Carice van Houten on scary fandom and the “randomness” and “clumsiness” of Game of Thrones season 8

Melisandre

It’s been one year since the end of Game of Thrones (exactly- today is the anniversary!) and Emmy-nominated star Carice van Houten is still full of opinions about her time on the show, and the controversial final season. She shared her thoughts with Insider this week, in a new interview.

The actress told Insider that she loves the “randomness” and “clumsiness” of season 8 and she had words as well about that petition to remake the season going around last year: “That’s beyond fandom. That’s extremism. That’s scary.” She defends the show’s writers, saying “Knowing the writers and knowing how f—–g great they are, they don’t deserve that.”

“The fact that some people were so disappointed is because everything before that was so good,” van Houten said to Insider. “So it feels a bit ungrateful. You’ve had such great times and then yeah, you’re going to be disappointed because it’s not going to go exactly how you anticipated. Of course, you’re going to have all sorts of criticisms and I just thought it was a sign of how good the show was.”

“People sometimes take it too far and get too personal, but I can’t take that seriously,” van Houten said. “I just thought it’s people being really emotional about this show. It just always amazes me how people can go behind their computer and just type ‘die b—- die,’ I’m fascinated by that human psyche.”

She was a fan of the choice to crown Bran, making an unlikely comparison between him and another king- King Robert Baratheon. “I loved the ending. I loved the randomness of just picking a king,” she said. “That’s why I loved the first season, the guy who actually was king [Robert Baratheon], didn’t want to be king, so we already got a lesson in the beginning: ‘Why are you striving for that sort of power when, obviously, it doesn’t make you happy?'”

Melisandre played a key role in season 8’s “The Long Night”, and came full circle reuniting with Arya. Van Houten confirms that she didn’t know the “brown eyes, green eyes, blue eyes” line would be important as it turned out to be, with Arya slaying the blue-eyed Night King and every corpse he commanded. “I had no idea. No idea. At the time, I thought ‘I’m just going to say it, it’s probably there for a reason,'” van Houten told Insider. “They told me, ‘We’ll get there later.'”

Carice van Houten has even more to say in her interview so check it out at the source.

377 responses

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    1. Carice being Emmy nominated actress is proof that there is still some good in this world.

      And I agree that our fandom is trash. Only worse is SW fandom.

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    2. mau,

      Some of the fandom, yes.

      Everyone here is part of the fandom though. Let’s not start calling everyone here, including yourself, trash.

      Anyway, I love Carice. She’s a treasure. I think she’s actually known more for comedic roles, which shows how much range she has as an actress.

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    3. mau,

      The fandom is pretty toxic even today I’m seeing so called blue check mark people on Twitter saying really nasty thing about the showrunners. Again claiming they rushed to get to Star Wars then got fire even though they weren’t fired.

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    4. Fireandblood87:
      Title is a little misleading it reads like she called season 8 clumsy which she didn’t.

      I think it’s a bit misleading, but I don’t think it’s that misleading. Carice said Bran being chosen as king was clumsy, but she liked it, so in this case, clumsy shouldn’t be seen as the negative that it usually implies.

      “I loved the randomness and clumsiness of picking some guy, which is very representative of the world right now, as crazy people are ruling the world,” van Houten said

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    5. ” Melisandre played a key role in season 8’s “The Long Night”, and came full circle reuniting with Arya. Van Houten confirms that she didn’t know the “brown eyes, green eyes, blue eyes” line would be important as it turned out to be, with Arya slaying the blue-eyed Night King and every corpse he commanded. “I had no idea. No idea. At the time, I thought ‘I’m just going to say it, it’s probably there for a reason,’” van Houten told Insider. “They told me, ‘We’ll get there later.’”

      Wait.. Does this mean Arya = TPTWP was not a retcon?

      #ASNAWPTWP

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    6. Ten Bears:
      Fireandblood87,

      I’m not so sure it’s fair to conflate “people on Twitter” with GoT fandom.

      This comment needs an up-vote.

      Someone random complaining on Twitter about GoT doesn’t necessarily make them a fan. I would argue that someone being totally disrespectful to the show and the people who made it was never a fan to begin with and shouldn’t be lumped into the general “fandom”.

      I think it’s a lot of thinly veiled self-righteousness. It’s an attempt at pumping oneself up by knocking others down.

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    7. Fireandblood87:
      Mr Derp,

      Yeah that’s what I mean. Unfortunately many articles have headlines saying Carice thought season 8 was clumsy.

      There’s definitely a segment of the media that wants to feed into the season 8 negativity. It’s all about getting clicks, unfortunately.

      The “hot takes” always seem to get the most attention. Calm, measured, respectful comments just don’t generate clicks, which is all the media cares about.

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    8. Fireandblood87,

      True. But twitter was still far more positive than I expected. There are peaks of nunace and changes in narrative. It will take years, but we will arrive there. Screen rant even wrote a positive article about last season.

      The most happy are Sansa stans. And Cersei-Jaime shippers.

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    9. mau,

      I know plenty of people and critics who very much liked it. I actually saw Rollingstones said The Bells was the best episode of the entire series which was nice to see. Unfortunately the people who are angry are relentless and exhausting.

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    10. Fireandblood87,

      There are more than 20 000 tweets about GoT today lol.

      “No one cares about GoT anymore”

      It’s iconic, the entire show. Even the backlash against the last season is iconic.

      GoT is love, GoT is life <3

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    11. Whooooa boy. I’m sure the good people over at r/freefolk are having a field day twisting this article. Carice, you should have chosen your words a LOT more carefully.

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    12. Farimer123,

      There can be a video of an actor raving about how much they loved being on GOT and someone will take a snippet of a microexpression and turn it into them looking pissed about GoT. It doesn’t matter- someone will always find a reason to turn any interview into badness so it’s better to not pay attention to drama queens.

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    13. Ten Bears:
      Ten Bears,

      Okay. I admit I’m loving this S3e6 scene more upon rewatch, in conjunction with the S8e3 scene above…

      S3e6 Melisandre meets BwoB and Arya

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEj1aN_Rmj0

      at 7:40 to 8:15

      Ah ha! Mel got her signals crossed again!

      She told Thoros and Beric:

      You have someone he [Lord of Light] needs.”

      Turns out, that “someone” wasn’t Gendry.

      (Deleted dialogue: “I ask the Lord of Light to show me TPTWP, yet when I look into the flames all I see is ASNAWP.”)

      – End Retroactive FanFic –

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    14. We already know the “eyes” line was never originally intended to foreshadow Arya killing the Night King.

      First of all the original wording of the line in Season 3 did not have “blue eyes” last.
      The order of the eye colors was changed in Season 8 to put emphasis on the “blue eyes” of the Night King by having Melisandre say “blue eyes” last.

      Second, D&D are on record saying they have known since 2016 that they were going to have Arya kill the Night King. They said so in the Inside the Episode, I believe. They specifically mentioned knowing for about 3 years.

      Meanwhile, Season 3 was written and shot in 2012. Long before they knew Arya would end up killing the Night King.

      So yeah, the original line by Melisandre in Season 3 was just about Arya being an assassin. Nothing more.

      It was only later that they decided to sort of re-purpose it.

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    15. I agree with the praise for Carice — I thought she was the perfect Melisandre 🙂

      mau: It’s iconic, the entire show. Even the backlash against the last season is iconic.

      Very true.

      Mr Derp: There’s definitely a segment of the media that wants to feed into the season 8 negativity. It’s all about getting clicks, unfortunately.

      The “hot takes” always seem to get the most attention. Calm, measured, respectful comments just don’t generate clicks, which is all the media cares about.

      Sadly, I think this is very true as well :/

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    16. Nick20,

      So D&D were granders there, just like GRRM. I don’t see a problem.

      Purpose of Darth Vader wasn’t to be Luke’s father after the first movie.

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    17. I miss GoT so very, very much. All of it. Too much for words. Despite my terrible disappointment in the writing of S7 and S8, it is—and I suspect will always remain—the only fictional world in which I’ve been so deeply and passionately involved. And I miss the conversations with all of you, even those of you with whom I often disagreed; for in cordial disagreement and discussion there is often much enriching and expansion of the mind.

      Today is (don’t shoot me, TB—I know how much you all love your guns in Florida)… so, so bittersweet.

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    18. Ok, so she has touched upon a sore spot for me. As you may know, I have issues with the Bran thing. Carice likes the messiness of it, that’s cool, but I really don’t. It’s the one thing that still makes me mad to this day, the rest I don’t particularly care about, it is what it is.

      So Carice mentions Robert, who didn’t really want to be King, but didn’t they spend the whole Season telling us that the people best suited to power are the ones who don’t want it? And that’s why they chucked Dany under the bus? So help me out, were they wrong about Jon, and Bran wants it and that’s good? Or were they right, but applying it to the wrong brother, because Bran didn’t want it either? Or did he? I don’t know.

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    19. I don’t know about the word “ungrateful”, whenever a fandom gets huge there are bound to be strong and passionate fans, it’s both a blessing and a curse.

      Personally I doubt I’ll ever watch the last two seasons again, I didn’t have a problem with the ending itself, but It’s hard for me to see seasons back to back and watch character development and the progress being forgotten in said seasons, but I’ve moved on from the show and the fandom. When I saw some fans making fun of an actress’s looks that was it for me, I don’t need that toxicity in my life, whether it’s about blatant hate for the show or blatant hate for people who hate the show.

      two sides of the same coin.

        Quote  Reply

    20. Ten Bears,

      “Wait.. Does this mean Arya = TPTWP was not a retcon?”

      It was, since Arya hasn’t met Melisandre in the books yet. But perhaps there’s something stored in for Arya regarding the god of fire, as we were discussing in the previous thread.

        Quote  Reply

    21. Musical Interlude for Today

      “Dancing in the Dark” – Bruce Springsteen (filmed June 29, 1984)

      That’s a young Courteney Cox (Monica from “Friends”) at 2:28, and dancing with Bruce at 3:30 – end. She was 20 years old at the time of filming (and had an Arya S2 haircut).

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    22. Jenny:
      Ok, so she has touched upon a sore spot for me.As you may know, I have issues with the Bran thing.Carice likes the messiness of it, that’s cool, but I really don’t.It’s the one thing that still makes me mad to this day, the rest I don’t particularly care about, it is what it is.

      So Carice mentions Robert, who didn’t really want to be King, but didn’t they spend the whole Season telling us that the people best suited to power are the ones who don’t want it?And that’s why they chucked Dany under the bus?So help me out, were they wrong about Jon, and Bran wants it and that’s good?Or were they right, but applying it to the wrong brother, because Bran didn’t want it either?Or did he?I don’t know.

      Yea, I thought that was a strange thing to say, but it is what it is. I mean, someone has to be king or queen, right? Someone has to rule or else there’s anarchy. The notion that no one should even try or that the only successful kings/queens are the ones who don’t want it is off base to me, but everyone has an opinion.

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    23. Well, Happy Throne-iversary all! I love Carice, she seems like a fun gal. I do have to admit, a portion of the fandom got really toxic really fast during the final season. I thought that petition was ridiculous. I remember being much more critical of S7 than S8 but I think we were all prepared for the ending to be divisive. I am interested in how Bran will progress to become king in ASOIAF. I always found his POV’s to be so intriguing that I became the equivalent of that Charlie Day conspiracy theory meme because Bran’s chapters are always so full of visions, foreshadowing, and mysticism.

      I also like Carice’s, and the article’s, reminder that Melisandre was the “villain”, whatever that may mean in ASOIAF. But I never thought of her as “evil” but a character who was so misguided in her staunch faith in the Lord of Light (RIP Shireen). I found a lot of parallels between her and the High Sparrow.

      [EDIT: My comments keep disappearing so I pre-apologise if this thread is suddenly inundated with them.]

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    24. Jenny,

      No, Bran didn’t want it. But that’s not why the lords and ladies of Westeros chose him. Bran was pretty much controversy-free, a safe choice and not just another spoke on the wheel. And he had an inspiring story of self-discovery and survival against all odds that a shattered realm ravaged by civil war could get behind. Beyond that, each of the kingdoms had their own individual reasons for choosing him.

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    25. I didn’t complain about it but I still think it would have been cooler if she had returned leading the one-thousand Fiery Hand soldiers. 😀

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    26. Clob:
      I didn’t complain about it but I still think it would have been cooler if she had returned leading the one-thousand Fiery Hand soldiers. 😀

      Cooler even still if Melisandre had returned with Kinvara as the red-hot couple of S8.

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    27. Jenny:
      Ok, so she has touched upon a sore spot for me.As you may know, I have issues with the Bran thing.Carice likes the messiness of it, that’s cool, but I really don’t.It’s the one thing that still makes me mad to this day, the rest I don’t particularly care about, it is what it is.

      Bran as king? Sigh. You are right to have issues. This ending? Clumsiness where elegance was required. Randomness where ingenuity was essential.

      You have company in passing on Bran as the king. Sansa decided to pass on him as her king…although she knew his story before/better than anyone.

      The north decided to pass on him as their king….although he is heir to ruling the north. This is the region most savaged by war. The region that knows best the big elements in his story the NK, 3eRaven, the Wall etc and that should understand any value/relevance of Bran.

      Yet, the south where he was not known, he has never visited, that did not even see the Night King, who do not even worship the same gods as Bran – thought this was a great idea!!! Including kingdoms that had resisted previous rulers and yearned for independence. They were willing to give themselves to some odd guy that had never done anything for them or their people.

      With more clarity/sense on the “why?” of the Night King & 3ER, Bran’s story may have been interesting for me. Stealing memories, huh?

      Bran’s role needed more building in the GOT to make this work – he should have been given a deeper, richer, more layered story. I would have loved to see what he told Tyrion to make Tyrion declare that he had the best story. Because what I saw of Bran’s adventures in the seasons he was in GOT was nothing on which to make him leader/king. Or impress the “realpolitik” Tyrion. (The courageous Meera ensured the survival of Bran but the poor thing is probably in a refugee camp, for all we know. )

      Also, perhaps the season should not have been marketed around “For the throne”. It was and the throne decision needed to work clearly and cleverly.

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    28. Dark Sister: [EDIT: My comments keep disappearing so I pre-apologise if this thread is suddenly inundated with them.]

      My comments keep getting marked as spam and aren’t going through.

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    29. Everyone assumes Bran will be a good king because he says he doesn’t “want” anymore. We know his character, so he probably wouldn’t use his power for anything bad, but, what happens if Bran changes his mind or was lying? Who would or could stop him?

      Let’s ignore the fact that he has the charisma of Jeb Bush and the social decorum of Donald Trump (remember when he reunited with his sister and immediately reminded her of her horrifically traumatizing wedding night?).

      Tyrion’s entire appeal to Bran taking the throne is the fact that Bran is inherently and unwaveringly good. While the rest of us are motivated by sex or greed or sexy greed, Bran literally declares that he doesn’t want anymore. It’s a compelling case but to play the part of the opposition for a moment, what if Bran is lying? Are they really just taking his word on the fact that he is the noblest human in existence?

      Or what if he only thinks that’s true but eventually he finds himself a prisoner of prestige and power just like everyone else? Because if Bran the Broken broke bad, he would be able to essentially be the Big Brother of Westeros, maliciously knowing every move his enemies have made and are making. The Iron Throne would be replaced with an Iron Fist, as no one would be able to compete with his god-like power. It’s goofy to me that absolutely no one brought this up as a legitimate concern at the Dragonpit meeting.

      For most of the show’s run, fans assumed Game of Thrones was an examination about power and an attempt to find who can hold power without being corrupted. Would it be duty-bound but reluctant Jon Snow? Sansa with her cunning survival instincts? It was the big question on everyone’s minds but instead, it turned out that the ideal ruler is an emotionless, effortlessly benevolent demigod who has psychic abilities. What kind of message is that?

      Of course, we all know that having Superman would make a great president but there’s just one slight problem: Superman isn’t real. And Bran is every bit as unattainable as a leader, making the entire this feel like a massive cop-out. Now, Bran has unrivaled abilities that will allow him to look into any event in the past or see anything that is happening in the present, virtually making him the perfect judge, jury, and executioner.

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    30. Mr Derp,

      Lots to agree with in this post.

      For the audience – GOT did nothing to establish why Bran would make a good king/leader. Even if it was not obvious going forward, when we look back now – it needs to fall into place. It cannot be random after 10 years of storytelling.

      Also, GOT did nothing to establish why the south would accept him as king while the north would not.

      He would make a great addition to the library though…

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    31. Jenny,

      I get Carice’s idea that randomness is part of life. However, if a series with eight seasons and 73 episodes wants to end in that note, it’s necessary to have a proper setup to a conclusion that evokes randomness, but, in the same time, has some deeper meaning behind it. I think the majority of the fandom doesn’t feel that with Bran as a king.

      First of all, the idea of a king that can oversee instantly what happens in other places, detached enough to take measured decisions, but unable to establish a human bond with his council and his subjects, is dangerous. It evokes the idea that humans aren’t good enough to rule themselves, being needed someone that goes beyond that.

      I also don’t find compelling the idea that seeking power is inherently bad. If that was true, all the politicians of the world would be villains. Let’s get real: in human societies, no one gets to positions of power if someone doesn’t want it, unless those positions are chosen by decree (hereditary rule in monarchy, for example). The characters should be judged by the views they have on power and what they intend to do with it, rather than aspiring to such position. If this is George’s alternative to Tolkien’s Aragorn, without good development behind it, I’ll be very disappointed.

      The other reason why I have a problem with Bran is the lack of character development on the show, especially after season 3. Afterwards we see a character relying on other people (it isn’t his fault, I know) to get to the cave beyond the wall, the lessons with 3-eyed raven and the return to Winterfell. From season 6 to season 7, he’s completely unable to have a human relationship, even with Meera. When I saw that, I thought: “Ok. Losing his humanity is the price he will pay to defeat the White Walkers”. It has never crossed my mind that it would be a necessary feature of him becoming king. In 8×06, Tyrion asks Bran to become king after the story he heard from him at 8×02. Ok. For me it isn’t fulfilling, since I’ve never seen established a connection between Bran’s story and the essence of ruling people, apart from the duties he had in season 2.

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    32. Tiago,

      Lots to agree with here as well.

      “The other reason why I have a problem with Bran is the lack of character development on the show, especially after season 3.”

      I really like this line. Because a core problem is that Bran was not given a story appropriate to where GOT ends.

      Perhaps this is why fans feel defrauded, that they were victims of a “con” meaning he was underplayed in the story to spring a surprise!

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    33. Bran becoming king is solid ending of an arc that begins in the viscerally grabbing very first episode where he falls from the window and you think he has died. Bran’s coronation is the other side of the coin of the fall and death of Daenerys. Those who the gods would destroy they first make mad with power. The meek will inherit the earth? (But these’s some tantalizing contradiction in there – Bran’s comment “why do you think I came all this way?”) The pull of the iron throne destroyed one would-be king/queen after another. Eventually, even the cherished Daenerys, incurring the twitter wrath of all the closet SJW-talebanistas for whom her squeaky clean woke politics were only burnished by all the burnings and slaughter. Yes the season 8 negativity was definitely a lemming herd-rush congo-ing submissively behind a small handful of arrogant loud-mouths. The baleful direction of the random-walk social media GOT narrative confirmed that by time GOT reached season 8 it needed to end sooner rather than later. Oblivion will swallow all of them but GOT and its mould-breaking message will only shine brighter with time.

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    34. Thanks for the responses everyone, what I always find interesting about this particular plot point, is that people have different answers, that means it is at the very least open to interpretation. To be harsh, I would say that it was badly developed over the course of the show and was never going to feel satisfying (to me). We just don’t know enough about Bran and his powers, he freaks people out every two minutes, we just have to accept that Tyrion assessed his eligibility in one off-screen conversation. That’s not enough for me, and I witnessed his journey, how is that enough for the people of Westeros?

      His story on the show was not particularly inspiring, I imagine it being told around a campfire, it would be over in 2 minutes. I just don’t get it, it’s not a sound basis for government. I don’t really understand it on a thematic level either, what is George trying to say? The only person fit to rule is a man devoid of emotion? His power is seemingly unchecked, he had a few lessons from the 3ER, but no real inner discovery of where his influence should end. Well, there might have been, but the show skipped it. If not understanding this makes me stupid, I’ll take the L and admit to being stupid. That’s Ok because there doesn’t seem to be a consensus on this. The only explanation that comes close goes deep into book lore, but show wise, I just don’t buy it.

      I might not like other parts of the story, but I understand them, and they do make sense when you fill in the gaps, but this? I just can’t do it.

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    35. Jenny,

      Many that enjoy GOT8 seem to “make up” many characters’ stories. Bran’s is harder to make up but try. :). I can only recommend some magical thinking.

      I believe/hope GRRM will do better – if he gets done it.

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    36. Book Arya and book Melisandre haven’t met (not yet at least) and it was Woods Witch not appearing in the show who spoke about seeing a darkness in book Arya. It’s some while since I heard the audio book and I honestly can’t recall whether or not the eye colours were mentioned.

      I COULD see Mr Martin having Dany be a ‘nice’ baddy/tragic would-be heroine and Bran becoming king. Mr M does like his surprises. I wouldn’t have foreseen myself coming to see a different side of Jaime’s character in ASOS (the book I personally like best of the series) or coming to feel sorry for Theon in ADWD earlier in the course of ASOIAF. I’m not pooh-poohing the idea that the book series will ever be finished but I’m not waiting with baited breath either.

      Carice van Houten is not at all a bad singer. If anyone is interested I’m sure they can Google her singing. I wasn’t with the predecessor site to this from the very beginning but I remember one of the down memory lane features they did periodically going back over the announcing of the casting of Melisandre, Stannis and Davos and I can’t remember the exact wording but someone was whinging that they weren’t well enough known (the actors). I liked Carice – the Dutch accent gave Melisandre an air of mystery, I felt. Oh and if Ten Bears reads this, the young Dutch girl singing on the clip he linked on another thread did indeed have a very powerful, mature operatic voice for one so young.

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    37. Dame of Mercia,

      I agree that GRRM will/may go for Bran as king – but I expect better storytelling from him. Of course, when he is now..Bran is still a kid. But GRRM can write his way there.

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    38. Dame of Mercia,

      ” Oh and if Ten Bears reads this, the young Dutch girl singing on the clip he linked on another thread did indeed have a very powerful, mature operatic voice for one so young.”

      Yeah! At the risk of being redundant, I’m posting it here too:

      Amira Willighagen Oct. 2013 on
      Holland’s Got Talent
      (She’s 9 years old)
      —-
      With English subtitles

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDqTBlKU4CE

      This is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen.

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    39. Dame of Mercia: Book Arya and book Melisandre haven’t met (not yet at least) and it was Woods Witch not appearing in the show who spoke about seeing a darkness in book Arya. It’s some while since I heard the audio book and I honestly can’t recall whether or not the eye colours were mentioned.

      Oh, nice catch. I had forgotten that! I don’t remember eyes or eye colours being mentioned but she does tells Arya this in ASOS:

      The dwarf woman studied her with dim red eyes. “I see you,” she whispered. “I see you, wolf child. Blood child. I thought it was the lord who smelled of death…” She began to sob, her little body shaking. “You are cruel to come to my hill, cruel. I gorged on grief at Summerhall, I need none of yours. Begone from here, dark heart. Begone!”

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    40. Adrianacandle,

      Someone else caught it originally, Adriana, but it was during the airing of season 3 and I can’t remember the ID of the poster so if that person reads this well done that person.

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    41. Dame of Mercia: Someone else caught it originally, Adriana, but it was during the airing of season 3 and I can’t remember the ID of the poster so if that person reads this well done that person.

      Still, kudos for remembering and bringing it up! Before you mentioned the woods witch Arya meets (ghost of High Heart) in ASOS, I was stuck on Melisandre having no interaction with Arya that I completely forgot about this other witch! While I don’t know about Arya being the one to end the Others once and for all in the books, she does receive a bit of a prophetic passage of her own from a different witch — whatever it means! 🙂

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    42. Bran is heavily foreshadowed to become King of Winter in the book. Kings of Winter ruled the North and they lay in the crypts of WF [where Jon doesn’t belong]. Throughout Bran’s chapters he’s always associated with a “throne”, whether it’s a seat or a comfotable position made for him underground by the Children of the Forest or the seat Hodor carries him in on his back.

      The show’s emotionless Bran was a clumsy way to convey the target to which Bran is heading, namely, to get past the injury done to him and deploy the full range of his greenseeing abilities. In Bloodraven’s words, he will not walk again, but he will fly, and he does before the end of ADWD. It preconditions that he will forget his human suffering, and this entails forgiveness, magnanimity, objectivity and perhaps deep empathy for others too, because forgetting one’s own injuries is a precondition for empathy [I will remind everyone of Tyrion’s inability to forget that he is a dwarf and other things that he thinks are associated with his dwarfism]. However, we’re still to see in the books whether Bran will be someone else or not, whether he’ll have forgotten all his sensitivity and he’ll be reciting past injuries of others to their face [as he did with Sansa]. I for myself am not convinced that Martin intends to go there, but recovering from trauma is central in ASoIaF.

      And Bran’s story in particular is one of the central stories of the book even though it isn’t directly prominent. The harm, injustice or injury done to a blameless child, which brought bloodshed to Seven Kingdoms; which brought about more heinous crimes, the deaths of innocents, the destruction of villages, cities, infrastructure. It feels normal and logical that the book ends with restoring that child to the position that is rightfully his in the first place, doesn’t it? Nevertheless, that position in the book is not the throne in the South, but the throne in the North. The North’s independence thematically runs through ASoIaF. The North was subjugated by Aegon Targaryen, the Conqueror, or, if you like, the North bent its knee to him. It is appropriate that another Aegon Targaryen grants to it its freedom. Perfect circle!
      However, the show didn’t go that way. Taking the ending into account, the possibility that Bran will end up on the throne of KL and that the never-seen-outside-the-Neck Reeds didn’t rush to the rescue of the first king of the truly independent North but to that of the king of the [unrelated to an independent North] Six Southern Kingdoms, still stands.
      Yes, Martin will have to explain to us why would the South elect a Northern crippled boy unheard of in the South who, in addition, will still be a minor by the end of the book (not more than 12 y.o.) and will need regency. Considering that the crimes (two) against Bran were perpetrated by Southerners (Lannisters), that his story is central to ASoIaF and that there will have to be a healing, Bran’s path to the IT will probably have to go through a detailed exposé of those crimes for all of Westeros to see and to realize where such type of flawed government and indifference to the crimes of the people wielding power leads to. The healing involved does not pertain to Bran only, but to the entire Westeros which allowed for such things to happen, including the murders of children, the wars and the incrimination [and the discrimination too, see Tyrion] and the deaths of innocents at the expense of all humanity, mercy, decency.

      There is no doubt that, if Bran gets elected by the South in the books too, it will be by a grand council, which is spoken of many a time in the text [not a council of 5-6-7 lords, but one of 1500]. The show tried to give the audience that but the context was rather inadequately summarized in Tyrion’s words. Along with others I’d like for Bran in the books not to be that emotionless robot we saw on screen, because together with forgetting his own trauma, “memory”, which has to be preserved in the war against Ice and inexistence, includes not only the triumphs, but also the injuries and sufferings of human kind and it is necessary for a humanitarian government. And yet they did try to explain that too [see Sam], and I have to give them credits for it.

      So, hollow or not, all the elements of the ending were there. [it could have been done better, deeper, sweeter and more extended for the audience to fully grasp it, but it was there].

      Bran’s story from Victim to Greenseer to King is not one of dehumanization in order to achieve the grand prize of peace and prosperity.
      Bran’s story is one of triumph through, and despite, the suffering and trauma that all humans take for reaching their destination, and in this it is a deeply human story.

      [all the above said, of course I am not at all certain that Bran will end up in the South, but I won’t be bothered if he does either; it’s a nice story -wink to Tyrion]

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    43. The actress told Insider that she loves the “randomness” and “clumsiness” of season 8…

      Writing a few words on this part, Carice’s words actually made me think what makes really enjoy last two seasons (treating them as one 13-episode season, they’re my third favorite after S6 and S4). While I didn’t rewatch the entire show since it ended, not counting those couple episodes that I watched with my girlfriend, and thus don’t have this firm rewatch experience yet (and first rewatch is always very important in my case as that’s how I see how I grasp the story now, knowing exactly where it’s going), I really see the source of my enjoyment regarding story.

      In short words, what really makes me like S7 & S8 is very similar to what Carice implies here… and that’s this “chaotic” storytelling and even more importantly, active deconstruction of characters in my case. So whether starting with novel or TV show, first season of GoT already deconstructs the “fantasy genre” by pulling the watchers in this very gritty medieval fantasy world where no one is safe, and with central characters being really flawed and shady and such. But as watchers embrace this tone and progress with seasons, let’s say 3 seasons at least, the story still starts shaping up as this “fantasy story”, only in more grounded way. We have these protagonists developing, a looming threat on horizon (White Walkers), a possible future queen and so on and so on…

      So after seasons of story and with several side threads being closed in first five or six season, we’re now down to quite streamlined storytelling Let’s make some basic predictions where the story is expected to go in endgame:

      – Daenerys arrives to Westeros, wins the war for the Throne, falls in love with Jon, they likely have a kid
      – Cersei is the villain, the “mad queen”, she needs to fall in battle for the Throne and she doesn’t stand a chance against Dany
      – Arya is a trained badass assassin now, likely there to kill some prominent figures
      – Sansa is becoming a player and will outsmart Littlefinger
      – Bran was learning beyond the Wall and will likely provide some otherworldy power to the story
      – Jaime needs to complete his redemption and kill Cersei
      – Tyrion will contribute to winning the war with his wit
      – White Walkers are ultimate threat and will likely be an endgame where all characters will have to work together to eliminate them
      – Jon is likely destined to be the one to kill the Night King

      So ticking all these statements, this would lead to very basic fantasy premise… or premise of any ensemble cast story. A bunch of very flawed characters mastering in inner growth, playing the major part in the story that they were developing for, taking down the “big evil” and then an expected “happily ever after” ending after seasons of suffering. And this being GoT, there’s also a question who lives and who dies so we know there will be casualities.

      Now that S6 is over, the upper predictions seem VERY likely. I still live remember people predicting most of these and as much as I loved S6 (the most out of all seasons), I remember being worried about S7/S8 being too straightforward, too typical. But now, knowing exactly what happens in S7 and S8, I see what was done here: the second overthrowing of fantasy tropes. While S1 took away the “beauty” and put us in grim and harsh GoT world, S7/S8 now put us in harsh reality for the protagonist themselves. And the hard truth is that they’re messed up! They did grow, they did mature to some extent, but they certainly didn’t develop in their “perfect selves” where they would play their part of the story masterfully. Their flaws, their bad traits are still present… only in different circumstances.

      Now we’re looking at these protagonists that we rooted for… that we wished for them to reach full circle regarding their development so we could love them completely at the end… but it’s slowly becoming obvious we’re not bound for some very uplifting and inspiring conclusion. The reality is harsh and it’s not likely characters will ever be fully happy or fully content in context of the story. Like Carice described, it’s chaotic storytelling now. Let’s make some examples again:

      – Jon’s heritage turns out not to be a reveal that would impact the story in uplifting way, but rather brings tension between these very major characters that we may have loved as individuals
      – Sansa and Arya do get rid of Littlefinger, but the tension between two sisters elevated to veeery critical point that could have resulted even in death
      – Arya doesn’t find home and peace in Winterfell… after Long Night, she still aims to kill Cersei. In other words, she’s scarred beyond repair from everything that happened.
      – Sansa grew up, but has big trust issues to literally everyone around her and it’s likely she won’t find inner peace for long time, not to mention her stubborness and not-so-pleasant attitude at times, and we know she won’t submit to Dany either
      – Tyrion is now “too good at heart” to even fit into the schemes in Westeros. He’s not the person he was in earlier seasons and in his desire to avoid ugly stuff, he makes decisions that really backfire
      – Jaime may have changed to some extent compared to who he was in season 1, doing good things and being there to help fight WW, but he just can’t completely let go of Cersei. His last act is to try to save her life… so in some way a noble act but not for a good person
      – Cersei turns out to be not some Big Bad, but a messed up woman who died frightened and in tears… and there was not some big war for the Thronewhere she would be this “big bad” in first place
      – Dany… well, we all know what happens to her. Her arrival to Westeros soon seems more like invasion rather than new hope for people. There are subtle signs all the time that she’s walking on thin ice between hero and a villain and the more season progresses, the more alarming signs get. At the end, she fully snaps and to provide a final blow, there seems to be unreliable narrator present in her story in first place (a.k.a we were spared the more messed side of her in previous seasons as we didn’t really have insight in her mind)
      – Bran did gain knowledge, but lost the feeling of being human as a price
      – White Walkers… they’re not a final threat, there’s no all out war over Westeros for them, just one crucial battle. Still, it’s a big battle

      So let’s compare these endpoints to upper ones. The mutual good thing is: the “bad guys” indeed lose and die. But what we don’t get is the very uplifting tone and it’s soon very clear that the final conflict will be between protagonists themselves as they’re messed up as people. Grown up, developed, but still messed up. Personal feelings here of course depend from person to person. But this chaotic tone, this deconstruction of characters, this is what I actually enjoyed a lot. It subverted my expectations and delivered something very different, something I don’t think I see that often in stories, at least not on such grand scale of characters. The show didn’t just subvert fantasy genre into more grim one, but also the protagonists themselves and it worked very well for me personally.

      So what I was able to hope at the end is that there’s some peaceful ending to the story… so the characters don’t need to be burdened with wars and such and that those truly despicable characters die… those who really caused misery and pain all the time and never even tried to be better. And through this very chaotic story, “The Iron Throne” provided this for me and I still remember being in tears for last part of the episode, finally feeling some sort of “peace” in the story, some relief that the surviving characters are “released” from this overwhelming story even though they’ll likely never fully heal internally. So “The Iron Throne” was a #FeelGood episode for me, as much as it was chaotic and not particularly happy. So here, I really agree with Carice about chaotic story… it was something I found very gripping overall, especially for an endgame of already dark TV show.

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    44. Efi,

      Thanks for the write up Efi, that’s really helpful. The more persuasive arguments do come from the books, I do wish that I had paid more attention to his chapters. I was more concerned with Bloodraven and his motives, he was an important figure before being sent to the NW, perhaps it is fitting that he returns South with Bran? But I’m not convinced that he is actually good, perhaps an antagonist if the Jojen paste theory is true. Brynden Rivers organised a Great Council, and of course Cat suggests holding a Great Council to Robb. That is 100% going to happen. How Bran evolves into a King is still unclear, its hard to imagine the South electing a magical being after KL is levelled by a magical being. So he will have to play a part in the war, and his actions will have to be widely known. I do think that he will be King of the 6/7 Kingdoms, I don’t believe D&D would make that up, since they don’t seem to actually like that character.

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    45. Jenny: I do think that he will be King of the 6/7 Kingdoms, I don’t believe D&D would make that up, since they don’t seem to actually like that character.

      I agree with this. I don’t think King Bran of the 6K is coming from D&D. From what I’ve seen, Bran as king is definitely not a popular choice and I really didn’t love it either. But it’s also the only aspect D&D confirm about GRRM’s ending.

      Personally, I don’t think King Bran was set up well in the show and I agree with comments that go over this — especially considering D&D wrote Bran out of the show for an entire season. I wonder if that’s because they didn’t know what to do with him? The part magic plays in the books is so downsized on the show (for understandable reasons, I think) and Bran’s story is very connected to magic. But I could be totally wrong if this impacted D&D’s writing of Bran.

      I think I linked this before but Adam Feldman wrote this analysis of how Bran I, AGOT may set up Bran becoming King of the 6/7 K.

      I think much of this may rely heavily on how Bran ends up by the end of the series. I don’t really know what impact becoming the Three-Eyed Raven will have on Bran, if Bran becomes the Three-Eyed Raven in the books (I think he will?). Even so, Bloodraven doesn’t seem to be an emotionless human computer himself…

      I’m also not sure if the North is independent either.

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    46. Tiago:
      Jenny,

      I also don’t find compelling the idea that seeking power is inherently bad. If that was true, all the politicians of the world would be villains. L

      Well they mostly are.

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    47. Adrianacandle: But it’s also the only aspect D&D confirm about GRRM’s ending.

      Probably because they knew it won’t be popular. Bran is a wizard whose story was connected to COTF and magic so to have him as king is jarring, but it works on symbolic level. Rejection of birthight and right of conquest and celebration of different values for Westeros.

      Book fans spent 25 years overanalyzing everything in the books and yet they were shocked.

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    48. mau: Book fans spent 25 years overanalyzing everything in the books and yet they were shocked.

      The overanalysis bit is very true, I’ve done (do) it a lot myself! But I was shocked as well so… XD;;

      It doesn’t surprise me that many are shocked. We come to these texts with the filter of our own experiences/desires/biases/backgrounds/hopes/preferences/dislikes/everything that makes us us. As a result, interpretations and predictions can differ, readings of the same passage can differ, and there are a ton of interpretations that can be made off of one passage (even one line of text!). What’s obvious to one may not be obvious to another.

      And if GRRM never releases this book, we’ll continue to overanalyse for the next 25+ years…

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    49. Jenny,

      Indeed. The Great Council is more heavily foreshadowed than anything else so I think that will definitely happen. I am also hesitant about Brynden/3ER’s motives. Bran’s POV in the cave does read like he’s getting sucked into a cult where the CotF offer him the Weirwood Kool-aid. I think in one of his last POVs in ADoD his chapter takes place over the course of 4 -6 months, only being noted by the phases of the moon which I thought was really clever. But it was also really disconcerting how easily he loses track of time so I’m really interested how this will all progress.

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    50. Jenny,

      De rien!
      After the show ending the text acquires new significance and many more nuances. I am still not convinced that Bran will end up in the South though. So far there’s absolutely nothing connecting him to the South, not the slightest bit of foreshadow, symbolism, thought or person or thing –and it’s been five books, we have foreshadow and symbolism for all major characters. On the contrary, Bran is connected steadily with the North, Winterfell, and Winter. But perhaps the big subversion lies therein as it is with Jon -his foreshadow is so blurred that it is also a grand mystery to me. These things are happening deliberately of course; Martin apparently has a roller-coaster ending reserved for his readers!
      I think it’s bizarre that D&D knew that Bran becomes king of 6Ks since 2013 and still didn’t prepare him better, they even left him out of season 5. But as I’ve said before they’re show-runners and they chose to do that and make Bran emotionless, investing in shock value and in being “sharp”. We don’t have to like it (just like any other finished product) but they did try.
      As for Bloodraven I don’t think he survives, as it happened in the show; greenseers are all absorbed by the newer greenseer, so Bloodraven will probably exist in Bran and he’ll have all his knowledge and experience. We also know that Bran will not ever end his days in a tree, because Bloodraven told him. So all is good.

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    51. Efi: So far there’s absolutely nothing connecting him to the South, not the slightest bit of foreshadow, symbolism, thought or person or thing –and it’s been five books, we have foreshadow and symbolism for all major characters.

      I don’t know about that… It may not be about connecting Bran specifically to the south but to the position, the position of ruling Westeros. I think Adam Feldman made a good case for that. Foreshadowing doesn’t actually become foreshadowing until the foreshadowed event occurs. Until that point, everything is speculation 🙂

      There’s also that Bran was supposed to go south, where he wanted to become a knight… until his fall, making him Bran the Broken, as he’s dubbed in the show:

      Broken, Bran thought bitterly as he clutched his knife. Is that what he was now? Bran the Broken? “I don’t want to be broken,” he whispered fiercely to Maester Luwin, who’d been seated to his right. “I want to be a knight.”

      So in this roundabout way, Bran might still be ending up in the south. As Bran the Broken, King of the 6/7K.

      I don’t know. Admittedly, this isn’t something I would ever have guessed before the show’s ending or D&D explaining how GRRM knew the final king at the end of the story would be Bran:

      Around season 3, we went to visit George R.R. Martin and he writes and he kind of figures things out as he’s writing. When we went to visit him back then, and this was while he was still writing book 5, he didn’t know yet where the story was going and he knew a few key things and one of those key things was that the final king at the end of the story would be Bran.

      But I think D&D didn’t really know what to do with Bran’s character so his becoming king does feel jarring to many of us.

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    52. Efi,

      Look at the logo of the show. What house sigils are there? The dragon, the stag, the lion, and the wolf. The Targaryens had their time ruling Westeros, then the Baratheons had their time, then the Lannisters had theirs. Now, it’s time for the Starks.

      But which Stark? Jon’s not a Stark, he’s a Targaryen, and their era is definitely over and done with. Not Arya – too much of a free spirit, and her gifts lie elsewhere. Sansa would likely be the next best candidate, but she’s already solidified her place as the Lady of Winterfell. So, that leaves Bran, elected by a gathering of lords and ladies representing the southern Six Kingdoms who are all either directly friendly towards Bran or at least friendly towards the Starks in general.

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    53. King Bran was the only plot point from season 8 that I didn’t entirely enjoy. I too don’t think it had enough set up. However, I wasn’t that interested in who sat upon the Iron Throne in the end anyway. I mean, the past kings/queen were a drunk, a psychopath, a weak minded child who was easily manipulated by others, and a power hungry narcissist. The bar had been set incredibly low and I have no doubt Bran would do better than all of them. What I was more interested in was the small council. It’s the best small council we’ve seen on the show, stacked with highly honorable people and Bronn. The ending made it clear that Westeros is in good hands.

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    54. …stacked with highly honorable people and Bronn.

      Hey! That’s no way to refer to the Lord of Fancy Titles!

      But you got a chuckle out of me. That’s one of the best descriptions of the final Small Council I’ve yet read.

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    55. I think what is interesting is that Weiss talking about the last episode said that Dany’s death and destruction of the Iron Throne are the real climax of the story and everything after that is just “residual drama”, as he said.

      I feel like for the story it isn’t that important who will be ruler, the point were baby steps towards democracy. And ofc rejection of bloodlines and war as solutions.

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    56. Young Dragon:
      King Bran was the only plot point from season 8 that I didn’t entirely enjoy. I too don’t think it had enough set up.

      I think what is real problem here and what makes his election jarring is the fact that Bran was connected to fantasy part of story, to Old Gods, COTF, WW and that KL is the most “realistic” place in the story, so him as king feels almost like a pact between Cersei and White Walkers.

      Book readers try to make sense of this by saying that Bran will be evil mastermind who will be like Big Brother of Westeros, but that doesn’t make much sense. Establishing his tyranny is not bittwesweet ending and Bran the Broken as nickname tells something completely different. Broken King for broken Kingdom.

      And the reason why book readers are making these theories is because they can’t accept that GRRM’s endgame idea is just stupid. lol

      I mean it works on a symbolical level only, but GRRM spent years talking about Aragorn’s tax policy and he will put a wizard on the throne at the end.

      I don’t think there was any way to avoid feeling of sloppiness in his election, no matter how much he appeared in the show because as I said he is a wizard, connected to the magical side of this tale. It would be like Littlefinger on a dragon. That wouldn’t work even if Littlefinger spent 5 seasons with dragons.

      When you look all major characters – Sansa, Arya, Cersei, Dany, Jaime, Jon, Tyrion, Theon, Sam and if you watch the show and read the books knowing their ending everything still works. You see clear set ups in the show, you see how books can arrive to the same conclusion. Only exception is Bran. Little magic boy in S1 ends on the throne…

      I feel like this was just Martin’s subversion of LOTR. Here, his Frodo ends on the throne and Aragorn is the one to leave Middle Earth.

      I think the show should’ve just ignore GRRM’s idea, kill Bran in “The Long Night” and have a Council ruling at the end, as first steps towards Parliament.

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    57. Efi,

      Yours mistake is assumption that Bran won’t be king in the south in the books because it’s stupid and D&D did it only for shock value. No, it’s stupid, because GRRM’s idea is stupid and D&D did what he told them will happen at the end.

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    58. Farimer123,

      Do we seriously take the logo of the show as proof for the book? I don’t think so. While it’s a good point it doesn’t say anything, mostly because the Starks weren’t competing for the IT to begin with. Robb’s quest was for independence, not for occupying the IT.
      Jon is a Snow. He will be a legitimized Stark by the end of WoW with Robb’s will. His entire arc is about identity and belonging that were taken from him. He will not choose to be called Targaryen all of the sudden just for being easily and conveniently discarded from, or even chosen for, the succession for the IT. It doesn’t work that way.

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    59. mau,

      Lmao! I didn’t say that! I think I said the exact opposite. Read carefully, Mau.
      Also, my reasons are book-based and literature-based. It’s not what I like or don’t like.
      It might be that Martin’s idea turns out to be stupid, but we’re still to see that; we’re still to see if the book execution will be as (un)successful as the show’s.

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    60. Efi,

      You seem very certain about an awful lot of future ASOIAF plot developments that would drastically alter its course relative to the show.

      Say… you’re not secretly GRRM in disguise, are you? If so, then get back to writing, you slug! Go!

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    61. Farimer123,

      When people don’t like something about the show they say that GRRM will do it differently.

      But he said that the last season was based on plana he had 20 years ago and that his ending is not going to be that different.

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    62. That was a good interview. I always enjoy hearing from Carice. Obviously people in search of clicks will key in on the buzzwords and twist them to fit their narrative, but if you actually read the interview, it’s abundantly clear that Carice is still immensely proud of the work that she and her colleagues did on the final season. As they should be!

      I’d definitely be interested in checking out some of Carice’s comedic work. As she says herself, Melisandre wasn’t the most humorous character, but Carice herself obviously has a sharp wit and a keen understanding about what makes people tick. I bet she’s hilarious!

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    63. Efi,

      Jon is a Snow. He will be a legitimized Stark by the end of WoW with Robb’s will. His entire arc is about identity and belonging that were taken from him.

      I think identity is part of Jon’s story and I think it’s a big part! But I don’t think it’s his entire story. We don’t really know if Jon will be legitimized as a Stark by TWOW because Robb’s will is MIA. It’s possible! But still, I don’t think Jon is only about being a Stark. I think Jon’s identity and story is more than that.

      There’s a lot more going on with Jon’s arc, I think — like his preconceptions being torn away as he experiences more and more of the world, reviewing and challenging his own views, learning to negotiate rather than war, connecting and finding commonalities with different people from disparate backgrounds, and I think his “otherness” lends itself in part to this. Because of his own experiences as an outsider, Jon can relate to some of these experiences and develop understandings with other outsiders in ways others may not be able to. I think this plays into some of Arya and Dany’s stories as well, even into Tyrion’s a bit, but in different ways.

      I think this also plays an important role in Jon’s arc that has him serve as the shield that guards the realms of men, as well as struggles with the different parts of himself and figuring out what the right thing is and how complex that can be — the right thing might not be quite the right thing, each choice comes with gains and consequences. Like Jon has different parts to his identity, and there’s a tension in between these different parts too, he’s always struggling with himself as well.

      In my opinion, Alt Shift X did a nice summary of Jon’s character here:

      […] Jon’s response is, “I will be troubled and keep my vows,” which really just like sums Jon up as a character. Like, Jon doesn’t find it easy to do the right thing, he is deeply troubled, he hurts, and he suffers, and he makes mistakes, and sometimes, he breaks his vows but ultimately, he stays true to his goals of doing the right thing, and trying to protect people, and trying to uphold the values of the Night’s Watch in the way that his father — well, his Uncle Ned Stark — taught him to behave. And that is what makes him heroic in the same way that we can only be brave when we’re afraid, we can only be honorable when we’re troubled, it’s only meaningful that we do the right thing, it’s only heroic when we find it hard to be heroic and there were better, more tempting options. It’s no sacrifice unless you’re losing something and that in fiction, and truth perhaps, is heroism.

      I think identity is a big part of Jon’s story but I think it’s more than a birthright or name. To me, the idea is that Jon isn’t Stark or Targaryen — he’s something else.

      He will not choose to be called Targaryen all of the sudden just for being easily and conveniently discarded from, or even chosen for, the succession for the IT. It doesn’t work that way.

      I don’t think Jon will choose to be Targaryen either — but I can’t say he’s fully a Stark. I think he’s both and he’s neither, if that makes sense.

      Jon was raised in the Stark way! But he never really fit with them — he doesn’t really fit anywhere entirely since he’s always half this and half that — half a Night’s Watchmen, half a wildling. Raised as a Stark but he’s not really a Stark. Half Targaryen, half Stark. He’s got ice, he’s got fire. He’s got the blood of the First Men and the blood of Old Valyria. He’s one of his family but a little bit apart too.

      This from GRRM:

      Shaw: At one point Greywind characterizes Ghost as the quiet one who was “one of them but not one of them.” Since the direwolves seem to reflect the children, does this characterization of Ghost mean that Jon is somehow a part of but still separate from the people around him?

      Martin: Oh yes, I think that’s always been true. Even in Winterfell, as a kid before the wolves, Jon was the bastard. He was the odd one out. The rest of them are all brothers and sisters. He’s only a half-brother, so he’s not as closely tied to them. In some circumstances he could share everything with his brothers, he could train with Robb and all that, but then another circumstance would come up (like when the king came to the castle and they were choosing who could sit at the high table) and he’s not welcome there. So he’s of them, he’s part of the family, he’s part of the siblings, but he’s a little bit apart too. Ghost is very similar to that. He’s the albino, he’s the one who makes no noise, so he’s related to the other direwolves but one apart as well.

      I think that’s really Jon’s identity in a nutshull. He’s one of a group — but a little bit a part as well because he has that something that doesn’t quite fit. I think this plays a big part in Jon being a unifier of disparate groups, which I believe is Jon’s ultimate role in the story (as well as pertaining to some prophecies possibly but that’s just speculation!)

      /endramble 🙂

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    64. Jared:
      …. it’s abundantly clear that Carice is still immensely proud of the work that she and her colleagues did on the final season….

      I’d definitely be interested in checking out some of Carice’s comedic work. As she says herself, Melisandre wasn’t the most humorous character, but Carice herself obviously has a sharp wit and a keen understanding about what makes people tick. I bet she’s hilarious!

      • Carice/Melisandre was definitely the co-MVP of “The Long Night.”

      • As for Carice’s sharp wit and comedic work, for me I always get a chuckle out of rewatching.
      Seth Meyers brings Melisandre to a baby shower
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5C6kG57J7Q
      —-
      —-

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    65. Farimer123,

      😂 Curiously enough, I’m in a slug mode myself right now due to Coronavirus and other… difficulties, lol.
      A literary analysis of the text allows for interpretations that were discarded in the show.
      However, I’ve said many a time that the ending won’t be much different and I have recognized the showrunners’ right to do whatever they felt they had to with the adaptation for various reasons, among others for bringing the book to screen and making it more “digestible” for the audience. To some it appealed, to others it didn’t, and there one can discuss what went wrong. (Daenerys’ turn to madness and Bran’s preparation to become king of 6Ks are cases in point).
      But in my opinion it wasn’t the adaptation per se, it was, at least to a degree, the people’s expectations and superficial reading that defined the reactions to the ending. The show was such a huge success and so many people (millions) invested so much of their time in it that no matter what D&D would do, it would cause reactions. It goes with the territory I guess.

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    66. mau,

      I think this is true for me, GOT is so focussed on human conflict, these characters are trying to overcome trauma, uphold their honour, fight for survival etc, and in the end they aren’t fit to rule themselves? They have to be ruled by a wizard? As I mentioned up thread, after the destruction of KL by a dragon, and the war in the North, I don’t see how this is a good idea, he needs a stellar election campaign. You would expect people go on a literal witch hunt to get rid of magic. Unless of course, Bran very publicly saves everyone. I’ve said from the beginning, GRRM is going to have his work cut out for him, I really don’t know how he is going to convince me.

      As for evil Bran, I’ve gone down that road, purely based on the information presented in the show, knowing the future and doing nothing, saying that he can’t rule but then travelling south to be crowned King. Evil Bran was the most obvious way to fill in the gaps in his story. I’m suspicious of Bloodraven, but Bran will perhaps overcome him, I don’t know, I’ve thought about Bloodraven the body snatcher, but he will obviously fail if that is his plan.

      mau,

      Depends how we are defining ‘different’. Jon will kill Dany, Bran will be King, Sansa will rule the North and Tyrion will be Hand. That is certain. But as we know, it will be different because of fAegon, who will play a part in Dany’s fall, and Cersei’s, the Valonqar whoever that is, Tyrion will probably turn into a pacifist much later, I can see him being quite enthusiastic about invading Westeros to begin with. Varys isn’t going to betray Dany, he isn’t backing Dany, so is somebody else going to play that role, or will nobody betray Dany and she will be pushed in other ways? Its the same and different.

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    67. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      At the end, [Dany] fully snaps and to provide a final blow, there seems to be unreliable narrator present in her story in first place (a.k.a we were spared the more messed side of her in previous seasons as we didn’t really have insight in her mind)

      Exactly right. In fact this also adds a very interesting twist to the experience of reading ASOIAF from the start again. Dany is probably a very unreliable narrator indeed, and neither the other characters in those POV chapters nor the events described are necessarily the way Dany perceives them. In hindsight, it’s all from the highly subjective and self-serving perspective of a very narcissistic individual and a latent psychopath. Dark stuff — but another clever touch on GRRM’s part.

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    68. A few thoughts about Bran:

      Bran is now “king” but only in a symbolic way. The de facto king is actually Tyrion. Bran pointedly removed himself from the situation and appeared happy to leave things in Tyrion’s hands.

      You can interpret the new political regime in several ways. An obvious example is the arrangement in Britain, where the official head of state is the monarch (Bran) but the real day-to-day power rests with the parliament (the Council) and the Prime Minister (the Hand, ie. Tyrion). Given GoT’s medieval setting, another way to look at it is feudal Japan, involving a semi-divine monarch as the figurehead (Bran) but the real power resting with the Shogun (Tyrion).

      Tyrion’s fate is a nice bookend to the earlier stuff involving Tywin’s comments on who is really “the most powerful man in Westeros” (the Hand, in his opinion, at least regarding himself) along with his discussion with Tommen about what kind of person makes the best king. Given the way that Tywin continuously mistreated Tyrion, there is a nice symmetry to the whole thing. Vindication, poetic justice, whatever you want to call it.

      Yes, the rationale for the selection of Bran as “king” is questionable. But ultimately it’s shown not to matter, because he’s not really the king in any meaningful sense anyway. Tyrion is. And for once, Tyrion’s inability to keep his mouth shut at critical moments not only saved his life but also gave him, well, the keys to the kingdom. Even more so if Tyrion had realised at any point that Bran would choose Tyrion to be Hand if he ever became king instead of Jon.

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    69. Jenny,

      But evil Bran doesn’t work because GRRM doesn’t want to send such a dark massage at the end. So idea is that he is memory of the world and represents different values.

      He cant do anything spectacular in war against the WW because it undermines the massage. He is not a war hero.

      So as I said it works on a symbolical level. Tyrion is real ruler and Bran serves as example, new founding myth. Bran the Broken isntead of Aegon the Conqueror.

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    70. Back to Bran. There may be another angle to his characterisation, given GRRM’s interest in international history and culture as inspiration for ASOIAF/GoT. One of the most influential ancient Indian mythological epics focuses on a massive struggle for political power between royal dynasties, where the main characters are related due to historical intermarriages, there are “heroes and villains on both sides” despite one side being ostensibly “good” and the other “bad”, some of the main protagonists are secretly (and unknowingly) related due to illegitimacy, one of the aristocratic women is grossly mistreated and demands vengeance (eventually resulting in the main culprit being killed in a particularly gruesome way), the spiralling conflict drags in numerous other kingdoms across thousands of miles, and the whole thing culminates in a devastating war involving nasty behaviour on both sides and a pyrrhic victory for the “good guys”. Sounds familiar?

      Well, there’s more. The Bran connection? A key figure in the epic is an all-knowing semi-divine individual who is closely related to the main group of “heroic” warriors, he’s emotionally closest to the saga’s equivalent of Jon/Achilles, he directly intervenes in events only occasionally and usually only if someone directly asks him for information/help/advice, but he still repeatedly nudges things along at key points throughout the story, he doesn’t personally fight anyone in the battles, and he withdraws from the situation after the “good guys” have won the final conflict.

      There are even parallels with the outraged reaction of some commenters here to Bran. Once the dust has settled, a woman who lost family in the war angrily confronts the all-knowing figure, rightfully berating him for having had the power to prevent so much carnage and suffering and doing so little to stop it. (She curses him that his clan will be wiped out. He acknowledges his responsibility and accepts the moral validity of the curse. Most of his clan subsequently kill each other in a drunken after-party).

      So…Did GRRM really base Bran partly on Krishna from India’s “Mahabharata” epic? Maybe I’m just looking at this as a guy with Indian ancestry/ethnicity. But there are some very noticeable parallels, and it explains a lot about Bran’s overall role and behaviour. Someone should ask GRRM 😉

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    71. Jai,

      Bran is answer to that Varys’ riddle from S2. Where is real power. It’s where people believe it is. So power is just a story. A collective agreement. Just like realm is as LF said. Story we agree to tell each other.

      And they were telling story of the Iron Throne and Aegon. And they had society built on gloryfication of war and blood lines. But what if we have a different story? That will celebrate different values? So here you have this boy, he is not heir, not war hero, he represents wisdom, memory, remembering the past, he fell but he did raise again. He can serve as different kind of inspiration to future generations.

      I feel it’s all consistent. Varys’ speech, LF’s, Tywin’s to Tommen. It’s more about Tyrion realizing what was the probelm of Westeros that created wheel of endless wars. It was in the stories that were their foundation.

      And better Westeros needs better story. And who has a better story than Bran the Broken?

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    72. Jai,

      ”Bran is now “king” but only in a symbolic way. The de facto king is actually Tyrion. Bran pointedly removed himself from the situation and appeared happy to leave things in Tyrion’s hands…”

      So Varys was kind of right after all…

      (Tyrion and Varys S5e1)
      Tyrion: “I will never sit on the Iron Throne.”

      Varys: “No, you won’t. But you could help another climb those steps and take that seat…”

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    73. mau,

      ”…And better Westeros needs better story. And who has a better story than Bran the Broken?“

      Ummm… About five other candidates had much better stories. Shall we begin?

      Who had the “best story”?

      Candidate #1: United sworn enemies Free Folk and Northerners to fight the existential threat facing all humanity. Forged alliance with dragon queen and her armies to travel north to join the battle. Stabbed to death, but then resurrected. Turned out to be trueborn son of Rhaegar Targaryen, and putative heir to the Iron Throne. Sexual savant who impressed Wildling girl with “the Lord’s Kiss.” One of only four people to have killed a White Walker. Elected King in the North despite his supposed bastardy. Rid the world of a mass-murdering tyrant.

      to be cont.

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    74. Candidate #2:
      Defied his mentor and went for a weirwood joyride, getting his compatriots, his mentor, and his puppy killed. Fried Hodor’s brain. Was supposed to be indispensable in the Great War, and had an ancient race sacrifice itself and go extinct to ensure his survival, but then was completely useless during the Great War. Sat around and warged into birdies. Didn’t help at all. Superpowers amounted to squat. Turned into a socially awkward weirdo whose main attribute was parroting back other characters’ catchphrases.
      If he had foreknowledge or omniscient sightseeing abilities, he never used them to find or disclose critical information when it mattered.
      Lingering suspicion that he let thousands of innocents get incinerated, and revealed Jon’s parentage, just so he could wind up as king.
      Had his brain-fried victim tote his sorry ass to the far north, and then after that mule sacrificed himself, the young woman who dragged his sorry ass from the far north back to the Wall was treated by Bran the ingrate like a disposable servant, never to be heard from again.
      “Saw” his missing (and presumed dead?) little sister in an Inn but never told the rest of his family she was alive and well or where she was. Perved on his other sister as she got raped on her wedding night. Purported repository of “memories.”
      Employed a “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach to whatever information he could access. Lacking initiative or wisdom, his powers were functionally useless.
      Promoted a dumb “bait plan” that predictably turned to sh*t.
      Most noteworthy quality: Allowing other people to die for him, for no good reason. Best reason for ascending to the throne: role model for the disabled. Worst reasons: awful moniker, “Bran the Broken.” Plus, the exploits of a robotic human-warlock hybrid who all too often showed little regard and no emotion for those who sacrificed themselves for him, might not make for a compelling “story” when it comes to selecting a leader.
      Endorsements? One. By a prisoner – and accused traitor and kingslayer – with a not-so-stellar reputation.
      Miscellaneous factor: The tale of a crippled boy talking to magic birds was understandably dismissed by Citadel Maesters; there was no reason to expect high lords to give it credence. The natural reaction to Tyrion’s speech would be: ”What the f*ck’s a Three-Eyed Raven?” Not, “Aye.”

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    75. Candidate #3: As a young girl, evaded an all-points dragnet by the Crown to escape the capitol. Survived incognito posing as a boy for the next four or five years.
      Egalitarian humanist who readily befriended, and did not look down upon “common folk.” Made fast friends out of antagonists. Saved the life of her Baratheon bastard friend with her quick wit. Years later, bowled him over with her breathtaking bedroom prowess.
      Used her wits and quick thinking once again to escape concentration camp, freeing her friends as well. Earned an all-expenses paid scholarship to Murder School, but refused to target innocents at great peril to herself. Awarded honorary degree despite dropping out early.
      Transformed the misanthropic Hound from cold-blooded killer into a protector. Exacted justice against the sadistic serial pedophile who brutally beat her sister and killed her dancing master, and the goon who had mercilessly killed her friend laying wounded on the ground after he’d already yielded.
      Carried out the humane execution of the miscreant who had betrayed both of her parents, murdered her aunt and her uncle, left her cousin an orphan, and framed her sister and Tyrion Lannister for regicide.
      Didn’t just spout platitudes like “There is no justice in this world unless we make it.” Practiced it. Defended innocents and “small folk” from torture, oppression and death at the hands of the malevolent and powerful.

      Singlehandedly avenged the Red Wedding: punished all of the men who helped slaughter the Starks and violated Guest Right. Meted out justice to the prime conspirator, and his doofus sons who butchered her mother and her pregnant sister in law, and assassinated her brother the king and mutilated his body.
      When all seemed lost and the Army of the Dead had overrun the Allied fortifications, took on and defeated the Night King in single combat, disintegrating his entire army, and saving all of humanity from extermination. Saved her brother Bran from imminent death. Accomplished what fire breathing dragons, Dothraki cavalry, Unsullied army, and unified forces of the North, Free Folk, and the Vale could not.
      Dubbed “The Hero of Winterfell.” Yet, because of her innate humility, she refused accolades for her bravery and heroism.
      During Dany’s Inferno, she tried valiantly to lead helpless women and children to safety.
      Most noteworthy qualities: Judged people on their merits and not their social status. Saw firsthand how innocents and regular people do the suffering and the dying when high lords, kings and queens go to war and perpetuate cycles of retribution. Did not let vengeance consume her or corrupt her humanity.
      Experienced deprivation and starvation.
      Skilled in swordfighting, archery and other martial arts.
      Has empathy and compassion for others. Does not seek glory for herself.
      Values unvarnished truth over lies, and full candor over cynical compromises and convenient rationalizations.
      Has a virtually infallible moral compass.*

      *(Inexplicably jumping on the “we don’t like Dany” bandwagon was the one demerit; the courageous woman who saved her brother and his wight hunt posse deserved gratitude, not condemnation. But since Dany had turned out to be a looney tunes tyrant by the time of the “best story” presentation, Dany-bashing would likely be considered the mark of a wise would-be replacement ruler.)

      Trueborn daughter of Ned Stark and Catelyn Tully-Stark, beloved, respected and trusted by (or a blood relation of): Stark & Targaryen progeny and presumptive heir Aegon Targaryen, Lady of Winterfell Sansa Stark, Lord of Riverrun Edmure Tully, Lord of Storm’s End Gendry Baratheon (and by extension, Ser Davos Seaworth), Lord Commander of the Kingsguard Brienne of F*cking Tarth, and Lord of the Vale Robyn Arryn.
      Apparently, held in high regard by The Lord of Light aka The Red God, The Many-Faced God, and the Old Gods and the New.
      Ringing endorsement from the editorial board of HPNN (Hot Pie News Network).
      Arya Stark. War hero. Champion of the People. Protector of the Innocent and Downtrodden. Defender of those who’d been “crushed under the Wheel.” Dispenser of justice and mercy. Incorruptible leader seeking neither glory, gold, power, adulation nor titles. Savior of the human race.
      Quite a story…

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    76. Candidate #4: Restored as Lord of Riverrun. Related by marriage to (remnants of) House Frey. Experience as mistreated prisoner and tormented hostage for several years. Heir of Hoster Tully. Brother of Catelyn Stark. Uncle of Sansa Stark, Bran Stark, Arya Stark, and Robyn Arryn. Downsides: Poor archery skills, presumptuousness under pressure leading to counterproductive consequences. Not the best team player. Questionable judgment. Limited governing experience.

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    77. Candidate #5: Crabber’s son, born and raised in the slums of Flea Bottom, earned a living as a smuggler – and elevated to “Ser” and the founder of his own noble house on the strength of his achievements and his loyalty.
      Served as Hand and facilitator to one king and after that king’s demise, served as de facto Hand to another king.
      Legendary mariner who ran the enemy blockade during the Siege of Storm’s End to deliver food to the denizens of the castle and thereby save them from imminent death by starvation. Earned knighthood for his heroic deed; readily accepted punishment as penance for his offenses committed during his career as a smuggler.
      Powerful orator. Top negotiator. Persuasive speaker, whether to forge alliances, obtain financial support, or obtain military backing. Hewed to what is right and just. Sought to guide his monarch to act ethically, and never sought his own personal advancement or personal gain. Always looked out for the good of the realm and the welfare of all people.
      Did not make a name for himself by killing, and has not resorted to killing as a political tactic. Rejected making deals with the devil (or with witches). Not motivated by pride or a lust for power. Has treated with nobility and royalty, as well as the slum-dwellers and disease-afflicted.
      Uniformly respected and trusted by Jon Snow aka Aegon Targaryen, Tormund Giantsbane and the Free Folk, Northern allies, Southern king, Gendry Baratheon, and even his former adversary Tyrion Lannister. (Only exception: Sansa Stark, for some reason.)

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    78. Ten Bears: About five other candidates had much better stories.

      In my view of who had the better story, I’d say five is a generously low number 😉

      Still, I realize this is my purely subjective view!

      I think that Bran as the King of the 6/7K is coming from GRRM but yeah, the rationale for his selection as presented in the show is questionable (to borrow some wording from Jai).

      (And thanks for today’s musical interlude, Ten Bears!)

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    79. Adrianacandle,

      ”In my view of who had the better story, I’d say five is a generously low number.”😉

      I agree. By all means, feel free to nominate additional candidates.

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    80. Adrianacandle,

      Not having had recourse to the source material for quite some time I can tend to confuse my witches. I can’t remember which out of the Woods Witch and the Ghost of High Heart was possibly Jenny of Oldstones’s (Olstones’ ?) fond mama.

      I didn’t go looking for them before the show ended but I did find some videos predicting that Dany might take a dark turn that were made before the showing of the final (or final and penultimate) season(s). Because Dany was right about the dragon eggs hatching in the books I tended to give credence to her prophecies but hearing voices can be a symptom of delusions. I had wondered at one time if the third twist might be that Dany WASN’T the Mad King’s daughter – I seem to remember that Dany’s parents weren’t necessarily that keen on each other but they were compelled to marry each other to keep the bloodline pure and that Dany’s mother had liked a knight at one time but that nothing happened as a result of that friendship or relationship. Dany would still have Targaryen blood from her mother’s side of course.

      I know that sometimes it has been suggested (because of book lemon tree that never made it into the show) that Dany might not be a Targaryen at all. I’m pretty sure those ideas are toast now. Mind you (thinking of a different theory) if book Varys DOES turn out to be a merman I shall well and truly have egg on my face because I thought that idea was crackers.

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    81. Ten Bears: I agree. By all means, feel free to nominate additional candidates.

      Hot Pie — a man of the pastry, a man of the people. I always feel better after a muffin, more willing to listen and comply 😉

      But on a serious note, while I think quite a few characters had a better story than Bran (in my opinion only — he was a sweet and likable kid when he was Bran and had an important mission but his story…), they may not be a good fit as king/queen, which is why I found that basis (“Who has the best story?”) so puzzling.

      But you did some nice write-ups, especially for Davos.

      I’d vote Davos.

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    82. mau,

      I have since abandoned the theory, I latched onto it after the show ended in a desperate bid to find meaning in this choice. The slightly contradictory nature of Bran in the last couple of seasons just left me floundering. I have accepted it, but it leaves me cold, and somewhat clueless lol. If/when GRRM finishes the books, I hope he adds an Appendix titled ‘For Fools’ and lays it all out for me in bullet points. At this point, I need that level of clarity.

      After time away, I think Jon got the most satisfying ending, people thought he was an Aragorn and he is actually Frodo, with Sam being Sam. It’s the definition of bitter sweet and just felt right for his character.

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    83. Jenny,

      Training with wizard to become king in this type of story will never really work, so I think looking at this story as Bran’s rise to power will never be satisfying.

      But if you look Bran as symbol of new world, someone that Tyrion saw as good new myth after centuries of war over bloodlines with Aegon’s philosophy of “fear and blood” (as Robert said) then it works.

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    84. Dame of Mercia,

      Not having had recourse to the source material for quite some time I can tend to confuse my witches. I can’t remember which out of the Woods Witch and the Ghost of High Heart was possibly Jenny of Oldstones’s (Olstones’ ?) fond mama.

      I think Arya’s woods witch is the witch linked to Jenny, according to the westeros.org wiki, but I didn’t find anything about her being Jenny’s mum:

      When Jenny of Oldstones came to court after marrying Prince Duncan Targaryen, she was accompanied by her friend, a dwarfish, albino woman who was reputed to be a woods witch in the riverlands. Lady Jenny claimed that she was a child of the forest, although this was not true. After hearing the woods witch’s prophecy that the prince that was promised would come from the line of Aerys and Rhaella Targaryen, their father Prince Jaehaerys insisted that they marry.[4][5] The woods witch was present at the tragic destruction of Summerhall in 259 AC, and was believed to have died there.[5] However, she somehow survived and returned to the riverlands,[2] where she mourns for her friend Jenny.[3]

      _____

      Because Dany was right about the dragon eggs hatching in the books I tended to give credence to her prophecies but hearing voices can be a symptom of delusions. I had wondered at one time if the third twist might be that Dany WASN’T the Mad King’s daughter – I seem to remember that Dany’s parents weren’t necessarily that keen on each other but they were compelled to marry each other to keep the bloodline pure and that Dany’s mother had liked a knight at one time but that nothing happened as a result of that friendship or relationship. Dany would still have Targaryen blood from her mother’s side of course.

      I know that sometimes it has been suggested (because of book lemon tree that never made it into the show) that Dany might not be a Targaryen at all. I’m pretty sure those ideas are toast now. Mind you (thinking of a different theory) if book Varys DOES turn out to be a merman I shall well and truly have egg on my face because I thought that idea was crackers.

      Oh, I think the Mermaid Varys theory is crackers too! I also typically have doubts about theories speculating Dany is not a Targaryen.

      But the theory you’ve referenced here is one I remember Kevin being interested in — that the house with the red door may not have actually been a real place Dany lived but something put into her head(??? Kevin, if you read this and I’m wrong, please correct me!) I don’t remember Dany really hearing voices though, I only remember her fever dream toward the end of ADWD which seems to be brought on by dehydration, exhaustion, and starvation (but I could be blanking on something).

      But yes, I also recall something about Aerys and Rhaella not much liking each other either from Barristan. Barristan also mentions that Aerys’s and Rhaella’s father demanded them to marry because of the woods witch’s prophecy — that the Prince That Was Promised would be born of Aerys’s and Rhaella’s line. This woods witch seems to be the same woods witch Arya met and the one associated with Jenny:

      Ser Barristan went on. “I saw your father and your mother wed as well. Forgive me, but there was no fondness there, and the realm paid dearly for that, my queen.”

      “Why did they wed if they did not love each other?”

      “Your grandsire commanded it. A woods witch had told him that the prince was promised would be born of their line.”

      “A woods witch?” Dany was astonished.

      “She came to court with Jenny of Oldstones. A stunted thing, grotesque to look upon. A dwarf, most people said, though dear to Lady Jenny, who always claimed that she was one of the children of the forest.”

      “What became of her?”

      “Summerhall.” The word was fraught with doom.

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    85. mau:
      Ten Bears,

      Because I already wrote about him, which you ignored and wrote that very biased recap of his story.

      Them’s fightin’ words!

      (Just kidding. 🙂)

      Still… what was biased about my recap of Bran’s story? Was it not based on what we saw and heard?

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    86. mau:
      Jai,

      Bran is answer to that Varys’ riddle from S2. Where is real power. It’s where people believe it is. So power is just a story. A collective agreement. Just like realm is as LF said. Story we agree to tell each other.

      And they were telling story of the Iron Throne and Aegon. And they had society built on gloryfication of war and blood lines. But what if we have a different story?That will celebrate different values? So here you have this boy, he is not heir, not war hero, he represents wisdom, memory, remembering the past, he fell but he did raise again. He can serve as different kind of inspiration to future generations.

      I feel it’s all consistent. Varys’ speech, LF’s, Tywin’s to Tommen. It’s more about Tyrion realizing what was the probelm of Westeros that created wheel of endless wars. It was in the stories that were their foundation.

      And better Westeros needs better story. And who has a better story than Bran the Broken?

      I think this explains Bran the King quite well. A new founding myth for a new kind of Westeros.

      Real world countries have their founding myths, or national stories, and they can also change through time. For instance, for a long time England’s/UK’s national story was “the Empire”. After the empire crumbled, there hasn’t been a clear replacement. “Two world wars and a world cup” doesn’t quite cut it, and now only roughly a half buy the “Brexit” mythos.

      The problem with the show is that it didn’t really show the motivations and reasoning behind this decision – Tyrion’s little speech seemed very ad hoc and the way others accepted it was too easy.

      It’ll be interesting to see – if we ever will – how GRRM will solve this so that it feels earned and fitting.

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    87. Not able to read everything but not sure about the founding myth idea but willing to explore……

      Why does the south need a new founding myth and the north does not?

      The north saw a mind-bending attack by the KL and the dead and lost nearly its entire population. Does this not seem to be the region that needs a new founding myth? A new start? Why was Sansa adequate?

      The south had one city razed/sacked but the rest of it is Ok, no?. Outside of KL and people that hid there, the majority of the other people should be mildly affected. They did not see the NK and the army of the dead. They knew dragons exists and what they can do. Why do they need to start over? This region has been attacked by dragons before, this same city has been sacked before, even by Robert, and they went on without a new founding myth. Why do they need one now?

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    88. Referencing my comment about theories, it is possible that Dany remembers wrongly I guess. I know I’ve sometimes distorted things in my own memory. When Dany seems to have a vision of Quaith in the books (which is usually attributed to the glass candles which weren’t adapted into the show) I wondered if Dany’s own mind could be imagining Quaith. My theorising has usually been way off point though. I thought the gravedigger might be somebody who has been revealed to be alive in the show albeit by a different plot device (I didn’t mind that change) so I was maybe right in that instance.

      I haven’t done anything about differences between the show and the books as yet on the forums. If I do I’ll probably do something basic like changes I liked or at least was neutral about and ones I thought were iffy (and will try to find something different to the fact that I didn’t like Jeyne Westerling becoming Talisa because I’ve already mentioned that more than once over the years). I mentioned that I belong to a group who intermittently write articles in shorthand and pass them round among ourselves (not for money – just to practise reading shorthand) though it’s on hiatus at present because of the quarantine as we all (not that there are many of us) live in different parts of the country and there is the matter of taking something to the Post Office to have it weighed. I’ve sometimes used things I’ve thought about with respect to issues raised in GoT as a theme for an article. I’ve also thought of starting a blog related to shorthand because there is a dearth of material out there and it is a declining skill. I didn’t write about GoT specifically – I did something once about real and fictional characters (not necessarily disguising themselves as boys) who reminded me of Arya Stark and I wrote one about ‘fan fiction’ though I didn’t refer to GoT particularly. I was thinking of revisiting that theme perhaps relating more specifically to girls passing themselves off as boys this time but I’d need to do more research first. I did jot down some ideas for articles and am pretty sure I didn’t throw my list out. I could do something about some of the ideas I’ve thought about on the forums if it might be of interest but I’ve sometimes started threads and although people have read them either nobody or only a scant number of folk comment. One thread was frivolous – I linked to a story (true) about some Austrian noblewomen fighting a duel about flower arranging but that was meant to be light-hearted. Someone had said that women can’t fight (I think about the Sand Snakes) so I just linked a YouTube video about the duelling noble Austrian ladies for a bit of levity. At least when women fight a duel they do it about sensible – nothing futile like honour, or being accused of cheating at cards, but flower arranging (if I knew how to insert emojis I’d put a smiley emoji here). I did one on the quarantine part of the thread about casting some of the characters who had not made it from the page to the screen but nobody wanted to play. I also did something about casting ASOIAF with 60s and 70s actors but that fizzled out as did one about voice actors for reading or radio broadcasting of the books. To be fair, most of the commenters here are too young to remember performances from the 1960s and 1970s.

        Quote  Reply

    89. Ten Bears,

      Love your listing.

      Isaac needed more “story” in GOT. I think nearly everyone had a better story than Bran. Left out of an entire season and then an occasional awkward line now and then.

      Compare that to LOTR in which Frodo was THE essential character with the greatest story. For me, Bran was more comparable to one of the magic trees or Pip – played a part but not big enough in the story.

      I agree that the root of the problem may be GRRM work not D&D. But at least GRRM still has a writing opportunity to make it work.

        Quote  Reply

    90. Mango,

      ”The north saw a mind-bending attack by the [NK] and the dead and lost nearly its entire population. Does this not seem to be the region that needs a new founding myth? A new start? Why was Sansa adequate?”

      Right. So let’s see… Who pray tell could be the subject of such a new founding myth for the North?

      Hint: 👸🏻

        Quote  Reply

    91. Tyron – Tyron was the wartime deputy of the person who razed and massacred KL. He is at least guilty as an accomplice. How he becomes an architect is the “new south” is head-scratching. When he left the south he was wanted for the murder of Tywin and convicted (by judgement of the gods) of the murder of Joffrey.

      No-one cared – he gets a great position. After picking a king while still a prisoner.

      Grey Worm shrugs and walks off without seeking revenge for his queen.

      I think Tyrion may have the best story.

        Quote  Reply

    92. Ten Bears:
      Mango,

      ”The north saw a mind-bending attack by the [NK] and the dead and lost nearly its entire population. Does this not seem to be the region that needs a new founding myth? A new start? Why was Sansa adequate?”

      Right. So let’s see… Who pray tell could be the subject of such a new founding myth for the North?

      Hint:

      Hhahhaaaa! After killing death, she would be solid foundation for a creation myth. Better than Bran. Better than Sansa.

        Quote  Reply

    93. Dame of Mercia,

      I did one on the quarantine part of the thread about casting some of the characters who had not made it from the page to the screen but nobody wanted to play. I also did something about casting ASOIAF with 60s and 70s actors but that fizzled out as did one about voice actors for reading or radio broadcasting of the books. To be fair, most of the commenters here are too young to remember performances from the 1960s and 1970s.

      I think that’d be really cool! I’d love to see your casting suggestions!! 🙂 If you linked to images/videos, I don’t think the era of the actors would matter much!

      I was thinking of revisiting that theme perhaps relating more specifically to girls passing themselves off as boys this time but I’d need to do more research first. I did jot down some ideas for articles and am pretty sure I didn’t throw my list out.

      I think this would be pretty great too!

      When Dany seems to have a vision of Quaith in the books (which is usually attributed to the glass candles which weren’t adapted into the show) I wondered if Dany’s own mind could be imagining Quaith. My theorising has usually been way off point though. I thought the gravedigger might be somebody who has been revealed to be alive in the show albeit by a different plot device (I didn’t mind that change) so I was maybe right in that instance.

      I think this is a theory others have speculated so you’re not the only one wondering! It’s one I remember Kevin having referenced a lot too, making him suspicious if some of Dany’s memories are real or imaginary.

        Quote  Reply

    94. Ten Bears:
      Candidate #2:. Miscellaneous factor: The tale of a crippled boy talking to magic birds was understandably dismissed by Citadel Maesters; there was no reason to expect high lords to give it credence. The natural reaction to Tyrion’s speech would be: ”What the f*ck’s a Three-Eyed Raven?” Not, “Aye.”

      Agree here. The south was sacked by a dragon, a foreign army and the northern army. Not by the NK and the dead. They did not even see this “mythical army”. They have no context to believe Bran or care. Why would Bran resonate with them? Bran did nothing for them to stop the dragon. Worse, HIS northern army was part of the havoc.

      From the other posts that I have gone thru now, I see more of the founding myth argument. I still have questions.

      Why would the south pick a guy that is heir to the north? The northern army joined with the dragon lady and responded to the surrender of KL with the indiscriminate murder of its citizens.

      Why does Bran (of the northern murderers) provide a noble new founding myth that represents a better future world of “goodness”?

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    95. Mango,

      “Agree here. The south was sacked by a dragon, a foreign army and the northern army. Not by the NK and the dead. They did not even see this “mythical army”. They have no context to believe Bran or care. Why would Bran resonate with them? Bran did nothing for them to stop the dragon. Worse, HIS northern army was part of the havoc.”

      There was the much criticised plot point in season 7 when a wight was brought to the dragon pit to prove they (wights) existed.

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    96. Dame of Mercia,

      Yes, I did not forget that. But one wight does not an army make.

      They did not invite many southern lords to the “wight” party. They focused on impressing Cersei – who did not budge. So the south would have had rumors about this evil wight but not seen an army or NK or what they really can do.

      And this mythical army did nothing to them in the south. It was the northern army and dragon lady that were the destroyers of the capital city.

        Quote  Reply

    97. Mango,

      In the show this is easily explained, it’s not a democracy, the people at the Great Council make the decisions for their respective Kingdoms. Thinking about the guest list, it’s possible that all of them were at Winterfell, or at least related to someone that was. Except the Prince of Dorne. So they know and trust each other, and they know Bran. Very neat and tidy.

      In the book, it’s probably going to be much bigger, and therefore more complicated. When the general populace hears about Bran’s power, that might cause problems after the war. The Northern Lords bitched at Jon/Sansa enough for us to know that the Lords and Ladies of the minor houses have some say in the running of their Kingdoms, but that’s too messy for the show to cover right at the end, and I couldn’t tell you how it will be dealt with in the book.

        Quote  Reply

    98. mau,

      You make a lot of great points. Bran didn’t really partake in the game of thrones throughout the story, so his becoming king felt out of place. And him being picked made as much sense as anyone else at the dragon pit, maybe even more, considering how connected the Starks were to the other kingdoms.

      I think those who are holding out hope for Martin to do a better job are setting themselves up for disappointment. I heard people claim he’ll do more with the White Walkers, even though the White Walker storyline hasn’t even kicked off yet in the books. And Book Bran still has a long way to go before he’ll be more king material than Show Bran. Considering his storyline is dealing with the magical aspects of the story as well, I’m not sure how he’s going to pull it off.

      If Martin can somehow make a storyline involving a king implementing his taxation policy actually interesting, I will take back every negative thing I’ve said about him.

        Quote  Reply

    99. Jenny:
      Mango,

      In the show this is easily explained, it’s not a democracy, the people at the Great Council make the decisions for their respective Kingdoms.Thinking about the guest list, it’s possible that all of them were at Winterfell, or at least related to someone that was.Except the Prince of Dorne.So they know and trust each other, and they know Bran.Very neat and tidy.

      In the book, it’s probably going to be much bigger, and therefore more complicated.When the general populace hears about Bran’s power, that might cause problems after the war.The Northern Lords bitched at Jon/Sansa enough for us to know that the Lords and Ladies of the minor houses have some say in the running of their Kingdoms, but that’s too messy for the show to cover right at the end, and I couldn’t tell you how it will be dealt with in the book.

      What is easily explained?

        Quote  Reply

    100. Jenny:
      Mango,

      Why the South would accept Bran as King, while knowing nothing about him.

      I agree that anyone that takes the throne by conquest or selected by the head of regions is king. And the council decides. So making Bran king does not need any discussion beyond”the council said so”…in that you be correct. But we are discussing it because of the argument made by Tyrion and whether it was satisfying for the audience.

      We are discussing the basis of a decision that Tyrion is able to persuade them to make. I am commenting on the use of the best story as the basis of selection and the origin story. Bran does not have the best story.

      And a national origin story extends beyond the regional heads or conquest. It is must permeate society for legitimacy. Hence I spoke about why it was needed in the north and questioned the basis for this is the south.

      On your note, And why did Dorne go along?

        Quote  Reply

    101. Mango,

      I was responding to this,

      ‘Agree here. The south was sacked by a dragon, a foreign army and the northern army. Not by the NK and the dead. They did not even see this “mythical army”. They have no context to believe Bran or care. Why would Bran resonate with them? Bran did nothing for them to stop the dragon. Worse, HIS northern army was part of the havoc’.

      They believe him because they just happen to be his family and allies, they witnessed the war first hand, which is why the process was so easy. There weren’t many Southern Lords there, the Prince of Dorne might have been the only one. The council was conveniently made up of our characters, I can’t see Brienne being consulted on this in the book for example, she isn’t from a great house. As to why Tyrion suggested Bran, and why we should find it narratively satisfying, I honestly couldn’t tell you, I have been asking myself these questions for a year lol.

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    102. Young Dragon,

      If Martin can somehow make a storyline involving a king implementing his taxation policy actually interesting, I will take back every negative thing I’ve said about him.

      You, my dear sir, are on a roll! 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    103. Jenny,

      ”…They believe him because they just happen to be his family and allies, they witnessed the war first hand, which is why the process was so easy. There weren’t many Southern Lords there, the Prince of Dorne might have been the only one.”

      Right, they witnessed the war firsthand – and whose selfless heroism won it (i.e., not BirdBrain).

      As for Dorne, surely they’d appreciate the heroine who channeled Oberyn’s spearfighting…

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5xBdE_O7Dk

      ——-
      👸🏻🧟🧟‍♀️🧟‍♂️🧟🗡

        Quote  Reply

    104. Ten Bears,

      Bran selflessly used himself as bait to draw the Night King into his trap. It may not be as flashy as wielding a spear or a Valyrian steel dagger, but I still consider it to be heroic.

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    105. Jenny,

      Yes, the decision group were mostly folk that were in north. Not many of the southerner lords then. Very convenient. This story needs a bit of fixing.
      Ten Bears,

      Ten Bears,

      Everyone that stood to fight were heroes. Bran was heir to Winterfell and it is appropriate that he took bigger risks. Arya a little less so but she was still family. Jaime in particular that came a long way alone into enemy territory to fight with one hand.

      Remind me, I do not remember. Was the NK looking for Bran in particular? Did Bran just make himself more convenient to find? Would NK have ignored Winterfell if Bran was sitting in a different location…..

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    106. Sometimes when I try to post a link it defaults to the front page of the site so I don’t know if these will work but fingers crossed (metaphorically)

      http://forum.watchersonthewall.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=298
      (my short forum thread about possible 1960s stars for ASOIAF roles)

      Me equally short thread about possible castings for a handful
      of the characters who didn’t make it to the show from the book

      http://forum.watchersonthewall.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=299

      My thread (longer) about GoT actors in other things

      forum.watchersonthewall.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=269&start=90

      I can’t find my voice actor thread at present.

      If I’m to do anything about real life Arya Stark counterparts I need to do some research and polishing off of my rough ideas first. This doesn’t pertain to a particular historical figure but I’m aware that in some very masculine dominated middle Eastern countries there is a phenomenon called “Bacha Posh” (girls dressing as boys) so that prepubescent girls can go out and do tasks that would normally be assigned to boys (this happens I believe in families where there are daughters but no sons) https://youtu.be/1n6uKm8u6KM When the girls hit puberty they are expected to go back to living as girls. Some are okay with this but some find it difficult to give up the freedom they experienced when living as boys. There were also (I’m writing this from memory without consulting the internet) some women shepherds who dressed in male attire in Albania – they are dying out now but used to have to promise to live as virgins is my understanding. There are other examples but it’s very rough and ready in my mind at present.

      Concerning ideas inspired by but not necessarily mirroring what happens in GoT/ASOIAF I’d thought of real-life Asha/Yara Greyjoy types. I’m sure there are others besides Grace O’Malley (anglicised version of the name) and Jeanne de Clisson and (though the last one wasn’t a pirate) Queen Artemesia; impersonation (a real-life one I can think of is Martin Guerre (sp?). If fAegon is a fake (though he probably believes himself to be the real Aegon) and the theory about who Alleras is turns out to be true and then there is fArya there are a number of impersonators in the books – and Sansa is Alayne for a time and Arya is Arry, Weasel and Cat of the Canals to name but three. Though arguably Alayne and the various identities Arya assumes are disguises rather than impersonations.

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    107. Tyrion being Hand isn’t reward for him. Its punishment, it’s similar to restorative justice theory. His punishment is to fix mess that he made.

      As for the North, they didn’t reject bloodlines obviously. Just like every other region in Westeros that is still ruled by old families. You can’t make a drastic change over night. But it’s a first baby steps towards democracy.

      The North suffered the most in attack from White Walkers saving the entire Westeros, as Sansa said. Independence is their reward.

      But the king of Westeros does represent different values. Regions are still ruled by old houses because good progress is moderate. Centuries from now, when they do have democracy, someone will find out that the first person who suggested it was Sam. 🙂

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    108. Mango,

      From my recollection, Bran’s wrist stamp signifying that he’d paid the cover charge for admission to the Night Club (sorry 🙃) – functioned as a GPS tracking device, and NK was homing in on Bran.

      (Sam should have dissected that skin flap from Bran’s wrist and sewn it onto a chicken to misdirect the NK instead of having Bran sit in a wheelchair in the middle of a clearing – but that’s another story.)

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    109. Jenny,

      Well southern lords were Gendry, Edmure, Yara, Dornish guy, Robin, Royce, Tyrion. Sam is probably there to represent Reach.

      I guess just like in S7 some people needed like 100 extras there to represent every house in Westeros in order to understand the scene. It’s a tv show. It has it’s limitation. If you approach it in bad faith you won’t enjoy it. It’s choice everyone has to make for themselves.

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    110. Adrianacandle,

      ”(And thanks for today’s musical interlude, Ten Bears!)

      ———
      I hope you won’t mind then if I supplement it. Here’s St. Vincent (Annie Clark), who accompanied David Byrne in the 2013 video I previously posted, in two more recent performances:

      • St. Vincent (Annie Clark) at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction of Nirvana in 2014, performing “Lithium” (5:04 long)

      • ⚠️ Warning! Smoking Hot!
      5 Melisandres out of 5. 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

      St. Vincent at Grammys (2019) – “Masseduction,” with Dua Lipa

      ——

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    111. Ten Bears,

      Where is sam when you need him?

      Jenny:

      And besides Robin/Royce none of these lords had/took armies to help with the fight in the north or to defend the south from the dragon lady. The entire southern governing/social structure in seven kingdoms were just these….

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    112. mau,

      I need to look at a map, I didn’t think those were southern, I thought Southern was The Reach, Westerlands, Crownlands and the Stormlands, so that’s Gendry, Brienne, and Sam. Oh and Tyrion obviously. More than Dornish guy which is fair enough. Anyway it’s not massively important, they had a few extras who looked Northern. The point is that they all knew Bran and were able to come to a clear consensus without much pushing. That doesn’t bother me, as I said the alternative is too complicated for a TV show right at the end. I didn’t like the scene, it was the low point of the episode for me, but given my issues with the entire point of the scene, I was never going to like it.

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    113. I forgot Davos as well, that’s shameful since I love him. For some reason I could only think of Dornish guy earlier lol. It’s an evenish split.

        Quote  Reply

    114. Ten Bears: I hope you won’t mind then if I supplement it. Here’s St. Vincent (Annie Clark), who accompanied David Byrne in the 2013 video I previously posted, in two more recent performances:

      • St. Vincent (Annie Clark) at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction of Nirvana in 2014, performing “Lithium” (5:04 long)

      • ⚠️ Warning! Smoking Hot!
      5 Melisandres out of 5. 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

      St. Vincent at Grammys (2019) – “Masseduction,” with Dua Lipa

      Oh, awesome!!! Thanks, Ten Bears!!!

        Quote  Reply

    115. Young Dragon,

      “If Martin can somehow make a storyline involving a king implementing his taxation policy actually interesting, I will take back every negative thing I’ve said about him.”

      But haven’t we already gone through hundreds of pages of logistics?

      -Negotiations with the Iron Bank (Jon).
      -Concerns about finding money for funding luxurious events (such as weddings)
      -Taxing the whores (Tyrion’s “pennies”)
      -Feeding armies and people (Daenerys, bread riots of KL, winter at the Wall)
      -LF’s speculation in the Vale
      -Managing the spoils of war; managing the dead of the wars; managing the sick of the war (Daenerys).

      Isn’t that enough? To be honest, while I had taken some time to reflect on what happens to the dead of a war, I hadn’t ever thought that there are warehouses where they keep the various pieces of armor, chainmail, breastplates, swords, etc.
      I found that interesting and I think it amounts to “taxation policy”. The mundane things of management of people and resources.
      It was more boring to go through hundreds of pages of descriptions of clothing, sigils, food, cyvasse playing.

        Quote  Reply

    116. Mango,

      Agreed. All these points are valid. In the books it’s going to be very complicated.
      The North, the Riverlands and the Vale make up a compact majority that is not found in the South, especially thinking that Dorne and the Reach will have sided with Young Griff, who will be defeated by Daenerys.
      It will probably be up to Sam to gather the remains of the Reach as heir of Randyl Tarly and up to Edric Storm to speak for the Stormlands (the Stormlands will probably go for Daenerys since Edric has taken refuge in the Free Cities). But here the long-standing friendship of Robert and Ned will probably weigh in the lords’ decision about who should rule after the death of Daenerys.
      The heir of Dorne, whether Arianne or Trystane, will not be in a position to dictate any terms as they will have supported Young Griff (provided they’re alive and Young Griff is not who they say he is).
      The same goes for whoever inherits Casterly Rock. The Lannisters probably all gone from this vain world of Westeros to a better place, the heir (probably a cousin of Jamie and Tyrion) will not be in a position to dictate any terms.
      The Iron Islands are a mystery to me because they are divided. But it is probable that Asha will gather whatever remains of their force and she will also support the Starks.

      In this context it seems to me that choosing a Stark is almost a one-way street. Not because there will be no one else, but because they will have brought an army down South, supported Daenerys and killed Daenerys.
      So Mau’s suggestion (and others’ if my memory doesn’t deceive me) that being chosen at this time translates into being chosen “to serve” as in being punished to rectify the mess they’ve created fits like a glove to the Starks too, not just Tyrion (I don’t believe that Tyrion will live in the book). Jon and Bran seem the only possible choice (Rickon is a child still), but considering the ending of GoT it seems like the master mind plans a complete subversion of the readers’ expectation by putting Bran on the throne.

        Quote  Reply

    117. Efi,

      The heir of Dorne, whether Arianne or Trystane, will not be in a position to dictate any terms as they will have supported Young Griff (provided they’re alive and Young Griff is not who they say he is).

      If the chosen ruler is selected to serve as a punishment to rectify the mess they’ve created, as you’ve proposed would be the case with the Starks, wouldn’t this apply to Dorne as well if they wrongly supported YG?

      On a general note, I’m not sure why Dorne wouldn’t ask to be independent like the North if the North asks for its independence — or why every other kingdom wouldn’t listen to Sansa’s request and be like, “Hey, that sounds like a good deal. I want that too! Independence for us as well!”

      Dorne has supplies and resources the North lacks, it can function as a self-sufficient kingdom and it can supply the capital with food. I think this does better their position when it comes time to decide a leader.

      How Bran would become the final king in the books does confuse me. I think it’ll happen per D&D’s words but the set-up for such a decision eludes me.

      So Mau’s suggestion (and others’ if my memory doesn’t deceive me) that being chosen at this time translates into being chosen “to serve” as in being punished to rectify the mess they’ve created fits like a glove to the Starks too, not just Tyrion (I don’t believe that Tyrion will live in the book). Jon and Bran seem the only possible choice (Rickon is a child still), but considering the ending of GoT it seems like the master mind plans a complete subversion of the readers’ expectation by putting Bran on the throne.

      I think the problem with Jon being chosen is that oathbreaking/kingslaying are still considered a huge crimes and taboos in Westeros, up there with kinslaying and breaking sacred guest right.

      Also, in their view, even without the above, Jon is still a bastard and the Westerosi are deeply prejudiced against bastards. It’s also known among Westeros that Jon let in their long-standing “enemy” past the Wall. Considering that the army of the dead was never real to the south since they didn’t see it for themselves and weren’t impacted at all by it in the slightest, Jon is never really vindicated in their eyes when he brought the wildlings south of the Wall. So I’m not sure why they’d choose Jon.

      If people are told about R+L=J in-universe and are somehow able to believe that Jon is the trueborn son of Lyanna and Rhaegar, as well as a hidden Targaryen (which I think would be a very hard-sell in Westeros — Jon lacks the Targaryen look and there are no DNA tests in Westeros), it would also be known that Jon committed kinslaying, probably the worst thing you can do in Westeros. Additionally, the stigma of Targaryen madness will probably have worsened in the aftermath of Dany’s firebombing King’s Landing, an event that will probably be fresh in everyone’s minds. I doubt this will do any favours for Jon if he’s believed to be a Targaryen as well.

      Bran would be free of all of the above… but I don’t know what compels everyone to agree to Bran’s election as king.

        Quote  Reply

    118. Efi: Isn’t that enough? To be honest, while I had taken some time to reflect on what happens to the dead of a war, I hadn’t ever thought that there are warehouses where they keep the various pieces of armor, chainmail, breastplates, swords, etc.
      I found that interesting and I think it amounts to “taxation policy”. The mundane things of management of people and resources.
      It was more boring to go through hundreds of pages of descriptions of clothing, sigils, food, cyvasse playing.

      Yeah, I agree with this. I think these things would be interesting details to look at, especially with fantasy (those mundane, gritty details and having to make hard decisions per GRRM’s question of what Aragorn would do with the baby orcs still since the orcs aren’t all gone when Sauron is defeated) but YMMV. Some people love food and clothing descriptions, some love exploring stuff like how a ruler deals with the nitty-gritty upon taking the crown, some love all of the above 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    119. Efi,

      All interesting thoughts…let us see how it pans out.

      GRRM still has the luxury of creating – I wish him luck in finding any ending – and even more in finding a good one. But this may turn out to opposite to Tolkien’s in delivering a deeply satisfying tale. An inversion, one could say!

      Yes, I agree that Tyrion’s end role was supposed to be punishment.

      I am sorry but giving enormous power as punishment to some-one who enjoys enormous power (and who specifically told us so during GOT) does not give me great satisfaction.

      One of the big themes of this entire series is the desire for power (a very human thing!). For me, it did not work very well to now argue for it as a punishment at the end.

      And if so, it may have been marginally more convincing as punishment for Jon or Jaime or Davos – who in the series did not make power their only priority. (Jon in book likes it more and Jon in the series did not entirely reject it either!)

      After the war, no-one punished the Nazis by giving them Germany or Europe and asking then to rebuild these.

      The series also showed that power is dangerous – looking at you Deaneryrs! It makes it difficult for me to feel great about giving power to persons that need to be punished.

      I see you think Tyrion will die in the book. At the end of GOT since he is alive, as punishment Tyrion could have been made to rebuild the KL sewer system – he has some knowledge in that area. Instead he got a great job! Unless talking to Bran regularly is going to be worse than the sewers.

        Quote  Reply

    120. Mango,

      One of the big themes of this entire series is the desire for power (a very human thing!). For me, it did not work very well to now argue for it as a punishment at the end.

      I agree with this general idea, I never really thought of it this way.

      (Jon in book likes it more and Jon in the series did not entirely reject it either!)

      While I think Jon (in both the books and the show) certainly starts out by aspiring to positions of leadership — I don’t think he enjoys the experience of holding power in either the book or the show when he does become a leader.

      In the books, Jon seems pretty miserable during his time as Lord Commander and wrestles with how to use his power. He reflects:

      Sam, you sweet fat fool, you played me a cruel jape when you made me lord commander. A lord commander has no friends.

      Despite his bastard birth, or perhaps because of it, Jon Snow had dreamed of leading men to glory just as King Daeron had, of growing up to be a conqueror. Now he was a man grown and the Wall was his, yet all he had were doubts. He could not even seem to conquer those.

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    121. Adrianacandle,

      Yes, I agree on Jon and his struggles with power.

      Certainly at the end of the series, he told Daenerys he did not want it. (Or maybe he knew she would burn him to chips if he showed any interest 🙂

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    122. To anyone suggesting Jon should have chosen as King at that meeting: you do remember the Unsullied wanted Jon dead? They weren’t about to let him be chosen as the friggen King. Now as for Bran:

      -Tyrion. Though a prisoner, was the only person left to speak for any significant house in the Westerlands. He was the one who suggested Bran in the first place for many reasons already discussed here and elsewhere. But the bottom line is: he represents one very important kingdom vouching for Bran.
      The Westerlands ✅

      -Samwell. Though a maester, was the only male adult left to speak for any significant house of the Reach, and the women of House Tarly still had lands and titles. He’s had a special connection with Bran throughout the show, and he’s probably amongst his biggest fans. Of course he’d be okay with Bran being King.
      The Reach ✅

      -Edmure. Current de facto Lord of the Riverlands. Has always been a staunch ally and supporter of the Starks, along with all the Tullys before him, since the days of Robert’s Rebellion. As the uncle of the potential new King, he might have a lot of influence at court. He’s kind of a little weasel, ain’t he? Though he’s not cunning enough to be a real threat to anyone.
      The Riverlands ✅

      -Yohn & Robin. Robin was the Lord of the Vale on paper, but in practice, Yohn has been the one on the ground making many of the decisions. Yohn’s bureaucratic life was made hell by Littlefinger, whom Bran played an instrumental part in exposing. Though Robin might be a weak, lackadaisical brat, they both have always been staunch allies and supporters of the Starks, since the days of Robert’s Rebellion. Yohn even grew up with Ned at the Eyrie.
      The Vale ✅

      Brienne & Gendry. These two were speaking for the main significant houses of the Stormlands, that being Baratheon and Tarth. Brienne swore an oath to defend and uphold Catelyn’s children. Why on earth would she oppose Bran being King? Gendry started off indifferent to politics but gradually became a supporter of the Starks by way of Arya, then later by way of Jon. Again, why would he refuse and start trouble?
      The Stormlands ✅

      Yara. The one here who seemingly had the most reason to oppose Bran being King… at first. The Greyjoys have hated the Starks for a long time, and Yara is no doubt a Greyjoy, through and through. Her brother, Theon, was a different story. He was a Greyjoy by birth and raised there for some years, and a Stark for many of his formative years. His very existence blurred the line between the two houses. He even went so far as to die fighting for Bran personally at Winterfell, partially to make amends for his misdeeds and partially out of sheer brotherly love. Yara refusing Bran out of some spite would be tantamount to spitting on Theon’s grave (if he had one).
      The Iron Islands ✅

      The new prince of Dorne. Even after the Dornish leadership was mostly wiped out, they still supported Dany later because they hated the Lannisters and because of their historical alliance to the Targaryens. This new prince didn’t say anything at the meeting, but based on his body language and reactions, he seemed to mostly be following Yara Greyjoy’s lead. He was looking at her almost the whole time she was talking, and when Arya threatened to kill Yara, they both almost got up. They both valued Dany and were no doubt upset when Jon killed her. So, when Yara supported Bran, the new prince had little reason to go against it her.
      Side note: Yara, who is decidedly pansexual, would likely get along well in Dorne, which has similarly liberated views on sexuality.
      Dorne ✅

      And there you have it. Seven regions of Westeros, not including the Crownlands (then controlled by the Unsullied and Dothraki) or the North (which ended up seceding) and why their chosen representatives decided to support Bran the Broken.

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    123. Mango: Yes, I agree on Jon and his struggles with power.

      Certainly at the end of the series, he told Daenerys he did not want it. (Or maybe he knew she would burn him to chips if he showed any interest 🙂

      At the very least, I do think being killed in a mutiny by one’s own officers in pursuit of trying to do the right thing may tone down the appeal of power 😉

      But in all seriousness, I think Jon’s feelings of misery while holding power make sense. Constantly having to make hard and unpopular choices, feeling alone, miserable, isolated, weighed down by doubts, and always having to fight — I think that is a wearisome prospect.

      There was this Marilyn Monroe quote I (think I) remember — I believe she said something like the dream is always better than the reality. In Jon’s case, as well as other’s, I think that holds true with power. It seems better on paper than what it actually is, particularly considering what it requires if taken on as a duty. Jon seemed pretty tired of it by the end for some (IMO) understandable reasons.

      I also wanted to respond to this!

      GRRM still has the luxury of creating – I wish him luck in finding any ending – and even more in finding a good one. But this may turn out to opposite to Tolkien’s in delivering a deeply satisfying tale. An inversion, one could say!

      Oh, I think this is true too. GRRM does still have the luxury to create!

      But at the same time, I’ve also been afraid because what may feel deeply satisfying to GRRM … might not feel deeply satisfying to us. This is ultimately his story, he is the sole creator, he decides what would be a deeply satisfying conclusion, and we don’t get a vote. I didn’t love any of the endings for the main characters on the show and while I think it’s very possible GRRM could make these endings work for his story and use them to explore the ideas he seems to be wanting to explore… it may not feel good or even b*sweet — just bitter.

      I think it depends on what GRRM would be viewing as the “sweet”.

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    124. Efi,

      A lot of the things you listed deal with survival. That means, there were stakes involved. Littlefinger’s speculation in the Vale deals with him strengthening his hold on the Vale. I don’t remember Tyrion’s taxation of whores or the details involved with the planning of luxurious events, so I’m guessing that it wasn’t exactly riveting material. Yes, Martin has shown that governing is hard, but I thought his problem with Tolkien was that the reader doesn’t know if Aragorn would be a good king because we don’t know the policies he will enforce, including taxation. That leads me to believe that we’re going to spend some time with whomever sits on the Iron Throne in the end, seeing how they rule and whether they’re any good at it, which will include their taxation policy. Presumably, this will be in an era of peace, so the stakes will be incredibly low, and thus I can’t see it being all that interesting. Of course, he could very well not go this route and, like Lord of the Rings, we will have to assume that the people of Westeros will be in good hands, but that will be a little hypocritical.

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    125. Farimer123,

      Yara did vote for Bran because of Theon. That was written in the script for “The Iron Throne”. *

      * nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series, as it should be.

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    126. Young Dragon,

      I mean you could make an argument that we did see Bran rule in A Clash of Kings and S2. But maybe GRRM wants to spend some time on it in A Dream of Spring(book that will never happen).

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    127. For me the ending was one of the worst ones I’ve seen. I doubt I will do much re-watching of the series. I thought there was minimal payoff, and I don’t agree with the arguments that there was. More than anything, season 8 became a frustrating experience.

      BUT…that’s the nature of debate and I respect the opposite opinion that loved the final season. I never signed any pointless petition and I never got bothered and enraged over it as many did. I don’t understand that. Some say it’s passion, but it seems like irrational obsession to me. I always took my disagreements with season 8, as just that. Disagreements. Not the end of the world, not some angry rant, not some irrational desire to be satisfied. They made their creative choices and that’s that.

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    128. Mango:

      … From the other posts that I have gone thru now, I see more of the founding myth argument. I still have questions. …

      Sorry to come back so late. I assume you meant my comment to Mau’s comment about national founding myths, national stories..?

      Why would the south pick a northern guy who…

      Well, that’s kind of the point. Tyrion pushes it through. The old way is the bad way, let’s do things in a new, different way.

      Think of Yara pledging to Dany and promising to change the Ironborn rape and pillage ways. To institute a _new national story_.

      Or hell, yeah, the Dothraki pledging themselves to their religious messiah, our special queen, cross the poison water and forget their previous rape and pillage ways. That is a _new national story_.

      So how is it that some fans think Westeros cannot have a _new national story_? Do they want things to stay as they are?

      Things will not stay as they are, is the message. A great ending to this saga. We won’t know the details, or King Bran’s tax policy unless GRRM gets there one day.

      All that said, the problem is that the show did not lay the groundwork for this properly. I feel they couldn’t do it because they’d earlier expunged almost all magic from the show and didn’t have time to bring any back and show and explain it.

      That, and they had all the spectacle they wanted to have. The battles etc.

      So the great council (surprisingly small, due to TV production reasons) fell flat.

      If the books will ever get published, someone else will be Dany’s main foe in the south, she’ll go North, fight the real foe… Meanwhile, Cersei might slink back to Kings Landing = scouring of the Shire. With knobs on, if anything of the show holds true… ehrm… to the books that shall be… or not.

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    129. Young Dragon,

      Yeah, my point was that we are already seeing that. We see how major players handle economic issues, either trivial or of some importance.
      For example, Jon wants to feed the Watch and the Wildlings, so he engages in negotiations with the IB and gets a loan with rather favorable terms but strips the Free Folk of their valuables.
      Daenerys sees the profits of the slave trade outside Meereen and cuts for herself a tenth of the profits.
      Tyrion has to pay for Joffrey’s wedding and taxes sexual intercourse with whores. Tyrion’s pennies and Tyrion’s whores or the “whores’ penny” are another point of biterness for him [poor guy it wasn’t even his own idea]. Also, a bit of foreshadow because Penny comes to him in ADWD and her fate is bound to him.
      LF speculates for profitting himself from the coming winter because he’s greedy [not for taking a stronger hold of the Vale].
      But I do think we’ll see a few chapters after everything is settled and perhaps such issues will be raised again. Or we’ll see a big chapter where Martin explains what happens in the future (20, 30 or more years after the events). In any case, he doesn’t need to be more thorough than he already is.

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    130. Adrianacandle,

      I can imagine Bran as king of a loose confederation of semi-independent states, but why would they elect him instead of anyone else eludes me. The magical aspect of Bran seems like a good reason -meaning, to put one on the throne who doesn’t want anything for himself- but what would prevent others from plotting to kill him for making themselves or their kin kings and gain that power for themselves?
      These are difficult questions and I cannot answer them; it doesn’t feel like a solution, it feels like cheating, and in this case it’s the author winking at his readers: see? gotcha! You’ve been reading thousands of pages just for realizing that the solution lies in the sphere of magic! [perfectly legit, it’s fiction anyway, nothing is supposed to replicate the real world. I just don’t have to like it.]

      Dorne of course could run for… president, but as with presidential elections, they’d need to have support. Who would support them, and why? It’s not just being able to run, it’s who supports you for achieving the throne, and more importantly, for holding it. In particular Dornish independence ambitions have kept them somewhat apart from the rest of Westeros. The Targs were able to hold them only with marrying them into their family, or giving princesses to them.

      I’ll come back to Jon later.

        Quote  Reply

    131. Efi,

      These are difficult questions and I cannot answer them; it doesn’t feel like a solution, it feels like cheating, and in this case it’s the author winking at his readers: see? gotcha! You’ve been reading thousands of pages just for realizing that the solution lies in the sphere of magic! [perfectly legit, it’s fiction anyway, nothing is supposed to replicate the real world. I just don’t have to like it.]

      On this, I agree that these are difficult questions and I’m also not sure why they’d elect Bran. I felt the rationale provided by the show was pretty weak.

      However, I would hesitate to call this cheating at this time because there are still 2 (maybe more) books to go and we haven’t really seen GRRM’s set up for this. While I think Bran will be king of the 7K, I also struggle with how/why they’ll elect him.

      I think there needs to be something special about Bran rather than the family name he comes from if they are looking for a more choice-based-system rather than one based on name and blood.

      However, as to what that is as of ADWD, I can’t say yet because we haven’t seen GRRM’s version of this.

      Dorne of course could run for… president, but as with presidential elections, they’d need to have support. Who would support them, and why? It’s not just being able to run, it’s who supports you for achieving the throne, and more importantly, for holding it. In particular Dornish independence ambitions have kept them somewhat apart from the rest of Westeros. The Targs were able to hold them only with marrying them into their family, or giving princesses to them.

      Yes.

      These are also points I’ve been having trouble with in regard to a Stark holding the throne too. Why would the council want a Stark on the throne? What is special about this candidate? What appeals to the council that convinces them to elect this candidate? They’ve got to have some kind of universal appeal, I’d think — especially if the idea is not to revert back into the old ways of becoming king/queen based on name and blood or by right of conquest but through (a limited) election.

      In Dorne’s case, at least they can produce food so that may garner them some support. The North… produces ice? Has a 7th Wonder of Westers (the Wall) to look at year-round? Possible direwolves sightings..? 🙂 The North doesn’t really have much to offer the rest of Westeros… Why would the North have that support, I wonder? What appeal would they hold to the rest of the council that convinces them to pick a Northerner over another from a different region? Maybe they do have the support of the Vale and Riverrun via a blood connection to the Starks — but those regions also may still have heirs of their own to support, heirs that could represent their interests first, who have grown up in these kingdoms.

      This is why I think there needs to be something extra about the candidate they elect, which seems to be Bran based on what D&D have said as coming from GRRM. I just can’t think of what as of ADWD though.

      I used to think that maybe being the Three-Eyed Raven would grant Bran a special ability to truly be neutral, to eliminate plotting and secrecy because Bran would be able to see it (if it manifests as it does in the show) and perhaps that is the reason. To prove this ability, does Bran demonstrate it? And if he does, does it freak the rest of the council out? Do they weigh Bran to see if he weighs the same as a duck before calling to burn him as a witch (wizard)? 🙂

      And if Bran’s ability as the Three-Eyed Raven is what differentiates him from all other candidates, makes him special, is the message that only a magical superhuman can rule Westeros to lead it into a better future since human rulers subject to emotion and lacking omniscience are unfit?

      Like, I don’t know… But maybe there’s something else, another reason why Bran is elected by the council. Since this hasn’t been written yet in the books, it’s hard to assess.

      On another topic, I wanted to touch on this. I’m not disagreeing with you! But I think there are some important notes about this.

      For example, Jon wants to feed the Watch and the Wildlings, so he engages in negotiations with the IB and gets a loan with rather favorable terms but strips the Free Folk of their valuables.

      I don’t know that I’d call this loan having favourable terms. Jon doesn’t seem thrilled over putting the Watch into the IB’s debt and he doesn’t even mention the loan to Bowen Marsh, who is constantly angsting over how to feed everyone. I always thought that was to avoid another dispute with Marsh but I don’t think Jon reflects on why.

      Jon does insist on the free folk’s valuables, yes — but he is using these items to pay for their food and necessities as well.

      To me, Jon seems pretty nervous and wary about having to take out a loan.

      Daenerys sees the profits of the slave trade outside Meereen and cuts for herself a tenth of the profits.

      Yes, but I think an important distinction is that she’s taking a cut from slavery generated from those who want to sell themselves back into slavery, for whatever that’s worth.

      “My queen?” Daario stepped forward. “The riverside is full of Meereenese, begging leave to be allowed to sell themselves to this Qartheen. They are thicker than the flies.”

      Dany was shocked. “They want to be slaves?”

      “The ones who come are well spoken and gently born, sweet queen. Such slaves are prized. In the Free Cities they will be tutors, scribes, bed slaves, even healers and priests. They will sleep in soft beds, eat rich foods, and dwell in manses. Here they have lost all, and live in fear and squalor.”

      “I see.” Perhaps it was not so shocking, if these tales of Astapor were true. Dany thought a moment. “Any man who wishes to sell himself into slavery may do so. Or woman.” She raised a hand. “But they may not sell their children, nor a man his wife.”

      “In Astapor the city took a tenth part of the price, each time a slave changed hands,” Missandei told her.

      “We’ll do the same,” Dany decided. Wars were won with gold as much as swords. “A tenth part. In gold or silver coin, or ivory. Meereen has no need of saffron, cloves, or zorse hides.”

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    132. Efi,

      Oh, I quickly wanted to agree with you when you said this!

      Yeah, my point was that we are already seeing that. We see how major players handle economic issues, either trivial or of some importance.

      And it does seem to be something GRRM is concerned about so I expect — with the limited information that I have — it is something he’ll revisit in the end, particularly considering this comment he made:

      Ruling is hard. This was maybe my answer to Tolkien, whom, as much as I admire him, I do quibble with. Lord of the Rings had a very medieval philosophy: that if the king was a good man, the land would prosper. We look at real history and it’s not that simple. Tolkien can say that Aragorn became king and reigned for a hundred years, and he was wise and good. But Tolkien doesn’t ask the question: What was Aragorn’s tax policy? Did he maintain a standing army? What did he do in times of flood and famine? And what about all these orcs? By the end of the war, Sauron is gone but all of the orcs aren’t gone – they’re in the mountains. Did Aragorn pursue a policy of systematic genocide and kill them? Even the little baby orcs, in their little orc cradles?

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    133. Character Musical Dedication
      Arya/Gendry

      S8e4 Arya turns down Gendry (brightened)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0X5UGMNnr7w

      🎵 ”Yes and I ain’t sayin’ you ain’t pretty
      All I’m saying is I’m not ready
      For any person, place or thing
      To try to pull the reins in on me.”
      🎶

      Linda Ronstadt “A Different Drum”* (1967) 2:41 long

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rcg27EEzLO0

      * (Written by Mike Nesmith of The Monkees)

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    134. talvikorppi,

      Thanks for getting back. I know how it is – often I post and then disappear for weeks.
      There was an amicable discussion among those active

      I am still not convinced that Bran had anything close to a founding national myth. I do not even think that the persons that were in the north with him would have been impressed by Bran. But happy to explore thoughts.

      One story that can move mountains is this – An only son dies and returns from the dead to save humanity. A great founding story…but yes, it is has been done before!

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    135. orange,

      Since you posted I have been thinking (on and off) if I have seen a worst creative effort – I am still trying to think of anything worse that I have personally experienced. Hmmm, nothing yet…it is a few decades to review :).

        Quote  Reply

    136. Mango:
      orange,

      Since you posted I have been thinking (on and off) if I have seen a worst creative effort – I am still trying to think of anything worse that I have personally experienced.Hmmm, nothing yet…it is a few decades to review :).

      Is this limited to TV shows? I’ve seen abominable creative efforts in other media…

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    137. Ten Bears: Is this limited to TV shows? I’ve seen abominable creative efforts in other media…

      My salvation is that I am not a big TV watcher. I rarely dip into TV.

      So it is more about my personal involvement. Certainly, there are many worse things on TV. I have not seen the reality shows but I know they are terrible. I do not understand the Kardashian clan.

      I believe that GOT was extremely well produced.

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    138. Mango,

      You may not have enjoyed the ending, but not even you can deny everyone involved with GOT didn’t work their hardest on the final season. They worked longer and harder on season 8 than any other season.

        Quote  Reply

    139. Young Dragon:
      Mango,

      You may not have enjoyed the ending, but not even you can deny everyone involved with GOT didn’t work their hardest on the final season. They worked longer and harder on season 8 than any other season.

      Yes, I think extraordinary work and talent (both before and behind the camera) went into GOT as an entire series. I am grateful to have seen/enjoyed many aspects of the entire production.

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    140. Ten Bears: Is this limited to TV shows? I’ve seen abominable creative efforts in other media…

      Seen some bad knitting??? Tell some of the atrocities. I am already outraged on your behalf – how dare they subject you to dross?

        Quote  Reply

    141. Mango,

      I’m kind of reluctant. I’ve already diverted threads with my “Crappy Remake Rants.” I wouldn’t want to subject my fellow commenters to offensive dreck in music, TV and films.

        Quote  Reply

    142. Ten Bears:
      Mango,

      I’m kind of reluctant. I’ve already diverted threads with my “Crappy Remake Rants.”I wouldn’t want to subject my fellow commenters to offensive dreck in music, TV and films.

      Very good thinking!

      I have also encountered a lot of terrible music but I am cannot remember the specifics of the offenders.

        Quote  Reply

    143. Mango,

      Reviewers have a go-to phrase for terrible films and musical performances: “[x] [minutes] or -[hours] of my life I’ll never get back.”
      So as much as I’d want to give examples of “atrocities,” I’d feel guilty if I caused anyone to waste even a few minutes checking out a dumpster fire.

        Quote  Reply

    144. For some reason the YouTube algorithm thinks I want to watch “truther” videos about the Illuminati and other strange conspiracy theories (there’s another platform which thinks I want to watch things about how awful the Duchess of Sussex is – why would I, I don’t know her?). Why am I mentioning that here, well there are some grinches who like to go on about Christmas being pagan – and while it is true that some Christmas traditions are founded on pagan roots I daresay a lot of people who have fun at Christmas nowadays aren’t particularly religious. In something not connected with this website someone had linked a video of Dillie Keane playing the piano and making a point, albeit in a humorous way, about how some folk seem to think that it doesn’t matter if the oldsters ‘pop off’ a few years early because of Covid-19. She is quite well on in her 60s herself so she is in the age group the song applies to. That’s not the song I’m suggesting as a musical interval today – it’s a song from a group of which Dillie Keane is a member “Fascinting Aida” where grinches are urged not to be a (c word that Bronn said there’s no cure for being) _____ at Christmas. There is a tiny, tiny, tiny link to GoT with a word being used that Bronn used. https://youtu.be/6U2XdkBkTTk

        Quote  Reply

    145. Ten Bears,

      Some things can be funny in a ‘so bad they’re good’ way, although not in the way the makers of the film or show intended. I’ve mentioned before ‘The Cleopatras’ a BBC offering from the 1980s which I think can still be found on YouTube. It’s about Robert Hardy was in it as Julius Caesar and gave it a bit of gravitas while he was with the show and Richard Griffiths played Pot Belly and there were a few character actors where I knew the face but not the name. It had as many naked breasts as GoT but I don’t think it made a star out of anyone. Francesca Gonshaw who played the last Cleopatra’s sister – well one of them – later played a waitress in 1980s comedy show ‘Allo, Allo’. The Cleopatras was truly terrible but I did find it funny though it wasn’t supposed to be funny. The idea for the show wasn’t bad per se – about Cleopatra as in ‘Caesar and’ as well as ‘Antony and’ and some of her female ancestors also called Cleopatra but oh the Execuuuuuution!

        Quote  Reply

    146. Musical Interlude: May 23, 2020

      For an opposite of a “Crappy Remake Rant,” here’s an example of a really good cover of a classic song: Gretchen Wilson, known as a country singer (e.g., “Redneck Woman”) did a stunning live version of Heart’s 1977 song, “Barracuda.”

      ———

      “Barracuda” cover by Gretchen Wilson – live 2007 with Alice in Chains and Nancy Wilson* of Heart (e.g., at 1:32 to 1:45).

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqQkECIn738

      *Note: Gretchen Wilson and Nancy Wilson are not related.

        Quote  Reply

    147. Ten Bears,

      I generally prefer performances where the singer lets the musicality of his/her voice shine through. That’s just my personal taste though. I’ve sometimes been surprised to learn that some singers can sing perfectly well if they put their minds to it. I will probably go to my grave hating most of Pat Benatar’s repertoire (an early song ‘Hit me with Your Best Shot’ wasn’t too bad – I thought ‘Love is a Battlefield’ was horrible). Imagine my surprise to learn that she had a four octave range. I wondered why the heck did she do the shouty songs and not let her innate ability come to the surface.

        Quote  Reply

    148. Thanks to everyone who participated in this respectful dialog! It’s been entertaining and enlightening to read.

      A few points to add…

      First, we should always keep in mind that D&D signed up to adapt a series of *books*, but had to fit their ending to an outline, an outline which they had to go and extract from GRRM. He had the luxury of dictating their ending to his story, but he did little of the work of helping them to get there. It shouldn’t surprise us if the ending, or at least elements of it, felt forced or not organic. Martin simply hasn’t set up his ending yet, beyond knowing a few details, such as Bran Rex.

      Second, Bran is a difficult character to adapt. Book readers know that Martin spends pages (and pages, and pages…) on Bran’s visions. Putting those directly on-screen would have meant the audience watching a LOT of (expensive) special effects with little dialog. As we’ve noted many times, one of the reasons Game of Thrones made for a great viewing experience was because of many “high-thread count” scenes, of several characters conversing at length. Bran’s visions don’t supply much raw material for such scenes; they’re mostly spectacle with little action.

      Third, Bran the Wizard King ending the game of thrones makes perfect thematic sense. As noted above, he wasn’t sullied (ha!) by playing the game himself, and brings both an outsider’s perspective and supernatural powers to the difficult job of ruling. Again, Martin has yet to set this up completely, and simply handed it to D&D as a fait accompli. (His fait, their accompli!)

      Fourth, the message of having a supernatural wizard as the best ruler simply reinforces what an incredibly terrible form of government feudalism was. Our capitalism and mass democracy certainly have their problems, but they are, by orders of magnitude, far superior to the feudalism they replaced.

      Fifth, Tyrion getting power as punishment is also thematically correct, was set up properly (he had prior experience, good and bad, with the job), and is reinforced by showing him presiding over squabbles and getting completely omitted from the ‘official’ history Archmaester Ebrose produced. Ruling, when done properly, is hard (and often unrewarding) work.

      Finally, having the Kingdoms’ “rightful heir,” Aegon VI Targ’, bugger off to Beyond The Wall as Jon Snow made for one final point about hereditary ruling and power: he’s leading only those persons who want to follow him. It was a perfect final scene to the series.

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    149. Dame of Mercia,

      Oh! Pat Benatar! Hold that thought!

      (You wrote: ”I will probably go to my grave hating most of Pat Benatar’s repertoire (an early song ‘Hit me with Your Best Shot’ wasn’t too bad – I thought ‘Love is a Battlefield’ was horrible). Imagine my surprise to learn that she had a four octave range. I wondered why the heck did she do the shouty songs and not let her innate ability come to the surface.”)

      I’ve always liked her song “We Belong.”* I’ve got links to some wonderful live renditions of that song throughout the years, since its 1984 release (and music video). Lemme find the links and post them later or tomorrow for my next Musical Interlude.

      * Unfortunately, the song was butchered by Bumper and Fat Amy in Pitch Perfect 2.

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    150. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending,

      I cheered (inwardly at least) for Dany when she acquired the Unsullied at the end of season 3 episode 4. I know some people accused the two Ds of fan service once they went past the already existing books and followed the outline given in the renowned meeting with GRRM but I always thought if they were really writing a fan service/fan fiction type of work they would have had Dany be the glorious victor at the end and that they rather liked Dany as a character. I certainly don’t think they wrote the ending as they did to deliberately make a section of the fandom feel incandescent with anger. I don’t think the backlash from some of the fandom will affect their future employability as writers no matter how much some members of the fandom might wish it to be true. If they fail to satisfy their audience with a number of future projects then it might be a different matter. There’s a video somewhere which I can’t find at present but it had to do with the history behind GoT/where it was mentioned that GRRM said a conqueror was always an invader to the people invaded (paraphrasing). The people of Kings Landing may have stuck by Cersei with all her faults after the Dragon Queen came because of the old adage ‘Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t’. That’s as far as the show goes of course because as has been mentioned before when (hopefully) the final books appear there is a possibility (though I personally wouldn’t take it as given) that Cersei may not be ruling KIngs Landing when Dragon Queen arises.

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    151. I did really like “Hit me with your best shot”. I like the lyrics and attitude. I am in luck it seems as it is the only Pat Benatar song that I know.

      I am gone over to Youtube….for some self-improvement.

        Quote  Reply

    152. Ten Bears, as I’ve said more than once it behoves people to disagree with others politely and not belittle other folks’ points of view I was going to ask the mods to delete my comment about PB and instead mention something couched in more general terms instead of mentioning someone by name but since you’ve referenced it I will not request its deletion.

      Flipping autocorrect changed ‘when the Dragon Queen arrives’ to ‘arises’.

        Quote  Reply

    153. Mango,

      Dame of Mercia,

      Part 1 of 3

      We Belong”* by Pat Benatar (& her guitarist husband Neil Giraldo)

      30-year span
      1984 (official music video)
      1999 live
      2001 live
      2014 live

      —-
      Part 1 (1984)
      “We Belong” (1984) Official Video
      (3:38 long)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxZInIyOBXk

      ——-

      “We Belong” (1984), HQ Audio (3:42 long)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1VMuTpnzF4

      * I think this song was used in Deadpool 2. I have not seen that movie yet.

      to be cont….

        Quote  Reply

    154. Part 1 of 3

      “We Belong”* by Pat Benatar (& her guitarist husband Neil Giraldo)

      30-year span
      1984 (official music video)
      1999 live
      2001 live
      2014 live

      —-
      Part 1 (1984)
      “We Belong” (1984) Official Video
      (3:38 long)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxZInIyOBXk

      ——-

      “We Belong” (1984), HQ Audio (3:42 long)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1VMuTpnzF4

      * I think this song was used in Deadpool 2. I have not seen that movie yet.

      to be cont….

        Quote  Reply

    155. Part 3 of 3 (2001 & 2014)

      2001 “We Belong” (unplugged)
      (4:26 long)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLMAX9IJOb4

      ——
      2014

      NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert November 14, 2014 (aired November 24, 2014)
      20:28 long
      “We Belong”
      is at 4:49 – 8:51

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxteG1thK5I

      ——
      (There are some more recent videos from 2019 but they’re audience-made “shaky cam” videos with crowd noise, even though Pat Benatar still sounds good in them.)

        Quote  Reply

    156. Adrianacandle,

      Lol, why are you so hard on the North? 😂
      They have survived on their own for thousands of years. In the new era that’s coming they can always trade; they can trade pelts and furs for silk, and I’m sure they have some very valuable stuff that don’t exist in the south, such as amber and ivory (from the mammoths beyond the Wall). So what if they don’t have the good plains they have in the South? Do you know how profitable stock raising is? There’s hardly anything more profitable in medieval societies. An animal can be exploited down to the teeth: pelts, furs, milk, cheese, even their bones can be of use for making tools such as knives and needles. What if they don’t have much wheat? They have barley and surely there must be other grains that need not the best quality land to grow, neither the hottest climate (actually that’s a myth; you sow and you just let wheat grow, you can’t water it, so the soil must be moist by itself; land that is too dry such as that of Dorne is not suitable for growing cereals, so I suppose that Dorne must also import grain. The grain-producing kingdom in Westeros must be the Reach, and perhaps also the Riverlands). They also have fruit trees, just not the exotic ones such as lemon trees, but apple trees grow in the North. I think they’ll survive.

      I’m with you on Bran; I don’t see any particular charisma in the books, but perhaps it’s yet to be revealed along with the reasoning behind his election. I do think that connections in the sense of votes will have a role to play and therein lies the significance of lineage and friends (such as Sam). As a charismatic ruler I do see Bran getting chosen in a time when the Westerosi lords want to take distance from the old system of government, perhaps heading to a confederation, that as a system takes away some of the significance of the ruling center and the central government. In this sense Bran with his gifts will be the guarantor of the new system and perhaps he’ll be safe enough; since the central ruler will be stripped of some of his political importance and power and therefore prestige, why would anyone want to substitute him with someone else? Why would anyone want to be in his shoes? However, the representation of the states at the center could have the same effect: if the states share in the exercise of authority via a great council (in the type of early parliament) why would anyone want to to replace Bran as guarantor of the system? If I am not mistaken Martin has stated that he’s taking ASoIaF to something similar, and that could be either a confederation or an extended representation of the states in the process of decision-making.
      So yeah, in this context Bran would work.
      But his election would have to be grounded on very solid reasons in the first place, because as someone noted above, Bran is the heir of the North. In reality the South is stripping the North of its ruler and there will have to be a good reason for not choosing one of their own to do the job, one that would work in-universe after one has read all these pages.
      And perhaps (fingers crossed) this will include other details, i.e. why would the Reeds care so much about who rules the South when they’re Northernes themselves, or why would the North secede when they have one of their own on the southern throne? A confederation or an early democracy sounds like a pretty good system to me, especially when your own weird but charismatic brother is governing. And why is it alright, in-universe, that the North maintains its old political system which depends on lineage and clans, while the South wants to advance politically to something new?

      That’s a discrepancy that wasn’t addressed in the show, but hopefully the book will tell us (if it ever comes out). At the same time I have not withheld my view that the political solution the show gave us works much better with Jon on the southern throne: he’s a conciliator (he’ll unite the southern kingdoms after the fallout with Daenerys), he’s a Stark only via his mother, which means that the North can dispense of him and therefore the North has no reason to remain in the Seven Kingdoms with him as a captain.
      All in all, I think that Martin has some major explaining to do, regardless of the ending. If ever he reaches that point.

        Quote  Reply

    157. Efi,

      ”… An animal can be exploited down to the teeth: pelts, furs, milk, cheese, even their bones can be of use for making tools such as knives and needles. What if they don’t have much wheat? They have barley and surely there must be other grains that need not the best quality land to grow, neither the hottest climate (actually that’s a myth; you sow and you just let wheat grow, you can’t water it, so the soil must be moist by itself…)”

      Doesn’t this all depend on whether the approaching winter will be the coldest and longest “in a thousand years” (Lord Cerwyn, S6e10) – or lasts just an evening (S8e3) and doesn’t amount to more than a few snowflakes? The legendary “Long Night” lasted a generation, in darkness. The “Long Night” on the show…not so much.

      Do you think the Big Kahuna’s warning that “Winter is Coming” means there will be a decades-long, cold-as-sh*t winter in near- or total darkness?

        Quote  Reply

    158. Efi,

      “I’m with you on Bran; I don’t see any particular charisma in the books, but perhaps it’s yet to be revealed along with the reasoning behind his election.”

      Arguably, this could have been remedied on the show if the scene between Tyrion and Bran in S8e2 didn’t abruptly cut away – so that we would know (and by extension, the assembled lords would have known) why Bran had the “best story” and the right temperament for leadership. On the show, Bran had the charisma of an amoeba.

        Quote  Reply

    159. Ten Bears, I’m happy you have some samplings that you enjoy but no insult intended I’ll avoid clicking on the links. I can find it easy to get distracted by things on the internet but I need to give some time to sensible things. I’ve had an uphill struggle regarding real world things today. I’ve all but finished making myself a pair of casual ladies’ slacks but I can’t get the leg hems even. I may hang the darn things in the wardrobe until things are back to normal (supposing I get through the pandemic okay) and maybe ask a friend to help me pin the hems. It’s a pattern I’d made before too and the last time everything went smoothly. I mentioned before I’d been using the ‘Siete Reinos’ site for a bit of Spanish practice. They are reading GoT in Spanish at present. I find it very hard – I have an idea of what the chapters are about because I’ve heard them in English although some time ago but my aural Spanish isn’t all that wonderful hearing something I’ve not heard previously. But it is a way to use GoT for something in real life (for me anyway).

        Quote  Reply

    160. Ten Bears,

      They alluded to a “long night” in another manner back in S3E2 – around the time D&D met with GRRM. Catelyn was talking about Jon and when he got the pox. The maester said if he made it through the night, he’d live. But it would be a very long night.” One could certainly interpret this as an allegory for the “long night” the living eventually experienced at Winterfell. It was indeed one night, but one they were miraculously lucky to have survived.

      GRRM is not going to have a long night that lasts a generation in the books, just like Old Nan’s stories. Such a thing would completely change the events of the ending beyond all recognition, and we know the major beats of the plot are going to basically be the same. There will be a Battle of Winterfell against the White Walkers, and while it won’t involve a “Night King”, its events will end in a decisive victory for the living and the White Walkers presumably being vanquished for all time. As once King’s Landing held off a great assault and nearly fell, so too shall Winterfell. The Starks of Winterfell aren’t about to be bitch-slapped again.

      S1E1: The summer with Winterfell’s inhabitants thriving, Ned asserting the White Walkers having been gone for thousands of years, the deserting ranger, the peaceful and pleasant atmosphere. The truth of the danger is all but hidden from view. What this episode began, the Long Night ended.
      S8E3 (should’ve been 7×10): The winter, with most of Winterfell’s original inhabitants gone, thousands of soldiers from many creeds fighting for their lives and humanity against an unstoppable force, the original 13 White Walkers sauntering right up to the Winterfell gates and assembling with their leader in the Godswood. The truth is staring everyone in the face.

      Feels pretty earned to me.

        Quote  Reply

    161. Efi,

      ”At the same time I have not withheld my view that the political solution the show gave us works much better with Jon on the southern throne: he’s a conciliator (he’ll unite the southern kingdoms after the fallout with Daenerys)…”

      Exactly. My impression from the show was that Jon’s primary attribute was not that he was a great fighter or wartime commander but rather that he was able to forge alliances and unify sworn enemies: he was and would be King Crow/King Aegon the Conciliator.

      I for one really liked the mid-S5 (S5e5, maybe) scene when Jon unchained Tormund and admitted that NW had failed in its mission to guard the realms of men by persecuting the wildlings. It was quite a dramatic moment (and was also the beginning of a beautiful friendship 👨‍❤️‍💋‍👨).

      Jon’s skill was in unifying disparate peoples. In addition to his scene with Tormund in S5e5? and his great speech to the Wildling chieftains in S5e8, he shut down the xenophobic whining of wildling-bashing Lord Royce in S6e10 by reminding everyone that the Free Folk, the Northerners and the Vale fought together and won; and his “father” always said “we find our true friends on the battlefield.”

      I am not “D&D hating.” I just thought Jon’s ability to reconcile and unify would play a significant part in the ultimate “political solution.” That’s where I thought his story was headed all along, from his very first realization of the absurdity of divisiveness in his argument with Ygritte. (I’ll have to find the scene: it was when they were arguing over whose “land” it was and Ygritte had a mic-drop retort. Jon had erupted: “…I have the blood of the First Men! My ancestors lived here, same as yours!” Ygritte: Then why are you fighting us?”)

      People talk about character “arcs.” I really thought that’s where Jon’s “arc” was headed: assuming the role of post-war facilitator of reconciliations, and resolving long-held enmities and prejudices. Plenty of other “warriors of light” could wield a flaming sword, square off against the AotD, and topple Cersei. Jon was the one character shown to be capable of reconciling ancient squabbles and achieving a lasting post-war armistice. Perhaps leaving the country with an uncertain future with an emotionless automaton was the most palatable outcome, and that having a truly progressive leader would’ve been asking for too much.

      F*ck! I don’t know! I just didn’t think Jon’s story’s conclusion would amount to shanking the Mad Queen and then disappearing into exile.
      ——

      https://img-buzzfeed-com.cdn.ampproject.org/ii/w820/s/img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2019-05/21/4/asset/buzzfeed-prod-web-02/sub-buzz-16987-1558426800-5.png?output-quality=auto&output-format=auto&downsize=640:*

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    162. Efi,

      Lol, why are you so hard on the North?

      I’m not trying to be. I think I have legitimate questions — why does the 7K need the North? Why would the rest of the council want a Northerner to sit on the throne above one of their own?

      Clearly, based on my other comments, I think Bran does sit on the throne in the books too but I think the rationale provided by the show is weak. Yet, Bran’s election is not based on him being a Stark or a Northerner but on a unique “qualifier” specific to Bran that I believe is meant to appeal to all.

      I’m hoping that in the books, this reasoning is more compelling.

      They have survived on their own for thousands of years. In the new era that’s coming they can always trade; they can trade pelts and furs for silk, and I’m sure they have some very valuable stuff that don’t exist in the south, such as amber and ivory (from the mammoths beyond the Wall)[…]

      I think the North has the ability to survive on its own with some trade but I also know it’ll take some time to get to a point where they can be self-sufficient again, especially if they are facing food shortages in the books as well and are struggling due to the oncoming winter. More so if they are devastated by war and have to rebuild. They need immediate supplies for this and growing sufficient crops/raising stock animals/glass gardens/etc.

      I think these are reasons for why the North can eventually become self-sufficient, though. Yet, I still can’t really see a compelling reason why the rest of the council would want a Northerner/a Stark on the throne over anyone else from another region. Stock raising can happen in the south. While ivory/amber could provide the North with some trade, neither is an essential resource to the rest of the kingdoms and the collection of ivory from mammoths beyond the Wall isn’t mentioned while I don’t believe the North is a source of amber (I think it’s been mentioned amber can be found in Asshai, little coves along the Shivering Sea, the rainwood in Tarth, The Axe, Ib, the Forest of Qohor).

      Also, I think the North would have to negotiate with the wildlings to hunt mammoths since the wildlings use mammoths for other purposes like transportation.

      As for grains, I don’t know exactly what Dorne would be comparable to in the real-world. I’ve seen some speculate Spain or the middle-east? If so, there are grains that can be grown in a hot, dry climate such as corn and even wheat.

      I do think that connections in the sense of votes will have a role to play and therein lies the significance of lineage and friends (such as Sam).

      I’m hoping Bran’s consideration goes beyond lineage if the idea is grow away from a lineage-based selection process.

      I agree that we could be looking at a system where there is more voice given to those representing their various regions rather having all of the power concentrated on one person (Bran).

      But his election would have to be grounded on very solid reasons in the first place, because as someone noted above, Bran is the heir of the North. In reality the South is stripping the North of its ruler and there will have to be a good reason for not choosing one of their own to do the job, one that would work in-universe after one has read all these pages.

      Well, Bran isn’t the only heir, there’s also Sansa, Arya, and (if he lives) Rickon.

      I agree there needs to be a more solid rationale for electing Bran than what happened in the show though. Perhaps it is because he may have the ability to be neutral, he can’t be plotted against, etc. but I’m hoping there’s a less magic-based reason.

      And perhaps (fingers crossed) this will include other details, i.e. why would the Reeds care so much about who rules the South when they’re Northernes themselves, or why would the North secede when they have one of their own on the southern throne?

      I hope these details are better answered too (ie. why the North would secede with a Stark on the throne). Yet, what happens in the south can still affect Northern families since they’re on the same continent so I think it’s wise to care about who is on the southern throne — even if the North is independent — because the 6K would be their closest neighbour and they share a border. For instance, what if a ruler is chosen who’d want to conquer the North again? I think that’s a pretty significant reason to care.

      And why is it alright, in-universe, that the North maintains its old political system which depends on lineage and clans, while the South wants to advance politically to something new?
      That’s a discrepancy that wasn’t addressed in the show, but hopefully the book will tell us (if it ever comes out).

      This was a question I had with the show too.

      But in-universe, since the 6K and the North would be separated, they can have two different political systems as any two countries can.

      However, if the idea is to advance toward a more democratic system, yeah, it’s kind of a mixed idea if the books allow the North to retain its own ways as its own country while the south advances toward a newer system.

      At the same time I have not withheld my view that the political solution the show gave us works much better with Jon on the southern throne: he’s a conciliator (he’ll unite the southern kingdoms after the fallout with Daenerys), he’s a Stark only via his mother, which means that the North can dispense of him and therefore the North has no reason to remain in the Seven Kingdoms with him as a captain.

      Still, while I agree Jon is a conciliator, I don’t know how he’d unite the southern kingdoms or be chosen to do so after Daenerys’s death, particularly if he kills Daenerys. As I mentioned above, there would be quite a few in-universe issues with this. Jon will have committed some of the worst crimes in Westeros (oathbreaking, king/queenslaying) — made even worse because if the Westerosi somehow believe R+L=J, Jon becomes a kinslayer (perhaps the worst crimes you can commit in Westeros). Those are going to be some major problems as already established in the story and actions do have consequences. Additionally, Jon would have to contend with Targaryen stigma which may likely worsen in the wake of Daenerys burning down KL.

      If they don’t believe R+L=J, Jon is still Ned Stark’s bastard son, he’s half Stark bastard/half unknown, and bastardy is still heavily stigmatized. As of ADWD, Jon doesn’t have a great reputation in-universe. That may change but I don’t know — this doesn’t override any of the above (save for the kinslaying as far as Westeros would know). And there’s also the issue of whatever supporters Daenerys may have, who may want to start a war against Jon if he becomes. These are all some pretty big problems — problems that wouldn’t exist with Bran.

      All in all, I think that Martin has some major explaining to do, regardless of the ending. If ever he reaches that point.

      I’m hopeful GRRM won’t need to be explaining anything, that the plot will cover these developments :/

        Quote  Reply

    163. Dame of Mercia,

      Hey no problem! No offense taken. I just find (good) music to be a pleasant distraction during these weird times. Plus, in a strange way, I find it somehow comforting to discover that musicians I vaguely remember from my childhood are still just as good performing decades later.

        Quote  Reply

    164. Farimer123,

      Good spot my friend! I assume this is the dialogue (about a “long night”) to which you were referring…

      S3e2, Catelyn and Talisa

      Catelyn: “…Many years before that, one of the boys came down with the pox. Maester Luwin said if he made it through the night, he’d live. But it would be a very long night. So I sat with him all through the darkness. Listened to his ragged little breaths, his coughing, his whimpering.”

      Talisa: “Which boy?”

      Catelyn: “Jon Snow. When my husband brought that baby home from the war, I couldn’t bear to look at him. I didn’t want to see those brown stranger’s eyes staring up at me. So I prayed to the gods, take him away. Make him die. He got the pox. And I knew I was the worst woman who ever lived. A murderer. I’d condemned this poor, innocent child to a horrible death all because I was jealous of his mother. A woman he didn’t even know. So I prayed to all seven gods, let the boy live. Let him live and I’ll love him. I’ll be a mother to him. I’ll beg my husband to give him a true name, to call him Stark and be done with it, to make him one of us.”

      Talisa: “And he lived.”

      Catelyn: “And he lived. And I couldn’t keep my promise. And everything that’s happened since then all this horror that’s come to my family it’s all because I couldn’t love a motherless child.”

        Quote  Reply

    165. Adrianacandle,

      ” Well, Bran isn’t the only heir, there’s also Sansa, Arya, and (if he lives) Rickon.”

      I’ll resist campaigning for Queen Arya. I just want to know how the kid [in the show] who said he couldn’t be lord of anything will wind up lord of everything.

        Quote  Reply

    166. Ten Bears: People talk about character “arcs.” I really thought that’s where Jon’s “arc” was headed: assuming the role of post-war facilitator of reconciliations, and resolving long-held enmities and prejudices. Plenty of other “warriors of light” could wield a flaming sword, square off against the AotD, and topple Cersei. Jon was the one character shown to be capable of reconciling ancient squabbles and achieving a lasting post-war armistice. Perhaps leaving the country with an uncertain future with an emotionless automaton was the most palatable outcome, and that having a truly progressive leader would’ve been asking for too much.

      F*ck! I don’t know! I just didn’t think Jon’s story’s conclusion would amount to shanking the Mad Queen and then disappearing into exile.

      While I agree unifying disparate peoples is Jon’s arc, it also doesn’t come without cost and some of these costs involve pissing off another group, garnering mistrust toward yourself from that group, each side having to make significant compromises and the resulting peace being fragile, etc.

      I think Jon acts as a unifier to bring people together for humanity’s survival but I think Jon is ultimately a shield for the realm, not a king to rule the unified country. If Jon does kill Dany in the books, he will be committing some of the most grievous crimes you can in Westeros, potentially pissing off some major groups in big ways, and I don’t think that can be overlooked, especially since the severity of these crimes have been established in the books. Every decision comes with consequences and while killing Dany saves Westeros, it also damns Jon.

      Personally, I think Jon’s purpose is to help bring about a new world, the new dawn, but he can’t be the one to rule it because of this — especially with the idea that every decision comes at a cost, especially one like this.

        Quote  Reply

    167. Ten Bears,

      Saying that winter lasted an evening and amounted to little more than a few snowflakes… leaving out a few details there, ain’t ya? That’s more than a little unfair.

      You are aware that all of S7 onwards was winter? And it would have continued indefinitely unless the White Walkers were defeated? Hell, by the series end, winter is probably still on, just not as stupidly-cold as it would have been.

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    168. Ten Bears: I’ll resist campaigning for Queen Arya. I just want to know how the kid [in the show] who said he couldn’t be lord of anything will wind up lord of everything.

      Maybe Bran doesn’t say he can’t be lord of anything in the books? Or maybe that’s meant to be, “I can’t be lord of anything (but I can be king! Muahahahaha!!!)”

      I don’t know though. Bran becoming king is the only detail about the ending that D&D (and Isaac Hempstead Wright) have confirmed comes from GRRM so I’m inclined to believe it happens in the books too. As it was presented on the show, though, it doesn’t make much sense.

        Quote  Reply

    169. Ten Bears,

      Wohooo!!!!!!!!!!!!

      I just partied…thank you!

      I really like this!

      Even version I thought was my favorite until I heard the next version. She has quite a voice and singing style with a bit of hoarseness/edge to it. In the end, I think the last was my favorite as they sang together as a mature duo. Next would be the acoustic version as a young duo and the remastered version.

        Quote  Reply

    170. Bran being named King of the Six Kingdoms made perfect sense to me. First of all, as Tyrion said—the people love a story and Bran Stark truly *does* have a story and Tyrion was told that whole story in a scene, that—in retrospect—was clearly very important to the endgame.

      Just because Bran wasn’t one of the big, flashy characters doesn’t mean that his story wasn’t important, and it doesn’t mean that all he did, all he risked and all he sacrificed shouldn’t be ignored or forgotten. (Although, reading through these comments it clearly has been!) After all, this is a man who as a boy suffered and went through so much.

      · Bran dealt with the loss of his legs (and dreams of his future) quicker and with more equanimity than quite a few people we know would have in that world.

      · He ruled Winterfell, one of the largest holdfasts in all of Westeros, and did so wisely and fairly in his older brother’s place while Robb was off fighting a war and then being the King in the North.

      · He was the peacemaker between Osha and the Reeds.

      · He willingly gave up his family twice over (Rickon—sending him to the Last Hearth, Jon—at the abandoned mill south of the Wall and then later at Craster’s Keep) to follow what he knew was his destiny to do something good for all of mankind.

      · He lost his direwolf; a direwolf who had saved his life once upon a time. That direwolf was also nearly a part of himself.

      · He lost Hodor, his faithful companion, who again, was nearly a part of himself.

      · He lost so many other people along the way, people who died for him, to help him, to help him on his way to his destiny.

      Finally, there are the three things he did that were of huge import.

      First of all, Bran lost most of himself and he did this willingly for the good of mankind. He risked life and limb over and over to do what he must do to become what he must become, giving up his very identity as Brandon Stark to become the Three-Eyed Raven.

      Secondly, Bran set events in motion that eventually led to the defeat of the Night King.

      It was his past relationship with Theon—and how he handled it, trying to make things right with him, not being an autocratic little ass with him when Theon showed up to take Winterfell. Bran never stopped trying to remind him of the Stark-bond and that was part of the reason that Theon always felt the guilt of his action. That is why he was so determined to fight for and defend Bran in the Godswood against the Night King.

      Having traveled all across the North, and beyond the Wall to become the Three-Eyed-Raven–not turning his back on his destiny, he was able to see and know all that he did in that final fight. So he gave Arya the Catspaw dagger. And, more importantly and heroically, Bran literally set himself up as bait for the Night King; he was willing to risk himself to save not just the realm but all of humanity. Yes, Arya was supposed to kill the Night King, but it wouldn’t happen until and unless Bran set himself up as the lamb waiting to be slaughtered.

      And, the third thing is that Bran also set events in motion that led to Daenerys (and Westeros) finding out at last which side her Targaryen coin* would land… madness or greatness.

      * “Madness and greatness are two sides of the same coin. Every time a new Targaryen is born, the gods toss the coin in the air and the world holds its breath to see how it will land.”

      It was Bran who knew definitively that Jon Snow was the legitimate heir to the Iron Throne as the male son of Rhaegar Targaryen and his secret wife, Lyanna Stark. And it was Bran who knew that hearing it from his true brother in every way but blood, Samwell Tarly—who had learned of that marriage in his own way, would be the one person who Jon would believe. And once Jon believed, Daenerys would as well.

      And once Jon knew, despite what Daenerys would want, Jon would tell his sisters, and Bran knew that one of those sisters would not keep the secret… and that secret would spread like the wings of a raven.

      Some believe that Jon being a Targaryen meant nothing to the story. I disagree with that emphatically. It was Jon being a Targaryen that was one of the final straws that pushed Daenerys to reveal where her coin landed. The way of madness.

      Bran was the one who led to that reveal.

      And Varys, and Tyrion, and Jon were the key players who needed to see that revelation. Varys to send out his ravens about Jon so others would know that Daenerys was *not* the heir to the Iron Throne thus diminishing her Targaryen claim because there were still Targaryen loyalists out there. Tyrion needed to know so that he could turn his back on Daenerys once she broke her promise and devastated King’s Landing.

      Once he did that, his relationship with Jon—one that had begun years ago in Winterfell when Ned and Robert were still alive, before Jon had even joined the Night’s Watch—paid off. Jon listened to Tyrion; Jon *heard* Tyrion and so when Daenerys said everything that confirmed Tyrion’s fears that her vision of remaking the world involved destroying those who disagreed—which included his family… well, Jon acted as his father (Ned, because, really, it’s Ned) would have done. He did the honorable thing. He saved his family, he saved the world from another mad Targaryen tyrant.

      And it was Bran who set that all in motion.

      TLDR version of what Bran did.

      Nothing that happened would have had it not been for Bran. Bran endured so much; he could have stopped at so many points, but he didn’t, he kept going. He gave up his home, his safety, his lordship, his very self in order to save the realm. He risked his life, made himself bait for the Night King.

      He set what happened up with Jon, with Arya, with the Night King, with Daenerys and Jon, by confirming who Jon was, which led to Daenerys talking to him and revealing the depths to who she could be. The reality of that had to be revealed otherwise the Iron Throne would always be in jeopardy. By doing what Bran did he gave Daenerys the opportunity to prove whether she was like her father or not. She proved that she was. Bran did not do nothing.

      AND NOW: What can he do as king!

      We now have a king who can truly do what Daenerys wanted to do but just wasn’t able to because of the madness that was there. She wanted to break the wheel and that is something that perhaps only Bran the Broken can do. Tyrion told Daenerys once that “the world you want to build doesn’t get built all at once, probably not in a single lifetime.”

      However, you have to start somewhere and what better place to start than with a king who has no allegiance, a king who can see every mistake from the past that has been made because the best way to learn is from the past. Start with a king who won’t be swayed by politics, by money, by vanity, by women, by wine. Start with a wise king, a knowledgeable king, one who can see through the eyes of animals and people alike, so he won’t be easily played or fooled.

      How likely will it be that this king will be stabbed in the back, killed by a shadow baby, betrayed by a sworn House and slain at a wedding feast, thrown over a bridge into the stormy depths below, poisoned at his own wedding or so drunk that he’s fatally wounded by a boar? Not very. Yes, the odds are not high that King Bran the Broken will be assassinated. He will be ruling for a very long time.

      That gives Westeros decades, likely sixty to eighty years, of his rule in order for him and his council to get that new world order built. Such time certainly would start the journey and get it well on the way. A country doesn’t go from a monarchy to a democracy overnight, so to speak… that takes centuries (give or take).

      Well, normally, it takes centuries, but you normally don’t have a king like Bran. You also normally don’t have an entire capital burned down by a dragon. And you normally don’t have various armies come together after defeating immortal enemies thought to be stories made up to scare children. Lots of abnormal going on in Westeros. What’s one more… especially with Bran, the All-Seeing as king. (Hmm, that would have been a much better name… Bran the All-Seeing.)

      As for the inconsistency of Bran saying that he can’t be the Lord of anything, well, we know that as Bran has settled into his role as the Three-Eyed-Raven he’s gotten just a bit cheekier. So, no, he can’t be the Lord of anything because he’s too busy being the King of EVERYTHING. And he’s got more experience and leadership than any ruler ever before him anywhere, ever. Bran can see/watch what every single king and queen throughout the history of Westeros has ever done right and wrong. He’s got more experience and leadership at his fingertips, at his disposal than any monarch in the history of EVER!

      Bran as the ruler at the end of the series is the only one that truly makes sense with ALL that he did for Westeros, saving everyone, risking all of himself time and time again, giving up everyone and everything he loves. Not to mention all that he can do as the King of the Six Kingdoms.

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    171. Ten Bears,

      Thanks for the music links, I’m working through them now!

      Btw, Dame of Mercia, I really enjoyed your 60s/70s casting suggestions for ASOIAF 🙂 I’ve seen you’ve done Cersei, Caitlyn, Ygritte, with a possible suggestion for Sansa — are you planning on doing others?

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    172. Adrianacandle,

      Where’s it written that the 3ER cannot be the lord of anything? Bran saying that is just like him saying back in S1 that he’ll never be able to ride a horse again. And guess what? He ended up being able to! He was right about his inability to have children, but assumption many operated on about being the lord of something was to have your children succeed you. But the Ironborn and the Night’s Watch has the idea first of having their lord’s successor elected.

      Bran wasn’t some omniscient, omnipotent god. He was a just a kid, no older than 20, who became the 3ER not long ago and was still really new at it. I’d bet money that he did not know he was going to be king. When Tyrion asks Bran if he’d accept the position, Bran hesitates and doesn’t meet Tyrion’s gaze for a while. His reply isn’t him revealing his super secret evil mastermind plot – it’s him realizing what he’s here to do after all.

      “He may be lord of a holdfast, or sit on the King’s council, or raise castles like Brandon the Builder.” -Ned S1E4

      All of the above came true. Bran indeed became lord of a holdfast: Maegor’s Holdfast, within the Red Keep, which no doubt he oversaw the reconstruction of large portions of. Then he did sit on the king’s council, as it was his OWN council.

      Bran, a cripple, and Tyrion, a grotesque, became the most and second-most powerful people in the south of Westeros. And a girl became the most powerful person in the north of Westeros. Life is full of possibilities.

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    173. Adrianacandle: While I agree unifying disparate peoples is Jon’s arc, it also doesn’t come without cost and some of these costs involve pissing off another group, garnering mistrust toward yourself from that group, each side having to make significant compromises and the resulting peace being fragile, etc.

      I think Jon acts as a unifier to bring people together for humanity’s survival but I think Jon is ultimately a shield for the realm, not a king to rule the unified country. If Jon does kill Dany in the books, he will be committing some of the most grievous crimes you can in Westeros, potentially pissing off some major groups in big ways, and I don’t think that can be overlooked, especially since the severity of these crimes have been established in the books. Every decision comes with consequences and while killing Dany saves Westeros, it also damns Jon.

      Personally, I think Jon’s purpose is to help bring about a new world, the new dawn, but he can’t be the one to rule it because of this — especially with the idea that every decision comes at a cost, especially one like this.

      Ah! I like this explanation! Unifying doesn’t come without (self-)sacrifices…and pissing off some people along the way.

      You know what it kind of reminds me of? (Here goes…it’s a bit of a stretch, and I may have misunderstood the details…): The biblical story of Moses.

      He rescued his people, led them out of bondage in Egypt and to the Promised Land, and summoned divine help to defeat the pursuing Egyptians.

      But Moses himself could not enter the Promised Land, and could not be the leader of his people once they settled there. (As I recall, Moses pissed off the Lord or something.) Whatever it was that he did, it meant that his purpose was to “bring about a new world” but he could not be “the one to rule it.”

      I always thought that was a bitt*****et ending for the poor fella whose mom hid his parentage to protect him; who’d given up his royal upbringing to save his people; and who’d endured wandering in the desert for a generation, only to be excluded from the new world and any leadership role.

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    174. Farimer123,

      Where’s it written that the 3ER cannot be the lord of anything?

      I didn’t make this claim ^^;;;

      In 703, when he reunites with Sansa, Bran himself said this on the show:

      Sansa: You’re Lord of Winterfell now.

      Bran: I can never be Lord of Winterfell. I can never be lord of anything. I’m the Three-Eyed Raven.

      I said Bran may not make this statement in the books but I also speculated that while Bran can’t be a lord, it doesn’t mean he can’t be a king.

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    175. Farimer123,

      Yeah, maybe you’re right. It just didn’t look like the WF was contending with freezing cold blizzards, and the exterior of KL in S8 looked like Miami Beach during Spring Break (with non-stop wine drinking, though a slightly higher body count. 😎)

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    176. Ten Bears,

      I never realized this — nice connection! This fate does remind me of Moses’s own when you lay it out like that. It also cost Moses the relationship he had with Ramses, with whom he grew up with as a brother.

      But hopefully, the wildlings don’t give into a night of debauchery whereupon Jon punishes them by making them wander a wasteland for 40 years until the current generation dies out ;D

      On a serious note, again, nice connection!

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    177. The minute Sansa Stark was made queen of the north it reduced any likelihood that series end could mean there was an end to hereditary leadership in Westeros.

      Everyone picking Bran was at the council meeting because of their family tree. Gendry was just appointed because of his father. In fact, the Starks were in the session as a ruling family. For all the participants, I do not remember any confirmation they will rule their regions any differently from their fathers.

      Fine, Bran was a new type of leader with his magic and all. Of course, no reason was given why the south needed a magic king but the north was fine with Sansa the Smart.

      Now, Bronn or Davos as king would be a clear break from the past! And only if their kids were not eligible.

      Hot Pie would be a fresh start as well.

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    178. Adrianacandle,

      Bran said it; where’s it written in stone? Was there a part of his training where he learned that becoming the 3ER meant never becoming a lord of anything, and we just never saw it? Him saying that is just him making an assumption, just like when he thought he’d never be able to ride a horse again.

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    179. Adrianacandle: Maybe Bran doesn’t say he can’t be lord of anything in the books? Or maybe that’s meant to be, “I can’t be lord of anything (but I can be king! Muahahahaha!!!)”

      King Robert S1e1: “You’ll be a soldier!”
      Bran: (Maybe not.)

      Ned & Arya S1
      Arya: “Bran can’t be a Kingsguard now, can he.”
      Ned: “No. But he can be lord of a holdfast.”
      Arya: “Can I be lord of a holdfast?”
      Ned: “You will marry a high lord and rule his castle and your sons will be lords and princes.”
      Arya: “No. That’s not me.”
      Bran: (Me neither. Bwahaha!)

      Bran (S7e4): “I can’t be lord of anything.” (Because once I’m done pulling the strings on all you puppets, I’m gonna be King of the World.)

      Tyrion S8e6: “If we choose you, will you be our king?”
      Bran: “Duh. I didn’t schlep all this way for nothing.”

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    180. Farimer123:
      Adrianacandle,

      Bran said it; where’s it written in stone? Was there a part of his training where he learned that becoming the 3ER meant never becoming a lord of anything, and we just never saw it? Him saying that is just him making an assumption, just like when he thought he’d never be able to ride a horse again.

      I don’t know what your issue is with what I’ve said. I’m also not the one saying Bran can’t be lord of anything, Bran did — whether it’s an assumption or not. I also haven’t said this was or wasn’t written in stone.

      I speculated how Bran’s comment could line up with his becoming king in the end.

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    181. Ten Bears: King Robert S1e1: “You’ll be a soldier!”
      Bran: (Maybe not.)

      Ned & Arya S1 Arya: “Bran can’t be a Kingsguard now, can he.”Ned: “No. But he can be lord of a holdfast.”Arya: “Can I be lord of a holdfast?”Ned: “You will marry a high lord and rule his castle and your sons will be lords and princes.” Arya: “No. That’s not me.”Bran: (Me neither. Bwahaha!)

      Bran (S7e4): “I can’t be lord of anything.” (Because once I’m done pulling the strings on all you puppets, I’m gonna be King of the World.)

      Tyrion S8e6: “If we choose you, will you be our king?” Bran: “Duh. I didn’t schlep all this way for nothing.”

      LOL! Bran’s Secret Plan XD!

      (Disclaimer to others: I’m not saying Bran planned this or the Evil Bran theory is true — but I do like joking about it!)

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    182. Sansa as a female in power is not revolutionary nor inspirational in the series. Why would it suggest new possibilities?

      The clash was between two queens. Cersei was the queen of Westeros. Daenerys commanded an army and rode a dragon.

      Sansa Stark ruling the independent north is neither here nor there except that it makes Dorne and the Iron Islands look like idiots.

      As for the north getting independence as a reward because they fought the NK – so did the Vale’s army. Got nothing for it. In fact, one would think that Robin and Royce would make the Vale go with Sansa’s to form a federation of sorts.

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    183. Mango,

      The North did not gain independence “as a reward”. They got it because they’ve wanted it for a very long time. Even after Robb died and the Boltons re-declared for the Iron Throne, half the North never declared for them. They have an entirely different religion and even ethnicity from the rest of the kingdoms. Southern kings have always found them incredibly difficult to control because they are so unruly. They only bowed to the Targaryens because they had no other option. It was time to let them go their own way. Bran wisely realized this and consented.

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    184. As for Yara and the Iron Islands giving up their dream of independence because Theon died protecting Bran or whatever else he thought of Bran.

      Really? I suppose that could work………

      What about Yara saying “My brother died to protect you, Bran. We paid you back with his life. What do more do you want? Give us our freedom! ”

      Of course, that would be from the badass Yara that we knew for 7 seasons. The Season 8 Yara, could be cowed by a glance from Arya.

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    185. Farimer123,

      As for Yara, she had a pact for Ironborn independence with Dany, who then died. So that plan is kinda, ya know, shot. Dany’s death had positive and negative repercussions for all the kingdoms. Just like Yara asked Dany for independence, so did Sansa ask Bran.

      As for Dorne, that’s a moot point, because when the hell have they ever wanted independence in the show, or even in living memory?

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    186. Farimer123:
      Adrianacandle,

      Bran….thought he’d never be able to ride a horse again.

      I’m glad you mentioned this. Tyrion’s gesture of good will in S1 in providing specs for a custom-made saddle for Bran would’ve been a good callback (and established reciprocal good will) between Bran and Tyrion in S8e2. It could’ve made for a convenient segue into their long – but omitted – conversation about Bran’s journey during that episode.

      Again, I’m not griping. It just would’ve been nice to know why and how Tyrion was so impressed with Bran and his “story” that he’d nominate Bran for king.

      Oh, I know there are those who’ll say Bran recounting his story would have been redundant and a waste of time because we already knew his story, and we could just assume Bran filled in Tyrion with the details “off screen.”

      The same could be said about Sandor’s story about Gregor melting his face. LF told the story to Sansa and Arya during the jousting tournament in S1. Arya then repeated the story back to Sandor (about Gregor pressing his face to the fire “like a juicy mutton chop”) when they were arguing/insulting each other about “fear” in S3e9.

      Yet, even though Sandor told “us” the story (for a third time) in S4e7, I daresay that scene was one of the richest, best-scripted and best-acted “high thread count” scenes in the entire show. It was not extraneous or redundant. (It could very well be my favorite scene in my all-time favorite GoT episode.) It didn’t take up that much screen time either.

      My point is that a two-minute matter-of-fact exposition by Bran to Tyrion in S8e2 might well have tamped down some of the “WTF?” reactions to Tyrion’s “best story” speech in S8e6.

      Of course, Bran using his powers to forewarn Team Dany + Jon about the location of Euron’s fleet, the deployment of the Golden Company, and the fortifications and defenses of KL would’ve given Bran some credibility among the dragon pit attendees. (Bran’s playbacks of past events and dialogue during LF’s trial by ambush in S7e7 may have been enough to impress those in attendance, e.g., Lord Royce, Sansa and Arya. A brief demonstration of Bran’s 3ER powers for some of the other folks who’d attend the S8e6 dragon pit summit could’ve helped justify their readily agreeing to Tyrion’s nomination of Bran.)

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    187. Mango,

      What the hell? That wouldn’t be “badass Yara”, that would be “royal c*nt Yara spits in the face of everything her brother Theon held dear”.

      And Yara wasn’t cowed by Arya; she would have attacked Arya then and there if Davos hadn’t dissuaded them.

      Dunno if you recall this, but towards the end of the Ironborn invasion of the North, Yara strongly opposed fighting for independence because it was clear they would never achieve their objective and it would only lead to more unnecessary death. She asked for it from a potential future queen of Westeros, and with that queen gone, there’s nothing else to do.

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    188. Ten Bears,

      The 3ER’s purpose is to serve as a repository for life and memory, at odds with the death and forgetting that the Night King represented. He wasn’t going to support this monarch against that monarch, like he’s just some superhero with nifty superpowers aligned with Dany’s Avengers.

      And the reason all those people at the Dragonpit chose him had little to do with his journey or his powers, and everything to do with the fact that he was a Stark (most of the high lords and ladies in charge of Westeros were friendly towards them) or because they knew Bran personally, or because their little brothers sacrificed themselves to defend him. His journey, that of a crippled(!) boy surviving against all odds and acquiring mythical abilities makes for a story that can inspire the people of a nation torn apart by war and strife, wouldn’t you agree?

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    189. Adrianacandle:
      Efi,

      On this, I agree that these are difficult questions and I’m also not sure why they’d elect Bran. I felt the rationale provided by the show was pretty weak.

      And if Bran’s ability as the Three-Eyed Raven is what differentiates him from all other candidates, makes him special, is the message that only a magical superhuman can rule Westeros to lead it into a better future since human rulers subject to emotion and lacking omniscience are unfit?

      Like, I don’t know… But maybe there’s something else, another reason why Bran is elected by the council. Since this hasn’t been written yet in the books, it’s hard to assess.

      I was interested in your discussion on how Bran gets to be king in the book. I fully agree that Bran was not appropriately set up in the series and hope that GRRM find a good way. He may include a more useful role for Bran to demonstrate his abilities.

      Tolkien ended his book with the close of the period of magic and dawn of the age of men. For many fans, this signaled an upcoming move toward modernity and an optimistic view of humanity.

      GRRM seems to be going towards ending with the rise of magic and the failure of mankind to manage their affairs – end with a Magical King. A darker view, I think. Bran’s magical leadership would be consistent with a magic-dominated world.

      I am not sure that any rise of magic (and a magical leader) would represent an advance in society or a better future. Generally societies have advanced from complete belief in magic to some belief in science and rational thinking. (Ignoring any recent relapse in certain countries).

      Leadership by Bran resembles that in early human settlements led by a “shaman” or magical mystical leader that was believed to be in communication with the spirit world and possessing abilities to commune with gods that rule the earth.

      Bran’s interaction with the old children of the forest, 3eR, the trances, etc looks to me like moving backward for human settlements rather than forward. Leaders like Bran led human groups well before humans even managed to get to feudal societies.

      In short, Magical Bran can be seen as a “neutral supercomputer” for the future or a “shamanistic” leader from back in the day. Way, way back.

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    190. Ten Bears:

      Again, I’m not griping. It just would’ve been nice to know why and how Tyrion was so impressed with Bran and his “story” that he’d nominate Bran for king.

      My point is that a two-minute matter-of-fact exposition by Bran to Tyrion in S8e2 might well have tamped down some of the “WTF?” reactions to Tyrion’s “best story” speech in S8e6.

      I agree this conversation was an essential scene as so much of the kingship endgame depended on that exchange.

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    191. Mango,

      GRRM seems to be going towards ending with the rise of magic and the failure of mankind to manage their affairs – end with a Magical King. A darker view, I think. Bran’s magical leadership would be consistent with a magic-dominated world.

      Yeah, it seems that way because Bran is one of the most magical characters and what seems to set him apart is a magical ability.

      And I agree, this does seem to be the inverse of Tolkien — the move away from magic coincides with an optimistic future for the realm of men. Meanwhile, the opposite might be true for this story. Magic combined with a human mind seems to be what represents Westeros’s best hope.

      Alt Shift X had this to say in his video about 8×06:

      This brave new realm is delicate and uncertain, but there is hope.

      King Bran represents a different kind of ruler. Past kings have been bad because they’ve been proud or cruel or power-hungry. Bran doesn’t care about power. He has no pride or cruelty. He barely has a personality – so in theory, he’ll be fair and unbiased. He’ll be a good ruler because he’s inhuman – which is a very depressing message.

      Game of Thrones was always about the struggle between human good and human evil within each person. Bran being king suggests that the solution to human evil isn’t human good, it’s being not human.

      ______

      I am not sure that any rise of magic (and a magical leader) would represent an advance in society or a better future. Generally societies have advanced from complete belief in magic to some belief in science and rational thinking. (Ignoring any recent relapse in certain countries).
      Leadership by Bran resembles that in early human settlements led by a “shaman” or magical mystical leader that was believed to be in communication with the spirit world and possessing abilities to commune with gods that rule the earth.
      Bran’s interaction with the old children of the forest, 3eR, the trances, etc looks to me like moving backward for human settlements rather than forward. Leaders like Bran led human groups well before humans even managed to get to feudal societies.

      This is a really interesting idea and an intriguing concept I’ll have to spend more time thinking about because I think there’s a lot here to take apart (also, I’ve only taken two courses cultural anthropology so my knowledge is super limited here :/).

      But I’m going to give it a shot!

      In the past, as you mentioned, magic was more faith-based but it’s not so faith-based with Bran since he can demonstrate the ability pretty easily by uncovering any secret a person may have in seconds.

      Still, for the general populace, the smallfolk who wouldn’t be interacting with Bran one-on-one (unless Bran does shows or something), maybe there would be an element of faith?

      Nonetheless, I think your point remains that the Westerosi would be following a ruler steeped in magic and mysticism who is in communication with/possesses the ability of an otherworldly entity that can’t be explained by science or rational thinking.

      The world in which Westeros exists has a ton of magic, it’s part of the fabric of this universe, it’s its own force of nature, can be ruly, unpredictable, comes at a cost.

      However, this wouldn’t be a society improving based on human advancement/enlightenment/innovation/progression to lead humanity into a better future, nor would magic be simply functioning as a force of nature or a tool-with-a-price to help humanity get to this point. It’d be an ancient magic itself ruling humanity, having melded together with a human mind in order to create Super Bran, Seer of All.

      So in that way, if magic needs to be part of ruling humanity to avoid the failures man is prone to, I can see how it doesn’t feel like an advancement in that sense.

      For this reason, I hope GRRM finds a good way to make Bran king that isn’t so magic-based, that GRRM shows us why Bran is the agreed-upon king to lead us into the future and demonstrates this on-page.

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    192. Ten Bears: Gah! Great picture! I haven’t read the books and even I think that’s how book! Margaery would look. 😬

      I’m going to steal from the wiki’s description of book!Margaery — here it is!

      Margaery has thick, softly curling brown hair and large brown eyes.[8][9][3] She has a slender[10] but womanly figure[3] with smooth and unblemished[3] pale skin[11] and small breasts.[12] Margaery is fair and lively,[3] with a shy and sweet smile.[8][13] She is regarded as beautiful[14][10][15][11][3] or pretty[16][3] by most.

      I think a young Diana Rigg would be pretty close to this! 😀

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    193. JenniferH,

      Holy smokes! Great pro-Bran writeup! (Do you work on political campaigns? If not, you should. 🤓)

      I’m hesitant to even try to articulate responses
      or rebuttals to all of your points.

      For now though, let me just ask about one of your points without necessarily controverting it. You wrote:

      ”…And, more importantly and heroically, Bran literally set himself up as bait for the Night King; he was willing to risk himself to save not just the realm but all of humanity. Yes, Arya was supposed to kill the Night King, but it wouldn’t happen until and unless Bran set himself up as the lamb waiting to be slaughtered.”

      • The way I saw it, the “bait plan” was a total flop. Even though NK was inexplicably stupid enough to place himself in the zone of danger when any one of his WW lieutenants or wights could have struck down an unarmed boy in a wheelchair, luring NK to the godswood to torch him with dragonfire didn’t work. It had no effect on NK.

      • If NK had simply gotten to work and carved up Bran instead of showboating – and staring down Bran before drawing his ice saber – that would’ve been the end of 3ER 2.0.

      • I didn’t perceive the cause and effect the same way you did. You wrote that “Yes, Arya was supposed to kill the Night King, but it wouldn’t happen until and unless Bran set himself up as the lamb waiting to be slaughtered.”

      • The way I saw it, Arya pulled victory from the jaws of defeat after the bait plan had turned to total sh*t. Dragonfire didn’t do squat. Bran’s Ironborn defenders had run out of ammo and were all dead. (Theon’s dash seemed more like suicide than a bona fide attempt to kill NK, didn’t it?) Dany had been thrown from Drogon’s mount, and Drogon was busy trying to shake off swarms of zombies.

      Jon Snow’s attempt to join the fray was thwarted by NK reanimating nearby corpses. Jon
      then retreated, and was pinned behind a rock, reduced to ducking out to yell at Undead Viserion out of frustration before ducking back behind the rock again.

      Nobody else with a VS sword was part of the “plan.” Jorah came by near the end, solely to protect Dany from swarms of wights (not to protect Bran or take a shot at NK.)

      • Arya beaming down from the transporter room (or wherever she materialized from) at the last minute was NOT part of the plan.

      • Isn’t saying that Arya killing NK wouldn’t happen “until and unless” Bran set himself up to be slaughtered, equating coincidence with causation? (One could argue that if Hot Pie hadn’t provided intel to Arya in S7e2 that compelled her to go north to WF instead of continuing south to KL, then Arya would not have been there in WF to take out the NK.)

      • The way I perceived it, an entirely separate set of participants and chain of events (i.e., not Bran or his willingness to serve as bait) enabled Arya to kill Ol’ Blue Eyes:
      – The Lord of Light. (“This is his moment,” according to Beric in S8e2)
      – Beric risking himself – and sacrificing himself – “to save not just the realm but all of humanity.”
      According to Melisandre, that was Beric’s purpose all along, and the reason why the LoL had kept bringing him back. Having served that purpose – giving his life so that Arya could live – he finally had the answers to his theological questions (in S7e1 and S7e6) and had his long-awaited final death.
      Beric Dondarrion was not part of the bait plan.
      – Melisandre’s pep talk is what impelled Arya to go after NK. Arya scooting past WWs and taking on NK one-on-one was not part of the bait plan.
      – Sandor dragging Arya away from hordes of pursuing wights enabled her to survive until the meet-up with Mel.

      • From my perspective, the Bran Bait Plan was wight-hunt-level ridiculous to begin with. It presupposed NK would unnecessarily expose himself – and his entire army – to the risk of a lucky VS sword stroke, hurled DG spear or fired DG arrow. It assumed dragonfire would be lethal to NK. (It wasn’t.) It depended on a bunch of Ironborn in heavy raincoats protecting Bran. (They didn’t.)

      Also, I thought that Dany and Jon abandoned their central strategy right off the bat. Weren’t they supposed to hang back with their dragons until NK showed his face in the godswood? Instead, they took off for some aerial dogfights as soon as the blind Dothraki cavalry charge failed miserably.

      • The way I saw it, Bran setting himself up as bait may have been heroic but it was foolhardy. The Plan (predictably) failed.

      However, if in fact Bran had a premonition when giving that VS dagger to Arya back in S7e4 that she’d eventually use it to save the day (and save the world), he never mentioned that to anyone – least of all Arya herself.

      That might have been cool: Designating ASNAWP as the fail-safe option if the Plan went south. However, there’s no indication that contingency was ever discussed. (It’s noteworthy that Arya downplayed her abilities in her reunion scene with Jon. Arguably, Brienne, Pod and Sansa were the only ones who’d seen her in action; none of them proposed that Arya lay in wait for NK if all else failed.)

      • Finally (and forgive me for whining about this again), I still don’t get what was so important about deleting Bran’s hard drive of “memories” that NK would need to target Bran to begin with. If all humans were killed or turned into wights – who cares about “memories” or “stories”?

      If Bran had other superpowers that threatened NK’s mass extermination agenda, that would’ve been a logical reason to target Bran. However, there’s no indication NK was troubled by Bran’s warging abilities or weirwood tree tripping. (And as S6e5 demonstrated, NK was able to interact with and track Bran’s “avatar” as well as 3ER Bran’s comatose “real” self.)

      • I did not sense that Bran was playing 3-D chess in a brilliant but secret scheme to enable his little sister to pulverize NK and AotD. From what I saw on my screen, the Bait Plan made no sense for either side. If Bran somehow foresaw the outcome, then lots of people died because he kept his premonitions to himself.

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    194. Farimer123,

      Point of thar Yara-Arya exchange was the show how easy it is for Westeros to slip into another war and how high tensions are and that they have to finally stop with death and destruction and try to find some sort of common ground.

        Quote  Reply

    195. Farimer123,

      And that Dragonpit meeting is not the end of history. Lol

      Life goes on. Maybe Yara will ask for independence at some point. Maybe Drogon will return. Maybe Bronn will ruin the realm. Who knows. Ask me again in 10 years. It goes on.

        Quote  Reply

    196. Farimer123,

      I dont know where this idea that every region of Westeros wants independence is even coming from*. UK left EU. Does that mean that every other country wants the same?

      * except to invent new ways to whine about the show

        Quote  Reply

    197. Farimer123:
      Ten Bears,

      The 3ER’s purpose is to serve as a repository for life and memory, at odds with the death and forgetting that the Night King represented…..

      And the reason all those people at the Dragonpit chose him had little to do with his journey or his powers, and everything to do with the fact that he was a Stark (most of the high lords and ladies in charge of Westeros were friendly towards them) or because they knew Bran personally, or because their little brothers sacrificed themselves to defend him. His journey, that of a crippled(!) boy surviving against all odds and acquiring mythical abilities makes for a story that can inspire the people of a nation torn apart by war and strife, wouldn’t you agree?

      • “Repository” of life and memory? Nope. Made no sense. People got along fine with libraries and oral historians. I suppose a time-traveling fact-checker would be helpful – to other humans. To the NK though? Who cares? If all humans are gone what would it matter if there is or was a “repository”? Sorry. I don’t buy it. GRRM must have something more important and clever in mind for Bran – and for Sam.

      • People chose Bran “because they knew Bran personally, or because their little brothers sacrificed themselves to defend him”? Why?
      That loved ones sacrificed themselves for Bran the Ingrate would be a reason to reject him, not choose him.
      Sure, some people “knew Bran personally,” – or they once used to until he himself admitted (S7e4) he’s “not really” Brandon Stark anymore.

      • Sorry, I would not agree that the ”journey, that of a crippled(!) boy surviving against all odds and acquiring mythical abilities makes for a story that can inspire the people of a nation torn apart by war and strife.”
      A nation recently torn apart by magical dragons, shadow-baby birthing witches, and a pyromaniacal deity who gets people to “fight his wars for him and then f*cks off” without explanation (Davos, S8e4) would probably have their fill of people “acquiring mythical abilities.” That would hardly inspire anyone. And certainly it wouldn’t inspire them to elevate an enigmatic, apparently omniscient, and possibly immortal boy to a position of power.

      The first question “the people of a nation torn apart by war and strife” would ask is: “Hey Mr. Third Eye – How the f*ck could you let this happen?”

        Quote  Reply

    198. Ten Bears: The first question “the people of a nation torn apart by war and strife” would ask is: “Hey Mr. Third Eye – How the f*ck could you let this happen?”

      Speaking of Third Eye, here’s a musical interlude for the day…

        Quote  Reply

    199. Adrianacandle: I was thinking about Olivia Hussey as Lyanna Stark and was about to post something but my mum came over before I could…!

      This picture is pretty much how I imagined Lyanna!

      My pre-S6 fancasting for Lyanna Stark was Olivia Hussey’s daughter, British-American actress India Eisley:

      https://i.pinimg.com/originals/a3/59/69/a3596936e24b61fd8c129ca34f6240f5.jpg

      She has the “look” that comported with books’ passages’ descriptions*, and in other pictures has facial features similar to those of Maisie Williams.

      Besides, I thought casting the daughter of Zeffirelli’s Juliet (Olivia Hussey) would fit nicely with the whole star-crossed lovers, Romeo & Juliet vibe of Lyanna and Rhaegar…

      * From what I understand, book! Lyanna Stark had a “wild beauty,” and pre-teen Arya – though still a tomboy – was starting to resemble her.

      Beyond Lyanna’s physical appearance, she must have had other qualities that made her so irresistible that Rhaegar blew off his wife and ran off with Lyanna (surely knowing the sh*tstorm it would leave behind in their wake); and Robert could never get over her, even long after her death.

      P.S. I don’t buy the theories that Rhaegar chose Lyanna because he was just looking for some chick to knock up to get a third child to fulfill a prophesy, or that Robert was more in love with the “idea” of Lyanna than the young woman herself.
      There had to be more to her than just being a convenient broodmare for already-married Prince Rhaegar, or an unrequited crush of manwhore Robert.
      I take it that GRRM has not (yet) filled in the R + L backstory. The show refuted the whole “kidnap and rape” story, and I guess it also dispelled the notion that Lyanna would shame her family and herself by repudiating an arranged marriage in order to become a married man’s mistress. Also, I have to assume Lyanna was more than just a ditzy free spirit who enticed away the Prince that Cersei had once hoped to marry, and then continued to alienate the affections of Cersei’s husband the King long after Lyanna was dead and buried.

      (S*ck on it, Cersei! 🙂)

        Quote  Reply

    200. Ten Bears,

      Uhhh… okay I think I’m done because you just seem to really REALLY hate Bran’s entire storyline and refuse to even try and see any value in it. There was literally so much BS, conjecture, strawmanning, and willful misinterpretation in that reply that I can’t even begin to tackle it. You’re determined to dislike it.

        Quote  Reply

    201. mau:
      Farimer123,

      I don’t know where this idea that every region of Westeros wants independence is even coming from*. UK left EU. Does that mean that every other country wants the same?

      * except to invent new ways to whine about the show

      I think you’re right about the misconception of “independence,” though I don’t think it’s because people are looking for new ways to whine about the show.
      A federation of semi-autonomous states with a central government would probably be mutually beneficial to all six or seven post-war “kingdoms.” Sharing resources and responsibilities would not necessarily be a bad thing.

      Without pillaging, stealing and general lawlessness the Iron Islands has no resources and no economy. Fairly distributing food from the Reach would alleviate famine – and wars because of it. The North may not be able to sustain itself and its new citizens without assistance.

      And as Tywin observed and as other characters repeatedly lamented, conscripting farmers to fight in “other people’s wars” meant that farmers were killed, farms were burned (thanks Tywin), and crops were left to rot in the fields. Sieges caused mass starvation and insurrection.

      So yeah, I’m not so sure “independence” would be so attractive to the people, notwithstanding the separatist desires and nationalist pride of their nobles. (The show made it sound like despite Robert’s profligacy, there was relative peace and prosperity during his reign, and the system of Wardens governing each region on behalf of the crown seemed to function fairly well.)

        Quote  Reply

    202. Ten Bears,

      Thank you. I actually really liked season 08 and created a sub for fans of the series for a safe space to just kind of discuss the show still without negative voices (I know it’s nice to get the back and forth debate, but it’s also nice to have that space). I’ve written posts about Dany, Sansa, my girl Arya, Arya/Gendry, bunches of characters, etc. (If you’re interested — feel free to check it out: https://www.reddit.com/r/GOT_TheUnbroken/comments/f5hyq2/master_list_of_posts/ I have a looooong post about why I think that Arya is actually meant to be the QitN while Sansa will wind up being a huge deciding factor for the North in the South in the books. Those are two separate posts. I linked you to the master list of posts to make it easy to find.)

      Just so you know, I wasn’t in ANY WAY discounting the uber-important role that Arya played. (She’s my absolute fave.)

      I don’t think that Bran’s plan to set himself up as bait failed at all. I think it was one of two things and you can take whichever one works best for you:

      1) He only saw flashes of what would happen. Him and the NK both in the Godswood and Arya killing the NK. That was enough for him to know that he needed to be there at THAT spot for bait, and that Arya needed the knife. It *would* happen.

      2) He saw it playing out as it happened, but he knows enough about history and how things play out that things are going to happen how they happen. Lives will be lost. Things will go wrong, but in the end, the Night King will be dead by Arya’s hand.

      He knew that the NK would showboat. He knew that Theon would die. He knew that Arya would show up in the last second. He knew that it would all play out but he couldn’t say anything because if he did, Theon might decide to do something different. Arya might have been waiting there with him instead. The plan of attack might different. It could change the whole course of events.

      It’s a case of the future is already set. Bran couldn’t change it, trying to twist things could make things worse. The Night King could have won.

      As for why it would matter if Bran was taken out? Well, it’s a mystical world, and I think that it was all tied together. With Bran gone, the memory of who the NK is goes with him.

      Nah, fam, I don’t really got anything for that one… LOL! They should have tied in that the Children of the Forest were connected to the 3ER and that with Bran dying it made the NK invincible or something like that, but they didn’t.

        Quote  Reply

    203. Just quick responses to a number of posts:

      (i) What could Yara do? She could ask Bran.
      Sansa asked Dany. Dany died. Sansa asked the new king, Bran.
      Yara asked Dany. Dany died. Yara?
      I simply pointed out how Theon’s death could have been used to strengthen her independence request. I am not suggesting that she fight Bran. She could have asked. The time to ask was when the new union was being negotiated.

      (ii) It is not my viewpoint that North got independence because of their fighting the NK. This idea of granting independence as a reward was suggested by another poster. I am reacting to it by pointing out that the Vale also fought.

      (iii) As for the dynamic btw Arya/Yara. My understanding (and I could be wrong) was that the script said something of that sort…that Yara looked at Arya, “Arya was different” in a manner that suggested intimidation so Yara stood down. Perhaps someone can help me with that.

      (iv) Yes, there is the impression that both the Iron Islands and Dorne value their independence. Dorne, the Unbowed, fought Aegon and refused to join with the kingdoms. They clung to their independence even when faced by fiery dragons, joining later (100 yrs?) under special terms incl marriage. I think they also asked for special terms from Robert. they remained “semi-autonomous” with a royal family and their own practices. I think this informs the viewpoint that they value independence and this would be an opportunity to leave – they may not easily accept rule by a northern boy. However at the final session, Dornish arrangements were not very clear. In GOT, the Dorne’s insistence on their independence and resistance to joining the seven kingdoms was discussed by Tywin and Sexy Prince Mashed Head.

      (v) I would not consider the 7 kingdoms to be comparable to the EU. The EU was negotiated in peace-time based on economic and political interests. (Although, one could say that Britain that only sort-of- joined is most comparable to Dorne.)

      The “7 kingdoms” were forged into one empire through capture by an external aggressor and kept in place by the threat of war. It would be more comparable to the British Raj that fragmented when the British left; Or the Soviet Union that was merged by war; or Yugoslavia. These fragmented as well. These kinds of countries can hold together but rarely do. They do when they decide to…or are forced by economics etc.

      And even in the EU there is strong (minority!) opinion is several countries against the value of the EU!

        Quote  Reply

    204. Farimer123:
      Ten Bears,

      Uhhh… okay I think I’m done because you just seem to really REALLY hate Bran’s entire storyline and refuse to even try and see any value in it. There was literally so much BS, conjecture, strawmanning, and willful misinterpretation in that reply that I can’t even begin to tackle it. You’re determined to dislike it.

      Now now, let’s keep it civil.

      Also:
      • I think you meant to write “…refuse to even try to see any value in it.” [Not “try and.”]
      • You are free to label contrary opinions as “BS, conjecture, strawmanning, and willful misinterpretation.” However, stating that there “was literally so much” of it that you “can’t even begin to tackle it” doesn’t explain what you found inaccurate. Nor does injecting the word “literally” add any heft to your assertion.

      • Helpful hint from King Stannis: Limit use of “literally” to those occasions when it’s necessary to distinguish a word or statement from its figurative sense.

      An example I’ve used before is a quote from a showrunner of “Stranger Things,” who was remarking that with the increased popularity of his show, the producers had to start safeguarding against script leaks and sought advice from GoT’s staff.
      The showrunner said something like, “we literally picked their brains.”
      That would mean the Stranger Things producers actually cut open the skulls of GoT’s staff members and dissected out brain tissue. Obviously, “pick their brains” is a figure of speech. The showrunner meant to use that phrase in the figurative sense.

      • In any event, since you “think [you’re] done,” let’s drop our discussion/debate about “Bran’s entire storyline,” okay?

        Quote  Reply

    205. Ten Bears,

      She has the “look” that comported with books’ passages’ descriptions*, and in other pictures has facial features similar to those of Maisie Williams.
      Besides, I thought casting the daughter of Zeffirelli’s Juliet (Olivia Hussey) would fit nicely with the whole star-crossed lovers, Romeo & Juliet vibe of Lyanna and Rhaegar…

      Wow, great beauty genes in that family!

      Nice fancast! And I agree, Eisley does share some features with MW.

      From what I understand, book! Lyanna Stark had a “wild beauty,” and pre-teen Arya – though still a tomboy – was starting to resemble her.

      Yeah, I remember Bran mistaking Lyanna for Arya when he greensees a past scene depicting Lyanna and Benjen, Ned thinks that Arya looks like Lyanna, and Arya’s beauty is noted upon by the Kindly Man:

      “You believe this is the only place for you.” It was as if he’d heard her thoughts. “You are wrong in that. You would find softer service in the household of some merchant. Or would you sooner be a courtesan, and have songs sung of your beauty?

      “Wear this when you are here,” the priest said, “but know that you shall have little need of it for the present. On the morrow you will go to Izembaro to begin your first apprenticeship. Take what clothes you will from the vaults below. The city watch is looking for a certain ugly girl, known to frequent the Purple Harbor, so best you have a new face as well.” He cupped her chin, turned her head this way and that, nodded. “A pretty one this time, I think. As pretty as your own. Who are you, child?”

      I think Arya’s beauty, as perhaps Lyanna’s had been, is one that emerges as she grows. Some features that are striking in adults and teenagers may look awkward on a kid. You have conventional beauties like Sansa, Catelyn, Cersei, Margaery, etc. but there are also wild beauties like Lyanna and the beauty emerging in Arya.

      Beyond Lyanna’s physical appearance, she must have had other qualities that made her so irresistible that Rhaegar blew off his wife and ran off with Lyanna (surely knowing the sh*tstorm it would leave behind in their wake); and Robert could never get over her, even long after her death.
      P.S. I don’t buy the theories that Rhaegar chose Lyanna because he was just looking for some chick to knock up to get a third child to fulfill a prophesy, or that Robert was more in love with the “idea” of Lyanna than the young woman herself.
      There had to be more to her than just being a convenient broodmare for already-married Prince Rhaegar, or an unrequited crush of manwhore Robert.
      I take it that GRRM has not (yet) filled in the R + L backstory. The show refuted the whole “kidnap and rape” story, and I guess it also dispelled the notion that Lyanna would shame her family and herself by repudiating an arranged marriage in order to become a married man’s mistress. Also, I have to assume Lyanna was more than just a ditzy free spirit who enticed away the Prince that Cersei had once hoped to marry, and then continued to alienate the affections of Cersei’s husband the King long after Lyanna was dead and buried.

      I think love was involved and while I think it’s possible prophecy was still on Rhaegar’s mind, I don’t think it was simply Rhaegar looking for a prophecy vessel to get his third child. Reportedly, GRRM referred to Rhaegar as “a love struck prince” while visiting Mexico in late 2018 for the Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL), which GRRM did announce he’d be attending on his LJ 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    206. JenniferH,

      Ooh! Ooh! You’ve written “a looooong post about why I think that Arya is actually meant to be the QitN”? I can’t wait to read it.
      👸🏻

        Quote  Reply

    207. Ten Bears,

      You are right – it would be the pride of the nobles not the general populations that would drive this…

      It does not mean it is a good idea.

      Just that some noble houses had previously shown strong interest in leaving. For example, the North! They would be better off staying in – the heir to the north is king! Plus post-war they could do with some infrastructure spending in the north using the taxes gathered from the other territories.

        Quote  Reply

    208. Ten Bears:
      JenniferH,

      Ooh! Ooh! You’ve written “a looooong post about why I think that Arya is actually meant to be the QitN”? I can’t wait to read it.
      👸🏻

      When I say long, I mean, I had to cut like 3,000 words from it originally because it was too long to fit, it was over 10,000. It’s broken down into 6 parts. (There are 3 other Arya specific posts, and a really, really, really long Arya/Gendry post as well–that one is broken down into 7 parts.) The Sansa posts is also broken down into 6 parts and does discuss Arya a bit too. And techincally, the Winterfell arc post talks about Arya quite a bit too.

      I’m also working on doing binge rewatches of each season. I did season 01 already-wrote a long post about it, and I plan on start watching season 02 tomorrow.

      Any thoughts you have on any of the posts are more than welcome. I LOVE discussing Arya. 😀

        Quote  Reply

    209. Mango,

      • I can see why Dorne and the Iron Islands would be in no mood – or have the leverage to press for independence.

      Thanks to the “clever plans” for Dany’s invasion, both Dorne and the Greyjoys suffered significant casualties. (Thanks Tyrion.) Euron wiped out most of Yara’s fleet in S7, and Dany returned the favor in S8. So I’m not sure the Iron Islands were in a position of military or economic strength. Plus, I assume Yara knew how Theon guilty Theon felt for betraying the Starks – and Acting Lord Bran in particular – with his ill-fated takeover of WF. Yara also knew Theon wanted to go back to defend WF in S8, and Yara herself said she was going back to secure the Iron Islands in case Team Stark needed a place to retreat to. I could see how Yara and whatever was left of the Greyjoys – with no resources and a decimated navy (and pillaging no longer a viable way of life)
      would forego “independence” and assent to Bran as king.

      Dorne may have once had a proud heritage of independence, but that’s ancient history. After
      the populist warmongering resulted in the assassination of their Prince and his son; backing Team Sand Snake; foolishly picking a fight with the Lannisters; and watching as their new leaders got killed and captured and their navy and troops obliterated (again, thanks Tyrion!), Dorne was like a metaphorical decapitated snake. A war-weary population would be more likely to submit to central rule while they picked up the pieces from their disastrous political and military escapades. (At least Doran had kept the peace; if the Dornish people had really been gung ho to go to war, the reality of their coup + devastating losses + upheaval probably made them second-guess their “proud traditions” of insisting on autonomy.)

      While a couple of lines of dialogue might have provided some clarity for the Greyjoys and Dornish refraining from following Sansa’s lead in insisting on “independence,” their post-war prospects would be more attractive by joining a federation overseen by a mellow young king.

      • As for the Vale…. [be right back]

      – to be cont. –

        Quote  Reply

    210. Mango,

      As for the Vale, I got the sense that despite his “glow up,” Robyn Arryn would defer to Sansa’s wishes, and either assent to Northern rule under QitN Sansa or King Bran. Either way, each monarch is his cousin. The Arryns and Starks have long-standing family ties. There’d be no need for “independence.”
      Lord Royce saw 3ER 2.0 Bran in action, and figures he’s weird but trustworthy, so Royce would probably advise or persuade Robyn to accept King Bran.
      Either way, a Northern Queen Stark or a Southern King Stark would be palatable to the Vale. “Independence” doesn’t get them the same benefits as a friendly, feudal relationship with a blood relative as ruler.

      So long as Robyn has a functioning Moon Door he’ll be content. 🕳

        Quote  Reply

    211. Adrianacandle,

      No knock against Aisling Franciosi…

      I had just kind of hoped that the show would take advantage of the Many-Faced Goddess’ [Maisie Williams’s] chameleon-like ability to change her looks, and have her portray Lyanna Stark in the two or three abbreviated flashback scenes.

      A new hairdo, a nice dress, and a little makeup and voila! MW as Lyanna Stark. (She pulled off dramatic changes in her appearance in her four-episode arc in Dr. Who, especially in the second episode, “The Girl Who Lived.” Also, her style icon magazine photo shoots demonstrate how adept she is at transforming from androgynous to glamorous.)

      – End MW Fanboying –

        Quote  Reply

    212. JenniferH,

      ….Any thoughts you have on any of the posts are more than welcome. I LOVE discussing Arya.”😀

      ———-
      I will definitely read your posts over the weekend. At least those about Arya. 👸🏻 Maisie Williams as Arya is the only reason I didn’t click the remote and change the channel midway through S1e1, and my curiosity about book! Arya is the primary reason I will probably start reading the books in the near future. (I’ve been hesitant because Big G has not finished writing them.)

      I had outlined some Arya-discussion topics a while back, and was going to post them for discussion in the Forum section when I’m done. Candidly, I’ve neglected doing so because many fellow commenters have encountered persistent problems in registering for the Forum section and activating their screen names in order to post in the Forum section.

      Anyway, I look forward to reading your posts at the site you linked.

        Quote  Reply

    213. Adrianacandle,

      ”I think love was involved and while I think it’s possible prophecy was still on Rhaegar’s mind, I don’t think it was simply Rhaegar looking for a prophecy vessel to get his third child. Reportedly, GRRM referred to Rhaegar as “a love struck prince” while visiting Mexico in late 2016 for the Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL), which GRRM did announce he’d be attending on his LJ.”🙂

      ——-
      I vaguely remember G’s description of Rhaegar as a “love struck prince.”
      Is that it though? That would make him sound like a stupid teenager. I thought he was admired; that he was contemplative and thoughtful. I thought Jaime looked up to him, and even Ned didn’t think R was a promiscuous brothel customer.
      R was an adult, right? With two young children?

      Then there was that famous book passage about an incident (recounted on the show in S5 by LF to Sansa in the WF Crypts, I think), where R bypassed his own wife in the stands and “crowned” Lyanna Stark the “Queen of Love and Beauty” or something. Why would any guy humiliate his own wife in public like that? Why would he run off and abandon his two little kids? And possibly spark a civil war with the Martells, the Baratheons or the Starks? Was Rhaegar really such a jackass?

      I mean, I could see if G fleshes out the story by describing how a misdirected letter caused all sorts of misunderstandings (e.g., “Dear Mom and Dad. We’re in love. We’re running off together. Don’t hate us. Tell Robert and Elia we’re really sorry. I’ll be in touch”). Understandably, especially in the absence of an explanation, Robert would concoct an ego-salvaging story about kidnap and rape.

      The show never offered any justification for Rhaegar’s apparently reckless and selfish behavior. He had to know what kind of blowback there’d be by running off with another man’s fiancée. Lyanna also had to know how Robert would react to such a grievous insult. (Even on the show she was scared to death that Robert would kill her baby.)

      Neither Rhaegar nor Lyanna were portrayed as oblivious airheads. Even if they were “love struck” and wanted to escape their arranged marriages, there had to be a rational way to do it.

      It just doesn’t add up. I hope someday the Big Kahuna offers a compelling explanation by Rhaegar. (And it had better not be, “the 3ER took over my brain and made me do it.”)

        Quote  Reply

    214. Mr Derp: Speaking of Third Eye, here’s a musical interlude for the day…

      If I may borrow a line from George W. Bush: “Well, that was some weird sh*t.

      I mean that in a good way.😄 I’d never heard of Tool. I want to listen to that track again.

        Quote  Reply

    215. Ten Bears,

      I wish I could answer those questions 🙁 The show didn’t fill in these blanks and this stuff has yet to be revealed in the books. However, while I think love was involved, I think Rhaegar also had prophecy on his mind. At the end of the day, we don’t know much of the story at all though or what all went on.

      As for how old he was, Rhaegar was about 23-24 (born 259, died 283).

      Yes, Rhaegar was admired from recollections of POV characters (or, in Ned’s case, the only thought he has of Rhaegar is that he didn’t think Rhaegar would frequent brothels) and well beloved in the kingdom. If you’d like to read more about him, I can screencap his wiki page if you like 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    216. Ten Bears: No knock against Aisling Franciosi…

      I had just kind of hoped that the show would take advantage of the Many-Faced Goddess’ [Maisie Williams’s] chameleon-like ability to change her looks, and have her portray Lyanna Stark in the two or three abbreviated flashback scenes.

      A new hairdo, a nice dress, and a little makeup and voila! MW as Lyanna Stark. (She pulled off dramatic changes in her appearance in her four-episode arc in Dr. Who, especially in the second episode, “The Girl Who Lived.” Also, her style icon magazine photo shoots demonstrate how adept she is at transforming from androgynous to glamorous.)

      – End MW Fanboying –

      That would be cool since, book-wise, Lyanna and Arya look so much alike! But on the show, MW and KH don’t really look so much alike so I think they needed someone who bore somewhat of a resemblance to KH to make that visual connection between Lyanna and Jon.

      I also think AF bears somewhat of a resemblance to MW. As a result, I think she works both as Arya’s aunt who she takes after and as Jon’s mother, who he takes after.

      This is all YMMV though!

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    217. Ten Bears,

      I don’t know tbh.
      The “Long Night” belongs to the sphere of legend. It happened thousands of years ago, and the Wall hadn’t been built yet. Then Brandon the builder erected the Wall and Winterfell, and the Free Folk stayed behind it.
      Narratively things like that work like allegories in literature, signifying something else. A legend or a myth is a codification of reality; it works with oral transmission because once upon a time writing didn’t exist. So it’s not obligatory to think of a night that never ends. You can think of a time when people were fighting each other; you can think of a winter too long, and in winters the sun sets very early; you can even think of a winter with a constant blizzard raging, which wouldn’t allow for the sun to come up.
      I am not quite sure but I think there are hints that the day is smaller now in the 7Ks. There’s also snow in the Rivelands (in Jamie’s chapters) and in KL (epilogue AFFC? not sure).
      In the books they make their own logistics accounting. They have to sow and harvest all through spring/summer/autumn and then wait till the winters are over. In this context I’d expect them to gather food for the animals too (as far as I remember there’s no word about large stables to put them in during the winter). Jamie is concerned about the harvests in the Riverlands because the war hasn’t allowed any harvesting and the people are bound to starve. It’s the same all the way till the walls of KL.

      So, based on the above, I imagine the long night to be a night of fighting. It can even be an entire day of fighting in the snow blizzard where the sun never comes up. And it is of course connected with the Dawn. When all is over I expect the clouds to part and the sun to come up, just like the show.
      [one of the reasons I liked ep. 8.3; it went as I imagined it, yelling Jon in frustration apart].

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    218. Ten Bears,

      Forgot to mention that in the books the Wights only come in the night. At least that’s what it is said by Mance. Although when Bran enters the cave of Bloodraven, Wights spring from the ground and attack them and in that instance it is not night yet. So the “Long Night” appears to be a codification of a massive attack of Others.

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    219. Farimer123:
      Ten Bears,

      Uhhh… okay I think I’m done because you just seem to really REALLY hate Bran’s entire storyline and refuse to even try and see any value in it. There was literally so much BS, conjecture, strawmanning, and willful misinterpretation in that reply that I can’t even begin to tackle it. You’re determined to dislike it.

      That’s what I said.

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    220. Ten Bears,

      Jon may end up at the Wall after all (provided that there’s meaning in preserving the Wall, i.e. a possible re-generation of the threat from the far North) but if he is it’s not going to be that simple. In the show Jon’s character was sidelined in favor of Daenerys (for the sake of shock value) which was a creative choice. It didn’t pay off, as many viewers were left with a bitter taste in their mouths, but the same thing won’t happen in the books (if ADoS ever comes out).
      But Jon is a renowned swordsman in the book already and his “conciliator” quality has won him the label of “traitor”. He refuses to fight unless there’s a reason; he doesn’t like the warmongers among the wildlings but he has seen that the fighting wildlings are much fewer than the unarmed women and children and old men among them. He teaches Stannis how to come to terms with the mountain clans of the North and he mediates between the Wildlings and Stannis, the Wildlings and Selyse.
      The rest in spoilers about the book ending.

      I suppose that all this will have to have a pay off in the books; since Jon is a basic character, he can’t be left with the mark of “traitor” or “bastard” and his reputation will have to be restored somehow even if he ends up at the Wall. If anything, Jon is a character who knows what’s important, so at the Wall, as Lord Commander of the NW, his task will be to repopulate the Gift, the lands belonging to the Watch. So he will have rebuilding to do, just like if he ended up South on the IT. The LC of the NW is a man with power, income, and respect, even though the NW has decayed.

      I don’t know how this will play out in the books so whatever anyone might say is pure speculation. Perhaps, returning to the North will be Jon’s own idea, instead of a senseless punishment. Since Jon’s de-characterization in the show started very early, they left out his identity issues. But in the books Jon will be a Stark. Robb and Catelyn discuss how legitimization by a king cannot be undone; and how Barristan’s being fired from the kings guard set a precedent for leaving the Night’s Watch once and for all. Robb saw himself as a king and was seen by others as king in the North and of the Riverlands, and so he signed Jon’s legitimization as a Stark and designated him as his heir.
      Catching up on an earlier discussion with Adriana, I think that in the books it will be significant that Daenerys will not have ruled at all in KL; that she will be dead; and that the Northern army will be there. The Northern army will not allow the remnants of the Unsullied and Dothraki (because we are talking about remnants) to imprison their leader. Also, we don’t know what the forces of the other kingdoms in the area will be. Will the Reach have any troops there? Will Dorne? I don’t see the Unsullied doing much dictating tbh. In any case, as I’ve discussed already, there is foreshadow that the North might turn against Daenerys in the last moment, which will ultimately culminate in her assassination. The show tried to give us that by Jon’s agonizing moments inside the city, where he even turned against a Northerner; it also showed his fallout with Greyworm, but that was just about it.
      I suppose all that will be more developed in the book. I think that Jon will have some latitude of manoeuvering after the events but the South’s hostility towards him (because he will have supported Daenerys) might be a very good reason to want to withdraw to the North. It wouldn’t be a bad ending for Jon, but before that happened I suppose that he might contribute to the South coming to terms with the North (since the North will also have been an invader in the South) and with each other.
      Such a turn might work in book universe. Jon’s choice will be a self-inflicted punishment for everything he will have done by that time. I could see him arguing “I am a man of Night’s Watch, I will return there because I took my vows”.
      Because let’s face it, even with Bran on the throne, and an independent North, there’s absolutely no reason why Jon would be sentenced by another kingdom to return to his own kingdom even if the destination is the Wall. Why would he listen to the punishment of the South anyway if the North is independent? And why would Sansa not pardon him the very next day after her coronation?
      Having said all that as a possible speculation about the book ending based on book foreshadow and show evidence, I still have doubts that Jon won’t sit the IT. Either way, however, these are not bad endings for Jon. Serving wherever is an honorable punishment and Jon’s fate seems to be Aemon’s words: “you will find little joy in your command, that is certain” (meaning, you will command).

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    221. Ten Bears: Rigg

      I’d actually thought if a Margaery had been cast who was more of an age with book Margaery and the mother of Margaery and Loras (and the other two brothers who didn’t appear in the show) that Diana Rigg’s real-life daughter, Rachel Stirling, might have been a good fit. Not with Natalie Dormer as Margaery because the age gap would have been a too close between them for mother and daughter really though some medieval mothers gave birth young. I did like ND’s Margaery though. A link to an interview with Rachel Stirling – clips of her acting on YouTube seem to be from some time ago. She was in a show called “Tipping the Velvet” with Jodhi May circa 2002 so of course her appearance is older now though she was good in that show. https://youtu.be/gXQUeKCKKCY

      For folk who are looking for something to keep them occupied, I don’t know if it would be of interest, but there are 6 virtual talks given by the (currently closed because of Covid-19) Benjamin Franklin House museum. I listened to one of them yesterday and didn’t realise until how late in the day Benjamin Franklin worked to try and avoid an acrimonious split between the ‘mother’ country and the (then) American colonies. It seems a lot of men of wealth in those days had slaves though, even the ones who might have been considered half-way decent. Anyway the link to the site:- https://benjaminfranklinhouse.org/

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    222. Efi,

      But Jon is a renowned swordsman in the book already and his “conciliator” quality has won him the label of “traitor”. He refuses to fight unless there’s a reason; he doesn’t like the warmongers among the wildlings but he has seen that the fighting wildlings are much fewer than the unarmed women and children and old men among them. He teaches Stannis how to come to terms with the mountain clans of the North and he mediates between the Wildlings and Stannis, the Wildlings and Selyse.
      The rest in spoilers about the book ending.

      Yes, he does work well as a mediator between various factions. But I think these are observation Jon makes of the Mole’s Town wildlings, which only comprise one group so far. He observes there are still quite a few fighters and spearwives but they also include those who are wounded while other fights are those who might want to cause trouble.

      However, I don’t think the reason Jon is willing to overlook potential troublemakers is because there aren’t enough fighters to worry about. He notes that “peace for one means peace for all.” (Ironically, he’s not willing to extend this peace to the Boltons, which runs him into quite a bit of trouble).

      I don’t think Jon is a renowned swordsman in the books (there is much discussion about this online). I think he’s good — but not great. Mance kicks his butt, Jon admits that Qhorin could have easily killed him if he wanted, and tells Sam he must work with his sword every day:

      “Valyrian steel,” he said, “spell-forged and razor-sharp, nigh on indestructible. A swordsman should be as good as his sword, Sam. Longclaw is Valyrian steel, but I’m not. The Halfhand could have killed me as easy as you swat a bug.”

      ____

      I suppose that all this will have to have a pay off in the books; since Jon is a basic character, he can’t be left with the mark of “traitor” or “bastard” and his reputation will have to be restored somehow even if he ends up at the Wall. If anything, Jon is a character who knows what’s important, so at the Wall, as Lord Commander of the NW, his task will be to repopulate the Gift, the lands belonging to the Watch. So he will have rebuilding to do, just like if he ended up South on the IT.

      While I’d like this to be the case and I like the idea of Jon rebuilding, I don’t know if Jon’s reputation will be restored or improved — even without the oathbreaking and kingslaying. In the eyes of the Westerosi, Jon already has at least two major points against him (bastard, let in wildlings). If he leaves the Watch to take up arms against the Boltons, Jon might be a Night’s Watch deserter and oathbreaker. In the eyes of the Night’s Watch, Jon is a turncloak and oathbreaker (despite Qhorin ordering him to go undercover).

      If everyone believes Jon is a Targaryen, the stigma of Targaryen madness won’t be doing him many favours. If the Others don’t make it south and most regions remain unaware it ever was a real thing, most of Jon’s great deeds may be unrecognized. And if he kills Daenerys… I don’t need to go over that again 😉

      I think Jon will be… kind of… unsung in that while he may do much to save Westeros, he won’t be remembered as a hero or savior.

      Unfortunately, there are some passages which seem to indicate this such as the following:

      “Must I have a reason?” Mormont shifted in his seat, frowning. “Your brother Robb has been crowned King in the North. You and Aemon have that in common. A king for a brother.”

      “And this too,” said Jon. “A vow.”

      The Old Bear gave a loud snort, and the raven took flight, flapping in a circle about the room. “Give me a man for every vow I’ve seen broken and the Wall will never lack for defenders.”

      “I’ve always known that Robb would be Lord of Winterfell.”

      Mormont gave a whistle, and the bird flew to him again and settled on his arm. “A lord’s one thing, a king’s another.” He offered the raven a handful of corn from his pocket. “ They will garb your brother Robb in silks, satins, and velvets of a hundred different colors, while you live and die in black ringmail. He will wed some beautiful princess and father sons on her. You’ll have no wife, nor will you ever hold a child of your own blood in your arms. Robb will rule, you will serve. Men will call you a crow. Him they’ll call Your Grace. Singers will praise every little thing he does while your greatest deeds all go unsung. Tell me that none of this troubles you, Jon . . . and I’ll name you a liar, and know I have the truth of it.”

      Jon drew himself up, taut as a bowstring. “And if it did trouble me, what might I do, bastard as I am?”

      “What will you do?” Mormont asked. “Bastard as you are?”

      “Be troubled,” said Jon, “and keep my vows.”

      And I think that vow is might ultimately be this Night’s Watch vow: “I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men.”

      Since Jon’s de-characterization in the show started very early, they left out his identity issues. But in the books Jon will be a Stark. Robb and Catelyn discuss how legitimization by a king cannot be undone; and how Barristan’s being fired from the kings guard set a precedent for leaving the Night’s Watch once and for all. Robb saw himself as a king and was seen by others as king in the North and of the Riverlands, and so he signed Jon’s legitimization as a Stark and designated him as his heir.

      I know you are speculating but I don’t know that Jon will be a Stark-Stark for the reasons I’ve said up here. I don’t think the narrative is going to a place where Jon will be one or the other, especially since his role as an outsider (or as “both” and “neither”) help him make these important connections with others and I think they help him as a unifier.

      I’m not so sure the show left out Jon’s identity issues. In the show, Jon does wonder who his mother is and bastardy seems to be a source of pain for him on-screen as well.

      Catching up on an earlier discussion with Adriana, I think that in the books it will be significant that Daenerys will not have ruled at all in KL; that she will be dead; and that the Northern army will be there. The Northern army will not allow the remnants of the Unsullied and Dothraki (because we are talking about remnants) to imprison their leader. Also, we don’t know what the forces of the other kingdoms in the area will be. Will the Reach have any troops there? Will Dorne? I don’t see the Unsullied doing much dictating tbh.

      I think there’s a question of who the Reach and Dorne would be fighting for and what shape they’re in.

      And I think this also depends on what shape the Unsullied and Dothraki are in too. If they are in shambles, I expect the Northern forces won’t be doing much better since they will have all (presumably) fought the Others. The Northern forces themselves may not be in a position to dictate things. They may be at a standstill with the Unsullied/Dothraki.

      If they don’t want more war, the North may have to negotiate with Daenerys’s supporters about Jon’s fate and come to a compromise.

      In any case, as I’ve discussed already, there is foreshadow that the North might turn against Daenerys in the last moment, which will ultimately culminate in her assassination. The show tried to give us that by Jon’s agonizing moments inside the city, where he even turned against a Northerner; it also showed his fallout with Greyworm, but that was just about it.

      I’m sorry to challenge you on this but I’m not quite sure what you mean here. I’m also not sure why the North would turn on Daenerys last minute (before she burns KL?). You reference Jon’s experience in the city but here, the Northern army gave into the massacre and Jon had to stop one of his own men after they had given him cause to do so. They sided with Greyworm. Likewise, Jon disagreed with Greyworm executing surrendered soldiers but that was after Greyworm had given Jon cause, not before.

      Because let’s face it, even with Bran on the throne, and an independent North, there’s absolutely no reason why Jon would be sentenced by another kingdom to return to his own kingdom even if the destination is the Wall. Why would he listen to the punishment of the South anyway if the North is independent? And why would Sansa not pardon him the very next day after her coronation?

      For peace, to prevent a war with Dany’s supporters and what Jon will have done are still crimes in the North as well. At the time Jon kills Daenerys, the North will still be part of the 7K, he will have assassinated a southern queen, so I’m not sure if Jon can’t be sentenced by Bran because the North decides to separate afterward.

      But I think the primary aim would be peace, particularly since Jon will have killed a southern queen.

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    223. Adrianacandle,

      Gah, based on some of my wording, I should include a disclaimer that I don’t think I know anything for certain in future books because, as Efi said, “whatever anyone might say is pure speculation” — which is totally true.

      I’m sorry if any of my language was too firm or that I seem certain about any “future fact” in the books T_T

      (I’m also sorry for any missing words like “a”, “too”, “the”, etc. — I only seem to notice those after the editing window closes ;;)

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    224. Mango,

      The Iron Islands are a good case in point showing semi-independence as possible ending in a possible confederation scheme. The show went its own way.
      Asha in the books wants independence and wants a piece of the North from the coast opposite the Islands for making their kingdom viable. She wanted to turn the Ironborn into traders and sheperds. In the books only the North can give that to them.
      In the show this translated into Daenerys giving independence and dictating to Yara what the Ironborn’s new way of living would be. They made Asha’s dream Daenerys’ term for employing the Ironborn. That’s an entire inverse narrative.

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    225. Efi,

      Yes, I like your arguments for a loose federation with semi-independence. Let us see how it goes with the book. I did not make the connection with the change that the series made.

      This looser endpoint makes sense given how the 7 regions came together in the first place – they came together by external aggression and threat of war. There were kept together by the threat of war even after the Targs left.

      Historically countries formed like that have in-built centrifugal forces that often trigger a breakup after the end of the war threats. This is particularly true for regions with a lifestyle/cultural (iron ?), religious (north?), and ethnic differences (dorne?). The economics may counter and they may decide to in a strong or loose way.

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    226. Adrianacandle: Gah, based on some of my wording, I should include a disclaimer that I don’t think I know anything for certain in future books because, as Efi said, “whatever anyone might say is pure speculation” — which is totally true.

      It shouldn’t be. This came up over and over while we were watching the TV series: some people suggested that X, Y or Z that had already happened in the TV series would provide a resolution to a major plot point; others suggested that A, B or C that never had happened would: 1) turn out to be something that could happen; and, 2) be the resolution. It always was the first situation. There are two parts to good storytelling: first conceptually drawing a bunch of lines & setting out a palette of colors, and second coloring in within those lines. The lines need to be setup so that there are multiple possible pictures depending on which colors you put where: but all of the colors & lines should be presented first.

      What happens when storytellers draw outside the lines or introduce critical lines at the last moment? Then they create plot holes or resort to Deus ex Machina. What happens when they paint introduced colors within drawn lines? We note that another Chekhovian gun was fired.

      So, just as with the TV series, at this point we should ask: has Martin set this up on his easel, or would he have to randomly introduce new lines &/or colors to do it?

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    227. Wimsey,

      So, just as with the TV series, at this point we should ask: has Martin set this up on his easel, or would he have to randomly introduce new lines &/or colors to do it?

      I think this can differ wildly based on the reader. A proposed plot point/resolution might be set up perfectly for one reader based on the existing text but another reader may look at those same lines/passages and go, “Nah, I don’t think those passages hint at this at all, I think those passages mean this,” etc. while examining it from a different angle with different arguments.

      I think the cases people make for the final 2+ books are speculation at this point since we still don’t have access to that content or GRRM’s plans, we’re not in GRRM’s head, readers can argue cases for a variety of resolutions based on the existing books (and they do!), they can interpret the same passage in different ways, and without knowing the ending, we don’t know what is/isn’t foreshadowing or who is right.

      Without the unpublished books and the material provided by those, I feel we don’t really have all the information on everything we need to — but we can propose a variety of outcomes and theories based on the information we do have. And argue about it 😉

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    228. Adrianacandle: I think this can differ wildly based on the reader.

      No, it does not. The author either sets it up or the author does not. Now, two readers might disagree about what something sets up. Often times, that is a disagreement about which colors the author is going to draw between which lines and the picture that will result. Other times, that reflects some combination of failure by the author to properly communicate what is in his/her head and a failure by one or both readers to properly comprehend what the author laid out. The latter is particularly common in fans of “over-arching” stories like GoT or Harry Potter: there is always an insidious stream of conspiracy theory interpretation to these tales that sees all of the stuff your literature prof told you to was important to actually be misdirection. In part, this reflects a belief that the authors of these tales are not writing for normal viewers, but for the hardcore fans. So, the “truth” lies in tiny doses that one picks up only if one basically studies the material, and the main part of the narrative is all just smokescreen. (Put another way, firing Chekhovian guns is derided as authors being “obvious” whereas Deus ex Machina is praised for being dynamic!)

      The Harry Potter series provided a lot of that. Most people saw the general lines and color palette that Rowling had put out in the first 6 books: and if they had not already guessed at the final resolutions, then the surprises were of the “oh, that totally makes sense!” variety. However, there were hardcore fans who had spent years denying that those lines were really lines and/or that those colors were on the palette and who continued to deny that those lines & colors had ever been there when all of their predictions proved to be wrong. We sort of saw the same thing with GoT except that there still appear to be fans insisting that the books will have what they imagined rather than what the books & show setup and the show actualized.

      The upshot is that the resolutions still should fit within the general sketch & color palette that Martin has given us. Those ideas that require completely new lines (e.g., old-gods being able to resurrect people, Littlefinger having been everywhere & everytime, people being vampires or mermaids, etc.) should be given very low credibility by now. Remember, Martin wrote those first five books with the general ending in mind: and although it’s obvious that he strayed from the path for a bit of gratuitous world-building (and possibly while struggling to come up with a good “gotcha” motivation for the White Walkers), the big cannons that will be fired in 6 & 7* have to be mounted by now.

      *Of course, given that the book series almost certainly will never be finished, these cannons won’t be fired: but I guess that means that the GoT conspiracy crowd will get to happily insist that this would have been true until their dying days! 😀

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    229. Wimsey,

      I think we’re on the same page, Wimsey (but there’s definitely a possibility I could be misunderstanding you) since I’m not arguing the author isn’t setting up his conclusion, I think he is.

      What I’m arguing is…

      Now, two readers might disagree about what something sets up. Often times, that is a disagreement about which colors the author is going to draw between which lines and the picture that will result.

      Yes! My point is that the speculation we (the readers) are doing is about what the author is setting up, not that the author himself doesn’t know what he’s setting up. For me, this is hard to assess from a reader’s POV since we don’t have all of the books’ story, we don’t have all of the information that the author has, we don’t know what the differences will be because we’re still missing information and trying to speculate based on what we have (and what’s been said in interviews about the books and the show. D&D and GRRM have both said they expect the books and show to end up in the same place so I think the show is also providing some information as well).

      Based on the show’s conclusion, I can see passages in the books indicating similar endings for the major characters and I think they’ll be the same in the books too, despite my personal preferences. And I think the series did follow the very broad strokes of what came to pass in the show.

      The upshot is that the resolutions still should fit within the general sketch & color palette that Martin has given us. Those ideas that require completely new lines (e.g., old-gods being able to resurrect people, Littlefinger having been everywhere & everytime, people being vampires or mermaids, etc.) should be given very low credibility by now. Remember, Martin wrote those first five books with the general ending in mind: and although it’s obvious that he strayed from the path for a bit of gratuitous world-building (and possibly while struggling to come up with a good “gotcha” motivation for the White Walkers), the big cannons that will be fired in 6 & 7* have to be mounted by now.

      I agree with this, whatever GRRM has set up for the remaining books will have hints in the existing text (books 1-5). However, we — the reader — may disagree over what those hints are and what it’s setting up. For instance, there are disagreements between people who want a different ending for the characters in the books vs people who believe the endings for the characters will be aprox. the same as they are in the show.

      I’m sorry if I’m still misunderstanding your point, Wimsey 🙁

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    230. Farimer123: Him saying that is just him making an assumption

      I didn’t interpret it exactly this way. What i understood is : I can’t be a Lord by virtue of my name because 1/ I no longer represent a family but a function, the 3ER 2/my role as such is not to take care of a particular family or lordship, but to protect men from the Others (like the NW) . It is coherent, imo, with being a chosen King, and protect a realm once the Others are gone (and he would be 1st to know if they ever come back). So, I don’t understand why some see a contradiction. For the rest, I mostly agree with you. Also, he can be chosen by different persons for different reasons (Tyrion because he senses his story can be worked into a perfect post-Taegaryen story and because it rings home to him, plus it secures the goodwill of the Northern army, Tully because he bets on a cousin, Dorne because they don’t care… That’s how votes work). I also agree with Mau: it fits symbolically but not narratively (I include Mango’s good point about chamanism in the ‘narratively’)

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    231. Ten Bears,

      Maybe they are retconning the retcon? They already said they didn’t make the decision for Arya to be the one until a few years later. They can’t go back and say “we lied about that” lol.

      I mean Arya DOES kill a bunch of people. I’m sure they were of all eye colors.

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    232. Mr Derp,

      Strange. I had never heard of Tool before and yet, ever since your musical interlude a few days ago I’ve been seeing recommendations every where I turn.

      Any particular Tool songs you’d recommend? Like a Top 5?

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    233. Thank you Carice Van Houten for saying all that…especially to all those dipshits and morons who can’t make the distinction between legitimately criticizing and disliking something and launching personal attacks on people, wishing them to die etc, etc…

      Now that a whole year has passed since the show has ended, I’ll fire up my Blu-Ray player and do a rewatch of the entire series, so I can once more appreciate what I was lucky enough to see unfold over a decade, a series that was groundbreaking in soo many ways, one that established a high standard of what one can and should expect from a show. But mostly I want to see it for the characters and story I loved and appreciated.

      Yay…now on to watch Ser Waymar Royce, Will and Gared leave the protection of The Wall for the cold embrace of the Haunted Forest and the unconquerable North…

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    234. This isn’t what I was going to post but I was looking for a funny mock trial I found on YouTube (must have been dating from 10 years or more ago) but I can’t find it. Instead I’ll give you a tune that has travelled. I’m neutral about the (British) royal family. I mean I’m not screaming for a revolution to replace them but I don’t worship them either. It’s my personal opinion, but I think the British national anthem is one of the most boring ones out there. I’ve been thinking about the former East Prussia recently as I think I’ve mentioned previously. Partly in connection with the destruction of Kings Landing and my thinking of historical parallels such as the destruction of Konigsberg. Someone quite rightly said that K—- wasn’t the only German city heavily bombed at the end of the war but the enforced movement of the German population of East Prussia (many of whom died en route) made me think of GRRM’s depiction (which is something he does well) of the uprooted ‘small folk’ in Westeros. I liked the East Prussian song about the land of dark forests and crystal clear lakes but I was surprised to hear part of another Prussian song/tune which had some of the tune of “God Save the Queen”. Someone told me (virtually – don’t worry no social distancing rules infringed) that there are loads of other songs which have the same tune but different words to “God Save the Queen”. So I give you, Ms Kelly Clarkson, singing an American patriotic song to the same tune as “God Save the Queen”
      https://youtu.be/034fNYyY9HU

      P.S. Don’t get me wrong I’d much rather NOT have seen the pandemic cut a swathe through the world and so many people suffer or have lost near ones. However am I awful for being glad I see less of Greta Thunberg on the news (her message is sound but she’s SO preachy).

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    235. In case anyone wonders why I looked at mock trials, I used them as material for practising my (pen) stenography.

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    236. Efi:
      Ten Bears,

      Forgot to mention that in the books the Wights only come in the night. At least that’s what it is said by Mance. Although when Bran enters the cave of Bloodraven, Wights spring from the ground and attack them and in that instance it is not night yet. So the “Long Night” appears to be a codification of a massive attack of Others.

      I might be confusing the show’s depiction with the book’s, but I never considered the skeleton creatures in the frozen lake “Wights” or Others. They seemed like something else. It seemed like the lake was cursed. They were also skeletons in the show. Wights normally had some flesh on them, but in my brain’s eye, I’m only seeing skeleton creatures at the moment. I’ll have to go back and re-read the book and rewatch that scene. It looked like The Children knew the skeleton creatures lay dormant under the frozen lake until someone tries to cross. However, they were destroyed by fireballs like Wights were destroyed by fire so you got me there. They also didn’t seem to have a White Walker leader. The skeleton creatures just waited under the ice for anyone who happened to walk by….

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    237. loco73,

      ” Yay…now on to watch Ser Waymar Royce, Will and Gared leave the protection of The Wall for the cold embrace of the Haunted Forest and the unconquerable North…”

      … or as I call it, the “Watch me use your buddy’s head as a bowling ball” scene.

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    238. Tron79,

      Undead physiology. Intriguing topic. 🤔

      I didn’t notice the first time around whether there was any distinction between skeleton creatures and garden variety wights. [Editing note to self: Delete and replace phrase “average wight band” before posting.]

      Do wights even need flesh on their bones to function? The buried skeletons who popped up in S4e10 to try to prevent Bran and his crew from reaching 3ER’s cave were stripped of all tissue and yet still did a commendable job. (RIP Jojen Reed.) It took Supercharged Warged Hodor + unsung hero Meera + Leaf’s Holy Hand Grenade(s) of Antioch to save the day.

      Some of those spooky-as-f*ck undead kids Karsi encountered in S5e8 were half-skelton, half rotted flesh. (What an indelible image that was. No wonder Karsi was deflated. It freaked me out. Compliments to GoT’s makeup and special effects departments. And Sapochnik.)

      The “dumb c*nt” Sandor nailed in the face with a rock in S7e6 had a half-rotted jaw. He/it was ambulating fairly well until the Hound went all Mike Fiers on him.*

      * (Obscure baseball reference. Mike Fiers is the former Milwaukee Brewers pitcher who shattered Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton’s jaw with a fastball to the face a few years ago.)

      Captured Wight (S7e6 & e7), my choice for WotW Best Guest Actor of S7, was already in pretty rough shape when he got punched out by Sandor and bagged by the Snow Patrol. Despite getting kicked, smacked, pummeled, and impaled on a dragon spine; boxed up in a crate for the long voyage to the KL Show & Tell; and enduring taunts from Sandor “the Insult Dog” Clegane, poor Captured Wight still had the ability to spring out of the crate and make a dash for Cersei.**

      ** (I like to think that the snarling, hissing sounds he made when running towards Cersei were really desperate, plaintive wails. Translation: “Help me, Your Grace, help me! That big f*cker won’t leave me alone!)

      Even after Sandor bisected him, Captured Wight could still drag his upper torso with his wight arms.

      The centuries-old remains in the WF crypts that burst out of their tombs in S8e3 couldn’t have been more than dust and bone fragments. Yet they could still punch their way through stone, and attack the civilians who’d taken refuge in the crypts. (Thanks Tyrion!)***

      *** (And for that matter – sorry to go off on a tangent here – I really wish Sansa had used the Dragonglass dagger Arya had given her to stick some of those ghouls with the pointy end, as Arya had instructed. I know Sansa’s supposed to be a lady and not a fighter but still… It would’ve been cool to see the Little Bird 🧚‍♀️ in action, just this once. Even a few seconds showing the Lady of Winterfell valiantly trying to come to the defense of her people – before her Super Ninja Assassin Warrior Princess™️ little sister deactivated the undead for good – would’ve fulfilled my S8e3 fanservice quota for Sansa Stark.)

      ™️ talvikorppi (2018)

      Therefore, I assumed that the WW’s reanimation magic worked equally well on fresh, whole corpses and bare-bones skeletons – and anything in between regardless of the state of decomposition. As a result, I figured those skeleton creatures were wights. (Maybe anorexic, meth-addled wights, but wights nonetheless.)

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    239. Tron79: I might be confusing the show’s depiction with the book’s, but I never considered the skeleton creatures in the frozen lake “Wights” or Others. They seemed like something else. It seemed like the lake was cursed. They were also skeletons in the show. Wights normally had some flesh on them, but in my brain’s eye, I’m only seeing skeleton creatures at the moment. I’ll have to go back and re-read the book and rewatch that scene. It looked like The Children knew the skeleton creatures lay dormant under the frozen lake until someone tries to cross. However, they were destroyed by fireballs like Wights were destroyed by fire so you got me there. They also didn’t seem to have a White Walker leader. The skeleton creatures just waited under the ice for anyone who happened to walk by….

      I had thought this too but according to the westeros.org wiki, they seem to be wights (“dead things” links to a “wights” page).

      The Others, on the other hand, seem to only act at night though (and it’s speculated in-universe they bring the night themselves). The same might be true for wights but I’m not entirely sure. Based on a passage from Jon XII, ADWD, Tormund describes them as coming at night while fire seems to ward them off:

      Sam I, AFFC:

      “I found mention of dragonglass. The children of the forest used to give the Night’s Watch a hundred obsidian daggers every year, during the Age of Heroes. The Others come when it is cold, most of the tales agree. Or else it gets cold when they come. Sometimes they appear during snowstorms and melt away when the skies clear. They hide from the light of the sun and emerge by night . . . or else night falls when they emerge. Some stories speak of them riding the corpses of dead animals. Bears, direwolves, mammoths, horses, it makes no matter, so long as the beast is dead. The one that killed Small Paul was riding a dead horse, so that part’s plainly true. Some accounts speak of giant ice spiders too. I don’t know what those are. Men who fall in battle against the Others must be burned, or else the dead will rise again as their thralls.”

      Jon XII, ADWD:

      “They never came in force, if that’s your meaning, but they were with us all the same, nibbling at our edges. We lost more outriders than I care to think about, and it was worth your life to fall behind or wander off. Every nightfall we’d ring our camps with fire. They don’t like fire much, and no mistake. When the snows came, though … snow and sleet and freezing rain, it’s bloody hard to find dry wood or get your kindling lit, and the cold … some nights our fires just seemed to shrivel up and die. Nights like that, you always find some dead come the morning. ‘Less they find you first. The night that Torwynd … my boy, he …’ Tormund turned his face away.

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    240. Ten Bears,

      Hummm. Yes a whole new topic about the class of whight. The crypt whights still had some mummified flesh on them. Yes those creepy children were mostly bones but they still had some left over skin. The only ones that were all bones were the skeletons at the lake in my memory. Perhaps I thought they were more residents of the frozen lake kingdom per se. I thought they were a bit like the North and declared their independence and refused to bend the knee to the Night King. For some reason I thought perhaps there was a frozen lady of the lake that was their queen of the real North. They had some feud with the Children of the Forest and were doomed forever to guard the frozen lake. Or perhaps since they lost all of their flesh they had no place in the Night King’s society. They were lower than flea bottom residents.

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    241. Tron79:
      Ten Bears,

      Hummm. Yes a whole new topic about the class of whight. The crypt whights still had some mummified flesh on them.Yes those creepy children were mostly bones but they still had some left over skin. The only ones that were all bones were the skeletons at the lake in my memory.Perhaps I thought they were more residents of the frozen lake kingdom per se.I thought they were a bit like the North and declared their independence and refused to bend the knee to the Night King.For some reason I thought perhaps there was a frozen lady of the lake that was their queen of the realNorth.They had some feud with the Children of the Forest and were doomed forever to guard the frozen lake.Or perhaps since they lost all of their flesh they had no place in the Night King’s society. They were lower than flea bottom residents.

      I’m talking about the frozen lake by the tree not the lake in the “beyond the wall” episode….. Btw, those whights walking on the lake beyond the wall didn’t seem to like behind under the ice did they! I don’t think the skeletons under the frozen lake by the tree would have minded.. They may have jumped right in instead of waiting

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    242. Adrianacandle: I had thought this too but according to the westeros.org wiki, they seem to be wights (“dead things” links to a “wights” page).

      The Others, on the other hand, seem to only act at night though (and it’s speculated in-universe they bring the night themselves). The same might be true for wights but I’m not entirely sure. Based on a passage from Jon XII, ADWD, Tormund describes them as coming at night while fire seems to ward them off:

      Sam I, AFFC:

      Jon XII, ADWD:

      I think alot of liberties were taken by D&D on their depiction of TAOTD. They wanted to maximize the story for screen. I don’t think they wanted to do a bunch of night shoots in Iceland! It was bad enough in Northern Ireland. The book references you mentioned are scary. When you call something “The Other”, people are automatically scared of them since it’s something foreign to them that they don’t understand. When it comes in the dark, and you start losing people from an unseen enemy, it’s even scarier.

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    243. Tron79: I think alot of liberties were taken by D&D on their depiction of TAOTD. They wanted to maximize the story for screen. I don’t think they wanted to do a bunch of night shoots in Iceland! It was bad enough in Northern Ireland. The book references you mentioned are scary. When you call something “The Other”, people are automatically scared of them since it’s something foreign to them that they don’t understand. When it comes in the dark, and you start losing people from an unseen enemy, it’s even scarier.

      Yeah, it does seem like a horror film — having fewer people in the morning than they did at night, “dead things in the water”, that these are mysterious forces with so much unknown about them, taking people one by one. Also, like you said, they lack familiarity, they’re not human, their thralls are dead people, they attack unseen, almost invisible, at night, in the dark, they’re “other” — which I agree does make them scarier.

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    244. JenniferH,

      I read ALL of your Arya posts on that other site. They were really good! (Especially your Queen Arya analysis. 👸🏻🙂)
      I have lots of observations I’d like to share. However, I cannot post them on that other site.

      Let me know if you see this reply, I can summarize my comments and questions here, or discuss them more fully in WotW’s Forum section if you’re registered and activated.

        Quote  Reply

    245. Adrianacandle,

      • Your quote from Sam I in “A Feast for Crows” [excerpted below], reminded me of the show! scene in S2 or S3 in which Sam unearthed a silo with the dragonglass shards & NW cloak, as well as the S5 (?) scene in which Sam conveyed to Jon (or maybe Stannis) the fragmentary information he’d found while reading the NW’s scrolls, i.e., that CotF used dragonglass for hunting:

      Sam I, AFFC:

      “I found mention of dragonglass. The children of the forest used to give the Night’s Watch a hundred obsidian daggers every year, during the Age of Heroes. The Others come when it is cold, most of the tales agree. Or else it gets cold when they come. Sometimes they appear during snowstorms and melt away when the skies clear. They hide from the light of the sun and emerge by night . . . or else night falls when they emerge….”

      • I had all but abandoned my tinfoil theories once the show ended and all of my far-flung hypotheses has gone up in smoke. All of the so-called “clues” I was sure had been deliberately sprinkled into the dialogue or the scenery, turned out to be incidental details.

      Or so I thought.

      The passage you quoted makes me wonder if the showrunners were indeed setting up a big twist, but later abandoned it because GRRM had not crafted the big payoff.

      Hmmm. I’ll have to ponder this…

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    246. Wimsey,

      ”….In part, this reflects a belief that the authors of these tales are not writing for normal viewers, but for the hardcore fans. So, the “truth” lies in tiny doses that one picks up only if one basically studies the material, and the main part of the narrative is all just smokescreen. (Put another way, firing Chekhovian guns is derided as authors being “obvious” whereas Deus ex Machina is praised for being dynamic!)”

      —-

      “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHzh0PvMWTI

      ——-

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    247. Mango:
      Ten Bears,

      Wohooo!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Ijust partied…thank you!

      I really like this!

      Even version I thought was my favorite until I heard the next version. She has quite a voice and singing style with a bit of hoarseness/edge to it. In the end, I think the last was my favorite as they sang together as a mature duo. Next would be the acoustic version as a young duo and the remastered version.

      I’m glad you liked them!

      For better or worse, Pat Benatar got pigeonholed early on as MTV’s first female video starlet, with music videos for “Heartbreaker” and “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” that overshadowed her better songs – and her talent.

      I’ve always felt that good songs stand the test of time, and good singers are able to perform their songs live, outside the studio.

      (In progress: A retrospective of criminally underrated singer-songwriter and guitarist Peter Frampton. Like Pat Benatar, Peter Frampton’s “pin-up” boy status obscured his talents. I saw him live about six months ago on his farewell tour. I was flabbergasted how good he was and is. I had no idea. I took my little sister to the show as a birthday present. I would’ve been content just to hear him sing 🎶 “don’t hesit-ay-ee-ate”🎵….)

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    248. Ten Bears:
      JenniferH,

      I read ALL of your Arya posts on that other site. They were really good! (Especially your Queen Arya analysis. 👸🏻🙂)I have lots of observations I’d like to share.However, I cannot post them on that other site.

      Let me know if you see this reply, I can summarize my comments and questions here, or discuss them more fully in WotW’s Forum section if you’re registered and activated.

      Can I ask why you can’t comment over there? I know that reddit can be a cesspool, but I promise that my site is a safe space. It’s easy to register. And it’s not like you’d have to go to any other subreddit.

      I am registered here, but bringing the posts and different points over here would be kind of weird, and I’d really prefer not to. (I haven’t had the best experience on these forums. I like the comments in the posts, but not the forums.

      And I know that there will be plenty more Arya posts to come from me and if you’re a member there you’ll see them and can write your own as well, serious or silly, fan-girling or whatever. The more Arya love works for me.

      I do really want to discuss my Arya posts more though, that’s for sure.

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    249. Ten Bears: • I had all but abandoned my tinfoil theories once the show ended and all of my far-flung hypotheses has gone up in smoke. All of the so-called “clues” I was sure had been deliberately sprinkled into the dialogue or the scenery, turned out to be incidental details.

      Or so I thought.

      The passage you quoted makes me wonder if the showrunners were indeed setting up a big twist, but later abandoned it because GRRM had not crafted the big payoff.

      Hmmm. I’ll have to ponder this…

      I think this passage makes the Others a bit like Frosty the Snowman… just meaner ;D

      Frosty the snowman
      Was a jolly happy soul
      With a corncob pipe and a button nose
      And two eyes made out of coal

      Frosty the snowman is a fairy tale they say
      He was made of snow
      But the children know
      How he came to life one day

      There must have been some magic in that
      Old silk hat they found
      For when they placed it on his head
      He began to dance around

      O Frosty the snowman
      Was alive as he could be
      And the children say he could laugh and play
      Just the same as you and me

      He led them down the streets of town
      Right to the traffic cop
      And he only paused a moment when
      He heard them holler “Stop!”

      Frosty the snow man
      Had to hurry on his way
      But he waved goodbye saying
      “Don’t you cry I’ll be back again some day”

      There’s my tinfoil. GRRM has bad associations with Frosty, based Others on Frosty. And Christmas sucks too.

      What’s yours??

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    250. Ten Bears: Hmmm. I’ll have to ponder this…

      (I know I was jokey in my first response, I have actual speculations about the Others myself unrelated to Christmas songs, and I seriously do want to know yours!)

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    251. Today’s Musical Interlude
      May 25, 2020; Attempted Re-Post May 26, 2020
      Part 1 of 2

      Character Tribute to Toxic Relationship Addict Jaime Lannister:

      Dirty Work” (1972) by Steely Dan

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wa6XeZOrqFg

      I had been planning to select something upbeat for listening while working, cleaning, painting, or sanding (hi adrianacandle!).

      Then I stumbled on this song I hadn’t heard in who knows how long, and changed my mind. I’d never been a rabid fan of Steely Dan – they’d gotten a little too jazzy for my pedestrian tastes – and I had forgotten how great their songs sound.

      I thought this early Steely Dan song, “Dirty Work,” captures some of the essence of self-loathing Jaime:

      🎶 ”When you need a bit of loving
      ‘Cause your man is out of town
      That’s the time you get me running
      And you know I’ll be around
      I’m a fool to do your dirty work
      Oh yeah
      I don’t wanna do your dirty work
      No more
      …….
      Like the castle in its corner
      In a medieval game
      I foresee terrible trouble
      And I stay here just the same
      I’m a fool to do your dirty work
      Oh yeah
      I don’t wanna do your dirty work
      No more”
      🎵

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    252. Ten Bears: I had been planning to select something upbeat for listening while working, cleaning, painting, or sanding (hi adrianacandle!).

      Thank-you!!! I am painting right now! So this is perfect!

      (I’m applying to masking fluid to the branches of a weirwood tree etching I did with the laser so I can go to town on the paint without worrying about messing up the branches — first experimental version here! It’s 1.75″ tall! Still working on laser work website T__T)

      I’m going to listen right now! 😀

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    253. Adrianacandle,

      ”There’s my tinfoil. GRRM has bad associations with Frosty, based Others on Frosty. And Christmas sucks too.

      What’s yours??”

      The Lord of Light has bern diverting my comments and replies to “That Page Not Found” Purgatory. Maybe I incurred his wrath by trying to list song titles and band names in the unabridged version of my Musical Interlude before an edited, condensed version (above) finally went through at 3:32 am. Proper nouns often trigger the Red God’s algorithms.

      Let me try to pare down my reply to your question and separate it into two parts before trying (again) to post it.

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    254. Adrianacandle,

      Seven Hells! The Lord of Light made me excise the list of “upbeat” songs I was specifically recommending “for listening while working, cleaning, painting, or sanding.”

      And you’re painting right now!

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    255. Ten Bears: Seven Hells! The Lord of Light made me excise the list of “upbeat” songs I was specifically recommending “for listening while working, cleaning, painting, or sanding.”

      And you’re painting right now!

      I’m painting right now and I’ll be painting all night if our Lord of Light lets the list through! And tomorrow night… and the night after that… and the night after that…

      (Enjoyed the Jaime tribute song!)

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    256. Adrianacandle,

      Editing and trying again, 4:03 am

      “Upbeat” songs “for listening to while working, cleaning, painting, or sanding.”….

      “City to City” – Gerry Rafferty.

      “Do You Want to Hold Me?” – Bow Wow Wow

      “Groove is in the Heart” – Deee-Lite (Lady Miss Kier, with Bootsy Collins of Parliament-Funkadelic on bass).

      “Walk of Life” – Dire Straits

      “Hold on Tight to Your Dream” – ELO

      Or songs that sound a hopeful note about emerging from darkness and gloom into a brighter future, like:

      “Blow Away” – George Harrison

      “It’s Raining Again” – Roger Hodgson (of Supertramp).

        Quote  Reply

    257. Ten Bears:
      Adrianacandle,

      Editing and trying again, 4:03 am

      “Upbeat” songs “for listening to while working, cleaning, painting, or sanding.”….

      “City to City” – Gerry Rafferty.

      “Do You Want to Hold Me?” – Bow Wow Wow

      “Groove is in the Heart” – Deee-Lite (Lady Miss Kier, with Bootsy Collins of Parliament-Funkadelic on bass).

      “Walk of Life” – Dire Straits

      “Hold on Tight to Your Dream”–ELO

      Or songs that sound a hopeful note about emerging from darkness and gloom into a brighter future, like:

      “Blow Away”– George Harrison

      “It’s Raining Again”– Roger Hodgson (of Supertramp).

      Perfect, thank-you so much, Ten Bears! Will set up a YT playlist!!

        Quote  Reply

    258. Adrianacandle,

      Okay. The list went through at 4:06. I can try to post links to the songs separately, maybe one or two at a time.

      I also had a second part to the Jaime Tribute (text I had that to chop off to appease the Lord of Light), mentioning two more songs:

      “I Can’t Quit Her” – Blood, Sweat and Tears (w/ original lead singer). Apt title and good song, but the lyrics didn’t quite fit with Jaime.

      “Sundown” by legendary Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot. Some of the lines he wrote could’ve been written by the Kingslayer about his lover/sister:

      ”I can see her lyin’ back in her satin dress
      In a room where you do what you don’t confess”
      ….
      “She’s been lookin’ like a queen in a sailor’s dream
      And she don’t always say what she really means”

      “I can picture every move that a man could make
      Getting lost in her lovin’ is your first mistake.”

      Those last two lines … 🥵

        Quote  Reply

    259. Adrianacandle: Perfect, thank-you so much, Ten Bears! Will set up a YT playlist!!

      Actually, I’ve been meaning to set up Character Playlists in the Forum Section and solicit suggestions … but there’s some kind of persistent glitch that’s preventing commenters from registering and activating screen names for the Forum Section. 🤢

        Quote  Reply

    260. Adrianacandle: Perfect, thank-you so much, Ten Bears! Will set up a YT playlist!!

      FYI: I’ve selected and copied links for what I’ve thought are the highest audio quality YouTube videos for those songs – along with live versions if they sound good. (As you probably know, many “fans” film concerts and post “shaky-cam” home movie-type footage on YouTube. There should be a law against that. It’s like violating Guest Right.)

        Quote  Reply

    261. Adrianacandle,

      P.S. I think I have your “throwaway” e-mail address somewhere. I could email links to you from my dedicated tertiary gmail address so as not to clog the Comments Section here.

        Quote  Reply

    262. Ten Bears: FYI: I’ve selected and copied links for what I’ve thought are the highest audio quality YouTube videos for those songs – along with live versions if they sound good. (As you probably know, many “fans” film concerts and post “shaky-cam” home movie-type footage on YouTube. There should be a law against that. It’s like violating Guest Right.)

      Omg thank-you so much! ;; That is so so thoughtful! (And I agree)

        Quote  Reply

    263. Wimsey,

      After careful consideration of two days, I think that I agree with you.
      The events are carefully set up in a good book. With regard to Martin, he tends to use a lot of symbolism and foreshadow and he uses the first a lot in the latter.
      I.e. the first book begins with a direwolf (Stark) killed by a stag (Baratheon) to foreshadow the death of Ned Stark. That’s an explicit piece of foreshadow and throughout the book Martin tends to be very specific in how he forms it, so that it should be a warning for the reader to expect something like that further on. For example, Daenerys sees in her vision a feast where the central person had the head of a wolf. One could hardly be more explicit than that. That’s spelling it out, it’s not even “foreshadow”. Considering that all characters in the books are someone’s stand-in and parallel and/or foil (often both, according to what suits the author) the possibilities to shape that foreshadow and actually tell what’s going to happen next are endless.
      For this reason the readers do have their own personal feelings about it and give to the foreshadow different meanings. One can hardly blame a reader for that, when ASoIaF’s complexity invites different interpretations. And while the foreshadow is there, and the expected events will probably take place (i.e. I expect a fallout between Daenerys and Jon because I do see foreshadow about an armed clash between the North and Daenerys’ army) this cannot prejudice the ending with any certainty because that same complexity may lead to a different outcome than what I expect. I also think with regard to the ending and in particular the ending of Jon and Jamie, that it’s very well hidden in ambiguous foreshadow.
      I.e. for Jon it is said that “kings are hidden under the snow” and Mormont’s raven calls him “king”. By birth, Jon is a prince; he is a hidden prince, but what if the “king” foreshadow is about him becoming king in the North, from which (taken the show into account) he will abdicate? Martin further blurs the waters because there’s this testament of Robb, a Chekhov’s gun as you said, designating him heir to the northern crown, but on the other hand, if it is Bloodraven who speaks through the raven, why would he bother for someone who becomes king for a moon or two? Bran himself, who is specifically called a “prince” of WF is always associated with a throne of some type, unlike Jon, for whom there is no throne foreshadow (but there is king foreshadow). See what I mean?

      [now that I think about it, the “kings are hidden under the snow” can be foreshadow for Bran; I have found more about it, pointing that Bran needs to be protected, and it will be “snow” that protects him, rather, in this case, from the Others]

        Quote  Reply

    264. Efi,

      Please don’t hate me. I hope I am wrong about this:

      Isn’t “foreshadow” a verb, and “foreshadowing” is the noun?

      Foreshadow should be a noun. If, as I suspect, it is not, I would fully support a campaign to make it a noun.

      After all, Cat Stevens was being followed by a moonshadow, not a moonshadowing.

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    265. Efi,

      I.e. the first book begins with a direwolf (Stark) killed by a stag (Baratheon) to foreshadow the death of Ned Stark. That’s an explicit piece of foreshadow and throughout the book Martin tends to be very specific in how he forms it, so that it should be a warning for the reader to expect something like that further on. For example, Daenerys sees in her vision a feast where the central person had the head of a wolf. One could hardly be more explicit than that. That’s spelling it out, it’s not even “foreshadow”.

      I’d agree these are explicit pieces of foreshadowing! But I think they’ve only become explicit in hindsight (like R+L=J in the wake of it being confirmed by the show and details like D&D getting the job by guessing who Jon’s mother is). However, prior to these events happening (Ned’s execution, the Red Wedding), I wouldn’t say they’re obviously foreshadowing these specific events before we know they happen.

      It’s sort of hard to imagine reading AGOT without knowing Ned Stark dies or reading ACOK prior to 2000 (when ASOS was published) without knowing about the Red Wedding.

      In those instances, especially having access to the internet, we can identify foreshadowing for these events after these events already occur.

      I think that’s the benefit of hindsight since I don’t think (from the reader’s POV) foreshadowing becomes foreshadowing until the event occurs and we can identity passages hinting at those events.

      The author knows what pieces of foreshadowing he’s placed but until we read the full story, we don’t what is foreshadowing. We can, like I think you’re saying, only guess. And sometimes, our expectations are completely thwarted.

      We’ve got all sorts of theories based on text from the books! From Varys is a mermaid to the maester conspiracies to Dany is the bastard daughter of Ashara Dayne and Ned Stark to Quaithe to the all-but-confirmed-R+L=J (although, there are still those hanging onto A+N=J 😉 ).

      I.e. for Jon it is said that “kings are hidden under the snow” and Mormont’s raven calls him “king”. By birth, Jon is a prince; he is a hidden prince, but what if the “king” foreshadow is about him becoming king in the North, from which (taken the show into account) he will abdicate? Martin further blurs the waters because there’s this testament of Robb, a Chekhov’s gun as you said, designating him heir to the northern crown, but on the other hand, if it is Bloodraven who speaks through the raven, why would he bother for someone who becomes king for a moon or two? Bran himself, who is specifically called a “prince” of WF is always associated with a throne of some type, unlike Jon, for whom there is no throne foreshadow (but there is king foreshadow).

      Maybe this is meant to hint at Jon becoming King in the North in the books! However, the “king” mentions in Jon’s chapters may instead be a clue for R+L=J: a dramatic irony that, in another life if the Targaryens had kept the throne, Jon may have been king in contrast to the life he has now in the aftermath of overthrowing the Targaryen dynasty (living the life as a bastard which I also find some dramatic irony in because while it is the thing that most limits Jon in Westeros, it’s the very thing that protects him.)

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    266. Ten Bears:
      Mr Derp,

      Strange. I had never heard of Tool before and yet, ever since your musical interlude a few days ago I’ve been seeing recommendations every where I turn.

      Any particular Tool songs you’d recommend? Like a Top 5?

      It’s impossible for me to recommend only 5, but here’s a short list:

      * Sober – You’ve probably heard that song before, but didn’t realize it was Tool.
      * Eulogy
      * 46 and 2
      * Pushit
      * Aenema
      * Lateralus
      * Vicarious
      * Wings for Marie/10,000 Days

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    267. Adrianacandle,

      All interpretations are possible I guess but there’s symbolism involved. I.e. direwolf is for Stark, stag is for Baratheon, snow is for Jon, as is ghost.
      Foreshadow may work in hindsight, but that is for the readers. For authors it’s a Doylist method. They plant it to show something, and of course the reader cannot know what exactly the author meansbefore it happens.
      The question in these cases is, do we as readers accept the symbolism or not.

      So, lol, what is the hint that Varys is a mermaid? And why wouldn’t he be a merman?

      PS Forgive my short (and missing) replies; it’s been a few weeks that we’re out of quarantine and reality is catching up!

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    268. Ten Bears,

      Goodness, you’re right! (briefly checked it in Glosbe)
      Although I’m sure I’ve seen it as a noun too. But it was probably wrong, considering there’s lots of people in the internet whose English is worse than mine! 😁

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    269. Efi,

      Google Varys is a mermaid/merman theory if you’re curious!! XD You’ll get some nice images! 😉

      All interpretations are possible I guess but there’s symbolism involved. I.e. direwolf is for Stark, stag is for Baratheon, snow is for Jon, as is ghost.
      Foreshadow may work in hindsight, but that is for the readers. For authors it’s a Doylist method. They plant it to show something, and of course the reader cannot know what exactly the author meansbefore it happens.
      The question in these cases is, do we as readers accept the symbolism or not.

      Sure but symbols can mean different things to different readers. The system of symbolism the author is using may not be one a reader thinks or speculates that he’s using and that becomes something readers can disagree on.

      Once the story is written, it then becomes possible to look back and see what may have been used to hint later plot points, upon which a system of symbolism may (or may not) reveal itself. However, up until that point, I think we’re guessing at the system and passages the author is using to set up future events and what future event that may be. Some passages may not be foreshadowing, they might be something else (ie. dramatic irony), or nothing at all.

      For example, I think snow on its own is too general to refer to Jon by itself. I think it needs another aspect/something significant about how it’s used in an instance to really point to Jon. Snow can mean many things — or nothing because in the North, it’s pretty much everywhere and it’ll be mentioned in the text a whole lot by virtue of the environment 🙂 Same with ‘ghost’. Jon’s direwolf isn’t the only ‘ghost’ in the story, there are other ghosts as well, and ghost is linked to multiple meanings.

      I think the context in which its used is pretty significant too. For example, with the stag that represents House Baratheon in the aforementioned example, it’s not just any stag wandering in the woods. It’s a stag that gets mixed up with not just a wolf but a direwolf — a very rare animal in-universe, the first one that’s been seen south of the Wall in many many years, is actually mentioned in that passage to be “a sign”, and is the sigil of House Stark (another aspect remarked upon in this passage). Not only that, this direwolf is where they find the cubs who will become the Stark direwolves.

      So together and with all of this context, the stag and the direwolf, seem to represent Baratheon and Stark in this instance (especially in hindsight).

      PS Forgive my short (and missing) replies; it’s been a few weeks that we’re out of quarantine and reality is catching up!

      Oh, don’t worry! I think many of us are starting to face similar situations as the world slowly reopens — it’s a weird time! 🙂

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    270. A bit of an off-note: my girlfriend watched “Battle for the Bastards” episode today during her first-time-watching and this was her comment on the episode:

      “I watched the Battle of Bastards and oh my God… the most awesome episode I have ever watched, eveer! The visual effects were soo amazing… I can’t remember when I was ever so engrossed into the story! 😍😍😍”

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    271. Adrianacandle,

      I had not notice ! And I am happy you enjoyed the explanation. I have *a lot * to attend to in IRL, so I don’t comment much. But I read the comments as often as I can, and I really enjoy the very detailed, precise, cautious, open-minded way you scrutinize the books and the way they were adapted. And your kind and courteous tone.
      More generally, I find this thread quite interesting and well-spirited !

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    272. Ten Bears,

      Arya beaming down from the transporter room (or wherever she materialized from) at the last minute was NOT part of the plan.

      OK, so the 3ER handed her the VS dagger she would use to kill the NK — handed it to her, in fact, on the very spot where she would later use it to kill the NK — and yet you’re insisting her use of it to kill the NK on the very spot where the 3ER handed it to her was NOT part of the 3ER’s plan?!? Seriously? What further evidence do you need? Having Bran plant a sign reading, “Arya: Kill Big Bad Guy HERE” atop a stake on that spot in the Godswood?

      Also, Arya grew up in Winterfell, had been trained TWICE in the art of sneaking around, and was a master-class assassin. Her getting through Winterfell without notice shouldn’t require further explanation, especially right after she’d snuck through the Library with wights searching for her in there.

      …he never mentioned that to anyone – least of all Arya herself.

      If Bran had explicitly stated to Arya that she was to kill the NK, she would not have left his side, and she too would have been overwhelmed, exhausted, and killed by wights. So he couldn’t make it more obvious to her than he already had.

      Yes, just by entering the Godswood, the NK was foolishly show-boating. Every time we’d seen him in action, he’d been a bit of a show-off. Bran knew this and used it against him. Bran thus returned, in spades, the favor of the NK surprising him during his own first solo vision.

      (Read some good actual military histories, and watch again and again and again as ‘certain’ victories turned to ashes, after the would-be victors failed to notice something which later turned out to be vital.)

      I think you’re correct, about the Lord of Light also playing a large role in the defeat of the NK. But that does not mean Bran’s plan failed, just that it meshed with plans the Lord of Light also had going.

      Re-thinking the entire story in the light (ha!) of supernatural forces acting behind (or upon!) the on-screen characters gives a whole new — and scarier — interpretation to it, at least in my mind. I well recall how creepy it felt when I understood, in recollection, that the Night’s Watchmen must have been under the NK’s surveillance before they died at the Fist of the First Men. Ol’ Blue Eyes might have been watching them for their entire trip, or even before they departed from Castle Black. They never had a chance.

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    273. I’ve started a thread under GoT General Discussion on the forum about girls/women dressing as boys/men. The first entry is something of an introductory preamble and the second one gives five real life examples (well one is a ‘perhaps’ real life example). It’s fairly long because I am now tired (23.34 hours UK time) I may not have proofread properly. It is possible to edit comments on the forum though unlike on the main part of the site where my typos are there to haunt me for the foreseeable future.

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