Fandom-Wide Survey Ratings for Game of Thrones, Part 2: Good and Evil

Survey header

By Chris Wright, aka James Rivers, with Petra

Part 2 of our Game of Thrones fandom survey results finds three strong women — Daenerys, Cersei and Sansa — among respondents’ favorite AND least favorite characters. And a question gauging the morality of 40 characters reveals that a man normally associated with “black and white” comes closest to purely gray.

Yes, Part 2 (of 4) focuses on characters – heroes, villains and more – and their sometimes differing book/show iterations. We’ll also look at how various subgroups of respondents – based on age, gender identity and other factors – see specific characters.

Check out Part 1 for basics on the survey, as well as results regarding plotlines, season rankings and missing characters!


Villains, Heroes … and Jaqen

The survey’s very first exercise was this:

“Please rate each character below as to how “good” or “evil” you consider them, using the scale provided. Please consider ONLY their overall show portrayal. Ignore the books if you have read them.”

Respondents had five options: Very evil; Slightly to somewhat evil; Neither good nor evil; Slightly to somewhat good; Very good. These translated to a five-point scale, with “very good” being a 5 and so on. Forty characters were listed in a random order, and photos were provided.

The Top 20 characters were as follows:

Goodest CharactersWhile at Con of Thrones I found myself at a table with Kerry Ingram and Sam Coleman, and got to tell them their characters were seen as very, very good. Although real-life Sam may have been slightly jealous of on-screen Sam edging out Hodor for number two.

Petra: It catches my attention that three of the top five “goodest” characters (Shireen, Hodor and Ned) suffered unjust deaths, though I don’t think this necessarily influenced the vote. Brienne and Sam are going strong, after all, but it does say a lot about Game of Thrones itself.

And here are the “bottom 20” characters, though the first handful are still in marginal “good” territory:

Evil CharactersThe mean score for the 40 characters was 3.30 – slightly good. Twenty-one characters (Shireen through Jaime) were labeled “good” by a majority of respondents; nine were dubbed “evil” by most. The remaining 10 found middle ground, and the fact a certain Faceless Man wound up a smidge from a perfect 3.0 delights my inner data geek.

Petra: It’s fitting that Jaqen is placed almost perfectly in the middle of the 1 to 5 scale, since he’s the epitome of moral neutrality. It also tickles me that Yara is considered significantly “good-er” than Theon despite her adherence to the Ironborn lifestyle prior to her pact with Daenerys.

With the final season of the show coming soon, the remaining characters will meet their fates. We wanted to see who viewers are rooting for among those who remain. This included some of the 40 characters listed above, as well as other more minor ones. Here’s what we asked:

“Here’s a list of characters still on the show. Which do you WANT to have a happy ending, regardless of whether you think they will? Check any that apply.”

Below is the percent of overall respondents who checked “yes” to a given character, ranked from most to least.

Happy Ending

While the “goodest” characters from the earlier charts tended to do best here, there are exceptions: Arya, for one, placed 19th of 40 characters on good/evil, but rates fifth here.

Petra: I’m interested to know why romantic couples didn’t rank closer together. Why do more people want Sam and Missandei to have a happy ending than Gilly and Grey Worm, respectively?

Six of these characters had quite different “happy ending” ratings among our three viewer groups from Part 1 (book first, show then book, show only), including arguably the show’s three leads. These percentages are approximate, not exact, due to an issue within PollDaddy.

Endings Viewer Groups

Edd is the only one here with a lower rating from show-onlys. I tend to think this may be because many of them didn’t recognize his name; he’s one of the less-seen on this list.


Fan Favorites, and Not So Much

Fan favorites are an eternal question for this and just about any other fan base. For our throng of 2,500-plus viewers, we have a clear answer to both questions. And they both happen to be northern bastards:

favorite

Petra: I’m intrigued that the only “favorite” characters who also ranked as “goodest” are Jon and Davos. The others rank somewhere grayer. Cersei is even among the “evilest of the evilest.” Fans of Game of Thrones are willing to acknowledge the darkness in the characters they love.

There’s also a lot to unpack about the fact that Sansa, Cersei and Daenerys – three women with power – are the only characters among the top favorite and least favorite characters. We’ve highlighted them in yellow.

See the comments section (maybe not when you read this, but soon) for a longer list of favorite and least favorite characters.


Comparing Book and Show ‘Versions’ of Characters

It has been said that certain characters have very different depictions on the show vs. in the books, with morality being a key component. We attempted to measure this idea with the following question, shown only to book readers.

Here are certain characters from the previous exercise. For each, indicate how you’d fill in the following sentence regarding their show vs. book depiction. Leave blank if you aren’t sure. “_____ was depicted as ____ on the show, compared with in the books.

Again, there was a five point scale, ranging from “much more evil” to “much more good. Only a handful of characters had noteworthy results, with most falling into the “neutral” area overall.

Book Show ComparisonsPetra: It sounds obvious but committing violence against children is a pretty clear metric for how the audience perceives a characters. Stannis and Ellaria are considered much more evil in the show in which they both murdered teenage girls. Conversely, Tyrion and Varys are considered much more good in the show, which omitted Tyrion’s threat to rape Tommen and the implication that Varys cuts out children’s tongues.

A related question that came later in the survey also applied only to book readers and addressed book/show character differences in general:

“Below are characters whose depictions/characterizations on the show have been pointed to as different than in the books. Which version do you prefer?”

We had our standard five-point scale, ranging from a strong preference for the book version (a 1) to a strong preference for the show version (a 5). These were the results. Don’t be thrown by the different color scheme. It’s to avoid confusion with charts that have a positive/negative range (good/evil, pleased/displeased…):

Book Show PreferThe overall average score was 2.91, very close to a 3.0 score of “no real preference,” which may be a surprise given these were book readers who, based on results from Part 1, generally have a lower opinion of Thrones than show-only respondents.

Petra: It seems that fans are drawn to whichever version of a character is given greater prominence. Of course, moral factors sway opinions but in the case of Doran Martell, who was more prominent in the books and Margaery and Osha, who were more prominent in the show, fans prefer the version of the character they got to spend more time with.


‘Isolated’ Viewers and Other Observations

We asked several demographic questions to look for differences among varied population groups (The book/show question was one of these). Respondent answers resulted in a lot of variation.

A comprehensive look would be extremely time consuming, so below are the most stark results when looking at the “Is this show character good or evil” question. (For the stats geeks among us, these all had p values of .000 in a Chi Square test, Likelihood Ratio and Linear by Linear Association at 95% confidence.)

The first chart will require some explanation. At left is the familiar book/show question. At top-right are results for Jaime divided by whether the respondent nearly always watched the show as it aired; watched it at their own pace (whether binge-watching or not), or watched in a mix of the two.

As for the “isolation group” at bottom right, imagine a group of people being sequestered to watch the show, each on his or her own. This is as close to that as we’ll come. It is made up of the 175 or so respondents who are book only AND spend less than an hour a week discussing or reading about the show online or in “real life,” whether or not it is airing at the time.

Good Percentages

Petra: It’s interesting that viewers who are familiar with the book versions of these characters have darker impressions of the show versions, as if the characters on screen remain tainted by their (much harder to like) book counterparts.

Next, here are the most stark differences among those calling a character “good” by age, political orientation and status as LGBTQA+. For some reason, there were more differences by age than by any other grouping. And a word of caution: It’s easy to overinterpret demographic results such as these. Most will fall into one of three categories:

  • “That makes a lot of sense.”
  • “Huh. That’s interesting but not what I expected.”
  • “WTF??”

Not sure any of the below will fit under that final category for most people, but here we go.

stats

Petra: It’s always risky to weigh in on why people of certain demographics do (or don’t) gravitate to certain characters. Stereotyping feels inevitable. However, I wonder what it is about Bronn, of all characters, that appeals more to older, conservative audiences. It also surprises me that younger audiences find Catelyn more “good” than older audiences, as I would have assumed viewers closer to Catelyn’s age (and therefore life experience) would be the ones to empathize with her.

Lastly, let’s look at characters where the biggest difference was among using the “evil” label instead of good. Note, the gender identity results show only male and female because there were too few answers of nonbinary or other to use them for crosstabulation.

For “GoT-related interaction,” little interaction is for those who spend less than an hour a week discussing or reading about the show online or in “real life,” no matter if it is airing or not. High interaction is for those who spend at least three hours a week doing the above, whether or not it is airing, OR spend at least five hours a week while it is airing and at least an hour a week while it is not.

Percent Evil

“Isolated” viewers being less likely to find Roose Bolton evil may be the closest we come here to a “WTF” statistic (though 85% still did, so don’t get too excited). Given these folks are basically uninvolved in the series’ culture, is the last thing they remember about him — stabbed by his jealous son — blocking memories of his earlier deeds.

That’s all for now. We’ll have Parts 3 and 4 of the results for you soon!

259 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. Characters with at least 10 votes for favorite…

      Jon 457
      Arya 238
      Tyrion 189
      Daenerys 152
      Sansa 124
      Jaime 96
      Hound 82
      Davos 71
      Cersei 48
      Ned Stark 40
      Brienne 32
      Robb Stark 27
      Bronn 25
      Drogon 23
      Oberyn Martell 23
      Theon 22
      Tywin 19
      Ghost 18
      Stannis Baratheon 18
      Margaery Tyrell 16
      Olenna Tyrell 16
      Sam 15
      Tormund Giantsbane 15
      Littlefinger 14
      jorah mormont 12
      Bran 11

      =================

      And for least favorite:

      Ramsay Bolton 486
      Joffrey Baratheon 253
      Cersei 187
      Daenerys 84
      Walder Frey 65
      Sand snakes 56
      Littlefinger 52
      Euron 47
      Sansa 47
      Ellaria 45
      High Sparrow 36
      Theon 31
      Night king 23
      Catelyn Stark 21
      shae 21
      Bran 17
      Melisandre 17
      Jon Snow 16
      Mountain/Gregor/Robert Strong 21
      Roose Bolton 13
      Balon Greyjoy 12
      Lysa Arryn 12
      Master pycelle 12
      Qyburn 12
      The Waif 10
      Tywin Lannister 10

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    2. Ohhh I am sad I missed out on this survey!!!!!

      I think I was in Turkey and busy with stuff (work /vacation) while there
      Although, I rarely check this site during the off season.

      I would have loved to participate.

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    3. Ten Bears,

      Yes, that’s what I feel as well, no matter how many she has killed. All of them for good reason. Not to forget her true friendship for the Hound (previously on her list) and her instant humane feelings towards the Lannister soldiers.

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    4. Dee Stark,

      Just kidding of course. Seriously, who would you have ranked as your top 5 favorites? (I’m transparent as Saran Wrap: Arya & Sandor #1 + #2. Nobody else comes close.)

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    5. I feel sorry for those who have Ned as their favorite character and have had to read/watch most of the series without him.

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    6. In which book does this happen: “Tyrion’s threat to rape Tommen”? I am reading the books again for the third time and don’t recall this happening. Kind of stunning.

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    7. This survey pretty much sums up why I was Jon to die permanently.

      He’s the biggest fan favorite, and personally, I’m extremely tired of all this hype around Jon’s character. It’s time to show his fans, that this isn’t a Disney-story and that he is just as mortal and vulnerable as the rest of the characters.

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    8. Ten Bears:
      Interesting. Brienne commits regicide and still winds up rated as #4 on the “Good” character list.

      Well, that may depend in part on whether respondents thought that action of hers was justified. Which will be addressed in Part 3! 🙂

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    9. Nina:
      This survey pretty much sums up why I was Jon to die permanently.

      He’s the biggest fan favorite, and personally, I’m extremely tired of all this hype around Jon’s character. It’s time to show his fans, that this isn’t a Disney-story and that he is just as mortal and vulnerable as the rest of the characters.

      You mean like when he was murdered by the NW in season 5?

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    10. Petra: It’s fitting that Jaqen is placed almost perfectly in the middle of the 1 to 5 scale, since he’s the epitome of moral neutrality.

      See, I find this perspective very strange.

      Jaqen is a cultist who murders people for some combination of money and religious convictions about death. The fact that he doesn’t bear ill will to anybody he kills doesn’t make him morally neutral. Jaqen and the entirety of the Faceless Man organization are evil.

      Indeed, it’s instructive to compare the vastly different receptions between Jaqen and Melisandre.

      Unrelatedly, only 35% of respondents consider Ellaria much more evil on the show than in the books? What books were the rest reading?

      Julie Pollack:
      In which book does this happen: “Tyrion’s threat to rape Tommen”? I am reading the books again for the third time and don’t recall this happening. Kind of stunning.

      ACOK, when he’s confronting Cersei about having a prostitute that she thinks is his mistress in custody (in the show it was Ros, in the books it was a different character).

      The threat to rape Tommen (which he was subsequently glad he didn’t have to follow through on) is honestly fairly low on the list of evil actions from Tyrion omitted from the show (particularly in ADWD).

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    11. James Rivers,

      Davos thought Renly had committed treason. He was right. So did Olenna, as she explained to Margaery and Sansa:

      Olenna with Margaery and Sansa about Renly (S3e2)

      Margaery: “Renly was brave and gentle, Grandmother. Father liked him and so did Loras.”
      Olenna: “Loras is young and very good at knocking men off horses with a stick. That does not make him wise. As to your fathead father– ”
      Margaery: “Grandmother! What will Sansa think of us?”
      Olenna: “She might think we have some wits about us. One of us, at any rate. It was treason. I warned them. Robert has two sons and Renly has an older brother. How could he possibly have any claim to that ugly iron chair? We should have stayed well out of all this if you ask me. But once the cow’s been milked, there’s no squirting the cream back up her udders. So here we are to see things through….”

      [And now the realm has lost the shield that guards the English language. Nice job, Brienne. Next time, “do your duty” by sticking to looking for lit candles in towers like you were supposed to, instead of beheading the One True King.]

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    12. Shy Lady Dragon,

      Full disclosure, I rated Arya as “slightly to somewhat good”. What keeps her from being fully in the “good” category for me is not her killing (and it’s absolutely true that she’s only killed people deserving of it), but it’s the lengths she goes to and the fact that she feels a kind of gratification in doing it. As Mel said in 3×06, “I see a darkness in you.” Fundamentally though, she is absolutely a good person.

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    13. Nina: It’s time to show his fans, that this isn’t a Disney-story and that he is just as mortal and vulnerable as the rest of the characters.

      Nina: Was he killed permanently? No. He was resurrected and I am 100% sure he will be resurrected in the next book as well.

      So in your opinion main protagonists only live in Disney stories? When George resurrects him does that mean ASoIaF is then actually Disney-esque? I believe all of the living characters have gone through some pretty harsh stuff and still remain. He’s not alone.

      If you’re going to be upset that one of the main characters is a fan favorite at least explain with something that makes sense. Even if it’s “I’m upset because my favorite isn’t everyone’s favorite,” that would be better. Your verbiage of “his fans” referring to Jon pretty much says that you simply dislike him. As a reader & viewer I personally don’t understand how people can be so decidedly on “one side” and against another among the perceived protagonists. I’m sure I wouldn’t agree with any of your reasoning but anything is better than “Jon living would be too Disney,” when doing so would in no way make it a neat little fairy tale.

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    14. Sean C.: See, I find this perspective very strange.

      Jaqen is a cultist who murders people for some combination of money and religious convictions about death.The fact that he doesn’t bear ill will to anybody he kills doesn’t make him morally neutral.Jaqen and the entirety of the Faceless Man organization are evil.

      Indeed, it’s instructive to compare the vastly different receptions between Jaqen and Melisandre.

      I very much agree with this, and (no joke) was going to be my next post! Jaqen is by no means a good person. I think his charisma and the mystery surrounding him are largely responsible for people seeing him as neutral. Besides willingly killing people for money or his religious convictions, he also exploited a young girl’s trauma and emotional vulnerability in inviting her to join the Faceless Men for what she could do for them and the Many-Faced God.

      So yes, Jaqen is most certainly evil.

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    15. Ten Bears,

      I think the events closely surrounding Brienne killing Stannis probably affect some people’s perception. Besides knowing that Stannis had her king(Renly) killed with blood magic, viewers had also just seen Stannis allow his daughter be burned alive as a human sacrifice in the prior episode. Furthermore, Stannis told her to ‘do her duty’. I do wonder what Bri enne would have decided to do if she knew of what was going on up North and what Stannis believed about his role in prophecy

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    16. Sean C.,

      I distinguish between Jaqen 1.0 who befriended Arya after she saved his life…and Jaqen 2.0, the cold-hearted hypocrite in the HoB&W who okayed the hit on her in Braavos. (As I understand it, Jaqen 2.0 = Book! “Kindly Man” – a completely different character.)

      Meanwhile, they never explained why The Waif was such a jealous b*tch. I thought for a moment she was a Frey (she noticeably stopped had a strange look when Arya mentioned Walder Frey was on her list, but that was never fleshed out.)

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    17. Clob,

      Can I filch a line from my favorite movie to describe Jon’s view about living and dying?

      “Dyin’ ain’t hard for men like you and me. It’s livin’ that’s hard, when all you’ve ever cared about has been butchered or raped.”

      – Josey Wales (Clint Eastwood) from “The Outlaw Josey Wales” (in a scene reminiscent of Jon’s parlay with the Wildlings)

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    18. Ten Bears,

      While Jaqen in Seasons 5-6 was indeed filling in for a different character, their roles in the FM are the same. Season 2 Jaqen is still an immoral individual unbothered by killing people in accordance with his cult’s moral schema.

      That Season 2 Jaqen exclusively killed bad guys is a feature of who Arya set him on, not on his own morality. He’d have killed the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker if Arya had asked.

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    19. Ten Bears: Meanwhile, they never explained why The Waif was such a jealous b*tch. I thought for a moment she was a Frey (she noticeably stopped had a strange look when Arya mentioned Walder Frey was on her list, but that was never fleshed out.)

      I could be misremembering things, but I think the Waif came from a poorer home, so she has a certain kind of resentment for lords and ladies. I think that’s as far as it goes, but again, I could be misremembering things.

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    20. Sean C.:
      Ten Bears,

      While Jaqen in Seasons 5-6 was indeed filling in for a different character, their roles in the FM are the same.Season 2 Jaqen is still an immoral individual unbothered by killing people in accordance with his cult’s moral schema.

      That Season 2 Jaqen exclusively killed bad guys is a feature of who Arya set him on, not on his own morality.He’d have killed the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker if Arya had asked.

      Not Hot Pie!

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    21. nvm. I remembered that she “claimed” to be a daughter of a widowed lord, but we really don’t know if she was being truthful or not, so I guess it’s still a mystery.

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    22. Ten Bears,

      I think the Waif was a bitch to Arya because being a bitch was the Waif’s way of teaching her the skills to be a Faceless Man ASNaWp. Arya was a bitch to Sansa that way the Waif was a bitch to Arya…. Sansa became stronger too.

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    23. God, Jon is so overrated and I don”t understand why, from the main characters he’s the least interesting and the most traditional in that characters like him are ubiquitous in media and have been for years ( Aaragon, Luke Skywalker, Simba, King Arthur, Moses, Wonder Woman, William Wallace, Harry Potter, Peter Parker, superman…) not to mention how predictable and straight forward every action he makes is. What’s surprising is that most people praise the show for how morally grey it’s characters are, yet the character that gets the most fans is the archetypical hero one who is shown to be morally perfect.

      Also interesting about Dany, Cersei and Sansa being on both lists, especially since those three are traditionally some of the most hated in surveys.

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    24. Nina,

      Lol.

      Although you could argue the way the show treats Jon does not shy away from the consequences of being the “good guy.”

      He did clearly f*up the battle of the bastards. He clearly made a huge blunder again not listening to what his sister had told him about Cersei and deciding to go beyond the wall.

      It is interesting that he is such a fan favorite despite making some really big mistakes.

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    25. Enharmony1625,

      As long as we’re trashing Jaqen, I’m still pissed that he pulled a bait and switch on Arya. He enticed her to Braavos with the promise that she could offer the names on her list one by one. But then when she got there and offered up Meryn F*cking Trant, he punished her for it!

      Flimflam man Jaqen ought to be selling used cars in a junkyard in Bayonne, New Jersey. What kind of recruitment scam was he pulling on poor Arya? He didn’t say anything about brainwashing her into becoming an assassin for hire – or that she’d be expected to whack good people just because some customer paid a fee. (Who knew that the House of Black & White was really a front for the Corleone Crime Family? Or that Jaqen H’ghar was a pseudonym for Luca Brasi?)
      Nor did he ever tell her that his inducement was a big f*cking lie – or that she’d be expected to rid herself of Arya Stark’s wishes, desires and her very identity.

      (Arya’s farewell to Jaqen, S2e10)

      Arya: “What are you doing here?”
      Jaqen: “Waiting for you.”
      Arya: “How did you know we’d come this way?”
      Jaqen: “After all the things you have seen, this is your question?”
      Arya: “How did you kill those guards? Was it hard?”
      Jaqen: “No harder than taking a new name, if you know the way.”
      Arya: “Show me how. I want to be able to do it too.”
      Jaqen: “If you would learn, you must come with me.”
      Arya: “Where?”
      Jaqen: “Far and away across the Narrow Sea to Braavos.”
      Arya: “My dancing master was from Braavos.”
      Jaqen: “To be a dancing master is a special thing, but to be a Faceless Man – that is something else entirely. A girl has many names on her lips. Joffrey, Cersei, Tywin Lannister, llyn Payne, the Hound. Names to offer up to the Red God. She could offer them all one by one.
      Arya: “I want to… But I can’t. I need to find my brother and mother. And my sister. I need to find her too.”
      Jaqen: “Then we must part. A man has duties as well. Here.” (gives her coin)
      Arya: “What is it?”
      Jaqen: “A coin of great value.”
      Arya. “Could it buy a horse?”
      Jaqen: “is not meant for the buying of horses.”
      Arya: “Then what good is it?”
      Jaqen: “If the day comes when you must find me again, just give that coin to any man from Braavos and say these words to him, ’em>Valar Morghulis.'”em>
      Arya: “Valar Morghulis.” Please don’t go, Jaqen.”
      Jaqen: “Jaqen is dead. Say it again. ‘Valar Morghulis.’
      Arya: “Valar Morghulis.
      Jaqen: “Good. Farewell, Arya Stark.”

      He should’ve obliged when she gave him his own name in S2 and told him: “I’m not joking. A man can go kill himself.” 👸🏻

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    26. Julie Pollack,

      It’s near the end of ACoK, when Cersei has the teenage prostitute who has been a front for Shae captive & is threatening harm against her. Tyrion promises (paraphrasing) “I’lll duplicate everything that happens to her-including the rapes-on your son.” Tommen was being held by men loyal to Tyrion after Cersei tried to smuggle him out of KL.

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    27. Mr Derp,

      Early on, the Waif told Arya a story about coming from a noble family in Westeros just like Arya – but then challenged Arya to discern what part(s) of that backstory were false. So who knows?

      I was just thinking about the Waif’s weird facial exprsssion and body movement when Arya mentioned “Walder Frey” in a later scene.

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    28. firstone:
      Ten Bears,

      I think the Waif was a bitch to Arya because being a bitch was the Waif’s way of teaching her the skills to be a Faceless Man ASNaWp.Arya was a bitch to Sansa that way the Waif was a bitch to Arya…. Sansa became stronger too.

      Wait, what? Arya didn’t clobber Sansa with a bat while she was blind. Arya never hit Sansa. Arya was never a bitch to Sansa (except for that one scene in S7e6 when someone slipped Arya some PCP and she thought she was Hannibal Lecter.)

      If anything, Arya (unwittingly but thoroughly) avenged Sansa for the brutal beatings Sansa suffered at the hands of Meryn F. Trant. And the trauma Sansa suffered when she learned what Lothar and Black Walder Frey had done to their mother and sister in law.

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    29. Ten Bears:
      Mr Derp,

      Early on, the Waif told Arya a story about coming from a noble family in Westeros just like Arya – but then challenged Arya to discern what part(s) of that backstory were false. So who knows?

      I was just thinking about the Waif’s weird facial exprsssion and body movement when Arya mentioned “Walder Frey” in a later scene.

      The surprised look that Waify McWaiferton gave Arya was in response to Arya getting up after being pummeled. The discussion between Arya and Waify in regards to the list was voiced over it, so I don’t think the look that McWaify gave was related to Arya’s comment about Walder Frey

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    30. How in seven hells is Margaery not recognised as the purest and kindest character in GoT?!

      She should be ruling the “good” and “favourite” charts hands down.

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    31. Ten Bears,

      Not only that, but just before he renders her blind, there’s this:

      TheWaif/Jaqen: “Why are you crying?”
      Arya: “He was my friend.”
      The Waif/Jaqen: “No he wasn’t.”

      I still think he had a soft spot for her, but more because he saw how potentially valuable she could be to the FM. He wasn’t her friend. He didn’t help her out of compassion. At best I would say I was intrigued by Jaqen, but I never liked him.

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    32. Nariman,

      Meh. He hanged a child. Betrayed the woman he loved. Killed a man in order to gain the trust of his enemies. He planned to murder Mance Rayder. And as I understand it, he’s done a few more shady things in the novels.

      I wouldn’t say he’s morally perfect, nor as infallible as the other fictional characters you mentioned. And as House Monty points out in the post following yours, he’s made some pretty reckless blunders too.

      I think we’ll probably see the most morally grey version of Jon next season, when he’s got a kingdom to defend and family to protect at all costs; a claim to the Iron Throne that rivals Daenerys’; friends he may have to send to their deaths (like with Grenn); and no doubt one no-win scenario after another to deal with.

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    33. Mr Derp,

      Here, take a look at the two scenes about: (1) the Waif’s alleged “backstory”, and (2) what I thought was the Waif’s noticeable reaction when Arya mentions Walder Frey.

      (BTW- in both scenes, Arya’s conflicted feelings about the Hound surface. That, to me, foreshadows their eventual reconciliation in S8. Or else… why bother mentioning the Hound in Arya’s Braavos story line? 😄)

      ___________
      After Jaqen whacks around Arya, Waif tells Arya her purported “backstory”
      at 2:40

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

      _____________________
      S6 Waif-Blind Arya Game of Faces

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDaQSr48hYo

      1:04 – 1:58 Right after asking about “Arya Stark’s family”, Waif asks: “Tell me about … the Hound”)

      2:10 -2:16. Waif’s weird reaction when Arya mentions Walder Frey is on her list

      ………………
      PS I hope I copied the links properly. I’m still learning…

        Quote  Reply

    34. It’s striking how much more people wish Jon a “happy ending” compared to those who want one for Daenerys, even though they have had very similar paths and stories.

        Quote  Reply

    35. Regarding Jon’s popularity, would I be right in assuming that it is largely as a result of the show? I didn’t read the books until after season 6, but I never got the impression that he was even close to as much of a fan favourite in the books as he is now in the show.

      I think his popularity has really skyrocketed in the last couple of seasons due to his heroics in battle. A few seasons ago, Tyrion would have easily been #1.

      That being said, I love Jon. I have him in my second tier of favourite characters. While I do agree that he is among the least complex of the main characters (even some supporting), there’s just something about characters like him that give everything they have in the name of saving people.

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    36. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      Though I like Jon, allow me to jump on the Jon-Bashing bandwagon for a moment:

      S1e2: Looks soulfully in Arya’s eyes and tells her: “I’m going to miss you.”

      S1e3 – S6e4: Presumably finds out from Sansa and Brienne that Arya is alive and well and traveling incognito as of S4e10.

      S6e9: Ousts Boltons from WF. Embarks on pissing match with Sansa, but makes no effort to re-interview Hot Pie or send anyone to look for Arya.

      S6e10: Declared King in the North. Doesn’t bother sending any bannermen to try to find out what happened to Princess Arya.

      S7e5: Receives scroll sent from WF to Dragonstone stating that Arya is at WF. Inexplicably says “I thought Arya was dead.”

      S7e5 – S7e7: Shows no concern about where she’s been or what happened to her. Doesn’t even ask any of her companions from S2-S4 identified by Hot Pie to Brienne.

      Yeah. He really missed her. Not.

        Quote  Reply

    37. Enharmony1625,

      I believe Jon is among the most popular characters from the books as well. As I understand it, Tyrion, Jon, Daenerys, and Arya are the top 4. Of course, a fan’s favourites will vary from person to person but Jon seems to rank consistently among the top, with Tyrion being the traditionally most popular character.

        Quote  Reply

    38. Enharmony1625:
      Regarding Jon’s popularity, would I be right in assuming that it is largely as a result of the show? I didn’t read the books until after season 6, but I never got the impression that he was even close to as much of a fan favourite in the books as he is now in the show.

      I think his popularity has really skyrocketed in the last couple of seasons due to his heroics in battle. A few seasons ago, Tyrion would have easily been #1.

      That being said, I love Jon. I have him in my second tier of favourite characters. While I do agree that he is among the least complex of the main characters (even some supporting), there’s just something about characters like him that give everything they have in the name of saving people.

      Well, in this case we asked for fave character on the show specifically, though that doesn’t mean people’s views from the books didn’t seep into their replies.

      (Personally I expected Tyrion to be No.1 and was surprised both by Jon being No.1 and by the huge margin)

        Quote  Reply

    39. Enharmony1625,

      Not sure amongst book readers.

      But amongst show viewers I think the last few seasons starting in Season 4 have done wonders for his character.

      My wife went from being disappinted a whole episode was going to be focused on Jon and the wall for 409 to having him being now one of her favorite characters. Others I know have also expressed similar opinions.

        Quote  Reply

    40. firstone,

      Well, I suppose it depends if you are referring to the book or the series. If the series, then I don’t understand how you can make such a statement in that Sansa deserved everything she got from Arya, and more. If in doubt, re-watch episode 2 from season 1.

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    41. Ten Bears,

      …and another thing. When Jon saw The Hound in the Eastwatch cells, no curiosity about where Arya might’ve been? E.g.: “Do you know where she might’ve gone after Brienne tried to abduct her from you?”

      Sandor: She did tell me: “I’d like to see Braavos one day.” I asked her: “Why Braavos?” She said: “I have friends there.”

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    42. Ten Bears,

      This may be an oversight on the show’s part. Because we didn’t see it on screen, I’m not sure Sansa presumably told Jon about Arya being alive. I mean, I thought that’d be in one of their conversations but the show may have totally missed it. If Sansa didn’t tell Jon anything (which we can’t reference since nothing like this was shown on screen), Jon hasn’t heard anything about Arya’s whereabouts since he asked Mormont about his sisters in 1×08 and Mormont can’t tell Jon anything other than, “I’m sure they’ll be treated gently.” It suspect the show may have missed it because Jon genuinely believes in 7×05 that he thought Arya had died.

      Does Jon know who Arya traveled with from Seasons 1-4? If not, I’m not sure how Jon is supposed to know Arya was with the Hound and Gendry each at various points during Seasons 1-4 unless I’m missing something? To that end, I’m not sure how he’s supposed to know Sandor and Gendry would have info on Arya or know to ask them about her. To me, at least, it seems his main motivation is making sure his family survives the Night King and then he can learn how Arya and Bran each survived and came to Winterfell. When he learns Arya and Bran are alive, his first reaction is to go home because this same message tells him that the Night King is closing in on the North:

      Jon: I thought Arya was dead. I thought Bran was dead.
      Daenerys: I’m happy for you.
      Daenerys: You don’t look happy.
      Jon: Bran saw the Night King and his army marching towards Eastwatch. If they make it past the Wall-
      Varys: The Wall has kept them out for thousands of years, presumably.
      Jon: I need to go home.

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    43. Adrianacandle,

      I have to assume that whatever Brienne learned from Hot Pie she passed along to Sansa and Jon by S6e4. The well-being of Jon’s (favorite) sibling is more important than old Nan’s soup – which Sansa and Jon found time to chat about.

      If my little sister had been missing and a witness saw her alive, I’d interrogate that person for hours and hours and extract every last detail, no matter how inconsequential it might seem, eg. who was she with, where were they headed, with whom did she become acquainted, what happened to the guardian who was watching over her, did anyone check for his body at the bottom of the cliff, where did they travel, etc.

      It’s not as if it takes much prodding to get Hot Pie talking…

        Quote  Reply

    44. Adrianacandle,

      And if at any point over seven seasons Jon really thought his beloved little sister was dead, wouldn’t he at least brood for thirty seconds and say something? He spent S6-S7 bickering with Sansa (with whom he was never close). Not one word between them about their sister? Even when the latest news was that she was alive and well?

      I’ve said this before: if my dog was missing I’d show more concern than Jon showed for his baby sister.

        Quote  Reply

    45. Ten Bears,

      But we never see any of these conversations (or references to these conversations) on-screen, which is what leads me to believe this is an oversight by the show and that they didn’t happen. Those conversations should have happened but we never see Jon learn (until 7×05) that Arya is alive or learning all that happened to her from Seasons 1-4. Sansa mentions Arya by name, yes, but she didn’t say Arya was alive or what she learned from Brienne. We know that Arya and Bran are alive and we know Sansa knows this too. However, this grouping may come off to Jon as this is their family’s home, rather than Arya and Bran specifically being alive because Sansa and Jon didn’t have that conversation about Arya being alive. It seems Jon thought Bran died too because he couldn’t find Bran at Craster’s Keep, expressed deep concern about Bran going beyond the Wall in his condition, and hasn’t heard anything about him since. It seems Jon had given up hope for Bran and Arya’s survival and believes they died, like in the books.

      In the books, because Jon has no news of Arya, he also believed Arya had died in King’s Landing (ADWD, Jon VI) before he is told otherwise in A Dance With Dragons. In A Storm of Swords, because Jon has no news of either Sansa or Arya, he believes all of his siblings have died, including Sansa and Arya (ASOS, Jon XI) as he’s also told Theon killed Bran and Rickon, and learns off-page about Robb’s death in the Red Wedding. So it seems, in the show, as Jon doesn’t receive more news about Arya and Bran on-screen (or in a referenced off-screen conversation), Jon thinks Bran and Arya have died.

      And it was an oversight by the show that Sansa/Brienne didn’t share this info with Jon about Arya as there would have been something – anything – referencing these conversations. I think this inconsistency is a glitch in the storyline.

        Quote  Reply

    46. James Rivers,
      House Monty,

      If the question had been asked at the end of Season 4 then Tyrion would almost certainly have been ahead of Jon in the poll.

      I remember seeing a lot of comments and reactions from people who were tired of Jon’s Wildling plot; with him stuck at Castle Black the entire time, apparently having no influence on the rest of the story.

      But over the last few seasons Jon was able to break away from Castle Black, get involved in the rest of the story and with the other characters, and his vital importance to the story has become clear.

      Whereas conversely, Tyrion got bogged down in the tedious Meereen storyline, has been compromised by his tenuously fawning association with Daenerys, and his importance to the story has become less clear.

      I am surprised and somewhat relieved that Jon’s plot and characterisation last season hasn’t damaged his popularity. His seemingly mystifying decisions and behaviour at times could’ve threatened to undermine his character.

      But perhaps people are willing to cut him a bit more slack, based on the fact that he’s having to make compromises and sacrifices in order to save every other stubborn character from certain death.

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    47. Wow The Jon haters are out in full force today. Lol I don’t know why anyone is surprised that he would be the favorite. From a bastard to the rightful heir of the iron throne. The ultimate underdog rises. No surprise at all.

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    48. Ten Bears,

      Well, because Jon is such an internal character and he does think of his siblings often in the books (Arya and Robb the most), it’s nearly always in his internal dialogue. We do see Jon brood but we have no access to his thoughts as we do in the books. To my knowledge, Jon doesn’t mention Arya’s name aloud in books 2-4 until he learns Arya is alive in book 5. We know Jon is thinking of her because we have access to his thoughts but he rarely says her name aloud. Likewise, in the show, Jon doesn’t outwardly reference any of his siblings until they come up (Robb, Arya, Sansa in Season 1 after learning about Ned’s arrest; Bran in Season 2 when he tells Ygritte that wildlings attacked his little brother; Robb in Season 4 after learning about the Red Wedding; Bran and Rickon in Season 4 after Sam tells him he saw them; Sansa and Rickon in Season 6 when reunited with Sansa; Arya, Sansa, Bran in Season 7 with references to Robb and Rickon). Jon thinks of Arya, Robb, Bran, Sansa and Rickon throughout the books but rarely voices these thoughts aloud. Ditto for the other Stark kids (sans Robb, who is not a POV character). In the show, they don’t mention one another until they come up, but we know they think of each other often in the books as we have access to their internal thoughts (sans Robb).

      Unfortunately, the translation from book to screen failed in this regard because books and TV are two vastly different mediums and TV has far more constraints. Unless we have something like a continual voice-over for each character in their scenes, we don’t have access to their thoughts so we lose much of this aspect in the translation.

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    49. Sean C.,

      Ah ok. So it’s pretty consistent then between book & show.

      House Monty,

      Yeah, Jon didn’t start climbing up in the tiers for me until season 5 (or maybe end of season 4). Prior to that, especially seasons 1 &2, I found him and his story a tad dull.

      James Rivers:
      (Personally I expected Tyrion to be No.1 and was surprised both by Jon being No.1 and by the huge margin)

      I was actually more surprised that Arya beat out Tyrion for the #2 spot. Usually it’s Jon and Tyrion battling it out for the first two spots with Arya coming in third.

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    50. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man:

      I am surprised and somewhat relieved that Jon’s plot and characterisation last season hasn’t damaged his popularity. His seemingly mystifying decisions and behaviour at times could’ve threatened to undermine his character.

      But perhaps people are willing to cut him a bit more slack, based on the fact that he’s having to make compromises and sacrifices in order to save every other stubborn character from certain death.

      Well in fairness, the other characters have been making even more mystifying decisions and behaving even more strangely. Whereas out of all the major characters, Jon’s is the one who has behaved more consistently. So that likely has something to do with it as well.

        Quote  Reply

    51. Ten Bears:
      Adrianacandle,

      And if at any point over seven seasons Jon really thought his beloved little sister was dead, wouldn’t he at least brood for thirty seconds and say something? He spent S6-S7 bickering with Sansa (with whom he was never close). Not one word between them about their sister? Even when the latest news was that she was alive and well?

      I’ve said this before: if my dog was missing I’d show more concern than Jon showed for his baby sister.

      That’s the show not giving an eff about Arya. And it’s a trait that’s not particular to Jon. How come Gendry, Beric, the Hound and Thoros don’t mention Arya to Jon since they know who Jon is but Jon does not know that these guys had entire plots that revolved around Arya?

      Why did Arya not have a story that’s about her when she got to WF ? Why was her only role to show up occasionally to threaten Sansa while Sansa was busy ruling and conferring with Brienne, LF, Lords, Maesters etc. Why did D&D write Arya as an idiotic psychopath who easily gets manipulated by LF and fights with Sansa over a stupid letter? Why was Sansa white-washed and her real culpability in Ned’s downfall removed on the show and Arya made out to be the mean sister blaming Sansa unnecessarily?

      Arya gets home to WF after trying to do this from season one and they give her just 5 minutes to resolve the end of that plot? Why did the showrunners say that Needle was about revenge for Arya when the books clearly show the connection between Needle and family for Arya? Why has she been reduced to a bad-ass killer on the show without the complexity the books give her?

      Arya-Hound is fan service because the audience like the buddy cop journey the two had in season three. D&D are all about the fanservice. In the books, Arya left the Hound the die and that’s the end of their relationship. That the show had the Hound talking about Arya to Brienne and no one even mentions Arya to Jon shows how badly D&D understand Arya, her story, the Jon-Arya relationship etc.

      They don’t care about Arya and have reduced her to a side character on the show to service Sansa’s plot. That’s why Jon hardly gives a damn about Arya while constantly bringing up Sansa on the show giving rise to the JonxSansa shippers.

      Let’s see if this changes next season as the show aligns with the books and Arya gets more to do and her relationship with Jon comes to the fore-front. In the meantime, Arya has no relationship with anyone on the show that she has in the books. That’s not just Jon. No one cares about Arya on the show apparently except the Hound.

        Quote  Reply

    52. Adrianacandle:
      Ten Bears,
      Jon thinks of Arya, Robb, Bran, Sansa and Rickon throughout the books but rarely voices these thoughts aloud. Ditto for the other Stark kids (sans Robb, who is not a POV character). In the show, they don’t mention one another until they come up, but we know they think of each other often in the books as we have access to their internal thoughts (sans Robb).

      One passage from the books that always stuck out to me (because I’m such a softie 🙂 ), is when Arya thinks about Sansa (book 3 I think?). She thinks about how she can’t wait to see Sansa again, and if she does she will give her a big hug and “shower her with kisses”. Quite different from their show reunion. 🙂 Although who knows how their reunion will go in the books given all that’s happened to them in books 4 & 5.

        Quote  Reply

    53. Adrianacandle,

      “Does Jon know who Arya traveled with from Seasons 1-4? If not, I’m not sure how Jon is supposed to know Arya was with the Hound and Gendry each at various points during Seasons 1-4 unless I’m missing something?”
      ______
      He most certainly should have. From Brienne and Sansa. And then a chit chat with motormouth Hot Pie

        Quote  Reply

    54. Ten Bears:
      James Rivers,

      Tyrion hasn’t been very clever or witty since the end of S5. Maybe that’s why his popularity has suffered.

      Ramsay’s 20th Good Man:
      James Rivers,
      House Monty,

      If the question had been asked at the end of Season 4 then Tyrion would almost certainly have been ahead of Jon in the poll.

      I wonder too, what differences there would be in the good/evil answers (the ones at the very top) had that question been run after, say, Season 3.

        Quote  Reply

    55. SerNoName,

      “Why did D&D write Arya as an idiotic psychopath who easily gets manipulated by LF and fights with Sansa over a stupid letter?
      ________
      I wish I knew. That was an unexpected misfire. I would’ve preferred that she stayed with Hot Pie throughout S7 and gained 25 pounds stuffing her face with his pastries.

        Quote  Reply

    56. I love Jon but I hope he does more morally questionable things in S8 to make him more grey. #DirtySnowS8

      D&D wanted us to question whether him punching Ramsey to a pulp was morally wrong or not. Are they kidding? We cheered him on.

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    57. Ten Bears:
      SerNoName,

      “Why did D&D write Arya as an idiotic psychopath who easily gets manipulated by LF and fights with Sansa over a stupid letter?
      ________ I wish I knew. That was an unexpected misfire. I would’ve preferred that she stayed with Hot Pie throughout S7 and gained 25 pounds stuffing her face with his pastries.

      I would have preferred she had met up with the Brotherhood in the Riverlands instead of Hot Pie and gone North to the Wall with them. She meets up with Jon and Gendry at Eastwatch and joins them on the Wight Hunt. She then meets Dany and sees the dragons! In the books, Arya is fascinated by them. We would have gotten a story that’s about Arya instead of the shitty LF plot in WF.

      Ultimately both Arya and Bran have suffered at the expense of propping up Sansa on the show. Hopefully we see both characters get to do more and be more involved in their plots next season.

        Quote  Reply

    58. For people curious about character rankings in the books before the show started, the Tower of the Hand, had a popular poll.

      https://towerofthehand.com/essays/top30affc/index.html

      Tyrion was the most popular character, followed by Jon Snow, with Arya at number 3 and Jaime at number 4.

      Dany was at number 6 while Sansa was at 18 and Cersei at 24.

      The funny thing is that Jon’s popularity actually went down after the show started – not surprising because of the way the character has been adapted and acted on the show. In a 2015 poll, Jon went down to position 4 while Arya and Jaime jumped ahead.

      https://towerofthehand.com/blog/2015/08/12-top-characters-final-rankings/index.html

      I think this poll is mostly reflective of show watchers considering that only 35% think that Ellaria is only slightly more evil than the book version! Ellaria is pretty much a totally different character in the books and one of the few good ones.

      And 62% think that Show Jon and Book Jon are the same?! LOL! What books are people reading to think that idiot Jon on the show who can barely form sentences and make a point is the same as the Book Jon who makes deals with Stannis, Wildlings, Iron Bank, Mountain Clans, is snarky and dryly witty , rallies the Wildlings with a bad-ass speech, and breaks the rules to go save his little sister. Show Jon is nothing like the book version.

      One character more popular on the show than in the books is Sansa – which is not surprising since they have white-washed her and given her a completely made up story, borrowing from Jon, Arya, Stannis and Bran’s plots. They dumbed down Jon and Arya in her favor and I think she is the character with the fourth most screentime on the show, even above Arya. A Stark contrast to the books, where Arya is the female character with the most chapters.

      Dany continues to be polarizing in both show and books. Looks like viewers and readers will continue to be allergic to female characters taking on a role traditionally reserved for male characters.

      Jaime is more popular in the books. Unfortunately D&D’s love for Cersei, means that’s he been relegated to a side character in her plot and it shows .

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    59. Jay Targ,

      Yeah, I agree. I’ve been confused by the choices of quite a few characters in later seasons of this show. I really enjoy the show and definitely understand the time constraints and medium limitations but sometimes it’s like ????

      SerNoName,

      I will agree that the translation from book-to-screen resulted in failing to convey just how important the Jon-Arya and Jon-Robb relationships are because much of this occurs in Jon (and Arya’s) internal dialogue in the books. Jon is so often reminded of Arya and misses her the most; Jon thinking about how delighted Arya and Sansa would be by a winter morning beyond the Wall; playing with and pulling pranks with Robb (like dumping snow on their father’s slowest guardsman Fat Tom and being chased around the yard by Fat Tom for the rest of the afternoon); wishing he had Bran’s courage while climbing when scouting with Qhorin Halfhand; remembering how Rickon would always follow him and Robb around, asking for sweets.

      Because TV doesn’t provide this same insight into a character’s thoughts, we miss a lot of this between the Stark kids as it is only conveyed through memory and thought. We get moments (like the farewells between the Stark kids in Season 1) but much of it is also in the Stark kids’ memories of one another and how they yearn to be reunited.

      And speaking of which…

      Enharmony1625,

      Oh yes, I loved that! I think this is the quote you are talking about, from A Clash of Kings? 😀

      Arya had not known her brother was so near. Riverrun was much closer than Winterfell, though she was not certain where it lay in relation to Harrenhal. I could find out somehow, I know I could, if only I could get away. When she thought of seeing Robb’s face again Arya had to bite her lip. And I want to see Jon too, and Bran and Rickon, and Mother. Even Sansa . . . I’ll kiss her and beg her pardons like a proper lady, she’ll like that.

      Ten Bears:
      He most certainly should have. From Brienne and Sansa. And then a chit chat with motormouth Hot Pie

      But again, this is based on conjecture because we never see Jon learn this info from Brienne or Sansa or see any reference that this info was shared so as a result, he has no reason to ask Gendry or the Hound about Arya. There is no canon information that shows or indicates Jon learned any of this information.

      And Jon has no access to Hot Pie and doesn’t even know about Hot Pie so … how would he interact with him?

      I can only go based on what we are presented with on-screen (and revealed in interviews) because this is the only canon information we have. It’s like people trying to figure out why Sansa withheld the Knights of the Vale info from Jon and their army – we don’t know why because there is no canon explanation. While I absolutely don’t believe Sophie Turner’s reasoning that Sansa was attempting to garner all the credit for the victory, the show itself provides no explanation for this decision of Sansa’s so this decision renders a blank – a glitch in the storyline – just like Jon not learning about Arya. We don’t see this information-sharing or are given any indication it occurred so it’s not part of show canon. As a result, I think it’s a glitch.

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    60. SerNoName,

      Yup. I like your scenario better. And it would’ve felt natural. Arya would’ve been with characters with whom she had a history. I’m sure the writers could’ve come up with some witty banter for her, instead of the Tormund/Sandor “dick-cock” dialogue and Gendry’s redundant whinging.
      And you are SO right: A scene showing Arya’s reaction to Dany swooping in with her dragons to save the day could’ve been spectacular. (And she could’ve sliced and diced a few wights beforehand.)

      – End Mini-Rant-

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    61. SerNoName,

      I’m hoping the show made S6 the Jon & Sansa Adventure Hour so that they can devote S8 to Arya.

      No knock on Sophie Turner. I had been waiting for the hyped emergence of Sansa “the savvy politician” Stark. I’m not sure that happened.

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    62. SerNoName,

      The point of Arya’s Season 7 story was meant to be the sisters reconciling, which is indeed pretty heavily telegraphed to be part of her book story. It will, in all likelihood, not resemble how the show did it in the slightest, of course. I would, for instance, expect GRRM’s version of Sansa and Arya working out their issues (assuming we get it) to actually feature Sansa and Arya working out their issues, something the writers relegated offscreen in favour of trying to trick the audience into thinking the sisters were about to kill each other.

      Ten Bears,

      In the writers’ minds, it did. Sadly, it didn’t make the transition to the screen. The writers aren’t good at writing political intrigue in any case (see also: Tyrion and Varys once they got off-book, Littlefinger in general), but the burden was especially high in this case because Sansa doesn’t have a reputation from the earlier seasons to coast on, they actually had to show her developing into a player.

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    63. Anyone who doesn’t think the show made Ellaria WAAAYYY more evil in the show than in the book is lying about reading the books. She is vehemently advocating for peace in the books and she is murdering innocent girls in the show to start a war. I understand she was the most recognized as more evil in the show, but no one who has read the books could say anything other than she is significantly more evil in the show than the books. I call BS. PS. Maybe this has been said 100 times already but I don’t care, it needs to be said again.

        Quote  Reply

    64. Latest poll: is the first graphic on this page the best WotW graphic ever?

      Result from this Watcher: 100%!

        Quote  Reply

    65. SerNoName: I would have preferred she had met up with the Brotherhood in the Riverlands instead of Hot Pie and gone North to the Wall with them. She meets up with Jon and Gendry at Eastwatch and joins them on the Wight Hunt. She then meets Dany and sees the dragons! In the books, Arya is fascinated by them. We would have gotten a story that’s about Arya instead of the shitty LF plot in WF.

      That would have been cool to see for sure. However, I don’t think it would have been as convincing for Arya to drop her quest to kill Cersei for joining the Brotherhood on a quest she has had practically nothing to do with. At that point, the Brotherhood did not know they would meet up with Jon, so it doesn’t seem likely that she would have dropped everything to head north with them for some “higher purpose” do-goodery. Remember that the last time she heard about the Lord of Light is when Mel took Gendry away.

      To touch on one of the aspects of Arya’s character I miss most from the books, it’s when she thinks about whether Catelyn would still love her knowing what things she’s done. I don’t think it’s guilt as much as it is Arya becoming aware of the darkness in her and what she’s become capable of. I find it heartbreaking for a young girl to have these thoughts, and I wish the show could have found a way to bring that in. Although I do think there’s a good chance we might see a version of that next season.

      SerNoName:
      Ultimately both Arya and Bran have suffered at the expense of propping up Sansa on the show.Hopefully we see both characters get to do more and be more involved in their plots next season.

      I don’t know if I’d go that far. D&D are definitely big Sansa fans, but they’ve both spoken about their love for Arya as well in interviews so I strongly disagree with the notion that they “don’t care”. And I don’t think Bran sitting out season 5 has anything to do with Sansa either. You could just as easily say it was because of the Dorne storyline.

      I fully expect that in season 8 we will see a lot of Arya as there are some crucial things that need to be addressed in her character arc. Hopefully we’ll get some good stuff with Bran too given his likely reunion with Jamie, and working together with Sam to uncover more about the WW.

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    66. Sean C.: Unrelatedly, only 35% of respondents consider Ellaria much more evil on the show than in the books? What books were the rest reading?

      Ellaria is most-assuredly plotting Doran’s demise and her attack on King’s Landing from her resting home at Hellholt!

      Agree with the thoughts on Tyrion as well. Lots of strange “neutral” answers when comparing book vs show “evil/good” in folk.

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    67. The happy ending bit is influenced by the prediction of Melisandre that she and Varys will not have a happy ending. (For Varys that is difficult anyway).

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    68. As a book reader first, I’m glad that so many prefer Show!Margaery to Book!Margaery. Book!Margaery is mainly very passive and more of a background character and serial widow seen only through others’ ( and often Cersei’s unreliable narrator) POV. I am pleased the show gave the (older) character much more prominence with a clearer insight into her personality, motivations and personal ambitions. In effect the show covers events which happened off screen in the books, and the TV role would have something of a bit part for a couple of seasons otherwise.

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    69. Mr Derp,

      Yeah, some negative vibes going on up in there!

      Who says a fan favorite can’t have a good ending, Nina? Aragorn survived and became king. Nobody’s looking for Disney but why you hatin’ on the man who would risk his life to save your skin if you happened to live in that made up world.

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    70. Ten Bears,

      She was pretty evil all throughout. But I think she’s been humbled and her eyes opened to just what sort of God she was serving, and what kind of person he made her turn in to. Now, she reluctantly serves because as she said, he’s the only one they’ve got, but so far she hasn’t had to do anything else gross. Next season she might be put to the test and I have a feeling she might follow her own judgement instead of the LoL.

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    71. Enharmony1625:
      Shy Lady Dragon,

      it’s the lengths she goes to and the fact that she feels a kind of gratification in doing it. As Mel said in 3×06, “I see a darkness in you.” Fundamentally though, she is absolutely a good person.

      You have a point here. The role model is Ned, who didn’t enjoy killing, it was all about doing his duty. I do hope Arya has begun getting rid of that darkness when she was able to recognize good nature and hospitality in the Lannister soldiers. I’m no psychiatrist, but I think the pleasure she takes in killing is a sign of PTSD. I remember PTSD has been already discussed.

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    72. MMJ,

      Where does the desire come from that makes some want them to dirty up Jon Snow? Lol. What’s wrong with a character staying virtuous? With there being good, bad and grey characters (covering the whole gamut of reality) and instead they must all be either bad or grey I don’t get it.

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    73. Ten Bears,

      She acted so aloof to Hot Pie in that inn scene last season. I wondered if maybe they wanted us to doubt it was Arya if even for a moment. As some were actually going on about could it really be th Waif

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    74. Ten Bears,

      But that’s D &D fault! Lol. I know it would be in Jon’s character to worry about and send someone look for his little sis. Not sure why they wrote it otherwise.

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    75. Clob:
      So in your opinion main protagonists only live in Disney stories?When George resurrects him does that mean ASoIaF is then actually Disney-esque?I believe all of the living characters have gone through some pretty harsh stuff and still remain.He’s not alone.

      If you’re going to be upset that one of the main characters is a fan favorite at least explain with something that makes sense.Even if it’s “I’m upset because my favorite isn’t everyone’s favorite,” that would be better.Your verbiage of “his fans” referring to Jon pretty much says that you simply dislike him.As a reader & viewer I personally don’t understand how people can be so decidedly on “one side” and against another among the perceived protagonists.I’m sure I wouldn’t agree with any of your reasoning but anything is better than “Jon living would be too Disney,” when doing so would in no way make it a neat little fairy tale.

      Thank you for that Clob. 🙂
      And thank God, Tolkien didn’t live at the times of social media, he would have had internet stones thrown at him because he didn’t kill his heroes off by the end just for the sake of it! Thank God, there were/are people writing without caring whether someone would find it too much or too little Disney-ish!

      As for the comments about whether Jon cares/missed Arya or not that some have reffered to:

      He knew that Bran went beyond the Wall and that’s all the news he ever got while at the Wall about any of his family members. He couldn’t do anything about that. Does that mean he didn’t care about his baby brother?
      He didn’t know Hot Pie or Gendry: He met Gendry only at season 7 ep 5 and the Hound too. He met with Sansa / Brienne only recently and she didn’t provide with any recent news on Arya’s whereabouts.
      Jon has been at the Night’s watch and beyond the wall fighting inside/outside all the way till season 6 ep 3 when he left the Night’s watch – and until that moment he hadn’t much idea about what was going on in the rest of the world, he was led to believe that all his siblings were probably dead.

      WF was retaken late season 6 and at the last ep Jon was declared king in the north.
      Both Sansa and Jon – and all the others, believe that all their siblings are dead since there has been no word of them for a long time. And Arya returns at season 7 ep 4. So, really that entire accusation that he doesn’t care, doesn’t stand – even with the fact that many things are too insignificant for the show to make a reference.

      And Arya, didn’t try to find anything out about Jon. She never seeked refuge to him, even though he was the only sibling she knew where he was – at the Wall. Had she reached out to him he would have kept her safe with him and there’s no doubt of that!And she never send a word to him.
      She returned to Westeros with a mission which wasn’t finding her family, and if she hadn’t had that talk with Hot Pie she wouldn’t know that Jon left the Night’s watch! Does that mean she didn’t care about Jon? I never saw it like that. I know they love each other.

      That said, I’ve never accused Arya or any other sibling for not caring about the other members of their family because I know that each and one of them cares about the others – they just all got involved in things so much bigger than themselves. It’s really – really dissapointing to see Jon’s character be accused for lack of interest while he was the only one totally away and unaware of ‘Westerosi’ matters, with lack of power to do anything (The Watch doesn’t deal with mundane matters, they are cut off by their families when they go there) and while he didn’t have any news until the end of season 6 or likely at the beggining of season 7 -and that while he has to deal with seriously grave matters.

      Rooting for a character, and investing in them is really nice, and one of the great things about GoT. But we can root for our character without trying to diminish the other characters. If we have to diminish other characters to make our character look better, then we have a problem.

      I’m a Jon fan from the start and always be one. But I also like and care about Arya, Dany,Bran, Sam, the Hound, Jamie, Sir Davos, Sir Jorah and so many others; I don’t feel threatened but their arcs, nor by the fact that some of them are the top one favorites for other people.

      I really would prefer to stay away from such situations, so it’s the first and last time I will ever step in to observe the obvious.

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    76. I was one of those book readers who voted both Tyrion and Varys slightly/somewhat more good in the shows and Littlefinger slightly more evil. The writers definitely often consolidate characters and switch around character storylines and they definitely did that with Show!Littlefinger and Show!Qyburn. Their show storylines had some aspects of Book!Varys which made them slightly more evil on the show… to me at least.

      I just think Tyrion naturally becomes slightly more evil in ASOIAF due to circumstances and experience so he becomes much more disillusioned with the world even more so than his show counterpart.

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    77. Sean C.:
      SerNoName,

      The point of Arya’s Season 7 story was meant to be the sisters reconciling, which is indeed pretty heavily telegraphed to be part of her book story.It will, in all likelihood, not resemble how the show did it in the slightest, of course.I would, for instance, expect GRRM’s version of Sansa and Arya working out their issues (assuming we get it) to actually feature Sansa and Arya working out their issues, something the writers relegated offscreen in favour of trying to trick the audience into thinking the sisters were about to kill each other.

      My point being that this story was not about the sisters reconciling. It was about LF manipulating both sisters and how Sansa deals with that. This was Sansa’s story, not Arya’s. We never see Arya’s POV on this whole issue because she’s not given a voice. Sansa meanwhile gets to hash things out with Littlefinger. Why could we not see Arya discussing the issue with Bran? Oh right, Bran is neutered because Sansa needs to be Lady of WF. Arya only pops up to threaten Sansa – what does she do the rest of her time in WF? What’s her story there after finally getting to the home she has been trying to get to for 7 seasons?

      This is pretty much what happened with Jon as well in season 6. Just like Arya, the first 4 episodes were about Jon. Then he is given 10 minutes to deal with his resurrection because Sansa gets dumped at the wall and suddenly the entire plot in the North is about bad-ass Sansa wanting revenge on Ramsay.

      We will never get to see Jon, Arya and Bran’s story in the North, because D&D made it all about their fave.

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    78. Adrianacandle,

      “But again, this is based on conjecture because we never see Jon learn this info from Brienne or Sansa or see any reference that this info was shared so as a result, he has no reason to ask Gendry or the Hound about Arya. There is no canon information that shows or indicates Jon learned any of this information.”
      ________________
      So…. we’re supposed to assume that Brienne and Sansa made an offscreen pact to conceal from Jon any information about Arya’s well-being and whereabouts? So he could keep on believing his beloved little sister is dead?

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    79. ygritte:
      Ten Bears,

      She acted so aloof to Hot Pie in that inn scene last season. I wondered if maybe they wanted us to doubt it was Arya if even for a moment. As some were actually going on about could it really be th Waif

      The director didn’t make it clear what the intent of that scene (ie Arya’s odd behavior) was. Plus, I had to rewatch about five times until I could figure out what Arya was saying after HP said he thought she’d be going to WF. Boo on Mr. Blurry Background. They should’ve brought back Michelle McLaren.

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    80. Ten Bears,

      I’m going straight off of what we are presented with and told by the show itself and no more and no less. And the show does not indicate at all that Sansa or Brienne tell Jon anything about Arya or that Arya is alive. It’s not there in the dialogue or show content. I don’t know why the writers went this route. You’d have to ask them. I think it was an oversite. But based solely on show canon, Jon does not learn Arya is alive until episode 7×05 and no earlier. If Jon knew Arya was alive, why would he say, “I thought Arya was dead”?

      If there was an off-screen conversation with Jon about Arya’s survival, the show gives absolutely no indication it happened. There is no reference to this conversation or any other conversation in which Jon learns from anyone that Arya is alive. The show does just the opposite of that in 7×05 when Jon states word for word that he thought Arya was dead.

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    81. SiriuslyStark,

      “He met with Sansa / Brienne only recently and she didn’t provide with any recent news on Arya’s whereabouts.”
      You mean neither Sansa nor Brienne told Jon “Brienne saw Arya alive and well, ten miles from the Bloody Gate”? Or that Brienne had learned important clues from this helpful baker at the Crossroads Inn who has spent close to two years traveling with Arya? But Old Nan’s soup was important enough to discuss?

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    82. Adrianacandle,

      It wasn’t an oversight. The writers very consciously skipped the whole catchup between Jon and Sansa. We never got any reaction from him to, really, anything that happened to her; nor, in what is probably the most egregious omission, did Sansa get any reaction to the White Walkers or Jon coming back from the dead, both huge things that should have fundamentally shaken her worldview.

      The implication is that Sansa filled Jon in offscreen, hence why when she casually mentions Arya being alive later in their conversation.

      Now, where the writers unquestionably dropped the ball was after that, as we got no sign that despite this information he’d come to assume Arya was dead, as he said in 705.

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    83. SiriuslyStark,

      “….Arya, didn’t try to find anything out about Jon. She never seeked refuge to him, even though he was the only sibling she knew where he was – at the Wall.”
      ____________

      S4e10, last scene

      Arya: “I want to see the captain.”
      Captain: “You’re seeing him.”
      Arya: “I want to go north to the Wall.”
      Captain: “No, you don’t.”
      Arya: “I can pay.”
      Captain: “There is nothing in the North but ice and war and pirates.”
      Arya: “I wouldn’t need a cabin. Please. I could work scrubbing the floors.”
      Captain: “I’m not going north, child. I’m going home.”
      Arya: “Where’s home?”
      Captain: “The Free City of Braavos.”
      ***

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    84. Sean C.,

      I know Sansa mentions Arya by name but as far as I can see, does not mention she is alive. I can understand supposing an implication, but are there any show details or interviews with the writers that explain or indicate they talked about Arya/Jon’s resurrection/etc. in any off-screen scenes? It’s highly likely I missed some interviews with the writers.

      I wish Jon found out Arya was alive prior to 7×05. As far as I know based on what we are presented with by the show (please correct me if I’m wrong), there’s nothing in the show that tells me Jon received any news about Arya prior to 7×05.

      The show has a few moments that have no answers so I tend to chalk these up to plot-inconsistencies because anything else seems to be more on the speculation side. However, if I am wrong and I am missing something, please correct me 🙂 I might be overlooking a show detail or interview with the writers that explan otherwise 🙂

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    85. Stannis would be voted so much better (in good/evil rankings) if they didn’t have him burn Shireen, and actually had some of the “good” stuff he did too, which was entirely absent from the show. Like that time he refused his army’s request to burn unbelievers. Or that time he gelded rapists among his own army, because he doesn’t accept that, which makes him one of the VERY FEW lords in Westeros who doesn’t tolerate rapists in his army. The fact that he’s ranked more evil than drogo, ugh. Drogo butchers villages of innocent, peaceful people, and when Dany complains that his soldiers are raping someone she’d like to protect, he doesn’t tell them “Stop raping!” he tells them “Go rape someone else instead” (paraphrasing : “Find someone else to stick your cock into”).

      Also, it baffles me how people prefer show Brienne to book Brienne. Book Brienne is a thoughtful, well written character with a strong backstory and character, conflicts, fears, hopes and all that… Show Brienne is basically a superhero. If the only thing you care about is watching a show where good triumph over evil sure ok… But to me ASOIAF is about characters first and foremost. And show Brienne has next to no character.

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    86. Adrianacandle,

      “I wish Jon found out Arya was alive prior to 7×05. As far as I know based on what we are presented with by the show (please correct me if I’m wrong), there’s nothing in the show that tells me Jon received any news about Arya prior to 7×05.”
      __________________

      S6e4, Sansa to Jon at CB:

      Sansa: “Winterfell is our home. It’s ours and Arya’s and Bran’s and Rickon’s. Wherever they are, it belongs to our family. We have to fight for it.”

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    87. aiad,

      Show Brienne beheaded the One True King. All because future treasonweasel Renly was nice to her when jerkoff boys were mocking her at a dance when she was young.

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    88. Nariman:
      God, Jon is so overrated and I don”t understand why, from the main characters he’s the least interesting and the most traditional in that characters like him are ubiquitous in media and have been for years ( Aaragon, Luke Skywalker, Simba, King Arthur, Moses, Wonder Woman, William Wallace, Harry Potter, Peter Parker, superman…) not to mention how predictable and straight forward every action he makes is. What’s surprising is that most people praise the show for how morally grey it’s characters are, yet the character that gets the most fans is the archetypical hero one who is shown to be morally perfect.

      Technically, he’s not really “overrated” for this poll. Overrated means we think of him higher than he deserves. He’s a character that’s supposed to be exactly what he is. A developing hero. These charts the contributor posted are all about the “goodness” of a character and our preferences about these. If we overrate him, that would mean he’s not “good” enough. That’s just terrible.

      If you meant he’s “too good” and he’s boring as character than you are just upset or tired of the fact that most of us prefer at least our hero to be hero. Which frankly it is as he was advertised. From the beginning. And even he has some dark days. Just as we like it.

      And to comment on the poll re Jon: I’m happy to see that no matter how many of us like twisted characters, there’s a moral beacon that still stands. No, show Jon is not my fave but kudos for being a fave for so many of you. And I am at peace and happy to know characters like him exist to counter all the evil and self serving bastards still functioning on Planetos!

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    89. Ten Bears,

      Yes, I’ve read the transcript, I’ve watched that episode, and I’m referencing that scene. To me, that’s not Sansa telling Jon that Arya is alive. This only mentions her name and that these people are part of their family. Confirmation of somebody being alive would be saying this person is alive. It would look like what Brienne told Sansa in 6×01 or what Sam told Jon in Season 4.

      Because we saw Brienne tell Sansa, we know why Sansa grouped them, Arya, and Bran together in that way but there’s no confirmation that Jon knows this. What Sansa tells Jon is not a confirmation of dead/alive status. We don’t know what news Jon has about Arya, if anything. All we have, at best, are assumptions of what Sansa and Brienne may or may not have told Jon. There’s no on-screen or canon confirmation of what Jon knows in regard to Arya. Apparently, until episode 7×05, Jon thought Arya was dead.

      Either way, there’s a plot hole somewhere. It’s either, “Why didn’t Sansa or Brienne tell Jon that Arya is alive?” or “Why did Jon think Arya was dead until 7×05?”

      Something’s amiss.

      But ultimately, I can’t condemn a character for knowing information they haven’t been confirmed to possess. Nothing to me says Jon knows for sure Arya is alive, much less who she traveled with at various points in Seasons 2-4. I can only go off of what the show gives me.

      I’m sorry – I know this must be frustrating for you, going in circles like this, but none of this is confirmation or indication for me that Jon has much news, if any, of Arya until 7×05.

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    90. ygritte:
      Ten Bears,
      She acted so aloof to Hot Pie in that inn scene last season. I wondered if maybe they wanted us to doubt it was Arya if even for a moment. As some were actually going on about could it really be th Waif

      The start of that scene was about showing the dark side of Arya and what she was in danger of becoming had she not chosen her family over revenge. I mean, she just single-handedly killed ~50 people! As Shy Lady Dragon pointed out above, I see it as a form of PTSD due to trauma. It’s like she’s become desensitized to violence and killing as as sort of defensive mechanism. It’s similar in a way to her blank stare kneeling beside Sandor at the end of 4×10. But then hearing about Jon reminds her of who she was, her family, old memories; and that pulls her back from the precipice she’s on.

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    91. Ten Bears,

      Fair. I can only judge characters based on what the show provides me but I respect your view. I think we’re going to have to call truce on this one, yeah? 🙂

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    92. Enharmony1625,

      But didn’t Arya revert back to the “real Arya” in her S7e1 scene with the friendly Lannister soldiers? I don’t get why she was acting like a rude slob to Hot Pie in S7e2. At first I thought she was channeling the Hound – wiping her mouth with her sleeve, taking food and ale from Hot Pie without waiting for it to be offered or served.

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    93. Dark Sister,

      I voted like you and I’m surprised at the pretty large percentage (36%) that voted show and book Tyrion are about the same in the “goodness” department. I must remember wrong some events in a Selhorys brothel with a slave. Good heavens even he knows it’s wrong.

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    94. ygritte: As some were actually going on about could it really be th Waif

      Which never made sense or held any water for me for even a second.
      That was simply another instance of people expecting or wanting some kind of twist in everything with this story.

      As Enharmony just wrote on… they (D&D&Maisie) said several times in interviews after season 6 that ASNAWP will be heading down a dark path that she’s going to have a fight with herself to work through. That’s not the exact words of course, but essentially the gist. I do believe that was what their intention was to show. She was pretty much “gone” by the time she got to the inn. Hot Pie’s information was a ‘candle in the window’ that started leading her back. She got a glimmer of hope in hearing that Winterfell was won back and Jon was KotN. While I didn’t overly care for her arc being “stalled” to be inserted in the Sansa-Littlefinger resolution, it still did end up becoming more steps for her in returning to ‘normal.’ I think that her last scene with Sansa on the rampart was her final step. I’m not implying a final step that means that she won’t use her skills anymore, just that when she does it will be as a fighter working with her family to survive, not as the loner in the dark revenge killing machine capacity.

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    95. TormundsWoman:
      And to comment on the poll re Jon: I’m happy to see that no matter how many of us like twisted characters, there’s a moral beacon that still stands. No, show Jon is not my fave but kudos for being a fave for so many of you. And I am at peace and happy to know characters like him exist to counter all the evil and self serving bastards still functioning on Planetos!

      Good point. I think the story needs someone like Jon to stand in contrast to all the morally grey characters. And that’s not to say that he doesn’t have any shades of grey, but in comparison to many others he is pretty much the exemplar of good.

      Characters are judged by comparing and contrasting them with other characters in the story. So one of the reasons we can empathize with Jamie, for example, is that there are characters that are so much worse than him (Ramsay, Joffrey). Likewise, Jon is this story’s version of the epitome of hope and goodness, making others like Dany and Tyrion seem more grey in comparison.

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    96. All I can say is I am glad to see my girl get some love. Having spent seasons living in squalor and risking her life to rescue a girl she has never met all out of loyalty to Catelyn; whilst all the time having the option only a handful of other characters have to go home and live in safety and luxury, damn right does Brienne deserve to be rated high on the good scale. Westeros might no appreciate her and hurl abuse at her for being a woman warrior, but at least the real world appreciates her and sees her worth.

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    97. Adrianacandle,

      Hey, we’re cool. All can be remedied in S8 with wall-to-wall Arya Super Ninja Assassin Warrior Princess Fantasies™, along with fulfilling reunions with Jon and Sandor. And some serious fangirling over and bonding with Daenerys Targaryen.

      ™ talvikorppi 2018

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    98. Ten Bears,

      There were definitely shades of the “real” Arya in that scene with the Lannister soldiers, and ultimately I think it plays into showing us the two sides of her she is struggling with. At the inn, she hears people talk about Cersei, so she is on her mind at that moment, and that’s why we see her emotionless and cold. After hearing about Jon and coming around to her real self, she opens up more to Hot Pie when she touches his shoulder and tells him to stay alive.

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    99. Ten Bears:
      SiriuslyStark,

      “He met with Sansa / Brienne only recently and she didn’t provide with any recent news on Arya’s whereabouts.”You mean neither Sansa nor Brienne told Jon “Brienne saw Arya alive and well, ten miles from the Bloody Gate”? Or that Brienne had learned important clues from this helpful baker at the Crossroads Inn who has spent close to two years traveling with Arya? But Old Nan’s soup was important enough to discuss?

      Ten Bears, I really can’t see the point in this and what this exchange has to offer: it won’t make anyone suddenly become a fan of Arya, or make her look better, nor will it change the fact that Jon is the good guy that he is and that he and Dany are the protagonists in this story. Nor will it change the fact that Arya loves Jon and he loves her – and nothing in the show suggests anything less than that.
      As mentioned in my original post, some things are too insignificant in the plot to go after for the writers in the show.

      What you mention here, happened around the middle of season 6, when Jon meets Sansa after all these years apart. So, Jon first hears of any news of Arya at that point. which is ep 4 season 6! And all that he is informed of, is only that she was alive and well some years – or at least a long time – ago, that Brienne went to save her and she dissapeared instead and not a clue ever since.

      AND when he finds out, Winterfell and all the North is in the hands of Ramsay so they can’t do anything practically outside the walls of the Watch. Only at the last ep of season 6 he actually has any power to do anything – AND only in the North. He can’t send anyone beyond that area, as the rest of Westeros is under Lannister control and furthemore if word got out that Arya was somewhere around there, it would put her in danger.
      That said, as you very well know, he leaves urgently at very start of season 7 because ,well, the NK is coming and someone has to do something about it!
      And Sansa too is trying to keep things under control and prepare for what’s coming – until season 7 ep 3 when Bran arrives (to keep things under perspective neither Jon or Sansa send anyone after Bran either). Bran obviously tells Sansa that Arya’s OK – and on s7sep4 Arya returns to Winterfell.

      So, the ‘negligence’ you specifically accused Jon (I wonder why not Sansa too, as she knew about Arya lots longer than Jon) of is for a time -span of a few months (between end of season 6 and start of season 7; where all hell has broken loose and he has to deal with NK urgent problem seeking help from Dany. And furthemore while sending a search party in the North would be meaningless in the first place, because if she were in the North she would have known about the status change at Winderfell and she’d come back on her own!!!

      On the other bit you wrote, Arya had the chance to run away to the Wall when she escaped the Hound and run away from Brienne: she decided to get on that boat despite the fact it was not going to the Wall.
      She made a conscious choice to go to Braavos: nobody forced her to do so.
      She could have found a different way to travel to the Wall, if that was all she had in mind. But when the opportunity appears to go to the Faceless men, she changes her plan, because obviously she believes that’s the best path for her – and it was. 🙂 And then, of course her duties at the Faceless men, didn”t allow her to write to Jon or anyone else. So, season 5 and 6, Arya is at Braavos and presumed lost to dead to the rest of the world. Of course, she could have searched for them when she returned to Westeros at season 7 but luckily she bumped into Hot Pie who informed her about Jon being at Winterfell before heading South.

      And all that said, Arya hops back to the Stark wagon the moment she knows Jon’s left the Watch and is at Winterfell. Had she any feelings of resentment, bitterness or spite against him she’d never change her plans. And not only does she return to Winterfell, but she makes sure that no one takes the ‘throne’ from Jon. Would she still be loyal to him by the end of season 7 if she thought that he could have done something for her and he didn’t?! It escapes me why anyone would accuse Jon for negligence to Arya (or anyone else for that matter) – Jon who was living in the Wall universe until the middle of season 6 with no or limited info about the rest of the world!

      Finally, I still don’t see the point in this conversation, and what it actually offers to any of us, or to the characters we root for. Which is why I will go to silent mode about this from now on; there is nothing useful or entertaining in this. 🙂 Sorry to the rest of the readers who probably just wanted to comment on the article!

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    100. Shy Lady Dragon:
      I’m no psychiatrist, but I think the pleasure she takes in killing is a sign of PTSD. I remember PTSD has been already discussed.

      I think the interpretation of Arya taking pleasure in killing people is at least debatable and as for the discussion about PTSD, let’s listen to Dr. Honda, psychologist and psychotherapist (‘though he is talking about the books, he also watches the show):
      https://youtu.be/1MbARnJqjnc?t=31m38s

      The answer for us laypeople: She does not suffer from PTSD, there you go.

      And about the people on her list she wants to kill he says:

      She wants that urge. It‘s justified. These people have done horrible things to her and she has reasons to get revenge. In fact, most us reading the books and watching the TV show are hoping that Arya succeeds in doing this sort of thing. So, in some ways it‘s a justifiable revenge motivation.

      And in conclusion:

      What do I say Arya has? I would say she has nothing. She doesn‘t suffer from any mental disorder at all. She is actually highly adaptive to her situation. She is actually quite resilient to the traumas that she‘s been through. She get‘s disheartened at times and she gets angry at times and she is suffering at times, but that‘s life. That‘s grief, that‘s reacting to life. You know, if someone steps on your toe and you get angry, is that a mental illness that you have? No, you‘re getting angry because someone stepped on your toe, you know, it‘s normal life. You don‘t have to pathologize that and Arya Stark in my opinion does not suffer […] from any of these things. She‘s got a clean bill of mental health.
      Now. Is she a healthy individual, is she living a healthy life? That is debatable. Does she have issues? Clearly. That girl is going to need therapy for a long time after this is all over. But that doesn‘t mean she has a mental illness. I guess you could make the argument she has an adjustment disorder maybe, I guess a lot of these people you could, because adjustment disorders kind of have low criteria at times depending on your point of view but I‘m going to not go down that road.

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    101. SiriuslyStark: So, Jon first hears of any news of Arya at that point. which is ep 4 season 6! And all that he is informed of, is only that she was alive and well some years – or at least a long time – ago, that Brienne went to save her and she dissapeared instead and not a clue ever since.

      Thank you! I just wanted to point this out myself.

      And I think this discussion is a little redundant too. I don’t question their affection for each other either.

        Quote  Reply

    102. SiriuslyStark,

      OK. We’ll let it go…and blame it all on all-knowing, all-seeing Bran, who didn’t think to mention to Sansa that he’d “seen” Arya at the Crossroads. 🤓

      PS I’ll bet this is ALL cleared up in the first five minutes of S8.

        Quote  Reply

    103. Ten Bears,

      Speaking of the first 5 minutes of season 8, I wonder which locations will be featured on the opening credits for the last season. I assume we’ll still get Winterfell and King’s Landing, and maybe Dragonstone but what else? Will we see the Wall crumbled? Will Pyke be on it? The Citadel?

        Quote  Reply

    104. Mr Derp,

      * (edit after I actually took time to respond to what your comment actually was) 😛

      My money is on a cold open continuing from the last S7 scene; a shot of the AotD distancing itself from the Wall, Tormund and Beric booking it across the top and arriving at Castle Black yelling for them to send out ravens (with a panicked shot of Edd).

      I think they’ll want to start the final season by kicking the danger into gear to restart the stress. The next scene or scene after opening credits can be something like J&D arriving at White Harbor or the like… 🙂

      * KL, Winterfell, Castle Black, Pyke, Dragonstone, maybe White Harbor, Last Hearth or Karhold…

        Quote  Reply

    105. Cliohna,

      Thanks for sharing! Very interesting to hear the perspective of a psychologist. His conclusion also refutes the idea that she is a psychopath, which is something I’ve always been strongly against. She clearly has issues, and is scarred from what she’s been through (who wouldn’t be?), but she’s shown far too much compassion and restraint to be considered a psychopath.

      I love that he points out how resilient and adaptable she is. “You’re the strongest person I know,” indeed.

        Quote  Reply

    106. Enharmony1625,

      I love that he points out how resilient and adaptable she is. “You’re the strongest person I know,” indeed.
      ———-
      Still very strange and annoying… but perfectly normal!

        Quote  Reply

    107. C:
      Anyone who doesn’t think the show made Ellaria WAAAYYY more evil in the show than in the book is lying about reading the books.She is vehemently advocating for peace in the books and she is murdering innocent girls in the show to start a war.I understand she was the most recognized as more evil in the show, but no one who has read the books could say anything other than she is significantly more evil in the show than the books.I call BS. PS. Maybe this has been said 100 times already but I don’t care, it needs to be said again.

      Nah. Sure, it’s possible a handful out of 2500 lied about whether they read the books for some reason, but not enough to affect the results.

      Just for the heck of it, I called up the raw answer sets for people who rated Ellaria as being “more good” on the show or “about the same” as in the show, compared with in the books (so purple or tan in the charts). They gave some pretty specific answers to the question of what book thing they most missed in the show, for instance:

      Absence of Jaime's confession to Tyrion about Tysha
      Bronze Yohn Royce gathering the lords declarant to oust Littlefinger as protector of the vale.
      Everything about the Sand Snakes.
      Stannis Baratheon dying at the battle of Winterfell.
      Dorne could've been handled differently, too much wasted show time for what we got.
      Gilly’s baby was not changed for Dalla’s and sent away to save from Melisandre
      Robbs wife , who she was and where she died
      Arya/Sansa/Littlefinger Winterfell plotline, absence of the Ghost of High Heart, absence of show Ghost last season
      Euron's "eldritch apocalypse" angle is missing.
      Gaps in Arya's training in Braavos, she does complete her assignment using Blind Beth identity
      Iron Bank/Braavos profiting from SLAVERY. Anti-slavery founding principles mean NOTHING? Really?
      LADY STONEHEART
      Littlefinger tells the story of Sandor's burns instead of Sandor telling them to Sansa in Season 1
      No varys crossbow scene. I waited my whole life
      Strong Belwas does not appear
      The Hound does not get to tell Sansa his own story about his facial burns and his brother

      So, yes, they read the books, and it sounds like some of them are pretty passionate about them. They just, for some reason, disagree.

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    108. Catspaw Assassin:
      Latest poll: is the first graphic on this page the best WotW graphic ever?

      Result from this Watcher: 100%!

      Haha thanks, if you mean the emoji one. I had fun with Jaqen and the shruggie especially

        Quote  Reply

    109. James Rivers: They gave some pretty specific answers to the question of what book thing they most missed in the show

      If I didn’t add “no Septa Lemore and all of her skinny-dipping” then you can add that to your notes. 😛

        Quote  Reply

    110. James Rivers: absence of the Ghost of High Heart,

      I think it was covered through Sansa’s black dress coming down the steps.
      Black dress, Mocking bird style , Raven / Crow feathers and her necklace ( except for the Mockingbird) are all symbols of death and also all are smart birds and fiercely protective .
      A maid coming down a stairs all in a death motif smiling at a savage giant, heading North.
      He’ a walking dead man.

        Quote  Reply

    111. Ten Bears:
      SiriuslyStark,

      OK. We’ll let it go…and blame it all on all-knowing, all-seeing Bran, who didn’t think to mention to Sansa that he’d “seen” Arya at the Crossroads. 🤓

      PS I’ll bet this is ALL cleared up in the first five minutes of S8.

      Poor Bran!😂

      I do wonder too about the opening scenes of season 8! It would be excellent if it opened with another reunion ❤️
      But I suspect something closer to what Clob writes which would be excellent too – back to stress and agony in just a few min! 😂

      I think that except Winterfell and other Northern places of interest/ The Wall and KL we might see again a bit of Citadel. Those otherwise… wise folks will be partly responsible if Nk goes south and catches people by surprise because they didn’t believe it was true. But other than that I have no idea! 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    112. Thanks Cliona 🙂

      Enharmony1625:
      Cliohna,

      Thanks for sharing! Very interesting to hear the perspective of a psychologist. His conclusion also refutes the idea that she is a psychopath, which is something I’ve always been strongly against. She clearly has issues, and is scarred from what she’s been through (who wouldn’t be?), but she’s shown far too much compassion and restraint to be considered a psychopath.

      I love that he points out how resilient and adaptable she is. “You’re the strongest person I know,” indeed.

      And about this too – I totally agree, Enharmony.

        Quote  Reply

    113. SiriuslyStark,

      Enharmony1625:
      Cliohna,
      His conclusion also refutes the idea that she is a psychopath,

      You’re welcome. 🙂 And yes, it does! My thoughts exactly, I don’t think she is a psychopath either. I believe somewhere in this very long podcast he is talking about “psychopathy”, but the dear professor Honda also has two podcasts where he is just talking about “psychopathy” and “sociopathy” (Psychopathy vs Sociopathy; Psychopathy, Sociopathy, Antisocial)

        Quote  Reply

    114. House Monty,

      People seem to forget that Jon hanged a boy/teenager, Olly, I know he did that because Olly and the others broke their oath, but he is far from the morally perfect character that others perceive him to be, but I understand why that is strange. I prefer complex characters on the show, maybe that’s why I am more interested in following the story arcs of Daenerys, Arya, even Jaime, I find Jon to be too good of a character and his story lines from S1 through S3 were so uninteresting.

        Quote  Reply

    115. Petra had this to say “There’s also a lot to unpack about the fact that Sansa, Cersei and Daenerys – three women with power – are the only characters among the top favorite and least favorite characters.”

      I’ve always espoused that idea as well, women in power, even in fiction tend to be polarizing. Cersei is obvious, she’s clearly a villain but for Dany and especially Sansa who has been consistently “good” among the favorite and least favorite that is saying A LOT. Clearly if Dany or Sansa ends up on the iron throne, it would be a divisive end considering they’re in both categories(fav and least fav), along with Cersei.

      Sansa and Daenerys suffered and overcame/endured adversities in their separate arcs, still they’re among the least liked? baffling, truly baffling.

        Quote  Reply

    116. Sean C.:
      SerNoName,

      I would, for instance, expect GRRM’s version of Sansa and Arya working out their issues (assuming we get it) to actually feature Sansa and Arya working out their issues, something the writers relegated offscreen in favour of trying to trick the audience into thinking the sisters were about to kill each other.

      I daresay even IF the Sansa/Arya/ Littlefinger story was in GRRM’s plot outline to D&D, he will change it now since it was so poorly received.

      He’s not writing the last two books in a vacuum; he’s able to see how certain stories played out on HBO and can make adjustments to his work. That might be part of what is taking so long with TWOW; he’s editing himself based on what has been portrayed.

      I don’t envy D&D’s position: they have to bring the story home first, with no safety net, and GRRM gets to come in with complete knowledge of what worked and didn’t work in Season 8. That is, if he ever finishes it.

        Quote  Reply

    117. I don’t envy GRRM’s position either, BTW. I imagine it’s painful to, in essence, write an adaptation of the story you created!

        Quote  Reply

    118. Clob:
      Mr Derp,

      * (edit after I actually took time to respond to what your comment actually was)

      My money is on a cold open continuing from the last S7 scene; a shot of the AotD distancing itself from the Wall, Tormund and Beric booking it across the top and arriving at Castle Black yelling for them to send out ravens (with a panicked shot of Edd).

      I think they’ll want to start the final season by kicking the danger into gear to restart the stress.The next scene or scene after opening credits can be something like J&D arriving at White Harbor or the like…

      * KL, Winterfell, Castle Black, Pyke, Dragonstone, maybe White Harbor, Last Hearth or Karhold…

      I think my view falls pretty much in line with this as well. I expect a cold open like last year, except this one will pick up where we left off at the end of season 7 with the fallout of the Wall coming down.

      I think the locations on the map for season 8 will be Winterfell, Dragonstone, King’s Landing, and something related to the Wall, perhaps a broken part of the Wall in Eastwatch or maybe they’ll show Castle Black instead. Pike and Oldtown are also possibilities. I’m not sure about White Harbor, but that would be pretty neat to see a new location.

        Quote  Reply

    119. Nina:
      This survey pretty much sums up why I was Jon to die permanently.

      He’s the biggest fan favorite, and personally, I’m extremely tired of all this hype around Jon’s character. It’s time to show his fans, that this isn’t a Disney-story and that he is just as mortal and vulnerable as the rest of the characters.

      Lol you want Jon to die because he is a fan favorite?!

        Quote  Reply

    120. White Harbor has to appear. Isn’t that where the S.S. Incest is headed?

      Besides, we still need a scene with Lord Manderly when he raises his sword and announces: “I was wrong! Arya Stark avenged the Red Wedding! She is the She-Wolf! The Queen in the North!” 👸🏻

        Quote  Reply

    121. Mr Derp,

      Just a thought: what if the cold open for season 8 is a Bran vision? Maybe something to tease the origin/purpose/goal of the WW?

        Quote  Reply

    122. “page not found” every time I try and post something.

      Except for this comment, of course. grrrr

      (Rubs temples as I repeat “calm blue ocean, calm blue ocean” over and over again)

        Quote  Reply

    123. Ten Bears:
      White Harbor has to appear. Isn’t that where the S.S. Incest is headed?

      Besides, we still need a scene with Lord Manderly when he raises his sword and announces: “I was wrong! Arya Stark avenged the Red Wedding! She is the She-Wolf! The Queen in the North!” 👸🏻

      You know what I think would make a neat S8 opening would be The Boat sailing into White Harbor, with Arya Stark waiting on the pier. I think her reunion with Jon ought to be given its own space. And it would make sense for Sansa to want someone there to meet Jon whom she can trust to convey to him that he needs to tread very carefully in presenting his new queen as such to the North. Not a message to entrust to a raven.

      And if that happened we’d also get the chance to see Arya reunited with The Hound (assuming he’s part of the sailing party), perhaps even some banter on the ride back to Winterfell.

        Quote  Reply

    124. Ten Bears,

      I would agree that White Harbor will appear in the opening sequence as long as that’s where S.S. Boat Sex is headed.

      Apparently, there are actual rules that have to be followed for the opening sequence. For example, every episode’s map must contain King’s Landing, Winterfell, the Wall, and wherever Daenerys is at the moment. This is according to GoT Wiki.

        Quote  Reply

    125. Gwidhiel,

      I like how you think! 😄
      I wonder though … would Jon immediately recognize Arya after all these years? She does look quite different from the little girl he last saw in S1e2. (They could steal a book line and when Jon asks “Who are you?”, she could say “You used to mess my hair and call me ‘little sister’.”)

      The possibilities are limitless. I do like your scenario!

        Quote  Reply

    126. Enharmony1625:
      Mr Derp,

      Just a thought: what if the cold open for season 8 is a Bran vision? Maybe something to tease the origin/purpose/goal of the WW?

      I could definitely get down with that. I think it has the potential to add an element of the unknown too. We could be thrust into a vision that we do not yet realize is a vision until Bran appears in it or something like that.

        Quote  Reply

    127. Ten Bears:

      I wonder though … would Jon immediately recognize Arya after all these years? She does look quite different from the little girl he last saw in S1e2. (They could steal a book line and when Jon asks “Who are you?”, she could say “You used to mess my hair and call me ‘little sister’.”)

      I’m astonished that you of all people would even ASK this question, Ten Bears! 😉 Unless she’s wearing someone else’s face, I think Arya will be instantly recognized by Jon, whenever they meet. But yes, a scenario like this would be so rich with emotionally satisfying possibilities. 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    128. Gwidhiel,

      I love that opening idea! So much so that I’ll be disappointed if it, or something equally as good, doesn’t happen. Thanks for upping my expectations.. 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    129. Enharmony1625:
      Gwidhiel,

      I love that opening idea! So much so that I’ll be disappointed if it, or something equally as good, doesn’t happen. Thanks for upping my expectations.. 🙂

      Yeah, whatever it is I hope that it’s emotionally resonant. The Wall/AoTD is thrilling spectacle, and I could see them wanting to get us revved up for the final season that way, but I’d rather they engage our hearts, first. We’ll see …

        Quote  Reply

    130. I’m astonished Varys rates lower than Bronn, Yara, and Theon, with viewers wanting a happy ending for them.

      Varys’ single lapse was to facilitate the assassination attempt by poisoned wine upon the new Khaleesi — at his King’s request. After that, he’s been all good — including helping our beloved Tyrion escape his trial’s doom.

      I feel pity for Theon and Yara’s cool, but I’d have Varys above them in the good-ending department.

        Quote  Reply

    131. BrienneBabe,

      I want a happy ending for Varys, but not above any of the characters you listed. Despite his “I serve the realm” professions, I still feel like I don’t know his true motives.
      He let Tyrion out, but not poor dead Ned.

        Quote  Reply

    132. BrienneBabe,
      Well, there was the whole man-in-a-box situation… Of course one could say that he was simply getting revenge for his boyhood mutilation.

      I just think Varys is more of a middle of the road character, as we see with not showing on either favorite or least favorite lists. So while not overly concerned one way or another by many, perhaps just being involved in some shady things was enough to vote on the lower side. *shrug* I don’t recall how the question was asked either. Was it similar to “how concerned with or how much do you want each character to have a happy ending?” On a scale rating all of them I would be more likely to put him lower than several others because he wouldn’t be equal on my ‘care meter.’

        Quote  Reply

    133. Ten Bears,

      Lol 😄
      Thanks for the link.
      I do very much hope we find out what the voice spoke to Varys from the flames.
      This and the punchline to Tyrion’s honeycomb joke 🍯

        Quote  Reply

    134. Hm … I’d like to know about the voice that spoke to Varys through the flames. Couldn’t Bran just bring it up, all casual-like, the way he did with Littlefinger and “Chaos is a ladder”? 😉

        Quote  Reply

    135. I’d like to know more (or, really, at least… something!) about the Lord of Light. He must be more than a simple abstraction because there are true powers acting: Jon’s resurrection, Melisandre’s necklace. I’m afraid I won’t get any explanation. Let the mystery be?!

        Quote  Reply

    136. SerNoName,

      One character more popular on the show than in the books is Sansa – which is not surprising since they have white-washed her and given her a completely made up story, borrowing from Jon, Arya, Stannis and Bran’s plots. They dumbed down Jon and Arya in her favor and I think she is the character with the fourth most screentime on the show, even above Arya. A Stark contrast to the books, where Arya is the female character with the most chapters.

      Arya’s screentime is only a few minutes less. I don’t think D&D favour Sansa, but want to prop her up. It’s a typical Hollywood adaptation decision to balance between two main characters, hence the whitewash. Despite it, in a S1 commentary D&D were shocked by how much more popular Arya was. By Season 2, they decided to give Sansa the fArya story down the road instead of the less visual Vale story. They botched it with Sansa’s rape scene and the resulting outcry. IMO, they’ve a been trying to make up for that ever since. A large number of Sansa fans sympathise with her because of Ramsay and the rape. As a result of all this, show Sansa is more popular than book Sansa. The cumulative result, is that Sansa probably got more deliberate fan service than any other character in the show. And yet, she’s still running several lengths behind Arya.

      Shy Lady Dragon:
      Ten Bears,

      Yes, that’s what I feel as well, no matter how many she has killed. All of them for good reason. Not to forget her true friendship for the Hound (previously on her list) and her instant humane feelings towards the Lannister soldiers.

      Other than the evil quarry she pursues, she’s always been humane. Beneficiaries of her instinctive pity and protectiveness have included Lady Crane, the dying girl at the HoB&W, Sally and her father, the Pork Seller, Mycah, the people being tortured at Harrenhal, Nymeria, etc. Arya put her hand on Hot Pie’s shoulder and told him to stay alive. In the books, she looked after 3YO Weasel; she even liked several people at the HoB&W, including the Waif. Arya is an unbelievably giving and empathetic character–she kills for justice as much as vengeance. I visualise her wearing her tender heart on her torn sleeve, but she carries a Needle. Needles can stab and needles can mend (like her sewing up Sandor’s suppurating wound).

        Quote  Reply

    137. Stark Raven’ Rad:
      Arya is an unbelievably giving and empathetic character–she kills for justice as much as vengeance.I visualise her wearing her tender heart on her torn sleeve, but she carries a Needle. Needles can stab and needles can mend (like her sewing up Sandor’s suppurating wound).

      Very well said, with a keen eye on details and a refreshing new meaning for needles.

        Quote  Reply

    138. River,

      Eh, it’s not really that baffling when you think about it. In life there are many people who have been through a lot and we see as victims, yet that in and of itself does not make all of them actually likable people. If a personality doesn’t resonate with a person they might feel empathy yeah but not necessarily be in love with the person.

        Quote  Reply

    139. Clob: If I didn’t add “no Septa Lemore and all of her skinny-dipping” then you can add that to your notes. 😛

      Snap!

      That was my answer to that question!

        Quote  Reply

    140. ramses:
      Ten Bears,

      Lol 😄
      Thanks for the link.
      I do very much hope we find out what the voice spoke to Varys from the flames.
      This and the punchline to Tyrion’s honeycomb joke 🍯

      Maybe they are one and the same.

        Quote  Reply

    141. Stark Raven’ Rad,

      “I visualise her [Arya] wearing her tender heart on her torn sleeve, but she carries a Needle. Needles can stab and needles can mend (like her sewing up Sandor’s suppurating wound).”
      _______________

      So beautifully said. 👸🏻😍

        Quote  Reply

    142. Ten Bears,

      Hahaha So true, you know me, I just love everyone.

      But my top 5 characters would have been (ONE IS SO OBVI) (dead or alive?)
      These are my favorite to watch as well as who they represent.
      Jon Snow
      Daenyrus
      Arya Stark
      Ned Stark
      Oberyn Martell

        Quote  Reply

    143. Nina,

      Whats the problem? I mean you should have stopped watching/reading early on if you don’t want him to be the “hero” of the story lol

      Its been foreshadowed since the beginning.

        Quote  Reply

    144. ygritte,

      I see ok, though its particularly hard for me to overlook what I believe to be an imbalance in how viewers perceive female characters with power, in contrast to male characters with power. But again I understand the point you’re trying to make, Jon is extremely likable because he has no ambition other than to save everyone which is noble and the decent thing to do. I kind of get why Dany is disliked by some, because she’s definitely eyeing the throne, I like that about her but that’s my opinion, I just don’t understand why Sansa is on the least fav list, she has displayed tremendous character growth, she has not shown any interest in sitting on the iron throne, guess I’m more baffled with Sansa’s continued polarizing presence than with Daenerys.

        Quote  Reply

    145. ghost of winterfell,

      I think she wants Jon to die so the show isn’t Harry Potter or a Disney fairytale.
      First seasons of the show were great, shown a brutal environment (both with violence, and political power plays) but with every new season now it’s turning more and more into some cheap hollywoodian show about good vs evil and good being awesome at everything and the evil side only getting wins by treachery and evilness, with the “good” characters spouting meme catchphrases every 2 minutes.

      The show could be more than that. But as long as they keep pandering to Jon and Dany fans (and more generally, all the “good” characters fans) it’ll be like that.

        Quote  Reply

    146. River,

      Sansa is such a polarizing character, indeed. Some fans just hate her because of things that happened long ago when she was a little girl in KL, while on the other hand, some can’t take the slightest criticism of her, however warranted. For me personally, I like Sansa quite a bit, but I do feel like there’s a rather large gap between how the show wants her to be perceived vs. how she’s actually perceived with some fans. I could be wrong, but everyone has an opinion, and this one is mine, so if anyone feels differently then that’s totally fine. We’ll just have to agree to disagree, and hopefully this won’t turn into another pissing contest, which is what most conversations about Sansa devolve into rather quickly.

      The show seems to imply that she’s supposed to be seen as some super smart leader, but, as much as I want to be convinced, I honestly don’t feel like the show has done a particularly good job in articulating that. She said that she learned a lot from Cersei and Littlefinger, but I just haven’t seen it play out that way. She was played by Littlefinger right until the end in season 7 even though she’s had more than enough reason not to trust him for at least 3-4 seasons now. She even needed help to figure it out right up until the end despite the fact that nearly everyone around her could see it. There’s no reason to dislike her for that, but there’s also nothing impressive about that either.

      She was also a failure in season 6 trying to recruit men to fight for the Starks. If I recall, she even ridiculed Davos for only recruiting 61 men or whatever it was, but that was 61 more than what she was able to recruit, so I thought she came off as incredibly bratty and entitled in season 6. She accomplished nothing, but still we’re supposed to see her as a super smart leader. The only reason why the Vale troops showed up was because Littlefinger was in love with her. That doesn’t require skill, cunning, or wisdom. Her great piece of wisdom in season 6 was “don’t do what he wants you to do”, which was true, but that’s like telling someone “hey you should eat food today”. Gee, thanks Sansa. Again, no reason to hate, but there’s nothing impressive about that.

      Then, at the beginning of season 7 she suddenly seems to know everything there is to know about ruling and it felt like it came out of nowhere. Hell, she was the only person in Winterfell to notice that they were not making the armor properly, which, to me, came off incredibly forced and I have to hold back laughter every time I watch that scene. I mean, really? Sansa is the only person in all of Winterfell to know how armor should properly be constructed? Really? Even so, why would Sansa know anything about how to make armor? Did she learn that from Cersei or Littlefinger, neither of which has any battle experience? It’s almost like they felt the need to make everyone else around Sansa a moron in order to make her look smart, which I think is cheap.

      The thing is, I like Sansa when the writers aren’t trying to force her into “badass boss bitch” Sansa mode or whatever cliche you want to throw out there. When she’s just being herself, I like her a lot. I just don’t like her when they try and convince me that she’s some super smart player in the game. As much as I want to be convinced, I am not to this point. I want to be convinced that she’s a great leader though. As Sansa said, she’s a slow learner, but she learns. Perhaps I’ll be more convinced in season 8. I would love that! I want to be convinced!

        Quote  Reply

    147. aiad,

      Except, that’s not what’s happening. All the characters left have done questionable things at one time or another, which makes them varying shades of gray. I guess the White Walkers can be considered evil, but really they’re only doing what they were created to do.

        Quote  Reply

    148. aiad: The show could be more than that. But as long as they keep pandering to Jon and Dany fans (and more generally, all the “good” characters fans) it’ll be like that.

      View the tale from the perspective of the CotF or Ser Pounce and it gets really interesting.

        Quote  Reply

    149. aiad:
      ghost of winterfell,

      I think she wants Jon to die so the show isn’t Harry Potter or a Disney fairytale.
      First seasons of the show were great, shown a brutal environment (both with violence, and political power plays) but with every new season now it’s turning more and more into some cheap hollywoodian show about good vs evil and good being awesome at everything and the evil side only getting wins by treachery and evilness, with the “good” characters spouting meme catchphrases every 2 minutes.

      The show could be more than that. But as long as they keep pandering to Jon and Dany fans (and more generally, all the “good” characters fans) it’ll be like that.

      So, according to this view masterpieces like Lord of the Rings, Hobbit, Star wars, were cheap Hollywoodian books or films about good or evil who where pandering readers and viewers because they didn’t kill the good guys off just for the sake of it?

      Ummm right. OK. I can totally live with a show that stands proudly next to those masterpieces. Keep that ‘cheap hollywoodian’ good VS evil coming – which btw is the core of any story ever written. I’m all in. And I suspect some more millions of fanatic viewers are all in as well.

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    150. Mr Derp:
      River,

      Then, at the beginning of season 7 she suddenly seems to know everything there is to know about ruling and it felt like it came out of nowhere.Hell, she was the only person in Winterfell to notice that they were not making the armor properly, which, to me, came off incredibly forced and I have to hold back laughter every time I watch that scene.I mean, really?Sansa is the only person in all of Winterfell to know how armor should properly be constructed?Really?Even so, why would Sansa know anything about how to make armor?Did she learn that from Cersei or Littlefinger, neither of which has any battle experience?It’s almost like they felt the need to make everyone else around Sansa a moron in order to make her look smart, which I think is cheap.

      The thing is, I like Sansa when the writers aren’t trying to force her into “badass boss bitch” Sansa mode or whatever cliche you want to throw out there.When she’s just being herself, I like her a lot.I just don’t like her when they try and convince me that she’s some super smart player in the game.As much as I want to be convinced, I am not to this point.I want to be convinced that she’s a great leader though.As Sansa said, she’s a slow learner, but she learns.Perhaps I’ll be more convinced in season 8.I would love that!I want to be convinced!

      No one’s perfect. Sansa criticism is understandable, but not hate. I’m flummoxed that she’s on the least favourite list. Perhaps her moral compass is a tad shaky for a Stark, but she’s not evil or sadistic so much as self-centered. And she’s surely among the 5 major characters who have suffered most. I find her frustrating, in large part because she’ll often take two steps forward and then one step backwards. Her clever lie and sartorial statement on the Vale staircase in 4.10 was followed by a season of her accepting yet another monster and being victimised by him. Her coaching started Theon’s journey away from Reekdom, but she needed him to rescue her with the escape. Season six gave her a truly heartwarming reunion with Jon,. But later, after admitting she knew nothing of battle, she knowingly withheld vital military information from him! And after declaring LF untrustworthy, he remained her apparently trusted advisor through 7.06. If she was genuinely worried about Arya, she should have spoken to her bodyguard, Brienne. All the characters have their ups and downs, but Sansa is a yo-yo.

      BTW, I concur that her new leadership skills were unconvincing. She probably did have them (those guards were intimidated by her), but the two instances of her taking charge were unremarkable. Food and clothing needs are the responsibility of the lady of the castle. Plus she had LF, who was experienced and surely understood logistics, constantly by her side to make suggestions. It would have been more impressive had D&D let her talk alone to some common soldiers, or women worried about their men, and come up with the idea on her own. If she suggests a Jon-Dany alliance next season, we viewers will know who the idea came from. At least now the yo-yo is poised to go up again.

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    151. I didn’t like season 1 Sansa, but she’s grown alot since then. I wouldn’t consider her a favorite character, but I definitely wouldn’t put her in the least favorite category. In terms of stategic skill/leadership ability I don’t think she’s bottom of the barrel either. Most of the main characters have made strategic errors for various reasons, so I don’t fault her anymore than others. I also don’t consider her exhibiting leadership skills to be any less believable than when other main characters do (including my faves Dany and Jon). Her mention of needing the armor specially outfitted in S7 was in the context of when the ‘real winter’ comes. They’re just coming off one of their longest summers, so it made sense to me that she’d consider that their armor may need more insulation, especially after she’d just shown awareness of the need for making sure they had adequate grain stores for the coming Winter. I felt the conflict between her and Arya may have been exaggerated just for the sake of having more conflict between characters, but that tends to be a quibble I have with many of my favorite shows. I would have been more interested in the Sansa/Arya conflict time being cut in half with more emphasis placed on them and the other Winterfell residents racing to prep the North for Winter and the AotD. Logistically, that’s a huge undertaking, and I’d have been interested in seeing them struggle/strategize on how to feed, clothe, and house as many people as they can while also convincing and prepping common people about the threat to come. The characters that I tend to put in the least favorite category are those that I feel are evil, and Sansa isn’t one of them.

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    152. River,

      Though I can’t speak for anyone else, I tend to think that many don’t really have a problem with Daenerys eyeing the throne per say. The resistance to her comes from her entitled tendencies. Her constant declarations of being the rightful anything can get on people’s nerves, I think Stannis had this same problem.

      In terms of Sansa, I would say that is simply distrust. Some fans who may have quibbles with her due to her early decisions, which can be understood and explained as naivete and immaturity, will simply always wait for the “selfish” Sansa to resurface. D&D didn’t do her any favors in having her not tell Jon about the Vale forces. Many people interpreted that as Sansa being willing to sacrifice her brother’s life without much thought. That was compounded by her telling Jon that Rickon was a lost cause. She may have been right (about Rickon) but her coldness didn’t contrast well to Jon’s willingness to sacrifice himself for his family. It was simply shades of the old Sansa for many and she may have lost some of the sympathy that she had gained in the seasons spent as victim and captive.

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    153. Lots of good points about Sansa’s depiction on the show – how she’s grown, her flaws & mistakes, and some of the strange shoes that D&D have tried to squeeze her into. I’m with Mr. Derp and others who haven’t seen much in the way of leadership from Sansa. She’s shown she’s good at planning and getting things in place, and that she can see the bigger picture – and those qualities are really valuable. I’ve never understood the whole “Queen in the North” thing, because nothing that Sansa has said or done has ever suggested to me that she’s interested in wielding power in her own right.

      Her childish dream was to be a queen consort and mother, the perfect lady who embodied everything her culture said she should. She then learned that by virtue of being the eldest surviving, legitimate Stark child she represented a path to power for ambitious men. I recall Littlefinger expressing his desire to sit on the Iron Throne, but I cannot recall Sansa every saying anything like that (someone do correct me if I’m wrong). My take on the jarring mismatch between suggestions that Sansa could and should seek power for herself and what we observed the character actually doing was due to the show’s wish to create dramatic tension. They certainly trolled us with it last year in previews, but it amounted to the opposite: we saw Sansa staunchly supporting Jon’s rule in his absence. Whether with D&D’s encouragement or on her own Sophie Turner talked about her character as if she was angling for power (even after filming S7, so she absolutely knew that Sansa wasn’t trying to oust Jon).

      All the hints that Sansa might be self-serving and power-hungry – including, IMHO, her failure to explain to Jon that she hadn’t told him about the Vale forces coming because she hadn’t been certain that they were – seem to me to have been designed to sow doubt in the audience about her, which allowed the show to have dramatic tension in S7 Winterfell.

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    154. I was one who voted Sansa as their least favorite character. I based my decision on how interesting and compelling a character is rather than the actions they’ve taken in the series. For example, I find Cersei to be far more despicable and villainous than Sansa, but I also see her as a complex character and enjoy watching her scenes. I have the same problems with Sansa in the show that many of you have. She’s not as developed as the writers seem to think. Of course, this problem is also seen in the books, where she’s not that developed either. Another reason why I voted for her is the amount of screen time that she gets. The writers tried to elevate her to one of the major characters, and I don’t think they did a good job. Also, Sophie Turner is a good actress, but she’s overshadowed by the other stars, imo.

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    155. Danny,


      D&D didn’t do her any favors in having her not tell Jon about the Vale forces. Many people interpreted that as Sansa being willing to sacrifice her brother’s life without much thought. That was compounded by her telling Jon that Rickon was a lost cause. She may have been right (about Rickon) but her coldness didn’t contrast well to Jon’s willingness to sacrifice himself for his family.

      I’m still not sure what to do with that S6 subplot. On one hand, it could be another instance of creating conflict between main characters just for the sake of creating conflict. If they wanted the effect of seeing the Vale knights coming in to save Jon et al, that could have been achieved without the miscommunication between Jon and Sansa. Were they trying to show Sansa wrangle with the ramifications of being in debt to Littlefinger? Were they trying to show her struggle with her own ambitions to have a leadership position? Why did they have Jon deadset on re-taking Winterfell when it was established that they were still significantly outmanned ? Why did they have him risk the people fighting for him to charge Ramsey et al after Rickon’s death when it was established that they needed Ramsey’s forces to come to him?

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    156. Stark Raven’ Rad:
      BTW, I concur that her new leadership skills were unconvincing.She probably did have them (those guards were intimidated by her), but the two instances of her taking charge were unremarkable. Food and clothing needs are the responsibility of the lady of the castle. Plus she had LF, who was experienced and surely understood logistics, constantly by her side to make suggestions.It would have been more impressive had D&D let her talk alone to some common soldiers, or women worried about their men, and come up with the idea on her own.

      There isn’t any indication in the show that Littlefinger had any input on the whole logistics scheme. It’s presented as if it was just Sansa’s ideas.

      The show did nothing to set this up, however, so it’s understandable why many took issue with it. There’s not one single moment in the previous six seasons that indicates Sansa has any knowledge or talent for logistics or is learning about it. As such, it can’t properly be called character development, as it did not develop.

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    157. Young Dragon: I based my decision on how interesting and compelling a character is rather than the actions they’ve taken in the series.

      With that same sort of mentality while reading the books I came into the show with my favorites already set; Arya, Daenerys, Jon, Tyrion in that order. (I actually didn’t like Tyrion much until after the BotBW.) While reading I always looked forward to their next chapter(s). That’s one reason why AFfC was a kick in the pants with just three total chapters for those four, all Arya’s.

      On the other side of that there were some characters that I labored through their chapters. One of them was/is Sansa. While I’ve never hated the character per se, I just haven’t found her that interesting. I’ve mentioned her sample chapter from TWoW a few times and needless to say, I am not looking forward to her continuing story. With that in mind when the show started I did have little interest in Sansa. Some may remember quite a bit of negatives from me in earlier seasons regarding Sophie. I do think she’s gotten better as she matured but in my opinion she was really weak from the start and that actually dampened my feelings for the character.

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    158. Hold on,

      Arya was never a brat. And in S7 she was role-playing Hannibal Lecter. Or at least she was written that way in e5 and e6 all for the sake of the silly LF letter “plot.”

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    159. Gwidhiel,

      I too have been waiting for and wanting Sansa to become the “savvy politician” the showrunners have touted – but not shown us.

      And she doesn’t need to be that. I’d be happy if she were the supportive big sister/Lady of WF we saw on the battlements at the end of S7e7. She doesn’t have to be Cersei 2.0 + LF 2.0.

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    160. Gwidhiel,

      I’ll say this again: The showrunners did no favors to Sophie Turner by having her character do inexplicable things – and not telling Sophie what, if any, motivation Sansa had for those actions and inactions. They left Sophie twisting in the wind to come up with excuses when she was asked about Sansa’s actions in interviews.

      And I’ll also emphasize again that 98% of GoT is superb. The 2% that isn’t sticks out like a sore thumb. That’s why we’ll probably never hear the end of Sansa’s KotV concealment; trusting LF when only a fool would trust LF; letting a serial killer run loose in WF; etc. Really not fair to Sophie.

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    161. Clob,

      I agree that benching so many interesting POV characters probably wasn’t the best move. It’s the biggest reason AFFC is my least favorite book in the series.

      To me, Sophie Turner only had one truly great performance, and that was when she was lying to the Vale lords about Lysa’s death. Her other acting has ranged from ok to pretty good, and since she’s in a show filled with acting juggernauts, she stands out, and not in a good way.

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    162. Sean C.,

      It doesn’t take a genius to know that you need a lasting supply of food and warm clothing to survive the winter, so her ideas weren’t my issue. It was that her ideas were presented as works of genius rather than common sense.

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    163. Danny:
      River,

      D&D didn’t do her any favors in having her not tell Jon about the Vale forces.Many people interpreted that as Sansa being willing to sacrifice her brother’s life without much thought.That was compounded by her telling Jon that Rickon was a lost cause.She may have been right (about Rickon) but her coldness didn’t contrast well to Jon’s willingness to sacrifice himself for his family.It was simply shades of the old Sansa for many and she may have lost some of the sympathy that she had gained in the seasons spent as victim and captive.

      I think that is definitely a fair point. And, for me at least, there was this:

      Sansa (to Jon): “If we don’t take back the North, we’ll never be safe. I want you to help me. But I’ll do it myself if I have to.” (Um, you will? Really? How would that go?)

      And particularly:
      “A monster has taken our home and our brother. We have to go back to Winterfell and save them both.” (until a few episodes later, that is, when nah, Rickon is ‘already dead’)

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    164. krupke,

      Here’s what I don’t get. They could’ve had the following brief exchange between Sansa and Jon, and gotten the same end result:

      Sansa: We don’t have enough men to defeat the Boltons. LF has offered the KotV; I accepted his offer.
      Jon: “Do you trust him? Are you sure they’ll come?
      Sansa: “Only a fool would trust LF. The KotV may come to help us. Or they may never come. Or they may come and join with the Boltons if LF thinks the Boltons are winning. Even if LF does show up, he’ll probably wait on the sidelines until both sides have just about annihilated each other so he can then come in and seize power.
      Jon: “F*ck it then. We’ll fight with the army we have.”

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    165. krupke,

      I felt the conflict between her [Sansa] and Arya may have been exaggerated just for the sake of having more conflict between characters, but that tends to be a quibble I have with many of my favorite shows.”
      _________________

      • I get it that the showrunners wanted to dredge up the sisters’ childhood resentments. However, I don’t think I speak only for myself when I say that I would’ve liked to see Sansa and Arya actually reconcile their differences, but the showrunners opted to have all that happen offscreen for the sake of one single “Gotcha!” fist-pumping moment for the casual fan, when Sansa says “How do you answer these charges…Lord Baelish.”

      • Again, that’s an example of a GoT “2%” whiff – a rare instance when a plot line fizzled in the eyes of the dedicated fans (like most of us here). It required both Sansa and Arya to act out of character, e.g., Little Miss Lie Detector got played by Mr. Duplicity; and Sansa placed her trust in Lord “Only a Fool Would Trust” Baelish. Plus, the whole ridiculous letter plot should’ve been exposed at the outset when Sansa asked Arya where she got the letter.

      • I for one wanted to know what happened between the sisters between e6 and e7, e.g., they had this exchange in e6:

      Sansa: “You never would have survived what I survived.”
      Arya: “I guess we’ll never know.”

      Yet, in the very next episode, e7, with no intervening explanation, that turned around 180 degrees to:

      Arya: “I never would’ve survived what you survived.”
      Sansa: “You would have. You’re the strongest person I know.”

      • Impliedly, the sisters must have compared experiences for Arya to realize the horrors Sansa endured, and for Sansa to realize what her “strange and annoying” baby sister had to undergo and overcome to become the powerful, kickass warrior she had become.

      • I really thought there was a potential gold mine of meaty dialogue the two actresses could’ve sunk their teeth into, considering they had experiences with some of the same people albeit at different times, like Meryn F. Trant, The Hound, and Douchebagfinger. (Not sure about Tywin. Did Sansa share any scenes with him?)
      Hashing out their misunderstandings and resolving their differences would’ve made for memorable “high thread-count”™ scenes that would’ve endeared fans to Sansa as well as Arya. As it was, we were left with a wonderful but all too brief scene on the battlements in which they expressed their mutual admiration and loyalty – but without understanding how they reached that point.

      • I believe a brief, one-two minute heart to heart talk between Sansa and Arya in e5 or e6 in which Sansa told Arya what she’d been through would have ameliorated some of the ambivalent feelings the viewers have for Sansa.

      (The weird behavior by both sisters in e5 and e6 left me baffled. Come on! Arya advancing on Sansa with a dagger and musing about taking her face? Ned’s little girl would never dishonor him that way. Sansa sending Brienne away for … some reason? Sansa running to LF for advice?)

      • The beautiful battlements scene only left me wishing we’d been shown whatever the sisters must’ve talked about offscreen – along with their planning of LF’s trial by ambush.*

      ™ Thronetender 2017

      * My thwarted expectations of how I thought that trial was going to play out is another story – temporarily trapped in my old cell phone.

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    166. Sean C.,

      “There isn’t any indication in the show that Littlefinger had any input on the whole logistics scheme. It’s presented as if it was just Sansa’s ideas.”

      I agree. She’s a logical lass, and food and clothes are something she’d know about. I’m speculating that LF was helping in other matters that we don’t see. She was doing paperwork when the gormless guards came in. If she let LF follow her like a puppy, he must helped on other matters. But we’ll never know.

      Ten Bears:
      Gwidhiel,

      I too have been waiting for and wanting Sansa to become the “savvy politician” the showrunners have touted – but not shown us.

      And she doesn’t need to be that. I’d be happy if she were the supportive big sister/Lady of WF we saw on the battlements at the end of S7e7. She doesn’t have to be Cersei 2.0 + LF 2.0.

      Gwidhiel, I hope that Sansa’s now being part of the Pack will put paid to the ‘two steps forward, one step back’ pattern that has bedeviled her storyline in recent seasons. D&D promote her but then undercut her. Hopefully, unbeknownst to us, they do it for a good reason. She’ll never be my favourite character, but she’s a Stark and I want to root for her more (and longer) than I usually get to.

      Ten Bears,

      “Arya was never a brat. And in S7 she was role-playing Hannibal Lecter. Or at least she was written that way in e5 and e6 all for the sake of the silly LF letter “plot.”

      I’m convinced she No One in those scenes and was role-playing, but it can’t be proven despite the copious circumstantial evidence. As to ‘bratty’, admittedly young Arya was outspoken, critical, tactlessly truthful, and didn’t follow the protocols and rules of high society. So some fans can see her as “bratty”. But IMO the rules were wrong, especially when higher moral issues were at stake: protecting friends from dangerous bullies, loyalty to family, denouncing lies in a formal setting, and speaking truth to power (Cersei). I think this is the message we’re intended to get from the Nymeria-Joffrey incident scenes, which were transformative in both books and show.

      By the way, you and any other Sandor/Arya fan might find this YT video interesting. Part 2 should come out in a week. The fellow makes some interesting points: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpTnJ8UK_-I

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    167. Pigeon,

      “And particularly:
      “A monster has taken our home and our brother. We have to go back to Winterfell and save them both.” (until a few episodes later, that is, when nah, Rickon is ‘already dead’),”

      __________________
      Yeah, that didn’t do Sophie/Sansa much good either:

      Sansa: “Jon! You have to leave CB to fight the Boltons to save our brother Rickon!”

      – and then…..

      (After Jon leaves CB and is preparing to fight the Boltons)
      Sansa: “Rickon who? Oh, him. Forget about Rickon. He’s as good as dead.”

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    168. Ten Bears:
      Gwidhiel,

      I too have been waiting for and wanting Sansa to become the “savvy politician” the showrunners have touted – but not shown us.

      And she doesn’t need to be that. I’d be happy if she were the supportive big sister/Lady of WF we saw on the battlements at the end of S7e7. She doesn’t have to be Cersei 2.0 + LF 2.0.

      Exactly supportive sister/cousin and Lady of WF seem just right for her.

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    169. Ten Bears:
      Gwidhiel,

      I’ll say this again: The showrunners did no favors to Sophie Turner by having her character do inexplicable things – and not telling Sophie what, if any, motivation Sansa had for those actions and inactions. They left Sophie twisting in the wind to come up with excuses when she was asked about Sansa’s actions in interviews.

      I agree; I also think that Sophie has at times been deliberately misleading, e.g. saying that she thinks Sansa should end up on the Iron Throne – really? Does she really think Sansa would want that? Maybe she was just being silly, or maybe she enjoys jerking fans around (the publicity stuff must be wearying after a while). But I think that her comments have been taken by many people to be a reflection of what Sansa wants, despite the fact that we’ve never heard Sansa say anything to that effect.

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    170. Young Dragon:

      To me, Sophie Turner only had one truly great performance, and that was when she was lying to the Vale lords about Lysa’s death. Her other acting has ranged from ok to pretty good, and since she’s in a show filled with acting juggernauts, she stands out, and not in a good way.

      I don’t think Sophie is great but she has greatly improved over the seasons. I think Emilia Clarke is far worse as Daenerys. She’s a beautiful woman, charming in real life, lots of great qualities I’m sure. But she has consistently delivered wooden performances over seven seasons. My husband actually fast forwards through her scenes sometimes; his dislike of the acting has transferred to the character.

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    171. You guys pretty much covered the issues with Sansa perfectly… Really feels like D&D have been propping her up as some great leader strategist without laying the groundwork at all. And she should definitely be used as a supporting character rather than the forced talents & storylines. It would have definitely made her more believable and likeable. It doesn’t help that Sophie is on the lower spectrum of the talented actors & actresses on the show. Her just simply being a grounded young lady/big sister/cousin as opposed to some major game player or leader would have been much better.

      Now Aiad, how can you say GoT’s is Disneyfied and only caters to Jon, Dany, and the good guys when just last season the bad guys (Cersei, Euron, & the Night King) kicked ass and took names all last season??? Did the good guys win anything besides the Arya/Sansa/LF plot & the cold opening when Winter Came for House Frey? I feel like the bad guys win much more than the good guys on Thrones and that’s part of what makes it so compelling.

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    172. River,

      Sansa just needs a therapy session with a professional: someone who’s not trying to manipulate her, corrupt her, exploit her, or feed her fantasies. Someone without ulterior motives who can bluntly explain the way things are without sugar-coating reality or bamboozling her. Someone who’s only concerned for her well-being.

      Lady Stark? Dr. Clegane will see you now.”

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    173. Clob,

      I read the first sentence of your comment too quickly (“Well, there was the whole man-in-a-box situation…” before I realized you were referring to Varys, and my lazy brain subconsciously substituted a word so that I thought you were talking about Theon, i.e., “the whole d*ck-in-box situation.”

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    174. Gwidhiel: You know what I think would make a neat S8 opening would be The Boat sailing into White Harbor, with Arya Stark waiting on the pier. I think her reunion with Jon ought to be given its own space. And it would make sense for Sansa to want someone there to meet Jon whom she can trust to convey to him that he needs to tread very carefully in presenting his new queen as such to the North. Not a message to entrust to a raven.

      And if that happened we’d also get the chance to see Arya reunited with The Hound (assuming he’s part of the sailing party), perhaps even some banter on the ride back to Winterfell.

      Upon further reflection… S8e1 should consist entirely of the scenes you portrayed.
      The battles, armies and CGI could get underway in e2.
      My tinfoil/fanfic 🤖 scenario is that disgruntled Northern Lords like Robett “Chickensh*t” Glover will ransack WF and try to raid its pantry (grain stores) because they know there’s not enough food for the locals, let alone the Mad King’s daughter’s hordes of hungry savages on their way. Right in the middle of the treasonweasels’ incursion into WF and setting fires to cause distractions, Ol’ Blue Eyes shows up with his posse to join the party.
      Arya, Jon, Sandor, Dany & Co. arrive at WF only to find fires burning and lots of treasonous zombified northerners with telltale blue eyes outside the castle walls – and NK and his crew having already hit the road and making a beeline straight to KL to get their unwitting new recruits ready for their million man march throughout the seven kingdoms.

      Maybe then Sansa can show her ingenuity and assure Jon & Co. that the food stores are all safe and sound in the crypts – and all the pillagers got were burlap bags filled with sawdust and raven droppings.

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    175. Thanks to everyone who shared their opinions, it was nice reading and absorbing different perspectives. I’ve only ever read books 1 and 2, so I would say I’m a bigger fan of the show than the books, and it was great to gain some much needed insight from you guys. I was under the impression that Dany and Sansa were unjustly vilified by some viewers, but again I never considered all the stuff you had presented. It’s more complex than I originally imagined.

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    176. Fascinating. >:-} That survey was a lot of (difficult, thought-provoking) fun to take.
      I LOVE Daenerys, LOATHE Cersei, and waver between neutral and dislike on Sansa. (But I wish her a “happy ending” because she has suffered some serious crap, and for the other Starks’ sakes. Agree with the recent analyses of why she’s disliked; they all apply to me.)

      Actually, let’s see whether I can do this…
      Love: Dany, Arya, Jon, Tyrion, Varys, Melisandre, Tormund, Hodor, Sam, Jorah, the Hound, Jaqen, Beric, Olenna, Davos, Jaime, Drogo, Brienne, Ned, Grey Worm, Podrick, Gilly, Dolorous Edd, Lyanna
      Like: Bronn, Bran, Robb, Shireen, Tommen, Margaery, Catelyn, Mance, Oberyn, Stannis, Yara, Missandei, Gendry, Theon (kinda)
      Meh: Sansa, Sand Snakes
      Dislike: Ellaria, Tywin
      Hate: Ramsay, Walder Frey, Joffrey, Cersei, Littlefinger, Euron, Shae, High Sparrow, Qyburn, Roose

      Basically, for the most part, I find the ones I love/like to be “good-er,” and I “love to hate” the hated ones.
      Love me some Jaqen. I got the sense that on a personal level he’d lean toward goodness, but as a Faceless Man is committed to neutrality and amorality.
      Drogo did bad things that are very much a part of Dothraki culture; FOR a Khal, I think he was a relatively decent person…and became a better one as a result of his relationship with Dany.
      Margaery struck me as a shrewd Slytherin-type, which doesn’t imply evil; I saw her as basically good.
      Ellaria’s definitely the most-changed; I think she’s the one where my perception dramatically changes depending on whether you’re talking about the show or the books alone…

      I also love Melisandre; it bothers me when people view her as “overall evil.” I see her as good–yet with the fanatical religious convictions that allow her to do terrible/evil things without thinking that she is ultimately doing wrong by anyone.
      Jon’s resurrection of course restored much of her faith in her ability to perform (and, with caution, decipher) R’hllor’s will. It occurred to me that in limply switching from Stannis to Jon, she might’ve had the thought that Jon wouldn’t have sacrificed the child even for victory, that maybe there was some sort of test both she and Stannis failed. But her power (and/or her Lord’s power) is real. Interesting thought that she might act a little more independently in the last season, though.

      Unfortunately, a traditional “happy ending” is apparently not in the cards for Mel or Varys…but my hopeful version for them is going out with a badass fight, making invaluably crucial contributions to the war against the darkness and on behalf of the realm. I think Mel deserves it after a few centuries of being a warrior, and Varys has already revealed a willingness to be sacrificed if necessary.

      Nuts, I’m writing an essay here. I agree with a lot of what Ygritte said…& BrienneBabe.
      I’d take pleasure in killing the kinds of people Arya’s killed, and I don’t have PTSD or psychopathy/sociopathy or any other sort of mental illness/issue. ;p Just sayin’. I’ve also never doubted hers & Jon’s love and concern for each other.
      I think the cast is a good realistic mixture–mostly shades of grey, from near-white to practically black (yet still, somehow, human.) Sophie’s acting is adequate and I think Emilia is actually great as Daenerys, though less talented and versatile than other cast members.
      Also, it’d be hiLARious if Varys had heard the voice tell him the punchline to the joke, which made no sense at the time, but in the end becomes key to…something! XD

      And demographically speaking, I’m a 30-y/o female, show-first, high-interaction fan, politically central, non-LGBTQ (what’s the A stand for? I’m honestly not sure whether I’m straight or asexual or in between. Probably in between, but even if I am “ace,” I don’t consider myself LGBTQ at all, since it’s virtually the same as being a celibate hetero. Least for me.)

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    177. River,

      Same here 🙂 This was a very interesting survey and I loved reading everyone’s thoughts and ideas. This off season is brutal for being over long but these sort of discussions take the edge off for sure!

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    178. Shelle,

      “I’d take pleasure in killing the kinds of people Arya’s killed, and I don’t have PTSD or psychopathy/sociopathy or any other sort of mental illness/issue.”
      _________________
      If I saw and heard about my family being butchered and mutilated the way Arya did … they’d be lucky to get off as easy as Meryn F*cking Trant did.

      What was Marcellus Wallace’s line from “Pulp Fiction” when he was describing to Zed the rapist what he was going to do to him? Something like getting “a blow torch and a pair of pliers and going medieval on your ass.”

      And let’s not forgot that in the GoT world, as Sansa learned from LF: “There’s no justice in this world unless we make it.”

      (There’s rarely any justice in the modern world’s justice systems either, but that’s another discussion…)

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    179. ygritte:
      River,

      Same here 🙂 This was a very interesting survey and I loved reading everyone’s thoughts and ideas. This off season is brutal for being over long but these sort of discussions take the edge off for sure!

      I agree with you both 🙂 Discussions like this are great in the off-season and I likewise enjoy they help provide more insight for me.

      Mr Derp‘s summary re: Sansa hits the nail on the head for my feelings as well. I like Sansa and will always give her the benefit of the doubt because I certainly believe she loves her family but some of her actions and choices are really inexplicable to me. And I agree with Ten Bears and Gwidhiel that Sophie Turner’s explanations don’t exactly… help… Like Ten Bears, I really wish D&D provided something more to Turner so she wasn’t left twisting in the wind, trying to come up with explanations.

      I like Sansa but I think Mr Derp does a nice job explaining the frustration fans have with the character.

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    180. Aegon the Icedragon:
      You guys pretty much covered the issues with Sansa perfectly…Really feels like D&D have been propping her up as some great leader strategist without laying the groundwork at all.And she should definitely be used as a supporting character rather than the forced talents & storylines.

      Except Sansa is not a supporting character in ASOIAF, so why would she be in the show?

      The problems with her are the same with many other stories in the show: poor writing.

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    181. Gwidhiel,

      Oh yes, Sophie Turner has definitely gotten better over the years. I never had a problem with Emilia Clarke’s acting, though she’s definitely better in scenes where her character is more vulnerable. She can be a bit wooden when Danerys is trying to exert her power.

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    182. Sean C.,

      I don’t see her as a main character in the books. Sure, she has a POV, but her chapters act more as a window to see what other characters are doing. Her progression hasn’t been all that impressive considering we’re on the 6th book, and she has had very little impact on the plot.

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    183. Despite some people bitterly insisting that the only reason Sansa is playing a prominent role in the show now is because she’s D&D’s favourite, it seems fairly obvious that her story is going to head in a similar direction in the books as it has in the show.

      She will eventually head north, possibly with the support of the Vale. She and Jon (once resurrected) will probably be the first Starks to reunite. Will the details be different? Certainly. And if she plays a role in retaking Winterfell and killing Littlefinger, it’ll no doubt be handled more cleverly.

      Regardless, D&D streamlined and adapted parts of the story for various reasons. It’s perfectly reasonable for people to take issue with that, should they so choose.

      But those people who think that Sansa is irrelevant and that she won’t end up in more or less the same position she’s in right now on the show, and that she’s just going to die some miserable death in the Vale having ultimately had next to no impact on the story, I’m afraid are probably in for a disappointment.

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    184. Young Dragon:
      I don’t see her as a main character in the books. Sure, she has a POV, but her chapters act more as a window to see what other characters are doing.

      This isn’t true at all. The vast bulk of Sansa’s POV is concerned with her own story, and not be necessary if she was not a main character, and she has the fifth-most chapters of any living POV.

      She also provides some insight into things not directly concerning her, but that’s the case with most or all the POV characters.

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    185. Shelle: Actually, let’s see whether I can do this…
      Love: Dany, Arya, Jon, Tyrion, Varys, Melisandre, Tormund, Hodor, Sam, Jorah, the Hound, Jaqen, Beric, Olenna, Davos, Jaime, Drogo, Brienne, Ned, Grey Worm, Podrick, Gilly, Dolorous Edd, Lyanna
      Like: Bronn, Bran, Robb, Shireen, Tommen, Margaery, Catelyn, Mance, Oberyn, Stannis, Yara, Missandei, Gendry, Theon (kinda)
      Meh: Sansa, Sand Snakes
      Dislike: Ellaria, Tywin
      Hate: Ramsay, Walder Frey, Joffrey, Cersei, Littlefinger, Euron, Shae, High Sparrow, Qyburn, Roose

      Not a bad list for me, even as a books first person.
      I’d just have a lot of the love in the like list. There’s only a few in that category for me. I’d have Beric and Lyanna M. in the Meh list.

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    186. Sean C.,

      She may have a lot of chapters, but considering how little her character has truly progressed, that just proves my point. She is a character where things are done to her, and she hardly ever takes the initiative. So far, her most prominent role has been to give insight into Littlefinger’s plan.

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    187. Young Dragon:
      Gwidhiel,

      Oh yes, Sophie Turner has definitely gotten better over the years. I never had a problem with Emilia Clarke’s acting, though she’s definitely better in scenes where her character is more vulnerable. She can be a bit wooden when Danerys is trying to exert her power.

      Me too, I haven’t minded EC so much except when Daenerys is meant to be powerful and determined, or very dignified and emotionally remote – as you say, that’s when she’s at her most wooden. But overall, even though I usually don’t mind her version of Daenerys, I don’t think Clarke is an example of good acting on the show, and she often sticks out as not so good when she’s sharing the screen with folks like Diana Rigg or Peter Dinklage.

      It’s funny: here in this thread I’m criticizing Emilia Clarke’s depiction of Daenerys, but in my conversations with people like my husband or my best friend, both of whom loathe both EC’s acting and her character (neither have read the books), I’ve often been an EC/Daenerys defender. I’ve said to both at various times that if they’d read the books and had access to Daenerys’s POV chapters, they’d see that the show version of her is much less rich and nuanced. Neither of them have strong opinions about Sansa one way or the other.

      And I agree with Ramsay’s 20th Good Man that in adapting the books for screen the writers had to make choices, and while we might not agree with their choices, I’m just glad they’ve put together a show that is as good as Game of Thrones is. I can’t imagine how they could have shown us as much of the main characters’ thoughts and internal lives as the books do – I doubt it’s possible.

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    188. Sean C.: This isn’t true at all.The vast bulk of Sansa’s POV is concerned with her own story, and not be necessary if she was not a main character, and she has the fifth-most chapters of any living POV.

      She also provides some insight into things not directly concerning her, but that’s the case with most or all the POV characters.

      Part of problem is probably that many people don’t find her own story that interesting (in the books). Yes, there are those that do.

      I’ve seen it mentioned several times over the years that for a lot of her chapters she’s essentially a portal/window for other characters. Some always dispute it, but as you wrote, she “provides insight on others.” For a couple books she was one of only a couple pov characters in King’s Landing, and at the time, sort of on one ‘side’ versus another. So, she was essentially the readers portal into the events in KL and not totally inaccurate to consider her as such.

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    189. Clob,

      It’s one thing to say that you don’t much care for her story. That’s all subjective, and everybody will have their own opinions and/or inclinations as to what they find entertaining. That’s different from saying she’s not a main character or that her chapters are just camera views of other characters. That isn’t true. It may be that some are more interested in her supporting characters than in her*, but again, that’s different.

      * And I’d include the show’s writers in that category, if you look at the way the show relegated her to the background in the early seasons and preferred to emphasize the people who she interacts with instead, a phenomenon that reached its peak in Season 3 when they completely reversed the narrative emphasis of the book. This early neglect is, not incidentally, one of the problems the writers then ran into in later seasons when they suddenly needed to insist that Sansa had been learning tons of stuff when they had never bothered to depict this. That’s the wages of neglecting the main character to spend more time with “fun” side characters like the Tyrells who ultimately aren’t as important.

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    190. Clob: Part of problem is probably that many people don’t find her own story that interesting (in the books).Yes, there are those that do.

      I’ve seen it mentioned several times over the years that for a lot of her chapters she’s essentially a portal/window for other characters.Some always dispute it, but as you wrote, she “provides insight on others.”For a couple books she was one of only a couple pov characters in King’s Landing, and at the time, sort of on one ‘side’ versus another.So, she was essentially the readers portal into the events in KL and not totally inaccurate to consider her as such.

      I can see where you’re coming from. For me, Sansa’s ability to keep her head down throughout her captivity in King’s Landing, without compromising her integrity (yep, she wrote that infamous letter to Cat & Rob, because she thought it would help her father), even managing to get in some low-key sass to Joffrey and to help Ser Dontos make her interesting.

      And hey, The Hound saw her as sufficiently interesting and worth helping. That’s saying something about how she was perceived by and affected those around her.

      Watching a young girl use her wits to stay alive and largely unharmed when first in a lion’s den and then under the thumb of an amoral pedophile is interesting to me. Observing her observing others and learning what makes them tick is interesting to me. I haven’t found Sansa’s story to be the most interesting in the books, for sure. But I don’t find her uninteresting.

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    191. Sean C.:

      That’s the wages of neglecting the main character to spend more time with “fun” side characters like the Tyrells who ultimately aren’t as important.

      Couldn’t agree more, and: they cast a very compelling, sexy actress to play a version of Margaery Tyrell that is very much at odds with the girl we met in the books. Imagine the Cersei-Sansa scenes if Natalie Dormer had been young enough to play Sansa!

      Folks who complain about how in Season 7 other characters had to be dumbed down to make Sansa look smart should remember that the reverse happened with Sansa and Margaery in Season 3. Sansa’s character wasn’t just diminished by being played by a novice actress who was still learning her craft (and IMHO wasn’t actually a good physical match to play Sansa, who’s supposed to be strikingly lovely, not merely pretty in a long-legged modern way). Some of Sansa’s clear strengths in King’s Landing were transferred to Margaery.

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    192. Enharmony1625,

      I am waaaay behind, so forgive me is my catching up is out of sequence with the present discussion 🙂

      Remember that the last time she heard about the Lord of Light is when Mel took Gendry away.

      A thought – I am assuming (yes I know….) that Arya probably hates the Lord of Light for this reason. Im also thinking that Hound might just care a little bit for the lord because of his dealings with BoB and the priest (cant remember name) Would this cause some conflict between them later?

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    193. SiriuslyStark,

      Rooting for a character, and investing in them is really nice, and one of the great things about GoT. But we can root for our character without trying to diminish the other characters. If we have to diminish other characters to make our character look better, then we have a problem

      .

      I agree. Actually given that each of the characters you mention have some gray areas to them just means they are human. If they were perfect, this would be a very different story…

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    194. ash,

      I have trouble keeping up with long threads as well sometimes. 🙂

      ash:
      Enharmony1625,
      A thought – I am assuming (yes I know….) that Arya probably hates the Lord of Light for this reason. Im also thinking that Hound might just care a little bit for the lord because of his dealings with BoB and the priest (cant remember name) Would this cause some conflict between them later?

      The Hound pretty consistently mocked the LoL in season 7, but perhaps he might realize that there is more to the LoL than he first thought. Ultimately though, I don’t think it will cause conflict with Arya once she sees/hears about Gendry being alive and that the LoL was responsible for Jon’s resurrection.

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    195. Wow, so most of this conversation was another Sansa post – ok, scroll, scroll, been there, read that….. 🙂 Still, interesting discussion.

      Rivers, thank you for all the work you do on this survey. I thought this second part more interesting than the first, just because the terms were not as vague. Looking forward to see what you have in your next section!

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    196. Nina:
      This survey pretty much sums up why I was Jon to die permanently.

      He’s the biggest fan favorite, and personally, I’m extremely tired of all this hype around Jon’s character. It’s time to show his fans, that this isn’t a Disney-story and that he is just as mortal and vulnerable as the rest of the characters.

      Of course Jon is mortal like the rest, I suspect he is a favourite because unlike Dany, Cersei and the rest he does not crave power and is generally a likeable considerate person.

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    197. Clob,

      Okay. My Love List:
      1. Arya aka “Your Grace”👸🏻
      2. Sandor 🐓🐓🐓
      3. Kinvara ❤️
      4. Beric “the Voice” Dondarrion
      5. Ygritte
      6. Margaery
      7. Tyene
      8. Oberyn
      9. Jorah
      10. Cersei (bc Lena)🍷
      11. Hot Pie 👨🏼‍🍳
      12. Tormund
      13. Pyromancer Hallyne
      14. Syrio Forel
      15. Yoren
      16. Davos
      17. Lady Crane

      “Used to Like; Now Just Okay”
      1. Tyrion (since he’s lost his wit)
      2. Bronn (every other word is “cock” lately; not funny)
      3. Jaqen (morphed into a weenie)
      4. Stannis. because 🔥👧

      My “FastForwardable”, Detestable List
      1. High Sparrow
      2. Ramsay
      3. Walder & his damn moron sons
      4. Lord Glover
      5. FecalFlinger
      6. Polliver
      7. Ellaria & 2 Sand Sluts except Tyene
      8. Euron
      9. Pycelle
      10. Lancel
      11. Balon
      12. Joffrey
      13. Meryn F. Trant
      14. Melisandre
      15. Waif
      16. Brother Ray (Ian M just phoned it in)

      Undecided
      1. Jaime (if he’s really done bouncing back to Cersei)
      2. Brienne
      3. Ned
      4. Gendry (stop with the meth and lose the buzzcut)
      5. Qyburn
      6. Dany
      7. NK
      8. Jon (if he remembers he had a sister)
      9. Meera (only if they bring her back)

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    198. One of the things that sticks out for me about Sansa’s portrayal on the show is that I don’t feel her pain nearly as much as I do Arya’s. Both have suffered incredible trauma, but I feel that the effects are far more raw in Arya as opposed to Sansa. In other words, in spite of being incredibly strong, resilient, and adaptable, there are vulnerabilities in Arya that I don’t get from Sansa. For instance, Arya’s anger and violence are manifestations of her pain, so we are constantly seeing her struggle with this pain and darkness inside her. And this goes such a long way towards making her a very empathetic character.

      Others have touched on this above, but I think that if Sansa had more vulnerabilities it might have mitigated some of the hate she gets. And I do think she gets unreasonable amounts of hate, but then, people are allowed to like who they like and dislike who they dislike, so..

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    199. ash:
      SiriuslyStark,

      .

      I agree. Actually given that each of the characters you mention have some gray areas to them just means they are human.If they were perfect, this would be a very different story…

      Of course, I totally agree🙂

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    200. Ten Bears:
      Shelle,

      “I’d take pleasure in killing the kinds of people Arya’s killed, and I don’t have PTSD or psychopathy/sociopathy or any other sort of mental illness/issue.”
      _________________If I saw and heard about my family being butchered and mutilated the way Arya did … they’d be lucky to get off as easy as Meryn F*cking Trant did.

      What was Marcellus Wallace’s line from “Pulp Fiction” when he was describing to Zed the rapist what he was going to do to him?Something like getting “a blow torch and a pair of pliers and going medieval on your ass.”

      Ditto! Arya went too easy on that guy. ;p

      Not a bad list for me, even as a books first person.
      I’d just have a lot of the love in the like list. There’s only a few in that category for me. I’d have Beric and Lyanna M. in the Meh list.

      Yeah, I did it quickly and could probably narrow down some of the “loves,” maybe…it’s so hard. x-)
      I’d add into “love/like”: Ygritte, Hot Pie!, Syrio, Lady Crane, Kinvara, Meera, Yoren
      “Meh/dislike/hate”: Brother Ray (Idk, I kinda liked him), Lancel, Balon, the Waif, Trant, Polliver

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    201. Mr Derp:
      Ten Bears,

      Speaking of the first 5 minutes of season 8, I wonder which locations will be featured on the opening credits for the last season.I assume we’ll still get Winterfell and King’s Landing, and maybe Dragonstone but what else?Will we see the Wall crumbled?Will Pyke be on it?The Citadel?

      I would say Winterfell, Kings Landing, the Wall, Pyke and maybe Karhold/Last Hearth as we expect them to be attacked.

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    202. Enharmony1625:
      Ten Bears,

      You forgot Sansa and Bran. 🙂

      Not really. Bran was kind of MIA. and now he’s more like my iPhone’s Siri than a real human character.

      And Sansa… I feared I’d incite some backlash no matter what category I put her in. Besides, I’ve come to suspect that a good deal of the Sansa criticism isn’t the fault of the actress, so it’s hard to attribute the weird behavior of her character to her performance. If that makes sense.
      And another thing – and this is no knock on Sophie – her character is touted and praised as the “savvy politician” and “pretty sister”, but that hasn’t been borne out on screen for me. Not Sophie’s fault.
      (Funny: If Sophie/Sansa acted a little goofy and laughed like she does when she’s in her “Mophie” mode in public or in videos with Maisie, I think more fans would love Sansa.)

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    203. Ten Bears,

      I watched Kinvara’s (only) scene again, in S6e5,
      and I’m afraid I may be launching into a months-long fanboy crush crusade. If you watch that scene, it’s impressive and entirely believable that she’s the only one to ever freak out the unflappable Lord Varys. As she was finishing her speech to him and touched his arm, I wasn’t sure if he was having a phantom erection or an anxiety attack.

      And of course, I’m dying to know the answers to the questions she asked Varys (highlighted in bold, below) and how she even knew the details about what Varys had experienced as a boy.)

      (S6e5, Tyrion and Varys)
      Tyrion: “….Our queen has an even better story. Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Chains and all that. The people know who brought them freedom. Yes, but do they know who brought them security? Who brought about an end to the violence? We need someone the people trust, someone they know cannot be bought or influenced.”

      Varys: “Sounds like quite the hero. Where would we find him?”

      Tyrion: “Who said anything about “him”? ”
      ………………..
      (S6e5, next scene, Tyrion & Varys & Kinvara)

      [Attaché – In High Valyrian – introduces Kinvara to Tyrion and Varys]:
      “You stand in the presence of Kinvara, High Priestess of the Red Temple of Volantis. The Flame of Truth. The Light of Wisdom. The First Servant of the Lord of Light.”

      Tyrion (in Valyrian): “Welcome to Mereen.”

      Tyrion: “That’s about the extent of my Valyrian. Thank you for traveling all this way. I know from personal experience how uncomfortable the journey can be. The truth is we need your help. We had hoped that we could somehow persuade you to–”

      Kinvara: “You don’t need to persuade me. I came to help. Daenerys Stormborn is the one who was promised. From the fire she was reborn to remake the world.”

      Tyrion: “Yes…”

      Kinvara: “She has freed the slaves from their chains and crucified the Masters for their sins.”

      Tyrion: “She did indeed.”

      Kinvara: “Her dragons are fire made flesh, a gift from the Lord of Light. But you heard all of this before, haven’t you? On the Long Bridge of Volantis. The dragons will purify nonbelievers by the thousands, burning their sins and flesh away.”

      Tyrion: “Ideally we’d avoid purifying too many nonbelievers. The Mother of Dragons has followers of many different faiths.”

      Kinvara: “You want your Queen to be worshipped and obeyed. And while she’s gone, you want her advisors to be worshipped and obeyed.”

      Tyrion: “I’d settle for obeyed.”

      Kinvara: “I will summon my most eloquent priests. They will spread the word. Daenerys has been sent to lead the people against the darkness in this war and in the great war still to come.”

      Tyrion: “That sounds most excellent –”

      Varys: “– A man named Stannis Baratheon was anointed as the Chosen One by one of your priestesses. He, too, had a glorious destiny. He attacked King’s Landing and was soundly defeated by the man standing beside me. Last I had heard, he had been defeated again, this time at Winterfell and this time for good.”

      Tyrion: “We’d be most grateful for any support you could provide the Queen.”

      Varys: “I suppose it’s hard for a fanatic to admit a mistake. Isn’t that the whole point of being a fanatic? You’re always right. Everything is the Lord’s will.”

      Kinvara: “Everything is the Lord’s will. But men and women make mistakes. Even honest servants of the Lord.”

      Varys: “And you, an honest servant of the Lord, why should I trust you to know any more than the priestess who counseled Stannis?”

      Tyrion: “My friend has a healthy skepticism of religion, but we are all loyal supporters of the Queen.”

      Kinvara: “Everyone is what they are and where they are for a reason. Terrible things happen for a reason. Take what happened to you, Lord Varys, when you were a child. If not for your mutilation at the hands of a second-rate sorcerer, you wouldn’t be here helping the Lord’s Chosen bring his light into the world. Knowledge has made you powerful. But there’s still so much you don’t know. Do you remember what you heard that night when the sorcerer tossed your parts in the fire? You heard a voice call out from the flames. Do you remember? Should I tell you what the voice said? Should I tell you the name of the one who spoke? We serve the same queen. If you are her true friend, you have nothing to fear from me.”

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    204. Pigeon,

      After considering several worthy nominees, here’s my final selection of my all time favorite Tyrion scene. Notice the knowing look in his eyes and slight smile on his face at 1:00 when he knows he’s got Lancel snared; and at 1:45, Lancel turning to jelly when he realizes he’s been outwitted.

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    205. Enharmony1625,

      Sansa haters: all she does for the first 5 seasons is whine and cry
      Also Sansa haters: she doesn’t show emotions like Arya does…

      unless the only emotions that count are anger and violence, oh well, it’s certainly more entertaining to see a little tomboy badass express her emotions by stabbing people with her little sword than see the other boring typical teen cry and whine after her latest beating or rape…

      I don’t blame follow Sansa fans on giving up tbh, it’s like people who hate her are watching a completely different show.

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    206. Nariman,

      Most Sansa criticisers are not haters. But a criticiser must at minimum explain the critique. For example, if I complain about Sansa’s poor judgment on who to trust, I bring up her refusing Sandor, Brienne, Shae’s and even Littlefinger’s offers of help, but she trusted Joffrey and Cersei despite what they did on the Trident, and accepted the marriage with Ramsay despite what his family did to hers. Examples, examples. If one says she lies a lot, one just has to mention her omissive lie in not telling Jon that the Vale cavalry was probably coming to save the day. For that matter, you did the same sort of thing by implying that Arya’s “only emotions that count are anger and violence.” What about protectiveness, pity, friendship, despair, courage, love, honesty, loyalty, etc? She shows those too.

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    207. Stark Raven’ Rad,

      Examples of Sansa having to make difficult choices, something her siblings don’t have to do, proves nothing but victim blaming. And what offer of help did shay give her, to wait for stannis, which she did, to not trust Littlefinger which she also did ??? And why is Arya excused for not going with Brienne yet Sansa isn’t, where would Brienne even take her, would Littlefinger just let her go ???
      And why did Littlefinger wait till reaching the neck to tell her of his plans ? because she didn’t have a choice. And using examples from season 1 is just stupid, almost as stupid as the Veil debacle, which, because of her “lie” they managed to win. Funny how nobody talks about how Jon choose to charge at Ramsey after Rickon is already killed, or how no body talks about him being the reason for Viserion’s death, or how Arya wasted her three deaths given for her by an assassin on three irrelevant… Yet every one keeps a deluded score of every time they think Sansa made a mistake, which, if viewed from her POV given the info she knows and doesn’t know,it becomes clear that she didn’t do anything wrong.
      But whatever, no matter what I say you’ll get back at me with another delusional wall of text…

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    208. Nariman,

      I think you may have tunnel vision on the subject, but that’s your choice. There are hundreds of comments regarding the issues and characters that you mentioned above. SRR was saying that instead of just making statements against a character, a person should outline why they think so and give reason for their thoughts. That’s constructive and insightful, and isn’t just being a ‘hater’, which most would agree isn’t particularly interesting.

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    209. Nariman,

      I think you misunderstood my post. And I’m by no means a Sansa hater — she’s in my top 5 characters list. I even said at the end of my post that I feel she gets undue amounts of hate, which she does. Both are very interesting, layered characters who have had great arcs. But people don’t decide on favourite characters with a scorecard, making ticks for all the decisions/actions you agree with and crosses for decisions/actions you feel are bad. At least I hope not. 🙂 It really comes down to an emotional connection doesn’t it?

      It only took up until 1×02 for me to instantly connect with Arya after her emotional farewell to Jon and the events on the Kingsroad, and ever since I’ve felt a raw kind of vulnerability in her. The roots of that I suspect is that Arya started out as an underdog, as a bit of an outcast. And the way that carries through her subsequent loss and pain reinforces that as she fights to survive and struggles with her inner darkness and ultimately her identity.

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    210. Enharmony1625,

      And Sansa, unlike Arya, is actually a real underdog and outcast, but NOOOO, her father only allowed her to fight secretly and then gave her private lessons with a bravosi water dancer, how very out cast of her to have that then be privately trained by an assassin. Arya got rewarded for being a cool tomboy from the start of the show, while Sansa was punished for being a feminine woman with beatings, forced marriages, manipulation and rape.

      Pigeon,

      The only one with tunnel vision here is you sweaty, where are these hundreds of posts discussing Arya’s and Jon’s fuck ups above, all i see is Sansa haters being delusional, twisting truths and speculating as usual…

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    211. Nariman:
      Enharmony1625,

      Pigeon,

      The only one with tunnel vision here is you sweaty, where are these hundreds of posts discussing Arya’s and Jon’s fuck ups above, all i see is Sansa haters being delusional, twisting truths and speculating as usual…

      I’ve got air conditioning, fortunately, so I’m actually quite cool. 🙂

      If you haven’t actually read through posts on this site before very recently, you’re not likely to have come across a fair number of the topics discussed. The search function can be useful.

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    212. Nariman:
      Stark Raven’ Rad,

      Examples of Sansa having to make difficult choices, something her siblings don’t have to do, proves nothing but victim blaming. And what offer of help did shay give her, to wait for stannis, which she did, to not trust Littlefinger which she also did ??? And why is Arya excused for not going with Brienne yet Sansa isn’t, where would Brienne even take her, would Littlefinger just let her go ???
      And why did Littlefinger wait till reaching the neck to tell her of his plans ? because she didn’t have a choice. And using examples from season 1 is just stupid, almost as stupid as the Veil debacle, which, because of her “lie” they managed to win. Funny how nobody talks about how Jon choose to charge at Ramsey after Rickon is already killed, or how no body talks about him being the reason for Viserion’s death, or how Arya wasted her three deaths given for her by an assassin on three irrelevant… Yet every one keeps a deluded score of every time they think Sansa made a mistake, which, if viewed from her POV given the info she knows and doesn’t know,it becomes clear that she didn’t do anything wrong.
      But whatever, no matter what I say you’ll get back at me with another delusional wall of text…

      Your ‘wall of text’ was larger than mine. To be clear, I’m not a hater but a criticiser. I owe everyone the respect of being explicit why I say things, pro or con. Example: You say her siblings don’t have to make difficult choices. Blimey! What were you watching? Maybe Rickon, but the others all make life-and-death decisions for themselves and others (thousands in Jon and Robb’s cases). Disagree? Prove it! I don’t recall about Stannis. But in 3.01, Shae saw how Littlefinger was bothering Sansa and told Ros she always looks out for Sansa. Later, Shae did, saying “If he asks you for anything, tries anything, or touches you, tell me.” Sansa: “Why? What would you do?” Shae: “I will make him stop.” Maybe you missed that episode. Now do you see what I mean about examples? You dismiss Season 1–it sets everything in motion, introduces us to main characters and their core values, and foreshadows a lot. t So it’s not “stupid” to cite Season 1. Arya cleverly didn’t go with Brienne because she carried a noble Lannister’s sword and Arya already had a protector she knew AND trusted. Once free, she tried to join Jon. Oh wait–that was a difficult decision. She did not waste her gift from Jaqen–she had him kill the torturer-in-chief to help the prisoners, she had him kill Amory Lorch who was seconds away from exposing her secret to Tywin, and she TRICKED Jaqen into killing extra people so she could escape (kindly taking Gendry and Hot Pie with her). An 11YO doesn’t think strategically but she chose well. And the loss of Viserion was caused by Tyrion’s suggestion, not Jon’s. Sansa’s decisions to accept Ramsay and to lie to Jon are controversial and this is long enough.

      I suppose that was ‘wall text’, but full of proofs, quotes, examples, and logic. Perhaps you find that delusional.

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    213. Nariman:
      Pigeon,

      as an avid visitor of this site, I have to disagree, those discussions rarely if ever come up, and if they do, it’s never as one sided.

      As an avid visitor and commenter on this site, they actually do come up extremely frequently, and the discussion almost always devolves into the same crap, which is apparently happening again thanks to you. There are those who can constructively criticize and engage in spirited yet respectful back-and-forths, and then there are those who just want to whinge because not everyone is bending the knee to their personal favorite character.

      If you disagree with something, by all means disagree, but do so respectfully and use specific examples to support your argument. So far, your posts in this particular article come off like a fan boy/girl who can’t understand that your favorite character is not perfect. No character on this show is perfect and that’s part of what makes it such a great show. For what it’s worth, Jon is my favorite character, yet I can be objective when discussing his weaknesses/strengths. At least I certainly try to be. I owe that level of respect to my fellow posters, as do you.

      Nariman: The only one with tunnel vision here is you sweaty, where are these hundreds of posts discussing Arya’s and Jon’s fuck ups above, all i see is Sansa haters being delusional, twisting truths and speculating as usual…

      If you bothered to read the comments in this thread before making assumptions then you would have seen that one of the people who worked on this survey was having trouble understanding why Sansa was among the least liked. The subsequent comments about Sansa were mainly to help articulate why she ended up on the least liked list.

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    214. Stark Raven’ Rad,

      Arya didn’t go with Brienne AFTER she defeated the Hound and left him on the brink of death. So she didn’t have another protector. Sansa is actually the one who didn’t go with brienne because of her Lannister Sword and armor, but yet again people criticizing her often have selective memory so whatever. Sansa took Shay’s advice by not trusting littlefinger.
      You mean her decision that saved Jon’s ass after he caused the slaughter of his army, sounds like she made the right choice to me.
      Jon wasted time fighting a couple of white walkers and showing off his sword skills instead of getting on Drogon like the rest of them, giving the night king time to kill poor viserion

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    215. Nariman,

      Of course she didn’t go–she finally had freedom, money and a chance to go to Jon via sea (fast, easy, and relatively safe). But the captain refused to take her to Eastwatch so she accepted passage to Braavos, where she knew she’d get shelter…and training!!!! Sandor, Brienne and Arya discussed the Lannister connection. But you’re the one with the selective memory–Sansa did not mention the armor but refused Brienne because she had bowed to Joffrey at the wedding: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aC9–tpOHhE IF Sansa didn’t trust Littlefinger, it’s bloody hard to tell: she lied to the Lords Declarant to protect LF even though not only did he kill Lysa, but had framed her, been a regicide, hit on her while married, etc. Oh–and later he persuaded her to marry the arch-monster of the family of monsters who killed her family and took her home. And after he rescued her and she concluded in Episode 6.10 “Only a fool would trust Littlefinger,” it appears he was still successfully manipulating her in SEason 7 as well. She didn’t decide to save Jon’s ass and certainly not Rickon’s;, she decided to win the battle to oust Ramsay. Otherwise, she would have told Jon and/or would have insisted LF bring the cavalry earlier than the last possible moment. Finally, you don’t know much about combat, I gather. Jon was not “showing off his sword skills.” Frequently, when an overwhelming enemy force swarms a position, one or several soldiers sacrifice themselves to stay and fight off the encroachers to enable those escaping to get away. What a callous and demeaning way to describe Jon’s valor.

      Sadly, neither Pigeon, Mr. Derp, nor I have persuaded you to utilise facts rather than opinions. If you hope to to influence the disputation, you’ll have to do better.

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