Gemma Whelan disappointed at fan reaction to “brilliant” GoT Season 8 ending

Yara Greyjoy 702 Sea Battle

In a new quickfire interview, Yara Greyjoy actor Gemma Whelan touches on everything from her spite towards a certain “man doing appalling things with his horrendous megalomaniac ego” (take a guess!) to her anorexia recovery, and of course she addresses Game of Thrones‘s ending, though perhaps not in the way one would expect.

When asked by The Guardian about what her “greatest disappointment” has been (in general; not just related to the HBO show,) Whelan has a clear–if controversial–answer:

“The fans’ reaction at the end of Game of Thrones because I think it was brilliant.”

Now, her opinion about the ending alone is sure to ruffle a few feathers, not to mention what some may see as a pushback against those fans who disliked the ending, but I believe this answer is valuable: for starters, it’s a good reminder that actual real-life people made this show with their hard work (yes, including the writers), which doesn’t mean they can’t be criticized but it does mean it must be done humanely; and also, it shows there is no secret conspiracy among cast members who actually hate the show but can’t admit to it openly—you have to read between the lines, I’m told; which is handy if you want someone to agree with you when they haven’t actually done so.

Even before the final season premiered, that sentiment was strong among those fans with–let’s say–an overactive imagination. Though much of it centered on Emilia Clarke for obvious reasons, apparently there were similar suspicions about Whelan. If nothing else, it’s nice to see those conspiracy theories (because that’s what they were) debunked.


In other news, Variety reports that Game of Thrones won another award: at Parrot Analytics’ 2nd Global TV Demand Awards, the show went home with the ‘Most In-Demand TV Series in the World’ and ‘Most In-Demand Drama Series’ awards.

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Congrats! I think everyone would agree that’s well-deserved.

447 Comments

  1. ”… Gemma Whelan touches on everything from her spite towards a certain “man doing appalling things with his horrendous megalomaniac ego” (take a guess)”

    Gee… Who can that be? 🤔

    🍔

  2. I agree with her. Season 8 and especially the end were brilliantly written by Mr. Benioff and Mr. Weiss. Haters gone hate, that’s nothing new. Every season since season 3 is considered as shit, so who cares what these people are saying.

  3. The LightKing:
    Ten Bears,

    It was brilliant, accept that!

    Not contesting its merits. As you surely know, I was just facetiously commenting on the (over)use of the word “brilliant.”

    How about “phenomenal”? Or “incredible”? Can’t we give “brilliant” a rest?

  4. Couldn’t have said it better myself. It was brilliant from start to finish and I’ll always be grateful. Cannot wait for my next rewatch of this masterpiece. Thank you Mr. Benioff and Mr. Weiss for 73 brilliant episodes.

  5. I can’t be against free speech and people hating something, but I’m disappointed in a way people showed their disappointment. They completely destroyed any discussion. At every poll you have around 50% people being satisfied with the ending and yet those who hated it were so aggressive and so hysterical that they destroyed fandom completely.

    I remember when I laughed at Star Wars fandom and said how happy I am that we are more mature.

    But insults, harassment, death threats, antisemitic remarks against creators of the show? It’s disgusting.

    I’m sure GoT actors mostly hate this fandom. You can read it between lines in interviews that they gave.

  6. Gemma’s great and definitely entitled to her opinion. I’d love more of her insight on the show though, not just some fans’ reactions. 😊 God, that word though. 😁

    Really wish Yara had more to do in S8 than headbutt Theon and sit rather complacently at the Dragonpit. I liked her character.

  7. The way I see it, the show always employed things like plot armour (Tyrion surviving two battles by sheer luck, all named Night’s Watch characters surviving the Fist of the First Men), deus ex machina (Tywin arriving at Blackwater, “Drop the scythe!”), and pretty dumb logic bending (the White Walker ignoring Sam, Oberyn gloating at the Mountain) to get to where it needed to go. That didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the show – it’s fantasy blockbuster entertainment so it’s allowed to bend the rules and suspend disbelief. In the later seasons the plot armour, deus ex machina, and dumb logic was far less subtle but, again, it’s fantasy blockbuster entertainment so it’s allowed to bend the rules and suspend disbelief.

    The difference for r/freefolk and others like them was that the plot armour, deus ex machina, and dumb logic were initially employed to achieve different examples of fan service, so they kept quiet. Jon came back from the dead and the Starks reclaimed Winterfell, eventually Jon and Daenerys got together, Ramsay was defeated, etc. It was the kind of stuff they’d dreamed of for years so they could forgive the plot armour, deus ex machina, and dumb logic becoming harder to ignore. Battle of the Bastards had some of the worst “battle tactics” ever but because the good team won and Jon was named King in the North they just didn’t care. Everybody wants fan service and wish fulfilment, as much as we pretend we don’t.

    But then in season 8 when the plot armor, deus ex machina, and dumb logic started to take the story in a direction that was different to what they wanted, they got angry. Suddenly plot armor was applied to characters who “didn’t deserve it”, suddenly deus ex machina served characters they hadn’t predicted would save the day, suddenly the dumb logic damaged the prospects of their favourite characters instead of bettering their chances. These elements of storytelling were always present, but when they started to make the audience feel like they weren’t in control they got very, very upset and saw it as a personal attack. Suddenly plot armour, deus ex machina, and dumb logic (three of the most important methods of blockbuster fantasy storytelling) were bad things and a sign of laziness.

    When you really analyse and distil it, much of the criticism aimed at the final season was nowhere near the “not the story, just the execution” reasoning we hear. So many people projected themselves onto Daenerys (and Jon) and saw her journey as an example of modern, liberal politics changing a world with authoritarian values. When it turned out Dany had always been plagued by those same authoritarian values, they saw it as a personal and direct attack on their reading of the show. Instead of just accepting that Dany was capable of cruelty, they blamed the writers for “making her cruel” in an instant. That’s why they wanted “more episodes showing Dany’s downfall” and that’s why they say it “felt rushed”, because they hadn’t once comprehended that their star girl wasn’t a star girl after all.

    There are still so many Targaryen stans (and “professional critics”) out there who refuse to acknowledge that Dany did anything wrong and claim that it was D&D who “made her burn King’s Landing to the ground”. These people jumped in early, shouted loudest, and set the narrative.

  8. Pigeon:

    Really wish Yara had more to do in S8 than headbutt Theon and sit rather complacently at the Dragonpit. I liked her character.

    To her credit, Yara was one of the few characters threatened with getting her throat slit by Arya who actually emerged from the confrontation without being turned into a human Pez Dispenser. Unlike ol’ Walder and Littlefinger.

  9. And Krakenbowl from S7 was great. Really well done by Mark Mylod.

    Another great person and great director who was victim of GoT toxic hatedom. I remember people celebrating that he was “fired” (lol) after S7.

    And then he went and worked on Succession and everyone had to shut up.

    Fantasy hatedoms are cancer.

  10. mau,

    Well I agree that people who overreact to D&D should not be taken serious, that means both “they are the mesiah”-kind of comments and the vile mean people who utter things I think are just disgusting. But I personally don’t give those vile people any energy at all.

    As for those things, they are not happening here, I think I only remember one person who posted something horrible a couple of weeks ago that we just as a group ignored and so he or she was quiet after that.

    As for the battle of the bastard, you say that it has one of the worst battle tactics out there. If you did some research you knew that this tactic of Battle of the Bastards (the one Ramsay used with the bodies) was used in history and resulted in winning the battle. So I don’t think you can say that this is the worst battle tactic of the show because it was successful in real life. About the long night, there the battle tactics just don’t make sense at all, which I think had the reason because the NK needed to feel safe to show his face, but that’s just speculation on my part to enjoy the episode more.

    As for the actors hating this part of the fandom. Well it depends, I think they hate the overreacting part of the fandom who are vile, and namecalling etc. But I think the ones that just have issues and express them but not insult the hard work and not insulting D&D I think they don’t have a problem with that.

    But the thing is, somehow the actors who had problems with the season and felled things were missing are somehow not mentioned: Conleth Hill, Daniel Portman and some others have expressed that they felled things were missing. Daniel Portman even stated that “The fans deserved more”. I mean if we are going to acknowledge the opinions of Gemma Whelan (which I believe she is honest this is her opinion I don’t believe in conspiracy theories and even if they are true I don’t care about them) but we also should acknowledge the opinions of other actors on the show who did not seem so content themselves.

    And I keep my own opinion: If we can criticize low paid jobs for their service like waiters, street makers, nurses and other low paid jobs which I see many times that people don’t have a problem to express their critic if they feel their service is not met, I think high paid jobs should also be able to being criticize for the service they delivered. (And yes there is a difference between critic and assaulting).

    As for Dany’s dark heel. It seems that the books will indeed go there, I think until the books are out we should see the show as the outline that we will get, but personally I believe the books will not make Dany turn dark (and Dany is my least favorite character or at least in the lower half of the books so this is not because I’m a fan), I still believe it’s Euron taking control of a dragon that burns KL to the ground in which Dany get’s the blame for the people. But the show didn’t delve into the magic part of the story so they could never have done that so another route needed to be taken.

    and if the books go indeed with Dark Dany I will like it very much and acknowledge I was mistaken, but if dark Dany doesn’t happen and in fact it’s Euron in the books. Will you acknowledge that you were wrong with stating: The books are set in stone with Dark dany?

  11. kevin1989,

    Hill didn’t have problems with this season. I listened to commentary of The Bells, with him and Sapocnik. Daniel Portman made fun of petition on his twitter.

    I don’t consider art to be service so I disagree about that comparison.

  12. kevin1989,

    There is absolutely no reason for two Hollywood writers like Benioff and Weiss to turn Daenerys dark. It’s completely delusional to think they would do something like that just to put Bran on the throne.

    Who cares about Euron burning KL? What is even dramatic weight there?

  13. mau,

    Hill missed the LF callback and something about his death being to fast.
    True Portman made fun of the petition, which every sane person would do, but he also stated (there’s a video of that) that he feels the fans deserved more and that it needed more time.

    As for service, if you pay for it, it’s a service. But that also means that only the people who pay for HBO should be able to criticize the show. The fans pay for the service of getting an episode.

    And it always astonish me that we as people don’t have a problem to make a fit when people in low waging jobs making a mistake, how much we let them know they made a mistake and they should fix that (for free). But when people have problems with high paid jobs people tend to say that you can’t criticize them and defend them to an extend that I don’t understand. If we can criticize low-waging jobs, we can also criticize a tv show (not personal the writers of course).

  14. mau,

    Dramatic weight is, that somebody who tries to do good and battle with the bad impulses chooses good, but is perceived by the once she try to save as evil. That would be more dramatic than just turning somebody evil. It will make that character tragic and heartbroken for better wording. The human heart in conflict with itself. “No matter how much I try to be good, people fear me”.
    It also fill in with the whole “Written history is a lie” that Martin writes about. If Dany is not responsible but will be remembered as the responsible one for this carnage will be something bittersweet. Just think off it, you did everything right to make the right decision but in the end history will remember you as the worst villain of history. It will be 10x more bittersweet than what the show gave us for Dany.

    For me that’s more dramatic than “This character is fully evil now”.

    And as I stated I’m not saying I don’t know what will happen, and if the books will go Dark Dany, I will admit you were right. But what if in the end Dany does not turn Dark in the books, will you admit that you were not right?

  15. mau,

    I know that there are places where as I put it “people react irrationally and overreact”.
    What I meant with the same is, both haters and fans both have a group that react “Irrationally and overreacting”, you can’t deny that some fans can overreact when somebody don’t agree with them? And calling other fans who don’t really think season 8 was brilliant names etc and that you feel like when talking about season 8 that it’s personal for them and that they can’t distance themselves from the show, and that’s what they have in common with the haters, because they also can’t distance themselves from the show, else they would just have moved on. That’s what they have in common both groups see the show “as who they are”. The ones who loved season 8 embrace that as their personal duty to protect the show’s legacy, and the ones who dislike season 8 feels the need to blame D&D for everything because they feel the same as the lovers only they feel betrayed. Both coming from the same place of mind.

    So for me in the end fans who can’t let go of the show and feel personally attacked when season 8 is criticize falls into the same category as the haters who do the same. If it’s extreme, it’s extreme.

  16. I dont post here much. I was here when Phil started this site before it was overrun before corporate sponsers. I first read AGOT in 2000 and joined this site when I heard about HBO acquiring the rights to make a series. Watched the first 20 min teaser of the pilot about 40 times. Waited patiently for each season to start and loved every season, where there were more triumphs than faults, even when the poor writing was mostly to blame. However, this last season was some of the worst of the series, if not THE worst. I know its a matter of opinion, but compared to well written HBO shows like Deadwood, The Wire, Six Feet Under, Sopranos, Boardwalk, Curb….this final season was rushed and bland.
    And yes, its been 20 years since I first read GRRMs magnus opus. And 9 years since the last book. After two decades I feel alright with saying that I am far from satisfied with ASOIAF. I actually took up playing golf and started to smoke a pipe while having long discussions regarding the fall of Gondolin. I also ceased asking Sue out. She never returned my calls.

  17. Do you really think that because people put an effort on their jobs we should not criticise them? Good to know so I can tell that to my boss.
    Gemma can say whatever she believes but in the end the “art” is not made for her and she should aknowledge the fans’ feelings as have done other actors. People have never said that the failure was an actors’ issue, in fact, they have been praised loads for working in such dire conditions and with such a poor material. Using the word “brilliant” seems a joke to me given all the constant and general criticism the last season received from both critics and fans.

  18. Rygar,

    Yeah, it was really the worst when it comes to script and story-telling (even than season 7, which I liked despite its faults), but not when it comes to acting, setting it up, direction, aesthetics, all the magical digital stuff. It’s a pity. “Rushed” cannot justify the magnitude of failure in story-telling. Who knows what they had in mind…

  19. I’ve read the books and seen every season multiple times.. except the last season I’ve only seen once. I understand “they worked hard” but the reality is the last season was rushed and poorly written. I understand some people liked it and see both sides. But an overwhelming amount of fans have noticed that it was rushed and poorly written compared to past seasons. I’m not a huge fan of the ending but it could have been written/shown a better way to get to that point. The way Arya killed the Night King was one of the biggest letdowns of the show to me. That’s not because I wanted jon snow to kill him or anyone else or because I built it differently in my head. Just the way that this ultimate threat was defeated by Arya jumping out of nowhere was comical to me. The major threat built up for years that no one believed in. Unstoppable force no one can get close too. Arya didn’t gain super powers she became an assassin.

  20. kevin1989,

    You do realize actual death threats were issued towards D&D, right? Calling that an overreaction is an understatement. Unless you’re saying that those who are hyper positive have done something equally ridiculous, there is no equating the two sides.

  21. Rygar,

    D&D were always planning to write a 70 episode story. With that knowledge, plus the fact that they spent two years working on the final season, you should be able to arrive at the conclusion that they didn’t rush the story at all. They ended it right when they were supposed to.

    Writing in season 8 was flawed, but every television show has flaws. People are simply far more critical of GOT. The flaws in season 8 were no more egregious than the flaws in other shows, or the previous seasons, for that matter.

  22. Rygar:
    I dont post here much.I was here when Phil started this site before it was overrun before corporate sponsers.I first read AGOT in 2000 and joined this site when I heard about HBO acquiring the rights to make a series.Watched the first 20 min teaser of the pilot about 40 times.Waited patiently for each season to start and loved every season, where there were more triumphs than faults, even when the poor writing was mostly to blame. However, this last season was some of the worst of the series, if not THE worst.I know its a matter of opinion, but compared to well written HBO shows like Deadwood, The Wire, Six Feet Under, Sopranos, Boardwalk, Curb….this final season was rushed and bland.
    And yes, its been 20 years since I first read GRRMs magnus opus.And 9 years since the last book.After two decades I feel alright with saying that I am far from satisfied with ASOIAF.I actually took up playing golf and started to smoke a pipe while having long discussions regarding the fall of Gondolin.I also ceased asking Sue out.She never returned my calls.

    Your golf line reminded me of a quote from Cincinnati football coach Sam Wyche (who recently passed away) after he got fed up by extreme fan reaction to a close loss to Cleveland. Wyche said at one point, “There’s golf to be played and tennis to be served up and other things to be done besides worrying about a football game.”

    At some point it’s time to move forward from the extreme criticism or extreme accolades. It’s still pretty close time wise to the end of the show so feelings are still pretty raw. With more time passing, people will tend to color their memories. I’m reminded of another football analogy from the little seen Robin Williams movie “Best of Times”
    Kurt Russell says something to the effect that people fondly recall his 5 touchdown passes he threw in the big game 15 years ago but he only threw 3 touchdown passes in reality.

    I guess people will see things the way the want to see them in the end. I have pretty strong feelings myself about the final season and other episodes as well. I will say no matter my criticisms, I never remember having a stronger emotional experience than I had the week between episodes 2 and 3 and all during episode 3 being scared that everyone was going to die. It almost happened until Arya did her wolf jump and knife drop. Although I’ve criticized a lot of things even about episode 3, I am thankful for the emotional relief I felt when TAOTD collapsed and everyone didn’t die…yet

  23. Nathalie,

    Brilliant is the perfect way to describe the final season. The material the actors had to work with was nominated for an Emmy, so they were given stronger material than most. The actors and actresses gave incredible performances in season 8 because of their phenomenal talent that was given a boost by phenomenal writing.

  24. Tron79,

    After my emotional relief subsided I did still have quite a few critical thoughts like, Did they really just end the whole TAOTD story in episode 3? Wow. Why was Jon flying the whole time and relegated to yelling at a dragon. So I had plenty of critical thoughts later. But at the time I felt very relieved. And it was a major accomplishment that the show was able to get me to feel as strongly as I did.

  25. So, as a medievalist, I’ve been taking particular notice of how battles are being depicted on screen, and this about after about the year 2000, when medieval/ancient drama somehow became tres a la mode in Hollywood. The flaw with older films was that they presented battles to be too “clean” and orderly, while they were in reality chaotic. Modern ones, however, LotR, Kingdom of Heaven, Alexander, and others, they all display some real tactics on screen and strive to achieve maximum credibility (even though sometimes they surpass it according to context, e.g. LotR).

    Apart from season 8, I enjoyed the battles of GoT very much, because they were indeed credible. Some of the most credible was the attack on the Wall by the Freefolk, Blackwater and BotB. I do have my reservations regarding wildfire, because in reality the “Greek fire” was based on oil and didn’t explode; its characteristic was that they couldn’t put it out (it was used particularly in seabattles and wasn’t particularly usefull in landbattles). However, in Martin’s universe it does explode, so the author imagined it as a combination of Greek fire and gunpowder I suppose. But I do know cases were an entire army appeared suddenly and without being noticed were it wasn’t supposed to be, crossing snowed mountains and 600 kilometers in the blink of an eye, just like Tywin did in Blackwater, or a diversion was devised to mislead the enemy (Robb), and one thing I have to say, the Dothraki style of fighting is very precise and modelled on nomadic people like Hunns and Avars and Turks (Blackwater Rush 7.4 -I just couldn’t believe my eyes; they climbed on horseback with their knees and loosed freely without any order, causing chaos to the enemy).
    So blaming D&D especially for battles and tactics is very, very shortsighted and I’d suggest to those who say such things to just open up a book (or the internet). The people involved in the show did their research (unlike those who criticise them) and they did a really good job at it.
    As regards the BotB, Jon pulled a classic Marathon move; put the weakest in the center, the strongest on the sides, so when the weakest retreat, the others would attack and thus surround them. This plan is in reality a trap and preconditions that the enemy (who is the stronger of the two) attacks first. The problem is that Ramsay destroyed Jon’s plan, and all Jon’s units attacked at once for saving his life (stupid Jon, he should have left Rickon to die). While the battle was waging, Ramsay had his archers loosing indiscriminately on them, killing many of their own along with Jon’s soldiers. This was designed to showcase Ramsay’s paranoia, as opposed Davos who gave the exact opposite command. The result was that Jon’s forces were surrounded by Ramsay’s heavy-armored infantry in a classic Roman move (a variation of their famous “turtle” formation) that did happen in history (the turtle itself was used all the time but adapted to the needs of each battle). Jon was doomed in reality but was saved by the surprise attack of the knights of the Vale.
    You can blame them for withholding that information from the audience, but you can’t blame them for the battle, because it was modelled on battles that did happen in history.

    The second battle for WF on the other hand was indeed a bad one; it’s pointless discussing it again, but I’ll say only that you can’t really blame them for judging that the visual impact of the Dothraki arakhs lighting up was much more powerful than, say, having them split on two sides of the battle formation and attacking from the flanks as they should have been. So what if reason disappears against all logic? It’s a visual medium and most of the audience enjoyed it for what it was (myself included).

  26. Nathalie,

    I suppose it is still too early for the actors to acknowledge that the fans also have a right to be critical, and that this criticism is not directed against them –on the contrary, like you’ve said, they all put in all they had and worked with a material that was inadequate. I suppose they still feel obliged to D&D for participating in such a huge thing, but Yara’s role in season 8 was too small and too insignificant to be satisfying for those among the audience who liked her.
    Yara’s character is in fact a good example demonstrating how they changed the story in favor of Daenerys. In the books, it’s Asha/Yara who has the vision of turning the Ironborn into merchants and stockbreeders, and keeping them away from piracy; for this reason she wants to take a piece of Westerosi lands to attach to the Iron Islands, because they are too poor and barren and nothing grows there, which makes the people turn to piracy to make a living.
    In the show, however, they make Daenerys demand that the Ironborn should stop piracy, to which Yara protests. They made Yara Daenerys’ follower, which she will not be in the books. In the show, it’s Dany who puts Yara in the right path and this paints Dany in a better light.

  27. kevin1989: Somehow the actors who had problems with the season and felled things were missing are somehow not mentioned: Conleth Hill, Daniel Portman and some others have expressed that they felled things were missing. Daniel Portman even stated that “The fans deserved more”. I mean if we are going to acknowledge the opinions of Gemma Whelan ….. we also should acknowledge the opinions of other actors on the show who did not seem so content themselves.

    Gemma’s “opinion” was a one-line reponse to a single question which was not specifically about GoT.

    I feel there is a big difference between the people who disliked the final season because of the outcome, and those who just felt that “things were missing”. I’m one of the latter. And that’s a positive criticism, surely – that we wanted more?

    What we did get was done brilliantly for the most part, and I’m sure that’s what Gemma means.

  28. Young Dragon,

    It seems that you missed my point, I was not talking about how the comments of those people are perceived but that the reaction of those people come from the same place: Those people can’t differentiate themselves from the show.

    As for the death treats, I expect that they made a case about that and those people are being put in front of a judge. At least in my country they take things like death treats seriously even if it was not meant seriously.

  29. Young Dragon,

    That’s just not a valid argument. They went with 70 episodes way back in season 1, that was before they decide to split the 3rd book. 1 book per season was their goal. And the goal doesn’t mean that you will end there in the end. Some shows need 1 or 2 more seasons to get to the end point. Some shows you find out that there is not much left. For instance mr robot was always the goal to be 5 seasons, but they found out that there was only 4 seasons worth of material. The writing should happen gradually. So even if their goal was 70 episodes, if the story asks for 80 episodes or 90, you go with 80 or 90 and not putting the last 20 episodes into 10 episodes for instance.

  30. Stew,

    Calling Dumb and Dumber is also to far in my mind. And I agree how it’s perceived that the hater group reacts more vile and worse but that’s not what I meant, I meant the mental state of the people writing it. Both groups have a irrational overreacting state when it concerns the show, their life is the show. The lovers defend it with all their energy they have, and I think many have sleepless nights thinking about that many didn’t liked it, and the next day they once again going to defend the show to an extend that is not healthy, we already had one person on this site who defended the show so much that he even admitted that his health suffered from it.
    That same state do the haters also have, but they didn’t feel satisfaction with the last season, they felled betrayed by the last season. So they don’t defend the show, every energy they have is spend to attack the show and going personal on the writers. And they go far, they lash out their anger, like the group of: overreacting lovers, they also don’t know any boundaries.
    So I agree how it outs themselves is different, but the way those people are comes from the same place, they take the show too personal. You can compare it too the extreme left and extreme right in politics, you can say that one extreme maybe are worse than the other, but both are extreme and irrational and defend their view to an extend that is not healthy and normal.

    Grandmaester Flash,

    That’s true.

  31. It’s unbelievable how hateful some people are. Haters everywhere. Can you please go to Reddit or Westeros.org and spread your senseless opinion there and dont also infect this site. Please…🙄

  32. I actually feel very sad for her and the rest of the cast and crew, they put their hearts and souls in this last season and you can really see that, everything was top notch… sauf the writting

    I really wholeheartedly hope the actors dont take this personally because if some of us disliked season 8 it was not due to their job, every single one of them gave extraordinary performances and I cannot wait to see what they do next.

    I also wanted to point out something: I am not a blindly raged hater, even if I strongly dislike the writting of the last two seasons I understand that there is people who are very, very passionate about the show and absolutely loved everything about it, and thats completely fine, our opinions can co-exist,

  33. i have to say that since the article title is about reactions to season 8, then it’s going to bring out comments for and against. I think I’ve heard all of the arguments to this point, so I’m hoping for a different kind of article. It’s really hard to keep rehashing it.

  34. kevin1989,

    If they wrote exactly as many episodes that they’ve always been planning to write, then they didn’t rush to get to the ending. They arrived at it gradually. People wanted more, sure, but the story didn’t demand more.

  35. Stew,

    I would say name calling was also unacceptable, though the death threats are by far worse. Attack the writing, not the writers.

  36. Tron79:
    i have to say that since the article title is about reactions to season 8, then it’s going to bring out comments for and against. I think I’ve heard all of the arguments to this point, so I’m hoping for a different kind of article. It’s really hard to keep rehashing it.

    Amen. ✅

  37. Rygar,

    Efi,

    1.) The GOT8 writing, particularly in 8.4,8.5,8.6, was comically bad. It was so bad it undermined much of the work done in previous seasons. For me the passage of time has only made me scorn the writing more.

    2) However, the acting, costume, music, and other production aspects were top notch. Excellent.

    3) I feel for the actors who should have walked away from GOT with an unquestioned successful TV series on their resumes. Instead, they are part of a monumentally wasted opportunity for greatness for GOT as a series.

    GOT8 was a “whiff” of legendary proportions. Or laughable proportions, if you prefer. It was bad.

  38. Young Dragon,

    You can’t know from day 1 how many episode it is going to get. They said since episode 1 that they were going for 70 episodes. Than the split happened for season 3 and 4 (which they didn’t had in mind back then) the show expended with 10 episodes right there. That means that it changed to 80. You can’t stretch some parts and rushed other parts just to keep getting to the 70 episodes.
    And they weren’t aiming for 70 episodes, they were aiming for 70 episodes and 3 movies (3 movies like lotr or big movies that happen lately are more than a 10 episode season so still more than 80).

    As I stated the opposite happens also, mr robot wanted 5 seasons of 13 episodes, which in the end become 4 seasons of 13, why? because that’s what the story asked for. And some other stories asks for more episodes than they initially went for.

    So even if they went with 70 episodes with season 8 they had a choice, keep what they had in mind, or asks themselves, what does the story need, the answer was, more episodes. You can’t make a show by constricting already at the beginning with: This is how many episodes the show gets. If they did that in the past, Storm of Swords would have ended with season 3 not season 4.

    Ten Bears,

    Perfectly said.

  39. kevin1989,

    Conlith is on record stating the media took that out of context. He said there was a media led hate campaign. He said in the commentary he did he loved the final season and told the haters to go write their own story.

  40. Mango,

    I know 32 nominations. Wins best drama of the year. Just got a bunch of critic choice nominees. Was the most viewed season they ever did. Such a huge whiff. I don’t think you know what comically bad is. That’s your write to think that but I disagree there a plenty of shows that are comically bad and GOT doesn’t come close.

  41. 1) This was GOT’s final year and GOT8 would have done well at the awards as a matter of custom. It was their gold watch year. GOT’s final should have done better in the final award season than it actually did. (Compare to say, Downton Abbey’s send off)

    2) GOT had excellent production values and that made it one of the best series this award year. Even when below par, GOT was still one of the best!

    3) Further, this was a weak year in awards (up to late summer). The competition for the Emmys and other awards was weak.

    A “weak” Emmy award year exists when few of the competing shows/actors have been nominated before OR have won these awards before. This is because awards tend to have some inertia – the most likely to win are previous nominees or winners. Very few shows/actors win with their first nomination. Very few shows win in their first season. (Hats off to Mad Man and Handmaids!) In this award year, many of the series that were competing with GOT for awards were first time nominees and/or shows in their very first seasons. So a weak award year. Even then, GOT* could not dominate the season. And the minute the competition strengthened with the return on Crown etc, GOT8 won less and less.

  42. Mango,

    So basically your answer is I have to claim other shows weren’t as good to validate GOT winning. Why didn’t Veep win for its final sendoff then? Why did the final season get more nominations then any other season. Your just like many others. When their favorite show wins the Emmys matter but when their favorite doesn’t win the awards don’t matter. You use the Crown as an example but disregard all the great shows nominated like Better Call Saul. Sounds to me like your just trying to say whatever you can to claim your right and the voters are wrong. GOT kept getting more nominations and more wins as the seasons went on.

  43. MaxHightower,

    Well since people constantly attack D&D personally who the actors are friends with some of them are going to take it personally. This fandom became extremely toxic. It’s always the entire crew is amazing except the two people who created that crew they suck.

  44. The LightKing,

    Apparently. I love the standard people hold D&D to. Just being nominated for any award should be looked at as an incredible achievement especially with the amount of TV shows out there. Instead they get called hacks if they don’t win an award. To many fans see them getting nominated for an award and not winning as a failure and proves their hacks. Even the media to an extent. The Insider wrote and article claiming GOT failed at the Emmys this year. This is the standard people hold them to. The show wins best drama of the year and people claim it failed at the Emmys.

  45. Tron79:
    Ten Bears,

    Awesome.Do u think there’s a chance for a spin off?

    They ought to just pay Maisie Williams and Jenna Coleman tons of money to do four one-hour specials a year. “The Adventures of Ashildr & Clara in Outer Space: The Long Way “Round.”

    I’d tune in, and I’m no Dr. Who fan.

  46. To Nobody in Particular…
    Friendly Reminder
    (excerpted from WoW FAQ)
    ***

    2. What is the moderation policy when commenting on Watchers On the Wall ?

    “WatchersOnTheWall.com has an open commenting policy for the most part, but personal attacks on other commenters are not permitted. Spamming and trolling are also not allowed, and comments of this nature may be deleted without warning. If your post contains language that is racist, extremely vulgar, or otherwise abusive, it may also warrant deletion.”
    ***

  47. Ten Bears: They ought to just pay Maisie Williams and Jenna Coleman tons of money to do four one-hour specials a year. “The Adventures of Ashildr & Clara in Outer Space: The Long Way “Round.”

    I’d tune in, and I’m no Dr. Who fan.

    That is a great idea. I think they would have huge ratings for those 4 specials. I certainly would tune in.
    #thelongwayaround

  48. Ten Bears:
    Tron79,

    I’m not sure which spinoff would be more popular.

    https://i.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/001/494/628/0df.jpg


    #thelongwayaround
    #theStarkShipNymeria

    As long as #theStarkShipNymeria
    doesn’t have to only be in cbs all access. I could see it now in the spirit of the old kung fu series. Something happens on her voyage where she saves Jaqen by spearing the emperor of some western kingdom. Arya becomes a fugitive. Arya has many flashbacks from Syrio and Jaqen. There would be new scenes of her training we never saw. She comes to the rescue of someone in the new port she visits each week while trying to blend in and avoid the bounty hunters who have a major fight at the end of each episode. it would be the best thing on tv.

  49. Tron79: As long as #theStarkShipNymeria
    doesn’t have to only be in cbs all access. I could see it now in the spirit of the old kung fu series. Something happens on her voyage where she saves Jaqen by spearing the emperor of some western kingdom. Arya becomes a fugitive.Arya has many flashbacks from Syrio and Jaqen.There would be new scenes of her training we never saw.She comes to the rescue of someone in the new port she visits each week while trying to blend in and avoid the bounty hunters who have a major fight at the end of each episode.it would be the best thing on tv.

    I’m sold!

    P.S. Here’s my ASNAWP Screensaver of the Week (closeup during 7×4 sparring scene)

    https://images.app.goo.gl/Y7VWcfgqdmqTcXt86

  50. Ten Bears: I’m sold!

    P.S. Here’s my ASNAWP Screensaver of the Week (closeup during 7×4 sparring scene)

    https://images.app.goo.gl/Y7VWcfgqdmqTcXt86

    I just added it to my starks background on my computer I’m sitting in front of..
    I resized the height of the original to 1080 and then I changed the canvas size to 1920 keeping Maisie in the center. She looks great as always! Thanks. I haven’t updated those rotating backgrounds in awhile. I still have all the shots from the Entertainment Weekly photo shoot, plus the original Starks windows theme which has lots of good ones from the younger days… But there were no Hound/Arya photos in this theme, so more I can add! Humm…

  51. Tron79,

    One of my favorite Arya moments – and I’m still looking for a clear still photo of it – is when Syrio lifts her chin with his finger while saying “Not today.” All I’ve had thus far are some not-so-crisp screenshots.

  52. Tron79:
    Ten Bears,

    Here’s the latest interview by Maisie about her role in New Mutants. She didn’t think people wanted her in that role…
    https://comicbook.com/marvel/2020/01/26/x-men-new-mutants-star-maisie-williams-thought-fans-didnt-want-her/

    ????

    “And the actress admitted that she anticipated fans rejecting her part in the new movie.“
    ***

    “From what I thought, people didn’t really want me.”

    ***
    Excuse me, Ms. Williams! You are the only reason I’m going to watch this movie!

    (Also looking forward to the rumored romance subplot with Blu Hunt’s character.)

    https://celebarticles.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Blu-Hunt-Maisie-Williams-Strike-pose.jpg

  53. Ten Bears:
    Tron79,

    Reply stuck in moderation. What did I do to offend the Lord of Light?

    Well it could be my fault. I was just reading more of the HDM books but I didn’t comment about it! Perhaps TLOL knew I was being a bit unfaithful to GOT!. Going back to reading for a bit. Sorry TLOL. I should be working on my 73chickens site though instead of reading. Ugg. I’m letting GRRM rub off on me with distractions. Seriously though I’ve been tweaking my scoring system because it doesn’t feel right yet. You need something to take notes during the episode to count the thread count for example. I am still experimenting by scoring a few episodes until it feels like it’s working. Ok back to reading for now. I will check back later. I suppose I should be reading the GRRM TARG book to get ready for the prequel but I will stick to this HDM series for now.

  54. Season 8 had brilliant moments. Nothing more.
    If one looks on the main HBO website, the level of disappointment will be obvious. You really need to search alot to find Game Of Thrones.
    Too bad…
    I look forward to House of the Dragon. Until then, I’ll re-read the books over and over…..and over again.

  55. kevin1989,

    Everyone is different. Some can structure their story perfectly from the beginning. Others may need to improvise. As it is, D&D were a little off, actually. They gave us 73 episodes instead of 70. The fact they gave us 3 extra episodes makes the claim they rushed to get to the ending look even more ridiculous. Still, them being in the ballpark is very impressive. They knew exactly how many episodes they needed to tell their story.

  56. D&D made most of the characters stupid…. Queen Daenerys forgot about Euron’s fleet and she could’ve and should’ve killed Euron at that time… Bronn told Jaime and Tryion that Cersei would pay him a fortune to him to kill them and Tyrion and Jaime both tried to save Cersie. They talked about Cersei being sick and twisted and all she cared about was herself. Tyrion told Daenerys about Lord Varys and Lord Varys was right. Too much plot armor… Too much fan service… Jaime and Brienne and Cleganbowl…. Arya’s story was boring after 8X3. Queen Cersei was boring all of season 8. Sansa didn’t tell Tyrion that Littlefinger killed King Joffrey when they talked in S8 E2. Jon being the Rightful heir to Rule the Seven Kingdoms wasn’t an issue when it should have been. Season 8 definitely could’ve been written better.

  57. kevin1989,

    You can pretty easily google that quote to find the source. It’s from SDCC 2019. In lots of articles across the internet and on video.

  58. firstone,

    D&D didn’t not make the characters stupid. Danerys did not forget about the Iron Fleet, as she spoke about them in that very same episode. She was ambushed, plain and simple. There is nothing stupid about trying to save your sister and her unborn child, no matter her crimes against you. It’s called unconditional love for a reason. Besides, the child did nothing wrong. Tyrion didn’t know that Lord Varys was right. He wanted so desperately to believe that Danerys was the queen who would bring peace to the realm. There was no more plot armor than previous seasons. Jaime leaving Brienne is not fan service. Besides Cleganebowl, season 8 was anti-fan service. Arya continued to be incredible, especially in Episode 5. I agree about Cersei. She’s still an interesting character, but I wish she was given more to do. Jon’s parentage and being the rightful heir was an issue. It was a major contribution to Dany’s turn. Every season of every television show ever made could be written better, because no television show is perfect.

  59. Fireandblood87:
    Mango,

    So basically your answer is I have to claim other shows weren’t as good to validate GOT winning. Why didn’t Veep win for its final sendoff then? Why did the final season get more nominations then any other season. Your just like many others. When their favorite show wins the Emmys matter but when their favorite doesn’t win the awards don’t matter. You use the Crown as an example but disregard all the great shows nominated like Better Call Saul. Sounds to me like your just trying to say whatever you can to claim your right and the voters are wrong. GOT kept getting more nominations and more wins as the seasons went on.

    No. You are not comprehending.

    Please re-read the post. Ask someone with spare time to explain it to you if needed.

    2019 is not the first weak competition year, it happens from time to time. Read any paper/magazine with a good entertainment section before any award season and you will see several discussions of whether the year is strong or weak. You will see discussions of “the gold watch” year – especially for drama series. It is just the way it is in the business. Also, this is not GOT’s fault. (HBO may bear some minor responsibility re Westworld.) It can only compete with what has been presented by others.

    Better Call Saul did beat GOT8 among the critics. But BCS was the only show in the lot that had prior nominations/real recognition that GOT8 had to face in 2019.

    Anyway, any adult that follows the entertainment business knows this stuff. For example, in the Oscars this year, the male actor section seems to be quite competitive.

  60. Mango,

    Again your just trying to claim it only won because of its competition. You might be right if it hadn’t won the last 3 seasons also.

  61. Fireandblood87,

    I personally hate it when people directly attack D&D, imo the writting of seasons 7-8 sucked, but for people to call them names, wish that their lives are ruined and they kill themselves? thats truly awful.

    Yes, Im really critical of the plot, but I still respect D&D for two main reasons:
    1. Creating a show that I have been obssesed for years and introducing me to the extraordinary world of ice and fire.
    2. Being brave enogh to continue with the show despite running out of source material, and they held her own, at least for seasons 5 and 6, they werent perfect but still incredibly entertaining and true to (some) the characters.

    But then again everyone is very brave on the internet so you can say all the horrible things you want because you will not be punished, but people should really take in account that the hateful messages will get to them, and they are humans after all.

  62. Also, Can I just congratulate the people in charge of this website for being so professional and allowing an open discussion without censoship?

    Season 8 is and will always be very divisive and I really wanna appreciate the effort, pacience and work that Sue the Fury, Luka Nieto and everyone else at wotw.

    Thank you guys so much!

  63. Fireandblood87:
    Mango,

    “Again your just trying to claim it only won because of its competition….“

    Message from King Stannis:

    With the understanding that Auto Correct may be the culprit, can we try to use the contraction “you’re” for “you are,” instead of the incorrect and distracting “your”?

    Auto Correct has made my kingdom bleed. I will see Auto Correct’s head on a pike.”

    – Stannis Baratheon, the One True King

  64. Young Dragon,

    “While Dany kind of forgot about the Iron Fleet and Euron’s forces, they certainly haven’t forgotten about her”

    I think an edit of their inside ep sometimes would have saved us all from realizing how simplistic they at times treat the characters’ situations.

    “Show runner: And here we have Dany gets attacked by Euron, and loses another Dragon.”
    “Actors, media, public: Why is she not prepared? It’s not like Euron is an insignificant threat! His ships have already beaten her and her allies more than once (Yara and the Dand snakes, cutting off the Undullied from their ships at Castle Rock) and always by surprise attacks!”
    “Show runners: well… she forgot!”

  65. Fireandblood87,

    How dare someone not like something that you liked.

    Season 8 was shit. A video explaining everything that was shit about it (plot holes, characters acting against their established personalities, things that made no sense whatsoever) would be longer than the season itself.

  66. Fireandblood87,

    I agree it’s childish but it’s ok line to stay at. Anytime it starts getting personal and leading to death threats is way over the line.

    Personally I loved this season. I really enjoyed first viewing but loved it more on my multiple viewings of it.

  67. TormundsWoman:
    Young Dragon,

    “While Dany kind of forgot about the Iron Fleet and Euron’s forces, they certainly haven’t forgotten about her”

    I think an edit of their inside ep sometimes would have saved us all from realizing how simplistic they at times treat the characters’ situations.

    “Show runner: And here we have Dany gets attacked by Euron, and loses another Dragon.”
    “Actors, media, public: Why is she not prepared? It’s not like Euron is an insignificant threat! His ships have already beaten her and her allies more than once (Yara and the Dand snakes, cutting off the Undullied from their ships at Castle Rock) and always by surprise attacks!”
    “Show runners: well… she forgot!”

    Agreed. It’s one thing for Euron to get the better of Dany’s fleet, but the way it happened just made Dany’s crew seem completely inept. It’s not like Dany was the only one to forget either. The Unsullied, Tyrion, and everyone else who was with them seemed rather unprepared to fight a war that they were instigating, especially when they were entering enemy territory. Just came off as a bit absurd to me, and an overly simplistic way to expedite Rhaegal out of the story.

  68. thorne garnet,

    It is? I was waiting for set reports on season 9 to come out, but this whole time the show was already over?

    In all seriousness, why do you care if people are talking about Game of Thrones or not?

  69. TormundsWoman,

    It doesn’t matter what the showrunners say, all that matters is what is presented in the show. In the show, Danerys did not forget about the Iron Fleet. There is no indication of that. She was ambushed, plain and simple.

  70. Young Dragon,

    I actually agree with you about this. It is for that reason that I said that sometimes, it would be much better if they had edited those Inside the Ep episode. If it works out that a part of your audience believes that it is a third surprise attack and it works for them & for the story, making sense for Dany not to be prepared for an ambush after the first two losses, why betray your “she forgot” thought process? It’s making you look downright silly.

  71. Mr Derp,

    It does kind of beg the question why someone who proclaims GoT is “over and done with,” and we should all “move on” — decided to come here to a GoT fan site and spend the time to write that.
    🤔

  72. Ten Bears:
    Mr Derp,

    It does kind of beg the question why someone who proclaims GoT is “over and done with,” and we should all “move on” — decided to come here to a GoT fan site and spend the time to write that.
    🤔

    I think that poster “kind of forgot” that this is a website dedicated to Game of Thrones and that fans of the show enjoy discussing it whether the show is over or not.

    I guess he/she just needed to get some snark out of their system or something, but some things are just best left unsaid.

  73. TormundsWoman:
    Young Dragon,

    I actually agree with you about this. It is for that reason that I said that sometimes, it would be much better if they had edited those Inside the Ep episode. If it works out that a part of your audience believes that it is a third surprise attack works for them and for the story, making sense for Dany not to be prepared for an ambush after the first two losses, why betray your “she forgot” thought process? It’s making you look downright silly.

    I have a philosophical dilemma about the “Inside the Episode” commentaries:

    A severe GoT critic excerpted portions from the S8 Blue Rays extras that apparently were intended to constitute the S8e6 “Inside the Episode” – but was never aired as such. (The critic makes a compelling argument that these portions of the DVD extras, featuring commentary by the showrunners, were in fact intended to be the “Inside the Episode” segment that would have aired on HBO right after the final episode of S8.)

    My dilemma is that this particular critic is virulently “anti-D&D,” and his video injects his own biases and condemnations. While I was considering posting the link just so we could (with civility) discuss the showrunners’ comments about their writing decisions, I would not want anyone to think I necessarily endorse the “D&D-bashing” inserted by this critic into the video.

    Some of his observations may be valid, though his vituperative language is way over the top. While the showrunners’ comments themselves might shed some light on the topics we’ve been speculating about and discussing here, I certainly do not want to poison the discourse with the views of a “D&D Hater.” (Obviously, I can’t edit out the snark and venom.)

    I’ve refrained from posting the link. Does anyone think I should?

  74. TormundsWoman,

    Oh dear. I fear that “Dany kind of forgot about the Iron Fleet” is going to join “bad p***y,” “Sansa’s the smartest person I’ve ever met,”She is muh kween,” and Tyrion’s unfinished jackass and honeycomb joke in the GoT Hall of Infamy.

  75. Mr Derp: I think that poster “kind of forgot” that this is a website dedicated to Game of Thrones and that fans of the show enjoy discussing it whether the show is over or not.

    • “Kind of forgot.” 🤣😂😂
    • I am sure Groucho Marx had a line to describe someone like that; I’m trying to remember what it was…

  76. Mr Derp:
    Ten Bears,

    Don’t forget “and who has a better story than Bran?”

    • Oh sh*t, you’re right.

    While I acknowledge that some viewers thought it was “br*****+t,” I thought Tyrion’s entire speech nominating “Bran the Broken” was awful.

    I suppose we could also consider Bran’s reply, ”Why do you think I came all this way?” for inclusion in the Hall of Infamy.

    • Don’t get me wrong: I think a collection of Memorable GoT Quotes would have many more entries than the Hall of Infamy.

  77. Ten Bears,

    I have seen professional critics sight quotes that D&D have never even said and use them as facts. Some critics only actual arguement was the showrunners are racist and sexist. Another famouse podcast I won’t mention the name said D&D should be sued by HBO.

  78. Fireandblood87:
    MaxHightower,

    The held their own for more than 5 or 6 seasons. Just because you didn’t like it doesn’t mean they failed. This fandom has been shitting on D&D for years. Everyone who works on the show always gets praise except them. The two guys who make all the decisions and final choices apparently are hacks but everyone else is amazing. George can write Blackwater and have people survive impossible situations and have an army come in at the last minute unnoticed and save them. D&D write the same exact thing but their somehow hacks.

  79. Ten Bears: • Oh sh*t, you’re right.

    While I acknowledge that some viewers thought it was “br*****+t,” I thought Tyrion’s entire speech nominating “Bran the Broken” was awful.

    I suppose we could also consider Bran’s reply, ”Why do you think I came all this way?” for inclusion in the Hall of Infamy.

    • Don’t get me wrong: I think a collection of Memorable GoT Quotes would have many more entries than the Hall of Infamy.

    Oh, I agree. There are 100 times more good quotes than bad. Any show with that many seasons/episodes is bound to have some less than stellar moments. My favorite show of all time is probably the Sopranos, and that wasn’t perfect either.

    I think most people who’ve been around this site for a while understand pretty well who comes here in good faith vs. those that don’t and who has constructive criticism vs. trolling. I know you loved the show TB, I personally don’t feel that you need to justify any criticism just to avoid the wrath of a few posters who get butt hurt when season 8 gets any criticism at all.

    Of all the issues I had with season 8, the dragonpit scene was probably the worst for me. Everything was strangely cordial, and everyone seemed all too willing to give up power all for the sake of a tidy conclusion. The Starks got everything they wanted without any resistance or decent. The North told the new king they would be independent without asking, and every other kingdom just went along with being ruled by Bran without any objection or concern.

    Why was it so easy for the lords at the Dragonpit meeting to agree on Bran being king? None of them know what a Three-Eyed Raven is nor do they have any connection to the Old Gods up North. He has a good story, so…that’s it? I mean, the boar that killed Robert Baratheon had a more interesting story. Hell, so did Ser Pounce. Let’s make him king!

    Tyrion said they should ignore the line of succession because the sons of kings/queens are often terrible like Joffrey. Ending the line of succession is “breaking the wheel”. It’s stopping a bad system. However, this could also lead to more conflict. Tyrion said that each new king would be chosen by the lords of Westeros, meaning that every time a king dies, there would be a new uncertainty. At least with the old system there was some stability. Now anyone can be king, so it could turn into a free-for-all every time a king dies.

    Right after this, Sansa stated that everyone would be ruled by Bran, but the North would be ruled by Sansa. It’s a total Stark coup. How is everyone just going along with this? Yara wanted the Ironborn to be granted independence in season 6, yet by the end of season 8 she KIND OF FORGOT about that and was completely cool with being ruled by Bran. This makes no sense.

    Dorne also has a long and proud history of being independent, and they should be in a strong position at the end of season 8 since their armies went untouched in the recent wars, but this random unnamed prince just handed over Dorne to the Starks? Why? This whole show was about ambitious noble families fighting and scheming for power, but now, in this one scene, all the great houses agree to give up their power to a strange psychic kid because he “has a good story”. Gimme a break.

    Sansa set a precedent for kingdoms to secede, so there could easily be rebellions in the future.

    Bran will apparently be a good ruler because he’s inhuman, which is a pretty depressing message. Game of Thrones was always about the struggle between human good and human evil within each person. Bran being the only choice for a good king suggests that the solution to human evil isn’t human good, it’s being not human at all. With the failures of Jaime and Dany, season 8 felt deeply cynical about the possibility of human good.

  80. Fireandblood87:

    Fireandblood87:

    Fireandblood87:
    Ten Bears,

    I have seen professional critics sight quotes that D&D have never even said and use them as facts. Some critics only actual arguement was the showrunners are racist and sexist. Another famouse podcast I won’t mention the name said D&D should be sued by HBO. I know if I was them I would also barely give any interviews. Look at their Austin interview. I listened to it. They were nothing but humble and gave praise to everyone but themselves. I go online and see articles and comments talking about how arrogant they are. Joanna Robinson said they are “antagonistic towards fans”. When were they acting antagonistic towards fans? The answer is they never were but since Joanna hates them she says dumb things like that.

  81. Mr Derp,

    What? Season 8 in the end showed it was Tyrion and the council that was in charge not Bran. They will some day have an election. No more royal bloodlines. The show was never trying to say everything is perfect now. Things are just simply starting to head in a better direction.

  82. Fireandblood87:
    Mr Derp,

    What? Season 8 in the end showed it was Tyrion and the council that was in charge not Bran. They will some day have an election. No more royal bloodlines. The show was never trying to say everything is perfect now. Things are just simply starting to head in a better direction. There ismmore Dorne in the books. Dorne was pretty much sidelined for the show. I think much of that is because I don’t think George knows what to do with Dorne either.

  83. Fireandblood87:

    Fireandblood87:
    Mr Derp,

    What? Season 8 in the end showed it was Tyrion and the council that was in charge not Bran. They will some day have an election. No more royal bloodlines. The show was never trying to say everything is perfect now. Things are just simply starting to head in a better direction. I have to disagree we watched Brans story from season 1 and it’s much more interesting than Roberts story.

  84. Fireandblood87:

    Maybe you should stop going out of your way to read message boards that are not respectful to D&D then. It sounds like it bothers you quite a bit. Save yourself the grief and frustration. Let those posters wallow in their own misery without getting sucked into it yourself. It doesn’t do anyone any good.

    People do horrible stuff all the time. Saying dumb crap on the internet is just one of them. It’s not constructive or useful to read those comments just to come here and complain about it as if D&D need sympathy points. 9 out of 10 of your comments are usually some kind of sob story about D&D. People praise D&D here on this website all the time. Perhaps you should just limit your GoT interactions to here. It sounds like you could use some time away from the negativity.

  85. When even incredibly smart lovers of the show such as Alt Shift X can’t find a way to defend the final season, you know you have screwed up.

    I have no idea why she is disappointed by people who expected better from the writers, but I sure know why WE are disappointed by her for defending that shitshow ending.

    I know the people who worked on the show can’t talk shit about the last season, but at least stay silent and don’t try to sound like you are kissing the asses of your overlords. Show some respect, jeez.

  86. Fireandblood87: I have to disagree we watched Brans story from season 1 and it’s much more interesting than Roberts story.

    I mentioned the boar that killed Robert, not Robert 🙂

    Fireandblood87: Things are just simply starting to head in a better direction.

    What evidence is there that things are heading in a better direction though? I keep hearing how it’s a step in the right direction, but how? I pointed out the specific issues that this new form of election/government presents. How is it making Westeros better again (barf)?

  87. Mr Derp,

    They literally got rid of people ruling simply because of their birthright. That’s a huge deal. The kingdom might end up back where it started. The show wasn’t saying everything would be great from now on. There could even be a 30 year time jump and everyone is back to war again. I do think it is a step in the right direction though. Having no more bloodlines choose who is in charge is a huge deal.

  88. aiad:
    Fireandblood87,

    How dare someone not like something that you liked.

    Season 8 was sh*t. A video explaining everything that was sh*t about it (plot holes, characters acting against their established personalities, things that made no sense whatsoever) would be longer than the season itself.

    There is no shortage of such videos – some over two hours long – on YouTube.
    For me? I prefer to accept that there were shortcomings – as well as triumphs. I can dissect out the episodes and scenes I didn’t like and still come out with 60+ hours of perpetually rewatchable content. I can acknowledge that some storylines fizzled out and some characters’ words and actions defied logic in latter seasons, while also appreciating the engrossing stories and well-constructed character development in preceding seasons.

    (As just one example, I never bought into the Jon & Dany romance and wasn’t bowled over by their conversations (or lack thereof). Nor did I find Jon’s assassination of Dany to be heartwrenching.
    That has not tempered my enthusiasm for the Jon & Ygritte romance in Seasons 2-3, or the emotional impact of its tragic conclusion in Season 4.)

    I’ve said before that in retrospect, it wouldn’t have been terrible (for me) if the show had ended at S6e10. Sure, there were unresolved storylines, but the show would have ended on a high note with “The Winds of Winter”:

    Jon elevated from The Bastard of Winterfell to King in the North; Arya avenging the Red Wedding (borrowing book! Lord Manderly’s Frey Pies subplot); Sansa going from psychos’ punching bag to Lady of WF; the forces of the North, Free Folk and the Vale united to prepare for the WW invasion; Cersei overcoming humiliation and persecution in one fell swoop by incinerating her enemies and ascending to the throne; and Dany with her invincible armada, armies and dragons on her way to fulfill her destiny.

    I really would not have minded filling in the rest of the story with my own “head canon” – or the informed speculation of the many intelligent commenters on this site.

  89. Zalos,

    What about people who don’t agree with Alt Shift like me? I think he got too bogged down in his 10 million different theories videos. Nobody disrespected you by the way.

  90. Fireandblood87:
    Ten Bears,

    I disagree most videos I have seen are terrible and nothing but a D&D bash fest.

    Fireandblood87:
    Ten Bears,

    I disagree most videos I have seen are terrible and nothing but a D&D bash fest. I liked Danys death. Who said it was Danys destiny? It was Dany who kept saying that she had a massive messiah complex in the end.

  91. Fireandblood87,

    I get that the bloodlines thing is gone, but that’s part of my point. At least in the old system there was something to fall back on. Something to create order out of all the chaos.

    Now that the bloodlines are gone, it’s a free-for-all. Anyone can claim the throne. Instead of relatives fighting over the throne, now everyone is fighting over it without any way to filter out who should or shouldn’t be considered. It’s just adding to the chaos. This would seem to actually instigate MORE wars, not less.

    The lords of the high houses are now choosing whom to elect king, but what’s to stop them from being completely corrupt and giving their vote to the highest bidder? It’s just more of the same with MORE opportunity for chaos.

    I understand that they weren’t trying to convince anyone that they created a flawless system of government. There is no such thing. However, like I said, IMO this is a worse option for a country that needs some order after all the destruction and chaos.

    I will say that the one positive outcome I can think of is that there’s more opportunities for people to serve the government that weren’t able to previously. Though I doubt they would have much of a chance without being particularly rich or having inside connections, which was kind of already a problem that needed to be addressed. Maybe in 10 years

  92. Mr Derp,

    So your solution is more of the same? Continue with the same royal bloodline system they always use. To each his own I disagree big time with that.

  93. Fireandblood87,

    Alt Shift X did not bash the last season. I said that he was not able to logically defend it, aside from trying to imply that character arcs being rushed led to the unsatisfying ending. Why I brought him up is because if there is one huge GoT fan who is both extremely logical and incredibly well versed in Martin’s lore, it’s Alt Shift. If he himself was unable to defend the writing in S8, then nobody else logically can.

    Also, I see a lot of people who are saying that those who were disappointed by the final season also hate the show in general now. That is utter bullshit. The first four seasons are and will always be amazing. After that, the story dipped a bit, but it’s really only in s7 and s8 that things went to shit. That’s what disappointed us.

    I know it’s easy to push us aside as if we just hate the show in general to make it more sensical for you to defend that crapshoot of an ending, but it only paints you in a hypocritical light. The last season is hated because it was bad on many fronts and it has been explained why in extreme details over and over. At this point, there’s nothing new to be said. I can’t believe there are those who still defend it.

    The only argument you can have to say something good about the last season is that the people who worked on the sets, costumes, cgi, etc. were awesome as usual. Oh, and that Ramin’s soundtrack was wonderful. Most naysayers of the last season will easily admit that. Sadly, what mattered most to people after 10 years of the show was the story and its characters, and on that front they completely shat the bed.

    As for disrespect, nobody said that. I meant that Gemma is showing little respect for herself by defending D&D for appearances. There is no way she seriously believes that the ending was a masterpiece. That is laughable. Give me a single explanation of why the conclusion could be considered to be a masterpiece.

  94. MaxHightower: Yes, Im really critical of the plot, but I still respect D&D for two main reasons:
    1. Creating a show that I have been obssesed for years and introducing me to the extraordinary world of ice and fire.
    2. Being brave enogh to continue with the show despite running out of source material, and they held her own, at least for seasons 5 and 6, they werent perfect but still incredibly entertaining and true to (some) the characters.

    These are exactly my thoughts 🙂 I have issues with the writing sometimes, especially in season 8, but they’re the reason I got into it at all.

  95. Fireandblood87,

    I don’t consider such critics to be “professional,” and reject their juvenile name-calling as a waste of time. Fabricating quotes is inexcusable; labeling the showrunners as “racist and sexist” is unfounded; and whining that the showrunners should be sued, banished from Hollywood, or branded as untalented idiots is just childish. It’s feigned outrage, as if the showrunners personally insulted the “critics.”

    That’s a far cry from intelligent analysis that points out, with examples, how the show succeeded – or failed.

  96. Fireandblood87:
    Mr Derp,

    So your solution is more of the same? Continue with the same royal bloodline system they always use. To each his own I disagree big time with that.

    I didn’t say that. I said that the form of government they switched to isn’t really making anything better. You could argue that it’s actually worse. It’s creating even more uncertainty and chaos than there ever was before.

    Obviously, the ultimate solution in the end is democracy, but I wouldn’t have expected the show to make that giant of a leap. That would be pretty radical. Athough, to be honest, I would’ve preferred something a little more profound than what we got, considering how the entire show revolved around the politics of Westeros/Essos. I understand why we got what we got, but I suppose I was hoping the end of such a sprawling, impactful series would provide something more substantial.

    Although, now that I think of it, why was Sam’s suggestion of democracy met with such distain and incredulity? The NW has an election to choose the LC and the Greyjoys have the Kingsmoot, so there is precedent for democracy in Westeros. It’s a hard line for the writers to walk. You go too far in one direction and the change is too radical, but if you go the other direction it’s not enough change. I understand why they did what they did, but I didn’t think it was very good.

  97. Mr Derp,

    I loved their reaction to Sam. These people aren’t living by our standards and I could see them laughing at democracy like that.

  98. Zalos,

    What I appreciated about AltShiftX this season is that even when he was disappointed (which I think is anyone’s right to be), he was fair to season 8 and tried to make sense of the story we got. I was disappointed too but I appreciated his efforts to find positives about the ending of a series so many of us have been waiting years for. AltShiftX is the first one who I heard point out that D&D signed up to adapt books, not write the conclusion to Game of Thrones, so it must have been incredibly difficult — which is totally fair.

  99. Zalos,

    So now your claiming you know what the actress is thinking and she is lying? Your also saying if Alt Shift can’t defend something then it must be true case closed. No thanks I can think for myself and I very much enjoyed season 8 and know many others who did. That’s nice of you to think so highly of the actress saying she can’t think for herself. Which means everyone who liked it must be lying?

  100. Ten Bears,

    Well someone like Lindsey Ellis who is considered to be professional called them “cowards” and “chuckelfucks”. Claimed the harrassment Rian Johnson got wasn’t the same because D&D deserved it. She claimed they supported spousal abuse for what Jon did to Dany.

  101. Mr Derp,

    ”… I think most people who’ve been around this site for a while understand pretty well who comes here in good faith vs. those that don’t and who has constructive criticism vs. trolling…”

    • There’s “trolling” from both extremes: On one end of the spectrum are “Haters” who bash “Dumb & Dumberer” as “total hacks” who should be tarred and feathered for “butchering” GRRM’s masterpiece; and at the other end of the spectrum are the “Fawners” who take offense at the slightest suggestion that anything presented by their glorious showrunners was less than “br*****t.”

    • Yes, you’re right. I do love the show. That doesn’t mean that I wasn’t disappointed with some aspects of it. Like you, I did not enjoy the S8e6 dragonpit scene. It didn’t make sense on many levels, and the cascade of illogic undermined (my) sense of immersion. (Instead of “Oh, cool!” my reaction was “WTF?”)
    I don’t think it was unrealistic for me to expect that the climax of the eight season-long jockeying for the throne would be a rousing, unforgettable scene. For me, it wasn’t.
    I envy those who thought it was, and I would not attack anyone who defends it. As you observed, good faith, constructive criticism is welcome here.

    (Baseball analogy to follow…)

  102. Fireandblood87,

    I don’t know anything about Lindsey Ellis, but I have read some of her comments on season 8, and yes, she does seem to view everything through her own feminist lense. It gets a bit silly at times. I can’t comment on the name-calling because I haven’t seen it, but if true, yes, it’s unnecessary. Although, I admit I have no idea what a chuckelfuck is.

    However, I agree with her point that Sansa turned unnecessarily hostile towards the end. Sansa was compassionate and tried to rally her people during the “Blackwater”, but during the Long Night, Sansa does little to nothing to reassure her own people.

    Yes, I know. This is where someone will point out that she’s been through trauma, therefore it fits. Well, everyone on this show has dealt with a tremendous amount of trauma and it didn’t completely change their character. Especially if Sansa is supposed to now be a great queen to her people.

    I also agree with this:

    “plot now drives the character’s actions, rather than plot growing organically from the consequences of character’s actions. Lindsay points this out as being most notable when Varys (Conleth Hill) begins to grow weary of Daenerys’ state of mind all because she looks sad and lonely at dinner. This is despite his character following and supporting her for four seasons at this point, but the show has decided particular characters need to end up at a certain destination regardless of the journey to get there. “

  103. Ten Bears,

    Fair although most trolling I have seen has been directed at bashing D&D not praising them. There is some but it’s mostly just some variation of “fuck D&D or the dozen articles I read acussing them of being racist and sexist.

  104. Fireandblood87: the dozen articles I read acussing them of being racist and sexist.

    To be fair, almost everyone is labeled as racist or sexist nowadays, so this is par for the course, unfortunately.

  105. Mr Derp,

    It’s overwhelming. I can understand pointing out something that might be problematic. Equating a characters actions like rape for example to the writer defending rape is pretty ridiculous.

  106. Mr Derp,

    I was surprised they even brought it up. I had seen part of the fandom before that claiming that the logical way was with a step towards democracy, but the way it was executed was clumsy. It wasn’t meant for serious exchange within the scene itself, but for an awkward, relaxing moment for the audience who’d think sth along the lines “poor Sam, he has the best idea but the others are too little to appreciate it”.
    In reality election in-universe is a privilege for a very few (eg the Night’s Watch) or for closed and distanced societal contexts (e.g. the Ironborn).
    The idea of a real democracy could only come from someone thinking “why are their [:the lords’] rights to choose a new king/governor better than mine” (or the shoemaker’s around the corner for that matter)? For this to happen there would have to be a series of events leading to it, and perhaps a series of revolutions or catastrophic events that would make the question sound reasonable and sustainable, and this wasn’t the case. It came out of the blue and there was no reflection about which system would be better apart from Tyrion’s thoughts which led to the election of Bran by a closed group of a very few lords (privilege again).

  107. …Varys (Conleth Hill) begins to grow weary of Daenerys’ state of mind all because she looks sad and lonely at dinner. This is despite his character following and supporting her for four seasons at this point,

    Varies was portrayed throughout the series as a keen observer of persons in power; it was how he stayed alive, and part of how he stayed influential. Dany had almost unlimited power, due to her two dragons, two armies, and gratitude for helping save everyone. At that moment or shortly after, he also knew that Jon had a better claim to the throne, and that Dany knew this. He saw someone with that much power looking isolated, unhappy, and perhaps nervous at the very moment everyone else was looking relieved and convivial (The Hound and Arya excepted, of course). That was an extremely dangerous situation, and based on what we’d learned about Varys, we can assume he knew it for what it was when he saw it.

    Furthermore, he then watched her make classic mistakes in strategy and tactics, and pay for them with the losses of Rhaegal and Missandrei. A bad situation was rapidly deteriorating, and the best he could do was… go out the way dim-bulb, hick-from-the-sticks Ned did: scribbling fatuous letters about The Rightful Heir to persons who had no power to affect the evolving situation before him. He found himself caught in a trap partly of his own making, and he failed to extricate himself. The Spider had the opposite of a redemption arc, one might say.

    Varys and his counterpart, Baelish, each eventually proved too clever for his own good, and each lost his life for it. If GRRM’s lesson here is “woe to those who secretly scheme for power,” then this viewer is happy to take it.

  108. Fireandblood87,

    This fandom is hateful and hypocritical and they won’t change their opinion or accept any other view. Why should I care what someone tells on youtube. I don’t care, I make my own opinion and I don’t let my opinion be influenced. All GoT youtubers are arrogant morons with the exception of Bridge4, he is cool.

  109. Tensor the Mage, Who Happily Accepts The Government He Deserves, But Kind Of Resents Getting The Government Everyone Else Deserves says:

    Mr. Derp:

    In reality election in-universe is a privilege for a very few (eg the Night’s Watch) or for closed and distanced societal contexts (e.g. the Ironborn).

    Furthermore, the rest of Westeros views those populations as consisting entirely of small groups of violent, asocial misfits who should bloody well stay far away from everyone else, safely at their respective ends of the known world. They are among the last populations for whom educated inhabitants of Westeros would take as positive behavioral examples.

    Although not mentioned in the show, the audience all know that mass democracy requires universal literacy, and that universal suffrage requires strong non-discrimination laws to protect it. Westeros has neither, and we have absolutely no reason to believe it will have either any time soon.

  110. Fireandblood87:
    Mr Derp,

    It’s overwhelming. I can understand pointing out something that might be problematic. Equating a characters actions like rape for example to the writer defending rape is pretty ridiculous.

    Agreed.

    I understand it’s a sensitive issue, but these same people never accuse D&D of being pro-murder when a character is killed violently, but if a character is raped then suddenly D&D are accused of being pro-rape or something like that. It’s beyond absurd.

  111. The LightKing: This fandom is hateful and hypocritical and they won’t change their opinion or accept any other view.

    The LightKing: I make my own opinion and I don’t let my opinion be influenced.

    Your lack of self-awareness is disturbing.

  112. Efi,

    I agree with much of this. Personally, I think everything that went down at the dragonpit just needed more time to be fleshed out. It was way too rushed.

    That scene went from Tyrion being accused of Treason to Tyrion hand-selecting the new king of Westeros and re-writing the rules of succession within 5 minutes.

    That was way too consequential of a scene to play out that fast, IMO.

  113. Ten Bears,

    I don’t have a problem sifting through crappy rants or virulent intolerant views for a nugget of real criticism but is it worth it? I mean I WOULD like to know what the Blue Rays have for extras but not to the extent to listen half an hour worth of incoherent hate towards some dudes who have just done a huge project in entertainment and haven’t killed anyone or insulted anyone’s mother etc. Maybe I should just look up the youtube’s for the extras.

    BTW I don’t think the honeycomb and jackass joke should be on that list. It’s a measure of how Tyrion is still Tyrion deep down inside, that that joke lasted for 9 years and he still has the desire to tell it. I mean just because we haven’t heard the punchline we cannot judge it as a Hall of Infamy type! I bet it was a ridiculously good punchline too. That joke has survived Erie and Meereen and has made it all the way to the Small Council for the end of the saga. It’s got to be some good shit.

  114. Mr Derp,

    You are far from any reality anyway 😂
    “Mr Derp” …, are you kidding me? The only who deserve this title are Mr. Benioff and Mr. Weiss for their brilliant work on season 8. Change your name.

  115. Adrianacandle:
    Zalos,

    What I appreciated about AltShiftX this season is that even when he was disappointed (which I think is anyone’s right to be), he was fair to season 8 and tried to make sense of the story we got. I was disappointed too but I appreciated his efforts to find positives about the ending of a series so many of us have been waiting years for. AltShiftX is the first one who I heard point out that D&D signed up to adapt books, not write the conclusion to Game of Thrones, so it must have been incredibly difficult — which is totally fair.

    Yes, I mentioned him because out of all the people who analyzed the show, he seemed the most logical and unbiased (despite loving the series). With Season 8, even HE was a little disgruntled. He didn’t say it outwardly, but you could tell he was a little sarcastic in his S8 videos.

    What you said about him pointing out D&D were signed up to adapt and not to create the original story is right. However, I still see it as a backhanded criticism. By saying that, he’s implying that D&D were simply not creative enough to come up with something anywhere close to Martin’s work. He just didn’t articulate it in a negative tone, which highlights his respect for the overall work.

    Meanwhile, people like Gemma are straight out saying the ending was a masterpiece, with little to nothing to back it up… just sucking up to the people she worked for. She’s also calling out a LOT of the fans who supported the series and brought them all fame and success.

    It wasn’t unjustified outrage, Gemma, it was avid fans who were let down by writers who didn’t give a rat ass about the legacy of GoT and hurried to the finish line so that they could move on to other pastures. They did not even have the decency to give the show to someone else who would have taken their time to finish the story with care and love.

    Luckily, other people will get a shot at salvaging the legacy of Martin’s world. One can hope they will have learned from the final season of GoT.

    Fireandblood87:
    Zalos,

    So now your claiming you know what the actress is thinking and she is lying? Your also saying if Alt Shift can’t defend something then it must be true case closed. No thanks I can think for myself and I very much enjoyed season 8 and know many others who did. That’s nice of you to think so highly of the actress saying she can’t think for herself. Which means everyone who liked it must be lying?

    I can’t read her mind, but facts are there. The writing was garbage and she’s defending it with zero arguments aside from saying that D&D are wonderful.

    Like I said, no one in their right mind can claim that the writing in the final season was good, let alone masterful. If you got an argument, feel free to share it. Everyone I’ve spoken to-or listened to-who enjoyed the last season have little reasoning behind their feelings. They are big fans of the show who don’t want to admit the obvious flaws in the last season (particularly the last 3 episodes). They criticize the naysayers because we broke up their party.

    Well, dear people, it’s not like we WANTED to hate the final season or rain on your parade. We are also huge fans of Martin’s story and we wanted a much better conclusion, that’s it. You can keep on liking the season for what it is, but don’t tell us we’re the ones who just want to hate with no actual reasons. We have plenty of them.

  116. Young Dragon,

    You seem to totally evade what I told. Their plan was 70 episodes way back when they stated the story. One season per book. Book 3 already showed them that that was not what was realistic to aim for just 70 episodes. They extended the story with another 10 episodes. That means after season 4 they couldn’t hold on what they were planning at the beginning of season 1, because 30 episodes become 40. Why did they do that? Because the story asks for it, they saw that there was no way they could tell the story of SoS into 1 season, it needed to be 2. That means that they strayed away from their initial plan of 70 episodes. So why they once again aimed at 70 episodes after that is beyond me.

    You structure story, you don’t structure how much time it takes for every part beforehand, the story needs to breath normally. Way back in season 3 they knew that (and I believe after it also so that why I don’t understand the choice to rush to the endpoint.)

    Look for instance at the LotR, the structure maybe asked for 2,5 hour movies (the max that cinema’s want to play a movie way back then). But that was not realistic with the LotR movie, that’s why Peter Jackson strayed from the structure and made a 3,5h movies (and 4 hour last movie). Why did he do that? The story asks for it. Same with GoT, the story asked for more time.

    Sue the Fury,

    Thank you found it with adding SDCC 2019 to my search.

    MaxHightower,

    Agree, they always do a great job.

  117. aiad,

    I’ve encountered such videos on YouTube, and they are the perfect example of people bending over backwards trying to find flaws in season 8. I mean, I even went through an entire video and, with the exception of minor nitpicks, debunked every point that they made. Season 8 was not shit. It was incredible.

  118. kevin1989,

    They planned on 70 episodes, that’s all we know. They split Book 3 into two seasons, but they combined Books 4 and 5 into one, so it evens out perfectly. The story didn’t need any more time, you just wanted more time. The point is that they planned 70 episodes from the beginning, and gave us three extra, proving once and for all they didn’t rush the ending.

  119. Zalos,

    I don’t know who Alt Shift X is, nor do I really care. I find it incredibly easy to defend season 8 as it was a brilliant season, and Gemma Whelan clearly agrees with me. Whether or not Alt Shift X can do the same doesn’t mean anything.

  120. Zalos,

    You have it backwards. It’s those who are bashing the show that have very little to back it up. Face it, the criticisms towards season 8 were incredibly weak. The writing was fantastic, for example Jon’s eulogy after the battle, Arya’s conversation with Melisandre, Podrick’s song, Sansa reunites with Theon, Brienne’s knighting, Jon finds out his parentage, Danerys trying to convince Jon to keep his parentage a secret, Tyrion and Varys discuss loyalty, Tyrion confesses Varys’s treason, Tyrion pleads to Cersei to surrender, Missandei’s death, Tyrion and Jaime’s farewell, Arya gives up revenge, Cleganebowl, Dany’s victory speech, Tyrion convinces Jon to kill Danerys, Jon and Danerys in the throne room, the Starks say goodbye, the final montage, etc. There is no shortage of amazing moments in season 8. There’s a reason it was nominated for an Emmy for Best Writing.

  121. Zalos:

    What you said about him pointing out D&D were signed up to adapt and not to create the original story is right. However, I still see it as a backhanded criticism. By saying that, he’s implying that D&D were simply not creative enough to come up with something anywhere close to Martin’s work.

    Um, no, that is a flat statement of fact, even though it is not accurate (and therefore not strong) enough. D&D volunteered to adapt for television a book series the author himself had intentionally written with utter disregard (if not outright contempt) for any such adaptability. They proved their fitness to him (by answering to his satisfaction his question, “Who is Jon Snow’s mother?” — a vital question in the story!) and then won the HBO contract to begin.

    Furthermore, they were “creative enough” to compose an ending to the story, an ending the original author himself has (so far) proven himself not “creative enough” to reach. Can anyone think of another such example anywhere, ever?

    Like I said, no one in their right mind can claim that the writing in the final season was good, let alone masterful. If you got an argument, feel free to share it.

    Sure. In addition to everything Young Dragon listed, here are some of my reasons for calling it “masterful”:

    The Long Night: The long-awaited conclusion to the conflict which introduced the story. After thousands of years, humanity finally battles the Night’s King, his White Walker generals, and their massive Army of the Dead. Under the leadership of Jon Snow and Daenarys Targaryen, humanity’s assembled best defeat the ancient evil in the place where Winter Fell to bring the dawn. Not merely (!) the longest battle in cinematic history, it ends the arcs of long-standing supporting characters Jorah Mormont and Melisandre, and has at the climax A Stark In Winterfell using her skills (learned far from Westeros) to protect the North and her pack by giving the gift of death to their ancient nemesis. Visually and thematically stunning, it was an artistic accomplishment for all involved in the making.

    (Bonus lines: “Joffrey’s wedding; a horrid affair.” “It had its moments.”)

    Dany’s final snap, and “Dresden with Drogon” rampage across King’s Landing. (A Targ’ built it, a Targ’ destroys it.) Exquisitely well set up and executed, it threw back into the faces of the audience their desire to see Dany arrive in strength and vengeance to destroy the Lannister regime. (As another commenter noted, when she finally does, it’s a not a triumph, but a horror.)

    Grey Worm and Unsullied cruelly murdering surrendered Lannister captains. (Again: here is what you wished for, hope you enjoy it.) The logic is impeccable: free men chose to serve Cersei, and they thus chose death. That freedom and slavery are not simple opposites of the same coin is not a truth Dany and her followers ever knew.

    “Love is the death of duty.”

    “They don’t get to choose.”

    Jon Snow as the promised King of All Westeros — Beyond The Wall!

  122. Young Dragon:
    kevin1989,

    They planned on 70 episodes, that’s all we know. They split Book 3 into two seasons, but they combined Books 4 and 5 into one, so it evens out perfectly. The story didn’t need any more time, you just wanted more time. The point is that they planned 70 episodes from the beginning, and gave us three extra, proving once and for all they didn’t rush the ending.

    Exactly.
    Besides, the idea to split book 3 came very early on, if I recall correctly. So, when they were talking about 70 hours they knew about the split (and I assume they planned to combine books 4-5, as they did).
    It’s true that you can’t always plan from the beginning how many hours will they need. But the truth is that they always said “7 or 8 seasons” and “70 or 80 episodes”.
    And more significantly, after season 4, they said that they were going to do 7 seasons. For some reasons, after they did season 4 they still believed that they should finish the story in 3 more seasons. It was only after they did season 5 that they went for 73 episodes.
    (as we know now, back when they were doing season 3 they wished to end the series with three big movies).

    Anyway, the thing is, they did not rush anything because they always aimed towards that goal, and where consistent with their plans. We can love or hate what they did, but that’s a fact.

    And finally, if people think the series was rushed, wait for the books to come out (if they ever do). There is absolutely no way to resolve the story in just two more books and not rush it.

  123. I’m going to jump back into the hazardous waters here since there aren’t any other articles out yet to talk about. GOT became a very dark series for me once I realized the theme was going to be “Mercy destroys the world”. Even though Jon gives a speech to Dany about needing mercy (before he kills her), looking back at all of the seasons, it’s a painful reality that in the world of westeros, Mercy will get you f’kd. I have issues with season 8, but many of these themes exploded in season 7. When Dany decided to ignore Tyrion and take off to rescue Jon (for the sake of Mercy, love, or whatever emotion you want to call it), she was opening the door (wall) to destroy mankind and herself. Such a depressing message. During season 1, the Catspaw almost killed Bran because he called it a “mercy”. This theme of Mercy began from the very beginning. Sandor teaches Arya “the way the world is” by telling her that mercy will get her killed. And Arya does figure out the ways of the world and becomes a cold hearted b’tch as Sandor calls her so she was able to survive. So that’s the message? You need to be cold hearted to survive or you’ll end up exiled beyond the wall with a broken heart forever. That’s difficult to stomach for some of us even though we love the characters and the spectacle D&D was able to create.

    If Dany would have listened to Tyrion and done “nothing”, the wall still may be standing and Dany would be sitting on the IT without burning thousands into ashes.

    Here are my key points looking back at history where problems came for fans.
    * Season 7 with forcing Dany and Jon together in a rushed romance. The connection between them wasn’t even close to Jon’s connection with Ygritte, and it’s impossible not to compare the two. It took a good two seasons to fully develop Ygritte and Jon’s relationship. When Jon couldn’t kill her, I could see the immediate connection. I never felt this with Jon and Dany. I think Dany’s character was just too self absorbed and serious for this connection to happen. Ygritte was playful and seductive. Dany was just a distant queen talking in formalities. She was keeping her distance from the foreboding Dragonstone throne, while threatening to possibly lock Jon up in the dungeon. There was no connection whatsoever or even a chance at a connection. Kit commented that he was supposed to be thinking about Dany’s beauty at the time. I never felt that he was thinking she was beautiful. I felt that he was trying to figure out how he was going to convince her to commit her army to the fight beyond the wall.

    * Then comes the problem filled “Beyond the Wall” episode which is rated by many on the low end of the 73 episodes because of its ridiculousness. I hold a fond appreciation for the episode mostly because I enjoyed the behind the scenes video about how the lake was constructed. The episode itself was absurd. Just a few absurdities included a supersonic raven, a superhuman sprinting Gendry, a Waterworld Kit complete with gills and blubber to keep him living in the icy waters.
    I could go on. D&D needed some way to knock the wall down. I don’t totally blame them, but I would have thought GRRM could have communicated more what he had in mind for how the wall will come down. My guess is that it will have more to do with blowing a “horn” in the books instead of hijacking an ice dragon.

    I’m just going to highlight a few of the fan problem areas in season 8

    * All was going pretty well until the show decided to end the TAOTD threat in episode 3. I think the majority felt that TAOTD threat was supposed to be part of the endgame. The first episode starts with TAOTD threat and it’s built up through all 8 seasons. To have it end so suddenly was a huge let down to many fans. That’s just a fact. Some may have thought it was brilliant. I for one enjoyed many elements of it. I felt a huge amount of relief that everyone didn’t die, but I was also disappointed that TAOTD didn’t keep going to KL and threaten Cersei. I wanted Jon to have his moment along with many many other fans. Maisie also figured this out when she read the script and said fans would be upset.

    * Not showing the Starks reaction to Jon’s news.
    Just fading to black and not showing the Stark children’s reaction to Jon is perplexing to say the least. Arya made a huge decision to leave the North forever. Again you have a huge buildup of the reveal and very little payoff for fans.

    * Dany’s slaughtering all of the civilians.
    Here’s where the MERCY theme comes back into play. Dany makes a huge point that MERCY will be for the next generation. The KL deaths are on Cersei (according to Dany), since Cersei decided to put them in harms way and play on Dany’s heart “Mercy” as a weakness. To me, Dany had less of a “snap crazy” moment and more of a calculation that she wasn’t going to let “MERCY” be her weakness. Again, such a difficult theme to internalize for me and it just makes me depressed thinking about GRRM’s and D&D’s world view. When I was watching The Bells the first time, I thought Dany was going to go straight for the red keep to kill Cersei. I thought that made sense since Dany was in a rage and didn’t want Cersei to get away without paying the ultimate price. But in reality she decided she wasn’t going to let MERCY be her downfall. Mercy would be for the next generation. A good ruler can’t show too much MERCY or they won’t be a ruler for long according to the world of Westeros.

    * The finale
    Jon’s mercy speech (that I already mentioned),
    Tyrion talking his way out of shackles and calling for an election was preposterous.
    Grey Worm putting Jon in prison didn’t make sense.
    Sansa telling her cousin to sit down was funny.

    I will stop there for now and hopefully find my way out of the icy waters I just jumped into.

  124. Tron79,

    I forgot to list the obvious example in season 1 where Mercy gets you f’kd when Ned gets his head chopped off since he showed Cersei mercy by giving her a chance to leave KL.

  125. Tensor the Mage, Who Still Enjoys The Ending: free men chose to serve Cersei, and they thus chose death

    The scene in season 7 with Arya and the Lannister soldiers made it pretty clear that the Lannister soldiers were not doing Cersei’s bidding because they wanted to.

    Greyworm claimed that the Lannister soldiers were free men and they chose to defend Cersei, which is why he was ordered to execute them. This is not really true though. Lannister soldiers fought for the Lannisters because if they didn’t, they would almost certainly be killed, or at the very least, punished severely. They really had no choice at all.

  126. Zalos,

    Yes, I mentioned him because out of all the people who analyzed the show, he seemed the most logical and unbiased (despite loving the series). With Season 8, even HE was a little disgruntled. He didn’t say it outwardly, but you could tell he was a little sarcastic in his S8 videos.

    I agree that AltShiftX might be the most logical, unbiased YouTuber to analyse GoT. And I also think he was disappointed. Not sure about the sarcasm but it seems he was especially disappointed with how the Long Night went down.

    What you said about him pointing out D&D were signed up to adapt and not to create the original story is right. However, I still see it as a backhanded criticism. By saying that, he’s implying that D&D were simply not creative enough to come up with something anywhere close to Martin’s work. He just didn’t articulate it in a negative tone, which highlights his respect for the overall work.

    I don’t think that was the implication and if it were, I wouldn’t agree. Adaptation is a skill itself and it’s a different skillset than the one described here, especially with a series as complex as ASOIAF where it just keeps getting more and more complicated. I don’t even think GRRM knows how to make his way forward or TWOW would be out by now.

    I think the writing in season 8 was sloppy, I don’t think enough time was invested in various setups to make major beats pay off, some character choices were bizarre (which I think is partially a result of the lack of time invested), some lines are bizarre, but I think D&D were in a difficult position too.

  127. Tron79,

    I think you bring up some really good points, especially re: themes of mercy in ASOIAF, and it’s an interesting discussion itself! And one I had never thought very deeply about, not like it looks like you have. But now I’m going to start turning it over in my mind. But I have some thoughts where there are also cases where it could have made things easier or choosing mercy could have saved their own lives. I’ll stick to the show in this case (got to think more about it with the books).

    If Stannis had shown mercy to Mance and the wildlings, he might have been able to successfully ally with them. If there was no mercy between Jon and the wildlings, they never would have formed their alliance and Westeros would still have a wildling problem. The mutineers refusing mercy for the wildlings also kind of screwed them over as it led to their deaths because they decided to kill Jon for letting them through — which would have screwed over Jon had Jon not been brought back to life. But their failure to refuse mercy may have screwed them over regardless since it started a battle between them and the wildlings/Jon’s supporters. Since Jon was brought back to life, he executed them. And if Dany had picked mercy (even in the end when Jon was pleading with her), Jon would never have killed her and Dany would still be alive.

    I think, in general, it’s case-by-case. Your examples pointing out when mercy screws somebody over are all very good but I think there are examples where it is the better option to take.

    If Dany would have listened to Tyrion and done “nothing”, the wall still may be standing and Dany would be sitting on the IT without burning thousands into ashes.

    This is tricky because it wasn’t the only way for the Night King to get into Westeros (eg. in the original Long Night, all of the seas froze over and the Wall only guards one border of Westeros. There’s also that the magic could have been compromised/may not withstand the Night King’s forces. I believe a wight made its way into Castle Black in season 1) so Dany would have still encountered this problem sooner or later. Seeing the army of the dead for herself is also what convinced Dany to commit.

    I think the wight hunt was so the Night King’s entrance could be expedited and we didn’t have to wait a season or two for them to get from just beyond the Wall to Winterfell.

    I agree and disagree about Jon and Dany. I think feeling a connection is more a viewer-dependent based thing and I know it’s a divisive issue in which some felt it, others didn’t. And I think that’s due to lack of legwork in developing this (more on that below), especially for what that relationship had to go through in such a limited timeframe involving two characters like Jon and Dany. I don’t think it’s impossible to feel that character connection with Dany’s characterization but I think it makes it more challenging. Ygritte was created to be Jon’s love interest while Dany and Jon were already established characters who had separate storylines for years, which I think makes it more challenging. That and I agree that Ygritte is far more playful (than either Jon or Dany). I think, especially in a visual medium like TV, that helps endear viewers to the relationship (I mean, Ygritte spends much of their initial journey together roasting a very grumpy Jon, just for the fun of it, which I loved).

    For Jon and Dany, maybe more access is needed to the characters’ thoughts because both are so serious and the situation has them facing major, urgent issues, including the end of the world. The Jon and Arya bond in the books is based on the thoughts they have of one another whereas in the show, the relationship isn’t nearly as strong and barely explored. It’s the most important bond Jon has in his life and in the show, it feels like Arya is just another sibling because we don’t see Jon’s thoughts on her or Arya’s thoughts on Jon. We have that beautiful Needle scene when Arya is in Braavos and other than the Jon and Arya departure scene in season 1, I think that’s the closest the show has come to in regard to showing their book bond.

    Last year, I read an article once in a publication (I can’t remember which and it’s driving me insane) where it talked about the show not really investing in the legwork it had before: that if they can make viewers accept that Jon and Dany must get together, they don’t have to go through all the work to develop this relationship and rely on hitting those major beats without enough set-up. It brings up how Jon and Dany had plenty to bond over and if this were an earlier version of Game of Thrones, rather an expedited season, their shared experiences would richly inform their relationship. Instead, it seems like these conversations happened off-screen since Dany refers to information Jon talked about with her but we don’t see those conversations. This is a problem I feel that’s not just with Jon/Dany but with a few aspects in later season– lack of legwork, lack of setup.

    Mr Derp brought up a good argument Lindsay Ellis made that I think speaks to some of this, especially regarding plot shortcuts: “plot now drives the character’s actions, rather than plot growing organically from the consequences of character’s actions.” And I think, to get to the end in an expedited amount of time, these shortcuts were taken.

    I know I might be stirring up trouble by saying some of this 🙂 I was pretty disappointed with the conclusion to the Long Night because it seemed to have lasted all of six hours and I don’t think there was sufficient set up for Arya to kill the Night King in the very episode she saw the army of the dead for the first time.

  128. Fireandblood87,

    It means they failed in MY book, which is the opinion that should matter TO ME.

    If you loved it and thought it was brilliant and a masterpiece, fine, and if I think it was very poorly written is fine too. There are no winners here and neither are losers.

  129. Adrianacandle,

    ”…The Jon and Arya bond in the books is based on the thoughts they have of one another whereas in the show, the relationship isn’t nearly as strong and barely explored. It’s the most important bond Jon has in his life and in the show, it feels like Arya is just another sibling because we don’t see Jon’s thoughts on her or Arya’s thoughts on Jon. We have that beautiful Needle scene when Arya is in Braavos and other than the Jon and Arya departure scene in season 1, I think that’s the closest the show has come to in regard to showing their book bond.”

    Even though we don’t get internal monologues like in the books, on the show Arya is constantly thinking of Jon. On the other hand, after that beautiful Needle scene in S1e2 (“I’m going to miss you”) Jon didn’t give Arya a second thought:

    • Arya:
    – You already mentioned the Braavos dock scene (MW wordlessly conveying the books’ “Needle was Jon Snow’s smile” internal monologue.)
    – At the end of S4e10, Arya desperately wants the captain to take her north to the Wall.
    – In S4e1, Arya ignores Sandor (“We’re not going in there”), and marches right into the inn to confront Polliver and his goon squad because “My brother gave me that sword!” *
    – In S4e7, Sandor watches how Arya almost lovingly hones and cleans Needle, before remarking with a tinge of envy: “You say your brother gave you that sword. My brother gave me this” (pointing to his scarred face).
    – In S7e2, as soon as Arya hears from the Hot Pie News Network that Jon came down from Castle Black with a wildling army and retook WF, she ditches her plans to head south to KL to whack Cersei, and heads north to WF.

    However, I concede that her “reunion” with Jon in S8e1 was underwhelming. (Sansa’s “the smartest person I’ve ever met” ????) I was pissed because Arya deserved a reunion
    scene with Jon at least as good the lovely Sansa & Jon reunion at CB in S6.
    I figure the showrunners devoted screen time in S8 to Sandor & Arya, at the expense of Jon & Arya. And I can live with that I guess.
    .

    * S4e1 “Two Swords” last 9:54 (Arya & Sandor vs. Polliver, “Lowell there” and three other jackasses)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwQAZ7_SjgU

    ———
    To be cont. in Part 2: Jon “kind of forgot about” Arya.

  130. Ten Bears,

    Addendum to Part 1 above

    S4e10 final segment; Arya & ship captain

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ut1VEoOZ2hA

    at 0:42 – 1:00
    Arya to Captain: “I want to go north, to the Wall.
    Captain: “No you don’t.”
    Arya: “Please! I can pay!”
    Captain: “There’s nothing north but ice and war and pirates.”
    Arya: “Please! I can work, scrubbing floors.”

  131. Adrianacandle:
    Tron79,

    I think you bring up some really good points, especially re: themes of mercy in ASOIAF, and it’s an interesting discussion itself!

    thanks, I think we’ve discussed some of this before, but even if being cold, deceptive, and unfeeling brings you power and keeps you living, it’s a very depressing throught that you can’t be successful otherwise. Think about Sansa. She betrayed Jon’s trust twice (with the BOTB and telling Tyrion) and she ends up on top (in an absolutely beatiful dress btw), while Jon ends up broken and resigned to his fate beyond the wall. At least he had Ghost with him, but that’s little solace for me.

    And one I had never thought very deeply about, not like it looks like you have. But now I’m going to start turning it over in my mind. But I have some thoughts where there are also cases where it could have made things easier or choosing mercy could have saved their own lives. I’ll stick to the show in this case (got to think more about it with the books).

    If Stannis had shown mercy to Mance and the wildlings, he might have been able to successfully ally with them.
    I’m not so sure about that. The Wildlings were never going to bow down to a southern king. Yes, it made things worse that he was going to burn their leader alive, but even Stannis spared Mance, the Wildlings would have never followed him. He was counting on Jon to recruit them.

    If there was no mercy between Jon and the wildlings, they never would have formed their alliance and Westeros would still have a wildling problem.
    I’m not sure it was about Mercy. Later on the Wildlings saw Jon as almost a god rising from the dead. He kept his word and let them into Castle Black (later on). He lived as one of them. He had the blood of the first men. I don’t think it was Jon’s Mercy for the wildlings that created the bond. Jon was thinking practically that the Wildlings would end up all in TAOTD if he left them out there, and his DUTY was to protect the realms of me, and the Wildlings were part of the realms of men. Perhaps Jon felt sorry for them in some ways, but I don’t think his main motivating factor was Mercy. He wanted them to help in the Wars to Come with TAOTD. He felt conflicted asking them to help him in the BOTB, but it ended up being the Wildlings fight as well, since if they couldn’t default Ramsay, they wouldn’t be able to stay on this side of the wall.

    The mutineers refusing mercy for the wildlings also kind of screwed them over as it led to their deaths because they decided to kill Jon for letting them through — which would have screwed over Jon had Jon not been brought back to life. But their failure to refuse mercy may have screwed them over regardless since it started a battle between them and the wildlings/Jon’s supporters. Since Jon was brought back to life, he executed them. And if Dany had picked mercy (even in the end when Jon was pleading with her), Jon would never have killed her and Dany would still be alive.

    Hmmm… I think you make good points here, but I still don’t think it has as much to do with mercy as it does with the mutineers prejudices and shortsitedness. Jon saw that he needed the Wildlings in his fight with TAOTD. Yes, he had feelings for Ytgritte, but I think his Widling decisions were less about Mercy and more about the realization that he needed their help and leaving them to die would just grow TAOTD’s army (whoops I said the same thing again, but that’s what I hear going on in Jon’s mind)

    I think, in general, it’s case-by-case. Your examples pointing out when mercy screws somebody over are all very good but I think there are examples where it is the better option to take.

    This is tricky because it wasn’t the only way for the Night King to get into Westeros (eg. in the original Long Night, all of the seas froze over and the Wall only guards one border of Westeros. There’s also that the magic could have been compromised/may not withstand the Night King’s forces. I believe a wight made its way into Castle Black in season 1) so Dany would have still encountered this problem sooner or later. Seeing the army of the dead for herself is also what convinced Dany to commit.
    Interesting about the original long night. This would have been great to see in the pre-quel that never will be…ugg… Yes, I do think there would have been other ways to get over or under the wall. I think there could have been other ways for Dany to see the threat. Even so, if she would have left Mercy and Jon behind she would have been in KL long ago and avoided the carnage. Now the entire world may have ended without the dragons to help in the battle of Winterfell, but she may have had to join the fight later. I’m not sure about this one. I just saw that Mercy led to many horrible things for Dany and the world as a whole.

    I think the wight hunt was so the Night King’s entrance could be expedited and we didn’t have to wait a season or two for them to get from just beyond the Wall to Winterfell.
    The whole thing about a wight being able live on the southern side of the wall really bugged me. Why couldn’t Benjen come back across. They brought the Wight back before the wall was shattered. I suppose the Wight did reanimate in Castle black as well. I’m not sure why the magic didn’t work since it kept Benjen out.

    I agree and disagree about Jon and Dany. I think feeling a connection is more a viewer-dependent based thing and I know it’s a divisive issue in which some felt it, others didn’t. And I think that’s due to lack of legwork in developing this (more on that below), especially for what that relationship had to go through in such a limited timeframe involving two characters like Jon and Dany. I don’t think it’s impossible to feel that character connection with Dany’s characterization but I think it makes it more challenging. Ygritte was created to be Jon’s love interest while Dany and Jon were already established characters who had separate storylines for years, which I think makes it more challenging. That and I agree that Ygritte is far more playful (than either Jon or Dany). I think, especially in a visual medium like TV, that helps endear viewers to the relationship (I mean, Ygritte spends much of their initial journey together roasting a very grumpy Jon, just for the fun of it, which I loved).

    Yeah as a viewer I just wasn’t feeling it. It may have worked for some, but I loved the cat and mouse game with Jon and Ygritte. I didn’t feel much on Dany’s side of the equation as she sat on her throne. She seemed very distant with me. The only time she really let her guard down was during her talk with Sansa where she says her “who manipulated who” line. That’s the first time I really felt like Dany loved Jon.

    For Jon and Dany, maybe more access is needed to the characters’ thoughts because both are so serious and the situation has them facing major, urgent issues, including the end of the world.

    The Jon and Arya bond in the books is based on the thoughts they have of one another whereas in the show, the relationship isn’t nearly as strong and barely explored. It’s the most important bond Jon has in his life and in the show, it feels like Arya is just another sibling because we don’t see Jon’s thoughts on her or Arya’s thoughts on Jon. We have that beautiful Needle scene when Arya is in Braavos and other than the Jon and Arya departure scene in season 1, I think that’s the closest the show has come to in regard to showing their book bond.
    Yes I agree about their bond in the books. I did think that they may let Arya take the burden from Jon and have Arya kill Dany herself. I know you would have liked to have seen Dany not be killed. I still felt a strong connection with Arya and Jon in the show in season 8. I think this is mainly thanks to Maisie’s performance during the reunion and other scenes. D&D had a number of missed opportunities to team up Jon and Arya. I would have loved to have seen them battle the NK together somehow. It’s some of these type of fan satisfying scenes I was missing. I was just left with despair that the world was a dark place. I wanted to see Arya and Jon team up. I wanted to see Mercy win out somehow to make a better world that Tyrion envisioned. But that wasn’t the story.

    Last year, I read an article once in a publication (I can’t remember which and it’s driving me insane) where it talked about the show not really investing in the legwork it had before: that if they can make viewers accept that Jon and Dany must get together, they don’t have to go through all the work to develop this relationship and rely on hitting those major beats without enough set-up. It brings up how Jon and Dany had plenty to bond over and if this were an earlier version of Game of Thrones, rather an expedited season, their shared experiences would richly inform their relationship. Instead, it seems like these conversations happened off-screen since Dany refers to information Jon talked about with her but we don’t see those conversations. This is a problem I feel that’s not just with Jon/Dany but with a few aspects in later season– lack of legwork, lack of setup.
    I agree. I think D&D just had to decide they had a limited amount of time to finish the story before the actors got too old and for other reasons. Once they made the decision to fit everything into 70 to 73 episodes, they eneded up having to rush things to make their plot points happen. I think that was obvious to many fans. It became more of “how do we get the characters to these plot points by episode ____”

    Mr Derp brought up a good argument Lindsay Ellis made that I think speaks to some of this, especially regarding plot shortcuts: “plot now drives the character’s actions, rather than plot growing organically from the consequences of character’s actions.” And I think, to get to the end in an expedited amount of time, these shortcuts were taken.

    I know I might be stirring up trouble by saying some of this I was pretty disappointed with the conclusion to the Long Night because it seemed to have lasted all of six hours and I don’t think there was sufficient set up for Arya to kill the Night King in the very episode she saw the army of the dead for the first time.
    I agree that I think it would have been more loyal to the overall story to have them barely survive the TAOTD and battle them again later in the season. But I think they wanted to get the magic out of the game and focus on the human drama. That’s a choice they made. I don’t think it was very loyal to the overall ASOIAF arc. Perhaps that’s how GRRM is thinking about ending it all one day way far off, but I think “THE OTHERS” will play a bigger role in the end game than what happened in the show. I think Arya’s training will be used for something else in the books. I don’t think it will be to kill the NK who isn’t in the books anyway. That being said, it was an awesome Wolf Jump and knife drop and I felt extremely relieved and excited at the time. So it wasn’t all bad. It just didn’t really go with the overall ASOIAF imho.

  132. Adrianacandle,

    whoops.. there were a couple of my responses that didn’t bold, so you may not have seen them…. here they are…

    If Stannis had shown mercy to Mance and the wildlings, he might have been able to successfully ally with them.
    I’m not so sure about that. The Wildlings were never going to bow down to a southern king. Yes, it made things worse that he was going to burn their leader alive, but even if Stannis spared Mance, the Wildlings would have never followed him. He was counting on Jon to recruit them.

    If there was no mercy between Jon and the wildlings, they never would have formed their alliance and Westeros would still have a wildling problem.
    I’m not sure it was about Mercy. Later on the Wildlings saw Jon as almost a god rising from the dead. He kept his word and let them into Castle Black (later on). He lived as one of them. He had the blood of the first men. I don’t think it was Jon’s Mercy for the wildlings that created the bond. Jon was thinking practically that the Wildlings would end up all in TAOTD if he left them out there, and his DUTY was to protect the realms of men, and the Wildlings were part of the realms of men. Perhaps Jon felt sorry for them in some ways, but I don’t think his main motivating factor was Mercy. He wanted them to help in the Wars to Come with TAOTD. He felt conflicted asking them to help him in the BOTB, but it ended up being the Wildlings fight as well, since if they couldn’t default Ramsay, they wouldn’t be able to stay on this side of the wall.

    The mutineers refusing mercy for the wildlings also kind of screwed them over as it led to their deaths because they decided to kill Jon for letting them through — which would have screwed over Jon had Jon not been brought back to life. But their failure to refuse mercy may have screwed them over regardless since it started a battle between them and the wildlings/Jon’s supporters. Since Jon was brought back to life, he executed them. And if Dany had picked mercy (even in the end when Jon was pleading with her), Jon would never have killed her and Dany would still be alive.

    Hmmm… I think you make good points here, but I still don’t think it has as much to do with mercy as it does with the mutineers prejudices and shortsightedness. Jon saw that he needed the Wildlings in his fight with TAOTD. Yes, he had feelings for Ygritte, but I think his Wildling decisions were less about Mercy and more about the realization that he needed their help and leaving them to die would just grow TAOTD’s army (whoops I said the same thing again, but that’s what I hear going on in Jon’s mind)

  133. Tron79,

    I don’t necessarily disagree with you, I agree with you on a lot of points! But I think mercy still had a role to play in positive things.

    I’m not so sure about that. The Wildlings were never going to bow down to a southern king. Yes, it made things worse that he was going to burn their leader alive, but even Stannis spared Mance, the Wildlings would have never followed him. He was counting on Jon to recruit them.

    You’re right, I’m not saying they were ever going to bow to Stannis, I was talking about the greasing the wheels if Stannis could have worked together with Mance. Then again, that would require Stannis give up his “kneel or die” deal to the wildlings and I highly doubt that. So it wouldn’t have gotten Stannis what he wanted.

    I’m not sure it was about Mercy. Later on the Wildlings saw Jon as almost a god rising from the dead. He kept his word and let them into Castle Black (later on). He lived as one of them. He had the blood of the first men. I don’t think it was Jon’s Mercy for the wildlings that created the bond. Jon was thinking practically that the Wildlings would end up all in TAOTD if he left them out there, and his DUTY was to protect the realms of me, and the Wildlings were part of the realms of men. Perhaps Jon felt sorry for them in some ways, but I don’t think his main motivating factor was Mercy. He wanted them to help in the Wars to Come with TAOTD. He felt conflicted asking them to help him in the BOTB, but it ended up being the Wildlings fight as well, since if they couldn’t default Ramsay, they wouldn’t be able to stay on this side of the wall.

    I think this is mixed. There was the practicality in Jon’s decision but there’s also a humanitarian/compassionate/moral angle: these people are men, women, and children. They shouldn’t be left out there to die because they were born on the wrong side of the Wall. Jon didn’t see them as “arrow fodder” (as Stannis did in the books) or as nameless soldiers but as people. He has genuine sympathy for the wildlings, he walked a mile in their shoes. The reason Tormund convinces the wildlings to fight for Jon is because Jon died for them, not because Ramsay was a threat to them too (that’s an argument Tormund uses but not the argument that sways them). When they saw Jon rise from the dead and thought Jon as a god, they still refused to help.

    Had Jon been merciless, decided to leave the wildlings out there to die (taking their chances rather than risking the wildlings in the realm, seeing them as enemies/monsters) or made the demands Stannis made of them (which wouldn’t have compromised Jon feeling this was his duty to the realms of men), Jon and the wildlings (or Tormund) may not ever have created that human bond which convinced Tormund to follow Jon.

    I think this may have been more emphasized in the books because Jon also takes on a bunch of useless mouths who can’t fight and he knows it. His reasons for the Hardhome mission are purely humanitarian, there’s no strategic advantage. It’s a suicide mission.

    Hmmm… I think you make good points here, but I still don’t think it has as much to do with mercy as it does with the mutineers prejudices and shortsightedness.

    Because mercy involves forgiveness and compassion, the mutineers weren’t willing to show this to people who had previously hurt them. They didn’t see the wildlings as people but enemies and had zero compassion for their plight. If they had, they may not have viewed wildlings as these monsters who need to be kept out at all costs.

    Interesting about the original long night. This would have been great to see in the pre-quel that never will be…ugg… Yes, I do think there would have been other ways to get over or under the wall. I think there could have been other ways for Dany to see the threat. Even so, if she would have left Mercy and Jon behind she would have been in KL long ago and avoided the carnage. Now the entire world may have ended without the dragons to help in the battle of Winterfell, but she may have had to join the fight later. I’m not sure about this one. I just saw that Mercy led to many horrible things for Dany and the world as a whole.

    Yes, there were other ways for Dany to see the threat but if the Night King gets past the Wall (what if the magic in the Wall is compromised? How did that wight get into Castle Black in season 1…?) and they decimate the North, Dany couldn’t hold them all off. If the Night King takes his sweet time and goes the scenic route, plowing through regions and adding them to his ranks, Dany would be facing an even bigger problem (including darkness covering the world) and far more casualties for Westeros (which I kind of would have liked…). In the episode itself when they do fight the Night King and he’s only made it to Winterfell, they were all nearly toast (froze) and if Arya hadn’t stabbed the Night King when she did, they’d all be dead.

    Yeah as a viewer I just wasn’t feeling it. It may have worked for some, but I loved the cat and mouse game with Jon and Ygritte. I didn’t feel much on Dany’s side of the equation as she sat on her throne. She seemed very distant with me. The only time she really let her guard down was during her talk with Sansa where she says her “who manipulated who” line. That’s the first time I really felt like Dany loved Jon.

    That’s fair! Myself, I saw it earlier, but what I think they needed (because these were two serious characters starting off on opposite sides) was time to build the levels of these various relationship steps. And even then, there’s no guarantee a viewer is going to like it. Relationships like this have been achieved in television (in which one or both characters start off as distant or in disagreement, even enemies sometimes) but I think the most important factor is building the various levels of that relationship and that requires time.

    Yes I agree about their bond in the books. I did think that they may let Arya take the burden from Jon and have Arya kill Dany herself. I know you would have liked to have seen Dany not be killed. I still felt a strong connection with Arya and Jon in the show in season 8. I think this is mainly thanks to Maisie’s performance during the reunion and other scenes. D&D had a number of missed opportunities to team up Jon and Arya. I would have loved to have seen them battle the NK together somehow. It’s some of these type of fan satisfying scenes I was missing. I was just left with despair that the world was a dark place. I wanted to see Arya and Jon team up. I wanted to see Mercy win out somehow to make a better world that Tyrion envisioned. But that wasn’t the story.

    I agree with a lot of this!

    I agree. I think D&D just had to decide they had a limited amount of time to finish the story before the actors got too old and for other reasons. Once they made the decision to fit everything into 70 to 73 episodes, they eneded up having to rush things to make their plot points happen. I think that was obvious to many fans. It became more of “how do we get the characters to these plot points by episode ____”

    Yeah, I was thinking about this too and I think practicality was a big reason why they limited the episode run.

    I agree that I think it would have been more loyal to the overall story to have them barely survive the TAOTD and battle them again later in the season. But I think they wanted to get the magic out of the game and focus on the human drama. That’s a choice they made. I don’t think it was very loyal to the overall ASOIAF arc. Perhaps that’s how GRRM is thinking about ending it all one day way far off, but I think “THE OTHERS” will play a bigger role in the end game than what happened in the show. I think Arya’s training will be used for something else in the books.

    Yeah, and magic is such a big aspect in the books too. All these mysteries, these prophecies, the magic in Winterfell, the Old Gods, the maesters, there’s so much! The world is so so vast in ASOIAF that. It’s going to need distillation for TV but for me, some of the simplifications was a bit too much.

  134. Ten Bears,

    Even though we don’t get internal monologues like in the books, on the show Arya is constantly thinking of Jon. On the other hand, after that beautiful Needle scene in S1e2 (“I’m going to miss you”) Jon didn’t give Arya a second thought

    You bring up a lot of great scenes with Arya! And I think you’re right about those!

    But as for Jon not giving Arya a second thought, I don’t think that’s really the case because we don’t have access to Jon’s thoughts the way we do in the books. Until Jon is given the news of “Arya’s” marriage to Ramsay in the books, Jon doesn’t refer to Arya out loud and even then, it’s not much (only when he is given the news about Ramsay and when Melisandre offers to save her). He doesn’t confide these personal feelings in anyone in the books either. His thoughts on his various relationships are primarily limited to the constant monologues going on in his skull. Whereas in the books, Arya does refer to Jon out loud.

    However, I concede that her “reunion” with Jon in S8e1 was underwhelming. (Sansa’s “the smartest person I’ve ever met” ????) I was pissed because Arya deserved a reunion scene with Jon at least as good the lovely Sansa & Jon reunion at CB in S6.

    I agree that the Arya & Jon reunion scene was underwhelming in comparison to Sansa & Jon and I think a big reason why is that when Sansa and Jon were reunited, it was the first time any of these people from this family found each other again after 5 long years of hell. There was a catharsis factor for the characters and I think for the audience as well (well, for me) because after seasons of near-misses, two people from this family finally, finally reunite — even though it’s the most distant of the two (Arya is minutes too late to reunite with Catelyn and Robb in season 3, she just misses Sansa at the Vale in season 4, Jon nearly reunites with Bran and Rickon when they’re hiding in the tower as Jon and the wildlings are outside in season 3, Jon nearly reunites with Bran in season 4 before Jojen convinces Bran he must continue onward to see the Three-Eyed Raven).

    Had that been Jon and Arya rather than Jon and Sansa, I’d be dead 🙂

    By the time Arya and Jon met again, it was the last reunion to take place — and the Arya/Jon relationship doesn’t have nearly the development it has in the books. I think you’re right that the show demonstrates it more from Arya’s side though.

    On that note, I’ve always loved this book illustration by Magali Villeneuve of Jon and Arya and thought you might like to see it if you haven’t already 🙂

  135. Tensor the Mage, Who Happily Accepts The Government He Deserves, But Kind Of Resents Getting The Government Everyone Else Deserves: Although not mentioned in the show, the audience all know that mass democracy requires universal literacy, and that universal suffrage requires strong non-discrimination laws to protect it.

    We currently have a democracy in 2020 yet 14% of the United States is currently considered illiterate and we are still fighting through discrimination laws that make voting for certain people more difficult.

  136. MotherofWolves:
    Ten Bears,

    I still find the musicso stirring. It brought me to tears again. Dammit!

    There was a Russian ice skater who thought she was Daenerys, but she skated to the Night King theme. The music choice was odd. A voice even said Dracarys at the end of her performance. I think it was Alexandra Trusova. But the whole time she was skating I had the slow motion NK sequence in my head. She should have been Arya doing her Wolf jump instead!! She was doing quads and had some good jumps!. She would have scored higher and it would have been more in line with the music. But from what I read she’s a big fan of Emilia.
    Another Russian skater, Anna Shcherbakova was just incredible with her quad jumps. She ended up coming in 2nd since her short program score was lower than the other Russian lady who won, but didn’t do any quads. The USA ladies will have their hands full to keep up. The Russian trio was pretty outstanding.

  137. MotherofWolves:
    Ten Bears,

    I still find the musicso stirring. It brought me to tears again. Dammit!

    Isn’t that conclusion to S4 the best ever?

    Which reminds me….
    I need to set up Forum pages for song compilations for

    – The Night King presents, “Love Songs for the Long Night: Ol’ Blue Eyes is Back”

    – Arya Stark: [Warrior Princess?] [Sea Wolf?]

  138. Young Dragon,

    Seems you just ignore good build argumentation of me and others about the point of amount of time, and keep on about: From day 1 they wanted 70 episodes and we got 73.
    If that makes you happy I will let you have it.

    My opinion stays, that is not how you make a good all-around well written tv show. You can’t say from day 1: This is the amount of episodes I want and I stick to that.
    Because while writing the show you find out that a certain story-line is not worth a whole season but maybe just 2 episodes. Or the other way around, something you though of would just be half a season evolved to 2 whole seasons. You can’t know beforehand. So the argument that this is what they wanted since day 1 is not in my opinion not a valid argument. 80% of the shows out there don’t end with the amount of episodes they want from the start and most of the shows are way of. Shows that end up being a 2 season show end up being a 5 season show. A 5 season show end up being just a 3 season show etc.
    And to go back to: They put 2 books in 1, so the answer for “We did Storm of Swords justice by giving it twice the amount of time from our initially plan” is “We are forced to put 2 books into 1 seasons to end up around the 70 episode count and rushed the rest of the story”.

    And as I said it’s like Peter Jackson would have had a plan to make every LotR movie 150 minutes because that’s the screentime that a movie would aim for, and when making the movie he would have stayed with it because “This is what I planned for since day 1”. instead of making it “180/240” minutes per movie.

    Young Dragon,

    So give arguments why it’s brilliant, that is about season 8 and not ‘”season 1 till 6 weren’t as perfect as you make it out to be”. Give us the arguments that show us why season 8 is brilliant.

  139. Adrianacandle,

    ”But as for Jon not giving Arya a second thought, I don’t think that’s really the case because we don’t have access to Jon’s thoughts the way we do in the books…”

    Typing of my Jon “kind of forgot about Arya” Snow rant (Part 2 of prior comment) got interrupted. One of my biggest gripes was when Jon, on Dragonstone in S7e5, received a ravengram from WF alerting him that NK was on the move, and that Bran and Arya were both in WF.

    His remark that “I thought Arya was dead.” made no sense. She’d last been seen alive and well. Boy, he sure gave up on her easily.

  140. Ten Bears: Like you, I did not enjoy the S8e6 dragonpit scene. It didn’t make sense on many levels, and the cascade of illogic undermined (my) sense of immersion. (Instead of “Oh, cool!” my reaction was “WTF?”)
    I don’t think it was unrealistic for me to expect that the climax of the eight season-long jockeying for the throne would be a rousing, unforgettable scene.

    I agree both with Mr Derp and you: this scene should have been strong, and I found it weak in many ways (script, acting, cinematography, …). The only point I seem to disagree with is the “Bran has the best story” part. I find it good. Not because I agree with it (actually, Bran’s story bored me since he headed North, in books and show alike), but because I think it perfectly fits one of the series’ theme: how deceptive are the “stories” that are made from historical facts (including Robert’s story and the “Rhaegar raped Lyanna one”). And it is true to character: Tyrion at some point (I can’t remember the episode, not even the season, maybe when he meets Daenerys or talks about her with Varys?) says something like “X could do, he/she has a good story” or “we can make a good story out of it”. In my country, some historians consider that a country needs to share a (constructed )”national novel” to be stable, ie share a “story” of what the nation is and how it became what it is, which defines the values the people agrees on. So for me, per se, it was a good point (though not very well exploited).

  141. Tensor the Mage, Who Still Enjoys The Ending,

    I like what you wrote, and have to say that those moments were great in season 8.
    But I think the longest battle in film history is not really an writing-accomplishment. That is only when it sticks with the fans. Many felled battle-tired already halfway through the episode. I remember putting the episode 2 times on hold for a short break because I found the battle too long and dragging, visually it was stunning but for me I rather choose a well-written horrible looking show than the opposite, I can’t for instance watch a Marvel movie because I found the writing not to my taste and pretty basic, even when those movies are visually stunning. Visually only enhanced writing for me, but it doesn’t make place for it.

    The thing for me what I though of in the last episode that is somehow breaking the fourth wheel was Tyrion’s speech to Jon about Dany. This was not meant for Jon to hear, Tyrion shouldn’t have known some things Dany did what he told, he told it like he really witness it all even when he still was in Westeros. This scene was meant for the fans “here we explained the biggest plottwist and we convince you here”.
    And “ask me in 10 years” also felled like a question to the fans.

    Also Jon was pretty strange in the final. One moment he condemned Dany, the next he tells that Dany had her reasons, and the next he kills her. He even flip-flop his thoughts about the massacre of Kings Landing.

    Another one is Arya, Dany just murdered half a city: I know a murderer when I see one.
    I think even a blind man could see it. But it seems Sansa is indeed the smartest in the family, I think she would have connected the dots that only a murdered kills half a city.

    Another one is Dany, there’s still not a clear answer why she did what she did, if she became mad, was it political/ideology, was it that Jon wouldn’t sleep with her, was it the dead of the people she loved. And also one moment she is: Jon betrayed me. So let it be fear. Angry at Jon, the next she plays the lovely housewive to him, like all is good and well between them. Did she just forgot about her encounters with Jon like she forgot about Euron?

  142. kevin1989,

    And as I said it’s like Peter Jackson would have had a plan to make every LotR movie 150 minutes because that’s the screentime that a movie would aim for, and when making the movie he would have stayed with it because “This is what I planned for since day 1”. instead of making it “180/240” minutes per movie.

    You are making up this argument. Peter Jackson set out to make three 180 movies. And he ended up doing just that.
    (On the other hand, he set out to make two movies out of The Hobbit and ended up doing three… and the results weren’t as good, in my opinion).
    But anyway, this has nothing to do with GoT, because you are talking about a film trilogy that was written at the same time.

    So, let’s compare it with a series that was writen one entry at a time… such as Harry Potter. J.K. Rowling set out to write seven books, and stick to her plan, and ended up writing a coherent narrative (whether you like it or not).
    On the other hand, G.R.R. Martin set out to write a trilogy. But he let the story grow and grow…. and we know the rest.

    The point it, it IS possible to pre-plan the amount of seasons you need to tell a story, even more so when you are adapting an existing story.
    And the truth is that they planned for seven or eight seasons, and they did just that. So that means that they did NOT rush it (rush=make it quicker than intended).

    Now, it could have happened that they planned for seven/eight seasons… and then they found out that they needed more time to tell the story. That could have happened. But it did not. They never felt they needed more time (that we know of).

  143. Ten Bears: Typing of my Jon “kind of forgot about Arya” Snow rant (Part 2 of prior comment) got interrupted. One of my biggest gripes was when Jon, on Dragonstone in S7e5, received a ravengram from WF alerting him that NK was on the move, and that Bran and Arya were both in WF.

    His remark that “I thought Arya was dead.” made no sense. She’d last been seen alive and well. Boy, he sure gave up on her easily.

    I think that was an oversight because in episode 7×03, when Dany and Jon are talking about her dragons and losing brothers, Jon (at that point) thinks he’s lost two brothers (Robb and Rickon) but in episode 7×05, Jon thinks brother #3 Bran is dead too — and Jon’s info on Bran doesn’t change between those two points.

    In an off-screen conversation, Sansa presumably told Jon about Brienne telling her Arya was alive when Brienne saw her last in season 4 but by the time Brienne told her (and the time this off-screen conversation may have happened), it’s been over two years and there’s been no word on Arya. And Sansa and Jon are never shown discussing Arya or referring to her, which is frustrating. That’s a development I think we needed. How does Jon come to the conclusion that Arya is dead, even with whatever Sansa may have told him about Brienne seeing Arya alive two years prior? It’s another conversation that I think was needed.

    Likewise, with Bran, Jon wants to go to Craster’s Keep because he thinks Bran went there — and then no more mention of Bran. They defeat the mutineers, burn the Keep, no trace of Bran. And there’s no discussion of Bran afterward. What led Jon to the conclusion that Bran was dead here too? It’s reasonable to come to that conclusion — Bran’s a young boy who can’t walk, with somebody who is mentally compromised, and having to survive beyond the Wall. But a conversation about Bran would have helped.

  144. kevin1989,

    Another one is Arya, Dany just murdered half a city: I know a murderer when I see one.

    I thought that was a strange, unintentionally funny line. Like… yeah…

    Also Jon was pretty strange in the final. One moment he condemned Dany, the next he tells that Dany had her reasons, and the next he kills her. He even flip-flop his thoughts about the massacre of Kings Landing.

    Well, I think there was a logic to this. Personal feelings were seriously hampering Jon here. Jon was always horrified by the massacre of King’s Landing but was trying to find sense in what Dany did as he wanted to believe the war was over, that this wasn’t going to continue. And then Tyrion was telling Jon this, that, and the other thing about how Dany’s not going to stop, why she’s not going to stop, Jon needs to kill her to stop her, Jon doesn’t want to believe this because he doesn’t want to kill Dany or be forced into that choice. Then Jon tries to talk with Dany, confronts her over the burned kids, Dany thinks it’s necessary, and Jon pleads with her to be merciful but Dany refuses and when Jon realizes Dany won’t be backing down, he makes that decision.

    Another one is Dany, there’s still not a clear answer why she did what she did, if she became mad, was it political/ideology, was it that Jon wouldn’t sleep with her, was it the dead of the people she loved. And also one moment she is: Jon betrayed me. So let it be fear. Angry at Jon, the next she plays the lovely housewive to him, like all is good and well between them. Did she just forgot about her encounters with Jon like she forgot about Euron?

    The writers addressed Dany’s motivation for burning King’s Landing after she won their surrender through fear, this is their explanation:

    Benioff: If circumstances had been different, I don’t think this side of Dany ever would’ve come out. If Varys hadn’t betrayed her, if Cersei hadn’t executed Missandei, if Jon hadn’t told her the truth. Like, if all of these things had happened in any different way, then I don’t think we’d be seeing this side of Daenerys Targaryen.

    Weiss: I don’t think she decided ahead of time that she was… going to do what she did. And then she sees the Red Keep, which is, to her, the home that her family built when they first came over to this country 300 years ago. It’s in that moment, on the walls of King’s Landing, where she’s looking at that symbol of everything that was taken from her, when she makes the decision to– to make this personal.

    As for being mad at Jon in one moment (shooting a look at him after her speech) and being all happy with him the next, yeah. I sort of chalked this up to a mood disorder to go along with her snap as Dany is now redefining words (“liberation”). But I feel there was a disconnect there. Maybe if we had Dany’s viewpoint, it could have been explained. Like she was in a haze of euphoria or something.

  145. Adrianacandle,

    Correction!

    *It hasn’t been over two years since Brienne last saw Arya, it’s been just over one year and perhaps one and a half years by the time Sansa would have told Jon off-screen (if one season = one year)

    I suck at math 🙁

  146. kevin1989,

    I might be fuzzy on the dates, so I could be wrong.

    I don’t know how D&D could’ve possibly planned all this to perfection from the beginning when they didn’t even know the major ending until 2013? when GRRM told them.

    D&D were planning out the show back in 2007, weren’t they? Is that when they decided on 70/73 episodes?

    There were some unexpected things that happened along the way, like GRRM not keeping pace with the show, that had to have created some changes. As far as I remember.

    It’s one thing to have a plan. it’s an entirely different thing to have your plan play out exactly how it was meant to be.

    I think they cut corners when they didn’t need to, and I just don’t get it. The fans wanted the show to continue, HBO wanted the show to continue, but D&D didn’t. No one wanted the ending to be a rapid resolution. They could’ve taken more time to flesh out the ending and give the monumental events of season 8 more breathing room, but they just didn’t want that. I agree that the show needs to end when it’s on top, but I think they really accelerated the ending on their own, and it hurt the final product, IMO. They pulled the plug a bit too early for me.

    As much as Missandei, Rhaegal, and Dany’s fleet paid the price for Dany’s impatience in episode 4, the fans (well, some of them anyway) also paid a similar price for D&D’s decision to accelerate the last season, IMO.

    For example, if there was room for an Ed Sheeran shoutout, shouldn’t there be space to see Sansa and Arya react to the revelation of Jon’s parentage and claim to the throne?

  147. oierem,

    About the show: Yes their first plan after season 3 was 70 episodes + 3 big movies. A big movie is 180 minutes long. So 70 episodes + 3 movies is more than what we got on screen.
    And you know that after season 6 their plan was a full 10 episode season 7 with a shortened season 8. They changed that also. (My guess is that the pay raise of the main cast which put big restrained on the budget first they maybe got 10% of the budget after the pay raise something like 40% of the budget, and they also got paid per episode not season so less episode is less budget for the main cast, if they did a 10 episode season 7 they would have taken 60% the budget of the show if not more.)

    As for the books, the thing is that the way Martin resolve mysteries is much different than the shows (and how other books do it). Every mystery is more like a puzzle, person A tells something about it. Then book B, next book a bit more information. And with most mysteries we are already 80% there. With many we only need the glue that put everything together. That does not take that much time. I mean like Jon’s parentage, we really don’t need that much more information about that, we only need the glue that put those pieces together. While in thow they waited with the background of Jon’s parentage till later in the story, Martin gave many things away through the course of the story, with the memories of people.
    So 2 books is enough time. The only concern I have is that I fear it maybe need 3 and that he just got 200/300 pages over the limit that he gets from his publishers.

    And in the end the books will not feel rushed because every mystery is from book 1 till book 7, with every book a bit of information on every mystery. While for the show, they waited with many mysteries till the season, or season prior to the reveal.

    And many things are easier to write than put on screen, for instance the burning of KL is maybe 30 minute of screentime and we will follow Arya. For the books it does not have to be that much, we could see a cliffhanger from Dany’s perspective that shit hit the fan, just 2 sentences that she burn shit down. And the next chapter we read for Instance Jon and we start the chapter already after the carnage, where in 3 pages we see things in real time and thoughts about the burning itself. Show: Action takes more time. Book: Dialogue takes more time.

  148. Tron79,

    I agree, strangely how Tyrion a prisoner is the one that could put a new King in place.
    It’s also strange that “We don’t keep prisoners”. That Grey worm kept Tyrion and Jon prisoner. I mean for consistencies sake, they should have been killed right away after Dany died.

    Ten Bears,

    Season 4 is still the best. And I loved the cliffhanger of season 6 the best combined with 1 and 2. Those 3 were the best cliffs. Season 3 was my least favorite but still that one gives me chills.

  149. Mr Derp: I might be fuzzy on the dates, so I could be wrong.

    I don’t know how D&D could’ve possibly planned all this to perfection from the beginning when they didn’t even know the major ending until 2013? when GRRM told them.

    D&D were planning out the show back in 2007, weren’t they? Is that when they decided on 70/73 episodes?

    This is just for general info but here’s what I know about the timeline:

    In the DVD features, Benioff says he and Weiss went to visit Martin while he was writing book 5 (and book 5 was published July 2011):

    When we went to visit him back then, and this is when he was still writing book 5, he didn’t know yet where the story was going and he knew a few key things and one of those key things was that the final king at the end of the story would be Bran.

    Alan Taylor gave that interview about GRRM sharing some things that would happen with Jon and Dany back when they were filming season 1 in Malta, which would have been around 2009(?)

    The Santa Fe multiple-day meeting with GRRM mapping out the rest of the story to D&D and what would happen with each character occurred sometime during 2013.

    I’m not aware of any source that says D&D wanted this to be 73 episodes from day 1 but Kevin, if you have a source, please share it with me! 🙂

  150. Adrianacandle,

    • Correct me if I’m wrong, as I’m not a book reader: I thought there were many “show only” scenes early on that were fabulous. That the showrunners were supposedly still working within GRRM’s template doesn’t explain how they were able to craft riveting, “perpetually rewatchable” one-on-one scenes that had no counterparts in the books.

    I wonder if the HBO beancounters, Q ratings, or the relative ease (for the writers, not the CGI wizards) of stuffing in big battles and dragons out the yingyang were responsible for the noticeable changes by the last two seasons.

    • On a related note: I’m all for callbacks and repetition when they’re effective. For instance, Sandor instructing Arya “That’s where the heart is” when he euthanized the dying farmer in S4e7, set up their final scene in S4e10 when he asks her “Remember where the heart is?” (In my fanfic head canon-addled brain, I so wanted him to say “Remember where the heart is” a third time with his dying breath, in a different context, e.g., to remind Sansa and Arya to hold onto their kindness and compassion.)

    By contrast, in the latter seasons I started feeling as if the callbacks and repetitions were just – derivative and forced.
    – In S1, Tyrion “confessing” to once bringing a jackass and honeycomb into a brothel during his trial in the Vale was hysterical (especially when Lysa blew a gasket while Robyn was eager to know “what happened next!”) However, resorting to that same still punchline-less “joke” for a third time – as the last lines in the show – was not funny at all (to me).
    – Bran parroting orher characters catchphrases (“Chaos is a ladder”; “The things we do for love”) was cute for a while before quickly growing stale.
    – I can give Mel a pass for repeating Syrio’s Q & A with Arya (Q: “What do we say to the God of Death?” A: “Not today”). Because Arya. 👸🏻
    – I was not overly impressed by inverting Maester Aemon’s line “love is the death of duty” into “duty is the death of love” during Tyrion & Jon’s “gotta kill Dany” conversation in S8.

    • Someone (I forget who) observed that despite the limited screen time in the six-episode final season, much of the first five or ten minutes of the last episode was just Tyrion walking around in the rubble – no dialogue. There were lots of scenes like that: a character walking around looking bummed out.
    That’s not to say that wordless acting can’t be effective. (Exhibit “A”: Arya tearing up on Braavos dock, unable to part with Needle.)
    I’ve just got to wonder why the folks who scripted such great dialogue in scenes in S3 and S4 got away from that in the last two seasons.

  151. kevin1989,

    ”… but for me I rather choose a well-written horrible looking show than the opposite, I can’t for instance watch a Marvel movie because I found the writing not to my taste and pretty basic, even when those movies are visually stunning. Visually only enhanced writing for me, but it doesn’t make place for it.”

    If you’ve never seen it, treat yourself to “The Outlaw Josey Wales” (1976) – but not a chopped-up, edited for TV, commercial-infested versions.

    Oh geez… I just realized there’s a line in that movie that would’ve been perfect for the Hound to use with Arya:

    Get ready, little lady. Hell is coming to breakfast.”

    at 1:58

  152. kevin1989,

    • Yup. S4 is the best for me. Favorite episode (S4e7, “Mockingbird”), and favorite scene (last 9 1/2 minutes of S4e1 “Two Chickens” – I mean “Two Swords”).

    • I’m not sure what you mean by the S6 “cliffhanger.”

  153. Ten Bears,

    Correct me if I’m wrong, as I’m not a book reader: I thought there were many “show only” scenes early on that were fabulous. That the showrunners were supposedly still working within GRRM’s template doesn’t explain how they were able to craft riveting, “perpetually rewatchable” one-on-one scenes that had no counterparts in the books.

    I think that might probably be a function of pace where developments took time, characters had time to talk, interact, build. Admittedly, at the time, I felt the seasons were too slow for me. There’s also that the showrunners still had a rich source of material to draw from, not just a template. The Tywin-Arya relationship was show-only but even there, they had pretty complete, developed pictures of Tywin and Arya at that point in the story and could create this brief Tywin-Arya relationship from that — kind of like with a base. They’ve even given them some dialogue other characters have said (identifying somebody’s origins based them saying m’lord vs my lord). But even then, these show-only scenes were only one small part of the show at that time, not the entire thing. They weren’t having to fill in the point-by-point all freeform and or having to decide, based on limited material, what to prioritize.

    I wonder if the HBO beancounters, Q ratings, or the relative ease (for the writers, not the CGI wizards) of stuffing in big battles and dragons out the yingyang were responsible for the noticeable changes by the last two seasons.

    I don’t know what the specifics are but it felt like there were more big battles from seasons 6-8. Yet, as characters come together, that could very well be the case in the books too. I’ve also seen a few people who’ve said the amount of dialogue went down as they surpassed the books.

    By contrast, in the latter seasons I started feeling as if the callbacks and repetitions were just – derivative and forced.
    – In S1, Tyrion “confessing” to once bringing a jackass and honeycomb into a brothel during his trial in the Vale was hysterical (especially when Lysa blew a gasket while Robyn was eager to know “what happened next!”) However, resorting to that same still punchline-less “joke” for a third time – as the last lines in the show – was not funny at all (to me).
    – Bran parroting orher characters catchphrases (“Chaos is a ladder”; “The things we do for love”) was cute for a while before quickly growing stale.
    – I can give Mel a pass for repeating Syrio’s Q & A with Arya (Q: “What do we say to the God of Death?” A: “Not today”). Because Arya. 👸🏻
    – I was not overly impressed by inverting Maester Aemon’s line “love is the death of duty” into “duty is the death of love” during Tyrion & Jon’s “gotta kill Dany” conversation in S8.

    Some of this may have been an attempt to circle back to themes the show as exploring. Chaos is a ladder with LF depending on stirring the chaos so his enemies would take each other out while he’d climb to the top and end up with what he wanted (which, based on his conversation with Sansa at the end of 610, was her and the Iron Throne. Ew.) Yet, Bran found out about the chaos ladder and that led to LF’s doom because his chaos didn’t work with All Knowing Bran when Bran was told where to look.

    With the Maester Aemon quote, I didn’t mind that because a theme in the books is that characters have to make choices, especially Jon who is faced with difficult choices of increasing difficulty and all choices come with consequences — which is the essence of Maester Aemon’s speech to Jon, that everyone has to choose. I like the book version of this ending of this quote especially (but they adapted it well for TV):

    The old man laid a withered, spotted hand on his shoulder. “It hurts, boy,” he said softly. “Oh, yes. Choosing… it has always hurt. And always will. I know.”

    As for the callbacks, I suspect that it’s a story attempt to start bringing things full-circle. There were a lot of them in season 8.

    But everything I’ve said here is speculation because I’m not a writer and only D&D and GRRM know the answers, really.

  154. Mr Derp,

    ” For example, if there was room for an Ed Sheeran shoutout, shouldn’t there be space to see Sansa and Arya react to the revelation of Jon’s parentage and claim to the throne?”

    Likewise, if there was 8-10 minutes of screentime for Tyrion to walk around the rubble-strewn streets of KL with furrowed brow and a look of deep concern like Susan Collins, then yeah, there was more than enough time to show us the Big F*cking Reveal.

  155. Adrianacandle,

    Oh I don’t think they were aiming at 73 episodes at all. I think they were aiming for 80. I was only reacting to Young Dragon who states that this is what they always wanted 70 episodes, which I think is not a valid reason for where you end, story progress naturally to a certain amount of episodes.

    The only thing I remember is that they talked about not killing the golden goose back in the days, can’t remember if that was season 1 2 or even at season 4. I found this from winteriscoming:
    https://winteriscoming.net/2013/10/18/guest-post-adapting-season-5-and-beyond/

    from 6 years ago where they talked about that D&D stated that they didn’t want to kill the golden goose so that we won’t get 10 seasons.

    I think that was the most that they told the audience that it won’t be 10 seasons. I think YD is logical to think that it was 70 episodes they were aiming for. But wic back then though it would be 8 seasons (like we got).

    But I need to find that interview because it is driving me nuts, they used the word: Not killing the golden goose as wic states.

    and found it: https://metro.co.uk/2013/06/10/game-of-thrones-writer-david-benioff-there-is-a-ticking-clock-on-the-shows-future-3835758/

    it makes me sad to see that George still believe that he would finish the books first back then.

  156. Ten Bears,

    Well I have to say, with Western the only movie I was into or rather a series was deadwood, miss that show.

    As for old movies, I loved the godfather old movie visually not that amazing but story is gold.

    Ten Bears,

    With cliffhanger I mean, the absolute last scene of the season. With season 6 I loved the sailing of Daenerys to Westeros. Great contrast with Jon getting to know his parentage and Cersei crowning herself queen. Great cliff.

  157. Young Dragon:
    Zalos,

    You have it backwards. It’s those who are bashing the show that have very little to back it up. Face it, the criticisms towards season 8 were incredibly weak. The writing was fantastic, for example Jon’s eulogy after the battle, Arya’s conversation with Melisandre, Podrick’s song, Sansa reunites with Theon, Brienne’s knighting, Jon finds out his parentage, Danerys trying to convince Jon to keep his parentage a secret, Tyrion and Varys discuss loyalty, Tyrion confesses Varys’s treason, Tyrion pleads to Cersei to surrender, Missandei’s death, Tyrion and Jaime’s farewell, Arya gives up revenge, Cleganebowl, Dany’s victory speech, Tyrion convinces Jon to kill Danerys, Jon and Danerys in the throne room, the Starks say goodbye, the final montage, etc. There is no shortage of amazing moments in season 8. There’s a reason it was nominated for an Emmy for Best Writing.

    Right. I advise you to look up video analyses of S8 on YouTube. There is literally no videos made to defend that season that actually use logical arguments.

    As for the list of scenes you mentioned, yay? How are any of these scenes proof of great writing? Anything to substantiate your claim with facts?

    Even if some of these scenes were considered ”amazing moments” (which most are not), that would still not mean that the writing of the season was good. I think the fight against the WWs had a lot of great moments, but that episode still had really bad writing.

    And, by the way, some of the scenes you mentioned are some of the cheesiest and lamest shit ever made for television. Jon’s eulogy, anything with Tyrion, anything with Dany, particularly that final throne room scene. As for the final montage it would not have been that bad if the rest of the episode had not been utter trash.

  158. Adrianacandle,

    “… And then Tyrion was telling Jon this, that, and the other thing about how Dany’s not going to stop, why she’s not going to stop, Jon needs to kill her to stop her,”

    “I’m not particularly good at violence, but I’m good at convincing others do violence for me.”

    – Tyrion Lannister (on trial at the Vale, S1e6)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r76ubnWmE6s

    at 3:22

  159. kevin1989: My comment is under moderation, but how far are you with witchers?

    I’m on Chapter II and I’m in the middle of a bunch of quests, I just found the Swamp Islands and accidentally ventured too far where I encountered the drowned undead and those terrifying man-eating plant things. It actually did put the fear of God into me and my heart was beating so hard for like five minutes after I accidentally wandered in and was attacked.

    Now I’m trying to figure out how to access Silver talents? Because I think I’ll need those to survive this next round. I found 6 of those stones to put in those things around the Swamp Islands.

    I’m also trying to sleep with every working girl I can find in the game 😉 Next up is the Harbour Hooker! Just need to get a nice rose!

  160. kevin1989,

    ” Well I have to say, with Westerns the only movie I was into or rather a series was Deadwood, miss that show.

    As for old movies, I loved The Godfather old movie visually not that amazing but story is gold.”

    But “The Outlaw Josey Wales” isn’t just a Western. Just like you wouldn’t say GoT or ASOIAF is just a fantasy show.

  161. Adrianacandle:
    Zalos,

    I agree that AltShiftX might be the most logical, unbiased YouTuber to analyse GoT. And I also think he was disappointed. Not sure about the sarcasm but it seems he was especially disappointed with how the Long Night went down.

    I don’t think that was the implication and if it were, I wouldn’t agree. Adaptation is a skill itself and it’s a different skillset than the one described here, especially with a series as complex as ASOIAF where it just keeps getting more and more complicated. I don’t even think GRRM knows how to make his way forward or TWOW would be out by now.

    I think the writing in season 8 was sloppy, I don’t think enough time was invested in various setups to make major beats pay off, some character choices were bizarre (which I think is partially a result of the lack of time invested), some lines are bizarre, but I think D&D were in a difficult position too.

    Well, to be honest, I don’t have a bone to pick with D&D for anything aside from the last two seasons’ writing and the way they rushed to the ending. It all went to shit mainly because they could not be bothered with taking their time. They put themselves in that hole. Nobody did it to them. HBO was ready to pay them to make many more seasons.

    As far as adaptation requiring a different set of skills than creation, sure. I still think one is a better set of skills than the other, though. Alt Shift did mean that D&D didn’t sign up for creating the story and that they did not have the capabilities to do so.

    Concerning George not having finished the books… That does not mean anything. He’s an incredibly slow writer and he is obviously working on a lot of other things. I am absolutely certain that his ending will be MUCH better than what D&D did by rushing the final two seasons.

  162. Zalos,

    1. The last two seasons weren’t rushed.
    2. The end of Mr. Benioff and Mr. Weiss will be the same as Martin’s end.
    3. We don’t need youtube analysis because they are pretty dumb and weak. Everyone can make videos like Alt Shift X.

  163. I believe at the very beginning David and Dan were expecting it to be roughly a season a book, i.e. seven seasons at ten episodes a season adapting a completed seven-book story, if the show were successful enough to be kept on air for an optimal run (that is, not having to suddenly condense the story due to early cancellation, as with Rome, or cut it short, as with Deadwood).

    Then, as the early seasons went to air and they realized both that a) they’d likely have the chance to see the story out as they wished, and that b) George was unlikely to finish the books in time for them to adapt as originally agreed, they formed a rough idea of how long the show would need to be in order to tell the story well, which was always about 70–80 hours/episodes, or seven or eight seasons (in the end it turned out to be exactly 70 hours of runtime for the series (episodes only) and, as we know, 73 episodes in 8 seasons). I Googled just now to refresh my memory, and they seemed to be guessing 80 episodes before their week-long 2013 sit-down with George where they learned the endgame for each character, and “somewhere in the 7–8 season zone” after they’d had that meeting. A couple of years later (in 2016) D&D had finally come to a 73 episode plan for best telling the story in their view.

    It seems apparent to me that the decision on the show’s length, and the way the story was told (how each season was written), was a conscious and carefully considered one on the part of the showrunners, made with an eye to creating the best drama they could. It is one that was made years ago, and reconfirmed each subsequent year as each new season was made. Obviously, their choices in how to pace and tell the whole story did not please everyone. However, they did please many of us (I’m one who loved the entire show, especially Season 8). This evidently includes many of the actors on the show, like Gemma.

    It’s worth noting that it is untrue that D&D shortened the run of the show because they’d made other plans or wanted to do other things. The 73 episode number was announced in early 2016. They subsequently made plans to extend their production time for those episodes by what in the end amounted to an extra year-and-a-half in order to produce two high quality seasons. Confederate was announced in 2017, Star Wars in 2018, both as projects for the future once Thrones had ended. Throughout the years D&D have made clear in myriad ways their love and dedication to the show, and articulated their wish to tell the story in the best way they possibly could.

    The way they wrote the final 13 episodes may have missed the mark for many viewers (though it did not for very many others), but whatever one feels about their quality those screenplays were the result of a committed, careful, honest effort on the part of David and Dan, who gave as much of themselves to the show as they could. It’s always been clear they care very much about this work. It’s therefore perfectly fair to criticize the writing – but not to criticize the writers.

  164. Adrianacandle,

    You’re even more Tyrion than me in that game XD (season 1)

    Some things are really scary, and every game has more scarier creatures.

    Ten Bears,

    So it’s one of those movies that stands out. I will look into it 😀

  165. It’s not necessarily a pushback as much as pointing towards the assholes and shitbags who went beyond having valid issues and criticisms with/for Season Eight, and made it their calling to rob everyone else’s enjoyment of the show’s final season, by manufacturing outrage and controversy where there was none.

    🤪😝😜

  166. Zalos,

    I have to say I agree about what was wrong with the season 7 and 8, but I personally think that the bigger problem is that season 7 and 8 are too neat. GoT always feels best when all the stories feel chaotic put together. That storyline there, that one there, all one. Season 7 and 8 it had focus on just one at a time.

    I also think that the books will have the better version, but they are not out yet. I also think that a huge problem lies with GRRM himself, my partner even stated when talking with them about it a while back: He should never have sold the books if he hadn’t finish them. Especially those massive books he writes. And second, he sold all the books already to HBO, if he wants a say so how much each story got told on screen (which he had a problem with when some characters were cut while others he understood), he could have sold the rights per book. (you can also sell rights to an unfinish book), he didn’t.

    And about D&D too much are we talking about the writing with them, but somehow we forget what they did as producers. So I even dare to say when even I found the writing below par in season 7 and 8. Their producing was still top-notch.

    We also only see one side of the story, the side that is being put into the media. Do we really know what happened behind the scenes? You state HBO wanted more season, of course they want, it’s a cash cow, they are happy with the prequels even if it’s only half the income with it. But HBO also stated things that I really don’t believe like: They had unlimited funds if they want more they can get it, don’t remember the right wording but it was about season 8 that they had trust with D&D and that they already gave 15 million per episode, but if they wanted more they would give it if it was needed. Which I personally would not believe because that’s not how a business works.

    But in the end, D&D are still in my book great writers and amazing producers. I mean they were smart enough to put the right people in the right place.

  167. Adrianacandle,

    “In an off-screen conversation, Sansa presumably told Jon about Brienne telling her Arya was alive when Brienne saw her last in season 4 but by the time Brienne told her (and the time this off-screen conversation may have happened), it’s been over two years and there’s been no word on Arya. And Sansa and Jon are never shown discussing Arya or referring to her, which is frustrating. That’s a development I think we needed. How does Jon come to the conclusion that Arya is dead, even with whatever Sansa may have told him about Brienne seeing Arya alive two years prior? It’s another conversation that I think was needed.

    – I thought that at one point in mid-S6 during Sansa’s attempt to convince Jon to take back WF, Sansa says something like “it’s our home, and Arya’s and Bran’s wherever they are.” The context was that Arya is presumed to be still alive somewhere.

    – As for Arya being incommunicado, i.e., there’s “been no word on Arya” since Brienne tried to pull an MFT©️ and forcibly take custody of Arya from her rightful guardian, the show repeatedly emphasized that it wasn’t safe for Arya to show her face while “the Lannisters held sway” and their proxies the Boltons were ruling the North.

    As soon as Arya learned the Boltons had been ousted from WF, she made a beeline home.

    Until then, where and to whom could she possibly go to get word to any of her family? She didn’t know where Sansa was. She tried to get to Jon at the Wall but couldn’t. As Hot Pie’s initial attitude towards Brienne reflected (s4e7), the Starks were publicly condemned as traitors. (HP: “ Starks? What, like them lot from WinterHell? No, ain’t seen anyone like that. I heard they was all traitors. Don’t need no traitors in here.”)

    In the same episode, Sandor complained to Arya that ”Thanks to you, I’m a walking bag of silver anywhere the Lannisters hold sway.
    Which is everywhere between where we are now and where we’re going.”

    – Arya had stayed safe and alive by traveling incognito and concealing her identity. Even when people recognized who she was, they’d hold her for ransom (e.g., the Brotherhood and then Sandor.)

    • You asked rhetorically: “How does Jon come to the conclusion that Arya is dead, even with whatever Sansa may have told him about Brienne seeing Arya alive two years prior?”

    It does not make logical sense to presume someone last seen alive and well is dead.

    • ⚠️ {Jon-Bashing Alert}

    – That there was “no word on Arya” since Brienne’s chance encounter with her in S4e10 is no reason to assume she’s dead. Like I’ve said, it’s kind of offensive that the brother who’s supposed to love her so much would blithely write her off – by telling himself “I thought Arya was dead.”

    – Jon the big brother should have been out looking for his missing little sister, and not waiting around for “word” on her. If my little sister went missing I’d be scouring every possible place she could be and hunting for any clues. Hell, if my dog was missing I would’ve made more effort than Jon; I certainly wouldn’t just throw up my hands and figure “Oh well, the puppy hasn’t come home, I guess she’s roadkill somewhere.”

    • Once Jon was anointed King in the North, he had the political power and the resources at his disposal to mount a search for Princess Arya.

    – The very minute the Stark banners were unfurled on the walls of WF at the end of S6e9, or at the latest when the Northerners were falling all over themselves to “stand behind Jon Snow” and “stand behind House Stark,”, he is the one who should have been investigating Arya’s whereabouts and trying to get word to her – not waiting for her to make contact and then just write her off as deceased if she didn’t make contact within a few weeks.
    What kind of sh*t brother or sh*t king behaves that way?

    – A fellow fan who’s a cop says the first thing he would’ve done was send someone to reinterview Hot Pie. Sit him down and let him keep talking – the long version. He is a loyal friend who spent over two years with Arya (S1e10 – S3e3). He stuck out his neck to try to get her Brienne’s help. The guy has no filter. He could likely identify people she came in contact with and provide leads as to where she might have gone.

    Wouldn’t any brother keep searching and never give up?

    ——-
    ©️ “Full MFT” definition to follow

  168. Ten Bears,

    We had a conversation like this back in May 2018 and we didn’t come to a resolution then either :/

    I thought that at one point in mid-S6 during Sansa’s attempt to convince Jon to take back WF, Sansa says something like “it’s our home, and Arya’s and Bran’s wherever they are.” The context was that Arya is presumed to be still alive somewhere.

    The information was over a year old, Sansa doesn’t have recent news. Nobody does. This is why I think a conversation was needed because as of 7×05, Jon thinks Arya died.

    Arya was trying to survive a war-torn Westeros. It’s not an unreasonable conclusion to come to that a young girl would die in that situation. But I think the lack of conversation about this was an oversight.

    Jon doesn’t watch Game of Thrones, he doesn’t know all that Arya’s learned or what she’s been through, the skills she’s acquired. We don’t even know what Sansa told Jon. All we have is Sansa telling Jon that Winterfell is Arya’s home — but Sansa doesn’t have recent news either.

    And Jon had the weight of saving humanity on his shoulders, he was one of the only people in the world who had seen the White Walkers and was the only leader who took it seriously, and they were coming now.

    But I do wish an Arya conversation between Sansa and Jon was discussed on the show.

    A fellow fan who’s a cop says the first thing he would’ve done was send someone to reinterview Hot Pie. Sit him down and let him keep talking – the long version. He is a loyal friend who spent over two years with Arya (S1e10 – S3e3). He stuck out his neck to try to get her Brienne’s help. The guy has no filter. He could likely identify people she came in contact with and provide leads as to where she might have gone.

    Wouldn’t any brother keep searching and never give up?

    But Jon doesn’t even know Hot Pie exists, I don’t know how Jon would know to look for him. Hot Pie himself has limited information and it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. And Jon had some pretty urgent issues at the moment, like the undead coming — and Jon didn’t seem confident the Wall would hold them off.

    In the books, Jon also assumed Arya died with their father in King’s Landing until he learns the “Arya” has been married to Ramsay. Robb also didn’t look for Arya and he was a king with the North’s fate in his hands. In the books, Robb makes Jon his heir before Arya because Robb thought she was dead too.

    You asked rhetorically: “How does Jon come to the conclusion that Arya is dead, even with whatever Sansa may have told him about Brienne seeing Arya alive two years prior?”

    That was a serious question on my part and something I think the show should have explained.

    I wish I had answers for you but I’m not D&D. I think this was truly an oversight, this non-discussion about Arya.

  169. Zalos: Concerning George not having finished the books… That does not mean anything. He’s an incredibly slow writer and he is obviously working on a lot of other things. I am absolutely certain that his ending will be MUCH better than what D&D did by rushing the final two seasons.

    All I can say is I hope GRRM finishes the books and that the ending is satisfying.

  170. kevin1989: You’re even more Tyrion than me in that game XD (season 1)

    Some things are really scary, and every game has more scarier creatures.

    I love to make my Witcher a playa ;D

    Not looking forward to the ever-scarier creatures 😨😨😨😨😨

  171. Adrianacandle,

    ”Arya was trying to survive a war-torn Westeros. It’s not an unreasonable conclusion to come to that a young girl would die in that situation.”

    I’d want to know for sure, one way or the other.

    • Also, I think we get into some show vs books divergences here. From what you wrote, I assume that in the books nobody has heard about or from Arya since Ned’s execution, and Jon assumes she died there.

    But in the show:
    • (1) Hot Pie reported to Brienne that Arya escaped KL, and dispelled the presumption (prevailing in the books?) that Arya was dead.

    (from S4e7)

    HP: “You seem like a proper lady.
    Someone who could be trusted. I never met no Sansa Stark. But I know her sister, Arya.”

    Brienne: “No one’s seen Arya Stark since her father was beheaded. She’s presumed dead.”

    HP: “She weren’t when I last spoke to her.”

    Brienne: “When was that?”

    HP: “Heading up north with the Night’s Watch. She was all dressed up as a boy. Like your ladyship, only without the armor. Going by the name Arry.”

    • 2. Brienne encounters Arya in S4e10, and reports her sighting to Sansa in S6e2.

    Q: Aten’t Brienne’s questioning of Hot Oie and her personal eyewitness sighting of Arya enough to overcome the presumption shes dead?

    ”No one’s seen Arya Stark since her father was beheaded. She’s presumed dead.” may be “book” canon but it wasn’t show canon.

    • Miscellaneous Qs:

    In S6e2, Brienne reports her sighting of Arya in this somewhat odd manner:

    Brienne (to Sansa): “ ”I saw her with a man. I don’t think he hurt her. She didn’t want to leave him. He didn’t want to leave her.”

    Q1. Did we ever learn why Brienne called him “a man” instead of identifying him as Sandor Clegane or the Hound?

    Q2. Isn’t it kind of odd for Brienne to describe how “She didn’t want to leave him. He didn’t want to leave her” – without explaining why she fought Sandor to try to take Arya?

    Q3. Isn’t it fair to assume that whatever intel Brienne provided to Sansa was conveyed to Jon?

  172. Adrianacandle,

    <

    You asked rhetorically: “How does Jon come to the conclusion that Arya is dead, even with whatever Sansa may have told him about Brienne seeing Arya alive two years prior?”

    That was a serious question on my part and something I think the show should have explained.

    ———
    • I should not have used the word “rhetorically.” Sorry. 🤢

    • I honestly can’t figure out “how Jon could come to the conclusion that Arya is dead.”

    • Is it possible one of the writers glommed onto something book! Jon might conceivably say, while overlooking the book vs. show divergences?

    • Secondary question: To be consistent with show! canon, would it have detracted from the S7e5 ravengram scene if Jon had said something like “Arya’s finally home” or “I was worried something had happened to her” or “I feared I might never see her again”?

  173. Ten Bears:

    But in the show:
    • (1) Hot Pie reported to Brienne that Arya escaped KL, and dispelled the presumption (prevailing in the books?) that Arya was dead.

    Still, nothing was reported to Jon so he wouldn’t have that information until it’s given to him — and that news is pretty old. All we know is that for some reason, Jon believed Arya was dead.

    In the books, people knew Arya escaped, knew Sansa had survived, Theon knew he didn’t burn Bran and Rickon, but this is not information Jon himself had in the books. Until he learns off-page (in between book 4 and book 5) that Sansa was alive and later, of Ramsay’s betrothal to “Arya”, Jon believed all of his siblings had perished.

    Q3. Isn’t it fair to assume that whatever intel Brienne provided to Sansa was conveyed to Jon?

    For me, I can only go off of what’s presented on-screen and this information exchange never happens either on-screen and isn’t referred to as having happened off-screen so I can’t assume what was said. All that’s said is, in 7×05, Jon believed Arya had been dead prior to learning about her returning to Winterfell and I honestly really wish the show would have shown a conversation with Sansa about this, leading Jon to this conclusion.

    Q1. Did we ever learn why Brienne called him “a man” instead of identifying him as Sandor Clegane or the Hound?

    Q2. Isn’t it kind of odd for Brienne to describe how “She didn’t want to leave him. He didn’t want to leave her” – without explaining why she fought Sandor to try to take Arya?

    I’ve never really considered this, I didn’t really think it was odd but maybe it is because Brienne swore to return both Catelyn’s daughters to Winterfell and doesn’t have Arya with her. Brienne told Sansa about the vow she made to Catelyn, didn’t she? I’d have to check but if she did, it’d explain why Brienne doesn’t have Arya with her.

    I don’t know why Brienne didn’t identify Sandor to Sansa. She knew who he was…

  174. Adrianacandle,

    But Jon doesn’t even know Hot Pie exists, I don’t know how Jon would know to look for him. Hot Pie himself has limited information and it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. And Jon had some pretty urgent issues at the moment, like the undead coming — and Jon didn’t seem confident the Wall would hold them off.

    • I would’ve assumed Brienne imparted to Sansa that she got a lead from Hot Pie, and shared with Sansa what she’d learned from Hot Pie; and Sansa in turn shared this all with Jon.
    (Believe me, I don’t like filling in blanks with assumptions or with conversations that might have occurred off-camera.)

    • It may be true that “Hot Pie himself has limited information and it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.”
    Lemme ponder this..,

  175. Ten Bears,

    I should not have used the word “rhetorically.” Sorry. 🤢

    Don’t worry about it! 🙂 Sometimes, especially with text, the tone can be read pretty differently. I’ve gone back and read my tone sometimes and thought, “Oh, that came off as pretty icy, yikes,” when that’s not my intention at all! 🙁

    I honestly can’t figure out “how Jon could come to the conclusion that Arya is dead.”

    I would have liked to have seen how Jon came to believe that but if he had all of Sansa’s info, the only news he has is over a year old and he knows it’s a dangerous time in Westeros. All we know is that Jon thought Arya was dead.

    Here’s the passage from the books when Jon learns Arya is alive:

    Ramsay Bolton, Lord of the Hornwood, it read, in a huge, spiky hand. The brown ink came away in flakes when Jon brushed it with his thumb. Beneath Bolton’s signature, Lord Dustin, Lady Cerwyn, and four Ryswells had appended their own marks and seals. A cruder hand had drawn the giant of House Umber. “Might we know what it says, my lord?” asked Iron Emmett.

    Jon saw no reason not to tell him. “Moat Cailin is taken. The flayed corpses of the ironmen have been nailed to posts along the kingsroad. Roose Bolton summons all leal lords to Barrowton, to affirm their loyalty to the Iron Throne and celebrate his son’s wedding to…” His heart seemed to stop for a moment. No, that is not possible. She died in King’s Landing, with Father. 

    “Lord Snow?” Clydas peered at him closely with his dim pink eyes. “Are you… unwell? You seem…”

    “He’s to marry Arya Stark. My little sister.” Jon could almost see her in that moment, long-faced and gawky, all knobby knees and sharp elbows, with her dirty face and tangled hair. They would wash the one and comb the other, he did not doubt, but he could not imagine Arya in a wedding gown, nor Ramsay Bolton’s bed. No matter how afraid she is, she will not show it. If he tries to lay a hand on her, she’ll fight him.

    ____

    Secondary question: To be consistent with show! canon, would it have detracted from the S7e5 ravengram scene if Jon had said something like “Arya’s finally home” or “I was worried something had happened to her” or “I feared I might never see her again”?

    Probably a question for the writers :/ I think it was an oversight, same with Bran. Jon goes from thinking he has two dead brothers in 7×03 but thought Bran was dead as well in 7×05.

  176. Ten Bears:

    How does Jon come to the conclusion that Arya is dead[?]

    Um, you’ve seen what passes for ‘life’ on Westeros, right? (Does the phrase, “nasty, brutish, and short” come to mind? If not, what exactly were you watching?) If you haven’t seen or heard from, or about, a person there in a long time, you can pretty much assume that person has died (violently) since the last time you saw him or her.

    (Also, Jon’s statement brings to mind Gurney Halleck’s thoughts in Dune, when he’s training Paul Atreides. During the training, which is rote for a soldier of his vast experience, he happens to think of his long-lost sister. I haven’t read the book in decades, but the quote goes something like, “She was dead now, in a pleasure-house for Harkonnen soldiers.” He could hold both thoughts at once because he desperately hoped and wished she was dead, rather than the life she would have had in such a place.)

    What kind of sh*t brother or sh*t king behaves that way?

    One who does not want his ‘sister’ to have a great big f*cking sign on her back, a sign reading “PLEASE PLEASE BY THE OLD GODS AND THE NEW, TAKE ME HOSTAGE AND SELL ME FOR RANSOM TO THE KING IN THE NORTH,” or similar.

    Mr. Derp:

    They really had no choice at all.

    Yes, that was my entire point in writing, “…freedom and slavery are not simple opposites of the same coin is not a truth Dany and her followers ever knew.” An entire spectrum exists. The audience knows it, but Dany does not, and her slaves (the Unsullied) do not know it either. Hence they murder surrendered prisoners on her orders — an atrocity in every time and place, even in the murderous sh*thole that is Westeros — because Dany and the Unsullied simply have no idea what world the Lannister soldiers inhabited.

    (This could take me off on tangents about how the Unsullied never really stopped being slaves, and how Dany’s uncaring pig-ignorance of the place she wanted to rule bode poorly for whatever reign she might have had, but it’s late and I have many other scrolls to write.)

  177. Ten Bears: • I would’ve assumed Brienne imparted to Sansa that she got a lead from Hot Pie, and shared with Sansa what she’d learned from Hot Pie; and Sansa in turn shared this all with Jon.
    (Believe me, I don’t like filling in blanks with assumptions or with conversations that might have occurred off-camera.)

    Sure, but because it didn’t happen on screen and there was no reference to it happening off-screen, I don’t think it’s something that can be assumed. Jon gives no indication that he knows any of this and characters haven’t indicated they’ve done this information sharing. So because this particular detail (“Hey Jon, guess what…” “I told Jon x, y, and z”) hasn’t been written into the story (or revealed by a writer to have happened off-screen), I don’t think it’s part the info Jon necessarily has.

  178. It’s been bothering me. In “The Long Night” how did Arya glide past all those WW lieutenants without being seen?

    I finally figured it out.

    S2e1 Tyrion & Cersei

    Tyrion: “You love your children. It’s your one redeeming quality. That and your cheekbones. The Starks love their children as well. And we have two of them.”
    Cersei: “One.”
    Tyrion: “One?”
    Cersei: “Arya, little animal, she disappeared.”
    Tyrion: “Disappeared? What, in a puff of smoke?….”

    ———
    S6e2 Brienne & Sansa

    Sansa: “You don’t know which way she went?
    Brienne: “I spent three days looking for her. She disappeared.”

  179. kevin1989,

    On the contrary, I’m not ignoring your argument at all. The problem is simply that your argument makes absolutely no sense. You say “showrunners can’t.” Not all showrunners are the same. Some are very organized and can map out their show. Others need to improvise. I’m not saying one method is better than the other, only that both methods are equally viable.

    The only argument I’ve seen from other posters about season 8 being rushed is “character A didn’t interact with character B, therefore it was rushed.” I don’t think I have to explain to you why such assertions are ridiculous.

    Splitting Storm into two seasons didn’t force D&D to combine Feast and Dance into one. Where are you getting your information? Feast and Dance were always going to be combined into one season because there’s too much bloat and filler and not enough story in those two books.

    In the post directly below the one you responded to, I listed several reasons why season 8 is brilliant, though my understanding has always been that you really liked season 8, just not as much as me. I’m not sure why you would be looking for reasons why season 8 was great if this were the case. However, I have yet to see a single logical reason as to why season 8 was mediocre.

  180. Zalos,

    Are you talking about those YouTube videos made by butthurt whiners who bent over backwards to come up with incredibly weak criticisms that don’t hold up under the slightest scrutiny? Yeah, I’ve seen them. They’re all exactly the same. Besides a few minor nitpicks, I was able to debunk every criticism they came up with, quite easily, I might add.

    Every scene I mentioned were examples of high quality writing. You call these scenes “great moments” without understanding that they are great because of the writing. Again, there was a reason that D&D were nominated for an Emmy for Best Writing.

    You may think Tyrion and Danerys were cheesy this season, but you are in the minority. Both characters and actors were widely praised this season. Emilia Clarke’s performance, in particular, was given universal acclaim. The reason for this is because both Dinklage and Clarke had strong material to work with.

  181. Ten Bears:
    It’s been bothering me. In “The Long Night” how did Arya glide past all those WW lieutenants without being seen?

    I finally figured it out.

    S2e1 Tyrion & Cersei

    Tyrion: “You love your children. It’s your one redeeming quality. That and your cheekbones. The Starks love their children as well. And we have two of them.”
    Cersei: “One.”
    Tyrion: “One?”
    Cersei: “Arya, little animal, she disappeared.”
    Tyrion: “Disappeared? What, in a puff of smoke?….”

    ———
    S6e2 Brienne & Sansa

    Sansa: “You don’t know which way she went?
    Brienne: “I spent three days looking for her. She disappeared.”

    Invisible Boy in Mystery Men says he’s only invisible when no one is looking at him.

  182. Ten Bears,

    I do wish that they let Arya change her faces like Jaqen. Jaqen didn’t seem to need the actual “masks”. He seemed to be able to change to any face at will. I thought it might work that as long as the person’s face is in the hall of faces, you could access the database of faces. That would be much more convenient than having to carry around a bunch of faces in your saddle bag all the time. So, if Arya learned how to change faces at will, she could have blended in very easily.

  183. Northern Breeze:
    I believe at the very beginning David and Dan were expecting it to be roughly a season a book, i.e. seven seasons at ten episodes a season adapting a completed seven-book story, if the show were successful enough to be kept on air for an optimal run (that is, not having to suddenly condense the story due to early cancellation, as with Rome, or cut it short, as with Deadwood).

    Then, as the early seasons went to air and they realized both that a) they’d likely have the chance to see the story out as they wished, and that b) George was unlikely to finish the books in time for them to adapt as originally agreed, they formed a rough idea of how long the show would need to be in order to tell the story well, which was always about 70–80 hours/episodes, or seven or eight seasons (in the end it turned out to be exactly 70 hours of runtime for the series (episodes only) and, as we know, 73 episodes in 8 seasons). I Googled just now to refresh my memory, and they seemed to be guessing 80 episodes before their week-long 2013 sit-down with George where they learned the endgame for each character, and “somewhere in the 7–8 season zone” after they’d had that meeting. A couple of years later (in 2016) D&D had finally come to a 73 episode plan for best telling the story in their view.

    It seems apparent to me that the decision on the show’s length, and the way the story was told (how each season was written), was a conscious and carefully considered one on the part of the showrunners, made with an eye to creating the best drama they could. It is one that was made years ago, and reconfirmed each subsequent year as each new season was made. Obviously, their choices in how to pace and tell the whole story did not please everyone. However, they did please many of us (I’m one who loved the entire show, especially Season 8). This evidently includes many of the actors on the show, like Gemma.

    It’s worth noting that it is untrue that D&D shortened the run of the show because they’d made other plans or wanted to do other things. The 73 episode number was announced in early 2016. They subsequently made plans to extend their production time for those episodes by what in the end amounted to an extra year-and-a-half in order to produce two high quality seasons. Confederate was announced in 2017, Star Wars in 2018, both as projects for the future once Thrones had ended. Throughout the years D&D have made clear in myriad ways their love and dedication to the show, and articulated their wish to tell the story in the best way they possibly could.

    The way they wrote the final 13 episodes may have missed the mark for many viewers (though it did not for very many others), but whatever one feels about their quality those screenplays were the result of a committed, careful, honest effort on the part of David and Dan, who gave as much of themselves to the show as they could. It’s always been clear they care very much about this work. It’s therefore perfectly fair to criticize the writing – but not to criticize the writers.

    Spot on.

  184. Young Dragon,

    Even the most well organized writers can’t put a certain amount of episodes beforehand, most shows that does this end up with filler episodes or do a time skip.
    You can have a perfectly lay out map and along the way you always find a bump in the road, a certain storyline asks for more screentime than you initially though, another ask for less screentime, an actor wants to get out so you need to change your map etc

    And it was you who stated above that there was no problem with splitting up SoS because they combined Feast and Dance into one season.

    As for the complains about season 8, what I mostly read (especially here and in real life) is that the story itself was still good, but the glue that put everything together was missing.

  185. Young Dragon,

    Then debunk away, Ten bears and some others asks questions about problems of season 8 that we still didn’t get debunked yet. I rather hear them debunked than hearing that you debunked them on YT.

  186. Stew: That could be a proof reading issue. Dan and Dave wrote episode 3 while Hill wrote episode 5.

    Yeah, I could definitely see that.

  187. kevin1989,

    Every problem was already debunked, but you guys don’t accept it. That’s the real problem. I have no problems to find a logical explanation for every “problem”.

    Problem, Problem, Problem, Problem….

  188. Adrianacandle,

    There are more of the issues in season 7 and 8. I don’t think Dan and Dave really edited the scripts much after Hill and Cogman wrote them. I could be wrong though. I know in season 5, they told Hill to rewrite a lot of episode 4. In particular the Stannis and Shireen scene was rewritten.

  189. kevin1989,

    “Also Jon was pretty strange in the final. One moment he condemned Dany, the next he tells that Dany had her reasons, and the next he kills her. He even flip-flop his thoughts about the massacre of Kings Landing.
    Another one is Arya, Dany just murdered half a city: I know a murderer when I see one.
    I think even a blind man could see it. But it seems Sansa is indeed the smartest in the family, I think she would have connected the dots that only a murdered kills half a city.
    Another one is Dany, there’s still not a clear answer why she did what she did, if she became mad, was it political/ideology, was it that Jon wouldn’t sleep with her, was it the dead of the people she loved. And also one moment she is: Jon betrayed me. So let it be fear. Angry at Jon, the next she plays the lovely housewive to him, like all is good and well between them. Did she just forgot about her encounters with Jon like she forgot about Euron?”

    Good points, Kevin. It’s almost painful to remember what was so bad about it.
    They wanted to tell a story, but it appears that they hadn’t decided on which story that was.
    (so perhaps they went with all versions, just in case…)

  190. Kevin1989:

    Many felled battle-tired already halfway through the episode. I remember putting the episode 2 times on hold for a short break …

    I felt the same way. At the viewing party my spouse and I hosted, we paused at almost exactly the half-way point to freshen everyones’ drinks. As we did so, I commented watching the episode reminded me of a long test flight, where I have to watch data for a long time whilst the aircraft performs various stomach-turning maneuvers. Holding suspense throughout that much action is not easy, even with a multi-year build-up to that climactic episode.

    The Long Night was a triumph in many ways, but not all of them visual. There were very few dialog scenes, but damn each one packed a punch. Melisandre’s appearance, and her telling Davos he needn’t worry himself about having to kill her, were some of the most amazing scenes with her character. Her closure of the “blue eyes” prophecy was one of the best drama scenes in the entire series.

    As for defeating the Army of the Dead in one episode, well, GRRM put it right there in the title: A Song of Ice and Fire. He identified the two threats to Westeros in the order in which they would appear — and the order in which the humans would defeat them.

    Tyrion’s speech to Jon about Dany. This was not meant for Jon to hear, Tyrion shouldn’t have known some things Dany did what he told, he told it like he really witness it all even when he still was in Westeros.

    That was the single most important scene in the entire series, and wow did Dinklage, Harrington, and D&D nail it. It was the perfect example of a “high-thread count” scene: it consisted entirely of two characters talking in a room, and every word counted. Tyron’s speech was meant for both Jon and the audience, yes, because it was the culmination of the entire story.

    Jon Snow’s final conflict was always going to be love vs. duty, as it was the conflict which defined his entire life. This conflict was indeed the reason he *was* Jon Snow, not Aegon VI Targaryen. (The brilliance of having the words of Maester Aemon Targaryen set up Jon Snow’s final conflict with Dany still boggles my mind.)

    Tyron saw Dany arrive on a dragon to defeat the slaver’s attack on Meereen, and he had the rest of those stories from persons who had witnessed them.

    Also Jon was pretty strange in the final. One moment he condemned Dany, the next he tells that Dany had her reasons, and the next he kills her. He even flip-flop his thoughts about the massacre of Kings Landing.

    Jon Snow was raised at Winterfell, as the bastard son of that castle’s lord, with a sword in his hand from childhood. He joined the Night’s Watch and became Lord Commander thereof. He went Beyond The Wall and saw things no person living ever had. He was veteran of many desperate combats. None of those experiences, singly or in combination, had prepared him for the victory over the Lannister regime — immediately followed by the total devastation his lover had just caused to the largest city he had ever seen. Note the scene with Tyron seems to have taken place on the very same day the city was destroyed. That’s a lot for a human being to comprehend in such a short time, and yet he made the right decision at the end.

    Another one is Arya, Dany just murdered half a city: I know a murderer when I see one.

    That was a hidden message. She and Jon were surrounded by Unsullied, so she could not explicitly state two important truths to Jon. First, as he had the better claim to the throne, and he would no enter into a political marriage with her, Dany would *have* to kill him. It does not matter in the least whether he wanted the throne or not; his very existence made him a symbol anyone opposed to her rule would use to justify rebellion against her. Given how King’s Landing had been the largest and most varied city in all of Westeros, she may well have just then murdered some relative or friend of every last person left alive in the Seven Kingdoms. That’s a lot of potential enemies to rally behind the image of The Rightful Heir, The One True King Of All Westeros. Second, Dany would have to kill Sansa. Sansa would never bend the knee to another murderous blonde queen, never give away the independence of the North to a foreign raider. These truths are what Arya was telling Jon, in such a way she could not easily be accused of treason.

    Someday I’ll have time to revisit that story in a full-series rewatch. Until then, I’ll have fond memories of one of the greatest entertainment experiences ever delivered into my home.

  191. Efi: Another one is Arya, Dany just murdered half a city: I know a murderer when I see one.

    That was one of the most unintentionally dumbass lines I’ve ever heard in my life.

    Dany massacred thousands of innocent people and 5 minutes later Arya is like “I know a killer when I see one” as if it took some Faceless Man skills to figure that one out. Yikes. Once again, everyone has a firm grasp of what’s going on except for Jon.

    Efi: Another one is Dany, there’s still not a clear answer why she did what she did, if she became mad, was it political/ideology, was it that Jon wouldn’t sleep with her, was it the dead of the people she loved. And also one moment she is: Jon betrayed me. So let it be fear. Angry at Jon, the next she plays the lovely housewive to him, like all is good and well between them. Did she just forgot about her encounters with Jon like she forgot about Euron?”

    I think D&D were attempting to show that these were all factors that led to Dany’s downfall. The loss of her advisors, her lack of support in the North for helping them survive the Long Night, and the fact that she wasn’t accepted with open arms by the population of KL. I didn’t think it was done very well, but I think that’s what they were going for.

    Now, as far as the whole “let it be fear” thing, that drove me a bit nuts too. She told Jon right before the attack on KL that she had already resigned to ruling by fear, yet because the people of KL didn’t immediately cheer her on, she snapped and went completely nuts, killing everyone she could find.

    If she was already resigned to ruling by fear, then the frightful reception she received in KL should NOT have been a surprise to her, nor should it have bothered her to the point of turning into Super Hitler in one fell swoop.

  192. Mr Derp: If she was already resigned to ruling by fear, then the frightful reception she received in KL should NOT have been a surprise to her, nor should it have bothered her to the point of turning into Super Hitler in one fell swoop.

    That and Dany had won the city through fear — after she killed the Golden Company and Iron Fleet easily and landed on the walls of King’s Landing with Drogon, the Lannister forces dropped their swords and the people surrendered — thanks to fear.

    Stew: There are more of the issues in season 7 and 8. I don’t think Dan and Dave really edited the scripts much after Hill and Cogman wrote them. I could be wrong though. I know in season 5, they told Hill to rewrite a lot of episode 4. In particular the Stannis and Shireen scene was rewritten.

    With better proofing, simple errors and inconsistencies could have been resolved with just a few changes. In general, I enjoy Cogman as a writer, I like his interviews, I like listening to him in commentaries, I think he’s got a pretty good handle on the characters, but it’s just simple things like proofing the scripts which I feel should have been examined with a fine-tooth comb before going into production.

  193. kevin1989: As for the complains about season 8, what I mostly read (especially here and in real life) is that the story itself was still good, but the glue that put everything together was missing.

    I think that’s a good way of putting it 🙂 I know I’ve been pretty blatant about what personally disappointed me (some of which is more based on what I wanted for the characters rather than on the quality of the story so I can’t count that against the story, it’s not my story). And I wasn’t terribly pleased with the writing but I can appreciate the concepts of what season 8 was trying to do. I just think it needed more development, better proofing, and closer attention to detail as far as the writing went.

  194. Adrianacandle,

    I don’t know how many people agree with me or not on this one, but Jon’s behavior towards Dany was also inconsistent to me. He couldn’t even bring himself to look Dany in the eye or speak to her normally in episode 4, yet in episode 5 and 6 it’s nothing but “you’ll always be muh queen” as if he’s still in love with her. He even had to be convinced by Tyrion that Dany torching KL was wrong. If it was that intimate of a relationship between them then they should’ve been able to talk things out in a much more, I don’t know, mature manner? They acted like it was their first crush or something.

    Jon also should’ve been able to figure out that the relationship between the North and Dany wasn’t working and stepped in to actually do something about it. He kind of let the North shit all over her every day even though he was supposedly in love with her.

  195. kevin1989,

    I too think two books of 1500 pages each is enough to bring this to conclusion, mostly because it seems to me that all the pieces (the characters) are where they should be and the plot towards the ending will start immediately to unravell in the beginning of WoW. The characters also seem to me to be at the peak of their development, perhaps apart from Sansa, but her released chapter from WoW was meant for ADWD anyway. Jon is dead, Daenerys is a dragon, Tyrion is dark, Jamie left Cersei, Cersei [email protected] up. Arya’s last kill in WoW will perhaps lead to her fleeing from the HoBaW. In this it is similar with Sansa’s chapter. Davos is going to fetch Rickon and Arianne is about to meet Young Griff.
    So everything is in place.

  196. Mr Derp,

    Are you talking about episode 2, after he just learned about his parentage? I think that was about the incest and this was intended to demonstrate his conflict. I have some quotes from the writers/KH about that:

    Bryan Cogman, EW interview for 802:

    Jon is avoiding Dany the whole episode because this bombshell has been dropped on him and he can’t even process how to be in the same room with her. She senses a strange tension and can’t understand why. What really upsets Jon is that he’s a blood relative to the woman he’s in love with. In the crypt, Jon is taken aback when essentially the first thing she says is acknowledging that he has a claim to the Iron Throne. And Jon’s immediate concern is the fact that that’s her immediate concern. [Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke] play it beautifully. It’s a very difficult scene to pull off; so much has to go on behind the eyes. But then the horn blasts and the Army of the Dead are at the gates.”

    Kit Harington, EW interview for 801:

    He finds out such a massive piece of information. Not only does he find out who his mother is but also that he’s related to the person he’s in love with. It’s hard for any actor to play. It’s not a two-hour movie but eight seasons of playing a character who’s finding out.

    From Inside the Episode 804:

    Benioff: There’s a moment when they’re kissing, and- and it seems like things are kind of getting back to where they were, but… it’s almost as if he remembers all of a sudden what she really is. It’s tense for him. For her, she grew up hearing all these stories about how their ancestors who were related to each other were also lovers, and it doesn’t seem that strange to her. For him, it is a strange thing.

    I think the other issue you have does go toward the writing. It feels like the writers were depending too much on visual emoting rather than on dialogue. I have no idea why marriage wasn’t brought up — especially when Dany left Daario behind in anticipation of having to make a marital alliance.

    Jon also should’ve been able to figure out that the relationship between the North and Dany wasn’t working and stepped in to actually do something about it. He kind of let the North shit all over her every day even though he was supposedly in love with her.

    Jon should have been way more active than he was — about everything in general — and it’s not just about Dany, the North wasn’t too pleased with Jon either. Glover leaves because of Jon bending the knee. Past 8×01, the North and Dany didn’t have much interaction except for Jaime’s trial, in which Dany is treated pretty neutrally, and the feast in 8×04, in which Dany receives a toast. Then, afterward, the major conflict seemed to be between Dany and Sansa. Based on the dialogue, it seemed Jon had this idea that Dany and Sansa just needed time to get to know each other (“She’ll be a good queen, for all of us.”/”[Sansa] doesn’t know you. If it makes you feel any better, she didn’t like me either when we were growing up.”/”We can live together.”/”You don’t know [Dany] yet.”) and I believe the idea was about Jon not wanting to choose.

  197. Adrianacandle: I have no idea why marriage wasn’t brought up — especially when Dany left Daario behind in anticipation of having to make a marital alliance.

    Agreed.

    At the end of season 6, Dany is very specific about finding the right partner to marry for alliance purposes, and Jon would’ve fit the bill perfectly, yet it’s a completely dropped plot point as seasons 7 and 8 unfold. Varys/Davos mention the possibility of marriage in season 8, but Varys was quick to dismiss it because apparently Dany would squash Jon like a bug. It’s just a such a bizarre turn. We go from marriage is a priority in season 6 to Dany is incapable of marrying anyone without completely dominating them in season 8, so forget about it. Uh, ok?

  198. Mr Derp: Agreed.

    At the end of season 6, Dany is very specific about finding the right partner to marry for alliance purposes, and Jon would’ve fit the bill perfectly, yet it’s a completely dropped plot point as seasons 7 and 8 unfold. Varys/Davos mention the possibility of marriage in season 8, but Varys was quick to dismiss it because apparently Dany would squash Jon like a bug. It’s just a such a bizarre turn. We go from marriage is a priority in season 6 to Dany is incapable of marrying anyone without completely dominating them in season 8, so forget about it. Uh, ok?

    Yeah, and it would have solved the claims issue. Jon’s claim would no longer be a threat to Dany, Jon wouldn’t have to worry about taking a throne he doesn’t want, and Dany would have a marital tie to a Westerosi family (though Dany is also Westerosi by birth, the Westerosi view her as foreign invader).

    But had Dany married Jon, it would probably have lessened her fear of Jon’s claim in the end because I don’t think Varys could start backing Jon for the throne alone if Jon is married to Dany, giving Dany one less motive to do what she did.

  199. Adrianacandle,

    Wow, that’s pretty good recall and quotes! Well done!

    I admit that I haven’t watched season 8 in a while, so I’m a bit fuzzy on the details with Jon and Dany. I agree that the incest factor played a major role in the dissolution of their relationship though.

  200. Mr Derp: Wow, that’s pretty good recall and quotes! Well done!

    I admit that I haven’t watched season 8 in a while, so I’m a bit fuzzy on the details with Jon and Dany. I agree that the incest factor played a major role in the dissolution of their relationship though.

    Too much of my brain space is used for stuff like this rather than for stuff like the stuff I should be studying 😉

  201. mau: Marriage can’t solve that because there can be only one monarch. Why would the North accept their king being reduced to prince consort?

    Oh, the North totally wouldn’t be happy! And I’d fear their reaction if they learned Jon was a Targaryen by birth! But it’d solve the claims issue. Neither Sansa or Varys could pit Jon’s claim against Dany’s if those claims are joined.

  202. Adrianacandle: That and Dany had won the city through fear — after she killed the Golden Company and Iron Fleet easily and landed on the walls of King’s Landing with Drogon, the Lannister forces dropped their swords and the people surrendered — thanks to fear.

    How can she even trust that the Lannisters surrendered ? Cersei lied too many times. The safest option for Daenerys was to just kill them all and not worry about more traps or more betrayals. Also she wasn’t mentally and emotionally stable at that point.

    And also why did Tywin sack KL? This is what conquerors do. They kill and rape.

  203. Ten Bears,

    “I’ve just got to wonder why the folks who scripted such great dialogue in scenes in S3 and S4 got away from that in the last two seasons.”

    Most of the “great dialogue” in the best scenes, even the invented ones, draw from the books -not just dialogues, even thoughts and perhaps also descriptions of thoughts and estimates. There’s still trace of that in season 7 (bits and pieces, tiny ones). It’s all gone in season 8, which as you said, took up a lot of time in tedious and unnecessary callbacks. It seems to me that it was overused because they thought it was not enough. Not everything needed to be a callback.

  204. Adrianacandle,

    But claims can’t be joined. There is only one ruler.

    So either Daenerys reduces herself to queen consort without any formal power, or Jon becomes just her husband and nothing more. Jon is head of state at the end of S6, even is he doesn’t care for that title, people of the North do care and he knows that.

    The North declared independence in S6. They don’t really care who sits on the Iron Throne and I don’t see why would they want to reduce their head of state to Daenery’s sperm donor.

  205. mau: How can she even trust that the Lannisters surrendered ? Cersei lied too many times. The safest option for Daenerys was to just kill them all and not worry about more traps or more betrayals. Also she wasn’t mentally and emotionally stable at that point.

    And also why did Tywin sack KL? This is what conquerors do. They kill and rape.

    Did Tywin do that after the city surrendered? (I’m honestly asking. I’m fuzzy on that.) Conquerers typically stop after they’ve won the city. Even Tyrion said about Dany’s slaughter, “The moment the gates fell, the battle was over.”

    And I mean, if that was the justification they gave to Dany, sure, but it wasn’t. She doesn’t even confirm Cersei’s dead or focus her fire on the Red Keep/Lannister forces. She just goes for everyone.

    Here’s what D&D said about Dany’s decision in 805:

    Benioff: If circumstances had been different, I don’t think this side of Dany ever would’ve come out. If Varys hadn’t betrayed her, if Cersei hadn’t executed Missandei, if Jon hadn’t told her the truth. Like, if all of these things had happened in any different way, then I don’t think we’d be seeing this side of Daenerys Targaryen.

    Weiss: I don’t think she decided ahead of time that she was… going to do what she did. And then she sees the Red Keep, which is, to her, the home that her family built when they first came over to this country 300 years ago. It’s in that moment, on the walls of King’s Landing, where she’s looking at that symbol of everything that was taken from her, when she makes the decision to– to make this personal.

  206. kevin1989,

    Suit yourself. Here are the errors listed by the YouTube video “Every Error in Game of Thrones Season 8” and also my responses to them. Enjoy:

    1. Error: Why didn’t Danerys react when hearing about Viserion’s resurrection?

    Response: Danerys did look concerned after hearing about Viserion, but since she was the leader, she had to keep calm and set an example for her people. If she and Jon began freaking out, everyone would have started panicking.

    2. Error: During the reunions, why didn’t characters ask each other what they had been up to?

    Response: If every character recapped their story, it would have filled out the rest of the season. Besides, it would have been a terrible viewing experience. We already have the “previously on” segments to deal with this.

    3. Error: Why do people simply accept that Bran is no longer Bran?

    Response: People do not simply accept that Bran is no longer Bran. They all give him a strange look because they don’t understand what that means. It’s a perfectly acceptable reaction.

    4. Error: Why didn’t Arya ask Jon how he was resurrected?

    Response: Arya was too busy being excited at having her brother back to ask about his “death.” Those questions can wait. Besides, she probably already heard the story from Sansa.

    5. Error: Why does Arya call Sansa “the smartest person she’s ever met?”

    Response: Arya came to appreciate Sansa last season and came to realize how effective she was at being lady of Winterfell. Also, it’s just an expression. I’ve called people “the nicest person I’ve ever met,” but that isn’t necessarily the case. This is just my way of saying they are a very nice person, just like Arya is only saying Sansa is very smart.

    6. Error: How did Euron and the Mountain know that Cersei is saying ok to Euron’s request for sex by just a look?

    Response: First Cersei says no to sex, then Euron pleads his case, then Cersei starts walking away only to turn around and give him a pained look. How else was Euron supposed to interpret it? Also, the Mountain has a sixth sense of what Cersei wants. We saw this last season. It’s part of Qyburn’s programming.

    7. Error: How did Theon rescue Yara so easily?

    Response: Theon was on a stealth mission to save his sister and succeeded. How is this an error?

    8. Error: Why did Danerys exonerate Jaime so easily?

    Response: Both Brienne and Sansa vouched for Jaime. Besides, Danerys was already willing to accept the Lannisters help last season, so it shouldn’t have taken much to sway her.

    9. Error: Why didn’t Danerys mention Jaime charging at her during the Loot Train Battle?

    Response: Why would she mention Jaime charging at her? They were at war. Everyone in the room knew it.

    10. Error: Why didn’t the other northern lords speak out when Jaime was let off the hook after they wanted his head back in season 2?

    Response: Only Lord Karstark wanted Jaime’s head, and the Karstarks weren’t on the best standing at the moment. Even if they did speak out, no one would have listened to them.

    11. Error: Why wasn’t Lord Commander Edd present at the war council meeting?

    Response: Lord Commander Edd’s presence wasn’t really necessary. Neither were many of the people who did show up.

    12. Error: Why didn’t Missandei mention to Grey Worm the butterflies in Naath that carried a disease fatal to non-natives?

    Response: When was it mentioned that there were butterflies in Naath that carried a disease fatal to non-natives?

    13. Error: Why didn’t Davos take issue with Tyrion bringing up the Battle of the Blackwater where he lost his son?

    Response: Tyrion and Davos had already buried the hatchet in season 7. Besides, Davos is perfectly aware that the two sides were at war and Tyrion was fighting for his survival. It wasn’t personal.

    14. Error: The strategy implemented in The Long Night didn’t make sense.

    Response: Yes, the strategy implemented in The Long Night wasn’t great, but battle tactics are very rarely portrayed properly in television shows/movies, including the previous seasons of GOT. I don’t know why some people are only just criticizing it now.

    15. Error: Where has Melisandre been all this time?

    Response: Melisandre has been deciphering the prophecy, which is why she now knows it’s Arya.

    16. Error: Why didn’t the Dothraki react violently to Melisandre lighting up their weapons when they hate magic?

    Response: The Dothraki only hate blood magic, not fire magic. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be following fire proof Danerys who has three magical dragons.

    17. Error: What happened to the 100,000 Dothraki Danerys had in season 6?

    Response: Not all of the Dothraki came with them, only the warriors. Also, they lost Dothraki in the Battle of the Loot Train.

    18. Error: They should have used one dragon from the beginning.

    Response: They had a plan concerning the dragons. It was laid out in episode 2.

    19. Error: Why did they send the Dotrhaki first against the dead?

    Response: The Dothraki charged the dead for the same reason they charged the Lannister army in season 7. That’s what they do best.

    20. Error: Why are there no animals in the army of the dead?

    Response: The no animals in the army of the dead is a nit pick, not an error. Besides, other than horses and Viserion, animals were never in the army of the dead.

    21. Error: Why didn’t Jon and Danerys fall off their dragons when they collided into each other?

    Response: Jon and Danerys didn’t fall off their dragons because they held on for dear life.

    22. Error: Why didn’t Jon and Rhaegal light the trench?

    Response: Jon and Rhaegal were lying in wait for the Night King.

    23. Error: What were the wights doing in the library?

    Response: The wights were looking for stragglers.

    23. Error: How did Arya get out from under the table so quickly?

    Response: Arya used her ninja skills to quickly get out from under the table.

    24. Error: Why didn’t Danerys give Jon a lift to Bran?

    Response: Fair enough about Danerys not giving Jon a lift.

    25. Error: How did Jorah teleport to Dany’s side?

    Response: Jorah didn’t teleport to Dany’s side, he simply came to her aid.

    26. Error: How could the wights punch through the tombs made of stone but not a wooden box last season?

    27. Response: Fair enough about wight’s breaking through stone and not brick.

    28. Error: How did the characters survive impossible odds?

    Response: The characters didn’t survive impossible odds, only perilous situations.

    29. Error: Why did Jon leave Sam behind to die?

    Response: Jon leaves Sam because he has to get to the Night King to end this.

    30. Error: Why did Theon charge at the Night King rather than wait and buy some time?

    Response: Buy more time for what? Theon didn’t know about Arya. He was trying to gain forward momentum.

    31. Error: How could a broken wooden spear pierce through armor?

    Response: A broken wooden spear that’s being wielded by a extraordinarily strong, super natural being.

    32. Error: Why did Jon shout at Viserion?

    Response: Jon was frustrated and was shouting a suicidal scream.

    33. Error: Whyd didn’t they make it more clear if he was distracting Viserion so Arya could enter the godswood?

    Response: The reason it wasn’t made clear was because it didn’t happen.

    34. Error: Why did it take so long for Viserion to roast Jon?

    Response: It’s called “building tension.”

    35. Error: How did Arya sneak into the godswood unseen when she had trouble sneaking past the wights in the library?

    Response: Arya did not struggle to sneak past wights in the library. She did it quite successfully.

    36. Error: Why did Arya scream alerting the Night King to her presence?

    Response: It was an involuntary scream

    37. Error: Why didn’t the Night King kill Arya right away or disarm her?

    Response: Arya acted too quickly for the Night King to do either of those things.

    38. Error: Why wasn’t Arya given the same mark as Bran when the Night King grabbed her?

    Response: The Night King purposefully put the mark on Bran. Why would he do the same to Arya?

    39. Error: The Night King was defeated without us learning his motives.

    Response: The Night King’s motives were to kill humanity and all its memory. That was already established.

    40. Error: The White Walkers didn’t matter much in the end.

    Response: The White Walkers were a driving force for much of the plot.

    41. Error: By legitimizing Gendry, Danerys made him heir to the Iron Throne.

    Response: No, the Baratheons weren’t the ruling monarchs anymore. The Lannisters were. They were replaced much like the Targaryens before them.

    42. Error: Why was Brienne upset when Tyrion asked her about her virginity? Unmarried highborn ladies are supposed to be virgins.

    Response: The reason Brienne is a virgin is because she is unmarried. The reason she is unmarried is because the other lords believe her to be ugly. That has always been a sore point for her and that is why she was so upset.

    43. Error: Why was Tormund impressed with Jon riding a dragon when he rode a dragon last season

    Response: Tormund had no choice to ride Drogon as it was either that or die. Jon made the conscious decision to ride a dragon into battle, which he views as very impressive.

    44. Error: Why did Danerys say she has never begged for anything when she begged for her dragon’s safe return in season 2?

    Response: Danerys wouldn’t be the first person to say that she hasn’t begged for anything when she has. She doesn’t consider herself to be a beggar, so this dialogue isn’t at all odd.

    45. Error: How did they only lose half their army?

    Response: Considering how big the army was, losing half is quite a lot.

    46. Error: Benioff said that it was the end of the Dothraki.

    Response: What the showrunners say doesn’t matter. All that matters is what they put on the screen.

    47. Error: Why didn’t Arya offer to assassinate Cersei?

    Response: That was her plan, and she didn’t want Jon to try and stop her.

    48. Error: Why didn’t Tyrion or Davos suggest using secret tunnels to assassinate Cersei in the Red Keep?

    Response: Assassinating Cersei is seen as dishonorable, and Tyrion was tryig to spare Cersei and her unborn child.

    49. Error: Why were Sansa and Arya still against Danerys after she saved them from the White Walkers?

    Response: The fight against the dead was Dany’s fight too. They shouldn’t have had to give up northern independence to gain her help.

    50. Error: Jon betrayed Ned’s memory for spilling the beans on his parentage, a secret that Ned took to his grave

    Response: Jon did not betray Ned’s memory by telling his family the truth. The only reason Ned kept it a secret was to keep Jon safe from Robert, and that was no longer an issue.

    51. Error: Why was Rhaegal injured but not Drogon?

    Response: Drogon shook the wights off before they could do extensive damage.

    52. Error: Why didn’t Jon say goodbye to Ghost?

    Response: Jon was going through an identity crisis, which is why he didn’t pet Ghost. He didn’t feel like a Stark anymore.

    53. Error: Why were Tyrion and Jaime allowed to go to a northern inn without being accompanied by guards?

    Response: Why would the Lannisters be guarded? They were both Stark allies, and one was even Hand of the Queen.

    54. Error: How was Bronn able to load the crossbow so quickly?

    Response: Joffrey explained that his crossbow was much easier to load.

    55. Error: Why did Bronn accept the deal with Tyrion without any gurantee?

    Response: The guarantee is that a Lannister always pays his debts.

    56. Error: Why didn’t Danerys scout enemy territory?

    Response: Danerys was scouting on top of Drogon and Rhaegal.

    57. Error: How did Danerys not see the ships?

    Response: The ships were hidden behind rocks.

    58. Error: Benioff said that Danerys forgot about the Irion Fleet.

    Response: What the showrunners say doesn’t matter. All that matters is what they put on the screen.

    59. Error: How could Drogon dodge the bolts when Rhaegal couldn’t?

    Response: Drogon knew the bolts were coming. Rhaegal did not. Besides, Rhaegal’s injury affected his reaction time.

    60. Error: Why didn’t Danerys attack the ships from behind?

    Response: The scorpions were on a swivel and could turn around.

    61. Error: Why didn’t Euron pursue the men who washed up on the beach?

    Response: Euron didn’t have the men for that and Drogon was still in play.

    62. Error: Why would Varys discuss treason in an open hall?

    Response: There was no one else in that hall.

    63. Error: Why would Varys turn on Danerys?

    Response: Varys is always looking for the best ruler. Jon was the better choice for the reasons Varys gave.

    64. Error: Jaime had told Bran that he had changed, but he decided to go back to Cersei, showing he hasn’t changed at all.

    Response: Jaime has changed. He’s no longer the type of man who throws children out of windows. His love for Cersei may not have changed, but that was never the problem. It was the things he did in the name of that love, but he doesn’t do those things anymore.

    65. Error: How did Dany’s army arrive faster than Arya and the Hound?

    Response: They were on ships, which is a faster way of travel.

    66. Error: Why didn’t Cersei attack them?

    Response: It was a parlay, where there are rules.

    67. Error: Why didn’t Cersei give the order to kill Tyrion?

    Response: Again, it was a parlay. Cersei wanted to portray herself as a good ruler, so her hands were tied.

    68. Error: Euron didn’t seem surprised that Tyrion knew about “his” baby even though there was no way he could have known that.

    Response: Varys could have told him. Also, Euron isn’t the brightest bulb.

    69. Error: Why didn’t Missandei attempt to kill Cersei?

    Response: Missandei has never killed anyone before and that would have gone against her character.

    70. Error: What happened to the letters Varys wrote?

    Response: The letters never got out.

    71. Error: Why did Varys try to openly commit treason with Jon?

    Response: He wanted to get Jon on board his plan to make it much smoother.

    72. Error: Why did Tyrion betray Varys?

    Response: Tyrion was being loyal to his queen after seeing that Varys was really going through with it.

    73. Error: Why did Tyrion stop Varys from committing treason, then commit treason himself by freeing Jaime?

    Response: That’s entirely different. Freeing Jaime and having him get Cersei to surrender would have benefitted Danerys greatly.

    74. Error: Why did Jaime say he didn’t care about the people of King’s Landing?

    Response: Jaime was in a very dark place then and was acting the man he thought he was rather than the man that he is. It was very similar to the role he was playing in his conversation with Edmure back in season 6.

    75. Error: In season 2, Davos said the bells didn’t mean surrender.

    Response; Fair enough about the bells.

    76. Error: Why didn’t Jon comfort Danerys about Rhaegal?

    Response: Jon comforted Danerys about Missandei instead.

    77. Error: Euron’s crew are mutes, but we hear some men shouting in his fleet.

    Response: Euron’s crew are mutes, but the commanding officers on the other boats are not. After all, how would they be able to give orders?

    78. Error: How was Drogon able to dodge all the bolts but not Rhaegal?

    Response: Rhaegal didn’t know the attack was coming, Drogon does. Besides, Rhaegal’s injury affected his reaction time.

    79. Error: How were battle weary northern, Dothraki, and Unsullied show no signs of fatigue?

    Response: They had a month of rest.

    80. Error: It was out of charcter for Danerys to burn down King’s Landing.

    Response: Danerys proclaimed the citizens of King’s Landing “not innocent” and wanted to “rule them with fear.” It was completely in character.

    81. Error: In season 7, Danerys said she didn’t want to be the Queen of the Ashes.

    Response: You can’t use a clip from an earlier season to try and point out mischaracterizations in the current season while leaving out everything that happened in between.

    82. Error: How did Jaime teleport to the beach?

    Response: Jaime didn’t teleport. He walked.

    83. Error: How did the boat get there?

    Response: Davos delivered the boat. That was the favor Tyrion asked of him.

    84. Error: Dany’s rampage on King’s Landing gave Cersei time to escape. It was only luck that Dany got her.

    Response: Yes, it was lucky that Danerys got Cersei. But luck isn’t an error.

    85. Error: How did Arya get Strickland’s horse after we saw it get blasted with dragon fire?

    Response: That wasn’t the same horse. It was symbolic.

    86. Error: Why did Cersei and Jaime embrace after what they did to each other?

    Response: None of that matters when the world is literally falling on top of them.

    87. Error: What sorcery made the Mountain indestructible?

    Response: No, the sorcery wasn’t specified, but so what? It rarely is in fantasy.

    88. Error: Euron’s line about killing Jaime Lannister proves to be false.

    Response: Yes, Euron’s line turns out to be false, but why does that matter?

    89. Error: Arya rides off, seeming to have completed her arc, but Ilyn Payne might still be alive.

    Response: Ilyn Payne is no longer on the show and has been off her list for a while.

    90. Error: Danerys taking King’s Landing with a dragon makes her season 7 arc pointless.

    Response: The reason she didn’t use her dragons from the beginning was because then she still cared about the people’s opinion of her and didn’t want to look like a conqueror. Besides, she would have had to ride Drogon and attack King’s Landing alone. All it would have taken was one lucky shot by a Lannister archer and the war would have been over.

    91. Error: Grey Worm teleported to Dany’s side.

    Response: Fair enough about Grey Worm.

    92. Error: Why does Dany suddenly want to conquer the world?

    Response: She’s embraced herself as a conqueror and liberator, rather than a ruler, just like Daario has said. Her priorities have changed.

    93. Error: Why didn’t Danerys execute Tyrion for treason?

    Response: Tyrion’s execution was coming, as was addressed in the show.

    94. Error: How did Arya know Cersei was dead without confirmation?

    Response: Arya didn’t know about Tyrion’s escape plan. She just knows that the Red Keep was demolished and most of the city was destroyed.

    95. Error: Arya being present in King’s Landing didn’t serve the story at all.

    Response: Arya’s presence in King’s Landing was about her character, not the story.

    96. Error: Why was Jon allowed to meet with Tyrion alone?

    Response: Jon is Warden of the North and outranks all the Unsullied.

    97. Error: Why was Jon allowed to be with Danerys in the throne room alone?

    Response: Jon has been alone with Danerys plenty of times before.

    98. Error: Why did Drogon melt the Iron Throne and not kill Jon?

    Response: Dragons are smart, maybe even smarter than humans. That was established in season 6. He knew it was her obsession that killed her. Besides, Jon is the last Targaryen.

    99. Error: Why didn’t Grey Worm kill Jon?

    Response: This is addressed as well. If Grey Worm had executed Jon, the North would have declared war. Grey Worm didn’t want to sacrifice anymore of his Unsullied so he kept Jon prisoner until they could reach an agreement.

    100. Error: Why didn’t the Dothraki stick around and avenge their queen?

    Response: The Dothraki only follow strength. How many of them stayed behind when Khale Drogo died?

    100. Error: We could see an outline of Grey Worm’s penis through his pants.

    Response: It’s been confirmed that Grey Worm only lost his balls.

    101. Error: Why was Tyrion able to decide the process in choosing he next king?

    Response: Tyrion was making a suggestion, which the other lords agreed to.

    102. Error: Why was Yara laughing at the idea of a democracy when the ironborn have the Kingsmoot?

    Response: The Kingsmoot is where the lords of the ironborn vote, not the common people

    103. Error: Why didn’t Yara and the Dornish prince ask for independence as well?

    Response; Yara gave up ironborn independence when she declared she would take back the Iron Islands in Queen Dany’s name. Dorne has never once expressed their desire for independence.

    104. Error: Why didn’t anyone suggest Gendry as king?

    Response: The Baratheons no longer have a claim to the throne.

    105. Error: Why did the Stormlords accept a bastard as their liege lord?

    Response: He’s the last Baratheon, so they have no choice but to accept him. This error and the previous error completely contradict each other. If you’re wondering why the Stormland lords would accept a bastard as their liege lord, why would you wonder why the lords of Westeros wouldn’t suggest Gendry as king?

    106. Error: Why didn’t Sam suggest Jon as king?

    Response: Jon killed Danerys. Grey Worm would never allow him to be king, so why bring it up at all?

    107. Error: Jon being in the North could lead to civil war between him and Sansa

    Response: No, Jon and Sansa will not go to civil war.

    108. Response: The rest of the criticisms about the dragon pit are minor nit picks.

    109. Error: What is the point of the Night’s Watch now?

    Response: Tyrion explains the Night’s Watch new purpose.

    110. Error: How could the Six Kingdoms send prisoners to the Night’s Watch when they are located in the North?

    Response: Sending prisoners to the Night’s Watch isn’t going to be a problem. Just because the North is independent doesn’t mean they aren’t friends. Besides, the Night’s Watch is an independent organization and isn’t beholden to one nation.

    111. Error: How will Grey Worm know the kingdoms will uphold Jon’s banishment after he leaves.

    Response: This is similar to a plot point from season one. Ned and Cerse came to an agreement that he would proclaim Joffrey as the legitimate king and he would be allowed to take the black. Ned could have gone against his word and simply joined the Northern army as its head and continued the war, but Cersei knew his honor wouldn’t allow it. It’s the same here. Jon is an honorable man and will accept his punishment. Grey Worm knows this.

    112. Error: How was Tyrion not mentioned in the maester’s book?

    Response: Tyrion has always been overlooked

    113. Error: Why did Tyrion uphold Bronn’s deal?

    Response: Tyrion upholds Bronn’s deal because a Lannister always pays their debts.

    114. Error: Why is Bronn master of coin if he doesn’t know how loans work?

    Response: Tyrion was also inexperienced in handling money when he was appointed master of coin. Also, Littlefinger didn’t quite know how loans worked as he borrowed a shit ton of money without paying it back.

    115. Error: How is Sam Grandmaester when he is sworn to the Night’s Watch?

    Response: The Night’s Watch has a new purpose and Sam is no longer bound to them.

    116. Error: Brienne swore her life to Sansa:

    Response: Sansa doesn’t need Brienne anymore and released her of her vow. Brienne can now honor Jaime’s memory.

    117. Error: Why does the council need a master of whisperers and why can’t Bran find Drogon?

    Response: He said he’ll find Drogon himself after the council failed. Master of whisperers would simply fill out the small council.

    118. Error: Why is Tormund still at Castle Black and not North of the Wall?

    Response: Tormund said they’ll wait for the winter stroms to pass at Castle Black before heading North.

    See? This video is very unimpressive. People who use these types of videos to try and bolster their argument actually end up damaging them.

  207. mau: But claims can’t be joined. There is only one ruler.

    So either Daenerys reduces herself to queen consort without any formal power, or Jon becomes just her husband and nothing more. Jon is head of state at the end of S6, even is he doesn’t care for that title, people of the North do care and he knows that.

    The North declared independence in S6. They don’t really care who sits on the Iron Throne and I don’t see why would they want to reduce their head of state to Daenery’s sperm donor.

    And Jon also gave his crown to Dany in 706 so at that point, the North is no longer independent. The North could try to overthrow Dany (but that’d be starting another war) or separate and declare Sansa as queen, but that may risk another war. Either way, until the end of season 8, the North was under Dany’s rule.

    The idea I’m trying to get across is that marriage would prevent Varys from using Jon’s claim against Dany’s, a claim Jon doesn’t want, and a claim Dany felt threatened by. Jon didn’t want to be king, he wanted Dany as queen, and didn’t want his claim to compete with Dany’s.

  208. Adrianacandle: Did Tywin do that after the city surrendered? (I’m honestly asking. I’m fuzzy on that.) C typically stop after they’ve won the city. Even Tyrion said about Dany’s slaughter, “The moment the gates fell, the battle was over.”

    Tywin didn’t care about surrender. His army was just killing and raping because they can and they don’t care. Lannisters expected the same thing to happen if Stannis won in S2.

    And conquerors don’t stop when they won. Not at all. This is where the “fun” begins for them lol. The whole definition of “sacking a city” that you start to kill, rape and steal after you have captured it.

    What Benioff said is not contradictory to what I said. He said if all these things didn’t happen we would’t see this side of Daenerys. And this side is certanly not mentally and emotionally stable. And Weiss said she decided to make things personal, in Inside the Episode for 806 (on Blu Rey) he says that she was above everything, she didn’t see the cost the way Tyrion and Jon did. So she is angry, not stable anymore and burns city because she is angry and it feels good to have that revenge.

    Srebrenica massacre was commited for similar reasons.

  209. Adrianacandle: And Jon also gave his crown to Dany in 706 so at that point, the North is no longer independent. The North could try to overthrow Dany (but that’d be starting another war) or separate and declare Sansa as queen, but that may risk another war. Either way, until the end of season 8, the North was under Dany’s rule.

    The idea I’m trying to get across is that marriage would prevent Varys from using Jon’s claim against Dany’s, a claim Jon doesn’t want, and a claim Dany felt threatened by. Jon didn’t want to be king, he wanted Dany as queen, and didn’t want his claim to compete with Dany’s.

    Jon giving his crown shows the difference between legality and legitimacy. As king he can legally do that, but he doesn’t have a legitimacy for that move and this is why everything that happened in S8 happened. He made a major move without consulting with anyone and everyone paid the price.

    Daenerys was ruler in the North on paper in S8. Reality was different.

    Marriage can’t prevent Varys from using Jon’s claim against Dany’s because he can do that even if they are in 10 years long marriage. I think your problem is that you care too much about these rules, but they don’t really exist and no one cares about them. And that is the case in real life also. Powerful people can do whatever they want and they will later create some legal excuse.

    In the books part of Dorne wanted to start a war to put Myrcella on the Iron Throne. She never cared for the throne, she never wanted it, she doesn’t have the claim even and yet these people wanted to start a war.

    There are so many examples in real history.

    You really think The North would be “ok now we don’t care for freedom because Jon is Dany’s husband”? That would be fine for them?

  210. mau,

    Tywin didn’t care about surrender. His army was just killing and raping because they can and they don’t care. Lannisters expected the same thing to happen if Stannis won in S2.

    And conquerors don’t stop when they won. Not at all. This is where the “fun” begins for them lol. The whole definition of “sacking a city” that you start to kill, rape and steal after you have captured it.

    Yet Tywin still didn’t do that after they had won the city. I believe Aerys was refusing to negotiate. Likewise, Stannis was going to wage war until he won the city, which would happen after if the Lannisters surrendered to him. Anything after is a slaughter, no longer conquering. Conquering is the act of winning a city by force.

    What Benioff said is not contradictory to what I said. He said if all these things didn’t happen we would’t see this side of Daenerys. And this side is certanly not mentally and emotionally stable. And Weiss said she decided to make things personal, in Inside the Episode for 806 (on Blu Rey) he says that she was above everything, she didn’t see the cost the way Tyrion and Jon did. So she is angry, not stable anymore and burns city because she is angry and it feels good to have that revenge.

    I agree about the emotional instability but this still doesn’t have the writers saying that Dany did it because it felt good to have revenge on the people, that she didn’t “trust that the Lannisters surrendered,” “Cersei lied too many times. The safest option for Daenerys was to just kill them all and not worry about more traps or more betrayals.”

    I would interpret this as waging a personal war against the monarchy that took everything away from her though:

    And then she sees the Red Keep, which is, to her, the home that her family built when they first came over to this country 300 years ago. It’s in that moment, on the walls of King’s Landing, where she’s looking at that symbol of everything that was taken from her, when she makes the decision to– to make this personal.

  211. mau,

    I beg to differ. Conquerors destroy and sack “a city”. Not “their” city.

    Cases where indigenous generals/lords/kings have destroyed and sacked a city of their own country (there are many historical examples) are unanimously condemned in all historical sources.
    But we can agree that this is sth that happens in the context of war (even by the “best” of them).
    Tywin had absolutely no reason to plunder KL. He entered as Aerys’ supporter, not as a conqueror, but he destroyed it for a) rewarding his soldiers, b) killing Aerys, and c) killing Elia and her children.

    Apparently Daenerys decided to destroy KL because… reasons.

  212. Jon giving his crown shows the difference between legality and legitimacy. As king he can legally do that, but he doesn’t have a legitimacy for that move and this is why everything that happened in S8 happened. He made a major move without consulting with anyone and everyone paid the price.

    I agree Jon should have consulted people before doing that and the North was rightfully pissed but it’s not a democracy, it still happened, Dany was still their queen. They don’t exactly get a vote, it’s not a democracy.

    The North was still returned to the 7K when Robb Stark was overthrown and the Boltons were awarded with wardenship. They hated the Boltons but, except for a few house, didn’t want to help Jon and Sansa defeat them.

    When Torrhen Stark bent the knee, that didn’t stop the North from becoming part of he 7K.

    And the North can try to overthrow the monarch if they chose to. If they win, great! If they lose, well…

    Marriage can’t prevent Varys from using Jon’s claim against Dany’s because he can do that even if they are in 10 years long marriage. I think your problem is that you care too much about these rules, but they don’t really exist and no one cares about them. And that is the case in real life also. Powerful people can do whatever they want and they will later create some legal excuse.

    But if Jon becomes king, Dany comes with him as his wife. And Jon just gives his power to Dany, which is what he was doing when he renounced his claim for hers. Back then, people married to join power and resources, they didn’t stay as two separate entities. So that wouldn’t be terribly smart on Varys’s part because at that point, Jon and Dany would come as a unit. Varys wanted no Dany, only Jon.

    I do care about rules and laws, you’re right! And I acknowledge people can choose to break the rules if they so choose and bear the consequences if it’s not successful.

    In the books part of Dorne wanted to start a war to put Myrcella on the Iron Throne. She never cared for the throne, she never wanted it, she doesn’t have the claim even and yet these people wanted to start a war.

    Yeah, and if Dorne loses that war, they are subject to those consequences of treason.

    You really think The North would be “ok now we don’t care for freedom because Jon is Dany’s husband”? That would be fine for them?

    Wait, where did I say that? I believe I said, “The North could try to overthrow Dany (but that’d be starting another war) or separate and declare Sansa as queen, but that may risk another war.”

  213. Young Dragon: The definition of sacking a city is to plunder the city and terrorize its inhabitants after you have captured it.

    Yes, but that’s not the definition of conquering. As I said, I’m fuzzy on the timeline of events in regard to the Sack of King’s Landing but based on the wiki article, this happened before Aerys was overthrown. It doesn’t seem like they won the capital at that time.

  214. Adrianacandle,

    There was no need to negotiate with Tywin. The king opened the gates for him. Conquering doesn’t exist without slaughter.

    If we study the mental state of mass shooters for example or war criminals, it’s a very complex state of mind. Benioff and Weiss not writing a scene where Daenerys would say “I burned KL because of that, that and that” is actually smart, because every person who commited massacre did it for a set of very complex reasons. It can be traced back to their childhoods even. I read Elliot Rodger’s “manifesto”, and it’s fascinating thing to read.

    So reducing that crime to just one thing would be wrong IMO. Also Benioff did say in Inside the episode “if Cersei hadn’t executed Missandei”, so it’s clear that Cersei’s betrayal did play an important role. I mean in that little speech Benioff gave he didn’t even mention Jorah, or death of dragons and that clearly played huge part. He can’t mention everything.

  215. mau,

    There was no need to negotiate with Tywin. The king opened the gates for him. Conquering doesn’t exist without slaughter.

    Yeah, because Tywin came under false premises under the guise of loyalty to Aerys and then started killing and raping the civilians. Jaime wanted Aerys’s permission to negotiate with Tywin, Aerys refused and demanded Jaime kill Tywin.

    Conquering doesn’t exist without bloodshed but the definition of conquering is, “to acquire by force of arms; win in war.” It’s not slaughtering a city after the city’s already been won.

    If we study the mental state of mass shooters for example or war criminals, it’s a very complex state of mind. Benioff and Weiss not writing a scene where Daenerys would say “I burned KL because of that, that and that” is actually smart, because every person who commited massacre did it for a set of very complex reasons. It can be traced back to their childhoods even. I read Elliot Rodger’s “manifesto”, and it’s fascinating thing to read.

    So reducing that crime to just one thing would be wrong IMO. Also Benioff did say in Inside the episode “if Cersei hadn’t executed Missandei”, so it’s clear that Cersei’s betrayal did play an important role. I mean in that little speech Benioff gave he didn’t even mention Jorah, or death of dragons and that clearly played huge part. He can’t mention everything

    I bet Elliot Rodger’s “manifesto” is a great read, I’ll add that to my list 🙂 Thanks for mentioning it, I am interested in things like that!

    As for Dany, I’m going based off of what Benioff and Weiss themselves had said, no more, no less. There’s a case for Death of the Author, which viewers and readers are free to do and you’re free to do it too. D&D didn’t include that as a motivation for Dany so I don’t want to put words in their mouth when speaking to their intentions (unless it’s me speculating).

    Since these are fictional characters, I typically take the writers’ word as Word of God on their intentions here since they’re the ones putting this story together.

    Yeah, Cersei’s execution of Missandei definitely played a role, D&D said that.

  216. mau,

    Adrianacandle:

    I mean, I agree, it’s not democracy and he as king can do whatever he wants. And if they don’t like what he is doing they can even kill him and choose a new ruler. It happened many times in real history. If powerful lords and ladies don’t like the policy of the ruler, he won’t stay ruler for very long.

    And who cares what happened under Boltons. That was in the past. Now they have new reality. And it is true that they would face consequences if they are not successful in opostion against Daenerys, but she imploded, so it doesn’t matter. They would never accept her rule and they would work to undermine her even if she took the Throne in a different way.

    But Jon and Dany can’t become a unit because even if they got married for some reason in S7, that marriage would fall apart once Jon’s finds out the truth. It was a doomed relationship with no real future.

  217. Adrianacandle: Yeah, Cersei’s execution of Missandei definitely played a role, D&D said that.

    I still wonder why Cersei didn’t decide to simply kill Dany instead of bothering with Missandei. Cersei could’ve won the war right then and there.

  218. Adrianacandle,

    But Tywin sacking the city had nothing to do with negotiation. He came and said kill them all and they did.

    I don’t agree that you can say “no more, no less” because Benioff and Weiss had like 2 minutes in that video to talk about Daenerys and they didn’t even talk about death of Jorah or her dragons and that clearly played a part, because there is no time to go in depth in those videos.

    It’s not about ignoring writers’ word, it’s about realizing that they talked in a very limited format. Or we should say that death of her dragons and the fact that she lost half of her army wasn’t important because they didn’t have time to mention it?

  219. mau,

    I mean, I agree, it’s not democracy and he as king can do whatever he wants. And if they don’t like what he is doing they can even kill him and choose a new ruler. It happened many times in real history. If powerful lords and ladies don’t like the policy of the ruler, he won’t stay ruler for very long.

    That’s true. And if they win, they choose a new ruler. If they lose, they are subject to the consequences of treason.

    And who cares what happened under Boltons. That was in the past. Now they have new reality. And it is true that they would face consequences if they are not successful in opostion against Daenerys, but she imploded, so it doesn’t matter. They would never accept her rule and they would work to undermine her even if she took the Throne in a different way.

    I care because it speaks to the history and choices that these people have made before — who are the same people in this situation now.

    They may work to undermine her rule but they’d also be dooming their own region and forces since they don’t really have enough to challenge her with so I don’t know how smart that would be either.

    But Jon and Dany can’t become a unit because even if they got married for some reason in S7, that marriage would fall apart once Jon’s finds out the truth. It was a doomed relationship with no real future.

    People didn’t marry for love back then or for personal matters, they married to join power, regions, and resources. If Jon and Dany married, no matter Jon’s reluctance to continue their sexual relationship, their claims would still come connected. If Varys wants to make Jon king, Dany comes as his wife, and Jon can choose to give his power to Dany.

  220. Mr Derp: I still wonder why Cersei didn’t decide to simply kill Dany instead of bothering with Missandei. Cersei could’ve won the war right then and there.

    That’s true and Dany could have just been like, “Drogon, get her!” (about Cersei).

    I would suppose both were honoring the rules of a parley.

  221. Adrianacandle,

    But Daenersy is fragile and she is narcissist. The fact that she is not the last Targaryen completely destroyed her. You don’t need to start a war to undermine person like that. I mean Sansa undermined her by just telling Tyrion the truth about Jon.

    Jon would never stay married to his aunt and Daenerys would never stop being affraid of his claim. If they married at the end of S7 everything would happen exactly the same. It would be just more messy. Maybe D&D should have done it to create more drama in S8. But Jon marrying without informing the North would be an even bigger catastrophe for him. His legitimacy would be completely gone. They would just kill him in 801.

  222. mau,

    But Tywin sacking the city had nothing to do with negotiation. He came and said kill them all and they did.

    Both parties were refusing to negotiate, that’s right. But Tywin still wasn’t sacking a city after he already won. I can’t call it a battle either since it doesn’t seem to be about battling the city’s defenses. Yet Aerys still held the city at that time.

    I don’t agree that you can say “no more, no less” because Benioff and Weiss had like 2 minutes in that video to talk about Daenerys and they didn’t even talk about death of Jorah or her dragons and that clearly played a part, because there is no time to go in depth in those videos.

    It’s not about ignoring writers’ word, it’s about realizing that they talked in a very limited format. Or we should say that death of her dragons and the fact that she lost half of her army wasn’t important because they didn’t have time to mention it?

    You are definitely free to make those speculations, of course, and I’d speculate it all led to a build-up that broke the dam when she was on the walls of King’s Landing.

    But I don’t want to speak for somebody if they don’t say those words and include those reasons. Not that I’m saying your reasoning (Dany’s losses of Jorah) are out there, they’re reasonable! But I can only attribute what the writers actually say to their intent. The rest is speculation for me.

  223. Adrianacandle: That’s true and Dany could have just been like, “Drogon, get her!” (about Cersei).

    I would suppose both were honoring the rules of a parley.

    If that was the case then Cersei wouldn’t have killed Missandei though. That would be a pretty big breach of honor if they were trying to play by the rules.

  224. mau,

    But Daenersy is fragile and she is narcissist. The fact that she is not the last Targaryen completely destroyed her. You don’t need to start a war to undermine person like that. I mean Sansa undermined her by just telling Tyrion the truth about Jon.

    Because that led to Varys trying to betray Dany to put Jon on the throne.

    Jon would never stay married to his aunt and Daenerys would never stop being affraid of his claim. If they married at the end of S7 everything would happen exactly the same. It would be just more messy. Maybe D&D should have done it to create more drama in S8. But Jon marrying without informing the North would be an even bigger catastrophe for him. His legitimacy would be completely gone. They would just kill him in 801.

    Jon’s claim would still be tethered to Dany’s if they marry because they’re no longer operating as two separate units. And Jon could agree to marriage so as to prevent the risk of a civil war between claims, a claim he doesn’t want. Per the script direction for 805, Jon still wants Dany sexually and is still in love with her but the incest is a major hurdle for intimate relations.

    And if the North killed Jon in 801, that’d start a war with Dany and her forces, which I don’t think would end well for the North.

  225. Mr Derp: If that was the case then Cersei wouldn’t have killed Missandei though. That would be a pretty big breach of honor if they were trying to play by the rules.

    Yes, that’s true. Sorry, my brain blipped there :/

  226. Mr Derp: If that was the case then Cersei wouldn’t have killed Missandei though.That would be a pretty big breach of honor if they were trying to play by the rules.

    Or would it be because Cersei was threatening Missandei with execution if Dany didn’t agree to her terms? (Surrender or Missandei gets it) And would that make it okay for Dany to retaliate by siccing Drogon on Cersei since Cersei didn’t agree to her terms? (Surrender or die)

  227. Adrianacandle,

    That is ignorant approach that will just force writers to not talk at all about their writing if they don’t have like an hour long podcast to explain everything they did. But on the other hand, Sapochnik did a very long podcast and he did say that Dany’s army came for blood. So it was about revenge and I have words from director to confirm that, so it’s not just speculation on my part.

    Tywin won the moment Mad King died. You think they stopped slaughtering people then?

  228. Adrianacandle:
    mau,

    Jon’s claim would still be tethered to Dany’s if they marry because they’re no longer operating as two separate units. And Jon could agree to marriage so as to prevent the risk of a civil war between claims, a claim he doesn’t want.

    But who says they are not operating as two separate units? That can always change. Jon would never agree to incest marriage. And the fact that he doesn’t want it™, as Daenerys said, doesn’t really matter, because he never wanted any title and he still got them.

  229. Young Dragon,

    Thank you for the responses. This just shwos again that all the criticism/errors are just nitpicking and that people try to put everything in the negative so they can justify their hatred.

  230. And this whole “but they surrendered!” debate is something I don’t get. It was too late to surrender, to late for Daenerys to show them mercy. I mean you can just google massacres after surrender and you will see how many battles in real history happened in that way.

    This is what taking things with fire and blood means.

  231. mau,

    How is my sticking to words the writers actually say “lacking knowledge or awareness in general; uneducated or unsophisticated”? I’m going off on what they, themselves, have said. I’m not putting words in their mouths nor am I denying what they’ve said.

    If D&D have more reasons, by all means, they are welcome to explain them all. It doesn’t have to take an hour-long podcast. To say aloud everything you said to me, that wouldn’t take two hours. Maybe seven minutes? Or a paragraph or so in an interview.

    But I don’t want to attribute words to people that they have not written or spoken themselves. And I won’t.

    I haven’t listened to that podcast so I can’t confirm or deny the ideas of revenge but I will happily do so when we’re done here.

  232. Adrianacandle,

    I’m not asking you to attribute words to people that they haven’t spoken. I’m just asking not to deny that there were far more things that went into writing than something that they can put in a short video.

    Sapochnik’s podcast is over 2 hours long and he talks about lot of things in S5, S6 and S8. And you get the sense that conversation that he had with writers are much longer and much more complicated than that short video that HBO made.

  233. mau,

    But who says they are not operating as two separate units? That can always change. Jon would never agree to incest marriage. And the fact that he doesn’t want it™, as Daenerys said, doesn’t really matter, because he never wanted any title and he still got them.

    At the risk of repeating myself, if they are married, then their claims are tethered so legally, no, no longer operating as two separate power bases. One would come with the other. If the title is forced on Jon and he’s married to Dany, Dany comes with him as his wife. And Jon can give his power to her. If not married, Jon can give his crown to Dany again. And Jon can refuse, as he said he would, and abdicate.

    And I think Jon would agree to an incest marriage if it’s to prevent war. I think we’re going to have to accept we disagree there.

    Tywin won the moment Mad King died. You think they stopped slaughtering people then?

    You can read the article for more information if you like. I’ll have to double-check the text itself but I believe the sack stopped when the loyalists were defeated and it was known Aerys was dead. Then Rhaegar’s wife and children were killed to prove Lannister loyalty to Robert.

  234. mau,

    I’m not asking you to attribute words to people that they haven’t spoken. I’m just asking not to deny that there were far more things that went into writing than something that they can put in a short video.

    And if they say those things, I’ll accept it. Otherwise, unless somebody speaks these words, I can’t attribute unspoken ideas to them. And they have opportunities to give interviews like the rest of the production team, including the cast and crew.

    Sapochnik’s podcast is over 2 hours long and he talks about lot of things in S5, S6 and S8. And you get the sense that conversation that he had with writers are much longer and much more complicated than that short video that HBO made.

    And if he speaks what you’ve spoken here, I’ll be able to say this is what Sapochnik intended and was going for.

  235. Young Dragon:
    Mr Derp,

    Missandei was captured before the parley, so she doesn’t fall under the parley’s protection. She was fair game.

    Have the specific rules of parley been mentioned on the show? Do we know if Missandei was fair game or not in comparison to everyone else who was there?

    Isn’t a parley supposed to basically be a temporary truce on both sides? Wouldn’t killing a prisoner violate that? These are honest questions. I genuinely don’t know, but I have a feeling killing a hostage/prison would almost certainly violate any formal parley.

  236. Adrianacandle,

    But marriage can be annulled, it can be ignored, nothing is permanent. And if Daenerys is so insane that Jon must be forced to marry her in order to avoid war, then maybe he would realize that she is not really the best option to build a better world lol.

    Jon recognized Daenerys as queen once he thought she is worthy. But if she starts behaving like crazy egomaniac forcing him into incest so she doesn’t burn everything I don’t think he would see her as good option anymore.

    The point is that Deanerys is entitled and arrogant and she came to rule in a land where no one really wants her and she can’t deal with that fact. Maybe she should give her power to Jon and return to Essos?

    Because if everyone lifes have to turn into misery so she can sit on that throne, maybe she doesn’t deserve it?

  237. Adrianacandle: Or would it be because Cersei was threatening Missandei with execution if Dany didn’t agree to her terms? (Surrender or Missandei gets it) And would that make it okay for Dany to retaliate by siccing Drogon on Cersei since Cersei didn’t agree to her terms? (Surrender or die)

    Well, surrender or die isn’t exactly much of a parley now is it?

  238. Adrianacandle:
    mau,

    And if they say those things, I’ll accept it. Otherwise, unless somebody speaks these words, I can’t attribute unspoken ideas to them. And they have opportunities to give interviews like the rest of the production team, including the cast and crew.

    And if he speaks what you’ve spoken here, I’ll be able to say this is what Sapochnik intended and was going for.

    Writers don’t work that way. You are not entitled to their explanation. They can refuse to say anything and that still doesn’t mean that the only thing that went into their writing was what they said in promo material.

    Sapochnik doesn’t have autonomy. He does what showrunners tell him to do.

  239. mau,

    But marriage can be annulled, it can be ignored, nothing is permanent.

    And breaking that marriage could result in war, which I don’t think Jon (or Dany) would be keen over. But I definitely don’t think it can be ignored.

    And if Daenerys is so insane that Jon must be forced to marry her in order to avoid war, then maybe he would realize that she is not really the best option to build a better world lol.

    Perhaps, but Dany wasn’t insane in 8×02 or 8×04 when she became concerned over his claim and it’s not an unreasonable concern to have. Because that’s exactly what happened, Sansa told Tyrion who told Varys who betrayed Dany.

    As for Jon, even into 8×06, Jon still wanted to believe in Dany and didn’t want to betray her. It’s not until Dany said, “They don’t get to choose,” when the wool was pulled from his eyes and Jon still felt killing her wasn’t right.

    Maybe she should give her power to Jon and return to Essos?
    Because if everyone lifes have to turn into misery so she can sit on that throne, maybe she doesn’t deserve it?

    I’m not talking about matters of deserving the throne, this whole thing came up when Mr Derp and I were wondering why marriage was never discussed with Jon and Dany when Dany specifically left Daario behind to make marital alliances.

    Writers don’t work that way. You are not entitled to their explanation. They can refuse to say anything and that still doesn’t mean that the only thing that went into their writing was what they said in promo material.

    I don’t recall saying I was entitled to an explanation, only that I will only attribute spoken words to them rather than things they haven’t said. I was disputing the idea that they only had one short video to provide all reasoning for character motives.

    Maybe they do have other reasons but until I have confirmation of that, I can’t consider that as their intent.

    Sapochnik doesn’t have autonomy. He does what showrunners tell him to do.

    Okay… I wasn’t going to say Sapochnik and D&D were in discord but fine.

  240. Mr Derp: Well, surrender or die isn’t exactly much of a parley now is it?

    Right. I don’t know much about the rules of parley though. I just know it’s — what you said — a temp truce to hold off hostilities and when it’s broken, they can go back to killing each other. So I think perhaps your initial point was correct.

  241. Adrianacandle,

    Lol, yea I don’t either. At least, not when it comes to GoT because I honestly don’t think they’ve clarified what the rules of parley are on the show at all.

    It does sound like Cersei’s kind of parley though!

  242. Mr Derp: Lol, yea I don’t either. At least, not when it comes to GoT because I honestly don’t think they’ve clarified what the rules of parley are on the show at all.

    It does sound like Cersei’s kind of parley though!

    Yup!

  243. Adrianacandle,

    Breaking that marriage could result in war only if Daenerys starts that war. In 802 the only thing that Daenerys cared about was her claim, she didn’t give a fuck about Jon’s feelings over that truth.

    Marriage was discussed in S8. It wasn’t in S7 because as I said it would mean that Jon is rejecting the independence of the North. Marriage between two monarchs is much more complicated than typical marital alliance.

    Again, you are denying the fact that Benioff and Weiss spent more then 10 minutes tjinking about The Bells. I’m not asking that you attribute anything to them. I’m saying that it is clear from the context of what they said about Daenerys that their idea was to put her in a very fragile emotional and mental state because of everything that happened to her. The fact that they can’t mention everything in
    2 minutes(even Jorah’s death), doesn’t mean it didin’t play a role.

    So everything that put Daenerys in paranoid and agressive mode did play a role.

  244. The LightKing: You and Efi are just the perfect example for what wrong with this fandom is. Truly ridiculous 🤦‍♂️

    I sincerely disagree and will debunk your statement: They are 2 fine people to discuss things with, and are always civil to others opinions.

  245. Adrianacandle,

    Too bad Theon and Arya weren’t completely on Dany’s side. Or maybe nobody thought of this as an option, but they both could’ve been used as snipers to pick off Cersei, etc… if the negotiation failed. They are both excellent marksmen/women.

    It’s easy to say in hindsight, but in all honesty, I really don’t know what other outcome Dany/Tyrion and the rest were expecting. They had to know by then that Cersei wasn’t trustworthy or interested in negotiating. This had to be at least Tyrion’s third attempt at “negotiating” with his sister despite the fact that it was obvious to everyone that she wouldn’t listen and she had already burned them before about helping out with the Long Night.

    They should’ve had a plan in case Cersei did exactly what everyone expected of her, which was to not listen at all. Again, I know it’s easy to say in hindsight, but it was pretty easy to say when it was all going down too.

    It is what it is. It just came off as a bit dimwitted to me.

  246. kevin1989: I sincerely disagree and will debunk your statement: They are 2 fine people to discuss things with, and are always civil to others opinions.

    Thank you Kevin, I appreciate the kind words. I find you to be a most enjoyable commentator and very easy to get along with.

    I just ignored it because that person never has anything constructive to contribute to the conversation.

  247. Mr Derp:
    Adrianacandle,

    It’s easy to say in hindsight, but in all honesty, I really don’t know what other outcome Dany/Tyrion and the rest were expecting.T

    “Speaking to Cersei will not prevent a slaughter. But perhaps it’s good the people see that Daenerys Stormborn made every effort to avoid bloodshed, and Cersei Lannister refused. They should know whom to blame when the sky falls down upon them.”

  248. Mr Derp,

    Parleys are common practice in history, and as far as I can tell, they all have the same rules. Two sides meet under the protection of parley to discuss terms. The problem is that Missandei wasn’t part of Dany’s entourage. She was already Cersei’s prisoner, making Missandei a prisoner of war. It’s common practice to execute prisoners of war, so beheading Missandei wouldn’t be frowned upon by the people of Westeros and didn’t go against the rules of the parley, because Missandei didn’t arrive with Danerys.

  249. mau: “Speaking to Cersei will not prevent a slaughter. But perhaps it’s good the people see that Daenerys Stormborn made every effort to avoid bloodshed, and Cersei Lannister refused. They should know whom to blame when the sky falls down upon them.”

    Yep. And how’d that work out for them in the end?

    Even more reason to have a backup plan ready to go.

  250. mau,

    Breaking that marriage could result in war only if Daenerys starts that war.

    Or Dany’s supporters may start that war against region(s) supporting Jon. Or if people start backing Jon for the throne over Dany to overthrow her, that can start a war.

    Marriage was discussed in S8. It wasn’t in S7 because as I said it would mean that Jon is rejecting the independence of the North. Marriage between two monarchs is much more complicated than typical marital alliance.

    Marriage was discussed by several people who weren’t the people it concerned (Jon and Dany, especially since Dany intended to marry for an alliance). I’m okay with marriage not being discussed in season 7 yet, there wasn’t really a pressing need yet. All I’m saying it would have helped with the claims issue in season 8.

    And marriage is done between monarchs to join powers and regions…

    Again, you are denying the fact that Benioff and Weiss spent more then 10 minutes tjinking about The Bells.

    I didn’t say they only spent 10 minutes talking about The Bells. I said I can only go off of what explanation they offer for public consumption.

    I’m not asking that you attribute anything to them. I’m saying that it is clear from the context of what they said about Daenerys that their idea was to put her in a very fragile emotional and mental state because of everything that happened to her. The fact that they can’t mention everything in 2 minutes(even Jorah’s death), doesn’t mean it didin’t play a role.
    So everything that put Daenerys in paranoid and agressive mode did play a role.

    Okay. But for me, what they don’t mention in those two minutes is up in the air because it’s still unspoken as far as any released explanation is concerned.

    I think Jorah’s death did play a part. I don’t think she was in a good space mentally. I think D&D were speaking to that when they went through the series of events Dany experienced.

  251. mau:
    Mr Derp,

    I don’t get what you are asking. You asked for Daenery’s motivation and I give you quote from the episode.

    I wasn’t asking anything. I was stating that Dany and Tyrion’s plan going into that parley was terrible.

    You said that Dany and Tyrion knew that Cersei wouldn’t listen, and Tyrion thought this would actually work to Dany’s benefit, because for whatever reason, the citizens of KL would apparently overthrow Cersei or something if Cersei didn’t surrender? I have no idea why Tyrion thoguht that would work, and of course, it blew up in his face. It didn’t change the people’s minds at all.

    As Jorah himself said, the common people don’t care at all about the games the high lords play.

  252. Adrianacandle,

    Marriage is done between monarchs to join powers and regions, true, and this is why Sansa asked “what about the North”. Joining regions means dealing with political organisation of the new state. From Northern perspective it’s two states joining in one. From Dany’s it’s different.

  253. Mr Derp,

    Too bad Theon and Arya weren’t completely on Dany’s side. Or maybe nobody thought of this as an option, but they both could’ve been used as snipers to pick off Cersei, etc… if the negotiation failed. They are both excellent marksmen/women.

    I thought it would have been a good option to consider Arya as an assassin to take out Cersei while the forces rested before marching on King’s Landing. I felt Dany and Sansa both had reasonable concerns there. Dany being concerned about Cersei accumulating power and screwing her over while she was tucked away up North, Sansa concerned that the troops need rest before fighting another war.

    It’s easy to say in hindsight, but in all honesty, I really don’t know what other outcome Dany/Tyrion and the rest were expecting. They had to know by then that Cersei wasn’t trustworthy or interested in negotiating. This had to be at least Tyrion’s third attempt at “negotiating” with his sister despite the fact that it was obvious to everyone that she wouldn’t listen and she had already burned them before about helping out with the Long Night.

    Right. I think Tyrion was particularly desperate because he wanted to save his unborn niece/nephew but he’d have to know it was a long shot, especially at this point.

    They should’ve had a plan in case Cersei did exactly what everyone expected of her, which was to not listen at all. Again, I know it’s easy to say in hindsight, but it was pretty easy to say when it was all going down too.

    And I think Arya would have been a good option for that. Take out Cersei, she was going to King’s Landing anyway, and maybe things would have turned out better. Dany wouldn’t have been ambushed, losing Missandei and Rhaegal.

  254. Adrianacandle,

    I think that’s part of the “Arya” problem. They turned her into a superhero that can do anything, kill anyone, etc…She could’ve pretty much taken care of everything simply by sneaking into KL using her skills to kill Cersei, but that would’ve been too easy.

  255. Mr Derp,

    Tyrion wanted to save his sister and her unborn child and to save KL from destrustion. It’s a desperate movie to save Westeros from itself. It blew up in his face because Daenerys and Cersei are lost.

  256. mau: From Northern perspective it’s two states joining in one. From Dany’s it’s different.

    Not quite. Sansa wanted independence, full-stop. She didn’t even want to be part of Bran’s kingdom. Dany wanted all seven kingdoms, full-stop.

    I would agree, again, that the North would probably never be happy with this arrangement and I don’t think marriage would help much with that. If the North was to ever find out Jon was a Targaryen, yikes. It’s more about the claims issue for me as explained above.

    It doesn’t mean it’d stop the North from overthrowing the monarchy if they so choose.

  257. Mr Derp: I think that’s part of the “Arya” problem. They turned her into a superhero that can do anything, kill anyone, etc…She could’ve pretty much taken care of everything simply by sneaking into KL using her skills to kill Cersei, but that would’ve been too easy.

    Yeah, those are my thoughts too.

  258. mau,

    I can agree with that.

    I just think that Tyrion, who was desperate to save KL from Dany’s wrath, should’ve come up with something other than trying to appeal to Cersei’s good nature. She doesn’t have one and never did. Tyrion of all people should know this. He knows Cersei is already lost.

    I get the desire to save the unborn baby, but at some point, Tyrion’s gotta understand that bridge has been burned and Cersei has nobody to blame but herself. She doesn’t listen and never will. Perhaps Tyrion should’ve brought Jaime with him, knowing that Cersei might actually listen to him more than anyone else? I don’t know. I get Tyrion was desperate. I just think he’s smart enough to come up with a clever plan instead of what he ended up doing.

    he also tried to use this same strategy already in season 7 episode 7, which failed miserably. So what does he do the next time around? The same thing…

  259. mau:
    I’m talking in case if marriage between monarchs happened, because that’s not some magical solution to all problems.

    No, I agree. I don’t believe it was. But I think it could have helped with at least one issue.

  260. Mr Derp,

    There is no clever plan when you have two power hungry queens going into war for no reason. Cersei doesn’t belong on the Iron Throne. and Daenerys doesn’t either.

  261. kevin1989,

    No, she didn’t; it’s just that nobody gets it. Me neither, to tell you the truth. 😂
    Jon didn’t either, perhaps that’s why he asked, just in case he didn’t get it right.
    You build on ashes and charred bones. That’s clear. Just imagine all the trouble you’d have to go through to get rid of all those ugly buildings if you wanted to build a “better world”.
    That you have the conqueror of the world lose it because of boyfriend/mad queen Cersei/cute executed secretary/would-be-boyfriend-but-better-keep-as-fatherfigure and, let’s not forget, “wicked sister”, is just so little for a conqueror.
    It’s like the “other kids won’t play with me papa” thing.
    I am absolutely certain that it will be much better in the books.

  262. The LightKing: Of course, they have the same opinion like you.

    Speaking for myself, Kevin and I have disagreed before and it’s always been civil and we come to a good place. I echo his sentiments about Mr Derp and Efi.

    I think it’s okay to disagree as long as we’re not getting personal — with each other or about D&D, the cast, the crew, etc. Criticism about writing isn’t born out of hating for hating’s sake, it’s because we care about this show and want to discuss various points, some of which have disappointed or confused us.

    We did this in art school!! 🙂 Some very harsh critiques sometimes. Very very harsh. But it was always about the piece, never the artist.

    I was a defender of season 5/6/7 and I think there were a lot of problems with season 8. Not that I can’t appreciate aspects of it, I do! I can appreciate the general concepts very much! But there were issues. I’m also sympathetic to D&D’s position as well. It can’t have been easy to end a story like this.

  263. Daenerys has always been quick to turn to violence. Her advisors often caution her against this violence.

    Her violence often involves threats of / or actually destroying entire cities and armies.

    She is comfortable with total war and en masse retribution against non-military targets she deems guilty.

    She struggles with the awful power her dragons afford her, she initially locks them up and refrains from using them, but they break free and become an increasingly attractive option.

    She threatens to attack King’s Landing with her dragons no less than 5 times, well aware of the civilian casualties that would result.

    Building alliances fails her (significant factions stand by her enemies), negotiating fails her, defeating armies in the field fails her, lending the people of Westeros her strength fails her… they still won’t submit to her without the threat of violence.

    She becomes paranoid, sees enemies everywhere (in Tyrion, Jon, Sansa, Varys, etc.) and loses faith in her advisors.

    When it all comes to a head she has almost no advisors she trusts, believes she has exhausted all options but a full-on attack, is fearful and desperate for unconditional victory, believes soldiers and leaders will only submit under threat of execution (and those who failed to submit or weren’t killed in the past inevitably rose up against her), has rationalized away the civilian casualties… and makes good on her threats of destroying entire cities and armies (who happen to be placed in the streets amongst the civilians as a defensive measure by Cersei). She does it to bring a swift end to the war, to destroy any vestige of military might that may later be used against her, and to send a message to the lords of Westeros that if they don’t submit she will destroy them utterly.

    To me it’s so thoroughly established over the course of the show on a smooth upward curve, escalating from threats to actual violence.

  264. Efi:
    kevin1989,

    I am absolutely certain that it will be much better in the books.

    I believe with 99% certainty that this fandom is one of the main reasons GRRM hasn’t been able to finish the series.

    After completing the first 3 books, GRRM started reading the rabbit hole abyss that is the internet forums. This seems to have had huge effect on his writing. What began as a simple story, a de-constructive and realistic take on traditional fantasy, became a gigantic world full of mysteries. GRRM discovered that his biggest twist, R+L=J, was already figured out. Other things he had written were now regarded as mysteries, even though they were never intended to be so. A new world of pseudo-intellectual thought and profound theorizing surrounded the books, elevating them to Pulitzer Prize status and making GRRM feel like he had to deliver an all-time masterpiece.

    The White Walkers were always simple murder zombies when he originally planned the story, but the forums were expecting them to be much more. There is no way GRRM would write something so simple, right? There had to be some mind-shattering twist that he had planned that would redefine the world as we know it, something that would tie all of the ‘unanswered questions’ of the story together in an unexpected, yet predictable, and overwhelming satisfying way, right? GRRM didn’t want to disappoint his readers, so he painstakingly expanded his original story to make it more mystery and puzzle driven.

    This resulted in the AFFC/ADWD mess, written and re-written over the course of 11 years, ultimately dooming the series.

  265. And one more thing about Daenerys, the main point D&D did in their execution, which really is a key trait of Game of Thrones, is make her downfall in some way shocking/surprising. It doesn’t matter how much they supported it throughout the story, it is pretty certain that they actively wanted people to support Dany and then be shocked by her downfall.

    So they never wanted it to be obvious. If they did it would completely undermine their main point – demonstrating the danger of populism and revolutionary rhetoric/power through making the audience make them same mistakes as the characters. It’s an absolutely ballsy and groundbreaking move. That doesn’t mean there can’t be a discussion over whether it made sense – but it’s a lot harder to ask. Nonetheless, if you do pick apart the story, look for the clues, there is an absolute enormity of evidence for Daenerys’ character turn – her messianic complex, her ego and entitlement, being reined in by her advisers constantly, her convenient and loosely defined morals, her emotional instability – that its hard to say it wasn’t justified. D&D seem to rely on the length of GoT to achieve both providing enough clues and development for Daenerys’ turn, while also covering up to ensure its surprise later down the road.

  266. mau,

    Dornish story tell something else, even being the second most powerful person can be enough to make peace. And Dornish are even more different than the north compared to the rest of the kingdoms. They even have laws that are so different than what the seven kingdoms have of laws, the north is pretty close with that to the rest.

    Even in real life, Marriage can make peace between countries that were at war.

  267. kevin1989:
    mau,

    Even in real life, Marriage can make peace between countries that were at war.

    Even between two monarchs? And problem here is – The North is not a state from Dany’s perspective. It’s hers.

  268. Young Dragon,

    I didn’t ask to debunk the YT video’s. I don’t even care about those YT videos. I’m more curious that you debunk the questions that were raised on this site, by Ten Bears, me, Efi, Mr Derp and some others.

    And I agree that some errors were not errors

  269. Adrianacandle,

    Of course it’s before, or at least before the new King has claim the throne. And that’s what happen, the moment Robert claimed his throne, his law began. And as we know he was again plunder, rape etc. If somebody did it still after he took the throne, those people’s head would be on a spike.

    Mr Derp: I still wonder why Cersei didn’t decide to simply kill Dany instead of bothering with Missandei. Cersei could’ve won the war right then and there.

    True, Dany was defenseless, she could shoot some bolts towards Dany and Tyrion and co, and she would be death, she was pretty close to the border. Then Drogon is a problem, but why is Drogon a huge problem, mostly when he has a rider. That’s why he burned KL because Dany wanted it. But after Dany died he was angry but he flew away without setting the city on torch then.

    I also find it strange that she ordered Bronn to kill her brothers instead of Dany and Jon.

  270. kevin1989,

    It’s hard to debunk anything is this type of debate because you have a character who was given a choice – mercy or fire and blood, and she chose fire and blood. So naturally you will have people who will say – I feel her choice was justified and people who will say it wasn’t.

    I think it all comes from our own understanding of anger and violence and what makes someone do something horrible.

  271. The LightKing: Of course, they have the same opinion like you.

    Oh I can say that I disagree with mr derp on many points, as I have outed many times.

    And I don’t have really anyone that I don’t like here, even the ones I disagree with. That’s why I found it a shame when personal things are said to each other. The things you claim was disrespectful and hateful to D&D you can agree I think that that also count for fellow WotW goers.
    Even when we disagree we should just keep that as: agree to disagree, and just be friendly to each other, people here don’t know each other personal, so there’s no reason to dislike, hate or anything to them. And if we learn that all here, we could just be an great group of people debating civil here. I mean I disagree a lot with for instance Mau here, but I have nothing against him and think he is probably a great guy to hang out with. (I just took you for an example Mau if you didn’t mind).

    Debate shouldn’t be a fight of who is right or wrong, it should be a way to express our opinions with arguments and facts, and I always have the motto: To learn from each other.

    mau,

    I only hope that this Nexit (Northern exit) is much faster that Brexit was.

  272. mau: Even between two monarchs? And problem here is – The North is not a state from Dany’s perspective. It’s hers.

    We dutch were at war with the Brits that was solved with a marriage. So yes.

    And civil wars can also be solved this way, it shows that what the war was about, has been solved, and that the two ruling the country one has their interest at heart.

    Yes there are times that the King don’t care about what the Queen wants (or in this case the opposite), but in many cases both the King and Queen (or in this case the Queen and Prince) both have status and the King could listen to the plea of the Queen when concerns are asked (right word?).

  273. mau,

    Would be funny if Sansa is annoyed at a Raven constantly: Bran I already told you, we’re independent now. Stop spying.

  274. mau,

    That’s another point that shows the hypocrisy of this fandom. When the Dragons were born, everyone was looking forward to Daenerys wiping out the Lannisters with her Dragons and possibly destroying Kingslanding. I was one of them. I just wanted to see Joffrey’s face when Dany attacks Kingslanding with her Dragons. Well, she’s done that now and everyone is crying that it was out of character.

    I always refer to the conversation between hizdahr zo loraq and Daenerys in S5E9. People should listen to Dany’s statements
    and then please no one should tell me anymore that it was out of character.

  275. The LightKing,

    There’s nothing wrong with them. You on the other hand, I have some doubts.

    Ah, there: The LightKing, it’s because they don’t have the same opinion as you. Totally legit. I wonder if Efi or Mr Derp ever made a remark to how your option is what’s wrong with the fandom and if you’re truly ridiculous just because your opinion differs from theirs. Probably not. They are way too polite.

  276. TormundsWoman,

    It has nothing to do with different opinions. I don’t care about the opinions of other people. I just don’t like Hater and hypocritical people and this fandom is hypocritical on a whole different level and I will keep defending Mr. Benioff and Mr. Weiss and GoT. And if you think that this fandom is normal, than you should go to Reddit /freefolk and Westeros.org or any other youtube video about GoT.

  277. TormundsWoman: *Opinion not option! Jfc. This is clearly not my best moment

    Happens to me a lot with auto-correction.

    The LightKing: It has nothing to do with different opinions. I don’t care about the opinions of other people. I just don’t like Hater and hypocritical people and this fandom is hypocritical on a whole different level and I will keep defending Mr. Benioff and Mr. Weiss and GoT.

    Mr. Benioff and Mr. Weiss wants to thank you for your service. And wants to give you good luck in the “season 8”-wars to come. 🙂

  278. Young Dragon,

    Lol I only got to 20 or something and I scrolled down and there are 118 of them?

    5. Error: Why does Arya call Sansa “the smartest person she’s ever met?”

    Response: Arya came to appreciate Sansa last season and came to realize how effective she was at being lady of Winterfell. Also, it’s just an expression. I’ve called people “the nicest person I’ve ever met,” but that isn’t necessarily the case. This is just my way of saying they are a very nice person, just like Arya is only saying Sansa is very smart.

    I’d have chosen: Arya’s experiences are really limited. She hasn’t a large enough sample of human beings that she knew more intimately, so Sansa may actually be the smartest person SHE ever met. Though I’d argue their parents were far smarter than Sansa though apparently not as tough or flexible as her to survive the Lannisters.

  279. kevin1989,

    I hope so. One day I’ll drink a coffee with Mr. Benioff and Mr. Weiss and tell them that the real fans stand behind them and their marvelous final season. I couldn’t think of a better ending and I never thought that anything could top season 4, but they did it and I will always be greatful for this masterpiecs.

  280. The LightKing,

    Have you not said that they are examples of what’s wrong with the fandom?You’re comment was definitely offensive. And when Kevin responded that they are just fine, your answer was that of course they are fine, because Kevin has the same opinion as them.

    I may type wrong but there’s absolutely Jack shit wrong with my understanding of an offensive comment. I wouldn’t have said anything since Kevin already responded but I’m so tired and probably had a glass too many. Also there’s nothing else to comment on. I wish Martin would publish the silly book already!

  281. mau,

    “This resulted in the AFFC/ADWD mess, written and re-written over the course of 11 years, ultimately dooming the series.”

    Do you mean the show or the book series?

    I won’t pretend that I know how GRRM thinks, or what is it that stops him from finishing the book, other than the obvious, meaning too much work unrelated to ASoIaF, and too much PR and too many side-obligations that derive from his literary work.

    As a writer I hate to leave something unfinished, and I also hate leaving my ideas pending and undeveloped for any reason, even though there are always reasons and distractions for work to be pushed back. To tell you the truth, I have come to know many people in my line of work that are a bit like GRRM, always far too busy, but also very productive and I always wonder how they do it; how is it that they keep up at such pace? The day only has 24 hours and they spend much of it in airplanes and meetings. I will never reach that point (and I don’t want to).

    Anyway, lately I have lost much of the appreciation I once had for him. All his interviews betray (imo) disrespect for his readers. I think he is not telling the truth when he is asked, and that to me is like a mockery to my face. I understand why he does it; he is bound by HBO and there’s a moral obligation to honor his years long cooperation. It would have been better and much more honest, honorable and understanding to admit it rather than saying “yes and no and yes and no”, or that he hasn’t written anything, or that he doesn’t know what the ending of main characters will be.

    You may believe that he’s confused and doesn’t know where the story goes. This reasoning actually relieves him from the worst, because it’s actually worse to believe (like me) that he knows exactly where he’s going and just not finishing because of… yeah, reasons once more.
    He hasn’t said anything like that himself (I think).
    So all this is about the writer who in Arya’s first chapter (I think? or perhaps Jon’s?) foreshadowed Catelyn’s death in book 3; who in the first chapter of the book foreshadowed Jon’s death in book 5, and Bran’s rise to kingship at the end of book 7; who made Viseryon a “white” dragon because he intended that he’d be the first to go; who already has three riders ready, marked by fire, Daenerys, Jon and Victarion –ok, Victarion appears late, but Jon has his hand burned by the end of book 1, when Dany enters the fire.

    No, I don’t believe he’s confused, I just don’t believe he cares anymore, because in his mind he’s solved all the mysteries and just his readers aren’t that important to him anymore -he’s already delayed and stalled and worked on a zillion things, so why care?

    My view is slightly worse than yours. I’m a pessimist, I don’t believe in people anymore (age does that).

    [However, if the book ever comes to an end, Daenerys’ burning of KL will be much better set up.]

  282. TormundsWoman,

    Cheers, what did you have? I would love a glass of Dornish Red. Everything Red is amazing.

    And I also think I need to go to sleep before I am tired tomorrow.

  283. Young Dragon,

    52. Error: Why didn’t Jon say goodbye to Ghost?

    Response: Jon was going through an identity crisis, which is why he didn’t pet Ghost. He didn’t feel like a Stark anymore.

    But Jon did pet Ghost. In fact that was one of the last scenes that broke me. They reunited and he basically made up for all the shit poor Ghost went through! Like little screen time and so forth…

    I have so many questions. I should make a stupid video.

  284. kevin1989,

    Dornish red. A Romanian wine called Feteasca Neagra. Cheap and awesome. Maybe it’s awesome because I drank more than I should lol.

  285. Efi,

    Can you imagine being passionate about anything for 27 years? GRRM started working on this story in 1993.

    I think he lost passion, but I also think he has imposter syndrome. That for me became clear in his interview with Stephen King. I think hysteria over the last season has exact opposite effect to what book fans want. It makes him even more pressured.

    ASOIAF fandom have examined the books from every conceivable angle. If after such scrutiny the endgame ruler turned out to be a shock then it’s a fair assessment that GRRM didn’t put in the work to set up that ending.

    All foreshadowing that you mentioned are IMO more “blue eyes, green eyes” situation from S8, where something just works, even if it wasn’t part of the plan.

    And another controversial opinion, some may accuse me of ageism, but I think he is too old to write a great book.

  286. TormundsWoman,

    Cheap is not always bad. I rather drink a nice cheep wine than an expensive one. Most of the time I found expensive ones to strange, spiced with things I don’t like.

  287. mau,

    “It’s an absolutely ballsy and groundbreaking move. That doesn’t mean there can’t be a discussion over whether it made sense – but it’s a lot harder to ask.”

    I agree with the last part, but disagree with the first part.
    Portraying a clear “tyrant” and having followers in-universe like Tyrion, Varys, Jorah and others (possibly also Jon) would be a braver narrative and more of a punch in the stomach of the viewers, with infinite possibilities to explore story-wise. Instead they told us they did that via Tyrion in 8.6. Example: show Jon being in love with her despite knowing she’s a “tyrant”. Show the ambiguity of her actions that would make some to blindly love her and defend her fervently and some to detest her.

    That’s the story Martin is saying; you like her, but are you sure that you want to?

    [don’t get me wrong, folks; I’m not one of those who saw a Jon-Dany romance on TV, and I don’t see it in the books either]

    Instead, “we cheered for her?” Like, why not, Tyrion?
    They portrayed her as a hero, didn’t show the crucifixion of the masters; didn’t show the destruction of Astapor; made her instead of Yara dream of the Ironborn living in peace; sent her to the wall to save Jon; wiped out the scene where she laments the death of Viseryon right before Jon bent the knee to her; have her declare that she’ll wipe out the Night King instead of avenging the death of her dragon; and neutralize Jon completely in the final battle against the dead. (I could find more)
    So why would any of the viewers imagine that she’d actually burn KL when they all thought that sweeping through Essos with three dragons and staying in Meereen was a story of triumph, or a walk in the park, not a story of destruction, as book readers already know? When she was portrayed as a hero? Where is the scene where the Yunkai’i throw the dead of the Astapori on the walls of Meereen with catapults and the dragons catch them in the air and devour them?

    The signs, as you say, were all there. I saw them (I don’t like the blond girl with superpowers trope, lol); the Leni Riefenstahl iconography; her burning of the Lannister army; her burning the khals; her denying aid to Jon for five whole episodes; and many more.
    I wanted her actually to fall since season 1 because she loved her husband who bought her (in the books it’s even worse; she clearly wants his army and clearly wants him to start burning sh*t); because she hatched her dragons; without them, I’d be her fan too.

    But the thing is, D&D actually saying that they “made the story their own” was liberating. They wanted to tell this story, of a hero who was largely misunderstood and perhaps (to some) wronged, so that they increased the impact on the audience. It was their choice, and it is to their honor that they said that and their creative choice is to be respected.
    Of course it doesn’t free them from the audience’s crutique, not at all. There were still many narrative mistakes even in the story they chose to tell.

  288. mau:
    Efi,

    And another controversial opinion, some may accuse me of ageism, but I think he is too old to write a great book.

    One of my favourite authors published his first book in a series of 10 at the age of 70. Now, I can’t claim that the scope and complexity are anywhere near the level of ASOIAF, heck they aren’t anywhere near the same type of genre, but they’re clever and amusing and I’m very glad he did it. Meanwhile, I’ve done 1 book at 40 years younger than that (of no fame except possibly to a few very young fans not yet able to differentiate between good writing and cartoon birds with googly eyes). And yet I still cling to the hope that maybe someday I’ll actually be able to sit down and write something interesting at some point.

    Anyway, I definitely can’t wrap my mind around putting together the last of a series after almost 30 years. Oy.

  289. Efi,

    Some of my favorite dialogue scenes have nothing to do with the book and are in the last two seasons. I’m so tired of this arguement that without the books they can’t write. When some of the best scenes have nothing to do with the books.

  290. Mr Derp,

    Because we saw there actions to the info instead of just a reaction shot and a character telling the audience what we already know again. That’s lazy writing.

  291. Adrianacandle,

    Lindsey Ellis called them cowards and chuckelfucks. Said they deserved the harrassment but Rian Johnson didn’t. She quoted freefolk reddit sub which is toxic.

  292. Zalos,

    The facts are not their. She liked it. D&D also won best writers of the year at Austin which is the gold standard for screenwriters voted by other screenwriters. You thought it sucked others didn’t.

  293. Mr Derp,

    Lindsey Ellis acted liked a child towards D&D. I use to like her videos but her GOT video was downright disrespectful at times.

  294. Fireandblood87:
    Mr Derp,

    Lindsey Ellis acted liked a child towards D&D. I use to like her videos but her GOT video was downright disrespectful at times. She also claimed they read reddit theories and changed the ending because people guessed correctly. I went from being one of her biggest fans to being so disappointed in her behavior. She also just had simple facts about the show wrong.

  295. kevin1989,

    Many of the “errors” listed in the video are echoed by the people you mentioned. The rest are mostly their opinions or when they use a word incorrectly, like rushing or Deus Ex Machina.

  296. TormundsWoman,

    Actually, there were 119. I accidentally put 100 twice.

    Yeah, that’s also a good explanation. I just feel people get too caught up in the wording and take them too literally.

  297. TormundsWoman,

    Yes, at the end, though the video is referring to Jon not petting Ghost when he’s leaving for King’s Landing. By the end of the series, he finally came to terms with who he was and was going where he felt he belonged: the real North.

  298. Fireandblood87,

    I suppose you’re right, but from the way it was shot, Greyworm somehow made it to Danerys before Jon. It could have happened, just the way it was shown was a little odd.

  299. 388 comments in the five days since this (1/25/20) post! Who was it that piped in that the show is over and we should “get over it?”

    “It wasn’t over…It still isn’t over!”

    – Noah (Ryan Gosling) in “The Notebook” [the good half]

  300. Young Dragon,

    For me YT doesn’t really matter, I’m not there discussing. I’m discussing here. I like it here. So for me what all those YT videos state, I really don’t care at all.

    I’m much more intrigued with people here, for instance you, what you think 🙂

    And for me the complains that stated here on WotW I have to say that I agree with more than half of them. But not will all. Some I think are not valid at all.

    And even when for me season 8 is rated the last season of got (together with season 5) I still love it, and I think some seem to forget that. It’s not that you state some things you felt were not really that greatly executed but still love the show even with them, I think in the end that shows more that you are a fan than just blindly finding everything perfect.

  301. kevin1989:
    The LightKing,

    Personal attacks are forbidden here.

    If it was already said, I’m sorry for stating it again…

    Right you are, my friend.

    Though I have not been deputized as a Content Policeman, that’s why I copied and pasted the site’s Moderation Policy as a friendly reminder a few days ago. I’ll post it again below for ease of reference:

    (From wotw “FAQ”)
    “2. What is the moderation policy when commenting on Watchers On the Wall ?

    “WatchersOnTheWall.com has an open commenting policy for the most part, but personal attacks on other commenters are not permitted. Spamming and trolling are also not allowed, and comments of this nature may be deleted without warning. If your post contains language that is racist, extremely vulgar, or otherwise abusive, it may also warrant deletion.“

    [Emphases supplied]

    ———
    There’s no reason we can’t all keep our exchanges friendly, civil and respectful, even when we disagree.
    Incidentally, in my view at least, anyone who accuses someone else of being a “Hater” is a Hater. It’s more degrading to the accuser than the target. So, can we retire that term? 🙏

  302. Young Dragon:
    TormundsWoman,

    Yes, at the end, though the video is referring to Jon not petting Ghost when he’s leaving for King’s Landing. By the end of the series, he finally came to terms with who he was and was going where he felt he belonged: the real North.

    • While I’m not sure if his initial failure to pet Ghost* was intended to signify some inner identity crisis, I too interpreted Jon’s ending as finally coming “to terms with who he was” and going where he belonged: “the real North.”
    * (Then again, I was probably preoccupied with poor Ghost’s missing ear. 🤢)

    • Q: I know when Tormund (in early to mid-S5?) used that term “the real North” when he asked Jon if he loved Ygritte; reminded Jon that Ygritte loved him; and told Jon that he should bring her body to “the real North.”
    Didn’t someone else once tell Jon he was “of the real North” or something like that?

    • I felt that Jon’s recognition of where he truly belonged was tied in with his reconciliation with and acceptance by the Free Folk, commencing with his shouting match with Ygritte early on about who was invading whose lands [not verbatim]:

    Jon: “…I have the blood of the First Men! My ancestors lived here, same as yours!”
    Ygritte: “Then why are you fightin’ us?”
    (Mic drop)

    • I also thought this was reinforced by Jon’s admission, when unchaining Tormund, that the NW had failed in its oath to guard the realms of men by demonizing the Free Folk; Jon’s alliance with Tormund and his overtures to the Wildling chieftains at Hardhome**; and the Free Folk’s subsequent, unconditional embrace of King Crow, e.g., in coming to his (corpse’s) rescue when Thorne & co. were about to break into the room, and Tormund rallying the Free Folk to help fight the Boltons, reminding them of Jon’s sacrifice for them.

    ** (I thought Jon’s speech to the assembled chieftains was one of his (and Kit Harington’s) signature moments.)

    • I also noticed – whether or not it was deliberate on the part of the showrunners – that of the few times we ever saw Jon at ease and crack a smile, most were in scenes with his Wildling girlfriend or his Wildling ex-nemesis/newfound bff Tormund. Jon always seemed to be brooding and feeling out of place as the “Bastard of Winterfell” among the Starks; as the cadet and then Lord Commander of the NW; as the reluctant King in the North; and finally as Dany’s ally (at first), squeamish boyfriend, and disillusioned vassal.

    • It assume Jon took on leadership roles and responsibilities (and the dissension and danger that came with them) not out of ambition or self-aggrandizement, but for the sake of the greater good.
    That’s why I kind of wished his (apparent?) discomfort with his roles had been articulated a little more in the final season, rather than just showing him brooding and grimacing, spouting “she’s muh kween” and “I dun want it,” and tolerating the whining and second-guessing of disgruntled Northern lords as well as his whining sister(s).

    • Perhaps because of the absence of a little more exposition and poignant dialogue, Jon came off (to me) more as a neutered milquetoast then a conflicted hero.
    The quotes by Cogman and the showrunners (excerpted recently by Adrianacandle I think) revealed that they depended on wordless “emoting” by the actors to convey characters’ thoughts. That’s got to be a tricky way to do it, because the audience can’t always read a character’s mind from the facial expression.s of the actor or actress.***

    *** (Except of course when a gifted actress is blessed with “very expressive eyes” and “wonderful eyebrows,” and the ability to convey emotions with precision by facial expressions alone. 🗡👸🏻)

    • At the risk of being redundant, I felt that Jon’s concluding scene leading the Free Folk north of the Wall was unfortunately ambiguous due to reliance on his visage rather than words. Even if he was still bummed out by having to put down his girlfriend/queen/tyrant and being condemned for it, a brief exchange (maybe with Tormund once he got to CB, or with his sisters before he left) demonstrating the “upside” of his fate would have brought definitive closure to his story for the audience.

  303. Ten Bears,

    Correction:

    “…. Perhaps because of the absence of a little more exposition and poignant dialogue, Jon came off (to me) more as a neutered milquetoast than [not “then”] a conflicted hero.”

    Sorry about typos too…

  304. Concerning a marriage between Jon and Dany ending problems:
    Adrianacandle,
    Mr Derp,

    Jon would not have been the perfect marriage for Dany. By her own logic, Jon holds the better claim, and yet she reflexively behaves as if she still deserves the throne. She orders him to keep silent, to keep his truth secret from his own closest relatives. By marrying him, she would be admitting he has the better claim. She had the chance to admit his claim was the better one, and she went completely in the opposite direction. She of The Great Many Titles was not ever going to admit the supremacy of anyone else.

    kevin1989,

    We dutch were at war with the Brits that was solved with a marriage. So yes.

    Victoria Regina spent much of her long reign setting up marriage proposals between various royal houses of Europe. Her explicit purpose in doing so was to prevent war. By the time she died, she was grandmother to both the Kaiser of Germany and future King of England. Obviously, their two countries would never go to war, right?

    Mr. Derp:

    If she was already resigned to ruling by fear, then the frightful reception she received in KL should NOT have been a surprise to her, nor should it have bothered her to the point of turning into Super Hitler in one fell swoop.

    She had the experience of liberating slave cities by arriving in force outside their walls, and having the slaves within revolt in anticipation of her conquering their masters. She knew from Jorah how there were no slaves on Westeros, so between that and her past experiences, she would have expected the people of King’s Landing to have risen and overthrown Cersei. After all, she’d already done the heavy lifting for them: all of the scorpions blown away, the Cackling Clownfleet burning and sinking at anchor, the city’s main gate breached and the vaunted Golden Company melted to slag in one go. Troops loyal to her — including natives of Westeros — had already entered the city and secured the surrender of the Lannister Army. There was nothing to stop the people of King’s Landing from hailing her as their liberator, their Rightful Queen, and giving her a Myssa Moment of their very own.

    Instead, they all cower and cry in panic, “Ring the bells! Ring the bells!” From her perspective atop Drogon, they’re a bunch of f’n cowards who can’t even stop quivering long enough to open the gates of the Red Keep and toss Cersei’s body off the wall. To the Seven Hells with all of them, Tyrion included: she took this place by Fire and Blood, and she’ll bloody well finish the job all by herself. Who needs subjects cowering worse than slaves? Not her!

  305. Ten Bears,

    Jon’s ending was forced. From the moment he killed the silver-haired conqueror, they didn’t know what to do with him. So they accomodated him beyond the Wall, forcing a “punishment” on him that makes absolutely no sense even in their own story (since the Wall was destroyed anyway).

    It’s not improbable that he’ll end up somewhere near that end in the books, but it will be much more satisfying. Jon craves for home, but WF is not his true home and his parentage will finally make that clear to him. This twist might serve to disassociate him from everything he knows -the Starks, WF, the North too. It might send him easier to a place we don’t imagine, i.e. as leader of the Free Folk or as leader of the South (because he will no longer have any connection to what he knew before).

    Everyone who’s read the books knows that Jon isn’t happy at the Wall. He doesn’t like the ethics of the people (he doesn’t like his comrades in the NW), he doesn’t even like the way of living of the Free Folk and their traditions. He loved Ygritte but he knew she wouldn’t be good for him because she was too wild. But there is talk about resettling the Gift and at one point he thought about being allotted a castle in the area to repopulate it and become a lord in the North, a vassal of either Ned or Robb. This didn’t come to pass because Ned went South and Jon suddenly decided to join the NW. Stannis also wants the Gift to settle his knights there, because those who followed him left everything behind, and Jon resists his pressure because “the NW takes no sides”.
    Supposedly getting the Free Folk south of the Wall would serve the same purpose, repopulating the Gift. So sending the Free Folk once again beyond the Wall while all along they fought for coming South is totally irreconcilable with what the story is telling us. And the thing is, the Free Folk weren’t fighting to go south because of the Others; these just made that need urgent, and Mance took leadership because of it. They were fighting because the “true North” doesn’t have many resources to sustain them, it is a barren place where they can’t cultivate and feed themselves because it’s frozen. The Free Folk are kept away from “civilization” and everything that the south holds dear based on a false supremacy notion that they are “wildlings” and don’t fit in the south. As you said, the south demonized them and turned them into enemies while they were not. And as Jon said, “the Wall wasn’t built to keep the Wildlings away”.

    While, in-universe, Jon’s story has traits of the lore of the North -Symeon Stareyes, or Bael the Bard, Mance or even Bloodraven- and fits the profiles, so he might end up with the wildlings where he’ll be freer to be himself while maintaining relations with his family south of the Wall, the entire story tells us -according to my estimate always- that there is a wound there that needs to heal, and this wound does not have anything to do with Jon, but has everything to do with Bran. It was Bran the Builder who built the Wall, thus blocking the Free Folk from the south. It was an injustice against humanity even if it happened for keeping the threat of the Others away; thereafter the far North remained a place with no spring, always frozen, with eternal snows and glaciers. If someone can fix that wound, it’s Bran the broken boy. And if Jon’s role is to unite people, taking the Free Folk once again away from the south because they belong to “the true North” is annuling that role. In-universe (books and show), Jon died for the Free Folk, therefore sending them beyond the Wall again is like punishing them too.

    In the books Jon is ambitious. In the show he isn’t, but he never shies away from responsibility either. This is why he became lord commander and KitN, being all through the story aware of the burdens that go together with command. It took him four episodes to give up his title. For someone who doesn’t “want to be king” it’s too long, even if he said so himself in 7.2. He might “not want to” in the show, but at the same time he’s fully conscious of the responsibility he has to those who elected him king.
    So suddenly have him saying that “I don’t want it” and others pointing out that he “belongs to the true North” feels like an invention of season 8, because the first annuls the significance of his parentage and the second serves to accomodate him in the far North. It feels as if it came out of the blue and it’s conflicting with the entire previous story.
    However, having him leave WF without petting Ghost and reuniting with him at the end heavily symbolizes his true identity and re-finding it, or accepting it, by the end of the story. The green grass growing as Jon leads the way to the “true north” hints at srping and at that healing. For the show it’s a good ending; it was well done and leaves you wondering what comes next, despite the bitterness.
    For those who read the book, or those who haven’t but are informed about its complexity, punishing one who has already been punished enough without earning it (yet) is disappointing and much more bitter than the show.

  306. mau,

    agreed-personally I loved it, I am a die hard fan, watched each episode three times when the series aired and goodness knows how many times since. Have read each book several times each. The fandom’s reaction was very toxic, it quite ruined it for me at the time and I should imagine that those actually involved in the making of it would have to have very thick skin to not be bothered by it. It was event-television and I’ll always be grateful to everyone involved.

  307. I’m pretty sure some commenters on this site including Sincerely Thine have alluded to the fact that Messrs B&W signed up to adapt source material and not to write their own content towards a planned ending given to them by GRRM. I think we have mentioned it at least contemporaneously (if not before) with Alt Shift X. That’s not having a pop at Alt Shift X. I used to watch his videos, not so much now. Even though I wasn’t a great fan of Wordsworth’s poetry at school I think he had something when he (Wordsworth) referred to poring over matter too much can mean “we murder to dissect”. If WoW and ADoS are eventually published I’ll find out what differences there are in books v show regarding the endgame (If I’m still on the planet then).

  308. Efi,

    Jon’s ending was forced. From the moment he killed the silver-haired conqueror, they didn’t know what to do with him. So they accomodated him beyond the Wall, forcing a “punishment” on him that makes absolutely no sense even in their own story (since the Wall was destroyed anyway).

    With respect, Efi, we don’t know that. This could very well be Jon’s ending and I think it is. I think there’s support for this being his ending. There are in-universe reasons for Jon to be punished for killing Dany and the Night’s Watch is a penal colony. He had committed kinglsaying, oathbreaking, and (though Westeros doesn’t know this), kinslaying — which is a damnable offense in the eyes of the gods. Jon still must take the Night’s Watch vows, White Walkers or no.

    In the books, the threat of the Others might not be gone forever. Who knows?

    Everyone who’s read the books knows that Jon isn’t happy at the Wall. He doesn’t like the ethics of the people (he doesn’t like his comrades in the NW), he doesn’t even like the way of living of the Free Folk and their traditions. He loved Ygritte but he knew she wouldn’t be good for him because she was too wild.

    I don’t think this is entirely true. There are things about the free folk Jon definitely appreciates, like the merit-based system and lack of classism. Jon also admires the bravery they show, that women as well as men can fight and are encouraged to, he tells Stannis that the free folk have honor, and Jon also recognizes, “We have our cowards and our knaves, our weaklings and our fools, as do [the wildlings].” There are aspects Jon doesn’t like about some wildling cultures — but wildling cultures in the book differ — Thenns are pretty close to Westerosi as they make their own stuff and follow a blood-based inheritance system of lordship.

    Jon decidedly dislikes aspects about Westorsi culture and suffers from these aspects — like being stigmatized for being a bastard. I’m also not sure at what point Jon thinks Ygritte wouldn’t be good for him? When Jon reflects on how Ygritte is wildling to the bone, he’s not thinking she’s a bad person, he’s sad because he remembers the wall between them (ie. he must remain loyal to the Watch while she is a wildling, the side he’ll be fighting against to defend the Wall from Mance’s attack):

    I know one thing. I know that you are wildling to the bone. It was easy to forget that sometimes, when they were laughing together, or kissing. But then one of them would say something, or do something, and he would suddenly be reminded of the wall between their worlds.

    _____

    Supposedly getting the Free Folk south of the Wall would serve the same purpose, repopulating the Gift. So sending the Free Folk once again beyond the Wall while all along they fought for coming South is totally irreconcilable with what the story is telling us.

    From what I’ve read, that’s a place Jon plans to put them once they are south of the Wall but that’s not the reason Jon is bringing them south. He’s bringing them south because of the Others based on every reason he’s given/thought in the books.

    Is there another passage you’re thinking of?

    In the show, the Others are gone so it would make sense if the wildlings want to return to their lands that have been home to them — especially if those lands are thawing.

    And if Jon’s role is to unite people, taking the Free Folk once again away from the south because they belong to “the true North” is annuling that role. In-universe (books and show), Jon died for the Free Folk, therefore sending them beyond the Wall again is like punishing them too.

    I don’t think this is exactly true because Tormund and his people choose to return and the ending shows the lands thawing with a new blade of spring appearing in the snow.

    In the books Jon is ambitious. In the show he isn’t, but he never shies away from responsibility either. This is why he became lord commander and KitN, being all through the story aware of the burdens that go together with command.

    In the show, Jon wanted a leadership position as well — before he experienced the harsh reality of it in season 5. In the books too, he finds the position of Lord Commandership incredibly miserable, isolating, and lonely. He’s not happy in it.

    That would be a good character reason, I think, to not want positions of leadership in the future. He’s not fighting for the North to retain independence, he’s said nothing to this effect in either the books or show. On the contrary, he’s fighting for the survival of humanity.

    As for Jon’s rejection of a crown annulling the significance of his parentage, I don’t think this is true either. Jon has never sought the Iron Throne. Him wanting the Iron Throne to me would seem weird. He wanted to be Lord of Winterfell in the books because he wanted to be Ned Stark’s heir.

    Jon’s parentage may have significance with something else entirely that isn’t related to the throne. I don’t think GRRM is telling a ‘Return of the King’ type story here.

    For those who read the book, or those who haven’t but are informed about its complexity, punishing one who has already been punished enough without earning it (yet) is disappointing and much more bitter than the show.

    I’ve read the books and I disagree with this statement. I can appreciate the concept behind it and it does feel very GRRM to me, bringing it full-circle in this way.

    This is the same argument fans of Dany have. I know you have said here that you don’t like the blonde girl with superpowers trope, which is fair. But this might not be a story that rewards the actions of others either. And one reader’s idea of a happy ending isn’t the same as another’s.

  309. Efi,

    Sorry, wanted to add on a few more thoughts 🙂

    He loved Ygritte but he knew she wouldn’t be good for him because she was too wild.

    Wildness or being too wild is something I don’t think bothered Jon that much. I think this is something Jon loves all the more about Ygritte. Even with Val, Jon finds himself attracted to her because she is “lovely” and “lethal” and had great respect that she could brave the dangers beyond the Wall on a half-blind horse and find Tormund’s band when his own men weren’t able to.

    And in a non-romantic sense, Jon also has appreciation for Arya’s own wildness, it’s one of the thing that endears him to her so much. As a result, I don’t think Jon’s opposed to this quality.

    It might send him easier to a place we don’t imagine, i.e. as leader of the Free Folk or as leader of the South (because he will no longer have any connection to what he knew before).

    I don’t think Jon knowing his parentage will reset him as a blank slate in regard to his experience/history/desires, if that’s what you mean? Sorry if I’m misunderstanding 🙂

    The crown is still a burdensome title, burdens that made Jon miserable in ADWD. But I may be unclear on what you mean here.

    There are some in-universe obstacles for Jon becoming king in the south:

    Westeros needs to believe this Stark-looking bastard son of a lord known for his honor is a Targaryen. And now, if this same bastard son is, out of the blue, claiming to be a trueborn Targaryen and heir to the throne… that’s a big ask. That and he just killed a known trueborn Targaryen. That’s posing a ton of issues already.

    Not only is it going to be a hard sell in Westeros where they already view bastards as untrustworthy wanton liars who’d love nothing better than to usurp, this bastard son claiming to be a trueborn Targaryen just committed kinslaying, a grievous act in Westeros.

    Jaime was scorned for breaking his oath to the Mad King by killing him — and nobody even liked the Mad King. Kinslaying is ever worse than oathbreaking in Westeros.

    So for Jon to become king, the story would have to overcome some major obstacles:

    a) Have Westeros believe Ned Stark’s bastard is really a trueborn Targaryen and heir to the Iron Throne.
    b) Have Westeros want another Targaryen ruling after a Targaryen recently torched the capital.
    c) Overlook the kinslaying (and, if pledged to Dany, oathbreaking).
    d) Deal with Dany’s supporters, which could very well mean another war.

    I don’t think it’s as easy as resetting all Jon’s connections to be redefined once he learns his parentage. I think it’s definitely possible, probably certain, that he’ll experience an identity crisis but I don’t think that means erasing all of his experiences with Westeros and his own history/experiences/desires.

    I’m sorry if I am misunderstanding!

  310. Efi,

    ”He loved Ygritte but he knew she wouldn’t be good for him because she was too wild.”

    Isn’t that a self-contradiction?

  311. Adrianacandle,

    ”I’m also not sure at what point Jon thinks Ygritte wouldn’t be good for him? When Jon reflects on how Ygritte is wildling to the bone, he’s not thinking she’s a bad person, he’s sad because he remembers the wall between them (ie. he must remain loyal to the Watch while she is a wildling, the side he’ll be fighting against to defend the Wall from Mance’s attack):

    [excerpt from books:]
    I know one thing. I know that you are wildling to the bone. It was easy to forget that sometimes, when they were laughing together, or kissing. But then one of them would say something, or do something, and he would suddenly be reminded of the wall between their worlds.”

    ————-
    They never should have left that cave. 🥵

  312. Ten Bears: On the show, I thought it was the “too wild” that attracted Jon to Ygritte: ”Not all girls are like you.”

    Is book! Jon different? Does book! Jon Snow like girls who swoon?

    I think this is a pretty consistent aspect between book and show Jon. I think it’s Ygritte’s wildness that does attract Jon to her in both.

    His thoughts on Val (another wildling woman Jon meets post-Ygritte):

    [Val] “Let me help.”

    [Jon] “You have. You brought me Tormund.”

    “I can do more.”

    Why not? thought Jon. They are all convinced she is a princess. Val looked the part and rode as if she had been born on horseback. A warrior princess, he decided, not some willowy creature who sits up in a tower, brushing her hair and waiting for some knight to rescue her.

    Context for the above: Stannis, Selyse, their men are all convinced Val is a princess and if they marry Val to one of their own, the wildlings will follow (Val is the sister of Mance’s wife). Jon keeps trying to tell them that’s not how they work, they don’t follow somebody based on how somebody is related to the king that came before, they choose their own and forcing Val to marry one of their lords won’t work. And Jon warns Stannis that Val will likely kill that man if she doesn’t like the man she’s forced to marry. Yet his words fall on deaf ears:

    “Perhaps his lordship [Wyman Manderly] would fancy a wildling wife,” said Lady Melisandre. “Is this fat man married, Lord Snow?”

    “His lady wife is long dead. Lord Wyman has two grown sons, and grandchildren by the elder. And he is too fat to sit a horse, thirty stone at least. Val would never have him.”

    “Just once you might try to give me an answer that would please me, Lord Snow,” the king grumbled.

    “I would hope the truth would please you, Sire. Your men call Val a princess, but to the free folk she is only the sister of their king’s dead wife. If you force her to marry a man she does not want, she is like to slit his throat on their wedding night. Even if she accepts her husband, that does not mean the wildlings will follow him, or you. The only man who can bind them to your cause is Mance Rayder.”

  313. Ten Bears,

    “It was wrong to love her, it was wrong to leave her”
    It is a contradiction. It was wrong to love her because she wouldn’t fit into his world. It was wrong to leave her because he loved her.

  314. Efi: “It was wrong to love her, it was wrong to leave her”
    It is a contradiction. It was wrong to love her because she wouldn’t fit into his world. It was wrong to leave her because he loved her.

    The first instance of this quote happens after Jon had left Ygritte and the wildlings, on his way to Castle Black. I don’t believe it’s anything to do with Ygritte’s wildness or feeling Ygritte was too wild for him.

    I believe it’s describing the conflict Jon felt more and more between his duty to the Night’s Watch and his love for Ygritte. Yes, Jon felt it was wrong to leave her because he loved Ygritte and he betrayed her for the Watch (he also hated the thought more and more of betraying other wildlings too as he got to know them). And he felt it was wrong to love her as this betrayed his duty to the Night’s Watch, he was torn between staying with Ygritte and abandoning the Night’s Watch for her, and he ended up breaking his vows with her.

  315. Adrianacandle,

    ”…Why not? thought Jon. They are all convinced she is a princess. Val looked the part and rode as if she had been born on horseback. A warrior princess, he decided, not some willowy creature who sits up in a tower, brushing her hair and waiting for some knight to rescue her.”

    ———
    Hmmm… A “Warrior Princess”? Who doesn’t sit around in a tower brushing her hair? Or waiting for some knight to rescue her?

    Gee, who does that sound like??? 🤔

    #ASNAWP 🗡👸🏻

  316. Ten Bears: Hmmm… A “Warrior Princess”? Who doesn’t sit around in a tower brushing her hair? Or waiting for some knight to rescue her?

    Gee, who does that sound like??? 🤔

    #ASNAWP 🗡👸🏻

    Yes, and the princess Arya named her direwolf after 🙂

    Nymeria nipped eagerly at her hand as Arya untied her. She had yellow eyes. When they caught the sunlight, they gleamed like two golden coins. Arya had named her after the warrior queen of the Rhoyne, who had led her people across the narrow sea.

  317. Adrianacandle,

    ”…When Jon reflects on how Ygritte is wildling to the bone, he’s not thinking she’s a bad person, he’s sad because he remembers the wall between them (ie. he must remain loyal to the Watch while she is a wildling, the side he’ll be fighting against to defend the Wall from Mance’s attack):

    [excerpt from books:]
    “I know one thing. I know that you are wildling to the bone. It was easy to forget that sometimes, when they were laughing together, or kissing. But then one of them would say something, or do something, and he would suddenly be reminded of the wall between their worlds.”

    ————-

    Your description of “the wall between them“ preceding your recital of Jon’s internal monologue about “the wall between their worlds“ might require inclusion of a song in an Ygritte 💘 Jon Compilation (I may set up) on the Forum pages…

    Track #3?:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9gKyRmic20

    at 0:54 – 1:07

    “…Hey now, hey now
    When the world comes in
    They come, they come
    To build a wall between us.”

    Crowded House, “Don’t Dream It’s Over” (1986)

    (Note: Track #1 would have to be “Wild Thing” by The Troggs, since Kit Harington serenaded Rose Leslie with a takeoff of that song (“Wildling”) at the Red Nose Day GoT + Coldplay event a few years ago.)

  318. Ten Bears: Crowded House, “Don’t Dream It’s Over” (1986)

    That song always plays in my head whenever I see “the wall between us/them” written/said anywhere without fail XD;;

    (Note: Track #1 would have to be “Wild Thing” by The Troggs, since Kit Harington serenaded Rose Leslie with a takeoff of that song (“Wildling”) at the Red Nose Day GoT + Coldplay event a few years ago.)

    That was an awesome video. Before that point, I had associated Wild Thing with Cheesestrings (because of that commercial) and now it’s competing with “Wildling” 😉

    Jaime’s beautiful ballad about incest was also touching, “Are you thinking ’bout Joffrey? Such a spirited lad. I was his uncle, I was also his dad….”

  319. Adrianacandle,

    ”In the show, the Others are gone so it would make sense if the wildlings want to return to their lands that have been home to them — especially if those lands are thawing.”

    ——
    • In one of Jon & Ygritte’s first scenes, she described a possible life up there in idyllic terms [paraphrasing] that he could be free; he could build himself a cabin, wake up when he wanted, find himself a woman to lay with [*Ygritte Inner Voice: “Ooh! Ooh! Pick me! Pick me!”*]; and she could show him the woods to hunt and streams to fish.
    That already sounded… enticing.

    • And as you said, now that there are no buzzkilling ice monsters around anymore and the frost is thawing, there’d be no reason the Free Folk wouldn’t be excited about returning to their homelands.

    • Also, on the show (not sure about the books), I thought the proposal to resettle the Free Folk in “the Gift” south of the Wall was because it had arable land for them to farm. For survival while the WWs were massing north of the Wall that might have sufficed as a temporary solution for the Free Folk.
    They did not strike me as hippie dippie vegetable-growing farmer types.

  320. Ten Bears,

    In one of Jon & Ygritte’s first scenes, she described a possible life up there in idyllic terms [paraphrasing] that he could be free; he could build himself a cabin, wake up when he wanted, find himself a woman to lay with [*Ygritte Inner Voice: “Ooh! Ooh! Pick me! Pick me!”*]; and she could show him the woods to hunt and streams to fish.
    That already sounded… enticing.

    I agree, Ygritte made it sound really nice! (Wake up when you want!) And in the books, it seems Jon is settling into a possible life with the wildlings, despite himself, and starts getting to know them, despite his efforts to be distant — making that choice all the much harder.

    At the same time, Jon seems to not know what he wants to be. Whatever choice he makes, it’s sacrificing something important to him.

  321. Ten Bears: Also, on the show (not sure about the books), I thought the proposal to resettle the Free Folk in “the Gift” south of the Wall was because it had arable land for them to farm. For survival while the WWs were massing north of the Wall that might have sufficed as a temporary solution for the Free Folk.
    They did not strike me as hippie dippie vegetable-growing farmer types.

    They’re probably not but they may be able to learn (and they may choose to learn anyway if the lands beyond the Wall become farmable should the Others be defeated forever) — and they’d have to in order to live in Westeros. I think the immediate concern is getting the wildlings south of the Wall before the Others come and The Gift is a place they can live since those are lands which have been given to the Night’s Watch.

    In a bit of a twist, Ned wanted to put in lords to protect The Gift from wildlings — and now it’s being inhabited by wildlings 😉

  322. Ten Bears,

    There’s this bit about Ygritte near the end of ADWD I liked when the wildlings are passing through the Wall 🙂

    There were spearwives with them, long hair streaming. Jon could not look at them without remembering Ygritte: the gleam of fire in her hair, the look on her face when she’d disrobed for him in the grotto, the sound of her voice. “You know nothing, Jon Snow,” she’d told him a hundred times.

    (Note: Did a search in ASOS, she tells him 18 times ;D)

  323. Adrianacandle,

    “At the same time, Jon seems to not know what he wants to be. Whatever choice he makes, it’s sacrificing something important to him.“

    At least on the show, Jon’s decision to sacrifice his love and life with Ygritte was shown to be a difficult one for him, and for Ygritte. Despite her strength, he knew leaving her would break her heart – and his own.

    Relatively speaking, the three non-lethal arrows she fired into him as he rode off, however painful, was a small (physical) price to pay. After all, she had made it quite clear that if he ever betrayed her, the physical consequences would be … a bit more severe: “I’ll cut your pretty c*ck right off and wear it ‘round my neck.”

    I’m going to refrain from comparing Jon & Dany’s final scene with Jon & Ygritte’s final scene. Let me just say that the S4 scene when Ygritte died in Jon’s arms was so moving.
    It wasn’t until fairly recently that I read a snippet from the books of that same scene. I thought it was beautifully written, especially the last sentence. (I forget exactly how G phrased it.)

  324. Ten Bears,

    I really really loved how GRRM wrote their last scene too. I get teary, like I get teary when I hear the Tale As Old As Time song from Beauty and the Beast. Some things just get me in a certain way.

    And in the books, I think it was shown that choice was a difficult one for Jon to make as well. It’s why I love the, “Wrong to love her, wrong to leave her,” line so much 🙂 It might be my favourite line from Jon’s chapters.

  325. Adrianacandle,

    You’re not misunderstanding, it’s only that I as usual tend to condense.
    I only mean that the way Martin has structured Jon’s story, he can now take it wherever he likes, with Jon either in the North or in the South.
    I can speculate how he’d become king in the South -I’ve done so already- but that’s beside the point. Narratively-wise it’s feasible and it would make sense, that’s all I’m saying.

    But in my opinion Jon sees a figurative wall between him and Ygritte, not just “the Wall” and his vows to the NW. The abstract that you pointed out is the most characteristic of all, perhaps, and the line “it was wrong to love her, wrong to leave her” captures it’s essence.
    He might find the “wild” and “warrior” traits of Free Folk women attractive, but that doesn’t mean that he’d want that for himself. Even with Val, who is described as a very beautiful woman, it seems as if he tries to convince himself that he’d be alright with a “warrior princess” instead of a “willowy creature in a tower”. He dreams of Ygritte in silken dresses, so that he can tear them off of her [and then of course Ygritte spoils it for him, telling him she’d slit his throat for doing that]. It’s sexual with Ygritte, but he doesn’t dream of her in furs; he dreams of her in clothing ladies wear south of the Wall. On the other hand Val is dressed in white leather and furs and he thinks of her just as “lovely”; with her, he doesn’t reach that level of sexual attraction.

    So Jon came to know the Free Folk, this is the reason he lived with them (as a Doylist and a Watsonian reason), but I am not convinced that in-universe he’d like to stay with them forever, because he hasn’t shown any signs that he’d want that kind of living for himself. His life and his ideals and his goals were all in the South. There’s one reason only that he joined the NW, and that’s that there’d be nothing for him at WF after his father left. Maintaining, as he did, an idealistic picture about the NW, and being himself far too young to know the complexity of life outside family, he wanted, ideally, to make something of himself with rising through the ranks.
    That’s already too bitter. So returning there for a similar reason, namely, that he isn’t completely a Stark, or a complete Targ, that he’s just a Snow like he’s always been, and because the world from which he excluded himself willingly in the beginning doesn’t know how to accomodate a Stark-Targ any more than they knew how to accomodate a Snow, is ten times as bitter. Frankly, instead of that, I’d prefer he ended up dead in the end of ASoIaF. That’s liberation, not living somewhere where he doesn’t belong away from those he loves.

    As for being punished, or that he’d punish himself for killing a mass-murderer, I don’t agree with you and you know it. I don’t think it will happen in the books and as I’ve said before the show just didn’t know what to do with him from the moment he fulfilled his role as Daenerys’ assassin, so they put him at the NW again where he allegedly “belongs” so that Daenerys’ fans won’t be offended. It’s that simple and understandable even with the spineless romance they told us on screen.

  326. Adrianacandle,

    Awww. Poor Jon couldn’t get Ygritte out of his mind even after she was long gone.

    (You quoted from the books):

    There were spearwives with them, long hair streaming. Jon could not look at them without remembering Ygritte: the gleam of fire in her hair, the look on her face when she’d disrobed for him in the grotto, the sound of her voice…

    • Question(s)/Comment(s):
    – In S5, Jon resisted Melisandre’s combined lapdance/striptease seduction + Lord of Light-approved religious ritual routine, telling her he was still in love with Ygritte even though (as Mel reminded him) the dead don’t need lovers.
    – Was there a counterpart to that encounter in the books?

    – I wondered if Jon’s line (excuse) about still being hung up on a dead woman was supposed to be a parallel or callback to Robert’s inability to get over Lyanna: As Cersei described her doomed marriage to Robert in her S1 scene with Ned [paraphrasing] Robert loved a corpse more than the live girl he had right in front of him.
    – Was that Cersei-Ned dialogue on the show adapted from the books?
    – In my mind, such scenes in the show tended to evoke sympathy for Cersei, e.g., the humiliation she suffered at the hands of her emotionally closed-off and physically abusive husband (combined with being raised by a distant, exploitative father who treated her as chattel – a “broodmare“), factored into producing the “hateful” and spiteful woman she’d become by the time the events on the show commenced 19 years (?) later.
    – Or, do the books just portray Cersei as inherently evil, self-centered and rotten to the core?

  327. Efi,

    You’re not misunderstanding, it’s only that I as usual tend to condense.
    I only mean that the way Martin has structured Jon’s story, he can now take it wherever he likes, with Jon either in the North or in the South.
    I can speculate how he’d become king in the South -I’ve done so already- but that’s beside the point. Narratively-wise it’s feasible and it would make sense, that’s all I’m saying.

    Ok, good!! I’m glad I’m not misunderstanding you 🙂

    And I guess this is my point of contention. I don’t see how, if Jon kills Dany or even if he doesn’t and is relying on his Targaryen heritage, how he’d become king of the 7K. Or why he’d want the throne at all.

    But in my opinion Jon sees a figurative wall between him and Ygritte, not just “the Wall” and his vows to the NW. The abstract that you pointed out is the most characteristic of all, perhaps, and the line “it was wrong to love her, wrong to leave her” captures it’s essence.

    Yet the context the “Wrong to love her, wrong to leave her” line was in (his duty to the NW and the realm vs. his love for Ygritte).

    However, that’s not to say there isn’t a cultural divide at that time and I think Jon is probably feeling that too but he doesn’t seem to think that Ygrite could never be in his world:

    Would I sooner be hanged for a turncloak by Lord Janos, or forswear my vows, marry Val, and become the Lord of Winterfell? It seemed an easy choice when he thought of it in those terms… though if Ygritte had still been alive, it might have been even easier.

    These cultural issues become less and less an issue for Jon personally as the books go on, especially after he understands their customs. Though it seems Jon may never be comfortable with some of them, he comes to understand them as Ygritte had taught him. And at the point where he thinks of the wall between himself and Ygritte, Jon is not considering bringing the two together as one yet. The immediate issue at hand, in Jon’s mind, is it’s the Watch vs. Mance’s attack.

    This was a transitional period for Jon’s mindset. Ideas he grew up with, beliefs that were ingrained into his being, are now being challenged by the wildlings. For instance, the idea that bastards are bad, a belief in Westerosi society, but is not an issue with wildlings. As long as the child is healthy and strong, everything’s good to go with the wildlings. And if Ygritte doesn’t want it, she can drink moontea.

    He might find the “wild” and “warrior” traits of Free Folk women attractive, but that doesn’t mean that he’d want that for himself. Even with Val, who is described as a very beautiful woman, it seems as if he tries to convince himself that he’d be alright with a “warrior princess” instead of a “willowy creature in a tower”.

    Everything Jon thinks does indicate he desires these traits in a woman for himself. He’s decidedly not looking for a willowy princess in a tower and I can’t find anything in the text pointing to any confusion or denial over this. Jon seems pretty confident in what he finds attractive in a woman.

    Val’s physically beautiful, he’s attracted to that like most people are, but Jon’s feelings for Val deepen as he gets to know her, that she’s lovely and lethal, she’s no willowy princess in the tower. She can fight, she can brave danger where his own men failed. And it seems to me the text indicates Jon definitely enjoys that.

  328. Efi,

    He dreams of Ygritte in silken dresses, so that he can tear them off of her [and then of course Ygritte spoils it for him, telling him she’d slit his throat for doing that]. It’s sexual with Ygritte, but he doesn’t dream of her in furs; he dreams of her in clothing ladies wear south of the Wall. On the other hand Val is dressed in white leather and furs and he thinks of her just as “lovely” with her, he doesn’t reach that level of sexual attraction.

    Jon doesn’t dream of Ygritte in silk dresses — that was one comment Jon made in the show alone as part of playful banter between himself and Ygritte. The dreams he has of her are nightmares. I don’t see any indication that Jon wishes Ygritte would change or become more feminine.

    And as the books go on, Jon is sexually attracted to Val but resists giving in because he’s now Lord Commander and has some pretty urgent issues to oversee. He’s not really dwelling on what either Ygritte or Val are wearing as a point of attraction, he’s focused on their character.

    So Jon came to know the Free Folk, this is the reason he lived with them (as a Doylist and a Watsonian reason), but I am not convinced that in-universe he’d like to stay with them forever, because he hasn’t shown any signs that he’d want that kind of living for himself. His life and his ideals and his goals were all in the South. There’s one reason only that he joined the NW, and that’s that there’d be nothing for him at WF after his father left. Maintaining, as he did, an idealistic picture about the NW, and being himself far too young to know the complexity of life outside family, he wanted, ideally, to make something of himself with rising through the ranks.

    Jon didn’t have any plans or goals for the south. He knew he was at the mercy of his father and brothers’ decisions due to his bastardry. Jon also chose to go to the Night’s Watch because he could elevate himself there. Whatever hopes Jon may have had, this is before he knew the wildlings, realized they weren’t the enemy as he’s been told, before preconceptions were challenged, before he experienced the harsh realities of leadership for himself, before he found commonalities with the wildlings. Westeros has treated Jon like crap and over the course of the books, Jon’s scope has broadened greatly beyond what he knew and experienced at Winterfell, he has found a far bigger, broader world than any story told, beliefs have been challenged, and he’s moved past some of his old preconceptions, especially regarding the wildlings.

    At the point in ASOS, Jon doesn’t know what he wants to be. He doesn’t really fit in anywhere. The true North might very well be Jon’s ultimate place.

    That’s already too bitter. So returning there for a similar reason, namely, that he isn’t completely a Stark, or a complete Targ, that he’s just a Snow like he’s always been, and because the world from which he excluded himself willingly in the beginning doesn’t know how to accomodate a Stark-Targ any more than they knew how to accomodate a Snow, is ten times as bitter. Frankly, instead of that, I’d prefer he ended up dead in the end of ASoIaF. That’s liberation, not living somewhere where he doesn’t belong away from those he loves.

    I understand where you’re coming from in part but I think we need to see how GRRM would come to this ending.

    While some fans may want it, Jon rising to political significance isn’t necessarily a happy ending for him in-universe since the throne is a bitter, bitter, terrible and dangerous place to be. An experience Jon doesn’t enjoy in ADWD. And Jon may not be meant to be one or the other, I don’t think he is at all. He’s both and he’s neither. Jon is something else, his story has always pointed to that. He’s always half apart and that’s not always a bad thing. Other people are too. I think Jon finds important bonds along his way as he progresses through the story, outside those he made in childhood. His purpose might be being both for some other purpose that’s not the throne.

    I don’t think this story is about giving Jon or any character what we particularly want for them. Jon has loved ones at Winterfell but they’re not his only loved ones. Jon will also have to live with the pain of the wars of the realm have caused him personally, especially with deaths he feels responsible for and might be responsible for in the future. Jon has developing bonds with those from the far North and in the Watch — Tormund and Edd for instance, Val perhaps, Sam, etc. we don’t know what the next books are to bring.

    As for being punished, or that he’d punish himself for killing a mass-murderer, I don’t agree with you and you know it. I don’t think it will happen in the books and as I’ve said before the show just didn’t know what to do with him from the moment he fulfilled his role as Daenerys’ assassin, so they put him at the NW again where he allegedly “belongs” so that Daenerys’ fans won’t be offended. It’s that simple and understandable even with the spineless romance they told us on screen.

    I may know you disagree but my point remains something as big as kingslaying, kinslaying, and oathbreaking comes with punishments and with consequences — especially kinslaying — within the established system of this world’s universe. I have no idea how that wouldn’t be an issue. If they glossed over that, that would feel like a contrivance to me. Not just that, I’ve outlined other reasons above. If Westeros manages to believe Jon is a trueborn Targaryen, that stigma may very well transfer to him. It wasn’t to appease Dany fans, those are the consequences already set up in-universe since the beginning, in both the books and the show. Jaime, for instance, suffers greatly because of the scorn he endures for killing the Mad King, a king everybody wanted gone. What I do feel was odd is that Greyworm was killing surrendered prisoners but not Jon for killing Dany… and Greyworm accepted the decision of a council which included Jon’s family and friends.

  329. Ten Bears,

    In S5, Jon resisted Melisandre’s combined lapdance/striptease seduction + Lord of Light-approved religious ritual routine, telling her he was still in love with Ygritte even though (as Mel reminded him) the dead don’t need lovers.

    I think these are the passages that has been adapted from:

    In the shadow of the Wall, the direwolf brushed up against his fingers. For half a heartbeat the night came alive with a thousand smells, and Jon Snow heard the crackle of the crust breaking on a patch of old snow. Someone was behind him, he realized suddenly. Someone who smelled warm as a summer day.

    When he turned he saw Ygritte.

    She stood beneath the scorched stones of the Lord Commander’s Tower, cloaked in darkness and in memory. The light of the moon was in her hair, her red hair kissed by fire. When he saw that, Jon’s heart leapt into his mouth. “Ygritte,” he said.

    “Lord Snow.” The voice was Melisandre’s.

    Surprise made him recoil from her. “Lady Melisandre.” He took a step backwards. “I mistook you for someone else.” At night all robes are grey. Yet suddenly hers were red. He did not understand how he could have taken her for Ygritte. She was taller, thinner, older, though the moonlight washed years from her face. Mist rose from her nostrils, and from pale hands naked to the night. “You will freeze your fingers off,” Jon warned.

    “If that is the will of R’hllor. Night’s powers cannot touch one whose heart is bathed in god’s holy fire.”

    “You heart does not concern me. Just your hands.”

    [Here, Melisandre talks to Jon about Arya and pets Ghost. Jon is concerned Ghost will harm Melisandre and calls Ghost to him but Ghost disobeys and lets Melisandre pet him. Jon finds this strange.]

    “You think so?” She knelt and scratched Ghost behind his ear. “Your Wall is a queer place, but there is power here, if you will use it. Power in you, and in this beast. You resist it, and that is your mistake. Embrace it. Use it.”

    I am not a wolf, he thought. “And how would I do that?”

    “I can show you.” Melisandre draped one slender arm over Ghost, and the direwolf licked her face. “The Lord of Light in his wisdom made us male and female, two parts of a greater whole. In our joining there is power. Power to make life. Power to make light. Power to cast shadows.”

    In the books, Jon never declares out loud he loved Ygritte, that was always confined to his thoughts but Melisandre may have known as, like in the show, she echoes Ygritte’s, “You know nothing, Jon Snow,” at him:

    “Do not be so certain.” The ruby at Melisandre’s throat gleamed red. “It is not the foes who curse you to your face that you must fear, but those who smile when you are looking and sharpen their knives when you turn your back. You would do well to keep your wolf close beside you. Ice, I see, and daggers in the dark. Blood frozen red and hard, and naked steel. It was very cold.”

    “It is always cold on the Wall.”

    “You think so?”

    “I know so, my lady.”

    “Then you know nothing, Jon Snow,” she whispered.

  330. Ten Bears,

    As Cersei described her doomed marriage to Robert in her S1 scene with Ned [paraphrasing] Robert loved a corpse more than the live girl he had right in front of him.
    – Was that Cersei-Ned dialogue on the show adapted from the books?

    This is from a conversation between Cersei and Jaime right before Jaime gives Bran a flying lesson:

    “He betrayed one already, or have you forgotten?” the woman said. “Oh, I don’t deny he’s loyal to Robert, that’s obvious. What happens when Robert dies and Joff takes the throne? And the sooner that comes to pass, the safer we’ll all be. My husband grows more restless every day. Having Stark beside him will only make him worse. He’s still in love with the sister, the insipid little dead sixteen-year-old. How long till he decides to put me aside for some new Lyanna?”

    And the scene I think that show scene is adapted from:

    “How could they have all been so blind? The truth was there in front of them all the time, written on the children’s faces. Ned felt sick. “I remember Robert as he was the day he took the throne, every inch a king,” he said quietly. “A thousand other women might have loved him with all their hearts. What did he do to make you hate him so?”

    Her eyes burned, green fire in the dusk, like the lioness that was her sigil. “The night of our wedding feast, the first time we shared a bed, he called me by your sister’s name. He was on top of me, in me, stinking of wine, and he whispered Lyanna.”

    Ned Stark thought of pale blue roses, and for a moment he wanted to weep. “I do not know which of you I pity most.”

    The queen seemed amused by that. “Save your pity for yourself, Lord Stark. I want none of it.”

    I think Cersei is more sympathetic in the show — she has a greater love for her children that seems more genuine. In the books, they’re primarily pawns for power, extentions of herself. I think she does love them in a sense but not nearly as much as Show!Cersei loves her on-screen kids.

  331. Efi,

    ”He might find the “wild” and “warrior” traits of Free Folk women attractive, but that doesn’t mean that he’d want that for himself. Even with Val, who is described as a very beautiful woman, it seems as if he tries to convince himself that he’d be alright with a “warrior princess” instead of a “willowy creature in a tower”.

    So what kind of woman does he want for himself?
    On the show it sure seemed he had a thing for warrior women (Ygritte and then Dany).

    In fact, whether or not one believes Jon’s S7-S8 “romance” with Dany was properly developed, and whether his furtive glances picked up on by Davos in mid-S7 were intended to show anything more than a single guy scoping out an attractive single woman in his orbit, it appeared that it was Dany’s heroics as a “warrior” at the Frozen Lake that fired up his libido. (Or turned his brain into mush. Or both. 😍)

    In addition to the books! passage of Jon’s perception of “Val” which Adrianacandle excerpted above (and to which I referred in my 11:19 am reply), I thought I recalled some book readers commenting that Jon was attracted to women that shared traits with his nonconformist, martial arts-loving little sister, rather than traditional, subservient “ladies” with flowing dresses and flowers in their hair. [See also Arya & Tywin S2 discussion about “most girls” vs. “great warrior” heroine(s).]

    Wasn’t that one of the points of Jon’s scene with Ygritte (linked in my 10:18 am comment, and below) in which Ygritte mocked girls who “swoon” over spiders and worry about messing up their silk dresses?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21sxwsULjK0

    I may have overlooked something. I just never saw any indication that Jon had to “convince himself” that he’d be alright with a “warrior princess“ instead of a “willowy creature in a tower.”
    Of course, I do not recall any traditional lady types vying for his affections.

    (Oh, and before anyone thinks to bring up Tyene’s infamous line about a guy who thinks he wants good girl but needs a bad p***y, and apply it to Jon, I did not get the sense that Jon Snow considered his fondness for assertive, warrior women to be a source of inner conflict.)

    It could have been interesting if Jon Snow had been torn between a local girl (like a lord’s daughter) he was expected to marry and a foreign girl he’d hooked up with during his adventures. Robb already did that though.

    Q: Is there anything in the books suggesting that deep down Jon really wanted to be with a “lady” but figured he had to settle for a less cultured kind of girl? [Caveat: “Jonsa” Shippers need not reply. 🙂]

  332. Ten Bears,

    In addition to the books! passage of Jon’s perception of “Val” which Adrianacandle excerpted above (and to which I referred in my 11:19 am reply), I thought I recalled some book readers commenting that Jon was attracted to women that shared traits with his nonconformist, martial arts-loving little sister, rather than traditional, subservient “ladies” with flowing dresses and flowers in their hair. [See also Arya & Tywin S2 discussion about “most girls” vs. “great warrior” heroine(s).]

    Wasn’t that one of the points of Jon’s scene with Ygritte (linked in my 10:18 am comment, and below) in which Ygritte mocked girls who “swoon” over spiders and worry about messing up their silk dresses?

    How you interpreted this scene was how I interpreted it too.

    I can’t remember anything indicating Jon is settling because he can’t have a noble woman. He does dream that his mother is highborn and has a comfortable relationship with Alys Karstark, who is a non-combative noble woman (who looks like Arya, reminds Jon of Arya), but nothing to indicate Jon feels he’s being deprived of a traditional noble woman and must settle for other qualities. Alys is also very courageous, feisty, and takes matters into her own hands. I didn’t see anything sexually intimate in his thoughts or interactions with Alys, but genuine fondness:

    Especially this part:

    Jon turned to Alys Karstark. “My lady. Are you ready?”

    “Yes. Oh, yes.”

    “You’re not scared?”

    The girl smiled in a way that reminded Jon so much of his little sister that it almost broke his heart. “Let him be scared of me.” The snowflakes were melting on her cheeks, but her hair was wrapped in a swirl of lace that Satin had found somewhere, and the snow had begun to collect there, giving her a frosty crown. Her cheeks were flushed and red, and her eyes sparkled.

    “Winter’s lady.” Jon squeezed her hand.

    The Magnar of Thenn stood waiting by the fire, clad as if for battle, in fur and leather and bronze scales, a bronze sword at his hip. His receding hair made him look older than his years, but as he turned to watch his bride approach, Jon could see the boy in him. His eyes were big as walnuts, though whether it was the fire, the priestess, or the woman that had put the fear in him Jon could not say. Alys was more right than she knew.

  333. Ten Bears: I thought I recalled some book readers commenting that Jon was attracted to women that shared traits with his nonconformist, martial arts-loving little sister

    Here are some of those passages:

    “If you kill a man, and never mean t’, he’s just as dead,” Ygritte said stubbornly. Jon had never met anyone so stubborn, except maybe for his little sister Arya.

    Ygritte trotted beside Jon as he slowed his garron to a walk. She claimed to be three years older than him, though she stood half a foot shorter; however old she might be, the girl was a tough little thing. Stonesnake had called her a “spearwife” when they’d captured her in the Skirling Pass. She wasn’t wed and her weapon of choice was a short curved bow of horn and weirwood, but “spearwife” fit her all “the same. She reminded him a little of his sister Arya, though Arya was younger and probably skinnier. It was hard to tell how plump or thin Ygritte might be, with all the furs and skins she wore.

  334. Adrianacandle,

    More for the Ygritte 💘 Jon playlist – and this is reaching so, so far back into the past that Bran should have to co-pilot.
    “Tear Down the Wall!”

    Jefferson Airplane, “We Can Be Together” (1969)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RN1yqwU5lvc

    We can be together, ah, you and me.
    We should be together.
    ***
    Our life’s too fine to let it die,
    We should be together.
    ***
    Tear down the wall!
    Tear down the wall!
    ***
    We must begin here and now,
    A new continent of earth and fire.
    Tear down the wall!
    Tear down the wall!
    Won’t you try?

  335. Ten Bears,

    • (Addendum to 7:23 pm comment)
    For the music anthropologists out there, the twelve musicians on that studio track from 1969 included Grace Slick and Marty Balin on lead vocals, Paul Kantner and Jorma Kaukonen on guitar, Stephen Stills on organ, and Jerry Garcia on steel guitar.

    • Below is a link to a live version from February, 1970 in case anyone’s interested in a blast from the past. Grace Slick aka The Acid Queen was 29 years old back then.
    Paul Kantner and Marty Balin are now gone. Grace Slick is 80. The Queen lives! Long may she reign.
    ________

    We Can Be Together” (Jefferson Airplane) – live, February, 1970

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-e6ht-Oa-Y0
    —-

  336. Adrianacandle,

    I’m in the middle of reading your replies. Thank you.
    Just wanted to pipe in to let you know I got a nice chuckle when I read about Jaime giving Bran “flying lessons.” 😅😝

  337. Ten Bears,

    I listened to the first link you posted — I’ve never heard that song before! It’s a perfect choice, for Jon/Ygritte! (And for Westeros in general!)

    I’ll listen to the live one in a bit!

    I wanted to share this song with you — it’s a Picard/Data composition from Pogo, who does plunderphonics (from Wikipedia: Pogo/Nick Bertke is “a South African-born Australian electronic musician whose work consists of recording small sounds, quotes, and melodies from films, TV programmes or other sources, and sequencing the sounds together to form a new piece of music […]. A number of Pogo’s works consist almost entirely of the sounds he samples, with few or no additional music or sound samples.)

    I think he does Picard and Data so perfect in it and manages to recreate the settings and lighting so well. Plus, the song’s great too AND he’s cute 😉 /endfangirl

    I’m in the middle of reading your replies. Thank you.
    Just wanted to pipe in to let you know I got a nice chuckle when I read about Jaime giving Bran “flying lessons.” 😅😝

    😉 !

  338. Adrianacandle,

    You wrote…
    “This is from a conversation between Cersei and Jaime right before Jaime gives Bran a flying lesson:

    He betrayed one already, or have you forgotten?” the woman said. “Oh, I don’t deny he’s loyal to Robert, that’s obvious. What happens when Robert dies and Joff takes the throne? And the sooner that comes to pass, the safer we’ll all be. My husband grows more restless every day. Having Stark beside him will only make him worse. He’s still in love with the sister, the insipid little dead sixteen-year-old. How long till he decides to put me aside for some new Lyanna?

    And the scene I think that show scene is adapted from:

    How could they have all been so blind? The truth was there in front of them all the time, written on the children’s faces. Ned felt sick. “I remember Robert as he was the day he took the throne, every inch a king,” he said quietly. “A thousand other women might have loved him with all their hearts. What did he do to make you hate him so?”

    Her eyes burned, green fire in the dusk, like the lioness that was her sigil. “The night of our wedding feast, the first time we shared a bed, he called me by your sister’s name. He was on top of me, in me, stinking of wine, and he whispered Lyanna.”

    Ned Stark thought of pale blue roses, and for a moment he wanted to weep. “I do not know which of you I pity most.”

    The queen seemed amused by that. “Save your pity for yourself, Lord Stark. I want none of it.”

    I think Cersei is more sympathetic in the show — she has a greater love for her children that seems more genuine….
    ————————

    This was quite intriguing!

    The little tweaks the show made in adapting Cersei’s dialogue (along with what I believe was a show-only scene between Robert and Cersei discussing their marriage) made a huge difference in how I perceived Cersei.

    The show portrayed newlywed Cersei as an eager young bride enamored with her new husband – only to have him cruelly dash her hopes and cause her to loathe him.

    Show! Cersei didn’t deride Lyanna as an “insipid little dead sixteen year-old.” She almost … envied her. The show insinuated that Robert was an emotionally stunted jerk who wouldn’t let go of his fixation on his unrealistic image of Lyanna, and never gave his marriage a chance – even after a reasonable time to get over the death of his dream girl.

    Meanwhile, he had no compunctions about cheating and whoring in public, right in front of Cersei. (So much for discretion. Why did he have go out of his way to humiliate her?)

    As I recall. on the show Cersei was incredulous when Ned asked why she hated Robert. She went out of her way to describe how much she adored him – at first. The book! passage you excerpted didn’t include that. It went straight to her recounting how a drunken Robert called her “Lyanna” on their wedding night. Still a f*cked up, insulting and hurtful experience for any bride.)

    I ought to go back and compare the show vs. book dialogue. The show! version engendered a lot more sympathy for Cersei, and not just because of her love for her children It made her out to be the victim of her new husband’s selfishness that continued unabated throughout their marriage. Not that it excused the brotherf*cking, though it made one wonder if she wouldn’t have eventually turned to another man for affection and intimacy
    that her husband stubbornly withheld. That wouldn’t be surprising in a real world sham marriage either.

    It was my understanding that book! Cersei is straight up wicked, with no “pathology” that a modern-day shrink might use to explain her anger as “acting out” after years of abuse.

    The show’s portrayal of Cersei’s death only reinforced her as a character worthy of (some) sympathy notwithstanding several instances of over the top, unnecessary cruelty throughout the eight seasons.

    I know I’m blinded by my Lena Headey fanboying to some extent when I say that some of Cersei’s enemies signed their own death warrants by persecuting and humiliating her. They should have known better:

    The hypocritical High Sparrow and his forehead-carving twits; the sadistic shame nun Unella; the daughter-murdering Ellaria; Kevan “stand with the other peons” Lannister; and even snarking Margaery who shouldn’t have antagonized her rival the way she did, and Tommen who betrayed his own mother and was prepared to subject her to a rigged trial by Septon. (While Cersei was unaware that Olenna was behind Joffrey’s assassination, karma came for Olenna’s son in the sept explosion.)

    And in the end, as I think Tyrion and Jon observed, however many deaths were attributable to Cersei were dwarfed [no pun intended] by the number of victims of the mass murder committed by “the Breaker of Chains” in a single afternoon.

    Is it possible the showrunners were also Lena fanboys, and softened Cersei’s character somewhat so she’d have nuances and complexities? Book readers have described GRRM’s Cersei as more of a one-dimensional villainess, though I wouldn’t know if that’s the case.

    Anyway, somebody who has read the books and watched the show would be in a better position to do a compare and contrast analysis of book! Cersei and show! Cersei. I just thought it was telling how the show’s writers’ minor changes to the text you quoted made a world of difference.

  339. Adrianacandle,

    FWIW, when the show cast Megan Parkinson as Alys Karstark, I thought the tall, fiery redhead might be a significant player in the Northern politics storyline, and a potential romantic interest for Jon or a “contestant” for his affections.

    . Nope. None of that. Unfortunately, Alys didn’t figure into the story very much. and I think she only had a total of three words of dialogue (“Now and always”).

  340. Ten Bears,

    Jenny might be the best person to answer this!

    My thoughts are that I think Cersei is softened for the show. They added that scene between her and Robert discussing their marriage and kind of (briefly) coming to common ground in season 1. She also reveals she aborted her only child by Robert to Ned rather than telling Catelyn that her first baby, which had been Robert’s, had died. She is more wicked in the books and she’s not very smart either XD;;

    In the books, Robert mistreats Cersei as well, perhaps worse than what’s insinuated on the show as he rapes Cersei when he’s drunk. She seemed to have hope when she first married him but that quickly went down the drain over Lyanna. Cersei is also living under the shadow of the Maggy the Frog prophecy and feels deep resentment of her gender limiting her — she resents Jaime in a sense because though they were born at the same time and were twins, he was given everything she wanted because he’s a man and she’s doomed to the role of a woman.

    Here’s a rather long passage of Cersei wondering what it’d be like to be with a woman and remembering what it was like with Robert:

    Cersei wondered what it would feel like to kiss another woman. Not lightly on the cheek, as was common courtesy amongst ladies of high birth, but full upon the lips. Taena’s lips were very full. She wondered what it would feel like to suckle on those breasts, to lay the Myrish woman on her back and push her legs apart and use her as a man would use her, the way Robert would use her when the drink was in him, and she was unable to bring him off with hand or mouth.

    Those had been the worst nights, lying helpless underneath him as he took his pleasure, stinking of wine and grunting like a boar. Usually he rolled off and went to sleep as soon as it was done, and was snoring before his seed could dry upon her thighs. She was always sore afterward, raw between the legs, her breasts painful from the mauling he would give them. The only time he’d ever made her wet was on their wedding night.

    Robert had been handsome enough when they first married, tall and strong and powerful, but his hair was black and heavy, thick on his chest and coarse around his sex. The wrong man came back from the Trident, the queen would sometimes think as he was plowing her. In the first few years, when he mounted her more often, she would close her eyes and pretend that he was Rhaegar. She could not pretend that he was Jaime; he was too different, too unfamiliar. Even the smell of him was wrong.

    For Robert, those nights never happened. Come morning he remembered nothing, or so he would have had her believe. Once, during the first year of their marriage, Cersei had voiced her displeasure the next day. “You hurt me,” she complained. He had the grace to look ashamed. “It was not me, my lady,” he said in a sulky sullen tone, like a child caught stealing apple cakes from the kitchen. “It was the wine. I drink too much wine.” To wash down his admission, he reached for his horn of ale. As he raised it to his mouth, she smashed her own horn in his face, so hard she chipped a tooth. Years later at a feast, she heard him telling a serving wench how he’d cracked the tooth in a mêlée. Well, our marriage was a mêlée, she reflected, so he did not lie.

    The rest had all been lies, though. He did remember what he did to her at night, she was convinced of that. She could see it in his eyes. He only pretended to forget; it was easier to do that than to face his shame. Deep down Robert Baratheon was a coward. In time the assaults did grow less frequent. During the first year he took her at least once a fortnight; by the end it was not even once a year. He never stopped completely, though. Sooner or later there would always come a night when he would drink too much and want to claim his rights. What shamed him in the light of day gave him pleasure in the darkness.

    I also think Lena Heady brought her to life in such a way that it’s easier to feel sympathy for Cersei, even though she’s a horrible person. I think Lena Heady was the perfect choice to play Cersei — but I think Cersei does have nuances in the books too. Sometimes, it gets to be too much evil with her but you have access to her thoughts and you can see what makes her tick, like the above. Here’s a thread discussing both versions of Cersei 🙂

  341. Ten Bears,

    Yes, Alys’s role in the show is very different from her book counterpart. For one, Alys looks very much like a slightly older version of Arya and is just a year younger than Jon, rather than the decade or so it was on the show. They’re contemporaries in the books. And from what is briefly observed, I think they have a lovely rapport in the books, they seem very much at ease with one another.

    And Alys prompts this Stannis/Selyse internal burn from Jon 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Alys Karstark leaned close to Jon. “Snow during a wedding means a cold marriage. My lady mother always said so.”
    He glanced at Queen Selyse. There must have been a blizzard the day she and Stannis wed.

    ____

    Excerpt From: George R. R. Martin. “A Feast for Crows & A Dance With Dragons.” iBooks.

    Ooh! Data and Picard parody! I’ll definitely watch it. I’m saving Episodes 1 and 2 of Star Trek: Picard for this weekend.

    So you’re not disappointed (!!): it’s more the composer (or plunderphonic-er…??) dressed up as Data and Picard lipsyncing and dancing to what he’s created out of the sounds and voices of Star Trek Next Generation XD;; But it’s truly very good! I very much enjoy the music! He just has that innate sense of rhythm and sound, I think. It just works. And it’s not a genre I typically enjoy — but he makes it work, I think! Whisperlude (remix of A Little Princess), Bloom (remix of Disney Princesses), and Wizard of Meh (remix of Wizard of Oz) are my favourites from him 🙂 🙂 🙂

    That sounds like a great weekend! I should catch up on The Good Place…!

  342. Adrianacandle,

    About this part of the passage you quoted…

    ”The wrong man came back from the Trident, the queen would sometimes think as he was plowing her. In the first few years, when he mounted her more often, she would close her eyes and pretend that he was Rhaegar…”

    _______

    • Imagine if Cersei were to find out that Lyanna Stark stole both men from her: Robert and Rhaegar.

    • Does this passage indicate that Cersei was unfamiliar with the “official” story that Rhaegar was a dirtbag who kidnapped and raped Lyanna? Or that Cersei assumed that story was ego-salving propaganda spread by Robert?

    • If Cersei was closing her eyes during sex with Robert and pretending he was Rhaegar, that wouldn’t be consistent with the image of Rhaegar as a brutal rapist, would it?

    • For a long-dead girl, Lyanna sure left her mark on the major players and the major events in the story. In the unlikely event Big G ever finishes the books, will he ever explain the star-crossed lovers’ motives in eloping without telling their families, and allowing the realm – and their families – to be decimated by a bloody war?
    The show never explained any of this.

  343. Adrianacandle,

    ⚠️🚂🗡👸🏻 Warning! Arya Thread Derailment.

    In the comments section under the sound and visual effects post, Tron79 alerted me to an Audi commercial with the telegenic Maisie Williams that will air during the Super Bowl this Sunday, February 2, 2020. Here’s the commercial, pre-released two days ago by Audi USA on YouTube.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvEAklsAAts

    ——

  344. Ten Bears,

    Another long passage! This describes Cersei’s view of Rhaegar pretty well. Tywin had promised Cersei she’d marry Rhaegar and from the age of six, she had her heart set on him. She was still inseparable from Jaime and I think she’d eventually still have her sexual relationship with him too though.

    And Tywin was just as determined to make this match happen. Even after Rhaegar and Elia married, Tywin kept hoping for a Targaryen-Cersei match with either Varys or Rhaegar would be remarried if Elia died in childbirth.

    The memory of the rejection still rankled, even after all these years. Many a night she had watched Prince Rhaegar in the hall, playing his silver-stringed harp with those long, elegant fingers of his. Had any man ever been so beautiful? He was more than a man, though. His blood was the blood of old Valyria, the blood of dragons and gods. When she was just a little girl, her father had promised her that she would marry Rhaegar. She could not have been more than six or seven. “Never speak of it, child,” he had told her, smiling his secret smile that only Cersei ever saw. “Not until His Grace agrees to the betrothal. It must remain our secret for now.” And so it had, though once she had drawn a picture of herself flying behind Rhaegar on a dragon, her arms wrapped tight about his chest. When Jaime had discovered it she told him it was Queen Alysanne and King Jaehaerys.

    She was ten when she finally saw her prince in the flesh, at the tourney her lord father had thrown to welcome King Aerys to the west. Viewing stands had been raised beneath the walls of Lannisport, and the cheers of the smallfolk had echoed off Casterly Rock like rolling thunder. They cheered Father twice as loudly as they cheered the king, the queen recalled, but only half as loudly as they cheered Prince Rhaegar.

    Seventeen and new to knighthood, Rhaegar Targaryen had worn black plate over golden ringmail when he cantered onto the lists. Long streamers of red and gold and orange silk had floated behind his helm, like flames. Two of her uncles fell before his lance, along with a dozen of her father’s finest jousters, the flower of the west. By night the prince played his silver harp and made her weep. When she had been presented to him, Cersei had almost drowned in the depths of his sad purple eyes. He has been wounded, she recalled thinking, but I will mend his hurt when we are wed. Next to Rhaegar, even her beautiful Jaime had seemed no more than a callow boy. The prince is going to be my husband, she had thought, giddy with excitement, and when the old king dies I’ll be the queen. Her aunt had confided that truth to her before the tourney. “You must be especially beautiful,” Lady Genna told her, fussing with her dress, “for at the final feast it shall be announced that you and Prince Rhaegar are betrothed.”

    Cersei had been so happy that day. Elsewise she would never have dared visit the tent of Maggy the Frog. She had only done it to show Jeyne and Melara that the lioness fears nothing. I was going to be a queen. Why should a queen be afraid of some hideous old woman? The memory of that foretelling still made her flesh crawl a lifetime later. Jeyne ran shrieking from the tent in fear, the queen remembered, but Melara stayed and so did I. We let her taste our blood, and laughed at her stupid prophecies. None of them made the least bit of sense. She was going to be Prince Rhaegar’s wife, no matter what the woman said. Her father had promised it, and Tywin Lannister’s word was gold.

    Her laughter died at tourney’s end. There had been no final feast, no toasts to celebrate her betrothal to Prince Rhaegar. Only cold silences and chilly looks between the king and her father. Later, when Aerys and his son and all his gallant knights had departed for King’s Landing, the girl had gone to her aunt in tears, not understanding. “Your father proposed the match,” Lady Genna told her, “but Aerys refused to hear of it.” ‘You are my most able servant, Tywin,’ the king said, ‘but a man does not marry his heir to his servant’s daughter.’ Dry those tears, little one. Have you ever seen a lion weep? Your father will find another man for you, a better man than Rhaegar.”

    Her aunt had lied, though, and her father had failed her, just as Jaime was failing her now. Father found no better man. Instead he gave me Robert, and Maggy’s curse bloomed like some poisonous flower. If she had only married Rhaegar as the gods intended, he would never have looked twice at the wolf girl. Rhaegar would be our king today and I would be his queen, the mother of his sons.

    She had never forgiven Robert for killing him.

    But then, lions were not good at forgiving. As Ser Bronn of the Blackwater would shortly learn.

    I’m pretty certain Cersei knew the official story of Rheagar and Lyanna, everyone did and Cersei was married to the one who believed it most (Robert) but I don’t know if she’d care either way how Rhaegar took Lyanna (it still seems to hurt Cersei that Rhaegar chose Lyanna). Also, at the Tourney at Harrenhal, Rhaegar chose Lyanna as his queen of love and beauty in front of everyone and placed a crown of blue roses on her lap — even though Rhaegar was already married to Elia and Lyanna was betrothed to Robert (more on that to follow for your final question).

  345. Ten Bears: For a long-dead girl, Lyanna sure left her mark on the major players and the major events in the story. In the unlikely event Big G ever finishes the books, will he ever explain the star-crossed lovers’ motives in eloping without telling their families, and allowing the realm – and their families – to be decimated by a bloody war?
    The show never explained any of this.

    We don’t have access to either the thoughts of Lyanna or Rhaegar but we have a snippet from Ned’s perspective of how Lyanna felt about Robert, which wasn’t awesome:

    Robert will never keep to one bed,” Lyanna had told him at Winterfell, on the night long ago when their father had promised her hand to the young Lord of Storm’s End. “I hear he has gotten a child on some girl in the Vale.” Ned had held the babe in his arms; he could scarcely deny her, nor would he lie to his sister, but he had assured her that what Robert did before their betrothal was of no matter, that he was a good man and true who would love her with all his heart. Lyanna had only smiled. “Love is sweet, dearest Ned, but it cannot change a man’s nature.”

    And Robert himself had idealized Lyanna to an extent, like here:

    The mirth curdled on Robert’s face. “The woman [Cersei] tried to forbid me to fight in the melee. She’s sulking in the castle now, damn her. Your sister would never have shamed me like that.”

    “You never knew Lyanna as I did, Robert,” Ned told him. “You saw her beauty, but not the iron underneath. She would have told you that you have no business in the melee.”

    Ned doesn’t harbor anger toward Rhaegar in this thoughts whenever Rhaegar is brought up, which is strange if he believed Rhaegar raped his sister. And he’s also uncomfortable with Robert’s lingering hate toward Rheagar:

    Littlefinger shook the rain from his hair and laughed. “Now I see. Lord Arryn learned that His Grace had filled the bellies of some whores and fishwives, and for that he had to be silenced. Small wonder. Allow a man like that to live, and next he’s like to blurt out that the sun rises in the east.”

    There was no answer Ned Stark could give to that but a frown. For the first time in years, he found himself remembering Rhaegar Targaryen. He wondered if Rhaegar had frequented brothels; somehow he thought not.

    “We may not have a fortnight. We may not have a day. The king mentioned something about seeing my head on a spike.” Ned frowned. He did not truly believe the king would harm him, not Robert. He was angry now, but once Ned was safely out of sight, his rage would cool as it always did.

    Suddenly, uncomfortably, he found himself recalling Rhaegar Targaryen. Fifteen years dead, yet Robert hates him as much as ever. It was a disturbing notion … and there was the other matter, the business with Catelyn and the dwarf that Yoren had warned him of last night. That would come to light soon, as sure as sunrise, and with the king in such a black fury … Robert might not care a fig for Tyrion Lannister, but it would touch on his pride, and there was no telling what the queen might do.

    In late 2016, GRRM answered questions at a convention in Mexico and called Rhaegar a “love-struck prince”. From this redditor’s notes:

    So my question was: Why do you think the political institutions in the Seven Kingdoms are so weak? His answer: the Kingdom was unified with dragons, so the Targaryen’s flaw was to create an absolute monarchy highly dependent on them, with the small council not designed to be a real check and balance. So, without dragons it took a sneeze, a wildly incompetent and megalomaniac king, a love struck prince, a brutal civil war, a dissolute king that didn’t really know what to do with the throne and then chaos.

    That’s really all we have so far with regard to books (or there may be another detail I’m missing…)

  346. Ten Bears,

    I had forgotten — Rhaegar was also obsessed with The Prince That Was Promised prophecy. At first, he believed it to be himself and later, to be one of his children. This 16 min video from Alt Shift X goes over it pretty well if you have some time. While Rhaegar was a love-struck prince according to GRRM, this also speculates another motive as to why Rhaegar threw everything away for Lyanna, knowing the risk of chaos and war this would bring:

  347. Adrianacandle,

    Typo!

    *Even after Rhaegar and Elia married, Tywin kept hoping for a Targaryen-Cersei match with either *Viserys or Rhaegar would be remarried if Elia died in childbirth.

  348. Suuuuurre, Gem. Must’ve been so satisfying to disappear until the end and suffer the indignity of having to take suddenly-super-annoying Arya’s crap. I so believe it. But I mean, obviously–what else are you gonna say? No surprise Natalia Tena was the honest one. Truly, the rage starts boiling all over again every time I look back upon the unthinkable betrayal, the unholy atrocities committed against television’s greatest achievement…oh, I had all the faith in the world in the Two Who Mustn’t Be Named, and got burned like King’s Landing. What a fool I was to spend so long arguing in favor of their handling of the story off-book. I was on cloud nine waiting for S8, wanted to love it more than anything…but as each episode after the second aired and I compiled my immediate responses in blog form (the only place it could all fit), I sank deeper into the realization that those blissful years of excitement and hype were to be squandered. Okay then. Lesson learned. No more getting overly invested in or attached to unfinished sagas–and more crucially, be sure to give a wide berth to anything with either or both of *their* names attached.

  349. shelle,

    Sorry, but Gemma Whelan has every right to voice her opinion, just like Natalia Tena. She is being perfectly honest. And it’s not a betrayal. When we become fans of something, we run the risk of being disappointed. If you aren’t prepared to handle disappointment like an adult, maybe you shouldn’t have become a fan of the show in the first place. You have no one to blame but yourself. GOT only became television’s greatest achievement because of the work D&D put into it. I, for one, am very much looking forward to what they bring us next.

  350. Yuh-huh.
    Disappointment I’m well used to. But from this series? And that intensely? Yep, I was blindsided. It was a big blow. Only in hindsight can I see the hype was a mistake. But as I said, tough lesson learned.

  351. Given what just happened here with Caroline Flack I’d like to think those critics within the fan dom can start to see the human side of those involved. You may not have liked your favourite character being the big villain, the lighting in an episode or the writing but there are real people impacted by your criticism and that likely has a big impact on their well being.

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