Game of Thrones Season 8 Writing Line-up Confirmed and a Season 7 Cameo Revealed at SXSW!

Photo: Twitter/GameofThrones

“The cast and creators of #GameofThrones meet @JoeBiden backstage before their panel at #SXSW” Photo: Twitter/GameofThrones

The Game of Thrones panel at SXSW took place this afternoon, with stars Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner joining showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss for a talk.

We weren’t able to be there, but luckily many fans and journalists who were in attendance shared information from the panel online with some exciting tidbits coming out of the session.

The first piece of notable news to come out of SXSW is the announcement of the season 8 writing line-up for Game of Thrones.

With Dave Hill writing episode 1, Bryan Cogman taking episode 2, and Benioff and Weiss taking the other four episodes, that confirms a total of six episodes for season 8. Viewers aren’t going to love having even less GoT next year!

The next major news: Benioff reportedly told the SXSW audience that musician Ed Sheeran will be in season 7!

The showrunners and stars covered a variety of subjects at the panel, including the possibility of an undead dragon:

And Maisie’s joke (?) about Sophie/Sansa being dead, due to hair color:

And the inevitable spin-off discussion, which Benioff confirms:

Other SXSW highlights today: Turner and Williams popped over to the Game of Thrones Escape Room to surprise fans!

The actresses also found the time to record Carpool Karaoke for Apple Music:

Check out A Storm of Spoilers’ Twitter feed for a complete play-by-play of the SXSW panel, filled with fun trivia!

261 responses

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    1. Besides the Season 8 bit, that was a dud. No wonder they had Maisie and Sophie host, that way they only asked questions they wanted to answer.

      The bit about Ed Sheeran is completely absurd considering she is Maisie Williams from the hit tv show GoT…if she really wanted to meet Ed then she could have no problem.

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    2. I guess two episodes to wrap up things and then the big stuff.
      I can see mayor deaths in season 7 if they only need 6 more.

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    3. Wow, I’m surprised they’re telling us the Season 8 writing line-up when we don’t even know Season 7’s. Sweet!

      And yes, Ed Sheeran!!! I was keeping my fingers crossed that he would have a cameo. He know he’s a big fan of the show, and is friends with many of the actors. Hopefully he’ll be performing music in the background of a scene.

      Sounds like they actually had an informative panel rather than a cheesy one that so often happens at Comic-Con.

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    4. Ryan Neuner:
      Wow, I’m surprised they’re telling us the Season 8 writing line-up when we don’t even know Season 7’s. Sweet!

      And yes, Ed Sheeran!!! I was keeping my fingers crossed that he would have a cameo. He know he’s a big fan of the show, and is friends with many of the actors. Hopefully he’ll be performing music in the background of a scene.

      Sounds like they actually had an informative panel rather than a cheesy one that so often happens at Comic-Con.

      Besides the Season 8 bit, this was most definitely a comic con panel.

      When the biggest Season 7 take away from the panel that Ed Sheeran has a guest cameo because Maisie is a huge fan…well…yeah

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    5. So we keep talking about episode counts, but we don’t really know the length of these episodes right? Sure we could be looking at 50 minute ones, or maybe 70+ minute episodes. Just because there’s 7 or 6 doesn’t mean they will be 50-60ish minutes each.

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    6. Jerry:
      So we keep talking about episode counts, but we don’t really know the length of these episodes right? Sure we could be looking at 50 minute ones, or maybe 70+ minute episodes. Just because there’s 7 or 6 doesn’t mean they will be 50-60ish minutes each.

      And that is the type of quetsion they should be asking. Not “what prop do you want to take home.”

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    7. Maisie’s known for being a bit of a troll, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she actually let a big spoiler out this time, especially if the panel reaction was…awkward.

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    8. Ravyn:
      Maisie’s known for being a bit of a troll, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she actually let a big spoiler out this time, especially if the panel reaction was…awkward.

      I feel like there were filming pictures that showed Sophie having blonde hair and using a red wig. I don’t think anyone ever figured out why, but if I’m remembering the red wig correctly then the blonde hair doesn’t necessarily mean she dies.

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    9. Jon Snowed,

      They usually start writing the episodes for the next season during post-production of the current season, so GRRM would have had to halt writing Winds (which he said he wouldn’t do anymore) to write anything for Thrones.

      Jack Bauer 24,

      In hindsight, you’re probably right. I guess I was just surprised by the Season 8 writing news, and happy about the Ed Sheeran cameo. Looks more like a Comic-Con panel as I’m reading more about it.

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    10. Jack Bauer 24,

      I’m pretty sure it’s more like surprising her with a friend she already knows rather than a celebrityesque encounter. I’d be stoked if a friend showed up at my job for a day.

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    11. Jerry,

      I think this is wishful thinking, unfortunately. Sure they may do some 60-70 minute episodes towards the ends of both seasons like they have in the past.

      But 70+ minute episodes for all future episodes? I don’t think so. If that was the case, they would just add another episode or two instead.

      I’m hopeful that all our last 13 episodes will be at least 55 minutes, but I wouldn’t hold my breath for an extended last 13 episodes.

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    12. I HAD HOPE THAT WE WOULD HAVE 8 EPISODES NEXT SEASON TO THE FINAL COUNT BE 75 EPISODES. I HOPE THEY HAVE AT LEAST 60 MINUTES EACH.

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    13. Aww. You know, when it comes right down to it, seeing Maisie and Sophie casually dressed and just hanging out, I think they’re dang beautiful. Not that they aren’t when all dolled up (Maisie’s ensembles always have me rolling), but Sophie especially just rocks the fresh face. (Yeah, I complimented Sophie. Deal with it.) ?

      It’s pretty well known that wigs were used, they’re probably just bored to death with hair questions and said “fuck it.”

      6 episodes. Well I suppose. I’m thinking they’ll be longer episodes, it seems not too far out there to be reasonable.

      I will never in the scope of my entire life have an iota of the focus that Dave and Dan have these past few years.

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    14. Jerry,

      While that’s technically true that they could increase the average episode length, I’d say that’s unlikely. The writers have been keen to shrink the number of episodes; if you increase the amount of time the episodes run in compensate, you aren’t really reducing the overall amount of story you’re working with, which defeats the purpose.

      Back when they started talking about the show more definitively as seventy episodes/seven seasons for a period, before ultimately going back to eight, it’s notable that 73 is much closer to 70 than it is to 80 (the number of episodes that would have been made if the show did eight seasons at its original season size).

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    15. So the SXSW Panel is over and we didn’t get any spoilers or teasers. The best thing we got is apparently Tyrion has the best line S7, D&D response to WW Dragon’s was maybe, Ed Sheeran has a cameo because Maisie wanted to meet him and asked if Dany and Jon will meet “I think that’s obvious, Maybe we should just avoid that…” Maisie is apparently their favorite Stark sister (jokingly) they have pulled pranks on Sophie in S2 saying she had a singing number, they pulled one on Kit in the scene were he burns his hand protecting Jeor Morning.saying half his face and hair would be burned, Nikolaj pulled a prank on them saying he shaved off all his hair even sent them a fake pic to fool them, It was hardest for them to kill Drogo as they love Jason and think his larger than life, Jason has also broken David’s hand in a pub playing a game.

      I understand GRRM not writing any of the last episodes but I imagine they will speak to him about everything, so perhaps more if a collaboration over the phone or skype.

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    16. The only thing I know about Ed Sheeran is that he’s buddies with Taylor Swift and name drops her all the time. I’ve never even heard his music. I probably won’t even notice his cameo.

      Oh well. Let the anticipation for a real trailer with new footage begin.

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    17. The GoT official FB page posted about the Ed Sheeran cameo 34 minutes ago and it already has over 6000 negative comments 😀

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    18. The Dragon Demands,

      Plenty of people think about it, but I also don’t think anyone expected them to change out their writing staff with so few episodes left, considering how complicated it is to put Game of Thrones together.

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    19. Hope he doesn’t have any lines in it because after seeing his performance in the bastard executioner he was more wooden than the furniture.

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    20. No footage out of this is disappointing…

      When are we going to get a teaser trailer? End of April? Mid-May?
      With a “long trailer” in mid-June?

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    21. George:
      No footage out of this is disappointing…

      When are we going to get a teaser trailer? End of April? Mid-May?
      With a “long trailer” in mid-June?

      First trailer last year was in March and the premeire was in April. We might not have a trailer until June.

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    22. Jack Bauer 24:
      Besides the Season 8 bit, that was a dud. No wonder they had Maisie and Sophie host, that way they only asked questions they wanted to answer.

      The bit about Ed Sheeran is completely absurd considering she is Maisie Williams from the hit tv show GoT…if she really wanted to meet Ed then she could have no problem.

      You raise a good point Jack. I mean…from other con panel videos we’ve seen of Benioff & Weiss…..do they screen the Q&A or what?

      I mean, even from a point of practicality, in terms of….you want to avoid an idiot in Season 5 asking “Who is Jon Snow’s mother”? A – We’ve been saying for 4 years it’s a mystery, B – What do you think we’re going to do, tell you NOW, at the panel?

      So are the questions screened? Or….is it really that people are too afraid to ask tough questions?

      I mean, remember that Oxford Union panel? One girl actually managed to *very politely* ask “what was going on with that Jaime/Cersei sex scene in the Great Sept? Was it meant to be rape or what? Wouldn’t this affect Jaime’s character arc?”….they waffled out giving a not response (“uh, he did that because we thought that was a thing he would do”), then LITERALLY the next questioner asked “Who is Jon Snow’s mother?” – instead of like, pressing the question.

      But from watching Oxford Union at least….I don’t think the Q&A is screened. It seems like….people are generally too afraid to ask meaningful questions.

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    23. Sue the Fury:
      The Dragon Demands,

      Plenty of people think about it, but I also don’t think anyone expected them to change out their writing staff with so few episodes left, considering how complicated it is to put Game of Thrones together.

      There were few episodes.

      I do hope they’d at least get a single female episode director. We haven’t had one of those since Season 4.

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    24. Actually,

      WIC reports that D&D wrote most of the questions that Sophie and Maisie were asking!

      LOL

      If true, it’s noteworthy to me that they put the Ice Dragon question in there…

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    25. Sue the Fury,

      Agree, it would be nice to have a female writer but at the same time if they got a new writer they wouldn’t understand and know the characters the way the same writers who have been writing the show for years do.

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    26. Sue the Fury,

      I didn’t expect them to bring a female writer again sadly. But I would love to have at least a female director for the final season. That should be easier to arrange.

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    27. Does anyone know where I can watch the full panel video ?
      Please and thank you in advance

      Also, I am very discouraged by what I read. I was expecting at least one leak-y/spoiler-y information or anything regarding post production but all I keep reading about is Ed Sheeran .. Hope he sings something otherwise his appearance is pointless.

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    28. Mel:
      Sue the Fury,

      Agree, it would be nice to have a female writer but at the same time if they got a new writer they wouldn’t understand and know the characters the way the same writers who have been writing the show for years do.

      Benioff and Weiss understood Ellaria Sand?

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    29. The only tidbit mentioned that was not included in the article is that they have 3 (!?!) different visual effects teams working on Season Seven simultaneously!

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    30. The Dragon Demands:
      The TV series hasn’t had a female episode writer since Season 3.

      Think about that.

      Does it really matter at this point ?
      the only other writer I would have wanted was GRRM himself, sadly he’s working on the book.

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    31. Matthew The Dragon knight: Does it really matter at this point ?
      the only other writer I would have wanted was GRRM himself, sadly he’s working on the book.

      Lot of truth to that. That things broke down with GRRM so much.

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    32. Why is it that the highest paid cast members don’t go to these events or do any promotion? It’s always Sophie and maybe Maisie at these events and doing interviews. Boring. Dinklage could go considering that he lives in the States. I think NCW was there – he could have attended.

      Sophie is looking the best she has in a while. Maisie is cute as always.

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    33. Ravyn:
      Maisie’s known for being a bit of a troll, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she actually let a big spoiler out this time, especially if the panel reaction was…awkward.

      It’s certainly possible. But since D&D chose/approved of the girls’ questions, it may have all been arranged in advance. It might even have been a quippy way of counteracting Sophie’s faux pas in a January interview which made it sound like she’ll definitely be in Season 8. The awkward silence would be necessary. Or maybe Maisie committed a faux pas as well. I honestly don’t think Sansa dies in the series, and probably not Arya either. The difference is that Sansa generally stays safe whilst Arya must put herself in harm’s way quite often (“A girl has more courage than sense”.).

      Sean C.:
      Also, the headline together with the photo makes it seem like Joe Biden will be cameoing in Season 7.

      Perhaps VP Biden will take over from Littlefinger as the president of vice.

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    34. SerNoName,

      Because they’re the highest paid cast members and are busy getting paid more somewhere else. And looking at how this event went, I can’t imagine NCW and Peter asking the showrunners fluff questions like what props they’ll receive when the show is over (they also don’t typically attend these events and haven’t for years).

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    35. What was the point of this panel? HBO could have released the Season 8 bit in a press release, or EW could have just tweeted it.

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    36. KrakenBowl,

      There is a large pool of female directors/writers to choose from if you bother to look and give opportunities. This is the most ridiculous excuse I’ve ever heard tbqh. Female directors are just as capable to direct action/fantasy. It’s a question of opportunity, which male directors (white male directors let’s be honest) never lack.

      You can look to the latest trend in movies, where male directors are given franchises after directing one tiny independent movie, whereas female directors don’t get the same opportunity even if their tiny movie was better received. It’s the same in TV, especially big budget shows like this one, which is basically like a collection of mini-movies in terms of scope.

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    37. Reportedly, Benioff and Weiss have a 140-page outline for Season 8 already. https://twitter.com/joan_e/status/841029845610041344

      So be it digital or physical, there’s a chance that the much-anticipated and fervently debated final act of this great series has been committed to the page at long last! That document is going to be highly sought after. Keep it under lock and key, gentlemen. The world eagerly awaits!

      (Also, start the clock until some attention-seeker turns up on Reddit claiming to have gotten their hands on it).

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    38. SerNoName,

      The bigger named cast members (kit, Emilia, peter, NWC) actually are busy filming other projects. Sophie took a day off from following her boyfriend around the world and Maisie may have just finished filming her movie. They are the only ones available to do it. This was a waste of a panel. It sucked.

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    39. Jared,

      They should keep it in an ancient computer with no internet and a floppy disk just like the one GRRM uses to “write”.

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    40. Mel:
      I understand GRRM not writing any of the last episodes but I imagine they will speak to him about everything, so perhaps more if a collaboration over the phone or skype.

      Well he did walk them through years ago the ideas he had for the ending. But it sounds like they didn’t talk to him about anything for season 7. He did a Mexico appearance in November and was asked question about season 7 and said “your guess is as good as mine, that’s a question for David Benioff and Dan Weiss.” Certainly makes it seem like he’s totally in the dark himself now with the adaptation. He used to get the outlines but that kind of response makes it seem he didn’t get any this year. I don’t see any evidence the relationship is strained or anything. But who knows.

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    41. orange: Well he did walk them through years ago the ideas he had for the ending. But it sounds like they didn’t talk to him about anything for season 7. He did a Mexico appearance in November and was asked question about season 7 and said “your guess is as good as mine, that’s a question for David Benioff and Dan Weiss.” Certainly makes it seem like he’s totally in the dark himself now with the adaptation. He used to get the outlines but that kind of response makes it seem he didn’t get any this year. I don’t see any evidence the relationship is strained or anything. But who knows.

      http://grrm.livejournal.com/525398.html

      GRRM is just as excited about Season 7 as everyone else.

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    42. orange,

      That’s the opposite of what Liam Cunningham aka Davos said the last time he was on the red carpet. He said that while D&D have more creative freedom this season that George has been in discussions with both D&D and Liam about the characters and the relationships needed to go forward and develop. So I think character wise GRRM is still a big voice in their decisions but other events, possibly battles, murders etc D&D can create themeselves.

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    43. Ryan Neuner:
      Wow, I’m surprised they’re telling us the Season 8 writing line-up when we don’t even know Season 7’s. Sweet!

      Oh wow I didn’t notice this.

      I’m sure D&D will be writing the final two episodes this season as usual though. Maybe also the premiere.

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    44. D&D must face the nerd wrath of the demanding dragon face to face. They must answer for their crimes against ASOIAF. What do they think, that they get to have fun at the serious institutions that are Comic Con and SXSW? What an insult! A new entry on the wiki is needed to update people on their continued avoidance of the tough questions!

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    45. Well, since we have it from highly placed (though not at all credible) sources that Obama has been wiretapping Trump’s phone, I suppose we must also conclude that Biden is there as Obama’s secret courier for his contraband early copies of the GoT season to come. I think it’s a bit early to expect even a rough edit, even for a former president. But Joe has been known to be somewhat of an impulsive guy (at least by former White House standards — that bar has been lowered considerably since January!).

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    46. Over a year between the Season 6 finale and the Season 7 premiere. Wonder how long we’ll have to wait for the final six episodes. I could see a Winter 2018 premeire for Season 8.

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    47. Ravyn: I wouldn’t be surprised if she actually let a big spoiler out this time, especially if the panel reaction was…awkward.

      They give away too much with these. Remember how B&W totally gave away Jon warging into Ghost at Oxford????

      Sorry, couldn’t resist. Would you care for salt on that wound?

      😀

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    48. Matthew The Dragon knight: Does it really matter at this point ?
      the only other writer I would have wanted was GRRM himself, sadly he’s working on the book.

      Sadly? I am quite happy that he is working on the book(s)! Let’s try to be positive. After Seasons 7 and 8, we will probably have at least 5 more years to wait for GRRM’s road to the ending and an eternity to debate which version was better!

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    49. Flayed Potatoes: They should keep it in an ancient computer with no internet and a floppy disk just like the one GRRM uses to “write”.

      And a simple spell check file with the words:
      “All”
      “work”
      “and”
      “no”
      “play”
      “makes”
      “George”
      “a”
      “dull”
      “boy”

      OK, I’ll stop now. Well, soon.

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    50. Firannion:
      Well, since we have it from highly placed (though not at all credible) sources that Obama has been wiretapping Trump’s phone, I suppose we must also conclude that Biden is there as Obama’s secret courier for his contraband early copies of the GoT season to come.

      Putin only knows…..

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    51. I must say, one thing that I do find both funny and depressing is how often fans of any franchise ask writers and show runners questions that anybody with any common sense should realize: they cannot answer! I mean, it would be like asking a general what the battle plans are before the invasion begins (albeit not quite with the same ramifications).

      It would be much more interesting to read answers about the thought processes behind different storylines, scenes, performances, etc. After all, they make the show (or films or write the books): don’t ask them trivia about upcoming plot lines that they cannot answer, but ask them about what they’ve done and why they opted to do that.

      One thing that I have noticed is when they do get those sorts of questions, they tend to answer very enthusiastically and provide a bit of information.

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    52. Pretty sure I’m not the first to suggest that the spin-off could be just Maisie and Sophie hanging out together. (Plus the Bidens as their hippie pot-growing neighbors.)

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    53. Wimsey:
      The Dragon Demands,

      Best. Post.Ever.

      Seriously, I love Futurama.Sadly, I don’t think that they ever got around to any Game of Thrones jokes!

      Actually, they did. In the last two reboot seasons. Fry’s electric razor gets animated by Bender’s disembodied mind and attacks him, cutting off his hair, and he shouts “But I need my hair to stay warm! Winter is coming!”

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    54. KrakenBowl:
      HBO has a tremendous reputation as a progressive network — probably the most progressive network in the history of TV.

      HBO has a reputation as a network with a lot of quality shows. As a “progressive” network? Not really. They’ve primarily made their reputation on white male antihero shows; they’re not known for hiring female/minority showrunners or anything, either, though there’s been some progress in that regard of late.

      I trust them and there is no doubt in my mind they make every attempt possible to give women and minorities opportunities.

      I’m not really taking sides on whether the show should have more female directors/writers, but a show that “made every attempt possible to give women and minorities opportunities” would not have gone several seasons without a female writer or director, and never have hired a minority writer or director.

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    55. The Dragon Demands: “But I need my hair to stay warm! Winter is coming!”

      Ah! I had forgotten that! Of course, “Winter is coming” jokes have been penny a dozen for the last 5 years.

      Sniff. I want to be Bender when I grow up. Er, when I hit my second, um, OK, third childhood. Damn, honesty sucks.

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    56. Sean C.: HBO has a reputation as a network with a lot of quality shows.As a “progressive” network?Not really.They’ve primarily made their reputation on white male antihero shows; they’re not known for hiring female/minority showrunners or anything, either, though there’s been some progress in that regard of late.

      I’m not really taking sides on whether the show should have more female directors/writers, but a show that “made every attempt possible to give women and minorities opportunities” would not have gone several seasons without a female writer or director, and never have hired a minority writer or director.

      ….we have lists of production crew, but from their names alone I can’t tell if they’re racial minorities or something. Bernadette Caulfield is a woman and she’s one of their core set producers, Debbie Reynolds is the set designer, Clapton is in costumes, etc…..they do have Annette H, she’s one of their longtime DoP’s……

      ….but yeah, I don’t know as much about the other crewmembers so someone would have to check before we make that an issue.

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    57. I never expected GRRm to write an episode

      I never expected any female writers to be included.. This was a lost cause after 7 seasons the damage is already done ..

      What I thought was we wouldn’t have cogman or Dave hill write an episode… Now I have to dread the second episode that cogman is writing

      Speaking of dreading do we know the writers list for season 7

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    58. KrakenBowl,

      As I noted in my comment, they have made progress lately, since you list some of their more recent programs. Historically, no, as I said, they made their name with shows about white male anti-heroes.

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    59. Mel,

      Tyrion has the best line in S7..Is it going to be along the lines of the much meme’d “I drink and I know things” I wonder.

      For me, the only interesting thing was that they included a question about a WW dragon. That’s curious.

      And no Sansa isn’t dying. Sophie already let that slip. She is just wearing a wig this time like the other actresses, probably because she did not have much filming to do this time and it was not worth dying for just a few weeks of filming.

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    60. Jerry,

      Sophie Turner is a natural blonde. She either dyed her hair red or shes been wearing a wig the whole series…..but I too believe shes getting wacked this coming season….by littlefinger

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    61. Flayed Potatoes,

      Dave Hill and Bryan Cogman are the only confirmed writers for S7 besides D&D, so they are either splitting all the episodes between each other or they just haven’t announced other writers yet.

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    62. Jack Bauer 24,
      So? Season 6 was a strong season for females, many having a strong incidence on the outcome of events: Sansa in the BoB; Cersei almost erasing a major House and the Faith Millitant; Meera killing a WW; Daeny securing the a huge army, dealing with the slave masters, striking an agreement with Yara and finally heading towards Westeros; the Sand Snakes and Ellaria Sand seizing power in Dorne; Lyanna Mormont calling all the Northern lords into backing the new King in the North; Arya getting rid of the Waif, heading back home and eliminating one of the names on her list; Brienne fulfilling part of her oath to Catelyn…. Heck! Even Gilly stood up in front of none other than Randyll Tarly!

      Do I think women should have more opportunities in writing, directing and so many other fields? Of course.

      Do I think GoT should try in the final 13 episodes to experiment with any new writer, male or female? Nope…

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    63. Sansa didn’t *do* anything in the Battle of the Bastards.

      To the point that *mainstream entertainment outlets* ran review articles questioning, “Why doesn’t Sansa just tell Jon about the Vale army?”

      …..what did Sansa even do besides kill a man already defeated and tied to a chair? Call Littlefinger for help he already freely offered?

      What are you saying? “Of course Sansa had a plan, it was to go along with Littlefinger’s plan!”

      …..why are you praising Benioff & Weiss for including Yara Greyjoy’s Kingsmoot? That’s from the books, it’s something they *should* have done anyway. What are you, *thanking* them for going one season without a scene degrading women? Because from the spy photos from Season 7….(grins bitterly)…

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    64. a dragon white walker

      Did they mean an ice dragon breathing frost, or a reanimated fire dragon wight breathing

      blue farts

      ?

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    65. Wow awesome news…

      And as I said before it would be the a corporate crime not for HBO to try to keep the GoT viewership in place for a spin-off.

      We will be here 2 years from now on Sunday night watching some GoT spinoff in the spring of 2019 for sure.

      That thought makes me very happy!

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    66. Sean C.: While that’s technically true that they could increase the average episode length, I’d say that’s unlikely. The writers have been keen to shrink the number of episodes; if you increase the amount of time the episodes run in compensate, you aren’t really reducing the overall amount of story you’re working with, which defeats the purpose.

      What exactly does that mean? If you have more time can tell more story.

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    67. Boojam: Sean C.: While that’s technically true that they could increase the average episode length, I’d say that’s unlikely. The writers have been keen to shrink the number of episodes; if you increase the amount of time the episodes run in compensate, you aren’t really reducing the overall amount of story you’re working with, which defeats the purpose.

      What exactly does that mean? If you have more time can tell more story.

      Well that didn’t work, my edit got lost.
      Long ago show runners said they shoot for 540* min. a season, is that still the case? That would mean season 7 would have 77 min. episodes and season 8 90 min. episodes.

      *Never worked out quite like that, then it was never explained why 540 min. , that a budget constraint? Later seasons that should not have been a problem.

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    68. Sean C.,
      Ha ha ha ! That is how I (mis)understood it initially ! “What the hell is Joe Biden going to do on Game of Thrones ?”

      Well, overall, not much new stuff, as per usual with these sorts of events. Still, it seems like everyone had a good time and that’s what matters ! 😉

      The Dragon Demands,
      To be fair, what do characters ever do on Game of Thrones generally ?

      Lady Olenna is, by and large, usually considered a “player” yet her two main accomplishments so far have been to a) thwart Littlefinger’s plan to take Sansa out of King’s Landing (something she did because Varys told her to); and b) kill Joffrey (thanks to Baelish’s planning, timing and ressources)…
      Same thing for Margaery, also commonly portrayed as a “playah” : she did everything her granny told her to and, as a prisoner, lied to her captors about her allegiance to them (basically, a repeat of Season 2 Sansa’s storyline).
      We can go through the entire list of characters and reach the same conclusion every single time. Seven hells, even for Tywin ! Aside from Castamere and the Red Wedding (two brutal massacres), what did he do ? Fail to notice that his eldest children were compromised up the wazoo ? Embitter his politically astute youngest ? Continue to foot the bill for the ever-more dispendious Crown (at Littlefinger’s behest !) even though his mines had dried up, thereby setting the stage for the eventual bankrupcy of his House ? Give the man a cookie ! 🙂

      “Players” in the game of thrones, be it in the books or on the show, hardly ever display Machiavellian levels of cunning. Not that it is in any way, shape or form surprising or disappointing : the historical figures and events George RR Martin draws most of his inspiration from were not that politically complex. The baseline for most of Europen medieval/early modern nobility politics was mostly a variation on the theme of basic double-crossing, political unions (in the form of marriage) and backstabbing… Marry, murder, marry, murder, marry, murder, etc. Repeated ad nauseam.

      The real plotting, the genuine displays of political brilliance were rarely found among the nobility but among the “underclasses” (from the proto-bourgeoisie to the labourers). It was in those strata that the institutional and social landscape was fluid, complex and multi-dimensional enough to sustain rich, longterm schemes. It is also in those strata that people actually needed to be smart to survive and thrive… Enter Varys and Littlefinger, a former slave and a merchant, the only two real players in the game !

      Beaumarchais’s Figaro said it best :

      Just because you are a great nobleman, you think you are a great genius—Nobility, fortune, rank, position! How proud they make a man feel! What have you done to deserve such advantages? Put yourself to the trouble of being born—nothing more. For the rest—a very ordinary man! Whereas I, lost among the obscure crowd, have had to deploy more knowledge, more calculation and skill merely to survive than has sufficed to rule all the provinces of Spain for a century!

      😉

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    69. This is awesome stuff!!

      I don’t know what people were expecting? Its way to early for a trailer, we usually get a few teasers but we just got one…

      Umm you want them to tell you what happens in season 7?

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    70. Wimsey,

      As a Jack Nicholson fan I’m weeping while realizing that he can’t be the one destroying GRRM’s (one hopes luxurious) bathroom door.

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    71. I applaud these two guys. The 8th episode is exactly six episodes, exactly like they’ve been saying for over a year. Nobody likes it, but nobody can accuse D&D of not having a plan. How many times has a showed stayed on the air too long? Breaking Bad was only on for 5 season and I loved every single episode. The only show that I’ve ever liked more is the one we’re talking about right now and it’s gone 8 seasons. Pretty freaking amazing, and I’m still spending way too much time checking this site for info – this late in the game. Good work guys in creating the best show ever made. I’m as mad an anyone that it’s ending, but it’s been awesome. HBO had better be very careful creating a spin-off show without these two, but based on their track record I’m sure I’ll be watching it.

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    72. Well I was going to comment but after reading too many of The Demanding Diva Dragons inane drivel all I want to do is be able to block certain users’ comments so I don’t have to subject myself to unnecessary hand wringing, chest beating and being contrary just for the sake of being contrary. .

      I also think at this point GoT should put their middle fingers up and go Beyoncé, not do any press or promo at all before dropping the season, given that many people are literally never ever going to be satisfied with anything they get, ever, when it comes to Thrones.

      TL;DR: Lots of ungrateful brats in the GoT fandom.

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    73. GOT has gone out of the way to have strong females and to strengthen Sansa because of feminist attacks and it will never end as we hear more complaints from some here

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    74. Equal opportunity is of the utmost importance, but that’s a completely different thing than hiring a woman just for the sake of hiring a woman. It’s just as sexist as hiring a man for the sake of hiring a man.

      Considering the fact that some posters around here call out D&D on a regular basis for being misogynistic and hating on disabled people, it’s a wonder that they still support the show at all. Make up your mind. If D&D are that horrible in your eyes then you shouldn’t be supporting what they do.

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    75. Irina Stark,
      Depending on whether the WWs are fans that could be the make or break moment of the whole show. Either “We’re you’re biggest fans, we’ll do anything for you Ed, including making peace with the humans”. Cue WWs swaying to music and rather recklessly waving lighters around. Or “If that guy sings one more note we will kill every living thing in Westeros”. The Night King looks to me like he’s into really noisy stuff, tbh. I doubt he’s a big ballads fan.

      Lyanna_Targaryen,
      I misread your comment as they should get Beyoncé in the show and am now imagining not Ed Sheeran in the background fitting in, but her turning up in full-on huge superstar diva mode and being as out of place as is physically possible. She is the altogether more fabulous and certainly more popular (I’m paraphrasing here) queen Maggy warned Cersei about! 😀

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    76. Lyanna_Targaryen,

      Could not agree more. Whilst the articles themselves are as excellent as usual, the comments sections are bordering on unreadable these days, and I can only hope that people go back to making interesting and erudite comments by the time Season 7 starts. The incessant whingeing and moaning from a large minority here at the moment is very tiring.

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    77. Lyanna_Targaryen,

      I wish there was a Like button for comments such as yours. Too often, I also find myself wishing for a block feature to filter out certain tiresome players who scatterbomb otherwise cordial, productive, and informative discussions (which, fortunately, still constitute the overwhelming majority of discussions here) with single-minded, self-aggrandizing nonsense. I’d been attempting to stay silent and ignore it in the hopes that it would die down of its own accord, but when it dragged on, you stepped in and cut through the BS precisely and concisely. Well said!

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    78. What a let down.

      Other than the season 8 info most of it I’d heard years ago from DVD commentary and other sources..

      I guess after the major plot leak,and how much of what we’ve seen from you guys and winter is coming seems it may be pretty accurate. That would make sense for why they wanted a very controlled panel and why they’d be so tight lipped. But a some new anecdotes and juicy behind the scenes info that we didn’t know already wouldn’t have hurt.

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    79. I keep getting this visual of the Comic Book Guy in ‘The Simpsons’ attending SXSW during the GoT Q&A saying “worst Q&A ever” and then waddling off to the nearest chair to type out his frustration on the internet over the lack of spoiled information.

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    80. JJ: wishing for a block feature to filter out certain tiresome players who scatterbomb otherwise cordial, productive, and informative discussions (which, fortunately, still constitute the overwhelming majority of discussions here) with single-minded, self-aggrandizing

      List “strong” things Sansa did that made her “a player”.

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    81. Lyanna_Targaryen,
      In a very concise way, you described the unfortunate downsides of any fandom : ownership and territoriality. The love for the fandom’s object is so strong that it is often attached to a proprietary feeling and if anyone (including content creators) “messes with it”, the reaction is usually passionate and contentious…
      Unfortunate but somewhat unavoidable, I am afraid.

      Lulus Mum,
      Ha ha ha ! I would put my money on the Night King enjoying a good, tragic love song. After all, he is a man whose life was wrecked when a mysterious “woman” literally broke (well stabbed, technically) his heart… There is tremendous emotional turmoil behind those neon blue eyes and death glare. Me thinks he listens to a lot of power ballads 😉

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    82. D&D write great cliff hangers at the end of each outstanding Game of Thrones episode… so I want to see at least 12 and maybe 13 jaw dropping cliff hangers at the end of every remaining episode of Game of Thrones.

      I say 13 because I wonder how the final episode will end.

      Will the Game of Thrones story end or will there be a cliffhanger and then a Game of Thrones feature film? Someone should ask D&D this question.

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    83. Lulus Mum,
      Ha ha ha ! I would put my money on the Night King enjoying a good, tragic love song. After all, he is a man whose life was wrecked when a mysterious “woman” literally broke (well stabbed, technically) his heart… There is tremendous emotional turmoil behind those neon blue eyes and death glare. Me thinks he listens to a lot of power ballads ?

      That, or death metal!

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    84. firstone:
      D&D write great cliff hangers at the end of each outstanding Game of Thrones episode… so I want to see at least 12 and maybe 13 jaw dropping cliff hangers at the end of every remaining episode of Game of Thrones.

      I say 13 because I wonder how the final episode will end.

      Will the Game of Thrones story end or will there be a cliffhanger and then a Game of Thrones feature film? Someone should ask D&D this question.

      firstone,

      Not sure what D&D would say, but personally, no thanks on making GoT into a feature film. There is just no need. I don’t see how putting GoT into theaters (if that’s what you mean) would make the experience any better. I would actually argue it would make it much much worse.

      Right now, I can watch GoT in the comfort of my own home with my wife and we can control the atmosphere and how to watch it. However, going to a theater would bring a completely different scene. You’d have to put up with people making noise, cell phones, purchasing a ticket, driving to the theater, finding a place to park, and half the audience would probably be casual fans that wouldn’t know what the hell is going on.

      Basically, thanks but no thanks :-). However, a 2 hour finale on HBO would be perfect to me.

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    85. Acme: Lulus Mum,
      Ha ha ha ! I would put my money on the Night King enjoying a good, tragic love song. After all, he is a man whose life was wrecked when a mysterious “woman” literally broke (well stabbed, technically) his heart… There is tremendous emotional turmoil behind those neon blue eyes and death glare. Me thinks he listens to a lot of power ballads

      Very funny!! 😀

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    86. Jack Bauer 24: Other tv shows panels had media hosts, so it is curious. I am surprised they included the dragon white walker question though.

      Ya that is odd, I don’t know they wrote all the questions. But they had to give the hard core fans something.. Lol

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    87. Mr Derp,
      Excellent find ! When fandom becomes part of one’s identity, the goings get tough. In the immortal words of Neil Gaiman : “George RR Martin is not your b*tch” and I would assume it applies to all creators 🙂

      Lonely Cat,
      As long as it talks about heartbreak 😉

      A Dornish Tyrell,
      Very kind of you to say, dearest Dornish Tyrell ! Long time, no see; how are you, dear friend ?

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    88. Can you imagine how bad the leaks will get once season 8 commences filming? Seven hells! I’m gonna have to stay away from this site once the scripts for season 8 are written. I don’t mind certain spoilers here and there, but I really don’t want to know the ending before it airs.

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    89. The Dragon Demands,

      A character doesn’t have to be a player to be strong. Sansa survived both Joffrey Baratheon and Ramsay Bolton. I sure as hell could not have done that without losing my sanity.

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    90. Mr Derp,

      Mr Derp:
      Can you imagine how bad the leaks will get once season 8 commences filming?Seven hells!I’m gonna have to stay away from this site once the scripts for season 8 are written.I don’t mind certain spoilers here and there, but I really don’t want to know the ending before it airs.

      We may not have to wait that long?

      Word that a 140-page treatment outlining season 8 exists will send spoiler hunters in search of the trail of potential leakers…LOL No doubt sometime soon we’ll get a Reddit post claiming to detail the content of said treatment…

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    91. Mr Derp: There is just no need. I don’t see how putting GoT into theaters (if that’s what you mean) would make the experience any better. I would actually argue it would make it much much worse.

      Right now, I can watch GoT in the comfort of my own home with my wife and we can control the atmosphere and how to watch it. However, going to a theater would bring a completely different scene. You’d have to put up with people making noise, cell phones, purchasing a ticket, driving to the theater, finding a place to park, and half the audience would probably be casual fans that wouldn’t know what the hell is going on.

      Not everyone prefers to watch something in a “man cave” media room. For me, “going to the movies” is an event, an outing. It’s precisely the conviviality of the cinema atmosphere, the contagious laughter, groans, gasps and tears that one shares with one’s fellow moviegoers that I miss in watching GoT on TV. In fact, that’s part of the reason why I rarely watch TV at all. If I’m going to be solitary, I’d much rather read a book.

      Yes, some people in movie theatres can be obnoxious, but going at a non-peak time when the seats aren’t filled elbow-to-elbow is usually enough to alleviate that. Maybe it’s just because I’m ancient enough to remember the plush, gilded picture-show palaces of the romantic pre-megaplex days, but going to the movies is still a “special” experience for me (even though I go every week, to write reviews as part of my newspaper gig, whether there’s a new release that I’m keen on seeing or not). I just loved seeing those two GoT episodes back-to-back in IMAX a couple of seasons ago, and I’d love a chance to do something like that again!

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    92. I hope they don’t put it in the theater. I think I’d rather rip my toenails off with the back of a hammer than have to watch the finale with other people where they wouldn’t’ shut up for more than 10 seconds at a time. Those group reaction videos on youtube, like the bar one for example, is exactly how it would be in a theater scenario. And I would personally find that horrific. No thank you.

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    93. The Dragon Demands,

      Sansa told Jon to take the chamber of the Lord of Winterfell and then showed a very strong suppot for his acclamation as the King in the North – despite of all her flaws in this case Sansa showed her as a mature and responsible person being able to suppress personal ambitions for the sake of the common cause.
      She also manipulated Littlefinger into telling about the “pretty picture” of him on the Iron Thron, and I expect it to have some rather important ramifications next season.
      Hence, although in S6 Sansa was still learning, she passed the exam in the Winds of Winter. At least, that’s how I read her story arch.

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    94. Acme,

      Hi Acme!! Long time no see indeed!! Glad to see you here!! It’s always a pleasure to read your posts. How have you been doing?

      I haven’t been coming here for a while in order to avoid further spoilers (I already spoiled myself a bit… plus I tend to be quite inconstant with this and other fandoms). But I’m looking forward to reading your insights and exchanging points of views with you again!! 🙂

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    95. Shy Lady Dragon: As a Jack Nicholson fan I’m weeping while realizing that he can’t be the one destroying GRRM’s (one hopes luxurious) bathroom door

      We would have read about it when the news coverage resulted in Jack getting an Oscar for best-performance-on-a-documentary.

      Inga: then showed a very strong suppot for his acclamation as the King in the North – despite of all her flaws in this case Sansa showed her as a mature and responsible person being able to suppress personal ambitions for the sake of the common cause.

      Possibly. I think that it’s very much up-in-the-air as to how Sansa feels about this. My bet is that she, herself, has very mixed feelings about it. On one hand, it is pretty plain that she has come to see herself as the heir to Winterfell: Ned’s legitimate sons are dead or lost. On the other hand, she seems to have gained a lot of esteem for Jon. But on the other other hand (which is good for the insect contingent of the fandom), Jon is a bastard.

      Similarly, her feelings towards Littlefinger very clearly are a jumble, too. Part of her hates him, part of her admires him.

      The big question is that would probably tell us much of what would happen is: what is the common dilemma for the protagonists this year? Sansa will be torn about some general thing in the same way that Jon, Daeny, etc., are. Littlefinger probably will be key in this. Jon might be: but how much time will Jon spend around her? Arya might be, too: but will Arya get to where Sansa is? Bran might be, too: if he returns to Winterfell.

      One possibility is that with the main characters apparently converging, the primary protagonists will start being foils for one another’s personal contradictions. If so, then LF will be less important because he’s not a protagonist.

      This is is what is really different now. In the past, we knew what the story was because the book already had been published. We didn’t know how they would adapt things, but we knew what they were trying to adapt. Even last year, we had good hints from the end of the last book and Season 5 as to what the story was going to be. I feel much (much!) more in the dark this year.

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    96. KrakenBowl: Now I will get no credit for these posts because no one realizes this is LDB.

      There is credit for posts? Why didn’t anybody ever tell me that?!?!? I’ll bet they are worth as much as Weimar Republic Marks!

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    97. Acme,

      To: Acme; Lulu’s Mom –

      Thank you for the laughs! The thought of the Night King’s story as that of a bitter, scorned man out for vengeance was just brilliant. ☺️ Now I can see why he was so hellbent on getting into the treehouse where that heartless woman was shacking up with another guy, so he could massacre everyone inside.

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    98. Wimsey,

      Credit? He also wants compensation, recognition, and invitations to write articles too. (He was banned for a particularly offensive post that was justifiably zapped, but is now circumventing the ban by using a new screen name.) His self-aggrandizing and self-congratulatory comments about his “tremendous” contributions have been so over the top I thought someone else was posing as him to get him riled up.

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    99. A Dornish Tyrell,
      I tend not to mind the spoilers but I completely understand why someone would want to avoid them. I stayed away from the site a bit because work obligations left me very little free time these past few months but, now that I have regained some freedom, I am back to produce overly long posts ! ^^

      I, too, am delighted to see you again and more than anxious to read your takes on what is coming 😉

      Wimsey,
      Jon being a bastard may not be much of a problem in and by itself considering the Northern lords have, for all intents and purposes, legitimised him. That is how I am tempted to interpret Lyanna’s line : “I don’t care if he’s a bastard. Ned Stark’s blood runs through his veins”.
      Sansa, regardless of what her personal feelings may or may not be, would most certainly acknowledge that an unofficially legitimised Jon should indeed, as Ned Stark’s eldest surviving child, be the rightful heir to the North and Winterfell.

      However, we now know (and so will the characters, ultimately) that Jon is not Ned’s son, legitimate or otherwise. He is not even technically a Stark (matrilinear succession is not a big thing in Westeros and, in Jon’s case, it would not necessarily help since Lyanna was younger than Ned and died before him). That may be a tad of an issue since it means that Sansa is Ned’s eldest surviving child and, as such, his real heir.
      Now, I know that Bran is still alive and will most probably remain so for a long while; however we must keep in mind the Cersei precedent.

      According to the traditional Westerosi rules of succession and accession to power, Jaime should have become king after the Lannister-orchestrated coup. He is, after all, the eldest surviving male member of the winning House. Nevertheless, Cersei chose to keep the throne for herself thereby implementing de facto absolute primogeniture since she is Jaime’s older sister (by a few minutes). “As goes the king (or queen), so goes the kingdom”…

      If absolute primogeniture is the new normal, Jon’s claim becomes quite questionable.

      Ten Bears,
      How many tens of thousands had to die because Leaf chose that man ? ^^
      The Night King needs a hug and some hot cocoa.

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    100. Wimsey,

      I can’t live without spoilers and I’ve red every single leak, so I don’t want to spoil you accidentally specuallating about Sansa’s future. But as for the end of S6 I see her situation as follows:
      Yes, she sees herself as the heiress of Winterfell and as the head of the family, cause she is the oldest. In Ep 4 she sais that she wants Winterfell not only for herself but also for her siblings, wherever they are, so she takes RESPONSIBILITY for her house. But Sansa also understands her limitations: she knows nothing about battles, so, she puts Jon into front-and-centre position. Then they have some “dissagrements-along the process” but, when Sansa finally sees Jon emerging over the pile of bodies and going in pursuit of Ramsay, she undersands that she made a right choice. Then Jon takes Winterfell, beats Ramsay, and put him in to a kennel (yes, I think it was his doing, not Sansa’s, but you can dissagree). Anyway he allows her to go and watch Ramsay being eaten by the dogs, which shows that he sees her as a grown-up woman capable of making decisions and dealing with their consequences. Sansa is pretty much OK with that. Then she gets a raven with the message that “Winter is here” and she’s quite aware of what comes with it (Jon talked about the WW, when they were having a planning meeting in the “The Book of the Stranger” and we can safely assume that he told more in private). Hence, although before Sansa was too concentrated on Ramsay to pay attention to the bigger picture, now she realizes that in this situation the North needs a capable commander and someone who knows the enemy too. So, she goes to Jon who is shattered by Melissandre’s confession and encourages him to take the Lord’s Chamber. Then she goes to the Godswood: yes, she has just made a sacrifice and that hurts but her decision remains unchanged even after Littlefinger tries to seduce her with his pretty picture. And then, during the meeting of the Northern lords, she sits next to Jon demonstrating her full support and starts smiling, when Lyanna Mormont says “I don’t care, if he’s a bastard”. That smile looks a bit sad, but there is no inner conflict: Sansa knows that, athough it hurts, she has done the right thing.
      As for the future: sure, a conflict may sparcle, if Jon does something what Sansa disapproves or misunderstands. But if Sansa goes againgst Jon in some way, that won’t be out of power hunger or ambition, but rather out of tremendous RESPONSIBILITY that lies on both of them.

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    101. Acme: Sansa, regardless of what her personal feelings may or may not be, would most certainly acknowledge that an unofficially legitimised Jon should indeed, as Ned Stark’s eldest surviving child, be the rightful heir to the North and Winterfell.

      The issue, though, will be Sansa’s feelings. And if her feelings and thoughts run contrary to each other, well, so much the better: that’s often the heart of these stories.

      Looking towards the end-game, we should be getting a story in which the dilemmas arise from:
      1) Which individuals will be (or get stuck) ruling;
      2) The truth around Jon’s parents;
      3) The truth about why Rhaegar did what he did (which sort of goes with 2)
      4) The truth about the White Walkers (known only to Bran right now);
      5) Possibly the truth about R’hllor.
      The question we should be asking is: what story can you get out of this recipe? We can see some of the dilemmas that the Walkers will pose for both Jon and Daeny, who have serious “saving people” complexes and who both naturally empathize with the oppressed. The latter is a big point for Tyrion and Arya, too. The “why” of Jon is going to greatly affect not just Jon, but also Daeny.

      Somewhere, there is going to be some commonality: and my bet is that whatever Sansa’s particularly dilemma is concerning who rules Winterfell, it will be described by that commonality.

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    102. Ravyn:
      Maisie’s known for being a bit of a troll, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she actually let a big spoiler out this time, especially if the panel reaction was…awkward.

      The whole panel could be trolling the fans. They’re all liars.

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    103. Inga:
      Hence, although before Sansa was too concentrated on Ramsay to pay attention to the bigger picture, now she realizes that in this situation the North needs a capable commander and someone who knows the enemy too.

      I do agree with a lot of what you wrote (even though I struggle to see why wanting power is in and by itself such a bad thing… It all depends on what one intends to do with it, I would assume 🙂 ), the above quote highlights my main concern but also hope for the new season, namely that both Sansa and Jon (and, quite frankly, everyone else as well) are woefully unprepared for what is coming at them.

      Is Jon a capable commander ? Well he does try to be, I would say. So far, we have seen him take full and sole command of two battles (Hardhome and the BotB) and both were pretty disastrous. The first ended in a massacre (as well as a great recruitment tool for the Night King) and the second, at the beginning of which Jon abandoned his position (and role) as general, came dangerously close to a repeat of the previous one until the Knights of the Vale showed up. As for his time as Lord Commander… While he was absolutely right about his decision to let the Free Folk come south of the Wall, he failed to convince his men of the righteousness of his decision and paid the price for it, something he was immediately and painfully aware of the very moment he came back from the dead.
      Does Jon know the enemy ? He most certainly was the first non-Free Folk to understand the extreme dangerosity of what was creeping beyond the wall and, for that, he deserves immense kudos. As far as “knowing” the White Walkers goes… He does. To a certain extent. He knows as much as is knowable without a) going to the Citadel and b) being a psychic treehugger (sorry Bran ! ^^); and that is, unfortunately, not much as of now. He knows the White Walkers can reawaken the dead; he knows they can be killed with obsidian and Valyrian steel (ergo possibly dragon fire)… And that’s about it. I doubt he, or anyone in his current position, could possibly device a plan to defeat the tsunami of undead knocking on Westeros’s door.

      I have absolutely no doubt that Jon will lead, alongside his aunt, the humans in their battle against the Others. This is where his storyline has been going since page one; his arc is entirely focused on him learning to become a leader, accepting the sacrifices and struggles that go with such a task, capitalising on his natural leadership skills and acquiring experience (through failures) to curb his less practical tendencies. Seven hells, he is even an excellent contender for Azor Ahai-status !

      However, as of 6.10, Jon is not there yet. He is on his way, no doubt, but he is not done. He is not quite a capable commander (yet) and he does not know the enemy (enough to have any meaningful strategy). And it is precisely because he is unprepared, just as unprepared as his sister/cousin, that interesting, fruitful conflict can arise between them.

      Wimsey,
      I agree wholeheartedly.
      I do not for a second deny that Sansa’s feelings, as well as the contradictions between said feelings and thoughts, are at the very centre of her story arc and connected to the overall themes and narratives structures of the tale.

      I was merely pointing out that, were Jon truly Ned’s son, Sansa’s desires / wishes / self-perception in relation to her “brother” and power would have little to no opportunity to materialise in any identifiable way. As it happens, Jon is not technically Ned’s heir and the general “legal” context of Westeros is such that a woman ruling in her own right is now part of the political and institutional repertoire. This should allow Sansa’s inner conflict to be realised outside of the confines of her own mind.

      Wimsey:
      Jon and Daeny, who have serious “saving people” complexes and who both naturally empathize with the oppressed.

      I do apologise for it is a bit of an aside but, without any trace of sarcasm or my tongue anywhere near my cheek, this is something I have always found profoundly moving (and a tad funny) about Jon and Daenerys : how much they care about / identify with the oppressed and how much they tend to miss the mark completely in regards to them.

      From Daenerys’s delusional interaction with Mirri Maz Duur (“I spoke for you. I saved you” / “So… tell me again exactly what it was that you saved?”) to Jon’s initial self-righteousness at Castle Black (“They hate me because I’m better than they are”); from the Queen’s shock at the former slaves’ reaction to Mossador’s execution to the King’s unchecked privilege with Melisandre (“you had a family, you had feasts”), etc. They both feel like underdogs, and to a certain extent they are, however they always show their limitations when dealing with / about real, 100% oppressed people.

      This clumsiness is touching, me thinks.

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    104. Acme,

      The thing is though, they could always separate King In The North and Lord Of Winterfell. They can have two if they want KITN doesn’t even necessarily have to be a Stark, there is no lineage for it so even if Jon’s parentage comes out it doesn’t mean he’d be stripped of his title. The problem would be if Bran comes back who would be in charge of Winterfell the eldest son or the eldest daughter of Ned.

        Quote  Reply

    105. Young Dragon:
      The Dragon Demands,

      A character doesn’t have to be a player to be strong. Sansa survived both Joffrey Baratheon and Ramsay Bolton. I sure as hell could not have done that without losing my sanity.

      We already saw Sansa being “resilient” when she was Joffrey’s prisoner. The accusation is “Sansa didn’t actively do anything to influence events in Season 6″….and all you can fall back on is admitting that she at most just “survived” and was resilient while Jon and Littelfinger actually influenced events.

      Benioff and Weiss keep saying, word for word, “Sansa has gone from pawn to player”.

      You’re trying to say she’s “strong” (resilient) while admitting that she’s not “a player”. Political player.

      So you yourself are admitting that Benioff and Weiss are lying or delusional.

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    106. Mel,
      I may be completely wrong here but I believe “King in the North” (like “King of Winter”) is a title only Starks have held. It used to be the normal title for any Stark ruler before Aegon conquered the North and Torrhen Stark (the King who Knelt) bent the knee, thereby becoming Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North, the titles his descendants inherited after him.

      As for separating the titles of King in the North and Lord of Winterfell, it could work in theory but the King needs an official residence. I doubt Jon is going to go sleep somewhere else 🙂 So his HQ is going to be Winterfell and, as king, he has to be the lord of the castle he inhabits, therefore Lord of Winterfell.

      So I would be tempted to believe that King in the North = Lord of Winterfell = Stark.

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    107. Lulus Mum:
      Depending on whether the WWs are fans that could be the make or break moment of the whole show. Either “We’re you’re biggest fans, we’ll do anything for you Ed, including making peace with the humans”. Cue WWs swaying to music and rather recklessly waving lighters around. Or “If that guy sings one more note we will kill every living thing in Westeros”. The Night King looks to me like he’s into really noisy stuff, tbh. I doubt he’s a big ballads fan.

      I look forward to both these scenes. They speak volumes to the power and risk of being a musician.

        Quote  Reply

    108. A Dornish Tyrell: Very funny!!

      Lonely Cat,

      Lonely Cat:
      Lulus Mum,
      Ha ha ha ! I would put my money on the Night King enjoying a good, tragic love song. After all, he is a man whose life was wrecked when a mysterious “woman” literally broke (well stabbed, technically) his heart… There is tremendous emotional turmoil behind those neon blue eyes and death glare. Me thinks he listens to a lot of power ballads

      That, or death metal!

      Lonely Cat:
      Lulus Mum,
      Ha ha ha ! I would put my money on the Night King enjoying a good, tragic love song. After all, he is a man whose life was wrecked when a mysterious “woman” literally broke (well stabbed, technically) his heart… There is tremendous emotional turmoil behind those neon blue eyes and death glare. Me thinks he listens to a lot of power ballads

      That, or death metal!

      I’m picking Roxette’s “It Must Have Been Life (But It’s Over Now)” often rings out forlornly across the Lands of Always Winter.

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    109. The Dragon Demands,

      No, the argument was whether or not Sansa should be considered a strong character. I believe she is due to the reasons I’ve provided. The person you were quoting said nothing about her season 6 arc.

      The Dragon Demands:
      So you yourself are admitting that Benioff and Weiss are lying or delusional.

      Not at all. I’m saying that I disagree with their assessment of her character. I know you don’t like them, but your attempts to demonize every action they take is hurting your argument, not helping it. It makes you look bias and shows that you’re incapable of thinking rationally. They obviously tried to turn Sansa into a player in season 6, and to some people, they succeeded. I’m simply not one of those people, but I still find her to be a strong character. So, again, calling Sansa a player of the game was not a lie or a delusion. It was their honest analysis of her character and what they were going for in season 6.

        Quote  Reply

    110. Acme,

      Jon abandoned that “They hate me because I’m better than they are” (referring to Grenn, Pyp et al.) attitude pretty quickly and came to empathize with them once Tyrion told him their back stories. After that, they became his loyal friends. I think that was in S1E3.

      His prejudice against the Wildlings evaporated fairly quickly courtesy of Ygritte (“You think you’re better than me….I may be your prisoner, but I’m a free woman”).

      Jon’s evolution from self-entitled snob with a chip on his shoulder, to compasionate humanist looking at the big picture, has been one of the best aspects of GoT. Just because he’s “failed” now and again doesn’t detract from it. Or, as Bronn would say, “enhances it, really.”

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    111. Acme,

      To Acme; Lulu’s Mom (cont.)

      Acme wrote: “How many tens of thousands had to die because Leaf chose that man ? ^^
      The Night King needs a hug and some hot cocoa.”

      That’s hysterical! ☺️

      PS. I had been wondering what that poor guy was doing half-naked tied to a tree when we saw him in Bran’s tree-tripping into the distant past. Maybe Leaf enticed him with promises of fun and games, eg, “You’re gonna enjoy this. Just close your eyes. Trust me.”

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    112. PS. I had been wondering what that poor guy was doing half-naked tied to a tree when we saw him in Bran’s tree-tripping into the distant past. Maybe Leaf enticed him with promises of fun and games, eg,“You’re gonna enjoy this. Just close your eyes. Trust me.”

      I’m pretty sure they just overpowered him, stripped him and tied him to a tree.

        Quote  Reply

    113. Acme,

      Yes only Starks have held it but if you discount Jon than only one Stark has held it Robb. Starks were not King in the North previously that was only once the Lannister’s killed Robert and took Sansa and Ned prisoner once they broke away from the seven kingdoms. Before that they were Lord of Winterfell, Warden Of The North. So Jon’s parentage shouldn’t effect that. I’m not saying Jon should leave Winterfell only that while his dealing with ruling all the vast, scattered houses in the north the Stark heir of Winterfell deals with the house itself surroundings and common people aka lady or lord of Winterfell.

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    114. Noneofyourbusiness,

      A not insignificant percentage of men would say that if a pixie and her friends “overpowered him, stripped him, and tied him to a tree”, that would constitute fun and games. Not my cup of tea, but to each his own.

      PS: If you follow the thread back, you’ll see that Acme, Lulu’s Mom and I were joking about the poor Night King being the victim of romantic disappointment at the hands of a woman…

        Quote  Reply

    115. The Dragon Demands,

      Don’t you have something important to do,like kissing up to Lindaaaa or writing some more bullshit in your wiki articles,we don’t want to take away from your time doing those things . Also don’t pretend you haven’t talked shit about this site or its users countless times,some of us have twitter you know !

        Quote  Reply

    116. Firannion,

      For me, “going to the movies” is an event, an outing. It’s precisely the conviviality of the cinema atmosphere, the contagious laughter, groans, gasps and tears that one shares with one’s fellow moviegoers that I miss in watching GoT on TV

      .

      Wow, I didn’t think anyone but my DH felt that way (he’ll go to a movie he’s seen twice or more just to go the theatre. I have to be dragged by horses to do so generally) Glad to see he’s not alone among the dinosaurs! I get that feeling by going to a stage play so I do understand. Different strokes and all that.

        Quote  Reply

    117. ash:
      Firannion,

      .

      Wow, I didn’t think anyone but my DH felt that way (he’ll go to a movie he’s seen twice or more just to go the theatre.I have to be dragged by horses to do so generally)Glad to see he’s not alone among the dinosaurs! I get that feeling by going to a stage play so I do understand.Different strokes and all that.

      I typically agree that I like to watch my shows, especially GoT, in a secluded environment. I mean by myself, with my headphones on. But….I went to the IMAX Experience a couple years ago and it was AMAZING seeing Watchers on the Wall and The Children on the big screen. So I would prefer to watch the episodes first by myself, but welcome the chance to rewatch them in the theatre.

        Quote  Reply

    118. I can’t reply to everyone who joined in with the discussion about the Night King as it would be in moderation for about 117 years, but hello all *waves*.

      I think some of you have nailed it with him being the person he is due to straight forward heartache. I assume the WWs are a human/magic hybrid rather than a different type of creature altogether? So they still feel emotions, even if they try to bury them. I reckon NK is over compensating by being really aggressive and manly in public, where he listens to really loud death metal type stuff, while in private he has a good cry and sings along to cheesy ballads. We’ve sussed it people; the purpose of the WWs, the third WTF moment D&D talked about, the clues are all there! And from that I conclude the very final scene will be the aftermath of everything and something like the power of love by Frankie Goes To Hollywood playing while the survivors tearfully hug each other. High fives all round I think – hive minds at their finest 😀

        Quote  Reply

    119. Jon Snowed
      You are absolutely correct. The Starks were Kings in the North for millenia before the Targaryens conquered and united the kingdoms 300 years prior to the first book’s events, demoting most local monarchs (including the Starks) and turning them into Wardens of their respective regions.

      Mel,
      While I understand the desire not to see Jon go through any additional crisis, aside from the incoming Great War, I believe it may be a tad overly optimistic to imagine that the truth about his lineage would have so very little impact, be it on him or his environment. After all, him being revealed to be a Targaryen cannot possibly be all positive (his man-bunned self will get to ride a dragon and look awesome doing so) and no negative (he will get to remain King in the North and Stark heir, regardless).

      Jon’s parentage and the secrecy surrounding it is one of the overall story’s major plot points; it will have repercussions on every level of his life.

      On a political level, it will force the Northern lords to make a decision.
      For millenia, the North has been ruled by Starks-born-of-a-Stark-man (aside from the few Bolton years). Whether they called themselves Kings in the North or Wardens of the North was hardly relevant, what mattered was that they were Starks-born-of-a-Stark-man. Jon is not that.
      Will the North change its unofficial “Stark, all Stark, nothing but Stark” policy and allow a Targaryen to rule over them ? Will they accept Jon as a Stark still, thereby changing the definition of heredity and opening the door for matrilinear succession ? If they go for one of these options, it will be a paradigm shift for Northern politics, either by allowing the possibility for future non-Stark Northern rulers or by granting more political potential to female heirs in the North.
      The last option is, of course, for the tradition to be maintained and the King in the North title to be passed onto a Stark-born-of-a-Stark-man (there are still three of those) with Jon remaining in charge of the war effort, as a general or something akin to it.

      On a personal level, Jon will have to digest that :
      – Ned, the father he has always loved, admired and tried to emulate as the most honourable, decent fellow in Westeros, repeatedly and continuously lied to him and to all those who loved him for twenty years;
      – his real father publicly humiliated and ultimately abandoned his lawful and faithful wife to her fate (as well as their two children) so he could cavort with Lyanna;
      – his real mother abandoned her family, broke the promise her father had made and ran away with a married prince she had barely met (because he had lovely hair and could play the intro to Stairway to Heaven on the lute, I presume ?);
      – neither Lyanna nor Rhaegar intervened when the Mad King imprisoned first Brandon then Rickard and both lovebirds stayed in hiding while the country descended into chaos because of them (lute-playing is demanding, no time for pesky politics);
      – one of his grandfathers was an inbred freak who burnt his other grandfather alive, in front of the latter’s eldest son (Jon’s uncle);
      – his father’s entire endgame, as far as his relationship with Lyanna was concerned, may have been to fulfil a prophecy. Nothing more.
      That’s… a lot to take in, to say the least. And it is at the very centre of Jon’s storyline, at the very core of his identity.

      It will matter, both to him and to the world, I believe.

      Bufferzone, Lulus Mum, Ten Bears : We are all in agreement; the Night King is a shattered, lovesick shell of a man who desperately needs to read Chicken Soup for the Soul.

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    120. Acme: A Dornish Tyrell,
      I tend not to mind the spoilers but I completely understand why someone would want to avoid them. I stayed away from the site a bit because work obligations left me very little free time these past few months but, now that I have regained some freedom, I am back to produce overly long posts ! ^^

      I, too, am delighted to see you again and more than anxious to read your takes on what is coming

      Glad to know that you have now more spare time to produce your elaborated comments! I’ve been following your excange with Inga and Wimsey and I find it very interesting… Since you guys have more information than I do (because of the leaks), I feel any speculation I might make will sound stupid… therefore, for the moment I’ll be a silent spectator…

      Bufferzone: I’m picking Roxette’s “It Must Have Been Life (But It’s Over Now)” often rings out forlornly across the Lands of Always Winter.

      I was thinking Skorpion’s “The wind of change” for when the Night King is marching towards Winterfell… or is it too obvious? 😀

      Lulus Mum: And from that I conclude the very final scene will be the aftermath of everything and something like the power of love by Frankie Goes To Hollywood playing while the survivors tearfully hug each other.

      Hi!! *waves*… I’ll keep my candle ready for the finale.

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    121. A Dornish Tyrell,
      Hi oh distant(?) relative of Loras, Marg et all *waves back, alternating arms after one flew off when I waved a bit too enthusiastically at Nymeria Warrior Queen the other day*. Candles are ok for us fully human people – and useful if we’re somewhere cold like NK land – but the WWs better stick to using their phones with the torch switched on, just in case. I used to go to loads of gigs in the 80s and 90s and everyone swayed about with lighters. Virtually no-one had a mobile and they could only make phone calls anyway, certainly didn’t light up. Oooh the wonders of technological progress!

      I must apologise to you for not making it to that GoT exhibition I was aiming to get a load of photos from. Ended up having a bad cold that week and didn’t make it out of the house at all. I do have photoshop though so might be able to help with things you would like to see, rather than were necessarily there, or indeed exist 😀

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    122. Lulus Mum,

      I was going to go with “Crystal Blue Persuasion” by Tommy James & The Shondells to accompany the concluding Night King + Jon Snow hugs-and-kisses scene; or the alternative ending, in which all of mankind turns into White Walkers. *

      * Lyrics as I remember them:

      “Look over yonder,
      What do you see?
      The sun is a’rising, most definitely.
      A new day is calling,
      People are changing.
      Ain’t it beautiful,
      Crystal blue persuasion…”

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    123. Ten Bears,
      I don’t know that song but can completely imagine Jon and the Night King having the bromance of all time once they’ve sorted out their initial mistrust. It’ll be like him and Tormund x1000. All the pain and suffering will have been worth it! Oooh I’ve got another one, the main song from Boys Don’t Cry: the bluest eyes in Westeros 😀

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    124. Lulus Mum: I must apologise to you for not making it to that GoT exhibition I was aiming to get a load of photos from. Ended up having a bad cold that week and didn’t make it out of the house at all.

      You need not apologize!! I’m sorry you couldn’t make it due to the cold. :/
      It sucks when that happens…

      Ten Bears: the concluding Night King + Jon Snow hugs-and-kisses scene

      I’m totally down with that!! 😀

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    125. Lulus Mum,

      Okay, y’all have convinced me that there is a a tragic love story at the root of all of this!

      One more for the Night’s King playlist that also fits with SxSW — Willie Nelson’s “Blue Eyes Cryin’ in the Rain.” I think it is from Redheaded Stranger.

      What if — the man at the weirwood was the Lord Commander of the NW who was in love with an Other, so he went to the Children to give up his humanity like the Little Mermaid went to Ursula the sea witch to trade her tail for legs? (Ooh, that reminds me of Shireen singing the eerie Patchface classic, “It’s always summer under the sea,” perhaps inspired by “Under the Sea” from Little Mermaid?) ???

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    126. Lulus Mum,

      I checked out “The Bluest Eyes in Texas.” I had seen “Boys Don’t Cry”, but didn’t remember the song…

      I didn’t realize “Crystal Blue Persuasion” (1968) is nearly fifty years old. It’s timeless, though. It’s got [what I thought was] an instantly recognizable intro with conga drums and bongos, followed by a lush flamenco guitar before the vocals begin.
      I guess referencing a song from so long ago really dates me. (“Egg, I dreamed I was old.”) But Tommy James is still alive and kicking. He performed “Crimson & Clover” with Joan Jett and Miley Cyrus at the Grammys a year or two ago.

      Anyway, let’s see what else we can include on the compilation album, “The Night King: Love Songs for the Long Night.”

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    127. Young Dragon:
      The Dragon Demands,

      No, the argument was whether or not Sansa should be considered a strong character. I believe she is due to the reasons I’ve provided. The person you were quoting said nothing about her season 6 arc.

      Not at all. I’m saying that I disagree with their assessment of her character. I know you don’t like them, but your attempts to demonize every action they take is hurting your argument, not helping it. It makes you look bias and shows that you’re incapable of thinking rationally. They obviously tried to turn Sansa into a player in season 6, and to some people, they succeeded. I’m simply not one of those people, but I still find her to be a strong character. So, again, calling Sansa a player of the game was not a lie or a delusion. It was their honest analysis of her character and what they were going for in season 6.

      WORD FOR WORD, in the DVD commentary they call Sansa “a strong player this season” in Season 5.

      What the heck does “player” mean to them?

      And if they attempted to make her “a player” in Season 6, it didn’t work.

      She could have done three things:

      1 – Kill Ramsay
      2 – Rally Northern vassals
      3 – Manipulate arrival of the Vale army.

      Point 1 falls apart on shallow analysis: ….how the heck is Sansa killing a man already defeated and tied to a chair…”defeating” him? Did Ilyn Payne “defeat” Ned Stark?

      So the real question is what did she do to get Ramsay in such a position.

      We never saw Sansa rallying any of the Northern vassals successfully. They talk to Jon Snow. And if you’re going to react “well it happened off screen”….that was never implied, and you’re just making up empty excuses.

      But I think most would say the point it hinges on is “Sansa got the Vale army”

      ….but HOW exactly? By accepting help Littlefinger already offered? An army he had already mobilized?

      Sansa’s “plan” was “go along with Littlefinger’s plan”?

      How was this “cunning manipulation” or “being a political player”, when she caved in and did exactly what Littlefinger wanted?

      Vast numbers of viewers were told “Sansa will be a political player”, verbatim…

      ….then they reduced her to a rape victim in Season 5, but you’re saying “well, strong in the sense of resilient”…..no one is questioning if she’s resilient, damsels in distress can be resilient, what we wanted was for her to be a political player in Season 5, influencing events with her agency and choices.

      …..and yet, in Season 6, they basically forgot Sansa in her OWN revenge storyarc. Because they were just worried about the “big moment” of Sansa telling off the…ALREADY-defeated Ramsay? Having played no role in his defeat?

      The mental gymnastics I’ve seen by people desperately trying to convince themselves that Sansa was strong in Seasons 5 or 6 are astonishing.

      This is what “Denial” looks like. Benioff & Weiss failed us all.

      Calling Sansa a “strong player” in Season 5 is as crazy as calling Theon a “strong player” in Season 5.

      EDIT: I said it was either lie or delusion. You said they were being honest, but just could have failed….and therefore was neither.

      Yeah, that’s what I’m saying: they honestly thought that Sansa telling off the defeated Ramsay counted as Sansa being a “strong player”. That’s delusional.

      And no, this isn’t a “matter of opinion”: “narrative agency” can be measured by an outward list of actions.

      But the insistence that Sansa was “strong”: what does “strong” mean to you?

      “Well she’s a Strong Female Character” became a STEREOTYPE for warrior women who contribute nothing to the plot. Sansa is that…without the warrior part.

      What does strong mean to you? “Resolve and Endurance”?

      You’re reducing female characters to “Strong” if they stand by their man, instead of active roles in the storyline.

      In the books, Catelyn and Sansa were “strong” political leaders. Was Catelyn “strong” when she was crying about Jon Snow in Season 3? Because of her “firm resolve”? Or we all complaining that her agency had been gutted?

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    128. Acme:

      Mel,

      The last option is, of course, for the tradition to be maintained and the King in the North title to be passed onto a Stark-born-of-a-Stark-man (there are still three of those)

      Still four, if you don’t overlook wild card Uncle Benjen. On the show he is ‘only mostly dead,’ but we have it from the author that in the source material, Coldhands =/= Benjen. In fact, so far in the books, we have no idea whether the First Ranger is alive, dead, undead or something else. Yes, he has sworn a vow to wear no crowns and father no children, but a little temporary death did wonders for getting Jon out of the same commitment!

      Even if book!Benjen is in a similar state as show!Benjen, we don’t really know what will happen to him once the Night’s King/chief Other (presumably) gets his dragonglass shardectomy and the ‘iceBorg’ hive mind is dismantled. Will unBenjen simply drop dead with all the wights? Or did the CoF’s magic keep him in a curable state? Will a cure for greyscale be discovered that also works on the only-mostly-dead?

      Yeah, I know it’s all quite a stretch. But having the story end with Benjen in charge at Winterfell and siring the next Stark dynasty would free Jon up to do other things (if he’s still alive too). I wouldn’t totally rule it out.

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    129. DragonBallfan:
      The Dragon Demands,

      Don’t you have something important to do,like kissing up to Lindaaaa or writing some more bullshit in your wiki articles,we don’t want to take away from your time doing those things . Also don’t pretend you haven’t talked shit about this site or its users countless times,some of us have twitter you know !

      ….what? One or two people I know from other sites who also come to the comments section here – everyone does that, fights spilling over – but the site as a whole, like Sue or Axey or something? Heck no, WOTW is great.

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    130. The Dragon Demands,

      You’ve taken a lot of flak – not all of it undeserved – for being a contrarian who’s overly critical of the showrunners’ adaptation decisions. I for one overlook the occasional misfires because they’re far outnumbered by the many spectacular things the show has done.

      However, in this instance I have to agree with you. I thought when Sansa descended the stairs at the end of S4 (?) in the slinky dress and confidently uttered, “Shall we go?”, that we were seeing her transformation into a “player.” But that simply didn’t happen. She became a hapless rape victim because (in my view) shoehorning her into the Jeyne Poole story line didn’t make sense. (Who on earth would agree to marry into the family of scoundrels that butchered your mother, brother, and pregnant sister-in-law?)
      I WANTED Sansa to become a politically astute operator. But even after her escape, she didn’t show any shrewdness: She got shot down quickly by ten year old Lyanna Mormont for a silly appeal to her looks; she came off as a self-entitled brat with Lord Glover; and the concealment from Jon of the availability and possible arrival of Knights of the Vale defied logic.
      But again, I attribute that to adaptation decisions (i.e. departures from the books’ story lines) that simply didn’t play out as intended. What I saw on the screen certainly didn’t coincide with what the showrunners were telling us was being conveyed.
      I was not shown a “strong” character, i.e. one who exhibits self-determination, and takes the initiative instead of being acted upon. I wanted to see that Sansa. That’s what I thought would happen after the “Shall we go?” scene. It didn’t.
      Nevertheless, I have to question whether it’s conducive to constructive discussion to label the showrunners liars or delusional. If they “failed” in this instance, they’re still succeeding 90% of the time.
      After the geographical and chronological incongruities that arose from (what I suspect was) the shoehorned Jeyne subplot, let’s hope that BookSansa and ShowSansa are now “on the same page” so that the fandom doesn’t have to extrapolate from off-screen information and endlessly debate Sansa’s actions and motivations.

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    131. Lulus Mum:
      I can’t reply to everyone who joined in with the discussion about the Night King as it would be in moderation for about 117 years, but hello all *waves*.

      I think some of you have nailed it with him being the person he is due to straight forward heartache. I assume the WWs are a human/magic hybrid rather than a different type of creature altogether? So they still feel emotions, even if they try to bury them. I reckon NK is over compensating by being really aggressive and manly in public, where he listens to really loud death metal type stuff, while in private he has a good cry and sings along to cheesy ballads. We’ve sussed it people; the purpose of the WWs, the third WTF moment D&D talked about, the clues are all there! And from that I conclude the very final scene will be the aftermath of everything and something like the power of love by Frankie Goes To Hollywood playing while the survivors tearfully hug each other. High fives all round I think – hive minds at their finest

      LOL

      IMO, the finale (season 8) will be thus:

      1. Jon and Dany have a kid.
      2. Jon and Dany defeat the WW, in the process, Dany and the Dragons will die and Jon and Ghost will disappear into the Mists of History for…reasons (you know, like a “ghost”); just like the original Azor Ahai…
      3. In a vision, Dany joins Drogo and Rhaego in the Night Lands.
      4. Bran goes up North to continue his 3 Eyed Raven business…
      5. Tyrion and Sansa rule as Co-Regents until Jon and Dany’s Kid comes of age.
      6. Arya goes “West of West”; maybe with Nymeria…
      7. Last scene: Years later, the Kid is King (or Queen) and Sam is Grand Maester and/or Hand of the King/Queen. They visit Tyrion in his vineyard…they drink Tyrion’s “Imp’s Delight” wine…Tyrion finally gets to complete his “Honeycomb and the Jackass” joke…Sam presents Tyrion with a completed volume of “A Song of Ice and Fire”, written by Sam. The End.

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    132. Inga: Sansa told Jon to take the chamber of the Lord of Winterfell and then showed a very strong suppot for his acclamation as the King in the North – despite of all her flaws in this case Sansa showed her as a mature and responsible person being able to suppress personal ambitions for the sake of the common cause

      I enjoyed that exchange between them.
      Jon: I’m not a Stark.
      Sansa: You are to ME.
      That was excellent. Yes, I agree, it shows a growing maturity. I refuse to jump too much into the Sansa=Playa arena. It just gets me too riled up to have to defend her anymore against those who will not be moved. But she’s learning. In real life it takes time to learn the things she needed to learn, things she was never told she’d have to learn, nor trained to learn. Her old way of life got slaughtered at the Red Wedding. She’s had to overcome the shock of physical and emotional abuse, being uprooted, being betrayed time and again, in addition to having to learn “player” tactics. I will never stop cheering her character.

      When Jon was being cheered on by Lyanna Mormont, she smiled happily, and continued to smile as the gathering rose to proclaim him King in the North. The only time she stopped smiling was when she glanced around the room and caught Littlefinger’s sour, dour expression. She knows what he’s thinking, and knows there will be some sort of trouble from him regarding Jon. I think she will defend Jon to the point that she just may become the player many of you want her to be by killing LF. We shall see.

      As far as seeing ANY episode of GoT at ANY time on a big screen in my area, I will be there. I’ve championed and pleaded for another IMAX experience. I loved it, and even with a wonky hip, made sure to go and see it. Attendees got a Beautiful Death poster. It was great to sit with a huge crowd of other fans and cheer and moan together. It was in some ways a fan experience as you see on YouTube, of fans in bars watching the episodes, only without the booze, of course.

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    133. George:

      Tyrion finally gets to complete his “Honeycomb and the Jackass” joke

      While I know it is unrealistic to expect all loose strands to be tied up in the remaining two seasons, there is a huge part of me that wants to find out how that joke ends – and precisely what Pod got up to when the residents of LF’s brothel gave him that freebie.

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    134. The Dragon Demands,

      I agree with many of your points, but I’ve already told you that in my previous post. I don’t see Sansa as a political player, which is what D&D were going for. That was a failure on their part, imo. And it is my opinion, not a fact. A lot of my friends and family who also watch the show saw the Vale forces arrival as Sansa’s play. The Vale were there for her. She is what brought them there. Littlefinger wouldn’t have lifted a finger to help Jon otherwise. I don’t agree that this could be considered Sansa’s move, but several people saw it that way. So no, D&D are not delusional when they call Sansa a player. That’s simply their assessment of her character.

      Catelyn discussing Jon Snow made her more human. That was the point of that scene. She was a political figure in the show, as well. She warned Robb not to send Theon to Balon. She warned Robb not to marry Talisa. She tried to persuade Robb not to behead Karstark. And she successfully negotiated a truce between Robb and Renly that would have been beneficial to both parties.

      Sansa is not a political figure in the books. At least not yet.

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    135. A Dornish Tyrell,
      Oh, I do not know much about the leaks. I vaguely thumbed through some of them when they came out but they, for the the most part, seemed so decontextualised that they felt blah to me. However, ignorance has never stopped me from talking out my backside 😉
      Join in, it’s fun !!!

      Firannion,
      You are absolutely correct; I forgot about Benny ! Shame on me ! A definite maybe.

      Ten Bears,
      I believe we are back to the almost eternal question : what constitutes a “player” in Game of Thrones ?

      I apologise for being redundant (I already posted about this very topic) but I feel like most of the commonly accepted “players” on the show (and even in the books) are granted that status more on style than substance… Lady Olenna, Margaery, all three Baratheons brothers, Cersei, Oberyn, the Sands, Robb, the Freys, the Boltons, etc. Even Tywin, for Pete’s sake. What did they do, really ? What did they accomplish ? What remarkable act of political shrewdness (and not retributive and/or mindless violence) have we seen them perform, without Varys or Littlefinger (or Davos, for Stannis) whispering in their ears ?
      Remove the sassy one-liners from Lady Olenna and what are you left with ? A lady whose sole accomplishment has been to participate in two plots entirely devised by the Spider and Baelish. Surgically detach the shrewd-looking narrowing of the eyes from Margaery and what do you get ? A young woman whose always done what her gran told her to and who pretended to agree with her captors to save her skin (hello Season 2 Sansa plotline, nice to meet you again ! ^^). And so on, and so forth.

      Now, was Sansa’s approach to the Northern campaign in season 6 flawed ? Hell to the yes ! “Flawed” is actually a polite way to put it. She still believed wholeheartedly whatever myth her father had peddled about the North (of course Ned, Northerners are somehow inherently more loyal than people from the South because… reasons) and failed to take in Davos’s extremely sound advice. What she should have done was capitalise on the Northern mythos, because playing up to people’s own beliefs and self-perceptions is never a dumb strategy, while not buying it herself and mixing it up with more pragmatic arguments. She even could have lied about the Tully forces, telling the Northern lords that the Rivermen were coming (instead of keeping quiet, waiting for the actual confirmation) to encourage them to join.

      However, I believe we must take two things into account :
      – the Blackfish’s decision not to support the Starks was dumb. Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb. I love the Blackfish but let’s face it, Jaime was completely right about him : he was an old goat with too many principles and not enough practical sense. Seven hells, even Brynden himself admitted it (“I haven’t been in a proper sword fight in years. I expect I’ll make a damn fool of myself.”) ! Any reasonable person would have accepted the deal Brienne and Jaime had put together and gone north to help his surviving family members;
      – the King in the North scene must have been a teachable moment for Sansa. The very same lords who spat in her face for daring to appeal to their legendary loyalty before the BotB got all teary-eyed and jingoistic over said legendary loyalty once the battle was won. Every single “the North remembers” argument which Sansa had aggresively given them and which they had openly ridiculed pre-victory moved them to tears when Lyanna Mormont shouted them almost verbatim post-victory. Meaning : Davos was right (as per usual) ! People, wherever they hail from, want to side with a winner. There is no magical Northern loyalty. Dogs are only loyal as long as you feed them. Ask Ramsay… That is how I interpreted Sansa’s little Mona Lisa smile during Lyanna’s speech : she realised the implicit hypocrisy, for lack of a better word, of the proceedings.

      Sansa, very much like Jon, is still learning. And she may have received her most important lesson during the King in the North episode. What she will do with it is anyone’s guess.

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    136. Ten Bears:
      The Dragon Demands,

      You’ve taken a lot of flak – not all of it undeserved – for being a contrarian who’s overly critical of the showrunners’ adaptation decisions. I for one overlook the occasional misfires because they’re far outnumbered by the many spectacular things the show has done.

      However, in this instance I have to agree with you. I thought when Sansa descended the stairs at the end of S4 (?) in the slinky dress and confidently uttered,“Shall we go?”, that we were seeing her transformation into a “player.” But that simply didn’t happen. She became a hapless rape victim because (in my view) shoehorning her into the Jeyne Poole story line didn’t make sense. (Who on earth would agree to marry into the family of scoundrels that butchered your mother, brother, and pregnant sister-in-law?)I WANTED Sansa to become a politically astute operator. But even after her escape, she didn’t show any shrewdness: She got shot down quickly by ten year old Lyanna Mormont for a silly appeal to her looks; she came off as a self-entitled brat with Lord Glover; and the concealment from Jon of the availability and possible arrival of Knights of the Vale defied logic. But again, I attribute that to adaptation decisions (i.e. departures from the books’ story lines) that simply didn’t play out as intended. What I saw on the screen certainly didn’t coincide with what the showrunners were telling us was being conveyed.I was not shown a “strong” character, i.e. one who exhibits self-determination, and takes the initiative instead of being acted upon. I wanted to see that Sansa. That’s what I thought would happen after the “Shall we go?” scene. It didn’t. Nevertheless, I have to question whether it’s conducive to constructive discussion to label the showrunners liars or delusional.If they “failed” in this instance, they’re still succeeding 90% of the time. After the geographical and chronological incongruities that arose from (what I suspect was) the shoehorned Jeyne subplot, let’s hope that BookSansa and ShowSansa are now “on the same page” so that the fandom doesn’t have to extrapolate from off-screen information and endlessly debate Sansa’s actions and motivations.

      Exactly. And this part, especially:

      “What I saw on the screen certainly didn’t coincide with what the showrunners were telling us was being conveyed.”

      That has always been a sticking point with me. In interviews after the season or episodes where they lay out how the character acts or feels, and a substantial chunk of viewers didn’t even recognize this, you do wonder why they should need to ‘tell’ us instead of effectively ‘showing’ us through the characters. That always bothered me.

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    137. Marlana,

      Yeah… Remember when Maisie went everywhere saying. Jon’s done, kaputt. And yeah, technically she was right: Jon died. But she made it sound as if Kit Harington had left the show… And we all know what happened…

        Quote  Reply

    138. Acme: I do agree with a lot of what you wrote (even though I struggle to see why wanting power is in and by itself such a bad thing… It all depends on what one intends to do with it, I would assume ), the above quote highlights my main concern but also hope for the new season, namely that both Sansa and Jon (and, quite frankly, everyone else as well) are woefully unprepared for what is coming at them.

      Is Jon a capable commander ? Well he does try to be, I would say.So far, we have seen him take full and sole command of two battles (Hardhome and the BotB) and both were pretty disastrous. The first ended in a massacre (as well as a great recruitment tool for the Night King)…

      I think you have to give Jon a bit more credit in Hardhome. You make it sound as if Jon attracted the NK by going there. The massacre (the recruitment opportunity) was going to happen anyway. The wildlings had retreated to Hardhome. Jon, Tormund and the other NW men helped save 5 thousand Wildlings, and that is no small feat, considering the enemy they were facing.

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    139. The Dragon Demands,

      Do you really want me to dig over your tweets and embarass you that much,or did you already deleted them and you think you are set ? Spoiler alert,there are already captions on it on a certain forum that you may be familiar so either admit it or stop bullshitting us .

        Quote  Reply

    140. Acme,

      Lady Olenna, Margaery, all three Baratheons brothers, Cersei, Oberyn, the Sands, Robb, the Freys, the Boltons, etc. Even Tywin, for Pete’s sake. What did they do, really ? What did they accomplish ? What remarkable act of political shrewdness (and not retributive and/or mindless violence) have we seen them perform, without Varys or Littlefinger (or Davos, for Stannis) whispering in their ears ?

      After many years of reading posters here it appears to me that “players” are those who make decisions regarding power and who act, negotiate in the open or manipulate under the table to get what they want. Political shrewdness is one way of influencing the Game of Thrones, not the only way to play it.

      In this context, answering your question: Lady Olenna not only shoots sassy quotes, but also colluded with Littlefinger to get rid of a king, and works very hard to improve her house’s stance in the realm (seeking power to add to their money). She negotiates with Tywin to prevent the Lannisters from pushing them aside, by using the Reach’s resources as leverage. And now she has joined an alliance to oust the current leader of the realm (that she’s doing it to avenge her family does not subtract from the fact that she’s still playing instead of crying herself to sleep in a bedroom in Highgarden).

      Margaery wanted to be THE queen (further advancing the power clout of her House) and was in fact the queen thrice. She played a long-term game, as she knew she not only had to try to influence her husband but also to have children and make them her allies in her quest for power. She worked around her husbands’ characteristics: Renly’s homosexuality, Joffrey’s cruelty and Tomen’s immaturity and credulousness. She may have fallen short in some of those, but she surely worked hard at it. She didn’t break under pressure and fooled the High Sparrow to get out prison and start working her way to counter Cersei.

      Robert Baratheon started a revolution against the Targaeryans in revenge for 1) Lyanna’s fate and 2) The way the Mad King treated his friend Ned’s father and brother, who were leaders of a powerful house, he killed the successor and became king.

      Stannis Baratheon commanded a city under siege for a long time and many said they resisted because of Stannis’ will and determination (and Davos’ help). He answered the request from the Wall to send troups and led them in defeating Mance. Given the situation of Cersei’s kids and the laws of Westeros, he had a legitimate claim to the throne.

      Renly Baratheon: formed an alliance with the Tyrell’s against the Lannisters (he even invited Ned to be a part of it) and became king . Yeah, he was not exactly the fiercesest of guys, nor the shrewdest, but he made the decision and became the “lead singer” of the alliance.

      Cersei has always aspired to have power. She always considered herself a game player. She ordered the assassination of her husband, tried to influence her king sons, allowed the Militant Faith in and then got rid of them as well as those she considered her enemies (or an obstacle to her aspirations) in one terrible swift move, and named herself ruler of the realm.

      Roose Bolton negotiated behind his master’s back to get rid of the king of the north to become Warden of that region.

      Oberyn was determined to avenge his sister’s and her children’s deaths and went to King’s Landing, where he ended up with a seat in the Great Council and ended up meddleing into the realm’s affair by being part of the trial against Tyrion and deciding to champion him. If he would have succeeded, the Lannisters would have ended up in pretty bad shape, and that would have opened the door for others interested in seizing power.

      The Sand Snakes and Ellaria performed a coup d’etat.

      Robb led a war against the king to avenge the death not only of his father, but of the Warden of the North, who had been a highest official at the service of King Robert Baratheon.

      On the other hand we have Sansa, who is very young, has gone through terrible circumstances, has shown tremendous resiliency, and is learning the game, but it was only until season 6 that she starts understanding that she can do something else than marrying guys others impose on her or licking her wounds in a corner, and realizing that her actions may influence the outcome of events. So it is still early to call her a player (because she’s still not fully formed and still operates many times in reaction to other people’s actions or machinations, or a bit clumsy, like not telling Jon about the Vale army). I think she can grow into a player from where she’s standing now…

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    141. Acme,

      I absolutely loved the KiTN scene and Lyanna Mormont’s “you refused the call” speech, but I agree with you that it came off as kind of hokey for Lord Glover and Lord Manderly to reaffirm their allegiance to House Stark and proclaim Jon King AFTER everyone else fought, bled and died to defeat the Boltons. It’s easy to admit “I was wrong” and express “regret” after the battle has been won.

      If I were one of the Wildlings or Mormonts, I would’ve told those guys to sit down and shut the f-ck up.

      It’s like fair weather fans aka front-running phonies in sports: when the local team starts winning they jump on the bandwagon, but jump off as soon as the team descends into mediocrity.

      I’m surprised nobody hissed at Lord Glover when he announced “House Glover will stand behind House Stark as we have for a thousand years.”
      [A thousand years? What about YESTERDAY you feckless screwball?]

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    142. Ten Bears: I absolutely loved the KiTN scene and Lyanna Mormont’s “you refused the call” speech, but I agree with you that it came off as kind of hokey for Lord Glover and Lord Manderly to reaffirm their allegiance to House Stark and proclaim Jon King AFTER everyone else fought, bled and died to defeat the Boltons. It’s easy to admit “I was wrong” and express “regret” after the battle has been won.

      […]

      I’m surprised nobody hissed at Lord Glover when he announced “House Glover will stand behind House Stark as we have for a thousand years.”
      [A thousand years? What about YESTERDAY you feckless screwball?]

      Not only that, but the fact that they only addressed to Jon was kindy of shitty… Lord Glover never apologized to Sansa for denying help or for his rudeness (by the way, I can sympathize with the Northern Lords’ grievances, but I also believe that they are much less loyal than they claim to be). Nor they thanked the Lords of the Vale either, without whom the battle would have been lost.

      As much as I love the King in the North scene, I agree with Acme regarding the veiled hypocrisy and jingoism of the Northern Lords.

      Still, awesome scene!!

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    143. Ten Bears:
      The Dragon Demands,

      Showrunners should be judged by the final product. Your actual defense of this is “it was a well-intentioned error that didn’t turn out as they intended”?

      They wanted Sansa to mary Ramsay Bolton…to somehow…”make her a powerful player”. This is 2+2=5 territory.

      A mistake would be if…there were scenes that got cut for time because shooting ran long. Even then, I’d say that something this important should have been prioritized.

      …that’s…that’s their job. “Make sure we plan out everything carefully so everything we want to get filmed does”.

      This wasn’t an “adaptation decision”; they just wanted Sophie Turner to act the hell out of a rape scene. They were awards baiting. Though how they seem to…genuinely believe she’s also a “strong player” in all of this…

      Why are you so willing to give them a pass for *inventing a rape subplot* for a character, and in your estimation, it was well-intended but the end result fell flat.

      …isn’t it an inherent requirement that, if you invent a rape subplot, you give it enough attention to make sure it works?

      I mean that’s the entire criticism here, just restated. Critics say “the plot mechanics of Sansa being married off to Ramsay make no sense, this is insulting.”…and defenders say, “well, if the plot mechanics weren’t nonsensical, it would be better”?

      Our entire complaint is “If you were going to invent a rape scene – big if – you shouldn’t have been so flippantly ignorant of the basic plot mechanics needed to make it seem plausible”.

      I don’t think they even noticed.

      Serious question; HYPOTHETICALLY, at what point does it become conducive or constructive to call showrunners – of anything – delusional?

      Oh I don’t think they’re liars – that’s mutually exclusive with delusional. I’m saying they…delusionally think Sansa is now a “strong player”; I don’t thinkthey “lied” when they claimed this. It’s real to them.

      You consider goofing up the Sansa/Bolton/Jon/Stannis subplots and the Dorne subplots to be “90% of the time”?

      I think the show is succeeding – when it still does – in spite of them, not because of them. They’ve got strong source material!

      The Cersei/KL, Daenerys, ironborn, all the other subplots are pretty good. But those two big ones: “everything touching the Boltons” and “Dorne”….those aren’t exactly a mere “10%” of the show. That’s like…a third or something.

      Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t convey tone well: I thank you for your assessment of Sansa, it was well-worded. Just because I’m asking sharp questions doesn’t mean I mean it angry or yelling 🙂

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    144. The Dragon Demands,

      Ummm. I didn’t say “it was a well-intentioned error that did not turn out as they intended.” You put that in quotation marks as if you were quoting me verbatim. I’ll chalk this up to a well-intentioned error on your part that didn’t turn out as you intended.

      To be clear: I am not attempting to justify ANY aspect of the Sansa-Ramsay fiasco. None of it made sense. In our world, anyone with half a brain wouldn’t jam his or her hand down a kitchen sink drain and turn on the garbage disposal.
      To me, that’s equivalent to what they had Sansa do.

      The “let’s rape Sansa” decision was just awful on every level. I can understand not wanting one of their favorite actresses to be on the bench all season, but there were a million other ways to give her “something” to do. (I would rather have watched her sweep floors, wash bodies, and stick fight Robyn Arryn for two seasons, than to witness the abomination of her story lines in S5 and S6. )

      So I’m not sure why you think I’m some kind of apologist for these nonsensical and repulsive adaptation decisions. All I’m saying is that they’re outweighed by all of the great things about the show.

        Quote  Reply

    145. Ah, I was unclear on what you meant before, Ten Bears, sorry. Thank you for the clarification post.

      Well, I think it was a career-ending decision. The least of which because…it seems that even after airing, they still think it was a good idea.

      An interesting question: if D&D ever apologized for anything, like Dorne, would I forgive them?

      Yeah. That’s how “candor” works. But they haven’t.

        Quote  Reply

    146. The Dragon Demands,

      What do you mean by “career-ending decision”? I’m not being facetious. I don’t understand what you mean.

      As far as candor: Somewhere down the road, it’ll be revealed that they pulled the plug on the Dorne experiment to put it out of its misery. Similarly, at some point it’ll come out that in retrospect they wished they hadn’t turned Sansa into Ramsay’s plastic ____ doll.

      But it’s neither realistic nor fair to expect perfection from the showrunners. As I’ve said before, in baseball a .300 hitter is a superstar: that means he fails 7 out of 10 times.

      In GoT, for every Sansa storyline abomination or teenage mutant ninja Sand Snakes silliness, there are nine or ten other scenes and storylines that surpass anything that’s ever been done on TV.

      Let’s count our blessings.

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    147. Acme,

      IMHO, you win Best Comment on this post.

      WAY too much to digest here for me to write anything coherent after my exceedingly long day, so you all have a fine evening!

        Quote  Reply

    148. GhostCR,
      Oh, I do not in any way, shape or form “blame” Jon for Hardhome and its very unfortunate consequences. I merely wanted to highlight the fact that it was hardly a stellar success.

      “Capable commander” would, to me, indicate someone who has a few clear, unadulterated victories under their belt. Jon is not quite there yet. He most certainly is on his way, more than halfway there I would argue, but not quite.

      As for the “player” status, I am afraid that, while I do like with your definition, I struggle to see how the characters mentioned fit it.

      Robert Baratheon, Oberyn, the Sands and Robb did not act out in order to gain political power. For all of them, it was revenge, pure and simple (what I previously called “retributive violence”) that motivated them. The acquisition of power it may have involved or caused was a collateral consequence, not the intended purpose : Robert did not want to become king and turned out to be terrible at it; Robb was a subpar monarch who never asked for a crown to be put onto his head; the Sands had no complaint about the way Dorne was ruled and do not seem to have made many changes since taking over and Oberyn’s only ground for opposing the Lannisters was his sister’s death.
      Cersei also falls into that category in spite of the fact that, as you very rightly noted, she does want power. All her most notable political moves (usually violent ones) had a highly personal, vengeful dimension to them : she hated Robert, she did not want to have to marry Loras and she wanted revenge from the Faith for what they had done to her (as well as what they were planning to do).

      Renly and Stannis did not seem to have much of an idea about what they would do with power once they would get it. All they knew was that they had a right to be king and that claiming that right would be a nice way to get back at Robert who always mistreated and humiliated them. Furthermore, they were both motivated / entranced by a highly sexually attractive person (Loras for Renly: Melisandre for Stannis).
      The second Baratheon was a capable general but he still lost the two battles he could not afford to lose : Blackwaters and Winterfell…

      Roose, Olenna and Margaery took what was given to them and did what was expected of them, without much extra planning on their part.
      Tywin offered Bolton the North in exchange for his help in killing the Starks, Bolton accepted.
      Olenna did what Varys and Littlefinger told her and she agreed to marry her grandchildren to the Lannisters without having to negociate much (Tywin had painted himself into a corner by continuing to bankroll the Crown in spite of his mines drying up; he desperately needed another family to take over and the Tyrells were the only ones with this kind of cash available. If anything, Lady Olenna and the Tyrells got a bit conned here.)
      Margaery married whomever she was told to by her secretly-ambitious dad (“The Lord Oaf of Highgarden is determined that Margaery should be queen.”) and relied heavily on her grandmother and her family’s clout not to be overly victimised.

      Now, I do not deny that decisions made by most if not all of those characters have had an impact on Westeros’s political structure. They most certainly have. But as you very rightly pointed out in relation to Sansa, said decisions were mostly made “in reaction to other people’s actions or machinations, or a bit clumsy”.
      If all it takes to be considered a “player” is to alter Westeros’s political board (even unknowingly or incidentally), then pretty much all the main characters, including Sansa, qualify : Sam became a “player” by putting forward Jon’s name for Lord Commander, Arya became a “player” by murdering the Freys, Jon became a “player” by allowing the Wildlings south of the Wall, Ramsay became a “player” by killing Roose, etc.

      However, if we restrict the definition of “player” to “character who, independently from third party’s influence or instructions, makes (purely) politically-motivated choices and devises successful plans to effectively alter the kingdom’s power structure”, then the list of candidates gets incredibly short… Four-five names, tops.

      Whichever definition is fine by me, to be honest. As long as it is consistently applied to all the characters. 🙂

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    149. Ten Bears,
      I have to confess that the idea of Tormund telling Lord Manderly to STFU makes me happier than it should 😉

      To be fair (or extra petty 🙂 ), someone could have hissed at Lady Mormont as well. When the Starks came to her, Lyanna did not care at all for the ancestral allegiance argument and all that jazz. She only decided to support the Direwolves when she understood that ice zombies are knocking on the door and, if she wishes to live long enough to reach puberty, she’d better back Jon.

      So for her to go all “House Mormont remembers” on everyone’s bottom was a teeny wee bit hypocritical. But she is 10 and fierce, and she did eventually support the Starks so I am tempted to give her a free pass. 🙂

      And, as A Dornish Tyrell very accurately pointed out, they did not mention Sansa; they did not mention the Vale; they also did not mention the Wildlings… They should change the region motto to reflect the reality : “The North remembers (but only what and when it wants to)”

      However, none of this should be surprising. Lord Glover’s response to Sansa was, I believe, a prelude of things to come. On the one hand, his grief and resentment were completely understandable. On the other hand, him calling Talisa a “foreign whore” clearly let us know that the man has some serious issues when it comes to narrow-mindedness, xenophobia/racism and misogyny. Since, for all narrative intents and purposes, Lord Glover is the “face” of the Northern nobility, that tells us everything we need to know about them… Decent people but extraordinarily flawed.

      A Dornish Tyrell,
      As we all know, the only really loyal people out there are the Rivermen (Freys not included). Fear the Fearsome Fish !!! Never Doubt the Trout !!! 😉

      Wolfish,
      Lovely of you to say.

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    150. Did we ever learn what Joe Biden was doing at SXSW posing with the producers and actresses?

      Are they recasting the Night King again ?

        Quote  Reply

    151. I guess it wouldnt be fair for D&D if GRRM wrote the final episode since the show may be based off of Georges books but the most work on the show was done by D&D.
      Also George might be too busy finishing WINDS to be able to write a script for the show again but who knows.

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    152. Lonely Cat,
      It was Acme who first suggested it, but it makes more sense than anything else I’ve seen and I’m now a firm believer. Unfortunately we probably all know how much pain love can cause, whether the Other feels the same or not. Do we know how old the WWs actually are? He could have been dying inside for literally hundreds (thousands?) of years. And if the one he loves *sings REM* is a mere mortal he would face the pain of them dying and him being left behind *sobs*.

      Ten Bears,
      I’m from the UK and, having just checked a calendar, discovered that ep7 of S7 airs on my 50th birthday – go me! So stuff from the mid-70s and before tends to be either what was a big hit over here or things my parents played. I think the love songs compilation is a definite go-er. As someone who’s done a lot of equality and diversity training, I might add green eyes by Husker Du for the benefit of those with colour perception issues.

      George,
      So will the final line of the whole thing be someone saying “It really was a song of ice and fire” and closing the (very large) book Sam wrote it all down in, like the end of a rather violent fairy tale?

        Quote  Reply

    153. Ten Bears:
      Did we ever learn what Joe Biden was doing at SXSW posing with the producers and actresses?

      Are they recasting the Night King again ?

      Ten Bears,

      I think he was there to speak to SXSW tech innovators to help find a cure for cancer or something to that effect.

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    154. Lulus Mum,

      Reply #1 of 2 (to your 3/15, 9:14 am comments)

      Well that’s good. I started writing down a playlist from all of our suggested tracks. My tentative album title, “The Night King: Love Songs for the Long Night”, was only a placeholder. I’m sure we can come up with something better.

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    155. More possible tracks regarding getting through the Long Night:

      Whatever Gets You Through the Night – John Lennon
      Strangers in the Night – Frank Sinatra
      Love is the Knife – some country music singer
      No More Lonely Nights – Paul McCartney
      Help Me Make it Through the Night – Sammi Smith
      All Night Long – Lionel Ritchie
      You Shook Me All Night Long – AC/DC

        Quote  Reply

    156. I did a bit of sneaky Googling and the most fitting other titles (can’t vouch for the actual songs) look like:
      Saturday night’s alright for fighting (Elton John)
      Let’s spend the night together (Rolling Stones)
      (I just) Died in your arms tonight (Cutting Crew)
      The night has a thousand [ice blue] eyes (Bobby Vee)
      The lion sleeps tonight (various)
      Boogie nights (Heatwave)

      ok maybe not the last one! 😉

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    157. I Wear My Sunglasses at Night – Corey Hart

      Not quite as good, but if the Night King wore a pair of shades then it would be almost too perfect.

        Quote  Reply

    158. Lulus Mum,

      Reply #2of 2 (to your 3/15, 9:14 am comments)

      Reply Part #2 vanished into Alphabet Heaven. I’ll try to reconstruct and retransmit it later, but it linked the Night King with RoboCop and Orson Lannister

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    159. Ten Bears:
      Lulus Mum,

      Reply #2of 2 (to your 3/15, 9:14 am comments)

      Reply Part #2 vanished into Alphabet Heaven. I’ll try to reconstruct and retransmit it later, but it linked the Night King with RoboCop and OrsonLannister

      Ten Bears,

      Oh no, not that beetle-smashing speech. That was brutal.

        Quote  Reply

    160. Mr Derp: Ten Bears,

      Oh no, not that beetle-smashing speech.That was brutal.

      I actually enjoyed the Cousin Orson speech, though it was indeed a bit on the lengthy side.

      Are folks here generally aware of the explanation for how/why that scene was included? That it was payback to Orson Scott Card for saying mean things about the excess of violence in GoT/ASoIaF? The beetles are the Formics, wiped out by ‘xenocide’ in the Ender series.

        Quote  Reply

    161. Ten Bears,

      Acme,

      A Dornish Tyrell,

      I don’t know which countries you come from, ladies and gentelmen, but based on how harsh you are on the Northern lords, I feel like you have never lived under any kind of oppression. Well, I did and I had a lot of moments of fear and hesitation on the brink of revolution. I would like to teleport you all, say into the very middle of the Eastern Europe’1989 (or Ukraine’2014 and see how much courage you would have shown: it’s easy to be brave when sitting on a couch and judging broken men (especially fictional). But based on my personal experience, I would think twice before accusing the Northern lords in hypocricy. They joined Jon after he showed them that victory is possible, but the war is far from over. The Lannisters are still standing and the Northern lords know that Jon will have to face their wrath. So, they have choasen to follow the leader whose victory is not guaranteed and they know that they will have to fight themselves to promote that victory. As for me, I don’t see any hypocrycy in that, only a natural inner conflit of a human heart.

        Quote  Reply

    162. Inga,

      Well said. Plus many of these men lost sons and brothers to the Red Wedding that never would have happened if Rob had kept it in his pants and kept his promise. So I can see why they would be very angry with Rob, and unsure about Jon. These things are never black and white, there are many shades of gray that need to be considered when dealing with human beings

        Quote  Reply

    163. Ten Bears,

      Anyway, let’s see what else we can include on the compilation album, “The Night King: Love Songs for the Long Night.”

      Ha, love all of these! Also acme, love the idea of Lyanna falling for Reagal because he can play stairway to heaven (also like the rest of your analysis; yes,jon is going to have a lot to come to terms with, as well as needing to save the world. If I were him, Id deal with the matter most at hand, and when its over and done, then think about it all, to see if ultimately it even still matters.

        Quote  Reply

    164. Lulus Mum,

      So will the final line of the whole thing be someone saying “It really was a song of ice and fire” and closing the (very large) book Sam wrote it all down in, like the end of a rather violent fairy tale?

      Well its better than ‘and then he woke up…..’ dream stuff. 🙂

      (sorry for multiple posts, trying to catch up….)

        Quote  Reply

    165. ash:
      Inga,

      Well said. Plus many of these men lost sons and brothers to the Red Wedding that never would have happened if Rob had kept it in his pants and kept his promise. So I can see why they would be very angry with Rob, and unsure about Jon.These things are never black and white, there are many shades of gray that need to be considered when dealing with human beings

      *hangs fluorescent lights and giant arrows pointing to this statement*

      Glad someone gets it. Personally I thought Glover’s snap at Sansa et al was a good look into what people can go through and have taken from them as a result of their loyalties. A little humanity in the machine of conflict, no?

        Quote  Reply

    166. Mr Derp,
      Lulus Mum,
      Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) – ABBA
      Make the night a little longer – Dionne Warwick
      Cold Black Night – Fletwood Mac
      Into the Night – BB King
      Children of the Night – Whitesnake
      Heart of Glass – Blondie
      (Bonus track : Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice… Good music be damned !)

      Inga,
      I can only answer for myself, of course, but I have no problem at all with their decision not to rally around the Starks when they were first asked. I believe A Dornish Tyrell, Ten Bears and myself all mentioned that we understood their grievances, pain and reluctance to put once again their (and their men’s) lives at risk for the Direwolves’ sake. Their refusal was not hypocritical at all, in and of itself. It was completely human and a very good insight into the reality of the aftermaths of war.

      What was hypocritical, conversely, was the blatant discrepancy between discourse and deed.

      For centuries, Northerners have been bragging (I do not think the word is too strong here) about the super duper loyalty that makes them, allegedly, oh so superior to those treacherous, weaselly Southerners (“the North remembers”). By refusing to assist the Starks in their fight against Ramsay, they failed to live up to their own self-generated hype. Yet, after the battle was won, they doubled-down on said hype and went all jingoistic on everyone’s tushie… While completely ignoring the Free Folks and the Vale, who actually fought the battle.

      The Northern lords choosing to bang on about a myth proven false by their own actions, that is quite hypocritical !

        Quote  Reply

    167. Inga,

      What Acme just said… plus, since when hypocrisy and other flaws are not part of the “natural inner conflit of a human heart”?

      As I said before, I totally sympathize with the grievances of the Northern Lords and I don’t fault them for not assisting the Starks (again) in their time of need… But I do feel that they should reexamine their mythos (as Acme would say) about themselves… And I cannot think of anything more human than to be confronted with your own set of beliefs and prejudices.

        Quote  Reply

    168. A Dornish Tyrell,
      I couldn’t agree more.

      Especially considering that the exploration, re-evaluation and modification of traditional mythos (I do use that word a lot, it is true 😉 ) is one of the story’s main narrative themes, both for individual characters and for larger groups :
      – Daenerys intends to reinvent the Targaryen identity she inherited from her crazed father, attempting to reconcile her “blood and fire” nature with her more humane tendencies;
      – Yara has agreed to nullify the Ironborn’s age-old “raping and pillaging” ethos;
      – the three Lannister children seem dedicated to revisiting and transforming Tywin’s legacy, each in their own way. Jaime took over the “battlefield Tywin” persona; Tyrion is in “Hand of a Targaryen monarch Tywin” mode; and Cersei went full “Castamere/Red Wedding Tywin” with the Sept;
      – the Starks, if they want to thrive, will eventually have to accept that Ned’s honourable-but-impractical definition of “Starkness” needs to be replaced by a more pragmatic one (like Rickard’s “if you have to fight, win”).

      All those myths were invented by “traditional rulers” (legitimate, able-bodied male heirs) to suit their needs. Now, the cripples, bastards and broken things are in charge and they have to re-examine the myths they inherited through the prism of their own reality and circumstances.

        Quote  Reply

    169. Firannion: Only people who get their “news” from Fox and Breitbart believe that Biden creeps on teenage girls.

      Unfortunately, that is a lot of people. Besides: emails!

      Pigeon: Personally I thought Glover’s snap at Sansa et al was a good look into what people can go through and have taken from them as a result of their loyalties.

      Put another way, if you don’t feed the dogs, then don’t expect them to stay loyal.

        Quote  Reply

    170. Lulus Mum:
      Lonely Cat,
      George,
      So will the final line of the whole thing be someone saying “It really was a song of ice and fire” and closing the (very large) book Sam wrote it all down in, like the end of a rather violent fairy tale?

      Yea, something that. Maybe Tyrion saying the title of the book, and the opening it up to read it, as we cut to black…

        Quote  Reply

    171. George: Yea, something that. Maybe Tyrion saying the title of the book, and the opening it up to read it, as we cut to black…

      George didn’t name him Sam for nothing. He must be the keeper of the ‘Red Book of Westerosmarch.’

        Quote  Reply

    172. Lulus Mum,

      My goodness, the playlist has mushroomed in the past few hours. So much love out there for our boy N. King. We need to resurrect a wight Casey Kasem to do a weekend full of long distance dedications.

      I had one more song to add; “All Nite Long” by Jefferson Starship.

      When I went back and listened to some of the lyrics, it almost seemed like they were written about the Night King’s BFF Brandon Stark. (Bran got a matching arm tattoo from NK; just like Sophie + Maisie ?.)

      (keyboard’s getting wonky… To be cont,)

        Quote  Reply

    173. Cont. from a few minutes ago…

      “All Nite Long” (1978) by Jefferson Starship *

      Excerpts:
      ***
      Somebody give me a light, I need a little help through the darkness,
      Just a little light, enough to get me home
      All night long, all night long, all night long…
      Sometimes the music’s a doorway:
      Out of the darkness, into the light
      Climb the dream, I can make you dream
      All night long…

      See the ruins of a once mighty castle
      A land where the sun casts no shadow
      Sings and wonders, the sound of thunder
      All night long, all night long…

      Step into the sky, you won’t fall, I’ll tell you why
      You got to be a sky rider
      ***
      Somebody give me a light I need a little help through the darkness
      Just a little light, enough to get me home
      All night long, ….

      I can read your mind and I know
      what you’re thinkin’
      I can see your mind just as clear as my own.
      The pictures I see they all tell a story about where we’ve been and where we’re going…

      * The song’s 6 1/2 minutes long. It’s worth a listen just to hear Grace Slick’s background vocals.

        Quote  Reply

    174. I’m coming in too late to comment on some of the great ideas in this thread. So here are some fairly brief scattershots.

      Love the Playlists. I can only add “Blue Eyes Crying in the Snow”. Perhaps for the final season Ramin D will write a new variation of his work and call it, “Night of the Seven.” The instrumental part should be on glass harmonica (which he uses for the eerie sounds of The Wall music).

      Wimsey’s comment just above about not feeding the dogs is wittily apt. The analogy extends to ‘licking your wounds.” I think “The North Remembers” is generally true. Certainly, in the books a Great Northern Conspiracy is coalescing. On the show, at Winterfell, the old woman and the man Brienne questioned at the inn remembered. But the houses that lost hundreds of their best fighters at the Red Wedding 2-3 years previous are still licking their wounds and much reduced in their fighting force. Moreover, they probably had been obligated to swear fealty to Bolton and the Baratheon king. So when Jon’s begging party, backed by a rag-tag army dominated by a former enemy (Wildlings), came a-calling, Glover et al had to consider the military odds and the penalty of losing. Moreover,the fact that the true-born Stark was a girl and technically Lannister-Bolton, and the half-Stark military leader had ‘deserted’ the Night’s Watch, didn’t help. Had a resurrected Ned or Robb Stark ridden up, they would have joined in a second. By turning Jon down, they made the safe and pragmatic decision. Lyanna M probably didn’t understand the nuances but did know the mantra of her childhood, that Bear Island always stood by the Starks. And so did she.

      Re: Sansa. Many fans dislike her (in large part for her early disloyalty), and many others do not see the progress, leadership, or the vaunted ‘agency’ that D&D and Sophie do. IMO their Sansa as false Arya storyline totally distorted the show and her story, whereas learning from LF how to play the game in the Vale might have justified their opinion. But as the showrunners, if D&D want to make her queen, lady, or Ros, they can do it. I consider her heartless, selfish, thoughtless, and unworthy of any political success. Worse, the fact that D&D have bought the Hollywood line that the beautiful Disney princess can overcome obstacles and reign in the end (and find Prince Charming?) I find retrograde and offensive. Especially when Arya displays all the character qualities that modern audiences esteem…except gorgeousness. If Sansa is a queen at the end, I won’t bend the knee

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    175. A Dornish Tyrell: Not only that, but the fact that they only addressed to Jon was kindy of shitty… Lord Glover never apologized to Sansa for denying help or for his rudeness (by the way, I can sympathize with the Northern Lords’ grievances, but I also believe that they are much less loyal than they claim to be). Nor they thanked the Lords of the Vale either, without whom the battle would have been lost.

      As much as I love the King in the North scene, I agree with Acmeregarding the veiled hypocrisy and jingoism of the Northern Lords.

      Still, awesome scene!!

      _________
      From: Stark Sisters Anti-Defamation League

      Yes, Lord Glover sure owed Sansa an apology. She had reminded him of his oath of fealty BEFORE the battle, but he got in her face, slimed her dead relatives and pretty much announced he had disavowed any allegiance to House Stark. [Excerpt from E7 below]
      Yet, AFTER the battle, when Lyanna Mormont reminds him of the very same thing (“You swore your allegiance to House Stark, Lord Glover, but on their hour of greatest need, you refused the call”), all of a sudden he’s Mr. Rah Rah, boasting that House Glover will stand behind House Stark “as we have for 1,000 years.”

      He ought to have humbled himself before Sansa, and confessed: “I did not fight for you on the field because I’m a duplicitous chickens-it, and I regret that, now that you pulled off the upset. A man can only admit when bet on the wrong horse, and ask forgiveness.”

      Okay, rant over. I just felt his contrition wasn’t genuine, and his failure to address an apology to the Lady of Winterfell was
      indecorous. [i think that’s a word.

      ……
      Excerpt – From S6E7:
      (After Jon’s entreaties to Lord Glover fail…)

      Sansa: I would remind you that House Glover is pledged to House Stark. Sworn to answer when called upon.

      (Lord Glover gets in Sansa’s face…)
      Lord Glover: Yes, my family served House Stark for centuries. We wept when we heard of your father’s death. When my brother was lord of this castle, he answered Robb’s call and hailed him King in the North. …
      And where was King Robb when the Ironborn attacked this castle? When they threw my wife and children in prison and brutalized and killed our subjects? Taking up with a foreign whore. Getting himself and those who followed him killed.
      … I served House Stark once, but House Stark is dead.

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    176. Ten Bears:
      Acme,

      I absolutely loved the KiTN scene and Lyanna Mormont’s “you refused the call” speech, but I agree with you that it came off as kind of hokey for Lord Glover and Lord Manderly to reaffirm their allegiance to House Stark and proclaim Jon King AFTER everyone else fought, bled and died to defeat the Boltons. It’s easy to admit “I was wrong” and express “regret” after the battle has been won.

      If I were one of the Wildlings or Mormonts, I would’ve told those guys to sit down and shut the f-ck up.
      …….
      I’m surprised nobody hissed at Lord Glover when he announced “House Glover will stand behind House Stark as we have for a thousand years.”
      [A thousand years?What about YESTERDAY you feckless screwball?]

      (You had included this segment of my prior comment in your reply…)

        Quote  Reply

    177. Again, the KiTN scene was amazing; I’m a rabid Jon Snow fan now. I couldn’t wait to order King in the North tee shirts from the HBO Store for myself and my friends.
      I liked Lord Manderly’s proclamation, “He is the White Wolf! The King in the North!”
      My only minor quibble was with the gratuitously included line, “Jon Snow avenged the Red Wedding!” I thought ARYA did.
      I assumed the Walder Frey scene in S6E6 was to remind us who committed the Red Wedding murders (excerpt below). In E10, Arya carved up the perpetrators. So if anyone “avenged” the Red Wedding, it was her. Not that she’d want recognition.
      I didn’t and don’t understand how Jon defeating Ramsay “avenged” the Red Wedding.

      ——-
      Excerpt – From S6E6 [Walder Frey telling sons Lothar and Black Walder to retake Riverrun from the Blackfish]

      Walder Frey: “You’ll show him the knife you used to kill Robb Stark’s child in his whore mother’s belly, and you’ll show him the knife you used to open his niece’s throat….”

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    178. @ Ten Bears

      I would say Ramsay “avenged” the Red Wedding, at least partly (and of course not with this intention). But he killed Roose Bolton the same way Roose Bolton had killed Robb and I think the dying Roose Bolton knew that his wife and his newborn son would not survive just like Robb knew his wife and unborn child were dying/dead.

      This is the only reason I can tolerate Ramsay and the way he is written as nearly pure evil, because only someone truly evil could avenge the cruelty against Robb and especially his pregnant wife and unborn child in adequate fashion. (I do not think that Walda and her son deserved to die and I was shocked by that scene but in a biblical / Old God’s sense it’s an eye for an eye – so Walda for Talissa and Walda’s newborn son for Talissa’s unborn child.)

      (Please excuse my formulation. English is not my first language.)

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    179. Ortrun: (Please excuse my formulation. English is not my first language.)

      The formulation actually is pretty good!

      Concerning Ramsay, he really is not “pure evil.” He is a psychopath. There is a subtle but important difference. “Evil” is fundamentally a moral concept. Psychopaths basically are incapable of anything we call morality. It makes them very dangerous and unpredictable people because they can be very intelligent (some have suggested that psychopathy actually correlates with higher than average intelligence, but I do not know what the status of that hypothesis is), but the part of the brain that primates use for “how to behave in my tribe” just does not work.

      This has a lot to do with why people in a society like Westeros would have no idea what to do with someone like Ramsay. They wrap everything in moralistic ideas of “honor.” Moreover, they expect a bastard like Ramsay to be a lesser version of a noble: and thus very eager to “raise” himself to their standards. This is, after all, so much of what drives Jon Snow. Even Roose fundamentally does not get it: he seems to think that Ramsay just lacks discipline but that becoming a full Bolton will help instill it. Well, yes, Ramsay does lack “discipline”: but he can no sooner acquire it than a color-blind person can learn to see red.

        Quote  Reply

    180. Ten Bears:
      My only minor quibble was with the gratuitously included line, “Jon Snow avenged the Red Wedding!”I thought ARYA did. I assumed the Walder Frey scene in S6E6 was to remind us who committedthe Red Wedding murders(excerpt below).In E10, Arya carved up the perpetrators. So if anyone “avenged” the Red Wedding, it was her. Not that she’d want recognition. I didn’t and don’t understand how Jon defeating Ramsay “avenged” the Red Wedding.

      You bet she did. And in spades. But for those frustrated Northrners dont even know about Arya and the Freys yet. They may find out it was her or maybe she’ll keep it quiet since youre right about her not seeking recognition.

      Ortrun:
      @ Ten Bears

      I would say Ramsay “avenged” the Red Wedding, at least partly (and of course not with this intention). But he killed Roose Bolton the same way Roose Bolton had killed Robb and I think the dying Roose Bolton knew that his wife and his newborn son would not survive just like Robb knew his wife and unborn child were dying/dead.

      Accidentally avenging the RW by killing perpetraters for other reasons prolly doesnt count. That meansTyrion also avenged it when he killed Tywin. But a STARK killing Walder and his two knife-weilding sons…now that is some poetic vengeance. I hope they North lords do find out and Arya gets the credit.

        Quote  Reply

    181. Wimsey: The formulation actually is pretty good!

      Thank you.

      Concerning Ramsay, I think him being a psychopath is a good explanation for his behavior. It’s just that for me most of Ramsay’s scenes were very hard to watch because of how disturbing they feel (at least to me). Therefore it makes watching a bit easier if I can think for myself that maybe the Old Gods used Ramsay (while he killed Roose, his wife and his child) as a tool to punish Roose for his betrayal of Robb.

        Quote  Reply

    182. Abel:
      Accidentally avenging the RW by killing perpetraters for other reasons prolly doesnt count.

      Oh, I absolutely agree with you. And I do not think that Ramsay should get a posthumous medal because he killed (for his own interest!) the murderer of Robb. For me it is just some form of very cruel irony and biblical justice. The man who initiated the Red Wedding (together with Tywin Lannister; I don’t think the Freys would have acted that way on their own) and killed Robb (who trusted Roose) dies exactly the same way by the hand of his own son (whom Roose thought, he could trust).

      And I do hope in the next season we will see how the North reacts to the news about the death of Walder.

        Quote  Reply

    183. Wimsey:
      Even Roose fundamentally does not get it: he seems to think that Ramsay just lacks discipline but that becoming a full Bolton will help instill it.Well, yes, Ramsay does lack “discipline”: but he can no sooner acquire it than a color-blind person can learn to see red.

      That is a very interesting take. One I had not contemplated.

      To me, it always felt like Roose “created” Ramsay. He had on one side a legitimate son whom he raised to be a capable and socially-acceptable Northern lord and, on the other, a bastard whom he shaped to be a ruthless henchman, thereby splitting his own dual personality (the rigorous nobleman with a sadistic, violent streak) between his kids.
      He trained Ramsay like Ramsay trained his dogs, rewarding him for cruelty and viciousness (“My mother taught me not to throw stones at cripples. But my father taught me, aim for their head.”) After turning his son into a psychopath, the only control Roose had over him was his birth : he could in turns “starve” and “feed” him, either reminding him he was only a bastard or promising legitimation to him. But once Ramsay officially became a Bolton, it was only a matter of time… Roose tried to starve him again (by having a legitimately-born son) and the mad dog attacked.

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    184. Stark Raven’ Rad:
      I think “The North Remembers” is generally true. Certainly, in the books a Great Northern Conspiracy is coalescing.

      While I understand your point, I believe there is one truth in Westeros in particular and in life in general : Davos is (almost) always right ! 🙂
      He told Sansa : “I may not know the north, but I know men. They’re more or less the same in any corner of the world and even the bravest of them don’t want to see their wives and children skinned for a lost cause.” Which I believe can be extrapolated to : don’t expect fealty from people who have been burnt before because only well-fed dogs are loyal. And this principle is as true in the North as it is anywhere else.

      “The North remembers” is, I think, sentimental, nationalistic hogwash.
      Historically, it is true that Northerners (Boltons not included) have always rallied behind the Starks. However, we can easily surmise that it had little to do with some sort of inbuilt, snow magic-induced sense of Northern devotion and more to do with the simple fact that the Starks used to win. A lot. And even when they did not, they would at least find a way not to get stupidly massacred (e.g. Torrhen preferred to bend the knee rather than send his men get roasted by Aegon’s dragons).

      It seems like, for centuries, the Starks actually followed Rickard’s principle (“try to stay away from fights but you have to fight, win”) thus keeping their “dogs” well-fed and loyal. But things changed… Ned forgot the absolute necessity to win, by whichever means necessary, and decided that being honourable was more important than being victorious. So he was captured and killed. And his eldest son inherited the patriarch’s mindset. So he got trapped and killed.

      Ever since the beginning of the Starks’ losing streak (Ned’s arrest), there has been no evidence that Northerners are more inherently loyal than other Westerosi peoples :
      – GreatJon Umber insulted, threatened even, Robb and needed to have his fingers bitten off to show some deference to the Stark heir;
      – Theon, raised in the North by Northern people with Northern values, betrayed his adoptive brother;
      – Lord Karstark disobeyed his King’s command and killed the Lannister boys;
      – Roose Bolton murdered Robb.
      (I prefer not to include the Umbers delivering Rickon to Ramsay because that was not written by George RR Martin… Yet ?)

      The North is not special, I am afraid, and neither are its inhabitants. They are people. And like with all other people, a tiny percentage of them is fiercely loyal, another tiny percentage is relentlessly fiendish, and the huge majority simply tries to survive, siding with whomever is more likely to win (and feed them).
      I understand why we all tend to romanticise the North. I do share that tendency. After all, we heard about “Northern exceptionalism” from Ned himself. He could not possibly have been wrong, could he ? Also, we all want the Starks, most readers’/viewers’ favourite Westerosi clan, to hail from this magical place where people are intrinsically better, nicer, nobler and more loyal than anywhere else.
      It sounds fantastic and mythical ! And it is, quite literally, fantastic (as in “imaginative or fanciful; remote from reality”) and mythical (as in “idealized, especially with reference to the past; fictitious”) for George RR Martin has included, time and time again, elements that point towards a much more mundane Northern reality.

      Are there elements in the books that could foreshadow a Great Northern Conspiracy ? Sure.
      Does it mean that the Conspiracy is real ? Not necessarily.
      Would it be in keeping with George RR Martin’s writing to turn the whole Great Northern Conspiracy into a shaggy dog story ? Yep.

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    185. Someone might have posted this already. But upto season 6, we have had the footage of approx 3350 min.s which is almost 56 hours. If D&D have mentioned that there are total 73 hours then we have 17 hours of footage left. And since there are officially 13 episodes remaining, it means we have – 79 min.s per episode.
      Even with 70 hours in total, it comes out to be 64-65 min.s per episode, which is as good as some finales.

        Quote  Reply

    186. Stark Raven’ Rad: I think “The North Remembers” is generally true. Certainly, in the books a Great Northern Conspiracy is coalescing.

      A lot of people have paid a close attention to the politics in the North after the Red Wedding (in the books) and for the moment, the jury is still out regarding a “Grand Northern Conspiracy”… There are several and very probably disconected “minor conspiracies” to restore the Starks to Winterfell. Alt Shift X has done a great analysis!!

      So, while in the books the Northern Lords seem to be more loyal to the Starks, in the show they are not.

      Acme: Ever since the beginning of the Starks’ losing streak (Ned’s arrest), there has been no evidence that Northerners are more inherently loyal than other Westerosi peoples :
      – GreatJon Umber insulted, threatened even, Robb and needed to have his fingers bitten off to show some deference to the Stark heir;
      – Theon, raised in the North by Northern people with Northern values, betrayed his adoptive brother;
      – Lord Karstark disobeyed his King’s command and killed the Lannister boys;
      – Roose Bolton murdered Robb.

      Thank your for reminding me of this!! I’ve always found strange how all those “hyper-loyal” Northern Lords gave Robb such a hard time. 🙂

      I might not necessary agree with you on putting Theon in this category… It is true that he was basically raised in the North with Northern values, but he was also constantly reminded that he never trully belonged there.

        Quote  Reply

    187. Ten Bears:
      Lulus Mum,

      My goodness, the playlist has mushroomed in the past few hours. So much love out there for our boy N. King. We need to resurrect a wight Casey Kasem to do a weekend full of long distance dedications.

      I had one more song to add; “All Nite Long” by Jefferson Starship.

      When I went back and listened to some of the lyrics, it almost seemed like they were written about the Night King’s BFF Brandon Stark. (Bran got a matching arm tattoo from NK; just like Sophie + Maisie ?.)

      (keyboard’s getting wonky… To be cont,)

      Wow, the Starship song is a great find!

      The closest we may get IRL to a wight Casey Kasem could be a live Hodor — Kristian Nairn! I am hoping that he will attend Con of Thrones.

        Quote  Reply

    188. Acme,

      Yup.

      You wrote:
      “The North remembers” is, “sentimental, nationalistic hogwash…. However, we can easily surmise that it had little to do with some sort of inbuilt, snow magic-induced sense of Northern devotion and more to do with the simple fact that the Starks used to win.”

      That’s why I labeled the ex post facto House Stark cheerleader Lord Glover, a “front-running phony” (to borrow a sports term referring to a fair-weather fan).

      One other thing: From a non-book reader’s perspective at least, I’ve questioned whether Ned’s reputation as an “honorable” man is sort of like “The North Remembers” slogan: It looks great on tee shirts and mugs, but the reality doesn’t match the hype. Whether by outright falsehood, omission, or failure to correct mistaken assumptions, Ned had a pretty good track record of resorting to lies when it was expedient. (I’ve started making a list. I’m up to 18 and counting.)
      Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t call his intentions malevolent; sometimes he fudged the truth because he just wanted to spare someone’s feelings or because he thought it was the best way to keep someone safe from harm. And there’s no doubt he’s a great dad.
      I began to question the “honorable Ned Stark” legend when he essentially forged King Robert’s Will in S1. In S6, it was revealed that the story Bran had heard like “a thousand times” about his dad beating Arthur Dayne in single combat was a a bunch of hooey: the truth was he was getting his ass kicked and was five seconds away from getting stuck with the pointy end of one of Arthur Dayne’s whirling swords when Howland Reed snuck up and stabbed Dayne on the back. I still don’t know why Ned allowed the perpetuating of the false tale of his heroism; today that kind of thing is condemned as “Stolen Valor.”

      I guess one of the moral of the story is that there’s often a big disparity between the myth and the reality.

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    189. Acme: However, we can easily surmise that it had little to do with some sort of inbuilt, snow magic-induced sense of Northern devotion and more to do with the simple fact that the Starks used to win. A lot.

      That is part of it. However, Ned seems to have been politically very savvy, and he seems to have gone out of his way to earn the respect of the Northerners. He might have been their overlord, but he seems to have gone out of his way to earn their respect rather than simply command their respect a la Tywin Lannister. I seem to recall that a few lines in the books imply that he learned this from his father.

      And that is something that Sansa seems to have not understood: loyalty must be earned and re-earned over and over. Roose Bolton understood this, too: as Glover notes, the Boltons provided aid in driving out the Iron Islanders, something that we can be certain Ned would have done. Jon, on the other hand, seems to instinctively understand this: but, then, as a bastard, he has had to live his entire life proving to people that he is worthy of any respect.

      I am not sure if this lesson will have any longterm implications for Sansa. However, she now knows that yet one more fairy tale is a lie, or at least a dissemblance: Northerners were loyal to the Starks not out of some innate moral goodness, but because Starks were canny enough to earn it. This could be relevant before the end.

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    190. Wimsey,

      I agree with this, the problem though is Jon probably picked things up from his father Ned though and he knew from a young age what his father’s morals and beliefs were so although his a bastard he still modeled himself after Ned, Sansa though because she’s younger I think she may have picked up some bad habits from Cersei because although they didn’t have a good relationship for those however many years Sansa was there Cersei was the closest thing she had to a woman to look up to. Cersei obviously doesn’t think she has to earn anyone’s loyalty, she’s a Lannister and thinks people should be loyal to her for that reason alone, which is the vibe I got from Sansa when she spoke to Lord Glover.

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    191. Ten Bears:

      I began to question the “honorable Ned Stark” legend when he essentially forged King Robert’s Will in S1. In S6, it was revealed that the story Bran had heard like “a thousand times” about his dad beating Arthur Dayne in single combat was a a bunch of hooey: the truth was he was getting his ass kicked and was five seconds away from getting stuck with the pointy end of one of Arthur Dayne’s whirling swords when Howland Reed snuck up and stabbed Dayne on the back. I still don’t know why Ned allowed the perpetuating of the false tale of his heroism; today that kind of thing is condemned as “Stolen Valor.”

      Hmmm. I would argue that both these incidents completely fall within Ned Stark’s famed code of honor. In the first instance, he would not perpetuate a lie, even for a king. In the second instance, while the lie does perpetuate a “false tale of his heroism,” it also saves his best friend’s honor. In the world of Westeros, driving a sword through a man’s back is one of the most dishonorable things a man can do. This is one of the two reasons Jaime is so hated: not only because he killed the king he was sworn to protect, but also because he didn’t face him when he did it.

      I would add that I doubt that Ned ever told the (false) tale of the Tower of Joy himself. I can imagine it tore him up each time he felt forced to confirm its veracity.

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    192. Wimsey: Ned seems to have been politically very savvy, and he seems to have gone out of his way to earn the respect of the Northerners. He might have been their overlord, but he seems to have gone out of his way to earn their respect rather than simply command their respect a la Tywin

      While I agree with you that Ned might have been savvy to the way Northerners did things, and equally savvy in discerning what Northerners respected, I think he was totally out of his element when in Kings Landing, up against the Lannisters, and all those who were used to the “southern” way. In his own way, similar to Tywin, he also expected to “command” the respect of those in KL.

      Being so honorable, he decided to give Cersei advance notice of his plan to inform on her to Robert. He had had time to observe how Cersei did things, and how determined she could be in getting her own way, for example with her insistence on killing Lady. Yet, the facts of her nature went completely over his head. He totally expected her to bow to his demands, and decamp like a frightened fool. Knowing what we know now of Cersei, his expectation that she depart just because he said so seems particularly foolish.

      He also expected that Renly and Littlefinger would automatically admire and abide by his honorable decision. But Ned’s honor, so effective in the North, is a fatal bumpkin’s play in Kings Landing. As Ten Bears so ably pointed out in a prior post, Ned wasn’t above fudging the truth when he felt it necessary. So why in the devil couldn’t he figure out when and how to do that in Kings Landing?

      My main point in this is that Sansa has seen and experienced things handled both ways: honorably and open, and … um, semi-shady and secretly. She’s done time as Joffrey and Cersei’s prisoner; she’s “earned” her stripes. She learned the hard way not to automatically believe hype, nor to automatically expect respect just because she’s a Stark. The fact that she held her cards close to the vest in revealing the possibility of the Vale army was reviled by many, but to me it means that she’s learning. I think that with practice, she’ll get the hang of the “whens and hows” of that kind of decision, something Ned never did. To paraphrase Tyrion, this Lady may indeed outlive them all. I hope so. (and raspberries to those who don’t.)

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    193. Thronetender: The fact that she held her cards close to the vest in revealing the possibility of the Vale army was reviled by many, but to me it means that she’s learning.

      What?! How is holding back important strategic information from her allies, brother and men putting their lives on the line for her mean that she is learning? What is she learning? That it’s okay to lie and manipulate her half brother and other allies?

      Sansa is not learning – she’s unlearning. She’s becoming more of an idiot as the show progresses.

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    194. A Dornish Tyrell,
      Ha ha ha ! I did hesitate to include Theon into the mix, I have to confess…

      My reasoning was, though it is true he is an Ironborn, the Starks treated him like a member of the family. Well, as much as possible considering Ned would have had to kill him had Baelon rebelled against the Crown… (Such a great situation for a young Theon to grow up in, knowing that his adoptive dad could murder him at any moment !) He received a 100% Northern upbringing with 100% Northern values which seemingly did very little to help him resist the temptation of betrayal.

      Ten Bears,
      Ah, Ned’s “honour” ! A few months ago, I recall A Dornish Tyrell and I went through a “Ned-bashing” phase, for a giggle. And the results were interesting, to say the least 🙂

      As far as I am concerned, Ned was a good, kind man who really tried his best to keep everyone happy whenever at all possible. But he was also a man whose definition of “honour” could fluctuate quite dramatically depending on his emotions and conflicting allegiances, leading to a fair amount of accidental hypocrisy :
      – he was BFF with Robert, a violent, abusive drunk who smirked at the corpses of Rhaegar’s children yet despised the Lannisters for their continued relationship with the Mountain;
      – he was at peace with the idea of revealing the true lineage of Cersei’s children, thereby in effect condemning them and their mother to death, yet recoiled at the idea of killing them himself… “He who passes the sentence should swing the sword” must have an asterisk attached to it that says “unless it is distateful, in which case it is OK to let others do the dirty work for you”;
      – had someone come to Ned to tell him “I know your “bastard” is actually Rhaegar’s son and I am going to tell Robert. But I am giving you and you nephew a headstart so you should get running”, he would have identified this message for what it was, namely a threat. Yet, when he did exactly that to Cersei, he called it “mercy”

      Ned always meant well but he did not always do well. Or good or fair, for that matter.

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    195. Wimsey,
      There is, indeed, a handful of references to Ned’s capable management of the North and its lords. And I have no doubt that he did his best to maintain good relationships with all of them.

      However, and please forgive me for my cynicism, I cannot help but doubt it was that arduous a task. After all, by the time Ned came back to the North as its Warden, he had participated, with his vassals, in one extremely successful campaign (Robert’s Rebellion) and was known to be the new King’s BFF (quite a prestigious backing). Furthermore, he benefited from 17 years of peace (not counting the Greyjoy Rebellion because… come on ! 😉 ) and prosperity. I honestly wonder what he would have had to do for his lords to dare stand up to him…
      And I do believe the same logic applies to many, if not all, of his predecessors.
      Therefore, while I do agree the Starks have always made efforts to earn their lords’ loyalty through good management and policies, I cannot shake the impression that said efforts’ payoff was mostly, entirely even perhaps, due to the Direwolves’ repeated military successes and good relationships with royalty, whether Targaryen or Baratheon.

      Should Sansa have approached the Northern lords differently ? Very probably.
      Would it have worked ? I have no idea because, honestly, neither she nor Jon had much to offer the lords at that moment… No backing from the Crown, no impressive military track record, no money, no food, etc.
      Would Ned, like Roose, have helped boot the Ironborn out of the North ? I have no doubt he would have. Partly to “feed” the Northern lords but also, and above all, because the Greyjoy men were invaders; their presence in the North was a direct affront to any Warden’s rule and legitimacy.

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    196. Acme: Ah, Ned’s “honour” ! A few months ago, I recall A Dornish Tyrell and I went through a “Ned-bashing” phase, for a giggle. And the results were interesting, to say the least

      Ha ha ha!! I remember our “Ned-bashing” phase very fondly!! 😀

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    197. Thronetender,

      Not to jump on the Ned-bashing bandwagon (well, maybe a little…), what I could never understand is that if he was going to confront Cersei and give her an ultimatum out of concern for her children, why didn’t he make sure his own daughters were safely out of the capitol BEFORE he confronted her? He’d previously told Arya, “we’ve come to a dangerous place.” He already suspected the Lannisters had murdered Jon Arryn. All kinds of other red flags were waving in his face.

      I just never understood why a father wouldn’t get his young daughters well clear of the zone of danger before the s-it hit the fan.

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