Ellie Kendrick discusses acting, upcoming projects, and her time as Meera Reed

Meera Reed (Ellie Kendrick) carrying Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) near the Wall / Photo: Helen Sloan/HBO

Photo: Helen Sloan/HBO

As someone who is only 26 years old, Game of Thrones’ Ellie Kendrick sure has accomplished quite a lot thus far. Besides being responsible for bringing the character of Meera Reed to life, a role she’s had since the show’s third season, the British actress is currently starring in two upcoming films: Gillies Mackinnon’s Whisky Galore! and Hope Dickson Leach’s The Levelling.

Kendrick sat down with Independent recently to discuss these various roles, and how the young actress got her start in front of the camera.


In terms of Meera’s role in GoT’s upcoming seventh season, Kendrick unsurprisingly remains tight-lipped. However, she does open up about one of the more exciting scenes she previously filmed, a north-of-the-wall fight sequence from an earlier season:

“There was one series where I had to fight with a group of zombies, the ‘wights’. I had to learn all the steps of it, like a dance. We were filming in a disused quarry just outside Belfast that had been covered in fake snow. I had to fight these stunt men who were dressed in green Lycra suits because they were going to be replaced (in post-production) by the skeletons. It was such a surreal experience. I had to do that, remember the precise timing and then film it again but with no opponents.”

skeleton wight s4e10

Growing up, Kendrick attended an all girls’ primary school, and it was there that she somewhat accidentally fell into acting. Kendrick explains that the male roles in the school’s plays were none too popular among the all-female casts, so she decided to enroll in the theatrical program and take on the task of portraying those undesired parts. This allowed her to nab roles such as Mozart in Amadeus and Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. “In the whole time I was there, I think I only played a woman once or twice”, says the actress.

On the brink of completing secondary school, Kendrick landed her breakout role as Anne Frank in the BBC mini-series The Diary Of Anne Frank. This role was followed by a stint as Juliet in a London production of Romeo and Juliet.

After subsequently taking an acting break to complete her English Literature degree at Cambridge, Kendrick quickly found her way into the Game of Thrones fold, where she continues to thrive (at least for now).

Luckily, her professional life post-Thrones, whenever that time comes, seems just as promising. Along with securing a spot in an upcoming Pulitzer Prize-winning play based in London (the details of which have yet to be released), she’s also establishing herself behind the camera as a writer and director, with multiple television projects already in development.

As much as we hope Kendrick’s Meera stays around for as long as possible (as I’m sure Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) hopes for as well given where we left the duo last season), it looks like she’ll continue to find plenty of success upon graduation from the HBO heavyweight!

181 responses

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    1. I get the impatience with the trailers. I want to see new stuff too, but don’t be too impatient. Before you know it, the trailer will have come and gone and so will season 7. Then, the same will happen with season 8 and then that’s it. The show will be over and then there will be nothing left. Relax a bit and be patient.

      I’m trying to curtail my impatience by re-watching the previous 6 seasons. Not only that, i’m coming up with a grading system so that I can grade each episode individually with the purpose of coming up with a top 10 episodes list. Hopefully it will do the trick to keep my mind off the new season a bit. Should be fun. I just need to come up with a proper grading system.

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    2. Mr Derp,

      I love your idea of rewatching the previous 6 seasons to pass the time (and applaud you for taking the time to grade them). I too am chomping at the bit for a new trailer, but at the same time, you’re right, we should savor every last moment we have with the show still on the air, because before we know it, season 8 will be done.

      Well that just got dark and depressing…Happy Friday?

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    3. Hey hey I’m grateful for every lil bit of it and this website feeds my soul …. but I’m an addict and I need my fix ….
      years from now when this is all said and done I shall still give thanks to the people who helped me one day at a time

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    4. Ellie Kendrick has really blossomed into a beautiful young woman. I’ve loved her acting, especially in the “hold the door” sequence, and the follow-up episode when she apologizes to Bran because she thinks they’re about to be overtaken by the wights.

      And … She has a lovely voice. Both Ellie K and Lena H have perfect diction on the DVD episode Commentaries

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    5. Sansa’s Knight,

      Lol, I know the feeling. I’m going through GoT withdrawal symptoms as we speak. HBO is my pusher, but they’ve been all out since last year. Come on, I KNOW someone’s got a guy around here that can hook me up with some new GoT! (Scratching, feeling bugs all over my skin as I type)

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    6. Mr Derp,

      Episode grading system ? Well that’s a tough one. Because (in my view) a lot depends on the director as opposed to the writing or acting; there’s one director in particular whose style I don’t like at all, but that’s a personal taste.

      And then there are some episodes that are handicapped by the (continuing) logical inconsistencies originating from the showrunners’ controversial decision to shoehorn Sansa into the Jeyne Poole-Bolton BookPlot.

      My “pass the time” exercise is to watch “mix tapes” of scenes, eg scared little Arya obeying Syrio’s instruction, “Go…” while he valiantly faces off against Meryn F Trant … followed by Arya’s S5 payback.*
      Other “mixes” are Jon giving Arya Needle in S1e2 + Arya unable to throw Needle off the dock in Braavos; Hot Pie bullying Arya in S1e10 vs. sweetly saying farewell to her in S3.
      I’m hoping S7 will give me a bookend for the S1 scene in which Arys is forced to send Nymeris away.

      * When Syrio explained to her that “all men are made of water; … when you pierce them, the water leaks out- and they die”
      I’m not sure an eye-gouging is what he had in mind. But no worries.

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    7. Ten Bears,

      Yea, I’ve been struggling with formulating a consistent grading system that will work from episode to episode, but that’s all part of trying to distract myself from the bugs crawling all over my skin. Part of me just wants to scrap the grading system altogether and come up with something a bit more simplified.

      I pretty much already know my favorite episodes, but rating one ahead of the other is the hard part. Most of my favorite episodes per season are:

      Favorite seasons from best to worst:
      4
      6
      3
      2
      1
      5

      Favorite episodes per season (In chronological order):
      Season 1:
      A Golden Crown
      Baelor
      Fire and Blood

      Season 2:
      The Ghost of Harrenhal
      The Old Gods and the New
      Blackwater
      Valar Morghulis

      Season 3:
      And Now His Watch is Ended
      Kissed By Fire
      The Climb
      The Rains of Castamere

      Season 4:
      Two Swords
      The Lion and the Rose
      The Mountain and the Viper
      The Watchers on the Wall
      The Children

      Season 5:
      Hardhome
      The Dance of Dragons
      Mother’s Mercy

      Season 6:
      Home
      The Door
      Battle of the Bastards
      The Winds of Winter

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    8. Mr Derp,

      I know a guy who knows a guy who can probably get you some “shirts.”

      Seriously, I was dumbfounded that up until a few weeks ago I was unaware that there were episode DVD commentaries narrated by cast members, GRRM, directors, and Benioff and Weiss. That’s at least 60 hours of “fixes” for me – even more, since there are seversl episodes with multiple, overlapping commentaries.

      And while the concept of “reaction videos” is patently silly, there are a handful that are fun to watch.

      Finally, I’ve found that withdrawal symptoms are eased somewhat by watching GoT actors’ performances in other TV shows or movies readily available in reruns or online.
      (For example, Margaery was the only E10 casualty I really cared about, but Natalie Dormer did a great 4 or 5 episodes as Irene Adler to Jonny Lee Miller’s Sherlock Holmes in Elementary on CBS. )

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    9. I’d like to see more development of Meera’s character – even now, as we get close to the end. In the books at least, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that she will be our guide to Greywater Watch, for the reveal of what Howland knows about Jon; and perhaps even the intriguing Isle of Faces. Kendrick has done a terrific job with the character; they really ought to give her more to do!

      ::braces herself for the lecture on how the focus is going to be all on the main characters henceforward::

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    10. Mr Derp,

      I’ve found it impossible to grade by episode, because some have FF-worthy filler – but also contain iconic scenes and great quotes. (Eg, I fast forward any scene with the High Sparrow).

      I’ve been contemplating compiling a list of my Top Twenty scenes, and a list of my favorite quotes by character. (The only problem with the latter is that when I get to The Hound I’d have to cut and paste virtually everything he’s ever said.)

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    11. Firannion,

      Ok, it’s time for a lecture…….lol, um no 🙂

      I agree with you. I would love to see Meera go to Greywater Watch so we can see Howland, so he can corroborate the story of Jon’s parentage.

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    12. Firannion,

      No lecture here. In fact, I thought Leaf’s reminder to Meera that Bran would need her meant we’d be seeing MORE of Meera going forward. Besides, she’s the only member of Team Bran that made it out of the Cave Cluster-uck with him, so I envision a greater role for her, sort of like Davos to Jon.

      I really thought S6 was Ellie K’s best. She really came into her own. She wasn’t just Jojen’s kickass sister anymore.

      (Besides, I LOVE her voice.)

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    13. I’ll chime in to add my voice to the chorus of appreciation for Ellie Kendrick and her performance as Meera. Lady Reed tends to be quiet and dutiful, so she doesn’t always garner the recognition for her exploits from the wider audience that a flashier character might. But Ellie brings a lot of pathos to the role, and she’s been Bran’s champion through the darkest of times. And as ever, it’s worth repeating that at the present moment, Meera stands as one of only three living humans to kill a White Walker. The littlecrannogwoman is a big damn hero.

      I hope that Ellie goes on to have a long career after her time on GOT draws to a close. She’s great.

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    14. LOL, whenever it’s about Meera, no one cares and prefers to talk about the trailers. I find her scènes among the most boring. Ellie has the accent but that is pretty much it.

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    15. Firannion,

      A few other thoughts about Meera:

      •. With the caveat that I don’t know how this was handled in the books. I thought the 3ER said he’d been keeping an eye out on Bran, Jojen and Meera their whole lives. Now, Greenseer Jojen was sickly and knew his days were numbered. If 3ER felt the two Reeds and Bran were so important, then Meera should have a continuing, significant role to play. (Otherwise, the show could’ve and probably would’ve prematurely or summarily killed her off a la Mance, Osha, Stannis, Barristan).

      •. By sheer process of attrition, there are only a handful of “young” characters left on the show, including Meera.
      IF the human race is to carry on after what looks like a mass depopulation about to happen from the looming WW invasion, there will have to be at least a few “fertile” young women around. I can’t imagine the show
      introducing new, unfamiliar young characters this late in the game.
      Off the top of my head, the “known” young female characters who could perpetuate the human race after a “long night” are:
      Meera Reed; Arya (“I don’t want to be a lady”) Stark; Sansa (on the bubble) Stark; Lyanna Mormont; Gilly; Tyene (Bad P___y) Sand; Obara Sand; the other Sand Snake (forgot her name); and Brienne. (I don’t know about Daeny; is she supposed to be infertile?).
      There have been other little kids running around, like Karsi’s two young daughters, but if there’s a “future” worth fighting for, the viewer should be emotionally invested in it. To me, that means young female characters like Meera have to become more prominent.

      • Over the past few seasons, the “old guard” has died out or has been killed off (eg Boltons, Martells); families have been extinguished (eg Baratheons, Tyrells). It’ll be time for others to emerge, like House Reed.

      So there’s my tinfoil (wax paper?) reasoning why we should see more of Meera in S7 and S8.

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    16. I’ve loved Meera since her first appearance, and loved seeing how her character grew in S6 and found an incredible fount of inner strength following the death of her beloved brother. I think it’s really easy to forget how integral a character she is because 1) Ellie Kendrick’s performance is so natural and understated, and 2) unlike most of the female characters, there is no single “exceptional” quality about her (she’s not a queen, a would-be queen, a religious zealot, a singular beauty, a knight, an incredibly savvy little girl, etc.). She’s simply an exceptionally loyal, decent, and strong human being.

      Firannion,

      Not only to finally see Howland Reed, but to see Greywater Watch! I’ll be seriously bummed if we never get a glimpse of it. :/

      Ten Bears,

      Ditto on the Hound and his quotes!

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    17. Ten Bears:

      I really thought S6 was Ellie K’s best. She really came into her own. She wasn’t just Jojen’s kickass sister anymore.

      (Besides, I LOVE her voice.)

      I agree that Ellie excelled in S6 and that with Jojen dead, we finally got to see more of Meera and how important she was to Bran. She came out of the shadow of her brother, and became as much of a protector to Bran as she was to Jojen.

      I hope that going forward, we do get to see more of her in S7. Personally, I loved that the roles of Meera and Yara were upped in S6 and want it to continue as both the characters and actresses are amazing. I can see Meera being important in bringing Bran and Howland together, and that is important moving forward given the knowledge Howland has of the ToJ and the wider consequences of what happened there.

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    18. ig stark,

      Dear Mr. Effervescence;

      Care to explain why you found Ellie Kendrick’s scenes “boring”?

      I for one was spellbound by Meera’s frantic attempts to get Bran to stop spacing out; her heroic efforts to save him; and her pleas to “hold the door!!” reverberating through time and space. Not to mention her exhausted, emotional apology to Bran when she thought she’d failed him.
      (I haven’t even mentioned her WW kill..)

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    19. I really love Meera and Bran’s relationship, it’s really sweet and they’ve been through so much together.
      I think I first saw Ellie in The British Show Misfits which Iwan Rheon came from which he was incredibly in as the socially awkward delinquent to becoming the reluctant hero willing to sacrifice himself for others. Ellie was in the later seasons when Iwan had left, she was only in about five episodes but she was really good in it, she seemed like such a sweet girl at first but she ended up quite crazy it was a good storyline.

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    20. Raul:
      It’s most likely that the trailer comes out in May or June?

      May
      i’m already betting on May 26 as the release XD

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    21. One more accolade for Ellie Kendrick:

      I’ve always felt that one of the best signs of a good actor is the ability to convey emotions without words, eg by facial expressions. (Like Jorah’s reaction upon learning of his father’s death from Tyrion; or Arya’s sad look when holding Needle on the Braavos dock.)

      Ellie Kendrick impressed me the same way in 4×10 “The Children”; without words, her anguished look said it all:

      Leaf (to Meera): He is lost. Come with me or die with him.

      Jojen: Go with them.

      (Meera, crying, cuts Jojen’s throat before Leaf’s fireball incinerates his body along with an approaching wight. )

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    22. She certainly changes after Jojen dies and is strong enough to pull Bran and kill a wright. I suspect she will stay by Brans side if they go to Winterfell. I’d like it a lot if she met up with another quiet young lady who has gained some strength as well along the way – Gilly

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    23. Exclusive leaked dialogue from the scene in the first photo above:

      Meera: Hello! Is there someone else up there we can talk to?

      Watcher on the Wall: I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!

      Meera: Bran, I don’t like the looks of this. And why is the snow all yellow here at the bottom of the Wall?

      Bran: Eeew, it smells like a Winterfell outhouse.

      Watcher on the Wall: Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!

      Meera: Wait a second, is that John Cleese making a cameo? [Sees catapulted cow flying towards them]

      Meera and Bran: Run away, run away!!

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    24. Firannion,

      Yes, greywater and Isle of Faces must have some secrets to reveal to us, especially about the CotF and the deal made with the WWs to end the first long winter. This past history bears on whatever the solution to the current WW attack is, and Meera’s father fits in there somewhere. The show will probably not provide these reveals.

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    25. Ten Bears:
      Firannion,

      I thought Leaf’s reminder to Meera that Bran would need her meant we’d be seeing MORE of Meera going forward.

      Given all Meera has accomplished, including killing a WW, more Meera would be more appropriate than just blowing her off now that her job may be done.

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    26. Raul,

      I would suspect we will get the first trailer with new season footage at some point in May, then the episode titles maybe end of May/start of June followed by a second and final trailer towards the end of June.

      Someone stated in another thread HBO has been giving us something every three weeks so it continues we should get the first trailer in the 2nd week of May.

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    27. I love Meera, her quiet devotion, her endurance with bursts of sensitivity, her bold going on without wasting any time on wondering about success. And, as usual, a most suitable actress was chosen to portray her. Ellie seems to me as the kind of person it takes time to know, but when you do, it is totally worth it.

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    28. Genghis Khan,

      I usually see it as people who don’t like Bran won’t like Meera and people who love Bran tend to love Meera, they are a great team and have lot’s of chemistry despite a bigger age difference between the actors than I thought originally.

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    29. Mel,

      My problem was him saying that no one cares,so i guess the ones who don’t share his view like we are no one in his mind .

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    30. Genghis Khan,

      I know what you mean, when people don’t like a character and a few people around them feel the same they tend to make the assumption every one feels the same and agrees with them. They don’t realize people have much different opinions.

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    31. Mel,

      Different opinions are good. However, they should be backed up with specific facts and examples. Simply declaring that “Character X is boring” or “Commenter Z is a bozo” doesn’t add anything constructive to the discussion, and doesn’t facilitate intelligent debate.

      Speaking only for myself, there have been numerous occasions on which that Demanding Dragon guy has laid out criticisms of the show; I’ve strongly disagreed. But even when he’s been condemned as an outlier or a “purist”, he usually backs up his arguments with specific examples.

      Now, if someone thinks Ellie Kendrick’s scenes are “boring”, I’m curious to know why, because I disagree.

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    32. Mel,

      You brought up an interesting point about Bran-Meera relationship when you alluded to their….

      chemistry despite a bigger age difference between the actors than I thought originally

      This past season, I loved their dynamic. Ellie Kendrick sold it (to me, at least) as having a “romantic” element.

      Then I realized that before they took the year off (i.e. Team Bran was absent for all of S5), Bran was still a cute moppet. It was ridiculous how much Isaac HW shot up in that 1+ year, changing from little boy to young man.

      I think Ellie K is now around 26-27, and Isaac HW is now 18-19. As opposed to two or three years ago, they now look like a “couple” who belong together.
      The actors’ age difference has become unnoticeable.

      I like their new “chemistry.” And every guy should be so lucky as to have a strong, compassionate, protective girlfriend — who’s deadly with a spear.

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    33. Where is Howland Reed? I find his absense quite odd. Books and tv series.

      Did I miss something about him?

      Also, Meera should be JACKED after pulling Bran for so long.

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    34. Extra Stark, Please,

      1. I’m sure we will see Howland Reed. GRRM said he’d appear in the books, though who knows when that will be. In the show, the 3ER specifically pointed out HR by name to Bran during the ToJ visit, which to me presaged HR’s eventual appearance on the show. (The “Howland Gun” has been hung.)

      I’m not so sure there are always casting announcements for new characters. If the showrunners have a specific actor or actress in mind for a role and are able to ink a contract with that person, there’d be no need to send out audition invitations; if they want to “surprise” the audience, they’d keep casting news under wraps. (Look, I’m just guessing here. I have no clue how the business of casting and contracting works.)

      2. Meera “jacked”? Oh, I’m sure she is. Underneath the parka and the furs she probably has the ripped body of Rhonda Rousey.

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    35. Mel,

      despite a bigger age difference between the actors than I thought originally.

      How old are they? (yes I am too lazy this morning to google…)

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    36. Concerning the trailer:
      If I remember correctly all of the teasers/promos/pics so far for S7 came out on Thursdays three weeks apart from each other. If that pattern continues, I believe that the first official trailer will come out either on 11 May or 1 June, depending whether we get one more teaser in the middle, which we very well could since we’ve only had one teaser and one promo so far.

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    37. ash,

      Here are some “vital statistics” for Ellie Kendrick and Isaac Hempstead-Wright, which change the dynamics of their characters’ present relationship:

      EK born June 6, 1990
      IH-W born April 9, 1999

      Until S7, all seasons premiered in April: S1 premiered in April, 2011; S2 – when I believe Meera first appeared – premiered in April, 2012. Assuming filming for S2 took place around July-December, 2011, Isaac was around 12 years old and Ellie was 21. Bran still looked like a little boy in S2, if memory serves correctly.

      Team Bran was absent for all of S5 (2015), which meant Issac was offscreen for two years between age 14 – age 16, and returned for S6 in April 2016.

      Issac’s facial structure changed dramatically during his two-year hiatus. As of today, he is 18 but looks older; Ellie K is 26, but looks younger.

      More significant, Isaac HW is now listed as 5’11” tall; Ellie K is 5’1″ – nearly a foot shorter.

      That little tyke we saw missing the bullseye with his arrow in S1e1, and getting hauled around piggyback by Hodor, is gone.

      It’s as if Bran were in a time warp that aged him up five years during the two years he was off screen. He looked completely different, while all of the other characters looked pretty much the same except for new clothes and hairdos

      What are your impressions ? Because to me, Meera and Bran are now an ideal couple.

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    38. Ten Bears,

      In the books Bran has a huge crush on her that he hasn’t told her about. However, Bran is younger (8 or 9) and Meera is about Robb’s age (17 when he was killed, if I recall correctly), so it’s more like a first crush… “Maybe girls really aren’t gross after all!” He’s very impressed by her competence and survival skills. Of course, the show has a different timeline than the books, so the matter of characters’ aging and “catching up” to each other needs to be handled a bit differently.

      There’s also an intimation of sexual friction between Arya and Gendry, who are probably about 11 and 14-15, respectively. He treats her like a little sister because he’s a decent lad, but, erhm, that gun gets hung pretty early on.

      Note: According to Game of Thrones Wiki, “In the books there are no hints of romance between Arya and Gendry. In fact, Arya intends to kill Gendry once he discovers she is a girl, and the only reason she does not is that Gendry is armed and stronger than her.” This is waaayyy oversimplifying the storyline and doesn’t even mention 1) several occasions during which he defends her (including an incident at a brothel where the Brotherhood is spending the night) and a number of interactions that couldn’t be hinting at anything but what might be a mutual crush.

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    39. Masspsychosis:
      Concerning the trailer:
      If I remember correctly all of the teasers/promos/pics so far for S7 came out on Thursdays three weeks apart from each other. If that pattern continues, I believe that the first official trailer will come out either on 11 May or 1 June, depending whether we get one more teaser in the middle, which we very well could since we’ve only had one teaser and one promo so far.

      While I won’t say (for fear of being pummeled) that I’d glad we have to wait until mid-July for the season premiere, it works out rather nicely that GoT won’t start until American Gods is done. If they overlapped some weeks in the same Sunday 9 p.m. EDT timeslot, I’d be having an existential crisis about which one to watch in ‘real time’ and which on repeat.

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    40. Wolfish,

      That all sounds weird. Who wrote or writes the GoT Wiki? Is that a GRRM authored or authorized compendium ?
      Is it one of those free-for-all internet encyclopedias where anyone can add (or fabricate) information ?

      Who is it that is interpreting GRRM’s words? Because especially when it comes to adolescents and teenagers, overt hostility sometimes masks attraction

      Plus, I’m not sure what to make of characters from the books who’ve been aged up on the show. Nor would I know whether characters’ emotions gleaned from the books are even relevant now that the show has passed the books, i.e. young people from the books are now becoming teenagers.

      (And this doesn’t even take into account that even in the real world, up until about two hundred years ago it wasn’t uncommon for girls to be married at 13 or 14.)

      I guess what I’m asking is if this “Wiki” thing is authoritative canon.

      Even if it is, a teenage Show!Bran is going to have different emotional responses than a child Book!Bran.

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    41. Ten Bears,

      His growth spurt reminds me of a young friend of mine, and fellow GOT fan, who as a wee lad was such an awkward little shrimp that his parents and friends were a bit worried about him having a hard time of it in middle school, which has to be the worst years of any kid’s life. And wouldn’t you know it during the summer between 6th and 7th grade he shot up like Jack’s beanstalk, and over the next couple of years resembled Jimmy Stewart standing on Christopher Lee’s shoulders.

      Well, maybe not quite that tall, but coming as I do from a family that makes the residents of Hobbiton look like giants, the change was quite impressive. Needless to say, nobody ever messed with him. 😉

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    42. Wolfish,

      Lest anything I’ve said be misconstrued: I’m not into the “shipping” phenomenon. For instance, while I think Tormund making goo goo eyes at Brienne adds some levity to the story, there’s really nothing of substance between them, at least not yet.

      In a the fictional world, human beings should act and react like humans in the real world. “Love at first sight” or locking eyes across a crowded room may be a standard device in Hollywood romcoms, but it’s a rarity in real life. More often, real attraction develops through shared experiences.

      That means if young people get to know one another and grow to admire one another, there’s a foundation for something more.
      So I am not “shipping” Meera and Bran: I am suggesting that a young man who witnesses a young woman exhibit grace under pressure, and remain steadfastly loyal when the chips are down, is bound to fall for her.

      Likewise, if there’s some nascent attraction between Arya and Gendry, it’s not because she was staring at him with his shirt off. It’ll be because they have an easy rapport – and on his part, because he was impressed by her quick thinking that saved him from the gold cloaks by telling them the dead kid next to the bull’s head helmet was the one they were looking for. If anything ever happens, he will have to get over his “I’m a lowborn bastard; she’s a highborn lady” mindset that would prevent him from even entertaining the thought.

      I don’t expect and don’t want tedious, stock “romantic” subplots. (Grey worm and Missandei come perilously close sometimes, but I’ll give them a pass based on their shared experiences after being thrown together).

      (That was more long-winded than I’d intended. Sorry…)

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    43. Firannion,

      Can I throw out some off topic “what if” idle speculation ?

      I, along with many others, are dreading that S7 will fly by in a flash: a mere six weeks between episode 1 and the end of the season. Assuming each episode runs 60 minutes, that comes out to 420 minutes total for S7.

      I would’ve preferred nine weeks of 47-minute episodes. (That comes out to 423 total minutes.) Most network one-hour shows actually run about 45 minutes after subtracting commercials.

      If I had the self-discipline, I’d break up S7 into 45-47 minute segments. I know I’d enjoy it more. And the season would run nine weeks instead of seven.

      Alas, I don’t think I’d have such self-discipline. ?

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    44. Wolfish,

      I read your 4:56 pm post again, and I get the impression that the “Wiki” oversimplified or even misstated the nuances of Arya-Gendry interactions in the books.

      Now I’m even more curious. Who writes this Wiki thing ? Does anyone edit or verify its accuracy ? Chronicling dates, events and names is one thing, but it sounds like the Wiki thing is giving opinions and interpretations.

      I don’t mean to get all weirded out about this. I just remember my high school English teacher, who warned us not to buy into “expert” analyses of books we were assigned to read.

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    45. Genghis Khan,

      While I don’t entirely disagree with you on the “romance” part, the urge to procreate is a biological imperative (with the notable exception of asexual people, who comprise a very low percentage of the general population). While I don’t have a flaming desire to see Arya “coupled” by show’s end, one of the things I do appreciate about the books (and I totally understand why it can’t all be covered on television) is the exploration of sexuality in various forms, and never just for shock value or titillation. (Hope that makes sense.)

        Quote  Reply

    46. Ten Bears:
      I guess what I’m asking is if this “Wiki” thing is authoritative canon.

      No, I don’t think it’s authoritative canon. As far as I know, it’s like any other wiki… people can add to and/or edit it without any input from GRRM (which is why I take it with a grain, er, block of salt).

        Quote  Reply

    47. Ten Bears,

      Totally agree with both your 8:02 and 8:44 comments. I’m not into Hollywood-style “shipping” either, and one of the many things I love about both ASoIaF and GoT is the avoidance of such exhausted tropes. As for the wiki, anyone can add to or edit it… which means that it is not canon, and there are “opinions and interpretations” that I often disagree with. (For me the same goes for Wikipedia, which I find to be a useful resource for finding excellent primary sources but always take with a big grain of salt. The math and science pages are invariably far better than, say, the pages on the humanities or “softer” sciences.)

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    48. Dylan Moir: I love your idea of rewatching the previous 6 seasons to pass the time (and applaud you for taking the time to grade them).

      Pass the time? Sure: but if I don’t watch the prior seasons before the current one, then I will have a heck of a time keeping up! Way too much happens on this show to remember it all.

      Ten Bears: That all sounds weird. Who wrote or writes the GoT Wiki? Is that a GRRM authored or authorized compendium ?

      If it is the Wiki that I have seen, then, no, it is not remotely “canon.” It has whole sections that pass off pure (and poorly-reasoned) speculation off as “fact” (insofar as “fact” means anything for a fictional work). The character analyses typically are really bad, and come across as if they were written by people who understand nothing about literature. (Spoiler:

      they almost certainly were written by people who know nothing about literature.

      ) 😀

        Quote  Reply

    49. Wolfish: There’s also an intimation of sexual friction between Arya and Gendry, who are probably about 11 and 14-15, respectively. He treats her like a little sister because he’s a decent lad, but, erhm, that gun gets hung pretty early on.

      Book!Arya almost certainly develops a crush on Gendry, but she just does not understand what the feelings are. That is believable enough, given that Arya does not think much about these things (after all, only silly girls like Sansa do that), and also given that Arya has had it drilled into her that she’s not pretty: and plain girls often get it drilled into them that they aren’t “worthy” to think about these things.

      Of course, Arya & Gendry winding up together is foreshadowed somewhat by Robert telling Ned that he had a son and Ned had a daughter, so let’s join the houses. The slight catch on that is that as Gendry is an unacknowledged bastard, he is in no way part of Robert’s house: but he is Robert’s son.

      I do wonder if this is something that GRRM intended to do back when he planned for there to be a 5 year break after Storm of Swords. Book!Arya would have been 17 or so by then, and obviously well past the age where this sort of romance would be feasible. However, as it is, she should still be (I think) 13 or 14 by the end of the series: and that would be a “woman” in Westeros. So perhaps we’ll see it yet. And, of course, on TV they have basically assumed nearly a year per season, so Show!Arya (presumably about 16 or 17 by now) obviously is “fair game” for romance at this point.

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    50. Wolfish,

      People don’t have to jump into bed together to “be” in a romantic relationship. If, as you and Wimsey point out, there’s been some foreshadowing of a Gendry-Arya/Baratheon-Stark union, it doesn’t have to be consummated with a romp between the sheets (under the furs?) and the two participants smoking cigarettes when it’s over.

      That’s part of the reason the speculation about “which bachelorette will date Jon Snow?” irks me. Is it absolutely imperative to the defusing of the existential threat facing humanity that Jon Snow bed his aunt or one of his pseudo-sisters? I sure hope not. Like I’ve said, I will not be a happy camper if the fate of humanity rests on Jon Snow inseminating the right bachelorette(s) in order to insure the birth of a magical baby who’s supposed to grow up to become Prince Azor Ahai Who Mounts the World.

      The show has already engendered controversy – unnecessarily – with the Jaime-Cersei not-rape rape, and the shortsighted “hey, let’s rape Sansa!” deviation. There’s really no reason, other than to stoke the interest of the “tits and dragons” crowd, to portray unnecessary sex scenes, especially with younger characters.

      Not to veer off too far, but I think we were discussing the movies “Before Sunrise” and “Before Sunset” on a previous post. What made them so romantic was the emotional word play – especially the second one, where I don’t think the characters even touched each other once.

      I guess what I’m trying to say is that while I don’t want to see Gendry, Arya, Meera, or Bran sneaking off to a cave with.a hot tub, there’d be nothing wrong with some intelligent, heartfelt dialog between young couples.

        Quote  Reply

    51. Ten Bears,

      Completely agreed. As for “Before Sunrise” and “Before Sunset,” they were not only romantic, but (especially in the case of the latter) really sexy… because it really is true that the brain is the sexiest organ. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy a great sex scene here and there, but more often than not, on screen a great verbal tease is far sexier: it both grants the viewer a “preview of coming attractions,” as it were, in the form of verbal foreplay, and then allows the viewer to use his/her imagination to complete the rest of the story. And let’s face it, what people find arousing differs so much from person to person, that’s one of the the chief reasons most sex scenes either fall flat or are laughably “stock”… because the filmmakers are trying to please everyone, and wind up pleasing very few people.

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    52. Ten Bears,

      Sadly, I think Jon might be reduced to sperm donor. I hope I’m wrong though.

      Anyway, I doubt we’ll see the Stark children sneaking into caves with their love interests. Thank God!

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    53. Flayed Potatoes,

      Wouldn’t Dany or any other woman in that scenario be also reduced to a womb lender?

      Anyway, unless the WW want that baby in order to stop advancing to Westeros I don’t think that the potential baby would serve a role in stopping the long night. She or he could be the hope for the future at the end of the story but nothing more. But then again, we do have other characters that can reproduce. Maybe the Targ line needs to survive, who knows.

        Quote  Reply

    54. Masspsychosis,

      If the woman/women in question die giving birth, then yes they’d be reduced to womb.

      That’s why I am hoping Jon won’t be reduced to sperm donor because it would mean he gets to live long enough to knock someone up and then die in battle or whatever. So all his development would be meaningless and a waste of time. It would have been better for him to stay dead, if that’s the ending.

      If there are any children at the end of this, I would prefer it if the parents lived as well. We’ve already done the orphan scenario with most of the main characters in the story and I’m personally not invested in a zygote that may appear in the last 2 seconds of the story.

      Ten Bears,

      I’ll throw my shoe at the TV if this ends with Jon fertilizing someone with The Zygote that was Promised and then dying in battle or some dumb shit.

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    55. Flayed Potatoes,

      Right there with you. I don’t see how the “The Zygote that was Promised” wouldn’t be “pulling a Lost,” when it would provide zero payoff and be a complete waste of the narrative. You don’t invest thousands of pages into fleshing out an entire generation of characters only to have their journeys amount to nothing. This story was conceived as a “coming of age” tale for main characters GRRM identified in his original outline, not the origin story for their offspring.

      I know it’s fun to theorize and that D&D like to occasionally just dump things into the narrative that they only foreshadowed one episode earlier, but that’s not how GRRM works. He lays the groundwork for twists and reveals, and he stated as recently as a few years after ADWD came out that his overall endgame for the story and for his Big 5 (in terms of who lives or dies, at the very least), has not changed. The way I see it, if he wanted a thematic Ice&Fire baby to inherit the earth at the end of the story, he wouldn’t have originally planned for Jon to end up with his sister/cousin. D&D take a lot of liberties with characterization and the journeys these characters go on, but they’ve said more than once that the final destinations will be the same.

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    56. Genghis Khan:
      Ten Bears,

      It’s mostly written by our “friend” The Dragon Demands,which should tell you how reliable it is. Hint:It’s not

      That wiki is reliable when it comes to verifiable facts like who played whom and what episodes they appeared in. Other than that, it’s a personal, very opionated and biased playground of the chief mod. He/she has blocked everybody who even slightly disagree with his/her interpretation and opinions. It’s not “canon” or GRRM endorsed in any shape or form. The Dragon Demands is the nic he/she uses here.

      It’s a resource you can look up, but take most of it with a huge grain of salt. This GoT (show) wiki is a personal project of this one individual. The ASoIaF (books) wiki is more reliable, more people contributing etc., though it’s also slightly biased (towards the book canon).

      I mostly use the wikis to check the ages (birth dates, years), not their “characters”, as those would come from the books or the show, not from some wiki interpretations.

      Still, it’s quite remarkable that these books and TV show sprout so much online activity, wikis, whatever. GoT and the ASoIaF books are a cultural phenomenon.

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    57. elybe,

      Besides, if Jon and Dany’s baby is the “song” or the combination of ice and fire as these theories suggest, what was the point of making Jon the son of a Stark and a Targaryen.

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    58. Wolfish,

      I thought the poster Dragon Demands is part of it, or so I remember other posters calling him out on that. When I first saw it I thought it was official GRRM sanctioned, but apparently it is not. Someone probably knows more than I, but I would not trusts it except for basic character information.

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    59. Flayed Potatoes,

      I took the mother dying as a given in that scenario since the point of the baby would be to continue a line that would otherwise be gone. Whether it is childbirth or the battle, the mother would die as well. I too would prefer both of the parents to survive, though. However, a lot of people would hate that because then it is too “disney” especially if those parents are Jon and Dany. Although that could be the sweet part of the ending, and everything else, all the destruction and loss of lives could be the bitter end of the deal. After all, in Lotr the bitterness came from the destruction caused by the war and the elves and Frodo leaving (along with magic). Otherwise everything was quite nice: Sauron and Saruman were defeated, Aragorn got the throne and married Arwen, Sam got together with Rosie etc. Life went on.

      Also I agree with ghost of winterfell, Jon is already an ice and fire baby, there is no need to make another one, at least not one that has anything to do with the war to come.

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    60. elybe:
      Flayed Potatoes,

      …This story was conceived as a “coming of age” tale for main characters GRRM identified in his original outline, not the origin story for their offspring.

      I like this “coming of age” aspect and can see how they are headed that way in their various ways… And Jaime… No, hear me out. He is defined by his killing the king. Shit for honour forevermore. Cynical arsehole for years, until the wars, lost hand and Brienne make him think about it all. I posit that Jaime basically stopped growing up after he killed the king. Jaime at 17 is the Jaime at 32 we meet. Stupid nihilism and pride, arseholey arrogant. Everybody thought the worst of him anyway, so he pretended he didn’t care.

      Jaime is now beginning to grow up. Near Cersei, he regresses. Near Brienne, he is beginning to be all he can be.

      Flinging Bran out the window was a terrible thing to do – but, remember, Jaime’s first instinct was to grab the boy, save his life. It was only after he looked at the shrieking Cersei that he callously pushed Bran out, said “The things I do for love”, with loathing.

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    61. ghost of winterfell,

      Precisely. There’s nothing exceptional about a baby that’s genetically 3/4 Targ and 1/4 Stark when one of the parents is already equal parts both. It only works thematically, and it undermines the significance of Jon’s parentage, which is one of the few aspects of Jon’s story that D&D have emphasized rather than diminished. The show has been milking R+L=J for all its worth, going as far as to reveal the full truth in stages. D&D have gone out of their way to create as many Wham! moments out of Jon’s lineage as possible, and they’re not doing that for it to ultimately go nowhere.

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    62. Genghis Khan,

      Thanks for the info. As noted before, like talvikorppi I’ve always taken it with a big grain of salt (good for casting details and episode synopses, but not for character motivations and the like).

      ash,

      Ditto above.

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    63. elybe,

      After GRRM called out the creators of “Lost” for a crappy, disappointing ending which he likened to leaving a giant sampling of fecal matter on his doorstep*, GoT cannot conclude with “The Zygote that was Promised” or fizzle out in some other silly way (eg the Night King is Jon’s evil twin!).
      GRRM and the showrunners would never live it down.
      I have to have faith that a great ending is in store; and I don’t think “bittersweet” means it’s going to suck and excite in equal measure.

      To be honest, I wouldn’t have been that disappointed if the show had ended with S6e10….
      Jon Snow starts as corpse, ends up as King; Daeny finally sailing home with a massive fleet and three airborne WMDs; Cersei, all but counted out, turning the tables on the f-ckwits who paraded her naked down Main Steeet; and Arya avenging the Red Wedding all on her own.

      * PS (I’ve noticed that “Pulling a Lost”, the term coined by GRRM, is entering the lexicon, joining “jumping the shark.”)

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    64. Dany is all fire. The mother of dragons, surviving fires, riding a dragon.

      Jon is only half dragonblood. He’s half Stark wolfblood. Ice and fire.

      No, it will not be some baby. Jon is the prince that was promised, the last hero. He’ll do hero stuff and die doing it. The other prophecied hero, Azor Ahai reborn, Dany, will crucially help and then be left with the bittersweet legacy: rebuilding.

      Or might be not, hahaha!

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    65. Ten Bears,

      My books are packed, but luckily I found an image of the passage referred to. And it just proves that anything on the website about characters’ motivations must be taken with a big grain of salt: Arya essentially makes a split-second decision about whether or not she ought to kill Gendry, and (in my memory) never thinks about it again. Image link (hopefully it won’t go into Spam!):

      https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/1b/a1/ee/1ba1eeb16866f8cae3f0047eb0d313a4.jpg

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    66. talvikorppi,

      I don’t understand why, in all these scenarios, Jon has to die. We’ve spent thousands of pages seeing him being built as a leader/learning to lead and with an emphasis on his mysterious parentage and possible legitimacy. I’m sorry, but if the plan is to simply kill him off while swinging a sword against WW, then his death and removal from the NW is completely unnecessary; in this scenario he could have just stayed Lord Commander and ask for Daenerys’s army and dragons in that capacity seasons later. The books and show have gone trough so much trouble to kill him off once and resurrect him so he could leave the NW, that if he ends up dying again just ’cause it will be some major bullshit.

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    67. Masspsychosis,

      I don’t know what is so Disney about incest. Incest is gross and disturbing. The only Disney story which has incest, from what I remember, is The Lion King. Which is, hilariously enough, a story about a prince who is stripped of his position following the death of his father, and who reluctantly accepts his heritage/kingship to save his people….err fellow animals.

      elybe,

      Here’s hoping you are right.

      I will forever celebrate the moment I decided to stop watching ‘Lost’. Saved me a lot of time.

        Quote  Reply

    68. Flayed Potatoes: ,

      I don’t understand why, in all these scenarios, Jon has to die. We’ve spent thousands of pages seeing him being built as a leader/learning to lead and with an emphasis on his mysterious parentage and possible legitimacy. I’m sorry, but if the plan is to simply kill him off while swinging a sword against WW, then his death and removal from the NW is completely unnecessary; in this scenario he could have just stayed Lord Commander and ask for Daenerys’s army and dragons in that capacity seasons later. The books and show have gone trough so much trouble to kill him off once and resurrect him so he could leave the NW, that if he ends up dying again just ’cause it will be some major bullshit.

      Agree – think that there is a good chance Jon will survive. It could be stubborn hope, but there is the parting shot Thorne fires at him (which I now wonder if it could be prophetic) about fighting other people’s battles forever as well as the parallels with Ned. Ned survived the Rebellion and spent the rest of his life haunted by it. He ostensibly won, but at a huge, huge cost. And whoever survives this war will do so at a great cost. The rest of their lives, the rebuilding of the world, will be in the shadows of what it cost them to survive. Jon’s post-Great War life could very well parallel Ned’s post-Rebellion one in that he survives and rules (in some way) following duty more than anything else.

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    69. Flayed Potatoes,

      People just don’t want anything happy to happen. Ever. If two main characters end up together at the end of this story it is automatically too nice for them, no matter if or how they are related, or how emotionally scarred they are after everything they have been through. “Sunshine and rainbows” they call it.

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    70. Masspsychosis,

      As a totally non-post-related aside, I always wondered why anyone uses the phrase “sunshine and rainbows,” given that rainbows can’t happen in the absence of rain (or at the very least, heavy moisture). I much prefer “unicorns and rainbows”!

      Seriously, though: I’ll be pissed as hell if either Jon or Sandor dies, for the simple reason that an insane amount of time and plot has been devoted to their respective journeys through life and back from the dead/almost-dead. Beric I could understand, given that so many pieces of him are gone that he’s ready to cross over for the last time. But Jon… no. Just no.

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    71. Flayed Potatoes,

      In what scenarios does Jon have to die ? Going by the show only, I haven’t seen anything that presages his death. I’m 80% sure “the Prince that was Promised” story is about him.

      I’ve got a Grand Tinfoil Theory with a shelf life of about 2 1/2 months. (It’ll probably be obliterated in the first episode of Season 7. I was going to try to lay it out in the Forum section and then disappear while it gets ripped apart – but the Forum Section is closed for repairs.)

      Anyway, one aspect of my crackpot supposition is that the PTWP and Azor Ahai (“Warrior of Light” in the show, per Melisandre ) are two different people.

      Please bear with me for a moment….
      As an illustrative hypothetical, consider the movie “Braveheart” – a glorified version of events and heroes from the 1300s. The story involved William Wallace, a legendary Scottish freedom fighter, and Robert the Bruce, the prince he implored to “unite the clans” of Scotland to fight the English King.

      Let’s imagine the actual events took place about 1,000 years earlier, or alternatively, that “prophets” living 1,000 years earlier foresaw some glimpses of the future.

      I’d suggest that over the span of 1,700 years. (300 A.D. – 2000), legends would start to conflate the warrior with the prince, or combine them into one mythic hero.

      And that is what I suspect is going on with the so-called “prophecies” on GoT.

      There’s Jon Snow, the Prince who will unite all of the “squabbling houses.” And there’s the other guy, the warrior with the flaming sword.

      (*takes off tinfoil fedora*)
      ?

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    72. Ten Bears:one aspect of my crackpot supposition is that the PTWP and Azor Ahai (“Warrior of Light” in the show, per Melisandre ) are two different people…

      There’s Jon Snow, the Prince who will unite all of the “squabbling houses.” And there’s the other guy, the warrior with the flaming sword.

      I find that entirely plausible, not at all tinfoily. Do you have a preferred hypothesis about who the “other guy” is most likely to be?

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    73. The “warrior with the flaming sword” turning out to be Jaime Lannister would be a nice twist, as well as a huge surprise to Jaime himself.

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    74. Ten Bears,

      PS. The neat twist is that the charscter who fits all of the requirements for the warrior who’ll help save humanity, is a self-professed misanthrope.

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    75. Firannion,

      Well let’s see: a bona fide conduit of the Lord of Light (not from the “let.’s burn people to purify them” sects), and a spiritual priest of the Seven both designated the same guy in virtually identical words.

      Problem is, he’s my second-favorite charscter so I’ve got to concede I may be susceptible to confirmation bias.

      It’s Sandor.

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    76. Ten Bears,

      I’d like to read more of your theory when the forums are repaired. Make sure you link us 🙂 . I think you have a point about these figures being different people. To me this seems like a second Age of Heroes and there are different characters who embody figures such as AA, PTWP, Last Hero etc. and the songs that will appear centuries later will speak of how they saved humanity and attribute all sorts of legends to them and names. Yet we, the readers, will know who they actually were and most of these heroes were just ordinary people stuck stuck in exceptional circumstances who tried to help others. Like the legends surrounding Brandon the Builder for example.

      To answer your question: I see a lot of scenarios where people think Jon will sacrifice himself (no idea why) or where he’ll become the new NK (because reasons) or where he’ll simply die in battle (because muh tropes I guess).

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    77. elybe: There’s nothing exceptional about a baby that’s genetically 3/4 Targ and 1/4 Stark when one of the parents is already equal parts both. It only works thematically, and it undermines the significance of Jon’s parentage, which is one of the few aspects of Jon’s story that D&D have emphasized rather than diminished

      Given the nature of this story, it would be a really bad copout if “genetics” meant anything that had not already been introduced. The show & books introduced immediately that Valyrians had an affinity with dragons, and that some of them might be a bit more tolerant of heat than most people. Anything of that nature should have been introduced at the outset.

      There were (and still are in the “the books will be completely different from the show” section of fandom) who predict[ed] that Jon would be granted special warging powers because he’s half Stark and half Targaryen. That would have been the same sort of arbitrary “Deus ex Machina” plot device. Although this sort of thing is common in epic fantasy, so far both the show and the books have avoided this type of thing assiduously. I would expect that to continue.

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    78. Flayed Potatoes,

      Well, I can foresee Jon willingly turning himself into a Half-Wight like Benjen, if he feels it’s necessary.

      And yes, I’ll link my unabridged Grand tinfoil theory once the Forums are back up.

      There are other wacked out parts to it, but I do try to back them up with stuff on the show.

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    79. Flayed Potatoes,

      As we’ve seen on the show, even in the course of one generation “ordinarily” people and straightforward facts can start to be transformed into legend.

      Along those lines, I pulled the following except from “Braveheart” where William Wallace addresses assembled troops:

      William Wallace: “Sons of Scotland! I am William Wallace.”

      Young Soldier: “William Wallace is seven feet tall!”

      WW: “Yes. I have heard. Kills men by the hundreds. And if HE were here, he’d consume the English with fireballs from his eyes, and bolts of lightning from his arse.”

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    80. Ten Bears,

      I’ve thought the same thing sometimes, so I don’t think it’s that tinfoily. I might suffer from the same bias (OK, I do suffer from the same bias), but Sandor’s near-death, survival, and reëmergence after an extended period spent with a religious figure are certainly indicative of (pardon the cliché) great things in store.

      Since the show is now ahead of the books (and Book!Sandor’s story has been modified and compressed, although the essence of his character remains the same), book readers still haven’t seen if/how Sandor and the Brotherhood are going to meet. But if his is one of the stories that will be critical to the endgame (and imho it is), GRRM presumably told D&D exactly how to proceed with the adaptation.

      And of course, it would be just like GRRM to give us, in the end, not a deeply idealistic hero whose few mistakes were made because of naïveté (e.g., Jon and Dany), but a far more complex hero fully cognizant of, and haunted by, the evil deeds he committed in a past life.

      Mind you, they’ll all be heroes, but usually, only the deeply idealistic ones get to do things like wield flaming swords and whatnot.

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    81. Flayed Potatoes: To answer your question: I see a lot of scenarios where people think Jon will sacrifice himself (no idea why) or where he’ll become the new NK (because reasons) or where he’ll simply die in battle (because muh tropes I guess).

      When trying to predict the final fate of any protagonist, the first question we should ask is: does it fit in with the story? An important part of this sort of story is the consequence(s) of unpalatable options. To that end, the story will work best if most or even all of the protagonists survive, but leaving us (the audience) understanding that it’s a “not-entirely-happily-ever-after” scenario. To an extent, the post-rebellion lives of Robert and Ned probably foreshadow Jon’s and Daeny’s (and Tyrion’s, etc.) fates: they’ll get part of what they want but at the cost of wondering what could have been.

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    82. Ten Bears,

      I refuse to watch “Braveheart” again until they CGI a bridge, as well as the River Forth, in the Battle of Stirling Bridge scene. 😉

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    83. Wimsey,

      I always envisioned Jon’s parentage reveal as either being a tipping point when it came to recruiting the realm to join the real war or something that eventually cemented his position as one of the leaders in the new Westeros that emerges afterwards. Although should there be any supernatural element to it, I’m sure it’ll be something that’s already part of the show’s magical catalog. Like how a red priestess who performs blood magic immediately zeroed in on Jon when she got to the Wall, or how resurrection was established several seasons in advance and it’s been repeated by both Beric and Mel that the Lord of Light doesn’t bring back just anyone. Whatever the significance, I’m sure it’ll make sense within what’s already been established on the show.

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    84. Catspaw Assassin:
      Ten Bears,

      I refuse to watch “Braveheart” again until they CGI a bridge, as well as the River Forth, in the Battle of Stirling Bridge scene.

      I refuse to watch Braveheart again until they introduce some accurate history into it – or at least CGI out the most egregiously wrong bits, like having Robert the Bruce (an even bigger patriotic hero to the Scots than Wallace) betray his own side (at a battle that he wasn’t even at).

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    85. Catspaw Assassin,

      I’m not sure if you mean this jokingly or not, but I keep wondering (and I really don’t spend time lurking around ASoIaF forums, other than this one) if Dawn will actually be Lightbringer (I mean, dawn brings the light, duh). We know that after Arthur Dayne’s death, Ned returned Dawn to Ashara Dayne, Arthur’s sister, at Starfall; Ashara subsequently plunged to her death for unknown reasons, most likely grief over Arthur’s death. Sooo… Who’s at Starfall? Anyone? If yes, with whom did Ned leave the sword? If no, what did he do with it?

      I know Wimsey and others would say that the Nissa Nissa gun hasn’t been hung yet in the TV adaptation, but Azor Ahai has been. In similar fashion, only the first two parts of Maggy the Witch’s prophecy were shown, not the third part concerning the valonqar. To me, there are two possible explanations for these omissions: 1) because they’re ultimately not important and will be omitted from the adaptation, or 2) because they are important and D&D wanted to spring a couple of surprises on non-book-reading viewers.

      So, following on Ten Bears’ theory that Sandor might be Azor Ahai, a most terrible thing (and this is where I start getting tinfoily) might be if Arya is fatally wounded while fighting the WW, and Sandor grants her the mercy she refused to grant him far earlier in the story. And who does Sandor love more than Arya? After all, the truest love need not be romantic; I would argue there’s no one Jon loves more than Arya either.

      Crap. I’m thinking this shite up sober. Maybe I need to start drinking.

        Quote  Reply

    86. P.S.: And then, of course, there’s Jaime’s epic dream about pretty much everything, including himself and Brienne wielding flaming swords, the night before he returned to Harrenhal to rescue her. Another omission from the TV adaptation that may or may not mean something in the endgame.

        Quote  Reply

    87. Firannion,

      Also why couldn’t they find an actual Scottish actor to play Wallace,no offense to Mel Gibson he’s a great actor and director but i don’t buy an Australian guy as a Scottish hero,i just don’t .

        Quote  Reply

    88. Genghis Khan,

      There are plenty of Scottish Actors that both star in American and British movies so I wouldn’t say they didn’t have anyone to choose from because they most certainly did, a lot of the really good ones are around his age as well.
      I’m not too sure I’d consider Mel Gibson Australian though as he was born in America and didn’t move to Australia until he was 12, his mother’s side is Irish as well I believe, he also isn’t a Australian Citizen but has a dual Irish and American citizenship.

        Quote  Reply

    89. Sansa’s Knight: It’s the 1st of May in Australia … I smell a trailer on the horizon

      I smell the antifa burning cars… as far as a trailer release is concerned, I like your enthousiasm, but if they do it like last year, then we’ll be waiting another three to four weeks.

      Flayed Potatoes: why, in all these scenarios, Jon has to die. We’ve spent thousands of pages seeing him being built as a leader

      Yes. And this will probably pay off when he works to unite the realm (or at least part of it) to fight the WW and is succesful in defeating them in some way. So, I don’t see why this could not mean sacrifice himself, although personally, I think this could go either way, with Dany being the other saviour/self-sacrifying for the good of the realm candidate.

      My conviction is that at least one of the Big Five will die in the end in a very tragical manner. Arya having to kill Jon, Jon having to kill Arya, Jon having to kill Dany or Bran etc. or either of those having to make a decision which will benefit the survival of Westeros but will be to the detriment of the other character(s). I don’t know how it will happen exactly (obviously), but I’m sure the last twist will be a tragic one.

      The Jon-Arya-relationship is too good to not use for some heavy drama that will break the hearts of the fandom.

      Ten Bears: “hey, let’s rape Sansa!” deviation. There’s really no reason, other than to stoke the interest of the “tits and dragons” crowd, to portray unnecessary sex scenes, especially with younger characters.

      I don’t really understand what you are saying here. Are you insinuating that the rape scene was there to titillate those parts of the fandom who tune in for the tits (if those fans even exist)? That’s quite an accusation. The rape scene was not filmed as a titillating sex scene, obviously, because everyone involved in making this show is NOT utterly insane!

        Quote  Reply

    90. Vally,

      Sorry I’m not convinced and I don’t know if you got what I meant. Jon heritage, having to kill him off and revive him just to get him out of his vows, him learning how to lead and building/rebuilding has nothing to do with sacrificing himself during the battle. If anything, a sacrifice or death in battle would make his entire arc pointless. I don’t understand the fixation on Jon being some sort of sacrificial lamb. If he had been some minor character with no POV, or a villain with a desire for redemption, it would make sense, but there’s too much buildup done in Jon’s storyline. And why would these characters have to kill each other? Jon and Arya would never kill each other because the story needs more drama.

        Quote  Reply

    91. Mr Derp,

      I fully agree with you. I REALLY CANT WAIT till season 7 starts. I am so excited and I actually have no idea whats going to happen this season. But at the same time, the sooner it comes, the sooner it goes, and alas, we are only left with one more season.

      In regards to a trailer, I don’t really want to see it to keep the element of surprise even stronger than ever. So the later it comes, the better. Haha.

      And finally, I just started my rewatch of the previous six seasons. Currently on season 1 episode 4.I cannot believe that I have rewatched this show so many times, but every time I do, I am drawn in like its the first time I watch.

      I kinda wanna skip seasons 1-3 because so much bad stuff happens to my Starks. 🙁 But I wont skip.

      I also thought about how each of the direwolves that have died, represent their characters very strongly. Greywind and Shaggydog were murdered just like how Robb and Rickon were. Summer sacrificed to save Bran, Bran is risking his life to save the world, and Lady dies because Sansa betrays her family. It makes me think if that betrayal is over or not… and if Sansa will die as a result of her betrayal.

      I had forgotten about Nymeria. I would love her to reunite with Arya. I actually think that we are not done with that.

      And then theres Ghost. And Jon. <3

      Just some Monday morning thoughts, at 7AM haha

        Quote  Reply

    92. Vally,

      No, no, no! I was NOT saying the Sansa rape scene was filmed for “titillation.”

      It was a bad, bad idea that looked even worse when put on film. It was revolting.

        Quote  Reply

    93. Wolfish,

      “It’s not too late for you, Clegane. You can still help a lot more than you’ve harmed.”

      “It’s never too late” to “start helping people.”

      Not verbatim quotes, but just one example of many virtually identical statements by Beric and Brother Ray, respectively.

        Quote  Reply

    94. Flayed Potatoes,

      Oh, I am not fixated on Jon, my money is still on Dany. The point is, I see both characters as Messiah archetypes. And it’s quite common for those characters to sacrifice themselves for some sort of greater good, in this case, for the survival of Westeros. How it will happen, I have no idea. But I am not talking about Jon dying sometime during a battle. That’s not intense enough. I am talking about him being involved in the last big twist somehow.

      And yes, I think the ending needs drama. The last twist should break fanhearts all over the globe and leave us devastated. In order to do that, it needs to involve people who have some sort of relationship we are heavily invested in. Arya having to kill Jon for some reason was just a random example of the intensity I expect. I know, it sounds weird, because I can’t give context, because I obviously don’t know the ending. Basically all I’m saying is, that I feel it will involve Jon, Dany, Arya and Bran, death/sacrifice, people having to do things they never thought they would have to do/people making horribly difficult decisions about life and death and it will be very very tragic. But Westeros will be saved, somejon will be King, people will have to live with the decisions they made etc. pp

        Quote  Reply

    95. Vally,

      I can’t imagine the backlash that’s going to happen if Dany dies after so many book pages and tv hours spent in Meereen on a leadership arc. What would be the point?

      The Messiah imagery seems stronger with Dany. Other than a throwaway sentence from Tormund, the show doesn’t push that angle so much for Jon. Either way, I think Bran is being overlooked here. In my opinion he will be crucial in order to defeat the WW because of his powers.

      Looking at the two twists GRRM has revealed to D&D, they both concern the fates of minor characters (Hodor, Shireen), so I’m not putting all my eggs in Jon or Arya’s basket. For all we know, the third twist could involve Jaime or Sam or maybe Tyrion (who is probably the most predictable and safe character at this point).

        Quote  Reply

    96. Mel,

      Well,my point still remains the same,he wasn’t Scottish but since he was also the director of the movie i guess it was a bit of vanity to put himself in the lead role .

        Quote  Reply

    97. Ten Bears,

      Trust me,it wasn’t even 10% as revolting as what happened in the book,i’m tired of the overreaction,plenty of people have been raped in the show,Dany included and it was far more graphic,sorry but i don’t get you . And if it revolved you,then they got exactly what they wanted,if you got the blu rays,watch the commentary of the season 5 episode 6 episode and Bryan Cogman,who is the writer of that episode will explain it much better .

        Quote  Reply

    98. Mel,

      The problem imo is that he’s playing a Scottish hero and an iconic figure in Scotland’s history, and in this situation a Scottish actor would have been a better fit for some viewers. Even a character actor who isn’t so recognizable would have been better. When I look at Gibson in Braveheart, I just see Mad Max in a kilt. I also personally find his look/face to be too modern for period drama/historical movies and it’s very distracting and I guess anachronistic. Strangely enough, I’m ok with Daniel Day Lewis playing Abraham Lincoln, but only because DDL is a character actor, his look fits period dramas and it’s easier to become immersed in the movie because I’m not distracted by the identity of the actor.

        Quote  Reply

    99. Flayed Potatoes: I can’t imagine the backlash that’s going to happen if Dany dies after so many book pages and tv hours spent in Meereen on a leadership arc. What would be the point?

      Daeny can die, but it has to be at the climax, and it has to be a sensible conclusion to her arc. If she dies before hand, then it basically throws away one of the two most important character arcs for the story. This is the same reason why Jon could not die last year: when so much of the story is created by a character arc, then that character has to be around at the conclusion.

      Of course, what happens at the conclusion is another story. That stated, I don’t see “death” as a sensible conclusion to the character arcs.

      Vally: Oh, I am not fixated on Jon, my money is still on Dany. The point is, I see both characters as Messiah archetypes.

      Neither are Messiah archetypes. Both are charismatic leaders, yes: but although people are quick to call charismatic leaders “messianic,” the vast majority are not. It is true that both have (or are going to have) fairly spectacular “return from the dead”: but that has more to do with character arcs requiring that both learn that working for a “greater good” can get you killed. A “messiah” type figure would have forgiven his or her would-be-killers: but Jon and Daeny both slaughter theirs. A messiah type figure would emerge from death or near-death stronger: but both Jon and Daeny are badly shaken, and basically need many months to bounce back, during which time they basically see themselves reduced in stature (Jon has the North slam their doors on him; Daeny is basically sent to a convent).

      Again, I think that we have to go back to the basic story. GRRM has emphasized that his stories are about internal conflict. The other important element common to all of the SoI&F stories is consequence: those “best of bad choices” have fallout with which the characters have to deal in subsequent stories. Obviously, at the conclusion, there will not be any more stories: but if we look to the outset of the tale, we see its foundations built on the consequences of the triumphs and failures of the prior generation (Ned, Robert, even Littlefinger): and how those consequences drove those people to create the basic plot for this set of stories. Given that outset, the “outro” (to borrow the musical term!) should be similar: and that means surviving unhappily-ever-after (or at least dissatisfied-ever-after) characters.

        Quote  Reply

    100. So, about this Braveheat hubbub….

      At first, Gibson only wanted to direct Braveheart. However, Paramount allowed Gibson to direct it only if he starred in it himself too. Gibson stated he did not want to play William Wallace because Gibson thought himself too old for the part, but once Paramount gave him the ultimatum, he chose to star in it.

      So, if that upsets you, then blame Paramount, not Mel Gibson.

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    101. Dee Stark: In regards to a trailer, I don’t really want to see it to keep the element of surprise even stronger than ever. So the later it comes, the better. Haha.

      Dee Stark,

      Well you have a hell of a lot more discipline than I do, that’s for sure. I don’t seek out leaks, but if I know they’re available and right in front of me, then I’ll indulge myself 9 times out of 10. I respect your ability to ignore the noise!

      Dee Stark: And finally, I just started my rewatch of the previous six seasons. Currently on season 1 episode 4.I cannot believe that I have rewatched this show so many times, but every time I do, I am drawn in like its the first time I watch.

      Dee Stark,

      You’re starting on my personal favorite season of GoT and one of my favorite episodes. The beginning of Season 4 Episode 1 when Tywin melts down Ice and the end of the same episode when Arya gets Needle back are two of my favorite scenes in the entire show! Enjoy! Well, I don’t need to tell you that, I know you will.

      Dee Stark: Just some Monday morning thoughts, at 7AM haha

      Dee Stark,

      Much more coherent than my Monday morning thoughts, thats for sure! 😉

        Quote  Reply

    102. Genghis Khan,

      Ten Bears,

      It was bad but I’ve seen and read a lot worse rape scenes from GRRM, Dany and that group rape scene in the former Craster’s house to me were worse in the show.
      If it was a rape scene conjured up from no where I would understand but it was a far worse rape scene in the books that happened just to a more minor character and D&D toned it down a lot and combined two characters like they tend to do quite often. Ramsay actually forced Theon to not only watch but he forced him to get involved as well so it was basically a threesome with only one person being willing which is why Jeyne and Theon bonded so much in the books after it. I wish it hadn’t happened of course, I hate all the rape scenes but I expected it would happen the minute LF talked of Sansa marrying Ramsay to me it was pretty obvious there would be no Tyion move.

        Quote  Reply

    103. Flayed Potatoes,

      That happens a lot though in all period drama, they always cast American or British actors. So when you see a roman empire with blondes clean shaven with a US accent your like what the hell couldn’t they have at least tried for a more European look but they barely ever do.

        Quote  Reply

    104. Mel,

      Oh pls pls pls lets not go there……Im having flashbacks of pages and pages of flaming posts where no other topic was allowed room to breath…..

      The last twist should break fanhearts all over the globe and leave us devastated.

      Why? With all the drama and death and destruction, does there really need to be something so devastating at the end? Not saying I want unicorns and rainbows, just something that makes the last 6 years worth having spent time watching

      Case in point – went to see Their Finest yesterday. Excellent movie, incredible acting, until one thing that happens in the blink of an eye that suddenly causes the movie to be rendered pointless. Both of us walked out angry at being manipulated, and sorry that such a splendid film had to end that way. I don’t want to feel that way after the end of GOT.

        Quote  Reply

    105. Flayed Potatoes,
      Bran is easily overlooked sadly. I do like his book chapters very much, apparently his arc is not easy to adapt to TV.

      He’ll definitely be a part of the endgame, yes. But he is not as much an emotional attachment figure as are Dany or Jon (in the show at least), so I think while his impact might be integral to the outcome, the emotional centre of the endgame would revolve around Dany, Jon (and maybe Arya and Tyrion).

      Wimsey: Neither are Messiah archetypes.

      Well, in my opinion they definitely are. It cannot be anymore obvious. Dany, as an Isis figure, constantly oscillates between the saviour and the destroyer seeing herself on a holy mission to bring freedom to the slaves (thusly enforcing with violence her own morals) and take back her homeland. Jon, as an Osiris figure, wants to do good by the people and is also on a mission to save Westeros from the WW. The “dark” aspect of the Messiah would be the punisher. So I don’t see any reason why he would not judge those who wronged him.

      Maybe we just have different notions of what constitutes a literary archetype.

      ash: just something that makes the last 6 years worth having spent time watching

      Well, I want it to be satisfying in a devastating way 🙂 Like the Hodor thing.

        Quote  Reply

    106. Reading thoughts about the climax got me thinking of something I hadn’t considered before. I don’t necessarily think it will happen, it just crossed my mind as a possibility, perhaps…

      I think most believe that the dragons will be necessary in balancing the sides between living and dead. Without them frying huge swaths of wights it seems near impossible for the living to stop the continuously building tidal wave of wights pouring over the land. What would happen if two or all of the dragons were to become “out of commission?” If that were to happen, and perhaps even if not, the only way to win appears to be with the destruction of the NK and his magic. With that I start to wonder how accessible he would be, especially with knowledge that the humans now have the means to destroy him.

      My (somewhat silly) thought is wondering if with Bran’s building powers he couldn’t get to the point of being able to “transport” Jon and maybe others TO the NK. We’ve already seen a couple of instances of physical interaction within his greenseer visions, one of which included the NK. If Jon and a few others were able to “teleport” where they could fight the NK and his generals without the wights interference the chances seem better for them…

      So yeah, maybe goofy thinking but thought I’d share it. 😛

        Quote  Reply

    107. Mr Derp,

      hahaa I know!!!

      No, I am on SEASON 1 episode 4 😉 hahaha

      But, season 4 is one of my faves. This is my order of seasons:

      Season 6
      Season 4
      Season 5
      Season 3
      Season 1
      Season 2

      With season 2 getting a rating of 10/10 😉 hahahaa

        Quote  Reply

    108. ash:
      Case in point – went to see Their Finest yesterday. Excellent movie, incredible acting, until one thing that happens in the blink of an eye that suddenly causes the movie to be rendered pointless. Both of us walked out angry at being manipulated, and sorry that such a splendid film had to end that way. I don’t want to feel that way after the end of GOT.

      Thanks for the warning. I felt that way when I saw Under the Skin (2013, with Scarlett Johansson), a film that polarized critics and audiences but that I absolutely loved… until the last two or three minutes. It was completely ruined for me. I told my daughter not to watch it.

        Quote  Reply

    109. Flayed Potatoes,

      Suffice it to say that imho the ending was 1) terribly clichéd in its depiction of violence, out of left field because it’s an alien movie, and 2) terribly unrealistic because it’s an alien movie. I just sat there stunned, saying to myself, “WTF??? No way in hell would he have had the presence to do that given what he just saw.”

      (Hope that doesn’t give too much away to people interested in watching it.)

        Quote  Reply

    110. Flayed Potatoes,

      Uuuuhhhmmm, I just tried to edit my response to you. Not only did the edit not go through, but now the user name on my original comment is “undefined.” The hell? I AM WOLFISH!

      (Oh, wait. There it goes, back to Wolfish. What’s happening with the Internets this Monday?)

      Anyway… I just wanted to add that the scenes between Scarlett Johansson and Adam Pearson were handled in a really intelligent and sensitive way, and were one of many things that impressed me before the film (imho) went awry in its closing act.

        Quote  Reply

    111. Mr Derp,

      Last segment of 4×1, “Two Swords” – from “When am I going to get my own horse?” to the Hound (munching chicken) and Arya (with Needle) riding off – is the frontrunner for Best Scene of GoT to date (in my book).

        Quote  Reply

    112. Ten Bears:
      Mr Derp,

      Last segment of 4×1, “Two Swords” – from “When am I going to get my own horse?” to the Hound (munching chicken) and Arya (with Needle) riding off – is the frontrunner for Best Scene of GoT to date (in my book).

      I agree that it was great. Not just the fact that she got the horse she’d asked about earlier but the stunning shot with the fog and smoke, the music, and the fantastic look of achievement on Arya’s face. 🙂
      https://youtu.be/jwQAZ7_SjgU?t=563

        Quote  Reply

    113. Mel,

      Well to be fair,the Romans were known for having their beards shaven,they considered beards to be barbaric .

        Quote  Reply

    114. Firannion,

      “I refuse to watch Braveheart again until they introduce some accurate history into it”

      Are you telling me Wallace running around the Highlands in a tank top was not historically accurate? 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    115. Since we’re playing “name your favorite scene” (or at least I am), here’s another one:

      End of Season 1, Episode 3, ‘Lord Snow’ when Arya meets Syrio Forel. Might be my favorite scene of the 1st season. Well that, and when Daenerys gives birth to her dragons.

      …and Viserys’ “golden crown”….damn, just too many!

        Quote  Reply

    116. ramses: ramses
      May 1, 2017 at 3:45 pm
      Firannion,

      “I refuse to watch Braveheart again until they introduce some accurate history into it”

      Are you telling me Wallace running around the Highlands in a tank top was not historically accurate?

      ramses,

      I read somewhere that Braveheart 2 is a distinct possibility. The movie is supposedly going to center around Robert the Bruce. I’m not kidding btw.

      LOL….if the studio executives have anything to say about it, you can kiss any remnants of historical accuracy goodbye. Who knows, maybe they’ll have Robert the Bruce and Helen of Troy hook up just……well, just because.

        Quote  Reply

    117. Wolfish,

      Please start drinking. ????

      No way Arya kills Jon. No way Sandor gives a gravely wounded Arya “mercy.” There would be rioting in the streets, and angry mobs with pitchforks. Damon Lindelof would dance with karmic glee as the world condemns GoT for “pulling a Lost.”

      (*takes long swig of vodka*)

      Most likely (didn’t we concur on this ?) Sandor goes out in a literal blaze of glory, overcoming his fear of fire to save Arya.

        Quote  Reply

    118. Mr Derp,

      “maybe they’ll have Robert the Bruce and Helen of Troy hook up just……well, just because.”

      Because it would bring the might of Greece up against Hadrian’s Wall!
      Obviously the children of the forest will have had a hand in building the wall.

        Quote  Reply

    119. Mr Derp,

      I know, right ? Just too many great scenes. Syrio meeting Arya is right up there. “Just so…”

      For some reason, I always get a kick out of Tyrion turning the tables on smug Lancel; the Hound and Arya with the pig merchant; Tyrion & Slynt; anything in Hardhome; “Nymeria…Gloves!” > “…I’ve got a needle of my own”; and Ygritte “Oh! A spider! Save me Jon Snow! My dress is made og the finest silk from Tralalalalaaday.”

      I’d better stop. I could go on and on.

        Quote  Reply

    120. Ten Bears: For some reason, I always get a kick out of Tyrion turning the tables on smug Lancel;

      Ten Bears,

      Ah yes, the first time Lancel encounters wildfire was much less consequential than his last!

      Ten Bears: the Hound and Arya with the pig merchant

      Ten Bears,

      That’s the “fair exchange” guy, right? The one with the belly wound? I like that scene too…unless you’re talking about the guy with the broken axl? Yup, enjoyed Arya knocking his block off to keep him alive too!

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    121. Couldn’t type more, otherwise my comment would go under moderation again, which has been happening a lot today for whatever reason.

        Quote  Reply

    122. Mr Derp,

      Pig merchant = guy with broken wheel on cart. Sandor helps him fix the wheel, then whallops him, knocking him out. Sandor then pulls out his knife, but Arya begs him: “Don’t kill him! Please, don’t kill him!”
      You know the rest. But what I didn’t catch the first time around is Sandor’s double-take at the end, after Arya clocks the unconscious guy as he’s coming to.

        Quote  Reply

    123. Genghis Khan,

      I knew that under Roman law, prostitutes (famously) had to dye their hair blonde; I had no idea about beards being considered barbaric. Of course, this led me down an Internet rabbit-hole (because whiskey), and I found the following gem:

      “Most wigs in antiquity were made of human hair and fashioned with a level of beauty and craftsmanship largely unobtainable today. … Although no Roman wigs have survived, evidence from pharaonic Egypt attests to the high quality of ancient hairpieces. The blond hair of Germans and jet black of Indians was preferred for artificial attachments, but it is unclear whether their desirability stemmed from their color or texture. While black Indian hair, documented in a late source, was no doubt obtained through trade, the blond hair of Germans was one of the spoils of war, at least in the early Imperial period. Both Ovid and Martial refer to ‘captured hair’ (captivos crimes), making an explicit link between the commodification of hair and Roman power.

      “Notwithstanding its implications of Roman conquest, a blond braid interwoven into the dark tresses of a Mediterranean crown presumably announced the fictive nature of the coiffure rather emphatically.”

      Elizabeth Bartman, “Hair and the Artifice of Roman Female Adornment,” American Journal of Archaeology 105, no. 1 (2001): 1-25.

      Really? That skunk hairdo I associate with rhinestones on jeans, fake tans, and blowing chewing-gum bubbles long past the age of five has been around for TWO. THOUSAND. YEARS?

      (refills whiskey)

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    124. Ten Bears:

      Wolfish,
      No way Arya kills Jon. No way Sandor gives a gravely wounded Arya “mercy.” There would be rioting in the streets, and angry mobs with pitchforks. Damon Lindelof would dance with karmic glee as the world condemns GoT for “pulling a Lost.”

      (*takes long swig of vodka*)

      Most likely (didn’t we concur on this?) Sandor goes out in a literal blaze of glory, overcoming his fear of fire to save Arya.

      I wrote nothing about Arya and Jon. No, no, no, no, no… those were not my thoughts. That was Vally. Bad Vally!

      You’re correct on my actual thoughts, though: There would probably be rioting in the streets. I was just thinking along the lines of bittersweet endings, and poetry, and story arcs making full 360-degree turns, and so on.

      No vodka, thank you. I have many bad associations with vodka. But that’s enough about my grandmother. Suffice it to say, I’ll stick to cachaça and caipirinhas, my favorite cocktails… not only because they’re the first ones I ever tried, but because how can one go wrong with limes and sugar?

      I digress.

      Ehrm, we have not concurred on “Sandor [going] out in a literal blaze of glory.” You and someone else must have concurred on that. The idea of my beloved Hound starring in a remake of a Bon Jovi video is not something I relish. I mean, he’s already saved that stubborn, vindictive, recalcitrant girl’s life at least twice. Really, isn’t that enough? I’ll be exceedingly vexed (OK, I’ll go on an epic drinking binge the likes of which would shame F. Scott Fitzgerald) if his manner of death is nothing more than proof that yes, fire really is something to be scared sh–less of.

      /end rant

        Quote  Reply

    125. Wolfish: under Roman law, prostitutes (famously) had to dye their hair blonde;

      News to me as well – though I have heard that the song ‘Greensleeves’ is not meant to be a slow, lugubrious ballad, but a rollicking, uptempo love song to a prostitute, as such were legal but had to identify themselves by wearing green sleeves in Good King Henry’s day.

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    126. Firannion,

      …aannnddd back into the Internet rabbit-hole I go!!!

      Your comment reminded me of the stark differences between how we view ancient statuary and how the ancients themselves would have viewed it, before the bright paint was worn off. The aesthetic is radically different, and having been adopted by the Renaissance greats (including my first obsession and enduring love, Michelangelo) before they “knew better,” has greatly shaped our views of ancient Greece and Rome as—how can I phrase this?—all-too-perfectly beautiful, colorless, frigid, inhuman. In reality, Greek and Roman statuary reflected Greek and Roman deities: lusty, jealous, full of life, full of color (literally)… and most of all, unmistakably human.

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    127. L
      Wolfish,

      I am so sorry I erroneously attributed to you that Arya death speculation.

      My excuse (if I may borrow and adapt your second classic tag line):

      Because vodka. ???*

      * I’m really feeling it this morning. ? Got a coffee IV drip going.

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    128. Wolfish,

      Same apology re: Sandor going out in a blaze of glory…

      [“Because whiskey”… ? I like that. I’ll be sure to footnote you when I use it.]

        Quote  Reply

    129. Wolfish: I know Wimsey and others would say that the Nissa Nissa gun hasn’t been hung yet in the TV adaptation, but Azor Ahai has been.

      The Nissa Nissa gun could well be hung yet. That fable probably holds the key to the making of Valyrian steel, and that could become important. There could be parallels between that story and what will happen in this one, which means that it could be introduced as foreshadowing, or to set up some possibility that the main characters must consider.

      Although the Prince that was Promised has been hung, it needs to be hung again. It will have been over a year since last it was mentioned, and although it got a small firing last year with Jon’s ascendancy, people will have long since have forgotten the gun for the shot. (And, no, this does not mean that they are “stupid” or have bad memories: people who are not hardcore fans simply have much better things on which to spend their precious memory than trivial details of a TV show; besides, “Promised Ones” are such a common trope in this general genre that they become as easy to overlook as individual swords.)

      As for who it will be, our choices really are restricted to the “Big Five.” They are the ones who’s character trajectories really have been emphasized since the start of the series in both media. (Sansa falls by the wayside given the books: her dynamic development is much more muted than Jon’s, Daeny’s, Tyrion’s, Bran’s or Arya’s, and Sansa is effectively absent from the “Middle” Crows/Dragons story in the books.) Clegane is right out: he’s not even a minor protagonist. He will have some small plot-role, no doubt, but the “weight of the world” is going to fall on Jon, Daeny, Tyrion, Bran & Arya.

      As for there actually being a Nissa Nissa this time around, I would not count on it. This is fundamentally a political story: and thus the resolution to the Walkers will be political. (Yes, war is a type of politics, but a clumsy one.) Moreover, one common aspect of political stories is coming to grips with the fact that “national myths” are based on falsehoods. If we learn more about Nissa Nissa, then I am betting that a big part of it will be to learn that the story everyone thinks that they know is very different (or carries very different implications) than what actually happened.

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    130. Wimsey,

      You are right, not only has GRRM said multiple times that prophecies shouldn’t be taken so literally but he has also written characters talking about how prophecies shouldn’t always be believed and people who try and force them, people like Rhaegar and Stannis it leads to their downfall.
      There is also a chance it’s a bit like Chinese Whispers a story keeps getting passed down and it changes over time, ending up completely different from how it began.
      I don’t think whatever they decide is gonna be simply following a prophecy, I think they are gonna have to be a lot more proactive then that in deciding what to do and it’s gonna be more than one person who makes that decision.

        Quote  Reply

    131. Not much has been said about Tyrion being TPWWP*. Last night I was half asleep when I though of that scene when Tyrion and Varys are traveling – he’s up sitting on a roof listening this red priestess talk, when suddenly their eyes lock and she gives him a very strong look. Could she be seeing something others haven’t seen so far? It would make a wonderful ironic dig at Tywin……

      *yes I know everyone says ‘that’, but it bugs me coz its supposed to be ‘who’. A trait I share with Stannis, it seems. (and just so you all do not take this seriously I write this with tongue firmly placed in cheek)

        Quote  Reply

    132. Wimsey,

      But like we’ve discussed, these “prophecied” figures are likely based on a small kernel of truth, but the rest is embellishment, revision and “poetic license.”

      Like I’ve said, the “Nissa Nissa” story could easily have originated with a housewife tripping on her shoelace and accidentally impaling herself on a garden tool; or a binge-drinking husband stabbing his wife during a blackout.

      Just as with Ned Stark’s legendary “defeat” of Arthur Dayne in single combat, who knows what really happened and if the truth can ever be ascertained ?

      As for the PTWP: the show is certainly pointing to Jon Snow.
      But for now, i.e. the next ten weeks, I maintain that Azor Ahai (“Warrior of Light” on the show) is a second guy. ?

        Quote  Reply

    133. ash,

      Ahh! How I miss Stannis, the Grammar Nazi Who Cared.

      If he were around, he could explicate the [Book-only] Valanqar prophecy and confirm or deny that there are only two viable candidates: Tyrion Lannister and Sandor Clegane.*

      * My updated Vegas odds, as of 5/1/17:

      Tyrion 2:1
      Sandor 3:1
      Jaime 4:1
      Euron 10:1

      (And before someone pipes in with a response, “Hey Ten Bears: You think the answer to everything is The Hound”, I confess I am swayed by confirmation bias. And Hot Pie.)

        Quote  Reply

    134. Mel,

      “Chinese Whispers”: I assume that’s equivalent to what I’ve been calling the game of “Telephone”: children in a circle whisper a sentence to the person next to him or her, who in turn whispers it to the next child, and so on…and by the time the last child says what he/she has heard, it’s nothing like the original sentence.

      I never heard of “Chinese Whispers”, but I like it better.

        Quote  Reply

    135. Wolfish,

      I really feel bad that I caused you to refute what I mistakenly attributed to you. Because vodka.*

      Still, do you really view Arya as a
      “stubborn, vindictive, recalcitrant” girl?

      * Footnote: Filched from your line “Because whiskey.”

        Quote  Reply

    136. Back to Ellie Kendrick and Meera:
      Assuming Bran makes it to Castle Black, and from there, to Winterfell, I wonder what Meera’s function will be. It’d suck if she’s relegated to his “traveling companion.”

      I really do hope Meera gets to take Bran to Greywater Watch to meet her dad Howland. Not just for some long-awaited reveals, but because the Special Effects/CGI crews could do an amazing job with depicting camouflaged floating islands in marshlands – sort of like Venice, but with constantly shifting islets and structures. (Just from the general descriptions about the Reeds’ home I’ve read here on WoW, I’ve thought it’d be a cool place to depict on screen.)

      If they do this, I’d be intrigued who they choose to cast as Howland Reed, after we already saw his younger self, albeit briefly, at the ToJ flashback.

        Quote  Reply

    137. Ten Bears,

      Yes that’s exactly it, I had no idea Telephone was another name for it. We call it Chinese Whispers in Australia one of the reasons it’s called that is because in the 17th century Europeans had trouble with the Chinese language when they were first introduced to them, so they translated things wrong because of their lack of understanding how different their culture and worldview was.

        Quote  Reply

    138. Wimsey:
      As for there actually being a Nissa Nissa this time around, I would not count on it. This is fundamentally a political story: and thus the resolution to the Walkers will be political.(Yes, war is a type of politics, but a clumsy one.) Moreover, one common aspect of political stories is coming to grips with the fact that “national myths” are based on falsehoods. If we learn more about Nissa Nissa, then I am betting that a big part of it will be to learn that the story everyone thinks that they know is very different (or carries very different implications) than what actually happened.

      While I agree with most of your analysis, I have trouble with the idea that “the resolution to the Walkers will be political.” Imho it will be mostly political, but not entirely; and the fact that the (presumably fictional) creation story of Azor Ahai’s sword parallels the (nonfiction) creation story of the White Walkers indicates to me that some sort of similar “equalizing” power will ultimately be needed to defeat them.

      I certainly look forward to finding out… 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    139. Ten Bears,

      LOL! I use “because whiskey” IRL too. 😉

      As for Arya… Yes, I do really view her as “stubborn, vindictive, and recalcitrant” when it comes to Sandor. As you quoted earlier in this very conversation, way back in S1 she already understood (and told Sansa) that he had killed Mycah because Joffrey ordered him to; yet, long after he stopped following Joffrey’s orders, she continued to absolutely hate him for it without thinking about what disobeying Joffrey would have cost him. Her father had already tried to explain to her what disobedience to Joffrey would have cost Sansa; she could have extended that argument to Sandor (or anyone else beholden to Joffrey), but chose not to.

      I totally understand that Arya had ample reason to hate Sandor; he killed her friend. But he repeatedly demonstrated that he is neither a psychopath like his brother nor a sociopath like Joffrey; in fact, I very much doubt he would have killed Mycah had he been present and witnessed firsthand what occurred. (Of course, Joffrey never would have allowed anyone to witness such an incident, so there’s that.) Later on, she also hates him for failing to save her mother and brother (this is much more clear in the books than on the show), which is batshit crazy; not only were they already dead, there’s no way Sandor could have taken on the entire Frey army even if they hadn’t been. And there was that whole bit where he went back for her after she’d run away and saved her life.

      I think Arya’s insistence on hating the Hound (or at least trying to convince herself that she still hates him) is meant to 1) show us how an immature mind (in her case, a literal child’s mind) steadfastly refuses to see logic, reason, or nuance in the face of all evidence contrary to one’s beliefs and 2) show us the pitfalls of seeing the world in black-and-white, which was, of course, her beloved father’s greatest failing. Poor, honorable, dead Ned.

      I love the irony that, when Arya finally, consciously begins to see the world as it truly is, in many, many shades of gray, it’s… at the House of Black and White.

      Must get ready for work now! Didn’t mean to write an essay.

      (because coffee)

        Quote  Reply

    140. Wolfish,

      “Because coffee”.. Ha! ?

      As for your comments about Arya, you reminded me of a seeming contradiction that’s always perplexed me:

      In the dialog I’d quoted from S1e3(?), Arya expressly recognizes that the Hound was just following orders, and it was really Joffrey who killed Mycah.
      (As Wimsey has pointed out, the “Nuremberg defense” of “I was just following orders” is not only condoned but commended in the MartinVerse.)

      Yet, in the BwB cave in S3, Arya turns around and charges Sandor with murder for killing Mycah. (Good old brutally honest Sandor readily admitted killing Mycah, but said he was told Mycah attacked Joffrey and it wasn’t his “place to question princes.”)

      Obviously, the Lord of Light accepted Sandor’s Nuremberg Defense and declared him not guilty.

      However, I still can’t reconcile Arya’s two different assessments of Sandor’s culpability. Unless the second scene in the cave was primarily for the purpose of setting up Sandor’s encounter with a flaming sword, and the first pronouncement that the god or gods aren’t done with Sandor Clegane yet and still have plans for him. Brother Ray would say pretty much the same thing in S6e7, after recounting how he had come upon Sandor’s apparently lifeless corpse, only to be stunned when he heard him cough.

      Darn it. My reply was supposed to be about Arya’s inconsistent statements, but I wandered off into my tinfoil Sandor Ahai theory again …

        Quote  Reply

    141. Wolfish,

      Oh, I also meant to say: GREAT, cogent commentary that

      “I love the irony that, when Arya finally, consciously begins to see the world as it truly is, in many, many shades of gray, it’s… at the House of Black and White.”

      I may have to pilfer that too! ?

      It’s a perfect description of Arya’s eventual admission, upon interrogation of “A Girl” by the Waif in S6, that Sandor was not on Arya Stark’s List anymore. (This followed S5’s scene in which Jaqen 2.0 thwacked her for lying to him, to the Many-Faced God…and to herself for insisting she hated Sandor).

      In the S6 scene [paraphrasing]: The Waif asked “Didn’t she (Arya Stark) want him dead anymore?”

      A: She did….And she did not.

      Waif: She sounds confused.

      A: Yes….She was.

      As you noted, Arya’s recognition that everything in the world isn’t always black and white….dawned on her in The House of Black and White.

      F–king brilliant!
      Maybe you should consider writing more essays when you’re rushing to get ready for work! Or…. because coffee? ☕️

        Quote  Reply

    142. Ten Bears,

      I wondered about that briefly, and then decided it was pretty simple: Arya held Sandor completely responsible for his own actions regardless of whether or not he was under orders. The Nuremberg defense holds that a person cannot be held responsible for his actions if they were ordered by a superior; essentially, he can say “I had no choice” and be absolved of guilt. The counter-argument to that is that one always has a choice, even if that choice is death. This is Arya’s worldview, so she held Sandor responsible for killing Mycah in the same way that she held Sansa responsible for lying.

        Quote  Reply

    143. Ten Bears,

      Whythankyou. Thankyouvurrrymuuuch.

      /Elvis voice

      The brilliance is truly D&D’s, of course. I do appreciate how they handled Arya’s changing perception of the world, which is somewhat different from how GRRM handled it in the book; however, imo the book’s narrative is too nuanced, too dependent on internal dialogue, for it to have been effectively adapted for the screen. For viewing purposes, delaying Arya’s transition—which is actually intellectual, psychological, and emotional—to the House of Black and White makes for an equally powerful (albeit slightly different) narrative.

      ***BOOK COMPARISONS AHEAD***
      ***PROCEED WITH CAUTION***

      As I’m sure you gathered many moons ago from commentary here, Sandor is much harsher (and more badly scarred) in the books, although D&D have not changed the essence of his character. I’m also sure you know there was no fight with Brienne in the books; at the time that Arya abandons him, he’s dying from an infected wound suffered during a skirmish with some of Gregor’s men and weakened by the heavy drinking he’s been doing for months on the road.

      Addressing just the things you mentioned in your post…

      1. The night before she abandons him, Arya forgets to say “the Hound” when she recites her list. She belatedly realizes this, and in her confusion backtracks and tells herself that maybe he’ll be dead by the next day. Subconsciously, she’s already forgiving him; but like any person who sees the world in, um, black and white, she fights it.

      2. When she does abandon him, she has clearly tried to steel herself to keep hating him; of course, it doesn’t help that in his desperation he tries to goad her into killing him by saying some pretty horrendous things (the one I remember best is something along the lines of “I should have raped your sister and cut out her heart, instead of leaving her for the dwarf”). She refuses to grant him mercy and rides away without looking back, but even then the reader knows that, deep down, she doesn’t really want him dead. And what does a deeply conflicted person do in a situation that’s not, um, black and white? Runs away.

      3. On the ship to Braavos, leaning over and looking out to sea while deeply lost in thought, Arya tells herself she should have given the Hound mercy. And the context and wording of the passage make it crystal-clear (without hitting the reader over the head with it) that the thought has not come to her from a place of hatred, or desire to see him dead; it has truly come from the wish that she had alleviated his suffering. For me, this was the moment when Arya truly shifted.

      Again: I don’t think these things could have been done very well on screen. There’s too much subtlety and introspection.

      ***END BOOK COMPARISONS***

      So, looking ahead to S7, I really, really hope Gendry materializes before Sandor & Co. show up at Winterfell, otherwise it’ll be awkward af for Arya to tell Beric and Thoros, “Nah, I took him off my kill list… but you two? You two are toast. Direwolf-shaped toast. HOT PIE!!! Can you help me with this?”

        Quote  Reply

    144. ash: Case in point – went to see Their Finest yesterday. Excellent movie, incredible acting, until one thing that happens in the blink of an eye that suddenly causes the movie to be rendered pointless. Both of us walked out angry at being manipulated, and sorry that such a splendid film had to end that way.

      I just saw it last night and loved it, ending and all. What was the incident that you found so objectionable? A certain character’s death? It was the Blitz; people were dying suddenly all the time. And who lives and who dies in wartime has little or nothing to do with what they deserve.

      I don’t see how that occurrence made the movie pointless at all. To me its primary point was not the romantic subplot, but an examination (long overdue) of how profoundly the labor shortage in WWII changed women’s expectations about what was possible for them professionally. I’d love to see a sequel following Catrin after the war, when most of the Rosie-the-Riveters were forced back out of the workforce into the domestic sphere again, and a lot of them realized that that was no longer enough for a full life.

        Quote  Reply

    145. Firannion,

      Have you ever seen The Homefront (1985), a WWII documentary narrated by Leslie Nielsen? I highly, highly recommend it. It’s compact (just 90 minutes or so), but does an incredible job showing how the war forever changed American society in so many ways. The interviews are priceless, including interviews with several women (of all classes) who joined the war effort as “Rosies.”

        Quote  Reply

    146. Mel:
      Ten Bears,

      …..in the 17th century Europeans had trouble with the Chinese language when they were first introduced to them, so they translated things wrong….

      Well, if you’ve ever tried to read the Instructions that come with cheap gizmos made in China, you know the Chinese are returning the favor.

        Quote  Reply

    147. Warning Spoilers for Their Finest below
      Firannion,

      I have no problem losing characters to war – GOT broke me of that, even tho it wasn’t a big issue for me even before I read the books. The movie has already shown that life is fleeting, that we must enjoy life before its gone. They didn’t need one of them to die to make the point of how horrid life was then. We get it. Could we have a little bit of joy?

      And while I agree the movie showed that women were taking over men’s jobs to cover the shortage – I thought it was more about trying to use a film to bring Americans in to the war effort. But in the end they did not show how Americans would have reacted – would have rather seen that then to see what did happen that had nothing to do with either plot point.

      And to be honest, maybe its just that I cared so much for both characters in that short of time. And yeah that hurt to see, esp given how much I was loving the movie.

      I’d love to see a sequel following Catrin after the war, when most of the Rosie-the-Riveters were forced back out of the workforce into the domestic sphere again, and a lot of them realized that that was no longer enough for a full life.

      Yes – that would be a very interesting sequel.

      Now back to our discussion of GOT,already in progress…..

        Quote  Reply

    148. Wolfish:
      Firannion,

      Have you ever seen The Homefront (1985), a WWII documentary narrated by Leslie Nielsen?

      Don’t think I ever saw that one, though I do remember Connie Field’s documentary The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter (1980).

      Though the stories of the women recruited into the workforce during WWII have gotten a fair amount of attention from documentarians, they have not previously been addressed as fiction features as far as I know. So I was very happy to see a woman director take that on, told from a female protagonist’s PoV.

        Quote  Reply

    149. Wolfish: The counter-argument to that is that one always has a choice, even if that choice is death. This is Arya’s worldview

      My name is Arya of House Sartre! And our house words are ‘I Am Condemned to Be Free.’

        Quote  Reply

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