evil mouse monopoly?

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      31. Dragonbringer,

        No, the run time consists of the entire episode+ intro and outro. The “previously on Game of Thrones” parts and/or any other trailers are not included. I even checked the Season 7 revealed runtimes and their videos on HBO Now to confirm this.

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      32. Ten Bears:
        Mr Derp,

        “Lol, of course. It always comes down to Arya, doesn’t it 🙂

        __________ Isn’t there an ancient Roman adage, “All Threads Lead to Arya”?

        My favorite era of Roman history is The “Pax Arya” period.

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      33. Eonwe:
        Mr Derp,

        That would be The Twist. Dany’s dying in the middle of the season. Ultimate trolling.

        Why did you have to open the door to the evil mouse monopoly?

        Well it beats holding the door, that’s for sure.

        I’ve been on the fence with this one for a while now. I keep going back and forth on whether Dany will die or not, but I usually fall on the side that believes Dany will die.

        The only reason why I think she MIGHT live is to see for herself what it cost to get the throne that she wanted so badly. It would be the ultimate bittersw……uh, er, I mean sad and sweet ending if she got the throne but lost everyone she holds dear in the process.

        However, if she is on the throne at the end then it begs the question of how Jon’s parentage reveal will fit into all this.

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      34. Glóin the Dark,

        Yes, I have the same feeling. It looks like Miguel Saposhnik has just finished the final cut of Ep 3 – that’s why we’ve got the exact runtime. However, Ep 5 should still be under cut (same as Ep 6 directed by D&D). So, it’s legit to assume that the runtimes will be adjusted eventually but won’t change much.

        BTW, good news about Ep 3. However, based on Vladimir Furdic the battle itself should still last for about a hour which makes me wonder what other story could be added into the mix. The battle of Helm’s Deep was interrupted with intentionally dragged Entsmoot sequence which still payed off in the end. We could have something similar here: aid comming but dragged to the point where there will be no guarantee of making it in time. Such role could be assigned to Melisandre/red priests and reinforcements/volunteers they could bring from Essos. Theon and/or Yara may also tie into this storyline.

        On the other hand, it may be some King’s Landing stuff. Maybe, that will be the episode where Cersei aborts her child under Euron’s pressure? Would be a nice juxtaposiotion: Cersei choosing death and destruction while theam-Winterfell will be fighting for life. That’s the only storyline which could be equally important with the battle of Winterfell, although completely different in scale.

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      35. Mr Derp,

        It depends on whether both Jon and Dany are alive by the end and whether or not Dany still got dragons.

        Because her claim is trumped by Jon being Rhaegar’s legitimate son. Also Westeros always placed first males on the IT. Viserys I and II, Aegon V…

        But I’m also a fan of the three times trope and I would like a Jon who after the wars instead of seizing power returns back to the north like Cregan and Ned Stark did.

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      36. Luka Nieto:

        The official running times are always rounding up or down anyway, obviously, because seconds exist.

        I’ve always thought it pretty sloppy of them not to specify the running times in Planck units.

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      37. why does my comment keep staying in moderation and not being posted? but the post that I posted later is being posted?

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      38. Luka Nieto: It’s 2 min, which is why the episode is 61 minutes with it included, instead of the official 59 minutes, which does not include the “previously on.”

        The figures reported on this article, and the ones in the chart, are the official running times, which always include intro and closing credits as well as the *actual* episode, but never the “Previously on…” or “Next episode”.

        Thanks Luka!

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      39. I suspect part of these additional 22 minutes will be reserved for Sansa being in a similar situation as Cersei was during Blackwater, except she’ll be a lot better at it. lol

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      40. Eonwe,

        But Ned and Cregan weren’t Targaryen heirs to the Iron Throne. Jon is. It wouldn’t make sense to end his arc ignoring the very same fact (his parentage) which will be highly publicized in the first couple of episodes.

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      41. Inga:
        However, based on Vladimir Furdic the battle itself should still last for about a hour which makes me wonder what other story could be added into the mix.

        It’s also possible (even likely) that the episode will include some pre-battle build-up, as there was in the episodes featuring the Battle of the Blackwater, the Battle for Castle Black and the Battle of the Bastards. Episode 3 could be another single-issue episode with a twenty or thirty minute prelude to an hour (or thereabouts) of actual conflict. But who knows…?

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      42. Milutin,

        The Twist is characters getting what they want in a way they didn’t.

        Rhaegar wanted a thir head for his dragon and a teenage girl. He got them but… Parents dead, siblings exiled, wives dead, first two heads dead, himself with the chest carved.

        Robert wanted revenge. He got it but the package included a crown and Cersei.

        Cersei wanted to marry the prince and raise above being second for being a woman. She married the king, now is queen but her children are dead and finally Jaime told her to fuck off.

        Here’s Jon twist. He wanted to be true born. He wanted to stop being a bastard. You got it Jhonny but you are a trueborn Targ not Stark.

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      43. Eonwe,

        I think once Jon finds out he is the heir to the IT he’ll think a lot about what Maester Aemon told him about choosing love or duty. That’s Jon’s main crux in the final season.

        As far as I can remember, Jon always chooses duty over love. Will he do the same when he finds out he’s the true heir?

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      44. Luka Nieto: It includes everything that’s actually part of the episode, including intro and closing credits.

        Yes, but not the “previously on” or “next on” segments.

        EDIT : my bad, just saw that you said as much in another comment.

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      45. Eonwe:
        Inga,

        Well Miguel said in an interview that he was aiming for an episode 3 like S2Ep9 Blackwater. Which was wrote by Martin’s himself.

        I wonder if episode 2 ends on a cliffhanger with the AotD arriving at WF, like in the trailer? Or maybe they’ll arrive a little bit into episode 3.

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      46. Dragonbringer: One question though does the 54 mins include the previously on segment or it’s considered separately..

        No. Runtimes do not include the “previously on” or “next on” segments. It does include opening and closing credits.

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      47. Mr Derp,

        But there would have to be some other development to make it an either/or situation for Jon. I also wonder what that could be. For now, it looks as if he could have both with Daenerys.

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      48. Mr Derp,

        It’s the characters main dilemma. The human heart at conflict with itself.

        Jon didn’t always chose duty. Rickon, charging to save him, falling into Ramsay’s trap, getting his army nearly anhilated.

        And there’s the stabbing in the books. Quite different from the show and Johnny choosing love over duty.

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      49. Milutin: But there would have to be some other development to make it an either/or situation for Jon.

        I’m sure there will be. Nothing will come easy. I don’t think anyone’s going to have their cake and eat it too in the final season.

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      50. I’m thrilled to hear this news.

        And it makes sense. For it to be the longest battle ever, longer than Helm’s Deep, Siege of Minas Tirith / Pelennor Fields, etc…, we need the battle proper to be like 60 minutes. If the episode had been 60 minutes, there would have been no build-up.

        After all, Battle of the Bastards was 60 minutes, but only 17 minutes were the actual battle in the North.

        This way makes sense. We can have like 20 minutes of good, solid build up, and then an hour of insanity.

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      51. Eonwe,

        I can agree with you on Rickon, but not Jon’s stabbing. He did that out of a sense of duty to save Westeros. He risked his life and ultimately gave it up to do the right thing. I don’t think love was really a factor in that decision. At least in the show. I haven’t read the books.

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      52. Clob:
        There have been plenty of conversations regarding prequels, but very little about “sequels” after HBO said none of their focus would be on that.Since we don’t know how this story ends it’s impossible to know who or what could be involved in a sequel.If the (first) prequel does well though maybe in the future they’d open up everything more for consideration.Perhaps in ten, fifteen years some of the actors of characters that survive would be willing to jump back into a sequel series…Just a thought.

        I am fine with a sequel as long as GRRM gets to write it first.

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      53. Jack Bauer 24: Jack

        I think that scene is from episode 3. I think episode 2 could end with Bran looking where the NK is and we get something like:
        Jon: What did you see? Where is he?
        Bran: He will be here tonight!

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      54. Mr Derp,

        Oh well. If you ever read the books you will understand.

        Jon’s parentage changes the whole board. Dany’s claim to the IT rest on it belonging to the Targs who were usurped. But Aegon Targaryen means that by that same claim every scenario where she takes the throne makes her an usurper. Because sons and daughters claim come before those of brothers and sisters.

        It put Daenerys on the shoes of Sansa in season 7.it puts her on the shoes of maester Aemon. Who knew that despite being a maester being the eldest put Aegon V claim on saky grounds.

        Also there is a huge problem. Only one person can sit on the IT. The Targ monarchy rest on the ultimate power held by whose sits. That’s why Maegor, Baelor or Aerys II could put all their shit.

        No matter how equal a king or queen may appear it the end one of them has the final word.

        It happened with Jaehaerys and Alysanne. In the end Jaehaerys had the final say.

        It happened with Rhaenyra and Daemon. In the end she was queen and him a prince and Rhaenyra’s words were the law.

        That’s why the hand sits on the IT when the king can’t.

        That’s why Jon can make decisions that Sansa and the lords don’t approve of. That’s why Daenerys can show the middle finger to Tyrion and berate him in public.

        In the end only one person has the final word. And the only thing that you can do it against it is to take arms and fight back.

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      55. Jack Bauer 24: I wonder if episode 2 ends on a cliffhanger with the AotD arriving at WF, like in the trailer? Or maybe they’ll arrive a little bit into episode 3.

        I would say that scene should definitely be the ending of episode 2 or the beginning of episode 3 as a cold open.

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      56. Eonwe,

        Yes, you are right. In GOT people get want, but not in a way they want or expect. Jon wanted to be a trueborn Stark, he also wanted to be a leader and a hero but that will come at a cost of hurting the woman he loves.
        As for Dany, she wanted home. She confused it with the throne but now it’s about time to remember her true wish. And it looks like she will. IMO, Bran’s words in the trailer refer to her. I imagine, after Jon’s parentage revelation she’ll be broken at first, maybe, act impulsively and say/do something bad. Definitely, she’ll be complaining that all she did was for nothing. But then Bran will utter his line remingding her of her true wish – HOME – and she’ll will go to the crypts to reconcile with Jon. At least, that’s how I see it.

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      57. Inga,

        Jon never wanted to be a leader. He’s Ned 2.0 in that aspect. Everytime he ended on a leader position was because events and other people put him into leadership.

        Season 4. Dolorous Edd knows that Janos is shit. He takes matters onto his hands and Jon ends being in charge.

        Same with the Half Hand setting Jon as a spy back in S2. Poor dude never catchs a break.

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      58. Lamprey Pie,

        off subject, but please stop using the adj nazi when you mean obsessive compulsive. given todays news, those of that ilk do not deserve to be noticed or used in a silly funny way to call people. There is nothing funny about them (sorry this has been a beef of mine for a long time. If that makes me PC, well I’ll wear it with pride)

        Now returning you to our hype machine, already in progress

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      59. ash:
        Mr Derp,

        not here! (az doesn’t do Daylight Saving Time. We have enough daylight in the summer thank you very much)

        It’s an hour short for me as well in CST. The countdown timer is timed to zero out at 7 pm for me when it airs here at 8 pm. 😀

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      60. My guess

        Jon Snow will stab Daenerys through her heart. Daenerys be brought back to life by Night King Tyrion and the first words Daenerys hears will be “Welcome Home my Queen” as heard in the S7 production teaser.

        In S3 The Climb redhead Sansa finds out about the Red Wedding and is hysterically crying (during Littlefinger’s Chaos is a Ladder speech). A second later you see redhead Ygritte reaching the top of the wall after almost dying during the very difficult climb. I think this foreshadows Sansa surviving the battles, (raising the Last Targaryen) … and being Queen Regent

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      61. Jack Bauer 24,

        There was a rumor that two characters would have a scene in the crypts which would end with a horn blowing. Based on the trailer, the two characters will be Jon and Dany who will be reconciling in the crypts after Jon’s parentage reveal, when the horn blows announcing the arrival of the AOTD. But yes, preparations and good-by kisses may still fall into Ep 2 ending with the shot of the hooves of the dead horse.

        I only wonder how they are going to pull 82 min. of the battle, if they move all the preparations to Ep 2? In Helm’s Deep preparations took nearly half of the time. But I have trust in D&D and Miguel Sapochnik.

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      62. firstone:
        My guess

        Sansa was crying about having to marry Tyrion and missing out on a chance to go with LF. Even if she did cry because of the Red Wedding, I don’t know how that and the scene where Ygritte makes it to the top of the wall foreshadows Sansa’s survival..

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      63. how can her crying about the red wedding not be enough? Her entire family died!

        At my local bookstore there is a huge kiosk of GOT books, DVDs and other assorted goods. Nothing I really wanted but was a very cool looking dragon that was red but I don’t think this one was part of the show. Regardless…bring on the hype!

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      64. ash:
        how can her crying about the red wedding not be enough? Her entire family died!

        At my local bookstore there is a huge kiosk of GOT books, DVDs and other assorted goods.Nothing I really wanted but was a very cool looking dragon that was red but I don’t think this one was part of the show.Regardless…bring on the hype!

        What are you talking about?

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      65. Eonwe,

        I disagree. Back in S2 Jeor Mormont asked Jon “You want to lead some day?” and Jon nodded (after that Lord Commander told him to lear now to follow). It’s aslo worth to admit that Jon was very unhappy when he was appointed to the stewards: his ambition was deeply hurt and he accepted his appointment only after Sam clarified to him that Jeor Mormont was planning to groom him for command. If that is not enough, Jon admitted that he envied Robb – what was there to envy, if Jon never wanted to lead himself? All in all, Jon has always been ambitious. His ambition might have been suppressed to the point that he was too afraid to seek power actively, but it was always there and it may burst out after Jon’s parentage reveal.

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      66. Clob,

        “Perhaps in ten, fifteen years some of the actors of characters that survive would be willing to jump back into a sequel series… Just a thought.”
        ——-

        And a very pleasing thought.

        Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) is coming back for a sequel 25 years after Star Trek: The Next Generation completed its 178-episode, seven season run from Sept 1987 – May, 1994.

        Ten years from now, with the right scripts and the right price, GoT actors playing the S8 surviving characters *cough* ASNAWP *cough* might be enticed to appear in a sequel.

        “It’s never too late to come back.”
        – Brother Ray, S6e7.

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      67. Ten Bears:
        Clob,

        Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) is coming back for a sequel 25 years after Star Trek: The Next Generation completed its 178-episode, seven season run from Sept 1987 – May, 1994.

        I just want Riker back to do his ‘leg swing over the chair’ thing.

          Quote  Reply

      68. Inga,

        Jon wanted to be in Robb position due to his batardy. He didn’t want the lordship itself. He associated lordship and wielding Ice as him being a true born of Ned.

        Of course this is easier to epot in the books thanks to the POV. But Jon is the dude that told Daenerys that he didn’t enjoy being good as something. General interpretation is fighting. But there is one thing that also Jon is good at. Being a king as told by Sansa.

        Just like Ned finds himself guilty of having what he views as Brandon (him expecting little as second son to charismatic handsome Brandon) Jon finds himself guilty of desiring his siblings rights not out of ambition but by his bastard issues.

        Just like Daenerys doesn’t want the IT for the sake of power or making a better world but because she thinks that it would bring her home. And that is tragic because the books POV make us see that her home isn’t the IT, it’s a house with a Red Door in Bravos.

          Quote  Reply

      69. Pigeon,

        I just want to see John de Lancie as “Q” again. He guest-starred in the two-part series opener and in the two-part series finale, along with several of my favorite episodes in between.

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      70. Isn’t it a bit of a spoiler to say in the title that episode 3 is the big battle?

        Yea, i expected 60 mins was wrong.
        sorta spoilery:

        They allowed EW to put in that quote from Sophie saying the battle episode might be 90 mins, and they wouldn’t include that if it wasn’t meant to be somewhat of a teaser for the actual episode.

          Quote  Reply

      71. Inga,

        Jon’s ambition is even more pronounced in the books where we learn from his inner thoughts that he is aware that based solely on his capabilities he could rise high in the world if not for the unfortunate circumstances of his birth which frustrates him a lot.

        Maybe it isn’t that evident in the show since we lack his inner monologue in visual medium and maybe because the show insisted on portraying him as an underdog. Just compare his show line when he learns of Robb’s death how Robb has always been better than him in every way with his book thoughts on how Lady Stark would stare at him whenever he bested Robb at swords or sums or most anything.

        Since both books and the show will end up in roughly the same place, then it is a good indication that his ambition and abilities are firmly established in the books.

          Quote  Reply

      72. HelloThere,

        Not at all since it’s been know that Miguel Sapochnik is directing episodes 3 and 5. And knowing what kind of episodes he directed in the past is quite normal that the guy who filmed Hard home and Battle of the Bastards is gonna be in charge of the heavy action episodes from this season.

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      73. Inga,

        I like your reasoning and hope you are correct. It’s interesting to see different fan bases arguing with each other about everyone’s motives – it reminds me of Martin saying everyone is busy fighting each other so they don’t see the ‘real enemy’. Jon and Dany have both seen the danger beyond the wall, I think any angst will be short lived and they will fight together to save the people. I don’t know how it will end..can’t even guess at this point but I don’t see them turning on each other.

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      74. Inga:
        Eonwe,

        “…As for Dany, she wanted home. She confused it with the throne but now it’s about time to remember her true wish. And it looks like she will. IMO, Bran’s words in the trailer refer to her. I imagine, after Jon’s parentage revelation she’ll be broken at first, maybe, act impulsively and say/do something bad. Definitely, she’ll be complaining that all she did was for nothing. But then Bran will utter his line remingding her of her true wish – HOME – and she’ll will go to the crypts to reconcile with Jon. At least, that’s how I see it.”

        ____
        I see it that way too, and I also believe Bran’s words about being where she belongs – “home” – are directed at Dany.

        I also think that after the shock of being blindsided by the Aegon Targaryen parentage reveal, she will come to realize that she is with her only family – the son of her late brother Rhaegar and sister-in-law Lyanna, and three cousins she never knew she had – and that’s where “home” is.

        I found it telling that once on Dragonstone, Dany expressly said she didn’t feel like it was her “home”:

        (On Dragonstone, S7e2)

        Tyrion (to Dany): “On a night like this, you came into the world.”
        Varys: “I remember that storm. All the dogs in King’s Landing howled through the night.”
        Dany: “I wish I could remember it.
        I always thought this would be a homecoming. It doesn’t feel like home.”
        Tyrion: “We won’t stay on Dragonstone for long.”
        Dany: “Good.”

        Then again, it could be fanboy wishful thinking on my part that the Dragon Queen and the Warrior Princess immediately bond like a medieval Mophie. 👸🏻🧝🏻‍♀️

          Quote  Reply

      75. kathy,

        Well… Dany’s committed to the fight against the WW because she got the “truce” with Cersei (I still don’t understand how these idiots believed her, specially Tyrion after S4). She could have marched her army to the north right after EP6 but she didn’t. She even told Jon in the Dragon Pit that she couldn’t ignore that Cersei would take back what she conquered as soon as she went north. She wanted to have it at both ways instead of picking a choice. She missed one of Stannis best point from the books

        Lord Seaworth is a man of humble birth, but he reminded me of my duty, when all I could think of was my rights. I had the cart before the horse, Davos said. I was trying to win the throne to save the kingdom, when I should have been trying to save the kingdom to win the throne.

        Dany’s missed it in S7. It’s gonna be funny when Jaime arrives and made them all look like fools.

        Honestly Tyrion, you are either the biggest fool or you backstabber everyone by making a deal off-screen with Cersei.

          Quote  Reply

      76. Finised my 6 peck of inis & gun ale, ready for the fsu basketball semi.
        It would be cool if the last scene of series is every survivor freeze, Q pops up, snaps his fingers, they all turn into STtNG crew on the bridge.

          Quote  Reply

      77. Now imagine this: After the penultimate episode the running time of the final episode revealed to be 112 minutes.

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      78. Eonwe:
        Tron79,

        And episode 6 will be Endgame.

        I really want episode 3 to be “Not Today”, but it would probably have to be “Not Tonight”. How far out did we get the actual titles for season 7?

          Quote  Reply

      79. everyone has been hyping up Episode 3…but what about the other Miguel Sapochnik directed, Episode 5?…I haven’t heard anything about that episode…is another major battle happening in that episode as well?…no spoilers please, just general info…why isn’t Episode 5 being hyped up?

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      80. TitusTroy,

        Episode 3 has been teased from the very prologue of the books. And HBO itself it’s feeding the hype with statements from the cast.

        That’s all I can say without getting into spoiler land.

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      81. TitusTroy,

        In terms of the cast and crew and the promotional material, we haven’t been teased anything beyond episode three, and that’s deliberate. They want to show as little as possible, which is a good move. However, we don’t have such compunctions, and we did thoroughly report on what will happen in episode five. Check this tag for the details, but beware of spoilers, obviously.

        If you don’t really want to go digging on the most relevant articles, I’d say read this for a basic overview of the location this setpiece will take place in; this and this for the aftermath; and notably this for actual spoilers from our sources.

          Quote  Reply

      82. Luka Nieto,

        I’m sure you guys at Watchers on the Wall know from your sources and all but I was mainly referring to the general info teased by the cast and HBO…they all keep talking about the biggest battle ever in Episode 3…I’m not going to click any spoilers but it’s good to know that big things will be happening in other episodes besides Episode 3

        I thought Episode 3 was going to be equivalent to previous seasons Episode 9 so I didn’t know what to expect from Episodes 4-6…were they showing the big battle too early leaving the rest of the season a slight letdown?…but I’m guessing that every episode (outside of Episode 1) will be equivalent to previous Episode 9’s

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      83. TitusTroy,

        Episode 3 will have the largest and longest battle in the season (and the show, and probably in cinematic history), but plot-wise it seems it will function more as a mid-season game-changer than a climax. So don’t worry too much. Though Episode 5’s setpiece won’t be as elaborate as Episode 3’s battle, it will be big game-changing action too, without spoiling anything 🙂

          Quote  Reply

      84. TitusTroy,

        I think there is something even bigger coming up, that they don’t want to talk about at all. They probably want no one to know anything about the last 3 episodes.

          Quote  Reply

      85. steff666,

        The climb is 3×06 and the red wedding 3×09, so how the hell did she cry in 3×06 about the red wedding before it happened? Is she a secret warrior of light or something xd

        ash,

        Cat and Robb were still alive at that moment. She cried because was supposed to marrying Tyrion. Her mother and brother were even still alive the moment she married.

        Ten Bears,

        I think the same. It made most sense that is is about her.

        Tron79: Bears

        sounds good for me.
        other guesses:
        – Winterfell
        – Family, duty, honor. (I think those worlds are important in season 6, family before duty, duty before honor)
        – Night gathers
        – Cold winds rises
        – The great war

        I hope episode 2 is going to be called: Golden Company

        Eonwe,

        Episode 6 is being called “50 shades of chicken”, about the 50 ways Sandor can eat chicken.

        TitusTroy,

        2 guesses:
        1. Episode 3 will be the first (and maybe last) the clash of NK and our heroes. This is what the show is building up since season 1.
        2. Why would they hype episode 5, if it’s not as exciting as episode 3, they didn’t excite fans for nothing. And if it is much much better than episode 3. Not telling will let the shock even be greater if episode 5 will be even greater.
        3. Not spoiler it for the fans, we know what will happen in episode 3 because we watched season 1 till 7. We know that that battle is happening. Why tell us what is to be expected later.

        TitusTroy,

        Depends if episode 5 will be bigger (but secret) or not. If it’s bigger it will not be a let down. And if it’s not who says it will, because which episode though people were more excited: Blackwater or Rains of Castamere? Which of the 2 was the battle episode? Or BoB or WoW? Not always the battle episode will win.

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      86. HelloThere,

        I think that episode will fuck us up. I have no clue what they are planned but my guess is we are even more shocked than rains of castamere or winds of winter with that episode.

        I think once that episode aired we will have a national mourning day.

        I only hope I will survive the horror D&D (with the help of GRRM) cooked up.

          Quote  Reply

      87. kevin1989,

        The climb is 3×06 and the red wedding 3×09, so how the hell did she cry in 3×06 about the red wedding before it happened? Is she a secret warrior of light or something xd

        Sorry – I am not good at keeping the episode numbers straight. I was thinking of the scene in the next episode where Tyrion comes back from a council meeting to see Sansa in tears. But yeah the other was for her wedding Thanks for the clarification

          Quote  Reply

      88. TitusTroy,

        In addition to what everyone says…

        It is hard to talk about Episode 5 without giving away what was the result of the battle in Episode 3. We know everyone is alive when the battle in Epi3 starts. We do not know who will make it. Talk too much about 5 and you give away all the tension with Episode 3.

        We expect a big KL battle but less about it the better.

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      89. Ten Bears,

        I found it much more amusing to think that Bran was speaking with the Night King about arriving home. Wasn’t he supposed to be a Stark?

        Why would the ancestral home of Starks feel like home to Daenerys? Dragonstone is the place in Westeros that the Targs used as their base. Daenerys did not think it felt like home. Why should it? She did not grow up there.

        Fans that think Daenerys relationship with Jon means she should feel like WF is her home? – they perhaps have been extraordinarily lucky with in-laws or young enough to still live with their parents.

        I think that once you have left your parents home for some time, especially if you have your own home/family, even your parent’s home does not feel like your home anymore. Your inlaws house – feel like you are with your partners family. Really great but you will still not wander about in your underwear. Once children come along, the inlaws house feels different actually. Anyway, I am rambling…

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      90. ash,

        • About Sansa being distraught, I suspect you may have been thinking of her scene with Tyrion in S4e1:

        Sansa: “I lie awake all night staring at the canopy thinking about how they died.”
        ***
        Sansa: “Do you know what they did to my brother? How they sewed his direwolf’s head onto his body? And my mother. They say they cut her throat to the bone and threw her body in the river.”

        • I was really hoping that by S7, after Sansa had presumably heard the Freys had been exterminated by a face-peeling assassin; learned that Arya’s “list of names” wasn’t a joke; and then
        finding Arya’s FM facemask collection (see S7e6 excerpt below*), Sansa would put two and two together and realize Arya had carved up, cut up or poisoned the Frey sh*tbags who’d cut their mother’s throat and mutilated Robb’s body.

        * (from S7e6: Arya catches nosy Sansa rummaging through her facemask satchel)

        Sansa: “What are these?”
        Arya: “My faces.”
        Sansa: “Where did you get them?”
        Arya: “In Braavos, while I was training to be a Faceless Man.”
        Sansa: “What does that mean?”
        ****
        Sansa: “Those faces, what are they!”
        ***
        Sansa: “Tell me what they are! ”
        Arya: “…..With the faces I can choose. I can become someone else. Speak in their voice, live in their skin.”

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      91. I had a funny dream recently. About Sean Bean and Michelle Fairley playing a drop-dead entertaining scene with their film children. Somewhat chilly. Must have been some memory season 1, obviously. Damn, I sure miss those scenes.

          Quote  Reply

      92. “Seminole war chant” (Tomahawk Chop), yes my alma mater going to the ACC final almost opened a bottle of Ommegang, but saving them for GoT parties, being the official beverage supplier has its downside, besides emptying my budget
        Thanks to those posting about Sandor chicken, great idea for party, I’ll pass that onto the food suppliers. Maybe even print new covers for the buckets “Sandors eat every fookin chiken in this bucket”

          Quote  Reply

      93. Eonwe,

        Tron79,

        I think you might be onto something.

        Episode 1: Homecoming
        Episode 2: The Winter Soldier
        Episode 3: The Dark World
        Episode 4: Far From Home
        Episode 5: Civil War
        Episode 6: Endgame

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      94. TitusTroy,

        Or it’s misdirection and there’s a bigger battle coming up in episode 5. I think some epicness is to be expected in 4-6 as well, but as others have mentioned, episode 3’s outcome will determine that and I’m sure they intend to surprise us and don’t want to give everything away.

          Quote  Reply

      95. Mango,

        “…Once children come along, the inlaws house feels different actually.”

        ——-
        What did you mean by this?
        Because as much as I dread baby dramas, if, as many speculate Jon knocked up Dany on the northbound boat ride, the anticipated birth of Baby Eddard Targaryen could change the family dynamics in WF for the better.

          Quote  Reply

      96. Ten Bears,

        Nooooooooo! Sorry…I started rambling about real life and how baby can change the dynamic with inlaws…so I stopped. I was rambling about real life.

        I am not among the many that expect a baby in S8. Could there a Targ baby in S8? Yes, because they had sex but I am not pregnant with this expectation. I prefer if they did not. There is enough drama already. When I wrote the comment, I completely forgot about that fan chatter.

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      97. According to a totally unscientific study conducted tonight by myself and several cans of Foster’s Lager, the most oft-repeated phrase on GOT has been “Fuck off.”

        └༼ •́ ͜ʖ •̀ ༽┘

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      98. Mango,
        cos alpha,

        Exactly. Home is where the heart is. It’s not so much about the place but rather about the people – family and something worth fighting for. I don’t think Bran is speaking about Winterfell of the North (if he indeed speaks to Dany): is more about Westeros as a whole. Dany felt no emotional connection to Westeros in the beginning, but now she’s developing it by getting to know the people and also by committing herself to fight for them. And it would be very fitting for Bran to welcome her home not only from the posision of a Stark but also from the position of the 3-Eyed Raven who can be taken as a representation of Westeros as a whole.

          Quote  Reply

      99. TitusTroy,

        IMO, Ep 5 will be more like Winds of Winter – not exactly a battle, althought some spectacular fighting will be taking place. However, untill we know the outcome of the battle of Winterfell, it’s hard to predict anything. So, I assume that the showrunners will start hyping Ep 5 only after Ep 3 airs. At best, we can expect some minor snippets from EW: they took all the cast photos at the King’s Landing set (which is supposed to be the focus of Ep 5) and I think they promised a report from there in the upcomming magazine. So, let’s wait and see. Maybe, we’ll get something.

          Quote  Reply

      100. this is a good news, though it’s hard to believe that we are going to watch an almost 1h30 min battle. probably part of the episode will be set up for this battle with Jaime’s arrival and etc…about the night king’s target in the Vladimir furdik’s interview few days ago. could this target be “Iron Throne”? iron throne is symbol of man power and night king could be aiming to destroy this symbol to prove his power to the living men. there has been numerous examples of such occurrence in real history when the Conqueror has destroyed the most iconic assets of conquered lands.

          Quote  Reply

      101. I’ve been following filming news very little so am probably way behind the times. But the fact that the big WF battle is so early, with more than half the season after, gets me excited. I have no idea what’s happening after that. Either the humans lose and retreat to the south, only to get pincer’d by Cersei, or the humans win and turn south to defeat Cersei.

        Here’s what I guess will happen (w/o any spoilers or filming news):

        Humans fight the WW at WF but lose. However, during the battle, two things happen – Jon rides Rhaegal in some desperate move and they learn something about how to defeat the NK once and for all (probably from Bran doing 3e raven-y). Jon and Dany therefore ride dragons beyond the wall to get to the heart of winter. Meanwhile Tyrion/Jaime/Sansa/Arya flee south ahead of the undead horde. The underlying plan from Sansa/Arya is to position Arya such that she can assassinate Cersei. To do this though requires subterfuge as Sansa and Arya would have to worry whether Lannister bros would be willing to let pregnant Cersei be killed.

        Jaime will free Edmure from Riverrun and help to rally the Riverlands, ultimately keeping another promise. Tyrion will try to convince Cersei to join the fight but will fail at this because Cersei. There will be some kind of human vs human battle near KL involving the golden company, but without dragons so it will be bloody, long, and the good guys will probably lose. Eventually someone will kill Cersei (I hope, Arya?). Euron may then sit the Iron Throne for awhile, but Theon will kill him. In any case, this won’t matter as the undead horde has arrived with no one to stop them as the human forces are scattered and weakened. Likely KL will be destroyed / invaded. Jon and Dany however will at the last minute have reached the heart of winter, destroyed it, killing the NK and all the wights will become unspelled. I suspect they both die during this process. If not, Jon at least will die, and pregnant Dany will return on whatever dragon is left to them.

        I suspect if Dany has Jon’s baby she dies in child birth in the postscript/last episode and the baby is king/queen with Tyrion running the realm. There’s also always the outside chance that T=T and Tyrion is king in his own right. Either way Tyrion sits the iron throne.

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      102. QueenofThrones: I suspect if Dany has Jon’s baby she dies in child birth in the postscript/last episode and the baby is king/queen with Tyrion running the realm. There’s also always the outside chance that T=T and Tyrion is king in his own right. Either way Tyrion sits the iron throne.

        So the clever imp ultimately wins the game of thrones? He doesn’t deserve to win it. I wouldn’t like to see another Lannister dynasty.

        Tyrion to Cersei: I don’t want to destroy our family, I never have.

        Tyrion to Daenerys: I’m the greatest Lannister killer.

        ..paraphrasing. So, who is Tyrion lying to, his sister of the dragon queen?

        Then Daenerys keeps imformation from her Hand, Tyrion. Tyrion confirms this when he tells Cersei that he didn’t know about Jon bending the knee to the dragon queen. Dany clearly doesn’t trust Tyrion, and she shouldn’t.

        Imagine if Dany overheard Tyrion and Cersei’s convo about not wanting to destroy their family? She might find out about it, through Varys and any of his little birds that remain loyal, or through Sam and Bran. If she finds out, there will be hell to pay.

        Tyrion is definitely playing the game, but he doesn’t deserve to win…and I don’t think anyone wants to see another Lannister dynasty. I hope that Tyrion – and his belief that you can negotiate with monsters – is completely discredited and defeated in the end in favour of Dany’s clear-eyed understanding of the appropriate way to deal with evil.

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      103. Inga:
        Mango,
        cos alpha,

        Exactly. Home is where the heart is. It’s not so much about the place but rather about the people – family and something worth fighting for. I don’t think Bran is speaking about Winterfell of the North (if he indeed speaks to Dany): is more about Westeros as a whole. Dany felt no emotional connection to Westeros in the beginning, but now she’s developing it by getting to know the people and also by committing herself to fight for them. And it would be very fitting for Bran to welcome her home not only from the posision of a Stark but also from the position of the 3-Eyed Raven who can be taken as a representation of Westeros as a whole.

        Interesting, Inga. That would be the first real welcome, well, since Jon bent the knee. Everyone else acts like she’s something foreign and a usurper when her family built and united so much of Westeros. Some people will bend the knee, others will have to be brought to their knees.

        More and more I feel that what we’re seeing is a Targaryen restoration. Could the show bring back these last/lost Targaryens only to kill them? I suppose it could, but I think it’s unlikely. And Dany deserves to lead, she’s the one rescuing Westeros, as you’ve pointed out. Not to mention all the people she has helped to liberate in Essos.

        The Targaryens are back to reclaim what was stolen from them through treachery by the Lannisters, Baratheons and Starks. I do not want to see the Lannisters or Starks prevailing again.

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      104. As long as we’re guessing episode titles:

        1.) The Long Night
        2.) Lightbringer
        3.) Winterfell
        4.) Family, Duty, Honor
        5.) A Song of Ice and Fire
        6.) A Dream of Spring

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      105. Mango: Why would the ancestral home of Starks feel like home to Daenerys? Dragonstone is the place in Westeros that the Targs used as their base. Daenerys did not think it felt like home. Why should it? She did not grow up there.

        Fans that think Daenerys relationship with Jon means she should feel like WF is her home? – they perhaps have been extraordinarily lucky with in-laws or young enough to still live with their parents

        Word.

        The Starks are one third of that unholy trinity that usurped power from Dany’s family. There’s no way that she thinks that she needs them to give her anything. In fact, Dany is the one risking all that she has to save their bricks and mortar… and their bacon, she’s saving their bacon, too.

        Sansa better not blow it by plotting against the Targs thinking that Jon’s affection for her and his devotion to Nedd will save her.

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      106. My predictions who will die and who will survive in the final season?

        • Arya Stark: survive
        • Beric Dondarrion: die before or after he reaches Winterfell
        • Bran Stark: die, because once the Night King is defeated, his role will be over
        • Brienne of Tarth: survive
        • Bronn: Or surivive or killed by Cersei in the first episode
        • Cersei Lannister: die in episode 5 or 6
        • Daenerys Targaryen: die in episode 6, but giving birth to triplets: 1 boy and 2 girls
        • Davos Seaworth: die in episode 3, battle for Winterfell
        • Drogon (Dragon): die in episode 5 or 6
        • Euron Greyjoy: die in episode 5 or 6, killed by Theon
        • Ghost: die in episode 3, Winterfell battle
        • Gilly: survive
        • Gregor Clegane: die in episode 5
        • Grey Worm: die in episode 5
        • Illyrio: forgotten, so survive
        • Jaime Lannister: die in episode 5 or 6
        • Jon Snow: survive and play an important role after the war
        • Jorah Mormont: die in episode 3, Winterfell battle
        • Lord Varys: killed by Rhlor
        • Lyanna Mormont: survive
        • Maester Wolkan: die in episode 3, Winterfell battle
        • Missandei: die in episode 3, Winterfell battle
        • Nymeria (Wolf): survive
        • Podrick Payne: die in episode 3, Winterfell battle
        • Qhono: die in episode 3, Winterfell battle
        • Qyburn: survive
        • Rhaegal (Dragon): die in episode 5
        • Samwell Tarly: survive
        • Sandor Clegane: survive
        • Sansa Stark: survive, becoming warden of the north. And raising Danny’s 3 kids
        • Theon Greyjoy: surveve, Yara will die in his arms and he will kill Euron
        • Tormund Giantsbane: die before or after he reaches Winterfell
        • Tyrion Lannister: survive
        • Viserion (Wight Dragon): die in episode 5
        • Yara Greyjoy: die
        • Yohn Royce: die in episode 3, battle for Winterfell

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      107. Anon,

        Dude the Targs were ousted for tyranny. Aerys crossed so many lines that in the end four great houses rose in arms against them. Another sit waiting until the end of the war. And the two great houses that fought for the Targs never committed fully to their cause.

        She may have liberated slaves but her reign in Meereen was a complete and utter disaster. And in the books those cities liberated by her soon fell to anarchy or back to slavery.

        This isn’t Lord of the Rings. Here a king being a good person doesn’t equal to being a good king.

        The cost of unifying the Seven Kingdoms was involving the whole Westeros into war everytime the IT screw things up.

        By the way. Where is the treachery of Baratheons and Starks? After killing lord Rickard and Brandon Stark, Aerys demanded to Jon Arryn to hand over Robert and Eddard. What do you think the mad King wanted them for? Robert and Eddard choice was to fight until the bitter end.

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      108. Anon: The Targaryens are back to reclaim what was stolen from them through treachery by the Lannisters, Baratheons and Starks. I do not want to see the Lannisters or Starks prevailing again.

        What? Ned acted on the intelligence that Rhaegar, the heir to the throne, husband to a Dornishwoman and father of two, had kidnapped his sister and spirited her away to do gods know what with her. When he arrived to rescue her he found her dying in childbirth and subsequently spent the remainder of his life lying to the entire world, his own family included, to protect her child—a Targaryen. How does this constitute treachery?

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      109. Wolfish: What? Ned acted on the intelligence that Rhaegar, the heir to the throne, husband to a Dornishwoman and father of two, had kidnapped his sister and spirited her away to do gods know what with her. When he arrived to rescue her he found her dying in childbirth and subsequently spent the remainder of his life lying to the entire world, his own family included, to protect her child—a Targaryen. How does this constitute treachery?

        Wot??

        The kidnapping and rape story is so far-fetched, I wonder how Nedd could believe it. Why would Rhaegar want to rape this particular woman? I mean, there are women everywhere, If Rhaegar is a raper, why this woman in particular.

        This woman was well known and promised to another man. A hypothetical abduction and rape of a high-born woman would have to resolve itself, somehow. What did Nedd think Rhaegar’s plan for resolution would be?

        I think Nedd and his brothers knew the truth in their hearts, but still wanted to subvert Lyanna’s wishes, even by appealing to the Mad King, and they ended up getting what the duck gets.

        Furthermore, Nedd intended to marry his sister, Lyanna to Robert the usurper. Later on, he intended to marry his daughter, Sansa, to Joffrey the usurper. Nedd had a stake in usurping the throne. The effect – if not the intent – of Nedd’s lie was to keep Robert on the throne. Meanwhile, Nedd allows the true heir to pledge his life to the Night’s Watch, where he was expected to die young holding no lands and having no children and wearing no crowns.

        Mighty suspicious, if you ask me.

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      110. Eonwe: By the way. Where is the treachery of Baratheons and Starks? After killing lord Rickard and Brandon Stark, Aerys demanded to Jon Arryn to hand over Robert and Eddard. What do you think the mad King wanted them for? Robert and Eddard choice was to fight until the bitter end.

        It’s not for nothing that Aerys was called the Mad King. The Starks should have been more careful about approaching him. They really wanted a Mad King to punish his son for a supposed abduction and rape? Three guesses on how that was going to turn out. It would have been better to rely on their knowledge of their own sister’s character…. and of what Nedd knew of Rhaegar’s character.

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      111. Anon,

        1. I wrote “gods know what” because I’m not sure Ned believed rape was involved. However, he could not have been blamed for feeling protective of a passionate, impetuous 16-year-old sister who had fallen under the thrall of a several-years-older man who was already married to someone else, had children with someone else, and, oh yeah, was the heir to the fucking Iron Throne. And had a father who’d lost his mind and started incinerating people when they vexed him. I wouldn’t want any of my family members in that situation. Would you???

        2. Robert wasn’t “the usurper” when Lyanna became engaged to him. He became the usurper when she eloped (unbeknownst to him) with Rhaegar. So your timeline is backwards. (Take off the 3ER goggles.)

        3. As much good as some of the Targaryens did for Westeros, their 300-year-long rule was marked by their unpredictable, mercurial nature—either the brilliance of the best dragonlords, or the absolute despotism and tyranny of the worst. It must be an exhausting thing for a people as a collective, to know that whenever a good ruler dies he could easily be followed by a madman. That doesn’t make for a healthy society, its effects can last for centuries, and ultimately, such a society becomes prone to epic upheaval (Exhibit A: Russia).

        4. Even the very best Targaryens were given to believing what the pigs did in Animal Farm: “All animals are created equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” Jaehaerys and Alysanne, whose reign was the brightest and most prosperous in Westerosi history, cemented this principle into law when they declared that Targaryens were exempt from laws barring brother-sister incest. In effect, the best rulers Westeros ever had also, paradoxically, guaranteed that Targaryen rule would always be a crapshoot, given the madness that is one of the common side effects of this peculiar custom. If even the very best Targaryens can’t be trusted to let go of their grandiose notions of themselves—in effect maintaining themselves permanently separate from the Westerosi they conquered—why should any Westerosi ever consider them truly worthy of the throne?

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      112. Wolfish: 1. I wrote “gods know what” because I’m not sure Ned believed rape was involved. However, he could not have been blamed for feeling protective of a passionate, impetuous 16-year-old sister who had fallen under the thrall of a several-years-older man who was already married to someone else, had children with someone else, and, oh yeah, was the heir to the fucking Iron Throne. And had a father who’d lost his mind and started incinerating people when they vexed him. I wouldn’t want any of my family members in that situation. Would you???

        This is the oldest story in the book. Girl likes boy, her family doesn’t want her to be with that boy, but that’s who the girl chooses. What to do? If the family imposes it’s will, it always ends badly.

        Maybe they could have actually listened to Lyanna and Rhaegar.

        Wolfish: 2. Robert wasn’t “the usurper” when Lyanna became engaged to him. He became the usurper when she eloped (unbeknownst to him) with Rhaegar. So your timeline is backwards. (Take off the 3ER goggles.)

        When Nedd went to fetch Lyanna after Rhaegar’s defeat on the Trident, I think he meant to take her back to Robert, who by this time was the usurper.

        Wolfish: 3. As much good as some of the Targaryens did for Westeros, their 300-year-long rule was marked by their unpredictable, mercurial nature—either the brilliance of the best dragonlords, or the absolute despotism and tyranny of the worst. It must be an exhausting thing for a people as a collective, to know that whenever a good ruler dies he could easily be followed by a madman. That doesn’t make for a healthy society, its effects can last for centuries, and ultimately, such a society becomes prone to epic upheaval (Exhibit A: Russia).

        The whole rebellion was over ownership of a woman; it wasn’t because they opposed the rule of the Mad King and were trying to depose him. If that was the case, then Rhaegar would have been allowed to take the throne. Robert was a weak king unprepared to rule because he really only fought for a girl..and his pride. That’s a terrible reason to depose a king.

        Wolfish: 4. Even the very best Targaryens were given to believing what the pigs did in Animal Farm: “All animals are created equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” Jaehaerys and Alysanne, whose reign was the brightest and most prosperous in Westerosi history, cemented this principle into law when they declared that Targaryens were exempt from laws barring brother-sister incest. In effect, the best rulers Westeros ever had also, paradoxically, guaranteed that Targaryen rule would always be a crapshoot, given the madness that is one of the common side effects of this peculiar custom. If even the very best Targaryens can’t be trusted to let go of their grandiose notions of themselves—in effect maintaining themselves permanently separate from the Westerosi they conquered—why should any Westerosi ever consider them truly worthy of the throne?

        Targs did pretty well, considering; but this is not the reason the Targs were deposed! Plus, I don’t think anyone connects incest with madness, anyway. Robert stated that the reason he took up arms against Rhaegar and the Mad King is because of what each did to Lyanna and the Stark diplomatic delegation. Nowhere have I heard him, or Nedd, complain about incest and madness…. or even poor leadership.

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      113. Ser Not Appearing in this Series:
        Catspaw Assassin,

        In which case

        Episode 6: F*ck Off

        _____
        After 67 episodes, it might be difficult to come up with distinctive episode titles. I’m not sure if there are any cool names from the source material that haven’t been used yet.

        I do like your Sandor-based theme. May I follow up on it? I haven’t come up with an appropriate e3 title though…

        Episode 1: “F*ck the King” (Sandor’s response to too many talkers yammering on about the Night King)

        Episode 2: “Wolf Girl and Little Bird” (Sandor reunites with Stark sisters)

        Episode 3: ????

        Episode 4: “Dumb Bitch” (Shortsighted Cersei shoots herself in the foot, gets lots of people killed)

        Episode 5: “F*ck the City” (KL razed; million residents perish)

        Episode 6: “F*ck Off” (Dual meaning: human defenders rallying cry against AotD; and showrunners’ farewell – at least to the whinging segment of the fandom)

        [Runner ups: “F*ck it. I’m Ready” (double entendre to describe fans’ anticipation for S8e1);
        “Lightbringer” (Sandor draws flaming sword from a fire); “F*ck the Queen” (assessment of threat posed by Cersei); “Lots of C*nts” (Sandor’s shorthand for hordes of wights); “The Dogs” (Ghost, Nymeria, wolf pack, and the Hound defend WF; NK hacks and reprograms FrankenGregor); “Born a Fighter” (Beric’s description of Sandor, and allusion to prophecied Warrior of Light); “One Hand” (callback to “chop off one hand” from S6e8; references to Jaime, and to Tyrion); “No Fire!” or “The Voice in the Flames” (re: Varys; Sandor’s face burning; the Lord of Light)

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      114. Wolfish,

        1. Particularly in (3) and (4) you nicely captured why the Targ rule is a problem – now and in the future.

        2. This is in addition to other issues likely taking power by violent conquest. A local rebellion is always coming even it if takes 300 hundred years. Sometimes the trigger is some bizarre incident but the truth is that the rebellion was put on the agenda from the very day of the conquest.

        3. I am surprised that in 2019, there are many do not get the inherent instability of violent conquest followed by occupation and delineation of the invading conquering group as superior to the local population.

        Even more appalling is the support that these recently freed people are to be reconquered by the same fookers as before.

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      115. Mango,

        The cult of personality is incredibly strong. That explains a lot of it, both irl and on Planetos. Echoing your thoughts, it does amaze me that in 2019 so many fans of GRRM’s work seemingly don’t understand the real-life inspirations for his characters and story.

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      116. Anon,

        I can agree that the story is heading towards the Targ restauration; however, if it does, it won’t be because of Jon’s and Dany’s family name but rather because of their personal merits and because their actions will atone for the sins sof their ancestors.

        Eonwe,
        Wolfish,

        As for the Targs being terrible rulers, who has been better?

        Baratheons were terrible: Robert didn’t care about the realm, Stannis burned people alive (including his daugther), Renley was just a pup, and don’t let me start about Gendry – he’s a nice guy and a good blacksmith but he has zero capability to lead or rule (I guess he won’t).

        Starks? Ned was a good man, but his elder brother Brandon – not so much. And Stark ancestors did a lot of terrible things, so, there’s no guarantee that their wolf-blood won’t come up, say, in Sansa. All in all, Sansa is a very contraversial charracter and it’s hard to determine what kind of ruler she could make.

        Lannisters? Tywin might have been good to a certain extent, but he provoked Tyrion to shoot him in the privy and that’s not what good rulers do. Cersei who’s following his footsteps will also come to a bad end. And Joffrei & Tommen were equally hopeless, although for different reasons. Tyrion is the only Lannister who has been estableished as a capable manager, but he’s not flawless, too. His mistakes has almost undermined Dany’s campaign.

        So, Jon & Dany is the best Westeros can get for the time being and after their death some wheel will have to be reinvented.

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      117. Mango,
        Wolfish,

        IMO, you tend to overestimate democracy. It’s just a wheel reinvented. A better one and I would be glad to see some sort of parliamentarism emerging in Westeros after the great war, but still democracy is far from perfect. And a democratic country can run itself into trouble just as effectively, as an authoritarian one.

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      118. RBloodworth:
        As long as we’re guessing episode titles:

        1.)The Long Night
        2.)Lightbringer
        3.)Winterfell
        4.)Family, Duty, Honor
        5.)A Song of Ice and Fire
        6.)A Dream of Spring

        1. The Last Hero, or Winterfell, or The Long Night
        2. The Three Heads of the Dragon, or The One(s) who was (were) Promised, or The Third Dragon, or The Promise, or Promises
        3. Kings of Winter, or The Passage, or The Long Night or There Must Always be a Stark in Winterfell or, Winterfell
        4. God’s Eye, or Azor Ahai, or Lightbringer
        5. The Sword of the Morning, or Kingslayer, or The Red Keep, or Wildfire, or Burn Them All or, The Kiss of Life
        6. A Dream of Spring, or A Song of Ice and Fire, or A Time for Wolves, or Lightbringer, or There must Always Be a Stark in Winterfell

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      119. Inga,

        And the Targs are any better? The same Targs of Fire and Blood? I was surprised at how Jaehaerys was written as a douchebag to his own family.

        The problem with Jon and Daenery’s on the throne and with kids is that we come back to square 1. To Aegon’s dinasty. A dinasty founded on Dragon power which in Martin’s words fell apart as soon as dragons were dead, a mad King ruled and we had a lovestruck prince. That’s not breaking the wheel at all. Westeros would hold it’s breath and hope that Jon and Dany kid or grandkids doesn’t become the next Aerys.

        And Robert may have gone into debt and not true ruling. But under Jon Arryn handship the real was at peace. There is the saying in the books that under Robert’s reign a woman could travel naked unmolested. The political chaos of Robert was started by LF making Lysa poison Jon Arryn and making her write a letter at the Starks pointing towards the Lannisters.

        Robert wasn’t a good king. But his tenure was one of Westeros peaceful periods between wars that have been Westeros chronic since Aegon’s Conquest.

        As for Sansa ruling. We saw in season 7 how she rules. Pragmatic and administrating the resources with the war closing. Being loyal towards Jon and taking a page or two at Jon’s rulership. Such as when Arya was advocating for blood and she stood by Jon’s thinking of we need to band together.

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      120. Wolfish,

        My reply to this got deleted in moderation, which is odd because all I did was quote you.

        summary:

        These complaints about the Targs are not complaints I have heard from Nedd and Robert. Robert’s beef was about a girl and about what happened to the Stark diplomatic delegation… so he said.

        This is what the rebellion was about: a girl and pride. It wasn’t about incest or madness or poor leadership, which are, perhaps, legitimate reasons to depose a king, while pride and a girl are not.

        His only passions being a girl and his pride, it’s no surprise that Robert was a terrible king.

        When Nedd went to fetch Lyanna after the rebellion, I believe his intention was to return her to Robert, who was by then a usurper. If Robert’s obsession is any judge, the wedding was still on.

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      121. Eonwe: The problem with Jon and Daenery’s on the throne and with kids is that we come back to square 1. To Aegon’s dinasty. A dinasty founded on Dragon power which in Martin’s words fell apart as soon as dragons were dead, a mad King ruled and we had a lovestruck prince. That’s not breaking the wheel at all. Westeros would hold it’s breath and hope that Jon and Dany kid or grandkids doesn’t become the next Aerys.

        Those two slept together without knowing who the other was. This is another bad effect of lying to children about their identity. I imagine that Jon will be thinking on all of this as he ponders the effect of Nedd’s lie.

        I’m not so sure that Westerosi make a strong connection between incest and madness. It seems they think of it as taboo, somehow. Their hostility toward Tommen and Cersei might have been complicated by the endless wars and the fact they were starving. The jury is still out on whether they’ll care very much about Jon and Dany’s baby.

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      122. Anon,

        You got it totally wrong.

        Rhaegar eloped with Lyanna being already married and her betrothed. They decide to teld nobody that, that they are gonna annul Rhaegar’s marriage (wanna see what Oberyn thinks) and marry.

        Brandon pissed goes to KL and screams to Rhaegar to come and die. Aerys imprison him and his companions and sent word to their fathers to answer to their sons crimes.

        Father’s come to KL and are imprisoned too and sentenced to die without trials along their sons.

        Rickard demands a trial by combat as it is whitin his rights. Aerys MA kes a mockery of Westeros laws by declaring fire his champion. Rickard is burned alive.

        Brandon is attached to a cord and a device that strangles him if he forces the cord. Aerys put a sword out of reach and tell him to grab it and save his father. Brandon strangles himself trying to reach that sword to save his father.

        So we got a bunch of lords and their sons executed by a tyrant who mocks the laws. Lords from the north, Riverlands and the Vale. The warden of the north and his heir executed. Jon Arryn heir too.

        Aerys demands to lord Arryn to hand his wards. Robert Baratheon (lord of the Stormlands and Aerys cousin) and Eddard Stark (new Warden of the North). What do you think he wanted of them? Who would be next? Benjen? Stannis? Renly?

        Jon Arryn raises his banners to arms instead of handing over the two men under his protection. The Rebelion starts.

        Robert isn’t proclaimed king by the rebels until before the Battle of the Trident after a whole year of war.

        Where is Rhaegar? While this crisis is happening the dude doesn’t care at all.

        So no. The Rebellion wasn’t about a man pissed because his betrothed run with a married man. The Rebellion was the only outcome for Robert and Ned after Aerys showed that he didn’t care about upholding the Crown laws and oaths to its vassals.

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      123. Eonwe,

        It’s true what you say. But what if Jon & Dany introduce a democracy? From what we saw the smallfolk of Westeros and especially King’s Landing is brute and bloodthirsty. Give them power, and they would probably elect Euron or equivalent. The High Sparrow was the best leader they could come up with and he got corrupted by power just like everyone else. So, there’s no setup for some sudden bloom of democracy. I hope that Jon & Dany will have enough wisdom to come up with a more balanced and sustainable political system which will at least replace wars with elections. But once again, it won’t solve all the problems: it will be just a wheel reinvented. And all in all, GOT has never been about systemic change but rather about people and their choices.

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      124. Mango:
        Wolfish,

        1. Particularly in (3) and (4) you nicely captured why the Targ rule is a problem – now and in the future.

        2. This is in addition to other issues likely taking power by violent conquest. A local rebellion is always coming even it if takes 300 hundred years. Sometimes the trigger is some bizarre incident but the truth is that the rebellion was put on the agenda from the very day of the conquest.

        3. I am surprised that in 2019, there are many do not get the inherent instability of violent conquest followed by occupation and delineation of the invading conquering group as superior to the local population.

        Even more appalling is the support that these recently freed people are to be reconquered by the same fookers as before.

        I don’t know. This rebellion doesn’t sound like a grassroots political uprising, to me. I think Robert and Nedd called their banners and their people did what they were told.. mark you, they might have been upset at the killing of Brandon and Stark Sr. The main beef was over Lyanna, and what must be exhausting for the small folk is being asked repeatedly to put their lives on the line over some beef, or the other, between high lords.

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      125. Anon,

        Aegon V was utterly convinced that the Targ incest was behind the madness of it’s house. That’s why he wanted to stop the practice. And he was Aerys father (show) and grandfather (grandson).

        The madness of the Targs started to be visible early with Maegor. And also physically too. Aenys looked at his thirties like he was in his sixties. And before Daenerys there were other Targs whose children were monsters born with draconic traits.

        The line “Everytime a Targ is born the gods toss a coin and the world hold its breath” says it all.

        The Seven Kingdoms were fed up with the Targs after Aerys and Rhaegar. In season 7 the northern lords and Vale knights voiced their opinions. That some lords choose Cersei over Dany tell us how she is viewed.

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      126. Inga,

        I think by the end of this there’ll be no IT anymore and with it the end of Aegon’s doctrine.

        There’s the biggest Chekov Gun waiting to be fired and it’s gonna be fired.

        As for the small folk. Ser Jorah said it in S1. They pray for good harvests and short winters.

        When they starve thanks to their lords is when things get ugly.

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      127. Eonwe,

        Heh… I must have read the details at some point, but forgot. That is hilarious that Aerys chose fire as his champion. The man is positively diabolical.

        Nevertheless, they started some shit that they couldn’t finish with a paranoid, diabolical king. In your timeline, Brandon demands his sister back, no? It probably was a bad idea to threaten the prince with death, especially when his father the king is mad.

        I hope the show clarifies these events in flashbacks. I’m looking forward to it.

        ** didn’t Lyanna or Rhaegar ever correspond by raven with their families during the fighting?

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      128. Anon,

        Nope. Nobody knew anything about Rhaegar and Lyanna. Aerys send ser Gerold Hightower his LC of the Kingsguard to fetch Rhaegar. He appeared in KL before the Battle of the Trident to take control of the Royal Army. This was after a year of open Rebellion.

        Nobody kne anything about Lyanna. Ned only learned of her being in Dorne at the end of the Rebellion. After Rhaegar’s death, after the sack of KL and Aerys death. After lifting the siege of Storm’s End and Mace Tyrell bending the knee and accepting Robert as the new king.

        For more details you have the BD extras of the first season that tell us The Rebellion under the POV of different houses. They’re in YT.

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      129. We should keep in mind that Game of Thrones is set in fantasy medieval-like world.

        It makes no sense to read too much of our current attitudes and sensibilities into the story. And it absolutely makes no sense trying to present ruling feudal aristocratic families as depotic vs. democratic ones.

        That is not based in the in-universe reality. All those families are members of the closely knit group who see themselves as given by Gods to rule Westeros. Saying that Targaryens are despotic while Starks or Baratheons or Lannisters are democratic is absurd. Just imagine the current generation of Lannisters or Baratheons we’ve had in this story having dragons. Frightening, isn’t it?

        I root for Jon and Daenerys because I like them as personalities. They are the best Westeros has at the moment and they would be the best rulers in the end. Because Westeros will have monarchy at the end of this story. I think this is a story about individuals in the given context, not a social scientific study of converting a feudal absolutist monarchy into some sort of utopian democracy within a generation.

        Regarding Targaryen conquest of Westeros – I would compare it to the Norman invasion of England. They transformed a hopelessly divided contry/continent from a bunch of petty, provincial kingdoms into a unified monarchy. They unified laws, improved transport, commerce, opened the country to the rest of the world. That is a big step forward, I would say.

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      130. Milutin,

        This story in it’s own writer word is about power and what a person does with it. Martin disliked that Aragorn was a good king because he was a good guy. He views this as a classical trope of a prosper land under a good king when things aren’t that way. He coined the line “What was Aragorn tax policy like?”

        He has stated many times how dragons give you the ability to destroy but not to built.

        And that’s why I always ask… Why is Daenerys the best ruler for Westeros? What does she have that makes her better than her predecesor? Can we truly believe that she is gonna be a good ruler after the whole debacle of Meereen, Astapor and Yunkai? Her reign was just as chaotic as that of Cersei.

        What makes her so good that she burns thousands (said by D&D) of foot carts in winter when in the same episode she said that her men were starving?

        What makes her so good that she presents the defeated with bend the knee or die? What makes her so good that she choose to burn alive a father and son instead of beheading them? It was the same as Stannis burning Mance. And so unsettling that it horrified Varys (who starts to reminds Aerys days and his responsability) and Tyrion.

        Why every single time Tyrion raises valid concerns she ignores it.

        This is going 59 end very ugly. The good guys are gonna prevail but their victory is gonna be forever tainted by unspeakable acts.

        Remember the Dance of Dragons, The First Blackfyre Rebellion and Robert’s Rebellion.

        In the end something truly bad is gonna happen and let a bad taste on the survivors forever.

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      131. Eonwe,

        And still, I haven’ t seen Martin writing a word about tax policies of any ruler in Planetos. Maybe it will come out in one of the future books, but I very much doubt it.

        Daenerys – I need to be in the position of strength in order to help people. Cersei about the posibility of people in KL becoming wights – For most of them it would be an improvement. I don’t see how you can argue that there is no big difference between them. Just imagine Cersei with a dragon or three.

        When you defeat your enemy in a medieval battle this usually is the choice you give them – submit or die. I don’t see a big difference between being beheaded and consumed by dragonfire. In both cases you are dead instantly.

        Daenerys and Tyrion are pretty much tied in the number of people they killed by burning. Tyrion was very efficient in the battle of Blackwater.

        There will certainly be ugly decisions and dificult choices and questionable actions in Season 8 but I am certain we won’t see Daenerys taking them with a self-satisfied smirk on her face.

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      132. Eonwe,

        Those are all very good points.
        Dany talked about her lofty intention to “break the wheel” of revolving noble houses that crushes regular folks underneath it each time it turns.

        And yet… so far Daenerys Targaryen’s invasion, justified in part on her beliefs that she “was born to rule the Seven Kingdoms” and that she can make the world a better place, has resulted in the deaths of thousands of people.

        Like the friendly conscripted Lannister soldiers Arya met in S7e1, most rank and file soldiers are just homesick boys forced to leave their homes and families to “fight in someone else’s war.” And with the arrival of winter, fighting over and incinerating already-scarce food supplies is going to result in more misery and deaths.

        So how exactly is the “Breaking the Wheel” campaign remedying the problem of folks getting crushed under it when one of the noble families decides they’re entitled to rule and gives the wheel a spin?

        A benevolent ruler should be one who can empathize with the “smallfolk”, instead of declaring himself or herself their savior.

        In my view, there is only one character who has lived among the “smallfolk” as one of them; has witnessed first-hand how they’ve suffered from the atrocities of war; has endured much of what they did; and has seen how the armed and powerful prey on the innocent and defenseless. There is only one character who has seen how everyday people just trying to earn a living and feed their families get swept up in the violence of war, and are robbed, pillaged, tortured, raped, extorted, maimed, abducted, enslaved, left homeless, and murdered by marauders and paramilitary thugs given license by those in power. There is only one character who has seemed genuinely outraged and demands justice when innocent “smallfolk” are victimized.

        That is the kind of person best suited to “break the wheel.”

        We all know who that is…

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      133. Milutin,

        He did. AWOIF. Fire and Blood. Characters speaking of Aerys and Robert as kings.

        Stannis character is constantly a call on those tax policies.

        These pardoned lords would do well to reflect on that. Good men and true will fight for Joffrey, wrongly believing him the true king. A northman might even say the same of Robb Stark. But these lords who flocked to my brother’s banners knew him for a usurper. They turned their backs on their rightful king for no better reason than dreams of power and glory, and I have marked them for what they are. Pardoned them, yes. Forgiven. But not forgotten.

        It is not a question of wanting. The throne is mine, as Robert’s heir. That is law. After me, it must pass to my daughter, unless Selyse should finally give me a son. I am king. Wants do not enter into it. I have a duty to my daughter. To the realm. Even to Robert. He loved me but little, I know, yet he was my brother. The Lannister woman gave him horns and made a motley fool of him. She may have murdered him as well, as she murdered Jon Arryn and Ned Stark. For such crimes there must be justice. Starting with Cersei and her abominations. But only starting. I mean to scour that court clean. As Robert should have done after the Trident.

        I never asked for this crown. Gold is cold and heavy on the head, but so long as I am the king, I have a duty… If I must sacrifice one child to the flames to save a million from the dark… Sacrifice… is never easy, Davos. Or it is no true sacrifice.

        As for Tyrion burning people. There is a key difference between him and Dany. Tyrion’s was horrified after burning Stannis Fleet. Look at Peter face. Only Joffrey and the pyromancer were smiling.

        Look a Tyrion as he watches the Lannister army butchered. Look at his face when Dany sentences the Tarly’s to death. How disturbed he is when speaking with Varys.

        Daenerys lacks empathy for those she burns. She has become totally detached as the series keep going own. D&D said that Daenery’s felt nothing when she burned the Tarlys. It is disturbing.

        OH and being burned by dragon fire doesn’t equal to instant death. Both in the series (Lannisters soldiers) and in the books.

        Everytime Daenerys says dracarys she is basically telling her dragons to burn them all.

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      134. Ten Bears,

        Arya and Aegon V the Unlikely. That’s the tragedy of Aegon V. He tried to make Westeros a better place for the small folk. Only to see his efforts going into nothing thanks to the nobility and his own sons. And it cost him his life.

        It’s no coincidence than when Davos is made hand in the books, Martin tell us that the best Hand was septon Barth. A blacksmith son.

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      135. I dunno, man. If Rhaegar and Lyanna hadn’t been such self-absorbed twats who couldn’t even send a letter saying “Ran away together, lolz. Don’t start a war over it or anything.”, there would have been an awful lot less grief for everyone.

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      136. Eonwe:
        And that’s why I always ask… Why is Daenerys the best ruler for Westeros? What does she have that makes her better than her predecesor? Can we truly believe that she is gonna be a good ruler after the whole debacle of Meereen, Astapor and Yunkai? Her reign was just as chaotic as that of Cersei.

        If we’re going by the show, Dany’s time in Slaver’s Bay successfully brought to an end a centuries-old system of slavery so murderous it makes real world slave states look like Disneyland by comparison and prepared them for some vague form self-government (that the show had no interest in actually setting up properly, but that’s neither here nor there). Obviously it was chaotic — how could it not have been? But the result was maybe the greatest act ever done in the history of Planetos on behalf of ordinary people, and certainly the greatest deed in the series itself.

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      137. We discuss the show so much here and oft we forget the books, anyhow I was skimming through them and realized how far apart the show is from the books, with only two left.
        Ser Barristan, Tyrion are in Mereen under siege.
        Dany’s in the Dothraki Sea
        The Ironborn fleet is closing in on Mereen
        Arya’s in Bravoos with the acting troop, which are about to depart for Westeros
        Sansa in the Vale engaged to Harry (show Ramsey took his story)
        LF in Vale
        Ramsey is undersiege by Stannis
        Theon and the ghost of WF
        FArya and Ramsey
        Asha(Yara) with Stannis
        Jon’s in Ghost
        Mel and Shireen are both at Wall
        Then there’s the Val story line
        Davos was in White Harbor
        Rickon on Skagos
        Manderley Frey pies
        Sam’s at Oldtown with Euron attacking
        There’s JH and Seleras arc there too
        Dornish Arianne going to the Stormlands to meet Jon/fAegon who’s invaded with the GC
        Cersei and the Faith Militant story beginning to unfold
        Jaime and Brienne heading to Lady SH
        Beric is dead, Hound is GD, didn’t GRRM hint his story is over, he’s at peace

        I have a feeling the books are gonna be way different than the show

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      138. Sean C.,

        But we don´t know what is happening currently in Dragon´s Bay. We know that Daenerys defeated with her dragons and dothraki the slavers a second time. What´s stopping them from rising again a third time?

        Is Fabio… I mean Daario the best person for the job? Is he really prepared to lead Dragon´s Bay? What is stopping people to decide to overthrow him?

        It was revealed that the Iron Bank got money from the slave trade. What´s stopping them to lending money to the slavers just as they are doing to Cersei?

        How is peace enforced when Dany took her dragons, unsullied and dothraki to Westeros?

        Has Meereen become the next Disneyland or just like Astapor and Yunkai everything has gone to shit as soon as Dany left?

        Tyjon,

        George Martin showed the middlefinger with Fire and Blood to season 7. And he did that by leaking it as one of the first new events writen for that book.

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      139. Eonwe,

        Those are all good and interesting questions, none of which have been raised on the show or which they’ve shown any interest in. The writers’ message was “Dany fixed everything, now we can leave and never talk about this place again”.

        I expect the book won’t be nearly as tidy (and a good deal bloodier — I expect that Dany will do what she did in Astapor on a much wider scale and basically exterminate the slavers as a class), but the overall point, Dany breaking the slave power forever, will be the same. She is fundamentally reordering Essos’ socio-economic structure in a more just direction.

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      140. Eonwe,

        If she survives, Sansa will be the leader or a part of the leadership.

        I have no idea what GRRM is writing but for me, I hope that at the end of the S8, this the story of Westeros in 3 phases;

        Phase I (The Prequel): Settling by successive groups including war and competition being new immigrants and older group. The population rises to a critical mass. Then tragic event – they conquered by aggressive invaders with superior technology. This is a group of 3 tyrants wielding fire. This violent group does not settle in, interbreed and integrate – they define themselves as a superior ruling class. They join the small warring kingdoms into “Westeros” establishing a dynastic dictatorship over all. After a long period of oppression, a successful local rebellion ends this phase.

        Phase II (GOT): The rebellion is followed by a restless peace and a long, troubled period as the locals struggle to move forward as a single nation. The restless peace is fragile. The rebellion’s main leaders fail to be good rulers. There is an internal struggle for leadership when this fragile peace is shattered by ambitious parties that see a path to power.

        The political arrangements/people that made the rebellion work are not suitable for the peace. A nation is finally moulded when the locals face an external threat. They fight together and win. This phase ends, when a great LOCAL ruling TEAM finally arises to move the nation forward.

        In the post-war, the locals negotiate how they arrange their affairs, how they will self-rule. (The descendants of the former oppressors can join in IF they do not demand that they have a right to rule.) They discuss if they will break up or stay together. They decide to stay together. This new leadership comes in a semi-generational shift from the leaders of the rebellion but will have deep roots/relationships within that original great generation. (The original rebels included strong leaders that will parent and train (deliberately or by example) their children to lead – but these kids will take a new path.) Importantly, none of them has outlandish weapons of mass destruction and the ability to dictate to the others. Having an army consistent with current technology is fine. These locals establish a new political understanding that will set them on the way to a future (in the long term) participatory liberal democracy based on equality and justice.

        The new leader(s) need to have a mixture of cunning ruthlessness as well as just/good hearts to lead a post-war nation. Pragmatic persons of courage, military and/or administrative exposure/experience with a deep grasp of the failures of the human heart are useful. Persons from among the small folk that have risen to leading are useful. Persons that have served and understand that leading is actually a life of service are useful. (I have my favorites but they are several in the story that can serve.) They select one of the wisest on the team to be the first among equals to be top leader and to be supported by advisors.

        Phase III (The sequel) : The new nation flourishes under a new leader/s. Over time they gradually get to a form of a liberal democracy that is culturally appropriate.

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      141. Sean C.,

        In Yunkai slavery went back as soon as Dany left. So no, Dany´s hasn´t broken slavery. Hell in the books she is even letting people sell themselves back into slavery. As for Astapor, well we have the butcher king of said city. Things just resolve themselves in a couple of weeks.

        And because D&D has decided to leave Meereen with Daario in charge that doesn´t mean that everything is resolved. Who says that one of the spin offs can´t be about the aftermath?

        After all the Freys and the Tullys dissapeared after season 3 only to reappear in tthe last 3 seasons. So did Beric and cia.

        Balon was gone (and became a meme) and then he was back. Same with Gendry. Dropped sotrylines doesn´t entirely dissapear.

        As soon as Dany is out of Essos what´s stopping the slavers going back to power? What´s stopping the free cities to bring back slavery?

        The Targs couldn´t stop the Iron Islands to embrace the Old Way. The faith didn´t stop the northeners worshipping the old gods.

        All it took for the faith militant to come back was the chaos and atrocities of the War of the Five Kings.

        So what makes Daenerys a good ruler? After ruling Meereen I don´t see anything that set her apart from other kings and queens. She has been in Westeros one season and we haven´t see what makes her such a great candidate for the IT.

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      142. Eonwe,

        Agreeing to a number of your posts.

        Real reform of a nation and moving to stability is a slow task. Coming in and crushing current institutions may be necessary but it is not sufficient. You cause and leave chaos if you are not there for the patient, careful, long-term work to build a new society.

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      143. QueenofThrones:
        Anon,

        Deserve IMO doesn’t enter in to it.We rarely get what we deserve in life.

        That’s depressing, thanks. Seriously though, Tyrion has had opportunity to lead when he was Hand to Joffrey, I don’t recall him doing much to help the people. IMO, he is the one who needs adult supervision, not Dany; after all, he basically sold former slaves back into slavery after Dany liberated them…that kind of record of ‘success’ is damned hard to match!

        It would be more of the same if he won the game of thrones. I think the show demonstrated how he could make a collossal mess of things. I don’t think the writers want to leave us with a sense of despair.

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      144. Just noticed that two big battles falls in the same weekend. Avengers Endgame (26th) and this Winterfell battle (28th). Arghhh….

        Will this episode gonna have a lower attention because of the Avengers? Both are global phenomenon, but I believe Avengers will win the weekend. Bad timing HBO.
        Fingers crossed.

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      145. Eonwe,

        “And because D&D has decided to leave Meereen with Daario in charge that doesn´t mean that everything is resolved.”

        —–

        (from S6e10)
        Dany: “You will keep the peace while the people choose their own leaders.”
        Daario: “F*ck Meereen. F*ck the people. I’m here for you, not them.”

        Leaving Daario in charge. What could go wrong? 🤔

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      146. Anon,

        Tyrion’s hand was an improvement to Joffrey and Cersei. But he was in a very difficult position. Stannis and his fleet blocked the Blackwater Bay. Renly and the Tyrells the Rose road. And so the city starved. Never less without him KL would have fallen to Stannis before Tywin arrived.

        As for the slaves thing. I find it curious how they made Tyrion make slavery legal when in the books it was Dany.
        Ten Bears,

        Future spin off. Daario’s struggles in Dragon’s Bay.

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      147. To impose or influence change on a people, enough of them are willing to have their lifes/lifestyle upended. If a large segment (60%+) are unwilling then the odds are against. Furthermore you must have enough support from within the ranks of societal peers; political, economic and the media to promote and assist in change. Take America, you had 35-45% wanting self rule and economic improvement, 25-30% stayed loyal and the remainder caught in the middle. Enough of that middle group slowly swung for, as hardship sank in from the the protracted conflict.
        Concerning Westeros, Dany must find ways to facilitate this support, the North is the least populated, and at the bottom economically. She needs Southern support from the factions of peers to convince the people. We can see by the reaction of KL residents they are definitely anti-targ, memories of the mad king and history has not been kind. A promise and means to improve the quality of life in KL will go a long way, which requires gold.
        This will be difficult as the Iron Bank has its roots in freedom from Valyria and the wealth of slavers bay and Cersei makes them happy. If Dany overthrows Cersei the IB won’t be happy, therefore they’ll do anything to keep her in power. Dany needs a promising option for them. Westeros needs to move into a trade and craftsman guild economy similar to ours in the 16th thru 18th century, with a extremely large middle class. Therefore secure trade routes and relationships with cities is a must as well as the impetus to exponentially produce the products necessary for exports and the demand for imports as peoples economic conditions improve. Creating such a system will foster approval from the IB, because they love $$$, otherwise they’ll support the downfall of Dany. In conclusion the IB is the Joker and must be placated by the final victor, otherwise the wheel will keep churning. If the answer is to replace the IB you need an alternative.

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      148. My economic answer for my previous statement is for Westeros to exclusively produce something for trade. What does Dany have, Dragons and their breath. Thereby perhaps Qburn and Gendry will create stainless steel, requiring a forging temperature of 2105 which only dragons can produce.

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      149. Tyjon,

        You raise some good points about the role of the economy and economic institutions in change. The bankers are seen as a source of funds for Stannis and Cersei. However, the economic implications of the political turmoil are not that well developed in GOT. Generally, the business community like stability – continuity of rule works for them. They perhaps would prefer someone from the established families to continue to rule.

        The church can also be important. A few comments have said that Cersei blowing up the Sept would have led to revolution by the people. I am not so sure. Making the queen walk naked is a very political act – many smallfolk would know that a line had been crossed and the political institutions would react vigorously eventually. Civil disobedience by the church is a challenge to the state.

        In the book, you see Brienne and Jaime spend lots of time with the smallfolk. Jaime, in particular. is active in helping to organise communities etc. This helps to get the economy going as people get back to their farms and artisan workshops.

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      150. Eonwe:
        In Yunkai slavery went back as soon as Dany left. So no, Dany´s hasn´t broken slavery. Hell in the books she is even letting people sell themselves back into slavery.,

        Yes, that’s called the obstacles she faces in trying to reform Slaver’s Bay — Dany’s arc in the fifth book is all about dramatizing GRRM’s point that ruling is difficult and anybody trying it will make errors along the way. The show has given us the end of the story, where Dany triumphs and defeats her enemies once and for all.

        As soon as Dany is out of Essos what´s stopping the slavers going back to power? What´s stopping the free cities to bring back slavery?

        That she defeated and ousted the old slave powers.

        I’m not going to argue that the resolution to the Slaver’s Bay story was well-written, because it wasn’t. But the intent of the writers is obvious; the whole thing is tied up in a nice little bow, Dany with a big assist from Tyrion “Abraham Lincoln” Lannister solve the problem.

        The Targs couldn´t stop the Iron Islands to embrace the Old Way. The faith didn´t stop the northeners worshipping the old gods.

        The Targaryens did stop the practice of the Old Way consistently for over a century, and for much of the remaining span, though at times when the Crown was weak it came back. I’m not sure what your Faith example has to do with anything, since the Faith never conquered the North. This is, incidentally, a good example of the benefits of the dragon monarchy, since they brought unprecedented security to Westeros.

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      151. WOW, this discussion really caught fire (pun intended) while I checked out for a few hours, and it’s a great discussion! I’m not sure I can contribute a whole lot after three stiff gin & tonics, but a couple of random thoughts…

        Anon, I agree that Robert was an ineffective king whose “love” for Lyanna was most likely the possessiveness of a spoiled lord who couldn’t take “no” for an answer. And it’s pretty well established that Tywin’s intelligence as Hand was the main factor behind the prosperous periods during Robert’s reign. Echoing Inga, it’s not necessarily that I believe that the Lannisters or Baratheons or Starks were collectively “better” than the Targaryens. But to quote Lord Tarly, that old fucker: “Say what you will about Cersei. But she was born here, and she has spent her entire life in Westeros.” Given the choice, people will choose the despot they know (and who knows them) over the one they don’t.

        On that note, I’m not sure that the Westerosi don’t associate incest with madness and other undesirable traits. There must be some logical reason why it’s taboo in the vast majority of cultures irl, and on Planetos practiced only by the Targaryens.

        Inga, I certainly have no starry-eyed notions about democracy. As a dual citizen of the U.S. and Brazil, I’m thoroughly disillusioned with it at this juncture in history. But I still don’t believe that it’s “just as easy” for a democratic state to veer towards upheaval and despotism as an autocratic one. Simply put, it depends on the democracy. None is perfect (even the best humans are still only human), but there’s a world of difference between, say, New Zealand and Brazil. Ultimately, it tends to boil down to two things: access to education and treatment of women.

        That’s probably all I can manage right now.

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      152. Sean C.,

        Security? The Targs were secure. The other citizens were always at risk of death by dragon fire. Or worse – death by a mad kings’ whims.

        Rule by terror may be efficient but it is tough on the population.

        Much of Daenerys storyline shows that even with unlimited power the complex problems of a society are not easily solved. Solutions arrived that by use of overwhelming force are not often sustainable. Ruling well requires more than power, it requires a bit of wisdom and a real understanding of the society and people.

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      153. Pigeon,

        Had a drink or two with Acme? I love her rants about Rhaegar and Lyanna, and about Ned’s “honor.” Mind you, I loved Ned, but flawless he was not.

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      154. Eonwe: It was revealed that the Iron Bank got money from the slave trade. What´s stopping them to lending money to the slavers just as they are doing to Cersei?

        I was shocked by that exchange in the show, and will be equally shocked if in the books (please, gods, let him finish) the Iron Bank is profiting from the slave trade. It’s so fundamentally against everything Braavos is, I can’t help but think of it as a Dorne-level fuckup on the part of D&D. (I love what they’ve done 95% of the time. Then there’s the 5% I’m reminded of when I’m full of gin.)

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      155. Mango,

        The 80-year period from the ascension of Jaehaerys I to the death of Viserys I was the longest period of general peace in Westerosi history. The population of Westeros increased enormously merely during Jaehaerys’ reign as a result of the peace and prosperity he brought, and he and his queen Alysanne are still revered throughout over 200 years later.

        The Targaryens didn’t “rule by terror” to a greater extent than any monarch does. They certainly weren’t resented and hated by the populace throughout. Aegon the Conqueror himself became well-regarded, though of course not universally so anymore then anyone is, and the likes of Jaehaerys, Viserys, Baelor, both Daerons, Aegon V, etc. had the love of the people.

        The Targaryens aren’t gods, but they were no worse than the monarchies they consolidated, and in many respects they were better.

        Overwhelming force isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, but it’s a prerequisite for most of them. Learning how to apply it is part of Dany’s storyline, as you note.

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      156. Sean C.,

        The average monarch does not have such a large technology gap between them and the subject population. In the period in the story, the average monarch (such as Robert) would in many ways be dependent on the support of his army, the population and/or the support of lords with large armies. The rebellion was only possible because the dragons died.

        I did not read Fire and Blood but I have noted comments that GRRM could have titled it “How the Targs F*8ked Up Westeros”.

        Up to S7, Daenerys seemed to have learned nothing about use of force. She introduced herself to Westeros by burning the head of an old local family. And the food. Thank goodness Jon arrived to drag her north where she can be put to good use against the AOTD.

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      157. Mango,

        From season 7

        Tyrion: If we want to create a new and better world, I’m not sure deceit and mass murder is the best place to start.

        Daenerys: Which war was won without deceit and mass murder?

        T: Yes but fear is all Cersei has. It’s all my father had, and Joffrey… It makes their power brittle because everyone beneath them longs to see them dead.

        D: Aegon Targaryen got quite a long way on fear.

        T: He did. But you once spoke to me about breaking the wheel. Aegon built the wheel. If that is the kind of queen you want to be… How are you different from all the other tyrants that came before you?

        And then Dany roll her eyes like a child being scolded.

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      158. Pigeon:
        If Rhaegar and Lyanna hadn’t been such self-absorbed twats who couldn’t even send a letter saying “Ran away together, lolz. Don’t start a war over it or anything.”, there would have been an awful lot less grief for everyone.

        “And that’s why you always leave a note!” (© Arrested Development) 😉

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      159. Wolfish:
        Pigeon,

        Had a drink or two with Acme? I love her rants about Rhaegar and Lyanna, and about Ned’s “honor.” Mind you, I loved Ned, but flawless he was not.

        Yes I am definitely more of a Ned fan than she is, and I know it isn’t as simplistic with R&L as I see it, but COME ON NOW, to say they should have had a bit of foresight is an understatement. After all, they had presence of mind to annul Rhaegar’s marriage… Hee.

        Speaking of ACME (I think of Wylie Coyote and his ACME products when I see her name!), I can’t remember if she is taking the off season away from here, or just hasn’t posted in ages.

        I always read the comparisons between Arya and Lyanna and thought “Ok, in looks and head strong attitude, but please don’t resemble her in her behaviour of her last year or so!” 😆

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      160. Sean C.,

        We don’t know how it will evolve in season 8. I have always the feeling that we get a scene in season 8 where Dany gets news of the fall of dragons Bay to the hands of the slavers once more. Or that daario is in fact the harpy. And yes she did poorly as leader there, her excuse maybe she was young. But look at the whole drogon killing kids thing. She made a huge mistake there.

        Danys heart is in the right place. But so was her father before he went crazy.

        I still think Dany is not a great leader. What I think she is is a great commander. I don’t see dany sitting in one place. But what I see her do is going from place to place liberating people.

        About slavery. I have to say real life was much much worse. There were horrors you forgot. People needed to kill their own families sometimes to survive because they only took the strong ones. Etc.

        Eonwe,

        A big mistake on the iron bank part. Braavos was build on fled slaves. They are the ones opposing slavery.

        About Martin. How much as I like his writing I find him sometimes petty (is that the right word?). He know how TV shows work and that there is a much shorter time frame for TV shows. He knew things would change on screen. It’s with every story. If he really wanted it to be more like the books he should have sold the rights after finishing the saga.

        Eonwe,

        I think daario left dragons bay a short time after and just let it go its own way. I never trusted him to forfill that task. I think he will show up in season 8 with the news of the fall of dragons Bay.

        imw,

        Avangers winning??? I still can’t believe people call that good writing and a good movie. But people like what they like I guess.

        I can predict that people will forget Avangers in a month or 2. Got battle will be talked about for years or decades to come.

        Adrianacandle: “And that’s why you always leave a note!” (© Arrested Development) 😉

        Lots of arrested development quotes could be directed to got.

        “and that’s why you don’t teach lessons to your son” (tywin tyrion)
        “he’s all right” (Jaime)
        “hurt people hurt” (cersei)

        Let’s make a got parody with arrested development quotes. To who will we give the role of anustart?

        Just with rerun halfway through season 1. Season 5b next week I guess.

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      161. imw:
        Just noticed that two big battles falls in the same weekend. Avengers Endgame (26th) and this Winterfell battle (28th). Arghhh….

        Will this episode gonna have a lower attention because of the Avengers? Both are global phenomenon, but I believe Avengers will win the weekend. Bad timing HBO.
        Fingers crossed.

        Avengers premieres on April 26th. GoT 803 airs April 28th at 9pm on a Sunday night. A lot of people will have seen Endgame already. Plus many will have work/school the next morning, so I don’t think there will be droves of people in the theater late on a Sunday night.

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      162. imw,

        Avengers wasn’t even on my radar. It’s partly because I can’t get into their battles. It all becomes a big blob to me. As Sapochnik said, ” ‘It feels like the only way to really approach it properly is take every sequence and ask yourself: ‘Why would I care to keep watching?’… One thing I found is the less action — the less fighting — you can have in a sequence, the better.'” I just get battle “fatigue” from the marvel movies and I stop caring after awhile, but that’s just me. I’m sure there are a ton of fans out there who think differently.

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      163. Tron79,

        I feel like part of why Marvel fights are so dull is that there’s no stakes. Just hours of the heroes and villains punching each with nary an injury, let alone a death. It’s numbing, weightless.

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      164. Pigeon:
        I dunno, man. If Rhaegar and Lyanna hadn’t been such self-absorbed twats who couldn’t even send a letter saying “Ran away together, lolz. Don’t start a war over it or anything.”, there would have been an awful lot less grief for everyone.

        Ha! Agreed if that’s what happened, but it’s always been in my mind that they did in fact send a raven, either before or right after wedding, especially now that the show is going with “annulled 1st marriage”, but that it was snatched by someone to get the Starks in trouble. Lyanna was headstrong, sure, but still a Stark. And Rhaegar is described as being way too sensitive to ever be that thoughtless.
        By the time they looked up from their honeymoon his father had burned her father alive, her fiance and remaining brothers had started a war…can’t really just show up for family dinner after that.
        I want to blame Littlefinger, but I get that he was younger and not everything is his fault. Still, Ned’s brother did just slice him up and take his girl…

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      165. Mango:
        I did not read Fire and Blood but I have noted comments that GRRM could have titled it “How the Targs F*8ked Up Westeros”.

        Which would not be accurate, since the majority of it is about the Targaryens building Westeros.

        She introduced herself to Westeros by burning the head of an old local family.

        A guy who betrayed his liege lady, one of Dany’s main allies, and who she magnanimously offered the chance to rejoin her beforehand, which is far more than many others in the series (e.g., Sansa) would have done in the same situation.

        Eonwe:
        T: Yes but fear is all Cersei has. It’s all my father had, and Joffrey… It makes their power brittle because everyone beneath them longs to see them dead.

        This is a quite ludicrous statement on Tyrion’s part, since Season 7 actually shows that Cersei’s power is not brittle at all, it’s incredibly resilient at a time when she should basically have no allies or support.

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      166. Sean C.,

        I agree with all your responses but the last one. Cersei only has the support of nobles such as Tarly because she’s the known entity, and they have no idea what to expect of the daughter of the Mad King. Well, some of them now do, and it’s not pretty: As Mango pointed out, only under the Targaryens was there such a phenomenal disparity between the military power of the king/queens and that of the other ruling noble families. If Daenerys wished to present herself as a Westerosi coming home (an odd assertion, given that Dragonstone was always the westernmost stronghold of the Targaryens, and not part of Westeros proper), executing the Tarlys by dragon fire rather than a more conventional method available to all (e.g., beheading) was a dubious way to do so. Going back to my earlier reference to Animal Farm, it was akin to saying, “Look! I’m one of you and I’ve come back! But incidentally—I’m the only person in the world with her own WMD.”

        The common people are another story. The common people hate Cersei’s guts, and given a more palatable option (one who grants them peace and good harvests, to paraphrase Jorah), they’ll take it, known entity or not.

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      167. Tron79: I just get battle “fatigue” from the marvel movies and I stop caring after awhile, but that’s just me. I’m sure there are a ton of fans out there who think differently.

        Maybe not just Marvel. I didn’t make it to the end of Wonder Woman, and I’m one of those masochists who’ll tough it out hoping it gets better. Not to mention, as a 49-year-old woman with firsthand experience of the glass ceiling and quite a few of the fucked-up ways “women’s issues” have been dealt with, I was supposed to be one of those people who gushed over it. Instead, I was underwhelmed by the characterizations and numbed by the action, stellar Tomatometer score be damned. Sue me.

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      168. RG: Ha! Agreed if that’s what happened, but it’s always been in my mind that they did in fact send a raven, either before or right after wedding, especially now that the show is going with “annulled 1st marriage”, but that it was snatched by someone to get the Starks in trouble. Lyanna was headstrong, sure, but still a Stark. And Rhaegar is described as being way too sensitive to ever be that thoughtless.
        By the time they looked up from their honeymoon his father had burned her father alive, her fiance and remaining brothers had started a war…can’t really just show up for family dinner after that.
        I want to blame Littlefinger, but I get that he was younger and not everything is his fault. Still, Ned’s brother did just slice him up and take his girl…

        I’ve often wondered that myself, as it’s just bizarre that there would be zero communication (especially after they were married and no one could try to decipher where they were and attempt to stop it). And LF would be top of my list as well, however it would have to be a pretty late reveal now to discover that. Ah well…😜

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      169. Wolfish,

        The problem with commoners in GOT is that they are not players at all. I’ve been hoping for some sort of revolt in KL or at least some setup for it. But nope: KL smallfalk does nothing but spat on every prisoner paraded through the streets be it Cersei or Elaria and worship anyone who parades them be it High Sparron or Euron. So, it’s all about circuses and bread and give them power, even the Mad King will start looking as a saint. That’s why I’m so sceptical about any social reforms in Westeros.

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      170. Inga,

        Well, the riot in Season 2, and the High Sparrow, kind of show what happens to any sort of attempt to overthrow the nobles by the peasants/commoners…ends with all the commoners involved dead

          Quote  Reply

      171. Sean C.,

        That’s why Dorne and the Tyrells switched to Dany. That’s why Yara too. The north and the Vale have proclaimed their independence. The riverlands are full of Lannister troops to prevent uprising. And Cersei needs to resort to bringing the Golden Company because her troops are all but spent.

        By the season 7 finale Daenerys forces surrounded KL. That’s the reach of Cersei’s power. By the end of season 7 even Jaime has enough and Cersei stands alone.

        Fire and Blood is about how everytime a Targ king does something good his heirs destroy said legacy. From Aegon to Aenys and Maegor to Jaehaerys to Viserys to the Dance to Aegon III.

        The problem with the Targ dinasty it’s the lack of a middle point between greatness and madness. It’s been 300 years of rebuilt and destroy at a large scale.

        And that dichotomy between greatness and madness was exacerbated by the heavy incest practice.

        Wolfish,

        Everyone gets “battle fatigue” there’s a point when enough is enough.

        Pigeon,

        Rhaegar and Lyanna were in their own Disneyland that they didn’t think about the consequences at all. It happened before and later. Robb Stark? Duncan Targaryen?

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      172. Inga,

        Dance of Dragons. The commoners killed 5 or six dragons dealing a crippling blow to the Targs and forcing queen Rhaenyra to flee the city.

        Robert’s Rebellion. After being defeated at Ashford, Robert and his force retreated to Stony Sept. The Royal Army under Jon Connington searched the entire city to capture Robert. But the citizens hide Robert passing him fron cellar to cellar, from houses, taverns, whore houses. Always a step ahead of the Royal forces.

        This gave time for the Rebel cavalry under Eddard and Hoster Tully to arrive and charge the army from the rear. And when that happened the bells of the septs sounded and Robert’s men appeared from their hideouts and charged catching the Royal army on both sides.

        Then we have the brotherhood in the books. It’s success is thanks to the smallfolk’s help.

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      173. Anon: That’s depressing, thanks. Seriously though, Tyrion has had opportunity to lead when he was Hand to Joffrey, I don’t recall him doing much to help the people.IMO, he is the one who needs adult supervision, not Dany; after all, he basically sold former slaves back into slavery after Dany liberated them…that kind of record of ‘success’ is damned hard to match!

        It would be more of the same if he won the game of thrones.I think the show demonstrated how he could make a collossal mess of things.I don’t think the writers want to leave us with a sense of despair.

        I love Dany, she’s my favorite character and I’d be pleased if she survives and rules. I also think she would do a good job. I just don’t think it’s gonna happen. None of my favorites going to rule IMO. Who’s on the iron throne isn’t a popularity contest, or even based on who’s most suitable. It’s based on the narrative arc of the story.

        In my view, the narrative is set for Tyrion to rule at the end. Not because I want him to, or because he’s necessarily most suited, but because that’s his arc.

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      174. Eonwe:
        Pigeon,

        Rhaegar and Lyanna were in their own Disneyland that they didn’t think about the consequences at all. It happened before and later. Robb Stark? Duncan Targaryen?

        Yes, hence the self-absorbed twattery. I suppose some could point to Lyanna’s youth, although she never seemed naive in her descriptions, but Rhaegar certainly knew better. Especially during a long period of time, it wasn’t a weekend fling, you know?

        I always thought Robb was an idiot for doing what he did, and although I don’t reason that he deserved to die, this is Game of Thrones and he broke his promise. Bringing your wife to a wedding of the family you had essentially snubbed (the Freys none the less!)…not too bright.

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      175. Inga:
        Jack Bauer 24,

        “….I only wonder how they are going to pull 82 min. of the battle, if they move all the preparations to Ep 2? In Helm’s Deep preparations took nearly half of the time. But I have trust in D&D and Miguel Sapochnik.

        _______
        From Sapochnik’s quotes, I think he realizes that an hour of wall-to-wall non-stop fighting would get boring.

        The best GoT battle episodes always contain (what Thronetender) called “high thread-count” character interactions, and witty dialogue.

        For example, in “Blackwater” (S2e9), amidst all the carnage, there were many such scenes. Here’s a sampling of my favorites…

        (On the battlements: Joffrey, Tyrion, Sandor, Lancel, and Pyromancer Hallyne)

        Joffrey: “Where’s our fleet?”
        Tyrion: “On the way.”
        Joffrey: “Why isn’t it here now?”
        Tyrion: “They’re coming.”
        Joffrey: “Hound, tell the Hand that his king has asked him a question.”
        Sandor: “The king has asked you a question.”
        Tyrion: “Ser Lancel, tell the Hound to tell the king that the Hand is extremely busy.”
        Lancel: “The Hand of the King would like me to tell you to tell the king…
        Joffrey: “If I tell the Hound to cut you in half, he’ll do it without a second thought.”
        Tyrion: “That would make me the quarterman. It just doesn’t have the same ring to it. Cut me in half and I won’t be able to give the signal. No signal, no plan.
        No plan and Stannis Baratheon sacks this city, takes the Iron Throne, puts your pinched little head atop a gate somewhere. It might be quite amusing, except that my head would be up there too. I’ve never much liked my head, but I don’t want to see it removed just yet.”

        ______________
        (Blackwater fires rage; Sandor comes back from battle)
        Sandor: “Someone bring me a drink…F*ck the water. Bring me wine.”
        Tyrion: “Can I get you some iced milk and a nice bowl of raspberries, too?”
        Sandor: “Eat sh*t, dwarf.”
        Tyrion: “You’re on the wrong side of the wall.”
        Sandor: “I lost half my men. The Blackwater’s on fire.”
        Joffrey: “Dog, I command you to go back out there and fight.”
        Tyrion: “You’re Kingsguard, Clegane.
        You must beat them back or they’re going to take this city. Your king’s city.”
        Sandor: “F*ck the Kingsguard. F*ck the city. F*ck the king.”
        __________
        (Sansa runs to her room; turns to find Sandor there)
        Sansa: “What are you doing here?”
        Sandor: “Not here for long. – I’m going.”
        Sansa: “Where?”
        Sandor: “Someplace that isn’t burning.
        North, might be. Could be.”
        Sansa: “What about the king?”
        Sandor: “He can die just fine on his own.
        I can take you with me. Take you to Winterfell. I’ll keep you safe. Do you want to go home?”
        Sansa: “I’ll be safe here. Stannis won’t hurt me.”
        Sandor: “Look at me. Stannis is a killer.
        The Lannisters are killers. Your father was a killer. Your brother is a killer. Your sons will be killers someday. The world is built by killers. So you’d better get used to looking at them.”
        Sansa: “You won’t hurt me.”
        Sandor: “No, little bird, I won’t hurt you.”
        __________________
        (Tyrion takes charge after Joffrey chickens out)
        Tyrion: “I’ll lead the attack. I’ll lead the attack!
        ***
        Pod, my helmet. Ser Mandon, you will bear the king’s banner. Men, form up.
        Men, Men! They say I’m half a man.
        But what does that make the lot of you? The only way out is through the gates. And they’re at the gates. There’s another way out. I’m going to show you. We’ll come out behind them and f*ck them in their arses.
        Don’t fight for your king and don’t fight for his kingdoms. Don’t fight for honor, don’t fight for glory, don’t fight for riches, because you won’t get any. This is your city Stannis means to sack. That’s your gate he’s ramming. If he gets in, it will be your houses he burns, your gold he steals, your women he will rape. Those are brave men knocking at our door.
        Let’s go kill them!”

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      176. Eonwe,

        It’s all true, but it’s all books, not the show. In the show the smallfolk of King’s Landing is basicly human garbage. Gendry was the only one normal there and he was evacuated. I hoped to see him having some frieds and/or leading an urban equivalent of the BwB which could have worked as a setup for some future revolt but nope. And it’s king of underwhelming, because I believe in vox populi despite of my scepticism about democracy vs feudalism and I would love to see Cersei’s problem resolved by a public revolt in King’s Landing. I just don’t see any setup for that.

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      177. QueenofThrones,

        I agree on Tyrion. If he survives he will be the leader or one of the leaders.

        I said the same about Sansa earlier and I still stand by that.

        The ending core leadership will come from among – Tyrion, Jaime, Sansa and Brienne (tied to Jaime). All four are heroes in this story along with others (Davos, Arya, Bran (???)). I think Deaneryrs and Jon are major heroes in the story as well.

        My clear preference for king is Jaime. Despite wide expectations/reports for his demise, I am happy to be the nutjob that firmly believes that Jaime will be King. If they both survive, it could either be Tyrion or Jaime but I think Jaime will take it. He has an amazing arc and there are a few lines that GRRM has written for him that makes it fairly clear to me.

        Of course, I could be mistaken. That is fine, I have been wrong many many times before and lived to laugh about it!!

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      178. Pigeon,
        Yes, it did look like bad manners when he took the wife for whom he dumped the bride. Talk about making you feel like the second choice on your wedding day.

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      179. QueenofThrones,

        I disagree regarding Tyrion’s arch.

        First of all, he never had a real “learning to rule” arch: he was just given power and shown to be good at ruling. He never made mistakes, he never faced contraversial decisions. The biggest contravesy he had was staying in KL vs fleeing with Shae but that was about his priorities. Moreover, he stayed because he simply loved the game, not because he wanted or expectet to make the world a better place. His motivations were purely selfish and there was no self-sacrifice involved.

        Secondly, after Tyrion fled KL and joined Dany’s team he kind of started to pursue higher goals. However, this shift from loving the game for the sake of the game to wanting to make the world a better place was barely noticeable. There was no thinking, no internat conflict, no atonement. So, there’s a possibility that all what Tyrion is doing is still for the sake of the game and that that there are no hiher goals behind that. The very least, there’s still no clarity how Tyrion would act, if his love of the game comes into conflict with higher goals: will he sacrifice that or will his sefishness prevail? It may become a big issue next season: Dany is clearly choosing Jon not only as her lover/husband but aslo as her closest advisor and controller of her worst impulses, Tyrion is being sidelined, so what’s next – will he step aside? It might be too hard for him. And that may lead him into trouble (and a big one).

        Thirdly, in relationship to Dany and Jon, Tyrion plays a role of a mentor. However, those two have grown and started making decisions of their own. So, the mentor becomes excessive. Moreover, Tyrion’s advises went from bad to worse last leason and there’s no more feeling that Tyrion could make a good ruler: he proved to be just as flawed as everyone else. Therefore, for me it looks like Tyrion is doomed to die: probably, heroicly and/or doing something ugly to save the world. But his demise looks inevitable.

        And I don’t buy into this Tyrion (or Sansa) will become a regent to Jon’s and Dany’s child: even if Dany get’s pregnat, there’s no way her pregnacy can come to term till the end of the show: the endgame events will evolve very quickly in a span of two-three months (show!Westeros is rather small), and leaving a baby on the throne would be a very bad ending.

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      180. A Daenerys baby implies a timeline of nine months in 6 episodes. And the footage of Daenerys so far doesn’t point that way.

          Quote  Reply

      181. Ten Bears,

        I haven’t forgotten that and I expect to have equally good dialiog in Ep 803. But still 82 min is quite a lot of screentime. Can’t wait to see how it will play.

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      182. Eonwe,

        Maybe she will give birth to a shadow baby. Jon died. Dany is somehow kept alive (probably by the lord of light because she can’t burn). Maybe she is somehow death at the end of season 1 like jon.

          Quote  Reply

      183. As for Tyrion. As I´m a fan of Martin´s “THREE” I´m expecting an upcoming third trial. And this time he will be justly accused of something he did.

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      184. Chilli:
        Ten Bears,

        Very good dialogues in that episode! Hope we’ll see that again.

        ______
        • I hope witty Tyrion returns in S8. I’d forgotten how I laughed when Joffrey threatened, “If I tell the Hound to cut you in half, he’ll do it without a second thought”, and Tyrion replied: “That would make me the quarterman. It just doesn’t have the same ring to it.” 😆

        • And I can’t help but love the Hound’s incisive responses, like “Eat sh*t, dwarf,” as well as his tender reply to Sansa, “No, little bird, I won’t hurt you.”

        • Oh. and one other thing that occurred to me on rewatch: Sansa declined Sandor’s offer to take her home, banking instead on a Stannis victory:

        Sandor: I can take you with me. Take you to Winterfell. I’ll keep you safe. Do you want to go home?”
        Sansa: “I’ll be safe here. Stannis won’t hurt me.”

        One would think that she’d have second thoughts in S5 when LF left her with the Boltons, gambling her safety on a Stannis victory.

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      185. Inga,

        “….and I would love to see Cersei’s problem resolved by a public revolt in King’s Landing. I just don’t see any setup for that.”

        ________
        Ummm… A million starving people without food because Cersei bought 20,000 mercenaries instead of importing food? Starving residents caused the public revolt in KL in S2. And that was before Daenerys Einstein Targaryen burned the thousand-wagon harvest from the Reach; before the onset of winter; and before the possible siege of KL if Ol’ Blue Eyes heads south with his posse.

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      186. Inga,

        I disagree regarding Tyrion’s arch.
        First of all, he never had a real “learning to rule” arch: he was just given power and shown to be good at ruling…”

        __________
        Oh god, please don’t hate me. I think Stannis the One True Grammarian would tell us that “arc,” not “arch,” is the correct term.

        I’ll look it up to make sure. My apologies in advance if I’m wrong.

          Quote  Reply

      187. Eonwe:
        A Daenerys baby implies a timeline of nine months in 6 episodes. And the footage of Daenerys so far doesn’t point that way.

        _____
        Semi-Off Topic:
        • It’s interesting you mentioned that, because now that LF’s jetpack technology presumably died with him, I was wondering how long it would take for the boat ride from KL to White Harbor, and overland from there to WF.

        I’m not a book reader (yet) and don’t know the fictional geography. I just remember in S7e4 when Arya showed up at WF asking for Jon, the guard told her he was “a thousand miles away” [on Dragonstone]. Realistically, how many weeks or months would it take the Dany & Jon entourage to reach WF?

        • Also… I got to thinking about the criticism of the time frame in “Beyond the Wall”, i.e., an S.O.S. raven from Eastwatch to Dany @ Dragonstone, and Dany’s flight north to rescue the Snow Patrol.

        So I looked it up. Though the flight speeds vary somewhat depending on the source, a peregrine falcon can fly up to 200 miles per hour; “homing racing pigeons” can fly up to 700 miles a day non-stop, at speeds of about 100 mph; the golden eagle’s flight speed is between 80 mph and 200 mph. Several species with long wing spans can generate enough power to exceed the 100 mph threshold, and even faster when diving.

        So I figure if we attribute these kinds of flight speeds to GoT’s fictional ravens, and the fastest flight speeds to the oversized avian-like dragons, perhaps the Eastwatch-Dragonstone-Eastwatch round trip in less than twelve hours wasn’t out of the realm of scientific plausibility.

        (Yeah, I know, I’m getting lost in GoT minutiae.)

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      188. Inga:
        Ten Bears,

        Thank you and sorry, English is my third language and my Spellcheck is not working. But you get what I mean:)

        ____
        I know English isn’t your primary language. Lots of English speakers mix up “arc” and “arch”, which misleads people learning English.

        But hey..I didn’t know about the improper use of “less” rather than “fewer” until I watched King Stannis correct Davos in S2 or S3, and then later correct the NW brother in S5. (Of course, the showrunners had their fun with this by having Davos correct Jon in S7).

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      189. Ten Bears,

        According to Jon, the Dothraki are supposed to arrive to Winterfell in within a fortnight. The trip by boat should take about the same time, as Jon was planning to join the Dothraki on the King’s Road. Therefore, whatever is supposed to happen after the battle of Winterfell will happen rather fast: whoever wins will be in KL within a month or so.

          Quote  Reply

      190. Inga,

        Thanks! So, the trip north will take two weeks (a fortnight). I assume news of the breach of the Wall will reach WF sometime after that, because

        neither Sansa nor Arya seemed overly concerned about the AotD in the few glimpses we saw in the teasers (i.e., Sansa welcoming Dany to WF, and Arya gazing up in awe at the dragons).

          Quote  Reply

      191. I’m not sure, but wasn’t said in Ep. 1, Robert & Co were on the road about 3 weeks from KL to WF?
        Or was it Robert & Ned, that made the road down to KL in 3 weeks, but the baggage with Cercei & royal household would travel 2 months?

          Quote  Reply

      192. Concerning time line, rumors are of two big time jumps; between ep3 and 4 then ep5 and 6.

        I’ve figured out book ASoIsF, Rhaegar is actually Dany’s father. He fathered the three saviors of Westeros from the three threats. GRRM is using the three things he views as corrupting influences for these threats. Jonjr/Aegon1 will in the books destroy the resurgent faith militant, using the GC and alliance with Dorne, remember the Dornish love vices, and are a natural enemy to and of the FM viewpoints. GRRM despises organized religion and its corruption.
        JonST/Aegon2 will stop the technological threat, The Others. When I read the books they came across as similar to the AI humanoids at the end of Stevies AI, their language akin to computers 1’s and 0’s. They are ultimate artificial creation using magic. GRRM views technology as a threat if not contained.
        Dany will destroy the economic threat, the Iron Bank, the hub of the wheel, after all the IB decides behind the scenes what makes the most $$ for them. Dany will come to realize she can’t bring down slavery as long as the IB is in charge of the world’s economy. Therefore she’s going to use the Dothraki and especially her dragons to destroy Bravos, the IB and Temple of BW (assassins for the IB). GRRM sees unbridled capitalism and banks controlling governments as an inhibitor to the happiness and welfare of the masses.

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      193. Inga,

        I’m skeptical as well, hence my comment paraphrasing Jorah: They’ll take whoever grants them peace and good harvests for some modicum of time.

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      194. cos alpha,

        Well, it makes sense that the royal caravan travelled longer: I assume they made stops at other castles and towns, had longer rest, etc. It’s different than the Dothraki horde riding hard.

        Ten Bears,

        It’s true that in the trailer the Stark sisters don’t seem overly concerned by the AotD but maybe that’s because they haven’t seen it and don’t realise the full extent of the threat. It would be a stupid decision, if Bran doesn’t inform them about the breach of the Wall immediately. And IMO the showrunners tend to overplay the fear of the commonners: dragons should be met in Winterfell the same way as NATO jets in Eastern Europe – it should be all YES!!! But well, maybe Bran has decided not to break panic and wait till Jon & Dany arrives, if he knows that they’ll make it in time.

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      195. Ten Bears,

        ::: looks up from usual lurking behavior :::

        The Guardian has an interesting article on this very question, relating to the average airspeed velocity of a (European) unladen swallow… I mean raven.

        Dated 30 August 2017, if I recall correctly.

          Quote  Reply

      196. Mango,

        After three hundred years of living in Westeros, with their original home country a burning, curse ruin they can never return to, is there still a distinction between the Starks, Lannisters, Tyrells etc. and the Targs? Are they not also “locals” by now? That would be like saying most Americans aren’t locals in their own country. Besides, aside from the northern houses, who have the blood of the first men, aren’t most of the humans in Westeros invaders/outsiders as they descended from the Andals? I find it an odd distinction to make, that after 300 years, the Targaryens are still considered outsiders. I would consider the first Westerosi-born generation of Targaryens “locals”.

        I don’t really want the story to end with a Targ resurrection – and I doubt it will – but the seven kingdoms as a nation was formed by them – I would hardly consider them outsiders to it. The locals, as you put it, would have more symbolic rights to power if the kingdoms split again. If there is still going to be a “7 Kingdoms” when all is said and done, I feel a Targ should be involved in its leadership somehow.

        300 years is an awfully long time. It is longer than the USA has been an independent country. Can you imagine the states of the USA breaking free with their original locals at the leadership helm?

          Quote  Reply

      197. Inga,

        “Well, it makes sense that the royal caravan travelled longer: I assume they made stops at other castles and towns, had longer rest, etc. It’s different than the Dothraki horde riding hard.”

        That’s, what I meant. Robert and Ned traveled with small entourage, without the royal caravan, to be much faster on the way (3 weeks), Cercei & co followed leisurely after (2 months).
        Somewhere it was said, it takes 1000 miles from KL to WF.

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      198. Anon: “I don’t know. This rebellion doesn’t sound like a grassroots political uprising, to me. I think Robert and Ned called their banners and their people did what they were told…
        ***
        …what must be exhausting for the small folk is being asked repeatedly to put their lives on the line over some beef, or the other, between high lords.”

        _____
        Right. That gets lost in all the talk about building “dynasties,” breaking the wheel,” “making the world a better place,” and other platitudes.

        When a lord “calls the banners” or a monarch launches a war, it’s young men and boys with no axe to grind who are conscripted into armies to do the actual fighting and dying.

        Like the friendly Lannister soldier (in S7e1) told Arya when she asked why he hoped his first child was a girl: ““Boys just go off to fight in someone else’s wars.”*

        * (In my view, Arya’s exchange with the homesick soldiers comes closer to capturing the spirit of the books” “The Broken Man” speech than Brother Ray’s speech in S6e7, “The Broken Man.”)

        And then there are “strategists” like Tywin who orders his thugs to “burn the villages, burn the farms” to send a message not to mess with the Lannisters; and repeated scenes of peaceful villagers being robbed and slaughtered by paramilitary goons and lawless gangs.

        Whether they’re farmers, fishermen, or merchants, “smallfolk” are just like most human beings – they just want to be with their families and earn an honest living, and don’t care much about lords’ personal grievances and feuds.

        As I understand it, the books go into more detail about the suffering of the population at large when wars break out. From the show, I get the sense that the people aren’t enthusiastic about regime change or evolving political theory. They just want to be able to go about their business without getting killed for no good reason.

        As the mortally wounded farmer told Arya and Sandor (S4e7): “Always held to the notion of fair exchange in all my dealings. You give me, I give you. Fair. A balance. No balance anymore.”

        They don’t care much who’s in charge as long as they’re safe. As Rabbit Stew Sally’s father explained to Arya and Sandor (S4e3) “Things were different when Hoster Tully ruled the Riverlands. We had good years and bad years, same as anyone. But we were safe. Now with the Freys, raiders come plundering, steal our food, steal our silver. I was going to send Sally north to stay with my brother, but the north’s no better. The whole country’s gone sour.”

        Sorry to be so long-winded. I was just agreeing with your point that a “grassroots political uprising” is a rarity, and that even when a tyrant rules the country most people are understandably reluctant to embrace some self-proclaimed savior who wants to launch an invasion to “liberate” them or “improve” their lives, or willingly rally behind lords who start wars to redress nobles’ interfamily transgressions.

        That’s not to say that when things get so bad that they reach a tipping point, and starving, desperate people have no choice but to revolt. Yet, despite the Mad King’s worsening homicidal tendencies; Robert’s disappointed romantic expectations; or even Cersei blowing up the corrupt(ed) High Sparrow and his rabid forehead-carving zealots (along with a bunch of other spectators), there did not appear to be some spontaneous uprisings of the citizenry to overthrow the old (or new) rulers. People just got dragged into “fighting someone else’s war”, or terrorized, starved and killed by one faction or another.

        Just like in the real world.

          Quote  Reply

      199. LL of Darkwater:
        Ten Bears,

        ::: looks up from usual lurking behavior :::

        The Guardian has an interesting article on this very question, relating to the average airspeed velocity of a (European) unladen swallow… I mean raven.

        Dated 30 August 2017, if I recall correctly.

        _____
        I’ll look for it. Thanks.
        Did the article compare the impact of the weight of a scroll vs. the weight of a coconut on avian airspeeds?

          Quote  Reply

      200. Che,

        1) Let me give the simplest answer as I have heavy work today:

        Did you hear about the American rebellion? Do you know why Queen Elizabeth is not the ruler of the USA? Do you know what she is not even a citizen here even though the British kings/governors and their armies once owned/ruled the entire country?

        Well, let me tell/remind you. There was a war of independence (you know, just like Robert’s rebellion!) that threw out the British king-rulers (you know, like the Targs). So even though the British kings ruled America for hundreds of years, they are not citizens of the new nation. Yes, Brits and others can come as immigrants and become citizens – when they come in peace. But if they arrive and think they have a right to rule then, it is fuck off, ain’t?

        2) I give that simple answer with apologies to the Native American people. For a more complex answer, I would have to explain the difference between: (i) colonies of settlement; (ii) colonies of conquest; (iii) colonies of trade.

        But that is for another note. When nations/countries are conquered, it takes different forms with different population results. Quick examples: For the British, America was a colony of settlement in that one population basically replaced another (like the Andals and the first men, children of the forest). For the British, India was a colony of trade (and conquest), so the Indian population was not replaced (like the Targs and Westeros).

        3) I wrote a long answer to you about the same issue before you did not respond. I mentioned the British in India, the French in Vietnam and the whites in South Africa. Generally, when a conquering group violently invades and defines itself as a racial superior class of rulers – it does not usually end with them as citizens. It is unstable and even after hundreds of years it usually ends in a rebellion. I will look for this old post and try to improve its clarity because I do not want to keep rehashing a college class in world history.

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      201. Well, it looks like my walking and thinking and $******* my guts out will take much longer the night before this battle…

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      202. Che,

        The Targs did not consider themselves integrated locals even after 300 years. They tried to keep their blood pure…and tried avoid intermarriage unless they has no choices. Scorn for the locals. Deanyers does not consider herself a normal local – she thinks she has a right to rule.

        Some-one (Maybe Inga?) yesterday mentioned the Normans. I think (?) the Normans intermarried the locals and were completely absorbed into the original English. The Normans actually disappeared as a separate group in England.

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      203. Inga,

        “…It’s true that in the trailer the Stark sisters don’t seem overly concerned by the AotD but maybe that’s because they haven’t seen it and don’t realise the full extent of the threat. It would be a stupid decision, if Bran doesn’t inform them about the breach of the Wall immediately.”
        ___________
        Good point. Maybe Bran’s too preoccupied with perving into other characters’ carnal couplings. However, he did use his avian drone fleet to track AotD’s movements towards Eastwatch and sent a reconnaissance report to Jon in S7e5. It wouldn’t make sense that Bran didn’t continue to monitor the AotD and “see” the breach of the Wall.

        Unless… GoT is avoiding the suspense-killing device of an all-knowing, all-seeing omniscient superbeing by limiting Bran’s powers:

        (a) Bran has already explained that his visions are fragmentary and he’s still got to upgrade his software; and

        (b) As the old 3ER repeatedly warned him, Bran can only go “sightseeing” for brief periods, or else he can get stuck where and when he’s visiting.

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      204. Mango,
        Che,

        Che, you are right, but so is Mango. It’s true that according to GRRM everyone is an invader. But there’s also a broader ius soli vs ius sangvini and many nations are still follow ius sangvini. And the Targs have been neglecting ius sangvini mostly; so there is a reason to take them as foreigners in Westeros. On the other hand, it’s also true that medieval societies often preferred foreign rulers/dynasties rather than potential local claimants, cause the rulers had to be special. So, it’s all very complicated and the show hasn’t really addressed, what exactly people of Westeros think of the Targarians. The best guess that most of them don’t care and that they have allegiance to their local lords. In other words, the seven kingdoms has not formed as a nation yet. Presumably, this will happen during the great war and the process will/is being led by Jon-Aegon Targarian, who’s a Targ brough up like the most local descendent of the first men. Dany will also play a role by fighting for Westeros and presumably sacrificing her personal ambitions for the good of the country. So, all in all the natoin of Westeros will be based on the Targarian legacy, it’s just that it hasn’t happened yet.

        BTW, it feels like we need more GOT related news, although I love this discussion.

        And one more off topic: does anyone here plans to watch “Chernobyl” miniseries by HBO? As far as I understand they are going to run in parallel with GOT.

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      205. Mango,

        Those are weird choices for parallels rather than the blatantly obvious medieval inspiration for the Targaryens, the Norman conquest of England. Hence, “Aegon the Conqueror”. The Targaryens are akin to the Anglo-Norman nobility post-Conquest.

        The Targaryens did intermarry with the rest of Westeros, as well. Dany’s ancestors include House Arryn, House Martell, House Dayne and House Blackwood.

        The Targaryens at this point are thoroughly Westerosi. There is no non-Westerosi home country that they serve and orient Westeros’ interests around.

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      206. Sean C.,

        This is how Deanerys introduces herself:

        “I am Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, of the blood of Old Valyria. Valyrian is my mother tongue.”.

        She does not say “I am Westerosi and the common Westerosi is my mother tongue” does she?

        Let us put this down to a disagreement and move on. If you do not understand why the French were not citizens of Vietnam etc. After the rebellion in the US, the British rulering class (many of whom lived here forever!) either moved to Canada or returned to England. The regular folk stayed on and locals. Let us let it-I am not able to explain it to you.

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      207. Inga,
        I wrote a very wordy post about jus soli vs jus sanguiini (by blood vs by birth) and how it work in various countries but I do not think anyone read it due to its ridiculous length.

        Europe is very by blood. The Americas (north and south0 are very by birth.

        I assume that generally, Westeros is very by blood – the minute you hear ”’son of”….used repeatedly to explain your identity that is a tip-off. This is one of the many reasons why bastardy is such a problem. This is just my speculation about Westeros at the time of the story.

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      208. Mango,

        That’s an invocation of heritage. Certainly the Targaryens’ origins are Essosi, as are all Westerosi, albeit much more distantly — the Dornish still make much of their Rhoynar ancestry, also from Essos.

        The comparison between the France and Vietnam falters because in this scenario there is no France. The Targaryens have regarded Westeros as their home for 300 years; there’s nowhere to go back to.

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      209. Inga,

        Earlier on the the discussion, On March 16 at 9;26, I wrote a long boring post on three phases for Westeros.

        I wrote similar ideas as you have here on why the war will finally result in moulding Westeros into a nation under a new leadership team.

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      210. Sean C.,

        It would be great for the Targs to settle down in Westeros. Immigrants are very welcome when they come in peace.

        I think Daenerys would make an excellent citizen if she gave up her claim to rule. The dragons are a bit of a problem – in most countries, citizens cannot just keep a nuclear bomb at home. However, if they were able to work out a mechanism where the dragon can only be deployed for the DEFENCE of all of Westeros from others (Looking at you AOTD, Essos, Bravos etc) under a decision made by a council (not be Deanerys by herself) that may work. I have no idea how it would be done however.

        Yes, if they have nowhere to go, then they must stay BUT under new arrangements. There is always the worry that the old ruling group will try to continue to dominate. This was the challenge to Nelson Mandela when the blacks of South Africa were finally able to get free of their white conquerers. I agreed with his decision to welcome everyone into the new nation but it is a very very very difficult path. It will take generations to work.

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      211. Cant believe someone compared the thrones battle to avengers, Thrones is a documentary on brexit and avengers the guys in capes always win

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      212. Ten Bears,

        Im wondering how long the nk took to get vyserion out of the water, and breaching the wall. Did he wait 2 weeks before tearing down the wall. And why would he wait. We know Jon and Co went to kl. Stay a short time less than a day and after that it should be 14 days till wf.

        For the boat trip I will go with 50 km per hour with a distance of ca 2500km.that is 2 days ca. Meaning that from beyond the wall to reaching kl there is ca 15 a 16 days.

        Im wondering if he took down the wall in that time. Probably did. And we can assume he will take a while before reaching winterfell. Probably the nk will destroy castle back first.

        King in the North East,

        I will do.

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      213. Mango,

        This is a weird rubric to be applying to the Targaryens. Westerosi government is autocratic. Their rule is based on exactly the same principles whereby the Starks rule Winterfell — indeed, in the show the Starks reclaimed overlordship of the North with forces that were almost entirely either Wildlings or Valemen. They aren’t there because of the support of the local population, and indeed, were mostly told to buzz off when they tried to enlist their supposed people. Yet nobody is calling for the Starks to give up the crown.

        And again, the history of Westeros belies any notion that the Targaryens were not integrated and lacked domestic support. There are multiple occasions, especially immediately after the Dance of the Dragons, where it would have been very easy for the lords to get rid of the remaining Targaryen children if they had wanted to. But they chose Aegon III as king.

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      214. Mango,

        Yes, it’s funny how Dany claims that Valyrian is her mother’s tongue and at the same time is unable to translate Melisandre’s prophesy in a proper way. Or should I say that it’s tragic? One way or another Dany is a rather typical displaced person who struggles to find home. Let’s hope she succeeds.

        BTW I red your post and I mostly agree with what you wrote.

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      215. Inga,

        Yes Valyrian is her mother tongue, but it’s not the language she spoke the last years. I guess she spoke Valyrian with her brother Viserys. I guess The Targaryens in Westeros also spoke the common tongue when speaking with most people.

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      216. Mango:
        Che,

        3)I wrote a long answer to you about the same issue before you did not respond. I mentioned the British in India, the French in Vietnam and the whites in South Africa. Generally, when a conquering group violently invades and defines itself as a racial superior class of rulers – it does not usually end with them as citizens. It is unstable and even after hundreds of years it usually ends in a rebellion. I will look for this old post and try to improve its clarity because I do not want to keep rehashing a college class in world history.

        Firstly, I’m sorry if I missed a post and didn’t reply. Was that on this thread? I haven’t been involved in this discussion till now and if it was on another article, then I must have missed it, so apologies.

        Did you hear about the American rebellion? Do you know why Queen Elizabeth is not the ruler of the USA? Do you know what she is not even a citizen here even though the British kings/governors and their armies once owned/ruled the entire country?

        Well, let me tell/remind you. There was a war of independence (you know, just like Robert’s rebellion!) that threw out the British king-rulers (you know, like the Targs). So even though the British kings ruled America for hundreds of years, they are not citizens of the new nation. Yes, Brits and others can come as immigrants and become citizens – when they come in peace. But if they arrive and think they have a right to rule then, it is fuck off, ain’t?

        I’m not sure whether you are being sarcastic or whether you genuinely think I am the type of person who is entirely ignorant to major historical events (especially ones pertaining to my own country’s history) – I hope it’s the former. My reference to the formation of the USA was not to draw parallels between the two respective rebellions (as they are so different, any comparison between them would be pointless), it was to make the assessment that after such a long period of time, the idea of the Targs still being considered outsiders, is not realistic. It would be like all Americans of non-native American descent being viewed as outsiders and invaders. The British issue is largely irrelevant. The majority of people living in America emigrated there – and initially, a lot of those who made that journey did not do so peacefully as seen from the perspective of the native population of the USA. Are modern-day Americans, who are descendants of those who invaded rather than settled, outsiders in their own country? As I said though, it is not an easy comparison to make to the situation with the Targs and Westeros. My purpose for bringing it up was to reference the elapsed time and how absurd (in my view) it is to suggest that the Targaryens are not locals in Westeros.

        You mention that the Targaryens are still seen as outsiders and invaders because they tried to keep their blood line ‘pure’ and viewed themselves as superior? Yet littered throughout our history, you will find ruling families who considered themselves superior by blood to those they ruled and who inbred within their own families, as well as with other ruling families who they had also inbred with previously (so in essence, were all of the same blood anyway). As mentioned by Sean C, they also did intermarry with other Westerosi ruling families and by the time we get to Dany she has the blood of the Daynes, the Blackwoods, the Martells, and the Baratheons alongside her Targaryen blood. So despite her family living and interbreeding with ruling families for 300 years, despite her ancestral homelands being destroyed and uninhabitable, despite her considering Westeros her home, she is still considered a foreigner? We are going to have to disagree on this.

        Whatever grand and imposing titles Dany gives herself are largely irrelevant too when trying to ascertain her alien status in Westeros. Valyria is destroyed. She can claim that heritage all she likes, that doesn’t make it her home and then there is the fact that she has openly declared since season 1 that Westeros is her home and all she wants is to get back to it.

        For the record, I don’t think Dany deserves the throne by some sort of divine or blood right; Robert took the throne through conquest, which negates any ‘rights’ she feels she ought to have. She is free to conquer it back, but it is not hers by right. I personally don’t want her to win it back through conquest and would much rather see the development of a new monarchy to repair the broken place the 7 Kingdoms are going to be (my money is on Jon being best for that role). I don’t think Dany would be very good in that role. My argument is simply that I disagree that the Targaryens at this point in history are still outsiders and invaders.

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      217. Inga:
        Mango,
        Che,

        Che, you are right, but so is Mango. It’s true that according to GRRM everyone is an invader.But there’s also a broader ius soli vs ius sangvini and many nations are still follow ius sangvini.And the Targs have been neglecting ius sangvini mostly; so there is a reason to take them as foreigners in Westeros. On the other hand, it’s also true that medieval societies often preferred foreign rulers/dynasties rather than potential local claimants, cause the rulers had to be special. So, it’s all very complicated and the show hasn’t really addressed, what exactly people of Westeros think of the Targarians. The best guess that most of them don’t care and that they have allegiance to their local lords. In other words, the seven kingdoms has not formed as a nation yet. Presumably, this will happen during the great war and the process will/is being led by Jon-Aegon Targarian, who’s a Targ brough up like the most local descendent of the first men. Dany will also play a role by fighting for Westeros and presumably sacrificing her personal ambitions for the good of the country. So, all in all the natoin of Westeros will be based on the Targarian legacy, it’s just that it hasn’t happened yet.

        BTW, it feels like we need more GOT related news, although I love this discussion.

        And one more off topic: does anyone here plans to watch “Chernobyl” miniseries by HBO? As far as I understand they are going to run in parallel with GOT.

        I don’t think using modern day interpretations/clarifications of citizenship laws and attempting to apply them to the Seven Kingdoms will help solve whether the Targs are foreigners or not, as correct me if I am wrong, we don’t know what their rules (if they have any) on this matter are. I also disagree that because they haven’t clarified their stance on this matter that this means they are not a nation. The Seven Kingdoms has existed largely in peace and prosperity for three hundred years or so, with a stable ruling family (albeit at times a tyrannical one), a system of regional governance (the wardens of the respective kingdoms) and local governance in the form of feudalism. I don’t see why this would suggest that it was not a nation prior to the events of GOT or Robert’s rebellion.

        There is clearly going to be a big change at the end of the story in terms of whether the Seven Kingdoms will continue on or whether the kingdoms will break free and return to their former states, and also how said kingdom(s) will be ruled. It would beggar belief if a modern-day-styled democracy took into effect, but it seems impossible (to me) to go back to one ruling family (be they Targ, Stark, Stargaryen baby or any others that are left at this point) at the end of this epic journey. I genuinely don’t know how they are going to draw this aspect of the story to a close, but I feel confident that there will be a throne at the end (though no the iron one).

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      218. Che,

        No, I am not being sarcastic. Many people from many countries are on the board. (I do not take a note of where you or other say they are from. Too many to recall.) Many are young and not aware of the American rebellion against the British or even that America had a king. Even among Americans, the American civil war is more familiar to young ones. Though for many, that and the Vietman war is like ancient history back with Julius Ceasar. This is not a dreadful thing as this is a future-focused -society.

        I am leaving this topic but I wanted to address that.

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      219. Mango,

        Hi, it was me who mentioned the Norman invasion of England as the closest thing in our world history to what happened in Westeros during and after Aegon’s conquest and I still think the comparison is valid.

        And, as you said we can agree to disagree:)

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      220. Che,

        Just to say more as it may be a bit rude to just move away from a long contribution to the discussion. I read it all…tough day for me though.

        I actually see the point you are making on many issues. We are talking past each other quite a bit.

        How these things work in colonies of settlement (more like the US) varies from colonies of conquest (more like Westeros). But even in settlement, the new immigrants in the USA do not become citizens in what is left of the old nations in a straightforward way. So I can be a citizen of the USA but remain a “foreigner” to Apache nation, the Cherokee nation, the Comanche nation, Cree nation, Navajo nation etc. I am not a member until they say so.

        These are deeper waters than I am comfortable to speak and if there are any citizens of the native American nations here they have a better understanding. When Elizabeth Warren said she was a Cherokee, there was shock – that is the business of the Cherokees to tell her. I do not think she even asked the right Cherokee authorities! And I like Elizabeth but it was a big faux pas.

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      221. I’ve just read the most recent comments and the issues of language and titles just brought more parallels with the Normans in England (obviously I can’t help it:)):

        1. French was spoken as the mother tongue of Norman aristocracy for hundreds of years after they settled in England. English queens were in majority of cases French princesses. The influence of French on English language was such that even today 60% of all words in English are of French or Latin (through French) origin. French was replaced by English only when the old nobility itself was wiped out in the Wars of the Roses. So the Targaryens speaking Valyrian is in complete accord with this situation.

        2. The English kings of the Norman dynasties kept the title of kings of France which was one of the main reasons for the Hundred Years War, Again, competely in line with how Daenerys addresses her Valyrian heritage and mentions Old Valyria as the birthplace of her family.

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      222. Mango:
        Che,

        Just to say more as it may be a bit rude to just move away from a long contribution to the discussion. I read it all…tough day for me though.

        I actually see the point you are making on many issues. We are talking past each other quite a bit.

        How these things work in colonies of settlement (more like the US) varies from colonies of conquest (more like Westeros).But even in settlement, the new immigrants in the USA do not become citizens in what is left of the old nations in a straightforward way. So I can be a citizen of the USA but remain a “foreigner” to Apache nation, the Cherokee nation, the Comanche nation, Cree nation, Navajo nation etc. I am not a member until they say so.

        These are deeper waters than I am comfortable to speak and if there are any citizens of the native American nations here they have a better understanding. When Elizabeth Warren said she was a Cherokee, there was shock – that is the business of the Cherokees to tell her. I do not think she even asked the right Cherokee authorities! And I like Elizabeth but it was a big faux pas.

        Now that I agree with you on. Thanks for taking the time to reply and clarify in your other reply. I can’t imagine not knowing basic history in terms of world events, but then I have taught 11-year-olds who don’t know what Germany is, let alone have any kowledge of the enormously important events that have happened in our continent (and the world) in the last 100 years (a seperate historical issue obviously – but it shocks me that kids of that age haven’t heard of the world wars).

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      223. Wow 80 minutes of battle is going to be insane television. I wonder if it will be like Battle of the Bastards where we get some planning and the actual fighting doesn’t start until around half way through. We may get a few minutes of Cersei/Euron and maybe Theon trying to rescue Yara as well.

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      224. Aegon the IceDragon:
        I knew there was no way that episode 3 “The Long Night” could be under an hour.Not with that much production put into it.It is going to be “the” episode of the season.Many, many deaths.But will D&D follow suit and give us some major deaths in the penultimate episode???If so, I’m expecting Jamie and Sansa to be the major “shocking” deaths in episode 5.Episode 3 will off many of the side characters.

        I reckon Jamie is the most likely big death for episode 3, I just don’t see Sansa dying. Episode 5 I would guess will be the death of Cersei and maybe Dany. That would leave the finale to tie up the remaining arcs with no death.

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      225. Clob:
        There have been plenty of conversations regarding prequels, but very little about “sequels” after HBO said none of their focus would be on that.Since we don’t know how this story ends it’s impossible to know who or what could be involved in a sequel.If the (first) prequel does well though maybe in the future they’d open up everything more for consideration.Perhaps in ten, fifteen years some of the actors of characters that survive would be willing to jump back into a sequel series…Just a thought.

        A few years ago there was a lot of speculation that there would be a Jon Snow spin off/sequel. That would be something if he’s king at the end although I suspect would like to try other acting opportunities.

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      226. Mr Derp: Well it beats holding the door, that’s for sure.

        I’ve been on the fence with this one for a while now.I keep going back and forth on whether Dany will die or not, but I usually fall on the side that believes Dany will die.

        The only reason why I think she MIGHT live is to see for herself what it cost to get the throne that she wanted so badly.It would be the ultimate bittersw……uh, er, I mean sad and sweet ending if she got the throne but lost everyone she holds dear in the process.

        However, if she is on the throne at the end then it begs the question of how Jon’s parentage reveal will fit into all this.

        I do feel Dany could die mid-way through the season but certainly not before. The Night King taking out some major characters is natural. The other option is in some battle with Cersei or conflict with Jon over the thrown, how else would Dany die?

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