Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 2 – Stormborn Recap

Daenerys Dragonstone meeting Stormborn

Tonight’s episode of Game of Thrones is named after Daenerys but in the end, “Stormborn” hinted at so much more. The storm came to the waters of Westeros; the first storm but not the last of season 7, bringing with it fire, death and betrayal.

Spoiler Note: This is our book reader’s recap, intended for those who have read the A Song of Ice and Fire series. The post and the comments section may contain spoilers from the novels, whether or not that material has appeared on the show yet. Because no, we are not all Unsullied now. If you have not read the books yet, we encourage you to check out our non-book-reader recap, by Oz of Thrones!

Varys Stormborn

Daenerys has come home to Dragonstone as we saw in last week’s season premiere, and she’s being welcomed with a raging storm much like the one she was born in, so many years ago as Tyrion reminds her. She admits she doesn’t feel very much at home, and sets right to task in the war room. Her first order of business? Putting Varys’ ass over the fire for his misdeeds (shipping her off to the Dothraki and hiring assassins to kill her) and shifting alliances over the past two decades.

Varys resists being shamed for his actions- he did what he had to do to survive, and ultimately his loyalty is to the people of the realm, not to any one leader. And as he tells her pointedly, incompetence should not be rewarded with blind loyalty. (Some contemporary political commentary?) He’s not wrong and she knows it. Dany and Varys come to an agreement: he will serve her well, of his own free choice. It’s his duty to tell her to her face if she’s stepping out of line a la Mad King Daddy, but if Varys betrays her, well she’ll feed him to her dragons. Fair enough!

When it comes to Varys and his motivations, I have to admit I used to not believe his words about working for the good of the realm, but I’m starting to believe that that is in fact the show’s take on him. We may yet see more revealed in the books (whenever they get published) but this is the take D&D have gone with.

Melisandre Stormborn

After their mini-trial, Team Dragonstone the Reboot receives a visit from a key member of Team Dragonstone the Original Series. It turns out that after her exile from the Wall, Melisandre returned to the place she knew best in Westeros. As an ex-slave, she’s a big fan of Dany’s work.  Melisandre explains she’s there because “The Long Night is coming. Only the prince who was promised can bring the dawn.”

Ohhhh, we love a good TPWWP namedrop. You have our attention.

As Missandei helpfully explains with her language-nerd cred, there’s no gender for this particular noun in High Valyrian so it could be either prince or princess in this prophecy. Daenerys may be the person who can end the inevitable Long Night…or it could be someone else. Mel stops short of admitting she’s sure it’s Dany; she’s been burned when it comes to reading the flames. Mel is hedging her bets, and the show is enjoying stringing along viewers.

She pushes Team Dragonstone Reboot to summon the King in the North Jon Snow to Dragonstone to explain what he’s seen beyond the Wall. Tyrion vouches for Jon’s character and reasons for hating the Lannisters. Dany agrees to send a raven- but expect Jon to bend the knee.

They send a raven Express and we see Jon sharing the message with Sansa and Davos, who are wary of Jon meeting with the dragon queen. Davos wisely points out that Dany’s dragons that breathe fire are worth considering, in case they fail to stop the White Walkers.

Cersei Stormborn

In her throne room, Cersei has gathered up the lords of the Reach to hustle them with Westerosi racism and scare tactics to rise them up against Olenna Tyrell.

Randyll Tarly (last seen being a royal prick to his son Sam and with a completely different person playing his son Dickon- hey, Tom Hopper!) wisely notes the three full-grown dragons are headed their way. He may be a jackass but he’s no fool when it comes to warfare, as Jaime points out. Jaime’s keen to recruit the elder Tarly to their side, and gives Randyll the hard sell. Initially resistant due to his oath to House Tyrell, Tarly is swayed by Jaime’s reasonable logic and the tantalizing offer of the role of Warden of the South.

Jorah Stormbrn

At the Citadel, Jorah’s in bad shape, with Archmaester Ebrose giving the knight maybe six months before he loses his mind to greyscale. Ebrose brushes off Sam’s attempts to be helpful- and hopeful- and instead gives Jorah the opportunity to off himself with his sword before being shipped off to the ruins of Valyria, to live with the Stonemen. It’s then that Samwell discovers the patient is named Jorah Mormont.

I can’t help but feel that this moment and the next scene would’ve been more special if Lord Commander Mormont’s death had been more similar to the books’ version, where the elder Mormont died in Sam’s arms, sharing with Sam his last wishes for Jorah. In the show, Jeor’s last words were “Blerrghharghshh” and it robs a touch of grace from the scenes tonight. But just a touch.

Cersei Qyburn Stormborn

Underneath King’s Landing, Cersei and Qyburn are cooking up a plan to deal with Daenerys- or her dragons, more to the point. The ex-maester has been doing his research and testing out weapons, and come up with a bigass crossbow as the solution to their problems. (I feel like there’s a Bard the Bowman joke to be made here but I’m missing it. Bex, help me out?)

They test out the weapon on the massive skull of Balerion the Dread, the dragon who belonged to Aegon the Conqueror- and yep, that’ll do it. Dany’s babies might be in trouble.

Daenerys meeting Stormborn

At Dragonstone, Daenerys and her team are debating their next move and come to a major decision about how to take King’s Landing (and ultimately Westeros) without burning it to the ground. But first, Tyrion finally gets the opportunity to call out Ellaria for her murder of Myrcella- something long overdue. Ellaria ain’t bothered, quite frankly, not with Myrcella and not with Tyrion. But the show must go on, despite their differences.

Intending to thwart Cersei’s predictable tactics, Tyrion recommends sending in the Westerosi armies- the Tyrells and Martells, while the Unsullied and Dothraki take Casterly Rock. Despite initial misgivings, the Greyjoys and Ellaria get on board with the plan. Afterward in private, Dany reassures the grumpy Olenna, but the Queen of Thorns brushes it off. Instead, she encourages Daenerys to be a dragon, not a sheep.

Missandei Grey Worm

Elsewhere in the castle, Missandei goes to say farewell to Grey Worm, who has avoided the moment. He admits that she’s his weakness, when he never had one until now- his strength as an Unsullied. Only now, he’s afraid. After his confession, the Unsullied man rushes up to Missandei and kisses her deeply.

She steps back, and undresses carefully. At first, he’s reluctant to undress completely, but she pleads, “I want to see you.” They gaze at each other, a wealth of feelings showing in their faces, kiss and then fall into bed together.

He may be Unsullied but whatever his status quo is, he’s able to make sure Missandei enjoys herself- and Grey Worm sets about doing just that.

Jorah Mormont Stormborn

Back at the Citadel, Sam’s thankless duties assisting Ebrose continue. He broaches the subject of curing greyscale and admits he’s come upon something interesting in an old text, by Archmaester Pylos. (A name borrowed from a minor character in ASOIAF: the maester at Dragonstone who succeeds the ill-fated Maester Cressen.) Pylos possibly found a cure- but then he died from greyscale, and it’s now forbidden to attempt it. Given Sam’s stubbornness, I think we know where this is headed.

Popping into Jorah’s cell, and- I just want to throw a book at Jorah Mormont, because this man even starts his letters to her with KHALEESI. A day without a khaleesi blast is a day that never was, for Jorah Mormont.

Anyway, he’s planning to send her a raven, letting her know he’s at the Citadel, but Sam interrupts with a box of knives and medical goo. He introduces himself properly, revealing his connection to Jorah’s father and his plan to try and cure the man.

That’s two weeks in a row now of Sam doing something utterly disgusting, as he sets to removing the upper layer of Jorah’s afflicted skin to save him. Jorah bites down on leather to stifle his screams. And I shed a tear for his timeless yellow pirate shirt which lasted more than six seasons, to the delight of fans everywhere.

Hot Pie Arya Stormborn 2

Next up: the return you didn’t expect or know you wanted, but it’s the one you needed– HOT PIE.

Stopping at the Inn at the Crossroads (AKA the only inn in Westeros), Arya runs into her old friend Hot Pie! It’s like no time has passed at all. The baker boy informs her that the ‘big lady’ was looking for her there- Brienne, of course, and they catch up on the latest gossip. Arya’s cool as can be, oddly cool almost, and mentions she’s headed south, since that’s where Cersei is, until Hot Pie tells her that Jon is back in Winterfell.

It’s then that Arya comes to life, with a light in her face that gives you hope. Take leave of her friend and the inn, she looks at both paths and makes a choice- and heads north toward home.

Literally at the Crossroads. As a metaphor, it’s not subtle, but it works.

Jon Snow Stormborn

Jon has another noisy group meeting at Winterfell, informing his people on his decision to visit Dragonstone, with Davos by his side. Sansa reminds him of Rickard Stark’s death at the hands of the Targaryens, and no one is on Jon’s side with this. Royce, Glover, Mormont- all want Jon to stay put, but he’s resolved. He’s going south, and leaving the North in hands he trusts- Sansa’s.

Before he leaves, he visits Ned’s crypt, but his moment is interrupted by Littlefinger. Immediately he’s on guard and so Littlefinger goes on the offensive, reminding Jon that he owes him for his victory in the Battle of the Bastards. Unusually, he makes a major tactical mistake and admits he loves Sansa as he loved Cat. Jon deservedly choke-slams him against the wall, as Ned once did, and warns him to stay away from Sansa.

Nymeria Arya Stormborn

Traveling north alone, the other Stark sister is facing a different danger. As she makes camp, Arya sense a disturbance and suddenly discovers herself surrounded by a pack of snarling wolves. The animals circle around her, trapping her until she seems doomed- and then we realize there’s one more animal just behind her, towering over Arya.

A large pale direwolf of mixed colors. “Nymeria?” Arya realizes.

She reaches out for her wolf, asking for Nymeria to come back to her, to come home with her. But the creature pulls away, and slips into the woods with its wild pack. “That’s not you,” Arya says as Nymeria chooses her pack instead of Arya’s home, and we realize she’s thinking of something from long ago.

“That’s not me,” Arya once said of the life other people would choose for her. And now, she sees that in Nymeria, the direwolf who reflects her spirit. But it’s no coincidence that as soon as Arya decided to turn north and head home, she encountered her direwolf, the symbol of her Stark self.

Yara Theon Stormborn

The last portion of the episode is entirely dedicated to the Greyjoys and Martells’ journey at sea, assigned as they were to head to the Westeros mainland, to begin the siege of King’s Landing. But someone figured out what they were up to- or at the very least, tracked down Yara and Theon’s large and remarkable fleet of ships.

Below decks, the Sand Snakes bicker with one another as sisters do, only with slightly more murder than usual. In another cabin, Ellaria and Yara drink and flirt while Theon serves up more ale. Bantering, Ellaria inquires about Theon’s role in things and Yara reiterates with sisterly loyalty that Theon will be her adviser and protector when she’s queen. The two women are getting along nicely and are just diving in for a heated kiss when the first fire blast hits the ship. Running upstairs, the Greyjoy siblings find the ship leading the attack against them easy to identify- it’s their uncle Euron and his own fleet going on the offensive!

Euron fire fight Stormborn

The Silence’s viciously impressive claw lands on Yara’s ship, latching on and allowing Euron and his men to pour onto her ship. It’s instantly bloody chaos and fiery slaughter with Ironman versus Ironman, Euron’s pirates versus Theon and Yara’s men. Crossing paths with Tyene Sand in the battle, Yara sends her down below to protect Ellaria. Theon and Yara are fighting but a quick look outward shows that all the ships they’ve been accompanying to Westeros are aflame.

Euron Obara Stormborn

In the battle, Euron is madly butchering his way through men until he runs into two women- Obara and Nymeria Sand. They attack, but Nymeria is distracted with another fight leaving her sister and Euron to fight one on one. Obara’s spear doesn’t last long- Euron takes it from her, and soon it winds up inside the Sand Snake. Dispatching her opponent, Nymeria looks up in despair to see her sister dying with Euron bellowing in victory.

As battle rages around them, the whip-wielding Sand Snake attacks Euron, striking him several times. He gets the best of Nymeria however, grabbing hold of her whip and wrapping it around her throat and choking her to death.

Belowdecks, Tyene has been putting up a good fight with her daggers but can only hold off the Ironmen for so long; she and her mother are captured.

Helen Sloan - HBO (Photo 1) (2)

Now it’s time for the BIG BOSS BATTLE, with Yara and Euron’s paths finally meeting in the carnage (after Yara’s totally bitchin jump from the upper part of the ship to the lower). “Give your uncle a kiss,” says Euron, to add that extra layer of creepy we really needed after The Forsaken. Yara replies with a nice slap across the face.

I may have started screaming “FUCK HIM UP, YARA” in my living room, at this point.

Euron and Yara go at it, with other Ironmen trying to get a piece of the fight but it’s all about the uncle and niece, fighting for power, hungry to kill each other. Mad Euron grins and presses and lunges for her.

Euron Yara Stormborn

The camera turns to Theon, slashing away at men and making a good show of it, but that’s just a distraction so that we can learn just as Theon does that the situation is not good. It’s pretty damn bad, actually: Euron has gotten a hold of Yara. He taunts Theon with a blade at her throat and cruel words for his nephew. Theon hesitates, as the men scream around him, as Euron’s pirates cut people’s tongues from their mouths- and he breaks. Theon shrinks, Reek resurfaces, and he dives overboard in a heartbreaking act of cowardice. Euron laughs with insane glee- he’s won.

From the ship’s bowsprit, we see two women’s bodies: one speared to it, and the other hanging by her own whip.

In the water, Theon floats, watching as The Silence sails away with his sister. Hopefully alive, to fight another day.


Stray Thoughts

The Eunuch In the Room: It’s a relief the show has finally addressed the awkward fact that Varys and Dany have this history and that she shouldn’t particularly trust him. It also gives Conleth Hill a chance to shine, and I never get tired of that.

For that matter… We needed to clear the air on Myrcella too. So thanks for that.

A Good Ending: Say what you will about the Sand Snakes, but it was a great ending for Obara and Nymeria. The fight scenes were amazing. Give it up for Keisha Castle-Hughes and Jessica Henwick!

Sneakyfinger: I know he thinks he can take advantage of Jon being gone, and we’ll have to watch him doing that now, and God, someone just kill him already, please. He really does take any inappropriate excuse to discuss his love of Cat, doesn’t he.

So About That Lifetime Oath: Really, why isn’t ANYONE asking why Jon Snow isn’t in the Night’s Watch anymore? I could overlook it for a few episodes but now with even Dany being told he was in the Night’s Watch, it’s just getting weird. (Going to add a note here since people are not understanding the question. Yes, we as viewers understand why Jon feels justified in walking away clean from the Night’s Watch. But all of Westeros should be asking why the new King in the North is a member of the Night’s Watch. It certainly hasn’t been publicized that he was murdered and then resurrected by a priestess of R’hllor. We haven’t seen any scene addressing people of the North knowing about his death/resurrection and they probably would be more spooked by Jon if they did know about it. The Night’s Watch is a lifetime oath and the Northmen take it extremely seriously- just ask Ned Stark, who beheaded a nice young man in episode 1.)

Jorah’s Cure: Good news, you’re not a stoneman. Bad news, you have to go shopping for a new shirt that will be as flawless as the old one. Someone make me a gauzy soft-rock montage about Jorah’s shirt, please.

M + GW = O : Yes,  Missandei, go get it! Seriously though, I thought it was a lovely scene with a lot of emotional resonance for both characters.

The Sea  Battle: I’m no strategic war-fiend but I don’t have any quibbles at all with it – I fucking love all of it. I was totally wrapped up in it from start to finish, the visuals, the character aspects of it, the fight choreography, the ships- I loved it.

Timing is Everything: …that said, it was a slow episode up until that last fifteen minutes. I like all the scenes, but put together, it wasn’t terribly exciting. Seems like they were saving all their energy for the last segment instead of a more even distribution.

The JB Club: Honestly though Jim Broadbent and John Bradley are so great. Separately and together.

383 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. I loved it!!!

      I will never stop pointing out how captivating the scene between Varys and Dany was. It was a wonderful clash of wills that culminated into a greater understanding. And that’s when Game of Thrones resonates the most to me.

      The ironborn naval battle was also really great. There was a nice sense of dread that really contrasted the beginning of the episode that saw Team Dany easily constructing their invasion.

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    2. The Dany-Varys, the Missandei-Grey Worm, the Sam-Jorah and the Arya-Nymeria scenes were the highlights for me:
      – I absolutely loved Dany and Varys coming up to that pretty cool understanding;
      – Missandei-Grey Worm was extremely heartwarming (seeing people bitch about it on Reddit was a bonus);
      – Sam-Jorah was adequately gross, plus that cut to the pie was hilarious;
      – Arya-Nymeria satisfied me at the “perhaps the pet you get at age 12 does not determine your destiny” level. Ever since Sansa lost hers, which was taken for years by some fans as proof (???) that ‘she’s not a true Stark’… Well, now Bran lost his as well. And Arya’s decided that her own pack was different from Arya’s. Hah.

      I love that the show is taking its time to address all these past relationships before moving on with the current plot proper.

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    3. I told you Euron was a fucking boss. I told you! Pilou, you Beautiful man, you have not let me down. ❤ Bye Obara! Bye Nymeria (only one I didn’t mind, dammit)!

      Speaking of which….i still find it hilarious that they had to rename Asha to Yara because of Osha being another character. But Nymeria the Snek and Nymeria the wolf, same episode even, that’s fine. Surprised she wasn’t called PuppyDogWolfFace. Robb/Robert/Robyn, Jon/Jon Aryn, etc.

      I don’t think that’s the last we’ve seen of wolf Nymeria. Beautiful.

      Theon could not have hoped to save Yara, both would be dead. I imagine he will rally, and might just end up saving her in the end. I hope.

      Jorah and Sam 4ever.

      Cersei’s gonna love her present.

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    4. I don´t get LF this season, he seems so out place, WTF telling Jon “I loved Cat” I will have choked LF since moment he said “Cat” in from of Ned tomb, then LF has de great idea to declared his love for Sansa.

      I love Varys and Dany scene, it was needed since they first met but better now than never. Tyrion is smart but he´s not really a military strategic but can´t blame his if Yara and co weren´t putting atention.

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    5. Two Nymerias in one episode?

      Also, yet another gross-out cut scene? Come on. Whats coming next week? The soft serve scene from Me Myself and Irene?

      Fight scene was very choppy/blurry.

      Also – Jon and Sansa REALLY need to talk before meetings.

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    6. Yaga:

      Ever since Sansa lost hers, which was taken for years by some fans as proof (???) that ‘she’s not a true Stark’… Well, now Bran lost his as well. And Arya’s decided that her own pack was different from Arya’s. Hah.

      Because that’s how it is in the books? I doubt that Summer is going to die in the books or that Nymeria is going to abandon Arya. The show not wanting to spend CGI money on the wolves has no bearing on the characters. Even Ghost failed to make an appearance this episode, despite him being a big part of who Jon is and Jon leaving WF this episode.

      I am sure Nymeria will turn up with her wolf pack for the big battle next season and help Arya.

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    7. Damn I think that scene in the season trailers with Jammie riding like hell with a lance is to send the coup de gras on a downed dragon. With that new massive arrow in play I’m thinking Drogon might bite it. Either way I think one dragon has to go.

      I think it does a few things: reminds us why Jamie was a feared fighter giving him back some glory that he hasn’t had since he lost his hand, evens the playing field and serves up a GOT gut punch should it be Drogon. He is the main dragon character so him getting the axe before the real war would feel tragic.

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    8. With regards to nobody saying anything about Jon’s oath to the night’s watch, I thought he settled that in the conversation with Edd before he left. To him, doesn’t his initial death free him of his oath?

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    9. People on winteriscoming actually voted Littlefinger the best character last year. He’s completely insufferable, and largely useless at this point.

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    10. SerNoName,
      That was written at a time when Tyrion was an acrobat… I prefer it the more realistic way. Once more: Your childhood pet does not determine your destiny.

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    11. I don’t understand the negativity about this episode. Was it perfect ? No, but it was damn good.

      I don’t think I’ve enjoyed an episode this much since “The Door”, and “Hardhome” before that.

      Varys makes no sense as a character, LF is useless, and the Sand Snakes were insufferable in the stupid “mama” scene, but aside from that it was pretty freaking solid.

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    12. I’ve been waiting for these characters talking about other characters scenes.

      Dany: sound like a great man lol

      Tyrion astonished look to hear Jon as KITN and then vouching.

      Jon remembering Tyrion fondly. Sansa confirming his consideration towards her.

      Olena: be a dragon.

      I think this was my favorite characters interaction episode. I’ve been waiting for this and it didn’t disappoint. Really excited to hear Jon tell Dany the throne doesn’t matter and I’m not bending the knee. Hopefully it’s finally acknowledged to other people that Jon was brought back to life hence not oathbreaker lol and it’s bad ass

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    13. Markus Stark,

      right, but a saw here 3 that didnt like it, yo can see the great majority liked it, just saw the likes for the previw of the nest episode, way more likes than last preview and way less dislikes.

      i loved it.

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    14. My unfiltered reaction, before reading any of these comments or anyone’s interpretation, is that the first 45 minutes were full of awesomeness, and I was moved to tears multiple times (Arya’s decision to head North, instead of to King’s Landing, and then again when she reunited with Nymeria). Then, the last 10-15 minutes were a nightmare, intentionally I’m sure, that I truly hope is not replicated in the (maybe never arriving) books.

      What a horrible final sequence of events for people defending the show against accusations of too much violence against women! Every major female character on that ship got horribly violence’d, not to mention humiliated and laughed at, each and every one, with massive implications of sexual violence to come for those not actually killed. And all at the hands of Euron, the most magically-powered character on the show, capable of building entire fleets out of thin air, etc etc… so just the most possible BS scenario. On top of which we know that in the books (I know, I know, but I’m trying to reconcile), both Theon and Yara/Asha are far in the North, so pretty unlikely to engage in a huge sea battle with their Nuncle anytime soon.

      And THEN to have it end with Theon being humiliated and shamed all over again, with Euron laughing at him and Yara crying! Oh, but the real end was the final shot of two women (not exactly sure who, maybe the sand snakes that were killed..? Internet will confirm shortly, I’m sure.), hanging/impaled on the ship. A final shot of unnecessary grotesquery. (maybe a fake word)

      I just felt icky, is all I know. And I’ve read all the icky parts of the books, without feeling this annoyed and just scratching my head as to WTF could even be the point of it all. I’m sure I will reconcile and get over it, but this left me feeling empty. If anyone cares:

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    15. Arya dropping everything to go to Jon was perfection. Is it me, or did the music from the ToJ started playing in the background?

      Kit’s acting improves every season. He sold all his scenes despite the thin writing.

      I am Euron trash.

      Olenna is too focused on revenge. I don’t know how her advice can be good for Westeros. Also all the Tyrells are dead so the Reach is under no obligation to follow her. I laughed when all the lords were meeting in KL and Olenna somebow didn’t have a clue.

      Melisandre has been boondocking somewhere and she knows about Jon, yet Varys with his informants had no idea lmao.

      Hope Sandra’s fans are happy now.

      Good thing I had time to prepare myself for what would happen to my poor Yara this ep. Thanks leaks.

      Cersei slays me. Jaime needs to get his shit together.

      The name dropping that popped up to me was Rhaegar and again Aegon.

      Sue wants to throw a book at Jorah for calling Dany Khalessi and so do I… for wanting to send Dany a letter possibly contaminated with greyscale. I threw up in my mouth during the scene where Sam cured him.

      Hot Pie will outlive us all, as will Sam since he is GRRM. Unlike GRRM though, Sam will finish his book series.

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    16. Matty C,

      Or, you know, it could be because it was a massive, devastating sea battle against a much more experienced crew, the inevitable losing side happening to be commanded by a woman. I believe I may have seen a few dozen men die as well. 2 women. Women who could, and did, fight well, not relegated to helpless female roles.

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    17. Stuff I liked:
      – Jon’s Large Council (good feedback and Jon holds his own)
      – Dany’s Small Council (good lore, Dany keenly inquiring, Myrcella reference, Olenna’s fury)
      – Sam’s an absolute hero (a quick study but are the maesters that oblivious? Bookworms unite! Flesh-to-soup yum!)
      – Arya/Hotpie, Arya/Nymeria (Nymeria ain’t anybody’s bitch…but Chekhov asserts she’ll return!)
      – ironborn v ironborn battle (dysfunctional setup but good scene, Theon despondence was dramatic)
      – Qyburn tour and demonstration (never intimidated!)
      – GW and M’s compelling bodies (although “lovely scene with emotional resonance”…? Heh. It was titillating sexytime that compared to Robb & Talisa with better lighting. I fear for both GW & M now)

      Stuff I disliked:
      – Jon and LF (Huh? The WF crypts offer a crapload more intrigue than that!)
      – Dany/Yara’s ignorance of Euron’s ships (Queen dragonrider needs to be an eye-in-the-sky)
      – Jaime dealmaking for the Mad Queen (was his hand hacked off or his balls? Weird acquiescence…but they are building to major conflict, right?)

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    18. Flayed Potatoes,

      To be fair to the show, Mel may know things through her visions. She knew about Gendry that way. Kinvara knew Varys’ life story. I think Mel’s knowledge of Jon’s status likely has a similar explanation.

      But yeah, Varys’ ignorance is silly. Characters will know whatever is convenient for the show to have them know in a given scene, and will be conspicuously oblivious to the rest.

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    19. Matty C:

      What a horrible final sequence of events for people defending the show against accusations of too much violence against women!

      What?

      That was just females behaving as active characters not helpless damsels in distress. They fought and they lost in a battle where the bad guys happened to win. Gendered violence it was not.

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    20. Karenchasez,

      LF is out of place since the last season, they just keep the character around for some great “Oh” disposal of him.

      Long live Euron the Killer of Sand Fakes. Could he be used to fix some other writing messes before his end? And he doesn’t seem to have an valyrian steel armor, or at least keeps it somewhere safe.

      What I still don’t get is how is he manning those 1000 ships. If he has enough men not even for full but at least decent crews & landing/boarding parties, the Iron Islands actually don’t need any allies. A dim hope at some point we’ll be told it’s just a marketing trick and the actual number is significantly lower…

      Odd timing for Daenerys to address Varys’ past – long after he was given significant power, but at least we got that conversation. Guess it goes under “Better late than never”.

      Nymeria (the direwolf)… was kind of bitter sweet disappointment. She came back then she went away again. Felt like a nod to ppl who wanted it and nothing more. At least she should be safe now – smart direwolves don’t stay in front of the camera recently, if they want to survive.

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    21. Flayed Potatoes:
      Arya dropping everything to go to Jon was perfection. Is it me, or did the music from the ToJ started playing in the background?

      I think it was a variation of the Stark theme ( which might also be the case with the ToJ part ). Made the scene even greater but kinda gave away her decision a moment earlier.

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    22. Regarding Jon’s oath, I feel that when he was assasinated his watch was over. I think he felt the same way and with much more pressing matters to deal with he took advantage of that loophole. When you die…even though you are resurrected by magic your previous life is over.

      I thought the most poignant scene was with Arya and Nymeria. I’m a sucker for Stark reunions and glad I had a box of Kleenex nearby. Looking forward to Arya/Sansa/Bran/Jon…what a family!

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    23. With regards to Littlefinger, I read the crypt scene as Littlefinger getting the measure of Jon, how easy is he to rile up. Very easy it seems. Something he can use to his advantage.

      Loved the episode, seemed more season 1 ish… as in proper character scenes. It doesn’t need to be all action, all the time. Game of thrones is at it’s best in the quieter emotional moments.

      Highlights for me were the whole beginning scene including Olena and Dany. Arya and Nymeria. Theon reverting to Reek for a moment, Alfie Allen is the king of acting.

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    24. Nymeria will definitely come back in the future. I expect her pack to come to the rescue against the White Walkers or in a situation where Arya will be in mortal danger. They did not just show her to please the fans.

      They did not actually show if Sam was successful with Jorah… but obviously he will, considering there would be no point in keeping Jorah around if he was not going to play an important part in the end game. Speaking of Jorah… I laughed when I saw he began his letter with ”Khaleesi”. xD

      Euron sure kicked ass in this episode. He took down two Sand Snakes and Asha one after the other! I didn’t imagine him as a great fighter in the books, more of a cunning leader. Oh well, it made for good action.

      Overall, as much as I love some of the main characters finally hearing about other protagonists of the story and discussing them, it all feels quite rushed. I mean, how many people have just found out FOR THE FIRST TIME that DRAGONS exist again and that UNDEAD CREATURES and WHITE WALKERS are marching to destroy their world?! Seriously, the show plays it out as if most of these characters had seen what we have seen, but they HAVEN’T! They should be exhibiting not only doubt but shock and terror. This is all a little too neat and it was what I feared would happen with short seasons.

      P.S.: I am very disappointed with the character of Littlefinger. He was always a favorite of mine in both the novels and the show, but he has become predictable and also kind of a waste of time. I don’t see what he’s trying to do. He’s surrounded by people who despise him (at best). What is he still doing there? I thought he had a long term plan for sitting on the throne, but then I guess that’s only in the novels. *sighs*

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    25. Sacred Lime:
      With regards to Littlefinger, I read the crypt scene as Littlefinger getting the measure of Jon, how easy is he to rile up. Very easy it seems. Something he can use to his advantage.

      It was also a nice echo of S1. Jon truly is Ned Stark’s son.

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    26. SerNoName: Because that’s how it is in the books? I doubt that Summer is going to die in the books or that Nymeria is going to abandon Arya. The show not wanting to spend CGI money on the wolves has no bearing on the characters. Even Ghost failed to make an appearance this episode, despite him being a big part of who Jon is and Jon leaving WF this episode.

      I am sure Nymeria will turn up with her wolf pack for the big battle next season and help Arya.

      I disagree about Summer and Nymeria in the books – especially Nymeria. Arya is right – Nymeria has been her own wolf for too long to settle for being a glorified pet again. And plotwise, Summer is not needed for anything more than friendship anymore once Bran is the 3ER.

      I agree, however, with the last part. Nymeria is the leader of her own pack now, but she’ll choose to stand with Arya and her pack when it’s necessary.

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    27. It just dawned on me why I was unsatisfied tonight. Before you think I’m being negative, hear me out :). I truly love the show and ANY episode is heads and tails above anything else on TV. And I thought there was a lot of good tonight too.

      One of the things I’ve always loved about GoT is the complexity of the dialogue. Not only the detailed foreshadowing, but the use of a fascinating backstory to give context to the present. It’s what makes it all so masterful (and this community so much fun!). So when someone says anything, you better be paying attention! And these characters now coming together have so many intertwining first- and second-degree relationships. So much fodder for interesting and illuminating conversations…not just illuminating to the characters but to us.

      That’s what I felt was missing tonight.

      For example: what if the Varys/Dany conversation didn’t happen at such an awkward out-of-the-blue moment? What if it had come about during the entire council meeting?

      How about this convo (written better than my scribble, of course, and I’m ad-libbing on details…):

      Tyrion to Ellaria: “At least we don’t go around poisoning little girls.”
      Ellaria: “Oberyn died to save you.”
      Varys: “No, Oberyn died trying to avenge his sister.”
      Varys, continued looking at Dany: “When your brother kidnapped Ned Stark’s sister, abandoning Oberyn’s sister, it triggered a chain of events that brought us all here today.”
      Dany: “Blah blah you betrayed my father how do I know you won’t betray me…” (similar convo as to what we saw on the show).
      Varys: “I betrayed your father for Rhaegar. He was forced to marry Elia. But he loved Lyanna Stark. So much that he married her too. Indeed, she wasn’t kidnapped, she went willingly. I know, I helped them escape.”
      Dany: “That’s in the past, now for our battle plans etc. etc.”

      My point isn’t this dialogue per se, but that this was an opportunity: context plus new information (even if I made it up). Mentioned in passing, but IMPORTANT.

      THEN, when Mel shows up and delivers the news about Jon Snow, Ned’s bastard. Jon’s now not just a random King in the North, son of the man who helped Robert depose her father, Jon’s’s suddenly established as Dany’s brother’s wife’s nephew. The seeds of a positive familial relationship, even if at this point only by marriage (because while Varys might have known about a secret wedding and none of us would be surprised if he’d been a part of it, Varys might not have known about the child…so that could stay secret for awhile).

      THIS establishes a far stronger reason to consider Jon a possible ally and invite him to Dragonstone instead of, “we all hate Cercie, let’s work together.”

      Another example: LF in the crypt with Jon. I’ve watched the scene three times now and I just don’t see anything that will later come back to me as an “A-HA., that’s what that meant!” But given that both Varys and LF are well known to be purveyors of rumors and information, this could have been an amazing opportunity to introduce some seeds of doubt in Jon’s mind about Ned as his father. Sample convo:

      LF: “I loved Cat.”
      Jon: “She didn’t love you. She never would have betrayed my father with the likes of you, you little worm.”
      LF: “But your father betrayed her. Or…did he? The Honorable Ned Stark. How is it possible that he of all people fathered a bastard child? It was quite the scandal back then. Unbelievable, really. But Cat hated you so much. So at least she believed it.”

      (Then Jon clotheslines him into the rock wall, scene ends).

      I’m not saying every conversation has to relate to backstory or foreshadow events. But for me it was always these intricate characters and touches that made the story so powerful.

      Yeah I know, this is long. Sorry. And it’s late, so no one will read it ;). If you did, tell me I’m nuts? Or if you agree?

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    28. My strongest reactions to this episode were these:

      Sam needs to back further away from the highly contagious person! He also needs a mask and cap and needs to burn everything when he’s done.

      It really is too bad that they can’t really convey the depth of the bond the Starks have with their Direwolves onscreen. I still have hopes that Nymeria will eventually reunite with Arya and perhaps we’ll still see her and her pack fighting wights in a later battle.

      So long, Sand Snakes. I wonder what Theon will do next, but I’m really looking forward to Jon and Daenerys meeting, his reaction to her and the dragons, and her reaction to his exposition on White Walkers and resurrection.

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    29. Finally watched it.It was very good.Loved Varys and Dany.He is gangsta lol.Arya was everything.She dropped everything because of Jon.Imagine her disappointment when she goes there but at least there is Sansa.I hate the devils at HBO for cutting Ghost but at least we got Nymeria.Sam is a hero and that’s that on that.The bromance between Jon and Tyrion has survived seven seasons love it.Jon knows the value of good drama in a television show that’s why he discusses everything in the open.His people have listening comprehension problems but what can you do.At least Sansa is happy now lol.I can’t talk about the battle because it was too dark to see in my phone in the middle of nowhere but it sounded cool.What Theon did makes complete sense. God that preview I can’t wait.Goodbye blue filter of hell.Jon is gonna go to his ancestral home.On that note somebody take a drink every time they mention Rhaegar or more importantly Aegon this season lmao.I’m glad I finally figured out what the context of the Sansa walking scene is.Oh and I forgot Jon should have choked Lf to death in front of his mom and uncle’s tomb lol.

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    30. A. Foreign. Invasion. is. Underway.

      And fair warning: In the now inevitable event of Dragon death, I will be inconsolable.

      “As long as I have eyes I will use them” is my new slogan.

      Maisie: acting assassin, slays every scene.
      Nymeria=heartbreak

      PS: Sup, y’all. Missed ya.

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    31. That moment when i realizes tyrion is the only one with penis in Daenerys’s small council. Not that im complaining.

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    32. Matty C:

      at the hands of Euron, the most magically-powered character on the show, capable of building entire fleets out of thin air

      two women (not exactly sure who, maybe the sand snakes that were killed..? Internet will confirm shortly, I’m sure.), hanging/impaled on the ship.

      I am so frickin tired of the ‘Euron built ships out of nothing’ gripe. The Ironborn have always had a large fleet even though they live on a mostly rocky island so OBVIOUSLY they know where to get the wood for those ships. Why is this so difficult for so many people to grasp? The Ironborn take from others what they don’t have.

      And the two women were definitely Sandsnakes: the one who used a spear was impaled with her spear and the one with the whip was hanged with her whip.

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    33. Really loved the Varys and Dany conversation it was needed and it felt so raw and honest, there was no brushing things under the rug which I appreciated.
      Dany shutting Ellaria down and defending Tyrion I loved, don’t see many people defend Tyrion so it was really refreshing.
      I loved that Dany and Olenna conversation but at the same time I think Olenna was manipulating her, basically saying don’t listen to your advisors and be more brutal will probably kick Dany in the ass later as I think she’s likely to listen to her as she’s never really had a older female role model in her life before.
      Really think Jon and Sansa should talk things through before having a large council meeting, he did at first but then when he got the news from Sam he never told Sansa how vital it was that he goes to Dragonstone instead just sprung it on her publicly. Those silly kids need to show a united front, his argument at the council was good though, I mean did they bring up any better ideas to get Dragonglass and allies, no they did not just saying it’s a bad idea was a weak defence on their part.
      That Jorah scene killed me, Jorah deserves better after all his been through he better not die after this otherwise it would of been better for him to end his life then go through that torture that for some reason that wasn’t mentioned he wasn’t allowed to have milk of the poppy.
      My poor darling Theon having a serious ptsd episode, I really hope he can get the help he needs to strengthen himself mentally so he can save his sister Yara

      That Missandei and Grey Worm scene, was absolutely beautiful. Grey Worm was so human and raw, his words were like poetry and he was so afraid of not being good enough. It was also probably one of the best sex scenes on the show for sure, it was incredibly tasteful.

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    34. Yeah considering it is CGI Maisie did great in the Nymeria scenes.

      I think the scene is a good nod and a reminder from season 1 that she’s alive, but it’s good thematically in Arya realising who she is, as is the case with the Wolf Dreams in the book

      In this case though, I suspect it’s a case of they’ve moved closer as she’s decided to head to Winterfell, but not until she has fully re-claimed her Stark identity and relinquished the mass murdering “no one” who worships “death” will they be more fully re-united, which I expect in season 8

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    35. Lord of Coffee: I am so frickin tired of the ‘Euron built ships out of nothing’ gripe.The Ironborn have always had a large fleet even though they live on a mostly rocky island so OBVIOUSLY they know where to get the wood for those ships.Why is this so difficult for so many people to grasp?The Ironborn take from others what they don’t have.

      And the two women were definitely Sandsnakes:the one who used a spear was impaled with her spear and the one with the whip was hanged with her whip.

      Yeah I’m just making an assumption they raided the RL taking advantage of the power vacuum as the Freys were pre-occupied with Riverrun

      Am hoping to see Euron sack Oldtown after delivering the “gifts” to Cersei

      They were Sand Snakes, Nym was hund with her Whip and Obara impaled on her Spear. Seemed to be a nod to strapping people like Aeron to the bow of the ships during the Forsaken chapter

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    36. Sacred Lime:
      With regards to Littlefinger, I read the crypt scene as Littlefinger getting the measure of Jon, how easy is he to rile up. Very easy it seems. Something he can use to his advantage.

      How can Littlefinger use it to his advantage when Jon isn’t going to even be there. If LF’s objective for provoking Jon was to measure him up to use to his advantage, it was totally pointless for him to do so AFTER Jon had already declared that he was going away. LF should have tried this shit weeks or months ago, if that was his plan. Doing it when Jon isn’t going to be around to manipulate is pretty pointless.
      This episode just reinforced what was evident in episode 1 as well. LF is completely out of his depth in the North. He is more or less irrelevant in the South where he is nowhere in the equation in the war between Dany and Cersei. Right now, LF’s only contribution to the plot is his creepy obsession with Sansa. All he can do is wait around until she comes to the realization that she needs to kill him.

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    37. Lord of Coffee,

      Yep, the timelines of the show are vastly different until they converge. The Kingsmoot to now is probably like 2 years or more. Yara and Theon sailed to Meereen, Varys went to Dorne. The Dornish Fleet was prepared sailed to Meereen. Then Dany’s entire fleet was prepared to sail. Probably took ages. Also the Ironborn are ship builders. I hate the 1000 ships thing.. that is just to say a lot of ships.. as in Euron doesn’t go round saying I have 663 ships btw.. 1000 sounds better. I don’t think it is exactly 1000 ships.. just a lot.

      “How many ships are sailing at us captain”
      “512 .. I think”

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    38. Edward,

      How about when she threatened to burn Varys alive? Dang but she’s steely. She feels different this season. And I can’t say that I like her personality. If I lived in a kingdom I wouldn’t want to follow someone with such cold entitlement. On the surface, like to the common people, even Cercei seems like someone you can warm to more so lol.

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    39. Ok, I looked it up.
      Varys sent two orders , one was to arrange to have Dany assassinated. This one came explicitly from Robert.
      The other which arrived just-in-time was Jorah’s pardon. Which I don’t remember being issued by Robert.
      Supposedly Varys didn’t spell out the assassination plot, but it was easy for Jorah to figure out, so Varys* saved Dany’s life even if the agent was Jorah.
      Varys could have mentioned this.

      * Illyrio and Varys want the Targs back so he nullified Robert’s order, maybe he wanted to keep this card?

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    40. ghost of winterfell,

      He is definitely out of his depth and it’s a good point as to the timing of it. It’s too late for him now though, he has thrown his lot in with the Starks under the impression he can manipulate Sansa & he always has a plan. hopefully it’ll become evident.

      He still commands the Knight of the Vale in Robert Arryn’s name.. he could always threaten to remove his support, he still has some bargaining power.

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    41. Not read the other comments as yet, I stayed up until 3am to watch the episode so here are my rather tired thoughts:
      – The episode starts really strongly.
      – I really enjoyed Varys standing up to Dany who one again is edging towards the bad side of the spectrum.
      – On first watch I didn’t like Mel implying that Azor Ahai/The Prince who was promised was both Dany and Jon. However on re-watch I don’t believe she says that’s, she only implies Dany has a part to play and it’s Dany’s ego who gets excited about this (again further evidence she isn’t the long term ruler).
      – The Jorah/Sam stuff wasn’t particularly great.
      – The Missandei and Greyworm stuff was really poor. Yes they are good looking people but I cringed so badly at this scene it was down there with Sandsnakes in S5 as a low point for the show.
      – Why no Bran?
      – Hot Pie scene was nice but boy the actor has grown a lot!
      – Arya with Nymeria, not sure that scene worked for me.
      – Sea battle, lacked a little tension for me although was largely well done, so glad to see some of the sandsnakes die even if it means waving goodbye to the gorgous Jessica Henwick.

      Overall I give it a 7/10 not as good as last week with largely good content apart from a couple of exceptions.

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    42. Jenny,

      You know how Dany said Dragonstone does not feel like home? Wouldn’t it be odd if Jon, after spending some time there, says something contrary like it’s weird how he feels a connection to the place.

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    43. Loved Dany/Varys conversation, covered all the angles nicely about how Varys/Illyrio plot revolved around putting clown Viserys on the throne but also how the Vaes Dothraki poison attempt was deeply personal

      I didn’t think they’d be able to cater for this or just gloss over it but was quite satisifed with Dany’s grilling and Varys answer

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    44. ygritte,

      That wasn’t that bad, she made him promise to come to her if she is being problematic and tell her to stop he swore he would, she only threatened to have him killed if he didn’t come to her and instead betrays her behind her back. What else should she have said, betray me and I’ll beg you to stop. Anyone in her position would kill him for that, it’s a death sentence for traitors, Targaryen’s always used fire, Jon beheads/hangs them, Cersei gets Frankenmountain to torture/rape them to death.

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    45. A few initial thoughts now I’ve had some time to reflect on the episode:

      Dragonstone – I definitely agree that they had to deal with the Dany/Varys history and Myrcella’s murder, and felt they managed to do so deftly without detracting from the basis of the scene – to plan the invasion of Westeros. Though I would like to have seen Theon’s reaction to the news that Jon is now a king.

      Clearly as is the case with Team Jon, there are individual antagonisms and differences, and that will be interesting as we move through the season. I did like seeing Olenna/Daenerys interact one-on-one.

      Melisandre is looking a bit more confident since we saw her last. I wonder if finally having the Davos confrontation was a bit cathartic for her? She does seem to have learned a lot from her mistakes and isn’t as certain about prophecy as she once was, but that can only be a good thing.

      I loved Missandei’s language-nerdiness. The girl speaks nineteen languages, and it is small details like this which make that believable. I also love that the gender neutrality of the pronoun prince/princess leaves open further the ambiguity as to whether Jon or Daenerys or both are this promised one.

      Tyrion’s reaction to finding out Jon is now King in the North was fantastic. He clearly remembers Jon well. Of all the Starks, Jon showed Tyrion respect and friendship and he doesn’t seem to have forgotten that, and I’d like to see it referenced when they meet at Dragonstone. When watching him recall his journey to the Wall with Jon and Benjen, I did visualize the Tyrion/Daenerys scene in Hardhome in which Tyrion spoke of a girl with nothing but a family name who rose to be queen – Jon’s rise has been just as meteoric, and he didn’t even have a great name.

      High level nerdiness, but I got a little emotional hearing Daenerys say Jon Snow for the first time. And also had to stop myself from screaming at the TV he’s your nephew!!

      For all the debate when we saw a glimpse of it in the trailer, I found the Missandei and Grey Worm scene very touching. His words to Missandei about how she has become his weakness reminded me of what Maester Aemon said to Jon and Sam – love is the death of duty. In the end, I don’t know that what we saw was much more graphic than the Jon/Ygritte scene in the cave in Kissed by Fire (coincidentally another Bryan Cogman episode!). Ultimately Grey Worm and Missandei remind me a lot of Sam and Gilly – two very damaged people who against the odds have found love and acceptance in another. Love and acceptance they never imagined having.

      King’s Landing – As much as I have a rabid dislike for the man, I do think Randyll Tarly makes for a much more reliable ally than Euron Greyjoy. His misogyny is made clear, however, by the fact that it is Jaime who has seemingly been behind his appearance in the Throne Room, and Jaime who seems to convince him to back Team Cersei. I thought the introduction of the newly-recast Dickon was done well. It wasn’t made clear in a jarring way that the character was being re-introduced to us with another actor. As someone who hasn’t seen Black Sails, I’m looking forward to seeing what Tom Hopper can do.

      And Qyburn has been busy – his blacksmiths have been crafting medieval anti-aircraft weapons! In all honesty, I like that this is a weapon shaped in something we know from our real world crafted for the quasi-medieval setting of Westeros.

      Winterfell – I like that Sansa acknowledges Tyrion’s difference from the other Lannisters. He repeatedly stepped in to stop Joffrey mistreating her, and in Mhysa , they had a lovely scene in the gardens at the Red Keep in which Sansa gave Tyrion advice on how to get revenge on those who made fun of him (sheep-shifting their beds) and they seemed to share a common experience of being outcasts. Of course, the next time we saw Tyrion he was being told about the Red Wedding, which put the kybosh on any sort of trust developing between them. But I like to think that had they been left alone, Sansa and Tyrion could have developed a friendship of sorts. Theon’s relationship with the Stark children shows that it isn’t unknown for a hostage to befriend a captor.

      Jon clearly remembers Tyrion well, but acknowledges that Sansa knew him better and he does defer to her judgement here. I think one of the things she probably finds frustrating is that he seems to do so in private, but not so much in public. And I like the reference to their first meeting – it gives the letter the legitimacy Jon is looking for. A few words that show it was genuinely Tyrion who sent this letter.

      Sam’s raven from the Citadel answers our questions on whether he knows Jon is King in the North. Given what we saw of Citadel record-keeping in Winds of Winter and the passage of time in Dragonstone, I think this is meant to be confirmation that while Sam may not know the details he is aware that Jon is at Winterfell and is King in the North. And in The House of Black and White, Sam seemed to be happy for Jon when he heard of Stannis’s offer of the North.

      And it is Sam’s letter that sets Jon on a path southward. If I have a niggling thing about this scene, it is that Jon doesn’t mention Maester Aemon to refute Bronze Yohn Royce’s argument that a Targaryen cannot be trusted. Jon has first-hand knowledge that this is very much not the case. And I’m guessing Jon will be heading south hoping that Daenerys Targaryen is more Maester Aemon’s great-niece than the Mad King’s daughter.

      Sansa is right to be concerned – and to invoke the memory of their grandfather. While we don’t see Tyrion’s letter in full, I doubt it spoke of bending the knee as Daenerys requested. I could see Tyrion wanting to avoid wording the letter to anything that sounded like the Mad King’s summons to Lord Rickard. Interesting in this scene to see Lyanna Mormont speak out against Jon’s plans. Her support isn’t blind loyalty (a theme referenced at Dragonstone) for Jon – her support for him is earned.

      Seeing Cersei and Daenerys plot over the Iron Throne makes Jon even more of a contrast in this episode as he asserts his title as a duty and one he never sought at that. And he is right – Daenerys would take anything less than a king as an insult. Save, perhaps, Sansa. And Jon isn’t sending her south anytime soon. She objects to him leaving, but he then turns round and gives her a reason to accept it – he’s leaving her in charge and giving her the increased power she’s clearly been looking for. It will be interesting to see how she wields that power and how her rule differs from Jon’s.

      After getting nerdy at Daenerys saying Jon Snow, I got equally nerdy at Jon Snow saying Daenerys Targaryen. And talking about dragons. I got a bit emotional at this and at seeing Jon ride out of Winterfell. After everything Ned did, all the lies he told, Jon is heading south to the ancient stronghold of House Targaryen and to the seat of his biological father. He is doing so without knowing who he is, but there seems such a sense of fate about it – as if Jon was always meant to go there; always meant to meet Daenerys, all that is left of Rhaegar’s kin.

      It is touching that the last thing Jon does before leaving Winterfell is visit Ned’s statue. He has referenced Ned and his teachings multiple times since the Starks re-took Winterfell, and it is clear that while Sansa has learned the politics of the south, Jon was taught that of the north. So much of what Jon has learned, and of who he is, comes from Ned. It is a beautiful moment watching Jon look up at Ned’s statue, knowing simultaneously he is doing the right thing and how much the Targaryens wronged his family.

      As with last week, I felt that even though we are past the books there were some little nuggets in there. For me, one of them in Stormborn is the idea of the crypts as a Stark place. While in the books Jon dreams of it being a place he is excluded from, in this scene it is Littlefinger that doesn’t belong. LF doesn’t seem to do well against men of Stark blood in fights. He’s been bested in a duel by Brandon, and now bashed up against a wall by both Ned and Jon. This was a great callback to that scene in Lord Snow.

      I do wonder just how much this was about LF trying to gauge how far Jon could be pushed before he snapped. Jon has kept his temper so far since he became king. Not so much in this scene, but LF got what he deserved. Invoking love for both Ned’s wife and Ned’s daughter in front of Ned’s (presumed) son was not a good idea. But, if nothing else, LF has learned what pushes Jon’s buttons – Sansa, and how Catelyn treated him. I wonder if the latter was brought up as a result of Jon’s speech in Dragonstone about not punishing children for the sins of their fathers?

      Citadel – Go Sam! We saw last week how thoroughly fed up he is at the lack of progress in his studies, and it seems he has taken it upon himself to find a cure for greyscale. Jim Broadbent is fantastic in this scene as an Archmaester who personifies the grey sheep image of the Citadel in the books. A group of men who do not seek to experiment.

      While I was very concerned at the progress of Jorah’s disease (I think this was another good way of showing the passage of time without verbally doing so), I loved the interactions between Sam and Jorah. John Bradley has been fantastic this season, and I’m really looking forward to seeing these two characters interact again. I feel there is so much more Sam can tell Jorah about his father, and I loved that Sam invoked the Night’s Watch brotherhood when helping Jorah. A real callback to Yoren riding south to warn Ned that Catelyn had captured Tyrion in season one, in memory of his black brother Benjen.

      I also loved the Maester Pylos reference – in the Kissed by Fire audio commentary, Bryan Cogman discusses his intention to include Pylos (in the books Cressen’s successor on Dragonstone) in that episode as Davos’s reading teacher. Ultimately, he says, D&D over-ruled him as they felt it would be more meaningful if Shireen taught Davos to read – but he finally got Pylos’s name in!

      Arya – I got so many feels when I saw Hot Pie again. This segment at the Inn at the Crossroads really continued, for me, Arya’s return to humanity arc. Hot Pie is a reminder of friendship against the odds. And he even gave us more baking tips!!

      It was interesting to hear the legend of the Battle of the Bastards – no mention of LF/Knights of the Vale, and lots of Jon riding down from Castle Black with an army of wildlings to take Winterfell back from the Boltons. I wonder how much this version of events is what has made it through Westeros – is this essentially the version Cersei was given?

      While we knew the Nymeria reunion was coming from the trailer, I love that Ayra had already made the decision to turn north at this point. Again, got a little emotional at this part. It was her retrieval of Needle in Blood of my Blood that started her on the path to rediscovering her Stark identity, and the one constant in her life since leaving Winterfell has been the sword Jon gave her as a parting gift. It was the one part of herself Arya couldn’t throw away. And Needle is so much more than a sword. It is a sign from Jon to his sister that he loves her just the way she is. Sword fighting and all.

      So, I do think it fitting that it is Jon who is the deciding factor – it is Jon she is returning home to.

      I also loved the callback to the scene in Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things (again, another Bryan Cogman episode) as Arya realizes Nymeria wants to be free as much as she does and lets her go.

      Sea Battle – It was great to see Euron in battle-mode. We’ve seen a different side to him in each of his scenes so far, and that is very much in keeping with his character. This Euron was the Euron of The Forsaken, and I don’t see that being a good thing for Yara. For all of those who hate Euron and the Sand Snakes, this sequence leaves them with a dilemma, now that Euron has killed Obara and Nymeria.

      I loved Alfie Allen in this episode as he makes it clear that in spite of Yara’s form of therapy, she has yet to fully remove Reek from his psyche. As we saw Sam regress last season under his father’s gaze in Blood of my blood, here we see Theon do the same under Euron’s gaze. And he is left in the water doing his best Kate Winslet in Titanic impersonation.

      The battle sequence itself was stunning – storms book-ending the episode. We had yet to have a full-on sea battle (Blackwater was made a little one-sided by the wildfire and the siege of Meereen by the dragons) so it was great to see a different type of conflict rather than repeating previous ones. Gemma, Alfie and Pilou were all amazing – and the Ironborn arc seems to be gathering pace following on from last season. I was also disturbed by the visual reminders of Euron’s policy regarding tongue removal. Euch.

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    46. Have to say I actually enjoyed Sam Ser Jorah, I seem to be one for the slower scenes, as like the books I want a show with some depth and it’s worth mentioning I really liked Jonathan Pryces scenes as High Sparrow and took a lot out of the prayer room scenes everyone else seemed to find “boring”

      Loved the look on Sam actors face when he asked “have you done this before?”, just like the “lifes a bit irregular” he’s done very well, and while he may come across as whimpy and craven he shows a lot of bravery, eg to steal the books and risk suspension/expulsion perhaps but also to put himself right in dangers way by being that close to a Stoneperson

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    47. Sacred Lime:
      ghost of winterfell,

      He still commands the Knight of the Vale in Robert Arryn’s name.. he could always threaten to remove his support, he still has some bargaining power.

      That’s the only thing stopping Sansa from disposing of him immediately imo.

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    48. When Red-Clergy show up and say vague things about “the Long Night is coming and you can do something about it”, I wish someone would say “can you elaborate?”.
      It’s even true in the North, John knows dead smooth explicitly what is going on and sort of kind of lays it out, apparently Davos is convinced, yet no other Northern Lord says “lay it own me, I want details”. Jon (as well as Edd and Sam know too, and some other crows and a bunch of Wildlings).
      Actually Davos seems more convincing about this than anyone else. Isn’t anyone curious as to why John is so concerned? Everyone seems detached!
      (I don’t like “The Dead are Coming”, if they don’t want to call them The Others, make up another name that sounds convincing.)

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    49. Alba Stark,

      Read half your comments so far

      yeah they re-introduced Dickon well

      I think they may have overdone Randyll against Sam a little bit, set him up like a cartoonish bad guy but he did chain Sam to a Dungeon wall when he said he wanted to be a Maester so…

      But I liked how they showed him as a man of honour here so he isn’t some kind of cartoon villain as well with his no backstabbing or throat slitting, and that he is still somewhat bound to House Tyrell as a bannerman, so it is good that they are showing his side-switching as being partly reluctant, and if he did so he’d attack from the front with an Army and pitched battle rather than in the back with a dubious knife or RW style trick

      The actor playing him is fantastic, a great sense of deeply cynical depth, can really believe he would threaten to kill Sam on a hunt in season 1 and can buy him as a grizzled veteran soldier and General. Really looking forward to seeing him in any future battle scenes

      Between all the jokes and the Grey Worm Missandei romance, it irks people but I understand what they are doing, eg they are showing the journey and character development from former pseudo-robot slaves there to fulfill a function to human being with agency and free will

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    50. Bryan Cogman tweeted there was a Ghost/Jon scene that didn’t make the cut.

      As a fan of both, I’m sad 🙁

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    51. I really liked this episode as well. And I will say it again, for the season that was described in advance as rushed they had great character moments in the first two episode. I really liked Euron again in this episode. And it was great to see all Dany’s allies in one place.

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    52. ghost of winterfell: That’s the only thing stopping Sansa from disposing of him immediately imo.

      just on this topic, it was a little odd to hear Yohn Royce refer to Jon as “your grace” rather than as “King Jon” or whatever, because Jon is a foreign King to him.

      In fact I’m surprised that White Walkers with no, with a massive power vacuum in the RL and war breaking out in KL and the south (Dorne/Reach) we aren’t seeing the Vale Lords agitating to head back south to the Vale to protect Sweetrobin from prospective attack which is their primary duty and concern (and why Lysa didn’t commit them to wo5K).

      Roberts directives were to help Sansa, which they’ve achieved but as far as helping against WW’s by being stationed in the North specifically it’s a matter of debate

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    53. ygritte,

      Well in Dany’s defense, death is the automatic price for treason, so it’s not as if she was just romanticizing Varys’ death. Dany is more cognizant than ever that her role in this conquest is to ensure that she doesn’t follow in the footsteps of her father. She’s enlisted the help of a council full of experienced and wise individuals and opens herself up to criticism when necessary. She’s still very much grounded in the heroism and bravado she’s always had. Which is refreshing to me.

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    54. I agree here regarding Euron having just watched the episode again, he’s very good and a big improvement over last season ( I didn’t hate on him there either by the way).

      I also found it satisfying to see Dany’s fleet and the Dornish take the first blow in the inevitable war.

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    55. Flayed Potatoes,

      Main character Jon saying goodbye to his loyal wolf had to be cut so we could see naked MissWorm for a few extra seconds. Other than that I really can’t think of any other filler in this episode tbh.

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    56. Alba Stark,

      I enjoyed Sam at the Citadel, showing his own form of bravery by delving full on to treating Greyscale, and the actors facial expression and nerdy awkwardness with the Rum drinking are great

      Interesting perspective on Jon and Arya, it seems that following on from Ramsays “I’ve heard things about you” Jon is getting a real reputation, that’s why the Northern Lords put him in power and half the reason why they don’t want him to go so it’s interesting his “legend” as it were is spreading beyond the North, and reckon you are right, it’s Jon she goes back for above all else, eg in the books she remembers Jon ruffling her hair fondly and I reckon it’s her love for Jon that brings her back from the brink

      Frankly I’m looking forward to Jon/Arya (and Needle) Stark reunion the most

      I think like the books, Nymeria and the Wolf Dreams is her link to Arya Stark as opposed to no one, so she makes the decision to head that direction, gets a glimpse of Nymeria but not until she has fully jettisoned “no one” the maniac assassin and fully become Arya again will she be more fully re-united with Nymeria. It’s a good twin theme to Theon/Reek.

      Maisie and Alife great acting

      In the books I expect Sansa to take power in the RL, but they seem to be juggling things and omitting the RL so while Jon travels they give her a chance to character development as pseudo Queen etc

      It will be interesting to see any contrast and the northern Lords reaction to it, eg I expect her to be mad Lothston Mk2 at Harrenhall in the books so…

      Just quietly the “you know him” re Tyrion got me thinking, what would happen if Sansa went to Dragonstone, would be a case of “here’s your husband Tyrion…”

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    57. Flayed Potatoes:
      Bryan Cogman tweeted there was a Ghost/Jon scene that didn’t make the cut.

      As a fan of both, I’m sad 🙁

      I am just gonna assume that since Jon ditched his plan to go south and get warm, poor Ghost had to go all by himself. Right now, he’s probably sunning himself in a Dornish beach…
      That’s the only explanation for his total disappearance that I am willing to accept lol.

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    58. after tonights episode i think ive mapped out the season or at least danys conquest
      shes lost her dornish and iron born support
      it looks like shes going to lose the tyrell support too or atleast a part of it through the tarlys
      which means shes gonna have to use the dragons unsullied and dothraki ….exactly what she decided not to use this episode
      can totally see it now … ” i am daenerys targaryen titles titles titles i am blood of the dragon burn them all”

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    59. Flayed Potatoes:
      Bryan Cogman tweeted there was a Ghost/Jon scene that didn’t make the cut.

      As a fan of both, I’m sad

      Same here, would have gone well thematically with Arya/Nymeria

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    60. Boojam,

      I also wish we could get some more intricate free flowing kind of dialogue with that plot. It’s like the same lines over and over again. “The dead are coming, winter is coming, the long night, the great war, dragonglass etc. I’d like if they discuss this once as normal people would, or bring up the lore, the tales from the previous long night, or whatever.

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    61. Really liked this episode. Enjoyed every second of it. Surprised to see quite a bit of negativity on here (critics are lovin’it!) Some thoughts:
      – James Faulkner is simply outstanding as Randyll Tarly and it’s a joy seeing him in KL. Am I glad they still chose to bring this character on the show, despite being so late in the game.
      – Maisie Williams’ acting is incredible in both her scenes, but her (visual) reaction to Hot Pie’s remarks on Cersei blowing up the sept, then on the Boltons being dead, then on Jon Snow being KITN, was off the charts amazing.
      – Wonderful to see Euron Grejoy becoming an instant fan-favorite. His entrance in this episode is certainly memorable.
      – Sad the SS received so little character development, as it would’ve made the stunning final sequence a bit more moving, but at least they received a fine death scene.
      – Great to see Ned’s statue in the crypts. The scene itself was the weakest of the episode, but by GoT standards it’s still a good one.
      – Strange that Varys & Dany would only have this talk now, as opposed to during their long travel from Meereen to Dragonstone. They could’ve come up with a better reason to have the conversation about strategy switch to Varys’ loyalties. Or at least focus on the “why he did it” instead of “what he did”. Nonetheless, good to see them finally share an actual scene with dialogue.
      – Still getting used to the fact that Daenerys can (and presumably will) now meet any character at any time. In six seasons, she only really met Barristan, Tyrion and (briefly) Theon and Yara. To see her meet Melisandre is quite surreal. Goosebumps.

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    62. ygritte,

      That’s not really fair.I suspect they probably cut Ghost for money and that has no bearing on the G/M scene.Also that scene is really important for them and it was good to show it.I still want Ghost though.

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    63. Mel,

      It’s the way she said it to him, and the fact that she had to even say it like that. Speaking more in general terms such as “the punishment for traitors is death by fire” would have been a less threatening/evil way to put would be betrayers on notice. Remember when we saw Stannis do it, or rather Mel on his behalf, many looked down on them for it. Even Jon thought it horrible, putting Mance out of his misery.

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    64. And another thing once they decided to get rid of the of the Dornish it’s give em the BUM’S RUSH!
      I guess those two got paid full season contract for one episode?
      At least they got more time than Doran Martell!

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    65. Dany was particulary in no good mood and acting in arrogant way. If it wasn’t for Varys, she wouldn’t have had Dorne, Tyrells … he helped her a lot. Also, he had to look after himself during Robert’s time. Threatening Varys to burn him alive with a smile and for Jon to bend the knee. No girl, that’s not the way to go.

      I liked her scene with Melisandre. Nice to hear High Valyrian and telling stories about Jon of how he helped wildlings and reclaimed the North. Dany’s reaction: sounds like quite a man. Tyrion’s surprised look once he hears about Jon. Probably never thought this nameless bastard would ever be a King. Also, a nice touch about their first meeting to let Jon know that he means good.

      Arya and Hot Pie was sweet and her face once she realizes that Jon is alive and King in the North. Also a nod to Arya making Frey pies. Sad a bit that Nymeria choose her pack over Arya but I believe Nymeria and her pack will help against White Walkers. It’s like a Chekhov’s gun Wimsey likes to use.

      Euron was probably the highlight. That’s the menacing, crazy bastard we know from the books. Butchering everyone in his sight and enjoying it. The battle itself had the right length. Not too long or too short.

      Also liked Randyll Tarly and questioning Cersei and not wanting to just turn sides. He probably will but it was done in a good way.

      Sam and Jorah stuff was good. Well a bit rushed but they probably have to move the plot. I don’t appreaciate that transition from cutting his wounds to pies at the Inn.

      Sansa annoying as ever and once Jon left her in command, she was cool. Jon had a point but also Northen lords do have a point. They don’t know Daenerys and her intentions. She could be like her father. Jon has the knowledge of knowing Tyrion.

      Overall better than first episode and things moves on.

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    66. mau:
      I really liked this episode as well. And I will say it again, for the season that was describedin advance as rushed they had great character moments in the first two episode.

      Right!? The season moves along way more “naturally” than I thought it would.

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    67. I thought Theon had mitigating circumstances , he didn’t have a chance against Euron so probably saved his sister’s life by Reeking-Out.
      Just say’n.

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    68. Jon Snowed:
      – On first watch I didn’t like Mel implying that Azor Ahai/The Prince who was promised was both Dany and Jon. However on re-watch I don’t believe she says that’s, she only implies Dany has a part to play and it’s Dany’s ego who gets excited about this (again further evidence she isn’t the long term ruler).

      Dany merely said she liked the sound of ‘princess’ that was promised better than ‘prince’. She didn’t seem to get ‘excited’ about it at all.

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    69. I don’t understand this , Euron stops a smallish Ironborn renegade fleet (Dany must have a million other ships) and is going to bring back two Dornish 2nd stringers and an Ironborn who Cersei does not care about and she is supposed to able sugar gleeful about it?

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    70. I’ve watched the scene twice now and it’s not how it comes across to me, she looks very smug. It’s very clear to me she’s power hungry which ultimately could be her demise.

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    71. Euron just wiped out most of Dany’s fleet (the rest have taken the unsullied to Casteley Rock), captured Ellaria and Yara. Dany still has a big edge but it’s a big early blow.

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    72. Boojam:
      I don’t understand this , Euron stops a smallish Ironborn renegade fleet (Dany must have a million other ships) and is going to bring back two Dornish 2nd stringers and an Ironborn who Cersei does not care about and she is supposed to able sugar gleeful about it?

      Two Dornish 2nd stringers who murdered Myrcella

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    73. I don’t understand:
      “- J. Snow is king in the north.
      – You’re lying.”
      Why would say such a thing a faceless assassin, trained to detect when someone is lying?

      PS: First post, have mercy! 🙂

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    74. I don’t blame Mylod for anything; he did the best he could with the script he was given. It had a ton of filler, recaps, exposition, and was basically an hour-long “Previously On” segment with a short naval battle added at the end.

      However, I’ve seen a particular complaint several times that is undeserved. For the record, they do not use CGI with the direwolves, other than to enlarge them. They work with real wolves, who are filmed separately from any actor doing specific things needed for the script, and Inuit dogs.

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    75. My god. I absolutely loved Euron killing the boring Sand Snakes and his traitorous nieces. I only wish I got to see Asha killed as well. Hopefully next week for her and the idiot Ellaria.

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    76. Theon’s PTSD kicking in when all hell breaks lose is great TV. Better than him running head long into a meaningless death to try save his sister. The battle was lost.

      Would have been great to see Theon face with the news that the Boltons are dead!

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    77. I reckon that’s a given, I like Yara but I feel she needs to die for Theon to complete his arc. Ellaria can die for all I care, not invested in the character at all.

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    78. Jon Snowed: Euron just wiped out most of Dany’s fleet (the rest have taken the unsullied to Casteley Rock), captured Ellaria and Yara. Dany still has a big edge but it’s a big early blow.

      I didn’t get hat impression at all.
      Dany must have a lot more ships than Euron.
      How do the Dothraki get to Westeros.

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    79. Matty C,

      What a horrible final sequence of events for people defending the show against accusations of too much violence against women! Every major female character on that ship got horribly violence’d, not to mention humiliated and laughed at, each and every one, with massive implications of sexual violence to come for those not actually killed.

      The women there were fighting just like the men were. I noticed the men also got ‘horribly violenc’d’ as well. This wasn’t against women – it was against everyone on the ship

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    80. Good question! I was thinking surely all the Dothraki are not on the ships in the middle of a storm as we know they don’t like to be in water! Given that they need food and fresh water I’m assuming they are on land nearby with the Unsullied.

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    81. Jenny,

      Not fair? Lol it’s actually fine to me either way. I don’t care that much about Ghost or Missande/Greyworm. Just echoing the sentiments of many on the YT and Reddit communities I guess.

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    82. Jon Snowed: Good question! I was thinking surely all the Dothraki are not on the ships in the middle of a storm as we know they don’t like to be in water! Given that they need food and fresh water I’m assuming they are on land nearby with the Unsullied.

      Well are there still 8000 Unsullied? I don’t care how one divides them up that’s got to be a lot of ships.
      The Dothraki, I guess we don’t know how many , I have seen numbers like 100,000. Even half that many, plus horse , they are not going to swim.
      It also looked to me like all of Yara’s ships were Ironborn , I guess could have been some Dornish in there too, didn’t see em.

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    83. thisgirlhasnoname:

      It just dawned on me why I was unsatisfied tonight. Before you think I’m being negative, hear me out :). I truly love the show and ANY episode is heads and tails above anything else on TV. And I thought there was a lot of good tonight too.

      One of the things I’ve always loved about GoT is the complexity of the dialogue. Not only the detailed foreshadowing, but the use of a fascinating backstory to give context to the present. It’s what makes it all so masterful (and this community so much fun!). So when someone says anything, you better be paying attention! And these characters now coming together have so many intertwining first- and second-degree relationships. So much fodder for interesting and illuminating conversations…not just illuminating to the characters but to us. That’s what I felt was missing tonight.
      My point isn’t this dialogue per se, but that this was an opportunity: context plus new information (even if I made it up). Mentioned in passing, but IMPORTANT.

      This. The dialogue really was not how it has been. I dunno it felt like maybe D&D really wanted this to be over with, without as much thought into it.

      THEN, when Mel shows up and delivers the news about Jon Snow, Ned’s bastard. Jon’s now not just a random King in the North, son of the man who helped Robert depose her father, Jon’s’s suddenly established as Dany’s brother’s wife’s nephew. The seeds of a positive familial relationship, even if at this point only by marriage (because while Varys might have known about a secret wedding and none of us would be surprised if he’d been a part of it, Varys might not have known about the child…so that could stay secret for awhile).

      THIS establishes a far stronger reason to consider Jon a possible ally and invite him to Dragonstone instead of, “we all hate Cercie, let’s work together.”

      Another example: LF in the crypt with Jon. I’ve watched the scene three times now and I just don’t see anything that will later come back to me as an “A-HA., that’s what that meant!” But given that both Varys and LF are well known to be purveyors of rumors and information, this could have been an amazing opportunity to introduce some seeds of doubt in Jon’s mind about Ned as his father. Sample convo:

      LF: “I loved Cat.”
      Jon: “She didn’t love you. She never would have betrayed my father with the likes of you, you little worm.”
      LF: “But your father betrayed her. Or…did he? The Honorable Ned Stark. How is it possible that he of all people fathered a bastard child? It was quite the scandal back then. Unbelievable, really. But Cat hated you so much. So at least she believed it.”

      (Then Jon clotheslines him into the rock wall, scene ends).

      I’m not saying every conversation has to relate to backstory or foreshadow events. But for me it was always these intricate characters and touches that made the story so powerful.

      Yeah I know, this is long. Sorry. And it’s late, so no one will read it ;). If you did, tell me I’m nuts? Or if you agree?

      No you are not nuts, and you are not being negative: not only do you have constructive criticsm but you back it up with examples of how it might be. Agree with much of what you said. I think two parts in particular really missed the boat: the LF and Jon convo (I know that it was LF feeling out Jon, but LF admitted that he loved his sister, seriously) and the whole strategy scene at dragonstone. There is much that was good here (Dany and Varys, tho long overdue, Sam and Jorah, Arya and Hot Pie, Jaime and Tarly) but these two in particular just didn’t have the same oomph as the others.

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    84. Also Theon just jumping in the sea and floating on a piece of wood didn’t really work for me. I assume he was terrified at the horror he saw and realised he was about to die but why didn’t anyone look over board and ensure he was dead and why is he just calmly watching silence sail away whilst his fleet is burning? I’m nitpicking but I feel it could have been done better.

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    85. ash,

      Ok I just tried to edit this and got a message that it was marked as spam – whats up with that? Sorry I made a mess of it but think you get which are the original and which are my replies……

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    86. Popping into Jorah’s cell, and- I just want to throw a book at Jorah Mormont, because this man even starts his letters to her with KHALEESI. A day without a khaleesi blast is a day that never was, for Jorah Mormont.

      Anyway, he’s planning to send her a raven, letting her know he’s at the Citadel, but Sam interrupts with a box of knives and medical goo. He introduces himself properly, revealing his connection to Jorah’s father and his plan to try and cure the man.

      I am thinking his “Dear Khaleesi” letter is a goodbye one, and so it would make sense for him to call her that name one last time. We can’t read the letter unless someone has some magic I don’t know about, but the first line might be, “I came to The Citadel in the hopes that the maesters could cure me…” I’m thinking he’s gone on to explain that they couldn’t do anything for him and that all hope was lost, that he tried to fulfill his promise to her and failed. And just as he was finishing up his suicide letter and getting ready to do as Ebrose suggested, fall on his sword, Sam rolls in with the cure.

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    87. Jon Snowed:
      Euron just wiped out most of Dany’s fleet (the rest have taken the unsullied to Casteley Rock), captured Ellaria and Yara. Dany still has a big edge but it’s a big early blow.

      I think it was just the dorne fleet….wasn’t it?

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    88. I loved the Arya scenes and how Jon went to see Ned before leaving. If only there’d been Jon/Ghost interaction as well! Alfie was great tonight. I hope Theon won’t be blamed for running, that was the sensible thing to do. IMO the first two episodes of this season have been better than s5 and s6 combined!

      I took the Dany/Varys conversation to mean that at some point Dany is going to go too far for Varys’ liking and that Varys is definitely going to shift his allegiance to Jon. Like Varys, Jon fights purely for duty, “for the children”, not because he wants power or thinks that he was born to rule Westeros and the throne is his by right. (Isn’t it interesting that Varys’ speech and Jon’s speech happened in the same episode?)

      Things are not looking good for Dany. Mel refused to say she’s the ptwp. Mel’s bet is clearly still on Jon. Even Tyrion looked impressed and happy that Jon is the king. How is one supposed to beat Jon in popularity? The guy has literally died for Westeros. I can’t imagine Dany sacrificing herself for anyone in her team atm, let alone for a country she doesn’t know and doesn’t feel at home in. Yet she’s going to have to do something incredibly heroic if she wants the north to bow to her.. Then again, the show has been weirdly vague about Jon’s death/resurrection and who exactly knows about it, so it might not come into play at all.

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    89. Greyscale is a lot worse than I thought as well.. I knew you lose your mind and turn to stone.. but man!! that looked really bad! Wonder if it is based on any real life disease? Poor Jorah!

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    90. I enjoyed seeing two of the Sand Snakes get taken out, but wasn’t thrilled with Theon jumping overboard. So he’s going to drift on wreckage and make it to shore? I’d have prefered he goes towards Euron but gets knocked overboard by one of Euron’s men, something like that. We should be moving past Reek now.

      I got a good chuckle seeing the statue was Ned and not Lyanna and that all the people thinking LF somehow knew about R+L = J were of course wrong as I said. 🙂 That secret is Bran’s to reveal!

      I enjoyed Dany’s scenes, especially pairing her one on one with the Queen of Thorns. I hope there are more scenes like that. Everything with Arya is also good too, but I hoped she’d be happier to see Hot Pie.

      The nude scenes need to go away now. The slow strip of Missendei and the Grey Worm doing going down on her thing are just a waste of screen time. Have them confess their love, then fade to black. That time better spent on politicking or war making at this point. The famous sexposition, imho should be done.

      Dany not wanting to use her dragons at all whatsoever seems like a plot device to give Cersei a fighting chance. I get her not wanting to “nuke” Westeros with her pets. But raining some fire on Lannister troops in the field as a show of force, or even a fly by to scare away any potential future allies to Cersei just makes sense.

      Ghost Lunch,

      I constantly think the same thing. No one in the Vale wants to go home now that winter has come. Everyone is totally on board that the White Walkers are real just because this northern dude who was a member of the Night’s Watch Jon Snow says so. Even a little dialogue about that would have been much appreciated.

      I think at this point screen time spent on that would be better than an unnecessary nude scene. The sexposition was great in the beginning to bring in casual fans to the show, but now that it’s a full blown cultural phenomenon…with 11 episodes total left. I want story, not sex scenes.

      Arkash,

      You need fingers to wield a sword too. Him being an effective fighter at all now, is just for good TV. He also lost toes, so his foot work would be terrible too.

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    91. Sacred Lime,

      Well there is ichthyosis but that’s fairly mild.

      I’ve always considered Greyscale to be the equivalent of leprosy in our world, not in terms of symptoms but in the way that it is feared and those with the disease being shunned.

      Thought this was a very good episode, not right up there with the best but pushing things forward neatly.

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    92. Loved the Dany / Varys scene. One because as everyone has said, the past had to be cleared between them and because Dany’s foul mood was funny. It seemed fueled by the fact that she had left sun-shiney Mereen for gloomy Dragonstone. lol.

      I love all Jon scenes, always, but I wish Jon’s slam choke of Littlefinger had been for a more compelling reason. If, for example, LF has teased Jon that he knew who his mother had been but wanted something in return for the information.

      Enjoyed seeing Hotpie again!

      Mylod has redeemed himself! The sea battle was exciting but all the fighting and jumping was within the realm of possibility for the characters involved. Sand Snake deaths were kinda cool, actually.

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    93. Danny promised to burn a man alive if he betrays her – just like her daddy, and she’s supposed to be better than that.

      Jon choked Littlefinger because something he said about a woman – just like his daddy, and he’s supposed to be more clever than that.

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    94. Honestly, I don’t understand all the people who talk about missing Martin’s beautiful prose. I’ve read the books, and they are fun, but nothing more. The style is quite pedestrian. This isn’t Nabokov, it isn’t Faulkner, it isn’t Lispector. It won’t survive time, or be considered a classic. It’s just entertaining – and that has its place too. But seriously, if you guys think that’s amazing prose, you should read more challenging books.

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    95. What I Loved:
      -All of the strategy scenes in Dragonstone, King’s Landing, and the North
      -Greyworm and Missandei
      -Jon giving the North to Sansa
      -Arya’s failed reunion with Nymeria
      -Coward Theon

      What I Liked:
      -Jorah and Sam
      -Ship battle

      What I Disliked:
      -Arya Hot Pie scene
      -Cersei’s solution to dragons

      What I Hated:

      Overall, it was an excellent episode and my favorite since The Broken Man of last season. An episode that is more along the lines of the glory days of the series as opposed to the opener which more reminded me of what I disliked about S6.

      I actually didn’t mind the idea of the Arya Hot Pie scene I just thought it was rushed and came across weird (Hot Pie’s reaction to seeing Arya for the first time in years felt glossed over).

      Also, Cersei’s new weapon is lame and wish they would’ve gone with something else, maybe a relic that could be discovered by Euron.

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    96. Wow, great episode that really exemplified what they can do now with fewer characters. The episode wasn’t rushed at all, and there were some nice quieter moments, but so much seemed to happen. I have to admit I was dubious about the sea battle when I heard about it, but wow it was amazing! Furthermore, I’ve said numerous times that I’ve been unsure of Pilou Asbæk’s portrayal of Euron, but that scene has made me do a complete 180 on him. He was menacing, dangerous, and enigmatic; exactly how I picture Euron. Well done also to Mark Mylod who I have also been critical of in the past.

      I’ve really trying to think of some weaknesses, but I can’t think of any. What an episode 2!!!

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    97. Flayed Potatoes,

      Gloves are great, but Sam proceeded to wipe his cheek and brow with them.. that would be a no-no.

      The entire process has been fairly cavalier with the concepts of a physically communicable fatal disease. If Shireen can catch greyscale from pressing a doll to her face, camping out in the cell where Jorah has touched absolutely everything is clearly a risk.. not just for Sam, but also for the Arch-Maester.

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    98. This is a great post. I’m currently on my third watch and I was thinking this is set-up for Varys switching to Jon at some point. There are spoilers [spoilers] which state Tyrion and Varys will lose faith in Dany this season after she burns people alive[/spoiler] and this looks perfect set-up for them switching to team Jon. That said, we also know

      that Dany will be attracted to Jon and swoon after him this season which may change her current stance

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    99. I don’t wish to be too insensitive here, but I think the whole “this show perpetrates too much violence against women” meme is misplaced. This show has not exactly treated men great either, tons of violent deaths and other humiliations for men. This show has a lot of women in powerful positions, which is great, and unusual in a medieval setting, but you can’t expect them to have power and be shielded from the consequences of losing power too. Unfortunately, if you go back in history, in every culture, for thousands of years, one of the consequences of the defeat of a nation or other group of people, has often been the wholesale rape of the defeated women. It’s one reason the code of chivalry, which a lot of women now hate, and consider demeaning evolved, i.e. in order to make it socially unacceptable among men, to engage in some of the most heinous historical crimes committed against the women of a defeated culture. An early historical example of chivalrous conduct was Alexander the Great’s gracious treatment of the Persian King’s wives and daughters after the Battle of Issus, it was unexpected at the time but was later idealized in western culture.

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    100. Also, Cersei’s demonizing of the Dothraki is not without factual support. Cersei and the Westerosi in general are awful themselves but the Dothraki historically do rape and pillage en masse, that’s their modus operandi. And Unsullied historically have been mindless automatons who kill babies as part of their training and attack in whichever direction they are sent. Now we as viewers know or at least suspect Dany’s Dothraki and Unsullied to be different but Cersei’s characterizations are not far fetched.

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    101. Jenny:
      ygritte,

      That’s not really fair.I suspect they probably cut Ghost for money and that has no bearing on the G/M scene.Also that scene is really important for them and it was good to show it.I still want Ghost though.

      Yes. Even with an “unlimited” budget this year it was clearly a question of “do we want to show Nymeria’s Superpack or do we see Jon/Ghost”?
      They went with the Superpack. And probably to save some budget to show Bran’s Warged Raven Pack a little later in the season. Ah well, I just imagine Ghost entertaining himself chasing deer and rabbits around Winterfell and I’m fine; he’ll show up when he shows up…

      Solid episodes so far…8.5/10 for episode 1 and 8.0/10 for this one as far as I’m concerned.

      I’m loving Euron 2.0 so far, clearly an adjustment in both the character’s look and performance. Maybe they course-corrected after looking at The Forsaken chapter…lol. Good job, D&D!

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    102. Sansa reminding Jon of their grandfather’s fate parallels her conversation with Septa Mordane back in season 01, in the Iron Throne room. Pretty neat.

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    103. So, so much for the Lannister men that Arya was with last episode?
      Not that I was surprised , I guess that scene served it’s purpose .
      Didn’t even see em riding off in the distance … hello goodby.

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    104. Euron’s demeanor towards Yara had some nasty vibes.

      Book Spoilers:

      Does anybody else think she’ll play Falia Flower’s role? I think Euron is going to rape and forcibly impregnate her to use her in some kind of ritual

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    105. Bobby Wolfe:
      With regards to nobody saying anything about Jon’s oath to the night’s watch, I thought he settled that in the conversation with Edd before he left. To him, doesn’t his initial death free him of his oath?

      I agree. I never asked myself anything about that, having understood from the start that with Jon’s technical death, his watch was now ended.

      Besides :

      – terribly hilarious moments in both episodes, as when Euron advises Jaime on how fun it is to kill a sibling in 1 ; and this week, Arya’s “One or two.” at Hot Pie’s question about making pies. Among others.

      – Nymeria and Arya : so sad to see the two girls did not connect… Is this scene just a reference to the Starks as said in your recap ? I really hope it’s not just that, but the wolf will appear again, to save Arya from something maybe, and then they finally have an emotional reunion, even if Nymeria stays with her pack, just never too far from Arya. Maybe childish but I really want that. (other maybe stupid wish : Arya + Gendry in the end…)

      – soooo glad when Arya chose the north path !!

      – brilliant Jon choking LF. So satisfactory !

      – sad because M + GW ‘s parting – hot – scene sounded like a farewell and not a goodbye to me…

      – ddi not like the taste of Jon’s leaving either……. Particularly with LF left behind to flatter and encourage Sansa’s ambition. Well, I’ve always been a forever Jon team and never at all on Dany’s side, so maybe biassed.

      Well, I loved both episodes. Slow ? Maybe. But I think that the rest will probably be SO fast and spectacular ans even so beyond crazy that we – even the most ready – must be prepared !

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    106. Sacred Lime,

      The Kingsmoot can’t be two years ago, or it would also be two years since Sansa escaped Winterfell.

      Jon and Sansa clearly took Winterfell only a few weeks after Sansa’s escape. She went directly to Castle Black, they left pretty quickly once they got the letter from Ramsay, and then Bryan Cogman even said their Northern recruiting tour in Season 6 was a couple weeks. After that they immediately attacked Winterfell.

      Sansa and Theon escaped together, so if two years had passed for Theon, basically two years would have passed for Sansa, and by extension, Jon.

      Jon has obviously not been King for two years.

      Logically, of course this all would have taken a long time, but it’s clear that Theon has sailed half way across the world and back, and Euron has built “1000 ships” and sailed them to King’s Landing, in probably just a couple months.

      It’s absurd, yes, but that’s what it is. No way have two years passed.

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    107. How can something simultaneously be so satisfying and leave you absolutely aching for more? What a bloody effing wonderful episode. What a heartbreaker. Thank you Bryan Cogman.

      ARYA. Between Maisie’s acting and the music as she rode away from the inn, I was in tears. Hot Pie telling her friends don’t pay, silly. Nymeria. Please let her and Jon reunite. They both deserve 10,000 hugs. And when they transitioned from her heading home to Jon, gah.

      (All of the transitions were just on point, though they’re trolling so hard with the flesh-to-food shifts!)

      The music in general – I need those various takes on the Winterfell / Stark / KitN themes.

      I wish the Dragonstone council scenes were longer, but get they can only fit so much into an episode. Vary and Tyron exchanging a look after Melisandre stated Jon had united the Wildlings and Northern houses was a nice touch. Not going to lie, them batting around Jon’s name was so satisfying. About time he got some recognition. And then when Jon supported Tyrion right back!

      I really want to know what his raven to Jon said.

      Jon “You know him better than any of us – what do you think” nice callback to Sansa’s frustration over him not consulting her over Ramsay.

      Sansa looking shocked, then unsure when given a chance to lead. It’s one thing to want it, it’s another thing to have it entrusted to you – especially so unexpectedly. Looking forward to how she handles it!

      Kit’s micro expressions throughout – his face when even Lyanna was against him and when he told Littlefinger he didn’t belong there

      When Jon spoke of the north being home, his voice catching.
      Glover, Lyanna being with him on that, despite their disagreement over him travelling south

      His little eye roll as Littlefinger’s prattling on about Catelyn (and to JON? What an ass) – “gods give me the strength not to kill this guy”

      Jon never failing to be willing to put himself out there for his people, despite the risks. And make no mistake, he’s taking a huge one, given the North’s history with the Targaryens and the current instability. And he makes the point that he never asked for power, but will continue to fight for them, no matter the odds. I love this guy so much. Varys, take note. There’s a ruler who will actually give a damn, and not just for as long as it’s convenient.

      YARA. At the war council, flirting with Ellaria (which was great fun!), fighting for her fleet and life, supporting her brother and then mourning what’s happened to him. Gemma knocked it out of the park. I hope she survives.

      Euron’s crazy eyes – a true Viking berserker. And that spiky bridge that came down! And he’s going for Cersei? I shudder at the two of them together.

      Overall, amazing, though I wish there’d been some Ghost (or a dragon – air support for Yara maybe??). Can’t wait for next week.

      Best lines:

      “Sounds like a charmer. Of course the casual mention of a Dothraki horde, a legion of Unsullied and three dragons – a bit less charming.”

      “You’re not dying today, Ser Jorah” SAM

      “You’re a dragon. Be a dragon!” Our Queen.

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    108. Some thoughts;

      I like how there is no more beating around the bush in the conversations. Right off the bat Dany calls out Varys, who at first was speaking in Varys speak and walking the line – then finally said straight out what influences his decisions. I liked that, and I also liked how Mel also came right out and brought up Jon Snow – of course she held back some things but she got right into it.

      To the people who say Theon should be using a bow as he is an archer, I agree – yet using a bow at night time during a battle on a ship, probably not the best tactic with screaming ironborn everywhere – might hit your own men. I did like his transition into Reek, you can see the moment Yara recognizes it too. Euron is the best, can’t wait to see more of him and Victarion in the books…when we eventually get it.

      And people saying Arya a trained faceless assassin should of known Hot Pie wasn’t lying and so she shouldn’t of said “you lie” – listen, she is still human. There is still shock when learning your favorite brother is still alive. She’s had a one track mind since she arrived, kill those who wronged her family. She just found out her family is at home, give her a break. And LF will be next.

      One thing that bothers me about the show is because of the time constraints and everything else that comes with TV – we miss out on the larger aspect of Westeros. I’m sure in the books if the Sand Snakes were captured we’d get a nice chapter from someone showing how Darkstar has now taken over Dorne. Miss that guy, the one chapter he was in he was a Boss.

      But yeah decent episode, I see a lot of people complaining about the dialogue. I guess everyone wants that skullduggery conversation where people are still hedging their bets…I get it, but at this point in the story there is no more need for that stuff. Its why LF has become useless, in peacetime these are the people who cause the chaos and plan and maneuver. But its war now.

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    109. I really wonder where they will go with the whole “Sansa has the North” plot. I would be disappointed if it was all about taking down Littlefinger. I want to see Sansa actually ruling, dealing with daily stuff. I don’t think that she will end up betraying Jon, and I also don’t think that LF will be very succesful in manipulating her . But I do wonder if she will actually like ruling. From Sophie’s interviews and Sansa’s general attitude, I have a feeling this is what Sansa wanted deep inside, but will she like it once she realises the responsibility that goes with it? I’m not sure.

      She may love it, or she may realise that ruling (even if she has clever ideas) may not be all fun.

      Nymeria: I think that the whole scene was to tie the loose ends, as they don’t have the CGI budget for the wolves. Same goes for Ghost. At least we know they are safe offscreen. I’m not sure we will ever see Nymeria again. (book-Nym would never just leave Arya. Neither would Ghost stay offscreen) That being said, maybe Ghost went on a trip to find a partner, and the next time we will see him, will be with Nymeria, and a bunch of cute direwolf pups, at the end of the series.

      Looking forward to the Tyrion-Jon reunion.

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    110. Popping into Jorah’s cell, and- I just want to throw a book at Jorah Mormont, because this man even starts his letters to her with KHALEESI. A day without a khaleesi blast is a day that never was, for Jorah Mormont.

      And this at a time where the the HBO shop just replaced “Khaleesi” with “Daenerys” after more than 6 seasons… Jorah, will you ever learn????

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    111. Flayed Potatoes,

      When I read your comment, I thought perhaps this meant they had written a Jon/Ghost scene that didn’t end up being shot. Couldn’t fathom why such a scene they shot would be left out, it’s not like it would be long.

      Then I went to his Twitter, and saw that no, they did actually shoot it, they just didn’t put it in the episode.

      Why on Earth they did that is honestly impossible to understand. We should be past the point of them shooting things and leaving them out, these episodes are already pretty long, a one minute or less scene with Ghost wouldn’t have changed anything.

      Despite being the only direwolf to be able to appear in every season, Ghost has been pretty much invisible throughout the course of the show. Honestly I wonder if he’s even had ten appearances, and half of them are probably from Season 1.

      The Nymeria scene better have been important, because if that was just tying up a loose end that doesn’t come into play in any way, then it’ll have been a huge mistake to spend all that money on that massive pack of wolves when we could have had more Ghost scenes.

      I doubt it’ll feature on the Blu-Ray as a deleted scene, but who knows.

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    112. Markus Stark: It’s absurd, yes, but that’s what it is. No way have two years passed

      However it looks as if little Sam is 1 year older.
      Sometimes it seems the show does pizzicato Christopher Nolan-like time riffs .

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    113. Arya’s scenes made me emotional.

      She goes from wishing to kill Cersei to wanting to see her brother again in 02 seconds. Maisie is amazing.

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    114. …where the elder Mormont died in Sam’s arms, sharing with Sam his last wishes for Jorah. In the show, Jeor’s last words were “Blerrghharghshh” and it robs a touch of grace from the scenes tonight. But just a touch.

      Lol Sue 🙂

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    115. Isabelle,
      I loved the way Sam delivered that line 🙂 And I also couldn’t help but think, when Varys made his speech about being for the “people” not any particular ruler but what’s best for the realm I realized how he and Jon have same ideals and he would very much be in KitN’s corner if it comes to Jon vs Dany in S8.

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    116. Come on! They could have had a farewell scene between Jon and Ghost!

      Surely they could have found the money down the back of the sofa for that?

      All in all, I loved it. I was actually too excited to sit still throughout the episode.

      Bran’s taking a bit of time getting to Fellywinter isn’t he? Stick him on a horse for goodness sake or the number 2 bus to Tohrren Square.

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    117. Matty C,

      A. Violence against women exists.

      B. That term implies misogyny. In this case, the violence wasn’t being perpetrated because they were women, it was being perpetrated because they were fighting in a battle, just like the men.

      C. Misogyny being featured in the world of the show does not mean it is endorsed by the showrunners. Did they endorse Theon being flayed by Ramsay or Cersei blowing up the Sept ? No. Did they endorse Robert’s kids being killed, including a baby ? No. What about Ramsay feeding Walda and her kid to the dogs ? No. Just because they show it doesn’t mean they’re cool with it.

      D. 90% of the violence featured in this show is violence against men. Arya killed 50 men last episode, and deliberately spared the women. Battle of the Bastards was 60 minutes of brutal violence against men. Did you complain about that ? I’m guessing not.

      This is a violent world, and when people are killed in battle it has nothing to do with sexism.

      The Sand Snakes killed men, fought with the men, fought like the men, and were killed like the men.

      Nothing wrong with that.

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    118. Jon Snowed,

      But if they “switch teams” that means it would have to become a Jon vs Dany kind of thing no? According to the leaks,

      they butt heads at first, Dany then starts to admire Jon, he ends up feeling soft spot for her after she rescues the men and loses a dragon, then boom they have sex. It just seems so out of character for them, especially Jon. I mean, it just doesn’t feel like he’d be attracted to a cold, entitled, absolute monarch type like her.

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    119. Boojam,

      Yeah, but little Sam looking one year older is because, well, the actor is one year older.

      Season 7 was filmed a year after Season 6.

      How old the actors look isn’t indicative of passage of time.

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    120. Flayed Potatoes,

      What should have happened to Dorne in Season 6. Some noble Lord or Lady will take over. Unless they’re gonna introduce Oberyn’s other 5 daughters and make them the new Sand militia.

      I actually kind of doubt we’ll ever precisely find out. They’ve made Ellaria the princess of Dorne, as absurd as it is. If she dies, I expect we’ll never hear from Dorne again. If she lives and escapes, she’ll be back in charge.

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    121. I dont think that D&D care that much about time and space, because it would be impossible to even write this story if they were really strict with that.

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    122. This episode delighted me from beginning to end. There were so many callbacks to the show’s previously established history, and I smiled at every one.

      Dragonstone: I absolutely loved Dany’s war council – seeing the Dragon Queen interact with all of her allies from across the Seven Kingdoms was thrilling. I was concerned that after the Tyrells aligned with Dany, we wouldn’t get to see Dany and Olenna share a scene – thankfully, they did, and their scene was quite consequential, especially in light of what happens later. I also loved Dany’s scene with Varys, and while I’ll concede that perhaps that conversation should have happened earlier, in Meereen or en route to Westeros, this is a case where the laws of television prevail. Depicting that conversation at the end of “The Winds of Winter”, or before Dany’s arrival in “Dragonstone”, would have stepped on the emotional significance of both moments. So, I’m perfectly fine with that conversation happening now. And lest it be overlooked, simply hearing Dany speak the name “Jon Snow” was a triumph in and of itself.

      Missandei and Grey Worm’s love scene was beautiful, tender, and unspeakably sweet – arguably the best the show has ever done (credit to Jacob Anderson for his performance – he sold Grey Worm’s fear of being rejected by this stunning goddess who loves him masterfully). Anyone who resents the time that the show spent on their love story will be having words with me. Also, while this may not be the most substantive analysis, it must be said: Sweet Holy God Nathalie Emmanuel is beautiful.

      Winterfell: Hearing Jon speak the name “Daenerys” was every bit as thrilling as the reverse. Jon may be leaving Winterfell, but seeing his interactions with Sansa in this episode reinforced my belief that they are on the same side, and Littlefinger’s efforts to divide them are doomed to fail. And seeing Jon in the Winterfell crypts, standing before Ned’s statue (with Lyanna’s in the background), was awesome … before Littlefinger came along and ruined the moment, and Jon choke-slammed him (which was awesome in a different way).

      King’s Landing: With his xenophobia having being well-established in his prior appearance, Randyll Tarly is a natural ally for the Lannisters to recruit. I loved the scene with him and Jaime after the big meeting in the throne room, and the scene with Cersei and Qyburn in the catacombs was great as well. Time will tell how effective the scorpion will be, but the show is doing a good job how showing how Cersei can be a credible threat to Dany, despite her military disadvantages.

      The Riverlands: It’s Reunion Week for Arya! Seeing her catch up with Hot Pie was great – he is indeed a survivor. And ejilr her encounter with Nymeria was heartbreaking, it was also sweet and true. The callback to Season 1, with Arya recognizing that Nymeria is no longer fit for life in a castle – “That’s not you.” – wass extremely poignant. Maisie Williams was extraordinary in that scene (she always is, but acting opposite direwolves deserves special commendation).

      The Citadel: I understand if some people object to how relatively easily Sam treated Jorah’s Greyscale, especially in light of all the Reddit conspiracies about how dragonglass may have curative properties after certain committed individuals zoomed in on the book Sam was reading last week. But I’m just happy to have Jorah (presumably) back in the game.

      The Narrow Sea: I loved the sea battle in this episode. People have given Mark Mylod flack for his direction of action sequences in the past (I get it with the Arya chase, not with Barristan’s last stand), but regardless, he knocked this one out of the park. Seeing Euron in full beserker mode, cutting down all in his path was extremely cool, and I thought the shots of ships burning at night were stunning. I already expressed my thoughts about Theon jumping ship rather than trying to save Yara in the Open Chat at great length, so here I’ll just say that I greatly appreciate that the show was true to the character’s experience. This isn’t the end of his story – he can still fight his way back from the darkness. But today, facing down a maniacally cackling psychopath who bears more than a cursory resemblance to his old tormenter Ramsay, wasn’t that day.

      And while I expect not many will mourn for the Sand Snakes, I’ll salute Jessica Henwick and Keisha Castle-Hughes in advance of their Curtain Call this week. If you follow them on social media, you’ll know that they’re full of life, and they loved playing these roles. They went with a flourish. I wish them nothing but the best.

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    123. howtathor,

      I also wonder if down south people just don’t care if he broke his oath?? Very important in the north, but in the south that wall is just that place you send criminals and craven sons 🙂

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    124. I’m not sure it will come to Jon vs Dany in terms of a war but there will clearly be a clash and Dany won’t like the fact Jon has a better claim to the throne (if indeed it’s the case), I can certainly see both Tyrion and Varys backing Jon and urging Dany to support him.

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    125. ygritte,

      I was thinking something similar about Varys. Even if the show has not done Dany’s 3 betrayals the same way as the book, I was thinking if Varys and Jon meet Varys will find a kindred spirit, like Tyrion. Jon, Varys and Tyrion seem like a formidable team on paper. Btw after this episode I’m certain Sansa is playing a long con with Littlefinger. Jon has heard her, is consulting with her, but still making his own decisions and chosing to trust her with the North. He was completely forthright with every lord and lady in Winterfell, they chose him, he did not ask to be king, but now that he was he would do what he thought was right. Basically he told them very politely that he doesn’t give a jot about the title. For him it is all about that undead army about to overwhealm them

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    126. Markus Stark,

      hehe… I would love it if he had been king for 2 years.. holding a meeting every fortnight.. talking about Dragonglass, and the army of the dead.

      Lord Glover thinking to himself… “This guy is seriously slow at getting stuff done!”

      The White Walkers like that scene from Monty Python where they charge at the guards but never get any closer until they are suddenly upon them!

      You are correct though… it can’t of been two years, in which case I think Euron said “Build me a thousand ships and I’ll give you this world”, then off screen one of his crew says “You have already captured about 950 ships sailing around the known world”

      “Build me 50 ships and I’ll give you this world.”

      Sorted

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    127. Lord of Coffee: Dany merely said she liked the sound of ‘princess’ that was promised better than ‘prince’.She didn’t seem to get ‘excited’ about it at all.

      Well, Dany doesn’t seem to get excited at all anymore. I’m sure Clarke/the directors think that’s regal, but I think it dehumanizes her.

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    128. Jared: And while I expect not many will mourn for the Sand Snakes, I’ll salute Jessica Henwick and Keisha Castle-Hughes in advance of their Curtain Call this week. If you follow them on social media, you’ll know that they’re full of life, and they loved playing these roles. They went with a flourish. I wish them nothing but the best.

      The Sand Snakes were annoying. But I still felt kinda sad seeing Nymeria and Obara hanging and impaled on the bow of that ship. Not a pleasant image.

      I can’t say I’m looking forward to what Cersei will do to Tyene in front of Ellaria. I envision Rickard and Brandon Stark 2.0.

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    129. Vincent Stark,

      I really, really hope not. I don’t agree with those who say that the show is misogynistic when it portrays rape, but I do fucking hate seeing it, and even when its merely implied it makes my stomach turn.

      Plus, Yara is my favorite female character, I really hope it doesn’t go there.

      That said, the mystical elements have largely been removed from Euron’s character, so unless it’s really important to the endgame, which I doubt, I think the likelihood of what you’re proposing is probably fairly low.

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    130. Violator,

      Maybe because Euron Greyjoy’s fleet and Yara Greyjoy’s fleet clashed in this episode?? The credits don’t just reflect locations present in the episode, but also (if there’s room for them) locations related to characters that feature heavily. Since there’s room for 6 locations in the credits, this was the most logical replacement of The Twins as no other old/new locations were featured.

      Also, lol at Pilou Asbaek: https://twitter.com/PilouAsbaek/status/889324290608422913. Looks like he’s perfectly aware of the fans’ “appreciation” of the Sand Snakes.

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    131. Just a question for those here who have read the spoilers. I’m trying to ge this spoiler thing working, but just in case it doesn’t, don’t real on if you haven’t read anything and don’t want to know.

      Did they confirm that a dragon will die at the ‘Field of Fire: Pt2’ or that one would be injured by Qyburn’s scorpion bolt?

      I’m fairly sure that Dany is riding Drogon into battle and he could be brought down, but I don’t think he’s killed. He certainly ends up roasting the Tarlys, I believe, and Bronn and Jamie narrowly escape a similar fate by diving into a lake.

      If that’s the case, and Viserion and Rhaegal are not at the battle, then can we assume that Dany will be riding one of them – probably Rhaegal – north of the wall, when she comes to the aid of Jon and Co? Moreover, this will be when Viserion is killed and later resurrected as the Wight Dragon?

      ‘m just trying to work out whether the leak siad any dragons will be harmed in the making of the FoF or whether Qyburn’s weapon proves to be useless. [/ spoiler]

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    132. Matty C,

      Yet you forget about the first scene of the episode where Dany, Ellaria, Yara, and Olenna plan the invasion of Westeros. Woman power is stronger than ever in the show. Arya confident to travel on her own standing up to her Wolf taking down all the Freys. Sansa is the lady of Winterfell using her connections to win back the North and now controlling the North while Jon is gone. Cersei using Euron to take a bite out of Dany’s army, Queen of 7 kingdoms (3). But keep your focus on the fact that the two out of five woman who were actual characters died fighting in a storyline that makes sense. out of 5 woman in that scene, 4 of them were fighters, only 50% died and they died fighting, of course it will be violent because of that. All the strong men who were in power are now dead, women have taken up the mantle but some are going to die. That is this show. I just hate that this is the take you have from this episode, violence again women in the final scene. Give me a break.

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    133. I am not expecting them to go to war however

      I’m guessing the dynamic will change once Jon’s parentage comes to light and I can definitely see Tyrion and Varys backing Jon over Dany based upon heritage and behaviour traits alone.

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    134. Ryan:
      People on winteriscoming actually voted Littlefinger the best character last year.He’s completely insufferable, and largely useless at this point.

      I followed along with that for the hell of it and it turned into a big load of ballot-stuffing crap. The entire thing ended up worthless. One character would be leading with normal vote numbers and then suddenly the other would get hundreds more votes to overtake and that pairing would finish with thousands more total votes than other pairings. /lame

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    135. ghost of winterfell,

      Now that Sansa is around friends and her home in Winterfell, she could merely have Stark soldiers grab Littlefinger and explain to the soldiers of the Vale what really happened when Littlefinger sent Lysa flying to her death.

      But I think Arya will have the final say for Littlefinger if she makes it to Winterfell

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    136. Haven’t seen any leaked on-set photos of Iain Glenn as a cured Jorah, but I bet he’ll be dressed in a northern type of outfit – leather, fur capes etc. The iconic yellow shirt was for the hot weather in Essos.

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    137. Flayed Potatoes,

      Well doom and gloom is his middle name.He can’t catch a break lol but I am usually fine with the way he is written.Still it could go two ways so it’s too early for a prediction like that.I’ll just keep praying he doesn’t die lmao.

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    138. I just rewatched a couple of scenes and, on second viewing, I do like what they did to the Olenna character.

      I enjoyed how deliciously untrue her statement that she always ignored the counsel of smart men was, considering her three main feats in recent years were dictated to her by Varys and Littlefinger. I think the writers show us that, while Olenna still has her no-nonsense and biting manner of speech, she is now solely focused on revenge. She does not care about what is happening in her region, does not care whether what she advises Daenerys to do is sound or not, does not care whether it could hurt the Mother of Dragons in the long run. All she cares about is that Cersei die and she uses Daenerys as her weapon of choice.
      She is exactly like Ellaria but has the intelligence to be subtle about it. She played the older lady card expertly, betting the young Targaryen had grown up without a mother figure or female role model of any sort, and would be sensitive to a woman patting her on the knee and giving her grandmotherly advice.

      If someone leads Daenerys down a very destructive path, it will be Olenna. She is telling her to put the pedal to the metal, thereby possibly turning her into the queen of the ashes, and to ignore the interventions of smart men, potentially sabotaging her relationship not only with Tyrion but also with Jon when he shows up.

      On another note, Melisandre’s arrival at Dragonstone pleased me as much as it disappointed me. I am really interested in what would happen were she reunited with Arya and thought they would cross paths in the Riverlands. It did not happen and I am disgruntled ^^
      However, the way in which she inserted herself into Daenerys’s circle was delightful. Melisandre is this lovely blend of sincere believer and snakeoil saleswoman. Decades of servitude have taught her how to flatter a powerful person’s ego and she ingratiated herself with Daenerys with as much ease as she did with Stannis, telling the queen exactly what she wanted to hear, how she wanted to hear it…
      Melisandre : she knows what side her bread is buttered on and whoever put the butter there gets a shot at being Azor A’hai !

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    139. So About That Lifetime Oath: Really, why isn’t ANYONE asking why Jon Snow isn’t in the Night’s Watch anymore? I could overlook it for a few episodes but now with even Dany being told he was in the Night’s Watch, it’s just getting weird.

      His watched ended when he died and was resurrected. I thought this was well-understood?

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    140. Posting my review from Unsullied thread here as well:

      … silence … more silence … silence continues … if only I could remember what am I supposed to do now… some more silence… Oh wait, I think it’s already time to make a speech again.

      Hello everyone and welcome to second review from Lord Parramandas! Yes, a week is around and here I am again. Yesterday, I again encountered the comment »Game of Thrones has no heart and soul« and those words ringed in my head for entire evening, on those occassions when I woke up in the middle of the night and all the way today. But after watching this episode, I can say… the show DOES HAVE heart and soul (not that I ever thought otherwise). Funny, this episode’s title is Stormborn and here, there was a storm this morning… I would think it was still night if I didn’t have alarm clock set. Coincidence or fate?

      Any way, this episode was another very strong piece when it comes to the characters themselves for me. And funny, I saw it was directed by Mark Mylod, the director that was ripped apart by words on the thread when the directors got announced, like he’s the worst thing possible. Well, if he’s so bad, then it didn’t show in this episode for me. So moving to actual recap and analysis now. Where to start?

      DRAGONSTONE: Let’s start with our good old Dany and her crew. Yes, Dany, I know that you’re the queen but please show some warmth. This stone-cold face expression and manner of speech is not really a recipe for like to me. But as for scenes themselves, they were great and I can sense she’s learning and slowly losing her »black-white« perspective. Varys surely made very good points and I like how she acknowledged that sometimes she must accept »criticism« than just demanding blind allegance. And then we have our red priestess Melisandre who paid the visit to her, who was also forgiven for being on Stannis side. Funny, there was so much speculation about »the prince (or princess) who was promised« – is it Jon or Dany? Well I can say for myself that I pretty much correctly predicted it… probably both because the prophecies are not taken literally. And that’s exactly what Melisandre suggested to Dany… she is most likely part of the prophecy, but the prophecy also involves Jon. Yes, here we had another stone set in piece for their meeting as Tyrion suggested Dany to arrange it. But before I wrap the Dany story, let’s go to this »other half of the prophecy«

      WINTERFELL: And here we have Jon recieving the letter from both Dany and Sam to go to Dragonstone. Well, the problem is the Targaryens are no longer on good voice, especially not in the North due to what Aerys did to lord Rickard. The Targaryens were cruel, ruthless, some of them even mad… why should Jon go to this meeting? Yes, that’s the point Sansa made and this time, all the Northern lords and Vale lords supported her. But Jon made a decision… he would go there and meet her, try to form an alliance (although she demands fealty) and get the dragonstone glass for fighting the army of the dead. A daring move from Northern eyes, but it could as well prove to be correct one as long as both Dany and Jon are willing to cooperate. This could be interesting considering how stubborn they both are and according to promo, they will meet in next episode so not a long wait.

      As for Winterfell, Jon left it in Sansa’s hands and it seems it was this decision that made Sansa »let him go«. No, not because I would think of her as power-hungry, but because he showed her he respects her. I think that’s what she needed… some more trust in him and some trust in her from his side. I’m somehow sad to see the siblings part their ways again, their mutual scenes are among my favorites and even though they may have those argument wars, they fill the gaps of each other and thanks to both, the Winterfell is back in Stark hands. But there is still the snake in form of Littlefinger… »touch my sister and I will kill you myself!« Littlefinger has TROUBLE! written all over the place and both Jon and Sansa are very much aware of it. And as I predicted, Sansa will have to fight this battle alone now. It’s her fight with LF, not Jon’s. And I really hope she survives through all this or at least takes LF down by the price of her own life if that’s her purpose. The wave both siblings did to each other… I really hope it’s not their last.

      ARYA: Speaking of Starks, let’s go to another surviving sibling, our lady Arya whose story tide made a significant turn in this episode. The off-season speculation… will she kill Cersei. No she won’t, at least not now. She’s heading back home, to Winterfell, to reunite with Jon. One simple line from her good old friend Hot Pie was enough… Boltons are dead, Jon is king. I must say I liked how Arya behaved in the tavern. She was no longer the wild and fierce girl she used to be, she’s a young woman now, who can be cold and mature when it comes to conversations. And speaking of her good old friends, she encountered another one, the one on four legs and sharp teeth. Yes, it’s the fierce direwolf Nymeria. As for this reunion, it was bittersweet. The wolf was cold towards her and didn’t allow her to touch her. I must say it made me think of all moments from my life, when I come to a dear location where I haven’t been for years and I see how everything changed… it’s the same here. Arya has changed, and so did the wolf. Everything comes to an end once. Still, a very beautiful scene overall and I’m more warm towards Arya now as she abandoned her revenge spree.

      OLDTOWN: This time it’s focused on Jorah Mormont… his greyscale has got really severe, covering most of his upper torso. Archmaester Ebrose gave him one more day to decide what he wants and it seemed to me that Jorah had a suicide in mind, judging by that sword in every scene. But when Sam heard his last name, he decided to perform a forbidden surgery on him, even if it could result in him being expelled from the Citadel or worse. Maybe Jorah still has some chance of survival…

      KING’S LANDING: Just a couple words here. Cersei is aware that Dany presents a big threat to them and of course the biggest obstacle are the dragons. Everybody knows a story about Field of Fire when a combined force of the Reach and Westerlands got defeated by three dragons. But yet, dragons can be killed… one of Aegon’s dragons got killed a few years after the Conquest. With enough force, an arrow can pierce the dragon’s skull, so Qyburn created the device that would be able to shoot arrows with such force, testing it on Balerion’s skull. At the same time, Jaime convinced lord Tarly to join the forces with them. So Targaryen-Tyrell alliance is not so whole now.

      DRAGONSTONE (part 2): Speaking of alliances, Dany hosted those same allies in the painted table chamber and I think this is the first and only time we see all Dany’s allies in the same place.And even this alliance is not as firm as it seems on first sight, as everyone has a different strategy how to win. But one thing is for sure, Dany and Tyrion don’t want the Conquest to result in just ashes and burned bones. So direct attack with dragons is out of bounds. Instead Tyrion devised a firm plan. The Reach and Dorne would lay siege to KL while Grey Worm and the Unsullied would capture Casterly Rock. By that way, Cersei would get defeated in no time and dragons wouldn’t be needed. And then also followed a tender scene between Missandei and Grey Worm, which evolved into lovemaking scene… the first time. I must say that Missandei is really beautiful… one of the most beautiful women if not the most beautiful woman in GoT for me. I wonder… was this the last time they saw each other? It gaves me a strange feeling.

      THE SEA: And now comes the big highlight of the episode for me, the utter terror in claustrophobic environment. As I said on many occassions before, Dany’s position was just too good and it was only the matter of time before something terrible happens. And it just did in this episode. Yara, Theon and Ellaria with the Sand Snakes were on their way to Dorne to assemble an army, with entire Iron Fleet. But then, a huge shadow suddenly loomed over them, revealing to be Euron’s flagship »The Silence«. The shot of that scene was simply incredible. The way how the massive ship came into the picture from the fog, its Kraken ram smashing into Yara’s ship and Euron and his pirates boarding the ship. Yes, Euron remained without the Iron Fleet after the Kingsmoot but his new fleet was even more terrifying. If I had any doubts about Euron, he really proved himself as the »terror of the sea« in this episode, showing his full sadistic side. Yes, he’s really not a man to mess with. In this episode he easily killed Obara with her own spear, strangled Nymeria with her own whip and took Yara hostage, forcing Theon to jump from the ship. Not a battle, a massacre and a total anihilation of Iron Fleet, with Ellaria, Tyene and Yara being captured, probably as a »gift to Cersei«. Yes, Euron is very very dangerous, just as I always assumed and this episode proved exactly that. 1:0 for Cersei at this point.

      So this is it, the conclusion of my review for this episode. This was such a powerful episode, so full of character moments and if the pattern continues like that, I will surely immensely enjoy the show. Even Dany and Arya have a bigger chance now for me to become invested in them. So many strong interractions in this episode, so many hidden meanings in that dialogue… GoT really deserves to be among my top shows (No.2 at the moment). So, see you next time for my video review in a couple days, and also next week, when Jon and Dany apparently meet according to promo.

      With best regards from Lord Parramandas.

      Side note: On my ranklist, I rated it the highest 9 so far, putting it ahead of “Second Sons” on rank 19, with “Kissed By Fire” being ahead of it.

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    141. The original Stargaryen,

      Not going to back and forth with someone obviously trying to provoke, but you are out of your mind if you think these books “won’t survive time, or be a classic”.

      They’re already the basis for this television show, why would they not survive the passage of time? Tolkien has been out in the world for over 60 years, and it shows no signs of being forgotten. The Harry Potter series will survive time AND be considered a classic, regardless of whether you personally think they were well written, what is different about these? You don’t have to bring up Nabakov or Faulkner, as though those authors are in anyway relevant to this particular genre. Who said GRRM was Nabakov? Who are you ranting against?

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    142. thisgirlhasnoname,

      I agree with most of what you said, but I do think for the casual viewer that might be too much name dropping. I watch with people who watch it weekly and love the show, but still call Dany Khaleesi because they can’t remember her name.

      I think once you start referencing old family members and the past, its just too much for the casual viewer. I think its safe to say every single person on here would love it since we all know who those characters are.

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    143. Lord Parramandas,

      If you’ve read the books, and I think you have, any writeups THIS big need to stay in this post- not in the Unsullied one. That’s for non-book-readers.

      dubq: His watched ended when he died and was resurrected. I thought this was well-understood?

      I’m not a moron, I understand why Jon thinks it’s cool to walk away from the watch. But do you think all of the North, and now rest of Westeros, was informed that Jon was straight-up murdered by the NW and then he was resurrected by a fire priestess? That would be a large deal if that happened. People would be freaked out by him. The issue should have been addressed onscreen at some point in the last season + two episodes. He’s known to be the leader of the Night’s Watch, an organization you cannot leave or you will be executed- as demonstrated at the beginning of the show. Ned wasn’t interested in any excuses. So the rest of Westeros should be asking, how is Jon Snow able to leave the NW and take on the role of King in the North. It’s a big freakin plot hole, since the seriousness of the vow has been established and reiterated so much in the show.

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    144. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      (Hot Pie’s reaction to seeing Arya for the first time in years felt glossed over).

      Really; it was like the whole start of the reunion was missing and they just filmed it mid conversation.

      Re Cerseis secret weapon – they already have catapultz, why not just use them? Unless that huge crossbow has a turning mechanism its not going to be any better.

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    145. Sue the Fury:
      Lord Parramandas,

      If you’ve read the books, and I think you have, any writeups THIS big need to stay in this post- not in the Unsullied one. That’s for non-book-readers.

      I think my post is totally book-free and I let go of the books long time ago. And I’m very much unsullied when it comes to this season. Also, I like discussing the show more on that post.

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    146. Sue the Fury,

      In the South, I don’t think they really even care about the Night Watch enough to even ask how he got out of his oath. In the North, I’m just assuming they think Jon came down from the Wall to avenge his family…

      My stance is this, even though Jon is no longer at the Wall. He is still serving the NW interests, he’s trying to build an army to help defend the wall. He sent Tormund North to do so, so technically he is still acting as a Lord Commander almost…even if he’s not there. Maybe the Northerner’s see it like that too?

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    147. OK, why did my review get removed from Oz’s thread? It contains absolutely zero book stuff and I’m strictly describing the show in it.

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    148. Sue the Fury,
      I asked this question a few times last season and I thought of it again last night when Melisandre mentioned Jon as being the former Lord Commander of the NW. It does seem weird that no one’s asking how he became the KITN then. I’ve learned to just ignore these questions in my mind by now since it looks like the show has decided to completely sweep it under the rug.

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    149. ash,

      Yeah exactly, crossbow was really lame. Hopefully it’s just misdirection, but I’m thinking it won’t be.

      I think they made the mistake of not building Euron up over the course of the early seasons. They should’ve made him the final baddie and a relic from him should’ve brought down the dragons. Pilou Asbaek is good casting, but I just wish they wrote the character less a brute and more of an otherworldly presence.

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    150. ygritte:

      I loved the way Sam delivered that line 🙂 And I also couldn’t help but think, when Varys made his speech about being for the “people” not any particular ruler but what’s best for the realm I realized how he and Jon have same ideals and he would very much be in KitN’s corner if it comes to Jon vs Dany in S8.

      Yeah, John Bradley knocked it out of the park – so much compassion and raw determination!

      That’s what I’m hoping for with Varys (and Tyrion). Jon’s got the character and ideals – someone to believe in, trying to bring about a better world. Now he needs a team of realpolitik aces to keep him alive!

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    151. dubq,

      I think the point people are making is not if Jon still has an oath.He doesn’t.That’s clear.He is fine with his conscience,the watch and his closest followers.But why are other people who don’t know he died not objecting?Only Ramsay objected lmao.To that I say that they probably don’t care.Did you hear how his feats are described?He took the wildings,defeated the Boltons and won the North.It makes him sound way more ruthless than he is lol.After all he wouldn’t be the first Lord commander that tried that.He just succeeded.That and nobody gives a fuck about the Night’s Watch.

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    152. Ghost Lunch:

      They were Sand Snakes, Nym was hund with her Whip and Obara impaled on her Spear. Seemed to be a nod to strapping people like Aeron to the bow of the ships during the Forsaken chapter

      Yes.

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    153. I like how Cogman tweeted that they did film a Ghost/Jon scene but that it didn’t make the final cut. Wonder if it will make the “Deleted Scenes” or not? Always hoping for a self-reflection scene with Jon and Ghost, or maybe just a hand on Ghost’s back as he lies next to Jon during a meeting…just hoping for a bond of some kind.

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    154. I’m surprised no one here commented on Olenna’s statement about Margery and how she was loved by all. I think that was one of the most important statements in the episode. We want a good king/queen who is loved by all. However, loved by all is not enough for one to rule because to be loved by all, you need to show mercy ALL THE TIME. Doing that puts you at risk of looking weak and gives a chance to the few who hate you to bring you down. Olenna telling Dany about the importance of being feared and intimidated is a throwback to Jorah telling Dany that she will be loved and feared in Qarth. A Medieval country like Westeros can only survive with a ruler who is both loved and feared like Aegon I was. Even Robert, who many of Dany’s antis love, said that what keeps the peace in the 7Kingdoms was fear. Love on its own did nothing to save Margery or even Tommen. Of course love and devotion is important but we must NOT keep putting Dany down everytime she puts a show of power. She needs to demonstrate her power and ability to be ruthless so that the lords of Westeros dont look down at her and consider her weak. Look, we already have Randyl Tarly joining sides with Cersei because he is more afraid of her. Tarly would never join the losing side so him joining Cersei shows that hes not as afraid of Dany as he is of Cersei and what she can do to him. If Dany ends up burning Tarly and his son who are fighting against her, then we shouldnt be complaining at that because her doing this will send the message that you shouldnt underestimate her. She treats her allies with kindness and generosity but she will punish those that betray her and fight against her. The same thing was done by Aegon I and people in Westeros continue to consider him the greatest king to this day.

      As for Jon. Hes a great man and a great selfless warrior but since he has become the Lord Commander and now KITN, he has shown that he is NOT a good ruler. He doesnt communicate his reasons well with his advisers or people and never listens to them. His rule has actually been more of a dictatorship than Dany’s. Dany actually listens to those around her and considers their opinion. In fact, I would say she listen to her advisers more than she should. Tyrion’s military strategies SUCK! He had terrible strategies in Meereen and he just gave Team Cersei the perfect chance at destroying Dany’s forces and allies. Moreover, how the heck did Varys not know that Euron has sided with Cersei and got her a huge armada. You would think that by now he would still have spies in KL and in the Red Keep to tell him of what Cersei is up to. Seriously, Tyrion and Varys have been useless in Dany’s conquest. All they do is sit by her sides and tell her “do this because if you dont then you will be seen as a mad ruler just like your father the Mad King”. She could have used just her dragons and unsullied, without the Dothraki, to take KL. Then she could have used the Dothraki to take down Castlerly Rock. Even better, she could have instigated a rebellion the way she did with the slaves in Essos. Get the common people to rebel against Cersei with the promise of food and protection using the dragons. Let the dragons be seen as the protectors of the people against the evil Queen that burned down the “holiest” spot in KL. That way she would have won the love of the common people without appearing like a monster.

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    155. Why doesn’t anyone bother to mention the whole Jon Snow coming back from the dead thing? That’s sort of a major event, right? Shouldn’t Mel have included this information when talking to Tyrion and Dany???

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    156. Sue the Fury,

      Exactly, and the other point is that even if they did know about the death and resurrection, and believed that it did happen, I’m not sure all the Northern lords would agree with Jon’s interpretation of the vow.

      Yes, it says “it shall not end until my death”, but that’s a way of saying “I will never leave this post”. Death was assumed to be permanent by the men who wrote the vow, they didn’t account for the possibility of resurrection. The point is, you have to serve as long as you can, forever.

      Jon got off on a technicality, and not everyone would accept that.

      I’m a lawyer in Switzerland, and if the NW vow were interpreted in accordance with the legal rules of interpretation in force here, it would clearly be found that he was still bound by his oath, as the objective of the vow is to be bound to the NW forever, and the possibility of death was not foreseen. Using such a technicality to leave would be considered an abusive interpretation of the vow.

      Obviously this is Westeros, not 21st century Switzerland, but I’m just making the point that from a logical standpoint, there’s an excellent case to be made that Jon did break his oath, and that many would feel unwilling to accept Jon’s story.

      Besides, the episode in which he leaves was called “Oathbreaker”, so I think that speaks for itself.

      It is indeed a massive plot hole that it hasn’t been addressed.

      Props to Ramsay for being the only person who remembered/cared about Jon’s desertion haha.

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    157. Vincent Stark:
      Arya’s scenes made me emotional.

      She goes from wishing to kill Cersei to wanting to see her brother again in 02 seconds. Maisie is amazing.

      I love that scene! She was eating so heartily and then the moment she heard Jon’s in WF and is the KITN, she dropped her pie and stood up. I teared up then. In an instant, she became truly Arya again. I knew it’s Jon who would lead her back home. Will they meet soon? It looks like the show’s reserving that much anticipated reunion for later.

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    158. Jared,

      There were a lot of fantastic things about the final sequence, but I felt that the editing was way too frantic and chaotic. Yes, that’s part of the point, and I do enjoy that when it’s done well (like in Hardhome or Battle of the Bastards), but at a certain point it’s just too much.

      This was impossible for me to follow, and the movements also looked sped up to the extreme.

      I do miss Neil Marshall’s style, that we witnessed in Blackwater and Watchers on the Wall. Less frantic editing, and more long shots, panoramic shots, and overviews of the battle.

      I also feel like more could have been done with the naval theme. We mostly just focused on a regular fight that happened to be set on a ship. It would have been nice to see more of the actual naval warfare.

      Overall, I can’t say I’m eager for more Mark Mylod action set-pieces.

      What stood out most to me here was the brilliance of the performances, especially from Pilou Asbaek, and the terrifying arrival of his forces.

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    159. LadyFitzRandolph,

      Ive long wondered that; while I liked the whole resurrection scene, they seemed to brush it all aside with a few words from Ed and Tormund, and Jons request to Mel not to bring him back again. This is huge, and I would have thought the story of it would have been spread throughout the land by now

      BTW did anyone notice, in the shot with everyone around the table map, that Theon is standing up against the (wonderful mural) wall? Wondered about whether even then he didn’t feel apart of the conversation

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    160. Markus Stark,

      Hi, thanks for your response. Allow me to expand:

      A. Violence against women exists. Of course it does.

      B. That term implies misogyny Erm, which term?

      C. Misogyny being featured in the world of the show does not mean it is endorsed by the showrunners. Did they endorse Theon being flayed by Ramsay or Cersei blowing up the Sept ? No. Did they endorse Robert’s kids being killed, including a baby ? No. What about Ramsay feeding Walda and her kid to the dogs ? No. Just because they show it doesn’t mean they’re cool with it. Naturally. I’m a huge fan of Breaking Bad, and I’m not thick enough to actually think they’re endorsing Meth Production as a means of providing for one’s family. I also think maybe you’re arguing against a straw man here that you have seen others put out there, because I never once mentioned the showrunners, or their endorsing any acts, or anything about any of that. I was simply reacting to what I saw, which made me feel gross. I can clearly feel a certain way about the events in the show, without my negative reaction to said events equalling me hating on the show, yes? I mean, I didn’t “like” the Red Wedding, in the sense of it being enjoyable or anything, but if I point out various things about it that I could have done without (Whats-her-name being stabbed multiple times in her pregnant belly, for instance), that doesn’t necessarily mean that I hate the show, or that I think the showrunners are literally endorsing infanticide.

      D. 90% of the violence featured in this show is violence against men. Arya killed 50 men last episode, and deliberately spared the women. Battle of the Bastards was 60 minutes of brutal violence against men. Did you complain about that ? I’m guessing not. You guessed correctly that I did not complain about the Battle of the Bastards killing lots of dudes. I did not do that. However, there is violence, and there is violence. Arya killed 50 dudes by poisoning their wine, not individually castrating them and shoving their cocks down their throats. (not that anyone has done that, just showing how it could have been amped up and would still be the same 50 dudes) They just drank wine and then died.

      To be clear, I am not on some rant of “D and D are sexist monsters, who must be stopped, and the show must be boycotted!” I think maybe you were inferring that I was on that kind of rant, from some of the comments I made.

      I was mainly just super-frustrated that after all this time and plotting, etc, Euron is just going to come upon them in the middle of the night, and ruin everyone’s plans. Kill or imprison everyone, be impervious to wounds, leer and mock everyone in sight, and receive no comeuppance for it. Yaaay! The sea battle, while visually impressive, seemed to me to be the confluence of multiple screwed-up-beyond-recognition-and-logic plotlines, leading to the worst possible of outcomes for pretty much every “Good Guy”. I thought we were over these kinds of events by now. I fully admitted that this was my no-filter, no-processing-time reaction to the episode, so there it is.

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    161. Matty C,

      Did you also note that all of the people in power at Dragonstone were women? The person on the Iron Throne is a woman? The person now ruling in the North is a woman? Women are kicking ass all over the show and you are not focusing on that fact at all. Those women that you mentioned actually kicked ass as well. How many men met their end at the hands of Yara and the Sand Snakes.

      Honestly, if you don’t like it, please stop watching.

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    162. Hodors Bastard:
      I like how Cogman tweeted that they did film a Ghost/Jon scene but that it didn’t make the final cut.Wonder if it will make the “Deleted Scenes” or not? Always hoping for a self-reflection scene with Jon and Ghost, or maybe just a hand on Ghost’s back as he lies next to Jon during a meeting…just hoping for a bond of some kind.

      Really? Goodness, I’ll pay to see that clip. LOL! 😀 I miss Ghost.

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    163. ash: Really; it was like the whole start of the reunion was missing and they just filmed it mid conversation.

      It did feel rushed, that is true.
      I think they wanted to show the dynamics of Arya’s emotionality more than the actual reunion with Hot Pie who, as adorable as he is, is not strictly speaking relevant to the story. So we saw Arya remain utterly indifferent to her former friend, the very same boy whose gift of a misshapen wolf bread had so deeply touched her heart a few years ago. She barely listened to him, made no real eye contact with him… Until the Jon news snapped out of her revenge-induced transe and allowed her to reconnect with the baker boy. Then, she remembered what he had once meant to her and started paying genuine attention to him.

      She even heard him say she was pretty, which is bloody well true (Hot Pie has good taste, on every level) ! It may seem trivial but I think it reminded Arya how much she had grown. She used to be a tomboyish little girl who could pass for a boy. Now, she is a young woman and even Hot Pie can tell the difference 😛
      Years have passed and her list is a relic of the past. She drew it when she was 10-11 and has been “stuck”, for lack of a better word, in this era ever since. Chasing the past and trying to fix it, one name at a time. Her decision not to go to King’s Landing is proof of her growth; she is giving up on the list, accepts the past cannot be undone and moves on with her life, preferring a future with her surviving relative over a past with her dead ones.

      Re Cerseis secret weapon – they already have catapultz, why not just use them? Unless that huge crossbow has a turning mechanism its not going to be any better.

      I know very little about medieval weaponry but I would assume the difference is in the nature of the projectiles. Trebuchets launch big, blunt things whereas the giant crossbow shoots narrow, sharp ones. I imagine it is entirely possible to stone a dragon to death but it may require several successful hits. With an arrow, you only need one in the right spot. Also, perhaps big rocks are easier to see therefore easier to dodge than a very speedy and “smaller” stick with a pointy end.

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    164. thisgirlhasnoname,

      I agree with you. I feel like the farther we got away from George R. R. Martin’s source material, the worse the writing has become. Luckily they make up for it with a bigger budget, excellent casting and unparalleled special effects.

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    165. Sam,

      I don’t think it’s really that weird, actually. Remember that being resurrected isn’t all that common. Or in Davos’ words: “completely f*ing mad”. If you want to be credible and trusted by a stranger, starting by saying you saw someone come back from the dead, let alone saying you revived him yourself, isn’t really a great start in that respect.

      That why Melisandre says: “let him tell you the things that have happened to him”. It’s not in her interest to elaborate on it.

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    166. Loved the episode!

      Regarding the lifetime oath, Jon already fulfilled that. He served until his death. He was brought back to life. In my opinion, he lived up to his end of the bargain and he is released from his vows.

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    167. The last 10 minutes of this episode blew me away. GOT has raised the bar on what is good television and frankly what is good action filmmaking, period. The pacing was beyond stunning. A slow intense beat for the dramatic exposition scenes, a faster pace for the incidents of foreshadowing and then full on racing energy for the battle. As for the romance, whoa!

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    168. Brenatta,

      You were fine on the first part why did you have to add the second.The situation are completely different.Dany is not actually ruling anything the moment just trying to conquer.The point is that ruling is hard.Dany and Jon are trying their best but that doesn’t mean they won’t stumble.Jon has also killed men for disobeying him or betraying him.He can be firm.He just realizes now it’s not the time for that.He actually makes his points very well and they are very clear.Also it’s clear that the north has an open table discussion policy.He listens to people and understands them.He just knows what needs to be done to save them all.Isn’t that what Olenna’s advice was after all?Jon is upfront and tbh he has had to make way more controversial decisions than Dany with way less more power.After all he doesn’t have three dragons.Also Tyrion had a good plan.Did you see the reputation Targs have in Westeros.They just didn’t factor in Euron.Shit happens lol.

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    169. Dutch Maester,

      Indeed. She just wants them to meet and is trying to facilitate that meeting. If she goes overboard then they dismiss her as a nutcase. She piqued their interest and that’s all she needed to do for now.

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    170. I find it quite funny that they focused so much on Jon’s death and possible resurrection in the promotions, so much so that it overshadowed everything else, and then completely swept the issue under the rug within the show itself.

      Nobody seems to care that he was frickin dead and returned, his own sister didn’t seem to care. The only reaction to something so magical and unique was a penis joke lol. Mel was the only one who cared, but she got shushed by Davos. Oh well..

      Do the Northern Lords know that Jon was dead and resurrected or do they think he just deserted and they don’t care? Even this hasn’t been made clear. Ramsay clearly thought he deserted, but what about the others?

      At this point, I would say that Beric’s resurrection has got more attention than Jon’s lol.

      > Rant over..

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    171. Markus Stark,

      Yeah, there were a lot of quick cuts and chaotic imagery in that sequence. Personally, I thought it worked, because it was a surprise attack at night and the characters themselves were all taken by surprise. But I can definitely understand that it may have been hard to follow. The darkness and the fact that it was mostly Ironborn fighting Ironborn also contributed to that as well. Fortunately, I was able to keep track of the important players – Euron, Theon, Yara, Ellaria, Nym, Obara, and Tyene – so I didn’t mind it.

      The scale could perhaps have been a bit grander, and taken advantage of the opportunity to show some naval strategy. That would have been extremely cool. But even for the biggest show in the world, I have to concede that showing hundreds of ships in battle would have pushed the budget too far. In light of that, I thought the choice to focus mostly on the clash betwen the Silence and Yara’s flagship, with some wide shots of the surrounding devastation thrown in, was an effective way to tell the story. And the performances were indeed stellar. Pilou’s gleeful beserker rage and Alfie’s regression back into his Reek-like state especially.

      I do think Mylod is better with actors and dialogue than he is with action, but in this particular case, he acquitted himself well. He’ll never be one of my favorite Game of Thrones directors (that’s not intended to be a dig – the show has had so many great ones), but given his particular strengths, I’m very much looking forward to how he’ll handle the pivotal moment of Jon and Dany’s meeting next week.

      I’m with you on Neil Marshall’s style. “Blackwater” and “The Watchers on the Wall” are gorgeous directorial achievements (and two of my favorite episodes in the series). I know that Miguel Sapochnik is #1 on almost everyone’s wishlist of directors for Season 8 (mine as well), but I would love it if Marshall could return for one episode. It may not be plausible – he’s highly in demand, with a number of film and TV projects in the works. But one can dream.

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    172. One thing that stood out for me during Jon’s meeting with the Northern leaders is that, although he’s really good at it, he doesn’t really want to rule. Opposite of everyone else on the show, he doesn’t like it.

      He does it because he has to but he’s much more of a “Doer”. He’d rather do something himself rather than send someone else. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he bit the dust again at some point because he chose to be in the middle of things instead of on the sidelines directing traffic.

      Also remember, after he was resurrected he had every intention of never fighting again. He just wanted to chill somewhere until Sansa reminded him that they really needed to get Winterfell back first. Everything he does now is because it’s absolutely necessary and none of it is because he wants to.

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    173. Doran’s Gouty Foot,

      I noticed all of that, thanks for your response. Perhaps you missed my opening statement, where I said that the first 45 minutes were full of awesomeness, and that I was moved to tears multiple times? So please, miss me with all that “If you don’t like it, don’t watch”-Amateur-hour-BS. I love the show, and indeed, said nothing about the showrunners needing to tamp down their behavior, or show more women kicking ass, or any of that.

      Would you agree that despite multiple women being in positions of power and kicking ass all over the place, if next week’s episode ended with 30 minutes of Tyene and Ellaria being tortured and assaulted in brutal close-ups, with much wailing, gnashing of teeth, and general humiliation, that would be something I would be allowed to not enjoy? Or would I HAVE to enjoy it, because so many other women are kicking ass? Or would I only be allowed to not enjoy it if I first pointed out all the women doing positive things on the show that I do enjoy? Because that’s what you seem to be saying.

      Honestly, if you don’t like people having opinions that conflict with your own, perhaps you should not be on the internet.

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    174. LatrineDiggerBrian: Overall, it was an excellent episode and my favorite since The Broken Man of last season…

      I actually didn’t mind the idea of the Arya Hot Pie scene I just thought it was rushed and came across weird (Hot Pie’s reaction to seeing Arya for the first time in years felt glossed over).

      It’s nice to hear that you enjoyed the episode! 🙂

      The Arya-Hot Pie scene was a little… different. I believe we were suppose to see that Arya was in an unemotional state, focused solely on what she was planning. She had no time for small talk or reconnecting with Hot Pie and we saw that he was confused by her behavior with her rather cold greeting and just grabbing the food and ale. It wasn’t until she heard of Jon & Winterfell that she truly ‘joined’ the conversation. The scene served the purpose but when we really wanted an emotional, happy-ish reunion of the two we didn’t really get it. That can be a tiny bit disappointing. I reckon we have greater reunions to get to though so maybe it’s good that they don’t go overboard on a so-so friendship like these two had.

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    175. ACME:

      So we saw Arya remain utterly indifferent to her former friend, the very same boy whose gift of a misshapen wolf bread had so deeply touched her heart a few years ago. She barely listened to him, made no real eye contact with him… Until the Jon news snapped out of her revenge-induced transe and allowed her to reconnect with the baker boy. Then, she remembered what he had once meant to her and started paying genuine attention to him.

      Maisie Williams was just phenomenal here. Her voice changes slightly as she “snaps out” – it becomes crisper, more focused.

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    176. Clob,

      It was more than that though. Hot Pie had such a dulled reaction to seeing Arya. That’s where the problem was for me. I think they dropped the ball there.

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    177. Were Yara’s lips bloody because Euron went for a kiss? Her nose was bleeding “normally” but her lips looked like they’d been painted. If so, Euron’s even more of a gruesome SOB.

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    178. WRT Anti-Dragon weaponry…

      I can’t find out too much info about previous battles such as the War of Conquest to find out what they tried against dragons but it is noted:

      “Meraxes ( one of the great dragons first used by Aegon the Conqueror) and Rhaenys Targaryen both met their end in the First Dornish War at Hellholt after an iron bolt from a scorpion went through Meraxes’s eye. ”

      Perhaps the defenders tries using catapults and found them useless,and Qyburn with access to old records is just trying to re-create the scorpion used previously (no-one else in the Lannister camp would likely care that much about old stories except Tyrion who’s now on the other side!).

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    179. Doran’s Gouty Foot,

      GRRM has significant advantage in that even if the show’s budget is substantial, GRRM can send his characters all over with numerous subplots and not worry about the financials of hiring more actors, designers, VX etc. So I understand why the depth of the plot has been removed for focus on the main characters.

      I do have problems when plots are made MORE complicated than necessary. Example: Daenerys sails past Dorne (and the route to CR) only to come up with the plan on DS. The plan should have been made in the offseason while sailing.

      A simple solution would be for the fleet to split at Dorne (some west to CR, some loading supplies and men for assault and follow to DS, and the rest north to DS immediately) when Daenerys passed it (Dorne) the first time. All this could have been off screen with a simple line about sending ships west and the ships from Dorne arriving soon. Then Euron, takes Dorne prisoners (on Dorne) and sails to Cersei with his gift already in hand. It doesn’t explain how Euron will get by Dragonstone (and its dragons) now that Daenerys has it but at least there’s no sailing hundreds of miles past a location only to sail back (into a magical trap).

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    180. ACME: I think the writers show us that, while Olenna still has her no-nonsense and biting manner of speech, she is now solely focused on revenge. She does not care about what is happening in her region, does not care whether what she advises Daenerys to do is sound or not, does not care whether it could hurt the Mother of Dragons in the long run. All she cares about is that Cersei die and she uses Daenerys as her weapon of choice.

      Agreed! Olenna wants nothing but revenge and she doesn’t care one bit what happens to her people (high- and low-borns equally.)

      PS: I’m liking Cersei much more this season! She might be crazy… but what she says make sense (well, most of the time…)

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    181. Wow, what an episode. Things really are moving at breakneck speed, I need to brace myself and watch it again, so much to take in.

      The Ship sequence was breathtaking, Euron is just dire tbh. Poor Sand snakes.

      Also want to comment on the opening shot of a stormy Dragonstone and the candelit room where Dany and Co were talking. Felt quite poetic. Mylod well done.

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    182. I don’t have much to add regarding the plot developments, but there were so many acting moments this week that blew me away.

      Maisie in her scenes with Hot Pie and Nymeria. Twenty different emotions can fly across her face in the span of seconds without her needing to say a word. Amazing. How anyone can try to reduce Arya to a single-minded “serial killer” when Maisie pulls of the nuances of her character so brilliantly is beyond me.

      The way Sophie and Kit played the wordless understanding exchanged between Jon and Sansa when he left her in charge. That was some of my favorite work from both of them. I saw mostly concern on Sansa’s part regarding Jon’s decision, not malice, and she seemed genuinely moved by his display of faith in her. If this marks the end of the “feud” between them, I’m happy with the note it ended on, and I think both actors played it out in a much more layered and sympathetic way than either of their pre-season interviews implied.

      Kit absolutely killed it this week. The utter exhaustion emanating from him in his final appeal to the lords, the way his voice catches when he talks about the north being his home, the shaky breath he draws in front of Ned’s statue just before Littlefinger interrupts, the way every word and movement in that crypt scene conveyed a mix of lingering grief, overwhelming burden, and contempt for the man standing next to him. Liam was so right about his subtle work.

      Alfie Allen in those final moments. Another actor who, like Maisie, can convey volumes without saying a word. The way Gemma played Yara’s reaction upon realizing what he was about to do was heartbreaking as well.

      The interplay between John Bradley and Iain Glen, particularly the moment Sam realized Jorah is Joer’s son.

      Basically, Nina Gold is a genius and we are spoiled rotten by this cast.

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    183. mau,

      C’mon, there is a big gap between there being just one mention of his resurrection and it being mentioned every episode.

      What I would have liked:
      Some acknowledgement by Sansa about what happened to him, at least once. This was the first time that she was exposed to magic of any kind, it should have freaked her out… It would have also showed that she cared, something which people have questioned.

      While Sansa and Jon were on their northern tour, the concerned Lords/ Ladies, that is Lyanna Mormont and/or Lord Glover ask the most relevant question…why was a man of the Nights Watch away from his post? Question him about his interpretation that his duties to the NW were at an end, on his death, thus forcing him to explain himself. This would have worked as an explanation to the audience as well. Or else they could have addressed this before the gathered Lords named him KitN without having any questions about his status with the NW.

      Have someone in Team Dany question how did a man of the NW become the KitN.

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    184. I’m pretty pissed at myself for watching the comiccon video showing Euron celebrating on the streets – basically spoiling the outcome of this fight. Nymeria was sort of given away by the scenes from the next episode. Think I might need to avoid watching any teasers from now on.

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    185. As I understand the leaks

      The Lannisters will seriously injure Drogon, forcing him to the ground and knocking Dany off, Jamie will go in to kill Dany (scene from the 2nd trailer) who is in serious peril however at the last moment Bronn knocks Jamie off his horse saving him and also Dany. This is why Dany brings the other dragon North to it’s death as Drogon is out of action for a while.

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    186. ghost of winterfell,

      You’re absolutely right in everything you said. Beric’s resurrection has had way more discussion than Jon’s, despite the fact that the former was basically a set-up for the latter.

      The point of us witnessing resurrection so early on was that it would come into play in a major way later on.

      It has indeed been completely brushed under the rug as far as Jon is concerned.

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    187. A Dornish Tyrell,
      Yep ! Olenna is on a downward trajectory and she does nto care whom she takes down with her.

      And yes, yes, so much yes ! You are finally coming to the dark side of Cerseiphilia 😛
      The Lioness is actually doing well, isn’t she ? She finally is where she always secretly longed to be and, without all her frustration-induced rage, she is quite level-headed and driven. Her speech to the lords of the Reach was examplary. It is all the more striking if you compare it to Jon’s address to his assembly.

      Cersei is precise and visceral; she describes specifically what will happen to the lords’ wives and children if they do not side with her. She details the horrors (real or not, it does not matter) of a Dothraki invasion and a Targaryen reign : the rapes, the murders, the abuse, the madness, the destruction. She wants to give them nightmares and she is relentless.

      Conversely, Jon is too vague, once again. He keeps on saying the White Walkers are a very dangerous threat but he does not explain why. We know he is right because we have seen them with our own eyes but, if we hadn’t, I doubt we would be swayed by his argumentation. No description of their look, their attacks, their powers. No details about the Wights and their ferocity. I love Jon but this is simply not vivid enough.
      The people he is talking to have no idea what White Walkers even are; Jon knows that, he says and repeats so himself. But he stops there ! He tells them they do not know and moves on, instead of filling in the blanks… If we add that to the fact that he does not feel the need to have a small council or inform his close circle of his decisions before announcing them in public and thus deprives himself of surrogates who could understand and argue his points for him when he is unavailable, what we end up with is a huge information vacuum and the potential turmoil that goes with it.

      Ned used to do that and so did Robb. Are Stark men explanation-intolerant ? Do they get rashes if they get into details over anything ? 🙂

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    188. Jared,

      You’re right, the budget likely would not have allowed for the battle to be bigger than it was, given what we will probably be seeing in the upcoming episodes.

      At the end of the day, despite my complaints, it was still very thrilling and impressive.

      And I agree, it would be a dream come true for Marshall to return for the final season, even though it seems improbable. Fingers crossed.

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    189. Matty C,

      This is quite debatable and I’m not sure what scene you’re watching, in this case we had all the protagonist women “fighting bravely” and then we had Theons role as a traditional brotherly male protector of a sister mocked which if you read between the lines is a mocking of masculinity, they have the misogynist Ellaria treating him as a servant boy and then of course we have him as one of the two male protganists cowarding while the other is a one-dimensional nutcase etc

      On top of that we have Tyene stabbing men in the genitals which is fairly grotesque sexual violence by women against men glorified (because they’re pirates or something right?)

      But this is what happens when we get generalist show writers having to take over from simply adapting GRRM’s writing and adapting ASOIF, the mindset of the times and the contemporary media industry starts to creep into how things are articulated

      I’ve commented elsewhere how Theon should have been using a bow and arrow, and it would have been good to nod back to his saving Bran from the Wildling but getting “Reeked out” by the violence and missing and perhaps hitting Yarasha in the arm

      I seemed to take the SS’s at the end firstly as it is a thematic nod to what Euron has done to the entire fleet articulated through two characters and secondly the Forsaken chapter perhaps

      Despite the issues with that aspect of it, I really enjoyed the scene, good length, Pilu as Euron was great and great cinematics

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    190. So all of the Northern Lords are still at Winterfell. I’m not sure how much time has passed since Ep 1 but wouldn’t they all have gone home to their lands and castles to start to hunker down for winter? It seems strange to have all of these powerful Northern Lords still just hanging out at Winterfell, waiting for meetings to occur. Don’t get me wrong, the council meeting scenes are great, but I just don’t know why they would all still be there.

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    191. elybe:

      Basically, Nina Gold is a genius and we are spoiled rotten by this cast.

      All of this.

      Re: Sansa and Jon. I loved her pleading with him. You’re abandoning your people. You’re abandoning your home. And the implied, unspoken third line. You’re abandoning me.

      Everyone has massively upped their game this season and it shows. With the cast shrinking as it did in season six, there is nowhere to hide and all performances have been amazing.

      Another thought – Jon insists that the North is his home. Indeed, it is the only one he has ever truly known, and I cannot help but recall Jon’s words to Qhorin Halfhand in The Old Gods and the NewMy father always said I’m of the North. It is ironic that he is now heading to the place that could perhaps, in an alternative world, have been his home.

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    192. I haven’t been able to read through all the comments yet because WotW keeps crashing for me. I look forward to seeing what everyone has to say. Meanwhile, I’ll share my own thoughts—which, I’m afraid, consist largely of disappointment.

      At Dragonstone

      I loved the exchange between Dany and Varys, although—like some early commenters—I was perplexed about it taking place so late in the game. I was also confounded by Dany’s threat to have Varys burned alive should he ever betray her. She’s been reminded of her father’s proclivities over and over and over again; how on earth, er, Planetos, does she expect her allies and advisors to trust her when, at every turn, she threatens to become Aerys 2.0?

      From there it went even farther downhill for me. Tyrion loved his niece, and arranged the marriage in Dorne truly believing that she would be safe. I cannot believe that he would allow Ellaria to go unpunished, even in the name of unity in the realm. As for Lady Olenna: Really??? There’s never been such a thing as long-lasting peace, so why even bother trying? “Be a dragon”? And Dany’s reaction—what happened to “break the wheel”?

      The exchange with Melisandre was equally perplexing. No curiosity, on Dany’s part, about either the Long Night or the prophecy of the Prince/Princess Who Was Promised. Just a command to Tyrion to write to Jon and order him to come bend the knee. No questions about why he has been anointed King in the North, or how a Targaryen and an army of foreigners from hot climates are going to a) conquer and b) hold an enormous, frigid swath of land. Seriously?

      At the Citadel

      Loved the exchanges between the JBs (Jim Broadbent and John Bradley). Their slightly antagonistic energy is crackling. Also loved the rapport between Sam and Jorah, although—as in the Dragonstone scenes—I’m confounded by the seeming lack of curiosity, on either man’s part, about what the other knows.

      However, the cut from the greyscale to the soup at the inn was not only unnecessary, to me it was downright juvenile and insulting to an adult audience. I actually loved last week’s controversial montage, because it very effectively showed the tedium of Citadel life for the lowest man on the totem pole. I don’t take issue with viewing disgusting things when they’re integral to the plot, but this was not. To be honest, it angered me as much as the shot of the young actor’s penis in Braavos. I remember thinking, “Really? For six seasons you’ve heard complaints about the ratio of female nudity to male nudity—and the fact that the former is used almost exclusively to titillate the audience—so when you finally show full-frontal male nudity it’s diseased teenage dick?”

      I actually yelled “Fuck you” at the screen during that scene. True story.

      At King’s Landing

      One of the very few truly strong scenes in this episode, imo. Qyburn continues to prove that he’s intelligent, resourceful, forward-thinking, and probably the best weapon in Cersei’s arsenal.

      With Grey Worm and Missandei

      Another very strong scene. Many viewers saw it as extraneous, but I saw it as a potent reminder—despite the fact that Grey Worm and Missandei are Dany’s advisors—of what the War for the Dawn will be fought for: life itself. And what is life without love?

      At Winterfell

      Davos continues to impress me. I do hope he and Brienne develop a rapport, because someone needs to talk some sense into the Starks.

      Jon and Sansa: Really, Jon? Two weeks in a row, making momentous decisions and announcing them to all the Northern lords and lady before telling Sansa what you’re going to do? No. Just no.

      Littlefinger: By the gods, the old and the new, I never thought I’d pity Littlefinger.

      You read that correctly.

      I pity Littlefinger.

      Right now he must be thinking, “Why, oh why, did I throw my lot in with these idiots?” First Sansa disparaged him (“I’m sure it was something clever”), and now Jon not only fails to acknowledge the fact that Winterfell is the Starks’ again only because of the KotV, but then goes on to threaten him—right before he leaves Winterfell! With Sansa in charge, and Littlefinger still there!

      On that note: And how is a 19- or 20-year-old with no experience in governance, no understanding of warfare, and no ability to garner support from the nobility going to hold the North? Just wondering.

      On the road with Arya

      I hated the scene at the Inn. I’ve been looking forward to it for years, and I fucking hated it.

      I have great difficulty believing that Arya would have let down her guard and ultimately had a wonderful, warm time with a group of Lannister soldiers—and then, shortly thereafter, be robotic and cold with a young man with whom she had made a deep connection before parting ways. Abysmal writing. Absolutely fucking abysmal.

      In contrast, the reunion with Nymeria—while unexpected to me in its nature—was deeply satisfactory. “It’s not you.” That was beautiful. I hope it foreshadows that like her wolf, Arya is also destined to lead, not follow.

      At Sea

      I do wish the “naval battle” hadn’t been so incessantly hyped following the release of the second trailer. It wasn’t a battle; it was a devastatingly swift and effective ambush. I’m watching the episode again this afternoon with a friend who hasn’t seen it yet, and I expect I’ll enjoy it much more the second time.

      Theon. Oh, Theon. Alfie Allen plays this part so brilliantly. Theon stood by helplessly while his foster sister was raped on her wedding night, and Theon jumped ship helplessly while his blood sister was taken by their psychopathic uncle. He ultimately saved the first. Will be save the second? Fingers crossed.

      Conclusion

      I do understand that, with the endgame upon us, an accelerated narrative pace has become a necessity. But in this episode, the need for expediency has seemingly resulted in lazy writing that did a great disservice to a number of great characters. I do hope we see writing improvements in the next episode, or I will be reluctantly forced to agree with LatrineDiggerBrian’s assertion that D&D are already working on their next project… and have, consequently, dropped the ball on Game of Thrones. Given that this is my all-time favorite show, I really, really, really hope that’s not the case.

      Off-Topic

      Lest anyone think I’m merely suffering from a chronic case of Monday morning, I actually am having a good day. It’s my daughter’s 27th, and I’ve already informed her that, if we make it to Con of Thrones next year, she’s going to be Bran…

      https://twitter.com/braziliangog/status/889526855769890816

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    193. I was really worried that the Arya and Nymeria reunion would feel like fanservice.

      Instead, we got one of the most beautiful sequences and pieces of writing D&D have ever done.
      I loved the episode from beginning to end.
      I’m not here to nitpick.
      Im not going to read the comments here and ruin my enjoyment of this amazing series, We know some will never be pleased.

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    194. ghost of winterfell,

      Yeah there’s a good point in there, Ramsay did mention it so there’s an argument they covered it perhaps when Jon was trying to get the Houses onside

      What I think would be good appropriate is actually for the Vale Lords/Royce to mention it, as we would presumably have a difference in perspective between the Northern Lords and those based more in the South

      In the books I reckon the Clan Lords right near the Wall will be his major backers

      As for Sansa, she kept a straight face when Brienne was telling her about Stannis using magic against Renly (at Castle Black, not the inn), so reckon she perceives it as a political tool. Indeed I don’t think she would be freaked out at all given that in the books I reckon she becomes Mad Donnelle Lothston Mk2 out of Harrenhall and will use it quite extensively…

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    195. HelloThere:
      I was really worried that the Arya and Nymeria reunion would feel like fanservice.
      Instead, we got one of the most beautiful sequences and pieces of writing D&D have ever done.

      I’ve watched that scene about five times now… it’s heartbreaking to me.

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    196. “Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death.”

      He died; “and now his watch is ended.”

      The Oath to the Night’s Watch was completed and came to an end. That’s it. He’s no longer a member of the Night’s Watch and his Oath was held fulfilled. He got to walk away. It’s no more difficult than that.

      Now, the idea that he was killed and resurrected is, doubtless, hard to swallow for many. But there were enough who were close enough and nearby who bought it as they saw it for themselves. Whether the truth is believed or not, it is accepted as the politically acceptable truth in the New North.

      Move on.

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    197. Jorah will make it to Dragonstone, take one look at Longclaw, and will vouch for Jon.

      As for the haters, bail. Just do it. Your time is clearly too valuable to spend it on beauty like Grey Worm/Missandei, or Nymeria, or Alfie Allen being an unsung star

      Quit. Go watch CSI: Topeka

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    198. I complained a lot about the first episode last week and lost my excitement for this week’s episode.I wasn’t satisfied with the writing, the interactions and lots of things, and after watching “stormborn”:
      I was nearly screaming!! WoW!!! one of my all time favorite episodes!, I absolutely loved the dialogues! the emotions! the story! Bryan Cogman and Mark Mylod are my 2 favorite people now!
      super hyped!!
      the only negative thing I can say is how useless LF has become, I’m hoping they change that in the upcoming episodes, but if you think about it, LF got his way in the early seasons because he managed to manipulate Lysa who had an important role, and had alliances but now he’s in a place where he’s not really trusted and people have more important things on their mind than playing the “game”.
      Also ,I’ll be very shocked if Maisie Williams doesn’t get any nominations for S7 Arya, she’s killing it each and every scene.

      on the Sand snakes, I was never a fan, but felt bad about what happened to them. I mean assuming that they all die( I can’t imagine Cersei showing anyone mercy). what happens to Dorne?

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    199. ACME,

      Yes to all of what you’ve said!! Maester Wolkan should start working on an ointment for that explanation-intolerance induced rash that seems to afflict the Starks! 😛

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    200. I don’t know what the point of Littlefinger is now. They can’t continue to pretend and try to hint Sansa is going to betray Jon. Not with Arya heading there. Arya will have none of betraying Jon. Not that I ever thought Sansa would betray him anyway, but I am a bit fearful for the Northern plot in the remaining weeks. I don’t see much point to it with Arya’s return.

      I’m still trying to figure out why no one in the North thinks Jon Snow is some whacked out nutjob. Here’s a guy claiming to be resurrected from the dead telling you an ancient race of ice demons from the children’s fairytales is coming to kill you and…no one questions this? And Sam. Since he sent to the raven to Winterfell he knows about Jon. He never thought it strange or difficult to believe that his best friend was murdered and brought back from the dead!?

      Big things happen offscreen now and I find that odd. The Northern Lords acceptance of Jon’s story, Sansa and Jon’s talk about what happened to them, Sam finding out Jon was killed and brought back, seemingly no one caring Jon left the Night’s Watch. I get the idea to move the plot along, but I wish at some point there would have been even a small amount of time dedicated to some of these.

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    201. No-one can please all the people all the time -if this episode wasn’t some folks’ cuppa I guess it just not their cuppa. I liked the episode although I am worried about the dragons now and was sorry to see Yara being captured, though I had seen the leaked photographs (have avoided plot leaks if possible) of Euron (under an umbrella – I guess that doesn’t make the cut into next week’s episode) leading Ellaria, Tyene and Yara in triumph. There was something in the books (appreciating that show and books are somewhat different animals now) where it seemed very likely that Asha was dead and then she survived so I’m just hoping. * Danaerys had better not be toasting Varys – though if the possibility of something is set up in GoT it usually has a pay-off.

      *My fan fiction [only in my head] is that Bronn could take Yara as his highborn wife but that won’t happen in Westeros.

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    202. In my opinion if there is a King or a Queen at the end Jon is the most likely candidate with 11 episodes still to run. He is the one with the best claim (based upon heritage), the most level headed, and the one with the most backing (once his heritage becomes known). Second, it’s Dany then Cersei, followed by outsiders like Sansa/Tyrion.

      You would imagine Cersei will die this season (or next), Dany just seems a bit too obvious and she’s not exactly a “good” person in the truest sense like Jon for it to be a sweet ending.

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    203. I think the only reason that no one is saying a word about Jon and his leaving the Watch is because the Watch/Edd haven’t sent ravens claiming Jon is an oathbreaker and a traitor, which is how anyone finds out about anyone leaving the Watch. Or Edd sent ravens saying Jon isn’t an oathbreaker or otherwise vouched for him leaving.

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    204. I am a long-time lurker and this is my first time commenting. Being at the Con of Thrones with all of the GoT Watchers on the Wall fans has inspired me to not sit on the sidelines.
      I thought this was a great episode and the one comment/observation I would like to make regarding Arya at the Inn with Hotpie is how she reminded me of the Hound. Everything about her mannerisms (wiping her mouth with the back of her hand, looking straight ahead) and speech (“You got any ale?”) reminded me of how the Hound would interact up until the point when she learned about Jon being at Winterfell.

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    205. I just want to put this out there – Sir Bronn of the Blackwater needs to save his sexy Dornish crush Tyene from Cersei’s wrath. He owes her a life line, I mean she saved his last season. They had great chemistry! If I had to choose one of the Sand Snakes to live…it would be the one that said “you want a good girl, but you need a bad pussy”. Those two were great together and we haven’t seen Bronn yet. My money is on Tyene and the love bite she gave him last season still playing on his mind.

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    206. René,

      You really don’t see it coming? Remember, the title of next week’s episode is: THE QUEEN’S JUSTICE.

      Tyene survived only so that she can be tortured/killed in front of her mother. Cersei has been referred to as a “monster without her children” and we’ve only seen the barest hint (ie, Unella) of that so far.

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    207. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that she is going to die horribly.

      This is GoT after all and we haven’t seen anything truly horrendous in quite a few episodes.

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    208. A very small point but the fact Hot Pie noticed that Arya was growing prettier made me wonder if perhaps Arya could be the younger, more beautiful person to take Cersei down (if it plays out according to Maggy the Frog’s prophecy). I’ve been tending to think of Sansa, partly because Dany seemed to obvious. Just have to wait and see I suppose.

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    209. Matty C,

      I don’t think being the basis for a TV series tells us anything about quality. The shining and The godfather are pretty lame books, even if they are the basis for excellent movies.
      Harry Potter should have been forgotten already. It’s cliché and poorly written.
      I’ m mentioning great authors that will be remembered for ever (Lispector too, btw). Martin won’t. The books are funny, and they are the shiny new thing, but they are not groundbreaking, they are not deep and they are not well written, like the books from the three authors that I mentioned. I don’t see any reason why they would be remembered.

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    210. Matty C,

      I appreciate your response btw to responses to your original post. There is just this that I wonder about:

      I thought we were over these kinds of events by now. I fully admitted that this was my no-filter, no-processing-time reaction to the episode, so there it is.

      This is the Game of Thrones. If we have learned anything in the last 6 plus years, its that there will not be a time when we are over these kinds of events. As Ramsey said, If you think this has a happy ending you havent been paying attention.

      As far as Euron suddenly appearing – everyone seemed to agree, while watching that great shot in 6/10 of all those ships heading west, that this will not be done without a battle. There just had to be. so I wasn’t surprised. What did bother me was how the ones on the boat didn’t notice them until it was too late…

      Oh reading your post you mentioned not being bothered by Arya killing the Freys, versus someone else getting horribly murdered. So is it the way its done bother you more? I know I will close my eyes or turn away when I see something on the screen thats going to be too violent for me. But I do know that killing is killing, so I can’t really make a difference between them.

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    211. Just had a funny thought — remember when the first batch of photos for the season were released months ago? Or even from something in pre-production? Anyway, we saw a close-up of Greyworm sharpening his spear (from this episode) and everyone assumed that it was a sand snake b/c the hand was quite feminine-looking.

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    212. Khal Branson,

      “One thing that stood out for me during Jon’s meeting with the Northern leaders is that, although he’s really good at it, he doesn’t really want to rule. Opposite of everyone else on the show, he doesn’t like it.”

      Yes, that message came across loud and clear to me- Jon does not want to rule.

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    213. I loved the naval battle scene! Seriously peak acting especially with Theon having a PTSD episode and Yara’s look of utter betrayal and disgust. Ughh! So good! And a bit morbid, but I loved Euron’s entrance! There was actually no music playing when he gave his battle cry and smashed that poor guy. #Savage.

      Also I chuckle every time I see Sam’s reaction drinking rum.

      I also think that Missandei correcting Dany’s translation of the PtWP from High Valyrian was intentional and done with a purpose.

      As for Jon Snow not being in the Night’s Watch anymore, I think this is something Tyrion will address in the next episode. Like hey man, ‘why didn’t anyone execute you as a deserter?’ Or the writers might completely gloss over it, I don’t know.

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    214. Matty C,

      Honestly, if you don’t like people having opinions that conflict with your own, perhaps you should not be on the internet

      I don’t think thats fair. Not sure if you are new, but weve been talking and debating and discussing the show for years If someone makes a comment that I want to reply to, i do so. If they want to add something they do. Except for a few people that cannot stand being wrong (no one here of course) You can say what you want. Just expect that people will respond one way or the other.

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    215. This is exactly the reason why I believe Jon will end up ruling, he might not like it but he’s the best equipped and unlike the mad queen(s) Cersei and Dany he doesn’t crave power, he does it because the people want him too.

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    216. Khal Branson,

      Yes, this exactly. As he said to Davos, Ive been fighting forever. He just wants to go someplace warm. But i suspect the ghost of Alliser Thorn is following him, reminding him that he will fight other peoples battles forever

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    217. ygritte,

      Given that this season’s episodes are on average longer than any other season’s, I don’t understand why anything had to be cut… much less direwolves, the shortage of which has been among fans’ greatest complaints about the series.

      Oh, well. One more reason for me to consider this episode a D in scripting, directing, and editing choices. I would give it a B- overall, having been saved by superb acting and production values.

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    218. I honestly don’t understand why so many people want further resolution on Jon leaving the NW… No one has swept his resurrection under the rug, but do you really think it’ll make good TV for characters to sit around dissecting the different interpretations of the NW vow? If you remember, Jons apparent desertion of the NW was a factor in him drumming up little support prior to the BotB…. After that was won, do you really think any of the remaining lords of the north actual give a f-ck? This is the man who just liberated them from the Boltons and righted more than a few wrongs in the process.

      People complaining that Mel should have said it to Danys council really haven’t thought about how that would play out in an actual scene – and anyway – there’s bound to be some dialogue between Jon and Dany in the coming episodes specifically about it…

      Honestly I’m so grateful that the show runners don’t read and/or take heed to fan comments and suggestions – some of the things I read on here make my cringe.

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    219. costache: lying

      Was she even looking at him? Part of being able to tell if someone is lying is to study the person – facial expressions, body language, and vocal tones – you need to be focused and attentive – there isn’t something magical about it, like the face changing.

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    220. thisgirlhasnoname,

      It just dawned on me why I was unsatisfied tonight. Before you think I’m being negative, hear me out :). I truly love the show and ANY episode is heads and tails above anything else on TV. And I thought there was a lot of good tonight too.

      One of the things I’ve always loved about GoT is the complexity of the dialogue. Not only the detailed foreshadowing, but the use of a fascinating backstory to give context to the present. It’s what makes it all so masterful (and this community so much fun!). So when someone says anything, you better be paying attention! And these characters now coming together have so many intertwining first- and second-degree relationships. So much fodder for interesting and illuminating conversations…not just illuminating to the characters but to us.

      That’s what I felt was missing tonight

      I wrote a detailed reply to this but it got lost in the weirnet…But wanted to tell you that you are not crazy, that i totally agree with you about the dialogue, and think you have some good ideas. Constructive criticsm with some examples to back up your point are always appreciated by me, anyway.

      Another thing I found missing is the humor – GMMR often had me laughing, and many of my fav quips ended up in the show. Could use some more of that; even Shakespear used comic relief in all his tragedies!

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    221. SerNoName,

      “I am sure Nymeria will turn up with her wolf pack for the big battle next season and help Arya.”

      Agreed. If we can’t get more of Nymeria and Ghost now, I think we’ll see them both (and Nym’s pack) be part of the battles against the WW.

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    222. ACME,

      The only reason Cersei is doing well is for dramatic effect.

      If this season involved her getting her arse handed to her from episode 2 onward, there’d be no tension and the stakes would be set very low for our key players. She’s an antagonist so by definition, she has to present an obstacle.

      I believe that by episode 6 she will have been soundly defeated – her army will be in ashes and her ancestral home will be occupied. She will effectively be forced to bargain what only chips she has left: her hostages.

      If there is one person in this show who will never accept losing, it is Cersei, and she will drag the kingdom down with her to avoid that fate.

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    223. Brotherhood without Banter,

      You don’t have to think that hard.

      Martin is stuck with a character he can’t get out of Castle Black, but the show has chosen to say ‘fuck it’ and move him on. The writers have gambled that the audience would much rather suspend their disbelief over a Lord Commander deserting the NW than see him tread water at the wall for another season.

      They were right to do so.

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    224. stinkpatch:
      ghost of winterfell,

      Now that Sansa is around friends and her home in Winterfell, she could merely have Stark soldiers grab Littlefinger and explain to the soldiers of the Vale what really happened when Littlefinger sent Lysa flying to her death.

      But I think Arya will have the final say for Littlefinger if she makes it to Winterfell

      I would like to see Arya use her lie detecting skills on Littlefinger. Surely they didn’t add that bit to her training montage for her to never be shown using it!

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    225. Brotherhood without Banter,

      I agree with your overall point. Still this statement, “This is the man who just liberated them from the Boltons” is not accurate. Jon didn’t liberate Karstark and Umber (or anyone else) from the Boltons. Those houses joined the Botlons (or stayed out of the fighting altogether) of their own free will.

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    226. It may seem trivial, but I’m confused as to whether Sam knows all that went down in the North. You’d think being at the Citadel he’d be pretty well informed, but as the point has already been made, if it was common knowledge that Jon had been betrayed by the Night’s Watch, killed, resurrected and was now King in the North, it would be a bigger deal. How is Sam not astounded by the fact his best friend came back from the dead?!

      Also, for argument’s sake, if it’s not common knowledge and Sam doesn’t know and just assumed Jon was still Lord Commander and was just sending info back to Castle Black.
      – That raven got to The Wall and then forwarded to Winterfell really quick.
      – Why would there be no mention of Bran in a separate note from Edd?
      – How in the world could Sam have sent a raven direct to Winterfell with dragonglass info before Castle Black sends one with info about Bran?
      – If he is just corresponding directly with Jon, wouldn’t he be asking why he was at Winterfell and not with the Night’s Watch?

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    227. Well, I don’t know about ‘prince’ being non-gender specific in High Valyrian, but its original use in European states, right from the Roman Empire and throughout much of the early middle ages was largely non-gender specific.

      It is simply a generic term for ‘ruler’ taken from the roman princeps which was a title the Emperors of Rome started to use during the principate. It would have seemed very reasonable to describe a queen as a prince so they could have gone with that.

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    228. Jim Broadbend..is that that guy from “Cloud Atlas”. It has to be.. that face makes me wanna laugh.

      What an episode! I held my breath as Dany bored down on Varys..holy smokes. This is why I love the Dragon queen, and Varys too.

      Very tender scene with Grey Worm and Missy, loved it. I hope he doesn’t get one taste of love then croak.

      Cersai, that lyin’ heiffer!

      Sansa wants to be the queen? Then let her! Sometimes the worst thing you can do to a person is give then exactly what they want. She should have paid closer attention to Jon and Davos and tried to learn something…too late! Now she’ll be thinking: What would Jon do?

      Arya is headed home, or is she?

      Terrific ironborn melee; I kept reflexively reaching for the controller.

      Good episode!

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    229. Jenny,

      I thought the same thing…. Right after realizing both Dorne and the Tyrells loaned Daenerys ships to bring the Unsullied and the Dothraki to Westeros and wouldn’t need the Greyjoys to move their troops…

      AND… Both the Dornish and the Tyrells could MARCH troops to King’s Landing and minimize the risk of “problems at sea”…

      Tyrion should know better… How was Stannis defeated in the Battle of Blackwater? Sailing in ships for a “beach landing assault”….

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    230. ACME,

      In Spanish we have the following saying “Al buen entendedor pocas palabras bastan” which would translate roughly to “a word to the wise is sufficient.” Too bad Jon has never been surrounded by wise men, not at the Wall and not at Winterfell it seems. Northerners have heard the tales of the Long Night and the walkers, they know the lore, do they really need detailed explanations other than they kill every living thing in their way and not content with that they raise the corpses and add them to their army?” Hell, Jon told them about the walker threat before they decided to make him their King, in crowning him they elected him to command them, he is doing exactly that. And it seems to me, wrong or not, that Jon’s small council is basically Davos so Davos probably knew of Jon’s decisions beforehand. Should Jon have informed Sansa beforehand? Perhaps but Sansa being Sansa would have still made herself heard regardless. Besides in the way he handled things, he finally gave Sansa the public recognition she has been after. He may have done that on purpose with two objectives: 1) Making Sansa feel important in front of the whole North and 2) making it obvious to his bannermen that Sansa has his complete trust and backing. Remember, the bannermen did not want to fight for her, despite her being Ned’s daughter. Now she has the backing of the man they named King, if they mean to keep their vows to their King, they must back, protect and respect the Princess in the North.

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    231. Tycho Nestoris,

      I know, but I’m talking about the new power base of the north, not the remaining karstarks or umbers. I think young Ned or Alys are even less likely to bring up Jons supposed desertion than the other houses.

      On that point, I’m not exactly sure that show how much support Smalljohn had in his Bolton alliance anyway, obviously the army went along with him as their liege lord, but I bet more than a few still felt strong about Boltons part in the red wedding..

      My point is, I think it’s convenient for everyone (apart from his enemies, and possibly Edd) that Jons betrayal and death has released him from his vows. If anyone was going to challenge it on legal grounds it would have been the remaining watch members, but they also accepted it. I really don’t think the show needs to dwell on it any further, but it would make sense that an enemy could use it against jon in a propaganda war.

      As far as the greater story goes I think it’s another element of how this conflict is going to break down old established systems.. The watch, and it’s vows, will probably be obsolete by the end of the tale.. Sam is doing the same with the citadel, Arya with the faceless men…. I’m sure the feudel structure of westeros will be completely re-structured too – and that’s part of the narrative of this saga, at least part of my interpretation.

      How boring would it be if Jon just joined the watch and stayed there? What if sam really trains to be a maester? How long do we have exactly? A quick 8 year degree in oldtown before sam comes back to the wall? Everything will be over.

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    232. Becki Peterson,

      thought this was a great episode and the one comment/observation I would like to make regarding Arya at the Inn with Hotpie is how she reminded me of the Hound. Everything about her mannerisms (wiping her mouth with the back of her hand, looking straight ahead) and speech (“You got any ale?”) reminded me of how the Hound would interact up until the point when she learned about Jon being at Winterfell.

      Yeah I saw that as well. Wonder if she’ll have to change her ways when she gets to winterfell. Tho something tells me no one better insist on it….

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    233. Wolfish,

      Oh, well. One more reason for me to consider this episode a D in scripting, directing, and editing choices. I would give it a B- overall, having been saved by superb acting and production values.

      I have to agree with both your scores. The acting and production as always is fantastic, and I can forgive much just for me to enjoy watching them.

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    234. Brotherhood without Banter,

      The watch, and its vows, will probably be obsolete by the end of the tale

      This makes a lot of sense to me. I guess we could also view it as EVERYONE will become part of the NW when/if the Wall falls, whether they like it or not.

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    235. Shoutout to Dragonbringer! Where you at? Olenna gives Dany excellent advice!
      ramses,

      🙂
      She’ll have to do just that now that Tyrion’s clever plan has gone to hell!

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    236. Ginevra,

      A news article translated some of it “Dear Khalessi, I went to the citadel in the last hope that the maesters could treat me as you ordered.(…) I am beyond any cure out of the grave. I have had a longer life than I deserved and I only wish I could’ve seen the world your going to build, standing by your side. I have loved you since the moment I met you. If there’s (…)
      Jorah”

      Bloody Jorah, always ripping out my heart and tearing it into a million pieces

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    237. I don’t think that anyone besides the people who were at Castle Black know Jon has been resurected. It’s not important for the rest of the world since he’s still human.
      And I don’t think that anyone besides the Nights Watch and people from Winterfell know, the penalty for abandoning the Night’s watch is dead. Why should they care about that? Jon is the only one in the north who can command an army. All the other young men died fighting with Robb. So it’s not that they have much other choice.

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    238. I just thought of something (horrible):

      Cersei: “Elaria, you murdered my innocent daughter so justice demands that that action should cost you yours.”

      Cersei: “Ser Gregor… Take this girl and remind Elaria Sand how she lost her paramour…”

      Can’t put anything past Cersei. I’m dreading to see what she comes up with. Even if it’s to the (TV version of) Elaria and a Sand Snake.

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    239. Violator,

      No, per the leaks the weapon does not work as well as advertised probably because they were basing it on S5 Drogon, while S7 Drogon is in another league. Per Lads, it does knock Drogon out of the sky and it makes him winded for a few minutes but there is no long term damage and he breathes fire and flys long distances that same episode once he shakes it off

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    240. Regarding lack of acknowledgment by the northern lords/ladies of Jon’s departure from the NW, since they didn’t show it, we are left to assume all convos occurred off-screen. (I would’ve liked to have seen at least one scene about Jon’s resurrection/departure.)

      However, this conundrum reminds me of the first scene of the show. When Ned, dutifully beheads a deserter from the NW.

      ………….Flash forward a few seasons…………

      to when Maester Aemon scoffs at the idea of beheading every man that “deserts” to Molestown.

      My point…..? maybe much of Westoros doesn’t care about the particulars of NW oath? Ned may have been exceedingly honorable in his duties regarding NW oaths.

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    241. Wolfish,
      A very happy birthday to you daughter ! 😀
      I am certain she will be a terrific Bran. Who will you be ? Meera, I hope. The most badass saint ever to have drawn breath in Westeros ^^

      Violator,
      Well, it is a TV show so everything is for dramatic effect, technically ^^
      However, the way in which Cersei is evening the odds with Daenerys is, to me, perfectly believable and in character.

      Euron has been set up as a demented berserker with a fetish for royal gals (gods, that character is great !). After his niece and nephew double-crossed him over Daenerys, his decision to accept Cersei’s invitation and fight on her side makes perfect sense.
      As for the Reach’s lords, they have every right and reason to defect to the Lannisters’ side. It is even something that was heavily discussed here shortly after last season’s finale aired, if I remember correctly. House Tyrell is, in effect, dead so the region’s lords owe it little loyalty and they do not know Daenerys from Adam. To them, she is the Mad King’s daughter, a foreigner raised in Essos who is showing up to their shores with Dothraki (known in Westeros for their uncanny brutality), Ironborn (loathed in the Seven Kingdoms) and dragons (terrifying).
      Neither of these alliances is nonsensical or unexpected.

      As for Cersei’s attitude, it is faithful to her character. The problem she has had so far is that, due to her impulsivity and frustration-fuelled precipitation, some of plans tend to backfire (ie the High Sparrow). However, when she is not overcome by her own temper or rage, she can be quite crafty.
      She captured Ned and was smart enough to know not to have him executed (Joffrey was the moron who kiiled him); she was the one who got the idea of the wildfire her little brother ultimately used at the Battle of the Blackwater; she knew how to use the judicial system to take down Tyrion; she successfully targeted and dispatched her enemies at the Sept.

      Cersei is always at her most dangerous when cornered and Daenerys is trying to corner her… Watch out !

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    242. A Dornish Tyrell,
      Ha ! I hope the good ol’ maester works fast. That ointment is desperately needed 😉

      Danny,
      I am sorry to say I disagree with you in regards to the Northern lords. Whether or not they know their region’s lore and fairytales is irrelevant, I am afraid. Because the White Walkers are not monsters from a tale; they are a real threat. And switching from one to the other is not an easy task, cognitively speaking.

      I am certain you know the tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, just as I do. Still, if someone were to tell you there actually is a bloke with a flute about to lead your city’s children into a cave, never to be seen again, thanks to his music, you, just like me, would be at least a tad suspicious… ^^

      Westerosi know of the Dothraki. They have heard tales about the screamers and their horses. Yet Cersei gave the Reach’s lords a very graphic description of what the riders would do to the country if unleashed onto its population. Because she understands that, when warning people against a threat, you have to go up against their normalcy bias, their tendency to underestimate danger and believe that the world will remain as they have always known it (cf. Archmaester Embrose)
      So Cersei sells that Dothraki/Unsullied/Targaryen threat with gusto and plenty of unpleasant imagery. Just as Jon should do with the White Walkers peril.

      As far as the King in the North’s government is concerned, as I have written on another thread, if he wants to rule as an autocrat without a cabinet, good for him. I think it is an unspeakably risky move but he is King and he does whatever he believes is right.
      However, him not telling of his decisions to the very people directly affected by said decisions before making public announcements about them is simply bizarre.

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    243. Violator,
      Well, of course, no one is suggesting she is going to win in the end ! That would be utterly laughable. But she can still be loads of narratively-justified fun and danger before her ultimate defeat 😉

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    244. Mel:
      Ginevra,

      A news article translated some of it “Dear Khalessi, I went to the citadel in the last hope that the maesters could treat me as you ordered.(…) I am beyond any cure out of the grave. I have had a longer life than I deserved and I only wish I could’ve seen the world your going to build, standing by your side. I have loved you since the moment I met you. If there’s (…)
      Jorah”

      Bloody Jorah, always ripping out my heart and tearing it into a million pieces

      So, yes, a suicide note. Thank you for the confirmation.

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    245. ACME,

      If I lived in a world where dragons are real, where wargs exist and where weir wood trees have faces and bleed, you best believe I would believe the Pied Piper tale. Or at least I would keep an open mind. I don’t live in a world where magic exists so I’m not sure the comparison is fair. The South not understanding the magnitude of the problem I get. The North? Not so much. Ned was wrong in not listening to Will, Jon’s banner men could come to regret not truly listening to their king but that’s the story of the human race, no tragedy has befallen us for which there were no warning signs, we simply chose to ignore.

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    246. ACME,

      Thank you and LOL! I’d be, um, middle-aged Meera. Fractured fairy-tale Meera? I was actually thinking of doing something insanely ambitious and going as a certain long-deceased Targaryen, but we’ll see… 😉

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    247. I’m looking forward to a reunion between Arya and Sansa. With the lives each has lived since their separation, they’ve come to appreciate the other’s traits more and more, I think. And Arya always mentioned finding her sister. One of the reasons she didn’t go immediately with Jaquen was …”and I have to find my sister. I have to find Sansa.” That wasn’t the only time she said it either. As I rewatched I noticed a couple other times she specifically mentioned finding Sansa, though right now I can’t remember them. So, Sansa has been on her mind, just as Arya has been on Sansa’s. If Bran hits Winterfell at the same time, this could get wonderfully emotional. I’m really expecting it to happen in Ep 3.

      Oh, poor Tyene She was annoying, but no way is she going to deserve what Cersei is going to do to her. Ellaria may, but not Tyene, (although all three girls planned to kill Myrcella for no reason) Funny, up in the North, the cold, backward North, they’ve come to an agreement that children should not be punished for the ill deeds of their parents’. Down in the big city, however, Queen Cersei is drooling in anticipation at the torture. Can’t help but wonder, when the time comes, what way Cersei is going to meet her end. There are so many people who owe her a big dose of payback.

      Did anyone else catch the warning glare Jon gave Sansa when he announced he was leaving for Dragonstone. He was double-daring her to open her mouth to say something. Oh, Kit, you darling, go sweep the little blond off her feet. Change up from the redheads for a while, redheads just didn’t work out for you.

      Great recap Sue, funny, enjoyable and right to the point. Thanks again for getting us through the year, can’t believe in a short time (sob) we will be waiting for word of filming and casting AGAIN. Don’t know if I’m gonna make that one the whole time without losing faith. We will see. But you’ve done a great job.

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    248. Brotherhood without Banter:
      I honestly don’t understand why so many people want further resolution on Jon leaving the NW… No one has swept his resurrection under the rug, but do you really think it’ll make good TV for characters to sit around dissecting the different interpretations of the NW vow?

      The NW vows were a huge plot point in the past. Indeed, the climax of Jon’s S1 arc centered on them. They can’t simply be ignored subsequently; that’s bad writing.

      If you remember, Jons apparent desertion of the NW was a factor in him drumming up little support prior to the BotB….

      No, it wasn’t. None of the Northerners mentioned it.

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    249. Mista C,

      I was really worried that the Arya and Nymeria reunion would feel like fanservice. Instead, we got one of the most beautiful sequences and pieces of writing D&D have ever done. [comment from HelloThere]

      [Your response]: I’ve watched that scene about five times now… it’s heartbreaking to me.

      The first time I saw the Arya-Nymeria scene, I, too, was heartbroken. On the (first) re-watch, however, I focused on Maisie’s face. Oh so subtly, she went from disappointment to understanding that just as she was not meant to be the wife of a high lord, Nymeria was not meant to be kept as mere human companion.

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    250. Ashara: How in the world could Sam have sent a raven direct to Winterfell with dragonglass info before Castle Black sends one with info about Bran?

      Better grade of ravens? Speedy, shiny, well-bred new flock, as compared to the old beater, missing hubcap ravens at the Wall? The Raven communication system has always been one of “just accept it and don’t ask too many questions.” Like how in the world the ravens even know where to go? Do you whisper in their little ears “go to Winterfell now, little bird. Fly true, don’t make any stops.” ? It’s a fantasy, some things you don’t question too closely.

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    251. Thronetender: Better grade of ravens?Speedy, shiny, well-bred new flock, as compared to the old beater, missing hubcap ravens at the Wall? The Raven communication system has always been one of “just accept it and don’t ask too many questions.”Like how in the world the ravens even know where to go? Do you whisper in their little ears “go to Winterfell now, little bird. Fly true, don’t make any stops.” ? It’s a fantasy, some things you don’t question too closely.

      Brilliant response. Yes; some things need to be hand-waved away.
      My guess is that Bran and Meera just show up at WF…without a raven annoucement. Surprise! I wonder if Bran and Arya return home in the same episode.

      Regarding Jon and the NW vow:
      I think that we will see him explain it to Dany & Company. Mel made some remark about “let him tell you what he has been thru (paraphrasing).” I imagine that it will have more impact on the room because Mel will presumably still be in Dragonstone. As far as writers rationale for not explaining this little tid-bit to the Northern lords, Vale lords, LF…I have no guess. I’ve been wondering about since last season.

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    252. Ghost Lunch, Many others who told me that they were brave women who died in battle and I shouldn’t have had the reaction that I did (sorry, Stargaryen and Dipshit {actual name, not name calling}, you guys don’t get your own responses):

      On top of that we have Tyene stabbing men in the genitals which is fairly grotesque sexual violence by women against men

      I’m not smart enough to quote all the parts of your post, but just wanted to respond to this quickly: I am not of the mindset, generally, that there is a ledger of men and women who have been murdered/mutilated/raped/beheaded, etc, that I want evened out, or something.

      I am not of the opinion that the way to remedy too much violence against women being depicted onscreen is by having a bunch of rad females chopping male genitalia off.

      So, I get what you’re saying, that the women on board were not helpless, they had agency, they made their own choices to go into battle, fought bravely, and were killed in the course of said battle. And I agree with all of that.

      But, for me, that all was not enough to stop me from having a very strong negative reaction to what had occurred. Perhaps, after a week, or a month, or however long it’s been since I first read Catelyn’s chapter in ASOS that ends with the Red Wedding, I’ll see this event in the grand scope of things. Perhaps it will seem inevitable, as the Red Wedding does now, that this happened the way it did.

      But last night? Watching one bad ass female after another get humiliated and slaughtered by Euron-the-Invincible? And then Theon breaking, Yara crying, Ellaria begging for death, and her two daughters’ bodies on the mast of the ship..? It kicked me in the gut.

      **Warning to those who get triggered by talk of the Books in any way**

      Because we have very little basis in book terms for comparison of what is happening onscreen now, the added kick in the gut was being fairly sure that this particular scenario is not going to play out in the books, and so feeling like maybe this didn’t HAVE to go down this way, precisely. Which means someone (or committee of persons) actually CHOSE this course of events, which does go to a statement I made in my original post, that many have chosen to misinterpret: “What a horrible final sequence of events for people defending the show against accusations of too much violence against women! The show (or its defenders) have long been able to say that everything the show depicts came from the books, or would have happened that way, etc. Well, this particular sequence feels very manufactured to me, with the ships that came from nowhere (both the fleet being actually built, and then it appearing with no one knowing), to the perfect knowledge of Euron to go to their ship out of hundreds, etc, etc.

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    253. ash,

      Thanks for your fair response, and for the laugh with the line, “not sure if you’re new”!

      No sir, I have been posting randomly since the old, old days, like before the pilot. I was specifically responding to a gentleman who ended his condescending post to me with the line, “Honestly, if you don’t like it, please stop watching.” I was attempting to spin that into my line about getting off the internet if you don’t like conflicting opinions. Joke fell flat, obviously. My point being, of course people will dissent about things, otherwise what would we all be discussing? Sheer awesomeness only? Nothing else allowed?

      My original post stated that 75% of the episode was amazing, and I was moved to tears. And the final 15 minutes were not poorly made, or full of bad acting, or even (much) bad dialogue. I just had an initial reaction of, well, ew. I did not read any comments before writing what I wrote, did not gauge any reaction. So, I ended up being out of line with what (apparently) most people thought about that part. That’s okay with me. I just don’t appreciate someone else using that as a jumping off point to telling people to get off their lawn, essentially.

      As to your comments about me wanting a happy ending, touche. I agree that particular statement came off as naive, so allow me to expand a bit: I was referring more to the fact that most of the “nightmare” sequences in the books occur in 2+3, for my money. The parts where all the things are falling apart, everyone’s plans are for naught, and GRRM’s overall plan to, by the end of ASOS, have all the major powers laid low and ready for a cooling off period, was coming to fruition. Think Red Wedding, think Theon’s botched takeover of Winterfell, specifically the part where you think the Northmen are going to overtake Winterfell and teach him a lesson, the Reek murders everyone in sight and burns Theon’s horse, and it’s horrible, or in the Battle of Blackwater Bay, when you realize that just because it’s a Davos chapter, doesn’t mean his ship isn’t going to get blown out of the water like everyone else’s.

      In retrospect, though all of those sequences were horrific to live through, they now all seem necessary parts of each of those characters’ journeys to where they are now. It’s just a lot to take, having gone through all of that, to get to this phase of the story, and Theon just basically went back to square one, kind of. He just relived his worst nightmare. I guess I’m coming to terms with the fact that some of these characters have come a long way and suffered through some terrible, terrible things, but they’re still going to die awful deaths, despite that.

      **Tiny Side-quibble, since everyone is thinking I’m some huge anti-show guy, anyway:) When Theon jumped in, all character-development aside, my first thought was all the times GRRM wrote about soldiers jumping into water, and just immediately regretted it. I realize, Theon was not armored. But he was at least wearing boiled leather, and possibly chain mail, and was also in the midst of a traumatic breakdown of some sort. I found it tough to believe that he would just be chilling there, on some debris. I mean, they’re in the middle of the open sea, right? People are saying he has a plan to rescue Yara, but what’s HIS plan to get rescued? Okay, now I’m really done. I promise, I love the show!**

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    254. Another Winterfell crypt scene. Seeing Ned’s statue. Littlefinger reminding us how he was responsible for getting his bones back.

      The Night King is going to raise the dead Starks and Ned’s skeleton is going to kill Littlefinger.

      However, Littlefinger cannot allow Jon to return from Dragonstone alive. Tyrion should know his role in betraying Ned and he cannot allow the possibility of him returning knowing about it. That situation seems like it has to come to a head before the Night King can enter the picture.

      But I’m sure that Ned Stark is going to rise again.

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    255. Thronetender,

      Thronetender: Better grade of ravens?Speedy, shiny, well-bred new flock, as compared to the old beater, missing hubcap ravens at the Wall? The Raven communication system has always been one of “just accept it and don’t ask too many questions.”Like how in the world the ravens even know where to go? Do you whisper in their little ears “go to Winterfell now, little bird. Fly true, don’t make any stops.” ? It’s a fantasy, some things you don’t question too closely.

      Messenger pigeons are a real thing. The birds are raised in one area. Then you transport them somewhere else. When you want to send a message you attach it to a bird that was raised where you want it to go and release it so it flies back home. The show just never mentions the part where somebody has to transport all the ravens back to the places that send the messages.

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    256. Leuf,

      Not sure how they pull off the “white ravens” for the coming of winter, though. One white raven from every possible maester constantly on hand, and almost never used?

      I prefer to imagine a warg situation where the raven are forcefully imprinted with a destination. Enough magic and nonsense to make folks not worry about it too much.

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    257. ramses: Maester Aemon scoffs at the idea of beheading every man that “deserts” to Molestown.

      Surely that just meant turning a blind eye (sorry Maester Aemon!) to the men visiting the brothel there – not literally deserting.

      Although, as many have observed, the NW oath doesn’t explicitly forbid sexual intercourse, only marriage and children.

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    258. Danny: Besides in the way he handled things, he finally gave Sansa the public recognition she has been after. He may have done that on purpose with two objectives: 1) Making Sansa feel important in front of the whole North and 2) making it obvious to his bannermen that Sansa has his complete trust and backing.

      I agree with this and I was about to make the same point myself.

      It provided an opportunity for Sansa to publicly stand up for the North and be seen to be on the same page as the people she has to rule.

      Not to mention that it illustrated to Sansa that he does trust her and he does listen to her, even if he doesn’t follow her advice.

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    259. So About That Lifetime Oath: Really, why isn’t ANYONE asking why Jon Snow isn’t in the Night’s Watch anymore? I could overlook it for a few episodes but now with even Dany being told he was in the Night’s Watch, it’s just getting weird

      Why is it weird? The Army of the Dead is coming. The lords of the North have not seen that, just like they haven’t seen Jon dead and then resurrected! However, they DO believe him about the Others and the wights that come with them. All down to the last one of them or they would have raised objections in the council meeting. Jon clearly steered all of them into focus against the threat beyond the Wall that’s coming for all of them.

      Would it matter that he left the NW to come and get armies to fight the White Walkers? Because to the Northerners and the Vale allies for all intents and purposes, it looks like Jon is manning the Wall so far and looking for Dragonglass. The only two things he’s done since being chosen King in the North are: sending Tormund’s contingent the Eastwatch by the Sea, a Night’s Watch castle to defend the Wall, and going to Dany for that mountain of obidisian to fight the Wall threat.

      I hardly think they see him as deserting the Wall. Night’s Watch is completely meaningless at this point. You need the whole realm for this fight and they seem to realize it quickly enough. I honestly think they don’t give a fuck but if the subject ever comes up as a problem it will probably be Petyr’s doing. Making it sound like he’s a deserter and not worthy of being King in the North… That totally sounds like something he’d do.

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    260. Danny:
      ACME,

      If I lived in a world where dragons are real, where wargs exist and where weir wood trees have faces and bleed, you best believe I would believe the Pied Piper tale.Or at least I would keep an open mind.I don’t live in a world where magic exists so I’m not sure the comparison is fair.The South not understanding the magnitude of the problem I get.The North?Not so much.Ned was wrong in not listening to Will, Jon’s banner men could come to regret not truly listening to their king but that’s the story of the human race, no tragedy has befallen us for which there were no warning signs, we simply chose to ignore.

      That is a really good point

      question about a few houses: who ‘owns’ riverrun, and the twins? is it the lannisters, or do we know at this point. Where does the Vale fit in to all this (tho Royce is there so i guess he’s with Jon)? Where is Robin? (not that he’d be any help just curious)

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    261. Thronetender,

      Pigeons work by being sent from home to a designated point that they know. I am not sure if ravens are able to do this, but hell, ‘send a raven’ sound cooler than ‘send a pigeon’

      Historic tidbit – During WWI they used Passenger pigeons to deliver messages. So much so that the species became extinct by the end of it.

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    262. Matty C,

      Because we have very little basis in book terms for comparison of what is happening onscreen now, the added kick in the gut was being fairly sure that this particular scenario is not going to play out in the books, and so feeling like maybe this didn’t HAVE to go down this way, precisel

      Have you read what happened to fArya when she married Ramsey? Or what happened at Blackwater where thousands of men were burned alive? Believe me for the most part the books had the same violence than the show, the show is just difficult (for me) because its so visual. So I really dont get what you are saying. Right now, it does not matter one iota how its played out in the books because there are none. D&D are flying by the seat of their pants for the these last two seasons. I can guarrentee you they will be as violent as the book would be if it existed. This is the kind of show you are watching

      And if the Red Wedding made you stop reading (it did me; I think it was two weeks before I picked up the book again) then why would you watch a show that is so violent and depicts so much bloody pain and suffering?

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    263. Wolfish,
      Meera has always been, is and will forever be awesome, at any stage of life ^^
      But a Targaryen of old is a brilliant idea too. From the mighty lizard-lion to the thunderous dragon… 😉

      Danny,
      Dragons are fantastical to us, you are utterly right ^^
      However, they are fairly well accepted by Westerosi. The last dragon died about 150 years before the story of ASoIaF began and the skulls of the Targaryens’ pets adorned the throne room until Robert became king, so about 20-ish years ago. Conversely, until Will, no Westerosi had seen or heard of a White Walker for thousands of years. Same thing for Wargs or Children of the Forest. Those have turned into myths and fairytales told to children.

      Northerners are not closer to the magical realm than the rest of Westeros. Free Folk yes, but not Northerners. They may have a different religion from their southern neighbours but, for the most part, their mindset, culture and lifestyle are pretty identical to the rest of Westeros’.
      Therefore, the magnitude of the threat the White Walkers represent is just as foreign to those living above the Neck as to those living below. Jon really has to factor that in when engaging people. He has to share his experience instead of vaguely alluding to it.

      The Northern lords, for better of for worse, did not proclaim him King because he was the best candidate to defeat the White Walkers. Seven hells, they did not even let him finish his speech about them on that day ! They declared him their ruler because blah blah Stark blah blah Red Wedding blah blah North blah blah Stark ad nauseam. He is the one who has to make them understand. No one else can. And for that, he needs to talk.

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    264. Along with all the other greatness in the episode I want to give props to Cogman for one thing in particular: he deftly depicted actual information being disseminated through the medieval fantasy continent of Westeros. I’ve often wondered how they would show Dany learning about Jon and vice versa. Or Arya finding out that Jon holds Winterfell. Or the commoners learning the news about Dany and her dragons. There is no CNN or Fox or BBC in Westeros. No newspapers. No internet. Only ravens and word-of-mouth. From a writing perspective I think Cogman threaded all of this information exchange in a very seamless and organic way.

      Additionally you can feel the story of the White Walker threat being set up when Melisandre meets with Dany. She mentions the prophecy and the prince/princess who will “bring the dawn”. And when she says to Dany “summon Jon Snow. Have him tell you what he knows. What he has seen with his own eyes.” This sets up Jon’s revelation about the White Walkers perfectly. So much of this could be clunky and forced. People talking, telling other people about fantastical things or events. But the show has made it feel relatively natural.

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    265. Haven’t been able to get one little scene out of my mind. Ebrose and Sam are gathering books in the library when Sam talks about a meister curing Greyscale. But besides that, Ebrose is talking about writing the history of everything that happened after Robert’s Rebellion. Talking about the writing style. Says to Sam, what? You don’t like the title? Sam says, maybe it could be something more … poetic.

      Something like “A Song of Ice and Fire” ?😛

      Are we getting trolled about who has been telling this story all along? Fan theory has Sam as narrator. What if something happens to Ebrose and Sam must finish the book? Last week we were told the meisters of the Citadel are the people’s memory.

      No wasted dialogue. Interesting!! 😃

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    266. ash:
      ash,

      Wait a minute – the last passenger pigeon died in 1914.So it wasn’t WWI that did it…..mmm anyone know the history here?

      Passenger pigeons were a North American bird, so not much use for them in war. They just had the misfortune of being tasty and living in America. Homing pigeons were used even in WWII as a back up to radio and even used in specific minor things into the 1980s.

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    267. Leuf,

      Ok I got two stories mixed up, knew the PP were extinct and knew that pigeons were used to send messages during a war. Thanks for clearing that up for me!

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    268. ash:
      Thronetender,

      Pigeons work by being sent from home to a designated point that they know.I am not sure if ravens are able to do this, but hell, ‘send a raven’ sound cooler than ‘send a pigeon’

      Historic tidbit – During WWI they used Passenger pigeons to deliver messages.So much so that the species became extinct by the end of it.

      Passenger pigeons were extinct in the wild before the first World War began. They were hunted to extinction by both native Americans and European settlers, and habitat destruction. Passenger pigeons could only survive in massive flocks. Score one for human idiocy.

      Rock doves, or ‘common’ pigeons (pfft, like there are any such thing), were used as messengers during the wars. Not only could they travel great distances with amazing accuracy, but some were even awarded medals for their feats of endurance and bravery (not like they had a choice). Both of my grandfathers were messenger pigeons.

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    269. One of my favorite scenes was Qyburn taking Cersei to the “basement” to demonstrate his new “dragon killer” app. Everybody needs a Qyburn, that guy really comes up with some interesting solutions to problems. I was concerned about possible damage done to any of Dany’s dragons, while being impressed at the same time with the damned arrow through Balerion’s skull. But the main reason I was charmed was the memory of Arya chasing cats through those rooms, and hiding in one of the skulls when she heard someone coming through. It was Varys and Illyrio, plotting even then about bringing Targaryens back.
      *************************************************
      After watching crazy mad Euron overcome Yara and poor Theon with such ease, I’m thinking that he has a really great chance of getting Cersei to think seriously of his proposal. One one hand, he promised to bring her back a gift she would like, and he’s doing it. She will be gleeful to have Ellaria and Tyene in her clutches. Not only will he have delivered what he promised, he will have done it in record time.

      Compare that with Jaime’s piss poor record. In the beginning he goes off to be a war hero, but gets captured, doesn’t come back for a year, comes back missing a hand, with a big burly blond woman in tow. Not a hero, too long, no hand. Then he promises to go to Dorne and bring Myrcella back. Too long, dead daughter, no revenge taken.

      Now, she is THE Queen, in charge, with a stronger position than he has. Her estimation of him is going to slip badly, in favor of someone he feels is detestable. He is going to leave her of his own accord, rather than wait for her to strongly suggest he go. I think she’s actually going to entertain a “closer” relationship with Euron. especially if he delivers another “victory” of some sort at her feet.

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    270. orange,

      You and I both. I hope one day when it’s over there will be a Q &A where we can find out their thought process in writing of the show, and this could be addressed 🙂

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    271. Becki Peterson,

      Those were my impressions too ! At first I thought Arya was being cold to Hot Pie, and then I began to see “Houndisms”: grabbing and stabbing into the food; wiping her mouth with her sleeve; of course the tell-tale “Got any ale?”; not answering questions directly; and chowing down like there’s no tomorrow.
      Good spot! That had to be deliberate, don’t you think ?
      In my book, that’s another harbinger of an Arya-Sandor reunion: he’s got to help her let go of her bitterness and ease off on the sport killing.

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    272. been a lurker on this site for a couple of years now and haven’t been compelled to post until now. we have 11 episodes left. it’s funny/confusing that there are still people who believe dany is/will turn mad. 11 episodes left!!! we don’t have time for 2 mad queens ahaha plus i didn’t read/saw anything on the books/show that would convince me that she would go mad. yes she is ruthless against those who have wronged her but so does other characters and i don’t see many saying those are crazy. yes she is entitled but most of the characters who were born to a “noble” family are. lastly the whole she is just like her father with this qhole burning people thinh uhm “the one who passes the sentence should swing the sword” or something like that. dany’s “sword” are her dragons so…

      a queen belongs to her people and not herself
      why did the gods make kings and queens if not to protect those who can’t protect themselves

      that does not sound like someone who craves power for sake of power

      she obviously has had her moments that made me shake my head but so did jon, tyrion, sansa, arya and all the other protagonist and that’s what i love about this series. love the villains too.

      This has been an amazing ride with this series. I’ll take the great, the bad and the in between and enjoy the hell out of the remaining 11 episodes because as much as i pray otherwise i don’t think i will be lucky enough to get another “game of thrones” in my lifetime

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    273. Markus Stark:
      Sacred Lime,

      The Kingsmoot can’t be two years ago, or it would also be two years since Sansa escaped Winterfell.

      Jon and Sansa clearly took Winterfell only a few weeks after Sansa’s escape. She went directly to Castle Black, they left pretty quickly once they got the letter from Ramsay, and then Bryan Cogman even said their Northern recruiting tour in Season 6 was a couple weeks. After that they immediately attacked Winterfell.

      Sansa and Theon escaped together, so if two years had passed for Theon, basically two years would have passed for Sansa, and by extension, Jon.

      Jon has obviously not been King for two years.

      Logically, of course this all would have taken a long time, but it’s clear that Theon has sailed half way across the world and back, and Euron has built “1000 ships” and sailed them to King’s Landing, in probably just a couple months.

      It’s absurd, yes, but that’s what it is. No way have two years passed.

      The Kingsmoot wasn’t two years ago, I agree, but I think it was more than a couple of months. I would estimate somewhere around 6 months or maybe slightly more between the Kingsmoot and Euron visiting Cersei in King’s Landing. I generally assume that approximately one month passes per episode (except for S4, which seems much shorter, and somewhat S3), with some variation, and some isolated story lines being allowed to drift out of sync at times. For example, Arya’s S6 story kind of jumped ahead with some training montages that spanned probably months of training, but then resynced by having several episodes of Waif vs Arya that spanned only a few days total.

      While they are definitely not strict in their time and distance accounting, and favor story over logistical detail, the world size in general seems about the same in the show and the books. This means it’s about 675 miles from Winterfell to Castle Black. The North is huge. This was pointed out by Cersei to Joffrey in S1. It was pointed out by Roose to Ramsay in S4. This means that a northern tour being “a couple weeks” is implausible.

      We don’t known the logistical details, but they started with a visit to Bear Island. We don’t know where they got ships, but let’s assume the best case: they traveled 175 miles overland, following the Wall to the Shadow Tower, then followed the river 100 miles to the sea, and immediately found a ship (in a rather remote area with no identified settlements) and traveled 325 miles to Bear Island. It’s then another 200 miles of sailing to Deepwood Motte, followed by 325 miles of overland off-road travel through forested mountains to Stannis’s final camp site. The northern tour was at least 1125 miles. Even if they maintained an average pace of 25 miles per day with no delays (which would be pretty impressive considering the conditions), that would be about a month and a half. Realistically, it was probably more like two months.

      Assuming Tormund and the wildling army marched straight down the Kingsroad and met Jon, Davos and Sansa at Stannis’s camp, it would take them almost a month to make that march at 25 miles per day. If the army has to stop to forage for food, it would be even slower, so it’s not unreasonable for both the wildlings and Jon’s party to reach the camp site about 1.5 to 2 months after the northern tour began.

      It’s 450 miles from Moat Cailin to Winterfell. An entirely mounted army of Knights of the Vale, carrying a few days of provisions to avoid foraging might be able to travel 50 miles per day for a while, but it would probably be rough on the horses to keep up that pace for long, so say 9 days between when Sansa sent the raven to Littlefinger and the Battle. Presumably Jon and the rest of the army spent those days preparing fortifications prior to their parlay with Ramsay.

      Also, keep in mind that the events are not depicted in strict chronological order. Stannis’s camp where Shireen was burned was within a day or so of Winterfell (Jon met with Ramsay the day before the battle, then returned to camp for the night). Typical travel time between Winterfell and Castle Black is about a month, maybe reduced to 2-3 weeks if you have a horse and are hurrying, but possibly longer if you’re avoiding the Kingsroad and/or trudging through snow.

      This means that in S5, Davos and Melisandre left Stannis’s camp a day or two apart to return to Castle Black, arriving a day or two apart, shortly before Jon’s murder. Stannis attacked Winterfell and was defeated weeks before Jon was murdered, while Mel and Davos were still traveling. Sansa & Theon jumped from the wall and were rescued by Brienne before Jon was murdered, and Sansa was already well on her way to Castle Black when Jon was killed. If Theon headed southwest after leaving Sansa, he probably would have reached the sea before she reached Castle Black.

      So between Theon & Sansa’s parting, there was probably a month of Sansa traveling to Castle Black, a few weeks of her being there (sewing and meeting Littlefinger in Mole’s Town), a couple months of northern tour, then the Battle of the Bastards, and a few weeks for the absent bannermen to be summoned. Lord Glover was there at the end of S6, and it would take him 2 weeks or so to reach Winterfell after receiving news that Jon had defeated Ramsay, and probably about the same for Manderly. Alys Karstark would probably need a month or so to arrive, which would explain why she apparently wasn’t there yet when Jon was first named King in the North.

      After the Battle of the Bastards, Melisandre traveled to Dragonstone, presumably going about 400 miles overland to White Harbor, and then 1550 miles by ship, so that’s probably two months or so (maybe one with a fast horse and a fast ship).

      All these details lead me to conclude that the “one month per episode” guideline works out reasonably well in most cases. It’s not exact, and it’s not perfect, but I’d say it makes a pretty good initial assumption most of the time.

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    274. I’m starting to get a bit worried about Littlefinger’s intentions towards Sansa after the last episode.

      Previously, I thought he’d just try and manipulate her to his advantage and she’d deal with it quite comfortably since she now understands completely not to trust him. But now I’m starting to worry that he might develop murderous intent.

      There was a theme running through that episode about characters’ weaknesses being people they love.

      Grey Worm told Missandei that she was his weakness.

      Yara’s endangerment exposed Theon’s weakness.

      Jaime describes Olenna Tyrell as “broken”. Broken by the deaths of those she loved.

      The chink in Arya’s psychological, avenging angel armour was the mention of Jon Snow.

      And then we come to Littlefinger, verbally prodding and probing at Jon to find his weakness.

      Is it Ned? Is it the deaths of his brothers? Is it Catelyn and her hatred of him? Is it his failure on the battlefield and being indebted to somebody he despises?

      Nope. None of that.

      It’s Sansa.

      And then Littlefinger emerges from the Winterfell crypts to see Sansa looking longingly after her departed brother.

      I think he perhaps may have realised that their bond is too strong to break up merely through mind games and manipulation, and he might have to try something a bit more forceful to get one or the other to engage with his games.

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    275. Matty C,

      Long-time lurker (mostly) here…I think some of the responses you’ve received have been unduly harsh. Nothing you wrote seems to warrant “If you don’t like it, don’t watch the show.” I think that should be reserved for posters who offer *nothing* but negativity &/or hostility, not those who share partially unfavorable, sincere reactions.

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    276. Thronetender,

      Now that you mention Qyburn… I find it weird (or maybe something’s wrong with me?) that he’s a tyrant’s Dr. Mengele, and yet I view him like a kindly old uncle who brings you neat train sets and science toys when he visits, and always slips you a silver dollar before he leaves.

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    277. Becki Peterson:
      I thought this was a great episode and the one comment/observation I would like to make regarding Arya at the Inn with Hotpie is how she reminded me of the Hound.Everything about her mannerisms (wiping her mouth with the back of her hand, looking straight ahead) and speech (“You got any ale?”) reminded me of how the Hound would interact up until the point when she learned about Jon being at Winterfell.

      That’s a great observation! You are right! It’s like we are seeing how the Hound became the way he was…the circumstances weren’t exactly the same, but both Arya and the Hound became disillusioned, cynical, bitter, pushing their humanity down deep inside. The Hound seems to be on a redemption path, and hopefully, we are getting Arya back too.

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    278. Becki Peterson:
      I thought this was a great episode and the one comment/observation I would like to make regarding Arya at the Inn with Hotpie is how she reminded me of the Hound.Everything about her mannerisms (wiping her mouth with the back of her hand, looking straight ahead) and speech (“You got any ale?”) reminded me of how the Hound would interact up until the point when she learned about Jon being at Winterfell.

      That’s a great observation! You are right! It’s like we are seeing how the Hound became the way he was…the circumstances weren’t exactly the same, but both Arya and the Hound became disillusioned, cynical, bitter, pushing their humanity down deep inside. The Hound seems to be on a redemption path, and hopefully, we are getting Arya back too.

      Jon Snowed:
      This is exactly the reason why I believe Jon will end up ruling, he might not like it but he’s the best equipped and unlike the mad queen(s) Cersei and Dany he doesn’t crave power, he does it because the people want him too.

      The best rulers are the reluctant ones.

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    279. Thronetender:
      After watching crazy mad Euron overcome Yara and poor Theon with such ease, I’m thinking that he has a really great chance of getting Cersei to think seriously of his proposal. One one hand, he promised to bring her back a gift she would like, and he’s doing it. She will be gleeful to have Ellaria and Tyene in her clutches. Not only will he have delivered what he promised, he will have done it in record time.

      Compare that with Jaime’s piss poor record. In the beginning he goes off to be a war hero, but gets captured, doesn’t come back for a year, comes back missing a hand, with a big burly blond woman in tow. Not a hero, too long, no hand. Then he promises to go to Dorne and bring Myrcella back. Too long, dead daughter, no revenge taken.

      Now, she is THE Queen, in charge, with a stronger position than he has. Her estimation of him is going to slip badly, in favor of someone he feels is detestable.He is going to leave her of his own accord, rather than wait for her to strongly suggest he go. I think she’s actually going to entertain a “closer” relationship with Euron. especially if he delivers another “victory” of some sort at her feet.

      Not only all that, but he can really relate to her kind of batshit crazy! They are the perfect pair. I ship them. Ceron. Eursei. Silence.

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    280. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      I think he sees all of Sansa’s arguing with her brother and realizes that now is the perfect time to plot his subterfuge, especially since the entire castle was siding against Jon leaving. Now is the perfect time to make Sansa become the QitN. Now is the perfect time to convince Sansa and everyone else that Jon cares little for the North and is running all over Westeros chasing a queen that everyone hates.

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    281. SaveTheWolves:
      Haven’t been able to get one little scene out of my mind. Ebrose and Sam are gathering books in the library when Sam talks about a meister curing Greyscale. But besides that, Ebrose is talking about writing the history of everything that happened after Robert’s Rebellion. Talking about the writing style. Says to Sam, what? You don’t like the title? Sam says, maybe it could be something more … poetic.

      Something like “A Song of Ice and Fire” ?

      Are we getting trolled about who has been telling this story all along? Fan theory has Sam as narrator. What if something happens to Ebrose and Sam must finish the book? Last week we were told the meisters of the Citadel are the people’s memory.

      No wasted dialogue. Interesting!!

      Oh, that’s interesting! I need to pay closer attention to these little details.

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    282. I’ve watched it about four times now and came up with a few more thoughts…

      1. What happens to Jorah in the morning? The arch-meister told him he would give him one day before he’s shipped off. Sam obviously won’t cure him in one night. What happens when the arch-meister comes for him? The way I see it, Sam has countless nights ahead of him helping Jorah. No way he could peel all of that greyscale off in one night. He almost killed Jorah just removing one tiny section. So Sam must have to end up telling the arch-meister that he’s treating him and to give him time.

      2. Do you think that we will get to witness “on-screen” Jon actually laying eyes on the dragons for the first time? Or will they be lame and let it happen off-screen by Jon saying something like “Boy, those Dragons sure were amazing…”

      3. I actually love Qyburn more and more. The actor that plays him does an amazing job. He’s so creepy… yet likeable.

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    283. This is my first time commenting but I just couldn’t stay silent anymore. Since we’ve all read the books, why isn’t anyone commenting on the fact that Euron has a horn that controls dragons??? That’s the gift he’s bringing to Cercei. The sand snakes are just a party favor. At least that is my opinion, am I missing something? Why is no one talking about this?

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    284. carmz,

      This has been an amazing ride with this series. I’ll take the great, the bad and the in between and enjoy the hell out of the remaining 11 episodes because as much as i pray otherwise i don’t think i will be lucky enough to get another “game of thrones” in my lifetime

      Welcome. I totally agree with your comments, as well as the above. Looking forward to more!

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    285. Casso,

      Ok now you made my head spin (granted not to hard to do when it comes to anything with numbers) Thanks for them tho – really gives me a different perpective of distance and time.

      We were told somewhere that books 1-3 equaled 3 years, and I think the show was the same. But now Im not so sure. Just how much time has passed between the seasons? It seems as if the 5 and 6 have covered a much smaller time frame, tho looking at your numbers now I am not so sure..

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    286. Chera:
      This is my first time commenting but I just couldn’t stay silent anymore. Since we’ve all read the books, why isn’t anyone commenting on the fact that Euron has a horn that controls dragons??? That’s the gift he’s bringing to Cercei. The sand snakes are just a party favor. At least that is my opinion, am I missing something? Why is no one talking about this?

      It’s been eons since I read the book. I’d forgotten about that. I wonder if they’ll work it into the show of if it will be like Lady Stoneheart and they write it out? It looks like the prize he’s bringing Cersi is whoever was left alive from the battle so far.

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    287. Chera: This is my first time commenting but I just couldn’t stay silent anymore. Since we’ve all read the books, why isn’t anyone commenting on the fact that Euron has a horn that controls dragons??? That’s the gift he’s bringing to Cercei. The sand snakes are just a party favor. At least that is my opinion, am I missing something? Why is no one talking about this?

      It’s too late to introduce it now, IMO. It’s like Chekhov’s gun in reverse: if you’re going to bring in something like that, there needs to have been some reference to it earlier.

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    288. Chera: least that is my opinion, am I missing something? Why is no one talking about this?

      That’s because it’s been discussed many times here in the past and at this point I don’t think most expect it to just suddenly pop up now in the story, especially without even a mention of such a thing existing. That time is far from past. I personally hate the inclusion of it by George as I think it’s a weak plot device. I’m glad that they appear to have eliminated it for the show.

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    289. Mista C: 3. I actually love Qyburn more and more. The actor that plays him does an amazing job. He’s so creepy… yet likeable.

      That’s Anton Lesser, a great character actor who has done much work in TV and theatre in a big variety of roles over a long career. You can guarantee if you see his name in the cast he’ll be excellent no matter the character, and I like his portrayal of Qyburn: quite avuncular but with a slightly sinister aspect.

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    290. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man: And then we come to Littlefinger, verbally prodding and probing at Jon to find his weakness. Is it Ned? Is it the deaths of his brothers? Is it Catelyn and her hatred of him? Is it his failure on the battlefield and being indebted to somebody he despises?
      Nope. None of that. It’s Sansa.

      Interesting way to put that scene. Although I was hoping for a bit more historical intrigue within the WF’s crypts, I’ll accept that strategy by LF. He does seem to be playing a minor league game though instead of reaching higher, although I’ll keep an open mind. Thanks for putting it in decent perspective. Looking forward to how he reacts.

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    291. Mista C,

      Good questions! It will be interesting to see how they handle the morning after for Jorah’s treatment and Jon’s first view of the dragons. Since Jon has seen the NK, giants, and wights, I wonder if Dany will be disappointed if he is not seriously impressed?

      I love Anton Lesser and his portrayal of Qyburn! He was equally good in Endeavor, The Hollow Crown, and Wolf Hall, all on PBS in the US.

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    292. I have no idea how Littlefinger could possibly achieve anything much higher at this point (on the show). He’s essentially ‘leading’ a borrowed army already as I don’t think any of the lords of the Vale are truly supporting HIM. At the moment they seem to be allowing his lead due to maintaining loyalty to Robin and his desire to help Sansa, but how far would they go for Baelish? It’s as if he thinks he has all this control and status but it feels like a facade that could shatter at any moment. If Sansa has the guts to use the knowledge she has, and her relationship with Sweetrobin, she could take him down immediately. All we’re waiting for her is to do that…

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    293. Mista C:
      I’ve watched it about four times now and came up with a few more thoughts…

      1.What happens to Jorah in the morning?The arch-meister told him he would give him one day before he’s shipped off.Sam obviously won’t cure him in one night.What happens when the arch-meister comes for him?The way I see it, Sam has countless nights ahead of him helping Jorah.No way he could peel all of that greyscale off in one night.He almost killed Jorah just removing one tiny section.So Sam must have to end up telling the arch-meister that he’s treating him and to give him time.

      2.Do you think that we will get to witness “on-screen” Jon actually laying eyes on the dragons for the first time?Or will they be lame and let it happen off-screen by Jon saying something like “Boy, those Dragons sure were amazing…”

      3.I actually love Qyburn more and more.The actor that plays him does an amazing job.He’s so creepy… yet likeable.

      Maybe once Sam has started, the maester will figure he may as well finish it….or maybe Sam will have to be quarantined for a period to make sure he hasn’t caught it? They’ll be pissed off. I suspect that they will have done a lot the first night, just by Jorah and Sam’s ‘nod’ to each other after the first bit, like “keep going”. Really loved the bluntness of Sam (“No one’s going to try, so I’m the best chance you’ve got”) and the “what the hell, I have nothing to lose” expressions from Jorah.

      I think Jon will see the dragons. They did a great job of showing Tyrion’s expression at seeing Drogon over Valyria, and I can’t imagine they’d miss the opportunity to show Jon in awe of them. Still to hype the dragons and their awesomeness since we maybe take them for granted a bit now.

      Anton Lesser is great. One of my favourite shows is Endeavour, and he’s really good in that as well as others.