Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 5 – Eastwatch Recap

Daenerys Jorah Eastwatch reunion

Our fearless and Sullied leader Sue is taking the night off to recover from greyscale, so I’m stepping in to lead the charge this week. After all, someone has to defend The Wall while the realm sleeps, and it looks like it’s going to be me. Gods help me…

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!

The night is dark, full of terrors, and grumkins, and snarks, and all of those things that go bump in the night that Old Nan warned us about so many years ago. Would that our biggest concern was a mere snark. But nope – Game of Thrones is one Rick Grimes away from its seemingly impending crossover with The Walking Dead, as the White Walkers ebb ever closer to Southern Westeros, and all hell gets closer to breaking loose. Is the army of the dead keeping pace with the rest of the show? Probably best if you stop thinking about it, at this point. The plot of this episode would have covered roughly 2 seasons in the early goings of the show, so let’s just enjoy our favorite television program while we can, before the long winter comes again, and we all burrow into hibernation, hounding for season 8 to arrive. We’re really flying through season 7 at this point, and with the army of the dead at our doorstep, I hope you’ve remembered your Valyrian Steel Sword or Dagger….or Dragonglass, if that is your preference.

*I want to make it clear that I’m not here to complain about the expedited pace of the story. You can look up thousands of other reviewers if you’d prefer to read about that.*

With that out of the way, let’s dive in!

Jaime Bronn Eastwatch

I always make a point of parsing a theme out of each episode. The theme I followed throughout ‘Eastwatch’ was characters contemplating whether they’ll commit to their goals:

In King’s Landing:

Newly returned (and alive!), Jaime wastes no time in questioning the way forward. He wants to support Cersei and House Lannister, but he feels conflicted because of the recent bombshell Olenna dropped about her hand in Joffrey’s death. Meanwhile, Jaime just wants to survive altogether at this point. Jaime has always been the least stubborn amongst his siblings, and it makes sense that he might try to push Cersei to agree to an armistice with Daenerys if only because it’s the only way forward in which their lineage has a future. No one sells the ‘crushing weight of reality’ better than Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. However, it looks like the gears in his head will continue to spin because…

Cersei Eastwatch seated

Cersei is pregnant! I admit – this was something that never crossed my mind once in seven seasons of GOT or five books of ASOIAF. “Gold shall be their crowns and gold their shrouds” said Maggy (the Frog). And I never even thought twice about the possibility of another Lannister-to-be. Regarding Cersei’s perceived goals, the better question for her is what won’t she do to accomplish them? We already know how she treats her enemies, but how does she treat her ‘friends?’ A vague threat at Jaime for ‘betraying’ her? A not-so-vauge threat at Bronn for setting up a (not-so) secret meeting with Jaime? And all so she, too, can get a face-to-face meeting with Daenerys! It seems like Sansa has not been the only character who has undergone Littlefinger training over the years! Speaking of…

In Winterfell

With Murder School on Winter break, and lessons with Brienne on hiatus, Arya enters the set of a bone-chilling horror movie and chases Littlefinger around the nooks and crannies of Winterfell, reminiscent of a time when she once chased cats around King’s Landing. This was edited masterfully, and perhaps my favorite sequence of the episode. Having already asked Sansa flatly to murder people who are expressing different opinions, Arya will stop at nothing to prove to Sansa what she believes needs to be done to stay safe. If that means trying to outcreep Captain Creep himself, so be it. Fiercely defensive of her family and all who deign to cross her, Arya breaks into Littlefinger’s locked chambers and Sherlock Holmes’ her way around the room until she stumbles upon a letter.

Sansa Letter

This is the letter that Sansa sent Robb and Catelyn (even though Cersei basically dictated it), in which Sansa asked her family to swear fealty to Joffrey, telling them that Ned is a traitor. Littlefinger, who betrayed Ned to begin with and started this whole damn mess will stop at nothing to stay alive (his always and forever goal). This begs us to ask the questions – Did he catch on to Arya catching on to him and intentionally leave that note there for her to find? Will he attempt to seize more control over Sansa by turning her against Arya? Will Arya catch on to Littlefinger catching on to her catching on to him and ultimately wear his face? Will Bran play any part in this? Will Littlefinger lurking in the shadows of a dark hallway forever haunt my dreams and cause to me to hallucinate vividly terrifying and horrible things? All of these questions and more will be answered in the coming weeks, I’m sure.

In Oldtown:

At Maester’s University, Sam just so happens to be in the room when the maesters receive a raven from none other than Bran Stark some Tree-God-Wizard-Thing. Shocked to hear that Bran is so much as alive at all, Sam knows that he has to remain loyal to Jon, his one true commitment. When the maesters brush off his dire warnings, he sulks in his bedchambers and gives baby Sam a book to…play with. Good thing it was Sam’s book and not Gilly’s, or else we wouldn’t have received the closest thing yet to a confirmation that Rhaegar Targaryen is Jon’s father! Moreover, if Gilly read the an-uhl-mant passage correctly, and if I am reading it correctly, this implies that not only is Jon a Targaryen, but that he is a legitimized heir, and not just a bastard. Sam – did you hear that? Sam?? Where are you going?

Gilly Sam Eastwatch

Emptying poop basins, cleaning vomit baskets, excavating cadavers, and all-in-all not being of much use to Jon in his current position, Sam decides to take matters into his own hands and leave the Citadel. Ever the bookworm, he has taken Davos lessons, and smuggles out books from the restricted section. But where’s he going? In whose story will he end up? He doesn’t realize what he and Gilly have learned, nor has he been informed that his brother and father are dead.

On the Roseroad, In Dragonstone, and King’s Landing, and Flea Bottom, and Dragonstone, Again, and Eastwatch, and Beyond the Wall (So many of our characters are moving so fast it’s hard to keep track):

The hour had started off with Tyrion playing right into the episode’s theme. He walks through the bloody battlefield that moments earlier could have claimed his brother’s life. He’s come so far, but war is sobering. He’s “in the great game now,” after all, “and the great game is terrifying.” When Dany threatens to slaughter anyone who doesn’t instantly bend the knee, Tyrion continues to counsel that burning people alive is still not the best way to get people to follow you. He’s really questioning at this point how committed to Daenerys he really is – Is this what he signed up for? His council is noted, but his concerns are not met, because Dany has made her intentions clear, and she is the most committed person at this point – something I rather am coming to admire if I’m being honest. She has spent 7 seasons building up to this moment and there’s no going back now.

Heading back to Dragonstone, Jon shares a very intimate moment with Drogon, which certainly seems to hint that he is the famed dragonrider that everyone thinks he will be.

Drogon Jon

At long last, my favorite character, Ser Jorah Mormont returns to where he belongs, at Daenerys’ side. I bite my thumb at all you Jonaerys shippers, and raise you one Lord Friendzone. #TeamDragonstone reunites and Tyrion proposes a plan to go bring a wight to Cersei in the hopes that she might join forces with them (I chuckle at the thought of her agreeing to this) and stave off their doomsday crisis for just a little longer. After all that time that Ser Jorah spent hoping to return to his queen’s side, he volunteers for a potential suicide mission to continue to prove his love to her, and he will be heading north, a mere 2.6 seconds after returning to Daenerys. Unrequited love stinks, am I right? Anyway, before the gang can head north, everyone’s favorite smuggler must first get Tyrion to King’s Landing.

Jon Davos

Davos and Tyrion are the latest users of the teleportation device of formerly Littlefinger fame, and wind up in a secluded passageway to King’s Landing. Davos, the most devoted servant ever, is so committed to his mission that he does what seemingly no one else can do, and lets bygones be bygones; he glazes right over the fact that Tyrion is directly responsible for the death of his son Matthos. You’ll notice it’s not because he doesn’t care, so much as it is because Davos is committed to his current cause. He and Tyrion fight on the same side now, and their common goal of, well, saving humanity, is where his devotions currently lie. Some of you might have thought this was brief, but I thought it was every bit the Davos we know – He can forgive, but he doesn’t forget.

Tyrion Eastwatch

Bronn, it turns out, has been taking Varys lessons (man, everyone’s taking another character’s lessons in this episode), and brokers a secret meeting with Jaime and Tyrion. Their reunion is…oddly off-putting and I’ve been trying to place my finger on it. Was it the writing? Was it too abrupt in its approach? I’ve been waiting for their emotional reunion for several seasons now, and I’m just not sure what went wrong. One of the biggest character departures from book to show was the way that Jaime and Tyrion parted ways. In the books, Tyrion was furious at Jaime when he learns the truth about Tysha, and ultimately lies to Jaime, telling him that he is indeed responsible for Joffrey’s death. However, in the show, they parted on much better terms. I need to think more about this scene but something just didn’t sit right with me when watching it.

Meanwhile, Davos pays a quick trip to Flea Bottom to visit an old friend. He’s back!!! As we reported many months ago, our dearly departed Gendry has returned to our welcoming arms. Serving the ultimate fan service, Davos’ ‘rowing’ line is clearly a nod to the many seasons’ worth of a running (or rowing) joke regarding Gendry’s character:

1u1zkt

Meanwhile, Gendry, ever the fan of Up, practically shouts ‘Adventure is out there’ for all of Flea Bottom to hear, before agreeing to immediately leave with Davos – Well that was easy. A hop, and a skip, and two hammerheaded dead Gold Cloaks later (King Robert’s famed weapon of choice), and Tyrion, Davos, and Gendry reemerge at Dragonstone, where the crew reunites for its farewell tour: Wall Edition. Gendry wastes no time in sharing his heritage with Jon and says that since their dads were buds, and that they are both bastards, they should also be buds! I love the new and improved Gendry. He was never my favorite character the way he seemingly was everyone’s (the cheers from my viewing party were strong upon his return), but his newfound determination and instant commitment to aiding Jon and the gang is rather exciting to watch. Joe Dempsie is clearly thrilled that he was finally asked back and has made quite the splash so far.

Gendry Eastwatch

Before anyone can Google Maps the best route to Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, the A-Team arrives at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea. Tormund, ever committed to his new role of heading up Eastwatch Division for the Night’s Watch, shows the gang to the cells where they have some interesting prisoners in tow. Gendry and the brotherhood have some beef, and, well, pretty much the entire cell seemingly have some bad blood, but fortunately they are able to put their past grievances behind them. Every character at this point fits so nicely into the theme, as all (but Davos) set out on a (foolhardy?) mission, committed and devoted to doing what needs to be done. If you had told me 9 years ago when I first picked up the books that Gendry, Jon Snow, Ser Jorah Mormont, Tormund Giantsbane, The Hound, Thoros of Myr, and Beric Dondarrion would all be heading north of the Wall together, I probably wouldn’t believe you. Now? I can’t believe we have so many main characters headed towards what is more than likely to be certain death for at the very least one, if not more of them. It’s a helluva journey and I’m biting my nails waiting to see what happens next.

Eastwatch meeting

What else did I think?:

  • I was a little bummed out the way the episode began, though I think it was through the fault of the previous episode’s ending rather than this one. Episode 4 should have ended with Jaime and Bronn having swum to safety, and looking at the devastation that befell the army. We all knew Jaime wasn’t dead, and from the looks of it, he basically escaped the battle unscathed. The emotional impact of their resurgence was a bit lost amidst the shuffle.
  • Speaking of Bronn, would it have been so difficult to throw in a quick little scene in with Bronn and Tyrion? I get that they’re trying to get to the meaty part of the story ASAP, but the Tronn (Bryrion?) friendship consistently gave birth to some of the best damn dialogue the series has ever had. It was an upsetting casualty of the season’s hurried pace.
  • However, what we lacked in Tyrion/Bronn we more than made up for in an excellent Tyrion/Varys scene. Varys has apparently always done his best to suppress the guilt for being an accomplice to the Mad King’s murderous spree, telling himself “I’m not the one doing it” over and over. This was a spectacular, really powerful scene comically bookended with Tyrion seeing right through Varys’ lie about not opening the ‘sealed scroll’ from Winterfell (of course Varys opened it).
  • I assume the reason that Qyburn was with Cersei was to check on her pregnancy, or did I miss something?
  • Watching Sansa and Arya interact so naturally in their scene together after so many years apart speaks entirely to the master work of their portrayers Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams, who have grown up in front of the camera as much in skill as they have in age.
  • Where’s Theon? Last we saw, he asked to see Daenerys so that she could help rescue Yara.
  • All the shippers in the world are cheering for Jon and Daenerys to get together while I sit here counting down the days until Ser Jorah Mormont of Bear Island returns to Daenerys’ loving arms and rules the seven kingdoms by her side.
  • Randyll Tarly and his brave-to-the-bitter-end son, Dickon, get utterly nuked by Drogon who has seemingly brushed off the Scorpion’s spear as a mere ‘scale wound.’ I’ll miss ’em. I honestly will.
  • Watching Tyrion walk down the cliff as he exited  King’s Landing is the most visual representation of ‘traveling’ we’ve seen our characters do all season.

Best Quotes:

“Somehow, a crippled boy survived for years beyond the wall when no one else could – Not the Night’s Watch, not the Wildlings – No one.” – Sam

“It’s a sealed scroll for the King in the North….nothing good.” – Varys, conceding to Tyrion that he did indeed read the letter, and relaying what message was inside

“You asked me to find you a cure so I can serve you. Allow me to serve you.” – Ser Jorah

“You always liked nice things…made you feel better than everyone.” – Arya

“Thought you might still be rowing.” – Davos

“Never betray me again” – Cersei

“As my father used to say, it’s better to be a coward for a minute than dead for the rest of your life.” – Davos

“How many queens are there now? And you need to convince the one with the dragons or the one who fucks her brother?” – Tormund

Deaths:

  • Randyll Tarly – Burned to a crisp
  • Dickon Tarly – Burned to a crisp

What did you think of the episode?

373 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. I enjoyed the episode, the only thing that annoyed me was no one mentioning that they had met Arya to Jon. I really thought at least Gendry would have… perhaps this will happen in the next episode.
      I guess it may not be as strong in the show, but the relationship between Jon and Arya is one of the strongest (in my opinion) throughout the books. I really hope they don’t downplay their relationship when they finally reunite (which I believe will eventually happen, even if not during this season).

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    2. Bless you for the lead photo. Ser Bear. What a great reunion/departure, lol. And nice duds, Jorah.

      Gendry appears to have gone loco, but I love him.

      I cannot handle my Houndie and Bear in the same room. And Beric. And Tormund. And…..I think the wall just melted. Dang!

      Loved Jon and Drogon. Like “Whelp, I may die but I’ma gonna touch a dragon before I go!!!…hey, not dead!”

      I can only assume Theon and Missandei are catching some beach time, because they are just gone. Huh.

      Davos, you gem. Continue to a ripe old age, please.

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    3. Seeing next episodes preview can’t help but wonder y no1 is using any dragon glass freshly mined! Some of dem could be used without further processing, m sure! Dey will ol be at d mercy of longclaw, I guess!

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    4. My huskies Rhaegar and Lyanna watched the episode with me … needless to say Rhaegar ain’t in a happy mood today … keeps following Lyanna around probably trying to say “it was me they mentioned …they’re finally catching on … our son will be King (honestly can’t wait till they have pups)

      This episode felt… I don’t want to use the word rushed I love the pace but it was more of a set up and trying to get to the next episode

      Jon and Drogon was the best part for me
      Not sure whether that or the shot of Drogon on the lil hill should be my next wallpaper

      On a side note … for the first time this season I love Sansa all over again and with that comes my dislike for Arya.

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    5. RhaenysStark:
      I enjoyed the episode, the only thing that annoyed me was no one mentioning that they had met Arya to Jon. I really thought at least Gendry would have… perhaps this will happen in the next episode.
      I guess it may not be as strong in the show, but the relationship between Jon and Arya is one of the strongest (in my opinion) throughout the books. I really hope they don’t downplay their relationship when they finally reunite (which I believe will eventually happen, even if not during this season).

      I wonder if this is something the show chose not to focus on because it isn’t as important… it would have been simple to add a line here to remind us – but neither character really does. I can’t see any show-only watchers that really care about it, most didn’t seem to understand it in the last episode when Sansa mentions it to Arya, usually a super show fan and/or a book reader has to remind them of the deeper connection.

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    6. I’ll have to re-watch but it felt at times like a hot mess. An entire war broke out over Rhaegar “kidnapping” Lyanna and Gilly happens to find a scroll saying he had his marriage annulled? Tyrion sees Jaime almost roasted and saved at the last minute and no one finds him on the battlefield but he assumes he made it safely back to Kingslanding? I liked the Tarly stuff even Sam deciding to finally leave the Citadel, though even that has felt like nothing more that scene after scene of Sam coveniently finding all the answers the story needs. I have enjoyed the season but as the story gets more compressed I find it hard to ignore some of the jumps.

      Nick Hartley does not sow!

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    7. What an episode! So much in there that it’s going to take a while to process!

      Overall, I liked it though it seemed to be moving at breakneck speed especially in the middle part. But so many great moments. Jon petting a dragon! Jaime and Tyrion reunion! GENDRY!!! Jorah! Gilly reads about Rhaegar and Lyanna but Sam isn’t paying attention!

      Is Arya falling for one of Littlefinger’s games? I didn’t much like her in this episode. She’s probably right that Sansa has thought about what would happen if Jon doesn’t return – as she should as the Lady of WF. However, I don’t think Sansa is actively hoping for Jon not to return. Arya’s solution to problems – chopping heads off – is stupid, and at times she sounded like some Jon fangirl from parts of the internet. She’s right that LF is plotting something but does she realize it is to drive a wedge between her and Sansa? (LF could be plotting other things as well.) Maybe Sansa’s “pack survives, lone wolf dies” is to Arya? Oh well, we’ll just have to wait and see.

      Oh boy, Jaime is scared of Cersei! That look after she told him to never betray her again… BTW, second time this season we’re getting a tracking shot of Jaime from behind. As if someone or something is pursuing him. His past catching up with him?

      Long, lingering looks between Jon and Dany… Poor Jorah. Dany burning the Tarlys alive was worrying but Randyll refused the Wall and chose to die, not sure he expected dragonfire, though. And Dickon was stupidly loyal to his father. Still, threatening vanquished enemies with dragonfire unless they bend the knee isn’t a good look.

      Loved Davos!

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    8. I woke up in the middle of the night to watch and yet again it was well worth it. So many questions on what’s to come:
      – Clearly next week is going to be epic, people are going to die. We know Jon will be safe for his is the song of Ice and fire and it’s becoming clear this is his story however please don’t let the Hound or Tormund die, they are two of my favourite characters. Even Gendry coming back. Sadly I’m not expecting any survivors beyond Jon who from the trailer is escaping on a horse (from where?) and seemingly injured.
      – Sam and Gilly just casually tell the whole fandom that Jon is the legit son of Rhaegar and Lyanna thus the true heir to the throne. As Rhaegar says in the books “for his is the song of ice and fire” we now understand the title of the series is about Jon and he’s going to be devastated when he finds out the truth but you just know he will do his duty because he doesn’t crave power but his honour means he will do it, especially with the people behind him as they clearly will be unlike Cersei and to a lesser extent Dany.
      – As for Dany I am intrigued with how she will take the news when it eventually comes out. I thought Emilia was superb in her acting this episode and it’s very clear Dany has a crush on Jon but she really isn’t going to take well the fact the she’s not the rightful heir and she will no doubt feel some happiness there is another Targ.
      – Now Tyrion/Varys I have been saying for a few weeks they are switching sides, yesterday made me even more convinced it’s coming. It’s clear they have concerns over Dany if they find out Jon has a better claim they will switch I’m sure because he is a better more calm ruler who will look after the people like Dany wants without the violent urges.
      – Finally Winterfell there were lots of rumours in the off season

      that Sansa and Littlefinger will die,

      is it really leading up to this?

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    9. This is the last episode in this show where there was jumping from storyline to storyline. From this point on, thete will be 2( max 3) storylines in every episode until the end of the show.

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    10. I loved this episode. Jon+ Drogon was great, though they might have as well played up a Jon/Rhaegal meeting.
      Casual mention of Prince “Ragger” and his re-marriage was great. I wonder if Sam realizes eventually what Gilly has read. Did they pack that book as well? The Maesters were pathetic though. I wonder where Sam might be heading. He doesn’t know Dany burnt his dad and bro, does he?

      A-team is awesome, I’m looking forward to the next episode. Shit will happen, definitely.

      I’m not buying Cersei’s pregnancy. Or at least, I doubt she will give birth. Her profecy was clear: she will have 3 children (though the show mentiond a Baratheon-kid, her first one, who died – that makes it four already. Whatever.)

      I don’t really care about Jorah. I wonder if Longclaw will be mentioned between him and Jon.

      Gendry: “our dads were best pals” – actually no, your dad killed Jon’s.

      I left the Arya/Sansa interaction last: I actually liked it because it makes sense characterwise. Arya is loyal to Jon and can see through lies, and recognizes half-truths. When she said that Sansa wants to be Queen, she still wants it and it is part of her motivation, even if she doesn’t want to admit it even to herself – I think that’s true. I hoped that Sansa has changed in that regard, but apperently not. Arya can read her inner thoughts.
      Littlefinger is trying to persuade the Lords (what are they still doing in Winterfell?) to switch sides to Sansa, and he definitely has some results. Arya can see that, too. But Arya probably thinks that he works together with Sansa (him being together with Sansa, like, always, doesn’t help, I guess), and that’s where she is wrong. Sansa has no idea what LF is doing, or that he is behind it.
      LF wants to destroy the only evidence that might turn the Lords against Sansa (the letter), so he asks for it, but when he receives it, he already realizes Arya is following him, so he thanks it in the name of Sansa – so Arya has one more reason to doubt Sansa’s loyalty. Especially when she reads the letter.

      LF is not talking face-to-face with Arya, so she has no chance seeing through his lies. Sansa might be able to speak to Arya, but it doesn’t help that she DOES want to be queen in the north, even though it is kind of unconscious.

      So, IMO it all adds up. I was spoiled about LF deceiving Arya, and I thought it was BS. Now I think it was really nicely done. I wonder how it will be solved.
      But the Northern Lords can go screw themself. They don’t deserve Jon. I kind of hope they choose Sansa as their leader, so Jon can do his own thing without having to explain himself to them all the time.

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    11. Great recap/review. I’ve enjoyed this episode immensely and I don’t quite mind it’s pacing. I’ve learned to assume that events do not unfold day after day.

      Contrary to what most think, I do think that the Lannister brothers reunion went as it should. Unless I’m wrong, there’s nothing to be acknowledged by either of them that wasn’t. Jamie was upset with Tyrion so it made sense that he cuts right to the chase by asking Tyrion what he wants.

      I’ve not watched the preview yet because I don’t wanna get hyped this far out from next sunday, lol. Instead, im just gonna engage myself with rewatches until say, Thursday or Friday.

      And please, instead of replying to those constant whiners and complainers, just ignore them ‘cuz replying them only propels the negative discussion which quite frankly gets on my very last nerve.

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    12. Aszusz:

      I left the Arya/Sansa interaction last: I actually liked it because it makes sense characterwise. Arya is loyal to Jon and can see through lies, and recognizes half-truths. When she said that Sansa wants to be Queen, she still wants it and it is part of her motivation, even if she doesn’t want to admit it even to herself – I think that’s true. I hoped that Sansa has changed in that regard, but apperently not. Arya can read her inner thoughts.
      Littlefinger is trying to persuade the Lords (what are they still doing in Winterfell?) to switch sides to Sansa, and he definitely has some results. Arya can see that, too. But Arya probably thinks that he works together with Sansa (him being together with Sansa, like, always, doesn’t help, I guess), and that’s where she is wrong. Sansa has no idea what LF is doing, or that he is behind it.
      LF wants to destroy the only evidence that might turn the Lords against Sansa (the letter), so he asks for it, but when he receives it, he already realizes Arya is following him, so he thanks it in the name of Sansa – so Arya has one more reason to doubt Sansa’s loyalty. Especially when she reads the letter.

      LF is not talking face-to-face with Arya, so she has no chance seeing through his lies. Sansa might be able to speak to Arya, but it doesn’t help that she DOES want to be queen in the north, even though it is kind of unconscious.

      So, IMO it all adds up. I was spoiled about LF deceiving Arya, and I thought it was BS. Now I think it was really nicely done. I wonder how it will be solved.
      But the Northern Lords can go screw themself. They don’t deserve Jon. I kind of hope they choose Sansa as their leader, so Jon can do his own thing without having to explain himself to them all the time.

      This is how I see it too, people are too quick to pick sides, but they haven’t been around each other long enough to know what is going on and how much they have changed, and if Arya is being fooled by Littlefinger, then that is on Sansa for not warning her – since Arya has had zero to no experience dealing with his manipulations, the way Sansa has – she did the same with Jon, she doesn’t tell them the entire story… so of course they fall for it.

      I hope it plays out like this… Arya confronts Sansa about the letter, Sansa tells the truth about the circumstances and Arya being able to read people tell lies sees that Sansa is telling the truth. Sansa is relieved and genuinely happy that Arya believes her and decides to trust Arya and tell her the truth about Littlefinger. Arya wants to kill him (of course), but Sansa explains the politics of it all and the two have to come up with a plan to expose him without loosing the Vale 🙂

      I’m sure this is only a pipe dream?

      Northern and Vale lords are really unlikable – fickle and show no loyalty at all… I’m with you, if they complain about Jon bending the know, they deserve to die with the WW come for them

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    13. Nice write up David, enjoyed reading it!

      Loved the episode for both the ground it covered and the set up for expected and new twists and turns. Did not see Cersei’s pregnancy coming and wonder if it is real or a manipulative hoax. If real, I wonder if (putting tin hat on) she could die in child birth and since her younger brother impregnated her it is the fulfillment of the prediction (removing tin hat). Anyhow, Cersei’s threatening tone towards Bronn and Jamie is unsettling,

      As someone else mentioned on another thread, the sense of foreboding for the Eastwatch team makes me sad and not as anxious for next week’s episode. So many great characters and actors….but this GOT!

      Loved all the contented sounds coming from Drogon when Jon was petting his snout. Little purrs, gurrs, clicking sounds, all just wonderful!

      Great acting, cinematography, music, writing…everything! Looking forward to reading more comments. While there wasn’t a lot of action, the story really moved forward!

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    14. Why is everyone on Sam’s back about listening and reacting to the annulment issue?

      He does not know about Jon’s history or that Lyana is Jon’s mother. You cannot impart audience knowledge into the character. Its meaningless info to him right now!

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    15. Redx:
      Why is everyone on Sam’s back about listening and reacting to the annulment issue?

      He does not know about Jon’s history or that Lyana is Jon’s mother. You cannot impart audience knowledge into the character. Its meaningless info to him right now!

      I never had a problem with that. However, I think Sam would have been able to put two and two together if Gilly pronounced Rhaegar correctly. Sam never realized it was him Gilly talked about. He needs to see the written version – but then I think he will realize the truth. Maybe Jon will learn about it from Sam, not Bran.

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    16. Redx:
      Why is everyone on Sam’s back about listening and reacting to the annulment issue?

      He does not know about Jon’s history or that Lyana is Jon’s mother. You cannot impart audience knowledge into the character. Its meaningless info to him right now!

      This!! People are so quick to jump all over these characters for every little thing, it is the missteps, misunderstandings, and miscommunications that make a story more interesting… have a little patience!

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    17. Aszusz,

      No way Sam took the Septon Maynard book with him. It wasn’t relevant to his goals, and the frustration that he wasn’t accomplishing his goals was the entire reason he left the Citadel–he was there solely for information on the Long Night and how to stop the WWs, not to mention that he didn’t have the ability to piece together that information anyway. Prior to that he and Gilly had no more knowledge of Rhaegar and Lyanna’s relationship than the average Westerosi, and as far as he knows the annulment has no connection to Jon whatsoever. Assuming he was paying at least some attention to it, though, it’s possible he might very well recall what Gilly said without the book later, if something brings it to mind…

      After all…there’s a living, breathing book with access to direct knowledge of those events sitting in a wheelchair in Winterfell.

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    18. I hope it plays out like this… Arya confronts Sansa about the letter, Sansa tells the truth about the circumstances and Arya being able to read people tell lies sees that Sansa is telling the truth.Sansa is relieved and genuinely happy that Arya believes her and decides to trust Arya and tell her the truth about Littlefinger. Arya wants to kill him (of course), but Sansa explains the politics of it all and the two have to come up with a plan to expose him without loosing the Vale

      I’m sure this is only a pipe dream?

      …but a good one! Hopefully something like that happens.

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    19. You didn’t mention the awesome raven-warging scene. Apparently the Night’s King can undo warging power (is he just a powerful warg who can control dead bodies?) but Bran didn’t seem surprised.

      It’s great to see Gendry again, though I wish we got to see all the conversations that I hope he and Jon had about Arya on the voyage to Eastwatch. If only they knew that their fathers were actually bitter enemies…

      Speaking of Arya, she needs to realize she’s being played, and also being tested for the extent of her rogue skills, which are considerable. Hopefully Bran is just waiting for the right moment to reveal Littlefinger’s treachery to everyone so they can be rid of him but keep the Vale soldiers.

      Avengers assemble! I loved the superteam lineup at the end.

      Jon Snow the formerly dead King in the North with Valyrian steel.
      Tormund the giant-killing, bear-boning wildling chieftain.
      Ser Jorah the formerly grayscaled knight, with unrequited passion (also a sword, we assume).
      Gendry the bastard smith with a warhammer.
      Sandor the Hound. With an axe, hopefully.
      Thoros the red priest with resurrection powers.
      Beric the formerly dead, silver-tongued, one-eyed bandit with a flaming sword.

      Since almost all of them have a reason to not like several of the others, I can’t wait to see how they all get along on their mission!

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    20. That moment when Dany and Ser Jorah meet again, Dany’s face and hug says it all! Then Ser Jorah have to leave her again, this time to catch a wight with the great men, it’s horrible feeling that he needs to leave Dany again. Im scared Ser Jorah might not be able to come back again and tell Dany himself how much he loves her. Those goin to catch a wight are my favorite men; Ser Jorah, The Hound, Tormund, i even start to like Thoros and Beric already. I know some of them will die, thinking about it makes me depressed now.

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    21. rfresa:
      You didn’t mention the awesome raven-warging scene. Apparently the Night’s King can undo warging power (is he just a powerful warg who can control dead bodies?) but Bran didn’t seem surprised.

      It’s not that. Bran has learnt the hard way that he must not contact the NK while warging or in a vision. The NK sensed Bran warging the raven, so Bran left the raven ASAP. The NK has no power to force him out. At least that’s what I think.

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    22. Could Littlefinger have deliberately left the note for Arya to find wanting to sew discord between the Stark sisters? I didn’t like Randyll Tarly but I was annoyed with Dany for execution by dragon and if she really wants to win hearts and minds seems counterproductive. People follow Cersei through fear and the surviving Lannister soldiers who converted to Dany’s cause through fear.

      As I said on another thread I may be the only person who doesn’t mind the faster pacing of this season. When I read the books I was disappointed that it took until book 5 for Bran to get to where he got
      to in book 5 (keeping that vague though this is the book readers’ thread).

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    23. John Bradley West continues to shine. His scenes stole the episode for me. Though Sam, you’re looking for a secret to defeating the NK and something mentions Rhaegar?! Read the writing on the wall!

      Speaking of Tarlys, James Faulkner was phenomenal. Stubborn, embittered soldier and proud, petrified father all at once. He was such a loathsome SOB, but we can’t doubt he loved Dickon. Tom Hopper was also fantastic – sad not to see more scenes with him, especially one between him and Sam.

      Jon pets a dragon and unnerves Daenerys! Loved it (Kit’s nervous little hitch in the voice was PERFECT – and that dragon!!!). Loved also the Dragonstone Council meeting – can’t doubt he loves his people, and it’s having an impact on Dany. Their farewell was nicely done, as was Tyrion’s slightly raised eyebrow.

      Tyrion and Varys! “Did you read it?” It’s a sealed scroll for the King in the North!” “What’s it say?” Oh I love these two.

      JORAH! Welcome back. Welcome back to Gendry as well – nice little scene between him and Jon. #TeamBastard

      How Jaime and Cersei continue to sell their romance to me, I’ll never know, but I’m rooting for that baby, however unlikely it is s/he’ll make it.

      Tormund asking after Brienne was adorable. He needs to start a newspaper so he can recap Westerosi events – “the one with the dragons” and the one who fucks her brother” indeed 🙂

      Now the countdown continues till next week!! Between the multiple reunions and reminders to stick together, something awful is coming. Just keeping my fingers crossed a few of my favourites pull through 😅 Great episode!

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    24. I roll my eyes in the general direction of anyone who thinks this was a “great” episode. They yadda-yadda’d through too much. Had characters NOT have basic logic conversations (Gendry meets his former survivor-mate’s brother and never mentions Arya? Or Jorah shows up and never mentions who cured him? Dany just set his family on fire… and he’s Jon’s best friend… important conversations anyone would reasonably have).

      The way Jaime & Bronn end up down the river was silly as well. They held their breath the entire time? The river barely seemed like it was moving fast. Ugh… this show. Sometimes, this show is so dumb. At least next week’s episode will distract its stupidity with tons of action.

      I consider this the first F of the series. 5 out of 10. A demonstration of everything wrong with the show.

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    25. Promise me Ned, the prince that was promised, Jon Targaryen, Azor Ahai. Does that mean Jon will kill Dany to get lightbringer = Drogon.

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    26. Sickening. it feels like the season has just begun. And there are only 2 episodes left. WTF. Lazy writers. Everything is happening at a waaaay too rapid pace

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    27. viki: Arya is being fooled by Littlefinger, then that is on Sansa for not warning her

      Wow, I wondered how people would spin it, so it would be Sansa’s fault, because, you know, it has to be, right? So, well done! 😀

      Arya can be easily played because Arya has progressed physically, but apparently not mentally. She is a selfrighteous passive aggressive little brat here that views her sister the same way she did when she was a child. That’s on her, only seeing what she wants to see.

      Granted, Sansa may feel deep down inside her that she deserved to be queen. Why wouldn’t she be tempted by power after all she’s been through, all the situations where she had barely any agency? Congratulations for seeing that everyone harbours some dark thoughts.

      The point is, for Arya this is apparently all there is to Sansa and it doesn’t count that she refused the Lords. It’s a perfect mirror for a big bunch of the fandom (or shall I say hatedom) that is still stuck in Book 1 with their views on Sansa.

      I agree with talvikorppi, Arya echoes the worst Jon fans on the net.

      Where was the outrage when Jon was tempted by Stannis to be Lord of Winterfell? At least in the books, he dreamed of it. What an a*hole! How could he think for one second about usurping his siblings? Oh wait, but that’s exactly what he did, and everyone is happy for him.

      And seriously David? You chose the petty Arya quote from that conversation?
      I prefer this one: “I’m sure cutting off heads is very satisfying, but that’s not the way you get people to work together.”

      I like very much that Sansa and Tyrion were paralled as the measured ones. Arya wanting to chop peoples heads off left and right is stupid and we should call her out for it and not swoon over how protective she is of Jon.

      On another note, I never thought this day would come, but I have to partially agree with GeekFurious here. For me, it really was one of the worst episodes, the show has done.

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    28. Ulfie:
      Sickening. it feels like the season has just begun. And there are only 2 episodes left. WTF. Lazy writers. Everything is happening at a waaaay too rapid pace

      That’s been true since Season 2.
      It is the Blivit problem.

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    29. dothrakian raven,

      Yes, but that was before he blew up from frustration, decided to quickly grab what he could get on the Long Night, and leave. However, it’s possible he might end up with the book unintentionally if Little Sam hung on to it when they sneaked out, which would be hilarious.

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    30. Thoughts on the episode:

      Field of Fire part II: Daenerys takes Olenna’s advice and is a dragon – and it is Olenna’s betrayer, Randyll Tarly, who suffers for it. I was gutted to see Dickon meet his end alongside Randyll. He became far more than a simple footnote on the Tarly family tree in The Spoils of War, and I was gutted to see him stand beside his father. I would have loved to see Dickon agree to go to the Wall, and ultimately fight alongside Sam.

      Sam and Jon have been friends since the former first appeared in Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things, and it is interesting to compare the manner in which Randyll and Ned died. Both were ordered to bend the knee on pain of death; Ned agreed out of love for his children and his desire to protect them, while Randyll was unbending to the end.

      I do agree that the Jaime/Bronn survival could have been resolved last episode, but I don’t think any of us doubted Jaime had the plot armor to get out of the water alive. Was it realistic? That is a murky area. Had Thrones done something like that before? Yes – Davos washing up on a rock after the Battle of the Blackwater.

      The only real question was over whether or not Daenerys would capture him. I loved Bronn’s detailing of his reasons for saving Jaime and the red line he considers dragons to be. Bronn has survived because he is street smart. And street smart men don’t go up against dragons if there is another option.

      Dragonstone – I could write an entire essay on the Dragonstone scenes but I’m going to try not to. Firstly, one of the things I think we’d all been looking forward to for years (even before Jon and Dany were aware each other existed) was the idea of Jon coming face to face with the dragons. Yes, I was disappointed a teeny tiny bit that it was Drogon rather than Rhaegal – but, in the end, that it was Drogon works better for the story in advancing Daenerys’s interest in Jon.

      Jon reaching out to Drogon was slightly reminiscent of Jojen reaching out to Summer when he first meets up with Bran’s crew in Dark Wings, Dark Words. It is a beautifully crafted scene, mixing CGI and real actor elements. Drogon and Jon seem to recognize something deep inside each other (though I’m not sure Jon understands what or why) – Drogon seems to like Jon’s scent, and I tend to think this is the dragon recognizing Jon’s own dragon blood.

      What is as key to Jon’s interaction itself is how Daenerys reacts to it. She has been curious about this King in the North since The Queen’s Justice, and this only heightens her curiosity. There is something about him, and something between them. Jon shows no fear in the face of a dragon, and Drogon – the dragon to which she is most closely bonded – takes to Jon very quickly.

      The knife in the heart thing is brought up again – she isn’t letting it go, and I can’t wait to see how she finds out about it. But their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of Jorah – in this scene and the one in which Jon and his crew leave Dragonstone, it is interesting to see how Jon and Jorah each observe the other interacting with Daenerys.

      I think Tyrion has a point in the council meeting – Jaime is the one they need to convince. Not Cersei. He accepts hard truths (well, when they don’t relate to Cersei herself). I loved the Tyrion/Varys scene as well. These two are great together, and we get a real insight into Varys’s psyche and the guilt he feels for serving the Mad King. The trailer made it seem as if he doubted her, but the scene showed it was Tyrion who was having the harder time dealing with the realities of war.

      Loved Gendry and Jon meeting – nope, Gendry, your fathers didn’t fight together and win. Your fathers went to war over a woman, and your father killed his in battle. That will be an interesting concept when it outs itself. Why didn’t he mention Arya, though?! I get them discussing their fathers, but Arya was a hugely important part of Gendry’s life and the only person who tried to stop the Brotherhood from handing him over to Melisandre.

      King’s Landing – Jaime is clearly the realist here, and the only one on Team Cersei (besides, perhaps, Bronn – if we can consider him to be on her team) to understand they cannot win this war. In theory, Qyburn’s Scorpion could hurt her dragons. But Jaime has now seen them in battle and understands the damage they can do. Cersei is adamant about hiring sellswords, but I wonder if she’ll find that like Bronn they value their survival over gold.

      I wish we’d had more time for this Tyrion/Jaime reunion. I feel it should have been a longer scene, and I would have loved to see more Tyrion/Bronn interaction. That said, I think the last couple of episodes have made it clear how much love Tyrion still has for his brother. Cersei is a whole other ballgame, but Tyrion still loves Jaime. And he doesn’t want to see him killed in this war.

      Cersei’s pregnancy – I think she sees it as a way of founding a dynasty, whereas the look of emotion on Jaime’s face that he may finally be able to publicly recognize a child of his just pulled at my heart.

      Davos and Gendry’s reunion was priceless, and we even got a rowing joke in there! Gendry has grown up a lot since we saw him last, and seems to have accepted his heritage. He didn’t take much convincing to go with Davos, for which I was delighted. And we got a demonstration of what he can do with a warhammer. Looks like Ned was right about Gendry’s fighting potential. In Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things, Ned tells Tobho Mott to send Gendry to him if he ever wishes to wield a sword rather than craft one. Ned died a handful of episodes later, but in season seven Gendry is ready to fight and it is Jon that he is taken to.

      Oldtown – Poor, sweet Sam. Everyone has their breaking point, and he has reached his. It is sad to see his disillusionment with the Citadel after the uplifting ending he had to his season six arc in Winds of Winter. The Citadel will not listen, so Sam takes matters into his own hands and raids the library. Hopefully he has picked up some books that will tell him how to defeat the Night King.

      And hopefully the maesters will see the truth before it is too late.

      But, Sam – listen to your woman!!! Gilly is wise, and the holder of the one piece of information people have puzzled over for two decades!! I squealed – louder than I should have, given this episode aired at 2am in the UK – when she asked Sam what an annulment was. I could feel what was coming, and wasn’t disappointed. I want to hear more about Prince Ragger and the woman he married! Gilly found the book interesting, so I’m going to guess that it came with them. Sam picked up extra books but didn’t seem to return any when he visited the library.

      I found the I’m a bastard conversation between Jon and Missandei in The Spoils of War to be a bit clunky. He has been referred to as Jon Snow, Ned Stark’s bastard and the Bastard of Winterfell on numerous occasions – as Daenerys’s most trusted adviser, why hadn’t she asked questions before now as to who he was and the reasons for these titles? The only thing I rescued from it was him saying My parents weren’t married. Poor Jon Snow, he still knows nothing.

      This isn’t the first time they’ve done this with Jon – in Watchers on the Wall, one of the NW men who goes down to the tunnel with Grenn to hold the gate points out that Jon isn’t Lord Commander, when Grenn reiterates Jon’s instructions. Three episodes later, in The House of Black and White, Jon Snow is named Lord Commander. In Battle of the Bastards, Davos and Tormund reflect on how they were mistaken in following kings – Tormund points out that Jon is not a king. In the following episode, Winds of Winter, Jon is named King in the North. So the show has a habit of stating facts about Jon, and then turning them round.

      I cannot wait to see Gilly delve further into this book!

      Winterfell – LF seeking this particular scroll is intriguing. He is clearly seeking to split Sansa and Arya, and perhaps recalls the tensions between the two when he knew them just after Ned’s arrival in King’s Landing. What he doesn’t realize is that his actions are just as likely – perhaps more so – to get his name added to Arya’s list than a permanent separation between the sisters.

      Eastwatch – Seeing that Gendry, the Hound and Tormund would be in this episode had me excited enough at the opening credits. And then they showed Eastwatch! Like Dragonstone, we only got a short glimpse of the place the episode was named for, but it was most definitely worth it. I enjoyed the line about Brienne – and Jon’s reaction to it. What started off as one line of direction in Book of the Stranger has turned into a running story that has completely captured the fandom.

      The Eastwatch segment is short, but efficient. As Jon points out, in spite their antagonisms, they are on the same side. And that gives us a bit of a callback to the conversation he had with Daenerys in the Dragonstone cave in The Spoils of War. Despite their differences, the Children of the Forest fought together with the First Men – and this ragtag band of misfits must do the same if they are to survive.

      Other Thoughts – Jon is leading from the front again. The man who passes the sentence must swing the sword and as was the case with Ned, he won’t ask men to do what he isn’t willing to do himself.

      I have loved this season so far, but if there is one thing missing as a result of the pacing it is short character moments. We’ve had no mention of Aemon. Jeor is only briefly discussed between Jon and Jorah. Gendry makes no mention of Arya, and Jon is barely given time to react to hearing she and Bran are alive.

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    31. I really liked this episode except for 2 scenes! (I loved the Winterfell stuff btw)

      1) How on earth did Jaime survive without being harmed or even captured? I mean, no one on Dany’s team thought about capturing him? I know this is a fantasy show, but there are rules and logic within this universe, if this was some silly show I wouldn’t have minded.

      2) Arya has gone through a lot to keep needle and we see a lot about how she loves Jon and still supports him even now that he’s in Dragonstone, and all we get for his reaction to her being alive is Oh I thought she was dead :/ he might as well added “good for her!”, also Gendry who was with Arya for large amount of time doesn’t even mention her! that would have made more sense than “our dad were buddies” and this callback to Ned and Robert. I was waiting for so long for Jon to hear about Arya and this is all I get 🙁

      I loved the rest, as I have all the previous episodes, but I couldn’t justify these 2 points for the sake of being not being labeled or something like that.

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    32. viki,

      As a show-watcher only I will say that I am palpably aware of the strong kinship between Arya and Jon. My own take on it from the show is that Arya is the stark offspring most like Lyanna and that is the basis for a special affinity. I am reminded by this relationsip every time I see Needle. In fact the plot line in WF this episode (and Arya’s return to WF itself ) is only plausible to me because of Arya’s deep connection to to Jon. This may only be my take but it suggests that the show runners have actually accomplished what you seek for those who love the show and think obsessively about it. Can’t speak for casual watchers though!

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    33. Finally watched the episode…. with an unsullied friend who thinks Jon is Robert Baratheon’s son lmfao. Needless to say, we had many arguments about THAT. After this episode aired, she turned to me and said “I think Jon is a Targaryen because the dragon really liked him”. Of course, the Gilly scene flew right over her head LOL. She also believes Dany is in love with Jorah and will marry him and that LF wants to kill Arya.

      Truly wild. Long live Inspector Gilly lol

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    34. She is a selfrighteous passive aggressive little brat

      Seriously? with everything she’s gone through?

      And it’s ironic how you called this a hatedom and then went on to spread more hate on it.

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    35. onefromaway: …but a good one!Hopefully something like that happens.

      I feel like we will be presented with what looks like success on the part of LF, in driving distrust and a wedge between Arya and Sansa. But off-screen, unbeknownst to us and to LF, they, and Bran, will unite, and back on-screen we will see LF tricked and beat at his own game. 😀

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    36. Very good episode, plenty of things happening and moving the story forward without very much actually happening in big set pieces just like back in the earliest seasons. A lot to chew over there :thumbup:

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    37. Aman: Seeing next episodes preview can’t help but wonder y no1 is using any dragon glass freshly mined! Some of dem could be used without further processing, m sure! Dey will ol be at d mercy of longclaw, I guess!

      Maybe they brought some with them.
      Seems Sam made it back to CB with a small pile of dragon glass , why not stop by there and pick some of that up?

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    38. Aszusz:
      I left the Arya/Sansa interaction last: I actually liked it because it makes sense characterwise. Arya is loyal to Jon and can see through lies, and recognizes half-truths. When she said that Sansa wants to be Queen, she still wants it and it is part of her motivation, even if she doesn’t want to admit it even to herself – I think that’s true. I hoped that Sansa has changed in that regard, but apperently not. Arya can read her inner thoughts.
      Littlefinger is trying to persuade the Lords (what are they still doing in Winterfell?) to switch sides to Sansa, and he definitely has some results. Arya can see that, too. But Arya probably thinks that he works together with Sansa (him being together with Sansa, like, always, doesn’t help, I guess), and that’s where she is wrong. Sansa has no idea what LF is doing, or that he is behind it.
      LF wants to destroy the only evidence that might turn the Lords against Sansa (the letter), so he asks for it, but when he receives it, he already realizes Arya is following him, so he thanks it in the name of Sansa – so Arya has one more reason to doubt Sansa’s loyalty. Especially when she reads the letter.

      LF is not talking face-to-face with Arya, so she has no chance seeing through his lies. Sansa might be able to speak to Arya, but it doesn’t help that she DOES want to be queen in the north, even though it is kind of unconscious.

      So, IMO it all adds up. I was spoiled about LF deceiving Arya, and I thought it was BS. Now I think it was really nicely done. I wonder how it will be solved.
      But the Northern Lords can go screw themself. They don’t deserve Jon. I kind of hope they choose Sansa as their leader, so Jon can do his own thing without having to explain himself to them all the time.

      Thanks for that. I first understood it that way, that Arya found out that LF wants to betray Sansa with that Letter.
      But that makes no sense for LF, so he just left that letter there for Arya to find. His goal is to have Sansa and her siblings are a problem for him…

      Redx:
      Why is everyone on Sam’s back about listening and reacting to the annulment issue?

      He does not know about Jon’s history or that Lyana is Jon’s mother. You cannot impart audience knowledge into the character. Its meaningless info to him right now!

      Its not about Jon.
      The whole rebellion startet, because everybody thought Rhaegar kidnapped and raped Lyanna….this information would still be interesting for Sam without Jon.
      At least interesting enough to listen to Gilly for a minute…

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    39. Stoneheart,

      Jon’s reaction to learning that Arya and Bran are alive played way more emotional to me – he seems really shaken up, especially when this news is immediately followed by news that the Night King is so close with Jon saying, “If they make it past the Wall…” And his first thought is to go home. It sounds like he’s pretty freaked for their safety. For me, I think it’s hard to be “Yay!” when you just get them back, only to be scared to death they might be killed by the zombie army.

      If Jon received a raven telling him Arya and Bran are alive and it wasn’t followed up by news of the Night King’s imminent arrival, I think he would have been waaaay more happy 🙂 As it is, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of room for joy, especially when he fears that Arya, Bran, and Sansa will be killed if something isn’t done in time.

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    40. Lol come on people, its obvious what’s happening.

      Littlefinger thinks he’s smarter than everyone else, he thinks he’s sowing seeds of hate between the Stark sisters. REALITY: Sansa has become smarter than Littlefinger, she and Arya are the ones who are playing Littlefinger. Its all an act by the Stark sisters.

      You know it.

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    41. I cannot believe people are not talking about Dany and Cersei. This episode suggests the war will be put on the backburner.

      Does this mean, contrary to popular belief, the Whitewalkers will be dealt with first? That the Great war isn’t really the ‘Great’ war? The scrap for the Iron throne resumes in season 8???

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    42. I liked the way Dany handled the opening scene. Her offer to the Tarlys was, if anything, quite generous under the circumstances, since they betrayed and caused the death of one of Dany’s key allies. Tyrion and Varys’ can shove the sudden sanctimony (particularly rich coming from the latter, who was planning to unleash a Dothraki horde upon Westeros to seat Viserys on the throne).

      On the strength of what we’ve seen so far, I think this season could have used another episode. Too many scenes this episode, in particular, feel like they’re missing a few bits of connective tissue.

      Much like last season, now that the Stark reunion initial happiness is out of the way, time for the really forced plot conflict. In this case, Arya picks up Sansa’s torch of arbitrarily distrusting a sibling. She comes across like a total psycho this episode, between demanding Joffrey-style executions of querulous bannermen and then insisting that because Sansa enjoys power on some level she’s a traitor-in-the-making. Also, her skills at shadowing people haven’t improved from episode 509, I see. Evidently she spent too much of her time in Braavos getting beaten with sticks instead of learning proper tradecraft.

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    43. Boojam,
      Guess dat make sense. Now dat u mentioned it, Sam must hav carried d badass heartsbane as well! Would love to see it in action! Especially if used by gilly! Dat would be so badass!

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    44. Is Sam now Lord Tarley?

      Danny had that look a girl gets when her dog likes her boyfriend meaning he’s a keeper.

      Jamie knows when he can’t win a war, Cersi who’s never fought in on assumes she can buy a win.

      We get confirmation that Dothraki can kick pass and Jamie would rather not go through that again.

      If dragons are involved Bronn breaks up with you.

      I hope the prophesy actually reads prince and princess.

      Loved the hug Danny gave Jorah.

      Can Drogon have a play date with Ghost?

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    45. T Rufus Martin:
      Is Sam now Lord Tarley?

      No. As a man of the Night’s Watch, he foreswore inheritance. Horn Hill now belongs to his sister Talla (unless Dany bestows it upon somebody else, I guess).

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    46. Loved the recap, David!

      Littlefinger, who betrayed Ned to begin with and started this whole damn mess will stop at nothing to stay alive (his always and forever goal).

      If his primary goal was merely to survive, he’d stay far under the radar and in the safe Vale. But his always-and-forever goal is not to survive but to climb the ladder to the Iron Throne. Pitting sister against sister is dangerous but perhaps the most likely route to the Iron Throne.

      1. Did he catch on to Arya catching on to him and intentionally leave that note there for her to find? 2. Will he attempt to seize more control over Sansa by turning her against Arya? 3. Will Arya catch on to Littlefinger catching on to her catching on to him and ultimately wear his face?

      1. Yes, duh 2. Yes, duh. 3. Yes!!! And wearing his face, which she peels off with her handy-dandy new dagger, she could possibly meet with Cersei as Littlefinger and end Cersei with that same dagger! Or perhaps LF will approach Jaime first, take Jaime’s face, and then valonqar!!!!

      If you had told me 9 years ago when I first picked up the books that Gendry, Jon Snow, Ser Jorah Mormont, Tormund Giantsbane, The Hound, Thoros of Myr, and Beric Dondarrion would all be heading north of the Wall together, I probably wouldn’t believe you. Now? I can’t believe we have so many main characters headed towards what is more than likely to be certain death for at the very least one, if not more of them. It’s a helluva journey and I’m biting my nails waiting to see what happens next.

      When Azor Ahai and his 12 companions set out on a journey to the north, only AA returned alive. Now AAR sets out with 12 companions on a journey to the north, six of whom we know and four of whom I love. I could do without Thoros and Beric once Beric shares with Jon (AAR) the secret to lighting the sword (Lightbringer) with his undead blood.

      What did you think of the episode?

      I loved it!!! Yes, it had its foibles, like Bronn, the Merman of Blackwater Rush. But I loved the Jon Targaryen revelation so hard. I loved that Dany is embracing more and more her Fire and Blood nature, and I hope that will slowly bring fans to realize the truth about what a joyful ruler she would make. I doubt it, but a girl can wish. I loved our goodbyes to the Tarlys. I loved Tyrion’s tortured dilemma. I loved the sister-drama and LF subterfuge. I loved the Jon-Drogon chemistry. I loved the Hound’s “Let’s fucking do this thing” attitude. I loved our boys who hate each other uniting together on a hopeless mission that is sure to be awesome!

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    47. I posted a few times in the open episode chat, but I liked your review, David. Get Well, Sue, or have fun or whatever you are doing, looking forward to your further comments during the week.

      I felt some regret at seeing the Tarleys get toasted, especially Dickon. I had no great love for Randyll, but alas, Dickon would have been a fine match for some lovely lady, especially with so many young lords having been decimated in the wars these past years. But Dany wasn’t wild and crazy in her thinking, she was coldly logical. If she offered the option of prison, as Tyrion suggested, instead of bended knees, everyone would chose prison. There’s no time for that. Toasted lords it shall be.

      I knew Jaime would survive – not only has the show already shown Davos washed on shore after Blackwater, as someone said, but Tyrion survived almost drowning in Valyria, sinking into the water much the same way Jaime did, to be pulled out by Jorah. Loved Bronn’s lines about his loyalty ending if the dragons showed up in Kings Landing. Did NOT like Cersei’s ominous talk about punishing Bronn.

      Yes, I believe Cersei is pregnant. Not unheard of for a woman her age to get pregnant, it’s happening all the time now. But she’s 40. Even today that would be an “at risk” pregnancy. They didn’t know about drinking during pregnancy then. Even though she’s adamant about naming Jaime as father, I don’t think she loves him the same way she used to. When Jaime asked her what Qyburn was doing there, she retorted “He’s hand of the Queen. What are YOU doing here?” Jeez. Then she chided him about betraying her. Yet, he’s still so in love with her.

      Which leads to another observation. People have asked about Theon being absent this episode, but there hasn’t been one mention of dear Euron. Did he take a run back to the Iron Islands, after destroying part of Dany’s navy? I wonder if he will be back this season, with only two (sob, long winter indeed) episodes left.

      Littlefinger knew Arya was following him. That last creepy shot of him, lurking in the shadows with that knowing grin on his face said it all. Although whether he is trying to protect Sansa, or just set up Arya remains to be seen. Last week I was sure he would be worried about something incriminating to him showing up in all those saved raven letters. It didn’t dawn on me that he had thought of something that would incriminate Sansa. I didn’t like Arya’s talk of cutting off heads at the least sign of dissent. Jon would love how Sansa is handling things, and absolutely hate it if Arya cut off Lord Royce’s head for voicing his feelings.

      This episode had at least 3 of the pics in it we got in the off-season: the one of LF lurking in the shadows, the one of Arya looking under the bed, and the one of the spiked gate leading out of Eastwatch. There might have been more, but those are the ones I caught.

      There were many, many more things in this episode to like rather than to dislike, so to me the episode was a good one. Sam turning to have one last look at the library; Jon shaking like a leaf, but determined to stand his ground and pet Drogon; the Dothraki announcing that “this man says he is a friend of yours, Khaleesi.” See, even Jorah knows he’s in the friendzone. Tormund talking about the “big woman.” LOL. Much more to like than not to like

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    48. As someone hungry for reunions and keeping the story moving, I was satisfied by receiving so much. I suppose, like Dany, I’ve been ready to get on with it.

      I’m not as worried about the Sansa-Arya-Littlefinger situation as I was after I first watched the episode. Despite all the Arya bashing I’ve read online, I believe there’s still a chance that the situation will play out to a satisfactory conclusion. Neither Sansa or Arya are perfect, but they both love their family.

      I loved that we got the long awaited answer to the Rhaegar/Lyanna/Jon-legitimacy question. Finally, after all these years, we can put it to rest.

      Overall, I’m pleased.

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    49. What are the writers thinking?? the reunion of Sansa and Arya had no emotions at all. Now the reunion of Tyrion+Bronn+Jamie had the same no emotions?? And Jorah coming back was ALSO a moment of no real emotion for the viewer. WTF is up with that? People would be cheering at their lunch breaks every Monday if those scenes had been any good at all. They just weren’t!

      And these horrendous time travel things. They suddenly move across the landscape in a few minutes. That is just lazy writing. they could have easily avoided that speedy stupidity by doing an extra show or two of the season.

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    50. I felt like Bran getting an info dump; there was SO much.

      I just think a bEric and Jon are going to have a lot to talk about.

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    51. I could definitely feel the quicker pace in this episode but it was still so good. I really wish Dany would have had the Dothraki kill the Taryls instead of by dragonfire. I felt that using Drogon only served to reinforce the belief that she is just like her father.

      Like others already mentioned, I wish Gendry and Jon discussed Arya but I can understand the creative decision to have them reminisce about Robert and Ned instead. With only 2 episodes left I’m hoping we get to find out a little more about Yara/Theon, the Unsullied at Casterly Rock, and the role of the Golden Company.

      I was also totally thrown off by Cersei’s pregnancy. Was not expecting that and honestly, I don’t see her actually having the baby. But if the baby won’t actually be born my question is why announce the pregnancy in the first place? I’m interested in seeing where that goes.

      As for what Gilly read, I’m going to assume Sam packed up that book along with the rest of their belongings. The only thing is he gave that book to little Sam and I’m left thinking, Noooo! Kids break things and make things sticky. So if that book from Maynard is still intact, I don’t see any reason why Sam would leave it behind. Also did they mention where they were heading and I missed it? Are Sam & Gilly heading back to the Wall? Winterfell? Dragonstone?

      The more I see Jon and Dany build trust between each other, the more I feel she will come to the North’s/Jon’s aid without him having to bend the knee. Especially now that Dany has seen Drogon interact with Jon.

      Also it seems that Bronn switched sides..or at least will not fight for the Lannisters anymore?
      Jaime: “Don’t you mean WE’RE fucked?”
      Bronn: “No I do not. Dragons are where our partnership ends.” 😂

      Gotta love Tormund for still asking about Brienne: “The big woman?” hahaha
      I also felt that Beric’s quote was a call back to when Sam helped Bran cross beyond the wall: “We don’t want to, we have to.” Also, it looks like they may have brought dragonglass with them for their wight hunt. When the gates open and the Magnificent 7 of the North are walking, we see some men behind the Hound & it looks like they’re dragging something… Maybe Gendry helped forge some weapons on the way to Eastwatch? Can’t wait for the final two episodes!!!

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    52. – I agree : it felt strange not to see the Tyrion-Bronn interaction.

      – Sansa’s creepy craving for power is… creepier and creepier, though well-hidden. But not enough for Arya’s perceptiveness.

      – Cersei. She just CAN’T have this baby, due to the prophecy. Either she has a miscarriage or she dies before. I DID NOT expect that either ! When “a potion” is mentioned at the beginnig of the scene, I thought she was seriously sick (physically, of course ; because mentally, thath would be no news…) When every little allusion is important in the show, how could they deny the witch’s prophecy ????

      – Jon + Daenerys. I am one of the “WTF ! NEVER !” party. What would be the point ? We know it could not go on once Jon knows about his birth : HE has not been raised in the incest tradition and would stop it.

      – Arya / LF : disturbing, raising tons of questions. I don’t think the scroll found by Arya was the one brought to him by the maester. He knew who he dealt with and left it for the sisters’ relationship to degrade. I guess the scroll he asked for was dangerous for HIM. Anyway, 2 possibilities : 1/ it is the one and same scroll and it has been a trap for Arya all along ; 2/ he knew she would spy and took advantage to kill two birds, getting a compromising info back + setting Arya up.

      – I am more and more convinced that there will not be ONE ruler in the end but 3 (or at least two, Jon north + Daenerys south) : Jon Dany and Tyrion (especially if the theory about Tyrion is confirmed…).

      I loved this episode. But it left me thinking a lot !

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    53. And the toll of the old heads of the great and noble houses continue to roll (in the show)…

      Jon Arryn
      Robert Baratheon
      Eddard Stark
      Rickard Karstark
      Hoster Tully ( bizarrely and bucking the trend, through natural causes )
      Tywin Lannister
      Stannis Baratheon
      Doran Martell
      Balon Greyjoy
      Roose Bolton
      Greatjon Umber
      Mace Tyrell
      Walder Frey
      Randyll Tarly

      And then we have the younger heirs/successors/claimants
      Viserys Targaryen
      Renly Baratheon
      Loras Tyrell
      Robb Stark
      Joffrey/Myrcella/Tommen
      Tystane Martell
      Ramsay Bolton
      Hekyll and Jekyll Frey
      Edmure Tully MIA

      I think GRRM has a definite theme here 😉

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    54. Did writer Dave Hill even watch the spoils of war?

      Tyrion walked around the battlefield but didn’t look for Jamie in the water or ask Jamie if he was hurt when he saw Jamie.
      Tyrion didn’t even mention the loot train battle to Jamie.

      No mention of the Drogon arrow wound. There is no suspense in the story any more.

      First thing Cercei says to Jamie… “What are you doing here”? No mention of the gold that Jamie stole from Highgarden and delivered to King’s Landing… No graditude from Cercei… the writing needs help.

      Theon is no where to be seen after arriving at Dragonstone to ask Daenerys for help.

      I know you are loving Eastwatch but for me Eastwatch could be so much better…. D&D write better than Dave Hill

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    55. I think Sansa craving power is absolutely normal. So did Tyrion when he decided to stay in KL, so do Yara, Danny, and several other characters. And with all she’s learnt, it’s no wonder she feels more prepared to rule than her siblings. She’s obvs more prepared than Arya, judging by her comments about beheading everyone that shows dissent (and somehow thinking she’ll keep their armies).

      Speaking of Yara, I do hope we get to see her and Euron next episode. He looks like the Tyrells, starting the season all important and then disappearing.

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    56. I enjoyed the episode, and I’m sure it has helped to set up the remaining couple of episodes. I do think the writing was a little rough at a few points throughout the episode, and it felt like an early draft rather than the finished product. That said, it was still a great piece of television.

      I had no problem with the episode starting with Jaime coming out of the water, and I don’t agree that it would have been better placed at the end of last week’s episode. Sam’s never been my favourite character, so I have been a little bored throughout his scenes this season, but I’m sure he’ll join up with some more interesting characters probably in the Season 7 finale, and then throughout Season 8. It’s a shame Jim Broadbent hasn’t been given much to do, but he’s been good in the scenes he has been given.

      It might have been mentioned already, but it was great to see Kevin Eldon play a goldcloak this week after playing a member of the theatre troupe last season. He’s the sort of actor who just blends in, and I didn’t recognise him until the credits came up.

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    57. FRAN,

      I’m starting to feel the same about the possibility of more than one ruler, especially after Dany talks about “breaking the wheel” for the second time during this episode. I’m still trying to determine whether it was a simple call back, or intentionally placed. I wonder if enacting the Great Council will happen where the people will ultimately decide who rules Westeros, and this becoming a permanent process. I know Catelyn briefly mentioned in in ASoS and Jaime recalls a memory of Rhaegar just before he left to fight Robert at the Trident in AFfC. He remembers Rhaegar saying that he was going to call “a council” when he returns. But this may be wishful thinking on my end and not necessarily how it will play out on the show.

      I also think Dave Hill did what he could with so much needing to happen in the last three episodes. He’s written all the Histories & Lore featurettes in the GoT DVDs which have such a wealth of knowledge and dialogue from the books that never made it to the show. It’s definitely happening too quickly with many things seemingly occurring off screen or being omitted but it seems necessary. But maybe some of the lingering questions we have will be answered in the last two episodes, especially given their length.

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    58. I’m new to this site for this season, and I’m finding it really fascinating (and treading the fine line between discussion and getting spoilt!)

      I’m a keen historian, and love mediaeval history, so some random thoughts:

      – It was the convention in warfare that nobles would be ransomed or held hostage rather than killed – wiping out whole houses was rare as a ransom was more valuable and there was extensive trading of prisoners BUT it was notable in the War of the Roses that the nobles on the opposing side were executed as traitors – just as Dany did
      – Marriage alliances were THE crucial method for gaining support – I wonder if Cersei IS pregnant, but in order to secure an alliance, decides to marry again (Euron?) and therefore aborts the baby with Qyburn’s help and this creates the final break with Jaime (it’s 2 steps forward, 1 back for him breaking with her!)
      – It was rumoured that Richard III was going to marry his niece Elizabeth of York to secure the line, but public opposition to the uncle/niece relationship stopped that (Dany/Jon?)…..
      – ….Elizabeth of York eventually married Henry Tudor (Dany) uniting the two rival houses of York and Lancaster to secure the line – now this could foreshadow Ice and Fire uniting ( which seems to be the way the show is going), but an alternative would be Dany marrying Gendry (as the son of Robert/Edward IV) – Full tin hat acknowledged!

      On a less historical note, I love the nuances of the characters – in this episode I was rolling my eyes at Arya’s ‘burn/kill them all’, when in pretty much every other episode I’ve been rooting for her.

      There’s an interesting contrast between the Tarly’s execution by dragonfire and the passing sentence/wielding sword – is it too ‘easy’ for Dany to punish her enemies with Drogon and therefore lacks ‘honour’ which Tyrion and Varys find problematic?

      On Dany as mad Queen – I think Varys & Tyrion are worried about her *perception* as mad queen – it doesn’t matter if she’s the sanest of them all, if she’s *perceived* as being like her Father, the cause is lost.

      And on a fangirl note: GENDRY! JORAH! JON & DROGON! EASTWATCH REUNION! JAIME, BRONN & TYRION! JON IS LEGITIMATE! Sooooo much goodness!

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    59. talvikorppi:
      What an episode! So much in there that it’s going to take a while to process!

      Overall, I liked it though it seemed to be moving at breakneck speed especially in the middle part. But so many great moments. Jon petting a dragon! Jaime and Tyrion reunion! GENDRY!!! Jorah! Gilly reads about Rhaegar and Lyanna but Sam isn’t paying attention!

      Is Arya falling for one of Littlefinger’s games? I didn’t much like her in this episode. She’s probably right that Sansa has thought about what would happen if Jon doesn’t return – as she should as the Lady of WF. However, I don’t think Sansa is actively hoping for Jon not to return. Arya’s solution to problems – chopping heads off – is stupid, and at times she sounded like some Jon fangirl from parts of the internet. She’s right that LF is plotting something but does she realize it is to drive a wedge between her and Sansa? (LF could be plotting other things as well.) Maybe Sansa’s “pack survives, lone wolf dies” is to Arya? Oh well, we’ll just have to wait and see.

      Oh boy, Jaime is scared of Cersei! That look after she told him to never betray her again… BTW, second time this season we’re getting a tracking shot of Jaime from behind. As if someone or something is pursuing him. His past catching up with him?

      Long, lingering looks between Jon and Dany… Poor Jorah. Dany burning the Tarlys alive was worrying but Randyll refused the Wall and chose to die, not sure he expected dragonfire, though. And Dickon was stupidly loyal to his father. Still, threatening vanquished enemies with dragonfire unless they bend the knee isn’t a good look.

      Loved Davos!

      THIS.. I haven’t read the rest of the comment thread, but THIS is my perfectly summarize my thought as well. Just to note, I am no fan of Sansa, but SHIT!!! what the actual fuck Arya??? behead the people who had save your family? and as Sansa had pointed out, behead them and Jon lose the army.. like seriously? if that wasn’t bad enough she even fell to baelish trap. Damn it for all her training and stuff yet she didn’t notice littlefinger catching her. By the way, Sansa should have told Arya when she said that it was their parents bedroom that Jon offered it to her, she didn’t take it.. Ugh! I’m sorry for the rant, I was kind of hoping Arya will be human again but I can really see the damage that training did her.

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    60. talvikorppi:
      What an episode! So much in there that it’s going to take a while to process!

      Overall, I liked it though it seemed to be moving at breakneck speed especially in the middle part. But so many great moments. Jon petting a dragon! Jaime and Tyrion reunion! GENDRY!!! Jorah! Gilly reads about Rhaegar and Lyanna but Sam isn’t paying attention!

      Is Arya falling for one of Littlefinger’s games? I didn’t much like her in this episode. She’s probably right that Sansa has thought about what would happen if Jon doesn’t return – as she should as the Lady of WF. However, I don’t think Sansa is actively hoping for Jon not to return. Arya’s solution to problems – chopping heads off – is stupid, and at times she sounded like some Jon fangirl from parts of the internet. She’s right that LF is plotting something but does she realize it is to drive a wedge between her and Sansa? (LF could be plotting other things as well.) Maybe Sansa’s “pack survives, lone wolf dies” is to Arya? Oh well, we’ll just have to wait and see.

      Oh boy, Jaime is scared of Cersei! That look after she told him to never betray her again… BTW, second time this season we’re getting a tracking shot of Jaime from behind. As if someone or something is pursuing him. His past catching up with him?

      Long, lingering looks between Jon and Dany… Poor Jorah. Dany burning the Tarlys alive was worrying but Randyll refused the Wall and chose to die, not sure he expected dragonfire, though. And Dickon was stupidly loyal to his father. Still, threatening vanquished enemies with dragonfire unless they bend the knee isn’t a good look.

      Loved Davos!

      THIS.. I haven’t read the rest of the comment thread, but THIS perfectly summarize my thought as well. Just to note, I am no fan of Sansa, but SHIT!!! what the actual fuck Arya??? behead the people who had save your family? and as Sansa had pointed out, behead them and Jon lose the army.. like seriously? if that wasn’t bad enough she even fell to baelish trap. Damn it for all her training and stuff yet she didn’t notice littlefinger catching her. By the way, Sansa should have told Arya when she said that it was their parents bedroom that Jon offered it to her, she didn’t take it.. Ugh! I’m sorry for the rant, I was kind of hoping Arya will be human again but I can really see the damage that training did her.

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    61. Alba Stark,

      Jon eyeing Jorah has nothing to do with Dany – he knows who Jorah Mormont is and that he disgraced his family. People are seeing what they want to see and trying to romanticize it. Given Jon has the Mormont sword and knows how the old man felt about his sons betrayal – I expect he’s not impressed.

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    62. Vally: Wow, I wondered how people would spin it, so it would be Sansa’s fault, because, you know, it has to be, right? So, well done! 😀

      From the very beginning, I felt like Arya was me and Sansa was my bitch first cousin who was always, “my house is bigger than your house” and “I go to private school but you have to go to public school” and “I am better than you because my parents have more money.” Though I have come to love Sansa in my own way as the series progresses, I will never ever love her like Arya.

      That said, Sansa has warned Bran and Arya about LF, as much as she should. Arya knows not to trust him, but she is foolish to believe that she cannot be outwitted by him, and that is completely on Arya. Arya would have to own this one.

      Of course, I think this is all setting up a fight among the sisters that will drive Sansa straight into LF’s hands and into a huge House Stark betrayal, but Arya is being played for a fool in this episode.

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    63. darkdadi,

      Yes I think that – not especially subtly – this was trying to reinforce how Sansa and Arya have both been traumatised but have their different ways of dealing with it. Without going into who is right and who is wrong, this being a society with very different social mores, I’m hoping that there will be some coming together and they will end up meeting in the middle somewhere – they both have so much to learn about how power is wielded, diplomacy used and justice enacted. So easy to forget how young the characters still are even though the two actors have so noticably grown up

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    64. Ginevra,

      Azor Ahai? No, Old Nan says it was ‘The Last Hero’ who set out with his 12 companions with an aim of finding the Children of the Forest. I’m not sure The Last Hero and Azor Ahai were the same person.

      Seriously though, how sad would Jorah’s life be? He went through hell for Dany only to die saving Jon?

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    65. BranTheBlessed:
      Ginevra,

      Azor Ahai? No, Old Nan says it was ‘The Last Hero’ who set out with his 12 companions with an aim of finding the Children of the Forest. I’m not sure The Last Hero and Azor Ahai were the same person.

      Seriously though, how sad would Jorah’s life be? He went through hell for Dany only to die saving Jon?

      I believe the Last Hero is AAR and TPTWP, so I tend to lump all of these prophecies together. I could be wrong, so I am glad you corrected me.

      Yes, I would hate to lose Jorah, the Hound, and Davos! I would also not enjoy losing Gendry and Tormund. I could do without Beric and Thoros. Perhaps we can keep Jorah, Davos, and the Hound…

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    66. I agree with you David that the last episode should have ended later. It should have ended with Dany burning The Tarlys.

      I’m looking forward to next week when we get a better director. The majority of the things wrong with this episode were due to directorial Choices. It missed the richness and symbolism of truly cinematic directing that is one of the strengths of the series. Using staging and light and symbolism and camera angles and gritty attention to detail to tell the hidden story. This was directed by a TV guy and it showed. The rest of what was wrong is writing. All the dialogue is too on the nose.

      The acting was all stellar and managed to elevate the whole episode to something I would still watch again.

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    67. So, I rewatched the Arya/Sansa scene. They had their discussion with the door wide open, so maybe they knew Littlefinger might be out there listening and lurking to try to turn them against each other, so they’re playing him. Of course, I’m not optimistic, haha. I believed in the Great Northern Conspiracy last season with Rickon, and we all know how that turned out.

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    68. Vally: Wow, I wondered how people would spin it, so it would be Sansa’s fault, because, you know, it has to be, right? So, well done! 😀

      Arya can be easily played because Arya has progressed physically, but apparently not mentally. She is a selfrighteous passive aggressive little brat here that views her sister the same way she did when she was a child. That’s on her, only seeing what she wants to see.

      Granted, Sansa may feel deep down inside her that she deserved to be queen. Why wouldn’t she be tempted by power after all she’s been through, all the situations where she had barely any agency? Congratulations for seeing that everyone harbours some dark thoughts.

      The point is, for Arya this is apparently all there is to Sansa and it doesn’t count that she refused the Lords. It’s a perfect mirror for a big bunch of the fandom (or shall I say hatedom) that is still stuck in Book 1 with their views on Sansa.

      I agree with talvikorppi, Arya echoes the worst Jon fans on the net.

      Where was the outrage when Jon was tempted by Stannis to be Lord of Winterfell? At least in the books, he dreamed of it. What an a*hole! How could he think for one second about usurping his siblings? Oh wait, but that’s exactly what he did, and everyone is happy for him.

      And seriously David? You chose the petty Arya quote from that conversation?
      I prefer this one: “I’m sure cutting off heads is very satisfying, but that’s not the way you get people to work together.”

      I like very much that Sansa and Tyrion were paralled as the measured ones. Arya wanting to chop peoples heads off left and right is stupid and we should call her out for it and not swoon over how protective she is of Jon.

      On another note, I never thought this day would come, but I have to partially agree with GeekFurious here. For me, it really was one of the worst episodes, the show has done.

      This.
      All of this.
      Every. Single. Word.

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    69. Ginevra: I believe the Last Hero is AAR and TPTWP, so I tend to lump all of these prophecies together. I could be wrong, so I am glad you corrected me.

      As Maester Slughorn notes, the one reason to think that the old stories have any truth in them is the strong similarities among them. However, if you start assuming that the similarities are just coincidence, then you might as well assume that the old stories are complete fiction. The Last Hero and AA almost certainly are just different terms that different cultures came up with for the same person.

      On a side note, I was hoping that the pace would pick up after last week (which spent a lot of time on short period of time), but, whoa! That one must have been 2 months long!

      Oh, and where do I claim my annulment cookie? 😀

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    70. I never understood why the last hero has to happen again. Azor ahai is a prophecy, but the last hero is a story.

      A story that also applies to Bran and what he already did far better than what Jon is doing.

      My feeling is Jorah is def. going to die, the hound won’t but idk what’s going to happen with everyone else. Some others will die but I don’t know for sure who.

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    71. I guess the writers needed there to be a record for Sam to find and thus went with annulment over the probable book explanation of Rhaegar taking Lyanna as a second wife (certainly, annulment isn’t possible there).

      That makes show Rhaegar especially dickish to Elia and their children, but small prices, I guess.

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    72. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Cersei was lying about being pregnant to keep Jamie faithful and dependent on her. Surely she has to know that he’s wavering in his devotion to her. What better way to keep him under her thumb. Plus, the prophecy only mentioned three children for her. So, that leads me to believe she’s lying…

      That’s mostly me hoping she isn’t breeding again.

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    73. Rheagar was the crown prince though, not the King. I’m not sure how his offspring becomes heir over Aerys’.

      Also, as much as I loved seeing Jon and Drogon bond, I doubt he’ll ever ride a dragon. It’d just be weird. Like, say-Arya being able to command and control Ghost. Meh

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    74. BranTheBlessed,

      Because feudal inheritance is generally lineal.

      If Prince Charles drops dead today, his son Prince William becomes the Queen’s heir, not her younger son Prince Andrew.

      Dany is Aerys’ third child, and is behind the lines of the first two (not an issue until now, as they were thought to be extinct).

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    75. “Where’s Theon? Last we saw, he asked to see Daenerys so that she could help rescue Yara.”

      I asked this too. I know Dany was away at battle in the Reach, but did he and Yara’s men just turn around and leave? That seems unlikely as there’s nowhere else in the world safe for them right now because of Euron and his fleet, as well as the Lannisters. They wouldn’t exactly be welcome in the North either. Unless they set out to rescue Yara w/o Danny’s help, a mirror of Yara’s attempted rescue of Theon from Ramsay where she had a small, stealth team of men. But that seems foolish and not something Theon would be capable of pulling off given his PTSD issues we’ve seen.

      Although despite everything, Theon is somehow still alive so I guess if anyone can do it and come out unscathed it’s him lol.

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    76. Night’s King being able to recognize and then stop Bran’s warging gives more evidence to the theory that he( NK ) is also a greenseer and a Warg.

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    77. Sean C.,

      Dany cannot bestow anything at this point unless she becomes queen, which seems increasingly unlikely at this point. Whilst Jon has the best claim he is not king either Cersei is presumably until Jamie kills her and then a decision is made somehow.

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    78. RosanaZugey,

      I totally agree! Arya is really a one-note character without much development other than physical in the show.

      Sansa’s character has developed much more and all of her experiences have made her into what she is today, as well as genetics. She’s much more thoughtful and brooding than she was and I do believe she has some elements now that would make her a rather good leader at Winterfell.

      At least she was not afraid to confront Arya and to listen to her views as well. I think she will consider everything and come up with the right answer.

      Far from the spoiled brat she was in Season 1 she has come a very long way. Arya has in some ways as well, but as you pointed out, it was more of a physical development than an intellectual and emotional one.

      I do find the sisters’ relationship a fascinating one and wonder where things will go with them.

      Interesting thoughts on Jon & Sansa wanting the same thing!

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    79. Ginevra:
      Loved the recap, David!

      If his primary goal was merely to survive, he’d stay far under the radar and in the safe Vale.But his always-and-forever goal is not to survive but to climb the ladder to the Iron Throne.Pitting sister against sister is dangerous but perhaps the most likely route to the Iron Throne.

      1. Yes, duh2.Yes, duh.3.Yes!!!And wearing his face, which she peels off with her handy-dandy new dagger, she could possibly meet with Cersei as Littlefinger and end Cersei with that same dagger!Or perhaps LF will approach Jaime first, take Jaime’s face, and then valonqar!!!!

      When Azor Ahai and his 12 companions set out on a journey to the north, only AA returned alive.Now AAR sets out with 12 companions on a journey to the north, six of whom we know and four of whom I love.I could do without Thoros and Beric once Beric shares with Jon (AAR) the secret to lighting the sword (Lightbringer) with his undead blood.

      I loved it!!!Yes, it had its foibles, like Bronn, the Merman of Blackwater Rush.But I loved the Jon Targaryen revelation so hard.I loved that Dany is embracing more and more her Fire and Blood nature, and I hope that will slowly bring fans to realize the truth about what a joyful ruler she would make.I doubt it, but a girl can wish.I loved our goodbyes to the Tarlys.I loved Tyrion’s tortured dilemma.I loved the sister-drama and LF subterfuge.I loved the Jon-Drogon chemistry.I loved the Hound’s “Let’s fucking do this thing” attitude.I loved our boys who hate each other uniting together on a hopeless mission that is sure to be awesome!

      YES, your theory about Arya/Littlefinger-face/Jaime-face is what I’ve been thinking since Missandei mentioned that “Prince” in High Valyrian could be male or female. And to that, I found this online:

      “Several of the people hypothesized as the valonqar are females. As Maester Aemon informs Samwell Tarly that the word used to indicate the Prince that was Promised in the prophecy concerning this prince could have been indicating a “princess” as well, it has been speculated that there might be more gender-neutral words in High Valyrian. As such, it has been speculated that “valonqar” cannot only mean “little brother”, but also “little sister”, or “little sibling”.”

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    80. Jon Snowed,

      Jon and Dany are both monarchs already.

      Jon, especially, already rules (albeit in an absentee fashion at the moment) a huge chunk of land where his supporters are the sole functioning government. That Cersei and Dany both also claim that land is irrelevant; the British monarch claimed to be King of France until 1802, but that didn’t make Louis XIV any less of a king.

      Dany’s case is somewhat more ambiguous as to the ambit of her control, but with all those Westermen and Reachmen bending the knee this episode, it’s presumably not insignificant.

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    81. I can’t wait to see Jon Targaryen and his Superfriends in action next Sunday!

      (even though they won’t all make it back)

      The frantic pace of this season forced them to leave out some pretty cool moments (Tyrion thinking Jaime was dead, or a frantic escape for Jaime/Bronn… Varys taking Jon aside to discuss what happened between Littlefinger and Ned…. Jorah Mormont doing more than saying “Hi/Bye” and explaining how he got that cool new armor… – These would have been great)

      But, Jon having a “How to Train Your Dragon” moment with Drogon leaves me so happy that the “missed” moments are forgotten as quickly as Gendry walked out on his old “job/life”.

      Apparently there are several teleportation devices now available in Westeros. But, I won’t quibble. It was a fantastic episode with a bunch of information to process (and I, for one, am just glad that all the money spent on dragon skulls for the basement lounge of the Red Keep were used for more than one scene this year! Qyburn must PAY for defiling Balerion “the Black Dread”!!!

      He…. Must….. Pay!!!

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    82. Ser Not Appearing in this Series,

      Do you mean that it seems to be all men who are dying (with a few exceptions)? Does this mean that GRRM intends for the eventual ruler to be a woman?

      I also note all the White Walkers are male but if they are to be annihilated then this may not be significant.

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    83. Well! A. Essay from someone that ships Dany-Jorah? Well! I do think that she might now have more complicated and not entirely PG feelings about him – in the past she could use Darrio as a non-threatening (to her position) outlet. Now though… it could be interesting since she also seems to be crushing on Jon. Please don’t kill Jorah. Or at least please give me some Jon-Jorah dialogue if you do. ;_;

      viki,

      Sansa did warn Arya though, if offhandedly. She said with Arya present – “he’s not a generous man – he would not give (the dagger) to you without wanting something back”.

      Arya is ridiculous. “If you don’t behead people for talking against Jon then you’re a traitor too” wtf…!? Well at least Arya is still a bit off kilter… it seemed a bit unrealistic that she would so easily go back to being “normal” After assassin school. Sansa will have to out play LF to keep her own sister on her side… interesting at least. I’m surprised that they are positioning Arya as the villain (or patsy?) here, but it makes sense I guess. Arya really did not learn subtlety from the FM.

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    84. Boojam,

      I could be wrong, but I believe that dragonglass was lost in the hut at Hardhome where Jon, Tormund & Co met with the Free Folk elders to convince them to come beyond the Wall and also fight the WW. IIRC they show Jon try to retrieve the satchel with the glass as the hut is burning down.

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    85. Dolorous JENN,

      Not specifically men, I realise I left out Lady Maege Mormont and Olenna Tyrell – although not head of the house she was the senior Tyrell left standing.

      Just that the older and more powerful the characters are, the more vulnerable they appear to be. The great Houses are falling or severely weakened. This leaves the future in the hands of the young, perhaps open to new ideas especially of political and social change – once the minor matters of war and the Army of the Dead are dealt with anyway…

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    86. What Sansa should have said:

      A: “Behead them! Arrr!”
      S: “Ok, the have 3,000 men between them. What if they leave? That’s part of how Robb lost, you know. Brienne told me. Mother told her. I mention that so people don’t nitpick over how I know this. In fact, what if the entire Vale declares for Cersei?”
      A: “The disrespected Jon! ”
      S: “YOU SHOULD SEE HOW THEY TALK TO HIM WHEN HE’S HERE! This is the North. They bitch and moan all the time”
      A: “KILL! GRRR!! AAHHHH!”
      S: “You know, when we took Winterfell, I advocated Jon punish the Karstark and Umber kids. The Umber boy is younger than Bran. Jon showed mercy. And they sided with the Boltons. So, do you think Jon would want someone beheaded over a little disagreement?”
      A: “Where are they now?”
      S: “Yeah, not telling you.”
      A: “You just love to rule!”
      S: “Yes, I do. After getting tortured by Joffrey, browbeaten by Cersei, married off against my will to Tyrion and then married again to a sadistic rapist, I like being in charge. When all this is over, I plan on ruling again somewhere. I’ll give to North back to Jon and go run the Vale or Riverrun”
      A: “FINE! I’m going to go kill something. GRRR! ARRR!!”
      S: “Be home by 9:30”

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    87. One of my favorite smaller moments in this thoroughly excellent episode, both initially and upon rewatch, is Gendry meeting Jon. I love how he strides boldly into the cave and, against Davos’s counsel, declares that he’s the son of Robert Baratheon. Gendry’s always been a humble lad, but after thinking that he was a mistake his entire life, having years to reflect on the idea that he is the son of the former king has clearly instilled in him a belief that he was destined for a greater purpose, if not necessarily power. Jon can relate. It was great to see the two of them quickly bonding of their (presumed) bastard status and reminiscing about how their (presumed) fathers, Robert and Ned, were best friends who “fought together and won”.

      That interaction would have been incredibly powerful even if there were no deeper layers to unpack. But of course, the fact that Jon is actually Rhaegar Targaryen’s son, that their fathers were enemies who fought against one another rather than together, and Gendry’s father killed Jon’s father using a warhammer very similar to the one Gendry now wields … it’s ironic, but absolutely fascinating, and powerful in its own right. Jon and Gendry believe one thing. The audience knows the truth. But it works on every level. The son of Robert Baratheon and Rhaegar Targaryen are now friends and brothers-in-arms. The world can sometimes bring the strangest people together!

      I do wish that Gendry had mentioned Arya to Jon. They’d have some stories to share. But this was only their initial meeting, and they are now going beyond the Wall together. There will be time for such conversations … and if they both survive, perhaps they’ll both reunite with Arya at the same time when they return to Winterfell.

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    88. Sean C.:
      I guess the writers needed there to be a record for Sam to find and thus went with annulment over the probable book explanation of Rhaegar taking Lyanna as a second wife (certainly, annulment isn’t possible there).

      That makes show Rhaegar especially dickish to Elia and their children, but small prices, I guess.

      So much sorrow for Elia. Personally, I’d rather have an annulment from my husband than a sister-wife. And we don’t have the backstory.

      Perhaps Elia was a bitch like some of the Sandbitches. Perhaps she betrayed or was unfaithful to Rhaegar and instead of chopping off her head, he gently annulled their marriage. Or perhaps he explained the prophecies and that the fate of the entire world rested on his having another child – which it does. It really, really does. And so she consented to having their marriage annulled so that the third head or that TPTWP could be born.

      Or perhaps Rhaegar was a dick. But we just don’t know.

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    89. Another small moment that I love in this episode is Dickon showing solidarity with his father Randyll even in the face of fiery death, and Randyll reaching out to grasp his son’s forearm as they face down the dragon. Yes, Randyll was an asshole, especially to Sam. Yes, Dickon is probably a fool for choosing death. But assholes can still love their sons, and fools can still love their fathers. And while they were clearly afraid, the Tarly men faced their deaths bravely and together. I thought that last week’s episode did a great job establishing Dickon as a sympathetic character in particular, and I’ve always loved James Faulkner’s performance as Randyll – he was perfect for the role. Necessary deaths, perhaps, but I will miss them both.

      And every single damn thing that Davos Seaworth said in this episode was pure gold. Dude delivered an MVP performance. “Nothing fucks you harder than time,” and “Nobody mind me. All I’ve ever done is live to a ripe old age!” were particular favorites of mine.

      But when it came to the single biggest laugh of the entire episode for me, Davos had the assist, and Tyrion was the one dunking the ball. After Gendry kills the two Gold Cloaks with his hammer, Davos turns to Tyrion, shrugs, and says “This is Gendry.”

      Tyrion: “He’ll do.”

      I was in fucking stitches. You really had to be there.

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    90. Redx,

      I think Sam was so wrapped up in his own annoyance with the maesters that he wasn’t really paying attention, plus Gilly mispronunced Rhaegar’s name.

      And yes, Sam doesn’t know that Lyanna is Jon’s mum, but news that Crown Prince Rhaegar had his marriage to Elia annulled and secretly married someone else isn’t common knowledge so that is pretty big news, even if Sam doesn’t realize there’s any connection to Jon. Maybe he’ll recall it at some later date.

      Oh, and didn’t Sam give Gilly’s book to toddler Sam. Oh dear, toddlers and books… If it ever turns up again, it’ll be all torn and messy, lol!

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    91. BranTheBlessed:
      I cannot believe people are not talking about Dany and Cersei. This episode suggests the war will be put on the backburner.

      Does this mean, contrary to popular belief, the Whitewalkers will be dealt with first? That the Great war isn’t really the ‘Great’ war? The scrap for the Iron throne resumes in season 8???

      There’s no way they are going to have 6 episodes of “Westerosi avengers” with all the good guys teaming up against the WW. That has at most… 2 episodes.

      So, There is definitely going to be politicking next season. While I agree with Jaime an armistice obviously makes sense I found Cersei weirdly persuasive esp. given the Tarlys. Could Dany and Tyrion really allow J&C to live at this point?? I think not – not even in exile. Tyrion did not explicitly promise a pardon. Just asked for a meeting.

      I suspect Cersei will still sit the IT at the end of the season. It would be IMO a total disgrace if Jaime randomly kills her in the next 2 hours of television – a break needs to be a TON more gradual esp given he’s now been roped back in with the baby BS. But who knows, the pace is really fast now… maybe there’s some kind of panic moment if There is a meeting where Jaime realizes they’ll all die if he doesn’t disable Cersei… but I don’t think he could do it believing she’s carrying a child of his – not after watching his own daughter die in his arms. It would be super OOC.

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    92. GeekFurious:
      I roll my eyes in the general direction of anyone who thinks this was a “great” episode. They yadda-yadda’d through too much. Had characters NOT have basic logic conversations (Gendry meets his former survivor-mate’s brother and never mentions Arya? Or Jorah shows up and never mentions who cured him? Dany just set his family on fire… and he’s Jon’s best friend… important conversations anyone would reasonably have).

      The way Jaime & Bronn end up down the river was silly as well. They held their breath the entire time? The river barely seemed like it was moving fast. Ugh… this show. Sometimes, this show is so dumb. At least next week’s episode will distract its stupidity with tons of action.

      I consider this the first F of the series. 5 out of 10. A demonstration of everything wrong with the show.

      I find it funny that an F is a 5/10 lol, I’d think that’s more of a D Grade or C-.

      Anyways, while it wasn’t the best of the season I feel like the episode did hit all necessary points to move forward.

      Not sure why people are upset with Danys decision to burn the two Tarlys. I felt like that was something Jon did similar with Janos Slynt…Its ruthless yes, but sometimes its easier to kill few to save many. Doing what she did convinced the other soldiers to also bend the knee, if she had simply had them killed by Dothraki I’m sure others may have stood up to her as well. Same with Jon, he could of easily let Janos go after he pled mercy and all that. But no, letting him live may had let others think they could disobey him. Granted in the end, Jon’s own men killed him…

      Loved the Gendry and Jon scene, just two guys hanging out, talking about their Dads, felt like that scene should of been at a pub with some ale. Hope we get an Arya mention next week with them, then the Hound can throw his two cents in about Arya as well.

      Drogon and Jon. I’ve waited more then a decade for Jon to meet a Dragon. Finally, it didn’t disappoint. I saw the Inside the Episode, Kit talks about how you approach a horse by letting them smell you first and trust you, worked with the Dragon I’d say! Helps that you might smell a bit like Mum as well eh?

      I really liked the ending as well, seeing that cast of characters together gave me feels. I can’t wait for next week, I want to see the Hound vs some Wights!

      Dany and Jon…well, its going to happen. I like how Mel said she brought Ice and Fire together a few eps back, not knowing herself that she brought Ice and Fire back from the dead a season ago. So close Mel.

      Side note, I’d love if its revealed LF is actually a Faceless Man.

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    93. viki,

      I was also surprised niether Gendry nor The Hound mentioned Arya to Jon. Yet, the Hound is the Hound, and he basically said nothing except “can we stop talking and go north for f**ksake?”. Moreover, Jon saying “I didn’t know Arya was alive, I didn’t know Bran was alive” is all we’ve got as far as Jon is expressing feelings… Maybe it’s not so important, as you say, it’s only for viewers of the show, but maybe it’s also what reinforces Jon’s motivation to fight the dead, and he’s a man of few words so that’s all we can get from him.

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    94. Ginevra,

      He was a dick. Giving the Crown of Love and Beauty to another man’s fiancée in front of your own wife is a dick move.

      Now, there’s been a few theories that Elia was a little like Stannis’ wife in that she approved for mystical reasons. But she had a son, who was the real prince.

      And also, Rhaegar’s move can directly be traced to Elia and the kids’ deaths.

      1) Rhaegar pulls his stunt
      2) Doran, infuriated at what happened to Elia, doesn’t enthusiastically help in Robert’s Rebellion
      3) The Mad King, infuriated at that, holds Elia and the kids hostage
      4) Enter the Mountain

      Fuck Rhaegar. I said it. Fuck that pretty boy jackass. I’m glad Robert killed him and I hope he gets to rekill him over and over again, wherever they are.

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    95. BranTheBlessed:
      Rheagar was the crown prince though, not the King. I’m not sure how his offspring becomes heir over Aerys’.

      Yes, Rhaegar is 2nd in line, which makes his children be 3rd in line over Rhaegar’s siblings. This is the case regardless of whether Rhaegar lives or not, which is awesome because if the clause only worked if Rhaegar lived, there wouldn’t be a clear line of succession if we didn’t know if the king or crowned prince were the first to die. There is a clear line of succession regardless of who dies when.

      Here is an explanation:

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    96. WorfWWorfington,

      Yeah I’ve been a Rhaegar supporter in the past but an annulment!? That’s a step too far. He made his kids Rhaenys and Aegon into bastards, and his Wife Elia is tossed aside Because he changed his mind about how to interpret a prophecy. For like the 3rd time, too (first he thought he was tptwp then he thought Aegon was). There’s no way Elia would be on board with her children being disinherited.

      Fuck Rhaegar, seriously.

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    97. Boojam: Saying Dickon is confused with Rikon >Stark<?
      Think Bran or Arya will ever ask?

      I doubt they will. Rickon had how many lines in the entire series? I fear we won’t be exploring his death. We’ll get that in the books, though! When we get those books….

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    98. All the shippers in the world are cheering for Jon and Daenerys to get together while I sit here counting down the days until Ser Jorah Mormont of Bear Island returns to Daenerys’ loving arms and rules the seven kingdoms by her side.

      Take comfort. You are not alone.

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    99. “It was an upsetting casualty of the season’s hurried pace.”

      For me, this sums up the season so far. Don’t get me wrong, in many ways the episodes have been brilliant (hence my shouting/cheering/gleefully bouncing in my seat), but powerful and poignant moments are getting lost in transition and rushed scenes. I completely understand D&D are working hard to bring the show to a close, but they are sacrificing needed exposition. For example, in last night’s episode, the scene in the map room as they discuss capturing a wight, Dany’s long looks at Jon and her unspoken words that you could tell she willfully held back, THAT conveyed to me a budding attraction. Just a few more moments to naturally let the plot unfold sold it for me, not the dragon glass cave scenes previously.

      Like I said, many beautiful moments thus far this season but way too much needed exposition lost from a show that once broke the mold on great story telling. I’m not a filmmaker, and I don’t mean to be too critical, because I truly admire all the people that make this beautiful story come alive. But as a fan, I’m admittedly feeling more disappointed with every episode.

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    100. Lady Pounce:
      Boojam,

      I could be wrong, but I believe that dragonglass was lost in the hut at Hardhome where Jon, Tormund & Co met with the Free Folk elders to convince them to come beyond the Wall and also fight the WW. IIRC they show Jon try to retrieve the satchel with the glass as the hut is burning down.

      I’m sure Boo means the dragonglass from the cave – their whole point in going to Dragonstone. And we do see The Hound wielding an axe that is probably dragonglass in the trailer.

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    101. Jared:
      Another small moment that I love in this episode is Dickon showing solidarity with his father Randyll even in the face of fiery death, and Randyll reaching out to grasp his son’s forearm as they face down the dragon. Yes, Randyll was an asshole, especially to Sam. Yes, Dickon is probably a fool for choosing death. But assholes can still love their sons, and fools can still love their fathers. And while they were clearly afraid, the Tarly men faced their deaths bravely and together. I thought that last week’s episode did a great job establishing Dickon as a sympathetic character in particular, and I’ve always loved James Faulkner’s performance as Randyll – he was perfect for the role. Necessary deaths, perhaps, but I will miss them both.

      Me, too! I cheered the way that Dickon left us!!! Last year, he was a twat. This year, he’s a hero. And I believe he was intentionally painted sympathetically last episode to make Dany’s move this episode look much less sympathetic. Both actors did such a great job.

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    102. Overall, I liked the episode. The most chilling scene was Jon touching Drogon…Man, Drogon showed some serious acting skills there. Arguably the best dragon actor out there in the world. Apart from that, absolutely loved Gendry reunion and super intrigued by LFs gameplan. I guess the writers have stuck to the original LF theme of keeping the viewers confused about his motives (kudos to that). I have genuinely no idea where his story arc is going.

      That said, I did find the plan to capture a wight and bring it to Cersei really stupid. The writing of that plot point almost seems very superficial and uncharacteristic of GoT. Moreover, I feel the scene b/w Tyrion n Jamie did not reach its full potential. It seemed badly edited. I’m sure their reunion was better flushed out in the script and got edited out…Sigh, that was one of the scenes I was really excited to see last week but it kinda fizzled out. Anyways, those were my 2 coppers about the episode. Absolutely terrified for next week. I predict we’ll be saying goodbye to numerous of our beloved characters.

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    103. Jared:
      Another small moment that I love in this episode is Dickon showing solidarity with his father Randyll even in the face of fiery death, and Randyll reaching out to grasp his son’s forearm as they face down the dragon. Yes, Randyll was an asshole, especially to Sam. Yes, Dickon is probably a fool for choosing death. But assholes can still love their sons, and fools can still love their fathers. And while they were clearly afraid, the Tarly men faced their deaths bravely and together. I thought that last week’s episode did a great job establishing Dickon as a sympathetic character in particular, and I’ve always loved James Faulkner’s performance as Randyll – he was perfect for the role. Necessary deaths, perhaps, but I will miss them both.

      And every single damn thing that Davos Seaworth said in this episode was pure gold. Dude delivered an MVP performance. “Nothing fucks you harder than time,” and “Nobody mind me. All I’ve ever done is live to a ripe old age!” were particular favorites of mine.

      But when it came to the single biggest laugh of the entire episode for me, Davos had the assist, and Tyrion was the one dunking the ball. After Gendry kills the two Gold Cloaks with his hammer, Davos turns to Tyrion, shrugs, and says “This is Gendry.”

      Tyrion: “He’ll do.”

      I was in fucking stitches. You really had to be there.

      I like and agree with all your points here!

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    104. Ginevra,

      “Maybe they brought some with them.
      Seems Sam made it back to CB with a small pile of dragon glass , why not stop by there and pick some of that up?”

      The glass Sam brought back to Castle Black from the ranging with Lord Cmmdr Mormont back in S2 was the glass lost at Hardhome, therefore they could not stop by CB to pick some up.

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    105. QueenofThrones,

      That’s not what annulment does; the kids are still legitimate. It just means his new kid and wife are also legitimate AND means that he and Elia are free to re-marry and remain in communion with the church. Everyone gets this wrong. This is Rhaegar being honorable.

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    106. It was truly wonderful , i was pretty sure that Jaime and Bronn survived , even though the thought was that Daenerys captured them , i thought when i saw Jaime and Bronn that it would be some Dothrakis there to deliver them to Dany , i must say i was glad there wasn´t .

      Daenerys did what i thought she would do , to demand loyalty of the Tarlys and the Lannister soldiers or burn them , did she do the right thing? , yes she did , because she didn´t kill the them right off , and when the Tarlys said no she burned them , to show that she was serious , though im not a lover of the Tarlys you must admire them to hold there ground to Daenerys and Drogon . I though wonder if Drogons wound from the battle is truly healed because Daenerys couldn´t rub that arrow shot from the ballista , maybe its like people say , that Drogon is a big boy , Cersei must own a truly big ace card to bring down the dragons of miss Targaryen.

      It was a truly lovely scene with Tyrion when he meet Jaime , Jaime was as furious as i thought he would be on Tyrion and why wouldn´t Jaime be that , Dinklage , Waldau was brilliant as the scenes with Headey , Waldau . Its obvious that Jaime doesn´t believe that they could defeat Daenerys dragons , he sees the things clearer and clearer , which you not could say with Cersei , she yet thinks that she could bring them down ( to be honest i thought that to , im not so sure now though) it seems that Cersei is a bit to confident , dragons isn´t wolves , wolves doesn´t breed fire dragons do . I would say that its advantage Daenerys Targaryen .

      Littlefingers plotting is truly the most intresting to follow in the North , i think it was Varys that said that Littlefinger is the most dangerous man in Westeros , agree , he has truly shown that , thats why its so intresting to follow Littlefinger , the scene with Arya following Littlefinger shows why hes so dangerous , hes a master of plotting , i loved that scene when Littlefinger sees Arya that play of Aidan Gillen is brilliant , i would love to see Littlefinger whole this season to see if he can divide the wolf pack , i think he could i do .

      Walkers is close now truly close , wow thats a army , a divided Westeros , is not to the advantage to Westeros.

      Wonderful to see Jorah Mormont , i truly like Jorah though he betrayed Dany its so obvious that he loves Daenerys , who doesn´t ?

      So to end this what was my favorite scene , of course it was when Jon Snow touched Drogon , thanks to Dany i love dragons .

      SnowDragon former SnowWolf.

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    107. Ginevra,

      I’m sure they did too. Perhaps showing the mining going on in the background on Dragonstone was to communicate that yes, they have some at the ready now.

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    108. Elizabethe:
      QueenofThrones,

      That’s not what annulment does; the kids are still legitimate. It just means his new kid and wife are also legitimate AND means that he and Elia are free to re-marry and remain in communion with the church. Everyone gets this wrong. This is Rhaegar being honorable.

      Exactly. Although such a move would most likely create a succession crisis with heirs from both marriages making claims. And it did, even sooner and for a different reasons, but still… We’re still owed an explanation why exactly Rhaegar chose to take this way, he knew the risks so he must have had a damn good reason ( prophecy is OK, but must be more detailed ). Another explanation I would like is of why neither Rhaegar nor Lyanna sent a message to Ned, explaining how it is and stopping the war, or at least taking away some bitterness out of it.

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    109. I wasn’t happy with the Jaime/Tyrion reunion either. These writers really can’t handle reunions, can they? Still, I’m glad Jaime found out about the WW. Seeing all the players fight the WW together would be thrilling! In Ozzy Man’s voice: F**k yes, mate, f**k yes!

      Jon’s legitimate! His is the song of ice and fire! The Jon/Drogon scene was touching and epic, and once again showed how different Jon and Dany are.

      It’s both hilarious and terrifying how bad Arya is at the game of thrones. The FM training better help her see through LF’s lies, she didn’t earn all that stuff off-screen for nothing! Loved how protective of Jon Arya is. Their connection is my favourite thing in the books. Too bad Arya’s too quick to turn on Sansa. D&D’s depiction of Arya often annoys me.

      Loved the Varys/Tyrion parallels. “I’m not the one doing it”. Dany is dead to me after burning the Tarlys alive. Westeros deserves better than Cersei or Dany. Westeros deserves the Starks or democracy, Dany’s simply not worthy.

      I’m glad Jon left, I hate the use of insta-lust in storytelling, it’s lazy and it never works. I hope this is the end of Dany’s silly infatuation with Jon.

      Sandor better survive the trip.

      Things I didn’t like: 1. All the missed opportunities of people actually talking and connecting the dots. 2. Jon finds out Arya and Bran are alive and we don’t get an emotional reaction from him? 3. The writers once again throwing Jaime under the bus. Cersei’s pregnancy better be fake.

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    110. Going back to Arya and Inside the Episode, Dan says:

      Arya is very used to being more clever and more stealthy [at which point Stannis would say, “cleverer and stealthier”] and smarter than any of the people she’s up against. And she hasn’t dealt with Littlefinger for a while so she gets roped into spying on somebody who’s actually leadinger her by the nose to something that he wants her to have.

      He’s looking for a way to prevent this sister bond from developing further, because the tighter that bond is, the more definitively he is caught on the outside of it. On the Sansa end of the relationship, he’s seen the opening, and now all he needs to do is give Arya cause to display real rage toward Sansa, and he knows that with what’s going on in Sansa’s head with regards to Arya and how dangerous she is, when Arya starts to act dangerous and act angry, he knows where Sansa’s going to turn.

      So, LF wants Arya to rage against Sansa, which will make Sansa ripe for his plucking. I see both of these things going down. Arya will rage against Sansa. Sansa will betray Jon and Arya and stage a coup with LF. However, eventually, Sansa will come to her senses and back to House Stark, redeeming herself somehow – perhaps by plotting with Arya to take down LF.

      Such good stuff in this video!

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    111. Ginevra,

      One of the things that makes Game of Thrones so fantastic is the way that it’s able to establish these smaller characters as sympathetic, complex, and worthwhile in such an efficient and effective manner. Randyll and Dickon only appeared in five episodes of the entire show, and they were only rarely the central focus of their scenes. But they made the most of their screentime, conveyed their characters’ perspectives concisely and powerfully, and as a result, their deaths had real weight. And credit to the acting as you say – James Faulkner and Tom Hopper (and Freddie Stroma, to a smaller extent) did their jobs well. I hope that they’ll be receiving a Curtain Call later this week!

      Dutch Maester,

      Another great line! Davos, killing it left and right. Personally, I would argue that anytime a character pronounces the word “fucked” as “fooked”, the comedic value of what they’re saying doubles (conservative estimate). Shouts to Ser Bronn, Ygritte, and Karl Tanner, the fooking legend of Gin Alley!

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    112. Jared:

      The son of Robert Baratheon and Rhaegar Targaryen are now friends and brothers-in-arms. The world can sometimes bring the strangest people together!

      And for me, this highlights what Jon is attempting to bring about – an alliance of the living regardless of past allegiances. He says it himself in Dragonstone when he pardons Ned Umber and Alys Karstark. Yesterday’s wars don’t matter any more.

      Although he doesn’t know it, Jon’s companions really signify the tenuous alliance that will be needed to defeat the Night King. He must fight alongside the son of the man who killed his father; the brother of the man who killed his.

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    113. I have so much to say but I just realized something.

      Gendry, Thoros, Beric, The Hound–they all traveled with/spent time with/held for ransom-Arya. For Gendry and the Hound-she dramatically changed their paths and they genuinely cared for her.
      I wonder if ANYONE will mention her to Jon on their icy journey.

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    114. Evi,

      What Dany did is no different to what the Starks did/do to their traitors or enemies. Honorable Ned Stark wouldn’t even have given Tarlys a choice as Dany did. He would have lopped their heads right off.

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    115. Miss Stark,

      This could be D&D nod to the GNC and it would work. I have to tell you, I’d be completely in favor of LF getting played by Ned’s kids.

      The game has changed in a way that can’t be emphasized enough. 3 eyed Bran, FM/lying game Arya, Thrice Bitten/Thrice Cynical Sansa
      Jon in contact w/ Varys and Tyrion and the Hound–all people who know LF well and what he’s done.

      “The lone wolf dies but the pack survives”

      Yes, I’m clinging to hope, but there’s some sound reasoning behind it. 🙂

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    116. talvikorppi,

      The Maesters laughing snootily about the North and prophecies as Sam left the room. Mentioned Jenny of Oldstones who said she was related to the CotF AND ludos? who said the Drowned God would overtake Aegon (which kind of makes me worry about Euron’s plans)

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    117. Ginevra,

      Ginevra: Arya is very used to being more clever and more stealthy [at which point Stannis would say, “cleverer and stealthier”] and smarter than any of the people she’s up against. And she hasn’t dealt with Littlefinger for a while so she gets roped into spying on somebody who’s actually leadinger her by the nose to something that he wants her to have.

      Ah… that explains why she was not able to somehow detect the littlefinger lurking in the shadow. I see. I was disappointed with Arya earlier because I was expecting she should have been good with this, after all those time training in the darkness of her blindness. I was expecting her to detect any presence hiding in the “dark” easily or else she would have not defeated the waif way back in season 6.

      What I,m saying is Arya was overconfident she miss out how dangerous littlefinger is.

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    118. Night Knight:
      Yep Sansa at least listens. Not too long ago she too wanted to chop peoples heads off.

      I don’t think Sansa was advocating chopping the Karstark and Umber heirs’ heads off. She wanted to attaint the houses = give their lands and titles to other, loyal houses. The kids would’ve lived, though not in the style they were accustomed to.

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    119. The Tarlys went out in style and with pride. They made their choice but the means of their execution leave a bad taste. Was it a coincidence that Daenerys burned father and son in full armor, just like her father did? I don’t think so. Pretty bad PR move for sure.
      Her legal power to send them join the NW might be contested, but she had the actual power. Once they have taken the oaths, it’s over and done with. The Wall itself shouldn’t have much left so these juristic niceties won’t matter soon.

      OK, I saw some ( erm ) chemistry at Dragonstone this week. Just on one side, as Jon is true to his words : “There’s no time for this”. The guy means business. Nice development. Daenerys got a crush on Jon, but he is more interested with the NK than her. That should persuade her to take the icy bastard out of the equation. She even forgot her “Bend the knee” refrain, yay.

      It’s amusing how quick ppl got what’s going on in WF. Let’s wait till it’s over, OK? I’m sure there are more layers and twists to come in this story. For instance, we saw LF talking to Glover and Royce, but we didn’t hear the actual conversation. They might have been plotting, but it could’ve been just a pose on the side of LF. As Brienne recently said: “Don’t launch”. At this point I’m happy with Arya taking a peek in Sansa’s mind and finding exactly what was expected: it’s not pretty. And Sansa obviously fighting her own darker urges, so far successfully. It was all a setup, not a conclusion, and it looks promising.
      Oh, and the new WF maester needs to do something different than just taking care of the ravens (off screen) and fetching messages (on screen). One doesn’t need a chain from The Citadel to do that.

      So our jolly band of bastards and broken things went out to fight the cripples? Too bad they won’t have enough screen time for interactions, it’s pure gold. So much potential wasted, the show definitely could’ve used at least one episode more.

      So next episode Jon brings a wight south and presents it into society… when? In the last episode? Damn, no Jon and Arya reunion this year or it will be too rushed even for this rushed out season. But then we had plenty of reunions so far, maybe it’s a good thing leaving some for later. The Hound and Gendry are also waiting.

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    120. Best moments for me

      Jon and Drogon-Drogon’s eye close up. Really felt that connection and couldn’t be happier–unless Rhaegal or other two dragons had joined them-all wanting a pet from Rhaegar’s son lol

      Sam explaining how easily Maesters could solve the damn problem-then saying fook it and stealing all the books

      R+L=marriage!! Twu Wuv!! I hope we get a flashback and find out who stopped her raven from getting to her family and told people she was kidnapped against her will instead.

      Every word Davos says. Every. Word.

      Tyrion and Varys–so what does it say?

      GENDRY!!! I’m still excited that he finally came back!! He showed up again in the books FYI-so it isn’t just a show thing. Gendry has an important role to play-I just wish he’d showed up a little sooner and mentioned Arya. But still–GENDRY!!

      Finally-my favorite raiding party in the history of Westeros. I want them to fight together, but I don’t want anyone to die. I probably won’t get my wish there.

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    121. RG,

      Ah, thank you! Couldn’t make out that bit of dialogue on either of my two watches but didn’t pause/rewind. Now I know I should’ve!

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    122. BranTheBlessed:
      Evi,

      What Dany did is no different to what the Starks did/do to their traitors or enemies. Honorable Ned Stark wouldn’t even have given Tarlys a choice as Dany did. He would have lopped their heads right off.

      I so agree there , that was what i loved with that scene Daenerys offered them to join her , it was a demand yes , but a demand where they could chose fire and blood or join her , to those who think it was cold of Dany to burn Tarlys well i could only say that Dany did so to show she was serious , Tarlys did the same mistake as Eddard Stark when hed didn´t swor loyalty to Joffrey and look where it ended for Eddard , he as the Tarlys where to honorable .

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    123. as an ironic twist I so wish Karl Tanner was on the Fellowship of Winter mission with the Catspaw dagger

      Dead WW’s coming right up

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    124. I am hoping that Sansa is running a long con on LF, and has Arya in on it. The door was open (?) when Arya argued with her – Sansa would know that LF probably has spies around.
      Sansa is supposed to be so politically smart now, makes no sense for the maester to be talking directly to LF without her knowledge.
      And FM-trained Arya getting caught spying with her own face? Not buying it. I think the wolves are circling.
      Prior to this episode, I was worried about what trap LF could be setting, not buying the “lame LF” that people complained about. It is too conspicuous in her ep1 enemies speech that Cersei doesn’t mention him. My other fear was that Sansa was playing a game but would get herself tragically killed because her siblings didn’t know she was really on their side.
      Because this is GoT I still worry that LF will cause lasting damage on his way out, but feeling more perversely confident that Sansa has been on top of it all along.
      Maybe because one character (Jaime) remaining persistently weak in the clutches of an antagonist is enough!! (and Sansa is not blinded by love)

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    125. I have to put forward another possibility about Rhaegar getting an annulment from Elia. It’s possible that Elia knew all about his plans and approved. They had a political and, for all we know, open marriage. This was Oberyn’s sister, people. She could have picked out Lyanna herself.

      We don’t know for certain that getting an annulment makes Elia’s children illegitimate. I think Rhaegar just wanted to be sure that no one could contest his marriage to Lyanna.

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    126. seenGhost?,

      They seemed to play up the chemistry between both Jon and Dany

      Eg Dany suddenly seems pained at the idea of Jon leaving and going in harms way, and Jon seems to be developing a slightly irritated/jealous/competitive look when Ser Jorah is hugging Dany

      The cave played a role, but it seems to have been the Drogon moment which was the real catalyst (and in the same episode we hear the Gilly bomb lol)

      Liked the way they lined up in the Eastwatch tunnel, eg Tormund next to Ser Jorah, then Gendry alongside Beric lol

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    127. love the review. it was heaven for a dany x jorah shipper like me. whether they end up romantically or not, it doesn’t matter as much. they know and understand how much they mean to each other. here’s to hoping as well that he still has a place by her side.

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    128. rfresa:
      We don’t know for certain that getting an annulment makes Elia’s children illegitimate.

      That’s what an annulment means. If you were never married in the first place, you can’t have legitimate children.

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    129. Sukeone:
      Dark Sister,

      Sam gave the book he was reading 2 lil Sam not the 1 Gilly had

      I re-watched the scene. Seems to me he gave the boy neither his nor her book but one between them on the pile. Let’s hope it was not hers, at least, and that they took the book with them when they left ; but then, why show us this ????

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    130. rfresa:
      I have to put forward another possibility about Rhaegar getting an annulment from Elia. It’s possible that Elia knew all about his plans and approved. They had a political and, for all we know, open marriage. This was Oberyn’s sister, people. She could have picked out Lyanna herself.

      We don’t know for certain that getting an annulment makes Elia’s children illegitimate. I think Rhaegar just wanted to be sure that no one could contest his marriage to Lyanna.

      The children with Elia are legitimate, as they were born in wedlock, eg it’s the same as if Elia died of fever or something and Rhaegar re-married

      Or if Tywin re-married post Joanna death, any chidlren of Tywins second marriage would be legit but after Cersei/Jaimie/Tyrion in line of succession to CR

      In the books it’s mentioned Elia can’t really have any more children if I remember correctly because she was a tad sickly and the strain?

      What the annulment does is allow Rhaegar to have another wife and bear legitimate children

      I had always theorised they had just gone along with polygamous marriage as it was a legit Targ thing, eg Aegon the Conqueror with his sister-wives, and if Rhaegar had married Elia before a Septon in Sept of Baelor he would have married Lyanna in front of a Weir-Tree (Old Gods) and perhaps even the stump ring thing around Harrenhall coming to mind in particular if that works lol

      So does this mean Bran can annul any marriage made before the Old Gods, eg even the consumated marriage to Ramsay lol. Not sure if he has jurisdiction over the Tyrion wedding in the Sept of Baelor

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    131. SnowDragon:Tarlys did the same mistake as Eddard Stark when hed didn´t swor loyalty to Joffrey and look where it ended for Eddard , he as the Tarlys where to honorable .

      Actually, I think Randyll Tarly was just too racist and Dickon was just being a daddy’s boy.

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    132. Thought- Are we EVER going to see Ghost again?
      Maybe Bran can warg him and follow LF? Something-just to let us know our favorite direwolf is still alive.
      You’d think he’d be hanging out with Arya and Bran-excited to see them.

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    133. Sean C.: That’s what an annulment means.If you were never married in the first place, you can’t have legitimate children.

      Not necessarily in Westeros. All we know about that kind of annulment is that it was supposed to be unconsummated. I think this is more like a sexist divorce.

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    134. People attacking Arya after this episode failed to understand one basic thing about the character, one basic thing that has very much defined her in the novels: She adores Jon. There is hardly one Arya chapter where she doesn’t think about Jon. They have not seen each other for years, yet Arya often thinks of him:

      -She found herself wishing that Jon was here with her now. Then maybe she wouldn’t feel so alone.
      -How is it that you come to own a sword, Arya? Where did you get this?”
      Arya chewed her lip and said nothing. She would not betray Jon, not even to their father.
      -Needle was Jon Snow’s smile. He used to mess my hair and call me “little sister,” she remembered, and suddenly there were tears in her eyes.

      Others have mentioned that Jon-Arya is one of the strongest relationships in the series. I think is the most pure and loving relationship there is. No contest. Of course, Arya would have Jon’s back regardless of whom she would need to oppose. That is very much in character. And Jon loves her too because for every mention Jon got in her book chapters, Jon reciprocated in his. In fact, Jon you can argue decides to leave the Night’s Watch for Arya. He ends up finally giving up his stoic resolution to not take parts and honor his vows due to his desperation in wanting to save his little sister. The last thought in Jon’s head before he dies of his wounds are “stick them with the pointy end” a reference to his Arya.

      This bond is the reason why I was so anxious for Arya to get back to Winterfell. Jon is not always able to see the immediate threats around him because he rarely ever puts himself first, Arya can serve as his bodyguard and I’m okay with that.

      Arya is hot headed and has been like this forever and some of you are acting like you have just discovered this. Like she’s never ever before done the kill first asks questions second. Also some of you with your outrage are forgetting that a couple of episodes back, Sansa had wanted to punish the houses that fought against House Stark, even though whoever was left of those houses had nothing to do with the decision making. How is that very different from Arya being upset at Lords who are hinting at their readiness to abandon a King whom they had pledge their swords to by their own volition.

      Another thing to remember about Arya: She does not forget. Why do you think she has a list she means to complete? Because she doesn’t forget who has wronged her or her family. I am sure she has not forgotten the incident with Mycah and Sansa’s role in the ordeal. Sure tons of things have changed and Sansa has regretted her mistakes but is it incredibly difficult to understand where Arya is coming from?

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    135. Ghost’s Lunch: The children with Elia are legitimate, as they were born in wedlock, eg it’s the same as if Elia died of fever or something and Rhaegar re-married.

      An annulment is a statement that a marriage never happened in the first place. If Rhaegar and Elia were never married, then their children cannot be legitimate.

      Children born of an annulled marriage are illegitimate. Children of a divorce retain their legitimacy.

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    136. rfresa: Actually, I think Randyll Tarly was just too racist and Dickon was just being a daddy’s boy.

      Yeah would say that you have a point there , i though think they where as much to proud to swear loyalty to Daenerys .

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    137. Sean C.: An annulment is a statement that a marriage never happened in the first place.If Rhaegar and Elia were never married, then their children cannot be legitimate.

      Children born of an annulled marriage are illegitimate.Children of a divorce retain their legitimacy.

      And what does “setting aside a wife” mean? That’s how Sam explained the word. I think (though I’m not a native speaker) it’s more like a divorce. My guess is that they don’t want to make a difference between the annulment and the divorce. But maybe we learn more about it.

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    138. Dany should have roasted Cersei the moment she got to dragonstone. too bad she listened to Tyrion,and since when did Tyrion become so kind and soft? plus isn’t he the one that used wildfire on all the those sailors in the battle of blackwater, strangled his whore and murdered his father? Tyrion is like he has suddenly forgotten his past and he’s mahatma Gandhi.
      When Dany told Varys she’d burn him alive if he betrayed her he said “id expect nothing less from the mother of dragons.” Now he’s questioning her for burning traitors?!?? Wtf! GTFO varys!
      I like Gendry and Jon scenes. These two could really have a nice bond and friendship. Jorah is finally back! I love his reunion with Dany. It was a little weird for him seeing Jon so close to Dany..poor Jorah, back at the friendzone lol
      Cersei pregnant again..why i have a feeling this wont end well for her.. Another big battle next week! Yes! I can’t believe only two more episodes ugh..another hiatus will kill me.

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    139. ‘and raise you one Lord Friendzone”. lol

      Ah, i loved to see Jorah’s back. i will for sure rewatch more times, but yeah..i wish they didn’t make so obvious a almost love triangle situation there because i honestly find a little juvenile but oh boy..it was all over this moment..

      they really had to put Jorah saying he was going in the mission to serve dany, only to show jon looking at her and then jon saying that he would go..

      I was expecting seeing Jorah jealous getting to dragonstone cured only to see Dany and Jon so close.. because we remember how he was with Daario right? but seeing Jon jealous was SO GOOD, and left me shoock becuse it was blatantly obvious, and it was glorious

      but i have to said, tho i love jonerys and jon’s jealousy, what i really loved the most was to to see jorah’s back because i miss seeing dany smiling, and he is one of the few people that can truly make dany happy and make dany smile..so that made me really happy and it was such a tender moment..but the funniest for sure was when dany hugged jorah because i dont think jon saw dany acting like that with anyone so far, and i think that was the thing that made him jealous haha.

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    140. Ghost’s Lunch: So does this mean Bran can annul any marriage made before the Old Gods, eg even the consumated marriage to Ramsay lol. Not sure if he has jurisdiction over the Tyrion wedding in the Sept of Baelor

      The Tyrion Sansa thing is already invalid because never consumated : it was said at one point in the show that an unconsumated marriage was not real.

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    141. Episode 4 should have ended with Jaime and Bronn having swum to safety, and looking at the devastation that befell the army. We all knew Jaime wasn’t dead, and from the looks of it he basically escaped the battle unscathed.

      It’s not a complaint but as I suspected that scene probably would have been better at the end of episode 4. Apparently they felt a cliffhanger that fooled nobody was the better stopping point… and end on an adrenaline rush. Jaime saying, “That was just one of them. She has two more,” lines with the shot behind him would have been good. It was the moment he had time to reflect on what just happened and coming to the realization that if Daenerys goes ‘full bore’ they have little to no chance of winning. Meh, it all blends together during season rewatches anyway…

      I do like that they’re at least having Cersei understand and believe that she’s outmatched finally. It’s also realistic for her to respond as she is, with the idea of ‘going down fighting.’

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    142. p.s: I agree about Jaime and Tyrion’s reunion..that was weird..i was expecting a little more emotion and i honestly felt nothing!

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    143. Thi Targaryen:
      ‘and raise you one Lord Friendzone”. lol

      Ah, i loved to see Jorah’s back. i will for sure rewatch more times, but yeah..i wish they didn’t make so obvious a almost love triangle situation there because i honestly find a little juvenile but oh boy..it was all over this moment..

      they really had to put Jorah saying he was going in the mission to serve dany, only to show jon looking at her and then jon saying that he would go..

      I was expecting seeing Jorah in jealous getting to dragonstone cures only to see Dany and Jon so close.. because we remember how he was with Daario right? but seeing Jon jealous was SO GOOD, and left me shoock becuse it was blatantly obvious, and it was glorious

      but i have to said, tho i love jonerys and jon’s jealousy, what i really loved the most was to to see jorah’s back because i miss seeing dany smiling, and he is one of the few people that can truly make dany happy and make dany smile..so that made me really happy and it was such a tender moment..but the funniest for sure was when dany hugged jorah because i dont think jon saw dany acting like that with anyone so far, and i think that was the thing that made him jealous haha.

      Maybe I missed some stuff, but I didn’t really see a love triangle going on. Nothing like Twilight or whatever teen love triangle is new these days. Like Jon looking at Dany after Jorah said he’d lead the mission, I don’t think Jon was thinking “now I need to prove myself” or anything, more like he was contemplating. And Jon always leads from the front, if Jorah didn’t mention anything Jon would probably still lead the mission beyond the wall. What I took from that scene is that Jon and Jorah are pretty alike, similar sense of honor, both Northerners, etc.

      I didn’t really see any jealously between either Jorah or Jon. I feel like by this point in his life, Jorah is just happy to stand next to Danys side. And he did notice her “gulp” or fear when Jon said he’d go North as well. If anything next ep maybe we will see Jorah grill Jon a bit, only to come to like him and the two become buds.

      Maybe on next rewatch I’ll pick up some of this lol. God damn, love this show.

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    144. Sean C.: An annulment is a statement that a marriage never happened in the first place.If Rhaegar and Elia were never married, then their children cannot be legitimate.

      Children born of an annulled marriage are illegitimate.Children of a divorce retain their legitimacy.

      Yes and this is often a political move. Henry VIII sought an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon from the Pope. He had to circumvent that in the end, as we know and go against the Pope.

      This was purely out of convenience that Catherine was unlikely to bear him a son and he was desperate to marry Anne Boleyn. This also resulted in Henry and Catherine’s daughter Mary being stripped of title as Princess and her succession rights (although later restored after Henry VIIIs death.

      The Books: Should Rhaegar’s issue be considered illegitimate because of an annulment ( if that is Westerosi law of course), that adds a whole facet to the claim and fight for the Iron Throne that is in ADWD but not in the show * if indeed the annulment turns out to be book canon *.

      For the show, let’s hope that the difference between annulment and divorce is purposeful.

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    145. A couple of points. First, loved this episode.
      However, where was Theon? I would have thought he would want to help.
      Also, Jon and Jorah meet, but Jon doesn’t mention he actually has the Mormont family sword Longclaw, which would have belonged to Jorah had Jon’s “father” (Ned) not banished Jorah? Also, Jon and Gendry meet and discuss their “fathers” (Robert and Ned) as being best buds, but in actuality, their “real” fathers (Robert and Rhaegar) were mortal enemies.
      I do love the suicide squad, Dungeons & Dragons type of team, but who is in charge? Do the Brotherhood automatically assume Jon is their leader now as well. No mention to Thoros and Beric of Jon being raised from the dead like Beric has been. I do think they are rushing things when a lot of character cross-points should be further addressed.

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    146. Miss Stark:
      I have to admit, I’m a little worried that Arya will kill Sansa and take her face. Please don’t happen!!

      Aye. It would suck. But think how epic it would be to see Sophie T (as Arya) going on a murder streak.

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    147. FRAN,
      Sukeone,

      Thanks for the clarification! It looks like Sam gave little Sam the old book he was copying (Thank the Gods!). So I’m still going to assume he packed up the book Gilly was reading and it will hopefully come into play later in the series. I’m hoping Bran will reveal to Jon his true parentage in the finale, which will be a nice parallel to Season 6’s finale where the audience finds out Jon’s mother is Lyanna. As far as his legitimacy – I feel like that’s Season 8 stuff. But this series is progressing so quickly so who knows?

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    148. RG,

      Actually Sansa mentioned Ghost in the episode (when talking to Arya), and that surprised me! I take it as a mean to let us know Ghost is still around…

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    149. JohnoftheNorthThorp,

      I feel like some of these things will come up next episode, like Gendry and the Hound meeting Arya and also Longclaw.

      Can’t throw everything in one episode. Hell I saw above someone say there was a Ghost mention, I missed that one!

      I’m curious if the Jon/Beric revival will come up, I hope it does because Jon would probably have some questions and Thoros and Beric have answers. We better get some good conversations next week!

      Anyone know episode length?

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    150. Moving this comment over from the episode-watch thread, which seems to have gone quiet:

      Got to wonder how the existence of a potentially legitimizable Baratheon heir might figure into Littlefinger’s calculations, once he finds out (and presuming that Gendry makes it back alive from his Arctic expedition). Seems like Lord Baelish is running a little short on options to realize his dream, perhaps feeling a bit hemmed-in and desperate. If his efforts to sow divisiveness amongst Team Stark don’t work as slickly as he’d like, he may turn to any other opportunity to inspire chaos that presents itself. I can just smell the smoke coming out his ears as the little wheels turn in his crafty head.

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    151. Stoneheart:
      I really liked this episode except for 2 scenes! (I loved the Winterfell stuff btw)

      1) How on earth did Jaime survive without being harmed or even captured? I mean, no one on Dany’s team thought about capturing him? I know this is a fantasy show, but there are rules and logic within this universe, if this was some silly show I wouldn’t have minded.

      2) Arya has gone through a lot to keep needle and we see a lot about how she loves Jon and still supports him even now that he’s in Dragonstone, and all we get for his reaction to her being alive is Oh I thought she was dead :/ he might as well added “good for her!”, also Gendry who was with Arya for large amount of time doesn’t even mention her! that would have made more sense than “our dad were buddies” and this callback to Ned and Robert. I was waiting for so long for Jon to hear about Arya and this is all I get

      I loved the rest, as I have all the previous episodes, but I couldn’t justify these 2 points for the sake of being not being labeled or something like that.

      Completely agree. Im sorry..but Jaime and Bronn surviving like that was the most SURRAL thing on the show for me so far..ugh.

      Also..Jon’s reaction about Arya and Bran was more cold than the NK..even Dany had a better reaction about that. And Gendry not mentioning Arya at all..just..weird. i didn’t liked at all.

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    152. Debbie,

      I hope you are right debbie. I would love these badass heroes tormund and the hound take the WW’s head on and not just go after der minions, which would be possible only with dragon glass. Why should Jon have ol d fun! 🙂

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    153. seenGhost?:
      As Brienne recently said: “Don’t launch”.

      She said “don’t lunge“, not launch.

      seenGhost?:
      Oh, and the new WF maester needs to do something different than just taking care of the ravens (off screen) and fetching messages (on screen). One doesn’t need a chain from The Citadel to do that.

      He clearly has some knowledge and abilities. He’s delivered a baby, and designed and built a wheelchair.

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    154. T Rufus Martin:
      Is Sam now Lord Tarley?

      Danny had that look a girl gets when her dog likes her boyfriend meaning he’s a keeper.

      Jamie knows when he can’t win a war, Cersi who’s never fought in on assumes she can buy a win.

      We get confirmation that Dothraki can kick pass and Jamie would rather not go through that again.

      If dragons are involved Bronn breaks up with you.

      I hope the prophesy actually reads prince and princess.

      Loved the hug Danny gave Jorah.

      Can Drogon have a play date with Ghost?

      hahaha, i’m excited to see Dany seeing ghost.

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    155. RG:
      I have so much to say but I just realized something.

      Gendry, Thoros, Beric, The Hound–they all traveled with/spent time with/held for ransom-Arya. For Gendry and the Hound-she dramatically changed their paths and they genuinely cared for her.
      I wonder if ANYONE will mention her to Jon on their icy journey.

      All of the fellas will have quite a bit to talk about and bond over during the next episode! I can’t wait.

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    156. Sean C.:
      Aszusz,

      If they meant divorce, they should use the word divorce.Annulment is a separate term with its own meaning.

      Yes. To annul a marriage is to say that, in the official view, it never happened. That was the Roman Catholic Church’s end-run around its prohibition of divorce (which continues to this day, incredibly). As I understand it, the practice of annulment was mainly used in cases where the wife is unable to conceive due to the fact that the husband is impotent or sexually uninterested in women. (I guess encouraging reproduction was deemed a greater good by the Vatican than discouraging every possible means of ‘defiling’ the sacrament of matrimony.) Henry VIII couldn’t get his annulment from Catherine of Aragon because she had already borne him a daughter, so the marriage had clearly been consummated. Hence the founding of the Anglican Church.

      So by this logic – and presuming that the Faith of the Seven works in a manner analogous to the medieval RCC – it should have been a divorce rather than an annulment that Rhaegar sought and received. Aristocrats have nearly always tended to get preferential treatment from the ecclesiastical hierarchy, of course.

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    157. RG,

      I rewatched the scene: when Sansa leaves the main hall of Winterfell with Arya, she says that she had warned Jon that everyone would not sit and wait for him, like Ghost. Since the reference is a priori pointless, I guess this is a reminder from the writers that Ghost is still around…

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    158. mau: English is not my first language, but is the word “divorce” too modern?

      My thoughts exactly. The medieval term is “annulment” and it wasn’t used by accident here instead of “divorce”.

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    159. Thi Targaryen: T Rufus Martin:
      Is Sam now Lord Tarley?

      Sam took the black, hence he can no longer be lord tarly (and there is right now no heir to the house, so the house is dead), unless Sam is freed from his oath by the lord commander of the nightwatch? or by the queen/king of westeros?

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    160. Ginevra,

      There’s no secret to lighting the sword. That’s not Light bringer. Thoros always fought with a flaming sword during tourney melees.

      Lightbringer if it is truly introduced in the show (Stannis never had it unless I’m not remembering), it’ll have to follow the prophecy and it’s only going to be lit when he shoves it thru his lovers heart.

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    161. Of the old gods:
      And FM-trained Arya getting caught spying with her own face? Not buying it. I think the wolves are circling.

      Arya is trained to be an assassin but not a spy. I’m sure I could be wrong, but I believe that Arya was genuinely dropping the ball and messing up here.

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    162. “Also it seems that Bronn switched sides..or at least will not fight for the Lannisters anymore?
      Jaime: “Don’t you mean WE’RE fucked?”
      Bronn: “No I do not. Dragons are where our partnership ends.”

      Tis is 100% Bronn tho. hahaha. I loved how he said that Jaime could’t die without giving him his gold and his castle lol

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    163. Firannion: Henry VIII couldn’t get his annulment from Catherine of Aragon because she had already borne him a daughter, so the marriage had clearly been consummated. Hence the founding of the Anglican Church.

      Yes although the argument that Henry VIII and his advisers used was that the previous marriage to Prince Arthur in 1509 had been “against God’s law” quoting Leviticus

      ““If a man shall take his brother’s wife, it is an impurity; he hath uncovered his brother’s nakedness; they shall be childless.”

      And that he had been living in sin as a result and he needed annulment to save his soul from eternal damnation ( yeah, right!).

      None if this I imagine is very relevant to Rhaegar’s situation (it’s possible though that he just wanted Lyanna Stark so much he had to ditch Elia), I don’t suppose we shall find out the reason for this annulment unless it turns out to be book canon in which case GRRM will write a couple of chapters or even a complete spin-off book about it 😉

      EDIT apparently Elia’s two childbirths were difficult so it’s possible she could no longer bear children. This could be a reason for annulment.

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    164. Danny:
      People attacking Arya after this episode failed to understand one basic thing about the character, one basic thing that has very much defined her in the novels:She adores Jon.There is hardly one Arya chapter where she doesn’t think about Jon.

      This isn’t a leaks spoiler because I don’t follow those. This is something GRRM said ages and ages ago, but it is spoilerific!

      George gave an outline for the entire series when he pitched the series to publishers ages and ages and ages ago. And then that little pitch which he typed up – on like a freaking typewriter, the thing is so old! – was eventually auctioned off and published. You can Google and find it. In that, he said several things which he’s definitely veering from and changing. And folks believe that he’s changed his mind about just about everything, but I’m not so sure. In that pitch, he has Jon falling in love with Arya and Tyrion falling in love with Arya – a love triangle. Now, I definitely don’t think Tyrion has fallen for Arya. Sansa, perhaps, but not Arya. Perhaps that’s why Gendry was brought back, though, and in such a strong relationship with Jon Snow.

      Everyone points out that their sister-cousin relationship would make such a love interest totally gross and therefore impossible. But George has always known about the sister-cousin relationship and that didn’t stop him from shipping them together to begin with. So I’m not so sure.

      I also believe what George says about Dany destroying Westeros with her dragons and Dothraki is coming to pass this season. And Sansa’s betrayal of House Stark is working out quite differently but also appears to be in the works this season. Again, others may argue that George has since changed his mind on both of these counts, as well, but I’m of a mind that he didn’t.

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    165. mau:
      Sean C.,

      English is not my first language, but is the word “divorce” too modern?

      It’s an Old French word from the 14th century with Latin roots. Not at all too modern, even though it probably sounds modern at first sight. Probably why it wasn’t used.

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    166. Evi:
      I wasn’t happy with the Jaime/Tyrion reunion either. These writers really can’t handle reunions, can they? Still, I’m glad Jaime found out about the WW. Seeing all the players fight the WW together would be thrilling! In Ozzy Man’s voice: F**k yes, mate, f**k yes!

      Jon’s legitimate! His is the song of ice and fire! The Jon/Drogon scene was touching and epic, and once again showed how different Jon and Dany are.

      It’s both hilarious and terrifying how bad Arya is at the game of thrones. The FM training better help her see through LF’s lies, she didn’t earn all that stuff off-screen for nothing! Loved how protective of Jon Arya is. Their connection is my favourite thing in the books. Too bad Arya’s too quick to turn on Sansa. D&D’s depiction of Arya often annoys me.

      Loved the Varys/Tyrion parallels. “I’m not the one doing it”. Dany is dead to me after burning the Tarlys alive. Westeros deserves better than Cersei or Dany. Westeros deserves the Starks or democracy, Dany’s simply not worthy.

      I’m glad Jon left, I hate the use of insta-lust in storytelling, it’s lazy and it never works. I hope this is the end of Dany’s silly infatuation with Jon.

      Sandor better survive the trip.

      Things I didn’t like: 1. All the missed opportunities of people actually talking and connecting the dots. 2. Jon finds out Arya and Bran are alive and we don’t get an emotional reaction from him? 3. The writers once again throwing Jaime under the bus. Cersei’s pregnancy better be fake.

      lol, you are one of these people the dont really watch the scene in the right way because you’re too blind to see more! Dany is actually being merciful with the Tarlys, giving them a option! They were too stupid, so even after that they still choose to die. Well, by by to them. Dany finally stopped listening to Tyrion’s bad advices and is being a dragon tha Olenna said she is. p.s: Olenna got her revenge again this episode! Dany did the same Ned did in season 1 with his traitors, and the same Jon did in season 6.

      And Dany and Jon is going to happen. They are both (and at the same time) developing feelings for each other. If you don’t like it you better prepare yourself hahahaha

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    167. WallyFrench:
      Ginevra,

      There’s no secret to lighting the sword.That’s not Light bringer.Thoros always fought with a flaming sword during tourney melees.

      Lightbringer if it is truly introduced in the show (Stannis never had it unless I’m not remembering), it’ll have to follow the prophecy and it’s only going to be lit when he shoves it thru his lovers heart.

      About the Nissa Nissa thing. The original Azor Ahai forged Lightbringer and was only successful in tempering it when he plunged it thru his wife’s heart. I’m not sure if this has been in the show. In the books Sallador Saan tells the story to Davos.

      In the show and books Mel a couple of times recounts the Azor Ahai Reborn prophecy (bleeding star, salt and stone, waking dragons etc.) and says this legendary hero reborn will draw a sword from the fire. Mel even stages a ceremony on the beach in S2 for Stannis. No mention of plunging swords thru loved ones’ hearts.

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    168. I throughly enjoyed this write up. Hopefully you will get an ongoing spot reviewing the remaining episodes. It would do a little bit to make up for the fact that the season is almost over.

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    169. Danny,

      The Arya trashing that has been going on because of this episode is ridiculous and unfounded. I also had the misfortune of seeing a vocal component of Sansa stans going as far as insulting Maisie’s appearance because of this.

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    170. Ser Not Appearing in this Series,

      Nice edit! Yes, you’re right. In ACoK Dany has a vision of Rhaegar and Elia in the House of the Undying and overhears him saying “the dragon has three heads.” He was borderline obsessed with having three children and because Elia was sickly and couldn’t have anymore, coupled with the fact that he loved Lyanna, led him to seek an annulment. I think that was revealed in either ASoS or AFfC … I can’t remember.

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    171. Mawk: I find it funny that an F is a 5/10 lol, I’d think that’s more of a D Grade or C-.

      Anyways, while it wasn’t the best of the season I feel like the episode did hit all necessary points to move forward.

      Not sure why people are upset with Danys decision to burn the two Tarlys. I felt like that was something Jon did similar with Janos Slynt…Its ruthless yes, but sometimes its easier to kill few to save many. Doing what she did convinced the other soldiers to also bend the knee, if she had simply had them killed by Dothraki I’m sure others may have stood up to her as well. Same with Jon, he could of easily let Janos go after he pled mercy and all that. But no, letting him live may had let others think they could disobey him. Granted in the end, Jon’s own men killed him…

      Loved the Gendry and Jon scene, just two guys hanging out, talking about their Dads, felt like that scene should of been at a pub with some ale. Hope we get an Arya mention next week with them, then the Hound can throw his two cents in about Arya as well.

      Drogon and Jon. I’ve waited more then a decade for Jon to meet a Dragon. Finally, it didn’t disappoint. I saw the Inside the Episode, Kit talks about how you approach a horse by letting them smell you first and trust you, worked with the Dragon I’d say! Helps that you might smell a bit like Mum as well eh?

      I really liked the ending as well, seeing that cast of characters together gave me feels. I can’t wait for next week, I want to see the Hound vs some Wights!

      Dany and Jon…well, its going to happen. I like how Mel said she brought Ice and Fire together a few eps back, not knowing herself that she brought Ice and Fire back from the dead a season ago. So close Mel.

      Side note, I’d love if its revealed LF is actually a Faceless Man.

      Agree about everything you said! And yes, Danys decision to burn the two Tarlys was smart and very right. They are traitors. Dany even giving them a choice..for much less others would’ve just killed them. Thee Tarlys were traitors (not only for Dany, but also for Olenna, who died because of them). And yes, Jon did the same. It was pretty much the same thing, that’s why i liked what Dany said to Jon: “We both wanted to help people. We can oly help them for a position of strength. Sometimes strength is terrible.” And i would like to see Gendry, Jon and The Hound talking about Arya..that would be amazing!

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    172. Dark Sister,

      I found the reference for Elia being declared unable to bear further children:

      A bride for our bright prince. Jon Connington remembered Prince Rhaegar’s wedding all too well. Elia was never worthy of him. She was frail and sickly from the first, and childbirth only left her weaker. After the birth of Princess Rhaenys, her mother had been bedridden for half a year, and Prince Aegon’s birth had almost been the death of her. She would bear no more children, the maesters told Prince Rhaegar afterward.

      The Griffin Reborn, ADWD.

      I don’t know about the visions though.

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    173. Why has Davos or anyone not told Jon about potential use of wildfire to burn the wights? Build some trebuchets behind the wall and smoke the dead away.

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    174. Remember when they hyped a starkbowl in season 7 ? I knew the minute LF saw that look on Sansa’s face watching Arya and Brienne last episode..he is seeing a chance to put them against each other to start the pure chaos, since Bran is to busy with the NK visions.

      Arya to Sansa: “You always liked nice things. It always made you feel better than everyone”. That was..wow.

      I gotta say, I always liked Arya, and i usually find Sansa annoying..but even if i think the writing seems a little off this episode, it actually made a little sense since this is Arya and Sansa..they never really liked each other before..they are sisters, but Arya was always more closer to Jon and even Bran.. and now they need to be together and interact with each other. It’s a new situation for them and they are both very different from the last time they saw each other..so, of course this would happen. But i really don’t think they will drag this for longer..LF thinks he is too smart in this game, but the thing is that he is getting more and more lost and without any allies. He is trying to play with the only cards he has right now, but i really think he won’t escape this one time. And Arya is more smart than that!

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    175. Ser Not Appearing in this Series,

      Ooo thanks for that! Also, being the book worm that I am, I have my favorite passages flagged in my copies of the books:

      “Aegon,” he said to a woman nursing a newborn babe in a great wooden bed. “What better name for a king?”
      “Will you make a song for him?” the woman asked. “He has a song,” the man replied. “He is the prince that was promised, and his is the song of ice and fire.” He looked up when he said it and his eyes met Dany’s, and it seemed as if he saw her standing there beyond the door. “There must be one more,” he said, though whether he was speaking to her or the woman in the bed she could not say. “The dragon has three heads.”
      – ACoK

      Now that we know Jon was legitimate he could be Ice (Stark) and Fire (Targaryen)… but I still think the prophecy refers to more than one person.

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    176. Adrianacandle:
      Stoneheart,

      Jon’s reaction to learning that Arya and Bran are alive played way more emotional to me – he seems really shaken up, especially when this news is immediately followed by news that the Night King is so close with Jon saying, “If they make it past the Wall…” And his first thought is to go home. It sounds like he’s pretty freaked for their safety. For me, I think it’s hard to be “Yay!” when you just get them back, only to be scared to death they might be killed by the zombie army.

      If Jon received a raven telling him Arya and Bran are alive and it wasn’t followed up by news of the Night King’s imminent arrival, I think he would have been waaaay more happy 🙂 As it is, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of room for joy, especially when he fears that Arya, Bran, and Sansa will be killed if something isn’t done in time.

      For some reason, Dany’s reaction reminded me of when Tyrion said they’d taken Casterly Rock:

      Tyrion: “We’ve taken Casterly Rock.”
      Dany: “That’s good news!….*looks at Tyrion and Gary’s expression*….isn’t it??”

      Jon: “Bran and Arya something something, I thought they were dead.”
      Dany: “I’m happy for you!…*looks at Jon’s expression*….you don’t look happy.”

      😂

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    177. Ser Not Appearing in this Series: EDIT apparently Elia’s two childbirths were difficult so it’s possible she could no longer bear children. This could be a reason for annulment.

      Yes, I am fairly certain the books make it clear that Elia couldn’t bear the third head of the dragon.

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    178. Flayed Potatoes,

      They’ll be feeling rather silly about themselves in two weeks time when it’ll be revealed that the Stark sisters were playing LF. Que: Sansa’s The lone wolf dies and the pack survives speech with Arya holding that Valryian dagger at LF’s slimy throat.

      This ‘tension’ that they’re trying to setup is so forced and fake that I’m dumbfounded there are actually people who believe it. Only last week we had the Stark tender moments and them discussing the dangers of LF. Bear in mind, Arya’s entire journey has been about finding way to home, to her pack. They’re not gonna kill each other now.

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    179. Flayed Potatoes,

      Really? That’s just silly-we expected a little bit of underlying tension right?
      Last time Arya saw Sansa she was standing beside Joffrey as their father was beheaded-prior to that she lied about the fight and because of that a direwolf died.
      Sansa barely gave her sister any thought at all-she spent all her time with her Septa or Joffrey and had more dialogue with LF and the Hound than Arya.

      They were happy to see each other alive sure, but that history doesn’t just disappear.
      And Sansa does still have some character issues and a lot of emotional baggage and yes, Arya has got that wild wolf blood, but when push comes to shove they’ll work together. They’re a pack and I predict LF will find that out soon.

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    180. GeekFurious:
      They yadda-yadda’d through too much. Had characters NOT have basic logic conversations (Gendry meets his former survivor-mate’s brother and never mentions Arya? Or Jorah shows up and never mentions who cured him? Dany just set his family on fire… and he’s Jon’s best friend… important conversations anyone would reasonably have).

      These are not important conversations, they’re fan service. You want exposition where none is needed.

      Gendry is meeting the KITN and we witness all of 2 minutes of their conversation. His first words aren’t going to be “Hey I met your half-sister but I don’t know where she is”. Not only is that useless but we can’t even say with certainty that Gendry knows they are related. And let’s not forget, despite the quick travel time shown to the audience, they had PLENTY of time to chat on the boat to Eastwatch.

      Dany asks who cured Jorah? Someone at the Citadel. End of discussion. The only reason the topic is interesting to us is because WE, the audience, know of the connection between Sam & Jon. Dany and Jon have no reason to probe for more information.

      As much as I would love to see the characters chat about things relevant to the audience, and this has been said MANY times before, doing so would be bad writing. We know this information already, we witnessed it happening. I want the plot to move FORWARD, not backwards.

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    181. Ginevra: Arya is trained to be an assassin but not a spy.I’m sure I could be wrong, but I believe that Arya was genuinely dropping the ball and messing up here.

      I’m sure I could be wrong too…I may have my fingers in my ears “la la la la” lol

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    182. I’m sure I’m not the first to propose this theory, but I’m putting it out there anyway.

      I think there’s a better than average chance that Arya is actually NOT fooled by LF, and she’s just letting him BELIEVE he has her fooled.
      I think we may be assuming that Arya is underestimating LF, and that she is believing the worst about Sansa, i.e., that Sansa wants to be queen and that she will (or is) betray Jon and her family with LF to get what she wants.
      But remember, Arya has been trained to read people very well. Already, Arya saw that LF tried to get on Bran’s good side with that dagger gift, and she heard Sansa warn them both that LF never gives anything away without wanting something in return.
      It’s possible that while Arya DOES know and believe that Sansa still harbors ambitions, remember, even Arya said to Sansa “you don’t want to be thinking this, but you can’t help it.” It is possible Arya knows that LF sees Sansa’s ambitions as well, and Arya knows LF wants to exploit this.
      It’s possible Arya is the one leading LF by the nose, letting him THINK he the one causing “chaos” and distrust between the sisters. It’s possible Arya understands that Sansa was forced to write that note under duress from Cersei, but now she sees that LF is definitely trying to drive a wedge between the sisters.
      Let’s wait and see what happens, but let’s not count Arya out yet. She learned a lot in her years at the HoB&W. She might understand that it’s easy for LF to underestimate her (he saw her fight with a sword but knows nothing about her other abilities).

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    183. The brotherhood was a decent sized group of one to two dozen men last time we saw. But only Thoros, Beric and Sandor made it to Eastwatch?

      Tyrion strolls right back into the Red Keep like it’s no big deal. Jamie finds out while talking to Cersei that she knew about the meeting all along. Tyrion is her most hated person on the planet. She let Tyrion and Jamie have their meeting and then let him leave Kings Landing when she had the chance to capture him easily?

      Worst thing though was by far the Jamie and Bronn comedic opening to the episode. My exact words last week, posted to this very site, were: “If next week’s episode opens with Jamie and Bronn re-surfacing from the river a mile from where they went in, both spitting out huge mouthfuls of water…”

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    184. BranTheBlessed:
      Lol come on people, its obvious what’s happening.

      Littlefinger thinks he’s smarter than everyone else, he thinks he’s sowing seeds of hate between the Stark sisters. REALITY: Sansa has become smarter than Littlefinger, she and Arya are the ones who are playing Littlefinger. Its all an act by the Stark sisters.

      You know it.

      Just read, glad I’m not the only one thinking this!

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    185. RG:
      Best moments for me

      Jon and Drogon-Drogon’s eye close up. Really felt that connection and couldn’t be happier–unless Rhaegal or other two dragons had joined them-all wanting a pet from Rhaegar’s son lol

      Sam explaining how easily Maesters could solve the damn problem-then saying fook it and stealing all the books

      R+L=marriage!! Twu Wuv!! I hope we get a flashback and find out who stopped her raven from getting to her family and told people she was kidnapped against her will instead.

      Every word Davos says. Every. Word.

      Tyrion and Varys–so what does it say?

      GENDRY!!! I’m still excited that he finally came back!! He showed up again in the books FYI-so it isn’t just a show thing. Gendry has an important role to play-I just wish he’d showed up a little sooner and mentioned Arya. But still–GENDRY!!

      Finally-my favorite raiding party in the history of Westeros. I want them to fight together, but I don’t want anyone to die. I probably won’t get my wish there.

      How crazy would it be if Littlefinger arranged to intercept that raven from Lyanna and substitute a false message? E.g. “Help me, I’ve been kidnapped by Rhaegar Targaryen and am being held in the Tower in Dorne?” That would account for the Winterfell version of the story.

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    186. The one thing I was really actually hoping for — in terms of a satisfactory happy ending to GoT — was Sam telling his father to bugger off once and for all. I guess GRRM has now denied me even that little bit of hope.

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    187. Ulfie,

      Say wha…? There was a variety of emotions between Arya and Sansa during their reunion! Anxiety, sadness, relief. Even more so for Jamie-Tyrion’s reunion… they both were struggling to keep their emotions under control at different points during that scene- their eyes welling up with tears of anger, tears of anguish….Nikolaj and Peter broke my heart. I’m not sure we are watching the same show….

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    188. Rightful Queen,

      Clearly not that crazy because I’ve always wondered if–because of Brandon Stark–he didn’t cause a “misunderstanding via raven” that sent Lyanna’s brother to his death before he could marry Cat (which is what he was on his way to do before he heard about kidnapping)

      Everyone says I’m crazy–but I could see it happening.

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    189. Things our magnificent 7 could discuss while traveling to find wights.
      1. Arya
      Gendry: She saved me from death via Gold cloaks, saved me from imprisonment at Harrenhal when she made friends with a killer and tried to save me from the Brotherhood by saying she’d be my family, but I screwed up and in the end she couldn’t save me from the red witch.
      Beric:I showed her all my fatal wounds but told her we couldn’t bring her headless dad back. Think it hurt her feelings. She also wasn’t happy we wanted money to give her back to her family. She ended up running away and to be honest, we never thought about her again. How much trouble could a Stark girl alone in the middle of the war of five kings get into, I ask you?
      Hound: I snatched her on the run from those idiots and tried to pawn her off a few times myself so I’d have enough coin for fookin chicken, but we always arrived just in time to find out someone-her mother, brother, aunt etc-had been killed. It almost became a running gag. Sure, she threatened to kill me every night, but I liked the girl. Would have kept her if Brienne hadn’t nearly beaten me to death. Still not sure why she left me alive.)

      2. LC Mormont & Sam
      (Jorah: I see you have the sword I gave back to my dad when I went into exile, King Snow. He was a good man. Actually took the black so I could take over as Lord Mormont-but I screwed it up because of a girl. I couldn’t afford her, so I sold some slaves. Our dads were ticked.
      Jon: your father told me about you. I saved him from a dead man and went with him beyond the wall, where I got taken prisoner for screwing up because of a girl. I couldn’t kill her. That worked out well though. It’s how I met Tormund.
      Jorah: Neat. Your buddy healed me from greyscale so I could come back to my khaleesi. Dibs.
      Jon: I’m a king who died and came back to life. Plus she let me pet her dragon.
      Jorah: *&$%)

      3. Melissandre
      (Thoros: So, I guess Mel let you go huh? Things didn’t turn out too badly, right?
      Gendry: Not too bad. After she got me naked and put leeches on my cock, she put me in a cell and wanted to drain my king’s blood for Stannis, but Davos sent me off in a boat I didn’t know how to row. It’s a miracle I didn’t drown. Or die horribly a hundred times since I left. I’m just grateful the street of steel isn’t close to what used to be the Sept. Thanks for asking.
      Jon: Interesting. She didn’t use leeches but she tried to get me naked too. Of course, then they tell me she brought me back from the dead after all my friends took turns stabbing me, so I can’t really say anything bad about her.
      Thoros: She got that from me!
      Beric: You too? I thought I had a purpose, but the Hound’s getting visions and you were dead. Apparently every damn idiot with a red priest can come back to life now.
      Jon: Whatever. Just don’t mention her to Davos next time you see him. Trust me.)

      4. LF (Jon: he’s at my house.
      Hound: The fucking c*nt betrayed your father and was always sniffing around my little bird
      Jon: Little bird?
      Hound: Never mind.
      Beric: I remember when I was younger, I first met him at the tourney at–
      Hound and Jon: Shut up Beric!)

      What I’m saying is there shouldn’t be many awkward silences. 🙂
      I’m hoping for at least one fireside chat before the battle.

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    190. BranTheBlessed: They’ll be feeling rather silly about themselves in two weeks time when it’ll be revealed that the Stark sisters were playing LF

      That might be true. However, DB Weiss, in the “Inside the episode”, makes it very clear that LF “is actualy leading her by the nose”. Let’s wait and see who is playing who !

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    191. I couldn’t stand Randyll (great work by Faulkner), but when he reached out and took Dickon’s wrist before they died, that was just so human.

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    192. Mista C,

      Cersei explained in her meeting with Jamie why she allowed him to meet with Tyrion, then also allow Tyrion to return to Daeny.
      Cersei already knew about the armistice offer and sees this as her chance to contrive a plan to win the war. Her motivations are bigger than killing Tyrion.

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    193. Saw it this morning early – have watched most of it again since, and will see it again at 9 this evening here (followed by Thronecast). Just now I’m re-watching ep 4 in prep for ep 5 and Thronecast.

      I’ve mixed feelings about this one. Some was excellent, some a bit too ‘pat’ I think. I haven’t read most of the comments, because of (1) being asleep last night and (2) being out much of today, but I thought much of the ending was good, the ‘Gendry’ parts were good and much of the interaction between Jaime and Cersei was good likewise: and the Drogon/Jon interaction was lovely!

      My overall feeling – it was a good ep, though not imo on the level of last week’s. And had weaknesses; the greatest to me being that ‘annulment’ – has there been anything that can attest such in Westeros? The little ‘reveal’ by Gilly of an annulment was just too much to credit – fan service, though well done by the actors. (OK, Sansa and Tyrion – but that was a non-consummation. Anything else? Otherwise I’ll say that this gun hasn’t been hung…)

      Also for me the start with Jaime and Bron was too good to be true – it would have been better, as said, to be inserted at the end of last week’s ep.
      I did like the meeting of BwB and Jon & co!

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    194. Pigeon:
      I couldn’t stand Randyll (great work by Faulkner), but when he reached out and took Dickon’s wrist before they died, that was just so human.

      Same here. 🙁
      In fact his reaction as soon as Dickon spoke up killed me too.

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    195. Alexis,

      Regarding Gendry not talking about Arya, it wouldn’t be wise to imply to a lad who happens to be the KITN that you have a certain interest in his little sister even if that interest is very platinic and pure. The fact that Gendry chooses to tell Jon who he really is against Davos’es adwise and volunteers to go beiond the Wall instead of going to Winterfell kind of hints that he might be trying to prove his worth to Jon in order to get permission to continue some relationship with Arya. At least that’s how I understand Gendry’s choices and actions so far.

      What is interesting at this point is that Davos looks to be developing some plan involving Gendry. I may be wrong and it’s possible that he was simply trying to get the lad out of the city going under the Dothraki seage but… I don’t know how to say it but it really looks like Davos hates Dany: he even warns Jon not to look at her despite of the fact that marriage mixed with a bit of romance would be a perfect solution for the knee-bending ad alliance-forming problem, and it really looks like he’s planning to use Gendry as an alternative candidate to the IT (at least before he learns that Jon is the most rightful heir).

      It might be also worth noting that the Flee-Bottom commoners like Davos or Gendry are much more ready to believe in the WW threat than maesters or high lords, though on the other hand it may be just the result of story simplification, and we shouldn’t read too much into that.

      However, what we should read into are the hints that burning Tarlys will have serious ramifications. The showrunners clearly made the point that Sam hadn’t learned about that yet and nether did Jon. So, what happens when they learn? I would expect something similar to what happened with Melisandre in the Winds of Winter: Jon will decide that Dany crossed the line. On the other hand, I believe that, when Sam finds out that Jon is a trueborn heir to the IT and tries to make it public, Dany will see that as a revenge for burning his family and dismiss everything.

      And for this reason IMO Joneirys ship won’t sail far: Dany looks to be already jelous that some see Jon as a potential savour; when she finds out that Jon may have a better claim to the throne, she will go all fire and blood against her nephew. And then Jon and Jaime will have a chanse to share experience of being in love with a mad queen… Anyway, it doesn’t look like Dany is surviving till the end of the series and if Jon does he will still have a chance to marry Lyanna Mormont or Talla Tarly or Alys Karstark or some other sweet girl.

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    196. Pigeon:
      I couldn’t stand Randyll (great work by Faulkner), but when he reached out and took Dickon’s wrist before they died, that was just so human.

      Same here. I’ve hated his guts ever since Sam mentioned how he came to the wall. But in that moment? Wow.

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    197. ramses: Same here. 🙁
      In fact his reaction as soon as Dickon spoke up killed me too.

      The fact that he DIDN’T expect or want Dickon to stand up to Dany in that way…wow.

      RG: Same here. I’ve hated his guts ever since Sam mentioned how he came to the wall. But in that moment? Wow.

      It was one of those fleeting moments that makes this show great. They did a good job making Dickon so unlike Randyll, but wanting to make him proud, and that is how it ends. Sigh.

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    198. Just another point- the expression on Randal Tarly’s face regarding the killing of his son (his son’s stupidity, if you wish) is heartbreaking.

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    199. Glad you spotted that, I love the show but was a little miffed that 80% of the brotherhood just seems to have vanished.

      Also why does Tyrion refer to Olenna as a Queen in his speech?

      Great episode but there were a couple of odd plot holes…

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    200. BranTheBlessed:
      Lol come on people, its obvious what’s happening.

      Littlefinger thinks he’s smarter than everyone else, he thinks he’s sowing seeds of hate between the Stark sisters. REALITY: Sansa has become smarter than Littlefinger, she and Arya are the ones who are playing Littlefinger. Its all an act by the Stark sisters.

      You know it.

      🙄 at the histrionics about Arya’s scenes! Honestly…Littlefinger is a seasoned veteran at fucking with people, and the amazing thing is that he is apparently so good at it that he’s successfully fucked a portion of the AUDIENCE OF THE SHOW. 😂

      One episode where Arya is seemingly falling for his schemes, and people are losing their damn minds. Hell, Sansa has been falling for his schemes for years. I don’t believe for a minute that he’ll have it over Arya for long, if he even actually does right now, which is questionable.

      Sansa and Arya never got along, and they aren’t likely to be rainbows and unicorns now. That would not be close to believable. But if they don’t ultimately have each other’s back if it comes down to a crunch, I would be very surprised.

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    201. Pigeon:
      LF is back to showing his game in action, and it’s infuriatingly glorious how he’s doing it.

      Yeah, I had to chuckle at the people who were posting that Baelish was just taking up space at Winterfell with nothing left to do, and that he needed to be deleted from the story ASAP. Anyone who thinks that his is a boring character arc needs to remind themselves that with Littlefinger, there’s always bound to be a lot going on behind the scenes that will blow up in someone’s face soon enough. He will scheme to the bitter end.

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    202. Pigeon: ramses: Same here.
      In fact his reaction as soon as Dickon spoke up killed me too.

      The fact that he DIDN’T expect or want Dickon to stand up to Dany in that way…wow.

      RG: Same here. I’ve hated his guts ever since Sam mentioned how he came to the wall. But in that moment? Wow.

      It was one of those fleeting moments that makes this show great. They did a good job making Dickon so unlike Randyll, but wanting to make him proud, and that is how it ends. Sigh.

      I wasn’t moved a bit for him : he would never have had such a gesture to Sam if he had been there instead of Dickon. That moment does not make up for anything for me. He was obnoxious. His son, though, without him, might have evolved in a good way.

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    203. Pigeon,

      Ahhh yeah wow. I was heartened by the realization that Randyll did not want/expect Dickon to speak up. Dickon did it because he thought it was the right thing to do, but also, I think, did it because it’d be what his father would expect of him….and yet no, Randyll did not want that.

      Pigeon:
      “It was one of those fleeting moments that makes this show great. They did a good job making Dickon so unlike Randyll, but wanting to make him proud, and that is how it ends. Sigh”

      Ha! Exactly. I responded before I read this part.

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    204. FRAN: “I wasn’t moved a bit for him : he would never have had such a gesture to Sam if he had been there instead of Dickon. That moment does not make up for anything for me. He was obnoxious. His son, though, without him, might have evolved in a good way.”

      That’s cool. I can’t speak for everyone but I don’t think any of us said this made up for Randyll’s prior disgraceful actions.
      We’re rather marveling at the stories ability to make us feel for
      this character.
      It’s just great in my opinion.

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    205. FRAN: I wasn’t moved a bit for him : he would never have had such a gesture to Sam if he had been there instead of Dickon. That moment does not make up for anything for me. He was obnoxious. His son, though, without him, might have evolved in a good way.

      This will probably never make it into the series, as it’s aftermath stuff, but my mind jumps ahead to what it will be like for Sam’s mother and sister when Sam wants to introduce them to his BFF Jon, consort of the flamethrowing Dragon Queen. Talk about awkward family dinners!

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    206. ramses: That’s cool. I can’t speak for everyone but I don’t think any of us said this was a redeeming moment or made up for his prior disgraceful actions.
      We’re rather marveling at the stories ability to make us feel forthis character.
      It’s just great in my opinion.

      I agree about it being a great moment in the show. I was just saying that it did not raise any compassion in me for the character and could not make me sorry for him, that’s all. 😉

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    207. Dame of Mercia,

      I take issue with your second point- Jon Snow had the same response with the men who fought against him at the Wall, specifically Janos Slynt. It was meant to be parallel and show their strong-armed “law and order” tactics. The “hearts and minds” she’s trying to win are not Lannister soldiers- to strength you must show strength, and that is what she (and Jon at the Wall) has done.

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    208. Firannion: Yeah, I had to chuckle at the people who were posting that Baelish was just taking up space at Winterfell with nothing left to do, and that he needed to be deleted from the story ASAP. Anyone who thinks that his is a boring character arc needs to remind themselves that with Littlefinger, there’s always bound to be a lot going on behind the scenes that will blow up in someone’s face soon enough. He will scheme to the bitter end.

      I always took it as dissatisfaction with keeping him too around for too long without actually doing anything. He could’ve been lurking off screen, we know very well that’s what he does. The feeling was they’re just keeping him around while moving another stories, instead of, for example, sending him to the Vale and back ( without the teleport this time ) as an explanation for his idleness. At least I felt it this way.

      Anyway, now he’s back in the action and compensating with simultaneous moves in different direction. The guy is going down with a bang. I really missed the real Baelish.
      All the time we hear the Northerners don’t trust ppl from the south and all of a sudden everyone puts their trust in… LF? Logical thing is this plot won’t get to the end he wants, unless Sansa is on board, which will be a bit far fetched, even if I never really liked her. Plus Jon already was betrayed once as Lord Commander of the NW, a second time would be bad writing. Some moves in this direction – yes, but effective deposition? No, thanks.

      Anyone else thinking in the next episode Arya should go after the blond girl LF was talking with?

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    209. I’ve seen several people here condemn Arya for suggesting that dissenters be beheaded, as if it somehow characterizes her as too immature to lead. But I think the fact is that it is a hallmark of the Stark clan to mete out justice in this way.

      Remember Ned, in one of his first scenes in the show, Robb with his stubborn insistance on keeping the Karstarks in line, and Jon making it clear to the Night’s Watch that he takes his duty as Lord Commander seriously by relieving Janos Slynt of his head.

      What Sansa is doing by giving Royce and Glover leave to sow what is effectively treason to her, is revealing herself to be a weak leader. Surely the macho lords of the north are already predisposed to view her more as a lady than a queen.

      If she were smart, she would put them in their place, just like Lyanna Mormont has in past episodes. This is the only way she will earn their respect.

      Robb also discovered that the northerners only respect strength. Remember Greatjon Umber refused to support him as KitN until he had Grey Wind chew off a few fingers.

      Yes, beheading an ally is risky (as Robb also discovered), but leadership is difficult no matter what. You just need to make sure you do it for the right reasons (i.e. abandoning your oath to the NW, insubordination, treason), rather than punishing someone for seeking vengeance for the loss of their son.

      Arya is fiercely loyal to Jon, which is why she can so easily see that Sansa is not.

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    210. FRAN: I wasn’t moved a bit for him : he would never have had such a gesture to Sam if he had been there instead of Dickon. That moment does not make up for anything for me. He was obnoxious. His son, though, without him, might have evolved in a good way.

      Exactly. Randlyll would have shoved Sam in front of a moving train.

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    211. spaewife:
      And ‘Thought you might still be rowing” is the single best line ever…

      Oh, yeah !! What a laugh ! And there’s been quite a few this season. But this one’s the best. A special for the fandom.

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    212. Pigeon,

      Also, Randall Tarly’s mixed feelings before that when Dickon refuses to bend the knee even with his father’s permission. He knows it’s the end of his son, but he sees that he’s raised his son the way he meant to. That was one of the best moments of the Season, right there

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    213. A Flayed Man None,

      “Remember Ned, in one of his first scenes in the show, Robb with his stubborn insistance on keeping the Karstarks in line, and Jon making it clear to the Night’s Watch that he takes his duty as Lord Commander seriously by relieving Janos Slynt of his head.”

      I’m going off topic from your comment, but this is exactly what Daeny is doing as well. She doesn’t have the upper body strength to swing a sword and decapitate someone, not many people do. Poor Rodrik. She is though, adhering to her own version of, “the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword.”

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    214. A Flayed Man None:
      Yes, beheading an ally is risky (as Robb also discovered), but leadership is difficult no matter what. You just need to make sure you do it for the right reasons (i.e. abandoning your oath to the NW, insubordination, treason), rather than punishing someone for seeking vengeance for the loss of their son.

      Rickard Karstark committed insubordination and treason.

      There’s no political realm where it would have made sense to execute Glover and (especially) Royce, who isn’t even part of Jon’s kingdom (seemingly; the show is annoying in never committing to explaining what the political status of the Vale and formerly the Riverlands are to the independent Northern kingdom). That would have immediately lost them their men (and in the case of the Vale, it’s Vale power that installed the Starks in Winterfell in the first place). That’s tyrannical, and not something any of the other Stark rulers in this series would have done.

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    215. RG,

      Funny stuff, RG. We can’t expect characters to blurt out every single thing they know on their first contact with someone they haven’t seen in a while…they’ve got to save some for later at a more appropriate time. They only say what’s immediately pertinent.

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    216. Sean C.,

      I agree. But it’s not like anyone needs to lose their head to know where she stands. At the very least, Sansa should have made it clear that she won’t allow any talk of treason, and suggested that those who participate in such talk would do so at the risk of losing their heads.

      Instead, Sansa just demurred, and thanked them for their support. If I was a northern lord, I would take this as a sign of weakness and an indication that she can be manipulated. Certainly Royce has seen Littlefinger do precisely that already.

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    217. Pigeon: I couldn’t stand Randyll (great work by Faulkner), but when he reached out and took Dickon’s wrist before they died, that was just so human.

      Same here. I was surprised that Randyll was not only ok with Dickon bending the knee, thus saving his life, but he actually wanted Dickon to bend the knee. This was a sad, ironic twist. Randyll got everything he wanted in a son in Dickon: a handsome son, talented in all the “manly” traits like hunting and warcraft, totally loyal and obedient to everything Randyll said. It cost them both their lives. For a second I wondered if he thought of Sam in his last seconds. But no, he wouldn’t have, bookish Sam has been dead to him for years. So Randyll, you got your way both times, lost them both and this is how you end. Yet, kudos to James Faulkner for playing this old man so very well.

      You are the perfect person to converse with about this next little point, because I know you will have noticed: Little Sam. Last week, or the week before, he said “mom”. My heart melted. I thought others would comment on it, but it was left in the dust, with everything else happening so fast. This week I noticed it looks like he’s grown three inches and his hair has darkened. He’s no longer a babe in arms, he’s a definite toddler now, and adorable. Just don’t tear that annulment page out of that book, Little Sam!

      A very tiny point, but sometimes I get tired of laboring on about death and treachery and stupid mistakes that get people killed. Sometimes I’d much rather pay attention to some of the happier, more innocent, lovely fleeting parts of life that manage to get to the screen. I believe you do too.

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    218. In addition to my comment about the cuteness of little Sam, a plea: Don’t tear the Ragger annulment page out of that book!

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    219. A Flayed Man None,

      Royce isn’t his own man, here. Littlefinger has been pulling his strings ever since the scene at the Vale where he almost got thrown through the moon door. You can see it when you look at his outbursts at the winterfell meetings.

        Quote  Reply

    220. Also, Karstark may have been insubordinate, but the armies of the north would disagree that his vengeance was tantamount to treason.

      Robb knew how his “justice” would come across to the northerners in his army. He was just too full of himself after all his victories to care.

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    221. Thronetender,

      I think Cersai is about 45 by now. A few seasons ago, Joffrey referred to Jaime as a ’40yo knight’ That’s a high risk pregnancy….a high, high, risk considering that it’s first degree incest.

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    222. Anon,

      I don’t know how. LF’s only power with the Vale comes from Robin, and he’s nowhere nearby to command the Vale forces. That should leave Royce in charge. But I suppose it’s more convenient to just keep him as a one-dimensional background player.

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    223. So…it’s Tyrion who proposed the Wight capturing mission.

      I’m considering a mission to kidnap Tyrion, duct tape his mouth and lock him in a cellar; who’s with me?

        Quote  Reply

    224. A Flayed Man None: Certainly Royce has seen Littlefinger do precisely that already.

      Yes, Royce has actually been threatened by Littlefinger. Royce had the nerve to question exactly how Sansa ended up at Winterfell, when LF had told him they were going to travel in another direction. LF told this huge lie about getting attacked and threatened to have Royce killed. Royce would remember that, and probably still be angered at it. He will not be sad if Sansa somehow gives LF the boot.

      In one of the previews for the following week, it showed Sansa looking through big volumes, and staring off as though she had found something very thought-provoking. But that scene hasn’t appeared yet. Is she looking for something that shows exactly how she ended up with Ramsay? Would that have been in the records? If so, would LF have chanced having Maester Wolken go through the volumes left by M Luwen. Or is Maester Wolken a bit dense, and wouldn’t realize what he was reading? The Maesters at the Citadel said he was timid.

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    225. Anon: I think Cersai is about 45 by now.

      In one of the earlier eps this season she says something like “I didn’t listen to father for 40 years to … blah blah.” that’s where I got the number 40

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    226. Isabelle: Speaking of Tarlys, James Faulkner was phenomenal. Stubborn, embittered soldier and proud, petrified father all at once. He was such a loathsome SOB, but we can’t doubt he loved Dickon. Tom Hopper was also fantastic – sad not to see more scenes with him, especially one between him and Sam.

      Nicely put. Yes, I wouldn’t have minded seeing a bit more of Tom Hopper on screen.

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    227. Thronetender,

      Yeah, I remember when she said that. I assumed she meant that she couldn’t begin listening to, or understanding her father until she was about 5 or six years old…or thereabouts. Or, that Tywin didn’t start indoctrinating her ’till then.

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    228. Thronetender: Same here. I was surprised that Randyll was not only ok with Dickon bending the knee, thus saving his life, but he actually wanted Dickon to bend the knee. This was a sad, ironic twist. Randyll got everything he wanted in a son in Dickon: a handsome son, talented in all the “manly” traits like hunting and warcraft, totally loyal and obedient to everything Randyll said. It cost them both their lives. For a second I wondered if he thought of Sam in his last seconds. But no, he wouldn’t have, bookish Sam has been dead to him for years. So Randyll, you got your way both times, lost them both and this is how you end. Yet, kudos to James Faulkner for playing this old man so very well.

      You are the perfect person to converse with about this next little point, because I know you will have noticed: Little Sam. Last week, or the week before, he said “mom”. My heart melted. I thought others would comment on it, but it was left in the dust, with everything else happening so fast. This week I noticed it looks like he’s grown three inches and his hair has darkened. He’s no longer a babe in arms, he’s a definite toddler now, and adorable.Just don’t tear that annulment page out of that book, Little Sam!

      A very tiny point, but sometimes I get tired of laboring on about death and treachery and stupid mistakes that get people killed. Sometimes I’d much rather pay attention to some of the happier, more innocent, lovely fleeting parts of life that manage to get to the screen. I believe you do too.

      Yes! As you (and others, I’m sorry I can’t go back and credit everyone) have pointed out, Randyll’s ‘nod’ to Dickon, basically saying “Go ahead and kneel, son, save yourself”, and outright surprise when he did not, caught me off guard. Sure, he may have been thinking only of his succession, but I tend to think not entirely. I’m ashamed to say that I half expected Dickon to want to kneel, and Randyll to bully him into NOT doing so. I was wrong.

      I do, and I have been too grouchy lately which is disappointing to myself (although I am just a rather crabby person by nature! Heehee…) I love the quieter moments, the small displays of the ordinary, the innocence amidst the ugly, like Little Sam and Ser Pounce and even heartbreaking things like Arya’s comforting kindness to the dying little girl at the House of Black & White. But mostly the little cheerful things that give a little lift to the darkness. ☺

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    229. We so rarely see Varys showing his worries. That tapping of the letter against the step, and chugging of the wine was an interesting part of the scene with Tyrion.

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    230. Pigeon: I do, and I have been too grouchy lately which is disappointing to myself (although I am just a rather crabby person by nature! Heehee…) I

      Never noticed any grouchiness, just a lot of clever wit. LOL you may be feeling crabby (fermented?) while you type, but you manage to have a strong enough mental filter that it rarely comes through as grouchy. Carry on 🙂

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    231. Pigeon: We so rarely see Varys showing his worries.

      He’s been jittery since Mel said something about him having to die in Westeros. Was anything like that ever alluded to before? Or about her “having” to die in Westeros?

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    232. Anon,

      No, when he took the black he vowed to “hold no lands”. He could forsake his oath and return to Horn Hill if he wanted, but he would risk death.

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    233. MeeraReed:
      I throughly enjoyed this write up.Hopefully you will get an ongoing spot reviewing the remaining episodes.It would do a little bit to make up for the fact that the season is almost over.

      Thank you so much! I really appreciate that! Look for my weekly ‘review/recap roundup, in which I give a one sentence synopsis of what the critics’ takeaways were…coming to an Internet near you sometime tonight or early tomorrow!

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    234. Thronetender,

      Since Wolkan was the Boltons’ maester, if she had any questions about the communications between Littlefinger and Roose, she could just ask Wolkan himself. That wouldn’t be in Luwin’s records.

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    235. Anon,

      A little campfire game of 20 questions or Never Have I Ever? lmao
      “Never have I ever had sex with a bear”
      Tormund: Well, I’m out.
      Jorah: Are you talking about my sister?!

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    236. RG,

      LMAO!

      Pat: Anon,

      No, when he took the black he vowed to “hold no lands”. He could forsake his oath and return to Horn Hill if he wanted, but he would risk death.

      I’d forgotten all about that… bummer.

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    237. BranTheBlessed:
      Ginevra,

      Azor Ahai? No, Old Nan says it was ‘The Last Hero’ who set out with his 12 companions with an aim of finding the Children of the Forest. I’m not sure The Last Hero and Azor Ahai were the same person.

      Seriously though, how sad would Jorah’s life be? He went through hell for Dany only to die saving Jon?

      What better way to serve his queen than by saving Jon😊

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    238. Lady Pounce:
      “Where’s Theon? Last we saw, he asked to see Daenerys so that she could help rescue Yara.”

      I asked this too. I know Dany was away at battle in the Reach, but did he and Yara’s men just turn around and leave? That seems unlikely as there’s nowhere else in the world safe for them right now because of Euron and his fleet, as well as the Lannisters. They wouldn’t exactly be welcome in the North either. Unless they set out to rescue Yara w/o Danny’s help, a mirror of Yara’s attempted rescue of Theon from Ramsay where she had a small, stealth team of men. But that seems foolish and not something Theon would be capable of pulling off given his PTSD issues we’ve seen.

      Although despite everything, Theon is somehow still alive so I guess if anyone can do it and come out unscathed it’s him lol.

      Maybe he was avoiding Jon?

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    239. Pat: No, when he took the black he vowed to “hold no lands”. He could forsake his oath and return to Horn Hill if he wanted, but he would risk death.

      But since Stannis was going to officially relieve Jon of his NW vows in order to make him a Stark and Lord of Winterfell, doesn’t that mean there is some kind of accepted royal dispensation if the ruling king decides so? Or was this just some hopeful thinking from Stannis? Wouldn’t dispensing with NW vows be at the word of the Northern lords if they felt a particular person was needed by the realm in another capacity far more than needed as a NW man? Isn’t that how Jon is allowed to operate and conduct business with the Lords and hold the title of King in the North? If Jon, as king, decides that Sam was needed by the realm in another capacity, isn’t that acceptance enough? Who would/could argue with a royal decree?

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    240. Sean C.: Since Wolkan was the Boltons’ maester, if she had any questions about the communications between Littlefinger and Roose, she could just ask Wolkan himself. That wouldn’t be in Luwin’s records.

      accck, that’s right, I forgot that Luwin was already dead by that time. (thanks, Theon) Wolkan certainly wasn’t as careful in keeping the records as M. Luwin was.

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    241. Thronetender,

      If Royce had any balls, he would question Sansa about how she ended up with the Boltons and then call LF out on his treachery. But they don’t have time for more thinking characters at this point with just 8 episodes left.

      I do believe that LF has painted himself into a corner though.

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    242. SnowDragon:
      It was truly wonderful , i was pretty sure that Jaime and Bronn survived , even though the thought was that Daenerys captured them , i thought when i saw Jaime and Bronn that it would be some Dothrakis there to deliver them to Dany , i must say i was glad there wasn´t .

      Daenerys did what i thought she would do , to demand loyalty of the Tarlys and the Lannister soldiers or burn them , did she do the right thing? , yes she did, because she didn´t kill the them right off, and when the Tarlys said no she burned them , to show that she was serious, though im not a lover of the Tarlys you must admire them to hold there ground to Daenerys and Drogon . I though wonder if Drogons wound from the battle is truly healed because Daenerys couldn´t rub that arrow shot from the ballista , maybe its like people say , that Drogon is a big boy , Cersei must own a truly big ace card to bring down the dragons of miss Targaryen.

      It was a truly lovely scene with Tyrion when he meet Jaime , Jaime was as furious as i thought he would be on Tyrion and why wouldn´t Jaime be that , Dinklage , Waldau was brilliant as the scenes with Headey , Waldau . Its obvious that Jaime doesn´t believe that they could defeat Daenerys dragons , he sees the things clearer and clearer , which you not could say with Cersei , she yet thinks that she could bring them down ( to be honest i thought that to , im not so sure now though) it seems that Cersei is a bit to confident, dragons isn´t wolves , wolves doesn´t breed fire dragons do . I would say that its advantage Daenerys Targaryen .

      Littlefingers plotting is truly the most intresting to follow in the North, i think it was Varys that said that Littlefinger is the most dangerous man in Westeros , agree , he has truly shown that , thats why its so intresting to follow Littlefinger , the scene with Arya following Littlefinger shows why hes so dangerous , hes a master of plotting , i loved that scene when Littlefinger sees Arya that play of Aidan Gillen is brilliant , i would love to see Littlefinger whole this season to see if he can divide the wolf pack , i think he could i do .

      Walkers is close now truly close , wow thats a army , a divided Westeros , is not to the advantage to Westeros.

      Wonderful to see Jorah Mormont , i truly like Jorah though he betrayed Dany its so obvious that he loves Daenerys, who doesn´t ?

      So to end this what was my favorite scene , of course it was when Jon Snow touched Drogon , thanks to Dany i love dragons .

      SnowDragon former SnowWolf.

      I think Cersei is planning a RW type affair. She said that she was going to “fight like father”

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    243. Jon Snowed:

      Also why does Tyrion refer to Olenna as a Queen in his speech?

      I think he was referring to Margaery (I was puzzled for a minute too before I worked it out!)

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    244. I don’t get the theories which speculate Arya knows she’s being lead around and will kill LF herself with the help of Bran, sans Sansa.

      Littlefinger’s show arc about his ambitions for the Iron Throne has been entwined with Sansa’s arc for some seasons now. She is going to have a major part to play in whatever goes down. Arya has already had her big solo Braavos adventure, training to be a Faceless Man and bloody vengeance mission offing the Freys from her list. She’s peaked in terms of achieving some of the goals she set herself. Sansa’s story is about her learning the game of thrones, navigating political intrigue, and finally, in my opinion, getting one over on LF.

      It puzzles me that some fans seem to want to give the culmination of this storyline to Arya, with a Bran assist. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love all three of them banding together as the Stark “pack” to take care of the scheming turd once and for all. I just don’t see how you can cut Sansa out of the equation. She is pivotal. And no I don’t mean her suddenly trusting LF and trying to clumsily enact a coup, that’s just too farfetched in terms of how far Sansa has come as a person, in my opinion. I do think we are supposed to be rooting for Sansa to show she’s a Stark first and foremost, and no longer an unwitting pawn in anyone else’s game.

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    245. Sure, it’d be great if Sansa has set a dragnet for Littlefinger. It’d be nice if she told the staff to report back to her on what he has asked him to do…but then what?

      If she catches him redhanded, what does she do next? It’s the old Varys question when Tyrion asks him for evidence: “Will there be a trial?”

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    246. Dany is THE most powerful woman on their planet. If Westeros had a TIME magazine edition, she’d be on the cover, surrounded by her dragons.

      Intelligence, here, is about knowing whether you’re a beggar or a chooser. Some folks want to falsely class Dany as a beggar. Even after they’ve watched her crank open the gates of hell upon the Lannister army, they still say Dany should submit to the North.

      Can you imagine that such a vast territory as The North has only 10,000 fighters to face the Wights? They’re at the point where they’re training 6 year olds to fight wights – imagine that!

      So, It seems to me that the North is the beggar, in this situation. Jon admitted this when he said he can’t beat the dead without her help….she’s cornered him. It’s Jon – and the Northerners – who must submit to Denaerys, or die.

      At this point, it’s just that simple.

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    247. Anon,

      The truth is that Sansa has had LFs balls in her pocket since he pushed her aunt out the moon door.

      My hope is that she has the balls to take advantage of this power.

      Someday.

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    248. I wonder what was it that Qyburn was saying to Cersei as Jaime walked in?

      Cersei said “No that won’t be necessary.”

      Was he asking her if she want Moon tea for the pregnancy?

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    249. RG:
      Anon,

      A little campfire game of 20 questions or Never Have I Ever? lmao
      “Never have I ever had sex with a bear”
      Tormund: Well, I’m out.
      Jorah: Are you talking about my sister?!

      Jon: NHIE… sold a person.
      Jorah: I’m out. Sooo out.
      Thoros: Beric and I are out, too. And what about you, Dawg?
      Hound: Yeah, I guess you should count me out, too.
      Jon: Are you talking about my sister?!

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    250. Alexis: These are not important conversations, they’re fan service. You want exposition where none is needed.

      Gendry is meeting the KITN and we witness all of 2 minutes of their conversation. His first words aren’t going to be “Hey I met your half-sister but I don’t know where she is”. Not only is that useless but we can’t even say with certainty that Gendry knows they are related. And let’s not forget, despite the quick travel time shown to the audience, they had PLENTY of time to chat on the boat to Eastwatch.

      Dany asks who cured Jorah? Someone at the Citadel. End of discussion. The only reason the topic is interesting to us is because WE, the audience, know of the connection between Sam & Jon. Dany and Jon have no reason to probe for more information.

      As much as I would love to see the characters chat about things relevant to the audience, and this has been said MANY times before, doing so would be bad writing. We know this information already, we witnessed it happening. I want the plot to move FORWARD, not backwards.

      Yes.

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    251. One the best set-up episodes in GOT history. So much happened it is hard to process. The pacing of this episode was great. I understand that the story is in turbo mode, but I felt the pacing of this episode was perfect. Jorah volunteering to go to the wall is an obvious excuse for Dany to go looking for them with her dragons though her true intentions will be for Jon.

      Emilia Clarke and Kit Harrington have been outstanding with their interactions with each other. They are both obviously attracted to each other, but IMO more so Dany to Jon. Jon is the first man to treat her as a Queen and show respect. He has yet to comment on her beauty. This dynamic they both convey is great acting. Emilia’s ability to show power and vulnerability with the same look is amazing.

      I love this show and can’t wait until next week. The hype is real.

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    252. RG: Same here. I’ve hated his guts ever since Sam mentioned how he came to the wall. But in that moment? Wow.

      All I could think of was what a rotten father he was to disown one son after abusing him growing up, such as locking him in chains. He could only love a son who was what he wanted him to be. If Dickon were like Sam he’d have hated him too.

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    253. talvikorppi,

      With respect to Arya and Sansa interaction, the question is why Sansa did not defend Jon more forcefully. ie Her response could be Jon is looking for dragonglass to protect us all from the threat. He is working his ass of for you people and i hope you support him.She could have reminded the lords that they needed dragonglass to fight the Night’s King and the war to come. She could have reminded them that they’ll need allies and help and Jon is doing his best to secure those for the North.
      by saying on ly that jon is king It undermines what Jon is trying to do with Dany and endears herself to those lords. Oh, she won’t say outright she disagrees with him (except for the part where she already has, multiple times, questioned Jon’s authority in front of the lords) but it let’s the lords know she’s closer to agreeing with them than with Jon.
      The thing with Arya is she can read faces. So she knows this was intentional reflection of her inner feeling.

      Yes, hanging may not be the best solution, but certainly defending so meekly is not someone truly loyal to jon snow would do. Sansa unlike Arya is trying to be loyal and rein in her own impulses/desire while arya is loyal to jon snow by default due to their relationship. So unlike sansa she does not have to try to be loyal

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    254. Dolorous JENN: I totally agree! Arya is really a one-note character without much development other than physical in the show.

      Sansa’s character has developed much more and all of her experiences have made her into what she is today, as well as genetics.

      Arya was much more thoroughly developed than Sansa in the early seasons and Arya underwent far more dynamice development (= character evolution) over the first several seasons. Arya’s character has continued on that trajectory, too: it’s not that she’s stopped evolving, but she’s stopped altering direction. Sansa’s dynamic development is much more recent (not really beginning until the end of the 4th season), which is what makes it seem like there is more happening: it is pure recency bias.

      Alexis: These are not important conversations, they’re fan service. You want exposition where none is needed.

      Indeed: anything that does not further the story or at least the plot at this point really needs to be kept to a minimum. How Jorah got healed is going to have zero bearing on what Jon, Daeny, Tyrion, etc., are going to choose to do in upcoming episodes: the fact that Jorah is back is what is going to be important.

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    255. talvikorppi,

      Yes, but after that ceremony, there’s no more light from the sword. Stannis’ sword gives off a dull light but not any sort of true light. It’s going to take a lover’s heart for that. GRRM is all about the tragedies.

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    256. viki: Northern and Vale lords are really unlikable – fickle and show no loyalty at all… I’m with you, if they complain about Jon bending the know, they deserve to die with the WW come for them

      I truly do not wish to single out your comment for I generally dislike putting anyone on the spot but I feel it embodies a fairly common thread so… Why is anyone surprised or disappointed by the Northern lords’ attitude here ?

      They proved themselves to be fickle and not quite so loyal many times before ! Greatjon Umber insulted Robb to his face, Karstark disobeyed his King’s orders and killed the Lannister boys, the lords en masse told Jon and Sansa to go f*ck themselves when they asked for their help and only started shouting King in the North when a ten-year-old guilt-tripped them into it, after the Battle of the Bastards was won thanks to everyone but them… I feel the writers really tried their best to make this ambiguity as visible as possible; they even had Lord Glover call Talisa (a medieval Doctor without Borders who was gruesomely stabbed to death while pregnant) a “foreign whore”, just to make sure everyone got it ! ^^

      Quite objectively, the Northern lords are no more fickle now than they have ever been. It just so happens that, this time, their fickleness is not in Jon’s favour. Perhaps this is what makes them so unlikable all of a sudden. Perhaps this is the definition of unlikable. “Anyone who disagrees with Jon” 😉

      Fundamentally, “the North remembers” has always been, is and forever shall remain nothing but jingoistic hogwash peddled by the region’s inhabitants, especially Northern exceptionalism cheerleader extraordinaire Ned Stark . Northerners are neither better nor worse than anyone else; they follow people who look like potential winners and rulers who take care of them. They are dogs and they demand to be fed. Jon, by not convincing them that his desire to bargain with a foreign invader they loathe was utterly crucial, did not feed them and now, their stomachs are rumbling…

      As for the Vale, they owe literally nothing to Jon. As Lord Royce said, the Knights intervened out of loyalty to Sweetrobyn’s maternal cousin, not to Ned’s alleged illegitimate son. So they are entitled to side with whomever they please, as long as the Warden of the East approves.

      Could Sansa have been more forceful in her rebuttal ? She absolutely could have. Fact of the matter is, she probably does like being in charge and is flattered and pleased not only by the Vale’s attachment to her but also by the Northern lords’ sudden interest in her (especially considering how thoroughly they ignored her and the Vale’s role during the whole KitN proclamation).
      However, she is right not to want to alienate the Northern nobility. From what we know, she needs their active collaboration on several matters, especially the gathering of grain and other food items to ensure the survival of the civilians who will seek refuge at Winterfell. Suggesting that the lords’ relatively mild (for now) criticism of Jon amounts to treason may upset their ego and given how fragile that is… Better err on the side of caution.

      As for beheading them, well, that is taking a page right out of the Daenerys Textbook of Political Science. I am not certain it is the most trustworthy source of the topic ^^

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    257. QueenofThrones: WorfWWorfington, Fuck Rhaegar, seriously.

      The words fail me to expresss how enthusiastic my approval is !

      I have never been a Rhaegar fan, for oh-so-many reasons. From his decision to publicly and gratuitously humilate his wife by giving the crown to another woman to his abandonment of his wife and children at the hands of a mad man to his inaction when his father murdered his child-to-be’s grandfather and uncle… Rhaegar and Lyanna are the Romeo and Juliet of Westeros and, like their Veronese counterparts, they reek of superficiality, immaturity and selfishness to me.

      The annulment business only adds to and confirms this already dark portrait. In pure Henry VIII’s fashion, he (with Lyanna’s active participation !) delegitimised his own children, the very same children whose fate he left to the care of his mentally unstable and notoriously cruel monarch of a father. A “Dad of the year” mug may be coming his way, as long as it hits him squarely in the face.

      At this point, I really feel sorry for Jon. Not only will he discover that his hero and role model, Ned “I never lie” Stark, lied to him for his entire life, he will also have to come to terms with the appalling track record of his real parents, especially his father’s. Quite frankly, there is much more pride to be taken from being a bastard !

      As for the line of succession, I am still somewhat struggling to see how Jon’s legitimacy signifies a certifiable change. It unquestionably introduces a doubt but we know very little for certain. Some elements seem to indicate that Aerys may have made his younger son Viserys his heir after Rhaegar’s death. If so, Daenerys’s claim to the Throne is still better than her nephew’s. However, I frankly wonder whether any of this will ultimately matter for it appears that traditional rules of succession no longer apply in Westeros; the Lysa Arryn of Chairs will probably go to whomever will be left standing at the end of this whole mess, regardless of lineage.

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    258. As mentioned earlier, Robb beheaded Karstark. We know how that turned out. Glover and Royce’s concerns were hardly mutiny. Arya’s become very, sorry for the pun, stark in her worldview. Black and white (sorry for the other pun), And because I doubt Sansa has shared what she’s been through, Arya sees the spoiled girl that Sansa has not been in years.

      And is it me, or does Winterfell suddenly feel like Whatever happened to Baby Jane?

      David, regarding Jon and Dany, not all the shippers, m’friend. I think Jorah would be good for Dany.

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    259. Out of lurkdom to explain Arya’s behavor. Arya gets home expecting a jon hug and gets sansa’s call me my lady bullshit instead. Arya is veryveryvery loyal to Jon. So now Arya wanders into that meeting just as lords beg big sis to take over.Trained to understand motivation, she notices Sansa hesitated a few secs before blowing off the lord’s support.

      Anyhoo, in the books as kids Sansa looked down on Arya, even thinking she was really a bastard like Jon. Then she got all “I’m gonna marry the prince and have his babies” yada yada. So Arya’s prolly right Sansa wants power. But for Jon’s sake she GOTTA know if Sansa will stay loyal anyway. When she comes on so strong she’s using that FM game of catching lies. She accuses Sasa in a creepy voice and observes her. That business about beheading was meant to shock and did. Sansa answers pretty well though so Arya leaves. Arya was NOT being a nosy bitch or whiny, bratty, childish, dumb etc. She was smart to use that technique to prove Jon’s interests were safe. The Poor kid is out of her class tho when she tails Littlefinger, whos been at THIS game for ages. He might even guess her FM connection cos she fought Braavos-style. So he’d know how to outsmart her or anybody.

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    260. WorfWWorfington,

      I see you and ACME have been talking.

      Seriously, though… LOVE this comment. And of course, part of the brilliance of GRRM’s writing is that he forces his readers to ask why people tend to romanticize people like Rhaegar, and stories like Rhaegar’s and Lyanna’s, even in the face of their ugly, bitter truth.

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    261. NinaD,

      I’m not sure about Royce, but Glover’s actions could definitely be taken as mutiny. He pledged his allegiance to Jon, then offered to strip him of his kingship and give it to Sansa. Arya wanting to behead traitors was very Northern of her. However, Sansa’s experience in King’s Landing and learning from Littlefinger taught her a better way to keep allies. I believe both of their ideas on how to handle the situation are valid and true to their respective characters.

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    262. Sean C.,

      According to Canon 1137 of the Code of Canon Law, “The children conceived or born of a valid or putative marriage are legitimate.” Confusing and illogical as it may seem, the very fact that a marriage seemed legitimate at the time, or actually was legitimate in the eyes of at least one of the parties involved, protects the offspring of any such union. (Of course, I’m totally going out on a limb and assuming that the annulment laws of Westeros were loosely based on those of the medieval Catholic Church.)

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    263. Thi Targaryen:

      Too bad she listened to Tyrion,and since when did Tyrion become so kind and soft? Plus isn’t he the one that used wildfire on all the those sailors in the battle of blackwater, strangled his whore and murdered his father? Tyrion is like he has suddenly forgotten his past and he’s Mahatma Gandhi.

      -Used wildfire to defeat an invading army that would have sacked the city and ultimately killed many more people (and civilians, to boot) than were killed on the water.
      -Strangled his whore who had betrayed him and lied on the stand, ensuring that he would be found guilty of crimes he didn’t commit (and that she knew damn well he didn’t commit).
      -Murdered the father who hated and abused him his entire life, and who had displayed no qualms whatsoever about having him executed.

      Tyrion isn’t an angel, but he sure as hell isn’t a monster.

      Incidentally, Gandhi was no angel either. A great man… but no angel.

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    264. mau,

      Late Middle English, so no. On another note, I’m once again shocked by the revelation that a fellow Watcher isn’t a native English speaker. You all put most Americans (and their shitty, sub-literate English) to shame…

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    265. ACME,

      I agree with you on everything about the North not being worse or better. But I would go even further. I didn’t see any controversy in the Northern Lord reaction. I think it’s fair to say in the North, it’s not just about tradition, but also and very importantly about popularity. A king or leader must not be just the successor of the previous king or leader, he must be close to his people. It’s a small community (compare to KL or other places like that) so it is much more ‘informal’ relation of power. I think Sansa’s comment about the Northern Lords being proud is a true characteristic. They don’t have much in term of wealth, but they do care a lot about their honor and their home and they expect the same from their King or leader… that they will show the same devotion and honor towards them.

      At the time of the BotB, Jon was the first legitimate successor of Ned Stark (if not mistaken, a bastard still come before in the line of succession than a woman). He was the one leading the army and to avenge the Red Wedding. Just avenging the Red Wedding is huge for them. He restored their honor. That is why they named him King in the North. However, Jon still is a bastard who spent his time as a Crow, who brought Wildings south of the wall, who refused to punish those we betrayed him at the BotB and now he completely deserted the North at the direst moment for a foolish aventure which will probably make himself get killed (in their opinion). And the victory at Winterfell is as much Sansa’s result as it is Jon so Sansa too avenged the Red Wedding. Sansa is a lady and therefore not the first person you would have in mind as Queen in the North, but she is a trueborn daughter of Ned Stark, she brought the Vale and saved the BotB, she understoods traitor needed to be punished and their castles given to those who were loyal, and she is a good leader who, and it’s very important for the North, CARES about the lords. She is a truer Northerner than Jon is. So yes, now they are convinced Sansa would make a better Queen than Jon and honestly, I believe she did. She is doing a better job for the North that Jon has. And I would add, Sansa brings better allies to the table than Jon. Jon is brining the Wildlings. Sansa has an ally in the Vale and because of her mother, she has a lot of influence if not claims on Riverrun (which Jon doesn’t have since Catelyn is not his mother).

      Also, there is a difference between voicing complains and treachery. No northern lord has committed treason yet. They are simply frustrated and feel abandoned by their King. They are complaining about it and that’s all. If you were to cut off the head of anyone complaining about their superior or king, there wouldn’t even be a word for ‘head’. Complaining and being loyal are compatible. You can be angry at someone and still follow them. And I’m convince that while they object to Jon’s decision (which is comprehensible) and voice their disagreements, they are still loyal to him and will follow him. I don’t think any Northern Lord (I’m not including Riverrun or the Vale here since they are allies, not pledged Bannerman) would betray Jon unless the Targaryen blood is revealed or Sansa makes a move. And that is what, in my opinion, made the Sansa-Arya scene interesting. Arya, at least, got that part right. Sansa barely defended Jon. And Arya is feeling Sansa is compelled by the fact she could win the north over if she wanted to. Since Sansa right to rule is almost as good as Jon and she is much more popular and a much better Queen for the North right now, if she was to play her card right, the Northern lords would be legitimate to support her claim and consider that Jon ‘has abandonned his kingdom’ and the lords are therefore morally legitimated to support her. LF knows that too and is trying to convince her to make that move (cause only her can make that move….only her could make it moral to switch who is the K/QitN). Sansa will be tempted, no doubt. But I don’t think she will betray her brother…at least not until she learns he is a Targaryen. But yeah, in season 8, it’s obviously coming. When Jon is revealed a Targaryen, Sansa first move would be to secure the North and she will succeed.

      That being said, people will certainly criticize me for saying Sansa is doing a better job for the North than Jon. Here, I’m putting myself in a Northern Lord’s shoes. Jon is a hero and probably my favorite character on the show. He is always taking the right decision which happen to always be the unpopular choice. When you see the big picture as we, the audience, see, Jon is probably the one we all want on the Iron Throne because all his decisions are in the interest of the Kingdom. And we are even more compelled to love him for it because he is always the one getting the shit. He got a knife in the heart by the NW and will probably be stabbed by the North once he is revealed a Targaryen, having everyone he loved betray him (I guess he would have more reason to become Mad than Daenarys).

      But if we put ourselves in the narrower view of a Northern Lord who doubts the threat of the Whitewalkers or think about their fiefs and their people…Sansa’s has done and will do more for them and I will go with Sansa.

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    266. RG,

      THIS.

      I’m really glad I took the time to read comments before writing the rant that’s been percolating in my head since watching the episode. You nailed it, in a really humorous way.

      I’m going to respectfully disagree with Alexis and opine that such conversations would have been far more than just “fan service.” They would have been logical. The Hound has probably spent more time with Arya than anyone (what, two or three years of 24/7 companionship?). He saved her life more than once, and ultimately almost gave his life for her. And he’s not even going to ask Jon if he’s heard from her? No. Through her association with Jaqen, Arya saved Gendry’s life. And he’s not even going to mention this to Jon, opting instead for a cheap “you’re a bastard, I’m a bastard, our dads were best buds” brofest? I don’t think so. Jorah has returned to Daenerys’s side, having been cured of a disease that—as far as the entire known world is aware of—is not only incurable but so viscerally destructive, both physically and mentally, that the afflicted are banished to said world’s equivalent of Chernobyl. And no one is even remotely curious about how such a feat was accomplished? Unlikely.

      Speaking of Jorah, let me get this straight. The man spent a number of years wearing the same formerly-yellow shirt to shreds, materializes at the Citadel wearing nothing but said shirt and some threadbare pants and shoes, but returns to his queen’s side in a splendid new suit of armor that he procured from… where? Was he able to access the Mormonts’ heretofore unmentioned bank account in Oldtown?

      As I wrote (or more accurately, furiously messaged) to a friend earlier today, I do realize that the faster pacing corresponds with the urgency of the impending Great War, but imo it’s moving too fast and leaving gaping holes. This is, after all, a show where conversation has always been important… and doing away with most of that is hurting the storytelling quality.

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    267. Elnauze,

      A bastard does not inherit before a daughter. A legitimized bastard does. That was the whole point of Robb having to write a will legitimizing Jon in the books. ie To prevent Tyrion as consort of Sansa from becoming lord. Whether he actually went ahead with that plan in the books we dont know.

      I strongly disagree with your assessment that Sansa is in any way more northern than Jon through her decisions. Jon is the one who took Ned Starks’s wisdom to heart about the one who passes the sentence must swing the sword. Thats the reason he gave for not punishing Karstark and Umber for their father’s crime.
      Now, I do agree that leaving the north is not northern. But
      1. What would Sansa have done if she had seen a whitewalker for real and almost died at its hands. Would she too not travel south to get help…
      2. Very early in the series she is the one who most wanted to move to kings landing from winterfell.
      3. Her tendency to appease the lords is more littlefingerian of catelynian than anything like Ned Stark. Not saying she is wrong , but the politics of it is clealy southern or at the very least right from littlefinger’s playbook who also at least in the books tries to make himself look good to whoever is powerful and mighty , in this case the northern lords, before it was ned stark , and cersei, making them feel that he is in their side.
      Are you implying that following this littlefingerian style makes her any more northern than Jon or bran or arya.

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    268. Elnauze,

      jonryaerys:
      Elnauze,

      jonryaerys:
      Elnauze,

      Are you implying that following this littlefingerian style makes her any more northern than Jon or bran or arya.

      Though to be fair to Sansa , she always wanted to charm people. A lady’s armour is courtesy she used to say. In Catelyn’s pov it was mentioned that Sansa had a desire to please. So sansa may simply be being herself by trying to please the northern lords rather than copying littlefinger.
      But pleasing people was never ned’s way. Nor in all probability other winter kings. They were probably proud hard people caring a lot abt their honor and having full faith in their authority.

      So I feel your argument abt her doing what northern lords expect her to do , which i feel is merely due to a desire to please rather than anger , actually makes her less northern and more southern.

      p.s its a valid question abt why does she try to please people. As she herself admitted, being courteous and nice is a lady’s armor. So it has to do with self preservation. In addition she probably likes being admired and being nice and polite and showing empathy to people kind of helps that. This empathy is something Jon has in plenty, but it is we the audience who see it rather than the lords. ie sansa is able to show to her targets that she is empathetic to their concerns. Thats her skill.

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    269. Wimsey: As Maester Slughorn notes, the one reason to think that the old stories have any truth in them is the strong similarities among them.However, if you start assuming that the similarities are just coincidence, then you might as well assume that the old stories are complete fiction.The Last Hero and AA almost certainly are just different terms that different cultures came up with for the same person.

      I always thought that too, now I think those Old Stories and Prophecys are different bits of one big Story…Like TSWMTW= Dany conquering with the united Dothraki;
      TPTWP= Dany&Jon; AA = Jon?

      Firannion: Yes. To annul a marriage is to say that, in the official view, it never happened. That was the Roman Catholic Church’s end-run around its prohibition of divorce (which continues to this day, incredibly). As I understand it, the practice of annulment was mainly used in cases where the wife is unable to conceive due to the fact that the husband is impotent or sexually uninterested in women. (I guess encouraging reproduction was deemed a greater good by the Vatican than discouraging every possible means of ‘defiling’ the sacrament of matrimony.) Henry VIII couldn’t get his annulment from Catherine of Aragon because she had already borne him a daughter, so the marriage had clearly been consummated. Hence the founding of the Anglican Church.

      So by this logic – and presuming that the Faith of the Seven works in a manner analogous to the medieval RCC – it should have been a divorce rather than an annulment that Rhaegar sought and received. Aristocrats have nearly always tended to get preferential treatment from the ecclesiastical hierarchy, of course.

      Firannion: Yes. To annul a marriage is to say that, in the official view, it never happened. That was the Roman Catholic Church’s end-run around its prohibition of divorce (which continues to this day, incredibly). As I understand it, the practice of annulment was mainly used in cases where the wife is unable to conceive due to the fact that the husband is impotent or sexually uninterested in women. (I guess encouraging reproduction was deemed a greater good by the Vatican than discouraging every possible means of ‘defiling’ the sacrament of matrimony.) Henry VIII couldn’t get his annulment from Catherine of Aragon because she had already borne him a daughter, so the marriage had clearly been consummated. Hence the founding of the Anglican Church.

      So by this logic – and presuming that the Faith of the Seven works in a manner analogous to the medieval RCC – it should have been a divorce rather than an annulment that Rhaegar sought and received. Aristocrats have nearly always tended to get preferential treatment from the ecclesiastical hierarchy, of course.

      But Elia could´nt get more Children.
      Rhaegar wanted more, but Elia almost died giving Birth to little Aegon..
      We don´t know how this works out in Westeros.
      Anullment, in this case, could also be someting like a divorce. I always thought about Rhaegar being bigam like Aegon and other Targs, but I dont think he´d be such a Ass to Elia and their Children…

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    270. Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. Having disturbing images of Bette Davis following LF around singing “I’ve written a Letter to Daddy”.

      I think it’s going to take awhile before Arya and SANSA will sort out their issues with each other, there may be some tears, or blood. Do you really think the girls will fall for Little Fingers manipulation?

      I like Jorah but the heart wants what the heart wants.

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    271. Danny: People attacking Arya after this episode failed to understand one basic thing about the character, one basic thing that has very much defined her in the novels: She adores Jon.

      true. you also forget that the same people whom she wanted to behead for insulting jon are the same people who saved jon in the battle of the bastards. I remember lot of people attacking Sansa for wanting to punish the umbers and the karstark, arya wanted the same thing so thats why people are attacking her now.

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    272. I am not 100% convinced the plan to kidnap a wight and bring it to a meeting with Cersei makes sense…but I am very excited for Westeros’ Magnificient Seven in action next week.
      Probably someone already noted this, but I like the fact that the 7 characters have all, in one way or another, already defeated death. And next episode’s title is “Death is the Enemy”
      Jon Snow – resurrected
      Jorah – saved from greyscale
      The Hound – left for dead and miraculously cured
      Beric – resurrected several times
      Thoros – defeated death by resurrecting Beric, plus in a way had his own life saved by his god’s power when he had lost his way
      Gendry – set to be burned alive and saved by Davos
      Tormund – he is the only surviving wildling leader, and has survived many terrible battles even when he was on the losing side

      it looks like all of them where spared when their moment came, because they had a higher purpose to fulfill

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    273. Wolfish:
      RG,

      I’m going to respectfully disagree with Alexis and opine that such conversations would have been far more than just “fan service.” They would have been logical. The Hound has probably spent more time with Arya than anyone (what, two or three years of 24/7 companionship?). He saved her life more than once, and ultimately almost gave his life for her. And he’s not even going to ask Jon if he’s heard from her? No. Through her association with Jaqen, Arya saved Gendry’s life. And he’s not even going to mention this to Jon, opting instead for a cheap “you’re a bastard, I’m a bastard, our dads were best buds” brofest? I don’t think so. Jorah has returned to Daenerys’s side, having been cured of a disease that—as far as the entire known world is aware of—is not only incurable but so viscerally destructive, both physically and mentally, that the afflicted are banished to said world’s equivalent of Chernobyl. And no one is even remotely curious about how such a feat was accomplished? Unlikely.

      You’re literally talking about conversations that could have easily happened off screen.
      ALL of these characters have histories together. To resolve them to any point of satisfaction IS fan service and looks like this:

      Tormund: Did you bring the big woman?
      Hound: Oh you mean Brienne of Tarth, the woman who beat me in single combat?
      Jon: You know Brienne?
      Hound: She beat me which led to Arya running away.
      Gendry: Wait, Arya? I met her on the Kingsroad years ago!
      Thoros/Beric: That fiesty little girl? Yeah we met her too!
      Jorah: Speaking of fiesty girls, I, Jorah Mormont, have served Daenerys for years!
      Tormund: Wait you’re a Mormont? You killed my people!
      Davos: Speaking of killing my people, the Hound was there when my son died!
      Beric: Well I’ve died loads of time.
      Jon: Oh hey, I died too! Melisandre brought me back.
      Gendry: That red witch tried to kill me and put leeches on me!
      Jon: Well I have a friend at the Citadel who could help treat you.
      Jorah: That wouldn’t happen to be Sam would it? He saved me!

      We could spend entire episodes of the characters realizing and acknowledging their connections. Or we could, you know, drive the plot forward….

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    274. Wolfish
      Ha ha ha ! Criticism of Rhaegar is becoming mainstream (I am almost tempted to start defending him just to keep my contrarian credentials 😉 )

      On a more serious note, you are utterly right that the ambiguity of Rhaegar as a character and of his relationship with Lyanna as a plot point is a testament to George RR Martin’s remarkable talent for confronting his readers’ at times ill-advised expectations and wishes.

      We, the audience / readership, desperately want to like Lyanna. We want to like her because she was first introduced to us as a rape victime. We want to like her because she was a Stark who was proud to be a Stark and we love the Starks (unconditionally, it seems…) We want to like her because Ned, our first protagonist whose death was hugely traumatic to many readers and viewers alike, loved her unquestionably. We want to like her because the aforementioned Ned compared her to Arya, a fan favourite. We want to like her because she gave birth to Jon, one of the most beloved characters in the story.

      No matter how glaring the parallels between Lyanna and Book 1!Sansa, the least liked of all the Direwolves, may be (and they are glaringly glaring, Book 1!Sansa being basically Diet Lyanna), we recoil at the idea of noticing them for doing such a thing would amount to challenging the inherent superiority of Jon, Arya, Ned and even the Starks as a whole. Thus we prefer not to.
      So intense is our desire to like Lyanna, we extend it to her companion, Rhaegar, for we reject the notion that Ned’s “flawless” sister could possibly have chosen a less than utterly stellar young man. We come up with remarkably convoluted scenarii simply to make what, in my highly subjective opinion, looks like a square peg in a round hole. To force this wonderfulness onto Lyanna and Rhaegar, in spite of the many elements pointing towards a not-so-flattering conclusion. To shift the blame and responsibility of their actions onto anyone, anything else but Jon’s parents.

      What if it were fairly straightforward?
      Lyanna was a normally hormonal sixteen-year-old who had rarely been outside of the North and was engaged to a young man she did not even like. She became smitten by the grandeur of the Harrenhal tourney and immensely gratified by the attentions bestowed upon her by a handsome (and married) royal prince. So she ran away with him, not thinking of the consequences of her actions. By the time she did, it was too late : her relatives had already been arrested and / or killed and she was pregnant.
      Rhaegar was a normally entitled royal prince who believed in prophecies that flattered his ego. As such, he was convinced a mythical Prince was to be conceived by him so he sought a young woman who embodied the “ice” part of the equation as a breeding partner. When he did, he pursued her blindly, ignoring the potentially disastrous ripple effect such a deed would cause. And then, he fought and died.

      Admittedly, none of that sounds particularly heroic or grandiose. No great love, no moral superiority. But it fits one of the main themes of ASoIaF : life is not a song and legendary figures are always disappointingly human.

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    275. Elnauze,
      I agree wholeheartedly ^^

      Jon’s kingship is a paradoxical one. Not so much for the show itself but for us, viewers and fans. On the one hand, we delight in the fact that he was elected King instead of merely inheriting the crown as a result of his family ties; on the other appendage, we expect the Northern lords to be blindly loyal and relentlessly devoted to their monarch, no matter what. However, it so happens than both positions are mutually exclusive.

      Rulers, regardless of the official source of their authority (inheritance, divine right, election, etc), always take their power from the people’s willingness to obey them. After all, the people is many and the ruler but one; crushing a broadly followed revolution is close to impossible, no matter how many troops the ruler might have. So if and when the people decides to rebel, there is little the ruler can do to stop the waves.
      It is all the more true in the cases of elected rulers. For them, popular support is not just strategically indispensable, it is also their only claim to legitimacy. The sole basis of their right to call themselves rulers.

      Jon is one of those elected rulers. As such, he absolutely needs to maintain a high level of confidence and attachment between him and those who put a crown onto his head. Failing to do so is political suicide and a dereliction of his duty as king. It does not matter how many times we, in the fandom, repeat “Jon is right to do what he does” for we are not the ones he has to convince; his subjects are.
      Be it north or south of the Neck, in Westeros or anywhere in the real world, being right is not and has never been enough. Neither is being a good person or a well-intentioned one. What matters to a ruler is his/her ability to persuade his/her people that s/he is serving their interests (and, ideally, serve them for real ^^).

      Jon is a wonderful, devoted and intelligent man. Undoubtedly so. But so far, what has he done for the North and its people ? He has secured dragonglass from Daenerys which is great but limited in scope (no matter how much training Northern children and women get in the near future, they will never be ready to fight the White Walkers even with all the obsidian-based weaponry in the world). The Targaryen queen’s dragons are, for the moment, not anywhere near the North and the King in the aforementioned North has been out of his country for months now… And the only explanation he has given his people so far is “I have seen the White Walkers, you have not so trust me !”, a non-argument based almost entirely on a demand for blind faith and allegiance… The words of a guru to his disciples, not a king to his subjects.

      Conversely, what has Sansa done ? She has identified Winterfell as a shelter for Northern “refugees”, so to speak; rationalised and monitored the allocation of ressources (especially food items) in the North to prevent starvation in case of a long winter; taken care of the troops’ comfort and safety in the ever so cold North; and listened and responded to the lords’ requests, demands and worries on a daily basis. For months.
      Neither Jon nor we can expect the Northern lords not to notice the difference.

      The lords chose Jon. They chose him because he avenged the Red Wedding (he did not), is a Stark (he is not) and Ned’s son (nope). Their beliefs put a crown onto his head and they may take it back just as easily. It is not a matter of loyalty or, as the Starks love to call it, “trust”, it is a matter of interests, be they real or perceived.

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    276. Danny: People attacking Arya after this episode failed to understand one basic thing about the character, one basic thing that has very much defined her in the novels:She adores Jon.

      I do not think anyone forgets this aspect of the character. I doubt anyone ever could. It does indeed inform most of her decisions and unquestionably motivated her return to Winterfell : she wanted to see Jon, not anybody else.
      However, we probably should not forget another fundamental side of Arya’s personality, namely that she is regularly misguided in her condemnation of others and reluctant to change her mind.

      The presence of both Ilyn Payne and Cersei on her list of names is a testament to this character trait of hers. The executioner was merely doing his job and the Lioness had nothing to do with Ned’s death yet here they are, already judged and found guilty by Arya ! On what basis ? The opinion of a stupefyingly privileged ten-year-old girl suddenly and brutally traumatised by the beheading of her beloved father. Hardly a sound basis for justice, if I may say so.
      The same logic applies to her feelings towards the Hound. Arya decided he was a monster, never even contemplating the possibility that people outside of her social class (aka the elite’s elite) may not be at liberty to refuse royalty’s orders. After all, not everyone has a daddy who is BFF with the King to come to their rescue and shield them from the consequences of their actions… It took close to two years, in the show’s universe, of virtually permanent interaction with Sandor for Arya to mellow and accept the younger Clegane brother might not be the scum of the earth.

      As per the story’s canon, Arya can be wrong. And she can be stubborn about her wrongness. She now believes the worst of Sansa because she wants to believe it. Because it fits her preexisting opinion of her sister. Because all the resentment and anger she used to feel towards her sibling were not resolved or overcome in absentia. Because her devotion to Jon and Stark-centered fundamentalism demand that she divide the world into no more than two groups : us vs. them.

      Her desire to behead Glover and Royce is perfectly in keeping with this mentality and, as such, quite disssimlar from her sister’s idea of terminating Houses Umber and Karstark.
      Sansa wanted the heirs of two families who willingly and freely decided to kill Stark troops to be stripped of their lands and titles. It was a purely political move, not destined to punish the children themselves but their clans as political entities. Arya’s call for some heads to fall was motivated by a desire to destroy “them”, those who dare be against “us”, regardless of their motivations or circumstances.

      Arya is a wonderful character because, to me, she is a tragic figure. She got what she wanted, namely a life full of adventure and dangers, but the reality of that existence turned out not to be nearly as romantic as she had fantasised it when she was a rich, overprotected and sheltered daddy’s (and brothers’) girl. Far from everything and everyone, her only lifeline has been revenge, as her own desperate attempt to fix the past, to right the wrongs (real or perceived) her family suffered.
      But what has it brought her, aside from impeccable fighting skills (and the ability to defy the laws of physics, as per her dual with Brienne ^^) ? Is she now more fulfilled than she was six years ago ? More at peace with the world ? Dare I say, happier ? She certainly does not look like it and her book counterpart most demonstrably is not.

      This, I believe, is what is at stakes with this character. She has to reconcile with the past, look beyond it, change with the times so as to move past this form of arrested development that makes her rehash and re-live the same traumas over and over again. She needs more Lady Crane, more human contact, more reassurance. At Winterfell, she has so far only received three hugs, including one from Bran which does not count because he now has all the emotionality of a dead fish. Arya needs more hugs, goddammit ! ^^

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    277. I think the only thing that will change with Dany once Jon’s legitamcy/ parentage is known is she wont expect him to bend the knee. After all, Jon isn’t an ambitious man and would be quite happy to just be King of the North. He’d tell her to keep the Iron Throne. In Dany’s mind that will just mean a solid Targarean rule in the North as well.

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    278. Sorry but I don’t see this scenario at all at the moment, given that Jon is busy saving the relm as it is, I think the common people (and Varys/Tyrion) will push Jon to rule the seven kingdoms instead of Dany. He may not want it but he’s shown he will do his duty and his duty will be to rule, this also fits the bitter (something Jon doesn’t want) and sweet (he’s the best ruler for the people) ending we’ve been promised.

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    279. NinaD,

      Glover and Royce’s concerns were hardly mutiny. Arya’s become very, sorry for the pun, stark in her worldview. Black and white (sorry for the other pun), And because I doubt Sansa has shared what she’s been through, Arya sees the spoiled girl that Sansa has not been in years.

      Arya sees much truth, and like all children, Sansa is a grown-up version of what she was then, minus the naivete’ and pliability. See what I wrote below.

      Furiosa,

      I always thought about Rhaegar being bigam like Aegon and other Targs, but I dont think he´d be such a Ass to Elia and their Children…

      I think he was an ass too. Presumably, he did it to honour Lyanna and perhaps to make it clear that Jon was his true heir despite being born third. Also, Rhaegar may have known or thought via ‘prophecy’ that Elia and her children would die. If rumour is correct, he was certainly willing to recycle Aegon’s name for Jon. In case they didn’t, Elia would be a discarded wife, and his children might be considered bastards by the law. IIRC, that’s what happened in England with Henry VIII and his daughters, though both were considered legitimate eventually.

      jonryaerys,

      Yes, Sansa always wanted to mollify people, She was sweet back then. Now, pleasing her peers is just one arrow in her quiver. What she wants is her way, full stop, and will do what she must to get it. Sansa’s not evil, but like everyone she has a dark side. She is a would-be autocrat. After all the lords we’ve seen ‘holding court’ on GoT, she has no advisors with her. No maester, no Hand, no (ahem!)relative. Daenerys and Jon obviously have them, but even Tywin had Kevan and Cersei has Qyburn and Jaime. Sansa notably didn’t even exchange glances with Littlefinger! BTW, she waited seven seconds ( ! ) to turn down Royce;s suggestion. As the Lords leave, she stares at Arya. She surely doesn’t want her there for many reasons, but mainly because Arya can read her like a book and won’t be reticent about what she reads.

      IMO, deep down Sansa, being basically good and a Stark, is uncomfortable with what she’s become and even ashamed of her affiliation with/dependence on that blackguard Littlefinger. This surely entered into her lying to Jon about how she learned about the Blackfish, a shame she didn’t admit even to Brienne. Much more detrimentally–it also is one reason of many she didn’t tell Jon about LF and the Vale coming. Sansa was genuinely glad to see baby brother and sister come, but right now would be relieved to see Arya leave. Both see through her, but Bran won’t bother her because he’s hardly there. OTOH, she sees Arya as a threat for several reasons: 1) Arya;s always been perceptive about people and motives, more so now. 2) Arya’s always spoken truth to power: Cersei,Ned, and (guardedly) even Tywin. 3) Arya’s bond with Jon means she’ll always defend his position. 4) She’s admittedly disposed of some enemies. Truth to tell, Sansa doesn’t want to brook contrary opinions from anyone, much less be told the darker truths about herself. From Sansa’s POV, Arya is disturbing Sansa’s pretty little picture. Like she did by play-fighting with Mycah by the river.

      IMO Arya was 100% correct about Sansa and about defending Jon. Sansa’s evasive dismissal “I have work to do” more or less confirms it. And why does everyone think Arya meant ‘Not if they lost their head first” seriously? It was a quip, very black humour carrying some truth for Sansa. She certainly had wanted to ‘dispose’ of the Umber and Karstark heirs, though not by killing them. At any rate, she insulted Arya back with “I’m sure cutting off heads is very satisfying.” We viewers know that Arya has never killed casually and without good cause. After having Ilyn Payne on her List for cutting off her own father’s head, Arya knows a miscarriage of justice when she sees one, but she took Payne off the List because he was just doing his job. With Bran’s help no doubt, those two are destined to take down Littlefinger (hopefully with no collateral damage–he’s very dangerous and he’s cornered), but gods know–they need a heart-to-heart to clear the air first.

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    280. Wolfish,

      Sorry, lost track of this thread:

      The lines of succession are meaningless at this point, ever since Stannis lost his head.

      Cersei’s biggest argument was: “Maybe I used all that Wildfire, but maybe not. And have you met the Mountain?”

      Dany’s boils down to: “See those dragons? Want to get a closer look? I didn’t think so. Those half-naked guys with the horses like me too.”

      Jon’s is like: “Davos is my friend. And Ghost is around here somewhere. And Lyanna Mormont likes me.”

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    281. ACME,

      What timing! I started my post last night and finally hit SEND a few minutes ago. And then noticed your post. It;s a darker take to be sure, but there’s a lot of insight into her. How fascinating that we both brought up Ilyn Payne, I guess because of that whole ‘beheading’ comment. God knows young Arya was indeed stubborn and often judgmental, but she was usually right. She has always been very egalitarian, but unless they’re lower working class, most 11 YOs don’t realise Papa must work or there’s nothing to eat at tea. In any case, I’m certain her comment about Glover and Royce was not literally meant. She’d be horrified. It was almost surely a quip; she’s made a number of dark quips this season. It’s also possible she said it to get a rise out of Sansa or (more likely) see what her reaction would be. Sansa is not accustomed to gallows humour and took it literally.

      Your questions/comments about her state of mind are interesting. Is she happy? Probably not, but she must be satisfied that her List is almost complete, by her or others. Is she tragic? Only if Jon rejects her. Arya has given love to many people over the years, but the only love she counted on being returned was Ned’s and Jon’s. As you pointed out, Lady Crane gave her a brief taste, and among other things that (plus Needle) was the catalyst for her fighting her way out of the HoB&W and home.

      Potentially tragic: Despite appearances, so far Arya still has no home. Sansa hasn’t grown either; she has always preferred to ignore her inconvenient sibling. As I”ve said many times on WotW, Sansa is for Sansa. Full stop. Did she wholeheartedly welcome her sister back? Not in my opinion. Sansa socialises with the nabobs only, not the no ones. Have no title, you don’t exist. Do you think she lets Arya eat with her, associate with her? People say she’s a great ruler? Even with all that’s going on, do you think she gave Arya a job –go train people in archery, go teach sword-handling to 10-YOs, be my advisor, let me help you learn about politics, or let me tell you why you must avoid Littlefinger? Of course not. Arya is wasted. At loose ends, she has to spar with Brienne, and is prey to Littlefinger because nobody told her he’s the world’s greatest Counter-intelligence agent. Sansa’s peace of mind was knocked on its heels once Arya was there. Not necessarily because of what she is or how she behaves, but because there’s now an alternative Stark…and a warrior. Sansa has learned how to be shifty from Littlefinger. Arya just questioned her and disturbed her pretty little picture–she’s bound to do something unpleasant to Arya. If I weren’t convinced that the two of them will combine to topple Littlefinger, I’d expect Sansa to cold-shoulder Arya into leaving.

      You mentioned Arya being regularly misguided about people. She is sometimes, but she’s usually been right, even pre-Braavos.. She marched up to Melisandre and said “You’re a witch. You’re going to hurt him,” She basically knew the Hound meant well by her, but when he knocked over that farmer and stole his silver because they’d “be dead by winter,” she called him the worse shit in the world. Sandor repented in S7E1. Arya saw through Joffrey and Cersei right away. And when she literally condemns, she often changes her mind–look at all the people she removed from her List. I do think everything she said about Sansa in Ep 5 was accurate. As to the vengeance v justice conundrum, we’ve long agreed to disagree :-).

      If Arya and Sansa survive Season 8, Sansa will probably be running something and Arya will probably still be an outcast. Maybe she could re-team with Sandor or even Brienne and become the Quixote and Sancho equivalent in a recovering Westeros. I think D&D foreshadowed what she will really do–go west of Westeros. If she lives up to her other foreshadowing, she’ll be a new Nymeria, leading refugees to a new land. And *that* would make her happy. And all of us.

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    282. ACME,

      I dont think in the show we can compare achievements in the north of Jon or Sansa in any proper way. The reason:
      It has a fast pace and does not show everything a person is doing. For instance in the books Jon was the one worried about food situation for the wall and wanted to arrange food from the vale through the iron bank. The show does not show the thoughts and has basically dumbed down Jon for the sake of pace.

      You are saying that Sansa has made arrangements for food, and refugees, but theses arrangements are not shown, only her concerns are. But why did the show runners have her mentioning these concerns. Is it to show that she will make arrangements for food or to show that food will become a source of conflict in the future. ie if dany arrives in winterfell to defend the north, they may be turned away by Sansa due to the food situation and the lack of food. This may ultimately lead to a conflict with Jon. ie the food situation may have been mentioned not to show sansa making a solution, but rather to open another avenue for conflict.

      I am not saying that Sansa has not done any of these things. Maybe she actually has made the arrangements. But the show does a poor job of depicting anything other than fighting, treachery, rivalry and such things which easily capture the viewer’s interest.

      Regarding your last bit about you can easily remove a king who is elected I dont agree. They swore an oath and northmen are supposed to be honorable. The oath makes a world of the difference. If it really comes to a boil, basically what will happen is north will be divided between those who chose to honor their oath and those who decided to go with the ruler they prefer. It is very unlikely going by north’s culture that literally every lord will foresake their oath.
      Will the targaryen heritage influence all this. That is another story.

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    283. A couple of late thoughts. . .

      Jaime/Bronn: Eh, I’ll let it go. Bronn has an excellent personal trainer. Besides, that scene provided some of the best lines of the night. Bronn and Davos were the MVP’s of the episode for me.

      Dany/Tyrion: I had no problem with her decision to burn the Tarlys. It wasn’t impulsive or vengeful. She’s at war, her side won, she gave them a choice. I’ve questioned some of Dany’s decisions in Meereen, but this was completely fair game as far as I was concerned. Cersei got to where she is by burning a shitload of innocent people alive, and these lords have no problem with her image. Throwing Dany’s into question over this execution would be an egregious double standard.

      Jon/Drogon: Easily the most electric scene of the night for me. Gorgeously filmed and acted, and the CGI was incredible. So much communicated without speaking a single word. I knew Jon was due for some dragon time, but I wasn’t expecting anything that intense and poignant.

      Winterfell: I’ve got mixed feelings about this one, and I’m actually surprised how much I have to say about it. Glover and Royce were proposing to depose the King, there’s no two ways about that. Jon’s executed men for less. Bran chewed out lords for far less back when Robb was KitN. What struck me is that this is where I’m actually starting to see politician Sansa at work for the first time. The appeasement, the people-pleasing, empty statements and saying the “right thing” while still leaving the stain on Jon’s image (“He doing what he thinks is right”). Politicking is as much about what you don’t say as what you do, and Arya’s not wrong to pick up on Sansa passively leaving Jon out to dry while still providing the socially acceptable response. That’s the very skill that got her through her captivity in King’s Landing. On paper, she has his back. She’s still missing the bigger picture, which is that undermining Jon’s authority and being permissive when others do in his absence, while Jon tries to use his influence to bring in allies and resources, doesn’t bode well for the survival of the living. But I get why she’s doing it. Arya read Sansa correctly, but the way she went about it was completely over-the-top. I’m not entirely surprised that Arya was made out to be that unreasonable, but Sansa’s shaken response was her tell. She doesn’t want to be thinking it, but she is. It’s a waste, though. If Sansa understood Jon at all, she’d recognize that he doesn’t give two shits about being King and probably wouldn’t hesitate to abdicate to her once the war was over, no overthrowing or subconsciously entertaining the idea of his demise necessary. He never wanted to be King, and by his own admission he only accepted the crown because it put him in the best position to save them all from a threat that he understands better than any of them. He’s using power as a means to an end, but he never sought it. Which brings me to. . .

      Sam/Gilly: Leave it to Gilly to casually drop the biggest bombshell of the episode, if not series thus far. Yes, Jon’s the heir. No need to beat the audience over the head with his legitimacy otherwise. Yes, it’s going to be public knowledge. It’s not for nothing that D&D are bending over backwards to spell out the legality of Rhaegar’s actions in modern terms, and making it a matter of official record. Yes, it’ll be a game changer. You don’t devote this much screen time to a reveal that isn’t going to be pivotal, especially when you’ve only got 8 episodes left to tell your story. “Hey Jon, you’re the heir to the iron throne!” “Wow, I’m in a glass case of emotion that merely learning that my whole existence was a lie could never have produced on its own! But for reals, I don’t want the throne, so I’ll pass.” “Fair enough. Just sign here and we’ll swiftly put this plot twist to bed.” “Wow, was that ever uncomplicated.”

      Wight Hunt: At this point I don’t even care whether or not it’s the right move. There are so many ways they could ensure the success of this expedition, and none of them make for good television at all, so I’ll just put my BotB-tinted glasses on and enjoy the kind of spectacle that can only come together when characters don’t communicate, think things through, or plan ahead. The promo looks amazing, the Magnificent 7 are the unlikely dream team I never knew I wanted, so I’m just gonna go with it. The protagonists can be depicted as competent again once it’s time for Cersei to lose.

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    284. Stark Raven’ Rad:
      NinaD,

      Glover and Royce’s concerns were hardly mutiny. Arya’s become very, sorry for the pun, stark in her worldview. Black and white (sorry for the other pun), And because I doubt Sansa has shared what she’s been through, Arya sees the spoiled girl that Sansa has not been in years.

      Arya sees much truth, and like all children, Sansa is a grown-up version of what she was then, minus the naivete’ and pliability. See what I wrote below.

      Furiosa,

      I always thought about Rhaegar being bigam like Aegon and other Targs, but I dont think he´d be such a Ass to Elia and their Children…

      I think he was an ass too. Presumably, he did it to honour Lyanna and perhaps to make it clear that Jon was his true heir despite being born third. Also, Rhaegar may have known or thought via ‘prophecy’ that Elia and her children would die. If rumour is correct, he was certainly willing to recycle Aegon’s name for Jon.In case they didn’t, Elia would be a discarded wife, and his children might be considered bastards by the law. IIRC, that’s what happened in England with Henry VIII and his daughters, though both were considered legitimate eventually.

      jonryaerys,

      Yes, Sansa always wanted to mollify people, She was sweet back then. Now, pleasing her peers isjust one arrow in her quiver. What she wants is her way, full stop, and will do what she must to get it. Sansa’s not evil, but like everyone she has a dark side. She is a would-be autocrat. After all the lords we’ve seen ‘holding court’ on GoT, she has no advisors with her. No maester, no Hand, no (ahem!)relative. Daenerys and Jon obviously have them, but even Tywin had Kevan and Cersei has Qyburn and Jaime. Sansa notably didn’t even exchange glances with Littlefinger! BTW, she waited seven seconds ( ! )to turn down Royce;s suggestion. As the Lords leave, she stares at Arya. She surely doesn’t want her there for many reasons, but mainly because Arya can read her like a book and won’t be reticent about what she reads.

      IMO, deep down Sansa, being basically good and a Stark, is uncomfortable with what she’s become and even ashamed of her affiliation with/dependence on that blackguard Littlefinger. This surely entered into her lying to Jon about how she learned about the Blackfish, a shame she didn’t admit even to Brienne. Much more detrimentally–it also is one reason of many she didn’t tell Jon about LF and the Vale coming.Sansa was genuinely glad to see baby brother and sister come, but right now would be relieved to see Arya leave. Both see through her, but Bran won’t bother her because he’s hardly there.OTOH, she sees Arya as a threat for several reasons: 1) Arya;s always been perceptive about people and motives, more so now.2) Arya’s always spoken truth to power: Cersei,Ned, and (guardedly) even Tywin. 3) Arya’s bond with Jon means she’ll always defend his position. 4) She’s admittedly disposed of some enemies. Truth to tell, Sansa doesn’t want to brook contrary opinions from anyone, much less be told the darker truths about herself.From Sansa’s POV, Arya is disturbing Sansa’s pretty little picture. Like she did by play-fighting with Mycah by the river.

      IMO Arya was 100% correct about Sansa and about defending Jon. Sansa’s evasive dismissal “I have work to do” more or less confirms it. And why does everyone think Arya meant ‘Not if they lost their head first” seriously?It was a quip, very black humour carrying some truth for Sansa. She certainly had wanted to ‘dispose’ of the Umber and Karstark heirs, though not by killing them. At any rate, she insulted Arya back with “I’m sure cutting off heads is very satisfying.”We viewers know that Arya has never killed casually and without good cause. After having Ilyn Payne on her List for cutting off her own father’s head, Arya knows a miscarriage of justice when she sees one, but she took Payne off the List because he was just doing his job.With Bran’s help no doubt, those two are destined to take down Littlefinger (hopefully with no collateral damage–he’s very dangerous and he’s cornered), but gods know–they need a heart-to-heart to clear the air first.

      So glad to see viewers who get it.

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    285. ACME,

      In the books at least Arya was taught with the ability to detect lies in her training. Even the show had similar training with the waif were they were telling when Arya lied and when not. So maybe she learned that trick. ie she can tell when people are lying and when not.
      Arya is a poor judge of character is a wrong assesment to me. Ilyn Payne in the books, basically took ned ‘s sword ice for himself and excecuted ned with it. it was only when tywin asked for the sword that he gave it. A mere excecutioner would never take such a liberty. The hound basically kidnapped her against her will. Imagine if a guy kidnaps you forcefully. I am female so i understand how arya feels regarding that.

      As you yourself admitted Sansa was doing a poor job of defending jon snow. You attributed reasons to that . But ultimately for arya, these things matter and they should because she knew sansa’s attitude to jon in the books where she looked down on him as a bastard . So it is perfectly reasonable for her to suspect sansa. moreover with her faceless man skill, she may be able to tell when she is being lied to. Even Sansa did not issue a strong denial.
      In fact in the leaked script prepared in april 2016, things were a bit more dramatic with the lords and sansa was saying you never take my side to which arya replied there is only one side. ultimately these portions were removed as were many more . jon and danys convo was way shortened too.

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    286. “I have work to do” might easily be the single most stupid line on the show lately. Since the last season we always hear that everyone is wrong for not talking to Sansa ( especially when she bites her tongue right before saying something important ). Now somebody is talking to her and … “I have work to do”. Seriously?

      Sansa fans seem to have more sibling rivalry for Arya than we’ll ever see on screen. Not hard to understand – their favorite has been bitched around all along the ride, while Arya was mostly cheered. Finally they think the roles are reversed. Too black and white, huh? Just wait for the story to conclude, ppl, this is GoT and what you clearly see in a glimpse is usually something else after a good long look.

      Now let’s see. Nobody else but Sansa thought of sheltering refugees and gathering supplies? This is The North, winter is here and a siege is expected. Any halfwit would do exactly the same. The reason we see Sansa doing it is simple: she is the Lady of WF, acting ruler of the North. Just messing around looking pretty would be a bit stupid. Giving the same lines to Jon is not needed by the same argument used against the “missing” chats between characters – he has “NK is coming, find dragonglass etc” lines, that’s the story his character is moving forward. This way they are both shown as actively ruling and I’m sure they even did some more things which we didn’t see as they happened off screen (thank God).

      The whole LF ( as all the Starks are convinced he’s a danger and cannot be trusted ) problem could be solved instantly by Bran warging into him and walking him off a cliff/tower. Entirely in line with his 3ER duties – the one sowing discord right before the NK arrives should go asap. Instead we are getting this plot story and I intend to enjoy it as a tribute to the character of Petyr Baelish, whom I don’t expect to last much longer.

      And while dealing with LF, I expect the sisters will, if not bond closer together, at least learn to work better with people. Both need it, if for different reasons. Arya was on her own for too long and from an early age. Sansa never bothered with what others might think or feel. Now she’s trying to, sometimes tentatively, sometimes with the wrong people ( Glover and Royce ). What they need is a common enemy, a threat to their family, and that’s exactly what they are getting. Poor ol’ LF might inadvertently do something good in the end.

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    287. Stark Raven’ Rad,
      Hello there ! How are you ? ^^

      I do agree with your point about Arya using gallows humour when mentioning the beheading of lords Glover and Royce. However, so far, the only traces of dark humour we have seen displayed by the younger Stark sister have been instances in which she referred to things she actually did do (cf. her allusion to having done some “baking” in the recent past when conversing with Hot Pie). Therefore, I cannot see any reason to take her “off with their heads” comment in pure jest. The formulation may have been intended as funny but the underlying meaning was as serious as a heart attack. Arya always means what she says and says what she means.
      She views Royce and Glover as traitors and we all know what the punishment for treason is…

      In regards to the soundness of her judgment, I cannot concur with you, I am sorry to say. Her list proves that she tends to place on a same level of responsibility people who, according to her, gave orders (Cersei, Joffrey, etc) and people who obeyed them (Ilyn Payne, the Hound when he was still on the list, etc), for whatever reason. This lack of nuance is enough for me to find her judgment somewhat lacking. But there is more : the swiftness with which she makes up her mind, the ruthlessness with which she imparts what she considers justice, etc.
      She did learn from the Faceless Men how to detect lies and I have no problem believing she has achieved impeccable skills in this area. However, she did not complete her training with them and did not lose her subjectivity (as becoming “no one” would require). So whatever falsehoods or truths she unearthes, she views and interprets through the prism of her own emotions, wishes and prejudices. Perfectly understandable and human in and by itself but not quite the degree of impartiality I would require from even a low-level police detective ^^

      Arya is not a machine. She is not no one. She is profoundly subjective and, as such, liable to make mistakes based on preconceived notions. That, to me, is why she so fiercely defensive of Jon’s monarchical position. She has never seen her favourite brother rule anything and he was not even remotely politically inclined the last time they saw each other. She has no objective reason to believe that Jon is a good king therefore no reason to demand the Northern lords be loyal to him, other than her love for him. All she truly knows is that Jon is a good man… Remarkable but politically irrelevant, I am afraid. Many admirable men have been appalling rulers. How can Arya know for sure that Jon is not one of those ?
      Her position is not political; it is purely sentimental. Of course, it is not a problem but it does make me take her opinion with a rather grandiose grain of salt ^^

      As for Arya being an egalitarian, I am certain she sincerely believes she is. That is something she has in common with Jon, Tyrion and Daenerys.
      The four characters view themselves as perpetual underdogs and remain, rather often, deligtfully blind to the myriad of privileges that shaped them. Tyrion boasting about his four-day experience of slavery to Missandei who survived through over twenty years of slavery-driven sexual violation, Jon bemoaning the sitting arrangements at Winterfell during family feasts in front of Melisandre who served as a slave for decades, Daenerys arguing she saved the life of Mirri Maz Duur when she kept her as a servant for the people who annihilated all of the witch’s loved ones, Arya demanding Gendry view her as an equal, thereby ignoring the blatant social differences that would prevent a man of his extraction and life experience from doing such a thing…
      All four characters mean well but they do, at times, have blind spots the size of Mount Everest and view themselves as much more in touch with the “common man” than they truly are. For all their tales of woe, they are the elites’ elite and it shows ^^

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    288. jonryaerys,
      Of course Sansa could have been more forceful of her support of Jon. But Arya’s position is that her sister should have done so. My question is why ? Why does Arya believe that her sister should have gone the extra mile to defend Jon’s monarchical status ? What does she know of Jon’s reign so far that makes her certain Royce and Glover’s complaints were treacherous and not fair criticism ?
      I understand she loves her brother and wants to protect him but this is a different ball of wax all together. No one was talking about Jon as a person, no one was insulting him or his character. The lords were merely questioning his suitability as ruler. Is that forbidden ? If so, I am afraid that Arya’s love, when applied to political matters, looks dreadfully like dictatorship.

      Sansa wants power, that much is obvious. However I fail to see how that is a bad thing. I understand many share Kit Harington’s opinion that power should never be granted to those who seek it but, with all due respect, I cannot for the life of me see the soundness of this position. History is full of reluctant rulers and they were all, without exception, disastrous ! Power is merely a tool. There is nothing inherently wrong with loving it or wanting to master it (if anything, the former helps with the latter ^^)
      What truly matters is what one does with it once in possession of it.

      After all, Arya herself sought power when she decided to leave Westeros (thereby postponing her reunion with Jon) to train with the Faceless Men. The skills she was taught there are a form of power, though not political in nature, and she actively endeavoured to acquire all of them. Therefore, I am somewhat puzzled as to why she would she condemn her sister for seeking her own version of power. The only reason I can find is that she believes Sansa’s desire would be detrimental to Jon which is a touching thought but a fairly imadequate one in the grand scheme of political things.

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    289. ACME,
      I think for Arya the most sacred bond is family, ie a pack, plus she considers Jon more than family. Like in the outline, she loves jon beyond whatever she knows. It may not be romantic but it is just as powerful.
      So Arya while in her mind may be justifying it by the godfather thing. You never go against the family or pack, subconsiously she is extremely protective of Jon. In fact it is this love of Arya to Jon which is beyond reason that makes me suspect that jon may just survive and even rule in the end.
      In Grrms universe family is the most important factor. Kinslaying is forbidden, unlike say in the english universe. So that also plays a role.
      The reluctant rulers you are talking about never had the tools /experience to rule. Those who had to tools almost always sought it. Jon in the books has also gained experience in the nights watch and has emerged as a big picture thinker ruler while neglecting the smaller picture which is what Sansa is good at. Ideally they should be a great team, but got is not ideal.
      That said I think Grrm will favor Jon over Sansa , because grrm himself is idealistic and big picture. Like that thing about Jon saving the wildings is perfect grrm and he is critical of trump who is creating a wall. Sansa winning the game of thrones is realistic, but ultimately it is grrms story. Think about it , who has the most friends /allies willing to do anything for him. Jon has sam, arya, even bran. Now possibly dany. The x factor of these characters easily puts him in a favourable position no matter cersei’s and eurons machinations and plans.
      You have raised the moral aspect of it. Should a family member try to prove he she is a better ruler. There are pros and cons to it, because mostly when a family member does it , it leads to war and loss of innocent lives. Also Sansa does not tend to think long term. ie she would not have pulled off coups such as jon did by letting wildings in and making them his allies. she has a feudal mindset which is closer to say randyl tarly then jon snow. That feudal mindset ensures that her allies who are also feudal will never betray her under normal circumstances unlike jon. But again if you want characters who can break the wheel, who think different, they are people like jon and dany.
      I have already mentioned in a previous post that her success in ruling is debatable thanks to the show’s inability to depict things /completely dumbed down book jon and also because we dont know whether that food stock is mentioned to indicate future conflict or to show her solving it. So we are all making some assumptions. And if we stan for a particular character or are a fan of him/her we would like to make positive assumptions.
      For instance a Sansa fan would glory at sansa’s genius in trying to make more allies and getting vale support. But someone who hates sansa would dismiss it by saying that it was just because littlefinger wanted to you know have sex with her and is after her ****. Due to the shows inability to depict things completely there is a lot of room for both positive and negative assumptions .

      Though I get it that you want Arya to be like show varys who is trying to identify best ruler. But Arya , dany and most people are not like varys . Plus sansas decision making partially led to neds excecution. this is not what i am saying but what grrm said in a interview. So she has no reason to admire sansa decision making.

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    290. Alexis,

      I certainly wasn’t suggesting that “we spend entire episodes” on such exchanges, and I did acknowledge that the urgency of the Great War mandates a faster pace. I fully understand these things. But come on… If there’s time for smartassery between Jaime and Bronn, or for cutesy questions from Tormund about Brienne, there’s certainly time to not insult characters by, for example, suggesting that they don’t have the least bit of curiosity about the cure for lepr… er, greyscale.

      /end rant