Game of Thrones Season 7 Premiere Episode To Be The Longest in Years

Tormund (Kristofer Hivju) and Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie). Photo: Helen Sloan/HBO

Photo: Helen Sloan/HBO

Since the final two Game of Thrones seasons were announced to be three to four episodes shorter than we are used to, there has been much discussion as to how this will affect each episode’s running time, if at all. Now, the running time of the season seven premiere has been revealed —and it’s a long one, though not extraordinarily so.

On the one hand, each of the seven episodes in season seven could be expected to be longer than the average 55 minutes, as filming went on for as long as in previous seasons, despite the three fewer episodes. On the other hand, part of the point of the shorter run was the ability to spend more of the budget per episode. If the overall number of minutes in the season turned out to be no different from previous years, the budget would be just as spread out, which would defeat the point. ‘Tis a quandary!

As HBO has disclosed the running time of the season premiere, we may just have an idea of how long the rest of the season will be, if we compare this first episode to others:

Season 7 Premiere Runntime

Typically, premieres are disappointingly short. Last year we had the show’s shortest episode ever, a bummer after a whole year’s absence. Meanwhile, this year’s premiere, at 59 minutes, will be the longest since the 62 minutes series premiere, “Winter is Coming.”

If this trend continues, this season’s episodes promise to be quite long — who knows, perhaps they will hold the longest average ever. However, it is now beyond any doubt that these episodes will be nowhere near long enough to make up for the missing three.

(Originally, the episode was reported to be 58 minutes, but the HBO site changed it to 59.)

355 responses

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    1. Yay, I hope this means we will get longer episodes obviously it won’t make up for missing 3 episodes but considering they filmed for the same amount of time as previous seasons it would make more sense to pack more in each episode.

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    2. You know what? I’m gonna just let you have this one, Watchers on the Wall. Any other site I’d be like “seriously? THIS is a headline maker?” But you earned this one with 900 articles not milking 3 minutes of extra credits. 😉

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    3. Reallygoodat:
      Minus the Previously on and behind the scenes it’s more like 52 minutes.

      No, not that much. The intro and end credits are counted as part of the episode, because they ARE, but the ‘previously on’ isn’t. Anyway, you could say the same for every other episode, so the comparison is just.

      GeekFurious,

      Even if the episode was of an average length we would have made a report about it. In general media sites it’d be milking it, but this is a GoT-centric site; it’s all we talk about. We report on running times, episode titles and many other things non-specialized sites don’t bother with.

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    4. Reallygoodat,

      a.fray,

      The “Previously On Game of Thrones” segment is not counted as part of the episode’s official runtime. Neither is the trailer for the following week’s episode, nor the “Inside the Episode” segment that’s sometimes included if you watch the episode On Demand.

      The opening credits and closing credits are included as part of the runtime, but they generally add up to only about 3 minutes total. (The opening theme runs for about 1:50, and the closing credits are usually a little over 1 minute, give or take).

      So the premiere will have about 55 minutes of actual narrative-based content. That’s still longer than the average episode, all things being considered.

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    5. Luka Nieto,

      seriously Luka, you don’t have to respond and explain yourself over stuff like this, the site is called “watchers on the wall” for good reason, if its GoT, its news… if they don’t like it then there are plenty of less dedicated sites out there, i know which site ill be staying with…
      keep up all of the awesome and thorough news/content…

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    6. I’m almost sure (but can’t find the source) that I read a quote from Benioff or Weiss saying that one benefit of a shorter season was that it would permit longer episodes. In view of that, I’d expect the upcoming season to amount to around 80% of a normal season in overall running time.

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    7. Glóin the Dark:
      I’m almost sure (but can’t find the source) that I read a quote from Benioff or Weiss saying that one benefit of a shorter season was that it would permit longer episodes. In view of that, I’d expect the upcoming season to amount to around 80% of a normal season in overall running time.

      They never said that.

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    8. GeekFurious,

      Chill out, Geeky. We’re all anxious for the new season to start. Take my hand and come out to the barn with me. Now breathe in the scents of my horses in the sunshine, the grass and honeysuckle, and imagine mowing down foes like the Dothraki dude with an Arakh in each hand like in the season 7 trailer. 😉

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    9. mau,

      I don’t think anyone is saying more screentime equals good quantity..

      People get excited at knowing the length of episode being long because extra time that will be spend on the story and characters that they care about

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    10. I wonder if the theme will go for as long considering it will be the first time we don’t cross the narrow sea, and with less characters we’ll have less locations.

      Does anyone know if they still showed The Wall in the beginning after Jon left? But then again Bran was still beyond on the wall. I guess the test will be when Bran gets away from the wall and no main characters are there if it’ll still show it every episode.

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    11. I rather see longer scenes with dialog and storytelling and mischief rather extended long battle scenes with lots killing.

      The battles in season 2 were short but done very well…. The blackwater battle climax was great.

      that’s all that’s needed … one perfectly directed battle scene… aka The Blackwater

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    12. Luka Nieto,

      From my perspective, a 58-minute premiere is significant, welcome news for several reasons:

      1. Most network “one-hour” shows are really around 40 minutes excluding commercials. So a 58-minute GoT episode is equivalent to 1.5 network episodes. If all seven S7 episodes run between 55-58 minutes, S7 will be equivalent to 10+ network episodes. (At least that’s the way I want to look at it 🤓.)

      2. I trust that “filler” like bad joke-telling and drinking games will be at a minimum. Plus, thanks in large part to Cersei’s surgical strike, boring, redundant or one-note characters like the High Sparrow are off the board. So, the 58 minutes should contain close to 58 minutes of non-fastforward-worthy viewing.

      3. Characters converging in one location means “two-for-one” scenes, i.e., favorite characters together in one scene.

      4. If I have the discipline, I just might divide up E1 into two half-hour viewing sessions.
      (Nah. Who am I kidding….)

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    13. Mel,

      Yeah! First time without Essos, however I don’t think the theme will change. It’s always been 6 locations with Winterfell, The Wall and King’s Landing being fix. I don’t see that changing.

      So we’ll have three spaces for three additional locations. If Arya’s still at the Twins, we’ll see the Twins, then I suppose Dragonstone and maybe Pyke?

      I think one definite new location should be Oldtown and who knows, maybe we’ll finally go to Casterly Rock or Highgarden.

      So here’s my guess: King’s Landing, Winterfell, The Wall, Dragonstone, Oldtown are fix for season 7 and then one shifter.

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    14. Vally,

      Even if we see Twins it will be for an epiode or two.

      We will see a Dragonstone for sure, every season we saw Dany’s location.

      I agree about the Oldtown.

      Casterly Rock and Highgarden should appear I agree.

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    15. Ten Bears,

      Actually, the standard for network shows for one hour is 44 minutes of actual footage, allowing 16 minutes for intros, and commercials.

      For a half hour show it’s 22 minutes.

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    16. Well, 58 minutes is nice and better than the ultra short ones we’ve gotten. To be honest though, just a couple minutes doesn’t make a difference to me. It’s still under an hour and essentially a normal length episode. They don’t feel longer if the clock hasn’t “turned over” when it’s done. They never do a really long episode, rarely over an hour and never way over. WW did a 68 minute premiere and 90 minute finale already in their first season. If the first six are all under an hour this season the finale better be long, dammit!!

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    17. a.fray,

      Intro is more like 1:45 to 2:00, depending on how many locations are shown, and closing credits are usually 1:30. They aren’t three minutes each.

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    18. Mel:
      I wonder if the theme will go for as long considering it will be the first time we don’t cross the narrow sea, and with less characters we’ll have less locations. Does anyone know if they still showed The Wall in the beginning after Jon left?

      Besides the obvious Kings Landing (with Lion sigil and smoking Sept), the Twins, HIghgarden, Citadel, Dragonstone, maybe Casterly Rock, possibly Pyke. Since Tycho Nestoris is supposed to make an appearance this season, maybe we’ll get the Narrow Sea and Braavos. What I most look forward to is a more fragile-looking Wall, hopefully Greywater Watch, and of course a flourishing Winterfell with the Stark lone wolf sparkling from the tower

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    19. Does anyone know when HBO will post the name the first season 7 episode?

      Does anyone know when HBO posted the name of season 6 The Red Women?

      50 more days of… anticipation

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    20. It does not matter whether the episode is 40 minutes long or one hour. Depends on the quality and longer episode cannot guarantee you automatically more quality content. Last season be the perfect example.

      About the runtime of the episode. It could change, can it? Don’t know this exactly works but can this be just a placeholder until later on?

      Pigeon,

      This is work for Missandei. 😉 They might add a few more of these and we’ll get to 10 minutes but hey Daenerys likes all of her titles, then let the world hear them.

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    21. Mel,

      Yes they still showed the wall. I remember reading somewhere that the show will always keep KL, Winterfell and The Wall in the intro. In previous seasons, we still got The Wall even when Jon wasn’t in the episode or when he was in the north hanging out with the Wildlings.

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    22. Geralt of Rivia,

      It does matter. Obviously quantity ≠ quality, but how much time we have left to enjoy these characters is important to many people.

      It’s also a much more immersive experience when you sit down for an hour instead of 40 minutes. Further, the length of the episodes has an influence on pacing. If there were 40 minute episodes (which HBO wouldn’t ever do, according to D&D it has to be a minimum of 50 minutes), then that would likely mean the story would have to be rushed.

      People don’t realize how time adds up. 5 extra minutes an episode would be 35 more minutes of content over 7 episodes.

      That has an influence on the structure and pace of the show.

      There are many characters, even important characters, that have no more than 30 minutes of screen time per season. With a sprawling story like this, every second counts.

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    23. Geralt of Rivia: It does not matter whether the episode is 40 minutes long or one hour. Depends on the quality and longer episode cannot guarantee you automatically more quality content. Last season be the perfect example.

      While it’s true that length doesn’t equate to quality, last season was not a perfect example of that not being true. Two of the lesser praised episodes of the season, “Oathbreaker” and “The Broken Man” were 52 minutes and 51 minutes, respectively. The now two highest rated episodes of the entire series are “Battle of the Bastards,” and “The Winds of Winter,” which were 60 minutes and 69 minutes, which is the longest episode so far.

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    24. Clob,

      I gauge “effective” run time by factoring in rewind/rewatch scenes, and subtracting one-and-done, fast-forward-worthy scenes.

      For instance – though I’m not a huge fan of Mylod-directed episodes in general – I must’ve rewatched the cold open of the Hound’s return in S6e7 at least a dozen times before proceeding with the rest of the episode. Same thing with the S5? Stannis-Jon Snow scene (Stannis: “…Lay your sword before me, pledge me your services…and rise again as Jon Stark, Lord of Winterfell”); S6e10 Arya turning Walder Frey into a human Pez dispenser; S4e1 final segment aka “What the F€ck’s a Lommy > Every F-cking Chicken in this Room”; S1 Syrio + Arya; and S6e9 Daeny + three dragons vs. Masters’ fleet. I should assign a “multiplier” to the run time of those episodes to account for the multiple rewind/replays.

      Conversely, High Sparrow speeches were (to me) boring, and a waste of precious minutes. Just about every scene with Ramsay, WeenieFinger, or Sansa has been a one-and-done for me. (Yeah, I get it: Ramsay’s a sadistic psycho, the HS is a smug hypocrite, LF is a mustache-twirling villain, and Sansa’s actions make no sense. Their scenes have been tiresome for me. ) Frankly, although I was really impressed by the staging of the Siege of Riverrun, the whole Jaime – Blackfish – Edmure story line was underwhelming – relatively speaking. (Anything on GoT is better than anything else on TV.)

      I should hasten to add that I’m not bashing any of the directors or actors. The bar has been raised so high on GoT that even exemplary direction and performances suffer by comparison.

      So that’s my long-winded explanation of my personal “effective run time” policy. I expect S7e1 will be 58 minutes of filler-free, non-stop enjoyment – with the exception of any LF or Greyjoy scenes.

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    25. Ten Bears,

      Judging by the trailer and unofficial photos, the Greyjoy scenes look to be awfully exciting

      Sea battle, Euron fighting, Yara being captured and brought to King’s Landing.

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    26. Intro spec:

      Fixed: KL (lion signal), winterfell (unchanged, s1 version), the wall (will represent eastwatch too)

      In all 7 episodes: Dragonstone

      In most episodes (likely 1 through 5): Oldtown

      Switchers: twins (ep 1), casterly rock, pyke, highgarden (depends how prominent CR and HG feature. I don’t know how they decide this- Moat cailin gets animated but not Volantis…)

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    27. mau,

      Home was 54 minutes. Not that short. A better example would be Rains of Castamere which was 50 minutes.

      Length of the episodes mainly has an impact on the overall pacing of the season, and the screen time we’re likely to get for certain characters or stories.

      It doesn’t really have anything to do with quality, as many people including yourself have pointed out.

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    28. I don’t know what to expect this season as I have not looked at any of the promotional materials. I just hope the story goes back to taking me to places I could never have imagined.

      I know some of you guys are more into the Disney / Pixar style of storytelling where it’s just your favorite heroes on a stampede to victory with little impeding their progress. It’s less scary and I guess it sort of feels good in a hollow sort of way. But personally I hope we head back to the G.R.R.M. style of plotting, where anything can happen and you have no idea where things are going to end up. It’s much more rich and fulfilling and has a deeper emotional impact, even if you’re favorite hero doesn’t always end up in the spot you wanted them.

      I know it’s a lot to ask of D & D with the little time they have to write the series, but I hope they at least made the attempt this season to return to their literary routes.

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    29. Ten Bears,

      I like Mylod’s season 5 episodes… I don’t like Mylod’s season 6 episodes. In season 5 Mylod directed is a great scene with Littlefinger and Sansa in the crypt at Winterfell where they talk about Sansa’s aunt Lyanna Stark.

      I won’t be surprised if Littlefinger and Sansa talk about aunt Lyanna in season 7 too.
      Littlefinger is playing the game of thrones as much as Cersei… Littlefinger is the cause of so much of the Game of Thrones story. I hope Sansa and Jon Snow find out about LF and all he has done. I loved how Cersei and her guards read Littlefinger the riot act in season 1. I hope D&D have a better story with GRRM dialog in season 7 and if they do I am sure season 7 will be better than season 6!!!!

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    30. firstone,

      I wouldn’t count on the dialog improving much, D&D have clearly settled into a more casual, straightforward style, and there is no reason to change that at this point.

      They certainly won’t be writing in GRRM’s style, and if the trailer for Season 7 is any indication, the dialog this year will be consistent with last year’s style.

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    31. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      Doubtful. I’d be happy to be wrong, but I think at this point, we should expect a much more straightforward narrative than what GRRM likes to do.

      The most GRRM-esque moments they’ve had in the past few seasons, Shireen’s burning and Hodor’s origin, both happen to be moments from future books that GRRM told them about. Even before I knew that, I remember having this indescribable feeling of being absolutely gut punched after watching those scenes, just like how I felt after first seeing Ned’s death, the Red Wedding, and all the other iconic moments from GoT’s early days.

      I’m sure a few of those moments are yet to come, but in terms of what D&D themselves come up with, and how they like to structure the story, I’d expect the style of the past couple of seasons to continue.

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    32. Markus Stark,

      I agree that the show will be more simplistic than the books, but unlike you, I don’t see that as a bad thing. There is such a thing as being overcomplicated, like Martin’s last two books. His books became too convoluted and too detailed, creating a mess in the narrative. I really do believe that D&D avoided making the same mistakes, for the most part.

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    33. Markus Stark:
      firstone,

      I wouldn’t count on the dialog improving much, D&D have clearly settled into a more casual, straightforward style, and there is no reason to change that at this point.

      They certainly won’t be writing in GRRM’s style, and if the trailer for Season 7 is any indication, the dialog this year will be consistent with last year’s style.

      Yeah I won’t be surprised if you are 100% right… I just hope the 1st episode of season 7 is a lot better than the first episode of season 6. Season 6 got better after a second watch but overall season 6 didn’t seem to be as “game of thrones” as the other 5 seasons. And maybe the majority like it better that way but not me. I hope that D&D get as much info as possible from GRRM for season 7 and 8!

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    34. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      Our “heroes” hardly “stampeded to victory.” Since the end of season three, they’ve had their asses kicked repeatedly. I don’t need a fairy tale ending where all my favorite characters live happily ever after. I just like to see them win one for a change.

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    35. GeekFurious:
      You know what? I’m gonna just let you have this one, Watchers on the Wall. Any other site I’d be like “seriously? THIS is a headline maker?” But you earned this one with 900 articles not milking 3 minutes of extra credits.

      FFS, Geeky, why don´t you go suck off GRRMartin like…right now? That´s all you´re known for anyway in the fandom.

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    36. Markus Stark,

      Same. I wonder if they’ve stopped communicating at this point. I feel like D & D and George don’t talk about the story anymore. But even still, I feel like D & D are capable of more even without George. We’ll just have to wait and see, but I’ll be highly disappointed if things just keep turning out the way we expect them.

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    37. Young Dragon,

      I was just talking about S6. Not just heroes stampeding, but the storytelling being more linear and being along the lines of what we expect from other shows. Example: Arya’s ultra simplistic resolution to the House of B & W i.e. in the end, the Faceless Men were just bad guys. The story seemed much more complicated than that.

      Let’s face it though, George is a rare innovator in the plotting department and doesn’t enough credit for that. Still, I think D & D are capable of better.

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    38. Pigeon,

      Then it will be the first time dany will have 10 minutes of continuous screentime instead of having 3 to 5 minutes …
      And it wouldn’t surprise me seeing that D&D doesnt write anything other than that for her

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    39. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      D&D still talk to GRRM I wouldn’t worry about that. A few months ago Liam Cunningham aka Davos said at a award show that George has told D&D where the story has to be and about how certain character relationships need to be while D&D write how it happens as George doesn’t write outlines for his book, he just knows certain things that need to happen and D&D have free creativity to make things happen and develop relationships like George wants but do it in a different way but have it lead to the same destination.

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    40. firstone,

      I think will be much better but i really liked the 1 episode of season 6 to me was very solid an brilliant cinemetography and for me s6 is just a little behind season 4.

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    41. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      They absolutely do still communicate–it’s been mentioned in several pre-season interviews. The disconnect has been greatly exaggerated. Yes, GRRM did come off visibly irritated when they first passed the books (not that he has anyone to blame for that inevitability but himself), but I recall one pretty recent interview someone linked to on here in which D&D were asked about going “off-book” and said that they were still very much operating “in George’s wheelhouse”, and of course they’re still working toward the same ending he outlined to them when they talked after Season 3–which has been frequently described by both GRRM and D&D as “bittersweet” and most certainly not Disney-esque, so I’d think everyone should expect a bit of a shift back to the tragic arc of the series for Season 8. After all, the fact of the matter is that no one in the fandom here knows the ending yet, no matter how “safe” they might think certain characters are or how confident they are certain events will happen. In addition, for those of us who have seen the leaks, without going into details there are definitely a number of developments this season way too massive and integral to the overall story to NOT be plot points from the unfinished books. At this late stage of the story we’re clearly getting a quite a few both explicit and implied book spoilers now (albeit in greatly condensed form), but since the Shireen debacle back in S5, they’ve simply refrained from specifically pointing them out.

      As far as GRRM goes, he’s even actively involved in outlining and pitching two of the prospective spinoff series, which is a pretty good indicator of just how deep in he is with HBO at this point. Granted it’s really NOT where his focus should be right now, but that’s another matter altogether…

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    42. mau:
      Clob,

      Not great examples. Home as one of the show’s most popular episodes was very short.

      They were fine examples! There are exceptions for everything but those episodes fit perfectly to contradict the statement that last season in some way proved that length doesn’t equate to quality. No, because an episode was longer or shorter doesn’t mean it was better, but those specific episodes were the longest of the season and also the majority favorites. So, when a person refers to season six, the longer ones were the better ones, as far as ratings and majority are concerned.

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    43. Ten Bears,

      I get what you’re saying. I have scenes in just about every episode that I enjoy watching over and over. There are a handful of episodes in the series that don’t have any of them and those are generally the least enjoyable for me on subsequent viewings regardless of running time.

      You know, after initial airing it doesn’t really matter to me how long the episodes are as they just get added on to the full story. Short ones are just disappointing that first watch. I usually watch all of them again the same night and every night during the week until the next episode plus many times more between seasons and never think about length again.

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    44. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      The main plot of s7 is completely different than any fan speculation after S6. If you haven’t read the spoilers there is no way that you would gess what will happen with the main plot. I read every fan theory there was and no one predicted this development.

      Some things will happen like the fans expected, like every season.

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    45. Young Dragon,

      There is such a thing as being overcomplicated, that’s true, and the last two books were definitely that.

      There is also such a thing as being overly simplistic, and I would argue that Season 6 was just that.

      It would be nice for them to get back to the happy medium of Seasons 1-3 in particular. Much more streamlined than the books, but still complex and not traditionally straightforward.

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    46. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      Yeah, me too. I had the misfortune of coming across many of the leaked spoilers (seemingly and hopefully not all of them, however), and contrary to what “mau” says, the plot seems to me to be very much in line with what one would expect, except for one or two very, very minor surprises. Every single spoiler I saw was the confirmation of a possibility I had already entertained multiple times.

      Even the things that were minor surprises to me were surprises because they actually came true, it wasn’t that I had never thought of them (I had). When he says “no one predicted this development”, I have no idea what he’s talking about, because everything I saw has been predicted by loads of people in the community. But, hopefully he’s correct, and there is some amazing/unpredictable development that I wasn’t spoiled on.

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    47. Why isn’t it 60 min.?
      I they stuck with David’s , long ago, canonical 560 min. a season (which was never explained) it should be 77 min.
      I still don’t understand these less than an hour episodes, which are the norm, HBO has not standard slot since they show movies of any length.

      Mau,
      Quite the contrary I am annoyed with the running times for narrative’s sake.

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    48. Markus Stark,

      That’s not true.

      The resolution to Cersei vs Dany storyline is completely different than any fan speculation. And that’s the main storyline of S7.

      Arya’s storyline is different. Everyone predicted something completely different for Jon this year, because everyone thought that the main focus would be his conflict with Sansa.

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    49. Markus Stark,

      GoT could never be overly simplistic. S6 had something like 10 storylines.

      Now people act like they expected everything which is not true, because there were no fan theories that Cersei will take the Iron Throne or that Jon will be the King in the North.

      And it seems that some people have that smug attitude even in advance when it comes to S7 even though no one predicted majority of developments. Should I give the list of what people expected to happen in the North, with Jon, Arya, Cersei after S6 was over?

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    50. mau:
      Markus Stark,

      GoT could never be overly simplistic. S6 had something like 10 storylines.

      Now people act like they expected everything which is not true, because there were no fan theories that Cersei will take the Iron Throne or that Jon will be the King in the North.

      And it seems that some people have that smug attitude even in advance when it comes to S7 even though no one predicted majority of developments. Should I give the list of what people expected to happen in the North, with Jon, Arya, Cersei after S6 was over?

      Actually there were many fan theories that Jon would be KITN coming from fans who are familiar with the books or have read them. I personally have believed in that theory for years.

      I only know one person who guessed that Cersei would end up on the IT way way before the season aired. That was a pleasant surprise either way. There’s a theory for everything at this point. Actually, season 7 really isn’t THAT surprising.

      As for season 7 (Leaks):

      Jon hooking up with Dany is obvious, Arya making it to Winterfell is obvious because that’s what she said in season 6, Bran making it to Winterfell is also obvious because where the hell is he going to go? Sure there were some fans who thought Arya was headed to KL or that Bran would stay at the Wall, but they’re a minority. And Jonerys is as clear as the light of day unless people can’t read or can’t at least figure out that the pretty protagonists in a story generally hook up. Several casual viewers think they’ll get together lol. Littlefinger dying is also very obvious unless we’re talking about Littlefinger’s five delusional stans or something.

      Other things fans predicted (even on this site):

      – Jorah going to Oldtown and him meeting up with Sam; Jorah getting cured somehow
      – R+L = J were married (old theory several RLJ believers subscribe to including myself)
      – The Brotherhood is joining up with Jon (because they said they would go north)
      – Jon reuniting with Tyrion (old theory) and maybe Theon
      – Euron and Cersei becoming allies
      – Wall falling down
      etc.

      It’s the how that people didn’t have pinned down. How do these things happen and when… I’m also pretty sure people thought Dany was going to lose a dragon way before the season leaked (there are several book related theories and D&D are working on GRRM’s outline allegedly), but I don’t know if all fans necessarily guessed how that would happen. There are also theories based on the book that Viserion would be the first dragon to go. I personally thought she’d lose one dragon to Euron (killed, no magical horn) and another one to the whitewalkers, but I had no idea how this would happen. As far as I know she loses only one this season.

      The only legitimate shocks are:

      – Cersei surviving the season (and by extension Euron)
      – The rumor about the Golden Company; I’ll keep this vague since I don’t know if you’ve seen it
      – Olenna dying
      – Sam/Gilly going to Winterfell
      – Littlefinger’s plot in the North being so dumb and relying on a letter Robb received that normally shouldn’t even be in LF’s possession (I personally thought he would start looking into Jon’s background to try and discredit him)
      – some of the wight hunt and dragonpit fuckery (book Jon has wights in the ice cells for proof, but show Jon still needs proof because D&D didn’t add this in season 5, so it’s nor surprising that Jon would try and get it….it’s the how that was difficult to predict for fans)

        Quote  Reply

    51. mau,

      I agree with this. GoT can never be too simplistic and season six was not that and it sure as hell isn’t predictable.The plot of season 7 is not at all how everybody was saying it will be after season six.People like to shout I knew it after the fact but there is only like two or three things that happen in season seven that people would have guessed and that’s only because of foreshadowing and logical storytelling.And another buzzword that people like to throw around is fan service and that’s also not the case for season seven.I still can’t believe that one time the heroes had a victory in season six despite the many losses people called it fan service even though it made perfect sense story wise.It’s also funny cause when we have something that people guessed happen they call it predictable and too obvious and when we have something that goes against what people envisioned happen they call it stupid and illogical.It’s like the show can never win lol.

        Quote  Reply

    52. Flayed Potatoes,

      It’s very hard to write a story after 6 seasons of build-up and to make things completely unpredictable in every corner. And I don’t think that’s really necessary for a good story.

      Many fans thought that Jon won’t meet Dany at all this season or that he would stay in the North for the majority of season. No one thought that the heart of WF storyline would be some kind of conflict between Arya and Sansa.

      And the most important thing is that no one predicted that there will be some kind of pact between Dany and Cersei against the WW.

        Quote  Reply

    53. Flayed Potatoes,

      I mean I’m speaking about the major things and you are speaking about minor details.

      yes, majority expected to have Bran in WF, but no one expected that he would play such an important role in LF’s downfall

        Quote  Reply

    54. Jenny,

      I still can’t believe that one time the heroes had a victory in season six despite the many losses people called it fan service even though it made perfect sense story wise.It’s also funny cause when we have something that people guessed happen they call it predictable and too obvious and when we have something that goes against what people envisioned happen they call it stupid and illogical.It’s like the show can never win lol.

      Heh, Ive thought the same thing may times. Good call

        Quote  Reply

    55. mau,

      How could he not play a major role? He knows everything about the story at this point (what happened and what will happen). He’s basically GRRM now lol. He was bound to know this. I distinctly remember several people talking about who in the show still knows LF betrayed Ned and Bran was mentioned among them.

      Wall falling, Stark reunion, Jonerys, Cersei+Euron, LF dying, R+L=J are pretty major things.

        Quote  Reply

    56. I’m just thankful for more A Song of Ice & Fire seeing as how the last book came out when I was 22

        Quote  Reply

    57. Flayed Potatoes,

      I don’t know how he could not play a major role, but many people thought that the Hound will do that and not him.

      I’m sure that there were people who thougt that he will have that major impact, because there is theory for everything (even Hold the door) but that wasn’t at all popular theory.

      And I never said that there is nothing important that the fans predicted. It would be a bad writing to just abandon long-term build-ups.

      I said that there are major things that will develop differently than fans anticipated, like conflict between Dany and Cersei.

      predicting that Jorah will go to Oldtown or Bran to WF just isn’t on the same level.

        Quote  Reply

    58. mau: Everyone predicted something completely different for Jon this year, because everyone thought that the main focus would be his conflict with Sansa.

      I didn’t think that at all. From my perspective I would say ‘some’ thought that, not ‘everyone.’ I’ve been assuming that SANSA’s storyline would be mainly having to do with her position and finally dealing with Littlefinger. There’s really nothing else for her to do other than that. I’m expecting much of that to be pretty “meh” for me as well. Listening and watching Sansa and Littlefinger conversations is like taking a drill to my head. At least I have hope that Arya will be involved to spice things up.

      I did not think or believe that Jon’s story would be bogged down in what at this point would be a “trivial” matter of who is sitting as Lord of Winterfell. That’s a side story at best for him currently. I figure there will be a bit of it since that’s where we left off but he has more important things to do. When we started seeing pictures of him filming at locations away from Winterfell I thought it was silly to read comments that he should be there ruling. Why? The series is coming to the climax and we don’t need too much wasted time watching him doing run-of-the-mill King or Lord duties and squabbling over a seat that won’t exist if he doesn’t do something about it. If the show didn’t have an end date, if they were planning on doing several more seasons and they could slow everything down then sure, go ahead and burn more episodes on it. That’s not the case.

        Quote  Reply

    59. Clob,

      When I say everyone I don’t literally mean everyone.

      But majority of people after S6 thought that Jon will stay in the North, because he is now KITN and his place is there.

        Quote  Reply

    60. mau:
      Markus Stark,

      That’s not true. The resolution to Cersei vs Dany storyline is completely different than any fan speculation. And that’s the main storyline of S7.

      Arya’s storyline is different. Everyone predicted something completely different for Jon this year, because everyone thought that the main focus would be his conflict with Sansa.

      Maybe you thought that, but I didn’t. Jon’s story for season 7 is the least surprising of all, to me. As for Arya, I wasn’t surprised either. The only thing that is remotely unexpected of those you mentioned is the Dany/Cersei conflict.

        Quote  Reply

    61. mau:
      Markus Stark,

      GoT could never be overly simplistic. S6 had something like 10 storylines.

      Now people act like they expected everything which is not true, because there were no fan theories that Cersei will take the Iron Throne or that Jon will be the King in the North.

      And it seems that some people have that smug attitude even in advance when it comes to S7 even though no one predicted majority of developments. Should I give the list of what people expected to happen in the North, with Jon, Arya, Cersei after S6 was over?

      Of course GoT can be overly simplistic. The number of storylines is utterly irrelevant. I’m talking about how each story is constructed, and how they interact. The fact that you think “high number of plotlines = super complex story” really just shows how simplistic your own reasoning is. I’ve seen shows with fewer stories that are more complex than GoT, and series with more stories that are less complex.

      Complexity is a more sophisticated notion than just the number of characters or stories.

      There were fan theories that Cersei would take the throne, but in any case I wasn’t speaking about that. I never said Season 6 didn’t have some surprises. It did.

      As for Jon being KitN, you must have been living under a rock if you think there were no theories about that. There were loads of theories about that, ever since Robb mentioned it to Catelyn in Storm of Swords when talking about his will. People have been speculating about that for 17 years.

        Quote  Reply

    62. mau: But majority of people after S6 thought that Jon will stay in the North, because he is now KITN and his place is there.

      If by “stay in the North” you mean literally stay in the northern regions of Westeros and not go off to fight or whatever in Dorne, The Reach or go to Oldtown, then yes I thought that as did a majority, probably.

      If you mean that he’d stay at Winterfell the whole time because he’s KitN and Lord and would spend the season dealing with Sansa than I don’t believe a “majority” or “everyone” thought that. Jon is a man of action so any plans made he’s always likely to be personally involved. I believe it’s a given that he’s going to try and get as many living banded together as he can, since he realized last season that he’s the one that has to, and he won’t be doing it from a chair.

      Before everything, leaks, pictures, etc., I figured he’d go to Dragonstone for dragonglass at least. I also thought it a possibility that he’d go to the Riverlands to try to attain men (remaining Tully forces) while the Lannisters were occupied elsewhere against Daenerys. Leaks don’t say that he’ll do that, at least personally. What we are seeing is that it appears he’ll spend most of the season out and about trying to unite the living for the war against the NK. I think that’s what a majority expected. I also suspected like many that in some fashion he’d align with Daenerys and THAT would be a major part of his season, not a conflict with Sansa.

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    63. Markus Stark,

      I see no point in trying to convince someone that something is unexpected. Everyone who is not biased and who is objective can go on this site and read comments after S6E10 to see what people predicted for S7.

      The majority of their predictions were wrong and one of the reasons why so many people were shocked by the leaks is that, except

      LF’s death (but not on Arya’s hands)

      every other big moment in S7 was something people didn’t predict at all, especially

      how the conflict between Cersei and Dany will go down, and that is the major storyline of S7.

      But if it makes you feel better to claim that you knew what will happen in S7, go on. As I said, everyone who is honest can just go and read what people were predicting and see how predictable S7 really was.

      It’s really easy to predict something with pictures and leaks.

        Quote  Reply

    64. Clob: If by “stay in the North” you mean literally stay in the northern regions of Westeros and not go off to fight or whatever in Dorne, The Reach or go to Oldtown, then yes I thought that as did a majority, probably.

      I mean in northern regions of Westeros.

      Majority expected that Jon will be

      preparing for war with the WW, I never saw anyone claiming that his plot will be trying to stop the war between Dany and Cersei.

      And now some people act like they or majority of fans predicted that development even if it’s obviously not true.

      But I as I said, if it makes them feel better to claim that the show is predictable, I don’t care. But I can’t remain silent about things that are clearly not true.

        Quote  Reply

    65. Clob,

      Well, you can take an episode with 50 minutes of solid material, and add 8 minutes of (a) the High Sparrow telling a boring long-winded story; (b) Ramsay sadistically taunting and murdering someone for the umpteenth time; (c) a bug-eyed jittery Theon twitching and grimacing like a paranoid crystal meth freak; (d) Sansa telling WeenieFinger he’s a duplicitous schmuck but then listening to him anyway; (e) rogue BwoB outlaws playing disgusting juvenile pranks on each other; or (f) Tyrion + Missandei + Grey Worm drinking and bad joke-telling …

      and wind up with a 58-minute episode.

      So episode length isn’t directly proportional to episode quality.

        Quote  Reply

    66. Clob,
      mau,

      I don’t know, if you have noticed, but one scene of the trailer has put the infamous leaks under a very big question. I mean two people falling into the water escaping dragon-fire.

      According to the leaks, it should be Jaime and Bronn during the battle near Highgarden, ringt? Indead, the event happens at day-time, the battle was filmed near the lake, and one of the persons in the water (the one on the right) looks very much like Jaime in his Lannister armor. However, the other person looks NOTHING LIKE BRONN. Everything, from long blond hair, to the costume, to the proportions of the body and a small feminin foot screems that it is Dany. Moreover, if you watch closely, you would see that the alledged Jaime is diving consciously his hand stretched forwards, whereas, the alledged Dany is kind of struggling trying to break free. Would it make sense for Jaime to try to drown Dany, if he gets close to her? Sure! Taking out the leader solves the problem – it was repeated through six seasons in many different forms. However, the leaks said nothing about Jaime’s attempt to drown Dany: it said that he will attack her but Bronn would interfer. So, the devil is in the details: I can imagine Bronn saving both Jaime and Dany, but it still looks like some things will go a bit differently than the leaks described and that those minor differeces in fact may be quite substantial. And therefore assessing S7 based on the leaks becomes very tricky – I would wait till the season airs.

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    67. Clob,

      You wrote:

      “I have scenes in just about every episode that I enjoy watching over and over.”
      ___________

      I’d be curious to know what they are. Just to keep myself occupied during the looooong hiatus, I’ve been compiling a “Perpetual Rewatch” list of scenes I can watch over and over and still enjoy them every time.

      (I had hoped to invite others to share their favorites or conduct an informal poll in a Forum section page, but as of yesterday the Forum section isn’t back up yet. I guess it takes a while to disinfect all of the spam and PutinBot infestation. )

        Quote  Reply

    68. mau,

      PLEASE! No S7 “leaks” talk! Even oblique references contain contaminants, or invite others to pipe in with details.
      🚱🚱🚱🚱🚱
      Thank you in advance for your consideration.

        Quote  Reply

    69. I completely agree and never said longer length episodes are usually better quality.
      (By the way, your examples for adding 8 minutes are all truly hideous. Example D would be my last choice.)

      My original post was specifically in regards to Geralt’s comment of:

      Depends on the quality and longer episode cannot guarantee you automatically more quality content. Last season be the perfect example.

      I was simply commenting on last season being the perfect example of something. As I wrote, the two episodes of the season that most consider the best and among the top few best of the entire series were also the two longest episodes. They were both quality from beginning to end. Two of the lowest rated and least favorite episodes of the season were also the shortest (while also having some of your 8 minute hellish examples). They all earned those distinctions by their quality, not length. I WASN’T saying episodes 9 & 10 were better because they were longer. What I was saying is that they were the best but they were also the longest, so last season was not a “perfect example.”

      Had they chopped 9 and 10 down to 53 minutes a piece they still would have been the best, probably. If they then added more High Sparrow garbage to the other two to make them 60 minutes, THEN it would have been a perfect example.

        Quote  Reply

    70. Inga,

      I commented on it in the trailer breakdown thread

      that I thought it looked like Daenerys/her hair before I’d seen that others were noticing as well. Whether it’s her or not, if the leaks are totally accurate or quite off, I think the final results of the battle(s) will be close. If Daenerys goes in the water that’s okay because we know she doesn’t die in the scene. 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    71. Vally:
      Ten Bears,

      (g) Arya’s entire boring ass storyline in Braavos in S5 AND S6.

      I hate to admit it, because I’m an Aryaphile… but you’re right.

      With the exception of Arya’s interactions with Lady Crane and Meryn F€cking Trant, the Braavos detour was a bit meandering at times. The out-of-character getting stabbed sequence was partly responsible. And I suppose people were expecting some development of the mystical aspects of the Faceless Men + Many-Faced god, but it seemed to turn out that the FM were just hit men for hire hiding behind religious mumbo jumbo, who also offered free euthanasia as a pretext for getting fresh corpses for their face peeling factory.

      Bit I’ll say it again: even middling segments of GoT are superior to just about anything else on TV; and I try not to dwell too much on the infrequent misfires since 95% of the time GoT hits the bullseye.

        Quote  Reply

    72. Vally:
      Ten Bears,

      (g) Arya’s entire boring ass storyline in Braavos in S5 AND S6.

      Blasphemy!! To me.
      Nothing in the story including Arya has been “boring ass” to me. The only problem with her Braavos arc was that they cut it down too much. No Sam, no cat when she was blind, no language training, little training at all really, very limited everything. There wasn’t enough of it to be “boring” but what there was I really liked.

        Quote  Reply

    73. Boojam,

      Fix your spoiler coding, please. Delete the spaces.

      People should have seen it coming because she’s really overpowered right now.

        Quote  Reply

    74. Ten Bears,
      Clob,
      “Boring ass” was deliberately hyperbolic to suit Ten Bears’ other points 🙂 But honestly, I felt the storyline dragged and the writing was at times a bit messy.

      Arya obviously has to have these skills for the future story to work out, so it had to happen no matter what. And it’s not that the other Stark children’s mentoring or learning arcs were portrayed better or were more entertaining. I mean, did we have an equivalent to the new Alayne chapter, where she actually tries to flirt with/manipulate a guy? Perhaps we should have had some montages instead. 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    75. Clob,

      Yeah, I realized after I asked what scenes would be on your Perpetual Rewatch list that with 60 episodes aired and your observation that only a handful didn’t have any qualifying scenes, compiling such a list would be a huge undertaking.

      I’m trying to pare my List down to the Top Ten, without ranking them. It’s NOT easy. On my first attempt, I realized 7 out of 10 featured Arya, the Hound, or both. I need to be more democratic. Or increase it to the Top Twenty.

      Maybe I should also do a Top Ten Fast-Forwardable scenes list. Then again, maybe not: WeenieFinger and Ramsay would likely take 8 out of the 10 slots.

        Quote  Reply

    76. Ten Bears,

      It’s not a leaks talk, it’s a trailer talk.

      mau,
      Flayed Potatoes,
      Clob,

      One way or another, I’ll better use the spoiler code.

      I don’t think that the person in the water that looks like Dany can be some nameless extra which accidently happens to have long blond hair. A stunt double? Possible, but one way or another it should be the stunt double portraying Dany. Yara would be the only other character with long blond hair, but her hair would be too short compared to what we see in the underwater shot; the action is happening in daytime contrary to the attack on the ship which was shown; and finally – why would anyone from Day’s team drag her under water? She is the Unburnt and it is known. So, unless there is another marine battle and the person dragging Dany under water is Euron (which would be possible plotwise, but not likely considering the filming information we’ve got), it should be an action sequence involving dragons, which (according to the trailer) is a land battle which was filmed by the lake.

      Actually, I am a bit confused about that lake. I look at Cersei’s map, and I see only two lakes: one somewhere in-between Highgarden and Casterly Rock; another – the God’s Eye with the Isle of Faces. None of them looks like an appropriate location for the battle. On the other hand, Highgarden stands by the Mander River; so, I guess the lake will stand in for the Mander, if the WOTW reports on the location of the battle were true.

        Quote  Reply

    77. Clob,

      One day I’ll need to read the books’ Braavos scenes to see how they compare with the show’s adaptation.

      Because I DID read, and absolutely loved, two snippets:

      1. Arya’s “Needle was Jon Snow’s Smile” inner monologue on the Braavos dock; I thought Maisie Williams spectacularly captured the emotion of that passage without saying a word: just by the sad, wistful expression on her face as she held Needle and couldn’t bear to throw it in the water. *

      2. The “Mercy” chapter from TWOW (which GRRM made available on his website).

      * I had stumbled across a poll on some fan site a while back that asked readers to identify their favorite scene and most emotionally evocative scene from ASOIAF. I was intrigued when over and over, respondents designated “Needle was Jon Snow’s smile.” I had to find out what all the hoopla was all about.
      I’m glad that scene made it into the show, and that Maisie Williams could nail it without speaking a single word.

        Quote  Reply

    78. Ten Bears,

      Sorry, if I did something wrong, but it wasn’t me who started the polution and at least I wasn’t criticizing showrunners’ writing based on you know what.

        Quote  Reply

    79. mau:
      Ten Bears,

      Scenes with Jon andYgritte from S3E7 are great.

      Oh, absolutely. There are lots of Jon and Ygritte scenes on my Perpetual Rewatch list. Is S3e7 the one with Ygritte playfully swooning into Jon’s arms?* One of the few times in six years Jon Snow actually smiled.

      *”Oh! A spider! Save me, Jon Snow! My dress is made of the finest silk from Tralalalalalaaday.”

        Quote  Reply

    80. Vally:
      “Boring ass” was deliberately hyperbolic to suit Ten Bears’ other points But honestly, I felt the storyline dragged and the writing was at times a bit messy.

      I am on the fence on this story arc, I have to admit. To me, the problem was not that it dragged, it was that it focused on the elements of her storyline I, very subjectively, care the least for, namely Arya as the ninja assassin…
      I know that many readers and viewers respond very positively to this aspect of her so I am going to try to tread carefully here so as not to offend anyone.

      In my highly subjective opinion, Arya is a fundamentally tragic character and this is what I appreciate the most about her.

      She started off as a reality-dismissing, spoiled brat, like all her siblings : Robb was a self-important, entitled spoiled brat; Jon was a whiny yet arrogant spoiled brat; Sansa was a delusional and selfish spoiled brat, Bran was a disobedient and noisy spoiled brat; Rickon was too young to have a personality but I’m sure he was a spoiled brat in his own way; and Arya was a rude and disdainful spoiled brat.
      Throwing food at your sister, ignoring the most basic rules of politeness, loudly claiming that anything that does not personally interest you is inherently worthless and ridiculous… None of that is “free-spirited”; it is just spoiled. But it is ok because she was ten ! She did not know any better because her parents never taught her any better; she was encouraged (by pretty much all her male relatives) to believe she was a very special snowflake and that she would definitely become a by-now cliché new Disney “I’m not like the other girls because I want more” princess .

      Then, Ned was executed and Arya was thrown into this “adventurous”, dangerous life she so badly romanticised and believed she wanted. The very life she thought would allow her to fit in, at last. Except it turned out not to be that much fun or accepting once it was for real…
      Still she survived, slashing and killing her way through it all, but always with this undercurrent of mourning. The mourning of her family, of her home, of her comfort, of her former innocent self, of her very heart and soul. The books do a pretty superb job at highlighting Arya’s fundamental grief and sense of irretrivable loss (inner monologues do help 😉 ). Conversely, for the majority of the Braavos arc, I felt the show tended to focus more on the pint-sized powerhouse trope…

      That is why Arya’s interaction with Lady Crane was such a moving and, ultimately, crucial narrative beat. It helped re-frame Arya’s journey beyond the archetypal “she kicks ass because she does not wear dresses but she has a sword and a list”; it reminded everyone that she is still a very young person who has not had a hug in quite a while and suggested she might be damaged to the point of not being able to fit in “normal” society ever again. A point reinforced by the manner in which she disposed of the Freys.

      Hopefully (for my very personal taste), season 7 will continue on this trajectory…

        Quote  Reply

    81. Ten Bears:
      Clob,

      One day I’ll need to read the books’ Braavos scenes to see how they compare with the show’s adaptation.

      Because I DID read, and absolutely loved, two snippets:

      1. Arya’s “Needle was Jon Snow’s Smile” inner monologue on the Braavos dock; I thought Maisie Williams spectacularly captured the emotion of that passage without saying a word: just by the sad, wistful expression on her face as she held Needle and couldn’t bear to throw it in the water. *

      2.The “Mercy” chapter from TWOW (which GRRM made available on his website).

      * I had stumbled across a poll on some fan site a while back that asked readers to identify their favorite scene and most emotionally evocative scene from ASOIAF. I was intrigued when over and over, respondents designated “Needle was Jon Snow’s smile.”I had to find out what all the hoopla was all about. I’m glad that scene made it into the show, and that Maisie Williams could nail it without speaking a single word.

      “Needle was Robb and Bran and Rickon, her mother and her father, even Sansa. Needle was Winterfell’s grey walls, and the laughter of its people. Needle was the summer snows, Old Nan’s stories, the heart tree with its red leaves and scary face, the warm earthy smell of the glass gardens, the sound of the north wind rattling the shutters of her room. 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.”

      My favourite passage in the books. And Maisie just crushed it in that episode, I could hear the words just from her expression alone. She and Iain Glen are my ‘face acting’ heroes.

        Quote  Reply

    82. ACME,

      Agreed on all these points. I loved the city of Braavos itself and all of the actors, especially Essie Davis as Lady Crane. But I was also vexed, for many of the same reasons you were, about what was lost in translation from book to screen. Some things invariably get lost; as you noted, inner dialogues help a lot, so there are certain passages where I understood that. But as you also noted, Arya “has not had a hug in quite a while.” It’s occurred to me that if her reunion with Jon echoes Sansa’s reunion with Jon, hug and all, it may be the first time she has touched another (live) person—and not for the purpose of killing him/her—since she cleaned the Hound’s wound in S4.

      Then again, maybe she’ll get a hug before then… from Gendry or Hot Pie or a certain redheaded minstrel. 😉

        Quote  Reply

    83. Inga,
      Hi Inga. I tried to reply to you about this in the other trailer thread but it won’t post. I think because I’ve tried a couple of times it’s treating my post as spam. So I’ll give it a go here.

      As far as I can tell (and it is difficult) the two people are roughly the same height and build which rules out the ones you’re suggesting as they are very different in size. The long hair/clothes a lot of people have commented on seems to be the effect of the water parting as they hit it and some air bubbles – a kind of whiteish halo effect. I think they both have short hair and non-flowing clothes on. The one on the left (L) has their hand on the one on the right’s (R) right hand side and L’s left arm is behind R’s back. If one of them is pushing or pulling the other into the water it looks to me to be L doing it to R. From what I can see on an HD tv screen, I’d be very surprised if L is who you think it is, it doesn’t look anything like them to me and my best guess is still the people mentioned in the leaks. Could be wrong obviously, but seeing it on tv makes the image much clearer than it was.

        Quote  Reply

    84. Ten Bears,

      Well I just finished watching episode 4 of seaon 4 – and think thats one of the bbest episodes of that season. Esp loved the Jaimei/Tyrion scene, as well as the Margery//Olenna and of coure the very end when we saw the Night King!

      Ten Bears,

      Top Ten Fast-Forwardable scenes list.

      Top one for me oddly enough is in the same episode – I tired quickly of the long series of rape shots and screams of the women in Craster’s Keep, and when I watch that episode, thats the one I fast forward (I agree about Ramsey and torture scenes as well)

        Quote  Reply

    85. Inga,
      Posting here seems to be working ok, so here’s the other thing I spotted on trailer rewatch. Just before the people in the water we see a Lannsiter marker being knocked over on a map. It looks like we are seeing the map from the top, so everything is upside down, but there is a white castle symbol above the lion and some writing to the (our) left. It looks like “ARS” but I can’t think of anywhere off hand with that combination of letters. Unless the map maker used sarcastic names and it says something like Castle Arse *snicker*.

        Quote  Reply

    86. Lulus Mum,
      I can’t make out letters when I pause, but… If we guess that the Lion piece he knocks over represents Casterly Rock and you see the letters “ARS” I suppose it could possibly say “sARSfield,” which is the seat of House Sarsfield just to the northeast of Casterly Rock.

        Quote  Reply

    87. Wolfish: But as you also noted, Arya “has not had a hug in quite a while.” It’s occurred to me that if her reunion with Jon echoes Sansa’s reunion with Jon, hug and all, it may be the first time she has touched another (live) person—and not for the purpose of killing him/her—since she cleaned the Hound’s wound in S4.

      Agree wholeheartedly.

      This aspect is fairly fundamental and this is why Lady Crane was such a significant character, regardless how little screentime she ultimately had. When bandaging Arya’s wounds, she became the first person in years who touched the younger Stark sister in an unambiguous, purely caring manner. And Arya let her, somewhat wearily at first and then comfortably. At long last, she connected with someone. Which is why the loss of her was so soul-crushing (like Brother Ray’s death was for the Hound)

      The Jon/Sansa hug was absolutely momentous, there is no denying that. The fact that two Starks reunited was in an of itself spectacular; and the fact that it was these two, of all people, made it even more so. The two who never got along, who never cared for or liked each other, who were pretty happy not to see each other ever again (him going further north, her leaving for the south), suddenly hugging each other like their lives depended on it (and they did, sort of). It was a tear-jerker.

      However, for my money, the Theon/Sansa touches packed an even bigger punch. By then, it had been so long since either of them had been approached by a human being they could genuinely trust not to hurt them (no matter how much I thoroughly like Baelish as a character, a touch from him does not count as reassuring 😉 ) and both their bodies had gone to hell hell and back (Theon might be the character who has suffered the most in Westeros, and that’s something). So when they held hands before jumping from the wall or when they hugged goodbye, it felt like a paradigm shift for them.

      Lulus Mum:
      It looks like we are seeing the map from the top, so everything is upside down, but there is a white castle symbol above the lion and some writing to the (our) left. It looks like “ARS” but I can’t think of anywhere off hand with that combination of letters. Unless the map maker used sarcastic names and it says something like Castle Arse *snicker*.

      And this is precisely why a drunk Tyrion should not be allowed anywhere near the maps with a pen in his hand ! 😉

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    88. Clob,

      Home was shorter than Battle of the Bastards and arguably better or on the par with it. It happened before that.

      Markus Stark,

      I speak for myself because when I watch it, one hour looks still short to me and time flies by and same goes for 40 minutes episode. That’s a good signal that they’re doing their job right.

      Put it this way, I’d rather have shorter and quality episode than longer and not as good in quality. We have like 13 episodes left one way or the other and end is near. This is the reason Weiss and Benioff tried to reduce amount of episodes to deliver same quality content to us fans.

      Characters will get mor screen time just by killing all of those unimportant characters to the endgame, so it won’t affect it that much. Usually it would.

      Jenny:
      mau,

      I agree with this. GoT can never be too simplistic and season six was not that and it sure as hell isn’t predictable.The plot of season 7 is not at all how everybody was saying it will be after season six.People like to shout I knew it after the fact but there is only like two or three things that happen in season seven that people would have guessed and that’s only because of foreshadowing and logical storytelling.

      Show is predictable in some aspects and it is pretty much inevitable. Is this a bad thing? No. 😉

      Leaks

      Jon hooking up with Daenerys, the Starks at Winterfell, Night King and his dragon (wight not ice fair play) Cersei and Euron all of that you can guess. You can’t guess details, but even show like Game of Thrones can be and will be predictable at times. Fans are creative and thee big plots are what many of us were thinking last few years.

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    89. Lulus Mum,

      Thank you. One more guess goes through the window – better earlier, than later. Anyway, have you noticed that the dragon screem sounds very much like DRACARYS?

        Quote  Reply

    90. Clob,
      Ooh could be. I’m not a book reader and not very good on the geography. I’m also a Brit and speak with received pronunciation, so thought it was CaRsterly Rock, because that’s how I pronounce “a”s. Had to double check the spelling to confirm. Here in the UK we get GoT via Sky rather than HBO and can download the trailer, so I’ve been able to see it on an HD tv, which makes some details much clearer.

      ACME,
      Ha, love it! Maybe a zoomed out view will show “Tyrion woz ‘ere” in various locals.

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    91. With all the information dropping recently how long do we think we will need to wait for the episode 1 title, I’m guessing in the next week or two?

        Quote  Reply

    92. Inga,
      You always have the most amazing theories, the best I can manage is someone is going to do something at some point with some kind of result. There are just too many possibilities for my tiny mind to contemplate so I don’t even try. Hopefully the trailer will be on tv soon so everyone can get a good look at it and decide for themselves. Mind you, we’re down to 49 days now, we’re getting closer *excited*.

      Never really listened to the dragons tbh. I wonder if they are like parrots and repeat what people say to them? Although that might result in a few “Oh F**K!”s 😉

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    93. ACME,

      Thank you for a great insight! If Sansa was so severely punished for her traditional-Disney dreams about Prince-Charming, Arya should also get some “punishment” for her new-Disney warrior-princess type dreams,otherwise it would be a rather cheesy moral that being a tomboy is much much better that being a good girl, etc.
      I believe that her story with the Faceless Men is far from over and that we will be able to evaluate her S5 and S6 arch only after S8 airs to the last episode.

        Quote  Reply

    94. Clob,
      Had another thought, if I’m right in thinking the map is upside down then the “ARS” is north east of Casterly Rock, presuming that’s what the lion was sitting on. CSI Las Vegas, NY, Miami etc got nothing on us!

      ACME,
      Yup, some things just are truly universal.

        Quote  Reply

    95. Hey guys,

      just a heads up if anyone is in NYC July 14th – 16th there will be a GOT inspired event going on called A Song Of Fire & Ice Cream. It’ll be to celebrate season 7’s premiere. Custom ice cream, drinks, activities, special guests, etc.

      For more information go to FireAndIceCream.net

      <3

        Quote  Reply

    96. Lulus Mum,

      Thank you for consolation – I don’t mind when my guesses are PROOVED to be wrong: it helps to move to right guesses eventually.

      As for the trailer, what is your oppinion about the shot of Arya on the horse. It looks weird to me – like some sort of reflection. Could Arya be in the Nigh King’s eye? Taking into account that she is getting a Valyrian steel dagger this season, he’d better watch her I would say.

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    97. Ten Bears,

      ”Oh! A spider! Save me, Jon Snow! My dress is made of the finest silk from Tralalalalalaaday.”

      Great quote which sadly never makes the Best Quote lists. The dialogue isn’t as good as it was back then, IMO. All you see from Ygritte is “You know nothing, Jon Snow.”

      An idea for you, TB. When the Forums go back up, why don’t you start a thread for Watchers to share their own “Perpetual Rewatch List”. I suspect we all have such lists, and that they’re skewed towards our favourite characters. Mine is, and almost all feature Starks. But seeing the lists of other people I respect could widen my horizons. Watching GoT scenes on Youtube has really become a haven for me, especially this year while my father’s health has seriously declined.

      ACME,

      You wrote: “This aspect is fairly fundamental and this is why Lady Crane was such a significant character…. When bandaging Arya’s wounds, she became the first person in years who touched the younger Stark sister in an unambiguous, purely caring manner. And Arya let her, somewhat wearily at first and then comfortably. At long last, she connected with someone. Which is why the loss of her was so soul-crushing (like Brother Ray’s death was for the Hound)”

      Bravo for emphasising this. I believe LC’s nurturing and reclaiming Needle are what kept Arya from going over the edge *and* from losing her identity. In a sense, Arya also underwent metaphorical death, and LC helped her revive from that too. I’m cautiously optimistic that back in Westeros, while still pursuing justice (what she gave the Freys) and being a warrior, she will meet good, decent, loved people (and animals) from her past,and slowly become the Arya Stark she once was.
      One of your other posts here opened my eyes to an alternative view of her, and I’ll discuss that with you later.

        Quote  Reply

    98. Wolfish,

      Thank you. I saw it [your answer to my geography question about the distance between 10 miles from the Bloody Gate where Sandor fell, and the port where Arya boarded the ship to Braavos ] earlier today. I was going to compose a reply conveying my gratitude – and bemoaning the fact that because of the vast distance, my tinfoil theory has gone up in smoke. Up in smoke and salt, to be more precise.

      For what it’s worth [0 now], I found it awfully strange that in S4e10 as Arya approached the ship to speak to the captain, there was a conspicuous shot of a crewman or stevedore shoveling a huge mound of salt. I wondered if that was an “Easter Egg.” In the closing segment before the credits, as Arya looks back at the shoreline, there are tendrils of smoke (from chimneys?).
      We don’t learn until S6e7 that at some point around the time Arya was riding to the port or departing for Braavos, Brother Ray was loading an apparently dead Sandor onto his wagon to give him a proper burial, only to be stunned to hear him cough.

      However, if Sandor wasn’t close by, the salt + smoke in the port area was just a coincidence. Unless Brother Ray borrowed a jet pack from Varys or WeaselFinger, a distance of 250 miles doesn’t place Sandor in the vicinity of the port. 😔

      Maybe I’ll go with my even more far-fetched secondary tinfoil hypothesis…. which is premised on Hot Pie unwittingly identifying Sandor as the Warrior of Light [show!term for Azor Ahai].

      Or, if I want to keep avoiding real life responsibilities, I can type up my grammatical exposition of the Valanqar prophecy to show that the only two viable candidates are Tyrion Lannister and Sandor Clegane.

      Anyway, thanks again for the information.

        Quote  Reply

    99. Inga,
      Got to go to bed in a moment so this is my last reply for the day but will check in tomorrow and carry on if necessary. There’s something very odd looking on the right hand side of the shot, best guess is it’s a leaf/branch/part of a tree which is much closer to the camera and out of focus. I don’t think it’s anything magical, but as always I could be completely wrong! Night all *waves* ‘see’ you tomorrow 😀

        Quote  Reply

    100. Jon:
      With all the information dropping recently how long do we think we will need to wait for the episode 1 title, I’m guessing in the next week or two?

      Episode 1 is titled “Winter”

        Quote  Reply

    101. Ten Bears,

      I had stumbled across a poll on some fan site a while back that asked readers to identify their favorite scene and most emotionally evocative scene from ASOIAF. I was intrigued when over and over, respondents designated “Needle was Jon Snow’s smile.” I had to find out what all the hoopla was all about.
      I’m glad that scene made it into the show, and that Maisie Williams could nail it without speaking a single word.

      Yes – her performance was so incredibly perfect (did you see the movie La La Land? There is a scene where Emma Stone’s character is in an audition, talking on a phone, her face turns from joy, to shock, to denial, to utter dispair. I immediatly thought of Maisie being able to do that)

        Quote  Reply

    102. I saw some supposed leaks suggesting that on you tube however I’m sceptical, unless you have a source?

        Quote  Reply

    103. MuvaOfDragons,

      Jon Snowed,

      Funny I saw a different title for the first episode, it was on reddit but deleted, it was originally from a Russian asoiaf forum. It came with all the episode titles and two scripts that showed two main characters interact with two random lords/ladies.
      Anyway they called 7×01 “Three Seats”
      No clue whatsoever if it’s true or false.

        Quote  Reply

    104. MuvaOfDragons,

      Thanks for the tip, MuvaofDragons, though $50 for a day is a bit steep for my budget. Pickings have been lean since that time Summer ripped my throat out (bad doggie!). (。ヘ°)

        Quote  Reply

    105. Geralt of Rivia: Home was shorter than Battle of the Bastards and arguably better or on the par with it. It happened before that.

      “Home” is a great episode no doubt, even though it does have some slow moving scenes – and HS inclusion. Your word ‘arguably’ is a point though. You may feel it’s possibly a better episode than BotB, but do most? Although it may be somewhere, I’ve not seen it rated higher than 9 & 10 (IMDB has it 4th, RT has it 7th, TotH users rate it 6th, Hollywood Reporter 4th, etc…).

      Even if it is AS good, that isn’t the reason why I pointed out your comment that last season was a “perfect example.” As I’ve tried to explain in subsequent comments, I’m not saying that the shortest episodes can’t be great and that a couple of the shorter ones in S6 weren’t fantastic. Time doesn’t matter in this regard. I was just pointing out that by saying last year was a perfect example you were saying that the long ones weren’t as good as the short ones, which in this case I’d say is definitely not true.

        Quote  Reply

    106. Stark Raven’ Rad,

      I’m sure the site administrators are doing all they can to get the Forums section back on line.

      There have been innumerable occasions when I read really interesting and insightful comments about a certain topic, and kind of wish they could be compiled in one place so I can read and reply to them at my leisure.

      During the past few days, with the “floodgates” of S7 news and photographs, I’ll see a post and a series of beautifully composed comments while I’m on the road or at work – but by the time I get home to sit down and read through them, there are a bunch of newer, intervening posts. Sometimes, by the time someone can catch his or her breath, a post and its (long) accompanying comment thread has been relegated to “Older Posts,”

      Just a few days ago, the site exploded with the Stark EW pictures and the long-awaited S7 trailer. I was away for no more than a day, and when I checked back there were hundreds of comments under the S7 trailer articles.

      I am NOT complaining! Just observing. I enjoy reading what others have to say. I also relish sharing ideas with those of us who have common interests, eg , favorite characters. I recall a couple of months ago one poster came up with a witty comment [sorry- I forget who it was] that the Night King was stabbed in the heart by a woman, and just needed a hug and a cup of hot chocolate. That triggered a whole sub-thread of song recommendations. I thought that was lots of fun, and wished we could’ve continued it… Same thing with the post about Jon Snow which invited the community to reply with their favorite Jon Snow quotes. (Heck, I know nothing about hairstyling and can’t tell a wig from natural hair, but I find the ongoing debate about Sophie’s wig to be fascinating.)

      Maybe the Forum section will be up and running soon….

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    107. What I’m most looking forward to this season is major feisty nerd action by Sam, no doubt ably assisted by Gilly, in Oldtown. Books! Hidden corridors! Books! A huge unwieldy sword! Books! Long forgotten secrets revealed!

      Add a dash of the wonderful character actor Jim Broadbent, and a tablespoon of a certain faceless man who will remain nameless, and I’ll be in seventh heaven.

      Books!

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    108. Slightly off topic – I have been rereading GOT 50 as I have been at my annual rewatch of the seasons, and wondered if we might have a six season version of it before the new season starts?

        Quote  Reply

    109. Stark Raven’ Rad</

      So sorry to hear about your dad's declining health. I too have found watching favorite scenes to be a helpful distraction during tumultuous times. Also:

      (1) Some Episode Commentaries (on YouTube) are enjoyable to watch. I wasn't even aware they existed until a few months ago when someone here (was it you?) described one of them.

      If you haven’t seen them, I’d especially recommend:

      (A) S4e10, narrated by Lena Headey, NCW, and (?), particularly the Brienne + Pod/Arya + Sandor encounter. Lena goes ultra fangirl over Maisie Williams.

      (B) S6e10, narrated by Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, and NCW (?). Peter D and Lena H have a grand old time goofing on Kit H’s good looks and movie star smile.

      (C). S4e1, narrated by Benioff (and Weiss?). Nice observations about Rory M and Maisie W.

      (D) S1e?, Syrio + Arya scene narrated by George Martin.

      2. I use a “mix tape” approach to enhance my enjoyment of rewatching certain scenes. For example:

      (a) Syrio’s final scene in S1 (facing off against Meryn F Trant) to protect a frightened Arya
      + Arya in S5e10 avenging Syrio.

      (b) Hot Pie bullying Arya in S1e10
      + Hot Pie saying goodbye to her in S3
      + Hot Pie in S4 meeting Brienne and Pod

      (c) Cersei telling Marge the Raynes of Castamere story and warning her to never call her "sister"
      + Marge, after frolicking with Tommen, snarkily asking if Cersei’s title is now “Queen Mother”; or “Dowager Queen”

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    110. Stark Raven’ Rad,

      Watching GoT scenes on Youtube has really become a haven for me, especially this year while my father’s health has seriously declined.

      Sorry to hear about your pop, Stark Raven’ Rad. I’ve been there and know how rough it can be for all concerned. Frankly, I hugged my dad so much that at one point he said, “I get it, you love me. Now give it a rest for a minute and pour me a scotch.” My dad was old skool about father-son hugs, but he really loved getting them. 🙂

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    111. Azor Asshai,

      Mel,

      I know they still communicate, but to me it feels like they’re not really in contact about the story anymore. It seemed like that pow wow they had after S3 was the last time they really talked about that stuff. I seriously doubt George keeps them posted with his manuscripts on Winds of Winter. At the same time, the stories probably have diverged so much that there isn’t that much more to talk about.

        Quote  Reply

    112. Lulus Mum,
      The unholy trinity : death, taxes and c*ck and balls.

      Inga,
      Thanks a bunch for saying so and right back at you !

      I do completely agree that, for all their differences, the Stark sisters’ respective paths have always run parallel, I feel.
      While their brothers, through all their tribulations, have had stable “packs” to belong to and rely on (Robb had Catelyn, Jon has had the Night’s Watch and later the Wildlings, Bran and Rickon had first each other then Hodor and the Reeds for the former and Osha for the latter), the sisters have meandered on their own, surrounded by either enemies or people they never could quite trust entirely, both losing their identity (their name) in the process.
      They mirror each other almost perfectly.

      As for whether the “tomboy is better than girly girl” cheesy moral, I most certainly hope we will not end on such a vile note for one of the reasons why I have always appreciated Sansa as a character is that whatever strength(s) she may have, she draws from being completely feminine.

      “Strong female characters”, as critics usually call them, are almost invariably considered so because they display attributes that are traditionally thought of as “masculine” : they have masculine tools (usually weapons) and / or masculine character traits (unemotional, competitive, etc.) and, also, they implicitly despise “girly” stuff. They are “strong female characters” because they are not like the other girls who, in turn, are perceived as inherently weak because feminine…
      I am going to leave aside the fact that this new kind of characterisation thoroughly reinforces the underlying hierarchy while pretending to challenge it because, if I get going on this topic, I’ll start writing in all caps 😛

      Over the course of the show, there have only been four “100% feminine” female main characters with any degree of agency : Catelyn, Margaery, Cersei and Sansa. The former two are dead and the Lioness is now adopting more masculine traits, which makes sense given she has always resented being a woman.
      Now, my only hope is that, by the end of the story, Sansa a) does not die; b) gains a certain level of independent power; c) makes said gain through “feminine” methods; d) does not learn to use a sword; and e) still enjoys embroidery. 🙂

      Just for the sake of showing that there is such a thing as, in the immortal words of Brienne of Tarth, “not battle courage perhaps, but, I don’t know, a woman’s kind of courage” and that it is just as viable as its masculine counterpart.

      After all, arguably the two most powerful characters (Varys and Baelish) are squarely on the “feminine” side of things : both have no martial credentials and no fighting ability; they wear masculine but de-sexualised clothes (one is dressed like a Buddhist monk, the other like a Catholic priest) and are shown to get along preferencially or exclusively with women and / or small children; they constantly try to “out-mean girl” each other and one of them is literally castrated. If two blokes can achieve a form of greatness thanks to feminine characteristics, surely a woman can do it too !

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    113. Markus Stark,

      Meh I was starting to get my hopes up after that post. Be a shame if D & D played it safe and didn’t take any risks with the end of this story. They already have a closet full of Emmys, universal critical praise, and are the show runners of the greatest show in the history of TV. But it was the dynamic story telling of the first 5 seasons that got people hooked on the show. Hopefully they don’t forget that.

        Quote  Reply

    114. Stark Raven’ Rad
      Thanks a lot and back at you too 😉
      And terribly sorry to hear about your father’s health. I hope everything turns out for the best.

      I share your cautious optimism and I, too, hope Arya will pull through and regain some of that humanity, that connection Lady Crane helped her rediscover.
      I sincerely doubt she will go back to the girl she once was because she has been through too many profoundly transformative traumas to do so but she may still leave her thirst for blood behind.

      However, i have to confess I cannot, for the life of me, agree with you that Arya is “pursuing justice”. To me, what she did to the Freys or Meryn Trant for that matter was not, in any way, shape or form, “justice”. It was no more justice than what Ramsay did to Theon or what Jon and Sansa did to the last Bolton.
      It was not just unadulterated sadism, it was self-righteous unadulterated sadism.

      Arya’s facial expression during those kills is what puts the “cautious” in my “cautious optimism”. She looked so profoundly satisfied by what she was doing, as if she were having some sort of mystical, almost religious, experience.
      If unspeakable violence is her way to feel at peace with the world, we have one hell of a problem on our hands.

      Stark Raven’ Rad : One of your other posts here opened my eyes to an alternative view of her, and I’ll discuss that with you later.

      I look forward to it ! 😉

      Ten Bears: I recall a couple of months ago one poster came up with a witty comment [sorry- I forget who it was] that the Night King was stabbed in the heart by a woman, and just needed a hug and a cup of hot chocolate. That triggered a whole sub-thread of song recommendations. I thought that was lots of fun, and wished we could’ve continued it…

      T’was me ! Though, to be completely honest (and to compensate for this obnoxious instance of bragging), Lulus Mum was the one who really got the ball rolling on that one, if I recall.

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    115. Forty-eight days to go! To put that in perspective, that’s eight days longer than Noah sailed the seas in an ark filled with every species of living creature during a global deluge that decimated the entire planet.

      Compared to GOT fans, Noah was lucky!

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    116. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      I think they still talk about the story together, you have to remember D&D are also fans of the book. Just because they aren’t public about it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. I imagine though GRRM doesn’t like anyone pressuring him and when his gonna release the next book or for another update every time they see him. Considering D&D both wanted to sit in a dark room for months after GOT finishes but since GRRM is making deals for a spinoff they’ve been announced as Executive Producers for it, I’d say they still all have a good relationship and are passionate to see another one of Martin’s works unfold.

        Quote  Reply

    117. Jon Snowed:
      I saw some supposed leaks suggesting that on you tube however I’m sceptical, unless you have a source?

      I got it from youtube it was a whole season plot leak.. it seemed very thorough and it had each name of each episode, and every single detail from beginning to finish

        Quote  Reply

    118. Mel,

      I got this information from “Talking Thrones” on youtube with some real serious plot leaks. I’m talking start to finish, every detail. I’ve listened already about 46 times and I am about to listen again. I was shaking!

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    119. MuvaOfDragons: I got it from youtube it was a whole season plot leak.. it seemed very thorough and it had each name of each episode, and every single detail from beginning to finish

      LOL 😂

        Quote  Reply

    120. ash,

      Haven’t seen La La Land yet, but I’m really looking forward to it. I loved Emma Stone’s scenes with Ryan Gosling in “Crazy, Stupid Love”, and liked her in “The Help” and “Easy A.”
      I’ll be sure to take note of the scene in La La Land you described.

      BTW, when you compared Maisie W and Emma Stone, I remembered an Instagram photo of the two of them posted by Maisie W with a cute caption…

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    121. Dang, I was hoping for longer but I’ll have to take it. Hopefully this applies to every episode, so episode 7 will be the longest ever haha

        Quote  Reply

    122. ACME, Ten Bears,
      The original idea certainly wasn’t mine, I just steamed in with some silly comments as per usual. Pretty sure it was a group effort; go House Watchers! 😀

      Someone used to do suitable songs for characters and change the words. I think it was Freyjoy? who we haven’t seen on here for a while. I still sing Flaying Alive whenever I see Ramsay thanks to them. We could do some for S7 (spoiler free for Ten Bears, Dee and other spoiler avoiders).

      We Are Family (Sister Sledge), When Will I See You Again (Three Degrees) and It’s Grim Up North (KLF) could apply to so many people/situations. Tyrion gets I Started A Joke (Faith No More), while Cersei has Just The Two Of Us (Grover Washington Jr and others). We Watchers can have We Are Detective (Thompson Twins) and I Heard It Through The Grapevine (Marvin Gaye et al).

      Mel,
      I seem to remember last year a Russian website came up with all the episode titles correctly weeks in advance. IIRC they’d come from leaked tv station schedules?

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    123. Hmmm, after 6 full seasons of character development, shock scenes, surprises, and all the stuff that leads up to an ending for a story, I don’t know why, when approaching the end, people still want everything to be shocking, and not what you expect… I think if a story is all surprises and things you don’t expect, for example if Jon dies next year, or marries Cersei, that would just be bad story telling and just trying too hard. Like WTF do people want at the end.

      SMH

        Quote  Reply

    124. ACME:
      Stark Raven’ Rad
      Thanks a lot and back at you too 😉
      And terribly sorry to hear about your father’s health. I hope everything turns out for the best.

      Thank you. Unfortunately, he lost that battle. But by having a good, caring and long life he won the war.

      Once again you’ve given a well-reasoned variation to my take on Arya’s past and future. What a rewarding kind of discussion: informative, persuasive, respectful, open-minded, and not at all acrimonious. Perhaps my outlook will get a bit darker and yours a bit lighter. 🙂 Later today I’ll respond to your earlier post, but this will have to do for now. I hope our fellow Watchers don’t mind, as this may become a rather long exchange.

      I sincerely doubt she will go back to the girl she once was because she has been through too many profoundly transformative traumas to do so but she may still leave her thirst for blood behind.

      True. I never thought she’d 100% recover. No one can remain the girl or boy they were at the age of innocence, especially in wartime.. She’ll have some PTSD and probably be scarred, haunted, even ashamed at times. But being on a classic Hero’s Journey, she had to descend into the depths of Hades (the mostly-subterranean HoB&W), like Odysseus, Theseus, Hercules, Aeneas, Orpheus, Dante, Virgil etc (even Jesus). Like them, she emerged with whatever was needed to move on and achieve the goal. Sadly, like Orpheus with Eurydice, she unwillingly left Lady Crane behind.

      Hers is also a coming of age story, as for all the Stark kids. They started as Sweet Summer Children and while Winter took its time coming, they grew up. In the game of life, you grow or you die. Robb and Rickon died. The others learned from mentors (good and bad), derision, affliction, setbacks, challenges, brushes with death, etc. and toughened. They’re all transformed…and ready for Winter. They cannot regress, but must get through Winter before they can even taste a Spring again. FWIW, I think it’s Jon, Bran, Arya, and probably Sansa who will make Spring possible.

      So–how did Arya toughen? She had chosen a warrior path, but was knocked off it by tragedy. Arya’s first mentor was Ned. As Hand, he sat in justice only once, but famously said, “I cannot bring your dead back to life, but I can give you justice.” Planetos is a very unjust world with no clear justice systems. Essos has no regard for life, and in war-torn Westeros hard men terrorize the helpless and commit atrocities with utter impunity. Arya took whatever Ned said to heart. Later, having witnessed great injustice and cruelty, she ended up having to take justice into her own hands, because no one else did. She had a weapon, the ability, the guts, and the duty.

      Like Ned, she often protected and forgave the innocent but killed the guilty. Her victims were all evil people who these days would be tried and severely punished. The Freys especially so. Considering Walder’s copulate to populate plan, he spread evil like a disease through his entire family, like spreading the plague among rats (who gave it to humans). Meryn Trant was evil in a more contained way. As a KG he had carte blanche authority, a big fucking sword, was Joffrey’s agent of sadism, and personally enjoyed beating girls (including Sansa).

      I must stop here, as I have an appointment. More later, especially on the sadism.

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    125. Dee Stark,
      Woah Dee, still holding out, you have the most amazing will power! I don’t think there’s anything massively spoilery in the trailer, just does a nice job of increasing the hype, so it’s safe to watch if you fancy it. Or are you going to try and hold out completely and not watch it at all?

      Inga,
      Afternoon *waving* I’m always tempted to give episodes people names like Bill, Jim and Sarah. Hoping that after this series they’ll be cemented in my mind as things like “Bloody Hell”, “Woah” and “£@^&$^&^$@&!!!!” TRAILER SPOILER

      I’m not a fan of fighting in general, but the Dothraki look like they are going to kick some serious ass! Their unorthodox style should be quite spectacular to behold.

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    126. mau,

      You can’t convince me that it’s unexpected, because it wasn’t unexpected TO ME.

      “everyone who is honest can just go and read what people were predicting”

      I don’t care what random people were predicting. I’m talking about what I felt was likely to happen, what the community as a whole has been speculating about for years, and how the season 7 plot is very close to that on several points.

      I’m not being dishonest, unlike what you are stupidly insinuating, I genuinely wasn’t surprised.

      “It’s really easy to predict something with pictures and leaks”. I didn’t predict with pictures and leaks, I predicted based on the story and the pictures and leaks confirmed many of my predictions that I have had for years.

      You think you can just decree that “Season 7 is surprising and nobody predicted any of it”. What do you know about what I’m thinking ? Nothing, so keep your ridiculous assumptions to yourself.

      I PERSONALLY did not find much that was surprising in the leaks.
      You think they feature the plot twists of the century. Fine. We don’t agree.
      Differences of opinion, they exist, deal with them and grow the fuck up.

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    127. I feel sorry for whoever is cast as Rhaegar, there will be lots of complaints. He is such an iconic character and I think most of us have our own opinion of how he looks etc in my opinion anyway.

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    128. Lulus Mum,

      Afternoon!
      No news for one day and I’m already feel some serious withdrawal syndroms…

      Yes, GoT brings up one of the best battlefield scenes and they get improving year after year. I must rewatch the trailer 30 more times I guess… It’s really stunning what they manage to do with their budged, because although it’s generous it comes nowhere near to that of the traditional Holywood blockbusters.

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    129. Markus Stark,

      I’m glad that you are so smart, I hope that you will inform us what will happen in S8, so we don’t have to wait another year. Or just wait for the leaks and then claim that you knew what will happen? Lol

      “what the community as a whole has been speculating about for years”

      Well, that’s just not true. There are things that will happen in S7 that the fan community expected for years and there are major things that will happen in S7 that fan’s didn’t expect. Just like every season.

      But I’m sure you will be here next year, claiming how you knew exactly what will happen in S8.

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    130. Dame of Mercia,

      Arya became “humanize again” when she aborted the hit on Lady Crane – at great peril to herself.
      Arya does not kill innocents. Everyone she’s whacked has deserved it.

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    131. Lulus Mum: Dee Stark,
      Woah Dee, still holding out, you have the most amazing will power! I don’t think there’s anything massively spoilery in the trailer, just does a nice job of increasing the hype, so it’s safe to watch if you fancy it. Or are you going to try and hold out completely and not watch it at all?

      I think I will watch soon…. I am still doing my rewatch of the seasons… still on season 2. I will watch the trailer probably closer to the premiere !!!!!

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    132. ash,

      Maisie W. 1/26/15 Twitter
      Under photo of herself with Emma Stone, she wrote:

      “I met Emma Stone today (the ultimate love of my life) and I didn’t manage to complete a sentence, not even once. 😭”

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    133. Ten Bears,
      I am terribly sorry to be nitpicky but how did Arya know that Lady Crane was “innocent” and did not “deserve it” ?

      Arya based her decision not to assassinate the actress on the fact that Crane was a good thespian and appeared nice and pleasant enough to the younger Stark sister during a 30-second exchange they had… That’s it. How is that proof that the hit was uncalled for ? For all Arya knew (and ignored), Lady Crane could have been a serial killer; just because she did not kill anyone in front of Arya does not make it less imaginable. As per the time-honoured forensics saying : absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

      It also begs the question : what if Arya had met the actress at a “bad moment” ? After all, all humans have some of those; moments when we do not want to talk to anyone, when we are grumpy and rude and unpleasant. What if Lady Crane had been b*tchy to Arya ? Can we really be sure the young assassin would have gone down the same merciful path ?

      Arya does not just kill people who “deserve it”, no matter what that may mean. She kills people she believes deserve it. Did the Frey sons deserve their fate ? Sure, they actively participated in the Red Wedding however they only did so because their overbearing bully of a father told them to. Does that make them morally liable ? Does that justify murdering them, dismembering their bodies and turning them into meat ?

      That is the fundamental problem with basing life or death decisions on purely subjective (and volatile) appreciations. Whether or not Arya believes someone to be a good person should not be enough of a criterion to determine whether they get to breathe again.

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    134. Ten Bears,

      Exactly. And actually I don’t see her as being dehumanized. I see a young girl who has been horribly tramitized, and is seeking vengence for what has been done to her and her family. As far as the look on her face – it was the same as Sansa’s look at Ramsey.

      Ten Bears,

      Thanks for that! Love it!

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    135. Dee Stark:
      ….people still want everything to be shocking, and not what you expect….

      I agree with you, Dee. The thing that gets me is people saying that “George would never write that because it’s too predictable.” I don’t believe he’s written/writing a story with the intention of making everything unpredictable and purposely trying to shock the reader. He’s writing a story trying to infuse as much realism in the conflicts as possible. In real conflicts bad things happen to ‘good’ people as well as the ‘bad’ people, individuals on both sides. He’s done that, and in doing so the main characters one would expect to be protected haven’t been. That’s been shocking but it’s closer to reality. That doesn’t mean that he’s purposely trying to shock the reader all the time and will continue to make things unexpectedly bad for the protagonists just for the sake of it. He’s not writing a Twilight Zone episode. He’s also written some things that are fairly predictable and has had results of actions that are expected. It doesn’t suddenly become bad writing just because good things happen to the “good” side or predictable when the protagonist achieves something.

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    136. ACME: Arya based her decision not to assassinate the actress on the fact that Crane was a good thespian and appeared nice and pleasant enough to the younger Stark sister during a 30-second exchange they had… That’s it. How is that proof that the hit was uncalled for ?

      Beyond her own intuition and her feelings that Lady Crane was a “good” person, she ascertained that the "hit" put on her was by Bessie solely due to jealousy and wanting her out of the way so she could be the star of the show. Jaqen pretty much telling her straight out that the FM don’t care if a person is good or bad, as long as they receive payment and given a name they will follow through. The information she had was good enough to decide that she wasn’t comfortable killing over. Had she seen or been given additional proof that Lady Crane was a terrible person then circumstances would have been different. Arya has/had no issue taking out individuals she KNOWS are people that have done horrific things.

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    137. Ten Bears,

      This. Everything about this. S7 will have less episodes because will have less fillers. I think it’s actually very easy to understand this people. Jus look to all D & D interviews and now Emilia Clarke and Peter’s interview. It’s all about how the big game is here and there will be no time for filler chats like some episodes on S6..for example..episodes 6 and 7. And 8, for maybe except the last Arya scene.

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    138. Serendiputios conversation – I am no watching season 5 Laws of Gods and Men. We see DAny on her throne listening to her subjects complaints. In walks the son of one of the masters she crucified. He says his father was innocent. She later agrees to allow him to bury his father. as he requests. Here we see a ruler who punishes everyone for the crime of a few jbut then extends mercy of sorts.. Arya punishes those who did commit crimes, horrific crimes, against her family. But she is able to find merycy when she sees the punishement is wrong. So how do we know someone is innocent or guilty? But perhaps the solution is a trial by jury, perhaps they all deserve that before they are punished. But then we have Tyrions trial so called. ….Theres a moment when he says ‘if you look for justice you’ve come to the wrong place;’ Not sure where I am going with this but its a complicated issue in real life as in a fantasy such as this. I do not think Arya has lost her humanity any more than Daney had – just that there isn’t a lot of options for them in that time and place. So innocents die and guilty run free. Its a very troublesome issue and I don’t know the answer of how to insure true justice, for jurys judges and witnesses are human as are the accused.

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    139. Not sure what I am trying to say with the above observations. Except that its complicated, which is why I have loved this series and show..

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    140. mau,

      Actually the Jon and Dany encounter was predicted the moment we see Dany’s finally going to Westeros. Same as Arya and Sansa reunion. Maybe only all the Dany and Cersei story.

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    141. firstone,

      The blackwater battle was too little tho. Battle of The Bastards, Hardhome, and The Battle of Castle Black all were better and more epic. Battle of The Bastards still is at the top one, but maybe S7 will chance that.

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    142. ACME,

      EXACTLY! As we (and Arya) have learned afterwards, sweet Lady Crane was a jelous woman who had a habit of cutting her alegedly unfaithful lovers and other actresses too. Moreover, she had a habbit of making rushed decisions: she cut Bianca’s face only because some random girl told her that Bianca ordered her kill (and we don’t even know whether that was true, because all what we’ve learned implies that other people could have done that as well – some ex-lover whom she failed to stich, for instance). All in all Lady Crane was a spoiled and overentitled diva which could have well deserved to die, and Arya’s decision to spare her life was highly rushed to say the least.
      We have seen her making rushed decisions before as well. The Frey sons deserved to die (father’s orders can’t be an excuse for the participation in the Red Weding), but putting Beric Dondarion and Thoros and even Mel onto the kill-list looks much more contraversial, thogh was an easy come and easy go case.
      In general, I would agree that Arya was not dehumanized (at least till the moment she fed Lord Frey his sons), but what worries me is that she was trying to cheat the Faceless Men and by ectension Death. And Death is something that can’t be cheated, I believe. So, at some moment Arya will have to pay the price for her skills (if she haven’t yet) and the price will be very high.

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    143. Dee Stark,

      Jon marrying Cersei…LOL!

      I would not, however, be so bold as to discount the possibility of Jon’s death at the end next year if I were you. No one knows the ending yet, and nobody is as safe as the fandom would like to think. It’s been long established that the ending is bittersweet, and heading into the final stretch we should be expecting a lot of death, including fan favorites and major characters–and Jon does have all the signs of a “selfless savior” character, as he is the type of person who would be more than willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good if necessary rather than rule. The show has potentially foreshadowed this already (Jon and Mel’s pre-battle conversation in Battle of the Bastards, which was certainly included for a reason) so it’s not like it would be coming out of nowhere if it does. If it does happen, though, I would bank on it being one of if not the final death in the entire series–Jon is simply too significant to go out with anything less than a bang.

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    144. Azor Asshai,

      It’s funny, but I also though that the most unexpected development would be Jon falling in love with Cersei and/or getting attracted to her as a mother figure. I just hope it’s not happening.

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    145. ACME,

      You wrote: “However, i have to confess I cannot, for the life of me, agree with you that Arya is “pursuing justice”. To me, what she did to the Freys or Meryn Trant for that matter was not, in any way, shape or form, “justice”. It was no more justice than what Ramsay did to Theon or what Jon and Sansa did to the last Bolton.
      It was not just unadulterated sadism, it was self-righteous unadulterated sadism.”

      Ramsay was a sadist–he had no justice or punishment motive for repeatedly torturing Theon and Sansa, both physically and psychologically. But unquestionably, Walder and sons and Ramsay, broke the laws of gods and men. With no organised justice system in Westeros, it’s up to individuals, officially empowered (like Ned) or not (like Arya and Jon + Sansa to punish criminals. From Greek myths through Shakespeare to GRRM and D&D, fiction loves “poetic justice” (particularly for villains). Ned had beheaded Will with Ice and got beheaded with Ice. Sansa knew that Ramsay’s hobby was feeding everyone to the dogs, so Sansa to fed him to the dogs…and smiled. Walder’s hobby was dispensing snideness, murder and mayhem from his banquet table, AND he had egregiously violated sacred Guest Right. So at that table, before cleanly cutting his throat, Arya served him meat pie containing the fingers that had knifed Catelyn and Talisa. (“A side of french Freys, m’lord?”) Even better was that she administered the Rat Cook’s fate to the rutting rat of Westeros. Neither sister is sadistic. They were pleased at dispensing poetic justice. BTW, Arya also saw the post-RW slaughter outside, saw how the Freys paraded the Robb-Grey Wind monstrosity, and heard the bragging from Frey soldiers and later from Walder himself. She knows better than anyone that the Red Wedding was a collective crime committed by all the Freys. She may well complete the job.

      Meryn Trant killed a disarmed Syrio Forel, who had stayed to protect Arya. His murder merits justice. That Trant reveals disgusting sexual proclivities does too. Her odds aren’t good so the butchery is necessary. He is a strong 6 footer trained in all manner of killing, she a thin, short girl who got in by being for sale, and is able to conceal only a tiny weapon under her shift. In a public place, she also has to be quick and silent. So armed with an oyster opener and a rag, she surprises him and goes for the eyes to blind him, then gags him. Multiple shallow stabs slow him down. She taunts him, partly to vent her frustrations at being No One. Then she cuts his thoat and slips away. This was a method, not sadism. In any case, she too receives poetic justice by being blinded!

      Arya’s facial expression during those kills is what puts the “cautious” in my “cautious optimism”. She looked so profoundly satisfied by what she was doing, as if she were having some sort of mystical, almost religious, experience.
      If unspeakable violence is her way to feel at peace with the world, we have one hell of a problem on our hands.

      I agree with this. I’m also worried, but don’t think she is satisfied so much by the killing as by the fact that so many years after the crimes, justice is finally served. If she found that Frey or Trant had repented and turned into a good guy, she might even take him off the list, like she did with Sandor. She tells Trant it’s okay that the Many-faced God (i.e., others) had killed several people on her List because in the end they still got justice. That look has only applied to people on her List. For Arya, it’s always been about justice, especially after a long delay. We might see that look again if she ends up killing the Mountain and Cersei. Probably by reuniting with friends, family and wolves she’ll turn away from the List and this justice obsession to help in the Great War. She surely will find some peace, but will no doubt be somewhat haunted by these traumatic years.

      Acme, I’ll respond to your first post (about young Arya) this evening.

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    146. ACME:
      Ten Bears,
      Arya does not just kill people who “deserve it”, no matter what that may mean. She kills people she believes deserve it. Did the Frey sons deserve their fate ? Sure, they actively participated in the Red Wedding however they only did so because their overbearing bully of a father told them to. Does that make them morally liable ? Does that justify murdering them, dismembering their bodies and turning them into meat ?

      Exactly. And as Ser Barristan said: “The Mad King gave his enemies the justice he felt they deserved, and each time it made him feel powerful and right… until the very end.”

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    147. Clob,

      I don’t usually post on discussion boards too often and I admit I am a casual reader of the books. I do agree that the author doesn’t go out of his way to shock people or to create unpredictability for the sake of unpredictability. But here is what I did notice, and again, I am not as well read as others on these sites. What we usually expect when we start a book, or the basic formula is this: there is a protagonist. In this case, Ned is the protagonist. So now I am reading along and I am thinking, “ok, let’s see how Ned gets out of this mess. .. ” Then he gets beheaded. so now I move on to the next event which is Rob Stark avenging his dad. Now I am preparing for my basic formula which is the son avenges the dad, because isn’t that what is supposed to happen? OOPs the red wedding happened instead. So this author is obviously anti trope. So to conclude, I don’t believe the author goes out of his way to create unpredictability. No he does not do that. We might get some predictable things. But I do get the feeling, as a casual reader/show watcher, that we are NOT entitled to what we would EXPECT to happen, not in these books at least. We follow storylines and look for guarantees but just like in real life, there aren’t any.

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    148. Clob: she ascertained that the “hit” put on her was by Bessie solely due to jealousy

      Sorry, I meant Bianca. 😛

      Inga: Arya’s decision to spare her life was highly rushed to say the least

      I don’t see it that way at all. Arya was given zero information as to why Lady Crane should be killed. She was only told “it doesn’t matter.” She obviously had a belief that the FM are an organization that assassinates individuals that did things deserving of death. Jaqen opened her eyes to the contrary with his response to her comment about how Lady Crane seems like a decent woman. He did not dispute that she may be, he essentially said it makes no difference to the FM; “Does death only come for the wicked and leave the decent behind?” In Arya’s wide-eyed look to that you could almost see her thinking, “Wow. Really?” As you mentioned, she learns AFTERWARDS directly from Lady Crane’s mouth herself that she has a bit of a mean streak when she’s treated wrongly. As far as her lovers are concerned she never wounded them gravely and always felt bad and fixed them up. Is that reason enough that she should be murdered in a world such as theirs?

      I don’t believe her decision to not kill Lady Crane was rushed at all, or the wrong decision. She wasn’t given and didn’t see reasons why she should be killed. Arya still has morals and a good Stark mentality. She’s killed those that have harmed her, threatened her, and harmed her family but she doesn’t go around killing random people or people because a person pays for the death.

      As far as her list goes… She was young(er) and full of anger over everything. She put lots of names on her list because that’s all she could think of to do. We’ve seen her start to think over that and probably remove certain names that she put on there during the worst period of her life, like the Hound. Some of those names can’t be forgiven and erased though.

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    149. mau,

      I don’t think Cersei’s creepy feelings towards Rhaegar count as love, but it’s a good catch nonetheless. She might decide that the son suits her even better than the father, just like Littlefinger decided that the daugher suited him even better than the mother. Will poor Jon have to marry both rival queens just like Aegon the Conquerrer? Well I hope he can still resume his Night’s Watch wows.

      But on a serious note, I wonder how Jon will see Cersei? He will be seeking alliance, so, it’s net beyond the realm of possibilites that he will be trying to persuade himself that there must be something good in her too. And that will be a mistake or… well, who knows? If Jon shows Cersei some sympathy and understanding, maybe that will warm her frozen heart? I don’t think so, but still what an unexpected twist it would be!

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    150. asoiaf fan: we are NOT entitled to what we would EXPECT to happen

      Yep, that’s the point. In George’s writing a story that is more in line with reality, things happen that in many stories don’t happen so they’ve been unexpected. It hasn’t been so much about trying to be shocking or a sinister author as it’s been writing events that have bad results, just as real life does. Real life has good outcomes though too and I don’t think he’s avoided or going to avoid writing any of those solely because readers may expect good things to happen.

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    151. Clob,

      One way or another Arya is cheaing the Many-Faced God and his servants: she has never had an intent to become no-one; she went to Braavos just to acquire killer skills. And that was not the deal the Faceless Men make and that won’t end well.

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    152. Thi Targaryen:
      firstone,

      The blackwater battle was too little tho. Battle of The Bastards, Hardhome, and The Battle of Castle Black all were better and more epic. Battle of The Bastards still is at the top one, but maybe S7 will chance that.

      Well in this season I feel like we are going to get 2-3 huge battles. After watching the trailer for the 100th time, the dothraki hoard look like they are going to be fighting lannister men. And I am almost certain we will see the white walkers come to slay some living men. Every fight with white walkers have been action packed, I am most certain its going down!

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    153. It’s cool that they are having longer run times. But when you add in the previews the credits Etc it really doesn’t make that much of a difference.

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    154. ash: Exactly.And actually I don’t see her as being dehumanized.

      I am terribly sorry to ask for I do not wish to put anyone “on the spot”, so to speak, but what would it take for her sense of humanity to be called into question ?
      Neither her gauging out Trant’s eyes, stabbing him repeatedly before bleeding him like a pig in an abattoir nor her turning two men into pâté and feeding them to their father was enough. So what would Arya have to do for her humanity and / or sanity to be thought of as potentially compromised ?

      ash: As far as the look on her face – it was the same as Sansa’s look at Ramsey.

      Precisely. And I do not think that is a good thing.

      Sansa’s scene with Ramsay was clearly designed to highlight the “wrongness” of it. The way in which it was filmed is about as univocal as humanly feasible : Bolton was shown as a non-threat, tied up to a chair and weakened; Sansa was shot in chiaroscuro to emphasise the ambiguity of her position; the sound design magnified the dogs’ growls and Ramsay’s screams of pain and terror and the final shot portrayed Sansa walking from a fairly well-lit place to a much more obscure off-camera point, thereby literally plunging into darkness with a smile on her face… I sincerely doubt any of that was meant to be lionising.
      Furthermore, the narrative thread of the scene drew a clear parallel between Sansa’s actions and Ramsay’s. The elder Stark sister fed a human being to the dogs, something we has only ever seen Bolton do. Thematically, Sansa followed in a villain’s footsteps.

      The exact same logic applies to Jon’s actions at the end the Battle of the Bastards. His rage-fuelled, interminable punching session on an already-defeated Ramsay was designed to make the viewer feel uncomfortable, not gleeful. Over twenty head blows relentlessly delivered by a man caked in blood and mud who is sitting on his defenseless target’s chest is not a hero shot, I believe.
      Also, thematically, Jon’s act violence towards Ramsay was strangely evocative of the Mountain’s murder of Oberyn. Like his sister/ cousin, the White Wolf followed in a villain’s footsteps.

      As for Arya’s murder of Walder Frey… From the grotesque shot of the finger sticking out of the pie to the horrified look on Daddy Frey’s face, from the nauseating gurgling coming from the old man’s throat to the ominous splatter of blood on Arya’s visage, all the elements of the scene appeared intended to provoke disgust.
      Also, up until that point, Ramsay and Joffrey were the only two characters we had ever seen use someone’s mutilated body parts (Theon’s penis, Ned’s head) to traumatise their relatives; Arya is now the third one. She, like her siblings, followed in villains’ footsteps.

      Clob,
      You are right, she did ask about the reasons behind the hit on Lady Crane and was dismayed when she did not receive a satisfactory answer. After the aforementioned Lady was polite to her for half a minute.

      However, I cannot help but wonder what Bianca’s pettiness has to do with whether Lady Crane objectively deserved to die. Roose Bolton was killed by Ramsay for petty reasons; does that mean he did not deserve to die at all ?

      From what Arya guessed, Lady Crane’s assassination was ordered by an ambitious rival and that, to her, did not seem like a good enough reason to kill a woman she believed to be nice and innocent, a belief that was entirely based on a 30-second conversation with the actress.
      At no point did Arya mobilise hard facts to justify her decisions; she went with her guts. It did not “feel” right to assassinate Lady Crane so she did not. Conversely, it “felt” right to kill the Frey sons in the manner she did so she did.

      Intense subjectivity, disproportionate violence and lack of consistency are the reasons why vigilantism is generally considered distinct from justice.

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    155. Ten Bears,

      Your theory might have had a chance if the show had followed the book’s Sandor arc. Long story short: Arya arrived at Saltpans six days after abandoning Sandor under a tree by the Trident; Septon Meribald found the almost-dead Sandor and took him to a monastery on the Quiet Isle (visible from Saltpans), in the Bay of Crabs; while searching for Sansa, Brienne and Pod encountered Meribald and spent an evening on the Quiet Isle, where Meribald told her about the Hound and asserted that he buried him; Brienne saw a man Sandor’s size digging graves, but his face was obscured by his cowled robe.

      Sandor’s identity hasn’t been confirmed in the books yet, but is strongly, strongly suggested in several ways.

      Note: Brother Ray was a composite of two characters, Septon Meribald and the Elder Brother.

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    156. Inga,

      Maybe, maybe not. The Many-Faced God did receive a death after all, the waif’s. She also did not just go to Braavos, to the FM with the intention of acquiring killer skills. She didn’t even really know what she was getting into. It was just an option with the coin and about the only option she had at the current time.

      We also can’t guess how her time and departure from the FM is going to end by the way the show has edited and shortened that arc. It isn’t finished in the books and as of yet there is no sign of an acrimonious relationship with them if/when she leaves. She has a good relationship with the Kindly Man and the waif and there’s no indication of bitter hatred like there was with show-waif. For all we know she’ll be able to leave on her own accord with no retribution.

      At this close point to the end of the show we may never see or hear a thing about the FM again. It would be an awful sticky arc to stuff into the final season of the show with everything else going on. It’s just as possible that since she had an existing ‘friendship’ with Jaqen that his smile as she left was suppose to be enough to tell us that he’s proud of her for choosing to be Arya rather than the servitude of being no one. There will be more to her Braavos arc in future writing to fill that story in but I don’t know that D&D have the time or desire to dig further into additional closure to that arc if it’s not necessary.

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    157. ACME,

      Fantastic commentary, and it had never occurred to me that, of the many things Arya could learn from Brienne, respecting the fact that women possess their own courage might be one of the most important.

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    158. Inga,
      I do agree 100% with Clob on this one and believe Bianca’s reaction to Arya’s accusation was meant to be taken as a sign of guilt. But I agree with you that, at best, the younger Star sister’s guessed right and that Lady Crane’s immediate acceptance of some random girl’s testimony was no testament to the prudence of her judgment, to say the least.

      Arya’s list is a can of worms… It is a mixed bag of confirmed culprits, people she believes to be bad and random characters who just did their job.
      Ilyn Payne is on there. Why ? Arya blames him for Ned’s death. However, he is merely an executioner; he executed. Had he refused to follow Joffrey’s orders, he probably would have been killed too, Does that warrant a death sentence ?
      Cersei is on the list. Why ? Arya believes her to be responsible for Ned’s beheading. However, we, the audience, know that not to be true at all so…
      Sandor is no longer on the list. Why ? I do not recall him expressing any regret over Mycah’s death. However, he saved Arya so I guess that sort of cancels out the murder of her friend.
      And it goes on and on and on. It is all so very subjective. The list is entirely based on Arya’s lacunary knowledge of the crimes committed against the Starks and her imperfect assignation of guilt in relation to them.

      I cannot fault her for having the list. I cannot fault her for needing something, anything, not to fall into utter despair. I cannot fault her for focusing on revenge as her lifeline. Nevertheless, I also cannot find it in me to believe any of this is a good idea. For Arya’s sake.

      Stark Raven’ Rad: But unquestionably, Walder and sons and Ramsay, broke the laws of gods and men.

      Ramsay did not, to my knowledge, break any god-given law, did he ? The Freys, however, did. I agree wholeheartedly. And this is precisely why, narratively speaking, the “gods” should have been left to handle the punishment. After all, in the legend of the Rat Cook, the killer breaks a gods-given rule and is cursed by the deities themselves as a result.

      One could argue that this is exactly what happened to both Tywin and Roose : neither was killed as express retribution for their participation in the Red Wedding but the circumstances in which they were murdered (shortly before or after the assassination of a relative or lover, betrayed by a relative, in a domestic setting, taken by surprise, one shot with bolts, the other stabbed in the heart) are so reminiscent of the details of the Stark massacre that it is hard not to see something akin to divinely-appointed fate in their deaths. That is poetic justice for poetic justice is supposed to be “accidental”.

      Conversely, by killing Walder Frey herself, Arya usurped the deities’ symbolic role. She took his fate in her own hands and short-circuited any curse he might have been under. That is just revenge.

      Also, as you very rightly mentioned, George RR Martin knows his classics and, above all, his Shakespeare. Titus Andronicus is a bloodbath and nobody, with the possible exception of Lavinia, is a “good guy”. Titus is explicitly shown to be quite distraught and driven not by justice but by Revenge (as impersonated by Tamora). His decision to “play the cook” is the beginning of his and the play’s descent into utter madness. So, if Arya goes all Titus on us, I am not reassured…

      I look forward to your take on young Arya 😉

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    159. Wolfish,
      Very kind of you to say.
      Arya does not want to be a lady; she wants to have a sword and fight and that is perfectly fine ! Ride on, Arya ! However, that does not mean that being a lady in inherently “lesser than”

      BigMac,
      Chilling but bang on quote.

      Dame of Mercia,
      I was unaware of the child soldier quote. Indeed, it is a very apt parallel, sadly.

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    160. Stark Raven' Rad,
      Terribly sorry ! I failed to see that post !

      First and foremost, I am saddened to hear about your father but I cannot agree enough with you take on it : he did live a beautiful, fulfilling life and that is victory enough 🙂

      I, too, am delighted to exchange positively and happily with you. It always is a pleasure.

      In re. the Stark children and their coming-out-of-age.
      You are absolutely right. They have all had to grow up and, above all, adapt. The main problem they had when coming into contact with the outside world was that their parents, bless ’em, had filled their heads with tales and moral absolutes that did nothing to prepare them for what they would encounter.

      Ned’s “all truth all honour all the time” Arryn-inspired credo was simply not sustainable. So impractical was it that Ned himself did not really live by it and, when he tried to, he died… The Stark children now have to reinvent, recreate their House’s identity with whatever tricks or notions they might have picked along the way : ruthlessness, determination, moral plasticity, efficiency, etc.

      It seems to me that, each in his or her own way, they are slowly circling back to Rickard’s own motto : fight to win. A much more practical principle, in fairness, but also one that can lead down a very dark and sinister path, so similar is it to Cersei’s own “you either win or you die”.

      So far, Arya has been very keen on “winning” (ie. not dying and killing as many of her enemies as possible). Hopefully, her trajectory will help her consider that she does not always have to fight in the first place, that it may be better to let bygones be bygones, at times. Forgiveness, for what it is worth, is also an option.
      Otherwise, she may have to start digging two graves…

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    161. Thi Targaryen,

      whoops, I just realized I had typed season 5 instead of 4 (this site is playing havoc with my typing – horribly slow and frustrating so Im making typoos I wouldn’t normally make. But you are right – except for a few low moments, it is genuious.

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    162. ACME,

      How I love these quiter days when we get time to discuss characters and not tinfoil theories!

      Indead last season most of our beloved characters went a bit over the top with violence (and others did that in earlier seasons). And though I don’t think that killing a villain or two turns a human being into a monster, there’s always a threshhold – power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
      I wouldn’t worry for Jon: he beated Ramsay cruelly, but he found no satisfaction in hanging the mutinees – in fact, he was completely broken by the inevitability of execution, and look how he switched from the fight to Wun-Wun and then back to fight. So, Jon is more or less safe: he might be tempted by power, but definitely not by the power over life and death of other human being – Jon simply wants to be loved and respected.

      Sansa is on a much darker path, because she have definitely liked the taste of power over life and death of other human being. In fact, she has always had a bit of cruelty in her – just look how she treated her septa back in S1. However, I don’t think that Sansa will ever acquire enough power to turn into a monster.

      However, Arya’s power over life and death is now absolute: she can simply kill anyone and that should be like poison. Faces are like poison – that’s what she was told but never took into consideration. And that will have consequences – yes, Clob, I stand on my point. In GoT people pay for their choices – good or bad. And Arya won’t be an exeption, when it’s all done.

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    163. ACME:
      I am terribly sorry to ask for I do not wish to put anyone “on the spot”, so to speak, but what would it take for her sense of humanity to be called into question?

      The exact same logic applies to Jon’s actions at the end the Battle of the Bastards. His rage-fuelled, interminable punching session on an already-defeated Ramsay was designed to make the viewer feel uncomfortable, not gleeful. Over twenty head blows relentlessly delivered by a man caked in blood and mud who is sitting on his defenseless target’s chest is not a hero shot, I believe.

      Intense subjectivity, disproportionate violence and lack of consistency are the reasons why vigilantism is generally considered distinct from justice.

      I’m really enjoying the back-and-forth about Arya’s actions, some of which I’ve questioned even though she is (predictably) one of my favorite characters. There’s so much I could respond to, but don’t have enough time to; therefore, I will respond just briefly to the three points above.

      1. To put it quite simply, I think we would call Arya’s sense of humanity into question if she knowingly killed an innocent person. I hope I don’t give offense by writing this, especially because I’ve been loving your posts: It seems to me that you’re looking at Arya’s methods through the lenses of our present-day moral standards, whereas in his/her response Stark Raven’ Rad used the moral standards of Arya’s time. Not only that, but the methods Arya has employed are straight out of legend and myth—stories Arya would have grown up with and derived some (if not much) of her sense of justice from. The Rat Cook is one example. As for Meryn F— Trant, my very first thought after she killed him was that she had left him looking like one of the faces in a heart tree. I don’t know whether or not that was intentional.

      2. Ramsay had just tried to put three quarrels into Jon, and it was pretty clear he was going to use every weapon at his disposal up until the very end (regardless of having just suffered a stunning defeat). I would have punched him 20 times too, and I’ve never punched anyone.

      3. From Arya’s experience, there is no justice in the world. Hence her inability to differentiate between vigilantism and justice.

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    164. Clob,

      I should’ve phrased it better. I meant last season perfect example as structure of the whole season which included couple of shorter and quality episode shorter than BotB but also on par in their quality. Season 4 or 5 aswell.

      ghost of winterfell,

      If this guy is our Rhaegar. Watch people bitching about how this guy is not handsome enough to be Rhaegar. Same way about Franciosi as Lyanna.

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    165. ACME,

      Damn. You were posting this while I was posting a response to you, so that response is somewhat moot now.

      I agree with your point about Ilyn Paine being on Arya’s list; it seems vengeful and lacking the maturity to understand that he was, essentially, doing his job. On that note, I think that, ironically, that’s one of the reasons she took the Hound off the list: besides the fact that he saved her life, I always had the impression that she finally truly understood what Sandor had told her from the beginning—that it wasn’t his place to question the prince. (And of course, said prince told everyone that Mycah, Arya and Nymeria had tried to kill him.) Given that fact, it does seem odd to keep Payne on the list.

      In addition, I think that during their time together it must have become increasingly clear to Arya that the Hound, unlike his brother, doesn’t kill just for the sheer pleasure of killing. That’s not to say that he doesn’t derive pleasure from it sometimes, but he never targets random people just for shits and grins. Rough as he is, he does have a moral code.

      Come to think of it, Arya may keep Ilyn Payne on her list not only because he executed Ned, but because by Ned’s own moral code there should be no such thing as an executioner. (“The man who passes the sentence should swing the blade,” or words to that effect.) Therefore, the executioner himself represents an absence of morality.

      Hope that makes sense.

      (And this response is being posted later than expected, because an epic fistfight just broke out on the pitcher’s mound during the Giants/Nationals game.)

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    166. Inga: In GoT people pay for their choices – good or bad. And Arya won’t be an exeption, when it’s all done.

      We’ll see. Arya is a SUPER fan favorite in books and show, not just a favorite. She’s also a favorite of George’s wife and he himself put her on one of the top pedestals before he even started writing. It would be a terrible ending for her to meet her demise due to the wise decision to leave because it went against what is right and her morals.

      So, I disagree as I don’t see her story ending that way in either medium. I think they overdramaticized her arc and the waif on the show to simply give it some “punch” and a quicker reason for her to leave and ‘get back into the story.’ I believe we’ll get a lengthier path (eventually) in the books that leads to her return to Westeros in a very different way. One that doesn’t make people believing that the FM are on her tail all the time.

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    167. Clob,

      Dammit, I hate that there’s a timer on editing and that it’s so short. Grrrr

      I was going to add more but now I don’t feel like it. I’ll just *overdramatized 🙁

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    168. Wolfish,

      3

      . From Arya’s experience, there is no justice in the world. Hence her inability to differentiate between vigilantism and justice.

      Yes, this. And what little justice there is in the world is fraud when taking into consideration Tyrios trial

      I also agree with both of you that this has been a really fascinating discussion and certainlyi has given me some food for thought.

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    169. Dee Stark,

      I’m glad you’ve chosen not to watch the trailers or look at leaks, I think the season will be much more enjoyable for you.

      To your question, for instance if we open on Euron’s fleet destroying Dany’s entire fleet at sea and stealing her dragons somehow. Then Dany and her whole crew wash ashore at different points in Westeros and are scattered. Maybe some of them are imprisoned by Euron. This would be far more interesting than her marching around Westeros and running everyone over until the zombie army attacks.

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    170. Dee Stark:
      WTF do people want at the end??????????

      Thanks for asking… that is a great question…

      Arya Stark marries Gentry and sails west of Westeros

      Jamie Lannister becomes King of the seven kingdoms and marries Brienne of Tarth

      Jon snow Targaryan (Ice) changes his last name to Stark, remains King of the North and marries Gilly’s sister

      Daenerys Targaryan (Fire) marries Tyrion Lannister then goes back to Essos and cleans out all of Volantis with her dragons and rebuilds Volantis returning it to a Targaryan kingdom.

      Sansa Stark marries Littlefinger and shoves the mockingbird through the moondoor and becomes Lady of the Vale.

      D&D should hire me to help them write season 8

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    171. I looked at Gemma’s IG and her and Alfie aka Yara and Theon were at a panel at the Comic Con in Munich three days ago, does anyone know if they said anything about the upcoming season?

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    172. Clob,

      Oh, my sweet summer child! When did being fans’s or wife’s favourite has saved anyone in GoT? Jon Snow was a fan favourite – he got stabbed and resurrected, and the later was even more unpleasant than stabbing.

      One way or another Arya is clearly headed towards the great war: the fact that she gets a Vlyrian steel dagger is an additional proof that she is going to play a pivotal role in the victory (along with others). But I bet that the quest will claim her life and even more and that it will be a part of a bittersweet ending. After all, GoT is not that type of a fairy tale where a tomboy princess prevails over all of her enemies and lives hapily ever after.

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    173. It’s early as I try and read all these lengthy discussions, so I don’t have time to respond specifically but I did want to throw this into the discussion as it seems to be an issue. One of the aspects of adaptation that I find hard to deal with in GOT is that many characters are altered to fit the TV narrative, and we are supposed to view only, and yet we do have the books and D&W have mentioned that they are following GRRM basic endgame for all the main characters, or at least as close as will make sense to the viewer. So when characters like Arya and Sansa are given other people’s story lines it alters them to the viewer, but yet they are still going to end up wherever GRRM (and D&W) want originally them to end up, regardless of 2-4 actions that their adapted characters do that deviate from their book story line. Correct?

      For example, so many take issue with Arya killing Frey and the Frey pie, some think she went too to far, others see her getting justice for her family, people like me see it a little differently. I know the character doesn’t really do any of this in the books, thus it won’t affect her story line or endgame. D&W needed to tie up loose ends and gave Arya the story line of other characters they needed to cut from the show to accomplish it… the frey pie to me seemed like fanservice, or a nod to the book readers – as it really was really OOC for Arya and really didn’t make a lot of sense (how did she bake those pies exactly, never mind). In the book, it was much more subtle and was a real surprise and well received – in the show, it was handled poorly.

      It is hard for me to take a lot of these OOC deviations completely as fact, at least in my head canon. Arya’s over the top killings, or Sansa’s OOC marriage to Ramsey… I know it happens in the show, and will affect their characters, but ultimately both will move beyond them, because their end game has already been decided by GRRM, regardless of how many alterations D&W make to their path.

      Yet, these altered paths the characters take do alter the viewer perception of these character, and might ultimately make their final ending confusing or less satisfying – at least for some, good or bad.

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    174. Stark Raven' Rad,

      I’m so sorry to hear about your father’s illness. I’m sure your loving presence means a lot to him. I wish that your feelings for each other bring light to both of you.

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    175. While I agree with what you say largely I think you need to remove the word basic from basic understanding of the end game. What we do know is D&D know how the story ends, the major plot points and individual arcs for each character, this is beyond dispute.

      My understanding is that with the way GRRM writes he has a gardener style which means the details are refined and things will happen differently in the books than the show but the end result will be the same. For example, Jon will become King in the North in Winds of Winter most likely through Rob’s will however in the show he’s elected by the Northern Lords. Another example will likely be Sansa coming North with the Vale forces to retake Winterfell in the books but in the show they gave her Jayne Poole’s role and it was Littlefinger bringing the Vale forces. Another interesting one is Theon who seems to have been given some of Victorians arc in providing ships for Dany but in the books is still stuck around Winterfell as Stannis is about to be defeated. It will be interesting how they bring his arc back on track from here in my opinion.

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    176. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      Well, I NEVER look at leaks or spoilers. I usually watch trailers though. I haven’t yet. But I will probably soon.

      I am so glad you are not writing the show, Sorry. not to be mean or anything lol.

      I hope Euron dies in the first episode. lol
      Who the eff is Euron to come in and set back the show another 5 seasons?
      That would be so silly, bad writing, and bad story telling. Yuck.

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    177. I have missed this site for several days and now I’m back, after having read about 100 comments.
      I don’t think that’s a time for justice in Westeros, as the trials we have seen have proved to bring anything but justice.
      There were attempts to make justice without a trial by Ned, Robb and Jon. Ned’s executing Will meant punishing a poor man who had lost his mind, not a deserter. Killing Lady was an extreme measure to end the conflict with his king and queen, a conflict no person can pursue victoriously without making it a rebellion.
      Robb rightfully executed Lord Karstark, which was the beginning of changing fortune for the Starks, but, nevertheless, failed to punish his own mother for freeing their enemy. As Robb admitted, Catelyn’s life was spared not because he had understood her reasons, but because she was his own mother.
      Jon proved to be a true commander by executing the mocking disobedient Slynt and the mutineers who had killed him, but these actions looked more like necessary measures taken among military than practical solutions which can be applied under usual circumstances.
      As a conclusion, I think that a vigilante like Arya has won her place in Westeros. She might rush to conclusions, but she nevertheless has a system of values, based on the belief that innocents should not be harmed. She didn’t let the Hound to kill the pork merchant and objected to Sandor’s robbing the farmer and his daughter who had fed and sheltered them. I think that, in the beginning, she didn’t understand the Faceless Men’s code – she thought Jaqen was her friend, who would teach her how to avenge her family, even if “avenging” meant “killing”, a usual synonymy in their time. Yes, she displayed cruelty while killing Meryn Trant and Walder Frey, but those were scum, who deserved everything and more.

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    178. Woah, since when did this site became such a ranting one? Complaining about I think the show is at stage (for some time now) when we should actually pay attention to characters themselves and not deaths and shocking twists… The characters and their interractions and progress are the biggest value in my opinion.

      Also, if you spend all year trying to predict the story and you predict it correct, why do you complain? Do you predict the story because you want to predict wrong? If you want to be surprised, don’t think about GoT and enter S7 with open mind. But as the show is in endgame phase, it is time for the stories to get wrapped up. The moments of shocking twists are over.

      Also, I’m really glad I didn’t read the leaks or any spoilers these years so the trailer really built up my hype but on the other hand, I don’t know the meaning of those scenes in the trailer. Those who read the leaks have no right to complain to be honest and it’s your fault if you did so.

      I don’t want to be offensive but I do feel several members of this site lack the “fan vibe”. I feel you get annoyed so quickly if something doesn’t go your way.

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    179. Lord Parramandas,

      I do want to say one thing, your comment here:

      “Also, if you spend all year trying to predict the story and you predict it correct, why do you complain? Do you predict the story because you want to predict wrong? If you want to be surprised, don’t think about GoT and enter S7 with open mind. But as the show is in endgame phase, it is time for the stories to get wrapped up. The moments of shocking twists are over.”

      Is sooooooooooo true. If you sit there discussing, analyzing, and trying to predict or saying what you think may happen, it will feel as though everything was so predictable (not everything, but for the most part). This is very true, and when I used to analyze and discuss GOT soooooooo much I was able to figure out R+L=J long before and haven’t read the books… so I wasn’t surprised when it was confirmed.. vs some people I know who watch the show, understand it well, but don’t discuss and analyze everything and they are surprised by everything.

      Very good point Lord P… I fully agree with that.

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    180. Dee Stark,

      Yes. Also, correctly predicting something can make the scene even greater. Jon’s parents’ theory for sure. And I correctly predicted Cersei will burn the High Sept with Wildfire but because of that, I enjoyed the scene even more. The vibe as I felt this was the last episode for so many of long living characters, the entrance to the endgame… that’s why “The Winds of Winter” is among my top 3 episodes.

      I remember when I watched Westworld and I was several episodes behind, so I didn’t go on any public site and avoided ANY writings about WW. And I was able to predict a certain twist completely by myself and when it turned true, I felt such a satisfaction.

      In general, I discovered that when watching a TV series for a second or third… time, I’m often able to enjoy it (or at least certain episodes) even more as I more recognize the depth of the story and especially its characters. I’m rewatching both LOST and Game of Thrones at the moment and I noticed how I pay even more attention to the characters themselves and the vibe I get from both shows is even more intense.

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    181. Dee Stark,

      And btw. I’m pretty much entering S7 with open mind. I did some speculation in my head, but as I wasn’t much on this site, I don’t know about major plot points and I didn’t even pay much attention to that. But the trailer surely kept my hype up (but not to the point I would get much sense of major plot points) and my current rewatch definitely helps in that as well. (I’m currently in the middle of S4 and in fact, I’m just getting ready to watch “First of His Name”)

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    182. Dee Stark,

      What do you want to see? Dany and her massive army with 3 dragons march all over Westeros and take it over? That is extremely boring. The essence of drama is conflict.

      Actually, it was a bad example because there is definitely a course correction coming for Dany. She is too powerful right now. So unless D & D or George has completely jumped the shark, you can fully expect that she is going to suffer big losses and probably very early on in S7. I’ve been saying it since last season.

      Stories don’t get “set back” or make promises or owe fans anything. They only thing they owe is to be entertaining, and best way to accomplish that is be unpredictable.

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    183. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      The fact that you think that Dany will successfully take over Westeros and live happily ever after makes me wonder if you’re even paying attention to the show? Hello, whitewalkers??????

      The show is unpredictable and from someone who hasn’t seen or read any spoilers and has done minimal discussion of what may happen in S7 with fellow fans…. I can tell you that I have NO IDEA what to expect in S7… isn’t that enough? Like so many different things can happen and I just don’t know what will happen to the major characters. But since the show is coming to an end, there are some things that will be expected to happen at this time because that’s what the story has been leading up to and that doesn’t make the show boring and predictable. And I just feel bad for anyone who thinks that.

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    184. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      Forgive me if I’m wrong but I get a vibe from you that you watch the show for the sake of twists and shocking moments and ignoring the characters themselves in the process. Including 180-degree twists on every step for the sake of including them is a messy way to progress with the story and usually, it would just damage characters’ story arcs. The show has a course and it has to stick to that path. There has to be some “emotional satisfaction and payback” to everything, if I quote one of my fellow admins from LFU group.

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    185. viki:
      It’s early as I try and read all these lengthy discussions, so I don’t have time to respond specifically but I did want to throw this into the discussion as it seems to be an issue.One of the aspects of adaptation that I find hard to deal with in GOT is that many characters are altered to fit the TV narrative, and we are supposed to view only, and yet we do have the books and D&W have mentioned that they are following GRRM basic endgame for all the main characters, or at least as close as will make sense to the viewer.So when characters like Arya and Sansa are given other people’s story lines it alters them to the viewer, but yet they are still going to end up wherever GRRM (and D&W) want originally them to end up, regardless of 2-4 actions that their adapted characters do that deviate from their book story line. Correct?

      For example, so many take issue with Arya killing Frey and the Frey pie, some think she went too to far, others see her getting justice for her family, people like me see it a little differently.I know the character doesn’t really do any of this in the books, thus it won’t affect her story line or endgame. D&W needed to tie up loose ends and gave Arya the story line of other characters they needed to cut from the show to accomplish it… the frey pie to me seemed like fanservice, or a nod to the book readers – as it really was really OOC for Arya and really didn’t make a lot of sense (how did she bake those pies exactly, never mind). In the book, it was much more subtle and was a real surprise and well received – in the show, it was handled poorly.

      It is hard for me to take a lot of these OOC deviations completely as fact, at least in my head canon. Arya’s over the top killings, or Sansa’s OOC marriage to Ramsey… I know it happens in the show, and will affect their characters, but ultimately both will move beyond them, because their end game has already been decided by GRRM, regardless of how many alterations D&W make to their path.

      Yet, these altered paths the characters take do alter the viewer perception of these character, and might ultimately make their final ending confusing or less satisfying – at least for some, good or bad.

      Hmmm….

      Arya hasn’t killed Walder Frey in the books yet because George hasn’t/won’t finish; I think it’s HIGHLY likely she’ll kill Frey in the books if George ever finishes. Arya is being trained as an assassin for a reason, not just for kicks.

      As for Sansa…you think her marriage to Harry the Heir will be a happy one? ‘Cause I don’t; Harry is clearly bad news and not a very nice guy.

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    186. I agree, ever since Season 2/House of the undying vision, I’ve been convinced Dany will never take the iron throne. It’s still not clear why but I’m convinced she’s set to fail.

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    187. Dee Stark: Who the eff is Euron to come in and set back the show another 5 seasons?

      Those were my thoughts in the books too so I understand. The Dorne stuff and characters were/are worse for me but it’s there for both. I read through three books loving the characters and the story and then get to the fourth and they essentially go ignored as Martell and Greyjoy characters are suddenly a focus. No, I don’t want to read about them! *pout*

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    188. Lord Parramandas,

      Well said and I agree 100%. The constant complaining from a handful of posters that there aren’t enough twists in the story now are tiresome and misguided.

      If there’s a “shocking” twist around every corner, then guess what? It’s NOT shocking because it becomes the norm. If we expect to be shocked, then there’s nothing shocking about it.

      Really, I’ve never found GoT to be a particularly shocking show. Ned’s death and Robb’s death were somewhat shocking, but they are not main characters that the story needs to have in order to continue. Their deaths also MADE SENSE for the plot of the show. Shock for the sake of shock is for 5 year olds.

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    189. Wolfish: To put it quite simply, I think we would call Arya’s sense of humanity into question if she knowingly killed an innocent person

      While I agree such a deed would definitely show Arya has a severe problem, it may be a tad too high a bar to clear…

      As the quote found by BigMac reminded us, even the Mad King never “knowingly killed an innocent person”. He was convinced that all the people he brutalised, tortured and murdered were guilty of something. Joffrey was the same : his bouts of barbarity were always somehow “justified” for him. Drogo, who for all intents and purposes was a monstrous criminal, never thought of his mass pillaging, raping and murdering as attacks on innocent people; in his mind, it was normal, warlord behaviour and the populations he victimised simply did not factor in the equation.
      Even horrible people tend to assume they have perfectly valid reasons to do what they do. No one is a villain in their own story. So to use intent or sincere belief as a gold standard of humanity or dangerosity may be somewhat self-defeating.

      What if Arya unknowingly killed an “innocent person” ? Someone she believed had committed a specific crime but in reality hadn’t ? Would that suffice to bring her humanity / sanity into question ?
      What if she killed Cersei ? She believes the Queen is responsible for Ned’s death; we know it is not true at all. If Arya kills Cersei, is that OK ? Now, I understand that possibly many people would answer “well, Cersei is a bad person anyway so yeah” but whether the Lioness is pure of heart or the worst piece of “shift” ever to draw breath is, ultimately, not the point. Arya wants to murder her as punishment for a crime Cersei is utterly, completely, absolutely innocent of.

      Is it OK / human /sane to kill someone as retribution for something they did not do ?

      Wolfish:Ramsay had just tried to put three quarrels into Jon, and it was pretty clear he was going to use every weapon at his disposal up until the very end (regardless of having just suffered a stunning defeat). I would have punched him 20 times too, and I’ve never punched anyone.

      I do agree with you and I understand Jon’s desire to smash Ramsay’s skull. After all, the man was an unspeakable sadist who murdered Rickon and repeatedly raped Sansa. It is perfectly normal for the White Wolf to want to hurt him.

      The same logic applies to Sansa and Arya. I can perfectly empathise with Sansa wanting to hear the man who brutally violated her and assassinated her baby brother beg for mercy and scream in pain and terror. I also can sympathise why Arya’s wish to see the people who massacred her mother and brother shake in abject fear and suffering.

      There is nothing wrong with any of those wishes. They are human and understandable. However, I cannot help but wonder whether it is a “good thing” for said wishes to become reality…

      No matter how much I may dislike it for philosophical reasons, I accept that the death penalty is a legitimate form of punishment in Westeros. Now, as far as we know, there are two ways to administer it, namely beheading and hanging. From that, we can deduce that capital punishment, as a means to deliver justice (and not revenge), is supposed to be ritualised, dispassionate and swift.

      Considering how grossly outnumbered Ramsay was, he could have been taken into custody without a fuss, regardless of his determination to cause as much mayhem as he could until the very end. His capture would thus have been ritualised, dispassionate and swift. However Jon decided not to let his men take care of the last Bolton; he chose to go for him on his own, with the explicit goal to smash his skull to death. To hurt him.
      Once taken prisoner, Ramsay was completely at the Starks’ mercy and could have been hanged or decapitated. His death would thus have been ritualised, dispassionate and swift. However, Sansa chose to have him tied to a chair and devoured by grotesquely violent and dangerous animals. To hurt him.
      The three main Freys had not idea a Stark was coming for them. They were not on their guard and, as such, could have been killed efficiently, without flourish. Their deaths would thus have been ritualised, dispassionate and swift. However, Arya chose to mutilate the bodies of two of them so as to terrorise the third before proceeding to slash his throat in as slow a manner as humanly possible. To hurt him.

      I believe that none of that is capital punishment. Not even by Westerosi standards. This is cruel and unusual punishment. This is revenge.

      (I hope the firstfight on the pitcher’s mound was suitably entertaining 😉 )

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    190. Clob: We’ll see.Arya is a SUPER fan favorite in books and show, not just a favorite.She’s also a favorite of George’s wife and he himself put her on one of the top pedestals before he even started writing.It would be a terrible ending for her to meet her demise due to the wise decision to leave because it went against what is right and her morals.

      To be fair, Ned’s demise was due to his decision to act according to what was right and his morals… 🙂
      But I do take your point.

      I am somewhat on the fence. I do agree with Inga‘s argument that there will be longterm repercussions for Arya. She made the choice of brutality, vengeance and violence and that has a price. Whether the fans like it or not, I doubt there is a “happily ever after” in store for the younger Stark sister. However, I do see your point about her death being a bit “too much”…

      That is why I tend to believe the “west of Westeros” line was so meaningful and foreshadowing. In my highly subjective opinion, Arya will survive the Great War but will leave Westeros shortly afterwards, having come to terms with the fact that she is no longer suited for peace. So she will depart to explore the world, existing in the margins of “normal” society. Both a form of penance and reward.

      viki:
      One of the aspects of adaptation that I find hard to deal with in GOT is that many characters are altered to fit the TV narrative (…)
      It is hard for me to take a lot of these OOC deviations completely as fact, at least in my head canon. Arya’s over the top killings, or Sansa’s OOC marriage to Ramsey…

      It is a very fair point. But were those decisions that OOC ?

      TV!Sansa’s decision to marry Ramsay may have been presented in a clunky fashion but the narrative barebones of it are not that far off from where her literary counterpart may end up experiencing…
      In the books, she seems on the verge of marrying Harry the Heir, a lamentable and brutal oaf who is basically Robert Baratheon 2.0. Now, we know how King Bobby used to treat his wife (domestic violence and marital rape galore !) and we are also aware that, back in the days, Lyanna was convinced her betrothed would never change and always behave appalingly with her, regardless of his constant declarations of love.
      If Harry is really Baratheon-like, Book!Sansa’s marriage to him may share quite a few characteristics with TV!Sansa’s union with Ramsay; not so much in terms of sadism, but in terms of humiliation, physical brutality and sexual violation.
      And the repercussions could be somewhat similar too :
      – the beginning of a wedge between her and Littlefinger (the marriage’s architect);
      – an understanding that manipulation has its limits. You cannot undo what is already there. A sociopath will always be a sociopath and an entitled misogynistic moron will always be an entitled misogynistic moron;
      – a genuine understanding of what it truly means to be a woman in Westeros.

      As for Arya, is the Frey pie that over-the-top compared with what her literary counterpart has already done and appears able / willing to do ?
      Could someone else get rid of the Freys in the books ? Sure, it is technically possible. But I have to admit, I do not quite see who…
      Blackfish is at Riverrun and he does not seem keen to attack the Twins; Jon is dead busy in the North; the Lannisters support the Freys. Edmure is under house arrest; Brienne is on a quest; no one in the Vale cares one bit about the Rivermen; Bran is hugging a tree; etc.
      Who, aside from Arya, has both an intense hatred towards the Freys and the skills necessary to decapitate the family, symbolically speaking ?

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    191. Thinking more about Arya – I’d like those who are critical that she has become a cold blooded killer (which I don’t think she is) to explain to me what she should be doing? Sansa has been criticized at length for taking everything that is thrown at her meekly, having pretty much given up on her life ever being happy (this appears to be changing thankfully). Arya has had as much thrown at her as well – what choices did she have? It wasn’t in her personality to just take it, or to not survive. And the role models around her, starting from Yolen (? the one who took her to the wall after Ned was executed) up and including the Hound have taught her how to survive, even if that means killing. She also in her very young life has lost many loved ones, that her list of who to kill (which Yolen suggested she make) is what keeps her moving step by step day to day. Im not sure she was honestly able to do be anything else. You hear about people who turn from vengance to service, doing good deeds, or becoming born again. I don’t think she even knows those options exist. It is possible tho, if she meets up with the Hound, she will discover them. But for now – what would you expect her to be doing given her age, her experience and her world?

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    192. Inga,
      Wolfish,
      I share your enthusiasm about the conversation 😉

      ETA

      ash:
      what would you expect her to be doing given her age, her experience and her world?

      Not take borderline-orgasmic pleasure from turning human beings into meat ? 🙂

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    193. viki,

      Re: Your 6:56 am comment about books > TV adaptation, and giving show! characters other book! characters’ storylines

      You observed, eg:

      “Yet, these altered paths the characters take do alter the viewer perception of these character, and might ultimately make their final ending confusing or less satisfying – at least for some, good or bad.”

      ==================
      You’ve raised some great points ! In a little while, I am going to try to reply from the perspective of a show-only non-book reader whose knowledge of the books is limited to a few passages and what I’ve learned from comments on this site.

      For now, I just want to make the general observation (in connection with your forewarnings about alterations in characters’ paths altering viewers’ perceptions, and how that may affect reception of their ultimate outcome(s) on the show) that the process of “shoehorning” or merging book! characters’ story lines into show! characters’ story lines might look good on paper, but doesn’t always make sense in the execution.

      The way I see it, there are so many “moving parts” in the books’ intersecting stories that would have to be accounted for when diverging from the books! plot with the expectation of arriving at the same logical destinations down the road. As illustrated by one of the examples you gave (Show!Sansa OOC marriage to R. Bolton), the way a story logically unfolds in the books
      is a function of, eg, characters’ geographical location; chronological coherence; justifiable motivations and behavior; and actions consistent with each character’s historically established traits.

      I’m speculating that because Book!Sansa has been hanging out in the Vale and didn’t go north yet, the modified plot line on the show essentially required Show!Sansa to lie and conceal information from Jon. (More on this later – if I can state it succinctly.)

      Anyway, as it relates to your concluding point: unfortunately, the viewers’ perceptions of Sansa have already been altered. Simply having her book! and show! story lines converge at some point down the road won’t necessarily undo those (mis-)perceptions. (In retrospect, I feel kind of bad for Sophie T, because she was left twisting in the wind in interviews trying to explain Show!Sansa’s lies and omissions.) Moreover, the changes to Sansa’s character will likely have a ripple effect going forward: as a show watcher, I’ve attributed to Sansa a degree of malevolence, idiocy and selfishness that GRRM may never have intended. Book!Sansa may very well wind up in WF, but not with all of that baggage.

      (To be cont.?)

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    194. Inga:
      Clob,

      Oh, my sweet summer child! When did being fans’s or wife’s favourite has saved anyone in GoT? Jon Snow was a fan favourite – he got stabbed and resurrected, and the later was even more unpleasant than stabbing.

      One way or another Arya is clearly headed towards the great war: the fact that she gets a Vlyrian steel dagger is an additional proof that she is going to play a pivotal role in the victory (along with others). But I bet that the quest will claim her life and even more and that it will be a part of a bittersweet ending. After all, GoT is not that type of a fairy tale where a tomboy princess prevails over all of her enemies and lives hapily ever after.

      Yeah, Jon is a fan favorite and one of those on a “pedestal,” and he was resurrected. He’s still “here.” Jon, Arya, Daenerys, Tyrion, Bran have all had brushes with death and suffered from decisions, yet they are all still alive. They are important. Some fans have random favorites. Ned was a favorite but he also wasn’t a series long piece. Robb was a favorite but also not full series and wasn’t even a pov character in the books. Favorites have died but not the truly BIG ones, yet.

      Still, you missed the point of my response. I wasn’t saying that Arya will or will not die in the end as an integral part of the big climax. What I got from your posts is that you believe her ending will be from retribution by the FM, to be simply taken out by a bunch of No Ones. THAT is what I was disagreeing with. I personally think that Arya will actually live through the end but depending on how messy that ending is I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s not. Whichever the case, I don’t believe her ultimate fate is tied to the HoBaW, which as of so far is a very small portion of her story. What it did achieve though is that it “mutated” her from a rather weak little girl that couldn’t do much more than be a sassy tomboy into a dangerously skilled weapon that will be effective in the story to come. She’s realistically useful now, not just a girl that’s ‘Underfoot.’

      I do wish that people would quit pulling the one-time comment George made of “bittersweet.” Nobody has any idea what he truly meant at the time and besides, he’s nowhere close to actually writing the damn ending. If he had it all sorted and knew for certain exactly how he’ll finish it I think he’d write faster. I think he’s nearly stuck by not being able to decide how he wants to end it exactly. I think some readers are too confident in their belief that ASoIaF isn’t this and won’t be that because of that word coupled with the topic earlier in this thread about people thinking he only writes shocking stuff – that nothing good will happen to the “good” side.

      As far as Arya and the FM…

      From spoilers, confirmed and not, we can be fairly certain what goes on for her this season and it doesn’t appear to involve anything with the FM. That would leave just the last six episodes of the series that will be filled with the Great War to squeeze in some troubles for her with them. It feels unnecessary.

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    195. Clob: I don’t believe her ultimate fate is tied to the HoBaW

      Clob,

      Agreed. If the Faceless Men wanted retribution for Arya, then I don’t think they would’ve let her leave Braavos in the first place.

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    196. Lord Parramandas,

      Dee Stark,

      I agree, considering the first book was released in 1996 it has given people plenty of time to predict how it will end. It’s only natural that the hundreds of theories predicted some will be right making people think it is predictable. The ending is possibly gonna be predictable Now but I doubt it was when GRRM came up with it, fans of the book have just had way too much time to come up with all these theories, someone was bound to get it at least partly right sometime. The start and the journey of the characters was probably the most unpredictable in the series and we are at the end of the story now with two seasons left out of eight and two books left out of seven and the end can sometimes be predictable, so we are probably done with most of the twists and turns, doesn’t mean there won’t be one or two more hiding however but this is the start of concluding the story up and I’d rather it end properly where we all get closure then some extra twists and turns.

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    197. Mr Derp: Clob,

      Agreed.If the Faceless Men wanted retribution for Arya, then I don’t think they would’ve let her leave Braavos in the first place.

      The Many-Faced God could be pleased anyway if she gives him a crap load more deaths. 🙂

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    198. Clob,

      Oh absolutely. She’s like the gift that keeps on giving for them! If the Many Faced God wants business to be good and stay good, Arya should be a keeper for sure. She can bring in the extra income and work overtime without any problems.

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    199. Ten Bears: I’ve attributed to Sansa a degree of malevolence, idiocy and selfishness

      Sorry, but you are a selfproclaimed Aryaphile, so that is not really surprising to me. 😉

      Don’t take it personally, but I’ve noticed that you tend to judge Sansa by Arya-standards, which resulted in some rather weird moments for me like you being mad that she didn’t do anything when Baelish offed poor Dontos. I always have the feeling that you ask yourself: What would Arya have done in that situation? And when the character differs from what you think s/he should have done, that character is somehow doing something wrong.

      The two Stark girls are different, they give us two very different approaches. Sansa’s story is more about enduring, not stabbing people left and right whenever her moral compass tells her to.

      ACME: Who, aside from Arya, has both an intense hatred towards the Freys and the skills necessary to decapitate the family, symbolically speaking ?

      How about a someone who got killed by the Freys after watching her first born stabbed in the heart and is now on quest for vengence ? 😉

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    200. Dee Stark,

      Dee:

      As a fellow leaks-avoider, I wouldn’t worry about getting “spoiled” by the trailer. It’s composed of lots of quick jump cuts between 1-2 second snippets. Speaking for myself, I didn’t see anything that would give away what happens in S7, other than “Oh look! Character X is in Location Z.” More than anything, I was captivated by the costumes and scenery.

      I’ve found it more hype-inducing to look at the EW pictures of Jon 👑 + Arya 🗡 every few hours. 😛

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    201. Mel,

      Thank you! Nikolaj was very sweet, indeed! I’m so glad that they are friends irl and take every opportunity to praise each other.

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    202. ACME,

      Re: your 5/29/17, 1:30 pm comment (about Arya & Lady Crane)

      I have a longer reply to your previous, 5/28, 8:58 pm comment about Arya’s justification for executing Meryn F*cking Trant and the Freys that I’ll try to type out later. But as for my assertion that Arya doesn’t kill innocents, and her decision to abort the hit on Lady Crane:

      Arya confirmed that Lady Crane wasn’t deserving of assassination by: (a) observing her interactions with Bonobo; (b) surmising – correctly – that Bianca commissioned the Faceless Men because she was jealous and wanted to take over top billing from Lady C; (c) hearing straight from Jaqen 2.0’s mouth that even good people get “the gift” – along with his implied threat that “serving” the Many-Faced God means “don’t ask questions; just do as you’re told.”

      In my view, calling off the hit on Lady C, at great danger to herself, signaled that “A Girl” had reclaimed her identity as “Arya Stark of Winterfell”, and could not be “No One”, ie a heartless, morally vacant automaton.

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    203. Clob,

      I just wrote and posted a reply about Arya determining she couldn’t assassinate Lady C, before reading your earlier comment saying pretty much the same thing for the same reasons.

      If it weren’t immodest, I might say “great minds think alike.” 🤔

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    204. Lord Parramandas: LatrineDiggerBrian

      No, that’s just a gross over simplification of my viewpoint and I’ve stated millions of examples of my problems with S6 that had nothing to do with that.

      For example, Arya’s storyline in S6. I strongly felt that she was going to be compromised after she left Braavos, that she would’ve done something really bad and essentially sold her soul to the devil just so she could gain these powers to get her revenge. Instead, they gave an incredibly mysterious and complex storyline an embarrassingly simplified ending, where the Faceless Men are just bad dudes and Arya has to get the hell out of there. That really wasn’t D & D’s finest hour as writers imo.

      So mainly my criticism is the show is going from a show that used to operate more in the greys and keep people off balance, to one that is more traditional story telling. And apparently that’s what most people want, traditional story telling that we see on every other show.

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    205. Vally: judge Sansa by Arya-standards

      I haven’t noticed TB doing that, but it’s something I consciously try to avoid. I’ve never kept it secret that Arya is my favorite character, books and show, while at the same time I’ve also made it quite known that I have little care for book-Sansa and think her chapters rather dull, other than witnessing some actions of others in KL through her. It was more like a “meh, another Sansa chapter.” However, I’ve grown to dislike Sansa more than I had from watching the show. I’ve written quite enough about that and reasons why I feel that way. None of it has anything to do with Arya (or Maisie).

      Having said that, I understand the two characters are completely different so I don’t compare them. I even go so far as making an attempt to not even mention the other’s name when commenting on one of them.

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    206. Dee Stark,

      Alright fine well feel bad for me and I’ll feel bad for you. I just want to be blown away by the story telling, you just want everything to be easy and not scary or edgy. To each their own.

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    207. ACME:
      That is why I tend to believe the “west of Westeros” line was so meaningful and foreshadowing. In my highly subjective opinion, Arya will survive the Great War but will leave Westeros shortly afterwards, having come to terms with the fact that she is no longer suited for peace. So she will depart to explore the world, existing in the margins of “normal” society. Both a form of penance and reward.

      I also believe the “west of Westeros” line is foreshadowing, although at this point I still have some hope that Arya will return to a place where she is “suited for peace.”

      There is waaayyy too much in this thread for me to digest right now, so I’m going OT for a moment: The mêlée on the pitcher’s mound was crazy. I’ve never seen anything quite like it in baseball.

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    208. Vally: Sorry, but you are a selfproclaimed Aryaphile, so that is not really surprising to me.

      The Team Arya vs. Team Sansa is strong, isn’t it ? 😉

      It all boils down to “old Disney princess” vs. “new Disney princess”, ultimately. Snow White or Belle, Cinderella or Mulan, Sleeping Beauty or Ariel… ^^

      Vally: How about a someone who got killed by the Freys after watching her first born stabbed in the heart and is now on quest for vengence ?

      That is an excellent point.

      But even if She-Who-Shall-Never-Appear-On-The-Show (:P) goes to the Twins to “get even” with the Freys, a POV character will probably have to be present to see it so that we, the readers, can find out about it. Unless Geroge RR Martin gives She-Who-etc a POV chapter which seems dubious.
      The likelier candidates are, I would believe, Brienne, Jaime or Arya. If it is one of the first two, they would probably only witness the misdeed. If it is Arya, she may very well participate…

      To be fair, that may be a salutary wakeup call !

      Ten Bears:
      In my view, calling off the hit on Lady C, at great danger to herself, signaled that “A Girl” had reclaimed her identity as “Arya Stark of Winterfell”, and could not be “No One”, ie a heartless, morally vacant automaton.

      I see your point but are these the only two options ? Amoral serial killer or “sassy tomboy” of old (or, as I would qualify Book 1 / Season 1 Arya, a rude and disdainful brat) ?

      Arya’s violence stems from pain. It is the only response she has found to cope with and survive to the world around her and it is an imperfect one. In her more introspective moments, she is heartwrenchingly aware of that. In between the intense moments of satisfaction she experiences when offing someone she believes deserved it, she cannot escape the void. The sense that what was was (family, home, innocence, love) and will never be again. “The hole where (her) heart used to be”, as George RR Martin puts it, that may never get filled.
      The people she slaughters, the gruesome corpses she leaves behind, they will not put Humpty Dumpty back together again. If anything, the violence only smashes the pieces further, into an ever-finer powder, making it increasingly unimaginable for any “fix” to occur.

      It is tragic, not glorious, I believe.

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    209. Ten Bears,

      Hopefully Cersei will cut back on her drinking and occasionally shut up.

      Seriously, the long monologues/dialogues are the price we’ve had to pay for scenes like Blackwater. I read they needed to beg for more money from HBO to be able to film that on water. Hence the meandering dialogue. If they had more money per episode, perhaps the need for less expensive footage won’t be as great.

      I also hope they have a sufficient candle budget this season. I may start a crowd-funding campaign to make sure they have enough candles and don’t have to rely as much on natural light.

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    210. It will probably be picked up in a bit but just noticed Hibbard has a new article on EW regarding episode lengths.

      He writes that the episodes will be generally the same length as usual but also adds that, “…however, the finale this season will be super-sized, clocking in at well over an hour.”

      I guess we can be hopeful that “super-sized” means no less that last season’s finale of 69 minutes. I’d like to finally have an 80-90 minute episode.

      http://ew.com/tv/2017/05/30/game-of-thrones-remaining-episodes-length/

        Quote  Reply

    211. Clob:
      It will probably be picked up in a bit but just noticed Hibbard has a new article on EW regarding episode lengths.

      He writes that the episodes will be generally the same length as usual but also adds that, “…however, the finale this season will be super-sized, clocking in at well over an hour.”

      I guess we can be hopeful that “super-sized” means no less that last season’s finale of 69 minutes.I’d like to finally have an 80-90 minute episode.

      http://ew.com/tv/2017/05/30/game-of-thrones-remaining-episodes-length/

      Clob,

      That would be awesome to have a super-sized episode at some point. I certainly don’t expect it, but it would be nice. Especially since we’re in the home stretch here with only 13 episodes left.

      I just dont want people to start expecting longer episodes. They’ll get their hopes up then come here to complain about how disappointed they are.

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    212. Mel:
      I wonder if the theme will go for as long considering it will be the first time we don’t cross the narrow sea, and with less characters we’ll have less locations.

      Does anyone know if they still showed The Wall in the beginning after Jon left? But then again Bran was still beyond on the wall. I guess the test will be when Bran gets away from the wall and no main characters are there if it’ll still show it every episode.

      The Wall, Winterfell, King’s Landing have been the only 3 places to feature on every opening titles sequence so far. I’d say regardless of who is beyond or not beyond the wall, The Wall will still be shown. It’s an integral part of the story.

      As for Essos, I believe we’re done with that on the opening titles after Ep1.

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    213. The article makes a good point too. If they needed more time to tell their story, then why would they have less episodes overall, yet make each one longer in duration? It makes no sense if you think about it, despite the understandable desire from fans to get as long an episode as possible.

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    214. Okay, I don’t mean to keep going off topic, sorry. I’d seen this meme before but didn’t think about something until now. I looked at the stack of ASoIaF books and noticed that’s what mine looks like, as far as paperback, paperback, paperback, paperback, hardcover. (I have trade paperbacks in the first four.) I’m wondering if many people have the same because they got the first four published books to read just before or around the start of the series and then couldn’t wait for the paperback of ADwD and bought the hardcover as soon as it released right after season 1…

      http://i.imgur.com/P87Nys7.jpg

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    215. ash,

      Re: your 5/29/17, 2:26 pm “serendipitous” comment about S5’s The Laws of Gods and Men, and “how to insure true justice.” —

      I don’t want to go too far off-topic, but just wanted to chime in that I asked myself some of the same questions about insuring “justice” after watching Tommen outlaw trial by combat in S6e8*. In particular, I wondered if, as Tommen proclaimed after “conferring” with the High Sparrow, trial by combat was a “brutish scheme by corrupt rulers” — or protection FROM them?

      I scribbled out a long outline that I was going to type out and condense for possible inclusion in a Forum page, but the gist of it was that after listening to Tommen’s justification, I thought to myself that on the surface it made sense but really the opposite was true.

      I went back and rewatched all “trial” scenes, i.e. (1) Tyrion at the Vale; (2) Tyrion’s regicide trial/Oberyn vs. The Mountain; (3) The Hound vs. Beric D.; and (4) Faith Militant vs. Cersei [canceled 💥🔥🔥🔥]

      Among my impressions:

      • “Trial by combat” was often the only way an accused had a “fighting chance” at justice because all “trials” were conducted by a kangaroo court, with the accusers or their cronies serving as prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner. (Robyn Arryn as a judge? All he cared about is making people fly through the Moon Door.) As Tyrion realized at his regicide trial in the episode you’re watching, “I’ll get no justice here. I’ll let the gods decide my fate. I demand a trial by combat.”

      • It seems that most “trials” were invariably preceded by torturing the accused to extract “confessions.”

      • Trial by combat had a 67% – 100% accuracy rate. The Hound was properly exonerated. Tyrion’s claims of innocence were vindicated at the Vale. Technically, trial by combat was 3 for 3: as Thoros’s invocation reflects, the God or gods are asked to “give strength to [the accused’s] sword if he is true.” The gods don’t issue a guaranty against idiocy or premature celebration. Just as in football, you don’t pull a Leon Lett (i.e. spike the ball and start celebrating a touchdown before crossing the goal line). Oberyn did just that. He plucked defeat from the jaws of victory because he chose to showboat and prance around.

      • Most important, people in GRRM’s world believed in intercession by “the gods.” Even a rational thinker like Tyrion, who called the gods “vicious c*nts”, professed that the gods dispensed justice through trial by combat.

      Anyway, I don’t want to go further off-topic. Maybe we can revisit this some other time. (I also had a prediction about Cersei’s fixed trial: the power-hungry HS would’ve had his seven flunkies convict her of regicide but find her innocent of incest, thereby justifying her execution while insuring the legitimacy of Tommen, the HS’s puppet.)

      * In 6×8, Tommen, after “conferring” with the High Sparrow, outlaws trial by combat and orders Cersei to be tried by seven septons (i.e. flunkies of the High Sparrow):

      “… The tradition is a brutish one, a scheme devised by corrupt rulers in order to avoid true judgment from the gods.”

        Quote  Reply

    216. Clob,
      Ha ! This meme is fantastic. George RR Martin’s casual bloodthirst is an endless source of entertainment 😉

      As for the paperback/hardcover dichotomy, I have to say I’ve only got hardcovers since I bought the first four secondhand. But “four paperbacks one hardcover” is the rule for pretty much all the ASoIaF fans I know personally 😛

        Quote  Reply

    217. Cathair,

      Assuming that Daenerys’ fleet will still be at sea for the very first opening I think it would be cool for it to zoom in on a bunch of ships on the water. 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    218. Inga,

      Arya “trying to cheat the Faceless Men”? THEY tried to cheat HER! She was lured to the House of B&W by Jaqen’s express assurance that she could offer up the names on her List to the god(s(?) “one by one.” Then once she got there, Jaqen 2.0 pulled the bait and switch and punished her for taking out Meryn F Trant.

      The Faceless Men: another cult of avaricious hypocrites hiding behind religious mumbo jumbo. They will pay the price for deceiving the Many-Faced Goddess. 👸🏻

        Quote  Reply

    219. Dee Stark,

      Not sure what is happening, Dee. I try to respond to you about LFU and when I write my comment, I get notification “page not found”.

        Quote  Reply

    220. Mr Derp,

      I have no idea what’s happening… when I write a really long comment, I get notification “Page not found” like I typed my comment in search section.

        Quote  Reply

    221. Lord Parramandas,
      Stinks! I’ve gotten in the habit of highlight-copying my posts before submitting so they’re not totally lost. On occasion I’ve had to paste and save elsewhere to try later because they won’t go through. I have a handful of comments that I never posted because the relevant time had long passed.

        Quote  Reply

    222. Clob,

      I saved my long comment. But when I try to post it, I get an immediate notification “Page not found”. And when it comes to short comments, it takes longer to send them through than usual.

        Quote  Reply

    223. ACME,

      Arya’s violence stems from pain. It is the only response she has found to cope with and survive to the world around her and it is an imperfect one. In her more introspective moments, she is heartwrenchingly aware of that. In between the intense moments of satisfaction she experiences when offing someone she believes deserved it, she cannot escape the void. The sense that what was was (family, home, innocence, love) and will never be again.

      Exactly. I just finished watching 4/7 where the pair finally reach the Eyrie only to be told that her aunt Lysa died a few days ago. Some fans wondered why she was laughing hysterically. The laugh was also out of pain, realizing she will never see her family or be happy again.It will be interesting if anything changes once she meets up with any of her family, or with the Hound or Nymeria.

        Quote  Reply

    224. ash: Exactly. I just finished watching 4/7 where the pair finally reach the Eyrie only to be told that her aunt Lysa died a few days ago. Some fans wondered why she was laughing hysterically. The laugh was also out of pain, realizing she will never see her family or be happy again.It will be interesting if anything changes once she meets up with any of her family, or with the Hound or Nymeria.

      ash,

      I interpreted that scene a bit differently than you. I thought Arya laughed because the Hound held her captive for all this time because the one option he had remaining was to sell Arya to Lysa. Once they found out that Lysa died, it was clear that the Hound’s plan backfired in his face and he was out of options. Arya was laughing at the situation.

      I don’t think Arya ever met Lysa, which would eliminate any real sense of mourning or sorrow. I don’t think Arya would have laughed if it was a family member that she actually knew personally and wasn’t also batshit crazy.

      At least, that’s what I understood it to be. I could be 100% wrong.

        Quote  Reply

    225. Personally, I never once believed that Jaqen had any intention of Arya becoming No One. Learning the skills, gaining the understanding, sharpening her reactions and ability to ‘see’ people…absolutely. To me, Arya succeeded in Jaqen’s eyes after she learned all of this and then took back her identity as Arya Stark of Winterfell. His smile at her retreating figure said it all.

      There is something much more to the FM than we know. But for the love of the gods, please give me more Tom Wlaschiha!!!

        Quote  Reply

    226. ACME,

      Jon Snow just watched his sister’s rapist murder his little brother right in front of him. Ramsay did it to enrage Jon. I’m surprised Jon had the composure to stop beating Ramsay.

      What kind of punishment for Ramsay do you feel would’ve been commensurate with the severity of his crimes? Counseling ? Anger management classes? A 60-day suspended sentence ? A written apology ?

      I thought he got off relatively easy. Real justice would’ve included the Full Theon, followed by watching his ravenous dogs ripping apart his appendage before feasting on the rest of Ramsay.

      Sorry for the snark. I just don’t understand the blowback against Jon and Sansa.

      #FatWalda&BabyRooseJrRemember
      #LordCerwynSkinnedAlive
      #TansyHuntedDownandEaten
      # Osha+RickonRIP
      #WunWun
      #Theon’sFavoriteToyRemembers

        Quote  Reply

    227. ACME: The Team Arya vs. Team Sansa is strong, isn’t it ?

      Sadly and needlessly it is.

      People are probably just scared because they might find a little Sansa inside of themselves 😀 Little lying Littlefinger loathing Lemoncake lover? Embroidery enthousiast? Ha?

      ACME: a POV character will probably have to be present

      Very good point. I think it’s out of the question that GRRM would make her a POV. I read about a possible scenario ages ago in which Brienne and Jaime are witnessing a second Red Wedding at Riverrun as prisoners of you know who. Don’t ask about details, don’t remember how it would all play out. Also I have to admit that it feels like a lifetime ago that I’ve read the books and I’m not one of those fans who re-reads them a lot. Well, never actually…

        Quote  Reply

    228. Pigeon:
      Personally, I never once believed that Jaqen had any intention of Arya becoming No One. Learning the skills, gaining the understanding, sharpening her reactions and ability to ‘see’ people…absolutely. To me, Arya succeeded in Jaqen’s eyes after she learned all of this and then took back her identity as Arya Stark of Winterfell. His smile at her retreating figure said it all.

      There is something much more to the FM than we know. But for the love of the gods, please give me more Tom Wlaschiha!!!

      I think the same. I believe it was during season 5 when Jaqen actually said something like “you will never become no one”, like he knew then already, and during the game of lies or whatever it was he asks if she truly wants to be no one and apparently she failed as she got slapped. She has always been Arya Stark of Winterfell, she only tried to be no one, tried to lie to her self about who she was or wasn’t because all that had happened to her and her family was too painful.

      S2 in Harrenhall he said that Arya has many names on her lips, names that could be offered to the god. I think they just wanted to train her to have the skills but still be herself to carry it all out. Who knows, maybe the FM had their own prophesy about that or something. Or maybe they have been ordered to get those people on Arya’s list killed, and they thought that why not let her do it since she already wants to. Anyways, I never got the idea that anyone other than the Waif had any intention to get Arya killed. I don’t believe there is any need to worry about any retribution, since if Jaqen wanted, he could’ve killed her already.

        Quote  Reply

    229. Wolfish,

      Re: Your 5/29/17, 4:42 pm follow up

      Thanks for the additional Books! time + geography information about the Hound/Gravedigger, Saltpans and Quiet Isle; and Arya’s six days ride to Saltpans port after leaving Sandor. Show! geography is different – and there was no indication where the Show!port was located in relation to Bloody Gate. So who knows how long Sandor was laying on the ground before Ray found his apparently lifeless body, or how long, how far and to where Sandor was transported in Ray’s wagon.

      PS From what I gather, the book!geography and chronology do not exclude as entirely implausible my tinfoil hypothesis. (?)

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    230. Mr Derp: I thought Arya laughed because the Hound held her captive for all this time because the one option he had remaining was to sell Arya to Lysa.

      I took it like that too. It was like everything was turning out so terribly for Sandor, so absurd, that she just couldn’t control herself in laughing at his attempts. He drug her all over the place, which wasn’t pleasant for him, initially anyway, trying to get a money reward for her and it wasn’t working. All that he got out of it was being sucked into the terrible predicament that Arya was in… That, and an unexpected friend of sorts. 🙂

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    231. Vally:
      Mr Derp,
      I had to google him, but now I want it too

      Vally,

      Yea, I wasn’t sure if anyone would get the Tom Brokaw reference, but it was just too perfect to deny. Extra points for doing research my friend!

        Quote  Reply

    232. HBO announced the season 6 premiere episode title 4/7/16
      17 days before The Red Woman kicked off Game of Thrones season 6

      Hopefully HBO announces the season 7 premiere episode title no later than Friday June 30th or Monday July 3rd….

        Quote  Reply

    233. Pigeon,

      Agree with both you and Masspsychosis. I’m almost done with re-watching the series (only two more episodes to go!), and this viewing really solidified my own belief that Arya was never intended to become truly Faceless.

        Quote  Reply

    234. Mr Derp:
      Vally,

      I like Sansa, but damn, just once it would be nice to see a different facial expression.

      What do you mean? That’s clearly Sophie’s ‘confused-sad-upset-thoughtful-happy-sulking-mad-sincere-disturbed-fearful-joyful-envious-pity-surprised-shy-grief-anxious expression’

        Quote  Reply

    235. Vally:
      I read about a possible scenario ages ago in which Brienne and Jaime are witnessing a second Red Wedding at Riverrun as prisoners of you know who.

      Voldemort?

      😉

        Quote  Reply

    236. Clob: What do you mean?That’s clearly Sophie’s ‘confused-sad-upset-thoughtful-happy-sulking-mad-sincere-disturbed-fearful-joyful-envious-pity-surprised-shy-grief-anxious expression’

      Clob,

      Lol, I’ll just withdraw from this conversation now as I don’t want to be responsible for another Sansa vs character X debate. The blood will NOT be on my hands dammit!

        Quote  Reply

    237. Dee Stark,

      What do I want at the end?

      1. Jon Snow Slyntifies Littlefinger. Qyburn reattaches LF’s head, reanimates him…and Sansa kills him again. NK wightifies his corpse. Arya, channeling Arthur Dayne’s dual twirling swords technique, plunges Dark Sister and Needle into wight LF’s eyes while Sandor sets corpse afire with flaming sword.
      Sansa observes: “Now THAT’S a ‘pretty picture’!” Nymeria and Ghost rip apart remnants of charred corpse. (In my fanfic world, LF cannot be killed too many times.)

      2. Arya begrudgingly takes her rightful place as Lady of Winterfell.
      Bittersweet ending: she must constantly remind people “Do NOT call me ‘My Lady’!”, and has to keep correcting WF’s head cook: “It’s WinterFELL, not WinterHELL!” Fiancé Gendry reassures her, “Hot Pie will learn; besides, nobody makes better wolf bread and kidney pie.”

      3. Tyrion finally delivers punchline to honeycomb and jackass joke.

      4. Jon Snow smiles again. I don’t care how.

        Quote  Reply

    238. Clob: I took it like that too.It was like everything was turning out so terribly for Sandor, so absurd, that she just couldn’t control herself in laughing at his attempts.He drug her all over the place, which wasn’t pleasant for him, initially anyway, trying to get a money reward for her and it wasn’t working.All that he got out of it was being sucked into the terrible predicament that Arya was in…That, and an unexpected friend of sorts.

      I always thought it was kind of both. She was partly laughing that Sandor didn’t get his reward, and also that yet again one of her family members had died just before she got to them. They were both so close to getting what they wanted, but they were too late, again. It was just absurd for both of them. All this work and time to get her to someone who is related to her and who could possibly take her in, care for her and pay for her, all for nothing, again.

        Quote  Reply

    239. <a href="#co
      Mr Derp,

      You have completely misunderstood me. No way I am saying that Arya will be simply taken out by a bunch of No Ones. Arya’s end-game will be the great war: she has acquired magical killing skills and this season she is getting the Valyrian steel dagger – I take it as a hint that she will be delivering the gift of death to the undead WW, maybe, even the Night King himself (together with her beloved half-brother, of course). However, I imagine that undoing/disenchanting the Night King will require some sacrifice/magic and that Arya will have to turn for the Faceless Men or rather the Many-Faced God for help and pay her due.

      Ten Bears,

      I do agree with Ten Bears that the FM were playing with Arya since S2 (and disagree that they play a minor role in her arch). It’s an interesting take, that the FM is simply a corrupted assassins making business under cover of religion, but even in this case gods speak through very different people – that’s what the High Sparrow said (I don’t get why so many people find him boing – I have all of his schenes on my rewind list). So, based on what the High Sparrow said it doesn’t matter who the Faceless Men are – one way or another there is a true diety behind them and that diety is death. And though everyone plays with death and tries to trick it, death always wins in the end. So, everything implies that the Faceless Men will reappear at some point asking for their due, but I imagine that happening in S8, because S7 still has to make a setup for Arya’s end-game and her role in the war for dawn.

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    240. Ten Bears: I thought he got off relatively easy. Real justice would’ve included the Full Theon, followed by watchinghis ravenous dogs ripping apart his appendage before feasting on the rest of Ramsay.

      I am afraid that what you are describing is revenge, not justice.
      Normally, justice is supposed to be delivered by a third, neutral instance (neither the accused nor the victim… which is why Tyrion’s trial was such a joke : the victim’s mother and accused’s sister and father were part of the “jury”) and is meant to hand out a punishment proportional to the crime. Proportional, not identical.

      While emotionally satisfying, lex talionis, or the idea that two wrongs somehow manage to give birth to a right, is not a sound basis for justice. Not in the real world and not in Westeros either.

      The Starks could have arrested and executed Ramsay according to the rules of their society. Ritualised, dispassionate, swift. They chose not to.

      Ten Bears: Sorry for the snark. I just don’t understand the blowback against Jon and Sansa.

      When the “heroes” start behaving in ways oddly reminiscent of the “villains”, why should we still consider them to be “heroes” ?

      I first asked the question in relation to Arya but I guess it could be broadened to the entire family : what would the Starks have to do for the fans’ all-encompassing support to waver ? Not disappear, simply waver.
      Well, in the case of Sansa, I guess breathing is enough 😛 but what of the others ? What misdeed or mistake would they have to commit for them to be viewed as less than utterly perfect, justified and righteous ?

      Attempting to smash an already-defeated man’s skull to turn his brain into purée is not it. Feeding said man alive to brutal beasts is not it. Dismembering two corpses, cooking their cut up flesh, serving it to their unsuspecting and unarmed father and then slashing the old man’s throat is not it.
      I cannot help but wonder what is…

        Quote  Reply

    241. Vally: People are probably just scared because they might find a little Sansa inside of themselves Little lying Littlefinger loathing Lemoncake lover? Embroidery enthousiast? Ha?

      I so badly wish I could embroider ! It looks so pretty 😀

      I have an unbearably long theory about the divide between fantasy-driven and non-fantasy-driven characters in ASoIaF / GOT being reminiscent of an aristocracy / bourgeoisie dichotomy and how it appears to impact the characters’ alleged likability / popularity, regardless of their objective accomplishments, crimes and merits… Maybe some day ^^

      Vally: I read about a possible scenario ages ago in which Brienne and Jaime are witnessing a second Red Wedding at Riverrun as prisoners of you know who.

      That does sound like a very probable and interesting scenario.

        Quote  Reply

    242. Inga,

      I think you may have replied to the wrong person? I don’t believe the two of us have discussed this together, although I do feel that there is no retribution coming for Arya on behalf of the Faceless Men. I don’t think she would’ve been allowed to leave Braavos if there was some comeuppance for her.

      Letting her leave only to blindside her later would be a bit silly, in my opinion.

        Quote  Reply

    243. Masspsychosis,
      Yeah, thinking more on how I saw it the first time I watched the scene I do think it was parts of both also. She didn’t know Lysa other than who she was to her so there wasn’t any sadness over it. There was however the “are you f’n kidding me!?” feeling to everything that just boiled over.

        Quote  Reply

    244. ACME,

      ACME: I’ve got to say that I don’t agree with anything you’re saying, but it’s all incredibly well-written. Your comments and the responses to them are exactly the kind of dignified, well-reasoned back-and-forth debate that most of us find interesting. (Message boards on other sites devolve into “You suck!” ; “No, you suck!”; “Well, your mama…”)

      So thank you. Sincerely.
      Now let me get back to refuting what you’ve written. 🤓

        Quote  Reply

    245. ACME:
      What misdeed or mistake would they have to commit for them to be viewed as less than utterly perfect, justified and righteous ?

      Killing each other maybe?

      I think it is easy to justify killing those who have in some significant way wronged the Starks, even if the way in which they get their revenge is very disturbing. I get what you are saying, especially in Ramsay’s case since they had him in custody and could’ve easily either beheaded or hanged him. Instead they fed him to the dogs. That was poetic however, since he liked to feed people to dogs as well, but it was still questionable. Well, even Arya could’ve actually just killed the main Freys guilty of the red wedding (no possibility of hanging or beheading really), but she chose to give the rat cook treatment from the stories she had heard, becoming in a way the wrath of gods, the punishment for breaking guest right.

      Maybe this all goes to the idea that there is evil in both sides to some extent. Even the good guys are willing to do disturbing deeds when they believe it to be justice. Even if they have the right to punish someone for what they have done, the way it is done may still not be righteous or even acceptable.

        Quote  Reply

    246. Inga,

      I can totally understand Ten Bears’ interpretation of the FM as “simply corrupted assassins making business under cover of religion.” The dénouement of the Braavos arc was very frustrating for me; in my opinion, it was D&D’s second-worst bungling of the source material (the worst being the butchery of Dorne). In the books Cersei describes the FM as being so exorbitantly expensive that even the Lannisters might not be able to afford them. The series does show some of the incredible training Arya must undergo in order to become one of them; but then it completely, recklessly, and inexplicably changes the mystery and power of the HoBaW by making the services of the most fearsome assassins in the world easily available to… a second-rate actress from a two-bit theater troupe? What. The. Hell.

      On another note, I had the same thought you did about the Valyrian-steel dagger. Did the FM put Arya through rigorous knife-throwing training? 😉

        Quote  Reply

    247. Dee Stark:
      Lord Parramandas,

      OT question, how is the LFU group still active if the show is over? What do you guys do?

      If I answer your OT question. LFU is actually quite a new group, dating back to July 2015. I myself joined on April 27th, became really active on August 31st when the group went through sh*t (as one admin got kicked out and tried everything to ruin the group afterwards) but then (in Greyjoy style) rose again harder and stronger, and then I became a moderator (later turned admin) at the end of October.

      As for why the group is that active, I would say the show itself has a lot to do with it. I know for myself that it left an impact on me no other show ever did, when I finished watching it for the first time in 2011. People still watch LOST… some for the first time, some for god-knows-which time, and many were left with that impact. It’s a journey, as I often describe the series.

      The group is a very active place, we admins work as a team and try to keep the group positive and the members well-being is our priority. We’re quite selective on who to let inside the group as LOST has a very hateful “fandom” and when recruiting people from various LOST FB sites, we invite those who really appreciate the show in its entirety (basically in a way how you are passionate about GoT) and by getting more members, we’re more “visible” in general and the flow of new members never stops.

      For example, LFU had about 3700 members on August 31st and in those troublesome days, it fell to 3400. But when we recovered, we reached 5000 around New Year. And then on April 8th, when we admins really stepped together and did some massive recruiting on official LOST page when a new post appeared… we reached 6000 members, gaining 300 new ones in less than two days. And from that day onwards, our group has really been thriving. Less than a month later, we already reached 7000 members and now, we’re close to 8000 members.

      Like I said above, the group is very active and friendly with immense variety of posts. Character appreciation posts, various polls and questions, people being confused with certain show element and our members trying to explain it to them… we share our love for TV series basically. I myself am writing Memory Lane posts at the moment as I go along with my current rewatch, one for each episode and recently, I started running episode elimination contest which got quite popular.

      Well, I really got long with this post but I hope I managed to properly explain, why LFU is doing so well even though the show has been off-air for so much time.

      On a side note, I dared to ask your question to LFU team and Kimberly and Jovana (two fellow admins) made these answers:

      -Lost was honestly THAT amazing that you would have to watch it to understand why and how people can still talk about it. Lost is more active then groups that are currently on air sometimes. The fans are really passionate too and there is always something to talk about. LFU also happens to have the best admins and that helps a lot 😋

      – Because the show itself is timeless, really. People keep coming back to it, after all these years, because they have to come back to that special feeling. They can’t let go. Because LOST deals with life so beautifully and so well. LOSTies pass their love onto their children, their friends… their family. It continues to live on in our hearts and LFU represents a continuation of those special feelings.

        Quote  Reply

    248. ACME,
      I understand the feeling to differentiate justice and revenge. In doing so one might get to the questions you did, such as, “What would the Starks have to do for the fans’ all-encompassing support to waver?” It may be a simple answer to say that this is a story, a fantasy, and in that the reader/viewer WANTS the protagonists to do whatever it takes to get whichever, justice OR revenge. Many desire a retribution that’s as awful as the initial crime against the protagonists was. The Red Wedding happens and there’s so much anger that we want the same or worse to happen to House Frey. It doesn’t matter if it’s justice or furious revenge, it’s ‘pay back’ regardless. We don’t see it quite the same as we should in real life, although that occasionally isn’t true either.

      I don’t think fans will turn on the Starks or other protagonists unless they do something that completely turns them into an antagonist. We’ve watched the reverse happen for Jaime as the story has unfolded, and for me even Tyrion was on the other side of the fence at the beginning of the books. Sansa has been teetering on that fence for quite some time, and allowing Littlefinger to hang around isn’t helping her case.

        Quote  Reply

    249. This all could have been solved by using her arc from the books. She kills the ex crow, which causes the Kindly Man to make her blind. Her journey from there was long and probably needed trimming, but there was no waif beating her up. She just learned to listen and find her way. Later she was given back her sight, and even called Arya Stark. I never got the sense that she was in any danger. (and now I can’t remember, was that the end of her arc in the books? I don’t remember what she did after HBW, or even if she left yet) I also wish they would have shown more of her poison training, but like Bran’s training, it probably wouldn’t hve beenall that exciting to watch

        Quote  Reply

    250. Mel:
      I looked at Gemma’s IG and her and Alfie aka Yara and Theon were at a panel at the Comic Con in Munich three days ago, does anyone know if they said anything about the upcoming season?

      Alfie was uncharacteristically tight-lipped, but he did tease that “Theon’s storyline will be big, great to watch – Get ready!” , when queried about Theon’s season 7 journey.

        Quote  Reply

    251. Mr Derp,

      Sorry, I was trying to reply to Clob. I hope you don’t mind.

      As for Arya’s training I really wonder where did D&D derrive their inspiration, because the overall csheme look very familiar – maybe, it’s jus because it’s an overall scheme of recruitment/brainwashing, maybe we are simplyreading the same books, but lettling a naugty recruit go might be be anintegral part of if, if they are following a certain instruction.

        Quote  Reply

    252. Vally,

      In all fairness, if you were going to quote me you could’ve included the entire sentence instead of taking a fragment out of context. In my 5/30/17, 11:24 am comment, I explained that because of the incongruities created by shoehorning Sansa’s character into the Book! Jeyne Poole storyline – taking Sansa north when in the books she’s not even there yet – the reconfigured story line virtually required that she withhold information from Jon. Because of these books!>!show changes, many of which didn’t make sense from a character action and established behavior standpoint,

      as a show viewer ….”I attributed to Sansa a degree of malevolence, idiocy and selfishness
      that GRRM may never have intended. ”

      You left out the introductory and concluding portions of my sentence, making it seem like I was Sansa-bashing. I wasn’t.

      I was trying to convey my impression that the shoehorning did a disservice to Sophie Turner, in that it left her “twisting in the wind” trying to explain her character’s motivations.

      Nowhere did I suggest that because I’m an “Aryaphile”, Sansa should be judged by a “what would Arya do?”
      standard. Nor do I want to ignite a Team Sansa vs. Team Arya fanwar.

      I will never misquote you by excising words and phrases. I thank you in advance for extending me a reciprocal courtesy in the future.
      Thanks !

        Quote  Reply

    253. ash: now I can’t remember, was that the end of her arc in the books? I don’t remember what she did after HBW, or even if she left yet

      Nope, she’s still there in the thick of her training, to include the released sample chapter from TWoW.

      The one thing I wished they hadn’t cut was her language training. She’s learning High Valyrian, which I thought would be cool for her to know if she ever meets Daenerys, as well as the dialect or tongues of Braavos, Pentos and Lys. Perhaps she will be able to and we’ll just have to assume she learned. 😛

        Quote  Reply

    254. ash,

      In the books Arya hasn’t left the HoBaW yet; the Kindly Man has granted her an acolyte’s robe and she’s about to begin an apprenticeship with the leader of a mummers’ troupe. Also, she isn’t blinded because she kills Meryn Trant; it’s a deserter from the Watch whom she kills, an arrogant p.o.s. who was accompanying Sam, Gilly and Maester Aemon to Oldtown but decides to stay in Braavos. And you’re correct about the Waif, who’s not an antagonist.

      As I’ve written many times, I understand the need for brevity and expediency when adapting works from page to screen. But it really vexes me when the essence of a character, entity, or story arc is changed. It very rarely works out for the best; in GoT, the only instance in which it does (imo) is in the show’s characterization of Jorah, who’s a definite improvement from the books.

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    255. Ten Bears,
      Thank you infinitely and right back at you ! 😉

      There is no reason to be mean or disrespectful. All the people I have met here have been delightful, regardless of diverging opinions. It is the whole point of the board, isn’t it ? To express and exchange viewpoints !
      Also, at the end of the day, it is just a story ^^

      As for your refutation, I look forward to it 🙂

      Masspsychosis,
      Now, that is a fascinating and quite unexpected answer. You may be completely right. Were the Starks to turn on one another, the illusion of moral superiority would collapse onto itself…

      In re. evil on all sides, I believe you are entirely correct.
      The story starts off with a fairly simple, simplistic almost, moral divide between the Lannisters-Baratheons (who, at the time, would make the Borgias look good in comparison) and the Starks (who, we were led to believe, were the Ingalls of the North). Since then, the picture has muddled. More families have entered the story and openly challenged the Direwolves’ self-proclaimed emotional superiority andformer “villains” have gained in depth, complexity and potential for sympathy. And now the Starks are clearly wavering in their reputed role as “moral beacons” of Westeros.

      Clob,
      I do enthusiastically agree with you, to an extent 🙂

      I understand and, to a point, share my fellow fans’ desire for a payback. The Starks were unfairly victimised and I cannot deny that to see those who brutalised them suffer does feel good, on a visceral, primal level.
      However, the story’s universe does have rules. There are always repercussions, consequences. Even for honest mistakes or catch-22s. Ned was not a bad person; nevertheless, he did make many mistakes and those ultimately had dreadful effects, on him and the rest of his family. Same thing for Robb. And Catelyn. And so on and so forth.

      If the remaining Starks keep accumulating bad choices and questionable deeds, the god of paybacks may come after them too…

      Wolfish : glad to know the fist fight was worth it 😉

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    256. Ten Bears,
      That sounds a bit as if the show didn’t give you a choice as to attribute only those characteristics to her. I agree that the writing left much to be desired, however even with the scenario we got, there is still room in order not to go down the road you did. And knowing your list of complaints of the characters’ previous actions (book and show) I just can’t believe that S6 made you think that. I rather have the feeling that it was your bias that you developped long before S6 that made you view S6 in a certain way than the other way around.

      Ten Bears: Nowhere did I suggest that because I’m an “Aryaphile”, Sansa should be judged by a “what would Arya do?” standard.

      Nowhere did I suggest that you suggested it. I said, it was MY thought that this could be a reason for your harsh judgement of the character and I got that impression from previous discussions we had on this sub. It was an observation on my part, because I, then, did not detect much good will to truly try to understand the story the author tells through her.

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    257. ACME:

      Ned was not a bad person; nevertheless, he did make many mistakes and those ultimately had dreadful effects, on him and the rest of his family. Same thing for Robb. And Catelyn. And so on and so forth.

      This is one of the chief reasons why I love this story (books and show both)—its exploration of character and absolute refusal to champion moral absolutism. Watching it with Saner Half (his first viewing) has been a very interesting, and often vexatious, exercise for me. He hasn’t read fiction in years, and for him The Lord of the Rings is the end-all and be-all of fantasy.* There are aspects of GoT that he truly appreciates, but his tendency to call it a “Lord of the Rings ripoff” and use Tolkien as a barometer for how he judges it drives me bananas. (Sample exchange: “It’s set in a medieval world and has dragons. Of course it’s an LotR ripoff!” “Um, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is set in the antebellum South and has an escaped slave in it. That doesn’t make it a ripoff of Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”)

      But I digress. Back to moral absolutism: I think my husband is far more comfortable with LotR because 1) it’s familiar and foundational (in both the literary sense and, for him, a personal sense) and 2) it doesn’t force him to question its characters. They’re either good or bad, and with the notable exception of Frodo (the stand-in for all the young men who returned from WWI irreparably damaged), none of them experience any notable growth or change. Most important, their actions are either right or wrong, and the reader/viewer is never forced to think critically about why.

      To be clear, I’m not bashing LotR. I love it, but it’s a very different sort of story from that told in ASoIaF. I think the best way I can explain it is by saying that I read the former for the forest, and the latter for the trees.

      *When he took a ceramics class in high school he made a large ceramic Gandalf. Instead of a garden gnome, a garden Gandalf. I kid you not.

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    258. Wolfish: When he took a ceramics class in high school he made a large ceramic Gandalf. Instead of a garden gnome, a garden Gandalf. I kid you not.

      NERD!! J/K That actually sounds pretty cool. 🙂 We had to make heads/busts and mine was heavily influenced by the A-Team’s B.A. Baracus (Mr. T) and his mohawk. 😛

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    259. Clob,

      OMG, that’s hilarious. We must be about the same age. I loved B.A.!

      Unfortunately, I’ve never seen the garden Gandalf. If I recall correctly, Saner Half gave it to his girlfriend at the time. I must confess, I just about died laughing when he told me the story. (Tough as nails, Navy and Army vet, military-history professor. I had pictured his high-school self playing football and sneaking into bars on the wrong side of Cedar Rapids.)

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    260. This is a 20+ yr old story, that has been around for 7 years in the tv world…..of course every theory, speculation has been covered by now, thus making it impossible to truly be “unpredictable”. Who cares? Its a great quality show and knowing/suspecting that a certain plot point will develop doesnt negate the quality of the story. Actually it makes the entire show more authentic. Im glad the writers arent going out of their way to shock us. Just let the story develop naturally…even if many of us fans have anticipated it for years.

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    261. Wolfish: I had pictured his high-school self playing football and sneaking into bars on the wrong side of Cedar Rapids.

      He wasn’t far away either… I grew up in south-central MN. I have family currently living in Pella, IA. 🙂

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    262. ACME,

      Replying to ACME 5/28/17, 8:58 pm; 5/29/17, 1:30 pm, 4:35 pm and 5:09 pm; and 5/30/17, 4:33 pm.
      (Also, I concur with
      Stark Raven Rad’s 5/29/17, 3:32 pm reply)

      Acme wrote (on 5/28/17 at 8:58 pm) in response to another commenter:

      “….However, i have to confess I cannot, for the life of me, agree with you that Arya is “pursuing justice”. To me, what she did to the Freys or Meryn Trant for that matter was not, in any way, shape or form, “justice”. It was no more justice than what Ramsay did to Theon or what Jon and Sansa did to the last Bolton.”

      ________________
      I’m perplexed by your insistence that Arya, Jon, and Sansa were not “pursuing justice.”

      (1) Walder Frey, self-professed kingslayer, presided over the slaughter of Arya’s family and countless Stark bannermen, and the assassination of his own king and liege lord Robb Stark. Worst of all (in the GoT world), he violated Guest Right to carry out the massacre.

      Walder Frey’s “damn moron sons”
      personally slit Arya’s mother’s throat, and stabbed to death Arya’s sister-in-law and unborn nephew.

      What “justice” for the Freys would’ve been appropriate ? Where would the aggrieved persons find “justice” ? In their world, the death penalty was mandatory – and just.

      As Bran’s Rat Cook story instructs, violating guest right is unforgivable and indefensible – worse than murder.
      During Arya’s dinner with the farmer (whose daughter Sally made the rabbit stew Sandor slurped down), the farmer related the details of the Red Wedding and that the Freys were condemned to eternal damnation for violating guest right. In S6, Arya, disguised as the serving girl, heard Walder Frey boast about his orchestration of the Red Wedding and his sons’ respective murders of Catelyn Stark, Talisa Stark, and unborn Eddard Stark. In S3?e10 she had heard Frey soldiers laughing about sewing Grey Wind’s head onto Robb’s decapitated corpse.
      So it’s not as if Arya was rushing to judgment.
      Granted, filleting the two Frey sons and baking them into the pie was a bit over the top: maybe it was “fan service”, but it incorporated the otherwise unfilmable books! Frey Pies side story, and only took 2-3 minutes of screen time. *

      (2) Meryn Trant killed Arya’s mentor Syrio Forel, and would’ve abducted her too if not for Syrio’s heroic decision to stand his ground so she could escape. Trant was also a serial child abuser and sadistic pedophile who got his jollies beating little girls. Was the death penalty too harsh for his crimes ? People can disagree, but in my view anyone who beats up little girls to get his rocks off isn’t entitled to sympathy.

      As for the manner of Meryn Trant’s execution, it constituted poetic justice and actual justice, and was necessitated by logistics, eg secreting a small blade in a child’s gown.

      It also demonstrated that Arya took to heart the lessons she’d been taught by her second mentor in S4:

      [from S4e5]
      Arya: “Syrio didn’t have a sword. Or armor. Just a stick.”
      ****
      Sandor: “Your friend’s dead and Meryn Trant’s not ’cause Trant had armor and a big f*cking sword.”

      In S5e10 Meryn Trant “didn’t have a sword. Or armor. Just a stick.” Arya prudently carried out his execution on this occasion: Poetic justice and actual justice. ⚖

      (3) Sansa and Jon can’t be faulted for seeking retribution against the miscreant who repeatedly brutally raped her, and had just murdered their little brother.
      Death-by-dog-bite may have seemed harsh to an outsider. In such circumstances, I defer to the victims of violent crimes to choose the punishment for the perpetrator. (I know that even today, that’s a debatable question. Just like the death penalty itself.)

      Two other related points:
      • As another commenter incisively observed [sorry; I forget who it was], it was during Arya’s time in the House of Black and White that she came to understand that questions of culpability and retribution aren’t always black and white. She empathized with Cersei’s pain over the death of a son, even if that son was a monster like Joffrey. Despite Arya’s protestations, in S5 Jaqen called her out for lying to him, to the Many-Faced God, and to herself when she insisted she hated The Hound and wanted him to suffer. In S6, she finally admitted (to the Waif) that she had taken the Hound off her list:
      She did – and did not want him dead any longer. Waif: “She [Arya Stark] sounds confused.” A Girl: “Yes. She was.”

      Perhaps going forward, Arya will be more circumspect about adding people to her list and passing judgment.

      • I don’t interpret the lesson of the Rat Cook tale to mean that it’s up to “the gods” to mete out punishment. Nor do I think it’s realistic to expect that there’s any “law enforcement” authority in the GoT world that a victim’s family could count on to prosecute and punish transgressors. (In GoT, Walder Frey and his sons were rewarded by the crown for committing the RW mass murders.)
      If anything, I’d say “the Gods” made sure Arya acquired the skills and had the means and opportunity to dispense justice.

      * Here I’m only speculating that the showrunners couldn’t justify introducing a new minor character (Wyman Manderly) and devoting the screen time necessary to set up the still-in-progress Frey Pies side story in the books.
      Also, it’s my understanding (from pre-S6 casting news) that some variation of Manderly’s “The North Remembers” speech from the books had been planned, but later they decided to transfer that function to Lyanna Mormont after Bella Ramsay’s impressive performance in her e7 scene. I thought both adaptation choices worked out well.

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    263. Vally,

      Here’s the thing: as I was watching the pre-battle planning sessions play out in S6, I found myself yelling at the TV screen: “Sansa! Tell Jon about the Knights of the Vale!” “Don’t just whine that Jon’s army doesn’t have enough men – and then say nothing when he asks where he can get more.”

      I’ve read all of the purported justifications for her concealment. None make sense. If you’ve got a rational explanation, I’d love to hear it. (And NOT that “well, she didn’t know if they would come.)

      Look, I love the show. I think the writers are brilliant. I also think that in this isolated instance, the shoehorning of Sansa into Jeyne Poole’s story line posed logical inconsistencies that defied rational explanation.

      I don’t presume to have the aptitude to write teleplays. I just figured show!Sansa’s character wouldn’t have taken such a beating from the fandom if she had said to Jon something like:

      Sansa: “Hey Jon. I got word that Baelish has mustered the Knights of the Vale to join our side. But I’ve got to tell you: I don’t trust that f-cker. He’s just as likely to not show up and let us get wiped out, or show up just in time to finish us off along with what’s left of the Boltons. Or charge into the battlefield and side with the Boltons.”

      Jon: “That sucks. What do we do?”

      Sansa: “F-ck if I know. Only a fool would trust Littlefinger.”

      Jon: “I guess we’d better go with the army we have.”

      Same result as S6e9 – but Sansa doesn’t come off as an idiot who, for unexplained reasons, withheld critical information from her army’s commanders and potentially caused avoidable casualties. It also avoids inciting endless fanwars between factions portraying Sansa as a brilliant battlefield tactician (or rationalize her decision not to “trust” Jon) vs. those denouncing her as selfish or stupid.

      Geez. I didn’t want to dredge up this debate again. I just wanted to convey my own belief that shoehorning Sansa into Jeyne Poole’s story line, and then later trying to restore Sansa to the time and place of her projected storyline in the books, has to be extraordinarily difficult.
      I also feel there have been and will continue to be recurring ripple effects of this decision, and not just on the perception of Sansa’s character (one of the concerns raised by the original poster to whom I was responding).

      I also think the shoehorning results in inconsistencies in the motivations and actions of other characters, eg Littlefinger and Brienne, but I am hoping that all gets cleaned up in S7. Finally, I am reluctant to harp on any perceived problems, because they’re far outweighed by everything the show does so well.

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    264. Wolfish,
      I couldn’t agree more.

      The Lord of the Rings is an unquestionable masterpiece but its binary approach to character morality and naive, conservative take on politics are… Of its time, let’s say 😉
      The good guys win, evil (which is pure evil, made of crystallised evil) is defeated. Yeah !

      George RR Martin clearly intended his work as an “answer” to LOTR and, boy, what an answer it is !

      Ten Bears
      I believe there might be a tiny misunderstanding…

      I can assure I do not, in any way, shape or form, question the “evil” nature of the deeds perpetrated by Trant, the Freys or Ramsay. I do not either deny that, according to the laws and mores of Westeros, these characters deserved the death penalty. What I do question and, ultimately, deny is that the manners in which they were killed fit the definition of “death penalty” as we were given to understand it is administrered in the Seven Kingdoms.

      Sansa and Jon could (and, in my opinion, should) have taken Ramsay into custody calmly and either hanged or beheaded him. Without extra brutality intentionally adding his suffering.
      Arya could (and, in my opinion, should) have killed Trant and the Freys in a quick and efficient manner, either stabbing them in the throat or in the heart. Without extra brutality intentionally adding to their suffering.

      Ritualised, dispassionate, swift. Those are the characteristics of Westerosi capital punisment. Not messy, cruel and extended.

      Yes, Trant, Ramsay and the Freys were horrible people. They were horrible people because they did horrible things. Horrible things like mutilating corpses and feeding humans to dogs and finding pleasure or relief in beating defenseless people up…
      I can only assume you see where I am going with this 😉

      The Starks are not intrinsically “good” or “righteous” because of some snow-induced magic that infuses everything they do or say with a heady serum of wonderfulness. The Starks are not intrinsically “good” or “righteous” at all. Regardless of how much they have suffered, they are still held to the same standards as everyone else and they can only be considered as “good” or “righteous” as their actions show them to be.
      Horrible people are as horrible people do. And if the Starks start doing horrible things well then…

      On a different topic, I am afraid I cannot quite agree with the way you define “poetic justice”.

      To me, poetic justice is a narrative form of cosmic irony and, as such, is supposed to be “coincidental”. If I willingly step on your foot and you retaliate by stepping on mine, it is revenge. Conversely, if I willingly step on your foot and, while I am walking away, I stub my toe on something, then it is poetic justice.

      Tywin orchestrated and Roose participated in the Red Wedding, a plan by which Robb was killed :
      – in a place where he felt safe;
      – alongside his wife;
      – by relatives (the Freys had become family due to the marriage between Edmure and Roslyn);
      – shot with bolts and stabbed in the heart with a dagger.

      Tywin and Roose were killed :
      – in a place where they felt safe (the Red Keep for Tywin, Winterfell for Roose);
      – “alongside” their female companion (Shae was murdered shortly before Tywin; Wanda shortly after Roose);
      – by a relative (their sons);
      – one was shot with bolts, the other was stabbed in the heart with a dagger.

      Neither Ramsay nor Tyrion killed their fathers because of the Red Wedding. Their intention was most certainly not to avenge the Stark massacre their fathers had perpetrated and benefited from. Yet, in the way they committed their patricide, we can clearly see a form of poetic justice, the seemingly coincidental cosmic irony of the gods punishing those who broke their law.

      Who is to say the gods did not have the same fate awaiting the Freys ? Perhaps one of the minor Frey bastard sons, one who had not participated in the Red Wedding, was destined to slash his father and elder brothers’ throats, before or after killing their wives.
      We will never know for Arya shortcircuited whatever divinely-devised plan there might have been, replacing poetic justice with vengeance.

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    265. ACME,

      “The god of paybacks.” I like that. 😎

      Incidentally, about Ned: I don’t know how he was portrayed in the books, and I may be in the minority when it comes to show!Ned, but I saw a character who had a reputation as an “honorable” man but rationalized fudging or concealing the truth so often that it finally came back to bite him in the ass. Most of the time his intentions were good, but as soon as he forged Robert’s Will (i.e. didn’t accurately transcribe Robert’s words before having him sign it), I figured (as you would say) the “god of payback” would come a calling.

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    266. Ten Bears,

      Show!Ned follows Book!Ned very well, and GRRM and D&D all engage in “show, don’t tell.” Like book readers, show viewers instinctively like Ned because he’s in essence a good man; yet, anyone paying the least modicum of attention is expected to see the inconsistencies adding up.

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    267. Dee Stark,

      You were freakin’ out about my tremendous Euron plot thread. As if Dany going through a little adversity would be the end all for you.

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    268. ACME:
      Wolfish,

      The Lord of the Rings is an unquestionable masterpiece but its binary approach to character moralityand naive, conservative take on politics are… Of its time, let’s say
      The good guys win, evil (which is pure evil, made of crystallised evil) is defeated. Yeah !

      Then again, Tolkien did not set out to write a story with complex characters. His intent was to create a mythology, and those stories have heroes and villains and are pretty black and white most of the time. As probably everyone knows Tolkien’s work has many influences from different mythologies, such as Norse, Finnish and Christian myths and legends. But there is also many clear influences from the WWI, especially though the things that the hobbits experience during the story. Tolkien served at the battle of the Somme, he experienced the horrors of the trench warfare and when he started writing Lotr on the eve of the Second World War these memories found their way to the story. There is the Dead Marches which resembles the Somme battlefield with bodies lying everywhere in the muddy water, even the are after the marches is described like it has been bombed and gassed: “High mounds of crushed and powdered rock, great cones of earth fire-blasted and poison-stained, stood like an obscene graveyard in endless rows, slowly revealed in the reluctant light.”

      Also there is this one passage which questions whether all of the enemy soldiers are actually evil. It’s when Frodo and Sam meet Faramir and co. who kill that one Haradrim guy: “It was Sam’s first view of a battle of Men against Men, and he did not like it much. He was glad that he could not see the dead face. He wondered what the man’s name was and where he came from; and if he was really evil of heart, or what lies or threats had led him on the long march from his home; and if he would not really rather have stayed there in peace.”

      And then there is the psychological strain that the whole journey has on Frodo. Frodo
      is not only burdened by the Ring and the physical and emotional weight that it presents but there is also a constant sense of fear, threat and haste. The fear and haste is embodied by the Nazgûl who inflict terror on everyone who is in close enough proximity to them to hear or see them. They are described as “winged shadows” and “winged terror”, that fly overhead observing them like the planes during Somme. Their shrieks even resemble how the sound of shells were described “long-drawn wailing”. Frodo’s symptoms are similar to shell shock, he has nightmares, memory loss, fatigue etc. Then there is also the wound that will never truly heal: “There is no real going back. Though I may come to the Shire, it will not seem the same; for I shall not be the same. I am wounded with knife, sting, and tooth, and a long burden. Where shall I find rest?”. Like so many veterans, Frodo had problems with going back to his normal life, especially when others could not comprehend what it had been like.

      Okay, I’ll stop now. I got a bit excited. The point is that Tolkien’s work is more myth-like and full of symbolism etc. whereas ASOIAF is specifically made to be realistic character driven drama set in a fantasy world. I love both, though Lotr is always like returning home after a long absence. It just makes me feel warm inside even if I end up crying every time 😀

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    269. ACME:
      Wolfish,

      Sansa and Jon could (and, in my opinion, should) have taken Ramsay into custody calmly and either hanged or beheaded him. Without extra brutality intentionally adding his suffering.
      Arya could (and, in my opinion, should) have killed Trant and the Freys in a quick and efficient manner, either stabbing them in the throat or in the heart. Without extra brutality intentionally adding to their suffering.

      Ritualised, dispassionate, swift. Those are the characteristics of Westerosi capital punisment. Not messy, cruel and extended.

      I actually agree with you to a point, but we also have to understand that this is Cable television and ritualized, dispassionate, and swift don’t make for the biggest shocking and/or compelling TV moments for everyone to talk and ARGUE about, especially for a large portion of the mainstream audience that really wanted to see the Starks win for once. After these episodes aired, the overwhelming reaction was more or less positive, only a few more soft-hearted souls didn’t like the new darker road many of the Starks took (me included!) It took a while for me to come to terms with how they were being portrayed, but I can’t deny how much of the mainstream audience (who do not read the books) did a collective fist pump in the air when Walder was finally killed off by Arya and Ramsey was feed to his dogs by Sansa.

      On a more fun note, I just read that Apple’s Carpool Karaoke series — will feature both Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams together singing in one of their episodes.

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    270. Dee Stark,

      Haha, we surely had fun with this question of yours in the group. I made a post and asked the members how would they answer this. I expected the post to be soon pushed down as it was slightly off-topic but new comments still appear there.

      One of my favorites: “Tell her that on the island winter never comes.”

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    271. Ten Bears,

      I’ve read all of the purported justifications for her concealment. None make sense. If you’ve got a rational explanation, I’d love to hear it. (And NOT that “well, she didn’t know if they would come.)

      No one at the war council asked for her advice, even though she knew Ramsay better than any of them did. (The showrunners even mention this, in one of the “Inside the Episode” featurettes.) She knew Ramsey would set a trap, and the obvious choice for bait would be Rickon. She also knew that Lord Ramsay Bolton could never, ever afford to let Ed Stark’s last known trueborn son live.

      In this context, my explanation for her not revealing the Knights of the Vale was a concern they *would* appear, and get caught in the same trap into which Jon ultimately did rush. Holding them in reserve increases House Stark’s hope of victory, is a nice payback for snubbing her at the council, and saves the day from Jon’s own foolishness.

      At least, that’s the way I interpret it. Your Milage May Varys. 🙂

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    272. Tensor the Mage, Still Marvelling at The Wisdom Displayed in this Thread: No one at the war council asked for her advice

      Tensor the Mage, Still Marvelling at The Wisdom Displayed in this Thread: is a nice payback for snubbing her at the council, and saves the day from Jon’s own foolishness.

      Tensor the Mage, Still Marvelling at The Wisdom Displayed in this Thread,

      You’re right that no one asked her opinion, but Sansa could’ve spoken up at any time. No one said she couldn’t speak.

      When Jon finally did ask for her advice, she said she didnt know anything about battles and didn’t know what he should do.

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    273. Tensor the Mage, Still Marvelling at The Wisdom Displayed in this Thread: her not revealing the Knights of the Vale was a concern they *would* appear, and get caught in the same trap into which Jon ultimately did rush. Holding them in reserve increases House Stark’s hope of victory, is a nice payback for snubbing her at the council

      Unfortunately we don’t have book material to be told exactly what her thinking was during this entire ordeal, and I’m highly doubtful that we’ll have the same circumstances when there is a book.

      I just don’t agree with any of the reasons people come up with to excuse her for her actions/non-action.

      It’s all been discussed before, but… First, the ‘snubbing’ of her at the council was not a snub. She was welcome and even expected at the war council, just as Melisandre was by Jon. Sansa had been part of previous councils and participated, and was a main part of their entourage to seek assistance. She should have felt more than comfortable to speak up at the war council without question but she chose to ‘stand in the corner and sulk’ instead, while every other time she quickly engaged herself.
      (Of course this was a writing decision so they could have her say stuff they thought made her look like she knows what’s what. However, it just made a lot of viewers pissed at her since it only came off as whiny bitching and they didn’t give her anything wise to suggest and she held back on the Vale.)

      She was insistent with Jon that they need more men well in advance of them being in the position of rushing in with no return. She wrote the letter to Littlefinger in episode 7 right after her argument with Jon. He was adamant that they have to go ‘now,’ but that was in response to even more traveling and much time in an attempt to possibly get a few more numbers, with no guarantees. I don’t think she had any thoughts of keeping the KotV in ‘reserve’ or afraid of some trap. She didn’t know what was going to happen but she was sure they needed more men regardless. She knew of an army already mobilized and down the road that she could have at least mentioned and she didn’t. With the Vale they would have outnumbered Ramsay’s, not to mention additional horses and seasoned fighters. No, she didn’t want the Vale army to become part of JON’s army. She wanted them to be part of HER army. As Littlefinger told her in Mole’s Town, “The time may come when you’ll need an army loyal to you.” (I have an army) “Your brother’s army… half brother.”

      As I continue to mention, book-Sansa is just a ‘meh’ character for me. I’d grown to really not like her on the show, but I was starting to be okay with her (and Sophie’s portrayal) at the very end of S5 and up through the fireside chat with Jon in S6. The direction and writing they’ve taken her from that point has doubled my dislike for the character. The things she said and did not say after the war council, and admittedly, the way Sophie delivered the lines, has made me quite willing to not see any more scenes of Sansa. So yeah, it does go beyond just the character. >.>

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    274. Mr Derp:
      Tensor the Mage, Still Marvelling at The Wisdom Displayed in this Thread,

      You’re right that no one asked her opinion, but Sansa could’ve spoken up at any time.No one said she couldn’t speak.

      When Jon finally did ask for her advice, she said she didnt know anything about battles and didn’t know what he should do.

      Also, in the map scene in 605 Sansa isn’t backward about making her opinion known – she makes it clear that she believes a lot more than most of the people sitting around that table about the North and forming their army. And Davos does try to engage with her, explaining any counter-points he had. Given Sansa’s willingness to put forward her own views in that council, it isn’t unreasonable for Jon to assume that if Sansa has something to say then she will make her point known without invitation.

      Ultimately, I think it comes down to miscommunication resulting from the lack of closeness between Jon and Sansa when they were growing up; he doesn’t have the short-hand he would have were it Arya or Robb he was working with. Sansa is left wondering why Jon isn’t asking her opinion, and Jon is left thinking that if Sansa has something to say then she will make her opinion known.

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    275. Alba Stark: Also, in the map scene in 605 Sansa isn’t backward about making her opinion known

      Alba Stark: Given Sansa’s willingness to put forward her own views in that council, it isn’t unreasonable for Jon to assume that if Sansa has something to say then she will make her point known without invitation.

      Alba Stark,

      Great points

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