Game of Thrones Post-Mortem of “The Queen’s Justice”

Daenerys Targaryen on Game of Thrones

Last night on Game of Thrones there was a little something for everyone. As the title “The Queen’s Justice” implies, Cersei finally metes out her own (cruel) brand of justice and continues to reign supreme in Westeros – for now – while another queen, Daenerys, struggles to make a new ally. In a loaded episode complete with action, intrigue, vengeance, and reunions, we also witnessed a highly anticipated meeting between “ice and fire.” It’s time to break down everything that happened with some in-depth interviews and videos, so let’s take a look, shall we?

Jon Snow meets Daenerys The Queen's Justice

Entertainment Weekly gives us the usual round of cast interviews, starting with that historic meeting between Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow. According to Kit Harington, “I predicted, like everyone, they would meet this season, but I don’t think I predicted it quite as quickly. But then again, you’ve got to take yourself out of the mindset of the viewer. As far as Jon knows, he’s just meeting this queen he’s heard of and trying to negotiate with her – he’s not meeting Daenerys, who the audience has been watching for so many years. That helps with the surprise of it.”

What do the actors have to say about their characters’ initial impressions of each other? Harington explains, “[Jon] walks into the room and doesn’t expect to see such a beautiful young woman of similar age to him. Any young man’s reaction is going to be, ‘Okay…’ but he puts that aside, because he has to.” Emilia Clarke adds, “It was fun to play – [Daenerys] doesn’t like him and she doesn’t believe him.”

Fans have long wondered how the two characters would react to each other, and bringing together two strong-willed rulers who both believe they are doing what’s right for the realm was bound to cause friction. “It was really fun to watch that scene and I thought they did a great job,” remarks showrunner David Benioff. “There isn’t instant chemistry. He’s annoying and she’s annoying and they have to figure out how to make peace.” Hopefully they’ll figure it out soon, as things are looking dire for both of them.

Read the rest at EW.

Tyrene and Ellaria Sand The Queen's Justice

EW also brings us Indira Varma’s reaction to the “justice” her character, Ellaria Sand, receives at Cersei’s hand. Varma knew the end was coming, as she says, “Obviously there’s lots of trimming going on. It’s all coming to a head and you have to get rid of less important characters that the audience hasn’t had the chance to invest in as much. So I was expecting it. I wasn’t heartbroken. And I was like, ‘As long as I die on screen…’ and they were like ‘Yeah!’ But of course I don’t die on screen. I stay alive, I’m just not going to reappear. I think it’s really clever.”

The scene was as difficult and gut-wrenching to watch as it was intriguing. Varma admits it was just as tough for the actors, but that she enjoyed the way it was portrayed. “It’s really dark. What I love about this scene is you’re reading it and from one sentence to the next you don’t know what’s going to happen – how Cersei is going to treat her victim.” She adds, “It was hard work. A lot of blood snot and sweat and tears. Myself and Rosabell had to be shackled. They very kindly put some felt inside the handcuffs so we didn’t get bruised and battered – though we ended up doing that anyway because your acting takes over…At the end of the day I was like, ‘I’m stuck! I need somebody to help me!’ and they had to cut me out of them. All in a day’s work.

Varma gives some additional insight over at Making Game of Thrones, explaining Ellaria’s mindset as she is presented as Cersei’s gift. “I think there’s the humiliation of being caught [by Euron]…she’s absolutely gutted. Her dream was to meet Cersei head-to-head and battle it out as equals. When you’re chained up and gagged, that is not meeting someone in an equal way. So that in itself is horrendous. Then seeing the Mountain, oh my God – it’s utter shock, and it brings it all back. It’s sorrow at that point, and disbelief. She feels humiliated.”

Did Ellaria anticipate what kind of punishment Cersei had in store for them? “Poor Ellaria, I don’t think she was expecting that. She thinks of herself as the poison queen,” Varma confesses. “The idea that Cersei had figured out what her poison was – it’s the ultimate humiliation. And then to watch her lovely daughter die… It’s hell, awful, beyond your nightmares.” Despite the retribution, Varma doesn’t believe Ellaria regrets her hand in Myrcella’s death. “If you’re going to kill me and my daughter, at least I’ve done that to you. She wants to tear Cersei down, one family member at a time,” she says. “I don’t think she would try and apologize for that in order to win back her daughter. It’s too late. Too much blood has been shed.”

For more, head over to EW and Making Game of Thrones.

bran sansa

Fans have been hoping to see more Stark reunions ever since Jon and Sansa came together last season, but Bran’s homecoming wasn’t quite what we expected. “I think it’s a major shock for Sansa,” Isaac Hempstead Wright explains to EW. “She’s lost her brother once before when he fell out of that tower, and now Bran’s back but she loses him all over again. All the Starks have changed so much. Arya is like this ninja assassin. Sansa has been held captive by these tyrannical men and had to become politically cunning herself. But Bran is now this tree-raven-magic thing.”

Wright also shares his understanding of Bran’s new abilities and how they have affected him. “It’s like imagining you have all of space and time in your head. Bran is existing in thousands of planes of existence at any one time. So it’s quite difficult for Bran to have any kind of semblance of personality anymore because he’s really like a giant computer.” Adds showrunner D.B. Weiss, “One of the things we loved about Game of Thrones from the very first book is it’s not a world where magic is the primary driver of the story, it’s a world where human psychology and behavior and desire are drivers of the story…So with Bran, ideally you want to use him in a way that adds to the story and enriches the story and not in a way that’s a magic bullet to conveniently deal with things that you haven’t come up with a better way to deal with.”

Since Bran’s training was interrupted when the White Walkers attacked the Three Eyed Raven’s cave, he is still struggling to comprehend the knowledge that he’s gained. “There was supposed to be more time to learn what he needed to know and they ran out of time,” David Benioff explains. “Now Bran the Broken is broken in more ways than one. He’s got serious challenges dealing with all the stuff happening in his mind and that prevents him becoming this omniscient character.”

Hempstead Wright agrees with Benioff’s assessment. “Bran really at this stage is not the Three-Eyed Raven. He’s got the title but hasn’t had thousands of years of sitting in a cave looking through time,” he says. “Somebody put in front of him a massive encyclopedia of all of time and he’s only opened page one. He can look stuff up but doesn’t have this all-knowing all-seeing capability just yet.”

Check out the full interview at EW.

Jaime Olenna the end

Finally, the Game of Thrones showrunners and cast member Nikolaj Coster Waldau talk to EW about the heartbreaking (yet satisfying) end for Lady Olenna Tyrell. “When we initially cast Diana Rigg, we met with Nina Gold, our legendary casting director, and we had tea with her,” David Benioff says. “Dames don’t audition for you, you audition for them. And we loved her. She was funny, she was bawdy, she was everything we wanted for that character. We’ve been very lucky to write for these legendary actors — like Diana Rigg. Max Von Sydow, Jim Broadbent, and Charles Dance – people who have been doing it for so long and are so frickin’ good at what they do. She’s one of the best in the world and [Olenna’s final scene] is one of my favorites in the whole season. She really brought it.”

D.B. Weiss agrees. “What I love about the way she plays the scene is that even though you leave the scene knowing she’s soon going to be dead shortly after you cut to black you still feel like she won. She’s probably the only character to win her own death scene.” Olenna’s confession to the murder of Joffrey clearly rattled Jaime and gave her the opportunity to deliver a final gut punch to the Lannisters before her demise.

Despite the discomfort of his character during the scene, Coster Waldau has nothing but praise for how it was portrayed. “Olenna is like Cersei in so many ways, but just from our point of view she’s been on the ‘good’ side,” he admits. “And I just love how she goes out. She goes out with bite. She’s never going to beg. She did an amazing job. It was fun to be there and when we wrapped the showrunners came around and said a few words. She’s had a huge impact on the series.” The Queen of Thorns may be gone, but she will never be forgotten.

Go to EW for the rest.


This week’s “Inside the Episode” brings us D.B. Weiss and David Benioff’s thoughts on Jon meeting Daenerys, the Lannisters’ motivations and strategy, and Olenna’s death.

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Lena Headey, Indira Varma, and Rosabell Laurenti Sellers share their insight into Cersei’s punishment of Ellaria and Tyene Sand.

Last but not least, Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington provide more background to the meeting of fire and ice.

145 responses

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    1. HODOR!

      First time for everything lol.

      PS – great post-mortem. Awesome episode. Still so psyched.

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    2. Kosten,

      I agree. I was kind of nit-picky on my first watch, but didn’t really appreciate it until the second time around. It was phenomenal.

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    3. I really enjoyed this episode. I’m incredibly happy that D&D sought out a well-grounded approach to the long awaited Dany and Jon meeting. Seeing two indomitable wills clash and lore be exchanged was satisfying.

      Additionally, seeing Sansa govern the North actually felt organic. I assumed it would feel contrived seeing her in a position of power and ordering around Maesters and workers. But at this point it feels as though she’s learned enough and earned that honor.

      And lastly, Olenna’s death monologue was one for the books. It was one of the most tragically poetic endings to a character i’ve ever seen in television. The QoT will be missed.

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    4. My brain is still reeling from this episode 🙂 Great post-mortem Vanessa!

      “I stay alive, I’m just not going to reappear. I think it’s really clever.” -Indira Varma.

      No, Indira. I’ve already come up with multiple scenarios in which you both survive and go on to lead the Dornish forces.

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    5. This episode was just so good.The Jon/Dany meeting was gold.It was long,comedic,ironic,they booth stood their ground.Love that the two of them are like who the fuck are you then come Tyrion and Davos being like no,no think of the parallels lol.I loved Tyrion in this episode.Yes I know he he is tanking the conquest but I love his chemistry with both Dany and Jon.It’s charming and easy.

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    6. They did Dany/Tyrion/Jon meetings really well. I think we had more than 30 minutes of scenes at Dragosntone. And it paid off.

      And something around 15-20 minutes of KL.

      I really love the structure of this season. They have more time for details than they ever had since S1.

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    7. Jenny: I loved Tyrion in this episode.Yes I know he he is tanking the conquest but I love his chemistry with both Dany and Jon.It’s charming and easy.

      Yep, Tyrion is definitely the glue that’s going to keep them together long enough to form the necessary bond and stick together. It should end up being one of the most important things he does in the entire series, if not the most important. Melisandre may have instigated the idea of meeting, but without Tyrion things would have gone bad pretty quickly. It’s going to be fun watching J & D become not just allies but friends as well… I assume that’s where it will go.

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    8. What does everyone think about olenna confessing to Joffreys murder? This basically clears Tyrions name, will this change anything about Cerseis feelings towards him? Or maybe Jaimes?

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    9. I love how it’s not rainbows and butterflies with Bran and that they’re recognizing things can’t possibly go back to normal for the Stark kids (especially for Bran).

      Too much has happened to them and they’ve all grown independently into very different people. That’s just the kind of realism I was afraid the show would give up in favor of pandering to the fans’ requests for a perfectly happy Stark reunion and comeback.

      I also appreciated Littlefinger pointing out that the game is never really over, even with the threat of the WWs. I find it hard to articulate what exactly enthralled me about those lines but I guess it just felt like an acknowledgement of GoT’s real charm.

      You know, I can be pretty critical but I give credit where credit is due. And kudos, writers, your work was wonderful here.
      The fact that the episode depicting the demise of one of my favourite characters (and houses, really) is at the same one of my all-time favourite GoT episodes is proof of it.

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    10. Rachel: What does everyone think about olenna confessing to Joffreys murder? This basically clears Tyrions name, will this change anything about Cerseis feelings towards him? Or maybe Jaimes?

      I loved it. Didn’t see it coming.

      Cercei has always dismissed Tyrion and I doubt that changes. Jaime (sort of) believed in his innocence but then turned against him when he murdered Tywin. My guess is the knowledge is just one more chink in Jaime’s armor that makes him question who he is. I also suspect it will complicate his feelings for Tyrion when they meet again. Jaime will have to acknowledge the injustice done to Tyrion.

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    11. Meera is a baddass.

      She fulfilled her mission, had to kill her own brother to spare him, killed a white walker and was loyal to Bran until the very end.

      She deserves to go home, have a hot bath and a decent meal after all this.

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    12. This episode just gets better on rewatches.

      Although we are blurring timelines, and picking up the pace, we’ve still not lost the richness of the storytelling or the character moments…
      And this episode featured many of the best character moments in the entire series…

      And I also appreciated that Jon and Dany’s first meeting played out in the way it did… it would’ve been tempting to make it a bit more fan servicy, but both characters acted exactly how they should have.

      And then….
      Dame Diana Rigg…. steals the episode, the season, and the series….

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    13. Now that Jaime knows Tyrion didn’t kill Joffrey, he will tell that to Cersei. Does it change Cersei’s hate for Tyrion? Probably not, but her unjustified hatred towards Tyrion could be the final straw that breaks Jaime and Cersei apart.

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    14. Though I liked the first two episodes well enough, this was the one where I settled in with a smile saying, “Yeah, this is the Game of Thrones I remember.” I was amazed at the way Cersei handled herself with Tycho. She even got that “business only” grouch to smile, an accomplishment in itself. “Your father’s daughter.” Meant as a compliment, maybe a foreshadowing.

      During the early off-season on this site, when everyone was sure that Jaime was glaring at her in the throne room and would have a murderous fit because of the wildfire, I said, nope, he’s not going to kill her, or leave her, or have a fit. He will admire her for showing their enemies what Lannisters do to enemies. Not only that, what if she shows some skill at ruling? I was promptly shot down. Ha.

      The scene with Olenna was moving, and it must have affected me more than I realized. I keep replaying it in my head. She was quiet and calm, but she still caused major damage to Jaime’s ego. And hearing her call Joffrey a cunt was hilarious. It seemed like a grand word coming from her mouth. Dame Diana can do wonders with even the sparest of dialog. When she is given exceptional writing, history is made. She was awesome. I commend her swan song.

      This episode was Tyrion’s welcome back, and made up for him having no lines in ep 2. Peter was vintage Tyrion here, with his sage advice, and new advice meant to sound sage. The look on his face when he learned of Yara, Ellaria and Tyene, and all those ships was touching – he can’t believe he messed up, he knows he and his advice failed Dany. He’s going to be heartbroken when he finds out about Casterly Rock and Olenna, and knows that Cersei outsmarted him. That will hurt him even more than Dany’s disappointment in him, I think.

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    15. Kosten:
      This episode was insanely good. I loved every damn bit of it, I really did.

      Agreed.
      Mad respect to the show runners for not disappointing a lot of viewers over the very long-awaited Jon-Daenerys meeting scene. Add to that many others, like Olenna’s death scene, the respect and friendship between Jorah and Sam, Tyrion and Jon’s interactions, Davos back at a much-changed Dragonstone, Varys and Mel, Sansa’s strong showing at Winterfell, and the realism of Bran’s reunion with a sibling, and we have an awesome episode.

      Speaking of Varys and Mel, I wonder if what Kinvara had told him last season about the Voice that spoke to him from the fire the day he was castrated, had been something about his death. Then Mel too talked about his death in Westeros. I get the feeling that his death will come through the Great Other, Ice.

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    16. Rachel:
      What does everyone think about olenna confessing to Joffreys murder?This basically clears Tyrions name, will this change anything about Cerseis feelings towards him?Or maybe Jaimes?

      I think that it will change Jaime’s feelings to some degree, because he never really wanted to hate his little brother. On a certain level he will feel relief (and guilt); on another he will have to face the reality that Cersei’s opinion of Tyrion is so carved in stone that she will just brush off the news as irrelevant (except to wish that she had insisted on a more excruciating type of poison). Another nail in the coffin of his blind love for his sister.

      I think he will still hold Tywin’s murder against Tyrion, but he may see that in a new light when he perceives Tyrion as a desperate innocent victim of a sham trial. He may even admit that there were times when he wanted to kill Tywin himself!

      Cersei’s hatred for Tyrion goes far beyond any sort of rationality. She is incapable of any empathy toward him – not even when he was an infant.

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    17. Great episode!

      I enjoyed Elaria and Yara’s playfulness with each other last week and hoped they might both make it…I guess they won’t.

      Euron has stranded the Unsullied at Casterly Rock with his 1000 bullships. Will they really have to march back over land as Jaime intended? So Tyrion’s clever plans have gone to hell. Wait ’till Dany finds out; she’ll rue the day she listened to the drunk Lannister. He was the one who told her to leave Daario behind, he was the one who made Dany into sheep by harping on ‘ashes’ even though he happily incinerated Stannis’ fleet in Blackwater Bay with wildfire.

      I think Tyrion will betray Dany to save his dumbass brother, Jaime…and his obsession about her not using dragons is really to protect Jaime…

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    18. Vincent Stark: She deserves to go home, have a hot bath and a decent meal after all this.

      She should be treated like royalty by the Starks. I hope that one scene of her standing by Bran’s side at the gates of Winterfell, looking tired to death, won’t be her last in the series. I would hate for her to just disappear. There must be a reason why her father, Howland Reed, was showcased at the TOJ, and why Meera mentioned his name at the gates of Castle Black. But we probably won’t see her until season 8, which seems a very long way away right now.

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    19. Anon: I think Tyrion will betray Dany to save his dumbass brother, Jaime…and his obsession about her not using dragons is really to protect Jaime…

      It truly, truly pains me to admit this, but I have also been thinking along these lines. I too think that Tyrion’s love for his brother, and also his sister (though he may protest outwardly that he hates her!) will lead him along a path that will be the total opposite of looking after Daenerys’ or the realm’s interests. That is, deep within, perhaps unknown to even himself, he still cares very deeply for his family, and this is what will lead to the betrayal.

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    20. That ending really was one the best. I’m so sad to see Olenna go but she went out in such an amazing way. On another note I’m looking forward to seeing if/how Bran tells Jon about his parents and how it effects his views on Dany.

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    21. Thronetender: She should be treated like royalty by the Starks. I hope that one scene of her standing by Bran’s side at the gates of Winterfell, looking tired to death, won’t be her last in the series. I would hate for her to just disappear. There must be a reason why her father, Howland Reed, was showcased at the TOJ, and why Meera mentioned his name at the gates of Castle Black. But we probably won’t see her until season 8, which seems a very long way away right now.

      I don’t think so, Sansa will want answers and Bran obviously can’t really explain himself so it seems obvious Meera is the next best person to ask.

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    22. Since I don’t think this ends with both Jon and Dany ruling, I believe that either because of Daenerys’ death or some other reason, in my opinion, Tyrion is going to flip to Jon Snow by the end of this story. Their scene where Jon asks for advice and Tyrion gives it to him did nothing to lessen my suspicions of this. It screamed King and his Hand to me.

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    23. Kay,

      It truly, truly pains me to admit this, but I have also been thinking along these lines. I too think that Tyrion’s love for his brother, and also his sister (though he may protest outwardly that he hates her!) will lead him along a path that will be the total opposite of looking after Daenerys’ or the realm’s interests. That is, deep within, perhaps unknown to even himself, he still cares very deeply for his family, and this is what will lead to the betrayal.

      Yes..yes, his sister too. Tyrion drank a whole vat of Lannister kool-aid. He’s a lion through and through, or so he thinks. I don’t know why Dany likes and trusts him so much. Maybe the theory that he’s not really a Lannister has something to do with it. Which will make any betrayal doubly devastating to both of them.

      We shall see… 🙂

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    24. Thronetender: This episode was Tyrion’s welcome back, and made up for him having no lines in ep 2.

      ?? He had several lines in the second episode. Opening scene with Daenerys & Varys into Melisandre scene. War council scene

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    25. Rachel,

      What you said. The implications of Olenna’s confession are huge. Had Cersei, with Tywin’s collusion, not railroaded Tyrion for a regicide he did not commit,

      a. it would never have come to trial by battle, Oberyn would not have been killed by the Mountain (at least, not in those circumstances), Ellaria would neither have sent the threat to Cersei that brought Jaime to Dorne, nor murdered Myrcella, nor, for that matter, murdered Doran and Trystane and taken control of Dorne. And probably the Mountain would either be altogether alive, or more covertly poisoned and just dead-dead.

      b. Jaime would never have had to arrange for Tyrion to escape the black cells to avoid execution, and Tyrion would not have had occasion to kill Tywin (or Shae), and Jaime would be off the hook for feeling responsible for their father’s death.

      c. Tyrion would not have fled to Essos and ended up Danaerys’ Hand. For that matter, Varys, Ellaria, and Olenna may not have had the opportunity to join Team Targaryen. And, while we’re at it, Jorah would never have gotten greyscale in the first place.

      d. Without Tywin dead and Tyrion dishonored, Cersei would not have had the freedom to make the spectacularly bad decisions that ultimately led to the power of the Faith Militant, her own walk of shame, blowing up the Sept prevent her own certain death sentence pending a trial by the Faith, Tommen’s suicide, and her coup.

      e. Also: had it actually come to light that Olenna murdered Joffrey, it would have been leveraged to completely disgrace the Tyrells, even attaint them, remove them from power, eliminate any chance of Margaery marrying Tommen and becoming any kind of rival for Cersei. To be fair, it doesn’t seem likely Olenna’s role would have come to light, but it might have had some chance at least, had it not been for Cersei’s instant and absolute determination to blame Tyrion for something he did not do.

      And now Jaime and Cersei get to process all that. Brava, Lady Olenna!

      Other stuff:

      -25 for Sansa’s snark to Littlefinger about Cersei murdering her mother, father, and brother. Cersei actually had nothing to do with any of these murders (except to celebrate the first and last). She even tried to prevent Joffrey from executing Ned. Littlefinger himself, however…

      It’s interesting that Jaime “learns from his mistake” with Robb, but does not learn from one of Robb’s mistakes (probably his second-biggest, after marrying someone who was not a Frey): giving up his home. It’s stressed more in the books than in the show, but the King Who Lost the North was a thing, and it may be that giving up Casterly Rock may come back to haunt Jaime (it might not, though; J’s exposition to Olenna may have basically functioned to gloss right over that eventuality).

      Since they don’t know how long it will take Tyene to die, it’s still remotely possible that Bronn can rescue his girl. 🙂

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    26. Anon:
      Great episode!

      I enjoyed Elaria and Yara’s playfulness with each other last week and hoped they might both make it…I guess they won’t.

      Euron has stranded the Unsullied at Casterly Rock with his 1000 bullships. Will they really have to march back over land as Jaime intended?So Tyrion’s clever plans have gone to hell. Wait ’till Dany finds out; she’ll rue the day she listened to the drunk Lannister. He was the one who told her to leave Daario behind, he was the one who made Dany into sheep by harping on ‘ashes’ even though he happily incinerated Stannis’ fleet in Blackwater Bay with wildfire.

      I think Tyrion will betray Dany to save his dumbass brother, Jaime…and his obsession about her not using dragons is really to protect Jaime…

      What Cersei did with wildfyre and what Tyrion did with it are not at all similar. Tyrion used it as a weapon in a real battle. No innocent civilians were harmed with it, only soldiers and sailors. Cersei took out a large number of innocent people by blowing up the Sept. Completely different. Cersei’s acts are akin to what the Mad King wanted to do…an act Jaime protested and prevented.

      Also, I highly doubt Tyrion is going to betray Dany in favor of his brother and/or sister. Dany may relieve him of his duties, especially if Jorah successfully makes his way back to her. But Tyrion isn’t that kind of person even if he still admires his brother.

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    27. Oh crap. I just watched the preview of next week’s episode and Dany says “Enough with the clever plans!”

      …gee, I wonder who she’s talking to…

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    28. ramses:
      Kay,

      Anon,

      I don’t think there is enough time left to complicate Tyrion’s story line with betraying Daeny. At least in the show.

      There’s that and that everyone has expected for years that Jaime will be the one to “betray” Cersei. Betray as in leave her, or be the valonqar that kills her. As the story is unfolding that does look more likely.

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    29. Thronetender: During the early off-season on this site, when everyone was sure that Jaime was glaring at her in the throne room and would have a murderous fit because of the wildfire, I said, nope, he’s not going to kill her, or leave her, or have a fit. He will admire her for showing their enemies what Lannisters do to enemies. Not only that, what if she shows some skill at ruling? I was promptly shot down. Ha.

      Well, not yet, but he’s obviously quite conflicted. He’s fallen back into his old habits, the old routine, for sure. But you can tell there are thoughts and doubts dancing around in the back of his mind just by some of the looks he’s given Cersei this season. He even initially tried to rebuff Cersei’s advances in this episode. He’s definitely torn and while he may be going through the motions as if he was still 100% in Cersei’s corner, mentally and emotionally he’s not.

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    30. Anon,

      Yeah, I didn’t understand Tyrion’s reasoning at all. Why Casterly Rock? Tyrion, of all people, know that there are no Lannisters ruling there, and certainly no gold or riches. What on earth was THAT going to get Dany? And why not send out some spies? With Cersei sending the navy after Yara and the unsullied, and the army after Olenna, it was the PERFECT time to invade King’s Landing — and she wouldn’t even need dragons to do it. It was sitting there for the taking. So frustrating.

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    31. I somehow can’t wrap my head around Euron being in three places at once (ie Casterly Rock, King’s Landing and whereever between the latter and Dragonstone he annihilated the first half of Daenerys’ Fleet). That feels like a deus ex machina solution to a problem, ie: how to make Cersei look like a force to be reckond with at least for now? And how do Varys’ little birds provide sometimes improbable details on interactions, yet at other times miss a whole Lannister army marching for High Garden?
      Lastly: I don’t care how inept Bran is supposed to be at being the three eyed magical bullet, is it not incredibly inconsiderate (to use a kind word) to try to explain your gift to your own sister by jollily dangling her rape in front of her? Literally any other way would have done better, and most of them just fine, actually?
      I really hope the quality of the season will pick up from here.

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    32. Tamwell Sarly,

      Tyrion is a dick.

      Furthermore, I’m comparing what Tyrion did at Blackwater Bay and what Dany – potentially – could do to King’s Landing. Nobody said Dany has to burn civilians. She could attack the Red Keep alone, which is precisely what I think Tyrion is trying to prevent her doing. So, in other words, he’s not worried about the people, as he claims, he’s worried about his siblings. It’s why his sphincter goes into spasm every time he sees the dragons.

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    33. Rachel,

      I don’t think it will change Cersei’s hatred at all. It will probably change Jaime’s feelings, though (because plot convenience), although I don’t think Jaime really believed Tyrion did it? Because why would he have set him free in the first place. And then Tyrion DID kill Tywin, and that isn’t yet excused. We (the audience) know Tywin just wanted Tyrion to die or go to the wall, but really, what else was Tywin supposed to do? Joffrey pointed at Tyrion when he was dying; Tyrion’s wife disappeared right after that; Tyrion was the one fetching/refilling Joffrey’s cup; Tyrion hated Joffrey and hit him/threatened him in the past . . . isn’t all that enough to warrant a trial? And their society accepts that trial by combat is a thing, and Tyrion lost. If the Lannisters HADN’T tried Tyrion, what would the other families have thought? That ALL the Lannisters conspired to murder the king? Even though WE know he was innocent, it really would not look that way to anyone in King’s Landing.

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    34. Anon: I think Tyrion will betray Dany to save his dumbass brother, Jaime

      I don’t think he will, but . . . if I were Dany, I’d vertainly be suspecting that around now. First the advice not to attack King’s Landing; then Euron showing up and taking out their boats; then Casterly Rock being empty . . . what, again, has Tyrion done to prove his loyalty to Dany?

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    35. Anon:
      Tamwell Sarly,

      Tyrion is a dick.

      Furthermore, I’m comparing what Tyrion did at Blackwater Bay and what Dany – potentially – could do to King’s Landing. Nobody said Dany has to burn civilians. She could attack the Red Keep alone, which is precisely what I think Tyrion is trying to prevent her doing. So, in other words, he’s not worried about the people, as he claims, he’s worried about his siblings. It’s why his sphincter goes into spasm every time he sees the dragons.

      Wow, ok. Nobody said Dany had to burn civilians? I didn’t realize dragon fire had pinpoint accuracy or that other buildings/structures wouldn’t catch on fire and spread through the city. What Tyrion did with wildfyre is different than Cersei did, as I pointed out, and also different than what Dany would do by unleashing her dragons on KL. With Tyrion only solidiers could perish. With Cersei and Dany, innocents did and would die.

      Tyrion so isn’t trying to protect his family. So he’s just fine with patricide but will do anything to protect his sister who quite possibly hates him and oppressed him more than Twyin did? Yeah, ok.

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    36. MoaKaka:
      Anon,

      Yeah, I didn’t understand Tyrion’s reasoning at all.Why Casterly Rock?Tyrion, of all people, know that there are no Lannisters ruling there, and certainly no gold or riches.What on earth was THAT going to get Dany?And why not send out some spies?With Cersei sending the navy after Yara and the unsullied, and the army after Olenna, it was the PERFECT time to invade King’s Landing — and she wouldn’t even need dragons to do it.It was sitting there for the taking. So frustrating.

      Frustrating, indeed! I thought initially that Tyrion was after the gold at Casterly Rock(I don’t recall that Tywin told him the mines were dry). Anyway, it seems that Casterly Rock is something Tyrion wants for himself, and is of little strategic benefit to Dany, under these circumstances. It’s just a Lannister pissing contest, frankly.

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    37. MoaKaka: I don’t think he will, but . . . if I were Dany, I’d vertainly be suspecting that around now.First the advice not to attack King’s Landing; then Euron showing up and taking out their boats; then Casterly Rock being empty . . . what, again, has Tyrion done to prove his loyalty to Dany?

      You’re right. She ought to be wondering what the hell?! Judging by the preview, she takes matters into her own hands next week.

      In Mereen, Tyrion seemed unconcerned with Dany’s ‘brand’ as being the “Breaker of Chains” when he cut that deal with the Masters for 7 more years of slavery. Who was he really serving there?

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    38. MoaKaka:
      Anon,

      Yeah, I didn’t understand Tyrion’s reasoning at all.Why Casterly Rock?Tyrion, of all people, know that there are no Lannisters ruling there, and certainly no gold or riches.What on earth was THAT going to get Dany?And why not send out some spies?With Cersei sending the navy after Yara and the unsullied, and the army after Olenna, it was the PERFECT time to invade King’s Landing — and she wouldn’t even need dragons to do it.It was sitting there for the taking. So frustrating.

      Why Casterly Rock? Because losing the Rock, however invaluable it might from a military standpoint, would be a huge psychological win. One of the most powerful noble families – and the current ruling family – lose their ancestral home? That’s huge as far as other houses choosing/staying on certain sides. The support of the commonfolk is important.

      Also, sending out spies would take lots of time for them to get there and back with that info.

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    39. I didn’t get Bran’s all sudden new attitude this season but reading Isaac’s interview helped me get it now.poor boy

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    40. This far, in Daenerys’ journey, neither Tyrion nor Varys, nor anyone, helped her to acquire power after being left with nothing at the end of Season 1. In Meereen in Season 6, Tyrion and Varys helped her to consolidate power. But she herself acquired power, and many people had to die as a result. All those poor slave masters in Astapor and Meereen. Loads of boatmen, and soldiers too. Plus all those Khals!! So far, in her bid to acquire power in Westeros, she has relied on Tyrion. And has been quite unsuccessful. I believe Tyrion’s main objective is that no life should be lost – he is indeed hoping for a bloodless transfer of power from Cersei. 😀

      Anon: I don’t know why Dany likes and trusts him so much. Maybe the theory that he’s not really a Lannister has something to do with it. Which will make any betrayal doubly devastating to both of them.

      Hmm…. intersting! Very interesting! I used to firmly believe that Tyrion is not fully a Lannister (including one of the chained dragons laughing at his little joke in Season 6). If that does out to be true, it will be a very juicy and epically sad storyline for him by the end of the series!

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    41. I don’t think Tyrion is gonna betray Dany, he is way too honest for that. What I think is happening is he is torn between a queen he truly respects and the members of his family which he handles in such a way that he unknowingly undermines Dany by trying to keep casualties for the both sides to a minimum. He is trying to save his family as much as he is trying to help Dany win. As we’ve seen that hasn’t worked and if the promo for the next episode is anything to go by we’ll see Dany bring fire and blood to her Hand’s family. I would be very much sad though, to see this decision of hers create a rift between her and Tyrion where we see her genuinely disappointed in him and him genuinely afraid of her mad side. Also I don’t want to see sad Tyrion when he realizes that all the losses their side endured till now were because of his inability to fully commit himself to one side only. Him realizing that he might have also disappointed her could also be a part of this.

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    42. Somebody put in front of him a massive encyclopedia of all of time and he’s only opened page one. He can look stuff up but doesn’t have this all-knowing all-seeing capability just yet.

      Just yet? Hmmmm.

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    43. stefan666: I don’t think Tyrion is gonna betray Dany, he is way too honest for that. What I think is happening is he is torn between a queen he truly respects and the members of his family which he handles in such a way that he unknowingly undermines Dany by trying to keep casualties for the both sides to a minimum.

      Well, that’s a massive conflict of interest from an ADVISER!

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    44. One thing that never made sense for me is why Littlefinger dropped Sansa off with the Boltons. If Littlefinger is in love with her, why let her out of his sight? If Littlefinger wants her by his side on the Iron Throne then why let her marry someone else? If Ramsay turned out to be a decent dude, Sansa would have been lost to Littlefinger. It took a lot of suspension of disbelief for me to go along with that move. Reality probably is that’s the best plot device they could come up with to get Sansa there. A kidnapping would have been more realistic.

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    45. Therae,

      That is one of the most interesting posts I’ve seen on this site in a long time.
      Bravo on the leaving home concept, that is a clever spot.

      I have a (loose) theory that Jaime intentionally oversold the “Casterly Rock has no value” bit. He knows losing it is bad, but he’s not about to admit so. Cersi and house Lannister are still despised everywhere; their allies are grudging; not exactly a stable situation. And while it looks bad for team Dany now, something is going to shift that. (Not totally sure what, mind, but it may involve large flying beasts.) In addition, trouble is most definitely brewing with the Iron Bank, and if Cersi thinks they’ll simply take her word for it (payment in a fortnight) she’s crazy (which she is). The Iron Bank is hedging its bets – it always does and how that goes will be important.

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    46. Anon: he’s not worried about the people, as he claims, he’s worried about his siblings.

      It’s interesting that you see it that way. What he has said regarding King’s Landing is actually the reasons why I didn’t expect them to attack KL. It falls right in line with how Daenerys has been fighting for the people that can’t fight for themselves. Tyrion does care about the people too and he’s shown that, specifically in Meereen while trying to provide safety for them from the Masters and in giving Daenerys an alternate plan other than “burning cities.”

      In discussions after the finale last year I said that I can’t see Daenerys laying siege to KL like the Masters did Meereen. Even the intention of limiting an attack to the Red Keep is risky as fire and fallout would most likely spill over into the city. It’s similar to Jon’s side at the BotB not firing arrows into the masses versus Ramsay’s firing at will. They didn’t want to kill their own men = the innocent citizens in this scenario.

      I was thinking her best option was to land in Dorne and work from there, on land. That would have mostly eliminated Euron’s effectiveness and threat. She could have had all of her army and those of her allies moving together through their lands in good weather with a more diplomatic mindset. She could have defeated the foolish that tried to fight or accepted allegiance from those smart enough to bend the knee rather than face over one-hundred thousand soldiers and three dragons. With a wise and soft tongue and help from her advisors, especially Olenna, she may have doubled her ranks and completely choked off the Lannisters by the time they approached The Crownlands. She may not have had to fight at all before arriving there. — Of course, none of that would have been as easy to create a fair war that the show wants. Having her land on a remote island and separate her forces into smaller battalions on the sea, ignoring the inland and leaving her allies unprotected was an easy way to whittle down her strength to more even sides. It may be entertaining but I don’t know that it’s realistic.

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    47. I wouldn’t be surprised if next week Dany berates Tyrion for his strategic flubs (and rightly so imho), and is about to dismiss him Scaramucci-style when Jon Snow pokes his cute little curly head out of a mine shaft and advises, “If you attack from the so-and-so direction with so-and-so many troops, and did this and that, you might stand a chance.”

      To which Dany will respond (as Tyrion tip-toes out of the room), “Kiss me, you irresistibly gloomy reborn rascal!”

      Fade out to the beautiful strains of “Jon and Dany’s Theme,: followed by the roar of a massive barrage of cannon fire from Euron’s fleet.

      Of course, this scenario could only work if the dragonglass mine was directly below the throne room.

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    48. Jon’s a lucky bastard having a sexy aunt who is his own age.

      Hardly anyone gets to be tempted by that sort of forbidden fruit anymore.

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    49. Hound Dog,

      Littlefinger doesn’t love Sansa.

      And he doesn’t want her alongside him on the Iron Throne, unless that’s what’s necessary to get him there.

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    50. Clob,

      Clob, the strategy you suggest makes more sense and probably would have found more success (albeit a slower plan to conquer Westeros since they’d be plodding along by land instead of striking more quickly via sea transport). However, there was no one in Dany’s council that has any strategic military experience. Tyrion has proven he is politically skilled, but has fairly limited military experience outside of planning the defense of KL once (and really only truly winning the battle because Tywin and the Tyrells showed up). Varys has no military expertise. Yara is a skilled naval tactician, but not a military strategist. Ellaria was nothing but a passionate, vengeful lady. Olenna, wise and also politically deft, but no military knowledge. Grey Worm is probably the closest, but he’s more of a battlefield technician rather than war strategist. Jorah would have been invaluable, but he wasn’t available. Baristan is gone. Daario would have been the best one, but, for better or worse, he was left in Mereen. So, yes, Dany’s strategy has been subpar, but it’s excusable from a script standpoint because she doesn’t have an experienced general anywhere among her ranks.

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    51. Hound Dog,

      a)he doesnt love her.. he wants her because she is basically Cat Jr.
      b) he was still trying to play both sides (Sansa’s and Cersie’s) so HIS plan (that no one else would know the whole of) was to offer Sansa to the Boltons(as part of SECRET agreement between north and Vale to revolt against the Crown), then SECRETLY hightail it to KL to snitch against his “allies”, thereby getting Cersie’s promise of Warden of the North(to add to his Lord Protector of the Vale) when he marched north to take back Winterfell from now traitor Boltons. He would rescue the lovely Lady Sansa, marry her as heir of Winterfell and now Littlefinger has a good chunk of the seven kingdoms under his control and is now quite high on that ladder he soo loves to talk about.

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    52. Clob,

      This
      “I was thinking her best option was to land in Dorne and work from there, on land.”

      And this
      ” Of course, none of that would have been as easy to create a fair war that the show wants. “

      Dorne was the obvious foothold she needed despite the ancestral significance of Dragonstone.
      I’ll move past this though; like I’m a Greyworm sailing past the entirety of southern Westoros. 🙂

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    53. I almost thought Bran had warged into Littlefinger when he was making that speech about seeing everything before it happens.

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    54. Hound Dog:
      One thing that never made sense for me is why Littlefinger dropped Sansa off with the Boltons. If Littlefinger is in love with her, why let her out of his sight? If Littlefinger wants her by his side on the Iron Throne then why let her marry someone else? If Ramsay turned out to be a decent dude, Sansa would have been lost to Littlefinger. It took a lot of suspension of disbelief for me to go along with that move. Reality probably is that’s the best plot device they could come up with to get Sansa there. A kidnapping would have been more realistic.

      Littlefinger’s definition of love is warped. He loved Cat but he wasn’t afraid to mess with her family and use her as a pawn to eventually get rid of Ned and start a war. He may “love” Sansa, but that doesn’t mean she still isn’t a valuable tool to get what he really, truly covets: the Iron Throne. Truthfully, he’s probably dreaming and scheming to have his cake and eat it too. In other words, using Sansa as a pawn in the game but also, in the end, winning the game at which time Sansa will fall for him…or something deranged like that.

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    55. The curious case of the mute actors.
      Rosabell Sellers says nothing in the scene.
      ( I think she had a few words the episode before?)
      Well at least it is not as curious as Art Parkinson season 6.
      Never explained. Or was it?
      Actors get a fixed contract amount plus screen time plus dialog?
      Don’t see how it could be money by now.
      Strange.

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    56. Bernadette Cersei’s handmaiden (or little bird) returns.
      I did not recognize Sara Dylan thought it was a new bit part actor.
      Been around since season 2. Well I don’t think she was in S5 and S6.
      New trivia question.

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    57. Pigeon,

      Isn’t that Staz Nair (Qhono of season 6).
      Is he now Dany’s Dothraki captain?
      Does she have a Dothraki who speaks back.*
      I notice the Dothraki get some abbreviated fur shawls , gonna need more than that soon.

      *Only language thing in this episode. Was hoping Mel and Varys dialog was in Valyrian.

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    58. Northerner,

      Sadly, I think Jaime’s “redemption arc” is a pipe dream. He’s too far gone. Olenna was right. Cersei will be the end of Jaime. Perhaps he will kill Cersei out of jealousy, but time is running out – or has run out – for him to regain his “honor.”

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    59. Therae,

      “Since they don’t know how long it will take Tyene to die, it’s still remotely possible that Bronn can rescue hIs girl. 🙂”
      ______________

      Yes, please! Maybe Bronn can pull a Theon-WF type switcheroo and replace Tyene with some dead pauper girl’s decaying corpse.

      – End Wishful Thinking – 😣

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    60. SkepticalJester,

      Not a criticism, but Bran could’ve described in detail Sansa’s reunion with Jon at CB, Sansa’s rescue by Brienne, or even Sansa’s leap off the walls of WF if he wanted to impress her with his 3ER powers. Describing her wedding night rape was a strange choice.

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    61. Anon,

      Tyrion’s reign as military advisor will last as long as Scaramucci’s as WH Communications Director.

      Ser Jorah Mormont is in his way back. Anointed knight, battle-tested military commander, and Khaleesi-lover. Tyrion can go back to being chief diplomat/quipmaster.

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    62. Boojam:
      Pigeon,

      Isn’t that Staz Nair (Qhono of season 6).
      Is he now Dany’s Dothraki captain?
      Does she have a Dothraki who speaks back.*
      I notice the Dothraki get some abbreviated fur shawls , gonna need more than that soon.

      *Only language thing in this episode. Was hoping Mel and Varys dialog was in Valyrian.

      Is it? Well then. Beautiful eyes, that guy. *smacks self in face to get back on topic* 😜

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    63. Ten Bears:
      SkepticalJester,

      Not a criticism, but Bran could’ve described in detail Sansa’s reunion with Jon at CB, Sansa’s rescue by Brienne, or even Sansa’s leap off the walls of WF if he wanted to impress her with his 3ER powers. Describing her wedding night rape was a strange choice.

      He could have, but describing those events might not have been as persuasive. Witnesses for all the events you describe are still alive and around to have shared those stories (except for perhaps the wall leap). Or, possibly, Bran hasn’t seen those events yet.

      Or, how about this? Bran knows what Sansa’s future holds and maybe she betrays Jon or does something devious? So, Bran slyly brought up a painful memory as a jab at her. Highly unlikely, but never know.

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    64. Edward,

      It would have been part of Sansa’s training as a “lady” to manage the logistics of running a large household. It was like managing a business. It’s what Caitlyn would have done when Ned was away (or even when he wasn’t). The politics is what will be new for Sansa. But then she’s had training of a different sort from Littlefinger.

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    65. TheFootofTheKing: I have a (loose) theory that Jaime intentionally oversold the “Casterly Rock has no value” bit. He knows losing it is bad, but he’s not about to admit so.

      I like this idea much better than the the idea that Jaime is really rationalizing the loss of CR out of its intrinsic value as the family seat. I know time is short on the show, but hopefully that was a setup that will have dividends when Team Cersei stops winning

      given the previews, it appears that’s scheduled to begin this Sunday

      but I suppose Jaime’s cavalier attitude, if it’s meant to be genuine, could also serve as a compare-and-contrast how deeply important Winterfell is to the Starks while the Lannisters are like, whatever, we’ll get it back when we want it. I still like your take on that better. 🙂

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    66. TheFootofTheKing,

      The question is: What will the Iron Bank do if Cersei doesn’t pay as promused ? It seems that Cersei is “banking” on plundering Highgarden. So far, Team Lannister has outnaneuvered Team Dany at every juncture. But what happens if Cersei’s plan doesn’t succeed?
      It’s not as if she can blow up the Iron Bank of Braavos…. Can she?

      And what does the Iron Bank do if a customer simply refuses to repay a loan ? It’s not as if the Crown can file for bankruptcy and discharge its debt.

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    67. Ten Bears: – End Wishful Thinking –

      I’m with you. I like to think that all that business about how long it takes to work was a Chekov’s Unpredictable Time To Take Effect to allow Ser of the Blackwater the opportunity to return the littlest Sand Snake’s favor. They didn’t have to have him about to expire from that particular poison when it could have been the one Oberyn used on Gregor, after all, the two of them were obviously attracted to each other, and, hey, he’s still single. I am totally willing to pretend she never uttered any ultra-squicky lines about naughty felines if they pull off some sort of rescue (bonus points if Ellaria can run interference and die taking down FrankenMountain).

      A girl can dream. 🙂

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    68. Ten Bears: Perhaps he will kill Cersei out of jealousy, but time is running out – or has run out – for him to regain his “honor.”

      During the early off-season on this site, when everyone was sure that Jaime was glaring at her in the throne room and would have a murderous fit because of the wildfire, I said, nope, he’s not going to kill her, or leave her, or have a fit. He will admire her for showing their enemies what Lannisters do to enemies. Not only that, what if she shows some skill at ruling? Well, all that has come to pass, he even told Olenna that he pretty much doesn’t care what she says about Cersei, he’s there for the duration. Maybe that’s part of the bittersweet – there were times when he could have/ should have pulled away, but those times are long past. That will be his big Life Mistake and he’s come to terms with it.

      BUT if she does consider bedding Euron, after all the shit Euron has flung his way, THEN tries to, ahem, talk her way out of it, then all bets are off. Unless she’s really THAT good at … talking.

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    69. Ten Bears: And what does the Iron Bank do if a customer simply refuses to repay a loan ?

      I think we’ve already seen evidence of what the Bank does if a customer is unwilling or refuses to pay – the Bank funds an opponent. Earlier they decided to fund Stannis (mainly due to the persuasion of Davos) banking on the fact that if he won, he would pay them back plus inherit what the crown already owed. So, if the Cersei doesn’t come through, the bank would probably fund Dany (or the NK!)

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    70. Ten Bears: And what does the Iron Bank do if a customer simply refuses to repay a loan ? It’s not as if the Crown can file for bankruptcy and discharge its debt.

      originally I would have said they would go to the local sheriff and take over whatever property there is, but Cersei is the local sheriff. Then I would say that the Iron Bank would send their own troops, but the existence of such troops has never been mentioned, and everybody else’s troops are otherwise occupied with the stupid wars. All I am left with is maybe it is no coincidence that the home of the Iron Bank is Braavos, the same as the home of the Faceless Men. Maybe Jaquen is due for a sudden appearance at Winterfell, to employ a semi-wayward student. Or maybe Jaquen will just appear in Kings Landing, needing no additional assistance. Maybe

      in one way, Cersei does die at Jaime’s hands. Maybe that’s the reason he’s still there. For his face to be ultimately used, in which case the Lannisters will have really paid their debts.

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    71. Watching the episode yet again and remembered something I thought the first time… When we saw Horn Hill I thought it looked more like Highgarden, being so large with columns in lush surroundings. Now that we’ve seen Highgarden I think it looked more like Horn Hill, although lacking in surrounding forest. I think they should have swapped the two. Oh well.

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    72. In hindsight, siding with Cerci’s enemies and hiring landscapers to guard High Garden wasn’t the best idea.

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    73. Meg,

      Very true. I just happen to really enjoy how the writers coordinated that scene. Her promoting the armor-welders to use leather and her plan to provide for other northern houses was damn there natural and it felt good coming from a character which was once so naive.

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    74. Therae,

      Yes! A man can dream too. 😏

      I’m glad I’m not the only one!

      Cersei could’ve had Qyburn slit an artery or administer the Joffrey-type painful poison to Tyene, but chose the time-delay (and not so painful except for a brief nosebleed) poison used on Myrcella. For Ellaria to watch Tyene die in agony would’ve been the kind of retribution I’d expect from Cersei.

      It would be a fitting conclusion for Bronn to say “fuck it” to the Lannisters’ as-yet unfulfilled promises of a highborn wife and a big castle, and just run off with the feisty girl who’s his match in every way.. (If only her line used the words “nasty girl” or “bad girl” instead of the silly “bad p___y”, there wouldn’t have been such an uproar from the fandom.)

      I’d rather see Bronn’s story end that way, rather than die in a battle as part of the Lannister army or in some other way.

      And as you observed, why introduce the whole slow poison + antidote + flirtation scenes between Bronn and Tyene in Dorne if there’d be no payoff? Personally, I’d like to see the “upjumped sellsword” sacrifice riches and advancement for…romance.

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    75. Ten Bears,
      Even in the books, Jaime’s redemptive arc is not much of a real redemption. He simply falls out of love with Cersei and leaves with Brienne, embracing her cause and values with the same ease he embodied his sister’s for decades. That may be, to me at least, the most interesting aspect of Jaime : his change of heart is precisely that, a change in affection, not in morality.

      As for the show, I think Jaime will in fact eventually join Brienne’s side. The writers went out of their way to have Lady Olenna note he has come to carry his late son’s sword Widow’s Wail (which surprised be for I thought Joffrey had been buried with it…) Widow’s Wail is one half of Ice and Oathkeeper is the other. From a symbolic standpoint, they have to be reunited in the name of House Stark so their respective owners will very probably end up joining forces.

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    76. Carole H:
      For those in UK Christian Nairn on Thronecast in few minutes.

      Hi Carole, yep I saw Thronecast plus Ep3 now about 4 times spread between Sky Atlantic and SA+1 including the simcast airing early on Monday morning 😉

      For me, Thronecast wasn’t as good as the last two when they covered Ep 1 and 2? No problem with Christian Nairne, but those other two guests were a waste of space and not that interesting to listen to? Wasn’t that woman (can’t remember her name) the person who originally hosted Thronecast?

      If so, I’m not surprised she was replaced with Sue Perkins as she is much better as a presenter. At least (for the moment) they haven’t invited that moron Jonathan Ross back as a guest, but have a gut (read that as a bad) feeling that he may appear again on the final Thronecast after S7 Ep7 has aired 🙁

      Another thing I’ve noticed – Not only on Thronecast, but any video clip where the GoT actors talk about their characters – I have never seen Diana Rigg appear on any? The same could be said for Max Von Sydow and Jonathan Pryce although I do recall Charles Dance (Tywin) once appeared on Thronecast.

      No idea why? Perhaps HBO, Thronecast, etc are just too embarrassed to ask these older and famous actors to appear on their recap videos or shows? I’m sure they would do it if approached?

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    77. Thronetender,

      Well, I was temped to click on your greyscale covered text, but I’m afraid of leaks/spoilers.

      I figured the Iron Bank probably has the Faceless Men on retainer, but whacking a deadbeat debtor doesn’t get a loan repaid. (I thought Tywin once said something like “the Iron Bank always gets its due” or something like that; his point was that no matter how powerful you are, you can’t stiff the Iron Bank.)

      I figure with so little time left in the show (10 more episodes 😟), they wouldn’t have an IB rep show up unless the consequences of the Crown’s massive debt would come into play.

      PS. Following up on my semi-tinfoil theory about an impending mass famine, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Iron Bank turns out to be in control of the food supply – and takes advantage of skyrocketing prices for items basic sustenance. Sansa alluded to the limited stores of food in WF; around the time of the Battle of the Blackwater, Bronn gave an informative speech about how thieves who steal food become the richest people in town during a siege. I could easily envision the IB manipulating the food supply to extract payment.

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    78. ACME,

      I suppose “redemption arc” is an overused and cliched term. I’ve seen it used so many times in relation to Jaime and Theon that I’m not sure I even know what it means anymore. (In my view, neither character can ever “redeem” himself.)

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    79. I love Tyrion but he is political savvy not a battle strategist, she needed someone like Jorah as he is experienced in battle and quite intelligent about all the cons and pros of different scenarios. Tyrion made a good plan in theory but he never once considered Cersei’s own plans, he just assumed his would go swimmingly. They also should of set things in motion for their plan before they even set sail, not inacting their plan until Dragonstone gave Cersei way too much time to come up with her own plan.

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    80. Ten Bears:
      Therae,

      It would be a fitting conclusion for Bronn to say “fuck it” to the Lannisters’ as-yet unfulfilled promises of a highborn wife and a big castle, and just run off with the feisty girl who’s his match in every way.. (If only her line used the words “nasty girl” or “bad girl” instead of the silly “bad p___y”, there wouldn’t have been such an uproar from the fandom.)

      I’d rather see Bronn’s story end that way, rather than die in a battle as part of the Lannister army or in some other way.

      Personally, I’d like to see the “upjumped sellsword” sacrifice riches and advancement for…romance.

      Totally on board with this!

      (And I mean, between Bronn pretty much getting shut out all through the series (save the one time at the Twins when Jaime played wingman) and Jerome Flynn’s Ripper Street character’s two disastrous marriages, the poor guy deserves a light o’ love already.)

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    81. Ten Bears: PS. Following up on my semi-tinfoil theory about an impending mass famine, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Iron Bank turns out to be in control of the food supply – and takes advantage of skyrocketing prices for items basic sustenance.

      I don’t think your theory is so tinfoil, sounds logical to me. The IB has been around for a long time; it has probably seen and heard every type of excuse there is, every type of charlatan and deadbeat, and honest men with sterling intentions caught up in no-win situations. They most certainly have developed their own means of coping and collecting under every circumstance, because no less a hard-ass than Tywin accepted that the Iron Bank always gets paid. So, controlling food supplies in siege situations doesn’t sound so very far-fetched. We will soon see what their methods are. Cersei isn’t getting around sour-faced Tycho. Not even she is that good at … talking.

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    82. Ten Bears: (If only her line used the words “nasty girl” or “bad girl” instead of the silly “bad p___y”, there wouldn’t have been such an uproar from the fandom.)

      Ah hell, Bears, if she would have said nasty girl, who would have remembered that? That would have floated right by. No, the writers wanted Tyene to be remembered, and Bad Pussy was the card to play to accomplish that: a rather gross little phrase completely rooted in the truth. I was originally slightly shocked, not at the language, I’ve used much worse myself, but at the fact it was on television. Now it’s a fond memory. RIP Tyene, your mom was a bitch, but you still had a chance to get beyond that.

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    83. Ten Bears: Well, I was temped to click on your greyscale covered text, but I’m afraid of leaks/spoilers.

      Lol, you were so tempted you called the spoiler greyscale, but you didn’t click? Darn, I have to ramp up my writing skills.

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    84. Therae: And I mean, between Bronn pretty much getting shut out all through the series

      And after he was shown to be so sweet to Lollys. He was a charmer in those scenes, and she was charmingly hilarious. Bronn/Jerome does deserve love.

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    85. My first thought at the Cersei/Ellaria/Tyene scene was “Why doesn’t Tyene just wipe her mouth on her sleeve?” She’d still have absorbed some of the poison and doesn’t have the antidote, but Cersei would have been wearing it a fairly significant period of time in comparison. Of course they’d clue in eventually I suppose.

      My second thought was that I hope she didn’t give Jaime Poison Dick Syndrome.

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    86. Thronetender,

      Don’t get me wrong: I didn’t mind that line at all. It just seemed that so many fans mocked the term “bad p___y” that they overlooked the playful mutual teasing of Bronn & Tyene’s farewell scene.

      Ellaria’s toast- and rightfully so. I was just holding out hope that Bronn could play hero and rescue his little Sand Snake.

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    87. Ten Bears: I was just holding out hope that Bronn could play hero and rescue his little Sand Snake.

      I know. I was kinda hoping so too. wonder how drunk hes going to get when he finds out what happened and is shocked to realize he feels terrible about it?

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    88. I’m probably in the minority, but I kind of enjoy that Jaime is unable to truly extract himself from Cersei. He’s a completely different person when he’s out of her grasp, yes, but that strikes me as consistent with the kind of toxic relationship they share. It feels more real to me than him shunning her because she’s not faithful or being enraged that she’s ruthless and heartless.

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    89. First awesome episode of the season as it now becomes clear where this game is headed: A ruler like Cersei must rule her subjects for her own vanity. Dany will try to free us from such despots while Jon just wants to save us from ourselves. It’ll be interesting to see how the Iron Bank chimes into this theater—Great job showrunners and kudos to Mr Friedman for raising such a good kid

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    90. Black Raven,

      I was a bit slow in getting it on here and didn’t see it till this morning. I got up really early to watch GOT then had to work all day so was knackered! Yes she did originally host with Jamie East, Grace Dent. I enjoyed the section about story boarding and was interested to hear Kit Harington had taken some home.

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    91. Thronetender,

      You realize this is the same guy who wouldn’t rescue Tyrion by fighting the Mountain because “I like you I just like Myself better.” Also this is the same guy who said that he would take a newborn from its mothers breast and kill it in front of her if he was paid properly. I love Bronn, he is one of my favorite characters but I hate hearing so many people talk about him like he is some noble knight that would rescue the damsel in distress. It would be way too out of character for Bronn to go on a suicide mission and risk getting on the bad side of his employer for a woman.

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    92. Does Tyrion know Casterly Rock’s mines are spent? I thought Tywin only divulged that info to Cersei or Jaime… although I can’t remember.

      Tywin kept up the illusion that they had loads of wealth in the gold mines. Tywin didn’t like Tyrion so it would make sense that he kept that info from him.

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    93. I take back all the times I thought the episodes or narritives were moving slower then I’d like. Season 7 is almost over and if we must wait until 2019 for the endgame, I’ll need therapy.

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    94. Ten Bears:
      SkepticalJester,

      Not a criticism, but Bran could’ve described in detail Sansa’s reunion with Jon at CB, Sansa’s rescue by Brienne, or even Sansa’s leap off the walls of WF if he wanted to impress her with his 3ER powers. Describing her wedding night rape was a strange choice.

      I thought about this too, on my first viewing. I was like… well, he could have told her about her role in retaking WF by getting the Vale army or how she escaped KL. But on my second viewing, I understood that Bran in that moment wanted to express his being sorry about what happened to Sansa, more than wanting to impress her. It just came out weird or unfeeling because he’s almost like a “computer” now (as Isaac mentioned in an interview).

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    95. I desperately did not want Jon to kneel, but when Dany reminded Jon that not only was Torrhen the King Who Knelt, but Torrhen promised fealty from Starks to Targaryens in perpetuity, I freaked! He’d either have to break Torrhen’s promise or kneel.

      Jon brilliantly counters this trap by bringing up what the Mad King did to his grandfather, causing Dany to rightly say that she shouldn’t be held responsible for the sins of her father. And then Jon says, Touche! Nor should I be held responsible for the promises of mine…

      You’re not guilty of your father’s crimes, and I am not beholden to my ancestor’s vows.

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    96. Thronetender,

      In the books at least, it is clear that the Iron Bank funds the wars of their enemies, which is exactly what Tycho is there to promise to do: fund Dany’s war. But Cersei has convinced him, for now, that he’s more likely to get money from her. Of course, Tycho should have promised that he’d be willing to take and even fund a loss if he kept failing to see regular payment.

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    97. Christopher:
      I take back all the times I thought the episodes or narritives were moving slower then I’d like. Season 7 is almost over and if we must wait until 2019 for the endgame, I’ll need therapy.

      Let me know which clinic you book into I’m comin’ with you😆

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    98. ramses,

      No way Tyrion betrays Dany in the books! His internal monologue is full of revenge fantasies about “raping and murdering” his sister. He’s riding the Targaeryan gravy train to get payback on Cersei.

      ACME,

      Interesting take. I’d still say it’s a redemption arc in that he sends Brienne out for the daughters of a House who is a sworn enemy to his own. He deals gently with Riverrun when a younger bolder Jaime would have wanted blood and glory. The combo of his trip with Brienne and finding out that Cersei isn’t nearly as loyal to him as he has been his entire life to her, pushes him down a road of self discovery. Can’t wait to see what happens to him now that he’s disappeared with Brienne!

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    99. Black Raven,

      Over the years they have had some great guests on including the man himself GRRM via satellite and Linda and Lario (whatever his name was) not popular I know but I didn’t know that then, but the one that sticks in my mind was Rose Leslie whilst filming in Iceland. I didn’t realise she was so posh! She went from talking like me to talking like the Queen!!

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    100. Also, Kit and Emilia were amazing on screen.
      I absolutely adoreddddddddddddddddddddddd their scene together, speaking outside. I think it is going to go down in my top five scenes of all time 🙂

      Also, Kit is finally taller than someone HAHA!

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    101. Therae:
      Rachel,

      What you said. The implications of Olenna’s confession are huge. Had Cersei, with Tywin’s collusion, not railroaded Tyrion for a regicide he did not commit,

      a. it would never have come to trial by battle, Oberyn would not have been killed by the Mountain (at least, not in those circumstances), Ellaria would neither have sent the threat to Cersei that brought Jaime to Dorne, nor murdered Myrcella, nor, for that matter, murdered Doran and Trystane and taken control of Dorne. And probably the Mountain would either be altogether alive, or more covertly poisoned and just dead-dead.

      b. Jaime would never have had to arrange for Tyrion to escape the black cells to avoid execution, and Tyrion would not have had occasion to kill Tywin (or Shae), and Jaime would be off the hook for feeling responsible for their father’s death.

      c. Tyrion would not have fled to Essos and ended up Danaerys’ Hand. For that matter, Varys, Ellaria, and Olenna may not have had the opportunity to join Team Targaryen. And, while we’re at it, Jorah would never have gotten greyscale in the first place.

      d. Without Tywin dead and Tyrion dishonored, Cersei would not have had the freedom to make the spectacularly bad decisions that ultimately led to the power of the Faith Militant, her own walk of shame, blowing up the Sept prevent her own certain death sentence pending a trial by the Faith, Tommen’s suicide, and her coup.

      e. Also: had it actually come to light that Olenna murdered Joffrey, it would have been leveraged to completely disgrace the Tyrells, even attaint them, remove them from power, eliminate any chance of Margaery marrying Tommen and becoming any kind of rival for Cersei. To be fair, it doesn’t seem likely Olenna’s role would have come to light, but it might have had some chance at least, had it not been for Cersei’s instant and absolute determination to blame Tyrion for something he did not do.

      And now Jaime and Cersei get to process all that. Brava, Lady Olenna!

      Other stuff:

      -25 for Sansa’s snark to Littlefinger about Cersei murdering her mother, father, and brother. Cersei actually had nothing to do with any of these murders (except to celebrate the first and last). She even tried to prevent Joffrey from executing Ned. Littlefinger himself, however…

      It’s interesting that Jaime “learns from his mistake” with Robb, but does not learn from one of Robb’s mistakes (probably his second-biggest, after marrying someone who was not a Frey): giving up his home. It’s stressed more in the books than in the show, but the King Who Lost the North was a thing, and it may be that giving up Casterly Rock may come back to haunt Jaime (it might not, though; J’s exposition to Olenna may have basically functioned to gloss right over that eventuality).

      Since they don’t know how long it will take Tyene to die, it’s still remotely possible that Bronn can rescue his girl.

      I’m hoping Bronn rescues her in some badass way as a thank you. (True she poisoned him, But she also cured him when she didn’t have to. He wouldn’t have been offended by the use of poison. He would respect it as a good choice given Tyene’s size relative to most of her potential opponents) I think I recall that he has not yet taken a wife.

      We shippers have such optimisim!

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    102. Dee Stark,

      I was really worried about their chemistry especially after the great relationship between Jon and Ygrette (I loved that ) even though they are great friends off screen but I don’t think I need worry they look great together. All bodes well for the future (well I hope so)😮

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    103. Carole H,

      Actually, I find a lot of actors on this show have great chemistry: Peter and Lena, Sean Bean and Maisie (their father-daughter scenes were golden for me), Kit and Peter, Peter and Sophie, Maisie and Rory, John and Kit, Sophie and Kit, Emilia and Peter, and many others. I never doubted Emilia and Kit would have great chemistry. They were great together in their scenes.

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    104. Carole H:
      Black Raven,

      Over the years they have had some great guests on including the man himself GRRM via satellite and Linda and Lario (whatever his name was) not popular I know but I didn’t know that then, but the one that sticks in my mind was RoseLeslie whilstfilming in Iceland. I didn’t realise she was so posh! She went from talking like me to talking like the Queen!!

      Yep, I recall the Thronecast with Rose Leslie. As you say, her accent is quite posh (one could say BBC English) and nothing like as when she portrayed Ygritte – “You know nothing – Jon Snow!” ahhh 😀

      Re Elio and Linda, I quite enjoyed their spot on the show. Back then I never knew about the bad mouthing (from Linda) towards fans or her dislike for the show runners and some of the actors. I was surprised their Thronecast spot was dropped I think after S2/3, but then again the show itself has gone through several changes?

      For the last two seasons, Jamie East is no longer a host along with Sue Perkins? He has now taken over what Elio and Linda did and discusses some historical aspect regarding the story – Ah, and also the competition for viewers to win a GoT Volvo 😉

      The correct answer to the questions are so easy! This week its ‘We Do Not Sow’ which is the Greyjoy motto. I would enter the competition, but I’m not eligible as I live outside of the UK/Ireland… A pity 😀

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    105. Dee Stark,

      He was… (in a cool Littlefinger way) basically telling her to try and imagine all possibilities.. and that they are all potentially happening right now. So for example.. Winterfell is about to be cut off by a storm, Cersei has somehow marched the Lannister army to the gates. He is saying if she plans for those things, if they actually take place she is ready, if not then she is ready anyway. She won’t be taken unawares by anything.

      Clearly how Littlefinger has tried to operate over the years, and I suppose he is still standing.

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    106. Hound Dog:
      One thing that never made sense for me is why Littlefinger dropped Sansa off with the Boltons. If Littlefinger is in love with her, why let her out of his sight? If Littlefinger wants her by his side on the Iron Throne then why let her marry someone else? If Ramsay turned out to be a decent dude, Sansa would have been lost to Littlefinger. It took a lot of suspension of disbelief for me to go along with that move. Reality probably is that’s the best plot device they could come up with to get Sansa there. A kidnapping would have been more realistic.

      That troubled me as well. It made me doubt his actual desire for Sansa. I had to decide he really didn’t care about Sansa herself just that she resembled Cat which, in a much much lesser way, Lyhsa Arryn did as well.

      But he could still be obsessed with possessing some version of Cat once he reaches what has to be his real goal: being the top dog. He’s been repeatedly humbled and he’s smiled that smile and persevered. every slight adds more to his desire to reach his goal. In pursuit of this, I think he has laid his pride aside, self-respect aside, honor aside, love aside, duty aside, truth aside, everything but what will get him what he wants the power to even every score and force everyone to recognize his inherent value and intellect.

      As far as kidnapping by Ramsey, a reason would have to be contrived to remove Sansa from one of the safest places in Westeros: the Eyrie. I suggest perhaps she convinces Pyter to come with her to help King Stannis and Jon when the snows set in because she has learned through some other means that Bran and Rickon are alive.

      At some time during the journey to reach Stannis via Castle Black, she travels to the winter camp of Stannis her escort is captured by Ramsey’s 20 good men to prevent her warning Stannis of their approach. He doesn’t know who she is at first as she is traveling as Alayne Stone (Pyter’s bastard daughter). Roose recognizes her immediately and marries Ramsey to Sansa under duress to strengthen his hold on the North.

      The Battle of the Bastards plays out with Pyter coming to Jon’s aid on his own and they find Reek defending her from Bolton men come to kill her so she can’t out of spite be taken back. Pyter goes to hug her and is pushed aside by Jon as he sees her for the first time in years.

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    107. I can’t stop thinking about how phenomenal Indira Varma was in that scene where she has to watch Cersei condemn her daughter to death. Lena Headey was superb as well, delivering all of the excellent dialogue, but Indira was her equal in that moment, even though Ellaria was unable to speak, The scene doesn’t work nearly as well as it does without Indira holding up her end, which she did tremendously well. She conveyed such real palpable anguish using only her eyes, her body, and her increasingly desperate and strangled sounds of despair. And due credit to Rosabell Laurenti Sellers as well. You could tell that Tyene was trying to stay strong and ward off her fear, but the moment that Cersei delivered the poison that will ultimately kill her, she broke down and regressed to a child reaching out for her mother … only her mother can’t help her, and she knows it.

      I’m glad that the writers gave Ellaria such a challenging and memorable showcase for her final scene, and she knocked it out of the park. I’ll miss having Indira Varma on the show.

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    108. Therae: Without Tywin dead and Tyrion dishonored, Cersei would not have had the freedom to make the spectacularly bad decisions that ultimately led to the power of the Faith Militant, her own walk of shame, blowing up the Sept prevent her own certain death sentence pending a trial by the Faith, Tommen’s suicide, and her coup.

      Actually, your whole post was great – it outlined all the ways that Olenna’s plot totally messed up the Lannisters, ways that we had forgotten or hadn’t realized were the direct result of her getting away with Joff’s murder. Very good thinking. I read your post the other day, and had to come back and find it and re read it because it outlined so well the result of her treachery. Which is why, when she slammed Cersei with that insult of being the worst she’d ever met, I found myself shaking my head. Olenna, even though we loved her biting wit, was just as nasty as Cersei ever was.

      The next question is, why didn’t she implicate Baelish? Did she want all the credit for the evil deed? Was it honor among murderers? or just that the writers had no time, or didn’t want to dilute the effect of her exit?I guess it doesn’t matter. The way it was written and played made a scene for the ages. I wonder if Baelish will be quaking in his boots when he hears she died, wondering if she did rat him out?

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    109. Therae: Jerome Flynn’s Ripper Street character’s two disastrous marriages, the poor guy deserves a light o’ love already.)

      I watched Ripper Street and loved it too, but didn’t love his fate on there, either. I sat staring at the TV in disbelief, thinking, omg I hope this doesn’t happen on Thrones. That show had so many GoT alumni on there, it was fun to recognize them. Tommen was on, playing a part totally opposite his in Thrones, and so many others.

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    110. Jaime: “… as Robb Stark did to me at Whispering Wood. There are always lessons in failures.”

      Olenna: “Yes, you must be very wise by now.”

      Even in her last moments, she sliced him up in ways he won’t realize until much later. She knows her target. Her being so relentless in denouncing Cersei will have a strong effect on him, though he will deny it.

      I’m imagining the long, terrible off-season we are going to have soon, and remembering all the ways we occupied our time. I’m making note of my favorite lines now, so when the good mods here have the “what was the best line, favorite scene” contest, I’m ready. These go at the top of my list so far. But there is still so much more to come in these packed episodes. If Dany and Jon do get together under the sheets, there should be some good stuff. How will he explain those scars?

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    111. “I stay alive, I’m just not going to reappear. I think it’s really clever.”

      …Except the Season 7 promo clearly shows Ellaria making out with Yara…no?

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    112. Chachi:
      “I stay alive, I’m just not going to reappear. I think it’s really clever.”

      …Except the Season 7 promo clearly shows Ellaria making out with Yara…no?

      That already happened in episode 2.

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    113. Chachi:
      “I stay alive, I’m just not going to reappear. I think it’s really clever.”

      …Except the Season 7 promo clearly shows Ellaria making out with Yara…no?

      Ep.2, just before Euron crashed the party.

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    114. Sempercardinal:
      Thronetender,

      You realize this is the same guy who wouldn’t rescue Tyrion by fighting the Mountain because “I like you I just like Myself better.” Also this is the same guy who said that he would take a newborn from its mothers breast and kill it in front of her if he was paid properly. I love Bronn, he is one of my favorite characters but I hate hearing so many people talk about him like he is some noble knight that would rescue the damsel in distress. It would be way too out of character for Bronn to go on a suicide mission and risk getting on the bad side of his employer for a woman.

      I totally agree, and don’t at all get the Bronn/Tyene shipping. He’s a hard, unsentimental man, and no paragon of chivalry by any means. IIRC he admitted to Tyrion in one of their early conversations to having killed women while still a youth. I’m happy to enjoy his witticisms, but I don’t foresee any redemption arc for him more complicated than possibly becoming Tyrion’s sidekick once again before all is over.

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    115. Thronetender: The next question is, why didn’t [Olenna] implicate Baelish? Did she want all the credit for the evil deed? Was it honor among murderers? or just that the writers had no time, or didn’t want to dilute the effect of her exit?

      Why would Olenna want Littlefinger caught and brought to justice by the Lannisters, when he’s so skilled at sowing chaos and potentially disrupting their plans? Keeping him as a wild card on the table seems much more likely to serve her port-mortem revenge, even if she can’t forecast exactly how.

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    116. Ginevra:
      Thronetender,

      In the books at least, it is clear that the Iron Bank funds the wars of their enemies, which is exactly what Tycho is there to promise to do:fund Dany’s war.But Cersei has convinced him, for now, that he’s more likely to get money from her.Of course, Tycho should have promised that he’d be willing to take and even fund a loss if he kept failing to see regular payment.

      Just because Tycho hasn’t gone into overt loan-shark mode with Cersei as yet doesn’t mean that he isn’t just biding his time. Of all the players of the Great Game, it seems to me that the bankers are the ones whose business it is to think out all the possible moves the furthest in advance. His threats are likely to be so subtle that someone as dense and narcissistic as Cersei will miss them. The Iron Bank will always have multiple fallback plans; and if all else fails, they seem to have a long-running “understanding” with the Faceless Men. Don’t count them out, or on anybody’s “side,” quite yet.

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    117. Tamwell Sarly: He could have, but describing those events might not have been as persuasive. Witnesses for all the events you describe are still alive and around to have shared those stories (except for perhaps the wall leap). Or, possibly, Bran hasn’t seen those events yet.

      Or, how about this? Bran knows what Sansa’s future holds and maybe she betrays Jon or does something devious? So, Bran slyly brought up a painful memory as a jab at her. Highly unlikely, but never know.

      Another possible explanation: Bran may “see” most readily, or most vividly, the memories replayed most often in a particular person’s head. If Sansa is haunted by nightmares of her wedding-night rape (which would not be surprising), that might quite plausibly be the first thing that Bran discerns about her once he is in her company.

      We don’t really know the mechanisms of his gift of greenseeing; already, in the show at least, it does not seem limited to the views from weirwood-tree faces. Perhaps traumatic events leave a more indelible impression on history – especially on the places where they happened. That is frequently the hypothetical explanation that occultists use to explain ghost sightings.

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    118. Ten Bears,
      I have the feeling that the notion of “redemption arc” is indeed overused, you are right. More often than not in my experience, the expression is utilised to describe the discovery that a character previously thought of as “villainous” turns out to be more ambiguous that that. That, to me, is not the sign of a redemption arc; it is merely the indication that the character is well written enough not to be considered a cardboard cutout.

      In the case of Jaime, we first got to know him as the man who pushed a child out of a window which left us with a very bad impression of his character; later on, we found he had killed the Mad King because the monarch was about to blow up the entire city which helped us contextualise the Kingslayer’s actions and add a layer of goodness to his personality. That, to me, indicates that Jaime is a complex and interesting character who has intelligible reasons to do whatever he does but that does not redeem him in any way, shape or form.

      In my interpretation, a redemption arc requires an epiphany (the character realises s/he did something morally wrong), regret (the character suffers emotionally as a result of his/her crime) and penance (the character tries to “fix” the situation).

      Jaime, be it in the books or on the show, always knows precisely why he does what he does for he rarely acts on order or instinct. Because he can pragmatically justify all the deeds he has ever performed, morally questionable or not, I doubt he is ever likely to have a real epiphany. All he can do is let his affections carry him from one position to the next and abide by the standards laid out by others. Jaime obeys moral laws and principles that remain external to him.

      Conversely, the Hound has had a real redemption arc. He has reexamined his previous positions and philosophies and found them lacking which triggered his desire to change. The transformation is not purely cosmetic or the result of Sandor’s wish to please Brother Ray (dead people are hard to please ^^) but born out of a genuine conviction, as embodied by his ability to reformulate his late friend’s teachings in his own words (“We ask the father to judge us with mercy. We ask the mother… Fuck it, I don’t remember the rest. I’m sorry you’re dead. You deserved better. Both of you”) The Hound absords moral laws and principles and makes them his.

      WallyFrench,
      Yours is an interesting and valid intepretation of Jaime’s trajectory indeed. However, I am not certain I can subscribe to it ^^

      Jaime, in my opinion, is one of the most quietly intelligent characters in the story. This aspect of him tends to be overlooked, I believe, but it is there. As such, he has never been mindlessly violent or thugish in any way, instead approaching all matters from a purely pragmatic angle. All his actions, including the worst ones, have systematically been very logically and intelligibly motivated.

      His attempt at a diplomatic resolution of the Riverrun siege was not unlike his offer to fight Robb one-on-one to sort out the Northern conflict. In both cases, his approach was “let’s get this over with as quickly and painlessly as possible because I want to be home before tea time” ^^
      This pragmatism of his is also twinned with a ruthless streak : at Riverrun, he threatened Edmure to catapult his baby son. Now, one may say that he was bluffing and never had any intention to do it however we cannot forget that he had previously told the Freys never to threaten to do anything unless they were prepared to follow through with it…

      Jaime does whatever Jaime needs to do to get whatever Jaime wants, no matter what that may be. When Jaime wants to please Cersei, he does whatever it takes. When Jaime wants to please Brienne, he does whatever it takes.

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    119. Thronetender: The next question is, why didn’t she implicate Baelish? Did she want all the credit for the evil deed? Was it honor among murderers? or just that the writers had no time, or didn’t want to dilute the effect of her exit?I guess it doesn’t matter. The way it was written and played made a scene for the ages. I wonder if Baelish will be quaking in his boots when he hears she died, wondering if she did rat him out?

      Caveat: I am making this up out of whole cloth. 🙂

      From Olenna’s perspective, Littlefinger was just a means to an end and not worth mentioning (from his perspective, she probably was, too–though it’s completely PB’s m.o. to never let on to Olenna that he actually had any personal investment in Joffrey’s death; he almost certainly let her believe all that was in it for him was currying favor with the matriarch of the twice-and-future queen’s family); he may have done the legwork and even the lion’s share of the planning, but the Queen of Thorns would no more consider him an accomplice than she would consider the maester who sends her communications a cowriter. Or no more than she considers Qyburn responsible for the Sept of Baelor. And I think the real beauty of her death-chair confession is that there is NOTHING Cersei can do about it, now, and as you say, that would lose impact if Cersei could turn her vengeance on Baelish.

      Also, she’s just gloriously vicious enough to consider that leaving Littlefinger out of it allows him to continue doing things to ruin Cersei’s life, which he can be reasonably counted on to do, slimy, self-serving parasite that he is.

      From the writers’ perspective, I hope the thinking there was that whatever gets Littlefinger in the end should really be the direct result of his own machinations and not just that someone else sold him out for a collateral crime.

      In the books, I am pulling for Lady Stoneheart coming for him just before it’s all over.

      Also: thanks very much! 😀

      Re: Ripper Street: OMG, so much fun with all the GOT casting. (I’ll greyscale this in case anyone doesn’t want to know.)

      TotallyEvil!Barristan, DapperPimp!Tommen, WeirdlyPoeticDisaffected!Jorah, and SuperTotallyEvil!Benjen were (some of) my favorites, but poor Bronn-Drake just couldn’t catch a break. He deserved so much better than horrible-awful-backstabbing-betraying-selfish-selfish-selfish Rose (I actually really liked Bella–really a shame about her past with Thoros of Jonestown). She ruined his life.

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    120. Shock Me,

      That’s good, I like that! Wish you had a direct line to D&D a year ago.

      ACME,

      No doubt he’s very intelligent. His monologue about which oath to follow, is one of the better pieces of ASoIaF imo. I just think at this point in time, his intelligence is bent on living up to the man he would like to be (honorable, courageous, even merciful) and that plays into his redemption from being the sister fornicating, child murdering egotist that the reader initially thinks of him.

      He’s an awesome character…never thought I’d like him when I first started watching/reading. I’m finishing my third read through of the books now, and all my hopes are bent on a 2018 release! 🙂

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    121. Tamwell Sarly: Well, not yet, but he’s obviously quite conflicted. He’s fallen back into his old habits, the old routine, for sure. But you can tell there are thoughts and doubts dancing around in the back of his mind just by some of the looks he’s given Cersei this season. He even initially tried to rebuff Cersei’s advances in this episode. He’s definitely torn and while he may be going through the motions as if he was still 100% in Cersei’s corner, mentally and emotionally he’s not.

      I think Our Kingslayer & Oathbreaker is destined to add at least one more title to his many nomenclatures Queenslayer has a certain quality & finality to it. Who knows maybe it is he who will end up bedding the Mother of Dragons

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    122. Fight every battle everywhere always in your mind. LF drops GoT cheat code. #SansaKillsLF2K17 #StudentIsNowTheMaster #DemThrones #SchrodingersDeadCatLover

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