Dancing Between Devils: Daenerys, Dragons and Decisions

Daenerys Targaryen Eastwatch

Daenerys Targaryen has picked a complicated time to invade Westeros. It’s not like anyone is really all that desperate for the daughter of the Mad King, specifically, to come back and take up residence in the Red Keep. Very few are necessarily happy with Cersei but she seems to have the grudging edge with “better the devil we know than the devil we don’t know.”

When Randyll Tarly refused to recognize Dany’s authority, saying that she wasn’t his queen (and therefore couldn’t send him to the Wall – a claim that seems rather unsound) Tyrion commented that Cersei only recently had become Tarly’s queen.

That’s kind of a tricky deal,  as Cersei became Tarly’s queen when she married Robert Baratheon, so she’s historically been his queen possibly as long as Dickon Tarly has been alive.

With all of the churn of the War of the Five Kings, Daenerys is left with a fractured realm to try to impress.

Not that it’s been easy for Cersei in getting the realm to acknowledge her authority either.

Cersei: Hey Seven Kingdoms! Cersei’s on the Throne!
The North: We’ve seceded. Again.
The Iron Islands: LOL. We’ve been independent since Season Two. But if you’re up for [INSERT INNUENDO HERE]…
The Vale: We’re kind of backing the North. But I don’t think we’ve fully seceded from the other kingdoms. Maybe we’re just being neutral in regards to King’s Landing? But still supporting the North’s independence? No one around here cares. We have Lord Robin in charge. So who knows?
The Riverlands: Don’t you have us under martial law? Ed Sheeran’s here. No other context will be provided.
The West: Team Cersei! May Casterly Rock never fall to foreign invaders!
The Crownlands: Wait, we get a vote?
The Stormlands: We’ve just been hoping no one notices us, after Renly and Stannis both failed in their bids.
The Reach: House Tyrell! (Which is just an old lady… hmmm)
Dorne: Lannisters? Ptui!
The Iron Bank: While not part of the Seven Kingdoms, the Iron Bank would like to remind the crown that the crown owes our financial institution vast sums. A queen better have our money.

This seemed like an opportune time for Daenerys to invade Westeros. Her most prominent competitor had meager support, Dany had considerable military resources, and had allies in Westeros who at least shared a common enemy in Lannister-held King’s Landing. And she’d been in Meereen like forever, am I right?

Euron Fleet Casterly Rock 703 Season 7 A Queen's Justice

The forces of these two queens have engaged in several battles this season, with Cersei’s Ironborn fleet dominating the seas, Dany demonstrating terrifying coordination between light cavalry and flaming-death-from-above air cavalry, and a few castles exchanging hands.

The West: Wait. Casterly Rock?
The Unsullied: Look, just give us some food, and no one gets speared.
The Reach: Wait. Highgarden? Lady Olenna?
Lady Olenna: Shhh, don’t tell Ser Jaime. Thanks to a magical red locket from Asshai, I’m immune to poison and now look like Natalie Dormer.
The Reach: Really?
Lady Olenna: No, I’m totes dead, you idiots.

They seem to be moving somewhat towards an impasse, with Cersei planning on hiring Golden Company mercenaries –

The Iron Bank: We’d like to remind both queens that whomever wins, it’s the crown that owes the bank, not the actual royal personage wearing it. Carry on.

– and Dany hesitant to rain fire and destruction down on King’s Landing.

But in many ways this is all a distraction. Daenerys, after hearing about an army of the dead from Jon Snow, after seeing some convincing paleolithic artwork, and after getting a note from Three-Eyed Raven Bran Stark, is starting to come around to the idea that she should take the undead threat seriously.

Daenerys Targaryen: Of course I’ll take it seriously! The very idea of an animated corpse disgusts me! Gross!
Ser Davos: Well, there’s no need to be so extreme in your views, your grace. Why, Jon Snow took a knife-
Jon: Dude!

Daenerys has warmed up to the idea of bringing her forces to the North, but she’s concerned about withdrawing from the southern theater of war and giving Cersei any opportunities. The current plan of the loose Stark-Targaryen cooperative is to bring back proof of the army of the dead in the hopes that Cersei will agree to an armistice so the long-term survival of the realm can be assured.

This is an interesting plan. I’m not sure I’d put much stock in Cersei being reasonable. But there seems to be a different group that Daenerys and Jon should be showing evidence to.

Maesters of the Citadel

The Citadel.

In the most recent episode Sam Tarly entreated the ruling council of archmaesters to take Bran Stark’s raven-delivered account of the army of the dead seriously.

Archmaester Ebrose: Of course we’ll take the scribblings of a child seriously.
Archmaester Snape: Perhaps now would be prudent for me to teach the Defense Against the Night is Dark and Full of Terrors Arts class.

Ebrose laid out what might happen if the Citadel believed that north of the Wall, ancient malevolent creatures had assembled a vast horde of the undead. The maesters could send ravens to all the lords of Westeros, recommending that superfluous squabbles be set aside and reinforcements be sent northwards to assist the hardy yeomen at the Wall. The combined-kingdom forces would be on hand to repel any supernatural threats.

Archmaester Ebrose: We academics wield considerable influence here in Westeros.
Archmaester Scribblius: They do say that the pen is mightier than the spear.
Archmaester Ebrose: The spear? Shouldn’t that be sword?
Archmaester Scribblius: Are you kidding me? Swords are awesome.

Let’s take Archaester Ebrose at his word and assume that the Citadel could, as an impartial and apolitical unit, execute direct positive action in unifying Westeros, at least in regards to defeating the White Walkers and making it through the upcoming Long Night and into morning. Huzzah for higher education and the enlightened elites!

There’s really one issue. The skeptical maesters have employed Occam’s razor (look it up) and have concluded that it’s far more likely that the raven from Bran Stark is some subterfuge orchestrated by Daenerys Targaryen, to soften up the Seven Kingdoms by having the fighting men sent north on a wild grumkin chase.

Archmaester Grumpus: It would just be typical of someone employing fire monsters to try and distract us with rumors of ice monsters!

Daenerys probably didn’t help matters in the minds of the maesters with her attack on the Rose Road caravan, and the dramatic execution of Randyll Tarly and his son, Dickon. This time “the devil you know than the devil you don’t know” works against Dany. The White Walkers might be a threat. Dany legitimately appears to be one.

HBO (Photo 6)

Taking a step back, it might have been the best thing for the realm had Dany not left Essos and come west to the Seven Kingdoms, looking to reclaim her birthright. Her dragons might be ideal weapons of mass destruction to be deployed against the wights of the White Walkers, but if she’s stuck in the south and the realm won’t be independently mobilized by the Citadel to respond to the threat, Dany pressing her claim has cut the defenses of the Seven Kingdoms, and possibly enabled the White Walkers to push into the under-defended North.

The North: Thanks a lot, Daenerys.
The Night King: *emotes agreement*
Dany: This is hardly a fair judgment.

Daenerys wouldn’t be the first monarch, sitting at Dragonstone, who more-or-less assisted the White Walker cause by pressing their claim.

Stannis: Wait. You’re talking about me?
Me: Yes. I’m always talking about you.
Stannis: Fine. This is fine.

After being stymied by Tyrion and Tywin Lannister in his bid for King’s Landing, Stannis Baratheon took a different approach in pressing his claim. Rather than taking King’s Landing to secure the Iron Throne, Stannis sailed his remaining forces north beyond the Wall, to attack wildling king Mance Rayder’s Free Folk forces who had been probing Castle Black for weakness in preparation for a full-on assault.

Castle Black’s Maester Aemon had previously sent ravens detailing the desperate need of the Wall, and Stannis concluded that to be a king, one might merely be kingly. That to be trusted with the realm, one can earn that trust by defending the realm. (Actually, Stannis felt he was totally entitled to be king, but he figured some public relation successes would help out.)

508_promo_stills_400147762[1]

Stannis was wildly successful in routing Mance’s forces. Although greatly outnumbered, Stannis’s cavalry destroyed the cohesion of Mance’s horde, capturing thousands (including Mance Rayder) and scattering many times thousands more who fled into the forest to avoid being run down or captured by the Baratheon horsemen.

Stannis: You’re welcome, North.
The North: Yeah. But we’re just not that into you.
Stannis: Whatever. I’m into you. Get used to it.

Sounds like a major win, right? I mean, Stannis did prevent the North from being flooded with a huge population of wildlings. Including non-combatants like children and the aged. Mostly families. Families terrified of being turned into wights by the White Walkers.

Stannis did blunt an invasion, but he also created a refugee crisis. Unable to escape through the Wall, many fled to Hardhome on the coast. We know what happened at Hardhome. How many countless more stragglers and scattered groups of wildlings, now lacking the protective numbers of their migration army, were set upon by bands of White Walkers as they fled through the woods?

By stopping most of the wildlings from obtaining safety south of the Wall, Stannis added thousands and thousands of shambling, murderous bodies to the army of the dead.

The Realm: Thanks, Stannis.
Stannis: You’re welcome.
The Night King: *gives ironic thumbs up*

Daenerys has now found herself in a similar place. The real enemy, the real threat is coming from the White Walkers. Anything done to make the supernatural danger stronger should be something to be avoided or carefully managed.

Stannis made the White Walkers stronger by pressing his claim.

Dany has effectively weakened the realm’s ability to respond to the White Walkers by pressing her claim.

Cersei Eastwatch

Cersei: I’m completely blameless in all of this. If these losers would stop attacking King’s Landing, and just move on, then everything would be perfectly serene.

But Dany and her allies do have options. Capturing a wight or two might convince Cersei to an armistice.

Cersei: *smiles and takes a sip of wine*

But the better bet would be to ferry some bound and chained undead further south to Oldtown, to the Citadel. Let the maesters actually see that the threat is real, and that they should do something about it.

Archmaester Ebrose: Very well, we’ll start writing to all of the lords immediately. It would not do to have these creatures roaming about willy-nilly. Wouldn’t be proper.
Jon Snow: Whew!
Archmaester Ebrose: Would you mind leaving these animated corpses with us? They’ll make for excellent pranks on my first-year anatomy students. Oh, the shenanigans I’ll get up to!

After all, what was so important that we followed Sam Tarly’s story down at the Citadel?

Finding the mountain of dragonglass was good, although it had been brought up before by Stannis to Sam.

Curing Ser Jorah of greyscale was a fine accomplishment, although Jorah getting greyscale in the first place and then having it cured seems a bit of a treading-water plot for the northern knight.

Sam almost heard some interesting news about some prince with a weird name getting a marriage annulled so he could marry another woman in Dorne. Maybe that will come into play (but honestly there are other sources for that information).

But the commentary on the Citadel’s influence, and their reaction of “show us, don’t tell us, Tarly” in regards to the threat in the far north, that seems like worthwhile information. Worth a full-on poop and soup montage. This could be game-changing in scope.

Daenerys: Okay! I’m sorry I invaded early. But it’s not like everyone was yelling at me to stay in Meereen for another season.
Me: That’s fair. Our bad.
Daenerys: THANK YOU!

57 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. mau:
      No matter what you think about Dany this is her best season. Emilia Clarke is better than ever.

      I agree. And the season is giving her a lot more to do. It’s nice.

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    2. Sam almost heard some interesting news about some prince with a weird name getting a marriage annulled so he could marry another woman in Dorne. Maybe that will come into play (but honestly there are other sources for that information).

      I know of no other sources for official documentation of Jon’s legitimacy. Bran’s hearsay of events that took place before his own birth would hardly do, and even that has yet to establish legitimacy as far as we knew.

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    3. Ginevra: I know of no other sources for official documentation of Jon’s legitimacy. Bran’s hearsay of events that took place before his own birth would hardly do, and even that has yet to establish legitimacy as far as we knew.

      That’s an entirely fair point. Although Bran’s vision would actually be more convincing to me than some random book, once Bran told me all of my darkest secrets and summoned ravens to spell “JON IS LEGIT YO” in the sky.

      But you’re right. Bran can more easily confirm R + L = J, as could Howland Reed, than the question of legitimacy. Although Howland might also happen to have the marriage certificate from the ceremony safe at Greywater, taken from the Tower of Joy.

      But I’ll yield the point.

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    4. Taking a step back, it might have been the best thing for the realm had Dany not left Essos and come west to the Seven Kingdoms, looking to reclaim her birthright.

      It definitely would have been the best thing for Daenerys if she hadn’t left Essos. 😀 Let Westeros prosper under the good Queen Cersei, Protector of the Realm*, while she herself enjoyed the warmth, nicer clothing and the colors of Essos. 😉

      * Until Bran and Sam discovered Jon’s birthright of course. At that point, everyone would crown Jon the true King, and Cersei would be happy to marry him. Jaime, who?

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    5. Dany has effectively weakened the realm’s ability to respond to the White Walkers by pressing her claim.

      I don’t really agree with this. It’s not like the Citadel would take Bran or Sam any more seriously if Dany weren’t “invading.” She’s a convenient excuse they are using, but without her in Westeros they’d come up with another excuse to dismiss the threat. Similarly, Cersei wouldn’t be any more likely to believe Jon Snow if Dany was still in Essos. Finally, there’s a strong likelihood the realm would still be in disarray with Dany still in Essos. Olena wasn’t going to sit by idly after Cersei took her whole family. Ellara and the Snakes were still seething for revenge. Varys put that alliance together under Dany, but the Reach and Dorne might still have tagged teamed to revolt even without Dany.

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    6. My biggest question is why do Dany’s advisors have an issue with her use of Drogon? What did they think would happen when she landed on Westeros with 3 dragons and an army of calvary barbarians? That doesn’t make sense to me.

      I’m amazed at how much they’ve got Dany doing in such a short period of time! The story is moving so fast to the finish line, it’s insane when compared to the pace of seasons 1 or 2 for example.

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    7. WallyFrench:
      My biggest question is why do Dany’s advisors have an issue with her use of Drogon?What did they think would happen when she landed on Westeros with 3 dragons and an army of calvary barbarians?That doesn’t make sense to me.

      I’m amazed at how much they’ve got Dany doing in such a short period of time!The story is moving so fast to the finish line, it’s insane whencompared to the pace of seasons 1 or 2 for example.

      Valid questions…my guess is that knowing she has dragons and then actually seeing their devastation in action is something entirely different. Moreso though, is that they know Dany can’t have the dragons run amok all over Westeros destroying everything in their path. Even restrained use of the dragons can possibly be bad PR for Dany among the population if they’re not used strategically.

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    8. WallyFrench:
      My biggest question is why do Dany’s advisors have an issue with her use of Drogon?What did they think would happen when she landed on Westeros with 3 dragons and an army of calvary barbarians?That doesn’t make sense to me.

      I’m amazed at how much they’ve got Dany doing in such a short period of time!The story is moving so fast to the finish line, it’s insane whencompared to the pace of seasons 1 or 2 for example.

      The issue largely revolves around not directly attacking King’s Landing and melting the Red Keep like Harrenhal. Olenna and Ellaria wanted that to happen so badly, because it would likely kill Cersei, and they didn’t really care what public relations problems it might cause Daenerys. (I’m not saying that this wouldn’t be a winning strategy for Dany… but Tyrion’s plan of demonstrating strength in a largely political way, isolate Cersei and demonstrate that she was a lame duck queen, had merits. Euron corked that up, though.)

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    9. Tamwell Sarly: Valid questions…my guess is that knowing she has dragons and then actually seeing their devastation in action is something entirely different. Moreso though, is that they know Dany can’t have the dragons run amok all over Westeros destroying everything in their path. Even restrained use of the dragons can possibly be bad PR for Dany among the population if they’re not used strategically.

      I think my man Tamwell is spot on.

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    10. My owns:

      The return of Gendry!
      #BangBangGendrysSilverHammerCameDownOnTheirHeads

      Cersei preggers! Is she lying?
      #LikeSandsThroughTheHourglassSoAreTheGamesOfOurThrones

      No Euron!
      #SippingMaiTiasInPyke

      Preview own:

      Is the Hound wielding a hammer?

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    11. It annoys me how easily people want to dub Dany as a “mad queen”. Everything from how Dany uttered “Dracarys” to her conversation she has Jon after she gave Jon the “fuck me” eyes shows that she is cognizant of her brutality. The Mad King was not aware of his lethalness which is why his title is so fitting.

      But I agree with the early comments that Emilia is absolutely shining this season. She’s really standing her ground in the presence of some of the elite tertiary cast and it’s great to see her give a range to Dany we have not seen.

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    12. Edward,

      Some folks don’t seem to get that every character on the show is daft to some degree. Those in power and position just have more means and opportunities to exhibit it. (Those who aren’t daft have not met with happy endings. I’m thinking of my beloved Ros, perhaps the sanest character to appear on the show.)

      Since the ancient Greeks, drama has meant conflict, both with others and oneself. No conflict = no drama = ho hum. (Hopefully, this is relevant to your interesting comment.)

      As for Emilia Clarke. she’s surely brought her A game this season, and the writers and directors must be elated by the results.

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    13. Catspaw Assassin,

      Love your response! And I completely agree. Dany would be a Viserys 2.0 if she embarked on a path of total fire and blood. AND, D&D don’t have time to establish Dany as a villain. They would have planted seeds of insanity far earlier.

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    14. Edward,

      Indeed, and I really like how the idea of people not being their parents or just their houses, has really been brought to the fore this season.

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    15. Is it just me, or is it a little presumptive for Jon an co to bring back a Wight? I mean I thought there was a big magical barrier in place that would stop such things happening?

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    16. Catspaw Assassin,

      Yes, apparently. Don’t know how to interpret. It is worrying, to say the list.

      I agree this is the best season of Daenerys. First time I really care for her since seasons 1 and 2.

      I also hope the Citadel interlude had more meaning in it. And Sam is my favourite character.

      What is with those leaks, seriously. What jerks. Now those of us who do not want to be spoiled have to stay away from the internet until Sunday. What is the point in leaking an episode five days ahead pray tell me. Morons!

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    17. Patrick Sponaugle,

      IMO, the showrunners have brought in this issue of looking bad when attacking a city with full force, because it’s a problem of our world and a tough one: no-one has come up with an answer how to win a war against some chuligans entrenched in densely populated areas yet. However, it’s a pretty modern problem and, sad as it is, it dissapears when a war hits really hard. Therefore, it looks quite forced in GoT which is set in a medieval enviroment and is supposed to reflect medieval morals more or less. Sure, even in the Middle Ages people saugt to minimalise causalities and ban weapons which were considered to be too destructive (crossbows and gunpowder comes to mind). However, most of these bans were forgotten when ultimate survival was at stake. So, although I can accept what the showrunners are trying to push upon me, it’s still looks forced and harms the show a bit.

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    18. Dravid:
      Is it just me, or is it a little presumptive for Jon an co to bring back a Wight? I mean I thought there was a big magical barrier in place that would stop such things happening?

      As Jon himself explains this episode, a wight came through the Wall in season one (and book one), qutie “alive” too. So they can definitely come through, or at least forced through. I assume this means the Wall mainly protects against White Walkers, not their wights (unlike the cave of the three-eyed raven.)

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    19. Luka Nieto: As Jon himself explains this episode, a wight came through the Wall in season one (and book one), qutie “alive” too. So they can definitely come through, or at least forced through. I assume this means the Wall mainly protects against White Walkers, not their wights (unlike the cave of the three-eyed raven.)

      Alternatively, I assumed that the wights that the Night’s Watch brought through in Season One were dormant, that the White Walkers had more or less put them to “sleep” so they could be carried through and under the radar of the Wall’s magical defenses.

      This doesn’t necessarily help Jon and his Wighthunters, since they won’t be able to put a wight to sleep.

      It’s possible that this is how we discover that the Wall’s defenses were breached when Bran came through with the Night’s King’s mark on him.

      Alternatively, it’s possible the wards on the Wall are effective in keeping the army of the dead out, like at the weirwood cave, but nothing prevents the White Walkers. The wards at the weirwood cave might not have been something dangerous to the White Walkers, and those guys were just reluctant to head in to take on the Children without their undead minions to support them and overrun.

      If that is the case, bringing wights south might be impossible, but still possible to bring a White Walker, if one could be captured.

      The logistics on Jon’s team getting evidence certainly sound challenging, based on the information we’ve gathered from the show.

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    20. Catspaw Assassin,

      Your comment about many characters in the show being a bit daft brought to mind Robert Owen’s (Welsh social reformer) saying “All the world old is queer save thee and me, and even thou art a little queer.” – queer here being in the sense of strange (in fact I’ve also heard “and even thee’s a bit peculiar”)
      Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/r/robertowen193664.html

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    21. Although Bran’s vision would actually be more convincing to me than some random book, once Bran told me all of my darkest secrets and summoned ravens to spell “JON IS LEGIT YO” in the sky.

      Lol !!!

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    22. Luka Nieto,

      I think there must be a distinction about who came come through the wall… Perhaps if you were created by dragonglass through the heart, you can’t come through. So that means the Night King and Benjen can’t come through. The Wights were created by the Night King lifting his hands, so they are different. It seemed that other barriers stopped the Wights such as the Children of the Forest’s ring of fire, but the fire had no effect on the Night King who just walked through and froze the flames. The 3 Eyed Raven’s tree had a magical barrier that kept out everyone (until Bran was marked). Perhaps the secret is in one of Sam’s books he took from the Citadel which will give us a full explanation one day.

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    23. Inga,

      While it seems a bit forced, the showrunners have incorporated this idea beautifully into the plot and the characters, and are fully exploring the morality of war and conquering. So I can forgive them this.

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    24. mau:
      No matter what you think about Dany this is her best season. Emilia Clarke is better than ever.

      Emilia Clarke has been wonderful whole the time , not only this season , its a joy to see her , shes also a verry beautiful woman , thats my thought .

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    25. It’s a nice article. However I really don’t buy the Central thesis that Dany’s invasion is some how preventing the 7k from uniting against the WW.

      Let’s say Dany stayed in Essos. Instead of what we got, we’d have:

      Riverlands in chaos after Arya’s Frey murder (or if Arya stayed in Essos too, Freys are gonna do what Cersei says)
      Reach & Dorne in open rebellion OR, Cersei invades the reach to put an end to House Tyrell since they are “traitors” (lol).
      Euron still joins Cersei. Maybe Euron goes to Essos as well to try to kill / capture Tyrion or Dany.
      Other houses doesn’t matter to the show.

      So what does Cersei do? Exactly what she’s doing now. Force everyone in Westeros to bend the knee. If Ellaria and Olenna get their shit together, maybe they can hold off the Lannisters. But no one’s going north or the Neck… Dorne and the Reach are SOUTH of KL and their only goal in life is a dead Cersei.

      Could even be worse – without Dany to contend with, maybe (?) Cersei actually invades the north, forcing the Northermen to contend with a pincer between Cersei and the WW. Dany is acting as a shield by being a much bigger problem than a seceeding north.

      The citadel / sam stuff would have gone exactly the same. They need data (which is cool, I get it). I think the article makes a great point that if anything Tyrion’s plan COULD work by convincing the Citadel. It’s a huge shame that wasn’t what he said… but rather that he’d convince Cersei (HAHAHAHahaha… no) and NOONE pointed out that was the worst plan ever.

      The upshot is that NO ONE south of the neck would help Jon & co. Dany has already helped Jon & co by giving them teh Dragon Glass. Maybe Jon would have mined it from an abandoned Dragonstone after receiving Sam’s letter.

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    26. Dee Stark,

      We don’t know anything for sure. From what I saw I have assumed that in order to annul the magical barrier of the Wall the Night King will have to catch Bran in his green-dream again him physically being on the other side of the Wall. IMO, that’s why Bran rushed out from the ravens when the Night King noticed them/him. But I guess we’ll have to wait till the end of the season to find out how these things are going to work.

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    27. Inga:
      Dee Stark,

      We don’t know anything for sure. From what I saw I have assumed that in order to annul the magical barrier of the Wall the Night King will have to catch Bran in his green-dream again him physically being on the other side of the Wall. IMO, that’s why Bran rushed out from the ravens when the Night King noticed them/him. But I guess we’ll have to wait till the end of the season to find out how these things are going to work.

      Maybe Bran is going to watch Jon and company’s attempt to capture a wight in the coming epsiode? While Bran is preoccupied with watching the battle from a distance, the NK sneaks up on him (just like last time) and gives him another “friendly” touch?

      By the way, I thought Bran snapped out his raven reconnaissance simply because the NK startled/scared him. It’s not like the NK can put a mark on Bran while he’s controlling ravens high in the sky.

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    28. Patrick Sponaugle: Alternatively, I assumed that the wights that the Night’s Watch brought through in Season One were dormant, that the White Walkers had more or less put them to “sleep” so they could be carried through and under the radar of the Wall’s magical defenses.

      Right or wrong, silly or not, my thought has always been that the NW guy was just ‘regular dead’ when he was brought through and the NK animated him after. My explanation/reasoning is that he has a limited range to his wight making powers, but if in the nearby woods beyond the Wall he’d be close enough to Castle Black. Along with that I’d be suggesting the magic in the Wall only prevents him crossing at the moment but doesn’t completely suppress his power.

      I don’t know, I just had to give myself an explanation to how it just woke up after several hours and with an unthinking mind went purposely after the Lord Commander. I had to assume the NK was close by to make it do what he wanted.

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    29. Clob,

      I think they were just dormant as it was light out at the time. It’s not spelled out on the show (because it would mean all battles with ice zombies have to happen in the dark), but I think in that particular case the the show was also operating on the book premise that the White Walkers only come with the cold and dark (whether they require it or bring it themselves is to be determined, but that is where the whole Long Night thing comes from), and the wights are only functional in those circumstances. So it was daytime, the wights were inoperative, and they were carried through the wall by brothers of the NW, rather than trying to come through on their own steam, so the wards would not have been in play. But then night fell and boom!

      Also at that time, it wasn’t winter, so once Thorne got south and it started getting warmer, it makes sense that the zombie hand would have rotted.

      The dark thing seems to have fallen off the board since then, but I think that’s one of those circumstances that works on the page, but not on screen.

      So if the Magnificent Seven do manage to catch a wight, they should be able to drag it against its will through the gate and as it seems Winter has reached King’s Landing, it ought to “survive” till it gets there.

      That’s my rationale, anyway. 🙂

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    30. Tamwell Sarly,

      That’s the thing though, they did see the dragons in action in Meereen. They burned the slavers!!! Maybe it’s easier to ignore the burning men when they’re not your countrymen?

      Patrick Sponaugle,

      I understood that aspect of it. Just not how disgusted they seemed by a bunch of charred up Lannisters and Reach soldiers. No civilians were hurt, no mass destruction of a city. Her family’s words are “Fire and Blood” (or other way around, I can never remember 🙂 ), so naturally backing a Targaeryan means burning some shit!

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    31. This is an interesting plan. I’m not sure I’d put much stock in Cersei being reasonable

      Cersei doesn’t have to be reasonable, just practical. Surely this is a win win for Cersei. Agree to whatever armistice proposed by Tyrion and let Daenerys go North to battle White Walkers. Even if Cersei fully honors the terms, Daenerys will surely deplete her forces and she may even lose a dragon battling the army of the undead.

      Whatever the outcome, it buys Cersei time and as an infamous smuggler once said “nothing fucks you harder than time”.

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    32. WallyFrench:
      Tamwell Sarly,

      That’s the thing though, they did see the dragons in action in Meereen.They burned the slavers!!!Maybe it’s easier to ignore the burning men when they’re not your countrymen?

      Patrick Sponaugle,

      I understood that aspect of it.Just not how disgusted they seemed by a bunch of charred up Lannisters and Reach soldiers.No civilians were hurt, no mass destruction of a city.Her family’s words are “Fire and Blood” (or other way around, I can never remember ), so naturally backing a Targaeryan means burning some shit!

      Well, Tyrion was the one who was put back by all of the dead Lannisters. They are his people as well as Jaime’s.

      Okay, I guess Varys too, after Tyrion told him about it. Varys, in particular, has been playing a role that’s supposed to suggest that he wants a more reasonable and less ruthless ruler – I’m just saying that from his speech to her in episode 2.

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    33. r0ssj,

      Yeah, I think the idea that the team shows Cersei an undead guy, and Cersei reassures them that she’s all about peace, ready to betray them at the drop of a head, is a logical one.

      That’s partly why I want the Citadel to rouse the realm. (Not that I think it’ll matter to the lioness queen.)

      But I wonder what Cersei would think of a wight, since she has Qyburn’s pet wight guarding her.

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    34. Clob: Right or wrong, silly or not, my thought has always been that the NW guy was just ‘regular dead’ when he was brought through and the NK animated him after.

      There’s a lot of book evidence that Jaffer Flowers and Othor were actually wights when found by the Night’s Watch. The horses reacted to them unusually, and everyone who knew the men remarked that their eyes were wrong.

      I really think that they were more than corpses, and inactive wights somehow.

      (The other possible explanation is that when GRRM wrote book one, the height of the Wall was all that was required to keep them out, no magic. But I don’t really like that so much.)

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    35. QueenofThrones:
      It’s a nice article.However I really don’t buy the Central thesis that Dany’s invasion is some how preventing the 7k from uniting against the WW.

      Thank you for reading it and the comment. I’m not here to argue, since your thesis is sound, and I appreciate the discussion. My feeble defense (to you and to Tamwell Sarly who voiced similar arguments) is that I went with “if we take Archmaester Ebrose at his word.”

      I also think that it’s unlikely that the archmaesters would write up a searing manifesto in response to Bran’s letter without Dany being the convenient excuse not to.

      Dany is the convenient excuse not to though, so I think I have a shadow of an argument, but it’s just a shadow. And not the cool Melisandre “I Win” shadows.

      Thanks again for reading. I can’t always be right, but I try to be entertaining.

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    36. Laura Souza:
      Although Bran’s vision would actually be more convincing to me than some random book, once Bran told me all of my darkest secrets and summoned ravens to spell “JON IS LEGIT YO” in the sky.

      Lol !!!

      I’m very pleased you liked that… 🙂

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    37. Inga,

      Inga, I appreciate what you’re saying. The show does modern things up a bit. And maybe that’s okay. If people on the show behaved the way their contemporaries did during the War of the Roses, people would probably not watch because everyone would be so repellent.

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