Three New Spoilery Game of Thrones Season 7 Scenes Detailed By On-Set Visit

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Game of Thrones has suffered greatly from leaks during this season’s production, perhaps more than ever before —or maybe it only feels that way because we don’t have books to compare to anymore, so anything we gather from filming, casting or script leaks constitutes a spoiler in a way it never did before. In any case, for those of us who have followed the news closely it may appear as if there are no season seven surprises left anymore… But we were wrong! Beware: spoilers below the cut!

During a set visit last October, Toronto Sun got to learn quite a bit about the production. In fact, if you want to go on a tour of the sets and costumes at Belfast’s Titanic Studios and the Banbridge soundstage, go ahead and read Steve Tilley‘s report of his set visit. But sets and costumes aren’t the only thing he saw. In fact, Tilley sets the stage for two political scenes early in the season (dialogue included!), and for another kind of scene that may confuse and excite you in equal measure —at least, that was my reaction.

Toronto Sun details a scene for episode two with the entire Targaryen faction. If you followed the production closely, you may have feared as I did that we were never going to get to see all of Dany’s loyalists together in a room… and I’m quite happy to be wrong about that: around Dragonstone‘s famous map table room, discussing “the best way to pry King’s Landing from Cersei Lannister’s grip,” there were Daenerys Targaryen, Tyrion Lannister, Missandei, Theon and Yara Greyjoy, Ellaria Sand and Olenna Tyrell.

Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) in front of her new throne / Photo: Helen Sloan/HBO

Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) in front of her new throne / Photo: Helen Sloan/HBO

The newspaper was privy to another scene of a similar political nature, though this one was from the premiere, and set not in the ancient Targaryen stronghold but up north in Winterfell. Present in the banquet hall where Jon Snow was proclaimed king in the North there was, of course, the king himself, Jon Snow, as well as Sansa Stark, Brienne of Tarth, Davos Seaworth, Lyanna Mormont, and Tormund Giantsbane —the king, his noble sister and her protector, his foremost adviser, a precocious bannerwoman, and a representative of the Free Folk. In the scene, they discuss the imminent threat of the White Walkers and what to do about it. Jon Snow insists they need to start mining obsidian, the only material known to kill White Walkers besides Valyrian steel: “Dragonglass kills White Walkers, and it’s now more valuable than gold.”

As for the third scene, Tilley wasn’t a direct witness, yet it may be the most intriguing of them all. Instead of seeing a scene being performed, he saw a prop being sculpted. How is that intriguing or exciting in any way? Well, it was a massive dragon skull… one out of 40 differently-sized dragon skulls. How does a dragon graveyard fit into season seven? Is it the dragonpit, perhaps? Or the dragon skulls under the Red Keep? We have no idea, but the Toronto Sun was told all of them had to be sculpted physically (instead of digitally) because there would be people running around (and perhaps on) the skulls.

So there it is: that Winterfell scene description tells us nothing new, but it does include dialogue straight out of the show; the Dragonstone scene assures us we’ll get to see all of the Targaryen loyalists interact before they split up during the campaign; and this apparent dragon graveyard… is just a great mystery. Isn’t it curious we haven’t heard absolutely nothing about this before? Season seven still holds some surprises!

199 responses

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    1. Hmm, dragon skulls. So either The Red Keep, The Dragonpit or Dragonstone? But an action scene being involved is interesting.

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    2. The skulls would be from the Dragonpit – I assume the GoT production is placing many more dead dragon skulls than I would have expected.

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    3. Kind of implausible for olenna and varma to be there – then again at this point at least, lannisters wouldn’t have free run of the narrow sea to the east, so I shrug.

      ….. odds are they’re sneaking around in the kings landing dungeons and run past the skulls – but there were 19 skulls not 40? Might just be visual

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    4. Looooove that Olenna, Yara, and Theon will be on Dragonstone, even briefly. I like good war council scenes. I hope Olenna gets to snark about the Targaryen castle at some point.

      I absolutely adore that Lyanna Mormont is part of Jon’s council, and also I can’t wait to finally see Brienne’s reaction to the White Walker threat. So glad Littlefinger didn’t worm his way into the Winterfell scene, though he’ll probably be creeping just outside the door.

      I have no idea what the dragon skull’s scene could mean but I can’t wait to find out!

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    5. I was trying to avoid spoilers but opened this one by accident, at least it’s only mild spoilers. I suspect the dragon pit scene is going to be one of the last two episodes!

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    6. Oh cool.That’s great about the Targaryen council and it explains a few things.I also have an idea about the dragon skulls but I’m not sure about it all.Also from what I’ve heard I can’t believe Jon still has to convince people about the white walkers and the most pressing concern.Like do these people have any sense of self preservation lol.

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    7. HelloThere:
      The idea of seeing Dany and Olenna in a scene together…

      I can’t handle the hype :'(

      That would be very interesting, specifically because Olenna is one of the older characters who actually remembers the old Targaryen dynasty when they were in power – not even just the mad king, I mean she met Aegon 5 in her youth, etc.

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    8. Daenerys and Olenna? yes! if only margaery was alive.

      Are there Dragon remains on dragon stone? if not, then I too suspect skulls to be for dragonpit.

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    9. Varys knows the ‘backdoor’ into the Red Keep – we saw Arya both discover him and the skulls way back in Season 1 – and he’s on team Danny – might we have a secret assault on the Red Keep. Possibly a ‘hit and run’ and they’re pursued through the tunnels after they’ve got what or who they’re after….

      Carcares filming photos from last year had Yara and two of the Sandsnakes capture and being paraded in Kingslanding … maybe this is a rescue attempt for them

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    10. this excited me, news I wanted to hear about, but ultimately knew/hoped it was going to be in season 7 ^^
      Bring it on season 7

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    11. lmao Littlefinger cockblocked from the strategy meeting. Thank you, Jon!

      Speaking of Littlefinger, I saw his actor in the King Arthur movie. It was so weird to see LF in a good guy role. I kept expecting him to betray everyone lol

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    12. Amazing report, this table scène can be reaaaly good. And also very curious about this action scène.

      And luka, have you seen that episode 2 will have 59 minutes as the premiere?

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    13. Jenny:
      Oh cool.That’s great about the Targaryen council and it explains a few things.I also have an idea about the dragon skulls but I’m not sure about it all.Also from what I’ve heard I can’t believe Jon still has to convince people about the white walkers and the most pressing concern.Like do these people have any sense of self preservation lol.

      He still has to sadly. I bet his sister-cousin is going to whine about something as usual.

      And the south doesn’t believe in WW, as we saw in the scene with Sam’s family.

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    14. What excites me, besides any additional screentime for Diana Rigg being a bonanza, is the idea of Tyrion and Olenna being back in the same room. Though they were both at the Purple Wedding, I don’t think we’ve really had a chance to see them interact before. Perhaps the Queen of Thorns will find some snarky way to apologize for letting Tyrion take the fall for Joff’s poisoning? Does her conscience bother her at all about that, I wonder? That could be a deliciously awkward confrontation between two consummate players (and actors). Or maybe she will just compliment him on his crossbow skills…

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    15. Flayed Potatoes: Speaking of Littlefinger, I saw his actor in the King Arthur movie. It was so weird to see LF in a good guy role.

      He played a decent guy in The Lovers as well – some would probably say too needy or controlling, but by the time we meet him he has been strung along for a very long time and is past ready to lay down an ultimatum.

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    16. Firannion,

      Olenna and Tyrion had a meeting in S4….maybe S3? It was after Tyrion became Master of Coin; they met to discuss financing the impending Purple Wedding.

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    17. ramses:
      Firannion,

      Olenna and Tyrion had a meeting in S4….maybe S3? It was after Tyrion became Master of Coin.

      ramses,

      Season 3 Episode 5 “Kissed By Fire”….awesome episode.

      In my opinion, the middle episodes of Season 3 were some of the best that the show has done to this point.

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    18. ramses,

      Yeah, I was gonna say. I think they we’re haggling about how to split the cost of Margaery’s and Joffrey’s upcoming wedding.

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    19. Mr Derp,
      Firannion,

      To be honest, I don’t expect the show to address Olenna framing Tyrion. And I don’t expect them to address Myrcella’s death either. I would be surprised if it happens.

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    20. Flayed Potatoes:
      Mr Derp,

      Kissed by Fire and The Climb are some of the best episodes of the series.

      Flayed Potatoes,

      I’d throw “And Now His Watch is Ended” in there too. One of my favorite episodes of the series by far.

      And Littlefinger’s speech/montage towards the end of “The Climb” is the best scene in that episode for me. Great stuff.

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    21. Firannion,

      they had dialog before the purple wedding. Tyrion said that the wedding would be the most expensive affair in living memory. Olenna responded by saying the poor crave distraction and the Tyrells would pay their share.

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    22. Jenny:
      …I can’t believe Jon still has to convince people about the white walkers and the most pressing concern.Like do these people have any sense of self preservation lol.

      Yeah, seriously, it’s ridiculous at this point. Instead of trying to protect all these non-believers, Jon should send them all up to the Wall and beyond so they can finally see for themselves the big-ass army of the dead that is coming for them.

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    23. Wow, what a report! The Targaryen allies scene sound simply awesome! Olenna, Ellaria and Daenerys all together, in one scene? That’ll be a one spectacular episode!
      Massive dragon skulls? I wonder if Daenerys visits a gravesite of the Targ dragons on Dragonstone. Or perhaps it is the dragon pit scene?

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    24. BunBunStark,

      Yes, because they all should have the omniscient power of the reader….
      To Cersei and Daenerys, Jon is a usurper “King of the North”… what reason do they have to believe him.. Other than the audience knows its true.
      Only reason Stannis believed him is because he had a sorceress to let him know its real.
      In fact, them believing Jon without proof would be a massive plot hole.

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    25. Mr Derp,
      Another interesting thing. This group is forced to work together because their allies but if Tyrion does know of what Olenna and Ellaria did then I need them to at least mention these. Also how is Ellaria gonna feel about Tyrion? Doesn’t she hate Lannisters?

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    26. If you think about it, almost everyone on Daenerys’ side have no reason to trust each other at all. It seems like it would be so easy to cause a rift within their ranks simply by bringing up the past…

      * Tyrion was framed for Regicide by Olenna
      * Ellaria killed Myrcella
      * Tyrion is a Lannister and the Lannisters have caused more than enough hardships for the Tyrells
      * Varys hates magic (and Melisandre is on Dragonstone, although we don’t really know what her role will be yet)
      etc…

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    27. Abbie: Also how is Ellaria gonna feel about Tyrion? Doesn’t she hate Lannisters?

      I reckon he can use his line again that he’s the greatest Lannister killer of all time.

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    28. HelloThere,

      Exactly. No one believes in mystical ice men who controls army of dead. Especially people in south who haven’t even heard of these old tales.
      If either Jaime, Olenna, Daenerys, Cersei, Tyrion etc believed this immediately, that would just be poor writing.

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    29. Abbie,

      I think she’s be ok with him considering oberyn was his champion.
      Then again ellarias motivations make zero sense in the show…

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    30. HelloThere,

      I believe we were both not talking about the south but the north.At least people up there and Sansa should believe him by now and be in agreement that it’s the most pressing concern.I get why Dany and Cercei wouldn’t believe him.

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    31. Jenny,

      I haven’t read any spoilers indicating anyone in the north needs convincing… seems like they are just discussing what to do.

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    32. I just remembered. Wasn’t there a picture released recently of Ellaria and Yara kissing?That must happen around when this Dragonstone scene is taking place – before or after! Now it makes sense that those two would be in the same place, to be kissing!

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    33. Jenny: it’s the most pressing concern

      The most pressing, yes, but not the only concern. Let’s hope Dumb Dumb Snow listens to his council, cause he seems to be mentally blinkered at times…

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    34. Sean C.,

      Yes, this is true.
      Also, I don’t think Tyrion would know Ellaria killed Myrcella… and even if he did, his hatred for Cersei is so strong that I bet he wouldn’t mind much… Also he understands the need for alliances.

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    35. Jenny:
      HelloThere,

      I believe we were both not talking about the south but the north.At least people up there and Sansa should believe him by now and be in agreement that it’s the most pressing concern.I get why Dany and Cercei wouldn’t believe him.

      Yes, we were. I thought that clear since we both were commenting on the council scene that Luka described. So, I will say again, Jon should not have to waste his time in convincing Northerners (including Sansa) about the imminent White Walker threat. Especially after the things they’ve heard and seen (Wun Wun).

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    36. Abbie,

      Tyrion would. He’s been at the Wall and he knows Jon well enough to know that he would not fabricate that type of information. I don’t see Tyrion doubting Jon, especially if Jon tells them he has seen the walkers and their wights with his own eyes.

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    37. Danny,

      Tyrion might but Dany would certainly won’t believe these rumours. For all she knows Jon could use it as a trick against her. At least that’s the logic here.

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    38. Danny,

      Tyrion was also the only one in King’s Landing to take that wight arm LC Mormont sent seriously.

      The severed wight arm that Ghost found and wanted Jon to play fetch with. Adorable.

      I love direwolves.

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    39. Tori Targaryen,

      I’m very worried that skulls means dead dragons, and if the dragons get hurt I don’t know whether I can watch the show anymore. The direwolves were almost too much for me; now I have to worry about the dragons. 🙁

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    40. Wolfish,

      Oh dear. I haven’t looked at the content “below the cut.”

      Is there anything I couldn’t figure out from previously posted photographs and articles?

      Is there anything that provides previously undisclosed details about Arya or the Hound?

      (*Must…not…click…on “Continue Reading” below the cut…*)

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    41. Mary,

      If you remember in season 1, there were skulls in the dungeons of KL from the old Targaryen dragons. These are probably the ones the spoiler is referring to. It would take a very long time for a dead dragon to become a skeleton, so these are likely not Dany’s.

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    42. Has anyone considered that the dragon skulls could be part of a flashback or one of Brans vision, as there were skulls hanging in the Red Keep throne room during the Targ reign. That was my initial thought- although the dragonpit seems way more plausible.

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    43. Danny,

      Tyrion hasn’t seen Jon in years. For all he knows, the wall could’ve taken a toll on him. It’s not something to be believed easily.
      Clob,

      Well it is effective.
      Hellothere,

      like you said she’s illogical.

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    44. This is so cool, great article. It’s good to be completely surprised. If Jon has to convince the Northerners about White Walkers that’s really bad. What hope would Jon have to convince Southerners if he can’t even get his own people on board.

      So excited about the Dragonstone meeting, all those people interacting is gonna be something else. I can’t wait. I really wanna see Olenna interact with Dany and more fun but intense Yara and Dany interactions. Also see how Missandei and Theon interact with that mixture of people.

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    45. Scott N,

      Mr Derp,

      Varys isn’t included in this scene, apparently.

      Why do you/we think that is?? Seems to me he was the one responsible for bringing Olenna and Ellaria into the mix.

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    46. Abbie,

      Ellaria: I will avenge my lover by murdering his beloved brother and nephew… (ie D&D decided this was the fastest way to kill Dorne as an important location lolol)

      yea….

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    47. HelloThere,

      This happens in the show. I have a vivid memory of Cersei snarking about grumpkins when discussing the wight arm, but Tyrion remarks that LC Mormont should be taken at his word.

      Ahh! I wish I could watch these scenes right now to confirm. It would have to be season 2 when Tyrion is in King’s Landing.

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    48. Jenny,

      I didn’t get the sense from the article that Jon necessarily has a hard time convincing the northerners that the white walkers need to be taken seriously, just that he’s driving home the importance of dragonglass, but it wouldn’t be the first time he’s hit a nonsensical obstacle for the sake of conflict. I think it goes without saying that the white walkers are the most pressing concern, and that should be apparent to a room full of people who either heard about or directly witnessed a giant fighting his way into the Winterfell courtyard.

      To your other point, naturally Jon’s aware of other threats, as he himself told Sansa in the Season 6 finale, “We have so many enemies now.” That, of course, doesn’t change the fact that prepping for the walkers is priority #1, so preaching to the choir about “other concerns” that Jon already verbalized his awareness of last season would kind of come across as manufacturing conflict for the sake of it. It’s like saying, “I get that the stove is on fire and you think getting the extinguisher is the biggest priority, but don’t forget that the mold in the bathroom needs dealing with, too. People really underestimate mold, you know?” Sure, mold can and has killed before when left unchecked, but if the fire consumes the entire house, it’s kind of a moot point, you know?

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    49. BunBunStark,

      So glad Littlefinger didn’t worm his way into the Winterfell scene, though he’ll probably be creeping just outside the door.

      That was my take-away reading this too. Maybe he was nursing his wounds, both figuratively and physically, after an encounter with

      a certain mop-topped King of the North

      ?

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    50. elybe,

      I know right??But I guess it is to fill the first two episodes and this issue and other one is there to establish the conflict™.But like honestly people the ice zombies focus on that.Cersei can’t kill you of you are already dead lol.

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    51. We all happily have a satisfying reason for Tyrion’s epic ol’ piss off the top of the world journey.

      He is properly set up to convince Daenerys of the real looming threat.

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    52. According to the author, among new sets was “a mysterious earthen dungeon with a sturdy cell door.” What do you think that’s for? King’s Landing?

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    53. Luka Nieto: Those two articles one after another drained me a bit. Dinner time!

      After a day like that, I like to enjoy one of Hodors Bastard’s pork pies.

      Seriously, though, these really are not too spoilery, are they? I mean, they really are scenes that sort of need to be done at one point or another. It does, however, offer a good suggestion for why Jon will extend overtures to Daenerys: she’ll be sitting on the motherlode (or Vulcanlode) of obsidian!

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    54. Mr Derp: lmost everyone on Daenerys’ side have no reason to trust each other at all.

      Good points. Tyrion will have major internal conflict with Ellaria, regardless of the Oberyn factor. He may see it as a Varys game. Looking forward to how this plays out amidst the larger conflicts.

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    55. Wimsey: enjoy one of Hodors Bastard’s pork pies.

      Hah! I didn’t see that. Tonight we have stews and soups on the menu. Maggy will be over soon.

      Luka, damn you’re good. I’ve avoided the juicy spoilery stuff (most of the convos are gobbly-gook to me in their redacted form) but you have intrigued me. Grrrr.

      GRRM is such a letdown. Even his turtles are smaller than I expected.

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    56. HelloThere,

      Allying with Dany is how Ellaria will get her revenge. Doran’s and Tyrstane’s passiveness was an obstacle that stood in the way of her revenge plans, so they had to go.

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    57. Isabelle:
      According to the author, among new sets was “a mysterious earthen dungeon with a sturdy cell door.” What do you think that’s for? King’s Landing?

      I’m hoping for Oldtown. If Jim Broadbent’s character is indeed Marwyn the Mage, a potentially very important book of magic may need a secure hiding place.

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    58. Young Dragon,

      I guess…. Shes such a paper thin piece of cardboard so there isn’t any depth or reason to her motivation beyond blind “vengeance”.
      Don’t know why it turned out that way, considering D&D have taken so many minor characters like Margaery and fleshed them out into iconic characters

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    59. Young Dragon:
      HelloThere,

      Allying with Dany is how Ellaria will get her revenge. Doran’s and Tyrstane’s passiveness was an obstacle that stood in the way ofher revenge plans, so they had to go.

      I’m still wondering, “Revenge for what?”. For her paramour volunteering as champion in a fight to the death for Tyrion of his own free will? Tyrion didn’t even ask him. Oberyn wanted his own revenge on the Mountain. So unless Ellaria wants to combat FrankenGregor for ‘fairly’ killing our beloved Mr.O, well then…

      Damn I wish Dorne would have ended with Oberyn.

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    60. Pigeon,

      Its all hilariously nonsensical…. And now somehow shes the Queen of Dorne… that scene of her stabbing Doran would’ve been the equivalent of Shae stabbing Joffrey and becoming Queen whilst the KIngsguard just shrugged their shoulders and accepted it… I find any scene shes in immersion breaking at this point.

      But overall, it doesn’t bother me @ all, because Dorne is a non-factor in the grand scheme of the show, and will probably get next to no screentime, so it really has never affected my overall perception of the show… its just a minor annoyance that it exist.

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    61. What about varys ?? Is he not present in that meeting to discuss “the best way to pry King’s Landing from Cersei Lannister’s grip,”

      Wouldnt it be nice for him and tyrion to bring up the secret tunnels of KL which varys and tyrion both know about …I expect them not to bring this one up becuse then it will be all over for cersei ..

      When maeseter aemon and jeor mormont sent all the ravens warning of the threat from beyond the wall …remind me which north house or northern lord went to aid the wall or rescue it ..

      Tyrion is a skeptic …he may like Jon that doesn’t mean he will believe in the WW …he didn’t when jeor and aemon did …
      For me Davos is enough to convince anyone …he isn’t from any houses he is just a common man who doesn’t gain anything from saying WW exists and coming for them…

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    62. Everyone’s happy about Littlefinger not being in the Northern council scene… While I’m wondering why Varys isn’t in the Daenerys council scene.

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    63. BigMac:
      Everyone’s happy about Littlefinger not being in the Northern council scene… While I’m wondering why Varys isn’t in the Daenerys council scene.

      In general, I trust Varys about as much as I trust Littlefinger.

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    64. And of course Dragonstone is a great place to mine obsidian, giving Jon a reason to parlay with Daenerys.

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    65. Mr Derp,

      You are right on many, if not most, of those points, but I doubt very much that the show will adress it.

      They may in passing, mention some of these things superficially, but ultimately I think the show has moved on from caring about the intricacies of politics and the possible complexities within these factions. I think there will be a few central conflicts, and aside from that, most people on a given team will get along famously, or just put aside their differences for a common purpose.

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    66. Firannion:

      I’m hoping for Oldtown. If Jim Broadbent’s character is indeed Marwyn the Mage, a potentially very important book of magic may need a secure hiding place.

      Good thought!

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    67. Mr Derp,
      You are entirely right; Daenerys’s camp is a team of potential rivals.

      While I believe the show will not address some of those fracture lines (Varys does not like magic but he can “live with it”, as proven by his acceptance of Tyrion’s decision to involve the Lord of Light priestess in Meereen; Olenna and the Sands don’t hate the Lannisters as a concept as much as they hate Cersei personally; etc), they may focus on Tyrion’s sense of betrayal.

      Olenna framed the younger Lannister and the Sands killed his beloved niece. And as far as we can see, Tyrion is not yet aware of either of these things… He probably does not even know that Myrcella is dead.

      Who might be aware of Olenna’s and the Sands’ past crimes against Tyrion ? Varys.
      Who chose to bring Dorne and the Reach into Tyrion’s camp regardless ? Varys.

      If Tyrion finds out about what the Queen of Thorns and Ellaria did to him, it may not only create a rift between him and them but also, more importantly, between him and Varys… That is a narrative opportunity the writers might not want to ignore.

      Also, Olenna’s and the Sands’ hold on their respective region may soon be contested.
      Olenna is the last Tyrell; her House is for all intents and purposes dead. Another family will have to take over the Reach after them. Cersei could try to strike a deal with a very important family of the region, promising to name them Warden of the South if they rally the others to betray Lady Olenna.
      As for Dorne, I fail to see why the region’s noble families would be comfortable with a bunch of murderous “bastards” telling them what to do. Especially if what they tell them to do is to serve a Targaryen and a Lannister, even though it was a Targaryen who abandoned Ellia Martell and the Lannister goon who killed her.

      On a completely different note : excellent policy from King Jon ! Obsidian is crucial indeed. Mining is a good idea but it may take too long. It may also be logistically complicated : the North would have to dedicate a significant number of its men (troops ?) to the task. Do they have enough men to do that without compromisng the safety of the region ?
      The line about “gold” could be relevant. Northerners may find it more practical to buy obsidian, instead of mining for it. Does the North have the necessary funds ? If not, who does ?

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    68. Also, I just realised : the Vale is not represented in Jon’s council. The Northern lords have Lyanna standing for them, the Wildlings have Tormund…

      But the Vale, who declared for House Stark and saved everyone’s tushie, including Jon’s, even though they did not have anything to gain from even participating, does not get a representative ! No Littlefinger, no Lord Royce… If there truly is no one standing for the Vale, this is an egregious slap in the Knights’ face.

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    69. ACME,

      It would be odd if Tyrion didn’t know about Myrcella’s death.

      Somehow, they know about what happened to Stannis, as they mention it in “The Door”.
      You’d think news of the King of The Seven Kingdom’s sister’s death would travel faster than news of a battle in Winterfell.

      But I guess the show can easily just handwave that inconsistency as they do all the others, if they so desire.

      As for the Vale, I’m not sure they did declare for House Stark. Not officially, at least.

      In the Season 6 finale, I believe we do see Knights of the Vale proclaiming Jon as King in the North, but if they are really swearing fealty to him, they have betrayed their Lord, Robin Arryn. Neither Robin nor LF signed off on that. And would the Knights of the Vale really break their oath to House Arryn and declare for a bastard in the North who would then be King in the North and the Vale ?
      That’s not characteristic of the loyalty the Vale lords are known for.

      And there is no reson for them to do it.
      Perhaps they weren’t declaring for Jon per se, but were simply declaring their support for him as King in the North, meaning that they will subsequently be allies with him, not subjects.

      In any case, it was all very odd.
      Hopefully this season will make sense of it all.

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    70. ACME,

      Eh IIRC the actor who plays Lord Royce was photographed filming with the northern crew so he may have been there and the person writing the article didn’t recognize him or deemed important to include such a small role.I don’t think Jon is King of the Vale though I think they are just allied.

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    71. Markus Stark,
      You are right, Tyrion might know about Myrcella’s death.

      I supposed he did not because, as terrible as it may sound, Myrcella did not “matter”, in the grand scheme of political things. As a girl, she was never going to inherit or rule so she was “just” King Tommen’s sister. I do not know whether the news of the deaths of monarchs’ female relatives is viewed as sufficiently important for foreign countries and governments to be made aware of them.
      Conversely, Stannis did matter. He openly contested the Westerosi king’s authority and legitimacy and was backed by the Iron Bank. So his demise would be granted frontpage status, I assume.

      However, you are right. Tyrion may very well be aware that Myrcella is dead. But I serisouly doubt he knows she was killed and by whom. The Lannisters did not publicise that fact, it seems. Had they done so, they would have had to declare war on Dorne immediately, which they seemingly did not do.
      So Tyrion might believe his adored niece died of natural causes…

      As for the Vale, I never really understood why they participated in the “King in the North” shouting match ! They most certainly would never betray an Arryn or undercut him by declaring another his overlord without consulting him. My best guess is that the Knights got carried away by the general excitement ^^
      As for the region’s allegiance, whether Littlefinger or Robyn signed anything is irrelevant I believe : the Vale fought alongside the Starks against the Boltons (put in place by the Lannisters). By this act alone, made all the more significant by the fact that the Vale had up until that point chosen to remain neutral, the Knights of the Vale picked a side, declaring their sympathy for the Direwolves against the Lions. So, while the relation between the two regions is certainly not one of submission or subjugation (the North does not rule over the Vale), it most certainly is one of (possibly mutual) allegiance.
      As such, it would at least be good form to invite a representative of the Vale at a council meeting pertaining to a fairly crucial aspect of the Great War to come. So unless all the Knights of the Vale simply decided to go back home shortly after the KitN scene, leaving them out of the council is a potentially bad diplomatic move.

      But then again, who knows ? Maybe Sansa is supposed to be their representative… After all, the Vale showed up as a mark of sympathy for her, SweetRobyn’s cousin, not for the North at large.

      ETA
      Jenny,
      The journalist not recognising Lord Royce is also a very fair hypothesis indeed.

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    72. Wimsey: Seriously, though, these really are not too spoilery, are they? I mean, they really are scenes that sort of need to be done at one point or another. It does, however, offer a good suggestion for why Jon will extend overtures to Daenerys: she’ll be sitting on the motherlode (or Vulcanlode) of obsidian!

      Spoilerphobes need that kind of warning. Descriptions of scenes, however predictable, are spoilers for a lot of people.

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    73. They don’t. But don’t expect the show to acknowledge that. It will probably be kumbaya between all of them.

      True. Why else do you think (heavy leak spoilers ->)

      they’re killing off Olenna and the Sand Snakes/Ellaria as soon as possible?

      It’s bizarre how the show’s greatest asset has become its single greatest fear. It now seems so insecure in dealing with moral ambiguity, complexity and multi-layered characters.

      They may in passing, mention some of these things superficially, but ultimately I think the show has moved on from caring about the intricacies of politics and the possible complexities within these factions.

      I agree with you but I also feel like that’s essentially saying the show has moved on from everything that made it intelligent and interesting.

      Quite tacky if they mean to write off complexity and political intrigue as just a passing fancies. Especially since they can’t argue a natural progression of the story when so many shows out there (despite their own faults) never feel compelled to compromise their point of view.

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    74. Hi Luka *waves*

      Loving your reports as usual 😀 I have a question for Watchers which affects all of us. I have been following spoilers over on Reddit, as I know a lot of people have, so obviously some of us have a really good idea of what’s coming up, whereas many others are avoiding them like the plague. (I don’t remember reading anything about the Dany’s council scene though – nice catch!) I’ve got an idea what the scene with the dragon skulls is which I don’t think I’ve seen mentioned on here by anyone before. Can we still post things under spoiler coding as long as it’s clear that they are leak spoilers? The bit with the dragon skulls may be a precursor to a whole other load of spoilers which certainly aren’t covered in this article, although they have been elsewhere. Has anyone managed to come up with a solution yet so spoiler readers can discuss things separately from avoiders? Or do we carry on as we are for the moment?

      Edit: I see while I was typing that someone posted a leak spoiler somewhat unrelated to the article.

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    75. Mmmm just occurred to me perhaps it’s possible to change the spoiler coding so it inserts a couple of words in bold capitals immediately before and after saying “LEAK SPOILERS” or something similar? I always try to do that when I post them but some people don’t flag them up. I know that doesn’t help with those who haven’t used the cover up in the first place but it makes them more noticeable, especially if there’s lots of surrounding text. I don’t know, I always have spoilers showing and am keen to read them, but also want to help my fellow Watchers who are abstaining.

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    76. Lulus Mum,

      If you make it clear it’s leak talk, yes, you can, always within spoiler coding. But even then, it doesn’t hurt to be as vague as possible.

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    77. Luka Nieto,
      Ok, thanks. I’ll pretend I’m a spy/or using a very expensive telegram service and be sparing with the words rather than a thorough explanation. So about those skulls….LEAK SPOILER

      apparently it’s anti-dragon weapon testing on the skulls under the Red Keep.

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    78. Lulus Mum: want to help my fellow Watchers who are abstaining.

      Unfortunately, it can’t be helped. Gone are the days when we fervently debated the diffs between book and show under guarded spoiler tags. Now its leak vs leak debate. Sorry, even though I get a kick out of the humor and impassioned interpretations of past and present ASoI&F events, it isn’t the same. I refuse to believe that 50% of the show’s storyline is anywhere near TWoW’s storyline but I don’t have a leg to stand on anymore.

        Quote  Reply

    79. Luka Nieto: Descriptions of scenes, however predictable, are spoilers for a lot of people.

      Ah, got it! Well, I must admit: nothing ruins an episode for me than knowing what Greyworm’s outfit is going to be before I see it! 😀

      Hodors Bastard: I refuse to believe that 50% of the show’s storyline is anywhere near TWoW’s storyline but I don’t have a leg to stand on anymore.

      Really? Given that you predicted a couple of key events before they happened, I would have thought that you would have felt that “I called it!” gratification! My bet is that the events in the book are going to be pretty similar. And I certainly expect that the story will be the same.

      What I am wondering is: will we get the same story this year? What little we’ve seen suggests that we very well might. (Of course, I’ve not been following very closely this off-season, so I am largely unaware of many or, really, any spoilers.) Certainly scenes such as described above would fit in with another “political compromises” story.

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    80. ACME,
      Markus Stark,

      IMO the Northern council described in the article was the same scene we saw on the trailer, or one of the two, because, if you have been watching carefully, you should have been noticed that there were minor differences between the shot where Jon was standing in the centre of the hall and the one where he was at the table. Moreover,

      Alys Karstark and Umber heir were sitting among the other northern lords, so their issue was already settled at that moment and the council was discussing something else.

      One way or another, Littlefinges and Bronze Roice were present at the council; so, their ommision in the article could have been due to some filming pecularities. For instance, EW published the photo of Cersei on the IT and Jaime next to her, there were only two of them, but when we saw the trailer the scene included the entire Cersei’s entourage and Euron etc. So, I guess when they do close shots of the main characters, others go out for a break or are replaced by body, and that’s may be the reason why the reporter missed the presence of Littilfinger and the Nights of the Vale in the Northern Council.

      Same for Dany’s council: Varys wasn’t mentioned, Grey Worm wasn’t metntioned, the new Dothrki leader wasn’t mentioned, but that doesn’t mean they won’t appear in the final vesrion of the scene.

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    81. Wimsey: I would have thought that you would have felt that “I called it!”

      Heh. But I don’t really revel in that stuff, although I am impressed with the folks who correctly predicted the Theon/Yara thread last season.

      I will say that I hope for one extended scene in the first or second episode: Dany flying over Kings Landing, shadow and all, then flying over other major cities of Westeros. She absolutely must show her air force first (intimidation and ally-building) before her seasick Dothraki horde, Unsullied army and Ironborn goofballs lay waste to the land. Remember when we speculated who else would ride R&V in tandem when she arrived at Westeros? It will be interesting if they are truly riderless for the remainder of the tale….(then why did GRRM spend so much time on dragon-bonding in TP&tQ and 3HotD prophesy?)

      Wimsey: leave that leg in the pies

      Lol. No, but we gathered a few limbs and fluids from BotB for the soup last night. Kathy Griffin stopped by with a few extra ingredients. Froggy Maggy made a truly special brew. However, after we ate, I suddenly thought coal was a wonderful energy idea for the future.

        Quote  Reply

    82. Hodors Bastard: Unfortunately, it can’t be helped. Gone are the days when we fervently debated the diffs between book and show under guarded spoiler tags. Now its leak vs leak debate. Sorry, even though I get a kick out of the humor and impassioned interpretations of past and present ASoI&F events, it isn’t the same. I refuse to believe that 50% of the show’s storyline is anywhere near TWoW’s storyline but I don’t have a leg to stand on anymore.

      Hmm…well I dunno.
      Some book readers may be in denial, but, IF we ever get the books, I expect:

      1. Stannis will die.
      2. His daughter will burn. (“When George told us” per D&D)
      3. Ramsey wrote the Pink Letter.
      4. Jon will resurrect.
      5. Jon will become King of the North (albeit through Rob’s Will, absent in the show)
      6. Dany will go back to Vaes Dothrak and become Khalessi of the Dothraki Nation. (This was already foreshadowed in her House of the Undying visions)
      7. Hodor/Hold the Door will happen (“When George told us” per D&D)
      8. Bran will leave the cave (otherwise the Hodor thing doesn’t make sense)
      9. Tyrion will become Dany’s Hand of the Queen.
      10. Dany will depart Essos for Westeros.
      11. Ramsey and Roose Bolton will die.
      12. Cersei will use Wildfire again (foreshadowed by George pretty much with every description of Cersei’s eyes)
      13. Tommen and the High Sparrow will both die.
      14. Arya will kill Walder Frey in the books.
      15. The Play in Bravos? Got that from George (WOW sample chapter); Siege at Riverrun? Got that from AFFC. Euron winning the Kingsmoot? Yep, from George.
      16. I expect we’ll get a “show version” of The Forsaken chapter with Euron on the Silence, only with Yara and Ellaria instead of Damphair.
      17. And obviously, R+L=J will be confirmed in the books, despite some book fans being STILL in denial about this, for unfathomable reasons (Preston Jacobs, I’m looking at you!!)

      Despite some fan histrionics, so far I see very little evidence indeed that D&D aren’t following their dictum of “Certain key plot elements will be the same” and “We’re doing George’s Ending”. George himself in his Not A Blog has said “There will be Spoilers. It is what it is.” It’s not D&D’s fault we’re seeing the adaptation ahead of the books; it’s been 21 years since the publication of A Game of Thrones.

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    83. Lulus Mum,

      Hi! Waving as always. I like your guess but they can be involved in other scenes too. Anyway, when we saw them in S1 the dragon sculls were under the Red Keep. So, unless someone moves them out next season, we will find them where they used to be – in the dungeons of the Red Keep, near the secret passages where anything can happens based on the leaked filming scenes

      I mean Tyrion’s trip to KL, for instance

      . As for the filming location in Spain those dragon sculls were made for, I bet that it was the royal shipworks (I forgot the exact name), but they had that look of a huge vaulted dungeon.

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    84. George: Hmm…well I dunno.
      Some book readers may be in denial, but, IF we ever get the books, I expect:

      Thanks for that…awesome list by the way. Did I see you debate this on westeros as well? I’ll keep the list as a reference point. Perhaps I am too loose with plot vs story comparisons but the list may reference about 50% of the plot points referenced.

      A few nitpicks
      1) Stannis won’t survive his ego but Tycho is on his way up to CB. Will Tycho witness Jon rez? Timeline issues remain.
      2) Sadly, Sh will burn, but for whom?
      4) Except for Jon’s rez, Mel has been useless in the show. Will she assume the NissaNissa role at CB?
      6) Vaes Dothrak will be different with Big D in the picture
      7) Hodor…the most revelatory moment in the series for me thus far…stunning scene…like to know where CH fits in that
      10) Dany won’t depart for Essos on a ship…she’ll be the airforce arriving beforehand…and 50% of her force will be lost at sea, and she’ll be distracted by YG’s shenanigans
      12) Yeah, love the Cersei/Mad King parallels…with Jamie in the picture (or not…if he & BR survives LSH)
      14) Arya or LSH?
      15) Love the Mercy play…FM testing her with ramifications…great adaptation with M Fucking Trant (Btw, the timeline of that book scene is interesting)

      But that is hardly the complete list of great things to come…I appreciate the feedback.

      BTW, isn’t PJ entertaining though?

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    85. Inga,
      Evening! *waving eastwards* I read the article rather quickly and didn’t pay attention to the number of skulls. Then typed my comments in a bit of a rush before going out and made it sound as if that was definitely what the scene is. I should have said it might be what I said above, but obviously could be something else entirely. I’ve seen other suggestions that it could be LEAK SPOILERS

      to do with the dragon pit scene. We’ve never seen it before so there might well be skulls and the action could take place around them. Another idea is whatever is under Dragonstone (the dungeons presumably?). If they are seeking obsidian down there, we haven’t had a really good look around previously and, again, there could be loads of skulls. So somewhere we already know has them or a couple of new places that could well do.

      Well, Luka did say it doesn’t hurt to be vague 😉 The word “action” could also be a bit misleading here, it might just mean people talking and touching things rather than having a punch up or a parkour display.

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    86. George,

      I agree except I think it’s possible Lady Stoneheart might have a chance to kill Walder. Either way, he’s 100% toast. Doesn’t matter which family member does the deed.

      R+L=J deniers are hilarious at this point.

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    87. Abbie,

      If either Jaime, Olenna, Daenerys, Cersei, Tyrion etc. believed this immediately, that would just be poor writing.

      It would be “poor writing” for the first four, but not for Tyrion. Tyrion was very dismissive of “grumpkins and snarks” when he first visited the Wall, but not nearly as dismissive after receiving a second report from Jeor Mormont after his return to King’s Landing. I don’t remember which episode (briefly) dealt with that, but Tyrion made a statement to the effect that Mormont was not a man given to exaggeration.

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    88. Ten Bears,

      Sorry to respond so late!!!

      Nothing about Arya and the Hound, but there are a couple of details about things we couldn’t have figured out previously. One major revelation about props that hadn’t been discussed at all, but at this point it’s anyone’s guess what they mean. If you’ve read through the comments, you’ll know there’s a scene somewhere with

      a bunch of dragon skulls or dragon skeletons.

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    89. Was it Ellaria who kissed Myrcella, with poisoned lips, and ended up killing her?

      Maybe if they are both (Ellaria and Yara) captured at some stage, they are kissing in a way of poisoning so they don’t have to be tortured or give away important information.

      I’m not sure why they have to kiss to be poisoned… and maybe they just fall in love, or… who knows…

      Man, my theories are weird, haha.

      I’ll see myself out…

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    90. ramses,

      My recollection is that in the book, Tyrion has Alliser Thorne tossed into a cell because he’s such an insufferable asshole. By the time he’s released the wight arm is no longer recognizable as something supernatural, but the bones remain… and they’re part of the necromancer’s magic that Qyburn uses to create FrankenMountain.

        Quote  Reply

    91. Was it Ellaria who kissed Myrcella, with poisoned lips, and ended up killing her?

      Maybe if they are both (Ellaria and Yara) captured at some stage, they are kissing in a way of poisoning so they don’t have to be tortured or give away important information

      I’m not sure why they have to kiss to be poisoned… and maybe they just fall in love, or… who knows…

      Man, my theories are weird, haha.

      I’ll see myself out…

        Quote  Reply

    92. HelloThere,

      Agreed. And to Margaery I would add Bronn, whose expanded onscreen presence has been a delight. Being a huge Hound fangirl (sorry, Wimsey), I’m hoping that at some point Bronn and the Hound find themselves on the same side of a fight… and the canine one can repay a favor to the smartass one. Bronn did, after all, save the Hound’s life at the Blackwater when he lost his mettle in the face of fire.

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    93. Hodors Bastard: It will be interesting if they are truly riderless for the remainder of the tale….(then why did GRRM spend so much time on dragon-bonding in TP&tQ and 3HotD prophesy?)

      Yeah, I do hope that something comes of that. I am starting to worry that a lot of things will amount to little or nothing. Of course, that might be an irrational side effect of getting…. nothing!

      I remember that you did call the Felling of the Weirnet Hub, which impressed me. It seems that there was something else that came up that also made me think: “Hey! HB called that one!” (I really need to rewatch the season again.)

      Hodors Bastard: Kathy Griffin stopped by with a few extra ingredients.

      Hmmm: not much “pudding” between those bones, though! Still, the calcium and hair-growth hormones probably add something.

      George,
      I expect that we also will see the Vale play Rohan with LF and Sansa in their numbers: and thus put Sansa in Winterfell. However, I don’t think that the Will will ever come up again: if it was going to be important, then that needed to come up again in Crows/Dragons. Instead, we learn that some of the Northerners know that Rickon is still alive. I think that Jon is going to have to earn his title: much as on the show, I am betting that the Battle of the Bastards will be the key. I do wonder if it will happen near Winterfell, however: Ramsay states that he’s going to march on the Wall, and although Jon obviously will have to move out away from Castle Black to have any chance, will he actually raise an army to assail Winterfell?

      I do wonder how Book!Rickon will meet his end: my bet is that B&W tidied up the plot there, in order to keep the focus on Winterfell and surroundings.

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    94. ACME,

      As for the Vale, I never really understood why they participated in the “King in the North” shouting match! They most certainly would never betray an Arryn or undercut him by declaring another his overlord without consulting him.

      The Vale is in the South, though, and has always been rather isolated from the rest of the South due in part to its geography. Following Jon Arryn’s and then Lysa Arryn’s deaths, the Lords of the Vale are probably having a very serious conversation about the house(s) they should ally themselves with, especially given the Lannisters’ increasingly, um, mad tendencies. Having a King in the North and a weakened South (and therefore, weakened Lannisters) might be to their advantage. I didn’t see this action as declaring Jon their overlord, but rather, recognizing that the North ought to be governed independently… as the Vale itself was before Aegon’s Conquest. If the Vale supports the North’s right to govern itself, the North might, in turn, support the Vale’s own (potential) return to independence.

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    95. Hodors Bastard,

      will say that I hope for one extended scene in the first or second episode: Dany flying over Kings Landing, shadow and all, then flying over other major cities of Westeros. She absolutely must show her air force first (intimidation and ally-building) before her seasick Dothraki horde, Unsullied army and Ironborn goofballs lay waste to the land.

      Oh I would love to see this! We just watched Wizard of Oz at our local theatre; I invision Dany and Drogon flying with smoke writing that say ‘surrender westerous!’.

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    96. Hodors Bastard,

      Lol. No, but we gathered a few limbs and fluids from BotB for the soup last night. Kathy Griffin stopped by with a few extra ingredients. Froggy Maggy made a truly special brew. However, after we ate, I suddenly thought coal was a wonderful energy idea for the future.

      (blows red wine all over screen)

        Quote  Reply

    97. Wolfish: Being a huge Hound fangirl (sorry, Wimsey), I’m hoping that at some point Bronn and the Hound find themselves on the same side of a fight

      Absolve te. 😀 Seriously, we fans just need to keep in mind that Joe & Jane HBO-Subscriber are not “fans” of this anymore than they are fans of the other shows that they watch.

      ramses: You’re right, Allister Thorne was thrown into a cell with the wight arm by Tyrion.

      Yeah, I always wondered what a wight arm was supposed to prove. “Look! I’ve got a rotted arm! That proves that all of those northern fairy tales are true! Oh, look: a rainbow! You guys make a war plan while I go get a pot of gold!!!!’

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    98. ash:
      Oh I would love to see this!We just watched Wizard of Oz at our local theatre; I envision Dany and Drogon flying with smoke writing that say ‘surrender westeros!’.

      Oh no…since you put it that way…now I’ve got that scene and the ChittyChittyBangBang scene in my head. Serves me right for thinking Bran’s visions mean anything. :/ Touché

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    99. Inga,
      It may be the case. Or it may be that the scene described in the article and the scene featured in the trailer are not the same one. The former could be a sort of “small council” meeting while the latter could be a broader court-holding session.

      Wolfish,
      It is definitely an interesting take but I do not know if I can see it play out this way…

      I agree wholeheartedly with you that the Knights of the Vale have very good causes for concern. However, I would argue that the main focus of their worry should not be so much their nation’s indepence but their ruler : SweetRobyn.
      First, the boy is a Joffrey in the making. While his spectacular disregard for life does not stem from cruelty or sadism like it did for Joff but from either stupidity or “innocence” (he may not have fully grasped the concept of death), it does not change anything to the end result : the kid had no compunction off-handedly condemning Lord Royce, the man who has been taking care of him since his mother’s death, to the Moon Door ! He is a menace.
      Secondly, the future of House Arryn rests entirely on his shoulders and, well, let’s just say that it does not look too bright. Robyn ever having children seems quite unlikely…
      Thirdly, the kid is Littlefinger’s puppet and everyone knows it.
      (Fourthly, but this is just pure speculation on my part : if Cersei has but two brain cells, she will try to have Robyn assassinated to weaken the Vale and punish Baelish for having betrayed her.)

      As a result, nationalistic aspirations may not be on the frontburner for the Vale. Nor, quite frankly, should it be for any other region ! All of Westeros will have to unite and work together to fight off the threat from beyond the wall. Now is not the time for purely jingoistic rhetoric.

      The KitN scene was evidence of that. If anything, both KitN scenes were. In both instances, we have a young Stark general with a very clear and single purpose (Robb : avenge Ned; Jon : fight the White Walkers) suddenly getting hijacked by the Northern Lords whose regionalistic resentment forces a crown onto his head. Being elected KitN made things much harder for Robb; some options that were available to him as a Warden of the North became unimaginable once he became the monarch of an independent nation…
      That is why when the KitN 2.0 scene happened, underneath all the excitement and gleeful “yeah Jon !”, I could not help but think “Oh dear, really ? That bullsh*t again ?”

      How is Jon being King of an independent North supposed to help him negociate with and rally the other political entities of Westeros exactly ?

      By declaring their independence, Northerners basically spat in Cersei’s face. Can we really expect the Lioness to accept that calmly ? And what about Daenerys ? She has made clear she wants to rule over the Seven Kingdoms. The North is meant to be one of the seven. What can Jon do ? Obviously, he will want her dragons to feature in the Great War but why would Daenerys accept to put her “children” at risk to help out a “foreign nation” which the North now is ?
      She may demand that Jon bend the knee to her. But then, what will the Northern lords’ reaction be ? Northerners hate Targaryens and one of them made very clear he had something of a problem with ladies from far away lands coming to Westeros and influencing its politics (Lord Glover’s infamous misogynistic and xenophobic “foreign whore” line about Talisa).

      Jingoism is not an effective defense strategy against White Walkers. Ice zombies have no f*ck to give about flags. They’re equal-opportunity slaughterers.

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    100. Wimsey,

      😝 Right? I’m not sure what LC Mormont intended to prove with that. A rotting severed wight arm would look like any other rotting severed arm.

        Quote  Reply

    101. I just re-read my previous post and realised it might sound a bit rude or “cold”.
      If it is the case, I am deeply sorry and do apologise because it was not my intention 🙂

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    102. ACME: She may demand that Jon bend the knee to her. But then, what will the Northern lords’ reaction be ? Northerners hate Targaryens and one of them made very clear he had something of a problem with ladies from far away lands coming to Westeros and influencing its politics

      Interesting. There is a strange precedent of Starks bending the knee to Targs. Torrhen Stark bent the knee for Aegon to avoid his land being burned during the “Conquest”…I believe he received some sort of respect for that but he lost the title of “king” at that point. But the times have changed. If Jon does bend the knee to Dany, it will be due to the fact that there is a greater threat (WWs). Will the north in its current state tolerate the “preservationist philosophy” that Torrhen upheld or not?

      But Jon is not a pure Stark and the WWs were sleeping when Torrhen bent the knee, so this may not be a complete historical deja vu.

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    103. Edith,

      Until the photos came out the other day of Ellaria and Tyene Sand, I was sure that Tyrion’s discovery that they murdered his niece and how he deals with it would be a major sub-plot. But I l don’t mind if it”s not. It’s seems kinda clichéd.

      Which reminds me, why the heck doesn’t everyone in the North know by now that Littlefinger betrayed Ned Stark? Marillion the minstrel should’ve been singing songs about it for a long while now… oh wait. 😉

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    104. ramses,

      In the books the hand*….it was a hand not an arm…was still moving and was moving when thorne was thrown in the cells. During the time he was in the cells and before he had his day at court it stopped moving and was…yes…just another rotted severed hand

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    105. Hodors Bastard: If Jon does bend the knee to Dany, it will be due to the fact that there is a greater threat (WWs). Will the north in its current state tolerate the “preservationist philosophy” that Torrhen upheld or not?

      Ah, but wasn’t one of the Greatjon’s (or Umber’s or Karstark’s) statements when declaring for King Robb that it was the Targaryens to whom they had pledged allegiance? And that now the Targaryens were gone, that was off the table? Well, looks like meat’s back on the menu!

      At any rate, if the story is again about political compromises, then this would fit in perfectly. I wonder if Renly basically foreshadowed the solution: Jon keeps his title, but pledges fealty to Daenerys; Jon & Daeny become “chums”; and they save the kingdom together.

      jymion: During the time he was in the cells and before he had his day at court it stopped moving and was…yes…just another rotted severed hand

      Huh, I thought that the hand was rotted when it got to Kings Landing. Well, it’s been 6+ years since I read the book, and I sort of sped-read it then (right before Dragons came out).

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    106. Catspaw Assassin: I was sure that Tyrion’s discovery that they murdered his niece and how he deals with it would be a major sub-plot. But I l don’t mind if it”s not. It’s seems kinda clichéd.

      If it was, then there would have to be some analogous storyline for the other protagonists. That written, if we are getting the same story as last year, then it might come up. After all, if this is going to be about compromises involved with politics, then Tyrion putting aside a grievance with the Dornish for the greater cause would contribute to the story.

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    107. Wimsey,

      It was rotted because it was the hand of a wight who’d been dead a while b4 the nk rezzed it. but it was moving when he took it to kl as proof they exist. But they must die twice after a while, or the further they get from the nk the less power he has over the dead

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    108. ACME,

      As a result, nationalistic aspirations may not be on the frontburner for the Vale. Nor, quite frankly, should it be for any other region! All of Westeros will have to unite and work together to fight off the threat from beyond the Wall. Now is not the time for purely jingoistic rhetoric.

      ***

      Jingoism is not an effective defense strategy against White Walkers. Ice zombies have no f*cks to give about flags. They’re equal-opportunity slaughterers.

      All excellent points, as always!

      I’m quoting these two because my point was about the “nationalistic aspirations” (if they exist) of the Knights of the Vale, and not about the threat from the Walkers. As far as we know, at this point the Knights know nothing about the real threat from the North, and likely wouldn’t believe anyone who told them about it. Like the vast majority of people in Westeros, they have no idea that their very existence is on the line… and are still thinking/acting politically.

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    109. I read the books between seasons 3-4 of the show. It seems I mostly mix-up book 1-3 with show 1-3 events. For instance, I was positive Jeor Mormont, while dying, spoke to Samwell of forgiving his son on the show. I could see the scene from the show, but that was only because while reading the books I already had the actors in my mind’s eye. From season 4 on I viewed the show from the perspective of adhering to the books or not so it’s easier to separate the two.

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    110. ACME,

      I don’t think we are having a separate “Northern Small Council” meeting scene7 We are clearly having at least two “Big Council” meeting scenes: I guess one will be about the treacherous houses, the other (including representatives of the treacherous houses) – about the WW and dragonglass and maybe even negotiations with Dany. And we still need screentime for individual interactions between the characters and for other stories as well. So, a separate “Northern Small Council” meeting looks kind of pointless. Moreover, in Ep610 Littlefinger explicitle said that he declared for the Starks. Therefore, although I concur that the status of the Vale is rather tricky, they are still some sort of the Northern coallition parthers and Jon should be interested to have them in his council.

      And regarding the Northern independence, I dissagree as well. Being subjected to some power centre that has different priorities has never served well for any region throughout the history of mankind. At best you get an expression of a “deep concern”, but most often you are simply advised “not to miss the opportunity to keep your mouth shut”. So, now, when it comes to Dany, Jon at least will be able to bargain: dragons first – knee-bending afterwards. Knee-bending first would mean no dragons at all.

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    111. On the HBO website they put up the second episode and it too says 59 minutes. If that’s right, would it make the record for longest second episode of a season?
      I won’t say no if the majority of the episodes are that long.

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    112. Hodors Bastard,
      You are absolutely correct, there is a historical precedent with Torrhen the “King who Knelt”, a man who saved his troops’ lives by accepting to bow to Aegon and is still (very rightly) celebrated for it in Northern lore. However, as you and Wimsey pointed out, the current circumstances are somewhat different from what they were back then :

      – at the time of Aegon’s conquest, Westerosi knew nothing of dragons and may very well have believed them utterly undefeatable. Three centuries later, people are aware that the big flying lizards can be killed. Not easily so but still;
      – Aegon conquered Westeros in the summertime, when the North has a fairly warm weather. Winter has now come and it would not be unreasonable to assume that “fire made flesh” may fare less than optimally in a “land made of ice”, be it to fight the Northerners (if they do not bow to Daenerys) or to attack the White Walkers (if the Northerners do bend the knee) ;
      – Northerner sentiment towards the Targaryens have changed. Back during Aegon’s conquest, the Northerners had every reason to be afraid of and angry at the invaders but no incentive to hate them. Now, in the eyes of Northerners, Targaryens are not just “conquerors”; they are the family who no so long ago declared unprovoked war onto the Starks. Daenerys is the sister of the man who “abducted, raped and killed” Lyanna and the daughter of the man who massacred Rickard and Brandon… Hatred is a potent drug;
      – the only family Northerners have more legitimate reasons to loathe than the Targaryens are the Lannisters. Lo and behold, Daenerys’s Hand is a Lion;
      – the North is just coming out of a six-year period of constant degradation and humiliation, from Ned’s death to the Red Wedding to the Boltons being put in charge. Independence is a way for the Lords to take revenge on all those crimes (and to appease their guilty conscience in re. their recent failure to support the Starks… But I don’t believe they want to think about that)

      Whether the Northern Lords agree to relinquish their newly-declared sovereignty is a matter of balance between gains and losses : if they feel they have more to lose being independent, they will accept to bend the knee; if not…
      For all the reasons mentioned above, they might be led to think that submitting to Daenerys is too humiliating a sacrifice for too little a potential reward.

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    113. Wolfish,
      I both agree wholeheartely with you and disagree somewhat (if that is even possible ^^) I guess it all hinges on how one defines the word “politics”.

      War is always political. It fundamentally is, regardless of whether one is fighting one’s neighbours or mythical beings. From the choice of military leaders and tacticians to the establishment of a policy relative to non-fighting populations, from the division of tasks and duties to the appointment of ressources. All those decisions will be determined by whoever is in charge and said whoever can only be in a position of power through political means.

      However, I do agree with you that, due to its scope and stakes, the Great War is not “business as usual” politics. It definitely has a scale and timetable of its own which must push everything back.

      Nevertheless, “business as usual” politics still plays a role, behind the scenes. If done terribly, it can destroy any and all war efforts put in place; if done properly, it can help and strengthen them.

      In the very near future, the North will need all the help it can get from all the people it can find. Both friends and foes.
      Given those circumstances, is it a good idea for them to have seceded just now ? Is it a good idea to spit in the face of the other six kingdoms by telling them basically “so long, suckers ! We’re on our own now !” ? Probably not.

      What would be a good, politically sound idea would be to view the Great War to come as an opportunity for the North to prove itself and earn its independence (who was it who said that crises and chaos were profitable to those who dared take advantage of them ? I can’t remember 😛 ).
      If Northerners manage not to alienate anyone but instead work efficiently with all their fellow regions and rulers, they will not only maximise their chances of not being killed by ice zombies but also get the opportunity to demonstrate their military power and intelligence to the rest of the country, thereby gaining tactical and reputational leverage that could be used after the war to be granted their sovereignty by whoever is still alive and in charge…

      Now, it so happens that the Northern Lords do have excellent (and not so excellent) reasons to believe that Daenerys’s help is not worth the trouble of submitting to her : her dragons and troops may be ineffectual in the icy North, she is a Targaryen and, in their eyes, may not be viewed as trustworthy (she may betray them and not grant them independence after the War), etc.
      It also happens that the Northern Lords tend to have about as much wisdom, patience and political acumen as a bunch of rabid badgers on Quaaludes.

      So someone will have to sell the idea to them. Hard. Said someone being of course King Jon.
      Jon who struggled and, ultimately, failed to convince most of his brothers of the Night’s Watch that letting the Wildlings south of the Wall was a matter of life or death, even though he was bloody right !
      Jon who relied on Davos to get a ten-year-old on his side and on Tormund to argue his case to the Free Folks.
      Jon whose legitimacy in the eyes of the Northern Lords stems mostly from being Ned Stark’s son (hum…).
      Jon who will sooner or later be revealed to be a Targaryen.

      Why do I feel like it is going to be a tad complicated ? 😉

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    114. Inga: So, now, when it comes to Dany, Jon at least will be able to bargain: dragons first – knee-bending afterwards. Knee-bending first would mean no dragons at all.

      I cannot quite concur here, I am afraid.

      Jon, as of now, has very little to bargain with. What does the North have to offer, aside from submission ? They are in a much more urgently desperate situation than the rest of Westeros, being on the frontline of the White Walkers’ attack.

      Even if Daenerys takes his word about the ice zombies beyond the wall, she still has all the power. She absolutely can request that Jon bend the knee before she even thinks of sending her “children” to the North and, if he refuses, she can tell him to get lost. She will simply wait for the White Walkers to slash and smash their way through the North and start fighting them once they reach her border, her territory, her people.
      Not only would it make sense on a practical level (why risk her dragons’ safety to rescue a technically foreign people ?) but also on a political one. By denying the seditious Northerners her help, she will be sending a message to all the other regions : “this is the price of rebellion”.

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    115. jymion: t was rotted because it was the hand of a wight who’d been dead a while b4 the nk rezzed it.

      So others had mentioned. I have not read the book in 6 years, and I had not read it since 2005 before then; small details like that are easily forgotten. As I have posted before, it was not until Ned’s & Jon’s farewell scene that it came back to me that Jon was not Ned’s son: and that was after a gazillion flamewars in the late 1990s! Such is life…

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    116. ACME: Jon, as of now, has very little to bargain with. What does the North have to offer, aside from submission ? They are in a much more urgently desperate situation than the rest of Westeros, being on the frontline of the White Walkers’ attack.

      Yes, that is a really good point. Not only that, Daenerys is sitting on their world’s best known supply of obsidian: and although I do not think that this story is going to come down to “tossing the Ring into the fire” by using obsidian against the White Walkers, Jon and the others still have to work their way to that point where they feel conflicted about what to do with White Walkers.

      My bet is that, instead, Jon & Daenerys are going to hit it off like “that” relationship in college. They have such strong similarities in their personalities as a result of their very parallel character arcs that it might be tough for them not to do so! Moreover, it would give both of them added “leverage” over the other: in addition to strategic and tactical needs, we can add “want” to the list of reasons why they might help each other.

      In a way, this almost has to happen: otherwise, Jon has absolutely nothing to offer Daenerys!

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    117. Jon’s main bargaining chip would be….”you either fight with us against the WW or you fight against our dead wight corpses!”.

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    118. ramses: Jon’s main bargaining chip would be….”you either fight with us against the WW or you fight against our dead wight corpses!”.

      That’s not a bargaining chip when dealing with people who do not think that wights or White Walkers exist: and that is just about everyone south of the Wall.

      (Recent world events show just how good people are at denying things for which there is a lot of evidence if they do not want it to be true; denying things that you do not want to be true and for which there is no evidence is easier still!)

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    119. Wimsey,

      True. He will first need to convince her the threat is real.
      I suspect the WW deniers will be in KL though :). Alternative facts and such.

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    120. Wimsey,
      That is a very credible scenario indeed.

      I am however also tempted to believe that Daenerys will decide to help in the North for the same reason Stannis did.

      The Mother of Dragons wants to rule over Westeros because it is her birthright (like Stannis). Nevertheless, this “right” of hers does not mean that the people will welcome her with open arms (they certainly did not take to Stannis very enthusiastically).

      For the overwhelming majority of Westerosi, she may be just another demented Targaryen, a foreigner hellbent on invading their country with her foreign infantry (Unsullied), her foreign and cruel cavalry (Dothraki), her otherwordly airforce (dragons), her almost universally hated Westerosi navy (Ironborns) and her almost universally reviled Westerosi Hand (Tyrion). Daenerys remained in denial over that possibility for the longest time, until the aforementioned Tyrion downright laughed in her face when she mentioned the popular joy she believed a Targaryen restoration would cause.

      So, instead of just claiming the “right” to be called “Protector of the Realm”, she may be tempted to try to earn the title by… actually protecting the realm ^^ Like Stannis did. To gain sympathy points.

      Politics, politics. It’s always about politics 😉

      ramses,
      Are Wights really that much of a threat for Daenerys ?

      Do not get me wrong : if you are on ground level, Wights are terrifying and extremely deadly. But they can be killed with regular fire and they do not appear to have any strategic mind. Daenerys has three airborne flame-throwers… She could get rid of Wights without breaking a sweat.
      The White Walkers are the dangerous ones for her. Not only are they harder to annihilate than their minions, they also master a form of magic that helps them both offensively and defensively. And above all, they are intelligent, tactical and precise. We know they already have close-range weapons. If they develop long-range ones… Daenerys is in trouble.

      Therefore the threat of “if you do not help us, we will come back to fight you as Wights” is not a particularly convincing one since the Mother of Dragons has the ultimate weapon against them. It is the White Walkers she should be supremely worried about and those are not going to grow in number by killing more people.
      So she absolutely could send Jon packing, telling him that she will burn his face off when his reanimated corpse comes knocking on her door.

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    121. Hmmm, it would depend on how far reaching the dragon’s range is. I’m not sure really how much ground each dragon can defend at a given time. I suppose the three could easily set up a line of defense at the neck and blast away north from there.

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    122. Wolfish,
      Now I’m imagining GoT in smell-o-vision. While there are some shows that would probably be enhanced by being more interactive and the ability to smell what’s going on, I very much doubt this is one of them. Blee! 😉

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    123. ACME,

      It’s a pitty that we can’t teleport Jon to CEE and give him a training course about how to treat with superpowers. Not that we have been successful all the time, but still we have been dealing with that for centuries and still standing.

      One way or another Jon is not taking the path of self-isolation. The Vale is already on his side and Riverlands should follow. And there is a strong sentiment between those three kingdoms: they share defeats and victories, they have a lot of common interests – especially when it comes to dealing with arrogant southern superpowers. So, both the Vale and the Riverlands should be compelled to back up the North which makes Jon’s coallition rather motivated and therefore strong (they simply have to take Littlefinger out of the equation).

      Meanwhile, Dany’s coallition is rather fragile. She wants the throne, Ollena wants revenge, Ellaria wants god knows what, but I guess it’s simply power, and Dorne has never loved the Targarians. I guess people who know Dany in person and share her dream of making the world a better place will be loyal to her, but most of these people from Tyrion to Yara are outcasts with little or no power and very few followers. And threre is no guarrantee that these followers will follow Dany, if something happens to their immediate leaders. For instance, the Ironborn will hardly be compelled to bleed in Dany’s war for the IT, if Yara and Theon die, etc.

      Meanwhile, Jon won’t have such a problem. The wildlings will follow him with Tormund or without him. The Knights of the Vale will follow him with Littlefinger/Bronze Royce or without them (basically because they have noone better to follow). Riverlands have a choice, but Jon is a good guy fighting for a good cause and he is not asking anyone to bend a knee etc. He is much more compelling (and less dangerous) leader than Dany with her dragons and Dothraki hords.

      In short, Jon has soft power that may help him to win even some people from Dany’s small council. Meanwhile, Dany has been counting on harh power mostly, and though she is able to make people bend a knee and build an empire in a short run, that won’t gurantee her a long-term loyalty. Basically, she needs an external theat to rally people behind her and Jon will be offering her that (unfortunately, it doesn’t look like she’ll grasp this opportunity immediately).

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    124. ACME,

      She can nuke as many wights as she can, but over who is she going to rule in the end? There will be nobody else. Queen of the ashes! Will those who survived accept her knowing that she could have prevented much of the destruction had she joined the fight sooner?

      So yeah she can’t exactly just send him packing and expect things to be a-ok.

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    125. ACME,

      [T]he only family Northerners have more legitimate reasons to loathe than the Targaryens are the Lannisters. Lo and behold, Daenerys’s Hand is a Lion…

      Clearly, I’ll be far better equipped to engage in lengthy conversations like this after I’ve read The World of Ice and Fire, which I just received two or three weeks ago. Must finish that Brontë novel first, though…

      But I digress.

      I’ve long thought that the Starks might be willing to parley with Daenerys because of Tyrion. Yes, he’s a Lion. From the first, though, he has treated the Stark children well, and I think they’ll be inclined to speak with him even if they’re fearful or suspicious of Daenerys. Tyrion treated Jon as an equal, spent time at the Wall, and left on good terms with the Night’s Watch. He took the time to design a saddle for Bran. He was kind to Sansa in the marriage that neither party wanted. I do recall what you wrote in another thread about how many people had been “kind” to Sansa to her face, only to betray her; in Tyrion’s case, though, I think his treatment of Jon and Bran showed genuine caring for those who, like him, are “cripples, bastards, and broken things.”

      In addition, Sansa knows that Tyrion had nothing to do with the Red Wedding, and, oh yeah… there’s that little matter of his having killed Papa Lannister, and a bounty having been placed on his head by Cersei. At this point, Tyrion is a Lion in name only.

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    126. Wimsey, If it was, then there would have to be some analogous storyline for the other protagonists. That written, if we are getting the same story as last year, then it might come up. After all, if this is going to be about compromises involved with politics, then Tyrion putting aside a grievance with the Dornish for the greater cause would contribute to the story.

      Good points.

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    127. Inga,
      Your distinction between Jon’s soft power and Daenerys’s hard power seems perfectly appropriate to me. And it is undeniably true that the Targaryen-centered coalition may collapse at any moment given the hidden fracture lines within it.

      However, I fear we may be overestimating Jon’s broad popular appeal a bit…

      Would the Wildlings follow Jon no matter what ? I am not certain.
      They more than repaid their debt of loyalty towards him by fighting in the Battle of the Bastards. Now, they of course want to defeat the Others and Jon, at the moment, appears the best equipped to lead the war effort. Nevertheless, Free Folks have never seemed extremely keen on blind allegiance : their support is very much conditional, insofar as it depends entirely on perceived skills, abilities and future prospects (a very smart policy on the Wildlings’ part, me thinks). They do not follow a leader because they believe he was born to be followed; they follow someone because what s/he is proposing makes sense to them at that specific time.
      If someone shows up with a seemingly better plan (or better weapons) than Jon’s, the Free Folks may very well prefer him/her over Jon. No hard feelings.

      Would the Vale choose Jon no matter what ? It depends, I guess.
      The Vale has been shown to be almost maniacal in its fealty to House Arryn. After all, they keep on supporting SweetRobyn in spite of the child’s obvious unsuitability. If Robyn decides he no longer wants to be aligned with the North, would the Knights bypass his command ? I sincerely doubt it.
      Now, were the last of the Arryns to die (*cough*), who would the Vale follow ? They do not owe Jon anything; they barely even know him. They most certainly did not participate in the BotB to help him out. The only connection they have with him is that he is believed to be the son of Ned, who grew up in the Vale. If/when it is revealed Jon is not Ned’s progeny, will the Vale stick by him ? They very well might but it is far from certain. They could set their views on anyone else, to be fair : a powerful House from the Vale, the Tullys (SweetRobyn’s maternal lineage), Daenerys, etc.

      Would the Riverlands pick Jon as their leader ? Hmm…
      From what we have seen, the Tully name still resonates loud and clear in many Rivermen’s minds. Jon is demonstrably not a Tully. Even worse, he allegedly is the son a Stark had by cheating on a Tully. Furthermore, the last time the Rivermen followed a King in the North, they got slaughtered; that precedent may make them somewhat cautious.
      Overall, wouldn’t they rather follow a Tully ? Now, it is true that they probably resent Edmure (unfairly so, I believe) for having ended the siege of Riverun and they may not like his baby son because he is half Frey. But there are other Tully-ish people running about : SweetRobyn, Bran, Arya, Sansa…
      Also, they might side with Daenerys. The Riverlands have an ambiguous history with the Targaryens after all; on the one hand, they fought against them during Robert’s Rebellion, on the other, it was Aegon who freed them from the Ironborn.

      We, the viewers, like, respect and support Jon because we have been following him for six years. We have seen him evolve, grow, take charge, try, fail, try again, die, come back to life, etc. We have witnessed his dedication and courage, his determination and honour.
      But we must keep in mind that Westerosi have seen exactly zero percent of that. They do not know Jon at all. Until about six months ago (in-universe time), he was a virtually unknown quantity even to the Northerners themselves. So why would Westeros’s Great Houses rally around him instead of Daenerys (or Cersei for that matter) ? On the face of it ?

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    128. Flayed Potatoes,
      The North is now an independent State. A sovereign nation. They chose to secede from the Seven Kingdoms.
      As per their own decision (no one forced them out), they no longer owe the rest of Westeros anything and the rest of Westeros no longer owes them anything either.

      Let’s imagine that the Reach’s safety was suddenly being threatened by ferocious and deadly mermaids. Mermaids whose ultimate goal would be to creep their way up the coasts and, ultimately, attack the whole of the continent. Would the independent North be expected to intervene ? Obviously, it would be smart of them to do so as a preventive measure : better fight the mythical creatures right where they are now so they do not spread out. But, regardless of how intelligent a strategy it may be, the North, as an independent nation, would be under no obligation to abide by it. Nor would its government be expected to participate without a little reward afterwards (cash, trade deal, favourable policy, etc.)

      So why would the ruler(s) of Westeros, a land the North declared itself independent from not so long ago, not wait for the White Walkers threat to attack their country before intervening ? Why send their own people to die for the safety of a nation that just told them to go f- themselves ?
      One might even make the case that waiting for the White Walkers to be done with the North buys the South some time to get ready for battle…
      Humanly reprehensible ? Hell yes.
      Possibly self-deafeating ? Yep.
      Politically unsound ? Not necessarily.

      Once again, I am not saying that this is what is going to happen. Of course, Daenerys is going to intervene in the North ! But ignoring that Jon’s bargaining position is at best extremely precarious is, I believe, not entirely accurate.

      Wolfish,
      Oh the Starks have all the reasons in the world to like Tyrion and want to engage with him, you are completely right !

      However, when I wrote “Northerners”, I did not mean the Starks in particular; I was referring to the North’s population at large, especially its nobility. What do they know of Tyrion ? That he was accused to have ordered a hit on Bran ? That he was acting as Joffrey’s Hand for a while ? That he was found guilty of assassinating his own nephew (possibly to gain power) ? That he murdered his own father (possibly for the same reason) ? That, as a Lannister, he may very well have helped orchestrate the Red Wedding ?
      It does not matter that most of this is completely false and the rest is only partially true. What matters is that people believe it. It would not surprise me if Northerners had about as accurate an opinion of Tyrion as Bravoosi do.

      So if and when the Northern Lords find out the younger Lannister is Daenerys’s Hand, they might recoil in horror and hatred. It will be the Starks’ job to reassure them about him. However, considering that Sansa was married to Tyrion, her support of him could easily be interpreted as proof of her being a bad Stark (Lyanna Mormont said as much when they first met). As for Jon, if/when his Targaryen lineage is revealed, anything he might say (or have said) in favour of his paternal aunt’s government could become equally suspicious in his vassals’ eyes.

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    129. Jack Bauer 24:
      https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3717629/game-of-thrones-blamed-for-surge-in-acid-style-attacks-as-assaults-surge-to-two-a-day/?CMP=Spklr-_-Editorial-_-TheSun-_-News-_-TwImageandlink-_-Question-_-TWITTER

      GoT is being blamed for a surge n acid style attacks.

      Uh….I don’t see a connection there, but I guess people will really reach for something to blame! I mean, if people were being crowned with molten gold, maybe….😛

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    130. ACME,

      Two different countries can work together to eliminate a common threat you know. Last time I checked the North and the Vale were allies as of 610 and Jon isn’t king of the Vale. And it’s not like Dany knows as much about the WW as Jon, Tormund, the other wildlings, Bran and so on. Is the fight against the WW going to be solved just by burning wights? I don’t know. The NK and his generals seem pretty clever and tactical. It’s in her benefit to help too if she wants to be accepted as queen by all 7 kingdoms. None of these people in Westeros know her. She is, after all, coming to Westeros as an invader with Dothraki and Ironborn and a hand who was convicted of regicide. Not exactly the best PR. It would be far more effective to actually help people fight a huge threat rather than waste more manpower fighting in the south.

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    131. Flayed Potatoes,
      The concept of international cooperation is not an entirely novel one to me but thank you for the ever-so-kind reminder ! ^^

      The question I am attempting to raise, obviously unsuccessfully, is why would Daenerys readily accept the North’s independence ? What is her incentive to do so ?

      You wrote so yourself :

      Flayed Potatoes: she wants to be accepted as queen by all 7 kingdoms.

      And you are absolutely right. Time and time again, Daenerys has said she intended to rule over her late father’s realm, namely the Seven Kingdoms.

      As of 6.10, there is no Seven Kingdoms. Only six.

      Why would she be ok with that ? Why wouldn’t she take advantage of the North’s distress to make its King bend the knee to her and thus recuperate the renegade seventh part of “her” kingdom ? And if she does ask Jon to bend the knee, what leverage does he have to negociate his way out of it ?

      It is true that Jon and Tormund know more than Daenerys about the White Walkers. But what they do know is not that extensive or useful yet. They are aware that the Others can reanimate the dead, that they can be killed with Valyrian steel and dragonglass, and… That’s about it. It is much better than nothing, for sure, but it is not a lot.
      Sam is still searching. Bran has more information about their origins but, as of now, we do not have enough context to see what can be done with that intel : the Others were created by the Children of the Forest to kill humans and they used to be human themselves.. OK. Now, how do humans defeat them ? We still do not know.

      I am not denigrating those pieces of information or the characters who discovered them. However, we have got to admit that, as of right now, what our protagonists know about the White Walkers could fit on a post-it note (leaving out enough room for big margins). None of them has enough understanding to be considered an undisputed authority just yet and even if they all pooled their current knowledge together, I fail to see how that would help them come up with a sound battle plan.

      So what bargaining chip does Jon have to ensure both Daenerys’s immediate help and the continued sovereignty of the North ?

      Yara did not go the Mother of Dragons just with a request for help; she also came with the ships Daenerys so badly needed. Thus the two women could negociate on something resembling equal footing. Yet, even then, the Targaryen clearly had the upper-hand and used it, demanding Yara change her people’s mores and remaining fairly noncommittal in regards to the Iron Isles’ independence.

      Jon will go to Daenerys with a request for help and… What ? What does the North have to offer to offset that request ? Deep expertise on the White Walkers ? Not yet. Money ? Nope. Ressources ? Not quite.

      As of now, the only thing the North has to offer Daenerys is its submission.

      So yes, Daenerys will, like Stannis before her, eventually agree to go fight for the North in order to act as “protector of the realm” and thus legitimise her claim over the Seven Kingdoms. Which include a non-independent North. And while I can see Jon not giving a flying fig about that on a personal level, I cannot help but wonder how the Northern Lords, who got all misty-eyed when they loudly proclaimed their region’s independence, will react to such a reunion.

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    132. Jack Bauer 24,
      Pigeon,

      Because it’s so much easier to blame a fictional fantasy TV show for “inspiration” than the actual acid attacks that happen every day in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Good grief.

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    133. ACME,

      Sam is still searching. Bran has more information about their origins but, as of now, we do not have enough context to see what can be done with that intel: the Others were created by the Children of the Forest to kill humans and they used to be human themselves. OK. Now, how do humans defeat them? We still do not know.

      We know that the Night King can raise the dead, so to speak, but we do not yet know if simply “killing” the Night King (say, beheading him) would destroy the other Walkers and the wight army. I have wondered, more than once, if the obsidian dagger needs to be removed from his body in order for the darkness to be permanently defeated.

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    134. ACME,

      Considering they want to live I doubt they will care much.I’m sure they are familiar with the concept of dragons and the north yielding.Add to that ice zombies,the north ain’t that stupid.When the war is over if they still want independence and are ready to start a war over it I’m sure Dany will give it to them.She is not a tyrant.That way they can make Sansa queen if she bloody wants it that much lol.

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    135. ACME,

      So if everyone who has experienced the WW knows enough to write a post it, you think Dany who hasn’t seen or experienced these things will discover all their secrets? Is she a greenseer? I mean, I wouldn’t put it past the show to make her one, but that would be too much even for D&D. Bran is surely going to learn more in these upcoming seasons.

      And right after she accepted the Iron Islands’ independence she said that same episode that everyone can ask for independence. She changed her mind?

      Jon has plenty to offer, bastard as he is. For starters the entire dilemma can be solved by marriage. Didn’t she say last season she was looking for a husband? Here’s the bargaining chip. It’s already established on the show that the North is difficult to control, so why not marry the guy ruling it? It’s not like she has better options. Is she gonna wait for Sweetrobin to come of age? Robinerys FTW!

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    136. Wolfish:
      ACME,

      We know that the Night King can raise the dead, so to speak, but we do not yet know if simply “killing” the Night King (say, beheading him) would destroy the other Walkers and the wight army. I have wondered, more than once, if the obsidian dagger needs to be removed from his body in order for the darkness to be permanently defeated.

      I’ll die laughing if we get a Phantom Menace style ending for the big battle the show has been teasing since the beginning.

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    137. ACME,

      Of course, it’s an issue for the discussion but I don’t think that the wildlings feel like they payed their debt. Jon died for them and that imposed a moral obligation for the lifetime. Moreover, the wildlings have no choice: hardly Dany or Cersei will be interested in them – their numbers are too small.

      As for the Riverlands and the Vale, I want to clarify my point. Both of these kingdoms have the same problem: they are loyal to week and unwothy liege lords. And Jon is a perfect solution to this problem. They don’t know much about him, but they know that he is a great swordsman and that he won the BOB (yes, the Knights of the Vale were very helpful, but still it was Jon who broke into Winterfell and beated Ramsay in one-to-one combat with a shield). And now he is talking about the WW – sounds crazy, but still it’s compelling to unite agains some evil.

      As for more practical concerns, let’s take the Knights of the Vale and Sweetrobin. Sweetrobin is a good boy with a healthy instinct to help his family (and maybe other people by extension), but evil Littlefinger has made the boy his puppet. However, it’s legit to expect that the Starks will outbalance that influence. So, the Knights of the Vale and especially bronze Royce should be interested to keep the alliance with Jon hoping that he will help them to save their poor little lord from Littlefinger. The best thing, that there won’t be any conflict between loyalties: if Sweetrobin falls under Jon’s influence, the Lords of the Vale will see that as a highly positive thing.

      As for Edmure’s alliance with the North, it depends on who sets him free. If he is still in the Twins, then we can safely assume that he will be freed by Arya and join the Northern coalition – partly because of moral obligation, partly because he’ll need someone to support him. However, I just realized that Jaime could have sent him to Casterly Rock before he left the Twins, which means that Edmure will be freed by the Unsullied and have to bend a knee to Dany. But one way or another, Jon should be more appealing to Edmure, because, as I have already written, Jon will have to treat Edmure like an ally and not like a subject. In fact, they should get along quite smoothl, because Jon likes helping the weeker ones.

      In short, Jon is a comfortable choice: he is strong enought to lead, but he has no potential to turn into a tyrant. His allies can feel save under his command: if he misbehaves, they will simply leave him.

      Meanwhile, Dany is simply too powerful. Strong characters like Tyrion or Queen of Thorns may like to be challenged by verbal sparrings, but weeker ones like Edmure will be simply scared to death. And people don’t like to be scared to death: they like compassion, understanding, and patting on the sholder – things that make them believe that they are not as miserable as they are. And the most important thing – Jon is always ready to say “I need you”, whereas Dany starts talks by askig “Why would I need you?” It’s always much more compelling to help someone who needs you, than following someone who is too powerful to care, whether you are following or not.

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    138. Wolfish:
      Jack Bauer 24,
      Pigeon,

      Because it’s so much easier to blame a fictional fantasy TV show for “inspiration” than the actual acid attacks that happen every day in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Good grief.

      Well exactly, it’s beyond reaching. Particularly as wildfire is, uh, not acid, and not thrown about willy-nilly by degenerates on 1 or 2 people at a time, and Arya’s blindness had nothing to do with…..you know what? I can feel myself getting more stupid just trying to think about how dumb this is.

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    139. Flayed Potatoes,

      TBH, I have no idea what happened at the end of The Phantom Menace. I was dragged to the theater by a couple of friends, but… I don’t remember any of it. I’ve never been into Star Wars, as a child or as an adult. It’s always struck me as a soap opera that just happens to be set in space.

      /ducks rotten fruit

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    140. Flayed Potatoes: So if everyone who has experienced the WW knows enough to write a post it, you think Dany who hasn’t seen or experienced these things will discover all their secrets?

      I am sorry to ask but when did I even imply such a thing ? It reads just a tiny bit like a strawman argument.

      Of course Daenerys is not going to magically uncover all the secrets of the White Walkers. Yes, Bran and Sam are on a journey to find out more about the Others and the information they will gather will help Jon formulate a battle plan. Eventually. Whether said “eventually” happens before or after his first meeting with Daenerys will determine the initial balance of power between them and between the North and the rest of Westeros.

      If he comes to Daenerys for help just with the information he had in 6.10, he and the North have literally nothing to bargain with.
      If he comes to her for help but with a battle plan in his backpocket, then the North’s sovereignty is pretty secure.

      Flayed Potatoes: And right after she accepted the Iron Islands’ independence she said that same episode that everyone can ask for independence. She changed her mind?

      Yes, she did say they were free to ask. However, she never said she would accept…
      Furthermore, she made a clear distinction between asking for independence and demanding it. Since the North has already declared its sovereignty, I would think it falls into the “demanding” category.
      Lastly, she ended her negociation with Yara by stating : “You will support my claim as queen of the Seven Kingdoms and respect the integrity of the Seven Kingdoms.”
      The word “seven” is spoken twice in a single sentence. I doubt the writers could have been less subtle about the implication had they tried.

      Flayed Potatoes: Jon has plenty to offer, bastard as he is.

      Of course, Jon has a lot to offer; he is a great guy. And who here said anything disparaging about him being a bastard ?
      I may very well be completely off the mark here but I am starting to feel like you perceive any argument that Jon’s bargaining position might be less than ideal like an insult against him as a character. But again, I may be completely wrong.

      I do not recall Daenerys saying she was looking for a husband. If I remember correctly, she said that she would marry to make her accession to the throne smoother, if she had to. If she does not have to, I doubt she will. The question, from her perspective, is therefore : does she have to ?

      From the North’s perspective, a marriage between Daenerys and Jon would not be that significantly different from him bending the knee because such a union would, for all intents and purposes, reattach the North to the other six kingdoms and make it lose its sovereignty. When Isabela of Castille married Ferdinand of Aragon, they did not each rule over a separate, independently sovereign kingdom; their territories fused to create a new entity, (proto)Spain.
      The same would probably happen if Jon and Daenerys married.

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    141. Wolfish,
      That is a very definite maybe indeed ! But we know so very little still that I would not risk it just yet 😉

      Jenny,
      I admire your optimism. I really do. From Daenerys surviving the war and not caring about whether or not a region representing half the overall surface of Westeros is still part of “her” kingdom or not to the Northern Lords having no problem losing the independence they so recently and so passionately declared… That is a truly optimistic take ! I like it. 🙂

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    142. ACME,

      Daenerys remained in denial over that possibility for the longest time, until the aforementioned Tyrion downright laughed in her face when she mentioned the popular joy she believed a Targaryen restoration would cause.

      So, instead of just claiming the “right” to be called “Protector of the Realm”, she may be tempted to try to earn the title by… actually protecting the realm ^^ Like Stannis did. To gain sympathy points.

      Politics, politics. It’s always about politics 😉

      She hates politics and she is not like Margery who fakes and puts an act of caring for people to become queen she genuinely cares about the kingdom and her people ..unlike stannis she already knows and stands by the principle that a King and Queen should stand and do their duty to protect their people who can’t protect themselves ..

      And as to the bolded part this is from clash of kings and when she is in qarth a

      Viserys always said the Seven Kingdoms were more beautiful than any other place in the world.

      The thought of home disquieted her. If her sun-and-stars had lived, he would have led his khalasar across the poison water and swept away her enemies, but his strength had left the world. Her bloodriders remained, sworn to her for life and skilled in slaughter, but only in the ways of the horselords. The Dothraki sacked cities and plundered kingdoms, they did not rule them. Dany had no wish to reduce King’s Landing to a blackened ruin full of unquiet ghosts. She had supped enough on tears. I want to make my kingdom beautiful, to fill it with fat men and pretty maids and laughing children. I want my people to smile when they see me ride by, the way Viserys said they smiled for my father.

      But before she could do that she must conquer.

      The Usurper will kill you, sure as sunrise, Mormont had said. Robert had slain her gallant brother Rhaegar, and one of his tures had crossed the Dothraki sea to poison her and her unborn son. They said Robert Baratheon was strong as a bull and fearless in battle, a man who loved nothing better than war. And with him stood the great lords her brother had named the Usurper’s dogs, cold-eyed Eddard Stark with his frozen heart, and the golden Lannisters, father and son, so rich, so powerful, so treacherous.

      How could she hope to overthrow such men? When Khal Drogo had lived, men trembled and made him gifts to stay his wrathIf they did not, he took their cities, wealth and wives and all. But his khalasar had been vast, while hers was meager. Her people had followed her across the red waste as she chased her comet, and would follow her across the poison water too, but they would not be enough. Even her dragons might not be enough. Viserys had believed that the realm would rise for its rightful king . . . but Viserys had been a fool, and fools believe in foolish things.

      Her doubts made her shiver. Suddenly the water felt cold

      and then show Qarth happened..

      You keep speaking about northern lords hating taragryens i dont remember but do we actually see anything related to that in either books or in the show until now..

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    143. The newspaper reporting that story about acid attacks driven by GOT is gutter press in the UK, totally sensationalist and pulled up multiple times for making stories up (and hacking into mobile phones). Most UK residents would tell you not to believe anything in the Sun, so best not to give them any more publicity.

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    144. ACME,

      Apart from Dany living after the war I wasn’t being optimistic at all.From what we know of the characters I fully believe the aforementioned scenarios applicable.The northern lords favor living above nationalism and even if they don’t from what we know of Dany’s character If they started a civil war and hated her that much she would give them their independence.Somehow I don’t think it will come to that though.

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    145. My expectation is that Dany is not keen to go north at first, she’s obsessed with the iron throne, however Jon will change her mind, she will go north and die during the final battle. This appears to be foreshadowed during her house of the undying dreams.

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    146. dragonbringer,
      I have to confess I am somewhat puzzled : you say Daenerys “hates politics” as if it were a laudable thing… She is a monarch, and not by an accident of birth. Time and time again, from city to city, she sought that position. She fought for it and claimed it. Politics is at the very core of the function of queen, of ruler. If she hates politics so viscerally (I do not believe she does but I am exploring your take on the character), why does she want to be Queen ?

      Now, I believe the most common answer to that question would be that Daenerys is willing to endure the rigors of political life and carry the burden of power in order to achieve her ultimate goal which is to help people, to save them.
      To break the wheel.
      On a sidenote, I woud argue that one of the most compelling and moving aspects of her character is that, while she is keenly devoted to the idea of rescuing people, she does not actually know them, their hopes, their aspirations, their heartbreaks, their prejudices, etc., frequently leading to tragically paradoxical situations in which Daernerys sincerely believes she is improving people’s lives while, in reality, making them worse (Miri Maz Dur, Mossador, etc).

      Leaving that aside, Daenerys wants to save people and only becomes their monarch in order to do so. That explanation works well for all the slavers cities she invaded. But what about Westeros ?

      At the end of season six, to the best of Daenerys’s knowledge, Westeros is not in danger. Its people is not and has never been enslaved. So what does she want to save the population from ? What wheel does she intend to break over there ?
      Not the wheel of non-democratic monarchy, obviously, since she wants to be Queen of the Seven Kingdoms herself. Not the wheel of the Great Houses and their feudal system of power since she is allied with two of the aforementioned Great Houses. Not the wheel of birthright that grants a limited percentage of people control over the vast majority by virtue of birth alone, since she is determined to claim her own birthright.

      What does she plan to save Westerosi people from by invading them ? I do not recall her mentioning it. She does, on occasion, refer to the noble families of the Seven Kingdoms to highlight how monstrous she believes them to be (I reckon it is important to note here she knows very little about them…). She also insists her father was unjustly usurped (even though she admits he was a terrible man who did terrible things). However, at no point does she clarify what she intends to do to / with the people of Westeros.

      Daenerys may very well believe her planned takeover of Westeros to be a rescue mission. However, it bears all the hallmarks of a foreign invasion, complete with ruthless armies and deadly weapons.

      As for why I believe the Northerners hate the Targaryens, I am merely basing my assumption on their feelings towards the Lannisters. The Lions unjustly victimised the Starks and went to war againt the North; and Northerners hate them. The Dragons did the exact same thing two decades ago; I would be tempted to presume Northern sentiment towards them is the same as well.

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    147. Jenny,
      “Civil war” may be a tad extreme… The Northern Lords may simply either “forbid” their king to bend the knee or disavow him if he does.

      Let’s for a second ignore the characters, the way we understand and view their motivations, etc. and focus on the broader, “meta” level. What is the point of making Jon King if not to create conflit ? From a narrative standpoint, what purpose does his coronation serve aside from setting the stage for a power struggle ?

      Jon does not need to be KitN to rule over the region or lead its war effort. He could do all of that just as well, if not better, by being Warden of the non-independent North. So why did the writers force a crown onto his head and a sovereign nation under his feet ?

      My guess is that George RR Martin wants the White Wolf to be named king for the same reason he decided to have Robb be declared KitN, namely to add friction and stakes.
      Robb’s regal title complicated both his life and his mission : it limited the scope of his negociation options with both allies and opponents, elevated the expectations surrounding him, binded him to decisions he did not necessarily approve of, etc. Contrarily to what Renly believed, “king (be it in the north or anywhere else)” is not just a fancy title that can be bandied about, casually worn for stylistic purposes. It carries with it a weight, a series of obligations. A loss of freedom.
      Robb’s title was ultimately a contributing factor in his defeat and demise.

      “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown” indeed.

      Why give Jon the same headgear as his brother/cousin if not to create a whole new lot of problems for him ? Now, most certainly, Jon is not going to make the same choices and mistakes as Robb; it would be boringly repetitive if he did. However, he is going to be confronted with the same issues, the same catch-22s, the same mutually exclusive imperatives, the same hard and sacrificial decisions, the same Kobayashi Maru scenarii… And he will make his own choices and mistakes.

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    148. ACME,

      I don’t think the same way.They made Jon king so he could go to Dany in an equal footing.Obviously he couldn’t be Warden of the north.The Iron throne belongs to the Lannisters and you need to be appointed Warden.That was the best possibility at the moment so the lords acted on it.It wouldn’t carry the same weight if Jon went to Dany as some ex nights watch guy.I’m sure the title and what he does with it will have implications for the story but I think it will have more to do with his ancestry and how it affects him and Dany.I don’t think this will turn into a Robb or for the watch 2.0.There are way more pressing matters at hand like for example surviving the apocalypse.

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    149. ACME:
      dragonbringer,

      Now, I believe the most common answer to that question would be that Daenerys is willing to endure the rigors of political life and carry the burden of power in order to achieve her ultimate goal which is to help people, to save them.
      To break the wheel.

      Yes that’s the answer but no to breaking the wheel …even I don’t know what breaking the wheel is supposed to mean as it is show only thing…
      She accepts that she is a queen and accepts that she has been given some greater gifts and she knows with that gift comes a great responsiblity where she has some duty to fulfill for her house and ancestors and people and in order to that she has to endure this politics and backstabbing etc..

      When I say she hates politics she doesnt want to sit in the chair and work through all the plotting and manipulations to hold on to that chair but will want to do something good with that chair …she is like Ned ,barristan,Aegon5 and Jon in that regard…people like LF and varys and cersei and Margery play politics and doesn’t care about the people at all or show fake affections towards people

      she won’t be doing something like helping north or fight the WW thinking that she wants a Good PR and how it provides one and can help her gain IT …she will help because she genuinely cares

      She did better the lives of MMd and mossodar …it was their own actions from there afterthat lead to their downfall. .
      Lets just say that dany and drogo’s khalasar never went into the village …she wouldn’t have been rescued she would have been just killed by the other horde that was already there ..and when she was given protection she chose to betray the young girl by killing her husband and child ..
      Mossadar became a free man and rose to be one of the members of the dany’s council… He was given orders and disobeyed the direct order ..

      For every MMd and Mossadar there is hundreds of missandei ,GW and red lamb who i consider more of Lhazreen champion than MMD ever was…
      People in far places looking forward to her arrival to make their lives better (volantis)

      Sometimes I feel like even slaves know that it won’t be that easy and will likely have blood shed and more from their side but they are willing to give it anyway and make better place for others like them …so I guess they are more understanding than most of the fandom

      She knows westeros is been tearing itself down due to civil wars between the kingdoms…
      But she doesn’t need to go to westeros to rescue people from something ..in this world duty to their family is considered the most important thing and dany as the last Targ believes it her duty to take back the KL for her ancestors ..

      you may ask that it will lead to war and death of countless lives but that’s also part of the society …Ned stark may have been silent and let joffery rule instead he chose to do his duty and support stannis and ultimately caused the War .same goes for arryn ,edmure,stannis and all others before them ..

      We keep talking about how dangerous and massive dany’s army is ..how unleashing them will be bad ….but we never speak about they lead by dany provide the quick stoppings to all the fights or how useful they are going to be in the fighting against WW ..

      As for why I believe the Northerners hate the Targaryens, I am merely basing my assumption on their feelings towards the Lannisters. The Lions unjustly victimised the Starks and went to war againt the North; and Northerners hate them. The Dragons did the exact same thing two decades ago; I would be tempted to presume Northern sentiment towards them is the same as well.

      Then your assumption may end up wrong ..
      What happened between Lannisters and Targaryens is completely different ..
      The Targaryens were wiped out and suffered the worse fate in that …leaving only Two kids surviving on streets much like what happened to stark kids when they went against lannisters ..
      There are people in the north who hate Ned stark but we haven’t seen anyone hold grudges against Targs ..

      If dany who was not even born when those events happened should act with maturity and understand all the intrinsic details and acknowledge her families mistake then I would expect the northern lords to do so now and can’t fault a child for her father ..

      Why is it always people only discuss will dany be OK with north getting independence or will she make it burn or bend the knee .or will northern lords accept dany …
      The north and its lords are pretty much like lords of any other regions.. There are so many myths when it comes to north like how honorable they are when they aren’t … As the coming season will tell us that they can’t fight a war alone and Jon and davos will speak about unity and standing together..why can’t they stand together when there is no threat and things are normal… That’s why theories like ending the series with all westeros breaking up again doesn’t make sense to me …

      I would like to ask a question what exactly did North gain by getting the independence and being alone ..is the whole separate north is just the sentiment because of the bias towards the fan favorites and heroes who hold the north and doesn’t want them to be under someone…

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    150. Jon is very likely about to be made King in the North in the books too, so when you say “they” I assume you mean D&D and GRRM. It will likely be set-up by Rob’s will though in the books.

      In terms of why he’s King in the North, I agree it’s so he has sway with the southern leaders but the real question is what happens when it comes out he’s the rightful heir to the throne?

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    151. ACME,

      Robb was elected king And declared independent because they didn’t like Tywin ,Stannis or Renly and doesn’t want to support either of them ..

      They chose jon as King because they have already declared their independence and displayed their hatred for tywin and lannisters…So they can’t chose to get into seven kingdoms when Cersei one of the lannister is ruling the seven kingdoms..

      When they made Robb king we also specifically got Greatjon saying this particular line ” it was dragon they were married to and now the dragons are gone”,..so what happens when the dragons come again ..

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    152. Jenny,
      Why would Jon need to be on equal footing with Daenerys to warn her about the incoming threat ? She is more than willing to talk and listen to people who are not her hierarchical equals.

      As for the Warden title being bestowed solely with the Crown’s approval, in normal circumstances, it would certainly be true. However, since the Sands took over Dorne (after killing Myrcella) without any Lannister stamp of approval and without formally separating from the Seven Kingdoms, I do not see why Jon and the North could not have done the same.

      In regards to Jon’s title as king and its narrative function, it is, as you very rightly noted, also connected to his lineage. Kings in the North have always been Starks-born-of-Stark-men. Jon is not that. If and when it is revealed to the world, how will the Northern lords react ?
      Will they consider Jon to be a Stark still, through his mother’s bloodline, thereby opening the door for the matrilinear transmission of identity in Westeros ? Will they not care at all, thereby making it possible for non-Starks to rule over the North without anyone having a problem with it ? Will they dethrone him ?

      Jon’s “real” identity is not a purely personal matter.
      The secret of his birth, once revealed, will rock his foundation, shake him as man, as a relative, as a Northerner and as a ruler. And it will affect everyone around him as well. Including those who proclaimed him KitN.

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    153. dragonbringer: she is like Ned ,barristan,Aegon5 and Jon in that regard…

      Doesn’t this list worry you at all ? What good have Ned’s noble intentions ever brought to the people of Westeros at large ? What good has Barristan ever done, faithfully serving an insane, incestuous rapist and murderer, a drunken buffoon and a sociopathic child ? For all his care for the smallfolk, what long-lasting legacy did Egg leave behind, burning himself to a crisp attempting to reanimate dragons ?
      As for Jon, he is still young and working so it is hard to evaluate what his long-term accomplishments will be.

      In relation to Miri Maz Dur and Mossador, I am afraid I cannot agree with you.
      Making Miri live among those who raped her, murdered the people she loved and destroyed her entire life and culture did not improve her existence. It only fed her hatred, her loathing, as it would for most human beings. Daenerys certainly did not intend for that to happen but it did. As a direct result of her decision.
      Demanding that Mossador live “peacefully” alongside those who used to treat him as property did not improve his life. Nor did it pacify most of the other former slaves if their reaction to Mossador’s execution was anything to go by. Daenerys believed that ending slavery would be a panacea, the end of all the problems. She did not take into account the long-lasting bitterness, the festering resentment, the righteous anger. Did she mean well ? Of course, she did. Was it a good plan ? Hum…

      dragonbringer: People in far places looking forward to her arrival to make their lives better (volantis)

      And that is precisely the problem ! No one can possibly live up to this sort of expectations, not even with dragons in their backpocket.

      Daenerys operates as a magnet for people whose lives have been scarred, marred with disappointment, victimisation, betrayal, violence. People who feel lost and who reckon their existence has been wasted, damaged or wrecked. People who need to believe in something (anything ?) not to fall into utter despair. Tyrion, Missandei, Grey Worm, Jorah, Barristan, etc. They all want to “fix” what was done to them and what they themselves did. To make sense of it, to give it retroactive purpose and meaning.

      Unfortunately, that is an almost textbook definition of a cult. Daenerys does not have subjects; she has followers. She does not have advisors; she has disciples. She is surrounded and expected by people who view her as a messiah, a guru (“So I said no thank you to belief. And yet here I am. I believe in you. It’s embarrassing, really” – Tyrion)

      I may be wrong but I do not think it is a sound basis for governance. Rulers are not supposed to be believed in, they are not fairies ! ^^
      And this foundation of belief can only lead to heartbreaking disappointment when the very human, and by definition flawed, nature of the ruler reveals itself.

      dragonbringer: I would like to ask a question what exactly did North gain by getting the independence and being alone

      Don’t ask me. I am not defending this stuff. I think Northern independence, especially at this time, is frankly misguided. But then again, I think most Northern lords have shown themselves to be loud-mouthed, jingoistic hypocrites so… I may be biased 🙂

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    154. ACME,

      I like your points and agree with them partly, but I think you overestimate the Northern nationalism. There has been no setup for any hard-core nationalism: the North speaks the same tongue as the rest of the Seven Kingdoms and there is no conflict between the old gods and the new. Moreover, the Northern secessionism was caused solely by the conflict between the Starks and the Lannisters (who sort of represnted the central government). Before that the North has never demonstrated any derire to be independent: the King Who Knelt was not labelled as a traitor; the North was eargerly supporting the Robert’s Rebellion, and it was pretty much OK with Ned going to serve as a Hand of the King. Of course, there is plenty of band blood between the North and the south (or central government), but it’s all due to the personal conflicts of the Stark family. If the new generation of the Starks decides that it can cooperate with Dany or Tyrion, the North should be more or less OK with that.

      Sure, there will be tensions, and the North shouldn’t be expected to give up its independence just like that. But Jon is not a knee-bender himself and he will be conflicted about that for personal reasons. So, I think the conflict over knee-bending will be primarily between Jon and Dany, and not between Jon and the North. If Jon manages to persuade Dany to join the fight against the WW, the North will see her as a good queen worthy of knee-bending and as a susitable bride for their king.

      As for Dany, she will have to work it out how to win Jon and the North. Threatening Jon with dragonfire won’t work – that’s for sure. However, Dany was quite flexible when she treated with Yara (and the later showed hersefl pretty well too: she managed to get a handshake, after all). I guess she will realize that she will have to be equally flexible with Jon. Jon is quite flexible too. Let’s take the wildlings: he saw that kneeling was totally unacceptable for them, so, he simply replaced knee-bending with a handshake, and got the same thing Stannis wanted – wildlings founght for him and very eargerly. Sure, when it comes to Dany, Jon will have to negotiate from the position of a weeker party, and all of that will be very interesting to watch, but it’s safe to assume that he will find a way win the Dragon Queen just as he won Ygritte.

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    155. Isabelle,

      I was thinking Oldtown too, but I wondered if this is a place where they might secure someone who is going mad with greyscale? Maybe Jorah is being kept safe in a cell until they can cure him?

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    156. I’m recalling the meeting with Cersei, where Littlefinger tells her the now legitimate Ramsey Bolton married Sansa Stark, betraying the Lannisters. Cersei then ordered Littlefinger to go to war with the Boltons and Winterfell would be his. Sansa and Jon have no idea that LF has claim, under Cersei, to Winterfell. As long as Cersei remains in power his claim is valid. I see that as either a plot hole or an unresolved problem.

      At some point, after “assisting” Jon at the last minute to defeat the Boltons, which was a good strategy in LF’s part, when does he proffer his claim? Does Bran discover this? Is it revealed as part of his treachery?

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    157. Inga,
      You do raise some excellent points.

      Maybe I am overestimating the North’s nationalistic ambitions… But then again, they do seem very insular and revendicative of their particularisms. The way they think of themselves is characterised by an “exceptionalism” mentality, a clear fracture line between “us” (the North) and “them” (the South, a shapeless magma of the other six kingdoms).

      Big Jon Umber, in his KitN speech, made it clear that, according to Northern lore (and mentality), it was only a deadly threat that made them abdicate their sovereignty and join their neighbours to become the seventh of the Targaryens’ kingdoms. Begrudgingly so.

      I believe Jon will have to go out of his way to convince his vassals that relinquishing their newly-recovered sovereignty is not a regression. I think he will ultimately succeed; however, if and when his Targaryen lineage is revealed, it may reignite the lords’ less noble (and rational) tendencies. They might feel betrayed or even fooled, having been persuaded by a Targaryen to join another Dragon…

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    158. I was thinking Oldtown too, but I wondered if this is a place where they might secure someone who is going mad with greyscale? Maybe Jorah is being kept safe in a cell until they can cure him?

      Or he’s being held there because he’s going out of his mind, either from the greyscale itself, from the Maesters’ efforts to cure his greyscale, or both. Remember Gilly’s description of how her family members “covered” with greyscale ended up howling like animals. (As I would have been doing from day one at Craster’s Keep, but I digress…)

      Jonah might also be living at Dragonstone, where Princess Shireen’s greyscale was halted.

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    159. Flayed Potatoes:
      Mr Derp,

      Kissed by Fire and The Climb are some of the best episodes of the series.

      The Climb is an amazing episode, all the more riverting for the montage scene ‘Chaos Is A Ladder’ culminating in Joffreys repulsive murder of Ros.

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