Emilia Clarke on Game of Thrones and gender equality; Weapons Specialist Natalia Lee on Season 8; New VFX video!

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Emilia Clarke has been noticeably absent from filming in Seville this past week, but perhaps we can chalk it up to her incredibly busy schedule promoting her new film, Solo: A Star Wars Story. Clarke is currently in France for the Cannes Film Festival, but she did take some time to discuss Game of Thrones at the Kering Women in Motion talk.

As an avowed feminist, Clarke shares her views on how women can push for more equality in Hollywood, especially regarding the wage gap. This isn’t an issue for her on Game of Thrones, as she says, “I have always been paid the same amount as my male co-stars. It was my first job and I was not discriminated against because I was a woman, in my paycheck.” She stresses the importance of women advocating for themselves and making it clear they won’t accept less than they’re worth – something she admits is difficult for her at times. “Khaleesi aside, I’m not naturally aggressive as a human.”

Playing a powerful character like Daenerys has led to Clarke being labelled as “strong woman,” a term she hates. She believes it gives the implication that most women are weak, and it is almost never used to describe men. “Find another adjective, damn it,” she insists. “Enough already with the strong women. Let’s just be women.”

Clarke declines to give any details about the final season of Game of Thrones, but she does confess how difficult it is now that it’s coming to an end. “It really feels like preparing to leave home…so that’s exciting, but it’s sad and scary, all at the same time.” It may seem hard to believe, but she is adamant about not knowing how the series ends. In her opinion, however, “it will be what none of us think it will be.”

The entire interview is worth a watch – check it out below.


Jon Snow White Walker Game of Thrones

Armorer and weapons specialist Natalia Lee has been with Game of Thrones since the very first episode, and in a new interview with Metro she admits working on the final season has been bittersweet. “It has been a huge journey. For a lot of us it has been the end. You have to look at it as we are happy to move forward and do other things and be challenged. But it is sad. We are like a family.”

Lee explains that working on the show has been one of the most challenging and rewarding jobs she’s had, and that it will be difficult to find anything else like it. “I have shot on glaciers in the middle of Iceland to deserts in Spain and Morocco, and on fortress walls. For me it was a masterclass of filmmaking. It is the best of the best. The hardest thing is that we have set a benchmark, and we are not going to top anything like this again in our careers.”

Although she won’t give any secrets away, Lee does have a few hints about what to expect in season eight.” All I can say is think big and multiply it by a billion,” she teases. “We know the storylines now. It is survival of the fittest. There’s only a few left standing. Anyone and everyone can die.” Let’s hope it doesn’t go quite that far!

Read the rest here.


Finally, Rodeo FX has released the VFX breakdown for two big moments of season seven – the nighttime sea battle between Euron Greyjoy and the Targaryen forces, and the Night King and Viserion bringing down the Wall. Take a look at the video above to see each sequence from concept art to spectacular finish! It’s especially amazing to see the fall of the Wall in such detail and from so many more perspectives than in the show.

130 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. So, back in January, Emilia said this:

      “Okay, so I read the scripts this season, and I, in some kind of a daze, walked out of my house. The only thing I took was my keys, and about three hours later I arrived back home, and I still hadn’t taken it all in… I don’t know if anyone’s ready. I don’t know if TVs are ready.”

      Then the interview referenced in this article said this:

      It may seem hard to believe, but she is adamant about not knowing how the series ends. In her opinion, however, it will be what none of us think it will be.

      So she read the scripts, but not the ending?

        Quote  Reply

    2. Mr Derp,

      The cast may just want to avoid questions about the ending. I’m sure the (real) ending will be protected from everyone but those who absolutely need to know, though, so maybe they haven’t filmed it yet.

        Quote  Reply

    3. They all, let’s say….fib.

      It is impossible to believe that at this point Emilia Clarke has no idea how the series ends.

        Quote  Reply

    4. Of course she knows the ending, and I don’t blame her for saying she doesn’t. I don’t know why interviewers even ask, to be honest. Maybe hoping they’ll catch them off guard.

      She’s just sunshine, that girl.

      I’m not sure what makes me the most wistful – the thought of having the show be over, or the thought of not having so many of the actors and crew I admire all on the same show again.

        Quote  Reply

    5. Pigeon:
      Of course she knows the ending, and I don’t blame her for saying she doesn’t. I don’t know why interviewers even ask, to be honest. Maybe hoping they’ll catch them off guard.

      She’s just sunshine, that girl.

      Agree, agree, and AGREE!

        Quote  Reply

    6. Emilia is the epitome of class and her ability to articulate her thoughts is quite wonderful as well. There’s something about the cadence in her speech and the expressions she makes that reel me in for more.

      And also….. she definitely knows the ending. I’m sure the main cast members do at the very least. But I don’t see an issue with her telling a white lie since she can’t say anything about it regardless.

        Quote  Reply

    7. On the one hand I disagree because every lead role or interesting, well-written/constructed/developed character is not necessarily going to be “strong.” However, I agree that this “strong woman” thing has gotten way out of hand. It’s as if every danged female part now just has to be described as a “strong bad@$$,” and that’s it. Carbon copies. Quit throwing that phrase around and simply take them for the people they are. There are different ways to be strong.
      And I for one never needed any convincing that a woman could be, at the very least, every bit as strong as a man.

        Quote  Reply

    8. Game of thrones best crew are women as well!!!!

      Michelle Clapton as costume department
      Deborah Riley as production designer
      And now I am pleasantly surprised that the vfx also lead by a woman.

      Truely remarkable cast and crew.

        Quote  Reply

    9. Raemontargaryen,

      Michelle McLaren, Director
      “The Bear and the Maiden Fair”

      “Oh! A spider! Save me Jon Snow! My dress is made of the purest silk from Tralalaleeday!”

      That’ll always be one of my favorite scenes.

        Quote  Reply

    10. Mr Derp:
      So, back in January, Emilia said this:

      “Okay, so I read the scripts this season, and I, in some kind of a daze, walked out of my house. The only thing I took was my keys, and about three hours later I arrived back home, and I still hadn’t taken it all in… I don’t know if anyone’s ready. I don’t know if TVs are ready.”

      Then the interview referenced in this article said this:

      It may seem hard to believe, but she is adamant about not knowing how the series ends. In her opinion, however, it will be what none of us think it will be.

      So she read the scripts, but not the ending?

      Maybe she read her parts but dies before the end. Thus both statements are true

        Quote  Reply

    11. Mr Derp:
      So, back in January, Emilia said this:

      “Okay, so I read the scripts this season, and I, in some kind of a daze, walked out of my house. The only thing I took was my keys, and about three hours later I arrived back home, and I still hadn’t taken it all in… I don’t know if anyone’s ready. I don’t know if TVs are ready.”

      Then the interview referenced in this article said this:

      It may seem hard to believe, but she is adamant about not knowing how the series ends. In her opinion, however, it will be what none of us think it will be.

      So she read the scripts, but not the ending?

      Maybe she’s being cutesy with the wording. Like knowing in general what happens to all the characters, but not knowing for sure what the exact final scene will be. Or maybe they have decided to shoot multiple endings despite indications otherwise

        Quote  Reply

    12. Armorer and weapons specialist Natalia Lee has been with Game of Thrones since the very first episode, and in a new interview with Metro she admits working on the final season has been bittersweet.”
      —————-
      If I hear or read one more cast or crew member use that word “bittersweet” again, it’s going to induce some serious retroperistalsis that triggers violent projectile vomiting.

        Quote  Reply

    13. Shelle:

      And I for one never needed any convincing that a woman could be, at the very least, every bit as strong as a man.

      __________

      “And each time I tell myself that I think I’ve had enough
      But I’m gonna show you baby, that a woman can be tough,”

      – Janis Joplin

        Quote  Reply

    14. Ten Bears: __________

      “And each time I tell myself that I think I’ve had enough
      But I’m gonna show you baby, that a woman can be tough,”

      – Janis Joplin

      YEAH!! \m/ \m/

        Quote  Reply

    15. Shelle,

      “However, I agree that this “strong woman” thing has gotten way out of hand. It’s as if every danged female part now just has to be described as a “strong bad@$$,” and that’s it…”
      ______________
      I’ve got to say, for all the unprecedented entertainment excellence GoT has given the world for seven years, I’ve always felt that the absence of a woman’s voice (and pen) in the writers’ room has not infrequently resulted in scripts with stock “badass” females, resort to the ghastly “rape” as toughening up naive girls (or whatever the hell the reason is; it’s cheap and I hate it).

      I grew up with three younger sisters, and eleven aunts on my mother’s side. I do not profess to be an expert in female interpersonal relationships. However, I do notice when guys who probably don’t know any better reach into their toolbox of cliches to create (what they think are) “strong” women characters. (It’s why I love Arya but was really disappointed what they did to her character and Sansa’s character in S7e5 and e6. Sisters do not behave that way.)

      – End Unintended Rant –

        Quote  Reply

    16. Ten Bears:
      However, I do notice when guys who probably don’t know any better reach into their toolbox of cliches to create (what they think are) “strong” women characters. (It’s why I love Arya but was really disappointed what they did to her character and Sansa’s character in S7e5 and e6. Sisters do not behave that way.)

      Word.

        Quote  Reply

    17. Ten Bears:
      Shelle,

      “However, I agree that this “strong woman” thing has gotten way out of hand. It’s as if every danged female part now just has to be described as a “strong bad@$$,” and that’s it…”
      ______________I’ve got to say, for all the unprecedented entertainment excellence GoT has given the world for seven years, I’ve always felt that the absence of a woman’s voice (and pen) in the writers’ room has not infrequently resulted in scripts with stock “badass” females, resort to the ghastly “rape” as toughening up naive girls (or whatever the hell the reason is; it’s cheap and I hate it).

      I grew up with three younger sisters, and eleven aunts on my mother’s side. I do not profess to be an expert in female interpersonal relationships. However, I do notice when guys who probably don’t know any better reach into their toolbox of cliches to create (what they think are) “strong” women characters. (It’s why I love Arya but was really disappointed what they did to her character and Sansa’s character in S7e5 and e6. Sisters do not behave that way.)

      – End Unintended Rant –

      Suppose it depends on the sisters, haha…but I did find that part of the season quite odd. I never lost my faith in Arya, but…it’s still not entirely clear as to who was playing whom when…like, I think Arya knew what she was doing the whole time, but supposedly there was going to be a scene where Bran reveals the truth to Sansa, who THEN starts working with her sibs against Littlefinger…I felt as though removing that really messed it up.

        Quote  Reply

    18. Ten Bears,

      So what is a strong woman that isn’t a cliche to you Mr anonymous writer ? I love how everyone is an expert in everything, “eleven aunts” whooptie fucking do,like you are the only one on the planet who has been near women and also of course you think your experience with them has to be the same with everyone, because we know all humans act the same right/s ?

        Quote  Reply

    19. Ten Bears,

      You made it seem like just because you have been around women in your life, that makes you an expert in how they behave when that’s clearly such a false thing to say, just because you had a certain experience with the members of your family,doesn’t mean the rest of the world does, just watch real news, how many family members in the world has been at odds with each other since the beginning of times ? And i have a problem with you because you make yourself seem like such a pseudo intellectual when you say some really stupid things in your comments,i have lurked this site for a long time so i know what i’m talking about .

        Quote  Reply

    20. Ten Bears,

      The execution of the storyline was odd but Sansa and Arya acted well within a reasonable domain. They hadn’t seen each other in several years and Arya had essentially become an assassin. They weren’t going to let all of the years of baggage and repressed emotions go once they saw each other.

        Quote  Reply

    21. Edward,

      I agree.
      And they were wary after all these years, how the other one might have developed, they had to check out each other, prance around each other, testing, assure themselves…
      It seemed not very friendly for outsiders to watch, but they knew both, what they did. Really sisters :o)
      That’s, what I saw.

        Quote  Reply

    22. Edward,

      My problem with those scenes is that the drama went from 0 to 100 with barely a nudge, and that made both sisters look petty instead of broken, traumatized and guarded, which is what they were going for I believe. It just came off as sloppy and rushed.

      To me it trivialized the filial bond between the two, and the importance of family for the Starks in general that it could be tested with such a minor thing — the letter Sansa wrote. In an actual conversation between the two, that issue could have been resolved in about 10 minutes.

      Thank god for that final scene between the two in 7×07 that salvaged this storyline!

        Quote  Reply

    23. Enharmony1625,

      But you could make such argument for anything, in any story, why didn’t Ned inform the others of what he discovered before Robert got hurt or even in his last moments, because, you guessed it… plot and there are tons of other moments like that throught the story,now that plotline wasn’t my favorite or anything but i don’t think it’s as bad as people are making it out to be .

        Quote  Reply

    24. Edward,

      I understand the logic of revisiting the Stark sisters’ “years of baggage and repressed emotions.” As I recall, the last two times they’d spoken to each other: (1) Arya was stabbing a table (“practicing for Joffrey”), calling Sansa a liar, and blaming her fibbing for Mycah’s death, and Sansa was calling Arya an idiot; and (2) Arya was mocking Sansa for fixating on making blonde-haired babies with Joffrey (“Seven Hells!”) instead of someone brave and strong.

      I guess I just felt that once those repressed emotions came to the surface years later, it would be in a candid conversation or no-holds-barred screaming match.

      Instead, they each responded to crucial questions with questions or evasions instead of answers (e.g., “Where’d you get the letter?”) – for the transparent purpose of manufacturing and prolonging “dramatic tension” of the LF plot. I felt that actually telling their respective “not very pleasant” stories how they each made their way back to WF after 6+ years, and each empathizing with (or criticizing) what the other had endured, might’ve been interesting to watch.

      Look, I am not bashing the show. We’re talking about a brief plot detour in segments of two episodes out of 67 total episodes. Each year for seven years, the writers, crew, actors and producers have cranked out the equivalent of ten Hollywood blockbuster quality movies, on time and within budget. They’ve set a very high bar, measured by their own success.

        Quote  Reply

    25. Enharmony1625:
      Edward,

      My problem with those scenes is that the drama went from 0 to 100 with barely a nudge, and that made both sisters look petty instead of broken, traumatized and guarded, which is what they were going for I believe. It just came off as sloppy and rushed.

      To me it trivialized the filial bond between the two, and the importance of family for the Starks in general that it could be tested with such a minor thing — the letter Sansa wrote. In an actual conversation between the two, that issue could have been resolved in about 10 minutes.

      Thank god for that final scene between the two in 7×07 that salvaged this storyline!

      ————
      1,000 x Yes! to everything you wrote. 🎯
      Especially that final scene in S7e7 on the WF battlements “that salvaged this storyline.”

      My favorite part of that scene had beautifully written natural dialogue between the sisters showing them expressing emotions without making it too corny – when Sansa served Arya a heaping helping of admiration with a side order of snark:

      Arya: “… I never could have survived what you survived.”
      Sansa: “You would have. You’re the strongest person I know.”
      Arya: “I believe that’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me.”
      Sansa:“Well, don’t get used to it. You’re still very strange and annoying.”

      [Keyboard freezing. Additional two cents to follow..]

        Quote  Reply

    26. Ten Bears: ————1,000 x Yes! to everything you wrote. 🎯
      Especially that final scene in S7e7 on the WF battlements “that salvaged this storyline.”

      My favorite part of that scene had beautifullywritten natural dialogue between the sisters showing them expressing emotions without making it too corny – when Sansa served Arya a heaping helping of admiration with a side order of snark:

      Arya: “… I never could have survived what you survived.”
      Sansa: “You would have. You’re the strongest person I know.”
      Arya: “I believe that’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me.”
      Sansa:“Well, don’t get used to it. You’re still very strange and annoying.”

      I agree 1000% with this ^^ and hope that this final scene signals a return to writing Arya as a character who matters in her own right, and not just a vehicle for Suspense and Drama.

        Quote  Reply

    27. Ten Bears,

      I definitely get what you mean though! And you have every right to feel a certain way with how they executed their sisterhood. It was very melodramatic which is something GoT usually steers away from.

        Quote  Reply

    28. Ten Bears,

      Agreed. Strength comes in many forms. Every single female character on the show has shown strength in their way.

      As far as the Arya/Sansa interactions last year I took them ALL as intentional bait to trap Littlefinger. All the bullshirt drama. Arya letting him catch her snooping. She’s a FM! There’s no way he’d have spotted her is she hadn’t wanted him to. Sansa knew him and knew he was dangerous to keep around, and he immediately tried to sow discord. So they put on a little show and nailed him.

      I’ll miss that creep. But his execution was fantastic.

        Quote  Reply

    29. Nothstar,

      Speaking only for myself, it would’ve been more enjoyable if I was “in on it” as the sisters ensnared WeaselFinger.

      Also, the “trial” made no sense. LF should’ve easily talked his way out of the charges. (Example #1: Sansa herself, during Vale inquest, had sworn Lysa committed suicide).

      Nevertheless, Arya nonchalantly walking over, slicing LF’s neck, and walking away like she was turning on the microwave was delightful. And she did it so quickly I don’t think she got any blood on her dagger. Admittedly, part of me wanted her to give him the Full MFT*. LF had caused so much death and despair. If Sandor was there, he might’ve scolded Arya: “Where’s the punishment in that? All over in an instant.”

      * ie, Meryn F*cking Trant treatment: multiple eye-gouging, upper chest stabbing, inquisition, “I can’t hear you” followed by a knife thrust into the kidney, and finally, a pronouncement “you’re a POS” followed by a slow ear to ear throat slashing as a coup de grace.

        Quote  Reply

    30. Ten Bears:
      Nothstar,

      Nevertheless, Arya nonchalantly walking over, slicing LF’s neck, and walking away like she was turning on the microwave was delightful. And she did it so quickly I don’t think she got any blood on her dagger. Admittedly, part of me wanted her to give him the Full MFT*. LF had caused so much death and despair. If Sandor was there, he might’ve scolded Arya: “Where’s the punishment in that? All over in an instant.”

      * ie, Meryn F*cking Trant treatment: multiple eye-gouging, upper chest stabbing, inquisition, “I can’t hear you” followed by a knife thrust into the kidney, and finally, a pronouncement “you’re a POS” followed by a slow ear to ear throat slashing as a coup de grace.

      Ten Bears:
      Nothstar,

      Nevertheless, Arya nonchalantly walking over, slicing LF’s neck, and walking away like she was turning on the microwave was delightful. And she did it so quickly I don’t think she got any blood on her dagger. Admittedly, part of me wanted her to give him the Full MFT*. LF had caused so much death and despair. If Sandor was there, he might’ve scolded Arya: “Where’s the punishment in that? All over in an instant.”

      * ie, Meryn F*cking Trant treatment: multiple eye-gouging, upper chest stabbing, inquisition, “I can’t hear you” followed by a knife thrust into the kidney, and finally, a pronouncement “you’re a POS” followed by a slow ear to ear throat slashing as a coup de grace.

      I do wish this site used Disqus so you could upvote…^3^

        Quote  Reply

    31. Ten Bears:
      Nothstar,

      Also, the “trial” made no sense. LF should’ve easily talked his way out of the charges. (Example #1: Sansa herself, during Vale inquest, had sworn Lysa committed suicide).

      This will probably always annoy me. Plus, I love Aidan and he could have done such a great speech. LF was a lot of things, but he never turned down an opportunity to plead his case.

      Now I have to find my mockingbird pin and wear it again with my spring cape.

      Leaving out Sansa going to Bran was a mistake, imo. They didn’t even need to make it a blatant tell. Just something subtle that you could look back on and say “Ah I get it”.

        Quote  Reply

    32. Pigeon,

      I was taken aback by the LF “trial” because I was 99% convinced the show had been carefully sprinkling in fragments of information over five seasons that individually were innocuous, but when finally pieced together by a few characters comparing notes, would nail LF to the wall for conspiring against the North, deceiving Catelyn into betraying Robb, and undermining the Stark family. Once Brienne, Arya, and Sansa were in WF, I was chomping at the bit for a scene when they’d finally sit down together and realize that the so-called hostage exchange in S2 (Kingslayer for Sansa & Arya) was a hoax, knowingly perpetrated by LF to vanquish House Stark and help the Lannisters (and himself).

      But that never happened. And all of the “charges” Sansa lodged against LF could’ve been easily refuted by LF because there was no real evidence: just the hallucinations of a crippled boy who claimed to be a magic three-eyed bird. (LF could’ve rolled back his eyes and said, “well I’m a two-eyed mockingbird and I have “visions” too, and here’s what I saw….”)

      I loathed LF. Still, Mr. Master Manipulator should’ve gone out in style, telling one lie to cover up another until finally his own words incriminated him. That’s where I thought the show was going. I thought it’d be Arya who delivered the “Perry Mason moment.” She still would’ve killed him – but in a trial by combat. (After Lord Royce replied “I think not” and all of the Vale knights in attendance rolled on the floor hysterically laughing when LF asked them if they would like the “honor” of serving as the champion of the Lord Protector of the Vale.)

      That’s how my tinfoil, fanfic scenario would’ve played out. It wouldn’t have relied on Bran looking into the past and relating what he saw, while LF stood there like a dummy, admitted killing Lysa, and then fell to his knees and started begging and whining.

      PS I’m not the first one who’s asked this: In S7e4, as soon as RoboBran blurted out to LF his own tagline, “Chaos…is a ladder”, why didn’t LF immediately GTFO run back to the Eyre?

        Quote  Reply

    33. Ten Bears:

      PS I’m not the first one who’s asked this: In S7e4, as soon as RoboBran blurted out to LF his own tagline, “Chaos…is a ladder”, why didn’t LF immediately GTFO run back to the Eyre?

      Me TOO! LF was apparently quick enough to immediately figure out that Arya was spying on him using her FM bag o’tricks, and he very quickly sized her up enough to know what kind of deception she’d fall for to put her at odds with Sansa (despite having previously interacted with her … never? If I remember correctly?). But he wasn’t smart enough to realize that Bran could unveil all of his treacheries?

      SMH.

        Quote  Reply

    34. Ten Bears:
      Pigeon,

      I was taken aback by the LF “trial” because I was 99% convinced the show had been carefully sprinkling in fragments of information over five seasons that individually were innocuous, but when finally pieced together by a few characters comparing notes, would nail LF to the wall for conspiring against the North, deceiving Catelyn into betraying Robb, and undermining the Stark family. Once Brienne, Arya, and Sansa were in WF, I was chomping at the bit for a scene when they’d finally sit down together and realize that the so-called hostage exchange in S2 (Kingslayer for Sansa & Arya) was a hoax, knowingly perpetrated by LF to vanquish House Stark and help the Lannisters (and himself).

      But that never happened. And all of the “charges” Sansa lodged against LF could’ve been easily refuted by LF because there was no real evidence: just the hallucinations of a crippled boy who claimed to be a magic three-eyed bird. (LF could’ve rolled back his eyes and said, “well I’m a two-eyed mockingbird and I have “visions” too, and here’s what I saw….”)

      And you know from previous posts that I agree 100%…I found it really disappointing. The last season and a half, it felt like LF was just plunked on the balconies at Winterfell (most of the time with Sansa) waiting for something to happen and looking shifty. The ‘aha! moment at the trial was clever, but it would have been more clever with more context. And not even much. One shot of Sansa being interrupted mid-convo with Bran, no biggie. Or Arya. Or a look passed between them (if this was implied in the ‘Arya gives Sansa the dagger’ scene, it failed, because I don’t know a heck of a lot of people who saw it that way.)

      LF going “Whoops, my bad – forgivesies?” made my jaw drop. How about “You know what? I did kill your aunt, my wife, defending you as she tried to throw you out the moon door. Do YOU deny that she was trying to kill you? Do YOU deny that I saved your life?” Bring up her lie to the Vale Senior Committee when she colluded with him! Heck, bring up the whole bit about saving the bloody North on her behalf, on her request, with the Vale soldiers, at the last minute, without telling Jon (ya know, the King in the North) about it until, how conveniently, he easily could have already been dead. And those are the actual damn truths or convenient perspectives, before he even had to spin lies.

      You loathed LF, and I loved to loathe him, and for some of the same reasons. His end at Arya’s hand (I liked the clean, lightning fast execution, it was decisive but not ‘oh look Arya is nuts’ fuel) and Sansa’s judgement was absolutely fine by me. But gods what a waste of the character we saw for years to not give him his minute of defense, where the audience could have been “Oh shit! Are they gonna fall for it???”.

      Bran: “Chaos is a ladder.”
      LF: “Welp, look at the time. Heh…terribly sorry, must be off, good luck and good night!”

      *end tirade that somehow erupted from my brain*

        Quote  Reply

    35. Gwidhiel,

      The thing is, LF’s sister vs. sister “plan” – whatever its objective – depended on an almost absurd assumption: that when Sansa (naturally) asked Arya “Where did you get that letter?”, Arya wouldn’t tell her.

      To this day, I still don’t understand LF’s objectives or motives. He had leverage with control of the Vale knights, especially after Jon’s army suffered significant casualties. Even Sansa understood she had to put up with LF’s presence in WF because of the importance of the Vale knights.

      If Jon never made it back from his Dragonstone junket – and many of his bannermen told him it was a bad idea -then Sansa as Lady of Winterfell would become the de facto ruler, and in LF’s mind, his malleable proxy. He could still use the Vale Army’s importance to influence her decisions.

      What did LF expect to accomplish by pitting the sisters against each other? If Arya was somehow able to depose Sansa as Lady of WF or otherwise get rid of her, LF held no sway against Arya. If Sansa banished or killed Arya, how would that benefit LF? And again, it would’ve been too easy for Sansa or Arya to discover from Wolkan that it was LF’s idea to dig up that letter.

      So if anyone has any explanation for LF’s “plan”, I’d be interested to learn what it is. If it was just to cause “chaos”, how would he benefit from that?

        Quote  Reply

    36. Pigeon,

      I’m with you on your tirade.

      On a related note, do you have any idea what LF was hoping to accomplish when he accosted Jon in the WF crypts in S7e2 right before Jon departed for Dragonstone via White Harbor? [Dialogue below.]

      (It was almost as if LF was telling himself:“Sometimes I like to play a little game: Can I get the KitN pissed off enough to kick me in the balls, try to throttle me, or threaten to kill me in five minutes or less?”)

      What on earth was he doing?

      ————–
      Excerpt from S7e2 (Jon in WF crypts in front of Ned’s tomb when LF shows up uninvited and starts babbling)

      LF: “I delivered his bones myself. Presented them to Lady Catelyn as a gesture of goodwill from Tyrion Lannister. Seems like a lifetime ago. Do give Lord Tyrion my best when you see him. I was sorry when he [Ned] died. Your father and I had our differences, but he loved Cat very much. So did I. She wasn’t fond of you, was she? Well, it appears she vastly underestimated you. Your father and brothers are gone, yet here you stand, King in the North. Last best hope against the coming storm.”
      Jon: “You don’t belong down here.”
      LF: “Forgive me. We haven’t ever talked properly. I wanted to remedy that.”
      Jon: “I have nothing to say to you.”
      LF: “Not even “thank you”? If it weren’t for me, you’d have been slaughtered on that battlefield.
      You have many enemies, my king, but I swear to you, I’m not one of them. I love Sansa, as I loved her mother.”
      (Jon shoves LF against the wall and starts choking him)
      Jon. “Touch my sister, and I’ll kill you myself.”
      —————

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    37. Ten Bears,

      I wish I knew. Aside from 2 things, “oh hi Tyrion” (pissing the bejeebuz out of the guy who almost took the fall for LF and Olenna’s doing? Why though?), or reminding Jon that it was the Vale that saved his arse (trying to insinuate the power he has with the Vale lords? Or with Sansa? And that if Jon doesn’t return he has influence? Meh). Anyway, aside from that all I see is him deliberately antagonizing Jon for no apparent reason.

      UNLESS

      He was hoping Jon would banish him from Winterfell because he read the script and saw his lackluster comeuppance and figured maybe he’d have an excuse to skip pages 33-35 of Oh Shit I’m Dead.

        Quote  Reply

    38. Ten Bears,

      Yes, it would have been much, much better for the sisters and Brienne and eventualy Bran to join the dots on LF. It could have placed them in danger when LF started to suspect he’d been rumbled. and the writers could still have explored issues of trust between the sisters. Oh well.

        Quote  Reply

    39. I think to only reason for the LF and Jon scene in the crypts was so GoT could tease us with the possibility Jon would learn something about his mother. At least it until it aired. There is no internal story reason for LF to do that, as you guys have shown.

        Quote  Reply

    40. Ten Bears:
      Gwidhiel,

      So if anyone has any explanation for LF’s “plan”, I’d be interested to learn what it is. If it was just to cause “chaos”, how would he benefit from that?

      I agree that it wasn’t very clear, Littlefinger’s motives never are, but I think I know what the writers were going for.

      As he says in 6.10 his ultimate goal is for himself and Sansa to sit on the Iron Throne. To do this he needs to persuade Sansa to make her claim for Queen of the North over Jon. He is seen conspiring with the other Northern lords (who then tell Sansa that they think that she should be Queen). He also sows seeds of doubt in Sansa’s mind (by telling her that the northern lords would prefer her over a bastard, and pointing out that he will likely marry Daenerys and force them back under Targaryan rule).

      When Arya turns up at Winterfell, Littlefinger recognizes that she is a threat to his ultimate goal as she is a trained faceless man and would not allow any betrayal of Jon. Therefore he tries to pit them against each other so that Sansa gets rids of Arya. You can see in 7.6 and 7.7 that Sansa is seriously considering taking action against Arya and she even sends Brienne away, so his plan almost succeeded.

      I’m not saying that it was particularly well-written, but I believe that is what the writer’s were going for.

      As for Littlefinger’s conversation with Jon in the crypts, I believe that he was simply trying to ingratiate himself with the King in the North, but failed miserably due to Jon being so protective of Sansa and the fact that he sold her to the Boltons. The scene also serves another function in letting us know just how protective Jon is of his sisters, which may come into play in the final season.

        Quote  Reply

    41. Pigeon: And you know from previous posts that I agree 100%…I found it really disappointing. The last season and a half, it felt like LF was just plunked on the balconies at Winterfell (most of the time with Sansa) waiting for something to happen and looking shifty. The ‘aha! moment at the trial was clever, but it would have been more clever with more context. And not even much. One shot of Sansa being interrupted mid-convo with Bran, no biggie. Or Arya. Or a look passed between them (if this was implied in the ‘Arya gives Sansa the dagger’ scene, it failed, because I don’t know a heck of a lot of people who saw it that way.)

      LF going “Whoops, my bad – forgivesies?” made my jaw drop. How about “You know what? I did kill your aunt, my wife, defending you as she tried to throw you out the moon door. Do YOU deny that she was trying to kill you? Do YOU deny that I saved your life?” Bring up her lie to the Vale Senior Committee when she colluded with him! Heck, bring up the whole bit about saving the bloody North on her behalf, on her request, with the Vale soldiers, at the last minute, without telling Jon (ya know, the King in the North) about it until, how conveniently, he easily could have already been dead. And those are the actual damn truths or convenient perspectives, before he even had to spin lies.

      You loathed LF, and I loved to loathe him, and for some of the same reasons. His end at Arya’s hand (I liked the clean, lightning fast execution, it was decisive but not ‘oh look Arya is nuts’ fuel) and Sansa’s judgement was absolutely fine by me. But gods what a waste of the character we saw for years to not give him his minute of defense, where the audience could have been “Oh shit! Are they gonna fall for it???”.

      So totally agree with this. There were so many guns hung in the last 7 years that should have been fired all at once. Im glad he was killed, but the writing shared the bottom of GOT scenes with the knife in the stomach and terminator chase scene

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    42. Northstar:
      Ten Bears,

      Yes, it would have been much, much better for the sisters and Brienne and eventualy Bran to join the dots on LF. It could have placed them in danger when LF started to suspect he’d been rumbled.and the writers could still have explored issues of trust between the sisters. Oh well.

      Wonder if the season was normal length, they could have done that, along with showing the scene with Sansa and Bran. A longer season would have corrected these flaws (then again, the Arya/Waif thing happened in 6 and that was plenty long….)

        Quote  Reply

    43. Ten Bears:
      Gwidhiel,

      The thing is, LF’s sister vs. sister “plan” – whatever its objective – depended on an almost absurd assumption: that when Sansa (naturally) asked Arya “Where did you get that letter?”, Arya wouldn’t tell her.

      To this day, I still don’t understand LF’s objectives or motives. He had leverage with control of the Vale knights, especially after Jon’s army suffered significant casualties. Even Sansa understood she had to put up with LF’s presence in WF because of the importance of the Vale knights.

      If Jon never made it back from his Dragonstone junket – and many of his bannermen told him it was a bad idea -then Sansa as Lady of Winterfell would become the de facto ruler, and in LF’s mind, his malleable proxy. He could still use the Vale Army’s importance to influence her decisions.

      What did LF expect to accomplish by pitting the sisters against each other? If Arya was somehow able to depose Sansa as Lady of WF or otherwise get rid of her, LF held no sway against Arya. If Sansa banished or killed Arya, how would that benefit LF? And again, it would’ve been too easy for Sansa or Arya to discover from Wolkan that it was LF’s idea to dig up that letter.

      So if anyone has any explanation for LF’s “plan”, I’d be interested to learn what it is. If it was just to cause “chaos”, how would he benefit from that?

      All of this. The only answer I’ve been able to come up with is that the reasons for all of LF’s behaviors in Seasons 6-7 served the storywriters’ wish to create tension and melodrama that would keep the audience engaged. They were unconcerned with character continuity or even basic logic, starting actually in Season 5 when Littlefinger – sharply observant, with a spy network second only to Varys’s, willingly surrendered the girl he’d been lusting after for years to a psychopath, apparently unaware of what Ramsay really was.

      I think the show turned Littlefinger into the character equivalent of a hotdog – a disposable vehicle for condiments that can be served over-cooked or under-cooked, it doesn’t matter because all anyone cares about is the ketchup and mustard and pickle relish.

        Quote  Reply

    44. Ten Bears,

      So I just want to say that so much of what you wrote is true or at least, you’re being realistic and seeing the big picture.

      Too often I think female characters are just male characteristics with a female body. Unless you have either been born a woman or have the patience to sit down and communicate with one, it just comes off as kind of…weird. Lazy. Ridiculous.

      But you know, this is all apart of the ‘politics’ of our own age, where a powerful majority feels like they can speak for the unspoken. And fail spectacularly at doing so or emphasize their inability to understand the reality of a minority or female, etc.

      I don’t think there is anything wrong with calling women strong IF they deserve this title. There have been a few remarkable women who had the character which seemed more intense, more vivid, than their male counterparts. Just please don’t call someone who is obviously pandering to the media or who is masquerading as being the quasi-perfect feminist by preaching what the people want to hear, not necessarily her real thoughts and opinions on the industry she is in, especially entertainment.

      We need to stop praising women for being fake feminists more than anything.

        Quote  Reply

    45. Nuncle Kingsmoot:
      As far as the Arya/Sansa interactions last year I took them ALL as intentional bait to trap Littlefinger. All the bullshirt drama. Arya letting him catch her snooping. She’s a FM! There’s no way he’d have spotted her is she hadn’t wanted him to. Sansa knew him and knew he was dangerous to keep around, and he immediately tried to sow discord. So they put on a little show and nailed him.

      The actors, etc. have all indicated that what we saw was real, not fake.

      But beyond that, there’s no reason for them to “put on a little show”. Sansa could apparently, in the writers’ minds, get rid of Littlefinger at any time she desires. The ‘trial’ is a kangaroo court in which she has no evidence whatsoever and could as easily accuse him of conspiring with the moon people to steal Winterfell’s supply of raspberry jam. And indeed, she could have accused him of murdering Lysa at any point (since the writers have evidently either forgotten or given no thought to the implications of her lying to protect Littlefinger earlier in the series).

      The Winterfell story doesn’t work either on a plot or character level, since its apparent purposes, to effect a reconciliation amongst the sisters and show Sansa outmaneuvering Littlefinger with her political skills, are either not fulfilled or relegated offscreen with no real explanation.

      The girls’ final scene of the season, which in isolation is quite nice, is a case in point. Sansa praises Arya as the strongest person she knows; what in the preceding storyline led to that? All Arya did in Winterfell was get played for a sucker, threaten Sansa repeatedly and in quite nasty terms, and then kill an unarmed noncombatant. The writers never came up with a scenario where the girls showcased their skills to each other and came to recognize each other’s value, which was supposed to be the whole damn point.

        Quote  Reply

    46. Sean C.: The actors, etc. have all indicated that what we saw was real, not fake.

      But beyond that, there’s no reason for them to “put on a little show”.Sansa could apparently, in the writers’ minds, get rid of Littlefinger at any time she desires.The ‘trial’ is a kangaroo court in which she has no evidence whatsoever and could as easily accuse him of conspiring with the moon people to steal Winterfell’s supply of raspberry jam.And indeed, she could have accused him of murdering Lysa at any point (since the writers have evidently either forgotten or given no thought to the implications of her lying to protect Littlefinger earlier in the series).

      The Winterfell story doesn’t work either on a plot or character level, since its apparent purposes, to effect a reconciliation amongst the sisters and show Sansa outmaneuvering Littlefinger with her political skills, are either not fulfilled or relegated offscreen with no real explanation.

      The girls’ final scene of the season, which in isolation is quite nice, is a case in point.Sansa praises Arya as the strongest person she knows; what in the preceding storyline led to that?All Arya did in Winterfell was get played for a sucker, threaten Sansa repeatedly and in quite nasty terms, and then kill an unarmed noncombatant.The writers never came up with a scenario where the girls showcased their skills to each other and came to recognize each other’s value, which was supposed to be the whole damn point.

      I agree wholeheartedly. I think the S7 WF story’s purpose was to create melodrama and to milk the audience’s gleeful dislike of LF and mistrust of Sansa for as long as they could. I was reconciled to the changes in Sansa’s storyline that started in S5, and even to how they had LF vacillating between Machiavellian mastermind and blind idiot, but I really object to how they messed with Arya’s character in S7. I just hope that nonsense doesn’t bleed into S8.

        Quote  Reply

    47. Sean C.,

      The Winterfell story doesn’t work either on a plot or character level, since its apparent purposes, to effect a reconciliation amongst the sisters and show Sansa outmaneuvering Littlefinger with her political skills, are either not fulfilled or relegated offscreen with no real explanation.

      The girls’ final scene of the season, which in isolation is quite nice, is a case in point. Sansa praises Arya as the strongest person she knows; what in the preceding storyline led to that?…”
      __________________
      And that was the problem – or a missed opportunity. Something must have happened from one episode to the next to lead to a mutual appreciation and effectuate a complete reconciliation between the sisters – but as you observed, it must’ve been “relegated off-screen with no real explanation.”

      These snippets from S7e6 and S7e7 illustrate a complete turnaround from one episode to the next, but we were not privy to how it happened:

      (S7e6)
      Sansa: “Well, while you were training, I suffered things you can never imagine.”
      Arya: “Oh, I don’t know that; and I can imagine quite a lot.”
      Sansa: “You never would have survived what I survived.”
      Arya: “I guess we’ll never know.”

      ____________
      S7s7
      Arya: “I never could have survived what you survived.”
      Sansa: “You would have. You’re the strongest person I know.”
      Arya: I believe that’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me.”

      ——————-
      I am not qualified to critique screenwriting decisions. I just felt that the sisters’ parallel experiences, even while separated for six years, could’ve supplied so much rich dialogue to show how they arrived at their lovely rapprochement.

      I had even come to expect to witness such a scene ever since Sandor first took custody of Arya and had this little “chat” in S3e8:

      Sandor: “Sulk all you want. The truth is, you’re lucky. You don’t want to be alone out here, girl. Someone worse than me would find you.”
      Arya: “There’s no one worse than you.”
      Sandor: “……There’s plenty worse than me. There’s men who like to beat little girls, men who like to rape ’em. I saved your sister from some of them.”
      Arya: “You’re lying.”
      Sandor: “Ask her. If you ever see her again. Ask her who came back for her when the mob had her on her back. They would have taken her every which way and left her there with her throat cut open.”

      I really thought that soon after Arya returned to WF, she would ask Sansa if Sandor’s account was true. And the sisters’ somewhat similar experiences with a man who “liked to beat little girls” (Meryn F. Trant) would’ve made for some fun dialogue and a true bonding moment.

        Quote  Reply

    48. Ten Bears,

      I think unfortunately a lot was sacrificed de to inconsistent writing. It wasn’t perfect by any means. That’s just how I personally pieced it all together. LF sure could have fought a little harder but the weasel knew he was caught. I was ok with a quick death because Sansa ordered it and her relationship with him was complicated. He looked out for her and saved her life while also destroying it. She had tears in her eyes but still made the call.

        Quote  Reply

    49. Sean C.,

      I haven’t read any accounts saying what we saw is what we got, not that I’m arguing with you. I do agree that the writing was pretty sloppy, and the petty sister baloney dumb. Which is why I interpreted it the way I stated above. Makes it all less infuriating.

        Quote  Reply

    50. Nuncle Kingsmoot:
      Sean C.,

      I haven’t read any accounts saying what we saw is what we got, not that I’m arguing with you. I do agree that the writing was pretty sloppy, and the petty sister baloney dumb. Which is why I interpreted it the way I stated above. Makes it all less infuriating.

      http://www.makinggameofthrones.com/production-diary/maisie-williams-thinks-arya-went-hunting-for-trouble-this-season

      Maisie Williams: Arya is struggling to accept the fact that it’s been hard for everyone. I think Sansa, too. They’ve all been through so much. It’s difficult to have sympathy for any other character coming out of what they’ve just lived.

      Arya is very hot-headed; she’s always been. I’ve always been grateful that it’s been at the right people, and now it’s at the wrong person, but she’s still the same character with that flaw. She struggles to keep her mouth shut. She doesn’t know what Sansa has been through, and she won’t hear it. She’s kind of turned into a little bit of a monster, and it’s directed at the wrong person, but she doesn’t know that.

      Maisie Williams: The things she’s seen have led her to believe Sansa is not doing things for House Stark, she’s doing them for herself. Arya doesn’t realize the circumstances under which Sansa was forced to write that letter. She just thinks she knows best. But Sansa and Arya are very different people. They really wouldn’t have survived what each other has survived; Arya would have been killed a long time ago if she had to live through all of the troubles Sansa’s been through. Arya’s not giving her the credit she deserves. But they realize Littlefinger is playing them and they ultimately pull through together.

      Maisie’s clear that Arya was played by Littlefinger, and only figured it out at the very end.

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    51. Arya would have been killed a long time ago if she had to live through all of the troubles Sansa’s been through.

      That part of Maisie’s quote makes me think of D&D insisting that they were writing Sansa becoming smart and ‘strong’ once Lysa was killed, which was then in turn relayed by the actors. They kept saying that but from my point of view it didn’t really appear that way until it slowly started to in S6. Up until then she was rather submissive and ‘allowed herself’ to be moved around, pushed around. Arya would not allow that. As we’ve seen time and again, she won’t do what she doesn’t want to or will do what she does even if it puts her in danger. They can say “Arya wouldn’t have survived going through what Sansa did,” but seeing what Arya has gone through it might be just as accurate to say that she would have but other people would have died (sooner) or she wouldn’t have gotten herself into the same situations. Sansa on the other hand would never have done the things Arya did. They’re just a different type of person.

      Of course, Arya probably would have been cut down by MFT after she pushed Joffrey off of the battlements looking at Ned’s head. So umm yeah, if their positions were reversed none of the same actions would have happened. 😛

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    52. Gwidhiel: http://www.makinggameofthrones.com/production-diary/maisie-williams-thinks-arya-went-hunting-for-trouble-this-season

      Maisie’s clear that Arya was played by Littlefinger, and only figured it out at the very end.

      ———-
      So much for spending all that time in Braavos playing “The Game of Faces” getting whacked by sticks to learn how to discern when someone’s lying. A Girl got played by Snidely Whiplash?

      She would’ve been better off spending those two years with Tyrion playing his Truth or Lie drinking game.

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    53. Clob,

      “Of course, Arya probably would have been cut down by MFT after she pushed Joffrey off of the battlements looking at Ned’s head. So umm yeah, if their positions were reversed none of the same actions would have happened,”
      ______________________
      Sandor would’ve saved Arya just as he saved Sansa in that situation.
      Both girls were fortunate he was watching over them.

      #AyeThat’sWhatI’mDoing

        Quote  Reply

    54. Clob: They can say “Arya wouldn’t have survived going through what Sansa did,” but seeing what Arya has gone through it might be just as accurate to say that she would have but other people would have died (sooner) or she wouldn’t have gotten herself into the same situations.

      I like Arya a lot, but I think this is overestimating her survival skills on many levels, above all her ability to keep her emotions in check and hold her tongue. Those are, in fact, real skills that not everyone possesses.

      Clob: Of course, Arya probably would have been cut down by MFT after she pushed Joffrey off of the battlements looking at Ned’s head.So umm yeah, if their positions were reversed none of the same actions would have happened. 😛

      Exactly. Arya never would have made it out of Kings Landing alive if she’d been in Sansa’s shoes. And of course, Sansa never would have been able to successfully masquerade as a boy wandering the Westeros countryside nor would she have made it through any phase of the FM training (well, except for cloaking her emotions, the one thing Arya was never good at).

      I do think that part of Arya’s popularity with fans reflects how our society prizes individualism, independent strength and gumption, while viewing “soft” people skills with disdain and mistrust.

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    55. Ten Bears: ———-
      So much for spending all that time in Braavos playing “The Game of Faces” getting whacked by sticks to learn how to discern when someone’s lying. A Girl got played by Snidely Whiplash?

      She would’ve been better off spending those two years with Tyrion playing his Truth or Lie drinking game.

      I KNOW! So frustrating.

        Quote  Reply

    56. Ten Bears: So much for spending all that time in Braavos playing “The Game of Faces” getting whacked by sticks to learn how to discern when someone’s lying. A Girl got played by Snidely Whiplash?

      Yeah, like maybe she could have had an actual conversation with him instead of just giving him dirty looks from afar… But you know, that would have been showing her using the skill they bothered to show her training instead of simply sticking her in a fake hippopotamus and squeezing her out the ass bare naked after the door broke…

        Quote  Reply

    57. May 18, 2019

      HoundWatch Day 9

      Where is Rory McCann?

      #PrayforSandor

      His absence is sending shock waves through the poultry industry. Investors are panicking. The glut of free range chickens has sent stock prices tumbling.

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    58. Ten Bears: HoundWatch Day 9

      Where is Rory McCann?

      Perhaps he is who you think he is and he has now transcended beyond the boundaries of his human body (and will be CGI for the last part of the season). 😉

        Quote  Reply

    59. Something that just occurred to me (although I’m sure others have pointed it out): Arya wouldn’t have been allowed by her family to be the person she was if she didn’t have an elder sister who was living up to society’s expectations. Catelyn worried a bit about Arya’s lack of ladylike graces, but since Sansa was such a credit to her mother and embodied everything a lady was expected to, Arya could operate with less scrutiny. She was still subjected to tons of scolding and I’ve got a lot of sympathy for how she felt like an outsider in the traditional feminine world, but if she’d been Ned and Cat’s only daughter, or even just their eldest, she wouldn’t have had the latitude she did. Despite her interests and innate talents, she would not have been playing with Micah. She would not have had a fencing instructor in KL. She would have been under constant supervision and instruction.

      Also, once in King’s Landing, Arya was free to operate without close scrutiny, because Cersei only paid attention to Sansa. Arya was an afterthought at best for the Lannisters, and that’s what allowed her to escape King’s Landing. Sure, Cersei sent men to search for her, but it wasn’t a big priority for Cersei since she had Sansa, “the key to the North,” in her clutches.

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    60. Gwidhiel,

      “Exactly. Arya never would have made it out of Kings Landing alive if she’d been in Sansa’s shoes.”….
      ____________________
      I’m not so sure about that. If Sandor showed up in Arya’s room the night the Blackwater burned and offered to take her home, she would’ve said: “Let’s roll out. This place sucks.”

        Quote  Reply

    61. Gwidhiel,

      This makes sense to me in terms of why there was/is tension between Sansa and Arya when they reunite in S7. They last saw eachother in S1 and their interactions during that time were not positive on the whole. I’m sure they loved each other, but were quite different people in terms of their goals in life and they had significant clashes ( Sansa lying for Joffrey and being present at Ned’s beheading-though she didn’t know that would happen, etc). After their separation, they went through different but equally harrowing experiences. I can see how they’d be glad to see eachother, but that there would be potential for mistrust/resentment. I think that S7 storyline was supposed to show they loved/trusted eachother more than they resented/distrusted eachother. When Sansa said ‘I’m a slow learner, but I learn’ was enough explanation for me to show that yes she learned from Littlefinger in terms of how to think about political/emotional intrigue but she also learned to detect when he was trying to manipulate her and others. More importantly, she loved her sister enough to want to see through Littlefinger’s manipulation. Also, in some way, Littlefinger’s surprise at being the target of Sansa’s “betrayal” was reminiscent of Ned’s surprise in S1 at being betrayed by Littlefinger. I can see how some fans might not like the way it was executed, but for me the important thing was that Sansa and Arya loved eachother enough to want to preserve their connection rather than give in to resentment/distrust of eachother.

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    62. Gwidhiel: Arya wouldn’t have been allowed by her family to be the person she was if she didn’t have an elder sister

      What you’re describing is basically the scenario that Lyanna was in as the only daughter. She was very much like Arya.

        Quote  Reply

    63. Gwidhiel,

      Refresh my memory. (i’m not being sarcastic.) When did Arya have a problem with “her ability to keep her emotions in check and hold her tongue” such that it placed her life in jeopardy?

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    64. Ten Bears,
      I’d say the first season when she was younger she had a handful of instances, mainly involving Sansa and Joffrey. She was a little girl though so not that unusual. Since then she’s physically expressed her emotions by going all MFT on people, including MFT.

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    65. Clob: Perhaps he is who you think he is and he has now transcended beyond the boundaries of his human body (and will be CGI for the last part of the season).😉

      So… you think he’s in the Belfast studios in front of green screens metamorphosizing to The Warrior of Light?

        Quote  Reply

    66. Ten Bears:
      Gwidhiel,

      “Exactly. Arya never would have made it out of Kings Landing alive if she’d been in Sansa’s shoes.”….
      ____________________ I’m not so sure about that. If Sandor showed up in Arya’s room the night the Blackwater burned and offered to take her home, she would’ve said: “Let’s roll out. This place sucks.”

      Arya would have almost certainly been dead by then. The only reason that the Hound’s intervention with Sansa on the ramparts worked was because Joffrey was completely unaware that Sansa had made a move against him. He thought she was completely cowed. Arya would have fought against the Hound’s grasp, and Joffrey would have turned around, seen what Arya had meant to do, and might well have had her executed on the spot. With sadistic relish.

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    67. Ten Bears: So… you think he’s in the Belfast studios in front of green screens metamorphosizing to The Warrior of Light?

      Maybe… I don’t know – just trying to provide something that might give you hope. 😀

        Quote  Reply

    68. Clob: What you’re describing is basically the scenario that Lyanna was in as the only daughter.She was very much like Arya.

      But not entirely: she did have ladylike graces.

        Quote  Reply

    69. Gwidhiel,

      ….if she’d been Ned and Cat’s only daughter, or even just their eldest, she wouldn’t have had the latitude she did….

      Sansa and Arya are both strong willed, but wanted different things in life. There definitely would have been different interactions and outcomes if Arya had been the only girl/eldest girl. Brienne (and Lyanna mormont’s mom) are the only examples in the series of Westerosi women who’ve been allowed to be warriors. Brienne’s dad wasn’t warden of the north/friend to and hand of the king though. What would (physical) warrior Arya have done if Joffrey was her intended? If Sansa had been the younger daughter would she have turned out like Olenna Tyrell who was also ambitious but not a physical fighter?

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    70. Gwidhiel: I like Arya a lot, but I think this is overestimating her survival skills on many levels, above all her ability to keep her emotions in check and hold her tongue. Those are, in fact, real skills that not everyone possesses.

      Keep in mind, though, that she held her tongue and kept her emotions in check when she served as Tywin’s cupbearer in season 2. However, she did come close a couple of times to giving in to her impulses (e.g. when she grabs the knife and stares at the back of his neck), but ultimately she knew better than to act irrationally and give in to her urges. And while Tywin hadn’t directly done anything to harm her or her family (yet), he was in open war against Robb, so she had good enough reason to take action against him.

      That having been said, I’m not necessarily disputing whether or not Arya could have survived what Sansa went through or vice-versa. They are two very different people with different strengths, and both have exceptionally good survival skills! Neither would have lasted this long if they didn’t.

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    71. Gwidhiel: Arya would have almost certainly been dead by then. The only reason that the Hound’s intervention with Sansa on the ramparts worked was because Joffrey was completely unaware that Sansa had made a move against him. He thought she was completely cowed. Arya would have fought against the Hound’s grasp, and Joffrey would have turned around, seen what Arya had meant to do, and might well have had her executed on the spot. With sadistic relish.

      Joffrey would have been kissing the cobblestones. But then, the whole story would be different by that point anyway, so who knows?

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    72. Ten Bears:
      Gwidhiel,

      Refresh my memory. (i’m not being sarcastic.) When did Arya have a problem with “her ability to keep her emotions in check and hold her tongue” such that it placed her life in jeopardy?

      Well, the first thing that comes to mind is when she hit Joffrey as he was drawing his sword along Mycah’s face. Arya made that situation much worse than it might have been – initially it wasn’t her fault, exactly, but if she’d recognized that Joffrey held all the power in that situation (which, duh, he did), Mycah might have gotten off with a scarred face. And if she’d restrained herself from threatening Joffrey with his own sword after Nymeria intervened, and hadn’t thrown his sword in the river, he wouldn’t have been so utterly humiliated. We enjoyed watching that, but those were incredibly stupid things to do.

      And then, when everyone was assembled before Robert, and Sansa was called upon to say what had happened, Arya screamed and hit her in front of everyone when she said that she didn’t remember. I just re-watched that scene: the camera cuts to Cersei’s lovely, smirking face, as she observes, “She’s as wild as that animal of hers. I want her punished.”

      Arya intended to save her friend, but instead her impulsive actions got him killed, along with her sister’s direwolf.

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    73. Gwidhiel,

      That’s an interesting take. One that I hadn’t thought of before, but I like it!

      I love the idea of the two sisters never being able to get along when the times were good, but when things got bad (both suffering the trauma they did) it eventually forces them to come together and acknowledge each other’s strengths and work together. And together they’re a force to be reckoned with! I see foreshadowing of this in their final scene together in 7×07, and even in the books Ned talks about them being two sides of the same coin, and that Arya needs Sansa just as Sansa needs Arya. I hope we get to see some developments on that front in S8!

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    74. Pigeon: Joffrey would have been kissing the cobblestones. But then, the whole story would be different by that point anyway, so who knows?

      the Hound was more than able to effectively restrain Arya when he needed to. Arya wouldn’t have succeeded in getting to Joffrey, but she would have tipped her hand and given Joffrey the Psychopath an excuse to torture and kill her. Which he would have enjoyed doing.

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    75. krupke:
      Gwidhiel,

      Sansa and Arya are both strong willed, but wanted different things in life.There definitely would have been different interactions and outcomes if Arya had been the only girl/eldest girl. Brienne (and Lyanna mormont’s mom) are the only examples in the series of Westerosi women who’ve been allowed to be warriors.Brienne’s dad wasn’t warden of the north/friend to and hand of the king though.What would (physical) warrior Arya have done if Joffrey was her intended? If Sansa had been the younger daughter would she have turned out like Olenna Tyrell who was also ambitious but not a physical fighter?

      That’s a really interesting comparison between what Brienne was allowed by her father and what Arya was allowed. I think you’re right about their families’ relative positions of prominence being a factor. The other difference I see is that Brienne’s physical size and strength made her distinctly “unfeminine” in the traditional sense. Even if she’d been interested in ladylike things and not inclined to fighting, her physique meant she wouldn’t be received as an attractive marriage prospect.

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    76. Gwidhiel,

      As long as we’re talking hypothetically, in a one-on-one match between Joffrey and Arya on the footbridge to see who gets tossed off by whom, my money would be on Arya. I’m not sure the Hound would be in too much of a rush to intercede. After Joffrey hit the pavement, Sandor would look down and say “oh well. Little s*it deserved to die.”

      Honestly, it is difficult to speculate how different characters would fare when faced with the same obstacles.

      I will say this: Arya survived more because of her wits and intelligence than her martial skills or physical abilities. Traveling incognito under assumed identities (and often, a different gender) for nearly six years enabled her to escape detection and enjoy the “safety” that comes with being presumed dead.

      But don’t take my word for it. Trust the opinion of a professional:

      “I’m like you Arry. I’m a survivor,”
      – H. Pie

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    77. Ten Bears:
      Gwidhiel,

      As long as we’re talking hypothetically, in a one-on-one match between Joffrey and Arya on the footbridge to see who gets tossed off by whom, my money would be on Arya. I’m not sure the Hound would be in too much of a rush to intercede. After Joffrey hit the pavement, Sandor would look down and say “oh well. Little s*it deserved to die.”

      But then why did he stop Sansa? Joffrey had his back turned to her and she could have reached him before he caught on. Not only was the Hound doing his duty as a bodyguard, he was sparing Sansa being tried and executed for regicide – and of course he’d have done the same for Arya had she been the one on the ramparts. But unlike Sansa, Arya would have resisted.

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    78. Just gonna chime in here about the Arya surviving Sansa’s storyline deal. I think you need to take into account that a big reason Sansa made it out of King’s Landing alive was because the Lannisters needed her alive– to have the potential of trading her for Jamie, or just to make sure that Jamie wasn’t executed. The way I see it, the same treatment would have been used for Arya; unless unruly Joeff had her spontaneously executed. But for the most part, it was Tyrion keeping him in check– and then Tywin after the Battle of the Blackwater. I see no reason why the Lannisters would have allowed Arya to be killed, unless she actually succeeded in murdering Joeffrey. But I also don’t think Arya would have been stupid enough to try that, even as impulsive as she was in her younger years.

      Now, after she left KL is a different story entirely. I have no doubt that LF would have kept her safe as he did Sansa, but after she was married to Ramsey, I am not so sure. That is a totally different kind of unruliness compared to Joeff. Absolutely no one was keeping him in check, especially after he killed off Papa Bolton.

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    79. Gwidhiel:

      Arya intended to save her friend, but instead her impulsive actions got him killed, along with her sister’s direwolf.

      Yeah, no. Pretty sure that Joffrey is to blame for his own actions, with a side order of Sansa lying about spontaneous amnesia, and Cersei being a twat.

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    80. Enharmony1625: Keep in mind, though, that she held her tongue and kept her emotions in check when she served as Tywin’s cupbearer in season 2. However, she did come close a couple of times to giving in to her impulses (e.g. when she grabs the knife and stares at the back of his neck), but ultimately she knew better than to act irrationally and give in to her urges. And while Tywin hadn’t directly done anything to harm her or her family (yet), he was in open war against Robb, so she had good enough reason to take action against him.

      By that time she’d already seen quite a bit of violence and was alert to the need for stealth. And while yes, Tywin was an enemy, he hadn’t done anything to directly rile Arya’s emotions. And the reason that we were shown her contemplating using the knife, was to remind us that Arya’s inclinations are toward immediate action – she had to think through the consequences and recognize that the odds were against her. But it wasn’t immediately obvious to her. As Ten Bears just pointed out, above, Arya’s survival in the Westeros countryside depended largely on her wits.

      I love Arya, in case that’s not clear. But I don’t view her with rose-colored glasses. She’s always been flawed – not just from the viewpoint of the Westeros patriarchy, but from a general human perspective. The actress who plays her readily lists her shortcomings. Acknowledging Arya’s shortcomings doesn’t diminish her as a person overall, nor does recognizing that her sister has some valuable strengths that she herself doesn’t possess.

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    81. Enharmony1625:
      Gwidhiel,

      I love the idea of the two sisters never being able to get along when the times were good, but when things got bad (both suffering the trauma they did) it eventually forces them to come together and acknowledge each other’s strengths and work together. And together they’re a force to be reckoned with! I see foreshadowing of this in their final scene together in 7×07, and even in the books Ned talks about them being two sides of the same coin, and that Arya needs Sansa just as Sansa needs Arya. I hope we get to see some developments on that front in S8!

      I like this too! And it kind of describes what I’ve tried to explain about observations of sisters in real life: what I call a “Circle the Wagons” mentality. Sisters can be jealous of each other, vye for parents’ affections, vilify each other and scream and curse at each other… but when it comes to anyone outside the family threatening any one of them, they immediately cease the infighting and stick by each other and defend each other without hesitation.

      Also….As Ned told young Arya and Jon later told Sansa: “We’ve come to a dangerous place. We can’t fight a war amongst ourselves”; and “We have so many enemies. We can’t fight a war amongst ourselves.”

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    82. Pigeon,

      True^

      But also, Mycah was gonna bite the dust anyway. If you are common-folk and get into a dispute, and the aristocrat wants you dead, you will die. I don’t think this had anything to do with Arya. Or Lady’s death? I guess Arya was to blame for this for sending Nymeria away. But one dierwolf was going to die anyway, because of the “twat” Cersei.

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    83. Pigeon: Yeah, no. Pretty sure that Joffrey is to blame for his own actions, with a side order of Sansa lying about spontaneous amnesia, and Cersei being a twat.

      I don’t see where I implied that Joffrey wasn’t responsible for his own actions. But Arya wasn’t smart in how she conducted herself – above all in failing to recognize the power differential she was dealing with. I don’t blame her, because she was a sheltered child who hadn’t been taught (yet) that there were powerful people in the world who didn’t operate with the Starks’ decency and honor. But somehow Sansa had figured that out without having to have dead bodies flung at her feet.

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    84. Ten Bears,

      I never noticed the similarities with this, so thanks for pointing it out. I love how Thrones has been doing that lately; bringing back dialogue from the earlier seasons to show comparisons. Jon picked up lots from Ned! His real father as far as I’m concerned.

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    85. Ten Bears: I like this too! And it kind of describes what I’ve tried to explain about observations of sisters in real life: what I call a “Circle the Wagons” mentality. Sisters can be jealous of each other, vye for parents’ affections, vilify each other and scream and curse at each other… but when it comes to anyone outside the family threatening any one of them, they immediately cease the infighting and stick by each other and defend each other without hesitation.

      Also….As Ned told young Arya and Jon later told Sansa: “We’ve come to a dangerous place. We can’t fight a war amongst ourselves”; and “We have so many enemies. We can’t fight a war amongst ourselves.”

      Exactly.

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    86. Gwidhiel: Well, the first thing that comes to mind is when she hit Joffrey as he was drawing his sword along Mycah’s face. Arya made that situation much worse than it might have been – initially it wasn’t her fault, exactly, but if she’d recognized that Joffrey held all the power in that situation (which, duh, he did), Mycah might have gotten off with a scarred face. And if she’d restrained herself from threatening Joffrey with his own sword after Nymeria intervened, and hadn’t thrown his sword in the river, he wouldn’t have been so utterly humiliated. We enjoyed watching that, but those were incredibly stupid things to do.

      And then, when everyone was assembled before Robert, and Sansa was called upon to say what had happened, Arya screamed and hit her in front of everyone when she said that she didn’t remember. I just re-watched that scene: the camera cuts to Cersei’s lovely, smirking face, as she observes, “She’s as wild as that animal of hers. I want her punished.”

      Arya intended to save her friend, but instead her impulsive actions got him killed, along with her sister’s direwolf.

      I feel the blame for Mycah and Lady’s deaths is squarely on Joffrey/Cersei. Perhaps if Arya had been older or had a different disposition she may have simply told Mycah to run and not fought/humiliated Joffrey. This may have mitigated that situation. However, Joffrey was a monster who was protected by a vindictive mother. His sadistic behavior would have (and did) escalated at some point no matter how he carefully he was handled and if he lived I think he would have found a way to torture/kill people and animals no matter what. Even the most cunning and calm person would not have been able to completely re-direct him. Margary was the closest person to be able to do this and even Olenna knew that Margary would not be successful in that endeavor (and had him killed).

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    87. Jaehaerys:
      Pigeon,

      True^

      But also, Mycah was gonna bite the dust anyway.If you are common-folk and get into a dispute, and the aristocrat wants you dead, you will die.I don’t think this had anything to do with Arya.Or Lady’s death?I guess Arya was to blame for this for sending Nymeria away.But one dierwolf was going to die anyway, because of the “twat” Cersei.

      Yup. Still annoys me! 😜

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    88. Gwidhiel: I don’t see where I implied that Joffrey wasn’t responsible for his own actions. But Arya wasn’t smart in how she conducted herself – above all in failing to recognize the power differential she was dealing with. I don’t blame her, because she was a sheltered child who hadn’t been taught (yet) that there were powerful people in the world who didn’t operate with the Starks’ decency and honor. But somehow Sansa had figured that out without having to have dead bodies flung at her feet.

      Sansa did probably detect that power differential. This coupled with her (then) infatuation with Joffrey and desire to be Queen someday would have made that situation turn out differently. However, she would not have been able to protect herself or others from Joffrey/Cersei in the long run.

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    89. krupke: I feel the blame for Mycah and Lady’s deaths is squarely on Joffrey/Cersei.Perhaps if Arya had been olderor had a different dispositionshe may have simply told Mycah to run and not fought/humiliated Joffrey. This may have mitigated that situation.However, Joffrey was a monster who was protected by a vindictive mother.His sadistic behavior would have (and did) escalated at some point no matter how he carefully he washandled and if he lived I think he would have found a way to torture/kill people and animals no matter what.Even the most cunning and calm person would not have been able to completely re-direct him.Margary was the closest person to be able to do this and even Olenna knew that Margary would not be successful in that endeavor (and had him killed).

      All very true about Joffrey and Cersei. But this incident was raised as an example of how Arya’s inability to keep her emotions in check and hold her tongue caused danger to her/those she cared about. Which it did. Was Arya morally to blame? No, particularly since she was a child, Joffrey was a sadist, and Cersei was a vengeful harpy. But her impulsiveness contributed to that particular situation.

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    90. Gwidhiel,

      ….The other difference I see is that Brienne’s physical size and strength made her distinctly “unfeminine” in the traditional sense. Even if she’d been interested in ladylike things and not inclined to fighting, her physique meant she wouldn’t be received as an attractive marriage prospect…

      I get the feeling that her family was rich enough that she’d have made a match despite her physical features. The show did a good job of showing two women with different physical features (one tall and imposing, the other small and lithe) being able to be formidable warriors in (mostly) the same way that men can in that world.

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    91. Gwidhiel:
      I love Arya, in case that’s not clear. But I don’t view her with rose-colored glasses. She’s always been flawed – not just from the viewpoint of the Westeros patriarchy, but from a general human perspective. The actress who plays her readily lists her shortcomings. Acknowledging Arya’s shortcomings doesn’t diminish her as a person overall, nor does recognizing that her sister has some valuable strengths that she herself doesn’t possess.

      I totally agree. And just to be clear, I’m under no delusion that Arya is without flaws. Her character would be far less interesting if she were. She’s the kind of person who really wears her emotions on her sleeves, is hot-tempered, and quick to judge. Not to mention the lengths she goes to in her revenge. On the other hand, she’s also very compassionate, kind, loyal, and judges people on their worth rather than their status or title.

      You mentioned above what you believe to be one of the reasons Arya is so popular among fans as “…how our society prizes individualism, independent strength and gumption…”, and I think that’s certainly true. Adding on to that, the combination of her flaws and virtues makes her one of the most interesting characters in the story (for me at least).

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    92. krupke:
      Gwidhiel,

      I get the feeling that her family was rich enough that she’d have made a match despiteher physical features. The show did a good job of showing two women with different physical features (one tall and imposing, the other small and lithe) being able to be formidable warriors in (mostly) the same way that men can in that world.

      True re Brienne’s family wealth – I was suggesting that allowing her to go her own way was perhaps an easier decision for Brienne’s father to reach than it would have been for the Starks to let Arya completely break free of the dictates of society, because Arya wasn’t a priori doomed to be an oddball because of her physique.

      Generally it seems to me that people are less sympathetic when they think that a person is choosing to break with convention. I’d imagine that Arya’s different interests were viewed, by her mother at least, as a failure to get with the program and reconcile herself to a woman’s lot in life. Of course you’re right that Brienne’s family’s wealth would have netted her suitors, undoubtedly, but I have the sense that her wish to deviate from the conventional female role would have seemed less like a choice than just an acknowledgement of her man-like height and strength. Just my take on it, obviously.

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    93. Enharmony1625: I totally agree. And just to be clear, I’m under no delusion that Arya is without flaws. Her character would be far less interesting if she were. She’s the kind of person who really wears her emotions on her sleeves, is hot-tempered, and quick to judge. Not to mention the lengths she goes to in her revenge. On the other hand, she’s also very compassionate, kind, loyal, and judges people on their worth rather than their status or title.

      You mentioned above what you believe to be one of the reasons Arya is so popular among fans as “…how our society prizes individualism, independent strength and gumption…”, and I think that’s certainly true. Adding on to that, the combination of her flaws and virtues makes her one of the most interesting characters in the story (for me at least).

      And I completely agree with you! My admiration for Arya is why I was so frustrated with her treatment in the S7 Winterfell plot.

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    94. Enharmony1625,

      I thumb-typed a lengthy reply enumerating Arya’s qualities – both her virtues as well as her flaws – that make her the best candidate to “break the wheel.” For some reason the post is being diverted to “Page Not Found” purgatory. I’ll try to play around with the formatting and try again.

      Anyway, one of my impressions is that “Break the Wheel” (like “Drain the Swamp”), makes a nice, snappy catch phrase; certainly, preventing the “small folk” from being steamrolled and crushed by warring noble houses and oppressive monarchies is a worthy objective – on paper.

      However, I was wondering: Would a self-declared Queen or King by “birthright” – even a progressive one with the very best intentions – really be the best candidate to accomplish that objective?

      Lemme see if I can fix the reply and explain what I mean.

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    95. Gwidhiel,

      “….Was Arya morally to blame? No, particularly since she was a child, Joffrey was a sadist, and Cersei was a vengeful harpy. But her impulsiveness contributed to that particular situation….”

      I definitely get your point, but something in me rebels at blaming anyone else other than Joffrey/Cersei. I think it would be different if we’d been shown some capacity for Joffrey to be a better person. There were moments in S3 where Margary tried to make him see he’d get just as much pleasure from being adored by his people as by hurting them, but it was only holding off the inevitable. By S4E2, during the wedding feast, she was just to diffuse the situations he created.

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    96. krupke:
      Gwidhiel,

      “….Was Arya morally to blame? No, particularly since she was a child, Joffrey was a sadist, and Cersei was a vengeful harpy. But her impulsiveness contributed to that particular situation….”

      I definitely get your point, but something in me rebels at blaming anyone else other than Joffrey/Cersei.I think it would be different if we’d been shown some capacity for Joffrey to be a better person. There were moments in S3 where Margary tried to make him see he’d get just as much pleasure from being adored by his people as by hurting them,but it was only holding off the inevitable. By S4E2,during the wedding feast, she was just to diffuse the situations he created.

      I’m with you, and I’m not for a moment suggesting that Joffrey wouldn’t have done terrible things if Arya had held her tongue. In that very incident, Joffrey was abusing Mycah before Arya had said much at all. Arya wasn’t to blame for Joffrey being a sadistic, royal bully, with all of the entitlement of a Prince but none of the noblesse oblige.

      I’m simply saying that Arya’s words and behavior made things worse. She poured fuel on a fire that someone else had set, because she hadn’t recognized the danger in doing so. She did it for the right reasons. But she did not achieve her aims (to defend Mycah and put Joffrey in his place).

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    97. Gwidhiel,

      True re Brienne’s family wealth – I was suggesting that allowing her to go her own way was perhaps an easier decision for Brienne’s father to reach than it would have been for the Starks to let Arya completely break free of the dictates of society, because Arya wasn’t a priori doomed to be an oddball because of her physique.

      Yup

      Generally it seems to me that people are less sympathetic when they think that a person is choosing to break with convention. I’d imagine that Arya’s different interests were viewed, by her mother at least, as a failure to get with the program and reconcile herself to a woman’s lot in life. Of course you’re right that Brienne’s family’s wealth would have netted her suitors, undoubtedly, but I have the sense that her wish to deviate from the conventional female role would have seemed less like a choice than just an acknowledgement of her man-like height and strength. Just my take on it, obviously.

      I can see this. Once her father relented and let her follow her wishes to become a warrior, her physical features made this more acceptable in some ways b/c she physically “fit the part.” Unfortunately for her, physically fitting the part of a warrior made her a target of derision because of her gender.

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    98. krupke:

      Unfortunately for her, physically fitting the part of a warrior made her a target of derision because of her gender.

      I wince at every sexist slur hurled at Brienne. She’s just the best and deserves everyone’s admiration and RESPECT.

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    99. krupke:
      Gwidhiel,

      Yup

      I can see this.Once her father relented and let her follow her wishes to become a warrior, her physical features made this more acceptable in some ways b/c she physically “fit the part.”Unfortunately for her, physically fitting the part of a warrior made her a target of derision because of her gender.

      Oh another thought: not only would it be easier to accept Brienne in a man’s role because of her physique, it was also probably difficult to imagine her succeeding in a traditional female role … if that distinction makes sense. What I mean is, on the suitor front, if the Tarth wealth was transparently the appeal, rather than Brienne herself, then I can imagine a loving father’s reluctance to see his child married to someone who was clearly only interested in the $$. Aristocratic marriages were practical affairs, but usually there was at least a veneer of interest in the woman a man set out to wed. If Brienne only attracted the attention of blatant fortune hunters, her father might have been so put off by them that he was willing to let her do her own thing instead. Total speculation, obviously.

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    100. Ten Bears,

      I’m tellin’ ya, internet/web technology is like the Night King of our world — an unstoppable force of evil that leaves no one untouched. 🙂

      Ten Bears:
      Enharmony1625,
      However, I was wondering: Would a self-declared Queen or King by “birthright” – even a progressive one with the very best intentions – really be the best candidate to accomplish that objective?

      Indeed! And I think that’s a question that GoT has been asking since almost the beginning with so many different rulers vying for the Iron Throne: everyone from Dany, to Stannis, Renly, and even Margaery to some extent (she wasn’t necessarily gunning for the throne itself, but wanted to rule alongside a king). All of the contenders in that list had or have good intentions, but do they truly understand the small folk and their struggles & needs? Or put another way, are those who seek power worthy of it?

      Interested to read your thoughts if you can salvage your MIA post.

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    101. Gwidhiel,


      Oh another thought: not only would it be easier to accept Brienne in a man’s role because of her physique, it was also probably difficult to imagine her succeeding in a traditional female role … if that distinction makes sense. What I mean is, on the suitor front, if the Tarth wealth was transparently the appeal, rather than Brienne herself, then I can imagine a loving father’s reluctance to see his child married to someone who was clearly only interested in the $$. Aristocratic marriages were practical affairs, but usually there was at least a veneer of interest in the woman a man set out to wed. If Brienne only attracted the attention of blatant fortune hunters, her father might have been so put off by them that he was willing to let her do her own thing instead. Total speculation, obviously.

      Possible, also possible that even if Brienne was not inclined to be a warrior that her father may have gone out of his way to make sure Brienne was betrothed to someone worthy of her or not betrothed at all. Brienne’s inclination to become a warrior happened to coincide with her physical features, so like you implied, her father may have said ‘screw it’- let her be what she wants even though it’s dangerous and socially anomalous b/c the alternative (marriage to a gold digger who’d control her wealth) would be just as bad or worse. I get the impression that Brienne’s dad really loved her. It would have been really interesting to see them interact.

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    102. Enharmony1625,

      “…Or put another way, are those who seek power worthy of it?…”

      I think it’s possible to be politically ambitious and be good/worthy of the position one wants to attain. In fact, I think it’s better if a person in political office is a good person and enjoys his/her job. To me the bigger issue is that the power structure in Westeros is so flawed that even if a good person sat on the Iron Throne it would only mildly mitigate the worst aspects of that flawed structure.

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    103. krupke:
      Enharmony1625,
      I think it’spossible to be politically ambitious and be good/worthy of the position one wants to attain. In fact, I think it’s better if a person in political office is a good person and enjoys his/her job. To me the bigger issue isthat the power structure in Westeros is so flawed that even if a good person sat on the Iron Throne it would only mildly mitigate the worst aspects of that flawed structure.

      I agree, and I think Margaery might have been that person in GoT. She was ultimately a good person who seemed genuine in her concern for the small folk, but was adept and, to a degree, okay with playing the game in order to get into power.

      The flawed power structure in Westeros is one of the reasons I’m in favour of an ending where we see movement in the political system towards something better than the feudal one in place now.

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    104. Gwidhiel,

      Maisie’s clear that Arya was played by Littlefinger, and only figured it out at the very end.

      Actually, Maisie is not clear about that. She is clear here ONLY about Arya’s emotions, thoughts, attitude, and perception regarding Sansa. About Littlefinger she said, “But THEY realize Littlefinger is playing THEM and THEY ultimately pull through together.” That’s key. Earlier this year Sophie gave an interview in which she said “I think Sansa and Arya had already planned their take-down of him.” Matt Shakman said in his director’s commentary, “Arya sees into people. And she’s looking into Littlefinger there. She obviously has a lot of animosity towards him. She’s going to do more exploring.” That is the trouble she went hunting for, though it got deflected onto Sansa for a bit. Maisie said in The Game Revealed for that episode, “Arya’s never trusted Littlefinger.” And as we all know, in a post-finale interview, Isaac discussed the deleted scene where Sansa comes to Bran because

      “it might be a good idea to check with him first before she guts her own sister.”

      We don’t know when that scene was to take place, but it implies that Sansa was still manipulated by Littlefinger. That had also been hinted at when she sent Brienne and Pod away due to his insinuations.

      There is a old saw in show business: timing is everything. It’s clear that at some late point the united sisters went after LF with Bran and set up the trial. But we don’t know when. However, if nothing else, cumulatively the above interview remarks pretty much prove that Arya was always wary enough of LF to not be his dupe. The possible exception is the letter, but since she wisely used it to lure Sansa to a private tete-a-tete which partially cleared the air, it ultimately didn’t benefit him. One way or the other, from the Death Glare on, Arya kept her eye on LF. In their next scene, Arya lie-detected Sansa about her loyalty to Jon. Then she proceeded to investigate Littlefinger. Once she learned that he had paid spies and that he was meeting with the same two lords who had just asked Sansa to overthrow Jon (!) he was fully in her sights.

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    105. I do think it would’ve been better to a) include the Bran/Sansa scene for clarification, and b) include a callback to The Hound’s words when the Stark sisters reveal an appreciation for each other’s talents and experiences.

      I *don’t* always agree with actors’ assessments of characters and situations, and don’t think that what they might’ve had in mind is necessarily the final word on the matter. Do I think Arya could’ve survived what Sansa did? Absolutely. She may be more impetuous, but she’s smart, and I think she’s learned enough not to get herself killed via rash dumbness. (I don’t hold her responsible for Micah and Lady at all, either. And ugh, I haven’t stopped loathing Cersei from the moment she reminded Robert, “What about the wolf?”)
      I’m glad Maisie’s willing to acknowledge that Arya, like everybody else, is imperfect. There really are no Mary Sues here, just as in reality. (I know Mophie are great friends, though, and suspect that Mais is overly generous toward Sansa because they have that sisterly love for one another’s characters as well. ;p)

      Nuncle Kingsmoot, Krupke, Pigeon, Stark Raven Rad–totally agreed w/ you.

      “Too often I think female characters are just male characteristics with a female body.” As a female, that’s…kind of how I see it? I’ve never seen men & women as being different in any significant way. There’s so, so much more variation and differentiation within each sex than between them.

      “I don’t think there is anything wrong with calling women strong IF they deserve this title. There have been a few remarkable women who had the character which seemed more intense, more vivid, than their male counterparts. Just please don’t call someone who is obviously pandering to the media or who is masquerading as being the quasi-perfect feminist by preaching what the people want to hear, not necessarily her real thoughts and opinions on the industry she is in, especially entertainment. We need to stop praising women for being fake feminists more than anything.”

      Now THAT I agree with. I sense great phoniness in many such people.

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    106. Stark Raven’ Rad:
      We don’t know when that scene was to take place

      We do know, in fact. It was after the Sansa/LF scene in the finale, so Sansa was to go to Bran at the last minute. Everything we saw leading up to that moment was real, not some scheme by the sisters.

      However, if nothing else, cumulatively the above interview remarks pretty much prove that Arya was always wary enough of LF to not be his dupe.

      She doesn’t need to not be wary of Littlefinger to be his dupe. The only manipulation he tries on Arya all season is the letter, and she falls for that hook, line and sinker.

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    107. Sean C.: We do know, in fact.It was after the Sansa/LF scene in the finale, so Sansa was to go to Bran at the last minute.Everything we saw leading up to that moment was real, not some scheme by the sisters.

      It actually happened before that Sansa/LF scene. According to Sophie, that scene was one of her most challenging ones in S7 because she had to act as if she was being manipulated by LF while she in fact was deceiving him. At this point, Arya and Sansa had already planned their takedown of him. So that Bran scene would have happened right after Arya hands the dagger over to Sansa, which makes more sense when you think about it. Sansa was genuinely shook after that, so it makes far more sense that she would at that point seek out Bran.

      Here’s the video interview with Sophie (8:04):

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    108. Now I SUPER-wish they’d included the ‘Bransa’ scene between the dagger and the LF/Sansa ones, because it was totally unclear that she wasn’t still being manipulated right up until he obviously told her the truth and the three of them worked together against LF at the trial. -.-

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    109. Ten Bears:
      Armorer and weapons specialist Natalia Lee has been with Game of Thrones since the very first episode, and in a new interview with Metro she admits working on the final season has been bittersweet.”
      —————- If I hear or read one more cast or crew member use that word “bittersweet” again, it’s going to induce some serious retroperistalsis that triggers violent projectile vomiting.

      It’s not that the word itself is so bad TB – for me at least – but I agree that the word has become overused in the GoT context. Maybe because GRRM said the ending of ASOIAF would be “bittersweet”.

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