A Murder of Crows: Game of Thrones Season 8 News and Our Season 7 Death List

game of thrones season 7 teaser

Take a deep breath and relax, Game of Thrones fans. Our long frozen winter is ending. And with spring comes a new flood of Thrones news, thanks to a giant block of ice, SXSW and some GoT showrunners in a sharing-is-caring mood.

This month, we finally learned that season 7 will be premiering on July 16th. The premiere news was accompanied by the first teaser of the year, featuring the crumbling sigils of Westeros’ Great Houses, and a handful of ominous words from Jon Snow about the Great War.

Hot on the heels of the premiere news, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss headed to SXSW in Austin, Texas to take part in a panel with Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner. At the event, the showrunners revealed several new pieces of information about Game of Thrones, including the writers lineup for season 8, and a cameo for season 7.

Today, in our newest discussion, the Watchers on the Wall react to the news out of SXSW, and make a few deathly predictions for season 7.

Sue the Fury:

So, it’s been announced at SXSW that English singer Ed Sheeran is going to be on season 7 of Game of Thrones, which is exciting for some people. New ginger in town and all.

But more importantly we received some information about the future for season 8. Benioff and Weiss confirmed at the panel that next year will only have six episodes, even shorter than season 7’s shortened season. They also revealed the writing lineup: Dave Hill is writing episode 1, Bryan Cogman episode 2, and Benioff and Weiss will finish out the rest of the series, writing the last four episodes together.

What are your reactions to the season 8 writer and episodes confirmation? Are you bothered by having only six episodes in season 8, or does that number feel right? Do you think it’s the right choice to stick with these four writers for the endgame, or should they have recruited George R.R. Martin for one last episode-writing gig, or brought in some fresh blood to keep them on their toes?

And is anyone excited by Ed Sheeran? I’ve gotta be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever actually listened to any of his music.

George RR Martin DB Weiss David Benioff

Petra:

I am utterly apathetic about Ed Sheeran. I’ve got nothing against him. I just do not care.

I’m sad that the final season will have fewer episodes than season 7 because, well, that means GoT will end one hour sooner than I thought it would. However, I respect that the showrunners are tailoring their episode count to fit the story rather than the other way around. I think we’ve all watched TV shows that spread themselves too thin in order to reach 13 episodes or 23 episodes or whatever. I am glad that GoT is taking pains to avoid that pitfall.

As for the choice of writers, it’s probably best to leave the GoT endgame to the GoT veterans. By the time we get to the final 6 episodes, the time for “fresh blood” will have passed. There will be a very specific story that needs to be told and very little room, I imagine, for new ideas and creative differences. Admittedly, it would have been nice for GRRM to write an episode but…oh well. I get the impression that Martin isn’t exactly peachy about the direction the show’s taken so many letting GoT and ASOIAF diverge until the very end is for the best.

Luka Nieto:

If season seven ends with all the pieces laid on the table, the last season’s job is merely to wrap it all up, so six episodes feel appropriate, more like a five-to-six hour movie than a traditional season.

In terms of the writers, I think it’s too late to do anything but what they did. A more varied stable of writers should’ve been brought in earlier on, but right now it just makes sense to depend on those who have been there for the whole journey (well, and Hill since season five.) I wouldn’t feel so strongly about this if the last two seasons weren’t shortened, but they are. Most of the previous sixty episodes were written by Benioff, Weiss and Cogman, so it would be strange for any of these precious last dozen episodes to be written by a newcomer. Consistency matters, and this late in the game I think it matters more than bringing in new people. It’s too late now.

As for Martin, even he wasn’t too busy with finishing the series, I don’t think he would want to; he’s too detached from the intricacies of the TV universe. When Martin announced he wouldn’t return for the fifth season, he also touched on how difficult it was becoming to write for the increasingly diverging TV version of his world. Still, even if he was willing and able, I’d only like him to write a character-focused mid-season episode, not anything like the series finale. Whether you like David Benioff and D.B. Weiss or not (and I mostly do), I hope we can all agree the honor of finishing the series belongs to them. By the end, D&D will have shepherded the show for a decade. All these years, we have been watching the show D&D have produced, and most of the time experienced D&D’s writing. To wrap it all up with anyone else’s words wouldn’t be right, in my eyes.

In regards to the Ed Sheeran cameo, I swear I first misspelled his name as “Edd Shireen”, so it’s fair to say I’m more in touch with the world of Game of Thrones than with the music world. So I don’t care. But I’m also perfectly fine with it, and I have absolutely no idea why so many fans get upset every time a popstar is announced to have a role. “But he doesn’t know how to act!”, or “This is the show jumping the shark!” May I point these alarmists to the many cameos GoT has had since season three, all quite subtle. If you dislike Sheeran’s work, remember that often we weren’t even subjected to any singing from these musicians. I don’t think that unobtrusiveness is changing now.

Gary Lightbody from Snow Patrol leading "The Bear and the Maiden Fair" in Season 3, Episode 3

Gary Lightbody from Snow Patrol leading “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” in Season 3, Episode 3

Axechucker:

I would maybe be bothered if I had expected more episodes, but we’ve known for a while the last two seasons would go 7 and then 6. So ehh.

Also, from the time that we all recognized this series was a hit, I expected seven seasons (like the 7 books, 7 gods, yadda). So for me, season 8 is just “an extra long but split-in-half season 7”.

I would have loved for them to have hassled George into contributing one final script, but I imagine by this time he would need as much a refresher into THEIR world as any new writer. I’m fine with the writing lineup. As far as new blood – no. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

I’m tepid about musicians as guests. I would rather they contribute music. Just slapping their face on top of a Westerosi tunic is sort of… so what? I guess I was amused that Snow Patrol Guy introduced us to “The Bear and the Maiden Fair,” and that people got to fling things at Sigur Rós. So it really depends how he’s used. A hanging corpse would be amusing.

That said, Ed Sheeran is excellent, musically. Music didn’t stop at Steely Dan, Sue. [Editor’s Note: Sue doesn’t listen to Steely Dan. She is too obsessed with show tunes.]

I respect the hell out of him. Young dude went from busking in London to almost overnight success on the strength of his music alone (and let’s face it, his face wouldn’t have sold any songs to anyone other than maybe his mom).

Here are some notables:

Intro to his “face” (based on an apparently common case of confused identity LOLOLOL):

My old fave, “The A Team”:

This one goes out to Trey, ‘caus girl, they grow up FAST….

And lastly, if you’ve ever read The Fault in Our Stars, you know how well this fits:

Nate:

It’s bittersweet that we have so few episodes left but from where we are now, it seems reasonable – like Axey said, it’s more of an extended season over the course of two.

To be honest, I never really notice the musical guests since they’re usually extras anyway so Sheeran is another “meh” in my books, though it was sweet of them to get him involved since Maisie is a fan.

The writers are pretty much what I expected for the final few, the ones with the most experience, so I’m more eager to see the director lineup.

Lastly, I would’ve loved GRRM to write one last episode but we all know he’s busy writing something else!

Geoffery:

I think the number of episodes seems about right. If that’s the amount of episodes it takes to tell the story, then so be it. I’d rather a shorter season with good, concise story telling rather than, I dunno a sub-plot about Dolorous Edd losing his hat or something, just to pad out the remaining episodes. Actually, on second thoughts that totally sounds like something I’d watch.

I think it’s great that Benioff and Weiss are finishing off the show with four episodes together, it’s their show after all, and they’re getting to finish it on their own terms. Not something a lot of showrunners get the chance to do. As for George, I’m glad he’s not writing an episode for the last season, I think it would seem a bit weird now that we’ve overtaken the books. In any case George will get to the write the finale his way when he finishes the books. The show is its own entity and the books are another; it was nice that they intertwined but I’ve made me peace with one finishing separately from the other.

I can’t stand Ed Sheeran. But the show has had musical cameos from bands that I love (Mastodon, Sigur Rós) and I’ve enjoyed the ones from bands I dislike, so I don’t have any grounds to gripe! Although personally I think it would be nice if they gave cameos to musicians who have been inspired by ASOIAF for years, like Blind Guardian, Hammerfall or Seven Kingdoms. Oh, and not forgetting the incredible Corvus Corax, who were featured as musicians in the pilot episode, never to see the light of day. If Benioff and Weiss could find a way of recycling that in the final season, that would be great.

Sigur Rós, in episode 2 of season 4, performing "The Rains of Castamere"

Sigur Rós, in episode 2 of season 4, performing “The Rains of Castamere”

Nate:

I retract my earlier statement! Sigur Rós’ cameo and their rendition of “The Rains of Castamere” was really well done. I’d almost forgotten about their appearance.

Axechucker:

Agree with Geoffery on Corvus Corax! I would love to see the show come full circle and sneak a little bit of that into season 8.

Hear Marko Roar:

We all had lots of time to get used to the planned number of episodes. Still, I don’t like the last season being only 6 episodes long – it really doesn’t make for a neat number. 7 + 7 in the final seasons would seem much better, what with the symbolism. Now we’re ending up with 73 episodes in total. Meh. (I would even take 6 + 6 over the current deal, blasphemous as that is.) But as I said, it’s not breaking news, and I learned to live with it.

I agree with the decision on the writers. It wouldn’t make sense to mix it up in the very last season, that’s too late. They missed the chance to include and keep some additional regular writers, especially women, earlier on. The proven hand should now bring the show to a close. Similarly, recruiting GRRM again wouldn’t benefit anyone. He’s busy, would find it hard to write the fully diverged storylines. It would probably take too much time from both George and the production; I’d much rather have a final season AND a book than any other deal. I think (hope?), though, that they might find some way to finally include a cameo from GRRM before it all ends.

I’m not a big follower of the music scene – but all the bands and musicians they included in the past had enough name-recognition to resonate with me. Ed Sheeran fits the bill and the pattern of bringing someone to the show each year; besides, it makes Maisie happy, so it’s all positive!

Bex:

One of my favorite aspects of this show is watching it with fellow fans and having an experience that would last 10ish weeks, so hearing that there will only be six episodes for the final season makes me kind of sad. It’ll be over too fast!

If they deliver on the upcoming season with fewer episodes then, well, I guess they’re trying to wrap the show up the way that works best for them.

I’m so glad acting titan Ed Sheeran has brought his peerless thespian talents to Game of Thrones, I mean finally. How many casting posts have we had where people clamor for Ed Sheeran??? I agree with EVERYONE that he was robbed for the part of Daario.

WinterPhil:

As others said, I was bummed back when I first heard about the shortened final seasons. So while this confirmation is disappointing, it’s not surprising. Hopefully the episodes will be longish and I’m sure they will be jam-packed with revelations and big moments, so they should at the very least feel satisfying.

The writers they have are fine. Yeah, it would have been great to have gotten some fresh writing blood in there over the years, but at this point, it’s too late.

Ed Sheeran is meh. I’m not a fan or a hater of him, and overall the musician cameos are harmless, so whatever. They do make for a nice bit of trivia, I guess.

Sue the Fury:

I agree it’s best that Benioff and Weiss handle the endgame. I know some people were hoping that Martin would make a return but I think that would confuse matters, and I’d rather not have Martin’s focus pulled from writing the novels anyway.

Now, looking ahead to this next season, things promise to get very intense, and with only seven episodes, it’ll get that way quickly. Season six was a bit of a bloodbath, with the finale particularly wiping out a chunk of the cast. Will season seven top it? And will Cersei be able to maintain her control of the kingdom, when she has so few allies?

Jaime Cersei

This next section does not contain spoilers, only speculation. Two of us Watchers, Luka Nieto and I, have abstained from the second half of this roundtable since we’ve both been monitoring spoilers extensively for season 7. Our predictions are influenced by filming knowledge, and so it’s best if we sit this one out! But the rest of the Watchers on the Wall have avoided major spoilers and potential leaks and so they may as well be Unsullied.

So, here are the questions I put to you Watchers:

1. How long will Cersei’s rule last- a few episodes, the whole season, the rest of the show? And how will Jaime handle the newest shakeup in their relationship- will he leave Cersei or is he tied to his twin until the bitter end?

2. Who do you believe will be the first major character death in season 7?

3. The Death List: Who do you think won’t make it out of season 7 at all?

Axechucker:

1. The whole season, and she’ll lose it at the end of season 7. I predict her death too (despite some of Nikolaj Coster-Waldau‘s recent comments to the contrary). I think Cersei and Jaime came in together… and they’ll go out together.

2. Melisandre. Arya’s gonna meet her and put Needle through her eye, probably in episode one.

3. Cersei, Jaime, Melisandre, Theon, Sansa, Thoros, Beric, one of the dragons

Petra:

Oh boy…

1. I’ve gotta think that Cersei’s going to hang on for most of season 7, simply because there’s no other major antagonist in the show since the High Sparrow went “Boom” and the Boltons became dog chow (I’m assuming the White Walkers are being saved for season 8). As for Jaime, it would be anti-climactic if that menacing look he gave her at her coronation didn’t have some sort of pay off. The Valonqar Prophecy doesn’t need to be established in the show for Jaime turning against Cersei to have impact.

2. I expect somebody in Daenerys’ inner circle will be the first to go. After her triumphant final scene last season, we’re going to need a reminder that conquering Westeros isn’t going to be easy. The most effective (and affecting) way to do this would be to off one of her confidants. My money’s on Missandei. May the gods give me strength.

3. Missandei, Grey Worm, Cersei, Euron, Brienne, one of the dragons & one or both of the Greyjoy siblings

Fortunately, I’m terrible at predictions. So, by typing this, I’ve ensured the survival of everyone I’ve listed!

Melisandre

Geoffery:

1. I think Cersei will be in charge for at least half of Season Seven, if not longer, so we’ll really get to see the impact of her reign. As for Jaime, I certainly think he’ll stick around to begin with but his loyalties will begin to be tested before too long. Whether that means him offing Cersei or simply switching sides I’ll reserve judgment. But I hope the show keeps it stewing for at least a few episodes.

2. Can it be a Sand Snake? Can it please be all of the Sand Snakes? Although my money is on either Melisandre or one of Team Dany (preferable Daario because he’s the worst).

3. Euron, Theon (but not Yara since she’s clearly going to marry Daenerys), at least one Sand Snake, Melisandre, Brienne, Cersei, Jorah (dude’s a ticking greyscale time-bomb) and Gilly (going to get mugged down an Oldtown alley while Sam is busy in the library).

Hear Marko Roar:

1. I think Cersei’s reign will form one of the main narrative arcs of the season, through all seven episodes. Dramatically, it would make sense to complete this arc; while I expect Cersei to survive, her position will be notably different by the end of the run. They have to finally start playing on the rift between Jaime and Cersei, I will be disappointed if we simply read too much into the look Jaime gave her in the finale.

2. I’m not willing to place bets of my own, but in response to the others: don’t hate on the Sand Snakes! No, just kidding, but since they are inconsequential on the show, their death would have no real impact. That’s why I don’t like the idea. In terms of the narrative, I like Petra’s reasoning that there will be a setback to Daenerys’ plans – much as I am going to lament it if anything happens to Missandei or Grey Worm.

3. Euron is going to meet the Stranger. I do dearly hope they build him up much more before that, though.

Nate:

1. I think we’re going to get Cersei for all of Season 7. There’s going to be an interesting shift in her dynamic with Jaime as we can already see from the look he gave her in the finale (when she was on the Iron Throne). Hopefully some Mad King/Jaime parallels we can look forward to!

2. First major death is a tough one- maybe Littlefinger?

3. Whoever’s left at Castle Black at the moment, Littlefinger, and Dany’s team will take some hits. I’m hoping no Starks die this season but they do make a habit of it so we’ll have to see.

Let’s keep Brienne safe, too.

Pilou Asbaek as Euron Greyjoy in Game of Thrones season 6

WinterPhil:

1. I agree with most everyone else in that Cersei will reign through the end of the season, more or less. I do think her and Jaime’s relationship will sour as the season goes on. I think her reign of terror will be absolute and will end in dramatic fashion. Probably her death at Jaime’s hand.

2. I’m with Axey on this one. I think Melisandre will die fairly early on. She’s served her narrative purpose (resurrecting Jon) and with no one except Davos tying her to her original storyline, and him already moved on to being heavily involved in the Night’s Watch storyline, she’s as good as gone.

3. Melisandre, Euron, Qyburn, and Cersei all seem pretty likely candidates.

Petra:

I’m not so sure about Melisandre & Littlefinger going out early. Melisandre’s role at the Wall is certainly over (for the time being, at least) but she prophecized that she would meet Arya again. There are some very interesting directions that a Melisandre/Arya run in could take.

And Littlefinger needs to get offed by Sansa. I shall accept no other executioner. From where things stood at the end of season 6, though, Sansa seemed like she still had too much need of Littlefinger (however reluctantly) to kill him right off the bat in 7×01.

game-of-thrones-sand-snakes-caption-this

Bex:

1. I have to think about how Cersei’s rule would end. Who are her remaining adversaries, what are their clout, and will they have opportunities? I think Dany’s an example; how soon into the season will she arrive to Westeros and how quickly will she work to unseat Cersei? Or will Arya find her first? At any rate, I think how long she lasts depends on how fast other people will get to her, which is a few episodes in my opinion.

If you come at the queen, you best not miss.

2. One can always hope that the Sand Snakes will die instantaneously in the first episode.

I kind of expect someone to die from the northern plot line. Melisandre is a flop but she might be kept around as a Margaret of Anjou-type/peanut gallery character. Davos is my bae, but that would be a death that wouldn’t completely disrupt the plot, and would piss a whole lot of people off, because Davos is the man.

3. Who will die?

At least one of the following: Dany, Jon, Cersei
Strong possibility off the top of my head: Jaime
Littlefinger is still fucking around, isn’t he? Fuck. That. Noise.

SANSA IS IMMORTAL AND THE QUEEN OF FLOWERS AND LEMON CAKES. WHAT IS SANSA WILL NEVER DIE BUT RISES AGAIN, FIERCER AND STRONGER.

Oz of Thrones:

1. Cersei will hold the crown until the end of Season 7, or damn near it. Considering the setup of the various plots and schemes of the other storylines involved, and the fact that we will only be served seven episodes this season, you have to believe that a major character who has just taken over the longest title in Westeros will get more time in the chair than one or two eps. Jaime will be supportive yet conflicted, especially after he recognizes that Cersei’s reign closely resembles that of Joffrey. Indeed, the fruit doth not fall far from the tree (or in this case, the tree that boreth said fruit). And near the conclusion of season 7, Jaime will make the toughest decision of his life forsaking his sister on the ground of moral decency (among other things) and will live to fight on in season 8.

2. I’m with Petra on this one. Either Missandei or Grey Worm will get the business shortly after arriving which will make it clear to Dany and company that they are no longer dealing with the Essos masters. As for Melisandre, I believe that Red Velvet has more to offer before she is offed.

3. Cersei, Missandei, Qyburn and the Mountain. One of the Greyjoys (not Euron). One of the Dragons. Two of the Snakes. And potentially Sansa (sorry Bex). Oh, and Littlefinger survives.


That wraps it up! What about the rest of you on the Wall? How do you feel about the news of the past couple weeks, and who is on your Death List for season 7?

*If you’re using filming info, please be considerate of your fellow fans and cover your post with spoiler coding. Thank you!*

Spring is here – let the season 7 fun begin!

163 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. I personally don’t think there will be nearly as many big deaths in season 7 than what a lot of people are expecting, but I haven’t read all the leaks, so I’m not sure at all. I’ll cover up just in case since I’ve read a few filming spoilers on this site.

      Prediction of season 7 deaths:

      Littlefinger, Sand Snakes (including Ellaria), Benjen Stark, one of the dragons, Olenna Tyrell, maybe Yara, the rest of the Freys

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    2. Cersei will perish via a Faceless Man visit – she’s refused to pay back the Iron Bank, after all – perhaps allowing us to see Jacquen again! But the Red Woman has at least one more plot-driving action before she dies, and so does Littlefinger.

      I’ll grieve when they take Brienne and Davos, but the showrunners are just that cruel. It is known.

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    3. I agree with almost everything on the first part.I am actually glad they are sticking to their plan.It’s their vision and they should be able to tell it as they please,only they know how much story is left and I imagine the climax requires less time.And D&D should absolutely write the last episodes.It’s their show and at this point GRRM is far too out of the loop of the intricacies of the show.And I love Ed he is a big fan of the show so it’s cool he got that opportunity.

      Now on the second part with the deaths and all that I can’t really comment considering you what lol.However I will say that I consider these last two seasons as one big season seeing as that was the plan originally so I would judge the death count based on that.

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    4. I think Cersei will make it to the end, holed up in the Red Keep as the army of the dead descend. I also want to see Jaime fighting the white walkers alongside Jon or maybe defending Bran but I’m a sentimental type.

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    5. I’m indifferent to the cameos. I don’t think they harm or help the show. I don’t really care about them if I’m to be honest. In fact I might not even notice the cameo when it happens until I see it pointed out to me.

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    6. I hope they don’t rush the ending.

      As for Ed Sheeran. I’ve listened to two or three of his songs (not by choice) and I couldn’t care less if he’s on the show.

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    7. Oh, it is so good to be hearing all these predictions…it means we are getting close!!!

      Sue, I’m a showtunes gal myself, so I’m right there with you!

      I really want to see Jaime kill Cersei. It would feel so right. But if Brienne and Davos die, I will revolt! Some of the good people need to survive!

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    8. Mr Derp:
      I personally don’t think there will be nearly as many big deaths in season 7 than what a lot of people are expecting, but I haven’t read all the leaks, so I’m not sure at all.I’ll cover up just in case since I’ve read a few filming spoilers on this site.

      I have to say that I agree with the idea that we won’t lose nearly as many characters in season seven as we did last year; if people we know were killed off at the same rate as they were in season six, I doubt there would be many known, named characters left for season eight. I think a lot of season six was about clearing the decks for the end-game episodes, and the drastic reduction in cast numbers has streamlined the story and will enable us to spend more time with the characters that are left. We are almost back where we were in season one in terms of the ‘Great Houses’ – Targaryens, Starks, Lannisters and one other main family (the Greyjoys replacing the Baratheons).

      That said, I do think we will lose some people this season. Going by previous seasons, we have lost at least one monarch per season – Robert in season one, Renly in season two, Robb in season three, Joffrey in season four, Mance and Stannis in season five and Balon and Tommen in season six. Season six ended with five recognizable monarchs in Cersei, Jon, Daenerys, Euron and the Night King; if this death pattern continues, we will lose at least one of those five in season seven. For me, Jon, Daenerys and the Night King are too associated with the end-game to die in season seven and that leaves Cersei and/or Euron.

      I like the idea of Jaime and Cersei leaving the world together as they entered it – in fact, I might vaguely recall her saying something like that – but I don’t think it will. Jaime dying in the arms of the woman he loves, if this happens, I don’t see it being in Cersei’s arms. I see a role for him in the end-game against the White Walkers, but I don’t see it for her. I think Cersei will die before the end of the series, but whether that is in season seven or season eight is anyone’s guess at this point. I would like to see Jaime – having started the series trying to kill a Stark – save the life of a Stark. For years, I’ve had it in my head that Jaime would die protecting Jon. He is Rhaegar’s son, and I like the idea of Jaime being the one to tell Jon about Rhaegar, mirroring Barristan telling Daenerys about him.

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    9. I doubt that any of the major protagonists will die before the climax. Of course, that is tautology: if a character is not driving the climax, then he/she is not one of the major protagonists! As Sansa seems to have become a major protagonist on the show, I think that she’ll be around to influence the big fireworks at the end.

      Lots and lots of supporting characters could die: the Sandsnakes, Greyjoys other than Theon (which, combined, would please me greatly: it would be like burning Crows!), remaining Tyrells, Daeny’s retinue. We could see one or more of the minor protagonists exit. However, for whatever reason, I have always expected Jaime & Cersei to kill each other at the end, with Jaime stopping Cersei from some last act of revenge. I would have expected Theon to go out saving a Stark: but now that he’s lined up behind Daeny, perhaps something else will happen. I expect Davos & Brienne to keep chugging along: nothing obvious has been set up for their deaths, at any rate.

      On the “antagonistic foil” side, I expect that Euron will go down in flames (possibly literally) this year. Littlefinger…. hmmm….. ethereal voice I see… Sansa’s part in the climax …. involving Littlefinger…. when caught between… huh, what? sorry, dozed off. No idea when he’ll go.

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    10. I am at peace wiTh any resolution of Jaime/Cersei, can’t say I don’t have certain hopes though.

      I don’t know why anyone would care one way or another about yet anohe singer cameo but maybe we have some new people – also real news (not spoilers) has been pretty thin on the ground. So people may just be in “react” mode.

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    11. I won’t post my speculations as I’m an avid spoiler and leak fan, and a good half of them are likely to be right. However I will predict a couple whom I doubt will die (or perhaps just whom I hope don’t, as it would seem almost pandering or too easy). Littlefinger, Jorah, and Theon are safe.

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    12. It’s also somewhat important to remember that we could see some characters die twice. Once as a human and another as a wight.

      How awesome would it be to see a hated character die twice?

      Conversely, how horrible would it be to see a loved character die twice?

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    13. Pigeon,

      Hi, Pigeon! I hope you are feeling better. Best wishes!

      It is fun to read what the unsullied / unspoiled are predicting. I am going to ask my husband and friends these questions (and some others) and see if their predictions are better than mine.

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    14. I just can’t shake this hunch that the “game of thrones” is going to boil down to two players: Varys and Littlefinger. They’ve been pulling the strings behind the scenes since the beginning and are both still very much alive and active. For this reason, I’m thinking that season 8 is going to pit their champions, Daenerys and Sansa against each other – which means season 7 is going to set about clearing the board of extraneous players, such as Cersei and Euron (though it may take all season).

      John is the key to the whitewalker problem, so his story I think will head that way this season, so that the path is clear for the showdown for the Iron Throne between Sansa/Littlefinger and Daenerys/Varys. I predict that only the sidekicks who are actually crucial to their team leader’s success will survive this season:

      Team Sansa/Littlefinger: Lyanna Mormont and Edmuire Tully (don’t count him out yet)
      Team Daenerys/Varys: Tyrion and Jorah
      Team Jon: Bran, Sam, maaaaaybe Tormund

      I think that Arya and Jaime are going to be the ones to clean up the King’s Landing plot line, and I really REALLY hope Arya gets to be the one to take Cersei out. I hope she denies Cersei the satisfaction/honour of going out with a bang. (Wouldn’t that be crazy if Jaaqen randomly pops up this season to give her the Iron Bank’s hit job on Cersei??)

      It’s sad to think about, but I figure most of the middle characters are goners this season, their deaths being used to drive the plot/character motivations/allegiances heading into the final stretch.

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    15. My predictions for a death pool would be as follows:
      Reasonable to good chance of dying in season 7: Melisandre, Pod, Cersei, The Mountain, Missandei, Grey Worm, Euron, Beric Dondarrion, Thoros of Myr, Sansa Stark, Olenna Tyrell, Sandsnakes, Bronn, Yara Greyjoy, Robin Arryn.
      Almost certain to survive season 7: Dany, Jon, Bran Stark, Arya Stark, Davos, Tormund, Theon, Tyrion Lannister.

      I think that covers all the primary characters apart from Varys, Brienne and Jamie I’m not sure on them.

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    16. Lonely Cat:
      Pigeon,

      Hi, Pigeon! I hope you are feeling better. Best wishes!

      It is fun to read what the unsullied / unspoiled are predicting. I am going to ask my husband and friends these questions (and some others) and see if their predictions are better than mine.

      Hi Lonely Cat! (I have a few of your furry kin who would be more than happy to give you company! 😊) I find that the unsullied in our ranks often can piece together some rather wonderful scenarios that I wish WOULD happen, with solid reasoning, basis, and thought behind them!

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    17. I have already mentally prepared myself for the death of Grey Worm during season 7 it won’t be pretty. Other than that I got nothing.

        Quote  Reply

    18. Last season was without a stark death (dont know if Lyanna counts since she only appeared in a flashback) so i guess in S7 it will be either Sansa or Benjen.
      Others i can see dying next are LF, the Sand Snakes, Olenna, a Dragon, more Freys, Cersei, Gendry, Yara and Gregor.

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    19. Reckon died last season, Benjan is already half dead so if another Stark falls it can only realistically be Sansa

        Quote  Reply

    20. Mr Derp,

      Yeah, that was my thought too: One or some characters are bound to get Wightened (wightified?). I’m hoping it’s Littlefinger, so we can see him killed once, then reanimated and burned to a crisp ten minutes later.

      On a related note: I’ve been wondering if somebody will unselfishly volunteer to get the Benjen-Dragonglass shard treatment to become a human/wight hybrid. I can see Jon making that sacrifice, but I hope it’s not him.

      As for deaths? It may not be in S7, but I don’t see Sansa making it through to the end. I’d like to see The Hound still standing in S8E6, but I think he’s living on borrowed time and is going to go out in a blaze of glory (literally: he’s going to conquer his fear of fire and burn to death) saving his surrogate daughter Arya.

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    21. Who the fk is Ed Sheeren? Never heard of the guy. From the way they are hyping this up, they make it seem like he’s a everyday, household name. He looks like a giant, ginger tool.

        Quote  Reply

    22. I don’t think the main characters die this season, I have my hopes high for Cersei to go but I doubt that 7 episodes are enough to portray her craziness or if Arya is to kill her then I don’t think she’ll be in kings landing by the end of this season since she could head north, unless she uses Varys’s travel agency.

      I think some of Dany’s allies will be dead,not necessarily her side kicks but my bet is on sand snakes and Tyrells, since the producers destroyed the Dorne book plot, I fail to see what purpose the Snakes serve in S8 ,bore the Night’s king to death?

      Also on the north side, probably some of the northern Lords could die, and as with Littlefinger, he is a strong candidate. along with all of the members of the night’s watch.
      My thought on who will definitely survive: Euron ,Sam ,Team Stark ,Jon ,Dany ,Drogon (yeah!!) ,Tyrion ,Daavos ,Missandei (too cute to go) ,Melisandre ,and the Hound.

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    23. I love that D&D are writing pretty much the final act..they have worked hard for 10 years(?) and deserve to be the ones to say “this is how OUR show ends”

      death predictions
      Jon/Dany/Bran/Tyrion are untouchable till end game..so they will make it through this season at least

      Sansa/Arya/Jamie/Brienne/Theon-also pretty safe imo…they still have part to play

      so my bets for major characters we lose this season

      Cersie/Euron/Littlefinger-at least one (maybe two) have to die so our heros are not distracted from the REAL baddie ..my vote is Littlefinger.
      Yara (Theon needs to stand on his own and face Jon to complete his arc..not hide behind Dany and Yara)
      Missandei/Greyworm/Tormund-hate this..but with Dany hitting Westeros and allying with Jon their “teams” need culled..these are the likely candidates..that will leave Jorah, Tryion , Davos and Varys as inner circle that serves both

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    24. Gotta say I think Cersei will have a Saruman Luke end, stripped of power, like beggar on the street, scheming to hold on to what little power she has only to be brought down lower by a faithful servant. It might work for Hamie to off her but she needs to be brought down low before this happens.

      I can also see queen C being turned into an wight and going on after death. Seeing her die twice would be poetic justice.

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    25. Mr Derp,
      I cautiously agree… 🙂

      In my opinion, those most likely to die are :
      – Lady Olenna : House Tyrell has no future;
      – quite a few Dothraki and Unsullied : have to make it difficult for Daenerys;
      – quite a few brothers of the Night’s Watch : winter has come;
      – at least one of the Sands : narrative payback for Myrcella;
      – one of the Greyjoy siblings : unfortunately, my money is on Yara;
      – Euron : I can see him hitting the story like a freight train, causing a lot of chaos and then dying;
      – Edmure : one of the story’s running themes is the passing of “traditional leaders”, namely legitimate, able-bodied sons of Great Houses, and Edmure fits the description;
      – Sweetrobyn : same reason as for Edmure; furthermore, Cersei could have him killed to weaken Littlefinger’s standing in the Vale (payback for his betrayal);
      – Randyll Tarly and possibly his son (not Sam !) : he stands for the “old world”;
      – Beric Dondarrion : all it takes is one too many deaths.

      Cersei and Littlefinger are in limbo, I believe. They both could survive Season 7 only to die in early Season 8. I’ll wait, see and keep my fingers crossed (I actually do like both of them)

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    26. Catspaw Assassin,

      For some reason, when I comment I get this message:

      This comment cannot be edited because it is marked as spam.

      But when I reply to a comment it comes through. I blame Euron Greyjoy.

      Speaking of whom, why is Euron Donald Trump’s favorite GOT character, and do I even need to provide an answer to that question? 😉

        Quote  Reply

    27. I’m glad too D&D are writing the bulk of the final season, you don’t often see Showrunners do that so it’s refreshing.

      The secondary characters I really hope do not die are Missandei, Greyworm, Theon, Yara, Davos, Pod, Brienne as I love them all too much.

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    28. Flayed Potatoes:
      Catspaw Assassin,

      Well Catspaw, I think you’re being punished for trying to assassinate pure angel Bran.

      As to your question….maybe Euron too has tiny hands.

      I like to think I prematurely facilitated Bran’s tremendous growth spurt.

      And as far as your comment about the hands: LMFAO!

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    29. I get the feeling Cersei’s reign will last through the end of the season. She has a pretty major trump card with all of the wildfire. Even with no allies and Daenerys coming from the east with a pretty overwhelming force, and Jon likely to seek an alliance with her, I don’t think either Jon or Daenerys will consider it worth taking the throne if it costs the entire city and population of King’s Landing. The teaser gives us Jon’s pitch. The War of However Many Kings and Queens is over. The Great War is here, and they’re going to have to work together. How the heck they’ll ever convince Cersei to do that I have no idea, but Jon is going to try. This season should be all about Daenerys clashing with the Lannisters plus Grejoy versus Greyjoy, with Jon trying to intercede and bring some sanity into the picture to tell these idiots that they have bigger problems and need to quit goofing around.

      As for deaths, I have a good feeling the remaining POV characters will make it through the season. That means all Lannisters and all Starks minus Benjen, Brienne, Melisandre, Davos, Dany, Sam, and Theon, and I think the faithful companions who have been there the whole way probably make it as well, so Jorah, Meera, and Pod and probably Tormund, too.

      I have no idea about Euron. He seems set up to be the season’s major human protagonist, but probably the Joffrey/Ramsay type protagonist who does some damage but then eats it. I don’t know who he takes, but anyone currently in Dany’s navy shy of Tyrion, Theon, Varys, and Dany herself, who I think are untouchable. That leaves Olenna, Sand Snakes, Yara, Grey Worm, Missandei. I guess there are no Dothraki set up as meaningful characters, even though they were her original followers and there should still be a few left who witnessed the birth of the dragons. Jorah and Daario should be safe because they aren’t with them. It’s beyond obvious Jorah is going to end up being cured at the Citadel and he isn’t going to survive greyscale just to die some other way. Plus, he needs to meet Jon and have a reunion with Lady Lyanna and his old pal Longclaw.

      Maybe I’m being overly hopeful about the north, given they’re the ones about to take the brunt of the Ice Demon Apocalypse, but since I don’t think it officially kicks off with the Army of the Dead south of the wall until the final season, I feel like the Hound, Davos, Tormund, Lyanna Mormont, everyone we care about should make it out alive. Littlefinger is the wild card, but it wouldn’t be right to kill him off until he and Varys meet one final time for the ultimate showdown between the ultimate schemers. Robin Arryn and Edmure Tully both seem marked for death, but I’m not sure they’re significant enough that the show will even pay attention. The Freys are toast. Arya isn’t leaving the Twins with only the big three kills.

      Beric seems like a strong possibility for a death, given he is already dead in the books and it looks like everything is setting up for the Hound to become the leader of the Brotherhood, reluctantly, but it would be a good end for him, taking his place with the defenders of the smallfolk originally formed to bring his own brother to justice.

      I don’t see Qyburn dying ever. Dude’s a survivor. He made it out of Harrenhal.

      I have no idea who Ed Sheeran is, but if all the porn star cameos haven’t taken away from the show, I don’t see how musician cameos will. Samantha Bentley has been on the show three separate times. I can only assume D&D are fans of her work.

      I really would liked to have GRRM come in one last time and write something. Definitely not the final episode, but something. It feels like bunk to say he’s focused on the books. He hasn’t been focused on the main line of books in 15 years. He’s busy publishing anthologies and spinoffs and doing the con circuit. That’s fine. He has every right to live his life how he pleases, but it would have been good to see him maintain some level of connection. This show is what made him a wealthy celebrity that gets invited to everything and a household name getting parodied by Conan O’Brien. I hope he doesn’t seriously hold any animosity at how far the story has diverged from what he may or may ever publish.

        Quote  Reply

    30. Pigeon,

      Thanks! I have two cats and a dog (and a great husband) at home so life is good! I chose my username (1) to honor Lady Catelyn and (2) because “Only Cat” is one of my favorite lines from the books but I thought someone else would have already been using that name!

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    31. Simon: Cersei will have a Saruman Luke end, stripped of power, like beggar on the street,

      Would you settle for Cersie demoted to Tyrion’s job keeping the drains flowing at Casterly Rock?

        Quote  Reply

    32. Melisandre raised Jon, but she also made a comment that the Lord of Light wouldn’t let her die. There’s an implication that she may be maintaining her looks with magic, but not consciously her life. So I’m not sure the Lord of Light or the show is quite done with her, even if she fulfills her earlier prophecy of meeting someone again. I think she’ll be sacrificed directly in aid to the Great War.

      Cersei is the Big Bad of the season so yeah, she’ll be there through most of it before meeting her poetic end. Sansa, however, has to live. She has one of the few viable wombs left (note to pointed s6 reference)! Somebody has to repopulate Westeros.

      Missandei’s added a steady heartwarming thread to the story so far, but her only hope to get out of next season is if she discovers she can speak White Walker.

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    33. Ser JJ Watt:
      Who the fk is Ed Sheeren? Never heard of the guy. From the way they are hyping this up, they make it seem like he’s a everyday, household name. He looks like a giant, ginger tool.

      Me neither, no idea who the fuck this bloke is! I stopped following the music scene years ago. Most of what I hear is crap compared to the music of the 60/70/80’s. I don’t reckon much of ‘Cold Play’ either and TBH I only heard of them a few years ago!

      Quite why the show runners give cameos to these musicians who have never acted beats me. They rightly give parts to famous and seasoned actors who have been around for years like Diana Rigg, Max Von Sydow, Jonathan Pryce and Charles Dance and then dole out cameos and bit parts (probably because some of the younger cast members like them) to musicians no one aged over 30 or more has heard of!

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    34. I don’t know about the rest but Cersei gotta go. However, I suspect her death won’t be as gratifying as, for example, Joffrey or Ramsay Bolton. The main reason? Budget. There’s a prediction from a guy (or girl) in reddit that really chimes in with mine. I forgot the link, unfortunately. Anyway, personally I think that cersei will be either:1) She will be killed/die off-screen just like blackfish. or 2) She will be killed or die in swift manner. Maybe from Dragon’s attack of King’s landing. Bran’s vision in Season 6 seems to be the foreshadowing moment.

      There is another and IMO will be the most unlikely possibilities, however since it contains spoilers, then:

      if those leaks are truly correct, cersei will have miscarriage and that will lead her to her death.

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    35. I can understand the speculations of Greyworm dying since he is a fighter and leader of unsuliied but where is this Missandei thing is coming from..she will be near dany herself if she is somehow to die then that means dany herself comes close to danger ..
      And besides its somehow makes a difference that dany will come to realize its not like essos..please she has lost most of her team steadily along the seasons .

      And I also don’t agree with Phill’s that Mel’s story is done since she resurrected Jon…I would like to see her reaction when she learns about dany and her dragons ..for good or bad she has been on and on about the great war from the start and she will live to see that and be part of it..and it would be nice to see the fandom if Mel changes her mind or comes to the right conclusion after she hears the news about dany (and how she has been wrong with stannjs)

      Flayed Potatoes,

      As if they haven’t been doing that..
      They have been rushing towards the ending for the last two seasons and with what we heard from next season seems it continues to be rushed

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    36. And about ed sheeran am I the only one every time I hear his name i am somehow reminded about first darrio actor

      I have to say iam not disappointed that GRRM is not writing last episode..
      For starters the show has diverged so much from the books that it may be difficult for him to write and may impact his books ..
      And writing a new episode mean he will take months writing that one and either D&D or book fans will be happy about it ..

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    37. Oh come off it, people. Ed Sheeran is one of the biggest earning musicians in the world, is a multiple Grammy winner, and I’m willing to bet all of us have heard a few of his songs or ones he’s written for others. Either it’s the new edgey thing to not know who he is, or I’m much younger and more up to date than I thought (which I’m doubtful of but ok with). From what I’ve seen he’s also a pretty nice human being. If you recognize Snow Patrol, Mastadon and Sigur freaking Rós, pretty sure a quick Google search will make you familiar with Ed.

      Adults these days.

      Anyhoo, walk-ons and cameos are pretty much done for shits and giggles. The celebs are fans or the crew or showrunners are fans of the celebs, and fit them in. Because they can. Heck, a funny GoT impressionist, Steve Love, got killed by Houndie last year for fun. Just little connections that probably inject a little silliness into a heavy show.

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    38. Black Raven,

      Cameo’s don’t speak so it doesn’t really matter if they have ever acted or not. The Coldplay musician played Rains Of Castemere at the Red Wedding. So having a musician in GOT can be useful as not all actors can sing anyway.
      Ed Sheeren is more well known than you think, his been around for quite a few years, won multiple music awards including a Grammy, his songs are being pkayed commonly at weddings, is a decent british guy who is on friendly terms with quite a bit of the GOT cast so i’m not surprised they invited him for a cameo.
      I would much prefer Ed Sheeren cameo than say Justin Bieber which obviously D&D also prefer as they made up a season when they’d let Bieber cameo which is never.

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    39. While Sheeran’s music is enough to put me in catatonic stupor, the Icelandic connection is another matter entirely (and what a cameo that was). Not exactly lightweights. “The Heart Pounds”, for instance, turns 18 in June.

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    40. Pigeon,

      I didn’t know about Steve Love, thanks for mentioning his cameo (hail our Houndie!) I googled Steve’s impressions which are delightful! Cameos are fun and GOT can use some giggles.
      I hope you are feeling well now, take care!

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    41. Pigeon:
      Oh come off it, people. Ed Sheeran is one of the biggest earning musicians in the world, is a multiple Grammy winner, and I’m willing to bet all of us have heard a few of his songs or ones he’s written for others. Either it’s the new edgey thing to not know who he is, or I’m much younger and more up to date than I thought (which I’m doubtful of but ok with). From what I’ve seen he’s also a pretty nice human being. If you recognize Snow Patrol, Mastadon and Sigur freaking Rós, pretty sure a quick Google search will make you familiar with Ed.

      Adults these days.

      Anyhoo, walk-ons and cameos are pretty much done for shits and giggles. The celebs are fans or the crew or showrunners are fans of the celebs, and fit them in. Because they can. Heck, a funny GoT impressionist, Steve Love, got killed by Houndie last year for fun. Just little connections that probably inject a little silliness into a heavy show.

      After reading all the comments, I too came to this conclusion – everyone here is either quite old, willfully ignorant, or snobbish about anyone who has found success in mainstream music… shakes head. You might not know who he is but I’m sure anyone Maisie and Sophie’s age, give or take 15 years, will at the least have heard of him and by all accounts he is a very affable guy. Cameos are not a new thing, especially in GOT, and I’ve never seen this level of push back, plus it has never been a problem on the show, most of the time you don’t even notice them, unless you know to look for them. People just like to be haters I guess.

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    42. Black Raven,

      Why is it your deal anyway,they barely stand out in the scenes they are,it’s just a nice wink wink to whoever knows them,should they not put them in fear that some random guy on the interwebz won’t like it ?

        Quote  Reply

    43. DragonBallfan,

      I have no problem whatsoever with cameos on GoT. The show runners can put on whoever they like. I simply said I’d never heard of Ed Sheeran which is true. Likewise Snow Patrol, Mastadon and Sigur freaking Rós… Never heard of ’em! Has it now become a prerequisite to be knowledgeable on the present day music scene to enjoy GoT 😉

      As some other poster mentioned, its a generation thing. Its the way its always been and always will be. One always has a preference for the music of the era they were brought up in and for me that was the 60’s/70’s and some of the 80’s. For my parents it was the swing bands of the 1930/1940’s, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, etc.

      Occasionally I may hear a decent ‘modern day’ song which I enjoy, but IMO sadly most of it is a load of crap!

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    44. People mentioning

      Benjen and One of the Dragons

      have so obviously read the leaks. There’s just no way that someone would naturally assume we will see that character again, or choosing animals over named human characters.

        Quote  Reply

    45. The “Legend” Warrior Samwell Tarly uses his family heirloom “Heartsbane” to say bye bye bye to Lord Randyll Tarly

        Quote  Reply

    46. Ser Matt the Sullen,

      I haven’t made any predictions in this post, but to be honest

      I’ve always thought we’d lose one of the dragons this season (except I expected him to die against Euron and Cersei, back when I thought they’d do more with Euron’s character). I think most fans expect one of the dragons to die simply because Dany needs some big loses on the show, otherwise it would be too boring.

        Quote  Reply

    47. Shy Lady Dragon:
      Pigeon,

      I didn’t know about Steve Love, thanks for mentioning his cameo (hail our Houndie!) I googled Steve’s impressions which are delightful! Cameos are fun and GOT can use some giggles.
      I hope you are feeling well now, take care!

      He’s pretty good! The funny thing is that I thought “Hey I’ve seen that guy before…” and then during the credits “Hahaha! I know a comedian with that name, weird.” LOL. Not too bright that day, apparently! 😂

      viki,

      That’s how I feel, but reading it back I didn’t really need to be so snarky, so I apologize for that, guys! I just figured if this 36 year old knew him without being a cool kid… 😜

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    48. viki,

      I’m 57 and I’ve certainly heard of Ed Sheeran. I’m lukewarm about his music, but I don’t mind in the least if he has a cameo. To the haters: You old people get off my lawn!

        Quote  Reply

    49. Who I’m pretty sure will die: Missandei, Grey Worm, Beric Dondarrion, Olenna, Sandsnakes, Yara, Robin Arryn.

      I’m split on: Cersei, Melisandre and Littlefinger. But I think they make it to the final season.

      I think there’s no chance of Sansa dying. Not this season, nor in the final one, but I believe Arya will die in season 8.

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    50. Am I the only person who’s looking forward to another season of “After The Thrones”? When it was announced I immediately thought it was going to be just a HBO marketing department ploy, but from the first episode I was hooked.

      PS, thanks for putting up with me last night. A lot of Guinness was quaffed by me and my mates yesterday afternoon.

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    51. Catspaw Assassin,

      Yeah, you may be the only one looking forward to “After the Thrones.” The hosts were good when writing for the now-defunct Grantlamd, but they suck as TV hosts. However, Mallory Rubin is really good – but she’s a guest commentator. They should can the two guys and turn over the show to Mallory Rubin. She’s knowledgeable, articulate and charismatic.

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    52. I should add that “After the Thrones” host Andy Greenwald is an excellent writer; I guess his “writing voice” doesn’t translate well to the screen.

        Quote  Reply

    53. Ten Bears,

      Agreed about Mallory. She’s always the best part. Did Watch The Thrones stop after season 5 because of After the Thrones? I only started listening to the podcast in their last season.

        Quote  Reply

    54. Branflakes,

      I just can’t shake this hunch that the “game of thrones” is going to boil down to two players: Varys and Littlefinger. They’ve been pulling the strings behind the scenes since the beginning and are both still very much alive and active. For this reason, I’m thinking that season 8 is going to pit their champions, Daenerys and Sansa against each other –

      This would make a lot of sense; I’d like to see that, just as long as LF meets his demise at the hands of his ‘champion’ Sansa! Also want Arya to be the one to off Cersei, perhas as a Faceless working for the iron bank….

        Quote  Reply

    55. Catspaw Assassin,

      I haven’t listened to any podcasts so I don’t know. And I’m not sure if “After the Thrones” debuted with S6.

      To be honest, I come to this site to read intelligent, post-episode analysis. Those two “After the Thrones” guys, Andy Greenwald and Chris Ryan, don’t seem well-versed in show or book canon. (As you probably know, part of Mallory Rubin’s job is to call them out on their mistakes.)

      Also… I’m as big a sports fan as anyway, but the two hosts go overboard with allusions to basketball teams and players. It probably sounds witty to a small segment of the viewership, but doesn’t connect with most of it.

      Just my two cents.

        Quote  Reply

    56. I’m happy to hear that Benioff and Weiss will be writing the end of the series, and if they only feel that there is six episodes worth of story left after this season, then I completely trust their judgment. They’ve created, written, and successfully shepherded this show for the span of nearly a decade as it has become a massively popular, critically-acclaimed, award-winning, dearly beloved worldwide phenomenon. They have more than earned the right to end the story on their own terms.

      And while under ideal circumstances there might have been additional writers who had been afforded an opportunity to write a script in previous seasons, I agree that bringing in a new staff writer at this critical final stage would be a risk at best, and potentially counterproductive. Having George R.R. Martin return to write an episode would have been cool, but it’s probably a better idea in theory than in practice. He’s in a different headspace right now, even though he’s heading towards the same ending that Benioff and Weiss are. They’re all on the same page and on good terms, but considering how Martin writes, jumping ahead to the endgame likely wouldn’t be easy. He’ll get there. One day. Eventually. Perhaps.

      While I was initially less than happy about the confirmation that Season 8 will only be six episodes, I’ve had more than enough time to acclimate to the idea. I think it’s great that they have a plan and aren’t going to overextend it. Admittedly, I was hoping that we might get one extra episode so that the final two seasons could be equivalent length (I agree with Hear Marko Roar – I like it when these things are symmetrical). But I’d rather that the final act be as tight and well-paced as possible, so if that extra episode is unnecessary, so be it. I continue to hold out hope that the series finale will be two hours, or close to it. But I doubt we’ll learn anything along those lines until we’re much closer to that final date.

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    57. There is hope
      GRRM Talks about his busy march

      “Besides all that, there’s been the huge new Wild Cards deal, the Wild Cards reread, lots of stuff with HBO that I cannot talk about yet, and of course — always, always — WINDS OF WINTER.”

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    58. I think Cersei, Melisandre, Meera, Yara, Beric and Euron will bite the dust this season. Possibly Jaime, Grey Wind and Missandei will join them. Jon, Daenerys, Tyrion, Arya, Bran, Varys and Littlefinger will probably survive till the end.

        Quote  Reply

    59. Dee Stark,

      Sorry to say that there are potential spoilers here, e.g. a generalized reference to “leaks” in a 3/28/17 12:27 pm comment from Matt the Sullen.

        Quote  Reply

    60. Catspaw Assassin,

      I enjoyed After the Thrones and I hope they will come back.

      Ten Bears,

      I must admit their errors regarding the show (I don’t mind their not reading the books) were irritating for me. But the “shame!” bell was a nice touch.

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    61. Branflakes:
      I just can’t shake this hunch that the “game of thrones” is going to boil down to two players: Varys and Littlefinger.They’ve been pulling the strings behind the scenes since the beginning and are both still very much alive and active. For this reason, I’m thinking that season 8 is going to pit their champions, Daenerys and Sansa against each other – which means season 7 is going to set about clearing the board of extraneous players, such as Cersei and Euron (though it may take all season).

      John is the key to the whitewalker problem, so his story I think will head that way this season, so that the path is clear for the showdown for the Iron Throne between Sansa/Littlefinger and Daenerys/Varys. I predict that only the sidekicks who are actually crucial to their team leader’s success will survive this season:

      Team Sansa/Littlefinger: Lyanna Mormont and Edmuire Tully (don’t count him out yet)
      Team Daenerys/Varys: Tyrion and Jorah
      Team Jon: Bran, Sam, maaaaaybe Tormund

      That maybe the case if people only knew about Game of thrones as Show ..
      But when you take the real story of A Song of Ice and Fire .,its true that LF and Varys have been pulling the strings in the story but these two are being undone by someone they didn’t think twice about or cared enough as a threat…
      And those Two are Dany and Jon ..
      Dany is not the varys champions like LF do with sansa ,in fact dany has been making his every plan fail

      So eventually they both will be undone not necessarily by dany and Jon themselves but they will also be a factor in their downfall a major one at that

      I disagree with Jon alone is key to the WW problem ..dany too is key in regards tothat and bran also …so he needs to find and convince them.

      And there is no team sansa only LF ..I don’t know how you cam put lyanna on team sansa after last season
      There is only team Jon and LF planning to find a way through his team.

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    62. Ed Sheeran is lovely & a great fit for a cameo on GoT IMHO. I hope they make use of his great talent, even if it is brief. I love that two fandoms (GoT & Sheeran’s can merge together for an episode.

      As far as predictions, I always thought it would be a great twist to have cersei be forced to be the night queen, to suffice the night king & bring peace back

      Unfortunately, I feel a dragon, missandei, greyworm, sansa, Robyn, the mountain, meera, pod, edd, sandsnakes, & varys are gonners

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    63. Greyhand Stonefeather: There’s a prediction from a guy (or girl) in reddit that really chimes in with mine.

      The problem with this idea is that Cersei has become one of the protagonists. Yes, she is a minor protagonist: but a protagonist nevertheless. So, her death will be very visible, and the climax of some big arc.

      Moreover, when a protagonist of Cersei’s type goes, then it usually involves another protagonist. The two obvious candidates are Jaime (another minor protagonist) and Tyrion (one of the Big V). I am going with Jaime, for a variety of reasons.

      The scenario that I envision (and I know that others have similar ideas) is that Jaime and Cersei will kill each other in some scene strongly foreshadowed by how Jaime killed the Mad King. That could be this year. However, it also could be in the denouement of the larger story.

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    64. Branflakes: I just can’t shake this hunch that the “game of thrones” is going to boil down to two players: Varys and Littlefinger. They’ve been pulling the strings behind the scenes since the beginning and are both still very much alive and active.

      Neither LF nor Varys are protagonists, and stories always boil down to the protagonists. After all, the main characters are the ones who’s evolution creates the whole story, and that evolution has to be pivotal in the climax (or climaxes).

      LF himself seems to have little awareness of what is happening with Daenerys. Of course, he’s never a PoV character, so even in the books we never know what is going on inside his head. However, LF has spent years sifting through information and probably has become pretty good at distinguishing the sense from the nonsense. After all, this is a sort of world where the stories about Daeny that reach LF’s ears are so distorted by Grimmsian effects that every element of truth is accompanied by 9 elements of exaggeration and outright falsehood. So, it is quite possible that he has sensibly dismissed stuff like Daeny’s dragons as nonsense. At any rate, he seems to view the Lannisters as his chief obstacle. But, then, who knows? LF is not someone with whom I would like to play poker, and I’m a good poker player!

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    65. Shy Lady Dragon: I can totally see Missandei dying to protect Daenerys, but I don’t want it to happen.

      I can see that, too. Most probably, it would come at some moment where it seems as if life will turn out OK for Missandei.

      That written, if Grey Worm and Missandei do not go out together, then I expect that one will live and the other will die. Survival is, after all, a very bittersweet thing.

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    66. I can’t believe people who have watched Game of Thrones haven’t heard of Ed Sheeran (given the show has a generally younger audience than, say, Downton Abbey). But I can understand (despite my being a fan of his) people being annoyed by all the buzz about his cameo. In all honestly, he’ll probably only be on screen for a few seconds (that’s what a cameo is – not a minor role that requires acting). However, I will recommend his music to anyone who hasn’t listened to it – his new album Divide (it’s the symbol, but I can’t to it on here) is great, as are his two previous ones, + (Plus) and x (Divide).

      It’s funny – I agree that the 73 final episode count is a bit irksome from a simple mathematical perspective. I loved the clean, 10-episode seasons, but if David & Dan feel that that’s what they need to tell the story, I’m happy.

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    67. I’m really hogging the bandwidth here.

      The last season was envisioned by Benioff and Weiss as 13 episodes. It was HBO that split it into 2. They could have rewarded the readers and viewers with a magnificent last season, but no, let’s torture everyone who’s stuck with the series, not to mention the books, and drag the f***ing thing out a la Hobbit movies. I think every episode of the series has been planned out in excruciating detail since the beginning. People say they’ve diverted from the books, but GRRM told them what he wanted to happen to the characters. It’s still his story. Hodor’s narrative demonstrates that there is a master plan. Also, when you look at the casting requests, good god, they’re so specific about when the actor will be needed. All project managers in business should be that meticulous.

      –I think Jaime will kill Cersei. She’s already dipped her toe in the waters of what the Mad King was planning. Jaime is the Kingslayer. I think he will be the Queenslayer. When Cersei first saw him when she was crowned, there was a light in her eyes, happy to see him, maybe thinking he’d be proud of or happy at seeing her in that position. He remained stone-faced, and her face hardened, as if Fine, f*** you, and she turned away. Lena Headey was so incredible in this. Not a muscle in her face moved, but her reactions were patently clear.

      –I think Theon will die. He is one of the most tragic characters. Death will give him peace at last. Despite having the will to escape and survive, I think there will be a point where he knows there is no place for him in whatever the world ends up being. Kind of like Frodo at the end of LOTR (another hobbit reference, but I think there will be significant elements of tragedy in these last two seasons).

      –I think the One Who was Promised (not necessarily Prince) hasn’t been born yet. Not Jon or Daenarys, but the offspring of the union of I don’t know who.

      –I wonder whether Dany and Tyrion could possibly end up together.

      –If one of the dragons dies or becomes a dragon-wight, one of the other dragons will change gender to reproduce (this is established fact about dragons, lol)

      –Does anyone think Jon’s real name could begin with an “L”?

      –Sansa may also die. She is also a tragic figure.

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    68. Wimsey,

      I think LF is so focused on himself and his own ambitions he doesn’t see a big picture, only an end point of himself on the throne. He kind of reacts to events in the present, and is only peripherally aware of what’s going on elsewhere, although I guess everyone in the North is. Varys’ has always been pro-Dany, and everything he’s done has been to further that goal.

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    69. viki,

      A celebrity cameo shouldn’t consume too much attention. I’m ambivalent about Sheeran personally, but the show has handled other cameos without sacrificing the story. It’s been too much a labor of love for so long. I wonder if Benioff and Weiss will have anything to do with a prequel, if HBO develops one.

      Stephen Colbert was in one of the LOTR movies, but you’d never know it. Except from him. I never saw such a super geek!

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    70. Isabelle_M: –Does anyone think Jon’s real name could begin with an “L”?

      Lucifer? Logan? Lemony? Ludo? Luminescence? (I suspect that Lyanna & Rhaegar were both hippies, you see….)

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    71. Regarding Melisandre as one of the major characters who could die this season, I agree. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that she is heading south at the same time as Arya is likely to head north.

      I think Melisandre will encounter the Brotherhood and relay her belief that Jon is the Prince That Was Promised to Thoros and Beric, and then she may well encounter Arya.

      But answer me this: what crime would Arya be executing Mel for, if she were to do so?

      For kidnapping Gendry? Is that a crime punishable by death?

      Okay, so Arya may believe that Melisandre killed Gendry, but would she not try to establish that first?

      Plus, so far, Arya has told most of her “victims” who she is and why she’s killing them. She reminded Polliver of what he did to Lommy. She reminded Rorge of the threats he made to her. She told Meryn Trant who she is and reminded him about killing Syrio. And she told Walder Frey who she is before killing him.

      If she reminds Melisandre of her crime before killing her, couldn’t Mel just tell her that Gendry escaped and is as far as she’s aware alive?

      Or might Melisandre end up being Arya’s first unjustified (at least in terms of what Arya thinks she’s guilty of) killing?

      Or could Arya encounter her and spare her life, as a reminder that Arya has not lost her humanity?

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    72. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man: But answer me this: what crime would Arya be executing Mel for, if she were to do so?

      Arya would kill Melisandre out of anger and to avenge what Mel did to her (Arya) when she took Gendry away. Arya herself probably was not cognizant of it, but part of her probably had fallen in love with Gendry. If Arya assumed that Melisandre took Gendry away to be killed, then there would be zero point in trying to “establish” it: after all, how can you possibly do that?

      I think that the series hung an important gun on the wall last year when we saw that Tyrion & Varys were getting the Red Church to recognize Daeny as the great savior. (Something similar is happening in the books, too.) This means that there will be a red cleric (and a singularly powerful one) pushing Jon as “the” savior, and others pushing Daeny as “the” savior. If so, then Mel will continue to be a foil for Jon, and perhaps also for Daeny & Tyrion.

      Alternatively, Arya might be stuck in a situation where she’s faced with the choice of killing Melisandre and fulfilling her vow, or sparing Melisandre and letting Melisandre do some greater good against the White Walkers, Stark enemies, etc. Although I had said that I was not going to try to guess this year’s story simply because nobody can get that lucky twice, I am leaning towards predicting that this year’s story is going to be about who lives and who dies: and that means that the main characters are going to have some hard choices when keeping people alive that they hate could mean “good” things and letting people live that they like could mean “bad” things.

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    73. Ouch … was away for a few days and came on to find that you guys were a little less than gracious to poor Ed. Don’t judge us harshly Ed, we are suffering from lack of GoT news. His music is lovely, and I’m someone who hasn’t been close to Maisie’s age in decades. Many times I’ll hear a song on the radio and wait to find out who the artist is and it’s been Ed. Whereas, most of the other musicians that have had cameos have been someone I’ve never heard of. The Icelandic guys come to mind. So, I’ll welcome Ed when we see him on the episode. Did love the video someone posted that had Rupert Grint (you know, Ron Weasley from Harry Potter) as a “double” for him. Two talented gingers. That’s ok in my book.

      I’d like to say I think Littlefinger will bite the dust in Season 7 but I can’t. I still think that lizard will survive everything and crawl from beneath a rock at the end of all the chaos. Such people have the particular talent of doing that. I don’t think Cersei will go this season either. I think she might be abandoned by Jamie and betrayed by Qyburn or her beloved Mountain, gone bonkers. But I think she, too, will make it through the season.

      I don’t think Dolorous Edd is going to make it, though. Sadly. I really like that guy, and wish that at least one of Jon’s NW brothers make it, but I think Ed’s going down with the Wall. I think Brienne is safe, not so sure about Pod. Which is a shame, because there seems to be a shortage of eligible Lords and well-born boys to go around.

      I don’t know if Melisandre is going to go either, this season anyway. As far as hung guns, they hung the gun of her being 400 years old beneath that creamy skin and gorgeous face of hers. They have to do something with that, or else why did they show it at all? Just to have a surprise in the season, to delay bringing Jon Snow back to life? No, I think they will show her morphing in and out of old-ladydom at least a few times. I think she WILL meet Arya again, but as the old lady.

      I do like Wimsey’s idea of some sort of tension between the Red Priestesses of Essos and Melisandre, with opposing views of the true blessed one of the Red God. That should be interesting

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    74. Also, a little more regarding Melisandre, since I’m up at 2:30 in the morning trying to have constructive thoughts. I don’t think she will be able to resist being close to Jon Snow, no matter where he is. She is one determined lady when she wants to be, and she is determined to help him with the White Walkers. So she will show up around him, as the old lady, in part to avoid Davos, but mostly to keep an eye on Jon, If she does die, I don’t think it will be because she’s doing something nefarious, but because she is trying to save him, or do something positive in his service.

      I think Jamie will make it – or let’s say I want Jamie to make it, which surprises me, because I didn’t start out as a big Jamie fan. I think he will try to redeem himself to his own mind and to the world, and will want to help fight the battle with the White Walkers. Maybe he does go down as a hero and when the news of his death reaches Cersei, she finally loses her mind. It would be the one death she won’t be able to stand “without you all of this is for nothing.” Maybe she hangs herself, and in that way the Valonquar chokes the life out of her. See that’s what comes of awaking in the middle of the night and coming on a fan site.

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    75. Darn, I’m still awake, but just about to turn in. What is all the surprise or comment on the shortness of seasons 7 and 8? We’ve known for a year they were going to be shorter – I remember threads and threads of comment on it when it was announced. That can’t all be in my imagination, I’m not totally crazy yet. Did some of you think that D&D would change their minds about wanting to do other things? I certainly wish that each of the two remaining seasons would be a full 10 eps each, but came to terms with it last year. Ok, that’s enough. See you later.

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    76. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man:

      I think Melisandre will encounter the Brotherhood and relay her belief that Jon is the Prince That Was Promised to Thoros and Beric, and then she may well encounter Arya.

      For me, the big open question is whether Arya passes judgement on Melisandre in the knowledge that Melisandre resurrected Jon. Stannis believed both good and bad acts had their own rewards (hence Davos and the finger bones plus Davos and his knighthood and handship); will Arya believe the same thing, or will Melisandre have bought back her life with her resurrection of Jon? Arya has changed her mind before, with the Hound. Would she do the same thing with Melisandre if she found out how she brought Jon back from the dead? Arya knows that Red Priests can have this power – she saw Thoros bring back Beric.

      Thronetender:

      I don’t think Dolorous Edd is going to make it, though. Sadly. I really like that guy, and wish that at least one of Jon’s NW brothers make it, but I think Ed’s going down with the Wall.

      I think Edd is safe as long as the Wall stands; if it comes down this season, then we say goodbye to Edd. Regardless, I do think we see him this season, as Benjen dropped off Bran and Meera within sight of the gate through to Castle Black. I don’t want Edd to die either! One of my favorite book and show characters!

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    77. Surely the wall has to come down this season, I think many expected it last one but it feels like a major point in the latter episodes of season 7 .

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    78. Hi y’all!

      I rather expected that the last season would be even shorter and I’m OK with the writers that are announced. Just as long as those episodes are at least 60 min each!

      As to my predictions… I think Cercei will be around, if not for the entire season, at least for the biggest part of it. I think that they have to establish her Mad Queen reign, and to do that, she has to be there, acting all …mad and making irrational decisions. I think Cercei will over -evaluate her power and ability to rule – especially when war is upon her. She’s not a team- player either so I really can’t see her teaming up wit hthe rest of the characters in order to face the WW. I would personally like to see her OFF sometime near the end of the season. I really don’t care how she goes, just as long as she’s gone! 😀 But I really -really hope, we get to keep Jamie alive. I think he would really contribute to a team against the WW.

      A possible go could also be Littlefinger – or this may be just my wishful thinking! I think there is no time for more of his scheams at this point and OK, to be honest, I’ve been waiting for a long time to see him killed off; on Sansa’s order and/or by Arya’s hand! Please D&D make it happen!

      I’m not sure we have seen all about Melisandre yet, unless her ‘place’ is taken by Thoros of Myr in which case, she’s probably killed off too. My reasoning that a magician/priest has a role to play in all this and could be useful to Jon and or/Bran.

      Sand snakes – I think they have nothing more to give this season so they could also go, without us missing anything important. Lady Olenna on the other hand perhaps could play a role in Cercei’s death, if that is going to happen.

      As to Dany’s company… we just CAN’T lose Tyrion, Greyworm or Missandei. Or Sir Jorah. But if he comes back, the chances are that someone else will be killed off. I didn’t like Daario from the start, and the way Dany ended their relationship, makes me wonder if he will turn against her.
      Euron is also a threat to Dany and Co and I fear he may play a role if there is going to a loss in Dany’s team.

      All in all, I think, there isn’t much room for losing many more characters at this point, unless they have nothing more to offer to the end game. I truly hope that we won’t have to suffer the loss of any favourite/major characters just for the sake of shock!

      And I totally agree with Jon Snowed – the wall will probably come down this season!

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    79. Wimsey,

      To: Ramsay’s 20th Good Man;
      Thronetender; and
      Wimsey

      You raise intriguing questions about Arya’s possible encounter with, and justification for execution of, Melisandre.
      If, as Thronetender speculates, Melisandre decides to show up in her (real form?) of decrepit old lady, and returns to “help” Jon vs. the White Walkers or just because she can’t stay away from his curly locks and six-pack abs, let’s not forget she’s still under a death sentence for barbecuing Shireen if she [Mel] returns to the North.

      Arya, with “the true seeing” instilled in her by Syrio and the ability to detect lies she learned from Faceless Man University, could very well detect that the old lady is really Mel in disguise. Plus, I doubt Arya’s going to take old ladies at “face” value anymore after her encounter with the old lady/Waif on the bridge in Braavos.

      So perhaps Arya has to decide whether to carry out the death sentence, or let it slide.

      After all, Melisandre could (truthfully) tell Arya that Gendry is still alive, and all she did was reveal his paternity to him. On the other hand, Mel confessed to roasting Shireen and would have no defense if she’s back in the North.

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    80. Ten Bears: Arya, with “the true seeing” instilled in her by Syrio and the ability to detect lies she learned from Faceless Man University, could very well detect that the old lady is really Mel in disguise. Plus, I doubt Arya’s going to take old ladies at “face” value anymore after her encounter with the old lady/Waif on the bridge in Braavos.

      You raise a good point about Arya being able to recognize Melisandre whatever form Mel may take. That confrontation would be an interesting scene. I can’t remember if she learned who Arya is – a Stark and Jon’s “sister.” (as far as anyone else besides Bran knows yet.) They showed Mel defending herself when Davos accused her, saying that Shireen’s parents both had a part in her death. We can assume that if Arya identifies herself to Mel, as Arya has done before, that Mel will tell her about rezzing Jon, and that Gendry is still alive. It will probably save her life. Which would be ok with me. I’m not as hot about her being done in as I was about Joffrey and Ramsay.

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    81. Thronetender: I’m not as hot about her being done in as I was about Joffrey and Ramsay.

      Thronetender,

      I actually agree with this. Of all the characters on GoT, I think I am the most emotionally conflicted with Melisandre. If it wasn’t for what she did to Shireen then I would kind of like her. Although, burning a kid to death is kind of hard to forgive, so I really go back and forth with my feelings on her.

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    82. There are so many great characters like that, whom do some truly awful things but equally have a ‘good’ element to them as well Jamie is another such character and Tyrion/Dany to a lesser extent as well.

      The only really pure characters are Jon, Ned and Bran and some of them have done things which have resulted in terrible consequences for those they care about.

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    83. Jon Snowed,

      Yup, I suppose that really is one of the aspects that makes GoT such a unique show. The fact that so many characters can be either hated or loved and there’s justification to feel both ways.

      I agree that Jaime Lannister is one of them. I mostly like him…at least I want to like him…but until he leaves Cersei, I don’t think I can get myself to like him enough to root for him.

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    84. Thronetender: They have to do something with that, or else why did they show it at all? Just to have a surprise in the season, to delay bringing Jon Snow back to life? No, I think they will show her morphing in and out of old-ladydom at least a few times. I think she WILL meet Arya again, but as the old lady.

      I agree that it was not done without reason. However, I think that it might have been done just to give us an idea of how powerful Mel’s magic (or the magic that R’hllor grants her) is. She doesn’t just look like a young woman: this magic actually makes her a young woman. After all, if she was just an old woman who looked young, she would probably have died of old age a long time ago: and she would not be able to carry about as vigorously as she does.

      The question that this has me asking is: why has R’hllor kept Mel around for so long? R’hllor is one of the last big “mysteries” of SoI&F, now that we know the origins of the White Walkers and the truth about the Old Gods. Whatever R’hllor is, we know that it can:
      1) provide glimpses of the future (although without much context for those glimpses);
      2) alter weather patterns;
      3) make old people physically young;
      4) neutralize poison;
      5) revive the dead.
      We also have anecdotal evidence that R’hllor can control fire and keep people warm in cold weather. There probably are some other “minor” magics that I am forgetting.

      Blood sacrifice might or might not be part of the bargain sometimes: yes, burning people alive generates great weather magic, but on the other hand reviving the dead seems to just take asking very sincerely. That might indicate that what it really takes is just asking very sincerely: I mean, how much more sincere can you be than willing to burn someone else for it? Now, we do have anecdotal evidence that R’hllor prefers the burning of people in power, which might offer some hints about its agenda: but that might be a case of R’hllors followers having mixed superstitions in with a real god’s requests.

      We also have strong reason to think that R’hllor does not like the White Walkers. After all, it has been guiding Mel to work against them, albeit in a manner sort of like a human trying to coax fish in an aquarium to do things. And we have indirect evidence that it might directing its priests on Essos to use Daeny for this, too.

      The upshot of this? We should not necessarily expect to see Mel as she “should” be again. The old woman was part of a gun hung on the wall, but I think that the gun was “R’hllor’s Power” and “Mel actually is really (really!) old” was the gun’s mounting. Mel in general is a gun in and of herself that tells us “R’hllor has an agenda.”

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    85. Alba Stark: will Arya believe the same thing, or will Melisandre have bought back her life with her resurrection of Jon?

      Arya and Stannis are about as different as two people can be! Stannis is (was) a moral absolutist: and the idea that you punish people for the bad and reward them for the good is a classic trait of absolutists. Arya, on the other hands, is a very emotional person who judges people on what they have done to her and for her. We saw this very much with the Hound.

      Now, would Arya forgive Mel for saving Jon? Maybe: but how would you convince her of this? “So, you say my brother was dead, but then he got better thanks to you. Uh huh….” The whole story is pretty damned unbelievable.

      Instead, if it is down to Arya, then in her mind it is going to be: what is more important, killing her for taking Gendry from me, or keeping her so that Mel can do BLANK against BLANK? Pragmatism has been a big source of the story throughout the series: often the main characters realize that what they want and what they need are antithetical. Whether it is Jon or Arya or both, then Mel’s fate is going to come down to a wrestle with the desire to avenge past wrongs and/or reward past boons versus retaining future potential for an upcoming crisis.

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    86. Since we’re on the Melisandre/Arya topic, the first meeting between the two had Mel telling Arya:

      “I see a darkness in you…and in that darkness eyes staring back at me…brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes…eyes you’ll shut forever. We will meet again.”

      That’s such a vague statement, yet seems so ominous. I wonder exactly what Mel meant.

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    87. WITH Sandor in the ranging party going north; fire being his fear and the weakness of the Whites i got a visual of him sacrificing himself to fire to save the others i a noble way.

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    88. HunterMac87: WITH Sandor in the ranging party going north; fire being his fear and the weakness of the Whites i got a visual of him sacrificing himself to fire to save the others i a noble way.

      With the Hound, I think that the questions is: will he be Arya’s foil, Sansa’s foil, or foils for both at the same time?

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    89. I really do NOT understand the people who think Sansa isn’t going to make it to the end.

      When you look at this as a character-oriented story — don’t think about GoT as “who’s going to be on the throne,” “who’s going to face the White Walkers,” etc. — then there are some themes common to other literary tropes. Sansa is the survivor: the innocent who through either no fault of her own, or a sense of misguidance, has all sorts of bad things happen to her before she finally overcomes them. Dany and Jon can be considered the unlikely heroes who rise up to greatness without any hint they will do so in their early upbringing; Arya is the urchin, the lost soul who finds redemption through her actions and her choies; Bran is the mystic, the one who seeks enlightenment against a terrible threat; Tyrion is the kingmaker, who brings the various threads of the story together. These are not-uncommon characters in classic literature, not to mention theatre, film and television.

      Yes, I know… George R.R. Martin is doing things differently, that’s the usual reply. And I would agree if it weren’t for the fact that GRRM is not a fool; he knows that there is only so much deviation on the classic hero/archetype design that the consumer (the reader, the viewer, etc.) will endure before losing interest. George already proved that once: everyone was so consumed with the notion that he (or at least Benioff & Weiss, no doubt with consultation with GRRM) would solve the Jon Snow murder problem differently than was plainly demonstrated in the show; the pieces were there, but let’s face it, solving it in any other way than Melisandre’s resurrection would have been dissatisfying. If people predict the story, that doesn’t mean a good writer will introduce variations to the story; it just means the storyteller is telling the story correctly.

      Back to Sansa. After everything she’s endured, do people honestly expect Sansa not to survive this odyssey? I cannot fathom that. Sansa will overcome what has transpired… in my mind, as the new Warden of the North and resident liege of Winterfell. (I don’t care about the Bran/succession issue; something there will click.) Sophie Turner is going to last the entire show, much in the same way I’m certain Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington and Maisie Williams and Peter Dinklage will.

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    90. Cameryn,

      1. OMG you just started a Sansa thread.

      2. I think she’ll survive it all.

      3. Are you a book reader? If not don’t uncover the spoilers….

      I hope that in the books LSH brings Jon back to life. The woman who could not mother Jon in life revives him from death. It’s poetic, predictable and I love it.

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    91. Cameryn,

      Lol, these Sansa discussions inevitably end up in a flame war. Hopefully, everyone chiming in can keep a level head here 🙂

      I don’t really think Sansa will be killed either, but I’m not certain of that and I have no way of knowing what will or won’t happen until it happens. Anything can happen from here on out and I’m open to that possibility.

      Just curious, why are you so sure that Jon, Daenerys, Arya, and Tyrion will all survive the show?

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    92. Wimsey: and/or reward past boons versus retaining future potential for an upcoming crisis.

      Interesting thoughts on R’hllor! And if past actions can stometimes be prologue to future actions, then do you think Arya’s refusal to toss Needle, stashing it for the future could be an indication of such a pragmatic streak in Arya’s personality?

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    93. Mr Derp: That’s such a vague statement, yet seems so ominous. I wonder exactly what Mel meant

      At the time she said this, we couldn’t have known Arya was going to become a Faceless Man, but reading it now, it seems to be total, and totally correct, prophecy. Obviously Arya has “shut” the eyes of a variety of people, with various colored eyes. But it could refer to the faces she has worn of a variety of people, all with different color eyes. Yeah, they’ll meet again.

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    94. Cameryn: Sophie Turner is going to last the entire show, much in the same way I’m certain Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington and Maisie Williams and Peter Dinklage will.

      from a staunch, steadfast Sansa supporter, many thanks. I agree

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    95. Wimsey: She doesn’t just look like a young woman: this magic actually makes her a young woman. After all, if she was just an old woman who looked young, she would probably have died of old age a long time ago: and she would not be able to carry about as vigorously as she does.

      Hmmm, actually makes her a younger woman, does it? Anyone have any intel on where one of those ruby necklaces can be had? I could sure use one right about now.

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    96. Ten Bears: …in her (real form?) of decrepit old lady.

      Confirmed in the last paragraph of the official episode synopsis (s6e1 “The Red Woman”).

      Arya could very well detect that the old lady is really Mel in disguise.

      Probably the reverse: when Arya encounters Melisandre again, she will be seeing her true form (the crone). If others are also present at the scene, this should be really interesting, as they will be seeing the scorchingly hot young woman.

      with “the true seeing” instilled in her by Syrio

      This was probably just foreshadowing, otherwise she would have seen through Melisandre’s glamor spell when they met in the Riverlands.
      If she indeed displays this ability (almost certainly), it will be the result of the Faceless Men’s (the Kindly Man’s in the books) tutelage.

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    97. cdelia@optonline.net: 3. Are you a book reader? If not don’t uncover the spoilers….

      I know what happens in the books that have been released. And I’m pretty sure that the people who are holding out for MAJOR variations on some of what’s happened in the series are going to be sorely disappointed.

      (That’s not to say what you said in the spoiler tag isn’t possible… sure it is. My argument is that what you’re saying is basically the *same thing*… substitute a character out for another, sure, BUT it’s virtually the same base story. Personally I think that would be a great option, what you said, just because it would be some sort of variation – but what GRRM has planned in that respect ultimately demonstrates the same thing, and the seeds for that story were planted back with the Brotherhood in season 3 and book 3.)

      Mr Derp: Just curious, why are you so sure that Jon, Daenerys, Arya, and Tyrion will all survive the show?

      Because I’m a student of television and writing, and I believe David Benioff and David Weiss are, too. Forgetting about ASOIAF book readers for a moment… they’d face a publicity shitstorm if GoT massacred all the favorite characters at the very end of the show. Weiss & Benioff know that. Hell, GRRM knows that; he’s worked in TV long enough. There’s dramatic license, and then there’s the reality of entertaining other people.

      I do believe very strongly that all four of them, along with Sansa, will be alive at the end of the show. Part of this is my understanding of the aforementioned; another and probably more important part is that GRRM tells stories like everyone else tells stories, with heroes and villains and characters in the middle, with great set pieces followed by moments of introspection, all to not only tell the story of the day but the *complete* story. What’s the point of telling a complete story if at the end nobody you were rooting for is left alive? Kinda pointless. 😉

      (BTW on your ‘flame war’ comment, it’s silly to have flame wars about things we aren’t sure about. 🙂 Know what I mean?)

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    98. Thronetender: then do you think Arya’s refusal to toss Needle, stashing it for the future could be an indication of such a pragmatic streak in Arya’s personality?

      Possibly. It’s a situation where Arya is supposed to be putting aside the girl and becoming the woman. However, she hangs on to Needle. This might be the “girl” sentimentally clinging to her past or it might be the “woman” pragmatically putting aside something that could be useful later or it could be a combination of both. Ultimately, Arya’s girl -> woman trajectory seems to involve Arya refusing to cede all of Arya, so I definitely think that the former is involved. However, given that Arya has learned pragmatism the hard way, I suspect that the latter also is involved.

      Thronetender: Hmmm, actually makes her a younger woman, does it? Anyone have any intel on where one of those ruby necklaces can be had? I could sure use one right about now.

      The same place that you get dragons, Valyrian steel, mithril, lembas, Firebolt 1000’s and invisibility cloaks, I am afraid…..

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    99. The Sybian: This was probably just foreshadowing, otherwise she would have seen through Melisandre’s glamor spell when they met in the Riverlands.

      Except that this probably is not a mere “glamour.” Mel is not an old person who looks young, she’s an old person who is young, at least while she keeps this spell going. By comparison, it is pretty easy to CGI someone into looking like their younger selves, particularly if a computer has video of the younger self. You could use CGI to “glamour” a video of an old man looking like his 20 year old self. However: you could not glamour a 90 year old man into moving, etc., like his 20 year old self. However, we’ve seen Mel engage in fairly vigorous activity (sex, horseback riding, etc.) that an old person could not do gracefully: indeed, her “romp” with Stannis would be a workout for a 30 year old woman; it would be a hip crusher for a 90 year old one! So, she’s not just fooling perceptions: she’s “defying” physics. Physics are rather a harsh mistress that will not be fooled by glamours, which indicates that she is physically youthful while the spell is “on.”

      Moreover, there are hints that Mel is not just geriatric: she is long past the point where she should have died of old age. A glamour might explain why she looks young, but it cannot explain how she’s been kept alive. We probably need an explanation for why she did not die of old age a long time ago.

      At any rate, I really doubt that Arya has the ability to see through glamours of any sort. I’m not sure from where where this idea that Syrio taught her to do so comes: he taught her how to anticipate moves, not see through magic. Syrio faced with a glamoured person probably would not see through it: he’d just be really good at working out whether they were going to feint left or right.

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    100. Wimsey: The same place that you get dragons, Valyrian steel, mithril, lembas, Firebolt 1000’s and invisibility cloaks, I am afraid…..

      Ah, maybe Sante Fe or London. Got it. 😉

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    101. Wimsey,

      I seem to remember these exact same arguments from last year, after the premiere had aired.
      If the “rejuvenation spell” reverts Melisandre and the other Red Priestesses to their original youthful looks, how come they all look like supermodels?
      Wouldn’t this imply that their current image is just a deception, to make the religion more enticing through them? (apparently, sex sells in Planetos too)
      Couldn’t this be the reason that book-Benerro was replaced by show-Kinvara? The Dragon Demands suggests exactly this on the wiki, claiming that she looks way too young to be the High Priestess.
      In fact, except for the ability to resurrect the dead (and we don’t know yet what this entails), there’s nothing that indicates the use of a rejuvenation spell, whereas in the books there are repeated occurrences of glamor through the use of rubies – an illusion spell based on the ‘weaving’ of light & shadow, thematically consistent with R’hllor.

      Physics are rather a harsh mistress that will not be fooled by glamours, which indicates that she is physically youthful while the spell is “on.”

      You’re applying rules of actual activity and old age restrictions to a work of fantasy and a person who hails from Asshai, of all places – possibly the focus of Martin’s Lovecraftian influences. The fact alone that she is “several centuries old” should be a hint for the viewer not to consider her in regular terms.
      The other examples of unusual longevity that come to mind are Bloodraven and legends from the far East (e.g. YiTish emperors) included in the “World” tome. At least Melisandre’s case should be more or less explained within the show and/or the novels.
      Furthermore, older supernatural beings (wizards, crones, hags, etc) displaying unusual physical prowess or vividness are something of a staple for the genre: think of the Istari from Tolkien’s sagas.
      In lack of other specific examples: have you by any chance seen Robert Eggers’ 2015 film “The Witch”? And if not, would you mind a few minor spoilers?

      I’m not sure from where this idea that Syrio taught her to do so comes

      Me neither. Read my comment again – I call Syrio’s words foreshadowing of the training Arya would receive at the House of Black & White.
      On the show she’s only taught how to spot verbal lies (through the “games of faces”), the showrunners probably not wanting to make the foreshadowing too obvious. In the books, however, the Kindly Man teaches her precisely the various methods of disguise and how to see through them. She most probably has not mastered that, but I suspect it should be enough for her to spot some fakes back in Westeros, including Melisandre’s glamor – and this was the purpose of all those scenes/chapters all along.
      Especially since their meeting in the Riverlands was a show-only scene.

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    102. The Sybian: If the “rejuvenation spell” reverts Melisandre and the other Red Priestesses to their original youthful looks, how come they all look like supermodels?

      Do we have any reason to think that this is at all common? I would be surprised if all of the Red Priestesses and Priests were “forever young.” Mel seems to be a force in and of her own within the Church. As for all of then looking like supermodels, they do not once you take into account the heavy bias of most actresses being better looking than standard. Add to that the fact that the Red Priests we have seen are well-kept and well-groomed (and thus not made “Hollywood Ugly” a la Craster’s or Frey’s daughters!), and there really is nothing to explain.

      The Sybian: In fact, except for the ability to resurrect the dead (and we don’t know yet what this entails), there’s nothing that indicates the use of a rejuvenation spell,

      One, reviving the dead seems to just take a sincere request. (Last year, many people were positing that Ghost would have to be sacrificed to do this; however, just as none of the book revivals demanded sacrifice, neither did Jon’s.) Two, we have extremely strong evidence of “rejuvenation”: Melisandre herself. Three, we have no evidence that glamours in Martins world can do anything like this. Remember, the only glamour we’ve seen requires a physical link to the person being imitated. That would let someone look like Melisandre, but it does not provide an indication of how it lets Melisandre look like herself from decades ago.

      The Sybian: You’re applying rules of actual activity and old age restrictions to a work of fantasy and a person who hails from Asshai, of all places – possibly the focus of Martin’s Lovecraftian influences.

      Actually, I am applying Occam’s Razor: never multiple explanations without need. Melisandre’s amulet making her truly young instead of just creating a “mask” of youth explains: 1) appearance; 2) vigor; 3) longevity in one fell swoop. A glamour requires explains only appearance. We now need additional explanations for: 1) vigor (what is cheating the laws of physics and biomechanics?) and, 2) longevity (i.e., how is that old crone still alive?) Asshai is not such an explanation: nothing in the books or the show suggests that people there defy physics or that they live unusually long lives. (Indeed, isn’t there something suggesting that lifespans there are on the short side?) Moreover, and this is really key, this is a story: and if that was to be an important explanation for Mel, then it should have been introduced long ago.

      Now, this does not mean that “rejuvenation” is the answer: after all, Occam’s Razor says use the simplest explanation until something demands that you invoke a more complicated explanation. At this point, nothing demands a more complicated explanation, and we do not have any explanations that are equally simple. Thus, we should assume it until something tells us that it cannot be right.

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    103. Wimsey,

      Kinvara looks almost unusually young to be playing a High Priestess in the Lord of Light religion – the actress was only 33 years old when Season 6 was filmed (six years younger than Carice van Houten, who plays Melisandre). Given the revelations of “The Red Woman”, however, this is not as odd as it might seem at first glance. Kinvara wears a costume nearly identical to Melisandre’s, down to to the distinctive Asshai’i necklace, so it’s entirely possible that Kinvara might also be from Asshai itself and possess the same powers of glamor that Melisandre does. These powers have been hinted at, but not confirmed in the books.

      (from the wiki’s notes on Kinvara)

      The last paragraph of the official HBO synopsis for “The Red Woman” is…illuminating:
      http://www.gameofthrones.com/game-of-thrones/season-6/episode-1

      “When she removes her magic necklace, the Red Woman is revealed to be in reality an ancient and withered crone. Melisandre studies her reflexion until she can bear it no longer, and climbs into bed”.

      If the necklace were to actually restore her youth, her younger image would be equally real to her older one; instead it projects a fake image (probably the result of Melisandre’s mental suggestion), maintained by and tied to the ruby.

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    104. Wimsey,

      http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Glamor

      http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Melisandre%27s_ruby

      As for all of then looking like supermodels, they do not once you take into account the heavy bias of most actresses being better looking than standard.

      Strangely, the two male Red Priests on the show seem to maintain their actual, real image (that’s why I only mentioned the priestesses above) and none of them wears any visible ruby jewelry. In my eyes Thoros (Paul Kaye, aged 50) is…interesting-looking and Zanrush (Gerald Lepkowski, age unknown, I guess in his 50s) average to good-looking.
      On the other hand, Melanie Liburd, Rila Fukushima, Ania Bukstein, Carice van Houten, and (the unfortunately never cast – auditioned for the part of Kinvara) Tehmina Sunny are 10 or more years younger than their male counterparts and all of them wear ruby chokers or necklaces. If you don’t consider these women ranging from beautiful to stunning, perhaps they could be the subject of a new poll here at WotW…
      I can definitely see a pattern concerning the show’s priestesses, for reasons mentioned above. As for why the priests were excluded (as in the books), I’m expecting an explanation. No Red Priestess other than Melisandre in the books so far, and, yes, according to Martin:
      “Melisandre has gone to Stannis entirely on her own, and has her own agenda”.
      Does this mean she has her own spells too, never before mentioned or even hinted at?

      Combining book & show evidence I’d say it’s the glamor interpretation that qualifies as Occam’s Razor, if this is indeed what we should be looking for. Not dismissing anything entirely, but I think your version seems more like an alternate (and novel) take on what we are seeing/reading…

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    105. Wimsey:
      Here’s a very vivid crone – look at her go at 0:55. This gem of a film could be considered a compendium of 17th century New England witchcraft staples (even down to a version of “blood magic”). *SPOILERS*, obviously.

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    106. Wimsey: With the Hound, I think that the question is: will he be Arya’s foil, Sansa’s foil, or foils for both at the same time?

      Ehrm, I’m confused by this question. (It could be the wine or the hard cider; I’m not sure.) Why would the Hound foil either one? He has always protected them—granted, a tad roughly and with complete disregard for manners, verbal or otherwise—but still. The only scenario where that would happen, imho, would be if Sansa attempts something stupid or naïve (not out of the question) or if Arya attempts something thoughtlessly and driven solely by a desire for revenge (also not out of the question). It would be interesting, for example, if Arya encounters the Brotherhood and wishes to off Thoros and Beric (for selling Gendry) before asking a sufficient number of questions, and the Hound stays her hand. As others have noted, there’s definitely unfinished emotional business between them… and as much as the Hound respects Arya for her courage and moxie, I think he also—in the interest of protecting her in more ways than one—wouldn’t want to see her go down the same path he did at the same age, only to wind up as a “Broken Girl.”

      On another note, I’m not going to play the Who Lives/Who Dies game. Like Shy Lady Dragon, I’m crap at predictions.

      As for Ed Sheeran, I’m with Pigeon and viki. If you haven’t heard of him you have some pretty epic filters on your internet settings, and if you haven’t heard anything good since the 80s that’s on you, not on the music world. Sheesh. Good music is constantly being created in every corner of the globe. I would argue that, most likely, it’s humanity’s oldest and most primal art form. Not liking something because of personal taste is one thing; rejecting it simply because it’s unfamiliar is something else. /end rant

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    107. How Arya could easily recognize Melisandre’s true form:

      Warging into Nymeria, which, in the books, she has been doing since being physically separated from her.

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    108. Mel,

      Listen, Theon’s got the 7th most screen time in the entire show. It’s true. He’s even ahead of Jaime in screen time. He is not a secondary character and it’s about time people, especially avid fans, begin to realize that.

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    109. Wimsey,
      Tin foil obviously! Is there any other kind? 😉

      As for deaths, I always assume that anyone I care about is doomed and the ones I hate will prosper, so when any of the former make it through or the latter get what’s coming it feels like a win for House Mum.

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    110. Wimsey,

      My bad. I wasn’t being precise when I referred to “the true seeing” instilled in Arya by Syrio. I didn’t mean to convey that she’d have some kind of X-ray vision that would enable her to see through senior citizen Mel’s glamour. I thought the general lesson(s) from Syrio were that appearances can be deceiving; don’t take someone’s words at face value (“my tongue lied; my eyes shouted the truth”); and to be aware when something seems fishy about a situation (eg “Why would Lord Eddard send Lannister men in place of his own…I wonder?”).

      I was just speculating (hoping) that with her House of B&W slills + old lady PTSD from the Waif bridge knifing, Arya might sense something was amiss if she encounters AARP Mel, and somehow recognizes her as the Red Witch.

      On a different note, am I wrong that Melisandre seems to be the only R’hillor priestess or priest who’s into burning people? Nobody else has been sacrificing innocents at the stake, or organizing beachfront infidel bonfires. Every other adherent of the Lord of Light (eg Beric, Thoros) seem to believe their god is benevolent, and does not require human sacrifice.

      (Then again, maybe Tyrion was right when he wondered “Why are all the gods such vicious c-nts?”)

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    111. Ten Bears: My bad. I wasn’t being precise when I referred to “the true seeing” instilled in Arya by Syrio. I

      Ah! Got it! Interestingly, in the books, we do see a “glamour” spell for which that could have been true: there, the individual has a magical “mask” but he/she has to actually act like the person being imitated. The illusion slips under a bad acting performance. Correspondingly, it should follow that the illusion would be more prone to slipping around people who could recognize the deception well, and Arya’s trainings (with Syrio, but also with the Faceless Men and everything that happened to her on the road) would make her pretty good at that.

      The catch would be that Arya should be good at recognizing that someone is not who she thinks it is, or that a person she didn’t think she knew was someone she knew. If, say, John F. Kennedy was doing a really bad Richard Nixon imitation, then it probably would not have helped Arya as she knows neither person.

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    112. Correction: not “see through senior citizen Mel’s glamour”, but to recognize senior citizen Mel as the Red Witch she previously “met” while with the Brotherhood

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    113. Wolfish: How Arya could easily recognize Melisandre’s true form:

      That actually would work, although better in a book than on TV. Canids (like most non-primates) are not visual creatures: and young Mel/old Mel would smell the same. (In the books, she has a distinct scent of cinnamon and other “warm” spices that Jon picks up; but I don’t know if Davos does, and that might be because Jon’s sense of smell is heightened by Ghost: and Jon is nowhere near as developed in his warging as is Arya.) Of course, it’s possible that whatever R’hllor does to youthen a person magically gets rid of “old-person smell”….. 😛

      Here is the big problem: the written medium still is the only one that can communicate odor! And that probably is just as well, as the “Scratch & Sniff” version of Game of Thrones would leave our houses smelling like rotten flesh and chamber pots for a week: i.e., just long enough to get stinky again the next week…..

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    114. P.S. Gotta give Arya some credit: In S6E3, Arya pegged Melisandre’s intentions for purchasing Gendry: “You’re a witch. You are going to hurt him.”

      Were it not for Davos, Gendry would’ve been Shireened by Melisandre.

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    115. Ten Bears: On a different note, am I wrong that Melisandre seems to be the only R’hillor priestess or priest who’s into burning people?

      Whoops! Forgot to reply to this. In the books, we see other Red Priests having Bald-Monkey BBQ. We read reference to it elsewhere. Those narrative lines have been cut: they come up in 3rd party PoV chapters.

      This is relevant because it does seem that Melisandre might be a “rogue agent” within the Red Church, or at least someone who has the highest-level clearance to enact her own tactics. The TV show alludes to it and the book makes it clear that there is a definite hierarchy in the Red Church, and they do have a church leader who acts as an executive. It’s not clear if he has “pope-like” authority a la the High Sparrow, or if he is just “first among equals” or what, but there is a definite head-of-church. However, Melisandre seems to be acting largely on her own.

      One thing that I always found interesting is that there is zero indication that R’hllor’s followers are granted any special means of communication. For example, it would have been utterly unsurprising if we had seen Melisandre communicating with the Red Pope (or Popette; er, Popess; um… screw it, this word will never be used in my lifetime) or other Red Priests through fire. But we never see that in the books, and on the show, she physically rides out to meet Thoros. Given that she never hesitates to use magic (or R’hllor’s power or whatever you want to call it), that is telling.

      This might indicate that R’hllor might want to keep its followers from being too organized. That way, it can direct one person to do one thing and another person to do something seemingly at odds with it (“Mel: go find The One Prince in… um… Westeros; Kinarva: go find the One Prince in… Meereen!”) in the hope that one of them gets the job done. The bald monkeys could screw that up if they could communicate with each other too well. Of course, it could reflect something else, even GRRM failing to imagine it!

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    116. Ten Bears: P.S. Gotta give Arya some credit: In S6E3, Arya pegged Melisandre’s intentions for purchasing Gendry: “You’re a witch. You are going to hurt him.”

      Yes, Arya is naturally very perceptive. I’m not sure that “warging” could explain that added insight. To some extent, it obviously is a lucky guess: but most “lucky guesses” reflect someone astutely narrowing down the plausible answers and luckily grabbing the right one.

      But this is also part of what will make it tough for Arya to “spare” Melisandre. If Arya is convinced that Mel did kill Gendry and has not seen that Gendry is still alive, then how can Mel convince Arya otherwise? Unless, of course, Arya also has skills at reading flames! 😀

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    117. Damn! Where is Hodor’s Bastard these days? He had a lot of interesting ideas about R’hllor, if I recall, and those would be relevant to any discussion of Melissandre….. I seem to recall that another poster did, but I’m blanking on the name: he/she didn’t have an icon, and I associate names with icons.

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    118. Wimsey,

      Hmmm. Well, Melisandre did call out Thoros for failing in his “mission” to convert Robert Baratheon to LoLism, so maybe she is plugged into the church hierarchy somehow.

      I found it strange – almost comical – that she’s got all of these great superpowers, yet her flames-divining interpretations are hit-or-miss. Poor Stannis…she really convinced him he was “The Lord’s Chosen.”

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    119. Ten Bears: I found it strange – almost comical – that she’s got all of these great superpowers, yet her flames-divining interpretations are hit-or-miss. Poor Stannis…she really convinced him he was “The Lord’s Chosen.”

      Ten Bears,

      She sure did a number on Stannis, that’s for true. I think Stannis kind of did it to himself though, too. He looked into the flames and got all mesmerized and such even though he later said that he had no idea what he was looking at. He let her convince him of all the hype that he was the chosen one even though there was no real evidence to support it.

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    120. The dragons will purify nonbelievers by the thousands, burning their sins and flesh away

      – “Kinvara”

      Red priests are human beings, and, like other human beings, they vary greatly

      – George R.R. Martin

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    121. Ten Bears: I found it strange – almost comical – that she’s got all of these great superpowers, yet her flames-divining interpretations are hit-or-miss.

      It really is not that comical. Basically, R’hllor shows snippets of the future, or of a possible future. However, there is no context. What Melissandre and other Red Priests get is equivalent to a single segment from teaser-trailer. They have to work out the rest of it on their own. Almost everything that Melissandre sees does come to pass: but what is happening in the movie at the time that the teased-scene occurs is different than what she guessed it would be.

      Mr Derp: She sure did a number on Stannis, that’s for true. I think Stannis kind of did it to himself though, too.

      Ah, yes: there also is the unraveling of prophecies. Stannis actually is a very good answer to “who fits these criteria?” Obviously, you have to take some of the prophecy points metaphorically: but that’s often true. Now, it turns out that Daenerys is an even better answer to “who fits these criteria?” However, one can only consider that if one knows enough about Daenerys to consider her. There is no indication that Daenerys is even on Mel’s radar (for whatever reasons).

      Now, Mel is guilty of confirmation bias: she thinks she’s spotted the answer, and that blinds her to other possibilities. However: that is very human, too. That written, Mel is someone who generally follows Occam’s Razor: she usually offers the simplest explanation for upcoming events. As I wrote above, we should always do that: when scientists talk about “the null hypothesis,” they are referring to the simplest possible explanation. (We also create the false impression that the null hypothesis is always wrong because we 90+% of our published papers show that it’s not sufficiently complex; however, if we published papers for all the times where it basically did work, then we would publish 10X more stuff!)

      At any rate, check back here in a month or so after the first teaser trailer comes out. You will read a wide variety of “this can only mean” interpretations of short scenes, most of which will be wildly wrong. I’d wager that Mel does better at working out what teaser trailers mean than do most fans! 😛

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    122. Mr Derp,

      Unfortunately for Stannis, he was “mesmerized” as soon as Mel opened her robe. What he saw was all the “evidence” he needed to buy into her prognostications.

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    123. Ten Bears: What he saw was all the “evidence” he needed to buy into her prognostications.

      Ah, yeah, that is another sort of “confirmation” bias to which most men (and probably most women) have fallen at one point or another….

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    124. Wimsey,

      I was operating on the assumption that whatever glamour enables Melisandre to fool the vast majority of people around her is olfactory as well as visual. After all, even humans can detect the distinctive “old person smell,” so it would make no sense for a beautiful youngish woman to smell like… well, I don’t want to think about what old people might have smelled like in medieval times. There would be no reason for such a glamour to be directed against animals, though—unless, of course, said animals were either direwolves or dragons. 😉

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    125. The Sybian,

      To reply very briefly to your post, my thought on the discrepancies between the appearances of Red Priests and Red Priestesses is a very simple one: carrot-and-stick approach. Red Priests may be charged with preaching about one will lose if one does not accept the “truth” about Rh’llor, and serve as conduits for his judgments in the realm of men (as Thoros does). Red Priestesses, in contrast, may be charged with preaching about one will gain if one accepts that “truth”—and are alluring, or present themselves as such through the use of glamour, in order to draw in would-be believers. I could be wrong here (I haven’t read any of GRRM’s background histories), but this may be one area where Melisandre, like so many other women in ASoIaF, has “gone rogue”—by assuming powers or duties normally reserved for priests, not priestesses.

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    126. Wolfish,

      Now you’ve got me thinking (* dons tinfoil hat*) that Mel – who sensed Jon had royal blood and declared him The Prince that was Promised even before his coronation as King in the North – will somehow sense that Arya has “king’s blood” in her veins as King Jon’s sister/cousin.

      If that gets her itchy firebug finger twitching (we know how she considers roasting princesses to be the prime solution to a problem), that’d be the perfect time for Nymeria to make her grand entrance and make a meal out of Mel.

      Okay. FanFic over.

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    127. singedbylife,

      Secondary characters are main characters just not as big as the others, like Brienne and Jorah. Then there are third tier characters and fourth tier characters etc. In some seasons even Jorah has been in it more than Tyrion. The reason he isn’t considered in the top tier is because the actor doesn’t get payed like the rest aka Lena, Nikolaj, Peter, Emilia, Kit. Maisie and Sophie also get payed more. Also Theon has only had POV chapters in two books. 14 chapters so far, he has at least one in the new book unlike Arya who doesn’t have the most chapters out of everyone but still has 33 POV chapters. So for book readers he definitely isn’t the first tier of main characters but he still is a main character, if that makes sense. I really like what the show has done with him and how he feels more integrated into the main story than he did in the books, Alfie has really done amazingly with him and he is seriously underated.

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    128. Mel,

      Yeah, he is amazing, that Alfie. 🙂

      However, when I’m talking main characters or big characters, I’m only contemplating the show and Theon is not at all in the same (minor) league as Brienne, Jorah or Davos for instance. Check out Varys, and Bronn too. Interesting, right?

      NB: I took below screen time data from user r-ex on tumblr who rightly refers to Theon as one of the BIG EIGHT:

      “THE BIG EIGHT (>150 minutes):

      1. Tyrion Lannister (54 episodes): 293.5 minutes
      2. Jon Snow (49 episodes): 268.25 minutes
      3. Daenerys Targaryen (49 episodes): 221.5 minutes
      4. Cersei Lannister (52 episodes): 201.75 minutes
      5. Sansa Stark (47 episodes): 199.5 minutes
      6. Arya Stark (47 episodes): 189.25 minutes
      “7. Theon Greyjoy (39 episodes): 172.75 minutes
      8. Jaime Lannister (43 episodes): 162.5 minutes

      There follows a substantial gap of more than 40 minutes in screen time between Jaime and the next character, Sam.

      THE MAJOR PLAYERS (60-120 minutes):

      9. Samwell Tarly (38 episodes): 121.75 minutes
      10. Jorah Mormont (42 episodes): 117.5 minutes
      11. Petyr Baelish (34 episodes): 102.25 minutes
      12. Eddard Stark (9 episodes): 92.5 minutes
      13/14. Brienne Tarth (32 episodes): 89.5 minutes
      13/14. Davos Seaworth (29 episodes): 89.5 minutes
      15. Bran Stark (30 episodes): 86 minutes
      16. Catelyn Stark (25 episodes): 82.75 minutes
      17. Varys (35 episodes): 81.75 minutes
      18. Tywin Lannister (27 episodes): 78.25 minutes
      19. Margaery Tyrell (26 episodes): 78 minutes
      20. Robb Stark (21 episodes): 77.75 minutes
      21. Stannis Baratheon (24 episodes): 73.25 minutes
      22. Sandor Clegane (29 episodes): 72.75 minutes
      23. Joffrey Baratheon (26 episodes): 70.25 minutes
      24. Ramsay Bolton (19 episodes): 66 minutes
      25. Mellisandre (26 episodes): 65.75 minutes
      26. Bronn (29 episodes): 64 minutes

      As you can see, Theon’s screen time is quite substantial compared to those referred to as “Major players” and whom you would call “secondary”. There is literally nothing secondary about him.

      I am quite certain that Theon’s role is and will be more crucial than most expect.

      By the way, how do we know what the actors get paid? I know there was a story about some of the actors getting a raise and that fans and media decided to call them main characters, but who is to say what those who weren’t mentioned actually get paid? Is there a list of their salaries somewhere?

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    129. Wolfish: carrot-and-stick approach

      Sounds reasonable – could very well be so. Although in the books the 4 prominent red priests display a variety of abilities (Melisandre being the one casting illusion spells), the showrunners decided to expand on the priestesses and present Melisandre as less of a rogue so far. Perhaps there’s an elite inner circle within the religion (shadowbinders?), or another subplot of female empowerment. If all the priestesses wearing ruby necklaces are revealed or implied to be ancient crones, would that weaken Melisandre’s character and story arc? Possibly, depending on the delivery.
      All this vaguely reminds me of the books’ version of the Undying Ones.

      whatever glamour enables Melisandre to fool the vast majority of people around her is olfactory as well as visual

      Not only this, but also deceiving all five senses. Which could be a play on one of the definitions of reality, as what is perceived with the use of these five senses.
      The third bullet in the Notes section “confirms” your assessment:
      http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/wiki/The_Red_Woman

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    130. Wolfish: I was operating on the assumption that whatever glamour enables Melisandre to fool the vast majority of people around her is olfactory as well as visual.

      Ah, but that still does not explain why she is not dead, or why she is capable of strenuous physical activities. Again, always go with the simplest explanation: that R’hllor is actually making her young with a “Dorian Gray” amulet explains everything. “Glamours” of any sort only explain part of what is happening.

      Ultimately, whatever is happening to Mel has no parallel in the book. For example, the one glamour that we do read in the books (and which is associated with R’hllor) is nowhere near this potent: if the glamoured person does not act the part, then the glamour slips. So, we cannot invoke a “known” spell that can fool all of the sense, or that can fool physical reality. We also cannot invoke a “known” spell that is not imitation based on template: and here we need something keeps someone looking the same, not looking like the template.

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    131. Mel: Secondary characters are main characters just not as big as the others, like Brienne and Jorah.

      Not really: “main characters” usually is reserved for just protagonists. Of course, Brienne herself is a minor protagonist. Jorah, however, is only a secondary character. Prominence correlates with this, but there are other factors. For comparison, despite how prominent Hermione, Ron & Hagrid are in the Harry Potter series, they are all still secondary characters. Secondary characters obviously are important to stories, but for affecting how the main character (the Daenerys or Harry) progresses rather than for their own progression.

      When you have a multiprotagonist story (or series of stories) like SoI&F, then there are distinctions among protagonists, too: but I never remember what the words or terms for those are. However, if this were a high school / secondary school literature exam, then we’d be supposed to remember the terms for protagonists like the “Big Five” in SoI&F and more minor ones like Jamie or Davos. There definitely are faux protagonists in this series, too: Ned Stark is a classic example of one of those. However, that’s the one such term that I remember all of these (many!) years later. OK, ahem, decades later…. 🙁

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    132. We come across my brother, maybe we can both cross a name off our list.

      – Sandor “the Hound” Clegane to Arya (season 4, episode 5, “First of His Name”)

      This is an outcome I’d definitely like to see, and hope this is the line foreshadowing it. During the (already legendary) Cleganebowl, Sandor is completely overpowered by Gregor, but Arya steps in and, despite using Needle and water dancing, is eventually effective against the most heavily armored opponent in the Known World. Then Sandor rejoins the fight and finishes his brother off, something reminiscent of how Meriadoc Brandybuck and Éowyn of Rohan slew the Witch-King of Angmar in synergy, in Tolkien’s The Return of the King.

      If Melisandre is to be killed, it should be done either by fire or by Davos, in terms of buildup and payoff. Same as Jaime killing Cersei would make for the most epic and satisfying outcome, as I see it.
      But if any of these three (fanfiction) events should occur, it should be during the final season.

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    133. Wimsey,
      I guess this only leaves book-Melisandre, unless I’m misinterpreting Benioff & Weiss or they are lying. And I’ve no reason to believe it will be any different in the books.

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    134. I would be devastated if any of the main crew doesn’t make it to season 8.
      Cersei, Jaime, Tyrion, Dany, Jon, Arya, Sansa, and Bran will hopefully all make it through alive.

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    135. The Hound is safe, I’m sure. At least for next season. He couldn’t have been brought back to be killed in such short time. He needs to meet Arya again, maybe even Sansa.
      I’m worried about Brienne. Her dying without seeing Jaime again would break my heart. I hope waving to each other means “till we meet again”. If she died next to him or with him it wouldn’t be much better. But her fate is still linked to Jaime’s, I think.

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    136. Shy Lady Dragon:

      I’m worried about Brienne. Her dying without seeing Jaime again would break my heart. I hope waving to each other means “till we meet again”. If she died next to him or with him it wouldn’t be much better. But her fate is still linked to Jaime’s, I think.

      I really want them to meet again! When Jaime spoke to Bronn about dying in the arms of the woman he loves, it was Brienne that immediately jumped to my mind and not Cersei. Oathkeeper has had two owners – Jaime (though for a very short time!) and Brienne; I feel that Oathkeeper (forged from Ice) and BOTH its owners will be important in the protection of the Stark family. For me, their fates are linked. They have to meet again! Please?

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    137. Shy Lady Dragon:

      I also think Jaime will die in Brienne’s arms and I pray to the Old Gods and New to let them enjoy a little bit of happiness first.

      Definitely. I want Jaime to find some sort of happiness – even if it is temporary – away from Cersei’s clutches. And Brienne most definitely falls into the category of characters who deserve some happiness.

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    138. Ten Bears,

      The Sybian,

      Wimsey,

      Interesting thoughts all, and more for me to chew on!

      The Sybian,

      As much as I want the Mountain to die (or, better stated, permanently die), I would hate to see him killed by Sandor. As I’ve written in other posts, Sandor is tortured enough by many of his past deeds, and Gregor’s death, justified as it would be, would still be kinslaying… in the Westerosi mind, one of the worst crimes one can commit. I would find it far more satisfying for Arya to kill the Mountain, not for herself but for Sandor.

      On that note, imho both Melisandre and the Mountain should meet their respective ends through fire.

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